Penguins and Polka Dots

Happy Black Friday! I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving – unless you don’t celebrate American Thanksgiving, in which case I hope you had a lovely Thursday. :)

Being in the retail world, I had to go into the office today – but with great coworkers it’s not so bad. That is, it wasn’t bad once I managed to drag myself out of bed – yesterday put me in a food coma!

I decided I wanted to wear something fun and COMFORTABLE today, so I grabbed my white polka dot skirt (an old standby) and paired it with this sweet Sugarhill Boutique penguin sweater with a Peter Pan collar. (To be honest, I hadn’t planned on taking outfit photos, but then I ran into a couple of coworkers who were off to take outfit pics for ModCloth’s new Style Gallery, and they invited me to join them.)

Penguins and polka dots, taken in ModCloth's aptly named Concord conference room. (Photo by Jenna.)

Penguins and polka dots, taken in ModCloth’s aptly named Concord conference room. (Photo by Jenna.)

So what were you up to yesterday and today?

Top: In It to Penguin It Sweater, Sugarhill Boutique via ModCloth
Skirt: modified from a ModCloth dress
Earrings: Quote Couture Earrings via ModCloth
Shoes: Adventure Capitol Heel, J Shoes via ModCloth

[Photo by the lovely Jenna Winn]

Can’t Hardly Wait to Take the Wine Train!

So I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently celebrated my 3 year anniversary at ModCloth – and I had the honor of having a dress named after me! It incorporates a few of my absolutely favorite things . . .

Wearing my namesake 'Can't Hardly Kate Dress'. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Wearing my namesake “Can’t Hardly Kate Dress”. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

    • Mid-century vintage style? Check!
    • Colorful? Check!
    • With lots of yellow? Check!
    • Illustrating one of my favorite cities? Check!
Detail of the skirt. I absolutely adore this 19th century New Orleans French Quarter scene! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Detail of the skirt. I absolutely adore this 19th century New Orleans French Quarter scene! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

    • With pockets? . . .
Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

    • YES! POCKETS! Check and CHECK!

Of course, a dress this wondrous can’t be debuted just any old place. Which is why, as eager as I was to wear it out the moment it arrived, I waited until the day Pat & I headed up to Napa and took an evening ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train.

All aboard the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

All aboard the Napa Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I mean, clearly the Wine Train was the place to wear this dress – it matched & everything!

About to embark on a sunset dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

About to embark on a sunset dinner on the Wine Train. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

. . . but besides that, I would recommend taking a ride on the Wine Train if you have the chance. It’s a really pleasant way to spend the afternoon (over lunch) or evening (over dinner), traveling through Napa Valley. I hadn’t thought to try the train out before (this trip was inspired by a gift certificate from Pat’s parents), but I hope to go again! Not only is the view fabulous, but the food is quite good! (Though if you do plan on taking the evening train, I recommend checking out sunset times and make sure to schedule your trip during a part of the year when you can catch the sunset.)

And as you might expect on something called the “Wine Train”, there’s a good selection of local wines, which always makes me happy!

Enjoying my time on the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Enjoying my time on the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dress: Can’t Hardly Kate Dress, Trashy Diva via ModCloth
Necklace: Coro, vintage
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

A Little Bit Country

When I first picked up this dress I wasn’t sure I loved it. Something about the print just didn’t feel like me – maybe it felt a little too country? The only reason I bothered trying it on was the full skirt.

But when I did try it on, I loved how it looked. And since it was $15, it was easy to go ahead and buy it. Sure, there were some stains from age – it must have been packed between cardboard or something similar that left marks. But I’ve learned that those kinds of stains generally wash out (and they did!).

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Fast-forward a couple of years and this has become one of my go-to dresses. Since it’s from the early 1950s, I’ve had to take a needle & thread to it a few times – but it’s worth it! It’s super easy to wear and mix & match with accessories.

This time, I went with cheery summer brights – a pink cardigan (coming on the heels of my last post, it seems I have a thing for pink cardis!), yellow bangles, and lime green earrings.

Bright accessories add pop to a black & white print. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Bright accessories add pop to a black & white print. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Then I added some chic patent heels and did what any reasonable girl wearing a full-skirted dress should do – went for a spin!

Love spinning in full skirts! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Love spinning in full skirts! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Btw, I think sunny days make me giddy . . .

Full on cheese! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Full on cheese! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

*ahem*

(I’m a serious fashion blogger. For reals.)

Being a serious fashion blogger. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Being a serious fashion blogger. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Anyway . . . What piece in your closet has become an unexpected fave?

Dress: vintage early 1950s dress via Eons Fashion Antique in Pittsburgh, PA
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Earrings: vintage
Bracelets: vintage (yellow bangles) and a gift (silver cuff)
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti via The Outnet
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]

A City Statement

A cool but clear and sunny summer day called for bold colors and accessories.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

This black maxi dress was the perfect backdrop for color blocks of blue, yellow, and pink. The neckline is quite low cut, so I started with a blue bandeau. Then I added the necklace, which I love for its bright yellows and the gold-tone hardware. And topped it off with a pink cardigan, tied rather than buttoned for a more casual, summery look.

Statement of the Art Necklace in Yellow. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Statement of the Art Necklace in Yellow. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I mixed in a few bracelets, in colors that echoed my cardigan and accessories.

A mix of blue and pink (and orange) enamel and gold bracelets. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

A mix of blue and pink (and orange) enamel and gold bracelets. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

And my laptop bag happened to fit in beautifully (These pictures were taken right after work).

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

My goal was to look as summery as possible while still keeping warm on a cool San Francisco day. Success?

Color blocking with summery colors over classic black. I even added sandals - that makes it summery, right? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Color blocking with bright colors over classic black. I even added sandals – that makes it summery, right? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dress: A Grecian Turn Dress, Rubber Ducky via ModCloth
Bandeau: Très Sleek Bandeau in Cobalt Blue via ModCloth
Cardigan: Charter School Cardigan in Raspberry via ModCloth
Bracelets: Nordstrom (blue bracelet), Talbots (orange and pink bracelet), and vintage (gold bangles)
Necklace: Statement of the Art Necklace in Sun via ModCloth
Laptop Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter via Nordstrom
Shoes: Faryl Robin sandals

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]

Drinks on Me!

One of the many things I love about living in San Francisco is its short distance to wine country. In the summer, I like to don my summeriest of dresses and go wine tasting with my husband.

(I actually like to go wine tasting all year ’round, but, alas, I can’t always do it in my summeriest of dresses.)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I have to admit that I’ve worn this particular dress (which the writers at ModCloth aptly named the “Drinks on Me Dress”) a few times in wine country. With its classic cut and kitschy wine & cocktail glass print, it just begs to be worn wine tasting!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

For this trip, we went to Healdsburg. We stopped first at Dry Creek Vineyard and Passalacqua Winery (where these photos were taken – they’re across the street from each other), then headed to Rodney Strong. Rodney Strong, in particular, is worth the visit for its reds, but I also enjoyed the whites at Dry Creek and the sangiovese at Passalacqua. And as you can see below, Dry Creek had a lovely garden that I rather fancied!

Amidst the flowers at Dry Creek Vineyard. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Amidst the flowers at Dry Creek Vineyard. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Enjoying the sun. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Enjoying the sun. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Where do you go for summer weekend getaways?

Dress: Drinks on Me Dress, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelet: from a street vendor
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Summer Warmth

Summer in San Francisco: I still (usually) need to wear cardigans, but I try to mix in elements that remind me of the sultry summers I grew up with.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Like warm peach and yellow, the color of northeastern summer sunsets. And one of my favorite pair of earrings, in the shape of cicadas, that bring to mind the sounds of summer nights.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Mix in some gold and caramel accents, add a white skirt with florals and sequins . . .

Gold jewelry and nails. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Gold jewelry and nails. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

. . . and I’m the very image of summer!

Catching my shadow

Catching my shadow :)

What does summer mean for you?

Skirt: White House Black Market (thrifted)
Top: Now or Nectar Top, C. Luce via ModCloth
Belt: Gap
Earrings: Magicicada Earrings, Erica Weiner via ModCloth
Bracelets: Sparkle an Idea Bracelet via ModCloth and Victorian mourning bracelet
Cardigan: Somewhere to Bow Cardigan via ModCloth
Shoes: Adventure Capitol Heel, J Shoes via ModCloth
Purse: Basketwork Bag, Industry via ModCloth

Manicure: Pams & Kin holographic glitter (“THIS Year”) ombré over Julep Nail Parlor shimmer polish (“Nessa” layered over “Ashley”).

[Shadow photo by me. All other photos by Pat Zimmerman, as noted.]

Gone Fishin’

I went camping with a few friends at Plumas National Forest. We found a spot by one of the creeks to set up our site, then enjoyed a low-key weekend of fishing and hanging out.

North fork of the Feather River at Plumas National Forest.

North fork of the Feather River at Plumas National Forest.

We saw all sorts of fun nature-y things . . .

Look at that nature stuff over there! (Photo by Odelle.)

Look at that nature stuff over there! (Photo by Odelle.)

. . . like tiny flowering succulents in the moss:

Tiny flowering succulent in a bed of moss. If you look closely you can see a couple of spiders!

Tiny flowering succulent in a bed of moss. If you look closely you can see a couple of spiders!

. . . and a giant banana slug!

Ahhh!! A banana slug monster!

Ahhh!! A banana slug monster!

And then – well, I’m not sure I should tell you this, but . . .

Uh oh! (Photo by Odelle.)

Uh oh! (Photo by Odelle.)

. . . it turns out when you go camping with a couple of environmental engineers they teach you how to do crazy things, like melt glass bottle in campfires. Okay, not that crazy, really – and actually very cool looking!

A blue bottle in a campfire. What will happen next?

A blue bottle in a campfire. What will happen next?

It's melllllltiinggg!!

It’s melllllltiinggg!!

What’s your favorite way to spend a summer weekend?

What I wore:
Kitschy Kitchen Dress by Heartbreaker, via ModCloth. Nothing like a cotton halter dress to keep you cool on warm, sunny days. And since I don’t really get to wear sundresses in San Francisco, I take full advantage of wearing them when I head off to warmer destinations outside the city!

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]