Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Neutrals with a pop of color

Last day of August, eh? I'm usually all for the summer staying around forever, but I have to admit - now that I'm not working - I won't mind cooler temperatures: I want to wear my boots! Oh and my Fluevog yellow boots arrived today, a couple of hours ago, and they're awesome. I can't wait to trot them out.

Anyway...today I decided to go all out with the matchy-matchy and match my outfit to my bag: both the neutrals and the color. As you all have realized, I'm a big fan of the black + turquoise color combo. So today I decided to have those be the only colors on my body. I knew I'd have to include my sandals...but what about the bag? Do I actually own a bag that has both black and turquoise?

The answer is yes:

Meet my only other John Fluevog object. This was my husband's present to me last Christmas. I heart this bag, y'all: it looks kind of like an old-fashioned doctor's bag, with the shiny black leather, but it has those gorgeous little stitching details and, of course, the turquoise zipper.

The inside is also very pretty:

Turquoise also!! The bag fits a lot of stuff, although, alas not my laptop (which was the main reason for which we bought it) - on the bright side, though, I took it to work extremely often since Christmas and it fit all of my files and folders, even when I was bringing home all of my classes' folders on Fridays and before holidays.

Since I'd missed this bag, I knew I wanted to wear it, with the sandals, and the rest of the color combo, and an idea was born:

So I put on some old black clothes, slugged on some turquoise jewelry, and went with an "all-in-black with a pop of turquoise" look (what?! That's a thing, isn't it?).

                                                   (me + how I wear my bag)

I matched divinely to myself. I also color-coordinated with this young lady:

Meet Amalía! The newest member of our household is a pretty fashionable girl, also rocking the neutrals (black, white) with a pop of color (yellow eyes). I've wanted a cat for over twenty years; my husband and I wanted to adopt since we got engaged; we went into Boston's Animal Rescue League on Sunday "just to look" and we fell in love with this girl and brought her home today. Pretty girl, huh?

I hope she enjoys posing artistically. She's definitely got the chops for it.

Black + turquoise bag: John Fluevog
Black tank: H&M, remixed
Black skirt: H&M
Turquoise sandals: Nine West Athens, remixed
Turquoise pendant: Macy's, remixed
Turquoise earrings: Banana Republic, remixed
Cat: MINE!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Release and Resolve

[cue Jaws music]...







Yup, I "caved" and bought the Fluevog Mirella boots in yellow that I gushed about way back in Sparta. Aren't they gorgeous? When my mother asked me what I would like for my birthday, I told her that I was in love with very expensive boots and she very generously offered to buy them for me. I took her up on that and yesterday toddled on my merry way to the Fluevog store in Boston to buy YELLOW BOOTS.

They are gorgeous in person, not so much canary yellow, but more of a saffron color (which I like more, anyway). I've never had boots that height before and was hesitant about flattery issues, but...I'm a believer!


Now the fun fact is that there was a fit issue with the boots pictures above and they are no longer in my possession. I tried on and bought my usual size 10 and I thought the tightness I felt was due to the fact that I could barely zip the boots over my (apparently hugely?... according to my saleslady) muscular calves. The boots were stretched in-store, I took them home and fell in love. This morning, the zipper zipped easily (mmmm, quality leather), but it made me realize that they were too tight. After a lot of unofficial internet "research," I learned that these boots seem to run small. So I went back to the store and tried on the 10.5 in another color (yellow wasn't in stock in Boston in Yeti-size). The fit was perfect, the new shoes are being ordered from NYC and they should be here in the next couple of days.

It was my first time not being able to fit a boot over my calf easily. I was always a little smug about this, due to the fact that I had so many pairs of boots and they all fit over my calves. But then I realized that they're all slouchy, meant to go over jeans; my old high-heeled black boots [you've not seen them yet] are elasticized, so the calf thing wasn't a problem. But now? I'm one of the girls who, also, cannot zip some boots over her big ol' calves. Yay.

So, yes, I did buy these boots with my mom's money, but I decided to make them a symbolic last purchase. I'm not going on a real shopping ban, à la Sal or La Historiadora de la Moda, but I'm planning to resolve to shop for clothes/shoes/boots as little as possible this year that I'm not working. I have plenty of clothes and definitely plenty of boots, so...let's save the money for important things, such as the mortgage, books, food... and something exciting that will be introduced to you in the next few days...

Friday, August 27, 2010

My new shopping plan

Remember how I've mentioned wanting an obi and/or wrap belt before? So the other day, Sal had a giveaway. She was giving away a leather belt from Elizabeth Kelly. I signed up. Guess what?! I won! I don't really win things often. So you can imagine my delight when I read the news on Sally's site. I WON! All I had to do was pick my belt color. That was kind of a no-brainer:

image from the Elizabeth Kelly shop on Etsy)

Well, guess what arrived today? After going through an agonizing run, I came home, sweaty, disheveled, and packed with bags from CVS...and there was a Royal Mail box sitting waiting for me by the mailboxes. I think I squealed and giggled simultaneously.

Here's what was waiting for me:

How adorable is the little leather heart that comes with the personalized card? The other side of the card is quite lovely, too:

 Now I'm still a virgin at wrapping belts, so my attempt hasn't been that great yet, but I'm thrilled with the product! I even changed into my favorite summer dress to try it out:

Cute. Check out that shoddy-ass tying, though. I need to improve my style. Let's take a close-up.

Embarrassing. But how cute is the belt? I cannot wait to explore how it will improve my life in many ways in the near future. I'm mentally going through all my clothes as we speak in order to figure out when to wear it for the first time.

Long story short: the belt is beautiful and the leather is super high-quality. And gorgeous. I'm so unbelievably grateful to Sally for this giveaway and to Jo at the Elizabeth Kelly shop. I can't wait to show this puppy off in the wild streets of Boston...

Also, this is the way I want to "buy" clothes forever - just win 'em randomly on internet giveaways...who's with me?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A paean to my summer bag

So y'all have seen the pretty leather bags I bought in Athens this summer. I wore the pink one out and about quite often, but not the grey one: I'm saving that for the States. However, what about my everyday bag? The one that I used every single day last summer, for three straight months, and then used almost every day again for six weeks this summer?

Here it is:

Not bad, eh? Especially for being free! Yup, I got a coupon from DSW offering me a free handbag with purchase. I went for it and here it is! It's not exactly noteworthy, but I figured it was free and it would work for the summer.

How right I was. I love the simplicity of the tobacco leather with the off-white linen. It really does go with every single summer outfit. It's also deceptively roomy, fitting in my usual purse necessities (Filofax, cell phone, make-up case, wallet, odds and ends), as well as my camera for sightseeing. I left it in Greece last August and I will do the same thing tomorrow morning. It's a nice little bag to come "home" to and it's especially fun to clean out the débris each time I return to Athens (metro tickets, etc.).

Godspeed, free DSW purse -- and see y'all on the other side!

Friday, August 20, 2010

How I wore it: upping the ante

So I saw my matching shoes and jewelry and raised you a matching skirt, jewelry, and shoes! Take that!


After a lovely day at the beach and working on my dissertation, my husband and I had dinner with his entire family: parents, sister, aunt and uncle, cousin, and cousin's fiancée. We're leaving for New York in slightly over 24 hours and it was a chance to say good-bye. My aunt-in-law (also my godmother, who gifted me the above skirt over a year ago) took the opportunity to give me a good-bye/birthday/name-day gift:

A new watch! I've had the same watch for over a decade and it goes with everything, but this summer I started dithering about maybe getting a new one. My cousin-in-law has the exact same one as the one shown above and her mother noticed when I asked her wistfully where she'd gotten hers. A month later and I own my very own Esprit watch. Yay! I don't think I'll have it for everyday use, but definitely when I'm a little over my stainless steel Fossil or when I'm in more of a party mode. It will be fun trying to style it, but it's the first time I've owned two watches at once and it'll probably make my anal-retentive brain explode...

Black tube top: Express, remixed
Turquoise skirt: gift from my godmother, from a boutique in Piraeus, remixed
Turquoise sandals: Nine West Athens, remixed
Turquoise pendant: Macy's, remixed

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New jewelry update #2


So something pretty awesome and fashion-related happened to me this week, but I've decided not to let "y'all" know until it becomes definitive. Oooh! Secrets! Anyway, after spending a day melting in the debilitating heat (you guys, why didn't anyone tell me that blunt bangs aren't that feasible in 100-degree weather?), my husband and I went out for drinks in Piraeus. I decided to début my name day gifts from him: behold!

I love this set. My husband has a wonderful eye for picking out unusual pieces that wouldn't be my automatic choices but that somehow are exactly me. He's been good at this since 2006. I decided to wear the pieces with my striped maxi dress and I loved the way the whole thing worked out. One detail I especially love is the necklace made up of cords of different hues of blue. I think it's the perfect complement to the unusual pendant.

Well played, Mr. Boots, well played.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back "home"

So my husband and I are driving back to Athens today from Sparta. Yay! In the meantime, let me show you my two new loves:

These would be the Fluevog Operetta Mirella boots in yellow. I covet them. Aren't they amazing? Wouldn't they look great, oh, just about anywhere? In my closet? Lying in my bed on my pillow? Even on my legs? Purrrrr.

How about these sexy kittens? In my color, no less:

Eeeeee! These are the Fluevog Operetta Malibran shoes in *sigh* turquoise.

I'm not a Fluevog girl, like Sal or La Historiadora de la Moda [although my one big designer handbag is from them, which I adore, and shopping in the Fluevog store (in Boston) was a wonderful experience], but I always love what I see on the feet of Fluevog followers. On a whim, I decided to go to the site this weekend and I fell in love with the two pairs of footwear seen above, especially the boots, as you can imagine. I've actually been very good about not even thinking of coveting another pair of boots after reaching the Holy Grail of my grey-boot search and buying the Fryes, so I was not expecting to fall in love again.

Now, since I will no longer be a working girl this academic year, the boots and the shoes (at $399 and $179, respectively) are only fond dreams for the moment. Maybe I'll get them as a late birthday present from my parents or ask for them for Christmas if they're still around (and we all know I'm talking about the bright yellow boots, yes?).

Because, as you can imagine, Santa would totally approve of bright yellow boots. I mean, who wouldn't?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dripping with jewels...

Just a quick post to show y'all how pretty the new earrings from my mother-in-law are, and with what I wore them for a night milk shake in the big city (Sparta):

You'll notice the new flower ring on my left hand and, peeking out at my neck, my little mataki birthday present necklace.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

How I wore it: Assumption Day (...huh?)

Happy Assumption Day!

So here in Greece, August 15th is a big deal, even nicknamed "the Easter of the summer." It's a holy day with regards to the Virgin Mary and it happens to be my mother-in-law's name day. It's also, technically, mine, since I chose a Virgin Mary-related name at my baptism last year. Now despite my apathy toward the public aspects of organized religion (for me personally) and my ambivalence toward the Greek Orthodox Church (of which, technically, I'm a member), I like feast days. We've been "fasting" for the past week, avoiding meat and dairy products (we did that before Easter, too) and today we went back to meat and, miracle of miracles, cheese! We also went to church, which in Nowheresville, Laconia, is kind of terrifyingly exciting. But, as I said, I like big feast days: I get to dress up pretty, sling on my cross, wear contacts, and, if I so choose, smile politely to old Greek ladies (the demographic which most frightens me).

So here's my church outfit:

(not the actual church we went to)

As you see, I'm trying pattern-mixing here. I wanted to wear this black and white dress very badly, but, as it's strapless, I was nervous about showing too much skin at church. So I decided to wear my turquoise scarf as a shawl and match it to my new sandals. I thought it was a success. This is what the dress looks like without the shawl:

(both photos above taken by my charming husband, for once!)

I bought this dress in the spring of 2006, when my husband and I first started dating. I had a gift certificate for the Gap, so I went in, liked the dress, tried it on, and decided to buy it in about 10 minutes flat. It was my now-husband's and my first shopping excursion: I think he was a bit shell-shocked by how quickly the whole thing was over. He thought I'd linger more, I guess. I think I've said this before, but - despite my love of boots and style - I don't really like shopping. I like sneak attacks. Anyway, this dress: I don't wear it very often, as strapless makes me nervous. In fact, I took it to Greece last summer and left it in Athens over the year. I'll do the same this time around. Life's too short to hike your dress up over your bra every few minutes.

As it's my Greek name day, I got presents! My mom-in-law bought me these earrings as a birthday-cum-name day present and I LOVE them. I can't wait to wear them out, especially as they'd make a nice combination with my new flower ring:

I know, right?! 

Now I promise that this won't turn into Jewelry and Boots (although you can see that my love of jewelry is all-encompassing), but my husband gave me a name day present, too!

Cool, no? I can't wait to style this little necklace-and-earring set. I think they'll look very cool on a black palette or with my striped dress. We shall see. I'm gonna try to wear all of my new stuff before we leave for the States again in, sniff, one week. Alas.

(Although is it weird that I miss my grey Frye boots a lot?)

Happy Assumption Day, if that's your bag! Or if not, happy August 15th!

Black and white dress: Gap
Turquoise scarf: from Indian stall at Prudential Mall in Boston, remixed
Turquoise sandals: Nine West Athens, remixed

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How I wore it: 40 degrees Celsius!

So yesterday two good friends of ours came from Athens to Sparta to spend the day with us. We drove them around Sparta, showed them Sparta's "Acropolis" and had coffee at Mystra. As close to a perfect day as it gets here in Nowheresville, Laconia (I'm getting a little bitter and cranky about how much I miss Athens).

Anyway, remember how back in February I said that I never wear shorts in the summer? I lied. This summer I picked up a pair of my husband's old shorts that had been lying around his parents' house and have been wearing them around the apartment in Athens and, recently, in public in Sparta and its surrounding villages. I still don't think they're as flattering as a nice, knee-length skirt/dress, but wearing a dress just to sit in front of my computer and work on my dissertation seems a little...much. So yesterday, when our friends came over, some walking was promised, and it was super hot, I decided to just wear the shorts with pride.

And here's the (mondo-unflattering, but I was too lazy to take another one and, what the hell...) proof:

So here are the elements of my outfit: my husband's old shorts, cuffed for minimum coverage; my favorite black tube top (you've seen it many times, as a modesty top under the black dress that I wear at least twice a week. Every week.); my red sandals, just peeking out from the bottom of the picture (since I had them on for a while, in really really hot weather, I now have some cool bright red marks on my ankles); and my favorite polka-dotted bikini's top peeking out from under the tube top. I only wore the bikini top so that my shirt would look more like an old fashioned halter rather than a more revealing tube top. I thought it gave the whole look a more vintage vibe - I should've worn red lipstick for all-on pin-up pride.

In other news, I have so many goodies to show off, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow, which will be a big day for us (religious festival!). I also was happily offered a private tutoring job with a child from my old job, which makes me super-happy. As I've decided to not work full-time in order to focus on my dissertation, I want to make sure to have a sort of schedule that will force me to work. I know myself well, and if left to my own devices, sans schedule, I will wake up late-ish, dick around the internet till noon, go to the gym, shower, eat something, and settle down to work...at 4 PM. On a good day. So I've resolved to get up every weekday at 7 AM, the way I did in grad. school even when I didn't have class, go running/to the gym, shower, get dressed, and start working. I think just putting on clothes that aren't PJs will mentally stimulate me into getting into "work mode." If I have one or two part-time jobs that will force me to leave my home, again, in actual clothes - and give me the chance not to always brood upon my dissertation - so much the better.

Let's hope it works...

Polka-dotted navy-blue bikini top [worn under top]: Gap
Black tube top: Express, remixed [stealthily!]
Khaki shorts: Perry Ellis, my husband's old
Red sandals: Tsakiris Mallas (?) from Athens, remixed

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Snaps of my day

Today I wore a black dress (that I wear quite often):

And some red accessories:

And put all that together with the red sandals that I wore some time ago:

This is what they look like on. When you take them off, the leather buckles go every which way...

But they look very tidy when on; I especially like the buckle at the ankle:

My husband and I drove into "the city" [Sparta] and I went to check on a ring I had fallen in love with through the window of a jewelry shop. I bought it!

Pretty, no? Would it be too much to say that I have the perfect pair of earrings (in the US) that would go with it? For now, though, I'll figure out how to style it for the rest of my trip without too much trouble:

(methinks my camera's "close-up" function might be a little too close: my fingers don't really look like that, do they?!)

And that was my day!

Black dress: Gap, remixed
Seashell pendant: 28th birthday present from my husband from Chania, Crete, remixed
Bangle: Ten Thousand Villages Cambridge
Red sandals: Tsakiris Mallas (?), bought in Athens, remixed
New ring: Christidis jewelry store in Sparta

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bad Ass Boots Conference: SQUEEEEE!

Greetings from sunny and warm Sparta, from which my husband's father's family hails. And, yeah, we do yell "THIS IS SPARTAAAA" a lot in my household. It's like, "Honey, you're out of hot water in the bathroom." "THIS IS SPARTAAA!!!!" "Great, can we go back to Athens soon?"

(I kid. I'm just a really big city slicker and living in a village is odd for me.)

Anyways, wow, sorry for that opening and can you tell I that I'm a little starved for company? Get yourselves over to the Fashionable Academics quickly! They had a call for papers weeks ago for us to show boot love in wearing our favorite boots over the summer. Made for me, right? WRONG. The call for papers was issued a few days after my last wearing of boots, back in Hamburg. I was sure that the fickle Hamburger weather would make for a lot of opportunities to wear my beloved Fryes again, but as it turned out, it was hot as Hades there for the rest of the summer, and don't even think about it in Greece. But I still submitted my own 'paper' and I'm featured!

[I'll admit that when La Historiadora de la Moda e-mailed me back personally to acknowledge my submission, I had a bit of a freak-out moment. She knows who I am!!!]

So, yes. All this verbal drooling is to send you to check out bad ass ladies fiercer than I (and me!) wearing boots. In the summer. Because we can.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's my birthday and I'll blog if I want to

(does that win for least original title post ever? I hope so)

Anyways, yesterday was my twenty-ninth birthday [or, as my big brother puts it, "the first of many twenty-ninth birthdays"]. My husband treated me like a princess queen and made a big fuss over me: we went to Sounio for a swim and lunch, we went out to one of our favorite fish restaurants for dinner, I got a milkshake for dessert ... the usual birthday stuff. Oh, and I got a present.

This is a very delicate take on the traditional Greek visual trope of getting rid of the evil eye. You still see many Greeks (and those of other cultures as well) wear a small, usually blue, eye for this reason. I've always loved the design and the significance of it and last year I fell in love with a really fancy version of the necklace. This year we went looking for it, but we couldn't find it. The very day after we found my blue sandals and two new handbags, we went into the jewelry store where my husband had bought my engagement ring and went to work looking at matakia [lit. "little eyes"]. After being about to choose a really abstract gold one with a turquoise stone, the store owner put the one pictured down and it was a sale. The eye is made up of tiny little sapphires with a tiny little diamond in the middle, as the eye's iris. PRETTY!

I didn't actually get the necklace till yesterday and wore it out for dinner for the first time last night. I matched it with my plain pair of diamond studs (also from the same store - they were an engagement gift from my in-laws: usually I pair them with the matching diamond pendant with which they were given to me). Back in the States, I have the perfect white gold/sapphire/diamond ring to wear with my little eye, but last night I made do with my pink ruby ring.

The necklace is quite small and delicate - a bit of a departure from my usual jewelry style, but still totally my type. I love necklaces that hang right at the hollow of the throat and don't really have many that do so. This one does:

Oh, hello, sun burn. Not a very good detail shot, but you can see where the eye hangs on my neck. Nice, right? You can also see that I wore my Gap striped maxi-dress for my birthday dinner. I also splurged and wore contacts! And a hair accessory!

[I'm not that sun-darkened - it was dark and the light in my office is particularly problematic.] Notice, though, the diamond studs and part of the black rose in my bun.

Anyways - this was a totally self-indulgent post. Thanks for sticking with me. Here's to another 364 days till thirty!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How I wore it: it doesn't count if you don't photograph it

Geia sas, paidia!

Today I spent the majority of my day in my nightshirt, screwing away at more IKEA products (oh, after furniture shopping, it took a week to get delivery because of a truckers' strike: live your myth in Greece!), but we had to hurry up and get dressed and pretty in the afternoon, because my little sister-in-law returned home to Athens after a few months abroad. So I pulled on a dress I've worn before:

(complete with new shoes and bag!)

I have a secret to tell: I wore this exact same outfit (including jewelry, although I styled my hair differently) on Monday, two days ago. We went out for a long walk on a beautiful marina and I wore this exact same dress, with this exact same bag, with these exact same shoes, with the exact same...well, you get the picture. However, I didn't photograph it, so what better chance to do so than today, when I got all dolled up only for a few hours?

I actually wanted to tell a "color story" with this outfit. Obviously, with a light blue dress, I wanted to bust out the turquoise sandals. However, wearing turquoise jewelry with all of this would've been a little too much, no? So I wore my old favorite carnelian set and added on my pink ruby ring. The ring (and, in today's version, the hairband) went nicely with my new pink bag. Ta-da! Lots of colors, not too clown-like!

Here's a closer look at the important jewelry of the day:

Amazing. Also, I still can't get over how much I love that damn ring.

In the airport, I picked up a new friend:

Yup, a stuffed basset hound. Yes, you've seen a picture of me with a stuffed octopus in the past. Yes, I LOVE stuffed animals (my favorite, of course, being a fifteen-dollar walrus that I ordered through Amazon last year). And, yes, I shelled out almost fifty euros to buy a commemorative souvenir basset hound from the Eleftherios Venizelos airport. His name is Hector. What of it? The guy at the counter asked me how old I was. He guessed twenty-two, but I decided not to tell him that I'd be twenty-nine in a couple of days and that this was a present to myself...

(see what I did there?)

I still feel the hot flashes of age-inappropriate shame.

Hairband: CVS, remixed
Blue dress: Ann Taylor Loft, remixed
Turquoise sandals: Nine West, remixed
Pink bag: Nine West
Carnelian jewelry [necklace and earrings]: gift from my husband's family, from the store Byzantino in Athens, remixed
Pink ruby ring: gift from my husband from a jewelry store in Hamburg, remixed