OOTD: Hot in the City, part 1

Since June 1, NYC has only had two days below 80 and more recently only 1 below 90. It’s been a hot summer to be sure. I’ve been falling behind on OOTDs in part because I look so sloppy by the time I get home from work that it’s hard to even think about refreshing myself to snap a few pictures. So let me be honest — I took most of these together a few days ago.

I go into Urban Outfitters once or twice a quarter, usually when a friend of mine asks me to look for some potential pieces for the TV show she works on. Last time I was there I spotted the insanely cute dress I’m wearing. I was shocked that it was long enough for me, as UO items tend to run very short. It comes in several colors. I ended up buying the green in a medium.

It’s very comfortable, with two front slant pockets and a flattering gather point right under the bust. The ruffle isn’t as big as the product shot leads you to believe. My one quibble is that the dress wrinkles badly over the course of the day. I put it through an extra dry cycle with a Bounce sheet hoping this goes away.

The higher neckline gave me a chance to wear a long necklace with the look. The dark grey ruffle pumps are ones I’ve had for years. They get lots of use in the summer for work, when sandals are too casual a route. I got the (awesome) ring at Anthro, but a word of caution — the pearl (or pebble) inset is unique to each ring. As I was fishing through the display I noticed some loose pebbles and even some that had fallen out. If you plan to buy the ring online make sure you inspect it closely when you receive it.

In this outfit:
Dress: Pins and Needles Pintuck Ruffled Dress ($58, also in solid here)
Necklace: Moonflower Necklace in gold ($38)
Earrings: Bright Heavens Hoops ($98)
Pumps: Madden Girl Raazle (similar here, here and here)
Ring: Flowerbed Ring ($34)

A huge thanks is due to PattiB, who pointed out Ruche’s wonderful Violet Hill Ruffle Dress in the comments of this week’s sale post. I’ve ordered from Ruche a few times over the years and have generally been pleased with the quality. I had passed on the Partly Cloudy Top but decided to take the plunge for this fun frock! The day I wore it I was headed on a date after work so I decided to take out my Veenas for the occasion. For luck I wore my Urchin’s Shell Earrings which I really wish Anthropologie would bring back!! Something good always seems to happen to me when I wear those earrings.

On my way out the door I realized I’d need a cardigan to combat the office air conditioning, so I ran back in and grabbed my Cattleya Cardigan. And wouldn’t you know it, it paired very well with the dress! The dress itself is just a drop shorter than I’d like on my 5’8″ frame but the quality is great. I ordered a medium which fits nicely. It closes via a side zip and has some pretty details like the ruffled keyhole top and a sash-style waistband for shape. I got a few compliments at work on the dress which is always nice. I think a lower heel is in order next time I wear the dress though — for comfort and proportion reasons.

In this outfit:
Dress: Violet Hill Ruffle Dress ($55) by Ruche
Cardigan: Cattleya Cardigan (now $50)
Shoes: L.A.M.B. Veena (now $170)
Necklace: J.Crew Double Layering Wrap Necklace in lilac (similar here, here and here)
Earrings: Urchin’s Shell Earrings (similar here, here and here)
Ring: J.Crew Pebble Ring (similar here, here and here)

Late last summer I bought an amazing Helmut Lang romper. I’d worn it twice before I took it in to get dry cleaning…and that was the last time I saw it in one piece. I remain devastated to have lost that pretty little thing but I was excited when the Limited had a similar-enough romper on sale for under $20. My replacement is dark brown instead of blue-grey but I will take it!

I wore the romper right after I got back from Mexico (far left shot). Ah, to be that tan again! Maybe someday. Though the shorts portion is a bit, well, short, I’ve been wearing the romper to work. It’s very convenient to run around the office in. With the heat as sweltering as it is I don’t think anyone cares — even our CEO is trotting around in shorts these days. I was conducting interviews two weeks ago and I told all the candidates not to dress up but some still showed up in suits. Gotta admire them, though I was honestly worried about them in jackets in 90+ degrees!

To help balance the shorty shorts portion of the romper I wore a long necklace, which pulls the eye back up. With my tan the black flats were a hit but next time I wear the look I’ll probably switch to brown to pull eyes away from my pasty (faux-tanned!) legs.

In this outfit:
Romper: The Limited (similar here, here and here)
Necklace: Dripping Gems Necklace (similar here, here and here)
Earrings: Crystal Wave Earrings ($32)
Bracelet: gift from parents (similar here and here)
Shoes: Nine West Naughty Flats ($40)

Back in 2007, J.Crew defined mini skirts as being 18 inches long. If only they still held true to that! These days their skirts barely cover my tush so I’ve turned instead to the old reliables waiting in my closet. Like their Kaleidoscope Paisley Mini from 2008, which is one of my favorite summer skirts! It was an impulse buy when I found a lone one hanging on the sale rack that fall. Sometimes impulse buys work out.

As you probably know by now misaligned seams drive me nuts! So to be quite honest, when I wear this skirt I can’t look down. It hurts me to see how off the pattern is. Even editing these pics was a challenge. I paired it with a blouson tank from Ann Taylor Loft that is oh so comfy. I rag on Loft a lot because they use subpar materials, but this top is very nice. It’s soft and flowy and goes with a whole bunch of items in my closet.

The other piece I want to highlight is the necklace. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Alexis Bittar before but he is my favorite jewelry designer! He has 3 boutiques in New York City, two of which are very close to where I work. They’re a real kick — cases on the wall with taxidermy and odd art everywhere. He got a lot of attention for his lavalike collection last summer. This year he’s been working with Lucite and I love the results!

There is currently a sale at his boutiques so I bought three pieces, including the Secret Garden Tulip necklace in pale olive I have on in this set. I couldn’t find this color online anywhere but Nordstrom has the similar Montauk in the same color. I am a huge fan of the entire line! I’m currently pining for this piece. You can see his entire line on his website. I couldn’t find the exact earrings I paired with the necklace online so the photo above is an approximation (mine are gold).

In this outfit:
Top: Ann Taylor Loft Zigzag Blouson Shell (similar here, here and here)
Skirt: J.Crew Kaleidoscope Paisley Mini (similar here, here and here)
Shoes: Pink Studio London Wedges (similar here, here and here)
Necklace: Alexis Bittar Secret Garden Tulip in pale olive (similar here and here)
Earrings: Anthro oldies (similar here, here and here)

Sometimes even in the heat covering yourself up is a good way to stay cool. Or OK maybe I just wanted an excuse to wear my cream Bretonnes Blouse. The look was inspired by this shot from the June 2010 catalogue. I just decided to do ivory instead of black on top. I layered a cami underneath for coverage as the blouse is a bit sheer.

Many thanks are due as well to KB. In one of my previous OOTD sets I was bemoaning my difficulty finding good crops. She recommended J.Crew’s Cafe Capris and they are exactly what I was looking for! Just the right length with a straight cut to fit over my calves.

I was meeting with a conservative couple who are friends of mine that don’t really do skirts or tank tops. They never ask me to cover up but I think it’s important to respect their customs when going to their apartment. This outfit fit the bill nicely. I wore my hair back and stayed cool for most of the day. I love a chance to break out my Gardenia Bib Necklace!

In this outfit:
Top: Brettones Blouse ($68)
Pants: J.Crew Cafe Capris (select colors now $50)
Shoes: Nina Cortney (now $76)
Necklace: Gardenia Bib Necklace (similar here)
Earrings: Garden’s Gate Earrings (similar here, here and here)
Ring: Flowerbed Ring ($34)

I have been pretty good this year about waiting for things to go on sale. Every once in awhile a splurge is worth it though. Like the Scribbled Bouquet Cardigan ($98). I couldn’t leave the store without it! I had to size up to a large but I was so thrilled with how it looked that I didn’t want to wait to own it.

Nor did I want to wait to wear it. So I threw together this look and though I was a bit hot all day it was well worth it! Note that even the large is pulling a bit at the buttons on me — this despite the cardigan being loose overall. The reason is a small cinch in the back that pulls the cardigan into its elegant shape, with a slight trim at the waist. Some of the online reviews say the sequined flowers look cheap. Shrug from me. I think they’re really cute!

Underneath the sweater is the versatile Climbing Cowlneck in sky. I was saddened to hear Tien say that hers stretched out something awful. I guess I have just been lucky as both my dark grey version from the original release and the sky have stayed true to their shape. They certainly both loosen over the course of the day but a wash seems to snap them right back into shape. If you do plan to buy this top wash it before you wear it to ensure the shape stays right. (If it doesn’t Anthro will take it back.) I ended up changing out the jewelry from the product shots above to one of my set of Hawaii pearls.

In this outfit:
Sweater: Scribbled Bouquet Cardigan ($98)
Top: Climbing Cowlneck (now $30)
Skirt: Sailing Hobbyist Skirt (similar here, here and here
Shoes: J.Crew Liza Patterned Peep-Toes (similar here, here and here)
Jewelry: Hawaii Pearls bought in Kona (similar here, here and here)

Every year Odille makes a blouse that I fall in love with. I always look forward to their summer fare. This year the Bits of Pearl Blouse was just what I was waiting for. I was a little worried that the flutter sleeves might be too much but they were just right. I bought this top in my normal size 6.

I love the boots Gap paired with their Denim Pocket Slant skirt! So much that I left them in the product collage above.

In real life though it’s not boot weather so I swapped that idea out for my J.Crew Petra Nubuck D’Orsay Heels. This outfit is a nice mix of new and old for me. I found the blouse worked really well with another recent pickup, the Biloba Necklace. I ordered the necklace of the website and fretted about how the flowers would look in real life. Of course while I was waiting for it to arrive I saw it in-store and shouldn’t have worried. The flowers, though obviously fabric, are gorgeous.

I’m excited that this look will translate easily to colder weather simply by adding tights and either a sweater or a cardigan. And once the temperature drops I can start looking for some boots like those in the Gap shot above.

In this outfit:
Top: Bits of Pearl Blouse (now $30)
Cami: Old Navy (similar here)
Skirt: Gap Grey Denim Slant Pocket Skirt (similar here, here and here)
Shoes: J.Crew Petra Nubuck D’Orsay Heels (similar here and here)
Necklace: Biloba Necklace ($42)
Earrings: Pieces of Eight Earrings (similar here, here and here)

Once it’s the weekend it’s nice to dress down a bit. I usually reach for my beloved Isabella Skirt, one of my birthday haul scores from last year. I hadn’t seen anything like the Elevenses skirt before and I haven’t seen anything else close since. In other words, I’m glad I bought it when I did! A friend has long admired mine and recently I scored one in her size on ebay. We try not to wear the skirt on the same day but last week we did both show up to brunch in it. (And of course the hostess noticed!)

The left shot is how I originally wore it. The only change I made for the posed shots was putting my hair back. The Looped Asters Tank doesn’t have a lot going on up front besides a gentle cowl but the back is simply beautiful. So with my hair pulled aside you get the complete statement.

In this outfit:
Top: Looped Asters Tank (similar here, here and here)
Skirt: Isabella Skirt (similar here, here and here)
Shoes: Aldo Stanaway Sandals (similar here, here and here)
Necklace: Beach Bounty Necklace (similar here, here and here).

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