Don We Now Our Gay Apparel

My fiance and I hosted my parents for Christmas. Since we had a huge homemade meal planned for Christmas Day, we took Christmas Eve off from the kitchen and dined at Butcher and Singer.

Our meal was fantastic. I tried swordfish for the first time, in addition to ordering some favorites: oysters rockefeller, creamed spinach, asparagus, roasted brussels sprouts. I ate a few bites of my fiance’s chocolate cake and mom’s baked Alaska, and stole a forkfull of my father’s cheesecake.

Going into the dinner, I knew that I was going to be eating a lot of food; it is crucial to be able to recognize this when picking out one’s outfit for the night. Rather than wearing something with a static waistband, I opted for a dress with a touch of stretch, cropped tweed jacket, black leather gloves, black Kate Spade bag and black patent Cole Haan heels (both previously featured here).

Tights are a little trickier, especially for a taller woman. Two weeks ago, I ordered three pairs of Urban Outfitters opaque tights. I have had excellent luck with this style in the past. The pairs in my dresser are soft and do not have to stretch so much that they lose their opacity. I loved them so much that I had several pairs in black and charcoal gray, and even a lovely light gray pair. Unfortunately, I think the style has been updated through the years. After slipping into a new pair, my fiance pointed out several patches that were of varied in terms of opacity. The tights had to go back.

I purchased three pairs from J.Crew – the opaque and super opaque. Just after I hit the order button, I realized that I could be going about this all wrong and perhaps it was time to try a clothing line that exclusively releases designs for tall females. With that, I visited the Long Tall Sally online store and added two pairs to my virtual shopping bag, with plans to test them out on Christmas Eve and to return the J.Crew pairs.

The Long Tall Sally tights weren’t as opaque as I wished they would be. They were a lower rise than I am used to, probably because I tend to buy tights in medium/large or large and I bought these in a medium. There were a few moments that night that I had to excuse myself to the restroom and pull up the pair. The jury is still out on whether I am going to keep the second pair I ordered, but I am going to give them another shot on New Years Eve.

tall dress // basic opaque tight // superopaque tight // opaque tights // long tights // black leather cashmere-lined gloves // pearl necklace // quatrefoil ring // cable bracelet with pearl and gold // lip pencil // rose gold eyeshadow pallette

What I Returned and Why: A Feedback Story

I just received an order from J.Crew and unfortunately, a couple of items that would have to be returned. This is out of the ordinary, as the clothing sizing is typically spot on. I hope my feedback may be helpful to others –

I love velvet. I love it so much, I would take it behind the high school bleachers and get it pregnant. This top seemed like a no brainer. I ordered it in my typical sleeveless size, which is a 4 tall. Unfortunately, since there was not a button or zipper opening/closure, it did not fit over my shoulders. I fear going up a size or two in order to accommodate my shoulders would only make the top too big through the body.

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My love for New Balance is a bit more complicated. Real life is so heavy, so I like to keep this blog light; however, I know (at least, I hope) my readership is diverse and therefore I feel that I must address this issue. I used to love New Balance for being an American heritage brand. In the past month, the company has found itself entangled in scandal after a company vice president made statements supporting the current president-elect. In turn, the alt-right has adopted it as it’s official outfitter. Unfortunately in addition to tainting my impression of them, this also slightly sullies my image of J.Crew, since they collaborated with them. (I am aware that the collaboration was released prior to these statements going public. I have been waiting for a J.Crew to issue a formal statement.) To my audience, please don’t read to much into this purchase. I am grappling with it myself. Black, white, gay, straight, I am with you.

Now that I have prefaced my reservations about the collaboration, I need to talk about the pants. I am returning the New Balance for J.Crew seamless leggings. I didn’t love wearing pants without a center seam. Have you heard of uniboob, the effect of wearing a sports bra? These pants were like unibutt. Additionally, I found that there were irregular dye marks. Back to the Lululemon Wunder Unders and debating on whether to keep the other New Balance x J.Crew items I ordered, which admittedly fit a tall frame pretty amazingly.

Ice, Ice, Baby

I moved to Philadelphia seven months ago. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, I lived in Washington DC for eight years. Before that, I lived in Mississippi for twelve years. As the years prior were spent up and down the Atlantic seaboard – both the North American and European sides, mind you – I became acclimated to rather temperate winters.

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I spent the winter of 1992 wearing a boots and a snowsuit. Fifteen years later, I spent the winter of 2007 wearing Rainbow flip flops and had no need for a winter jacket. Having experienced both extremes, I can confidently say that I favor dressing for four seasons. Driving is a different story with my two-wheel drive SUV, but luckily I snagged myself a fiance who grew up in Russia and Alaska!

I was so excited to wake up to snow this past Saturday. As I walked to my morning barre class (just getting a jump on New Year’s resolutions over here), I realized that it was raining and that the snow I was so excited about was actually super icey.

We had plans post-barre class to walk to Center City and run a few errands. Thank Sweet Baby Jesus that we both were in possession of a pair of L.L.Bean boots. Back in 1992 while I was toddling around in boots and a snowsuit, my mom was working for L.L.Bean headquarters. When I moved to Washington DC, she was sure to equip me with a pair of boots that I would be able to wear in the most extreme of conditions. After seeing my shear-lined pair, the fiance requested the most tricked out pair, complete with the Goretex and Thinsulate lining, as his 2015 Valentine’s Day gift, which due to the notorious backlog that year were not delivered until April.

The fiance and I took a detour through Washington Square. Having earned my first Master’s degree in Historic Preservation, I love any and all structures and landscapes with a story. It was picturesque and surprisingly deserted. Throwing out regard to the fact that my outfit consisted of a sweatshirt and leggings (and the ever-present pearls), we decided to capture the moment with a few photos. As the first icey and snowy day in Philadelphia with the sweet fiance, I knew it was one I would want to remember always.

kale sweatshirt in heather grey // kale sweatshirt in heather blue // kale sweatshirt in navy // kale tee // wunder under leggings // boots, 8″ // boots, 10″ // gloves // socks // coat

Sunday Brunch

The fiance and I both had obligated our last Saturday to our respective work. In my field at least, there are contracts must be finalized prior to the end of the calendar year. How unfortunate it is that the end of the calendar year coincides with the holiday season.

Since Saturday would be dedicated to work, we made a conscious decision that Sunday would be dedicated to fun. We brunched at a.kitchen in Rittenhouse Square, before working our way back to the east side of the city while shopping for Christmas gifts and ourselves.

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Throughout the day, I repeatedly received compliments on my outfit, specifically the skirt. Let it be known that I love sequins. I love paillettes even more. I never met an article of clothing adorned with paillettes that I didn’t love. This skirt also has an elastic waist. (#chaching) I have emotional connection with the skirt because I was wearing it when I received the marriage proposal from my now-fiance. Fuzzy feelings all around with this skirt. While this skirt is no longer available, I put together a selection of similar cut skirts complete with paillettes and sequins, at a variety of price points.

white sequin pencil skirt // floral sequin pencil skirt // sequined pencil skirt // black sequined pencil skirt // paillette stripes midi skirt // paillette-embellished crepe skirt


peacoat (similar) // heels // bow bag (similar) // bow bag (similar) // bow bag (similar) // fringed cashmere scarf (similar) // plaid & sequined star cashmere scarf (similar) // pearl cuff // earrings // ring // eyeshadow palette // lip color

My Favorite Things

I have the best childhood memories of picking out Christmas trees with the family. We would drive out to a Christmas tree farm, look and look until we found the perfect tree, and enjoy a hot chocolate and candy cane. This Christmas being the first my fiance and I have been living together, I insisted that we drive about an hour out of the city to Tuckamony farm. (The staff there was so sweet. I highly recommend it if you are in the Philadelphia area.) We combed three tree fields until we found the perfect one. Luckily the back seats of my SUV were disassembled and the tree fit. Thank sweet baby Jesus, because neither of us wanted to drive back down 95 with a Christmas tree riding piggy back!

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My outfit was perfect for the 50 degree weather.

When I saw the plaid shirt came in tall, I immediately jumped at it, especially since I ordered it on a Black Friday promotion. (I loved the plaid so much, I may have [definitely did] ordered the matching pajama pants for myself [and my sister, who is even taller than me], complete with monogram [hers too], since they came in tall.)

I have been looking for tall length sweaters a lot lately. I ordered the fiance a tall medium in a men’s lambswool crewneck style about two months ago. Yesterday was the day I realized that I wanted to borrow it. I love that it fits roomy enough to wear over a button up while fitting streamlined enough to wear beneath a vest. I love the long length of the sleeves and the body. I love that it smells like the fiance the most.

I cannot sing the praises of Lululemon leggings enough. Unfortunately they weren’t the best pant to wear while walking through a Christmas tree farm. Holly leaves and prickly pieces got me as we were traversing the three fields.

I bought a pair of Loeffler Randall Marits about a year and a half ago. (Note: Go up a size in all Loeffler Randall styles.) I wore them so much that I wore a hole in the right sole. Rather than purchase a new pair of $600 boots, I opted to bring them to a cobbler and pay $75 for new leather soles. Yesterday was my second day wearing them since they came back from the cobbler, and I can confirm that it was an excellent decision. This does not stop me from putting a brown pair of Loeffler Randall boots on my Christmas list.

plaid button up // crewneck sweater // vest // boots (similar) // sunglasses // bracelet // earrings // bag (similar) // bag (similar)

Thankful

The fiance and I live at least two flights away from either set of our parents’ homes. Since it was just us for Thanksgiving, we decided that dining out would be the way to go. After much research, we chose XIX for an afternoon Thanksgiving brunch. With an all-you-can-eat raw bar in addition to the traditional holiday staples, XIX was a no-brainer.

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Being the ever-wandering daughter, I have been to enough restaurant Thanksgiving brunches to know that an oversized shirt and leggings is just not appropriate and let us be honest, even if I made it home, my mom would not be a fan of either of her daughters congregating at her holiday table in the athleisure side of her wardrobe; however it is a total rookie move to wear anything with a static waistband. An empire-waist dress is definitely the way to go! This dress from last year’s J.Crew winter selection, was perfect for the outing. With a cocoon coat and Cole Haan with Nike Air Technology heels, I was ready for walking to and from the restaurant; thus walking off the inevitable food baby.

I love most of J.Crew’s tall line of dresses and this dress is no exception. While this style is no longer available, I have found a selection of dresses, with either empire waists or belt-able over a less fitted silhouette. The best part is that every style I picked comes in tall, and ranges in price points. For the tall J.Crew, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Gap lines, as well as other less tangible things and people in my life, I am thankful.

embroidered swing dress // pintuck swing dress // long sleeve wrap dress // boucle wrap dress // silky split-neck dress // lace-trim shirtdress


coat // purse (similar) // earrings // necklace // ring // pearl cuff