Monday, June 22, 2009

My "Magic Jeans" got me thinking...

I love hi-lo fashion.  The best dressed people I know are those who have mastered the art of mixing luxury with affordability.  I've longed to become one of those people. You know at least a couple who roll out of bed, throw something on and walk out of the house looking effortlessly chic yet completely pulled together.

Those who are capable of this are few and far between and I've always wondered, "What's your secret?"  Then, after stumbling upon an amazing pair of jeans, at Old Navy, no less, it all fell into place.  Your clothes, as simple as it may sound, just have to work.  They have to fit perfectly.  You have to feel amazing in them.  They don't have to be expensive or of the moment, they just have to be YOU.

I spotted these jeans on an over-stuffed rack of hodge-podge denim.  Having had a semi-successful career in the Visual Merchandising arena, this rack made chills run down my spine.  I felt nauseous and uncomfortable.  I wanted to re-merchandise the entire section before I so much as thought of shopping in it, but the jeans...they called to me.  They were low-rise, stretch denim, wide flare (think trouser) leg in the most perfect light wash.  They had my size.  They were on sale. They became mine.

I got these jeans home and immediately put them on with one of my favorite tops, a Nanette Lepore blouse, floral, puff sleeves, little bows on either side, ridiculously expensive and worth every penny.  I finished it off with my favorite spectator peep-toes and a sparkly cocktail ring.
It worked.  I felt like a million twenty dollar jeans.  Then, I switched gears.  I threw on a white Hanes mens v-neck undershirt, my trusty mens-style cardigan, tan, picked up at a local thrift shop for somewhere around five bucks and my super-comfy, well worn camo Haviana flip flops.  I put on a pair of gold hoops for good measure and took the dog for a walk. I felt confident.

I deemed my new jeans "Magic" and broadcast the news to anyone who would listen.  You saw my facebook status, right?  And my tweet, for all the "Twitterati."  I went back the next day, armed with my 10% off coupon, lured in with the TV commercial advertising two dollar tank tops, planning to procure as many pairs of these magical jeans as I could get my mitts on.  I bought them in white (so sophisticated!) and dark rinse.  I went home happy.

I'm still happy.  I'm wearing them right now.  For the record, I'm also wearing a two dollar tank top, but my sandals are from Coach and my earrings, silver pearls from Tiffany, were a surprise from Mom and Dad a couple of years back.  I feel like one of those cool people who doesn't have to try that hard.  Thank you, magic jeans.

In discovering these "magic jeans,"  I don't want to discredit all of my other closet essentials.  I still believe in quality over quantity, although those of you who have seen my closet may beg to differ.  I just can't justify not stocking up on something that blends my two worlds together.  These jeans are like the Brooklyn Bridge, uniting Brooklyn, funky and cool, with Manhattan, chic and upscale.  Hi-lo fashion.  I'm livin' it.


Friday, June 5, 2009

a brief rant about The 2009 MTV Movie Awards...

I don't give a hoot about MTV.  I don't watch The Hills or any of their other "programming," for I feel it will suck the intelligence right out of me.  However, once a year, I tune in to watch The MTV Movie Awards for one reason: to bash what everyone is wearing.

Because I'm a nice person, (stop snickering, Stacey!) I'm not going to bash any individuals.  I'm just going to make a point: for those of us who lived through the 80's, what these "celebrities" were wearing wasn't new, fresh, or even remotely interesting.  Most of it looked like the crap that we pretend we didn't wear in Junior High.

Bubble dresses? Prom 1988.  One-shoulder dresses covered in sequins? Dynasty. Ruffles, mesh and neon all worn together?  Madonna: The Early Years.  

I guess what I find most disturbing is that no one is telling these hot young things that they aren't "pushing the envelop" or wearing something "daring."  They're just working with stylists that are too busy pitching reality tv shows to dress their clients in something truly indicative of the times.  I saw nothing "inspired" by the 80's.  I just saw tacky shit: too literal, too cheap looking, too much.  Except for Miley Cyrus, who looked 45. (sorry, I tried)

I look to celebrities all of the time to influence my style, after all, they have access to the freshest, newest, most fabulous swag available.  I can only say that I was, overall, uninspired by what Young Hollywood put up. C'mon, people! Dazzle me!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the whirlwind that was April and May

April and May were busy months in the Buckles Family.  Birthdays, an engagement, a pet surgery, family visits, a major home renovation and a graduation were just the highlights.  There was so much going on that two months seemed like two very busy weeks of nonstop excitement.  Let's get started!

Mr. Joss, my adorable nephew, turned two on April 4th.  He celebrated his birthday in style with a choo-choo train themed party attended by, well, everyone in St. Louis, except for me.  It was a grand affair complete with a cake made of individual train cars decorated with icing and candy.  It was almost disturbing how much time and effort my sister and family as a whole put into this party, but in the end, looking at pictures, I was impressed.  Joss clapped and proclaimed, "Hap Burf!  Hap Burf!"  He gets funnier and cuter by the minute.

I loaded up my car with my dog and entire wardrobe and hit the road on April 10th- St. Louis bound- just in time to make it to town for Aunt Patti's Birthday Breakfast.  For those of you less familiar with our family, breakfast is Aunt Patti's favorite meal of the day, so it was only fitting that she requested this type of celebration.  My arrival was a pleasant surprise and breakfast was delicious...City Diner at the Birthday Girl's request!  We were joined by Mom, Sarah Kate, Joss, Julie, Shawna and Verona and a wonderful time was had by all.

I spent the next week bumming around Webster, hanging with Mom, organizing all of the closets in the house, (except for Dad's, which he claims "needs no organization.") and being a lady of leisure.  We shopped and lunched and got our nails done.  Needless to say, my mom is the best and she ALWAYS knows how to have a good time!

On Sunday, April 19th, Julie and Craig got engaged on a day trip to the Winery.  This is very exciting news for the family as we all love Craig and his family and can't wait to grow our clan even more!  Julie and Craig are getting married next June at The 9th St. Abbey in St. Louis.  I still haven't mailed off their engagement card.

Monday the 20th was Sarah Kate's 34th birthday.  Luckily for Julie, Sarah Kate was only mildly offended (kidding) that Julie stole her birthday thunder by getting engaged the day before, thus agreeing to allow the happy couple to attend her Birthday Breakfast at Rooster.  Once again, we gathered for breakfast and family time.  The food was delicious, the company was exquisite and Julie took the rare opportunity of having Sarah Kate and I in the same place at the same time to ask us to be her bridesmaids!  We couldn't have been more honored to do so.  I'm curious to see the bridesmaid dresses that she picks out seeing as Sarah Kate and I land on opposite ends of the fashion spectrum.  The birthday girl cleaned up in the present department which is always nice.  Birthdays are a big deal in our family and we always celebrate accordingly!

I headed back to Chicago that week knowing that it would only be three weeks until Sarah Kate came to visit me for...MY birthday!  In those weeks, Mom and Dad started what has now become a 6+ week exterior renovation of our house including tuckpointing the flagstone chimney, removing all of the cedar shingles and replacing them, building a new deck and repainiting the whole joint.  Dad thought at one point that it might be cheaper to buy a new house, but claimed that it held "sentimental value" being that they bought it on Sarah Kate's 1st birthday and we've lived there ever since.  We've begun to lovingly refer to it as "The Money Pit."  Sarah Kate's dog, Hazel went in for surgery for the removal of a benign tumor under her front leg and came through it just fine.  She's a great dog and we're all so happy that she's OK.

On my birthday, May 13th, for those of you who forgot, Sarah Kate took the train up for a 5-day visit.  Let me start by saying that I lost my best friend, Shannon, on my birthday in 2001.  It's been eight years, but this loss continues to weigh heavily on my heart.  Shannon was an amazing person, a brilliant scholar, an eco-warrior and wonderful friend.  Her death was both shocking and tragic and those who knew her best were lucky to share in her life, as short as it was.  Needless to say, this is tough for me to deal with and my family goes out of their way to celebrate her life along with mine every year.

Sarah Kate and I spent the week dining and walking and shopping and bonding.  We caught a Cubs game and she stocked up on a new summer wardrobe.  We just spent the time hanging out, something that we get to do so little of given her duties as a Mama and the fact that we live in different cities.

We were joined on Saturday by Sarah Kate's In laws- The ENTIRE Thenhaus clan (including my awesome brother-in-law, Matt, who is, incidentally, celebrating his birthday TODAY and the Josseroo) descended upon Chicago to celebrate Matt's sister Beth's graduation from film school at Columbia College.  Carl and Maureen threw a great bar-b-que in her Wicker Park backyard and then we all (Me, Sarah Kate, Matt, Joss, Carl, Maureen, Beth, Nick, Jessica, Zach, Jess, Mark, Katie, Adam and Emily) all headed to the UIC Pavilion to attend what most of us referred to as "the most awesome college graduation we've ever been to."  As you may have guessed, art school graduation is anything but traditional and we all had a blast.  Most important, though, CONGRATULATIONS BETH!!!  And she snagged an internship working on the re-make of Nightmare on Elm Street filming right here in Chicago.  How cool is that?

Before I wrap this up, I have to give a shout-out to my dear friend, Julia, who turned the big 3-0 on May 25th.  She partied it up in Austin with her mom and sister and returned home to Oklahoma City to a backyard bash planned by her awesome husband, David.  Julia and David married in Houston on March 7th of this year and it was an event to remember!  Other exciting news- Kara's rooftop pool is finally open and ready for business...just in time for them to buy a house and move to the (gasp!) suburbs! We'll have the summer to lounge and get tan, though, if it ever gets warmer than 65 degrees and stops raining!

Things have slowed down a bit since then, so I'm officially rededicating myself to my blogging...starting right now.  How else is is someone important supposed to stumble across my writing, find me brilliant and offer me an opportunity to write my memoir?

Wow.  I'm exhausted.


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