Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What I Wore

There are a plethora of blogs devoted to "What I Wore". I enjoy visiting them from time to time, for outfit inspirations. Anyone who knows me (even a little) might know I love to shop.

I shop online at places like Etsy, Amazon, and exclusive web shops (like ModClothe or Shabby Apple where I have never actually purchased anything). The usual fixed stores I frequent include Banana Republic, the cool new JC Penny, Land's End in Sears (for my kids), or DSW for shoes. I shop in boutiques - those expensive ones (like Hot Mama), and those dedicated to inexpensive trend pieces (like Lillian's). I shop in thrift stores (like Goodwill and Savers) because you never know what you might find.  I shop in many a store I happen upon in my goings-on. I always scour the clearance rack. Does anyone ever pay full price?

When an occasion or event comes up, I immediately think about the "outfit". Truth be told (on the down-low) I am already scheming for the Crystal Ball gala in MAY!

(This whole post is very honest reveal of the VERY material side of my phyche, and the  embarrassing amount of time I invest in my own personal appearance...)

So when I learned Mark's downtown Minneapolis Caribou was hosting an Amy's Blend Launch Party for their 'bou bean that supports cancer causes each fall, I immediately began to wonder, "What will I wear??"

The launch party was dubbed "A Gala Event to Kickoff the 2012 Amy's Blend Collection"
The tag line said, "Deck Out in your Best Pink"
(The color this year is fuchsia to be more exact.)
It was set for last Saturday.

I heard Mark's boss was wearing cocktail attire with pink/fuschia, thus setting off my wardrobe search escapades -Online/Offline/Everywhere. I quickly decided a fuchsia dress would be less then flattering on me, but I searched anyway. I thought about black, grey or navy, with pink accessories. I stalked E-bay, Amazon, Zappos, Overstock, Piperlime, Etsy, Polyvore, and a multitude of sites I will likely never google upon again for dresses, shoes, a handbag, and jewelry.

I searched for two weeks. I ordered several items (some late in the game) and hoped they would arrive on time (and had a reasonable return policy). I bid (too low) on some E-bay jewelry. I went to antique shops inquiring after vintage fuchsia crystal jewelry.

I shopped to the MAX.

Toward the beginning of the search, I purchased this black tunic from an Etsy seller. I had been eye-ing it for many moons and decided to pull the trigger. After it arrived, I went to JoAnne Fabrics and purchased chiffon to sew a replacement fuchsia sash.  I returned to JoAnne a few days later for black fabric. The shirt/tunic was shorter then I hoped, and wondered if I could improvise. While there, I discovered hot pink, stretchy, ruffle tiered fabric. Could I create an easy-sew, three seam, maxi-skirt on my own? I had managed the sash. Already, I was worried my other options would fall flat....
Magenta Pink Earrings, Cabaret, Crystal, Dangle, Long, Silver, Sparkle, Simple, Dangly, Fushia, Hot Pink, Rose,
The stunning earrings I bought from an Etsy jeweler arrived in the post last Thursday, along with a custom order necklace she whipped up to match .  The only pair of affordable non-hooker-esqe, fuchsia pumps (with less then 4 inches heels) were delivered Friday. I was armed with an arsenal of in-expensive accessories from Claire's, which I planned to return when un-used.  I wanted OPTIONS.

At about 8:30 pm Friday, my various fuschia game plans were failing miserably. The black shirt (with self-made hot pink sash) wasn't coming together the way I wanted. It got a big red X from dear husband. His rejection was relevant. I needed a dress!

I moved on to the black frocks in my closet (...too formal... too tight in the wrong spots because on my pudge...didn't really lend themselves to the fuchsia...you get the idea.). I wanted to look "just right" for the 'Bou corporate staff who would be attending, and the managers and staff Mark oversees. At 9:30 pm, Mark went to bed...while I sat at the kitchen table, searching the web sites of stores I could pop into Saturday morning.

Top of the list - Francesca's (cheap enough, several potential items noted on line, convenient).

On Saturday, Mark went to work early for the Amy's launch. The kids watched cartoons downstairs. I returned to the kitchen table and struggled to sew up the maxi skirt.  At 11:30 Saturday morning the Twinners and I set out on the final hunt. I was dressed in the hot pink skirt with a denim shirt. Maybe my silly sewing project would work... with the right shirt - BUT PROBALY NOT. (..and I wouldn't be able to wear the pink heels with it.)

I bribed the kids with a trip to Cherry Berry if they would politely visit up to three stores at Arbor Lakes. Guess what? They were almost angels and we only needed to visit one retailer (plus Ulta for lipstick).

This was the final cut on the "pink carpet" Saturday night!
(photos courtesy of Jenny's Iphone)
Fuchsia Shoes - Fergalicious from Amazon
Royal Blue Dress, Fuchsia Clutch and Earring - Francesca's at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove
Fuchsia Belt - already owned from Target
Fuchsia Bangles - Claire's
Mark's pink and grey striped shirt - Nordstrom Rack
Mark's Suit - already owned from Banana Republic
Saturday night at the "launch" Tim Mahony played, there was a "pink" fashion show, pink velvet cupcakes, a DJ, a nice crowd, and nice sales of Amy's Blend.  Jenny joined me. After all of my super silly, totally materialistic whoo ha, and outrageous time spent over my damned party attire, the two of us quickly slipped away from the "gala" for a non-caffinated big-girl drink and a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant.

**If you all vote I should  have went to Francesca's first, I wish I had. (I will be adding them to stores I frequent). I love the little blue dress I found. It was affordable (sturdy polyester), and I suspect I will wear it with leggings and black heels to Brett's Birthday dinner at Manny's, and to dinner in San Fransisco when I visit Dawn later this month.
**If you think I am a bit obsessive about my wardrobe, you are correct. It is too much fun for me.
**I spent about two hours (or less) at the pink shin-dig. I refuse to tally the hours or dollars invested in the costume madness leading up to the shin-dig.
**No, I am not sure where I am going to wear the fuchsia maxi skirt I sewed for $14.
**Yes, I will be making returns to Claire's Boutique with bracelets, a fuchsia bedazzled purse from the kid's section, and pink rhinestone heart earrings.
**I have wanted the black racer-back, bowed shirt from the Fleet Collection for a year, and will defend this purchase even though it was a FAIL. It sells out each season before they make more.
**The fuchsia shoes are more comfortable then expected and may get worn at this year's Crystal Ball, which has the same color theme. Hopefully the gorgeous earrings from Etsy have the same potential.  I did wear the earrings and necklace to dinner at the Macaroni Grill with jeans on Friday when my Cousin Jared flew into town.
**The earrings I found and wore the same day of the event cost $14.00. The ones I purchased from Etsy were more...
**For anyone who recalls this year's Mother's Day post, I do have a really cool fuchsia necklace I 'gifted' myself from Patina. If you all suggest I first begin shopping in my closet, and build from there, this is usually a good idea.
**I now own black leggings, which I thought I could wear with the black tunic, which I needed anyway, and wore to church this Sunday.
**Before the event, I got a mani/pedi for the first time in eons, with hot pink polish.
**I broke out Spanx (already ownded) for this event. I curse the extreme effort required to pullll and tugggg on Spanx to encase one's flubby thighs and torso like a sausage!

In case you are wondering, I am not proud of all of this.

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