Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's in the Bag

Because I've been seeing these posts everywhere (what's in the makeup bag, what's in the handbag) I decided to do one, too, not wanting to be left out of the trend.  :)  That's the contents of my summer handbag, right there.

I used the LL Bean Design-Your-Own-Tote service to design my own handbag.  The bag is about 6 years old.  
 From the top, left:  A Coach mini-skinny (a gift from an old boss), Love, Etc. solid perfume from The Body Shop, cucumber & melon hand sanitizer, The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Oil-Free Facial Lotion SPF 15, Burt's Bees Hand Salve, large Band-Aids (in case of blisters), Neutrogena Deep Clean Oil-Free Makeup Remover Wipes, because NYC gets hot, sticky and grimy in the summertime!
 Some Bonne Belle Lipsmackers, and The Body Shop lip glosses, a Sharpie double-pointed black marker, Zebra Sarasa black and oxblood gel pens, a highlighter, a MetroCard (NYC's mass transit payment card), a comb, a Revlon Mirror, Halls cough drops (in case of dry mouth), Shout stain remover wipes, a stack of business cards.
 My tan Filofax Agenda, my Coach wallet, tissues, Moleskine notebooks:  my reading log and my portable journal.
 A wider view.
The whole enchilada.  I can't believe all that crap fits in that one little bag!  My secret:  I use Ziploc baggies.  My friend Diane introduced me to the concept.  It makes it easier to find little items that would otherwise get trapped on the bottom.

I usually carry the featured handbag from June to September.  Then in October I switch out to my Coach black pebbled leather hobo.  I also have black and brown leather satchel handbags from Coach.  The brown one is very old - from the early 90's.  I like lighter handbags in the summer, though.  It's hot enough without toting leather around.  Straw or canvas seems like the way to go.  I like Coach - they're expensive, but you get what you pay for - I use my black pebbled leather hobo almost every day from October to June, and it still looks good.  I've had it for four years now.

I think I've said before that my theory on handbags is that a lady should have at least three:  A fall/winter everyday leather bag, a dress leather bag, and a summer bag, of a lighter material, like canvas, cloth or straw.  If you want, you can throw in an evening clutch, if you go to a lot of glamorous evening events, and a light-colored leather dress bag for the spring/summer months.  If you go to the beach or on picnics in the spring and summer, you should get a sturdy tote bag - LL Bean makes good totes, and you can design your own, and have it monogrammed with your initials or name (see bag above).  You can also use a large tote for going to the farmer's market.  A budget-conscious option is to use the reusable shopping totes you can get for $.99-$1.99 at the supermarket or drugstore, or use the free ones that some stores give away with purchases.  Aerosoles recently had a gift with purchase where I received a fleece blanket and a colorful cloth tote with my online order.  Cosmetic companies are good for that, too.  They always seem to be giving away tote bags with their gifts-with-purchase or bargain purchase-with-purchase (like where you get a $155 gift set for $35 or something like that - I am not wise to the ways of the cosmetic counter - I only know enough to know I should stay away from it!).

Of course, if you're vegan, or just want cruelty-free products, you can get good bags in nylon, vinyl or pleather, canvas, cloth or straw or even recycled rubber - there are so many eco-friendly materials to choose from.

Anyway, it's getting late in the morning, and I have to do my weekly day-of-beauty ritual.  Once a week, I try to give myself a facial mask, exfoliating salt scrub, condition my hair and moisturize from head to toe.  I should probably moisturize every day, but sometimes I'm just too busy and the schedule does not allow for those extra minutes.  Or I'm too tired, LOL.  

Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is It Possible To Have Too Much Denim?

My denim collection, not including jeans:

 From left to right:  DKNYC Denim Jacket, Coldwater Creek Denim Jacket, Lane Bryant Denim Jacket

A close-up of the DKNYC Denim Jacket.  The sleeves were too long, so I had to have them shortened.  There was a zipper on the bottom quarter of the sleeve, which had to be shortened as well.  It takes something away from the jacket, but the sleeves were too ridiculously long.  
 The Coldwater Creek Denim Jacket - I got it on sale for about $20!  I use this for casual wear, like going on walks or to the deli, or cruising around the neighborhood, or running errands.
 The Lane Bryant Denim Jacket.  I use this for dressier casual occasions, like going out with friends.
 Hey, I thought this was an all-denim show!  :)  These are my sunhats.  The one on the left is the Ultrafino Panama Fedora I've been wearing everywhere this summer.  The one on the right is my LL Bean sunhat - it's more ladylike.  I haven't worn it yet ... I'm waiting for the right occasion.
 Closeup of the Panama Fedora.  The cut-out pattern above the brim actually keeps my head cool and ventilated.  The wide brim provides shade and sun protection (along with sunblock, of course).
 Closeup of the LL Bean sunhat.  It has a cord so you can fasten it under your chin.
 Denim overload:  A three-piece denim suit - jacket, trouser-style pants and pencil skirt; and a gored denim skirt from LL Bean.
 The jacket and pants, from Lane Bryant.  The jacket has ruffled trim, which is cute and classy.  I wore this combination with a white t-shirt and some costume jewelry to my friend Jack's birthday party, and I got a lot of compliments.
 The denim pencil skirt, part of the suit from Lane Bryant.
The gored denim skirt from LL Bean.  I'm dying to wear this for a casual occasion!  I think I might have to have the waist taken in, though.

One of my chief fit problems is that my waist is small compared to my hips and bust, which I know is supposed to be an asset, but it really makes it difficult to get clothes that fit.

So what do you think, is this too much denim?  It's too hot this time of year to wear any denim, really, but from Fall to late Spring, it's appropriate.  I think I'll be getting a lot of wear out of these outfits when the weather gets cooler.

Some people say you shouldn't wear two denim items together at all because it's overload, but I think I would make an exception for the suit and wear the trouser pants and pencil skirt with the ruffled trim jacket.  I confess I also wear the more casual denim jackets with jeans.  I also wear them with skirts and khakis and my LL Bean Perfect Fit pants.  I would be more inclined to wear the DKNYC jacket alone, without any other denim item, and the LL Bean gored skirt, too.

So apparently I went from having a lot of black in my closet to having a lot of denim, LOL!  Time to come up with some creative combinations to make some cute outfits!