Mighty Closet: Rachel Brune, Outfit No. 2

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This is Rachel pretending to wait for a bus in her own apartment. She’s sporting her Very Responsible Outfit for days when clients visit the office. Her grass green wool cardigan is from the Alameda Flea Market, which Rachel says is a great place to shop for sweaters worn by tiny elderly ladies. Her shoes are “Anitas” by ReMix, a company that does vintage reproductions, and also the new place I will be acquiring all my shoes.

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The reversible necklace from the SF MoMA Museum Store was a gift from Rae’s boyfriend. He has pretty good taste himself, and also happens to be a former national yo-yo champion. Rae knows how to pick a winner.

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The wristlet purse was a gift from me. (Rachel is clearly using this as an opportunity to suck up to loved ones. Well played, Brune.) It’s hand painted by an Argentine artist who reworks vintage leather purses.

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It fastens with a snap, but the big outside button is a decoy.

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The pretty ruffled yellow shirt is from Banana Republic. Rae used to get an amazing discount when she worked for Gap corporate, and I still mourn the annual Friends and Family sale flyers.

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This belt is from Goodwill too. Good one.

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As you can see, Rachel is already looking ahead to tomorrow’s work outfit. We’ll meet her there.

*Update– Her pants are Gap, her hair is asymmetrical, her shoes do have heels. (You can click through on the shoe link to see them in all their splendor.)

Mighty Closet: Rachel Brune, Outfit No. 1

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This is our very dear and seriously adorable friend Rachel. Rae and I were roomies for just before Bryan and I got engaged, and fortunately for me, she’s not the sort to leave passive aggressive notes on the fridge. She’s more the subtly witty friend who never seems all that funny until you’re spraying red wine out your nose for the third time in a night. Ow.

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Bryan strong-armed Rachel into becoming one of Adaptive Path’s first employees years ago, and she’s still there. I have no idea how to describe her job. She’s sort of their resident empath — advisor, bellwether, able to predict whether new policies will make everyone feel vengeful and quitty, etcetera. Rachel is the sort of person in whom it is wise to confide. She’s also a sharp dresser, and that’s really why we’re all here.

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The office is casual, and Rae never looks like she’s trying too hard, which fascinates me. It’s easy to look good when you’re dressed up, harder to feel cute when you’re just going about your day, you know? This is the type of thing she’d wear to work if she had plans to head out afterward. (Like I said, the office is casual.) Her jacket is by Plus Four.

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For me, good casual dressing requires a lot more effort, or more money than I want to spend on the perfect T-shirt, but Rae always seems to have pulled something over her head and tumbled out into the world looking stylish. Her dress is American Apparel.

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Rae is naturally a wee tiny person, and she’s also a vegetarian who bikes everywhere — hence the ability to wear anything made by American Apparel. Her petite frame can be a big challenge when she’s looking for clothes, because she either has to shop at Gymboree or have everything tailored. Her red belt is a Goodwill score.

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Her shoes are by Me Too. Rachel refuses to wear uncomfortable shoes, and more than once I’ve had to pep talk her through buying a pair of pumps for a wedding or whatnot. She’s become more open to heels over the years, but she’d like you to note that these are comfortable flats with nice, bouncy rubber soles. Noted.

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She got the necklace second hand at Buffalo Exchange and the bangles were a gift from a friend who got them in Vietnam. Rae has very little jewelry, so what she does have is in heavy rotation.

Tomorrow, we’ll have a look at a work outfit for when clients are in the office.

Mighty Closet: Margaret Stewart, Outfit No. 10

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This is Margaret’s cocktail dress by Trina Turk. I think it might be a metallic peacock feather print. This is Margaret pulling that off.

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We thought it might be funny to take glam cocktail dress photos out back with the kids’ toys, but instead she just looks hot.

Then again…

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Some of them were pretty funny too. Though they do look a little like someone took them for a highly specific fetish site.

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But back to the dress, which is so understated sexy. I think it’s the exposed clavicle. Clavicle beats cleavage any day.

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The bracelet is a sentimental favorite because it belonged to her husband’s mother. Her clutch is by Felix Ray.

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Killer ’40s-inspired platforms by Banana Republic.

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And thus concludes our closet tour with Ms. Stewart. Margaret, you have approximately a year to purchase a whole bunch of new stuff so we can ogle your good taste anew.

Mighty Closet: Margaret Stewart, Outfit No. 9

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This summer dress is Marimekko for Anthropologie, and are you seeing those pockets? I would totally make her hold my lipstick. The tank top is by Ogle.

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I should mention that Margaret and I are like minded in that neither of us ever pays full price for anything. She’s one of those shoppers who checks in to her favorite shops a few dozen times so she can snag a favorite piece right when it goes on sale. Purse is Angela Adams.

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Wood and shell necklace is from a boutique in Ashville, North Carolina.

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These shoes are Aerosoles. Surprisingly cute, right? Plus I think she could technically bowl in them.

Mighty Closet: Margaret Stewart Update

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Sorry for the relative silence over the last few days, I’ve been Christmas-ing. A bunch of you had questions about Margaret’s hat and necklace, so I went digging and found some better photos I had misplaced. Margaret’s killer fedora is from Target (there are a lot of similar ones under that link, so head over if you want one).

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And here’s a close-up of Margaret’s handmade necklace. A bunch of you had questions about how it was made. It’s a bib of fabric with stacked circles of fabric sewn on top. Each concentric circle has a stitch or two in the middle to attach. The material is floppy, probably poly or a poly-cotton blend, so it lays more like a collar than a felted necklace would. If you make one, send me your how-tos and photos and I’ll post a tutorial or a link to yours.

Look for Margaret’s last two outfits later today. Hooray!

Mighty Closet: Margaret Stewart, Outfit No. 8

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Are you seeing this, Internet? This is Margaret Stewart prevailing. Right after we took these photos, she performed a brief tap number.

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It would never even occur to me to purchase that vest, let alone tie it jauntily and pair it with wide-leg trousers. Also, wouldn’t it make a great maternity piece? It would. Vest is by Splendid, and the open front knit cardigan seems to be a signature piece for that brand. Trousers are from H&M.

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Two-tone shoes are by Greater LA.

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The necklace/collar is handmade by an artist in Buenos Aires. Margaret bought it on the street a couple years ago. You’re already plotting how to make one for yourself, aren’t you? Me too.

Mighty Closet: Margaret Stewart, Outfit No. 7

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We took these last summer, so of course there was a romper involved. This one is from H&M. Man, rompers are really representing on Mighty Girl of late.

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The side view on these kills me. Again, I think I need more interesting shoes. I lost my notes on where these came from — Margaret, let us know in comments if you remember.

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This brooch was a birthday gift from me, and it’s becoming my sisterhood pin. Everyone I love gets one whenever there’s cause for celebration. It’s by Elefante è Vida, whose shop I’m always loathe to share, but Margaret has forced my hand. I would shake my fist at her, but I’m too flattered by her sweetness in wearing it. Aww, Stewart.

Mighty Closet: Margaret Stewart, Outfit No. 6

You may remember my friend Margaret from the Mighty Closet I did with her a few months ago. Ms. Stewart is one of my inspirations when I get dressed — she has a great eye and such a sense of fun — so when I took her photos, we did two sets. Here’s round two:

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I covet this skirt. It’s so versatile and swishy.

When Margaret tried on this outfit, she wasn’t sure about the puffy Diane von Furstenberg shirt. She often pairs this skirt with a fitted black T-shirt. I felt like it depended on what she was going for; Margaret said she wasn’t sure she wanted to go for Eva Peron:

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But come on. She rocks this.

The skirt is Marimekko for H&M, and it has me convinced that long skirts and T-shirts are the perfect San Francisco uniform. As User Experience Manager for You Tube, Margaret needs a lot of day to evening looks that don’t seem strange when the tech guys are still wearing sneakers at cocktail hour. Separates are the perfect option if you need to look presentable, but not overly fussy.

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This antique ring is a tiny frog resting on a lilly pad. Margaret’s little girls are already fighting for ring rights.

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Her versatile pointy-toe pumps are BP from Nordstrom. You may recognize them from my site banner.

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The lacquer Bean Pendant is Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. The hair is from God.

Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 5

Whoops. Future posting snafu — sorry if you were looking for this on Friday. Now without further ado:

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Ka-POW! That that, little black dresses.

This is Mai’s cocktail dress, the kind of thing she’d wear as a wedding guest. It’s a Diane von Furstenberg column dress, which she picked up at a vintage store on Divisadero.

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Her shoes are certifiable. They’re by Walter Steigler, and I’m still trying to figure out the physics involved. The downside is the pain, the upside is that Mai never has to carry around a compact when she wants to check her lipstick.

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Mai looks so badass in this picture. We should have posed her with a baseball bat beating down an intruder. Hindsight.

Anyway, it’s cold at night in San Francisco, so every dress needs a layering piece. This denim jacket is Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcons.

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The jacket has so much detail, stitch patterns, shoulder slits, but the printed lining is particularly fun. Mai’s Caveman hammered ring from is from Fancy Jewels, and her square ring is from a trip to Mexico City.

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Another piece that’s even cooler from behind. Mai is the master of walking away from you.

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She picked up this two-finger ring in Bangkok. It’s the kind of accessory that elevates the most boring outfit. Not that Mai has ever had that problem.

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Thanks for letting us into your closet Mai! You have me thinking very differently about shoes, my friend.

Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 4

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This is secretarial Mai and her trusty steed, a 1978 Raleigh Rampar 3-speed. The blouse is vintage, and this is an outfit Mai would wear to deliver her sandwiches — one of which I happen to be eating as I type this:

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It is delicious.

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So many of Mai’s outfits have unexpected pockets, it’s tempting me to sew pockets into all my skirts. (More pockets in women’s clothing, designers! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but girls totally have hands.) Mai’s skirt is by Feral Childe an Oakland/Brooklyn label. It’s from this Spring’s Yosemite Collection.

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The day-glo shoes are a bit of a DIY project. They’re by Again and Again, but Mai cleaned them up and painted them. Why has it never occurred to me to try this? Tights are by We Love Colors.

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Vintage gold clutch with room for a hundred dollar bill, and a lipstick. And a cellphone and an extra pair of tights.

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Here’s a detail shot of Mai’s dreamy headband with a little girl gazing up at an airplane. It’s the Cloud 9 gold headband by YellowGoat. Works particularly well against Mai’s dark hair, I think.

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Tomorrow, we wrap up Mai’s closet feature with her cocktail look. Her shoes will end you, people.