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. 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, 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.

The Wardrobe Genius of M.Drummergirl

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Do you have a moment to go all slack-jawed with me over M.Drummergirl’s keen fashion sense? (To clarify: I did not take these photos, they’re from her Flickr stream. M.Drummergirl and I have never met.)

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She is a layering ninja.

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And would you look at these colors? This is a girl after my own matchy-matchy heart.

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Go marvel at the rest of her wardrobe trickery, all the more genius because so much of it is thrifted. And excuse me while I go home and iron.

Packing Light: Greece Edition

If you’ve been reading long, you already know the drill from my packing posts about New York and Puerto Rico. I don’t like to check luggage if I can help it, so I try to fit everything in a carry-on and my laptop bag. This is what I packed for two weeks in Greece. It’s eight outfits total, and my plan was to wear everything twice, but on different islands.

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This is my favorite vintage dress. It’s cotton and it has pockets, purrrr. Great for visiting churches when I’m traveling, because it covers the shoulders and knees, but it’s cool and easy to move in. I can also plop down on the ground without worrying I’m flashing everyone, so it’s good for traveling with the toddler too. The shoes are my navy saltwater sandals.

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Because it’s cotton, this dress wrinkles in the suitcase, so Bryan taught me a trick from his acting days. Head into your hotel bathroom with the dress on a hanger, turn the shower on hot, wet a washcloth, wring it slightly, and then pat the dress down. The little wrinkles will fall out with the steam, and the wet washcloth takes care of the big ones. I just put the dress on damp and let it dry on me, but you can also let it dry overnight.

The glasses are a drugstore purchase from years ago, the headband is an elastic 99-center from H&M. So useful, that I actually gave Melissa one when we were in Puerto Rico, because she lamented having lost the ones she picked up in San Francisco. You need one too. More on that later.

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This is a simple black, drop-waist dress that I got for $7 at a thrift store when I was in college. On the plane, I wore this with a pair of black leggings, my trusty slip-off gold flats (see Puerto Rico post if you’re curious about those), a pale blue cardigan, and my swimsuit wrap worn as a scarf (the wrap also doubled as a blanket). Again, I’ve failed you in photographing my travel outfit. Don’t think I can’t hear you cursing me from here.

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I think the dress is rayon, but it reacts to water like crepe — either way, it doesn’t really wrinkle. I bought the hat for 10 Euros in Santorini, because I didn’t pack a sunhat. Which was dumb. Be ye not so dumb, my traveling friends.

The purse is from Buenos Aires, the necklace is my favorite, a gift from Bryan purchased at Rare Device. I can’t believe I’m blanking on the artist’s name. One of you knows, I’ll bet. Let me know in comments, and I’ll update.

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These are the same shorts I took to Puerto Rico, they’re Rocawear. The shirt is a men’s undershirt, Hanes I think.

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The brooch is a long vintage silk scarf that I made into a flower shape and pinned to my shirt with safety pins. Because I am crafty.

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Oh man this dress is so good. Also vintage, and unfortunately polyester — the yucky kind. I got past it though, and it’s great for traveling.

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Bryan brought back the bracelet from a work trip to China. All my cool jewelry is from Bryan.

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The gladiator sandals were my main shoes for this trip. They’re surprisingly comfy, though buckled a little loose in this photo. They’re from Delia’s, which is a teen catalog that’s great for accessories and trendy stuff that you only need to last for a year or so.

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Speaking of trendy stuff that doesn’t need to last, here’s a $15 romper I bought for the trip from Urban Outfitters (Be careful, that site now has music! Ugh).

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I told you a while ago that I like to pack jammies that can double as outfits, and these were supposed to be my jammies. I ended up wearing them almost more than anything else, the knit was crazy comfortable. Action wear!

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The giant earrings are from a shop in Kentucky. They’re lightweight.

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Back to that headband. I keep it in my purse when I travel because my hair invariably starts to look scraggly with wind and swimming, or I get too hot to wear it down. With this, I can pull it into a ponytail and use the band to clean up the stray frizz caused by humidity. It’s easy to do without a mirror, and the result is casual, but a little more polished.

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This dress is by 25singles. The sleeves are constructed so I can push them to the front and back and wear a cardigan without any added bulk on my shoulders. Great for the city.

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Greece is all about jumping for me, apparently. Anyway, you can see here how the sleeves only attach at the top, so you can arrange the folds for more tummy or bum coverage, as you desire. Genius.

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The necklace is actually two necklaces from H&M, which I knotted together.

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Here are those shorts again. The tank is by H&M, and is much fuller than it appears in this photo. I actually decided it was a little unflattering on this trip, and probably won’t be wearing it again. Such are the perils of seeing yourself in photos.

The shoes were a blog rec by Elizabeth from Browner Brown. They’re $17 Saniya Pointed Toe Flats from Target, and they’re rubber soled. They didn’t give me problems on this trip, but have since given me pinky toe blisters. Great with tights though, and I love the color.

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The scarf is the same one I used as a brooch above. This time I looped it twice around my head, tied it on top, and tucked the loose ends under for an updated Rosie the Riveter vibe.

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This is another vintage find. That green band has crazy giraffes and other jungle animals in play, which is spectacular. Super comfy.

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The fish-scale belt is elasticized, I got it at a thrift store. The waist on this dress is a little high for me, so I like to define it a bit.

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Sunglasses were on loan from Laura, as an Englishman had accidentally absconded with mine the night before, thinking they were his girlfriend’s.

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This is my swim wrap, which I bought in Bali on my honeymoon. It’s essentially a large rectangle of linen with a random button and a random tie. I have to figure out how to wear the damn thing every time I put it on, but it’s great to travel with because I can also use it as a scarf or a blanket on the plane. It’s by Oka Diputra.

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The back gives you a little insight into how it’s fashioned. Button at the neck, tie at the waist. Supposedly you can wear it like fifteen different ways, but I have no idea how.

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Here’s my new La Blanca suit! I’m excited because I almost never buy new swimsuits. I may just be turning over a new leaf on that though. (Sorry this is a little blown out, my camera was on the wrong setting.) I got it on sale at Nordstrom.com. I like that it’s a sexy one piece, but I don’t feel like my boobs are hanging out. Also? Red! Which is the very best color for a swimsuit.

And that’s it! Here’s a shot of my suitcase.

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I had so much extra room, that I decided to throw in my rollers, which was ludicrous. I used them twice and they made my bag heavy, which is a Packing Light fail.

You can also sort of see that I packed two things that didn’t get much play, a yellow turban purchased in Puerto Rico, and a white men’s button down to wear as a coverup (I wore it for sleeping instead). The red and white striped thing is an adorable $10 beach bag from Walmart, which I used a couple times as a shopping bag, and to carry home Hank’s gifts without crushing them. I also had a pair of black flip-flops, which got a ton of use.

Regrets? Well, the stupid curlers. Come on, Maggie. Also, I should have worn a sunhat on the plane. It took a while to find a reasonable one, and I don’t totally love it. Also, in retrospect, I would have thrown in three or four more evening dresses. We tended to wear casual clothes during the day, and dress things up at night. It would have been good to have a few more in the vein of my 25singles dress.

Also, I would have stuffed my busy husband and my cranky toddler in, because as fun as it is to travel with girlfriends, I missed those guys.

I was in Greece because Intel is sponsoring my Mighty Life List. Next week, I’m going skin diving in the Arctic Circle! Stay tuned.

Mighty Closet: Courtney Skott, Outfit 5

Designer Courtney Skott does a high kick.

Jumper! Haaa-yah!

Courtney saw this BCBG Max Azaria pantsuit at Crossroads long before rompers came back in style. She couldn’t immediately figure out how to put it on, which she felt was a good sign. After some time wrangling in the dressing room, she decided to bring it home and figure it out.

Designer Courtney Skott in her living room.

Smart move, because it’s become Courtney’s version of the little black dress. That little diamond of exposed tummy skin is spot on. Courtney is smart about finding sexy clothes that don’t make her look too willing, if you know what I mean. She now thinks the jumper was an early sample, because she saw one at Nordstrom recently. She appears to be correct, because here it is. Did you pay $380 for yours, Skott? Yeah, I didn’t think so. High five.

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The leafy earrings are Eliza Page, an Austin-based jeweler owned by a friend of Courtney’s. Lots of great stuff there, by the way.

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Metallic sandals are Kenneth Cole Reaction.

And so Courtney Skott’s Mighty Closet comes to a close. Does anyone else feel like they could use a cigarette?

Mighty Closet: Courtney Skott, Outfit 4

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This is Courtney just home from a long day of wit and wallpaper samples at Sugarbaker Designs. If you listen closely, you can just make out the opening strains of “Georgia on My Mind.” The red cuff is from Banana Republic.

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The dress is Joanie Char Silk San Francisco, a score from the Goodwill. The details on this piece are lovely, including the line of shell buttons down the left hip.

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Also? Epaulets with contrast piping. Thaaaat’s what I’m talking about.

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The pumps are vintage Charles Jourdan. I’m pretty sure you can play basketball in those.

Tomorrow we conclude our presentation with a jumper that out-awesomes all the other jumpers. See you then.