Style Inspiration: Ladylike Chic

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I woke up this morning with a gargantuan spider bite… Right in the middle of my face. I’ll spare you the gory details (that would involve adjectives such as “lumpy,” “oozing,” and “traumatizing”), but suffice to say my face belongs nowhere near a camera until my body can exorcise this venom demon.

Fortunately, my blogroll has been positively crackling with inspirational energy. I’m rarely on the lookout for a particular trend when I’m seeking inspiration, but I’m definitely noticing a berry-colored, ladylike theme here. I love how these looks with their tailored, feminine silhouettes and sweet little details (I’m a sucker for a pan collar) still have a grown-up, fashion-forward edge.

The silhouette in this look from Fashion Toast is sweet as can be, but keeping the palette muted and the eye makeup smoky brings this into edgy territory.

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A classic look like this one from Classy Girls Wear Pearls can easily become stuffy, but the delicious mix of textures and chunky accessories gives it a playful vibe.

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I seriously can’t get over this look from Glamour UK. The color scheme is so rich and on-trend, and it has just the right amount of preppy school uniform feel without being costume-y. The metallic bag and polka-dot tights make it fun and keep it from being too conservative.

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This last image from my beloved Street Tonic manages to be prim and rock ‘n roll at the same time. Throwing the coat over the streamlined skirt and high-necked blouse is a practical and fashionable way to transition from day to night in this tricky San Francisco fall.
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Ok, now I’m in the mood to bust out my fancy jackets and circle skirts. Oh, and I’m pretty sure I need one of these hats. Think I can pull it off without looking like a stick figure with no hair? If I pull it low enough, I could cover my whole face and lose the coffee cup.

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A Sequined Spectator

Pyramid Collection Blazer, Parker Sequin Dress, Vince Camuto boots

Pyramid Collection blazer, Parker sequin dress, Vince Camuto boots, Urban Outfitters purse

Parker dress, Pyramid Collection blazer, Vince Camuto boots, UO purse
Hair by Danielle Blanchet at Renaissance Salon

Last Friday led me into the audience of San Francisco Fashion Week’s runway show. Sitting with my friend Sophia among actual media members and bloggers in the front row, I simultaneously felt like the belle of the ball as well as the awkward kid sister who snuck into her older sister’s college party. Model after model emerged from backstage wearing pieces that defied anything I had seen before. My blurry iPhone photos can’t begin to do them justice, but let’s just say that a particular white eyelet piece with an (actual) box skirt stole my heart.

Pyramid Collection blazer, Parker Sequin Dress, Vince Camuto boots

It was the kind of night that seems unreal and impossible as I’m writing about it now. Growing up in small-town Minnesota (read: population 1600), I felt a palpable ache of longing when I’d look through the pages of Vogue or the Variety section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and read about globe-trotting, sequin-wearing women sipping Lemon Drops in clubs where colored lights flashed above them. It didn’t matter whether they were in Minneapolis or Milan; their lives enchanted me, and I wanted to live like them.

The disco balls above the bar at Bed Supperclub

After the show, my friends and I teetered across SOMA in our high heels to sweet-talk our way into the upstairs lounge at Harlot and bounce on beds at Supperclub. Gazing at the shimmering disco balls above the bar, I caught my breath as I stopped to take in the fast-paced world around me. Now that I’m an adult (at least by some accounts) living in a cosmopolitan city, that glittering patina of exciting grown-up nightlife hasn’t even begun to wear off. So many of the things I dreamed of when I was little turned out to be nothing but puffs of smoke that held little resemblance to the long-cultivated images in my mind. This is not one of them.

I might pass on the street as a streetwise San Francisco woman, but inside me lives that dreaming Minnesota girl, clutching her fashion magazine and staring in awe at this world that moves and thrums around her but can’t possibly be where she belongs.

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Giants Night Game: Vintage Flannel, Sweater Tights, Moto Boots

San Francisco Giants played at AT&T Park. I wore H&M scarf, vintage flannel shirt, Express shorts, H&M tights, Vince Camuto Boots

It’s a San Francisco classic- a Giants game at AT&T Park while the sun sets. Jim and I watched the Giants decimate the Padres last Friday (sorry, San Diegans!) while I marveled at the twinkling, fog-clouded lights of the Oakland harbor across the bay. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, this stadium creates a kind of magic with its sweeping views and salty sea air. Add in the availability of garlic fries and vegan hotdogs, and you can turn even the most artsy-fartsy, what-the-hell-is-a-foul-ball girl like me into a baseball fan.

I couldn’t bring myself to get decked out in Giants black and orange (a color combination that I reserve solely for the week of Halloween), but I created my own hometown homage of print-on-print in warm fall colors. Hey, there’s technically orange and black in there!

San Francisco Giants played at AT&T Park. I wore H&M scarf, vintage flannel shirt, Express shorts, H&M tights, Vince Camuto Boots

This vintage flannel has been a wardrobe staple ever since I dug it out of a Goodwill bargain bin during my freshman year of college, and I love dressing it up for night. I added a buttery-soft scarf and cozy oxblood sweater tights to add more pattern and texture (and theoretically warmth). I’ve been living in shorts with tights, a look that I previously disdained but now love for their simultaneous modest functionality and leg-revealing abilities.

Oh, and the boots? Yep, there’s the same Vince Camuto Winchell boots I’ve been talking about incessantly. They’re finally here! More on them during my upcoming Vintage Fashion Expo post.

San Francisco Giants played at AT&T Park. I wore H&M scarf, vintage flannel shirt, Express shorts, H&M tights, Vince Camuto Boots

The best part of wearing a fabulously fashionable scarf? You can turn it into a fabulously fashionable blanket when you forget that the temperature drops twenty degrees after the sun sets. Since clearly, I will never learn that it gets cold around here.

San Francisco Giants played at AT&T Park. I wore H&M scarf, vintage flannel shirt, Express shorts, H&M tights, Vince Camuto Boots

The San Francisco Giants play the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park.

Flannel Shirt: Chess King, via Goodwill
Shorts: Express
Scarf: H&M
Tights: H&M
Boots: Vince Camuto
Bag: Urban Outfitters

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