First, to follow the journalistic inverted pyramid, I will give you the best stuff. That is this...
Best clothing tip I have ever received: Get professionally fitted for a bra at Nordstrom.
Without getting into intimate detail, let me just say that for all the ladies in the house, this should be at the top of your wardrobe priority list. My friend Megan, a quite fashionable lady, shared this tip with me two years ago, and my world has never been the same. Just yesterday I got a Facebook message from a friend sharing the fact that she too just got fitted at Nordstrom and it has similarly rocked her world. If you go, might I suggest checking out strapless styles made by Le Mystere. Yes, like most essential clothing purchases -- and I realize I use the word "essential" in a highly American sense -- they are expensive, but like any expensive clothing item I have ever purchased (all of which I believe I have posted on this blog this week) they are long-lasting and well worth it. And, if you don't want to shell out $80 for a bra, get fitted at Nordstrom and then try to find similar styles at a cheaper place, such as at Loehmann's, which carries some of the same items.
Now, on to other items that didn't make it into my earlier clothing posts:
Just this morning my friend Katy, who is also a teacher and blogger and book club buddy (the primary ways in which we are different are: 1) she has one more child than me, and I have one more dog than her and 2) she gets her pants in long and I get mine in short), asked me when I am going to write about how much I love blazers. Here goes: I love blazers, particularly ones from H&M and Ann Taylor Loft. I tend to buy them on sale for super cheap and wear them with dress pants to look majorly professional, or with jeans to look quasi-professional. Here's a current best-of:
This red, fitted corduroy one from H&M that I bought this fall
This white chino one from JCrew that I bought four years ago
There is a great shopping story behind this purchase. I bought my wedding dress from JCrew. It cost $599 full price, so I opened a store credit card (the only time I've done such a thing in my entire life) because the 10 percent discount off $599 was too good to pass up. Then I found (or rather, Matt's parents found) my dress in my exact size at a JCrew outlet at the beach the very same day my wedding dress arrived in the mail. The beach outlet dress had never been touched, had no defects and it only cost $259. So, I returned the JCrew dress to the store later that day and kept the outlet dress and saved over $300. Then around Christmas time JCrew sent me a $100 gift card because I had charged at least $500 to my JCrew card within a certain length of time. In my mind, this made my wedding dress cost $159. JCrew messed up, but I am not complaining.
And here's that cheap wedding dress that never saw the tailor (a true Stephanie-style purchase)...
Purse: local designer
This inexpensive and cute find is from Elizabeth Designs. Elizabeth has a table at Eastern Market in downtown D.C. on Saturdays and Sundays (assuming she's still working there...I have not been since the fall). You can also check out her awesome Etsy page. She makes these handmade purses in lots of sizes and so many cute patterns that it took me about 20 minutes to choose my pattern.
- Place to buy ankle athletic socks -- Costco (like you, I am also shocked, but this is true)
- Place to buy chunky, inexpensive jewelry -- World Market (or Cost Plus if you live on the west coast)
- Place to buy chunky, sometimes-splurge-worthy jewelry -- Banana Republic
- Place to buy shoes of all varieties -- DSW
- Place to buy leggings, tights or pantyhose -- Target (try the Assets by Sara Blakely variety if you want tights that will last; try the Xhilration leggings)
- Place to buy bathing suits -- JCrew (I love the way they fit and the material is thick enough to last for several summers)
Next up...things get back to normal here, and we'll talk about something less-glamorous: broom and mop organization.