About Diana

(Note: I’ve decided to switch up the order of my weekend posts.  Shopping posts will now be on Sundays, while Shoe Lust and other topics will be on Saturdays)

Caranday Dress by Anthropologie (no longer available online)

One of my readers, Elizabeth, sent me a question about appropriate accessories for a Florida wedding, and I thought that my advice could be useful to others attending spring weddings in warm climates.

Diana,

I have a Florida specific style question I thought you could help me out with. I’m attending a wedding with my boyfriend in Jacksonville in late April. All of his best friends from high school and college will be there (most of whom I’ve never met) and I’d like to make a good impression. However, I have very little idea what sort of wedding this will be and don’t know any other women attending that I can ask. I bought the Caranday Dress on super sale at Anthropologie after Christmas and plan on wearing that (see above).   The sash is attached and a dark gray color. There is enough length to tie it either in the front or the back). I was wondering if you could give me some insider information on Florida trends/weather that would help me know what accessories to add. Will it be too hot for tights? Should I bring a sweater or shawl as a cover up? Are flats okay for an evening wedding with a plated dinner? I’m also hoping not to have to spend too much money on this though I have been wanting a pair of gray shoes anyway. Help!

Elizabeth

The first step I had Elizabeth take was to check the wedding’s website.  Often nowadays the bride and groom will set up a website or blog with information about the wedding, including location, appropriate dress, etc.  We found out that the ceremony will be on the beach, and the reception will be a plated dinner at an outdoor area of a restaurant within walking distance of the ceremony.

The dress that Elizabeth bought is gorgeous, and I think that it will be just fine.  Floridians tend to be pretty casual in general, and I think that this dress is dressy enough for a beach wedding without going over the top.  The weather here can be a bit unpredictable, but more than likely it will be too warm for tights by April.  Honestly it’s been too warm in the past week, and usually by April we’re in full-on Spring, almost Summer.  Generally temps tend to be in the 60s, 70s  and sometimes 80s in April, although the weather is always unpredictable.  Micro-fishnets or lace tights might work for an April wedding, but they probably won’t be necessary, and I wouldn’t recommend legwear any warmer than that.

Since the wedding is in the evening, it would be a good idea to bring a shawl or light, cropped cardigan to keep your shoulders warm.  Everything is outdoors, so you won’t have to worry about frigid air-conditioning.  Night-time at the beach often means a light sea-breeze, which can be a bit chilly.

A basic pashmina in a coordinating color (or contrasting for a bit of fun!) would be lovely.  A light cotton cardigan would also be wonderful for keeping shoulders warm.  Stick with a cropped length, because they are generally more flattering with dresses than longer lengths.

Favourite Cropped Cardigan, Boden, $58

I would say that it’s better to have some kind of heel or wedge since this is an evening wedding.  You can get away with flat strappy sandals at a beach wedding, but having a slight heel looks a bit dressier.  Since the wedding is on the beach, a chunky heel or a wedge is best.  Beach sand is pretty soft, and thin heels will sink in.  Also, avoid suede, because it is possible that the sand might be wet.  Wearing shoes with a strappy design and an open toe is a good idea, because it is inevitable that sand will get in your shoes, and wearing a more open shoe makes it easier to get the sand out.  It’s also good if the shoe is easy to take on and off, because it’s possible that some people may go barefoot for the ceremony.

Basically any comfortable, wedge sandal in white, grey or silver should work fine.  Strappy sandals are always popular in Florida, and I think that they can look a bit dressier than other varieties of shoes for this occasion.

Dansko Sissy Sandal in White $66.24 on Amazon (on sale)


indigo by Clarks Plover Sandal in Steel Blue $99.95 on Amazon (on sale)

For other accessories, I would recommend some elegant, understated jewelry such as a strand of pearls and some light silver bangles.  Add a simple clutch to all this, and the outfit would be all set for a lovely Florida beach wedding.

Scarlatti Sonata Pearl Necklace  $38 (on sale)

Coryell Design

Bangle Trio Set  $36

Jill Popowich Designs

Vintage Wicker Lesco Lona Handbag   $25

Ancestor Vintage

Have you ever been to a beach wedding?  What did you wear?



Once I get to a point where I’m a bit more financially stable, I plan on buying a laptop.  I like the idea of being able to take my computer with me wherever I go, and I have fantasties of sitting in cute cafes, sipping tea and writing a book.  I won’t want my laptop to look like everyone else’s though.  Etsy has a great deal of lovely laptop decals that can customize a computer.

 (Note: while most of these are intended for MacBooks, many could work on any brand of laptop.)

Happy Square Robot Decal  $5

The Eclectic Gallery

Woodgrain Decal  $12

Beepart

Dandelion Blowing in the Wind  $7.50

Lewa’s Designs

Cats Laptop Decal  $9

Art Conductor

Cityscape Laptop Decal  $13

Michelle Christina

Hand Drawn Roses Decal  $9

Stephen Edward Graphics

 


The weather is definitely warming up.  This was the first day where I started with tights and then had to ditch them.  While I’m happy that it’s spring, I have mixed emotions.  It feels great to not have to wear four layers just to leave the house, but at the same time, I feel so exposed without all my winter layers.  I know I’ll get used to it.  Spring is wonderful and bittersweet at the same time, because it means that my boots, tights and sweaters will once again be hidden in the back of my closet til October.

But the weather is so beautiful right now; I can’t stay grumpy for long.  We only get a few weeks of spring here in Florida before the brutal summer temps start to hit, so I want to enjoy these glorious days in the 60s and 70s while I can.  It is wonderful to be able to wear a light cardigan and have bare legs.  Soon it will be so hot, that I will be sweating like crazy after standing outside for five minutes.

I guess I’m just really mixed on my weather preferences.  Maybe I should live somewhere like San Diego.  The weather was so fantastic there when I visited back in October.  But then I would probably miss Florida.  I guess the grass is always greener.

Still, I’m feeling great, and I’m so excited to start my new job next week.  It will be so great to finally have a regular job with regular hours (and regular pay!).  I’d always fought the concept of a 9 – 5 (or in this case, 7 – 4) job but right now, I think that consistency is what I really need.  One day, I would love to own my own business (a vintage shop maybe?  or start an indie clothing line? or be a professional photographer?) but for now, this is really, really what I need.

How do you feel about the changing of the seasons?  What would your ideal climate be?

Dress: Ella Moss (via My Mosh Posh)
Cardigan: Anthropologie
Shoes: Dansko Sally (courtesy of Dansko)
Purse: Vintage via Advintagous
Ring: Belonged to my grandmother
Earrings: Coryell Design

Quote: Do Like Kyla (Orchard Paperbacks) by Angela Johnson


On Sunday, I rode bikes with my boyfriend and some friends of ours up to a local farmer’s market.  It was a beautiful spring day, and the market was a lot of fun.  I found some delicious produce, local honey and organic coffee.  There were also several local jewelry vendors that I plan on checking out later.  I  kept my outfit simple and casual.  I don’t wear my Chucks too often anymore, but I still love them for casual weekend outings.

It feels so good to be able to support local businesses, and it was a lot of fun to meet up with family and friends too.  Plus, they had  some super tasty food vendors.

It’s great to get back on my bike again too.  It languished during the winter, when I was too wimpy to deal with the cold in anything other than a heated car.  Now that the weather is warming up, I definitely want to do a lot of riding.

Do you like to get around on your bike in the spring and summer?  Do you have local markets that you like to go to?

Tee: Style & Co (via clothing swap)
Jeans: Gap Curvy (altered by me)
Shoes: Converse Chuck Taylors
Purse: Timbuk2
Necklace: Jorgensen Studio
Bangle: Vintage

Quote: Tin Lizzie, by Allan Drummond


Last Friday was absolutely awesome.  Kate from A Tale of Two Closets was in Florida, so I met up with her in downtown Sarasota for an awesome afternoon of thrifting and yarn shopping.  We went to SPARCC Treasure Chest and Mustard Seed Thrift Shop, and had some awesome finds (you can see mine in my shopping plan post).  After that, we went to Picasso’s Moon and bought some beautiful fiber.  Kate bought her first spindle, and I taught her the basics of spinning.

It was such an awesome, fun day.  This was the first time I had ever met a fellow blogger in person.  Kate and I had a great time talking about life, style, knitting and kitschy Florida decorating.

Have you ever met a blog-friend in real life?  What did you do together?

Blouse: Anthropologie
Cardigan: Ann Taylor LOFT
Jeans: Express
Shoes: Dansko Sally (courtesy of Dansko)
Purse: Timbuk2
Necklace: Garage sale
Bangles: Jill Popowich Designs

Quote: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett


Seychelles Women’s Blimey Pump $91 – $109 on Amazon

It seems like I’ve been noticing a lot of bloggers wearing these gorgeous, high heeled oxfords lately, including Keiko Lynn.  I realize I’m a little late in catching onto this trend, but I am finding myself so drawn to this style now.  I love the “school-girl chic grown-up” look to them, and I think they look fantastic with dresses and black tights.  The 3 3/4 heel on these shoes might take a bit of getting used to for me, but they would definitely be excellent for days when I don’t have to do tons of walking.

Posted in Uncategorized

After last week, I had $68 left in my shopping budget for the month, plus $90 in unspent birthday money.  I got some awesome new things this week with it.

First off, two fabulous new things that didn’t cost me anything.

Yellow Jade necklace from Mei Mei’s Jewels
Gift from my boyfriend

Gap filled: Colorful necklaces

This beautiful yellow necklace was a birthday gift from my boyfriend.  I’ve really been lacking on bright and colorful necklaces, so this will help to fill that gap.

B.U.M. jacket, gift from To Much Information

Gap filled: Mid-weight structured jacket

Nurmiusr of To Much Information sent me this jacket that didn’t fit her, and I love it.  I own hardly any jackets, so this will be very useful on those days when I need a little extra warmth.

On Friday, I went shopping in Sarasota with Kate.  It was a lot of fun, and we both found some really great stuff.  I’ll go into more detail on Monday, but here I’d like to show off the awesome stuff I got.

We started off by going to SPARCC Treasure Chest.  This is a really great thrift/antique store with reasonable prices and a pretty broad selection.  The proceeds from sales all go to the Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, which helps women who are victims of domestic violence of sexual assault.  I had my best finds of the day at this store.

Dress: Ann Taylor, $12
Brooch: $11
Grey belt: $4
Leopard Belt: $6

Gaps filled: Semi-formal dress; brooches, belts

I picked this dress off the rack, and almost immediately put it back.  It’s a size smaller than what I usually wear, so I assumed it wouldn’t fit.  I decided to try it on anyway, because it was so lovely.  It fit perfectly, and when I saw that it was only $12, I knew that I had to get it.  I don’t have many dresses for quasi-formal occasions, so this will fill that gap perfectly.  I’m thinking about dyeing it darker, making it a little more blue-purple.  Anyone have tips for dyeing silk?  Has anyone ever had a dry cleaner dye a dress before?

I also got those two belts and a brooch, because you can never have too many belts and brooches.

Purple Blouse: Target, $3
Teal Necklace: $6
Brown purse: Axcess by Liz Claiborne, $7

Gaps filled: 3/4 sleeve blouses, colorful necklaces, brown purse

Right next door to SPARCC was Mustard Seed Thrift shop.  This was totally the type of thrift store I picture in my mind when I think of thrift stores located in areas with lots of retirees.  There were equal amounts of crazy kitsch and super awesome stuff.  I found this lovely purple cotton/modal blouse.  Technically it’s a maternity blouse, but I’ve hemmed it and taken the sides in a bit since this picture, so you can’t really tell.  I am so in love with that teal necklace, and I think I’ll be wearing it a lot.  The brown purse fills the gap of a brown “leather” purse.  I’ve been looking for one for a long time.  I’m not ecstatic about the fact that this one isn’t real leather, but I love everything else about it: the shape, the pockets, the adorable polka dot lining.  Even though it’s not leather, I’ll be using this one for awhile.

So I spent a total of  $49, this week, leaving me with a total of $19 for the rest of the month, plus my birthday money.

(Note:  I just got a new job this week, and my original plan allowed me to increase the amount I’m allowed to spend per month to $200 once I got a full-time job.  I’m going to wait until next month to increase the amount, since I won’t get my first paycheck until then.  For now, I’m only raising it to $175, because this job only lasts until June.  That will still give me enough extra money to start adding to my professional wardrobe.)


(My post on Effective Etsy Searching was featured this week!)

links a la mode

Spring Fever

Edited by Jennine Jacob

Do you get spring fever? Oh man… the itch to run around outside in flowery prints and frilly laces gets greater and greater each passing day. To heck with chunky sweaters! This week we have a load of great spring style posts, Holier Than Now checks out cape coats, if you’re strapped for cash Out of Order gives the perfect 45min spring skirt tutorial, so cute! And girly clothes not your thing? The Demoiselles has a great homage to genderbending unisex looks. I’ve been thinking of doing a couple of days in menswear myself. Well, as soon as I learn how to tie the half Windsor knot.

There were so, so many great links this week, it really was hard to narrow it down to 2o. Check out the full listing of Links à la Mode here.

Links à la Mode : March 11th


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