Mixing It Up With Online Shopping

Hello from Michigan! Can you believe August is almost over? I need more summer!

I had an amazing time at the Philadelphia Geek Awards and can’t wait to see all of the photos from that amazing night! Philly Mag has a great round up of the night’s awesome and creative looks! My hair is still straight from that night and I don’t know what to do with it. I only use heat on my hair a few times a year and in order for my curl pattern to remain intact and to avoid heat damage, I don’t reapply heat. I have been wrapping and sponge rolling like no other. Can’t wait for braid season.

Thank you all for supporting Down to Utopia! It is still getting it legs, but thank you so much for your support and great messages. I really appreciate it! Please take a moment to check out my new mental health & wellness site if you haven’t yet.

On to this week! I don’t online shop often. It scares me and is time consuming when it comes to figuring out if sleeves will be long enough and what will fit. I do like the True Fit tool on Nordstrom’s site, which shows you how close the fit will be based on your style and size, but if you know me, I am cheap- so I decided to see how shopping on Amazon would work.

I wanted a white blazer for the summer and decided to see if I could find at a price I could live with. I destroy white on a regular basis, so I would only buy a jacket I can spill a ton of stuff on and not cry for days. I think it turned out well! Where do you online shop and what are your tips? Sound off in the comments below!

white blazer and checkered sheath dress

White J. TOMSON Boyfriend Blazer Amazon ($20)

I like this blazer! It is very light weight, but kind of hard to iron- I probably have to take it to the cleaners to get pressed. It came with the sleeves rolled up and I will probably keep them that way. I would prefer a bit longer sleeve, but I like the sleeves longer than they should be. Definitely worth the $20 (free shipping with Amazon Prime). 

checkered sheath dress

 Blue and White Forever 21 Dress Once Worn Consignment, 906 N. 2nd st. Philadelphia ($10)

This was my first time in Once Worn and I found this dress with the tags still on it. The clothes in the store are a little young for me (I know, I sound like a Grandma), but I did find some cute items for a cheap price, so I will check them out again when I am in Northern Liberties. I love a good sheath dress since they are so easy to dress up or dress down. The sandals are the same ones from my Vintage Style post.

  Lime & Turquoise Beaded Necklace Greene Street Consignment 3734 Spruce St. Philadelphia ($12)

If you know me then you know I love turquoise! Well, I just love saying I do; this necklace is actually looks like a different shade of blue, but I love it. I really adore Greene Street and have a good amount of clothes from their South Street and University City locations. I like the University City location because it has a lot of  clothes from the local college students, but more of a grad student feel. The South Street location has an eclectic vibe to it. I have been to the Manayunk location a few times and love their dresses. They have a lot of high end pieces at a low price. If you aren’t in the area, you can shop online!

beaded necklace and bracelet

  Burnt Orange Bracelet  Once Worn Consignment, 906 N. 2nd st. Philadelphia ($5)

I love this bracelet! I rarely wear bracelets, but I couldn’t pass it up!  The necklace doesn’t match perfectly, but I think that is what makes the pairing work. It looks fun and adds much needed color. 

beaded necklace and bracelet

I love this photo! I am not punching myself in the face! I was trying to show the necklace and bracelet together, but it turned into something a bit more cheeky (pun intended).

Photography by Eric S.

Interviewing in Style? You Tell Me!

I was on my way home and ran into Evan and Alex of Reading The Streets. I thought Alex was stopping to say ‘Hi’, but they were actually stopping me for a few photos for Shoppist’s Street Style section in Philadelphia Magazine. I really didn’t think I would make the cut, but I did! See, me in Shoppist here and be sure to check out more amazing fashion at Reading The Streets!

I usually don’t venture into talking about interview clothes because, to be honest, I was that person who wore amazing, killer, and totally inappropriate heels to my first training outside of grad school. So I really have no business being the voice of reason.

Fortunately, I learned a little bit over the years. However, for all of the young ladies headed to college this fall, Project ALOE (Assisting Ladies Offering Essentials), has you covered where I don’t. Project Aloe not only gives college bound women care packages of beauty and lifestyle essentials (to quote my undergrad brother, ‘deodorant ain’t cheap’ to quote me, ‘natural hair products aren’t cheap’), but also networking opportunities, mentorships and connections to peers who are currently attending their chosen university.

You can find out more or sponsor a student here.

As for me, I was called in last minute for an interview for a social work position in a federal facility. It was at an organization I worked for before, and interviewed with previously. Why aren’t I wearing a suit? I’ll tell you.

Based on my information on the organization and my previous experience with them, I knew it would be okay. That and they had complimented my style previously, which is certainly a plus. There is a debate in social work over suit or no suit. I have read message boards on it and I would maybe have gone with a suit if it were an outside non-profit, agency, or a place I wasn’t already familiar with. But what about your industry? What do you wear to an interview? Suit? Cardigan? Do you disagree with my choice? Feel free to sound off in the comments!

pink dress, polka dot cardigan, warby parker glasses

Black Polka Dot Cardigan H & M ($14)

My friend, Devaney, gave me a piece of interview clothing advice I still use today. “Wear a jacket, but if somehow you can’t, cover your shoulders.” Or something that meant wear a cardigan or something similar. She probably didn’t know she would create a cardigan addict. I should probably ask her the direct quote. I thought this cardigan was dark blue (I would have preferred it in blue), but I don’t have anything colored or patterned like this

pink dress

pink dress

Pink Dress H & M ($35)

I love this dress because of the length and color. It can easily transition with sandals and fun jewelry.

pink dress, polka dot cardigan, warby parker glasses

pink dress, polka dot cardigan, warby parker glasses

Crosby Frames in Greystone  Warby Parker ($95 with prescription lenses included)

These glasses aren’t for fashion, I actually need them, but I don’t need to walk around all day in them. I brought them to go over paperwork if needed and driving. I love my glasses and actually wrote about Warby Parker once here.  I will have to show you my VA issued glasses in a different entry.

scout and boo necklace

My nails were a shade of coral for the interview, but I switched them yesterday to this color. I love the sparkly candy accents to pieces. I did hide my septum piercing, of course.

scout and boo necklace

‘Scout and Boo’ Necklace  Out of Print Clothing ($30)

I kept the jewelry simple instead of my usual layering by wearing this simple necklace. Out of Print Clothing has teamed up with Books For Africa to donate a book for each purchase. What I love are the hard to find book t-shirts on the site. I ordered myself a ‘Song of Solomon’ tee and Eric the ‘Invisible Man’. They even have my Dad’s favorite author, so I know what he is getting for Father’s Day!

micheal kors pumps

MICHEAL Michael Kors Pressley Pumps Akira ($100, but cheaper here)

I am pretty sure I probably read in some magazine that you had to own one pair of patent leather pumps with a low heel to interview in, and then I justified purchasing these pumps for that purpose. I like them a lot now, but they honestly rarely see the light of day.

I always wear opaque tights due to my tattoo. I bought these on the way to the interview at a CVS for $7 since mine picked up some lint I didn’t notice until I got into the car.

black purse

Black Purse Smak Parlour ($68)

I carry a few clutches, but I usually stick to an every day bag that can fit my laptop. That is why I don’t feature a lot of bags. This is my every day bag which holds my chrome book, chargers, lotion, three notebooks, sunglasses, umbrella, a book and a small clutch. I am currently working on my own project (which is why I wasn’t expecting to interview) focused on mental health and wellness for women of color. It will be launching in July and I am working on the site currently. I will keep you posted.

pink dress, polka dot cardigan, warby parker glasses

I wore my hair in the remnants of a two strand twist with a moisturized seal, so it looked like a mixture of this week and last week’s blog’s hair, but I definitely don’t change my hair. I know some people do and are not a fan of this and I use to wear a headband or a pinned up style, but I wear my hair like this every day.

Photography by Eric S.

Everything In (Fashion) Moderation

The last few weeks have been busy with the holidays and Eric’s book coming out, but fortunately for me, Chris Urie (of Chrisurie.com) and Dorothee stepped in again to lend me a hand. And what a great job they did!

I have a love/hate relationship with fashion trends. On the one hand, they expose you to styles you never thought you would wear or eras you never thought would come back. On the other hand, if you go too trendy, you end up with a wardrobe that belongs in an era that should have never come back or an item you don’t know what to do with.

I mean, neon green harem pants seemed like a good idea at the time.

Two things I learned about trends is, everything in moderation!

Black Outfit 6

 Green Skirt H&M ($15 on sale)

Dorothee was kind enough to let us come invade her space before she was on the go. This style can be changed for when we go back into the colder weather by adding opaque tights (which was a big debate we were having). Here  is a fun fitted skirt similar to Dorothee’s for $30, currently at H&M. 

Black Outfit 5

Bailey 44 Peplum Lace Top  Saks Fifth Avenue (gift)

This is definitely the splurge item of the post. I found a similar top at Saks for $194 and the prices don’t decrease much from there. I received this as a gift for my birthday from one of my co-workers when I was at my old job (hopefully she knows where to find these tops at a cheaper price-I wouldn’t spend this much on me); I love her to death and got her hooked on fun jewelry. What do you think of peplum tops?

Black Outfit 3

Peplum Top Detailing

Black Outfit 2

Gold Bracelets  Forever 21 ($5)

Due to the detailing in the top, we decided to keep the jewelry simple 

Black Outfit 4

Leopard Print Pumps Nine West ($20)

Dorothee has a joke that her favorite color is leopard, but instead of having every piece of clothing in it (though I think if we dared her, she would take us up on it), she tastefully adds one or two items to add a bit of punch or flare to what she owns. I personally love it!

Black Outfit

Gold Hoop Earrings  Lou Lou’s Boutique ($8)

I want to thank Dorothee again for modeling for me; any items not listed as mine are owned and provided for by Dorothee. I also want to thank Chris Urie for providing beautiful photos for these last two entries.

Photography by Chris Urie

Bundling Up For Autumn

Growing up in Michigan, I remember trying to go without a coat as long as possible. From tights under shorts to simply running out screaming with no coat… and promptly being dragged back to put on a coat and learning not to run out of the house screaming.

Living in Philadelphia, I love that the temperature is just a bit warmer this time of year to rock one of my favorite items: leggings!

Patterned leggings are the easiest way to make a plain sweater or t-shirt pop.

Tree 7

Cowl Neck Sweater H & M ($25)

Tree 6

Galactic Leggings Smak Parlour ($28)

Tree 4

 Breckelle’s Flats  Moda on 1523 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia ($16)

Flats can also be found online

Gold Clutch Nova Ice on 1508 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia ($20)

Tree 2

Orange Necklace Old Navy ($5)

Tree 3

Photography by Eric S.