Thursday, September 30, 2010

Change is Good

Spoils of Wear is in the process of a major makeover!  Hang in there, folks!  It's gonna be GREAT!


I've been sick all week.  Stuffy head, scratchy throat, cough, aches, fatigue, zero appetite.  I even won tickets to this great fashion show last night, and had to pass.  Being sick really ticks me off.

I wore this outfit a couple weekends ago.  And I'm wearing the same sweatshirt right now, laying in bed, with a waist basket full of snot rags and cough drop wrappers by my side.

Every single thing I'm wearing here is from Target.  Except the dog.  He's from the pet store.

Time for a nap.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Live Accessory

We bought Miles his first sweater last weekend.  It's a little big right now, but it's only a matter of time before his stout little body fills it out perfectly.  Steve wears a lot of argyle, and it was important for father-son to have similar style.

We're a Preppy People
Yes We Are
(to the tune of We're a Happy People for all you church-folk out there.  Go ahead, clap on the off-beat.)

This whole dog-owner thing really weirds me out.  If I'm this crazy about a dog, what kind of future parent might I be?  Psycho, if my obsession with Miles in any clue.  Seriously, I need to get grip.  I was far too excited when I realized my outfit matched the puppy sweater.  Totally unplanned, I swear.

We attended puppy training class 4 of 8 a couple Sundays ago and brought a guest along (Renae).  We asked her if it was just us being bias or was Miles really, truly the best pup in the class?  She undoubtedly agreed, which was a relief.  If we're going to be all pompous about how smart our dog is, we need make sure that's really the case.  The class instructor is silently impressed too, we can tell.  She just can't show favoritism.  He's not perfect by any means, there is still much to work on, but for only being 4 months old his progress is surprising to most.

I take no credit for Miles upbringing.  Steve has been the one working really hard on tricks and commands, while I just want to cuddle and play with his wrinkles.

This kid will do anything for food.  ANYTHING.  But he nearly looses his mind when 'carrot' is mentioned.  DUDE.  LOVES.  CARROTS.  Typically, if 'treat' is mentioned, he will calmly sit and wait for his command in order to receive his treat.  Say 'carrot' and it's a total spaz-fest.

How great is he as an accessory? 

Dress:  Target Brand, free from work
Cardigan:  Old Navy
Belt:  Giveaway win from Grosgrain
Shoes:  Cole Haan via Marshall's

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'm on the Leadership Council for my church youth group, H.Y.P.E. (Helping Youth Prepare Eternally).  Every fall for the last 8 or 9 years, we've planned an event we call Kidnapped.  Basically, we load a bunch of teens (and 20's) on a bus and don't tell them where they're going.  We try to make it different every is last year's event.  This year, our first stop was Kelly Farm in Elk River, MN, the birthplace of the National Grange.  Doesn't sound too exciting, but it was actually really interesting...even for a city gal like myself.

Being one of the only attendees that knew where we were going, I figured I would dress the part:

Hat:  Shop in Moad, UT
Shirt:  Cliche'
Belt:  Thrifted
Jeans:  Lux, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Boots:  Rampage, via Marshall's
Jacket: Gap, thrifted
Purse:  Target

After the farm, it was just short bus ride to our friend's house, Sean and Katie.  They hosted a delicious, mid-day meal and had fun yard games set our for us.

Our last stop of the night was the race track at Elko Speedway.  I never would have guessed this sort of thing would be fun until I was there several weeks ago - it was a BLAST.  AND I have plans to go again in a couple weeks.  Jill enjoys car racing!?  What is this world coming to!?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stopping Traffic

Last Thursday night, I attended Cliche's Crosswalk Fashion Show with a couple girlfriends.  Here's what we wore on this warm, rainy night:

I wasn't able to go home after work, so I needed something that would pass for both day and evening activities.  At work, I paired this over-sized tee over a short jean skirt.  A little more casual than is typical for me Monday-Thursday, but somehow, it worked.  I then ditched the jean skirt for the fashion show.
Scarf:  Target
Shirt:  Gap (bought with my Groupon!)
Leggings:  Macy's(?)
Boots:  JCPenny
Bag:  Target
Trench:  H&M

In true, funky Elaina fashion, she donned one of her own creations:  a tiered skirt made out of thrifted lace curtains!  And that amazing bag is her new favorite accessory from Patina (I'm a little jealous of it).

Annie also wore a custom item:  she MADE this blazer.  I know...talent...and patience.  It's beautifully lined and everything.  Way impressive.

This was my first visit to Cliche' and it was not what I expected.  I thought it would be a very fancy storefront carrying locally designed items way out of my price range.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety of both well-known brands such as Kenzie and Tulle as well as local designers like Amanda Christine and Kjurek Couture at reasonable boutique prices.  I don't recall seeing any item over $200, and most were under $100.  What Cliche' lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in accessibility and inclusiveness - there is something for everyone. 

With the 20% event discount, I purchased a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses and a very cool plaid shirt for little more than $40, both to be seen in upcoming posts.

The fashion show was fun.  Especially the part where the models walked the intersection of Lyndale Ave. and 24th Street, stopping to pose in the middle of the busy road.  Yes, there was traffic.  Yes, they noticed.

Collections from three designers were featured:  Tender Cuts, Kathryn V, and Nikki English.  I definitely preferred some styles over others, but overall, was glad to have stayed for the whole event.

The best part of any fashion show (for me) is seeing what other attendees wear.  At a trendy venue such as this, I enjoyed observing the crowd even more than the models.  Perhaps I need to get out more...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friend Friday: Do's and Don'ts

It's Friend Friday courtesy of darling Katy at Modly Chic.  This week's topic is Fashion Do's and Don'ts.

1. What do you think are some of the top fashion don’ts? (Things you would never be caught dead in and cringe when other people wear them.)
Tough, because with every fashion 'don't' there likely are a dozen exceptions. With that said, for all/most/some of womankind, and for me personally, the DON'Ts:
1 - Flip Flops. Especially the cheap, foam kind. Or worse yet, toe socks with flip flops!
2 - Flesh-tone pantyhose for most anyone under 40.
3 - Maxi dresses. Oh no I di-in't. Chill out. This one is for me specifically. I own one maxi dress which is one too many. They're just not flattering on me.  They make me look extra top-heavy and hide my two best features: waist and legs. That, and they are a tripping hazard for an already clumsy girl (that's me).
4 - Here-nor-there pant lengths. If you're wearing long, wider-leg pants, they should be almost to the floor (wearing shoes), not hovering around your ankle. Wearing too-short long pants does not make them capris - it just makes them tacky.

2. What previous fashion don’t do you now wear with pride?
Every trend is a fashion 'don't' at some point, right? I remember being 11, wearing tapered-leg jeans and knowing that I would never be caught dead in bell-bottoms. Soon enough, the bigger the bell, the better. Then I couldn't imagine wearing a tapered leg again. Now, here I am in skinny jeans. I think fashion has reached a point where there are very few universal fashion 'don'ts' and it's more about the individual.

3. Do you think there is a universal fashion do?
Boots. Boots. Boots. Flat boots, tall boots, cuffed boots, over-the-knee boots, mid-calf boots, slouchy boots, booties...whatever works best on your body type (mid-calf boots for me), fits your style aesthetic, are comfortable, and in your favorite neutral color. Everyone needs at least one great pair of boots.

4. What items lately, either recently in style or coming in now, do you think should never make it off the retail shelves?
Holy Shirts! (I almost cussed). Perhaps I will eat my words here, but I don't get the shirts that have a bunch of random holes cut out. Looks like my dog got a hold of it. Where would one wear such a thing anyway? Standing on the corner of a busy intersection with a cardboard sign perhaps....

5. In your opinion, is there any blogger, fashion icon, celebrity who some how manages to pull off some fashion don’ts and still look good?
Pretty sure Maegan of Maegan can do no wrong.  She can even rock the holy shirt.

images here, here and here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

At the Gap

Here is the jumper I bought at Gap with my Groupon.  It was priced $34.99, but when I got up to the register, the first-day-on-the-job cashier said it was only $19.99.  She must have felt pretty good making a customer so happy on her first day.  She's my new BFF.  (ok, not really).  But since I had to spend all $50 of the Groupon, I was able adjust my purchase to include the seamless slip from Gap Body - bonus! More to come on that topic...

So yeah...I have a thing for jumpers.  This one came with a matching sash/belt, but I didn't see the point of it, so I cut the loops off the dress and the sash now resides in the Discarded Sash portion of my closet floor, to be re-discovered at a later time.

I'm waiting for some new, dark brown, tall boots to arrive from  Having seconds thoughts about them today.  I wonder if it would be wiser to invest in another (similar, yet different) pair of Cognac colored boots?  I wear these Madden Girl's SO MUCH, they could use a little relief.  Suppose we'll just wait and see how the new boots work into my wardrobe...

Scarf:  Cruise Ship Gift Shop
Shirt:  Target
Jumper:  Gap
Shoes:  Madden Girl via DSW

Off to the Crosswalk Fashion Show TONIGHT!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Unworn Exception

Of all the items in the unworn challenge, this skirt was the only item that wasn't worn within the set time frame (pre-clothes-swap).  But I had it all planned out and knew exactly how I would wear it, so I made an exception.  Rules are meant to be broken, right?

The reason why this hadn't been worn before was because it fit my hips, not my waist which wasn't as flattering as I wanted it to be.  I (finally) altered it myself by hand-stitching the waistband in such a way that it just looks like a pleat in the back.  Hand-stitching anything - even as poorly as I do it - can take (me) a long time.  So when I got it all done and was quite happy with the result, it was a real bummer that it was then a little too tight.  Too lazy to re-stitch it and unable to wear to work (because I sit all day, and am a big fan of breathing), I decided if I was going to wear it, it would have to be for church where I stand most of the time.

I like this skirt a lot - the (new) fit, style, fabric, color/pattern, and pockets.  But don't ask my ribcage if it feels the same.  It doesn't.

Necklace:  Target(?)
Blouse:  Marshall's
Skirt:  JCPenny

A few more Minnesota fashion events to add to the list:

September 23
of Venus & Gaia, the fall collection runway shows

September 24

September 26

I wish could attend them ALL!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Girly's Top 10

My pal Girly Muse is doing a series of Top 10's this week - FUN!  Since yesterday's was Top 10 Favorite Beauty Products, I thought I'd join in here on Spoils of Wear.  Be sure to swing by Girly Muse to find out her Top 10's and share yours too!

My "beauty" routine is pretty pathetic.  It was actually really challenging to come up with 10.  I had to dig deep into my makeup bag, but most of these are truly the few products that I've found to be worthy of repeat purchase.  Here it goes:

1.  CoverGirl Lashblast Volume Mascara - this is my first go-round with this mascara and I really, really like it.  It's volumizing, and doesn't smudge or flake.
2.  Fruit of the Earth Cocoa Butter Lotion - I've used this stuff FOREVER.  It's body lotion, but I use it on my face (is that bad?).  I credit it for preventing permanent acne scars.  I'm completely loyal to this product.  You could tell me it's poison and I'd still use it on my face.
3.  Secret Clear Unscented Deodorant - I just don't like a lot of smelly stuff (on me), so when I have the option to go unscented, I'm all about it.  That, and it's clear and keeps my underarms drier than any other deodorant I've tried.
4.  Dial Antibacterial Body Wash - A little old man at WalMart told me how great this was, so I bought it.  It actually makes me feel squeaky clean and not like I just washed myself with body lotion.
5.  Mineral Powder Foundation  - I'm currently using Physician's Formula, but I haven't been loyal to any brand.  I've tried higher-end stuff and don't find there to be a difference from the drugstore brands.  I go with what's on sale.
6.  Burt's Bees Lip Balm - I love it.
7.  Hairspray - There were a couple of years in the not-so-distant past that I didn't use any hair products at all (except shampoo).  Those days are gone.  I'm currently using Aussie Mega Flexible Hold and probably prefer it over other brands I've tried, but once again, I'm not entirely loyal.
8.  Clinique Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser Mousse - I was with my sis-in-law when she got a mini-makeover and free gift with purchase that included this item.  The makeup lady gave me a free gift (without purchase) just for being there!  I only use this when I don't shower at night, so it's lasted me a very, very long time.  It's one of the most effective make-up remover/face wash products I've tried.
9.  CoverGirl Liquid Foundation - I use as concealer. It's light and water-based.  Been using it since I got my first zit.
10.  Mary Kay Signature Nail Enamel - I actually don't remember how I ended up with this stuff, but it's incredible.  One coat will go a month without chipping. 

Dress:  TJMaxx
Belt:  Thrifted via ARC's Value Village
Shoes:  Jones New York via DSW
Bag:  Vegas!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Guatemala Flashback

I looooooove this dress.  It's made out of a soft gunnysack material.  Picked it up at a fancy street vendor in Guatemala.  "Fancy" being the kind that actually has walls and roof.  It's a purchasing memory that I will forever share with my friend Courtney.

No matter what, this dress must be worn with a wide belt, Jade earrings, and minimum 4" heels.  Don't ask me why.  That's just how it is.

Dress:  Street Vendor - Atitlan, Guatemala
Earrings:  Jade Factory - Antiqua, Guatemala
Belt:  Target
Shoes:  Madden Girl via

Now that you've been acquainted with this dress, what better opportunity for me to share a little bit about my time in Guatemala, huh?

It's been over two years now (July 2008) since I went on my first (hopefully not last) missions trip to Guatemala.  It was a wonderful experience.  My youth pastor's wife has family there that have been missionaries for over 20 years.  They know the language, the terrain, the people, and have all sorts of connections.  With their leadership and expertise, it was hardly a typical missions trip  - more like a vacation with a little service work thrown in.

They stationed us at an orphanage near Guatemala City.  Most of the children there have special needs - physically and/or mentally, but nothing (but maybe a little shyness at times) prevented them from welcoming us into their home:  visitors = playmates.

We weren't there so much for the kids as we were to work on the grounds.  We pulled weeds, scraped walls, painted, cleaned, ect.  Everybody worked hard.  We bonded.

When we weren't at the orphanage, we were exploring.  We spent a couple of days in beautiful Atitlan - shopping and zip-lining!  We saw some Mayan Ruins and visited a Jade factory in Antiqua.  Yes, I bought a few things throughout the trip.  Ok, maybe more than just a few the end of the trip, I was an expert be expected.

We also experienced not-so-beautiful places - like the Guatemala City dump and neighboring graveyard.   Where the stench of death and reality slaps you in the face.

We also visited a local church congregation and really got to experience the culture.  They're beautiful people with such giving hearts.  I couldn't have imagined a better trip or group of people to share it with. I'm so grateful to have had this opportunity. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

For the Locals: Events!

Fashion Week has come and gone, but there are still plenty of fashionable events to attend in the Twin Cities!  Here are just a few that have caught my attention:

September 18
Qe’ Bella Presents “Fashion Show Benefit for the Inner City Kids”

September 23
Crosswalk Fashion Show
Joynoelle 2011 Collection Fashion Show

September 26
Catwalk on a Hot Tin Roof

September 29
Saint Paul Capital Collective

October 2
Allee Metro Chic Grand Opening!

October 2 & 3
Mighty Swell {Vintage Pop-Up Shop}

October 7
Girl's Night Out benefitting Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

November 4
Maiden Minnesota 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010


This cardigan is one of my finds from the clothes swap.  At first I thought it was sort of ugly...not ugly/ugly, but like pretty/ugly, ya know?  Anyway...I put it on and felt all Coco Chanel in it (it's Liz Claiborne, but that's beside the point).  It's surprisingly on-trend, and with the little pocket details and pearl buttons, how could I resist? 

I was having trouble envisioning how I would wear it, and then I spotted a similar look in the latest Lucky Magazine.  Good ol' Lucky...the subscription that pays back in outfit solutions.

A denim pencil skirt is an absolute must-have in my wardrobe.  This one has been perfect, but is now too big in the waist.  It's so strange that I maintain my "normal" weight, and yet, my clothes don't fit.  I can only assume that weight is shifting, not leaving.  I am slightly more active since getting a dog, so maybe I'm losing fat, gaining muscle?  No, that can't be right...(as I sit here drinking a Toffee Mocha).  Well, whatever...I just need a new skirt.

This is my first time wearing these shoes.  Here's a thrifting tip:  if you see something behind the counter (where they keep the better, more expensive stuff), don't ask what size it is unless you're willing to pay for it.  I wouldn't usually spend $16 on thrifted shoes that I really don't need, but these were so pretty, appeared brand new, and in my size.  It wasn't until I tried to wear them for the first time that I realized they were tight across the toes.  Maybe the reason why the last owner gave them up?  24 hours with a shoe stretcher and they were perfect.

Do you have a shoe-stretcher?  You need one (better yet, two).  It will save you loads of shoe grief, I promise.  I bought mine at Target. 

Sweater:  Liz Claiborn via Clothes-Swap
Blouse:  Old Navy
Skirt:  Target
Belt:  Kohl's
Shoes:  Bandolino, thrifted via ARC's Value Village

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I HAD to have this polka dot skirt when I spotted it at Forever 21.  It was under $10, full price.  It's a thick, stretchy, knit material and meant to fit snug.  Knowing this, I sized up.  But it's still a little more body-hugging than I'm used to, so I make sure to balance it with something loose on top and shoes that shorten the leg-line.

Hey, guess what?  (What?  You ask...) 

I spent my Gap Groupon!  You know, the one I bought for $25 to get $50 worth of merchandise?  Yeah - I spent it!  I looked at my personal bank account (my "play" money) on Tuesday afternoon hoping I had $25 to get me a couple items at the thrift store...not so much.  $1.76 to be exact.  I don't typically run my account that dangerously low, but it's been a busy month!  Thankfully, I had my Groupon to scratch my retail itch.  I ended up with a denim dress/jumper (because Lord knows I need another one), an oversized t-shirt that I think will get a ton of use, and a nude, seamless slip from Gap Body which is equivalent to closet gold.

I'm excited to show you my new items in upcoming posts!  Except the slip, of course...this isn't that kind of blog.

Sweater:  TJMaxx
Skirt:  Forever 21
Shoes:  thrifted via My Sister's Closet
Necklace:  Francesca's

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2 Years Too Late

Steve and I are Netflicks junkies.  We just finished watching seasons 1-3 of Pushing Daisies.  I'm so sad it's over.  It's the clever contrast between morbid subject matter and happy, vibrant cinematography that had me hooked at first episode.  That, and the wardrobe eye candy of the female cast members - especially Chuck (Charlotte) Charles played by adorable Anna Friel. Her brightly-colored, vintage-inspired wardrobe had me salivating with every outfit change.  Olive Snook, played by the ever-fabulous starlet Kristin Chenoweth also has a covetable wardrobe, just of a little different taste. 

If I could choose to be on any show, it would be this one...but I'd be about two years too late.  If you're into watching seasons of shows gone by and haven't seen Pushing Daisies, I highly encourage it.  It's a treat.