Friday, May 27, 2011

My First Giveaway

Hey chickadees, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I scouted out an amazing accessory for my first giveaway, and the day has finally arrived!

I've been a huge fan of tassel necklaces for quite some time, because I feel like it's the perfect mix of masculine and feminine styles. And I was THIS close to making my own version when I spotted a beautiful purple and silver one at Banana Republic last weekend. I was so jazzed about finding one at such an unbeatable price, I bought one for a lucky reader! 

[The first outfit I put together incorporated the skirt
I challenged myself to wear 10 times this summer.]

[I'm usually a fan of gold jewelry,
but I couldn't resist the purple and silver combination.]

To enter to win my necklace, simply leave a comment and become a follower of Daisies and Chains (if you're not already)! The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. CST on June 3, and I'll announce the winner on Monday, June 6.

What I'm Wearing
Chambray Oxford Shirt (J.Crew)
Silky Pleated Skirt (Luxe Apothetique)
Mossimo Purple Suede Loafers (Target)
Purple Patent Leather Skinny Belt (J.Crew)
Purple and Silver Tassel Necklace (Banana Republic)

In the meantime, I'm heading to Madison, WI, to run a half marathon. The fella is running the full marathon, and then we'll be spending the long weekend bumming around town. Anyone have any recommendations on stuff to do? We like eating breakfast for dinner.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wardrobe Love: Clothes that Work Out

I don't spend much time talking on this blog about working out or the amazing clothes that can come with it, but being a gal who spends quite a bit of time training (for half and full marathons), I was excited to answer this week's Wardrobe Love question:

DnC, I just bought this workout skirt and I'm not sure what to wear with it.

Hey Dawna, when I took a look at this fabulous skirt, I immediately thought of HKNB Heidi Klum for New Balance, which recently released its spring lookbook. After perusing the site for a few minutes, I came up with a look for you, at half the price of Heidi's!

[Photo source:]

One aspect of HKNB that I really like is that a lot of the styles can take a gal from the gym to a coffee shop, yoga to the grocery store, tennis lessons to running errands around town.

After exercising -- which I totally recommend doing in the skirt (as long as you have some bloomers underneath) -- switch out your sweaty tee with a simple Hanes tank for men and throw a dolman tee in a fun spring shade, such as this one from Express, on top of that. Now, you're all set to run around town before you hit the showers!

[photo source:] 
Where to Buy
Hanes Tanks, Pack of Six (Target)
Price: $19.99

Dolman Tee (Express)
Price: $29.90

Gals, send some more Wardrobe Love questions my way!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Big D

It's been awhile since I've been to Dallas, and it's been even longer since I last posted about it (here)! One of my favorite gal pals resides in The Big D, so I took a little road trip up this weekend to play.

[Afsan's iPhone takes better photos than my actual camera.]

[I'm rocking some J.Crew attire, and Afsan is sporting a Zara top.]

Highlights of the Weekend
  • Drinking margaritas before five? Yes, please.
  • Picking up a fabulous accessory during an afternoon shopping trip to Banana Republic. I was so in love with it, I bought one to give to a lucky reader, so stay tuned for my first giveaway on Friday!
  • Seeing Something Borrowed. John Krasinski ... swoon! Ginnifer Goodwin ... bigger swoon! (Hey, Big Pun said it best: I'm not a player, I just crush a lot.)
  • Watching a Gilmore Girls marathon. And by "marathon," I mean "two episodes." And by "two episodes," I mean I fell asleep ten minutes into the second one.
  • Getting TO and FROM Dallas on one just one tank of gas, which equals more money for my shopping budget. Thank you, Honda.
What I'm Wearing
Grey 3/4-Length-Sleeve Tee (J.Crew)
White Lace Dobby Skirt (J.Crew)
Minnetonka for J.Crew Moccasins (J.Crew)
Green Leather Belt (J.Crew)
Floral Print Fringe Scarf (Madewell)
Gold and Silver Stackable Rings (Stella & Dot)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wardrobe Love: The Skinny on Jeans

OK, Blogger, that was weird, but let's move on. I feel like at some point along the way, I may fail you, too, so we'll just call it even.

Today's -- or rather, yesterday's -- Wardrobe Love question comes from one of my favorite (and super stylish!) gals at the office, Lacy, who also writes Hybrid Cars & Cottages.

Q: DnC, what's the deal with skinny jeans? Are they for everybody?
-- Lacy

A: Skinny jeans are tricky, and I certainly haven't mastered them. Some pairs are like the Bermuda Triangle of pants, where you don't know how or why your legs could appear that strange when they looked totally normal a minute ago (before you put the jeans on). Le sigh.
The short answer to your question, Lacy, is that I do think there is a pair out there for every gal who wants to give skinny jeans a try. However, finding that pair can be tricky, because there are a lot of factors to weigh and even more time to spend in the fitting room. 

[Where did my knees go?]

The way I see it, there are two camps on skinny jeans: the Girl Scouts, and the Boy Scouts.

I kid, I kid.

Camp #1: Skinny Jeans Are Awesome
From my experience, even if you are a huge fan of the skinny jeans concept, you have to try on every single pair. First of all, I promise they will fit totally different on you than they look on the rack. Secondly, you need to figure out how tight you want them, how long you want them, and how roomy you want them to feel around your ankles. In my experience, getting into some pairs is like pulling on pantyhose that have been coated in cement.

And once you have finally found the blessed pair, I think it's OK to spend some money on them. There are certain items that I deem too trendy for me to spend more than $20, but I don't think skinny jeans are going to fade away anytime soon.

Camp #2: Skinny Jeans? Not So Much

There are other options, such denim leggings, wide-leg jeans, and denim trousers that are just as in style (and just as likely to remain in style for quite some time). So, don't despair if it takes you several months (or maybe a year or two) to find that great pair of skinny jeans. If you find the right one, you'll know they were worth the wait. And if you don't, you have a ton of stand-by options. 

What I'm Wearing
Striped Boatneck Shirt (J.Crew)
Gray Slub Cardigan (J.Crew Outlet)
Skinny Jeans (Express)
Blue Velveteen Platform Heels (Forever XXI, Plato’s Closet)
Gold Chains Necklace (J.Crew)
Black and Gold Bracelet (Collected at a clothes swap)

Keep the Wardrobe Love questions coming, ladies! Post a comment or write me at

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Blessing and the Curse of Groupon

I’m a big fan of Groupon, but, generally, I’m interested in the deals that give me the opportunity to dip pieces of bread and meat into pots of melted cheese for $20, or the ones that allow me purchase a dozen assorted cupcakes for a mere $10 and and even less judgment from the 16-year-old behind the counter.

Every once in awhile, however, I snatch one up that exposes me to a trendy clothing line or local boutique. In theory, I love the opportunity to scout a new skirt or dress that will ultimately cost half the price. But, when the time comes to actually redeem the Groupon, I am never as successful as I want to be.

Recently, I took a trip to Luxe Apothetique, a cute local women's clothing store and salon, to redeem a $50 Groupon, and left the store with nothing. The little shopper inside me totally lost her confidence, and it took me several days to return to the store, this time with more urgency as the Groupon was set to expire in just a couple weeks. I tried on a ton of stuff that I loved on the rack, but I never got that umph feeling that comes when I know something is amazing. With the impending deadline dancing in my head, and knowing that I wouldn't have very many chances to return to the store, I used my Groupon to buy a pleated skirt.

Don't get me wrong, I love the skirt. I have been looking for a pleated number for quite some time now, but I don't know if I would have paid the original dollar amount on this one without some additional hesitation. I also love Luxe, and I really love the service I get in the store. I don't always love the expiration dates on my Groupons, so I left that day asking myself, "If I had so much trouble using my Groupon, did I really save anything?"

Does this ever happen to anyone else?

To make sure I don't fall into the scary black hole that is Buyer's Remorse I have tasked myself with styling the skirt 10 different ways this summer. The photo below is Style #1.
[Do you like my bling ring?
It's one among many things that Kate Middleton and I have in common.]

What I’m Wearing
White Slouchy Pocket Tee (Express)
Bitten Black Vest (Steve & Barry’s)
Silky Pleated Skirt (Luxe Apothetique)
Blue Velveteen Platform Heels (Forever XXI, Plato’s Closet)
Pink Patent Leather Skinny Belt (J.Crew)
Faux Sapphire Ring (Michael’s)
Black and Silver Knot Wide Headband (J.Crew)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Being a Hoarder Pays Off

When the maxi skirt trend came back in style, I saw this Elizabeth James Long Winter Skirt number, and four thoughts immediately came to mind:

1) I want to go to there.*
2) That's 10 times more than my budget.
3) I think I have a similar black one in my closet that I bought in the 90s.
4) I might need to go on Hoarders.

[My obsession with saving clothes has about a 50 percent success rate.]

Does this make me an owner of "vintage" pieces? And if it does, do the Wheat Thins in my pantry also count as "vintage"? They are almost the same age as the skirt.

What I'm Wearing
Green-and-White-Striped Shirt (Gift from, distributed to Texas Style Council Conference attendees)
Gray Slub Cardigan (J.Crew Outlet)
Black Maxi Skirt (Gap)
Guess Tan Cork Wedges (DSW)
Brown Woven Wide Belt (Forever XXI)
Gold Chains Necklace (J.Crew)
Tortoise Shell Glasses (Forever XXI)

*Tina Fey, I love you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My $20 Outfit

Several hours after I got dressed, I realized that I hadn’t paid more than $10 for anything I was wearing.

Best. Feeling. Ever.

[I think this dress was originally ignored by shoppers because of the lack of shape.
But a simple belt did the trick!]

I purchased my dress from the clearance rack at Target about two years ago. It was one of those items that had been marked down so many times, it had three or four price stickers on top of one another. I was worried that I would take it home to find a huge hole in the sleeve or an unraveled hem, but no such thing happened.

And last weekend, I took a couple gift cards to DSW to finally buy a pair of wedges I had my eye on for awhile. After everything was said and done, I only paid for the tax out of pocket. Combined with some accessories from Forever XXI and a bracelet I picked up at a clothes swap, this outfit cost a little less than $20 total.

[The tan color of the leather means I can easily wear these wedges with other black items.]

What I’m Wearing
Mossimo Black Back-Zipper Dress (Target) – $8
Guess Tan Cork Wedges (DSW) – $5 (Using gift cards)
Green Woven Belt (Forever XXI) – $3.80
Gold Glasses Necklace (Forever XXI) – $1.50
Black and Gold Bracelet (Collected at a clothes swap) – Free
Total – $18.30

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wardrobe Love: The Transitional Piece

It's already been A WHOLE WEEK since the last time I posted, so it's already time for the next installment of Wardrobe Love. Here's the question this week:

Q: DnC, what's the one item from my fall wardrobe that I should continue to include in my spring outfits?
-- Anonymous
[I deliberately bought this shirt a size larger so it would look more like menswear.]

A: As a girl on a budget, I live for transitional pieces to maximize my wardrobe. One item I bought during the cold Austin winter (an oxymoron at its finest) was a chambray shirt.

Confession: I actually already owned a chambray shirt. However, the material was quite stiff, and the shirt itself was very tailored, which didn't leave a lot of options when it came to pairing it with certain pants and skirts. It looked awkward tucked into some bottoms, but seemed too long when I left it out. In short, it was a fashion conundrum. (We don't say "conundrum" enough, so I'm bringing this word back to life.)

So, I actually had no buyer's remorse whatsoever when I bought my second chambray shirt. This time, I knew what to avoid, and I chose a roomier option that was made from a softer cotton. It's this looser fit and lighter material that makes the shirt perfect to continue wearing through May and June. Now, I'm pairing this shirt with linen pants for days in the office and above-the-knee, A-line skirts during the weekend.

What I'm Wearing
Chambray Oxford Shirt (J.Crew)
Yellow Sateen Skirt (Forever XXI)
Black Belt (Forever XXI, taken from a dress-and-belt combo)
LC Lauren Conrad Black Platform Pumps (Kohl's)
Turquoise Paige Enamel Bangle (Stella and Dot)
Sunnies (Forever XXI)

Where to Buy
Price: $78.00

Next week, I'll address the mystery of skinny jeans, a question posed by one of my favorite bloggers (and coworkers!), Lacy, of Hybrid Cars & Cottages. But, I'll be posting more between now and then, so come back soon!