Monday, January 26, 2015

Working Professionals & Anthro

So there's this stupid, funny little thing among working professional women when it comes to Anthropologie. If we ever shop there, it's something to be confessed in a low, hushed voice. The other day I saw a friend and colleague of mine rocking some burnt orange pants on the hospital floor and I just had to inquire. 

Friend: Yes, they're from Anthro. But I have it under control. I keep it in check.
Me: Are there rules you abide by?
Friend: Oh definitely. You cannot wear more than one article of clothing from them. You are allowed ONE. Otherwise, you go from young professional to peasant searching for her lover in the woods. *motions as though she is placing a laurel of leaves in her hair*

This had me ROLLIN'.

If you look at this season's campaign, you'll see that she's actually spot on. 

The gnome will help me find the lost Excel spreadsheets.

Your honor, my client is only guilty of rad fashion. 

Anesthesiologist by day; Elk herder by eventide. 

So, why would we ever step foot in Anthropologie?

Aside from their fine hardware section, one could say it's to create an out-of-the-office wardrobe. But if you ask us, especially the ones just starting out on the career path, we want to project an image that says "take me seriously" both in and out of the work place. This makes us gravitate to the staples: Ann Taylor, J. Crew, and Banana Republic instead. (One time in an Ann Taylor Loft Outlet store I bumped into three friends from residency in less than ten minutes, no joke.) And while these stores I've mentioned have beautiful, classic pieces that are perfect for a professional's closet, there's that part of us as women that wants to throw in something unexpected, something oh, je ne sais quoi.

That's what Anthro provides: A bridge between take-me-seriously and know-I'm-still-cool style. 

And as my friend noted, this should be done in moderation. 

Just for funsies, I think I'll make a habit of throwing out lists of what a working professional (office type) might purchase from Anthro for work and/or play (I'll let you make that call), so as to save her time and streamline her visit -- you know, so you can get in and out fast without being spotted...That happened to me one time and I exclaimed, "I'm just here for the knobs!" 

Without further ado, Monique's fashion picks for Anthropologie Winter 2014-5

Look at the detail around the heel. Delish.

Don't dismiss metallic shoes. They are surprisingly versatile.

Longer length tops are the look of the moment now.
You'll need slender necklaces like this to match.


No one needs to know those are hooves.

I'm always looking for black jewelry and this has a decent amount.

Don't be afraid of animal print.
That color with some fitted black or grey pants. YES.

Lace in small doses.

Don't ask me how you're going to launder this.
Simply thank me for introducing more sequins at the workplace.
Stripes are a staple. Put a statement necklace on that.

Asymmetry is an easy way to add pizzazz and introduce pattern-play.

Look at the texture of this skirt. It says I'm an educated woman who gives a damn.

Pink pants, who says you can't?

I'm not always okay with florals, but add some black and we're good.

What do you think? Are you still wearing basic button-ups and trousers and I just rocked your world? Are you a free spirit and reading this made you pity our perceived constraints on women's fashion? Did you spit out your latte when you read my captions? (I hope so.)

Sartorial minds would like to know! Leave a comment and we'll discuss. That is, unless you're too busy frolicking through the woods... with a spreadsheet.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monique's 2015 Design Predictions

Each year I give my predictions for what's around the corner and I think it's loads of fun. As Charles Barkley put it, I may be wrong, but I don't think so! What's exciting about this year is that we're gearing up for the next decade and making a more noticeable departure from what was trendy in 2010.




Gray is done. SO done. I know you all love your Revere Pewter and it might be drying on your walls this very minute, but the future is now. Sadly, it won't be long until gray rooms - especially kitchens - get put on the shelf next to espresso brown sofas as we ask ourselves what we were thinking. - I know the answer. We thought it was safe. Black and white are classic, but on opposite ends of the spectrum. . . Put them together and you have the equivalent to the golden retriever of paint colors, right? I still have love for gray, of course, but like everything else it got over done and without warm complimentary accents it reads as cold, plain, and so 2011. 

Also, may chevron RIP. May I just say there is this tinge of sadness about its departure that lies waaayyy beneath a mountain of resentment for how this design was treated in the past 5 years? I remember first seeing chevron in this post from Cococozy back in 2010 and thinking it would be such a nice element in moderation, as it is done in Mexico. But then all the Live,Laugh,Love types took it and essentially vomited chevron all over the place. We need a break, guys.

So what's the big color for walls this year? Wrong question. 




It's all about the trim and cabinets! Creamy or bright (i.e. modern) whites are going to be the anchors to a room. The wall color and background is meant to stand back and support that. You're going to see a lot of washed out neutrals in terms of paint color. Or in other words, "What color is that? I can't even tell."


Hot right now is, of course, black and white. It's stark, minimal, and the hipsters will ride that as far as it goes. (Note above the Aztec-y elements, I fear this will meet the same fate as chevron.)

Live, laugh, love is replaced with something along the lines of Carpe That F'n Diem. (I won't even mention 'Keep Calm' because like Voldemort, I fear that its mention will beckon this once ubiquitous sign.)


Plaid and gingham are the new stripes.
 It's true. Get your hands on some black and white plaid and all the design elements will collide. (You can't even handle this.)


Pleather pants and normcore are holding strong, but in spring a sateen finish will be seen on jeans and I think the Carolina Herrera (masculine/feminine) look will emerge again. 

For baby names, -er and -o are replacing -an, -en and -a. Or in other words, Aidan & Emma will welcome little sibs Harper and Leo.

Is this freaking you out yet?

On the subject of babies, The Duchess will have another boy (take your pick of Edward/Alexander/Henry/John), and given that copy-cat Chelsea Clinton already used the name I had picked out, I fear Charlotte Diana will never be. Waaaaah.

Yep, that's a cheesecake cookie.
(You're welcome.)

In food, donut will share the stage with a return to cookies (with a twist). Bacon is holding on to its special place in the world, but I sense that the egg has something in store for everyone (except vegans). 

Enjoy! (And we'll see if I'm right.) 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

London 2014, Day #3

I spent much of the day in Notting Hill doing mostly window shopping. There were so many quaint stores with interesting things on display, ranging from clothing to maps to earthenware and much more. It seemed like each shop wanted to entice me with samples of pastries and that, coupled with some year-end sales placed me in paradise. I, of course, also couldn't get enough of all the fine paint color combinations on display around me. I left with so much inspiration for painting and decorating my own home. 

How quaint, right?

Pretty pieces in every store

Portobello Print and Map Shoppe

This was a very quaint print shop. They didn't allow photography inside, but I did leave there with a purchase that I will take a picture of later. The seller told me it's from 1890. I thought that was pretty old. Later that day we went out to eat with a fellow whose elementary school dated back to 914. I assumed he meant 1914. Nope. Made me feel pretty silly for mentioning earlier that our home was "old" being from the 1960s.

I eventually worked my way to Kensington gardens and this was a nice place to relax and take in nature. Nearby is the Princess Diana Children's Garden, which seemed amazing from what I could see through the gates (large tepees, pirate ships), but they wouldn't let me enter without a child of my own. It was in that moment I realized that not only do I want to come back here with the kids, I want to live here as family. - I'm not talkin' move here, but if Tim could work in London for a month or two or three in the summer that would be fantastic. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

London 2014

Well, I made it!

It was looking like everything was going to fall apart just before the trip, but I'm glad to say my bout with a "stomach bug" is over and I'm happily posting this from a cozy flat in London, sipping on some lovely tea.

On to the photos from Days #1-2!

St. Paul's Cathedral

We're staying at a quaint flat near St. Paul's church. Every time I pass it I thinking about that scene from Mary Poppins: Feed the birds, tuppence for birds. . . That was then and this is now, though. We're in a "post-jubilee" world and the Queen has certainly left her mark. On our way to find a place to eat I noticed several stations where a symbol of royal crown was displayed with something magical to behold. In the picture above, you'll find a cool upcycle of a ruined cathedral, now with organic plant beds at its base. I love that mix of old, new, and green.

Burrough Market was over-whelming and fantastic at the same time. It normally closes early-ish on Thursdays through Sunday, but during the holiday season it has extended hours/days. It reminded me of the bazaars in Istanbul with its many sellers and products. Lots of sights and smells to take in. While it would have been nice to pick up something from one of the stands, we were so tired from out trip we decided to sit down at a restaurant there called Fish!. Tim got the monkfish; I had the halibut. Both were tasty. 

Celebrating 11 years (with jet-lag)

It was a short train ride to Westminster. For some reason, as soon as I saw Big Ben I began to cry a little. Perhaps I was emotional because my best laid out plans to use the bus system were foiled by re-routing due to construction, I'm a nerd, or as I've stated before this trip means a lot to me. (I'm getting out there and doing things in spite of my disease!) All of the above would be a good guess.

Ah, Buckin'em. As luck would have it, I showed up just in time to see the changing of the guard. I was told this is kind of a big deal because it only happens once and day and usually the crowds are so large you don't get to peer through the gates unless you've been standing around for hours. Cool.

Her majesty's secret public service! I'm talking about The Queen's Gallery. I had to pay to get in, but the bathrooms there with their fancy soaps and pretty marble sinks just about made it worth it on their own. The current exhibits showcased gold throughout the ages and, separately, the 1860 Prince of Wales Middle East tour in photos. The story of his visit to thank 'Abd al-Qadir was particularly touching and bittersweet as the purpose was to thank him for sheltering Christians during their genocide in Syria. (Why is this stuff still happening?!)

Trafalgar square

I found this neat place on the recommendation of some blogger who I cannot credit at this time. This is Neal's yard. It's a colorful corner in WC2 that celebrates organic eating and green lifestyle. All the healthy shakes, herbal soaps, and vintage clothes were a dream. I definitely want to go back there.

And that's that, for now. The hubby just got back from the office and it's off to get some Turkish food!