It's been a long time coming...

...but I've got good news.

I finally started a new blog, Darling Lola, which you can find here.

After spending a LOT of time thinking about it, I just felt like "90 Days..." had run it's course, so I''m shutting it down, probably within the next month or so.

Please make sure to follow me at Darling Lola, so you can see my new outfits and updates!



Hi everyone!

I know I've been taking a somewhat *ahem* extended hiatus, but good things are underway for 90 Days Without Shopping! There's lots of surprises to unveil soon!

Meanwhile, I got this lovely little item in my inbox today:



Reader Request #2--Day 97

So today, I'm continuing my weekly challenge of "Reader Requests", in which blog readers, via comments, tell me how to wear my new clothes. 
Next up is a good friend, Kara. I'm lucky to know her in real life, as she's one of those friends who has learned how to tell the truth, but with kindness and support. She's pretty amazing!
Kara has a great website, karalambert.com, where she posts photos from her portrait sessions. She did a session for me and we had so much fun! I'd recommend her even if she wasn't a friend! 
Here's Kara's outfit suggestion:
KaraM said...

Cotton Puffed Sleave with skinny jeans and heels!
In her honor, I took photos at one of her (and my) favorite places. Can you guess where?
card catalog:
                 top--Diane von Furstenburg (via Plato's)
                 belt--Miley Cyrus for Wal-Mart
                 mary janes--Gianni Bini


Reader Request #1--Day 95

So today is the first of "Reader Requests", in which a reader gets to play stylist with my new clothes.

First up is Melissa of "A Working Mom's Closet", who you should check out! She's great at taking affordable pieces and making stylish looks for work by blending color, pattern and texture. Pop over and check her out!

Here was her outfit suggestion:
 Melissa said...

Okay, I'm gonna suggest taking the cotton Topshop floral blouse (I'm seriously into florals right now) with the JCrew green cardi layered over top and belted (I have a thing for belting, I just love it) with a black/yellow/pink/white (any solid) skirt. Throw in some yellow shoes and YAY! That would make me happy.

Now I need to find a floral top like that along with a green cardigan.

Melissa, I've gotta admit, I wasn't sure how this would translate. But I should have trusted that eye for color! I originally was going to pair the cardi/top combo with a solid J. Crew skirt, until I remembered it was at the dry cleaners! I hoped this skirt still conveyed the look, even though it's technically a pattern. 

While I'm not a stickler for matching, I really do shy away from "clashing" tones of the same hue in an outfit. And this one has THREE different shades of green! The shirt has more of a mint, the cardi is kelly green and the belt is certainly olive. I was a bit apprehensive about pairing the olive with the kelly, but after trying several different belts, I kept reaching back for this one. I quite like the clash. 

The other thing I love about this outfit is the shape. I felt very feminine with the poofy skirt and belted cardi. I think it showed my shape well and I could even see wearing this outfit in the Fall with tights and boots. 

So, thanks Melissa! Thanks to you, I have a new year-round outfit to add to my repertoire. You did so great I think you get extra credit!

card catalog:
                   cardigan--J. Crew, via Plato's
                   tee--Topshop, via Plato's
                   belt--J. Crew
                   skirt--Forever 21
                   heels--Old Navy


What I Bought, Part 4--Day 93

So, after the Gap broke my will, I figured, might as well be REAL BAD.

Except remember, I'm a firstborn. My idea of a crazy night is running a stop sign in a neighborhood and maybe drinking out of a Coke in Wal-Mart before I PAID FOR IT.

I'd been keeping an eye on the jean leggings--jeggings, if you must--and saw some on Forever 21's site that were a good price to try a trend. To the mall I went. And The Boyfriend was with me. So that made it ok. He's pretty (AHEM, VERY) good at asking me if I need something when I'm buying it and also, he's pretty amazing at telling me the riskier things look darn good. So he's good for my wallet and ego, both qualities any man should aspire to have.

Here's what I got:
card catalog:
                    hat, leggings

During this challenge, I faced moving all of my things into storage, and will be moving in about 20 days out-of-state, so I took the opportunity to purge, purge, purge. I ended up taking 2 laundry baskets to Plato's Closet and EIGHT garbage bags of clothes to Goodwill. I would feel better about that if it hadn't just been sitting for so long and if there wasn't still a lot hanging in my closet.

Plato's, to my surprise, had the nice girl working that day. The one who didn't act as if my clothes all smelled and might have lice. She bought almost everything. On top of that, I had a 20% card, so between store credit and the discount, I got the following for $12. 

card catalog:
                   silk top--Petticoat (random brand?)
                   cotton puffed sleeve--DVF

card catalog:
                    cotton top--Odille
                    cotton tank--H&M
                    cotton floral--Topshop

card catalog:
                    faux fur down vest--Gap
                    corduroy blazer--H&M

card catalog:
                   swiss dot blouse--Fossil
                   silk/cotton cardi--J. Crew
                   silk/cotton buttondown--J. Crew
                   green striped buttondown--Ralph Lauren

And here it all is. 

So, faithful readers, you have an assignment. In order to get back onto blogging, I'm going to take requests. 

Take one item pictured from my new haul--anything from the last few posts--and tell me in the comments how I should wear it. I'll pick my favorite 5 (if there are that many!) and wear them all next week. You don't have to use only items from this challenge but play nice! (No fair picking the down vest. It's 111 degrees here!)

I'll post each day, linking to the Top 5's respective blogs and giving them credit as the stylist. Don't you think that will be fun?


What I Bought, Part 3--Day 92

So, after establishing that I was an emotional shopper, I started wondering why. Why do I shop at some times versus others? Why do I feel the need for shiny new things?

And I realized, that it's usually when I need to be in control. When something isn't going well, I can always count on shopping.

People aren't like that. People can be having a bad day, or not support you in a way you think they should, or say something offhand that hurts your feelings. Other people aren't controllable.

Life isn't like that either. Things change; people move, get married, have babies; sickness happens; death happens. Life isn't controllable.

I'm not like that. I could have forgotten to mail a bill on time and have to pay a penalty, have a work meeting that's less than stellar, disappoint someone I care about, or say something mean unintentionally. Sometimes, I'm not controllable.

But shopping IS like that. With the high volume of merchandise, I can always count on the Gap, Loft or Target to have something to buy that lets me feel better. With any amount of money, shopping is controllable.

Which is really just a way of saying: I like being in control more than I like feeling out of control.

I'm a control freak. And instead of dealing with that, I was buying stuff.

I'll put what I think about all that tomorrow...if you care to still be my internet therapists, dears.

After The Gap, I think my next favorite place is Target. Mostly because there's literally one right across the street from my neighborhood. Every time I go anywhere, there it is, drawing me in with its bullseye like a homing beacon.

So here's what I bought there:

card catalog:

Items #1 and #2 still have tags. Should I keep or return?

Outtakes--Day 92

A while ago, when I was, you know, actually blogging, I bought my camera remote and took several pics with it. The only problem was that I had my camera on manual focus. Oops. 

There was also some unfortunate shadowing. 

So I never wound up posting these photos from the little photo shoot that day, but just to get back in gear on blogging, here they are. I read blogs often that seem to always have "perfect" pictures straight out of a photo shoot and it's very very easy to quickly get self-critical. It's much hard to remember that my blog has a voice and yes, it is worth something. Maybe not to thousands of readers, but even if just to me, that is something.

And that is enough. 

card catalog: 
                    t-shirt--American Eagle
                    skirt--Old Navy

(I look so unhappy...)
card catalog:
                    dress--J. Crew

card catalog:
                    silk tank--Old Navy
                    sandals--Cynthia Vincent for Target

(This outfit felt very "E from Academichic" to me...probably because she also has this belt.)
card catalog:
                   belt--Old Navy
                   skirt--Ann Taylor Loft (vintage via thrift)


What I Bought, Part 2--Day 91

This "not shopping" exercise was good in lots of ways. I learned a lot about my shopping habits by not having them and subsequently secretly re-instating them.

For one, I learned that I am completely an emotionally-based shopper. I work in a field that requires me to raise my own salary and have meetings with LOTS of people in order to do that. When one particularly tanked, that was when I felt the NEED NEED NEED to shop. Logically, this doesn't even make sense, to spend money because I'm worried about money, but there I was, doing just that.

For two, I learned that the Gap clearance rack is my gateway drug. Especially when they're having "Additional 40 Percent Off Sale Items" Sale! It's like they're paying you to shop, kind of.

So here's what started the binge. And I'm shaming myself a bit by listing the prices and links:

card catalog:
                   belted pleated skirt, bright capped-sleeve ruffle top, pocket t, striped tunic (can't find it online!)

Oh and yes, note that two of these items still have the tags. Which means I can return. And maybe I should?

More "What I Bought" coming tomorrow!

What I Bought, Part 1 of Eleventy Billion--Day 91

By overwhelming reader demand, here's the first installment of "What I Bought". More posts will be following. Maybe (cough, cough) quite a few more.

I ordered two pairs of boots from Target, because I had two pair last winter and wore one of the two pairs every single day. After looking at stevemadden.com, I'm sure both are knock-offs of his boots. They haven't arrived yet, but I'm kind of excited.

For reference, here's the links to the Madden boots here and here. Pretty close matches, even down to the red zipper down the back on the first one. 


Day 90--Utter Failure

So, this one time, I started a blog about not shopping for 90 days and promised to update it.

Then I totally didn't update it for several weeks. 

So much so that The Department of Internet Services came and took it away for blog endangerment and severe neglect. I had to attend a "Successful Blog-Raising" class by court order at a Junior College and pass several inspections by a judically-appointed Blog Advocate. Meanwhile, my blog thrived under the care of a wonderful Foster family, and I'm only slightly hurt that it now calls Donna, "Mom". 

Finally, though, we were reunited. But I do have to confess something:

I didn't post because I.........


And the subsequent guilt made me not want to post. I felt dishonest, like I was letting you guys down. When really, you all probably would have more readily forgiven me than my debit card is going to.

I think I was doing well until I started the "30 for 30 Challenge". And no, I'm NOT blaming the challenge (or Kendi). I think it was hard enough with the not shopping for such a long time to the added stringency of only 30 items.

So I...failed. And I'm a firstborn, so you know it just KILLS me to say that.

Officially, the challenge of 90 days is now almost over. But it's not a total loss. 

I discovered a wonderful world of fashion bloggers and would like to continue, though I'm not exactly sure where to go from here. I think this blog title might have to be changed, so I might be relocating. (And I'll post my forwarding address once I figure out exactly what it is...send me suggestions, if you still read and don't hate me forever?)


Un-Spoke-n--Day 66

I felt very "Roman Holiday" as I was taking these pictures. Then catastrophe struck. 

Everyone, meet my new Hercules Tourist 3-speed. I love him, even though his green paint was probably done by a 10-year-old boy using a mop. I bought him knowing that he would be a project. His rough edges and bright kelly green have earned him the name "The Hulk". 

Thirty seconds after I took this photo, I must have angered The Hulk, because he about took off my foot and I took out 3 of his front spokes. Replacing the spokes is now at the top of the list, because it's totally not ride-able now. 

At least I got my picture in first.

card catalog:
                  silk tank--Gap

(24/90 to go!)


Twilight--Day 61

After being rained out Friday, I was able to have my garage sale yesterday, waking up at 5 a.m. to move all the furniture outside and winding up at 3, exhausted but $357 richer!

Let me tell you, there are some CRAZIES that come to garage sales, like the women that made me write them a receipt on the back of an old Wal-Mart receipt for $27 worth of merchandise. There were also some great people that The Boyfriend and I got to talk to, including the couple that we're totally going to be in 20 years. 

So it was fun, but thank God it's over. 

We spent the afternoon sleeping while "watching" Footloose to recover, then ran errands. I remembered to catch the OOTD just as the sun was going down. 

I have had some readers request my items for "30 for 30". Soon, I promise. This week was just too crazy. 

(I need to work on making my face as cute as my poses...)

card catalogue:
                      linen shirt--Gap
                      skirt--Charlotte Russe

(29/90 to go!)


The Bachelorette--Day 60

Blogworld, meet Kara. Kara is a good friend of mine, who just happens to be getting married next Friday. 

Tonight, we celebrated her marriage with a shower and her bachelorette party, and she informed me that I had gotten her hooked on fashion blogs. 

And it's true. I kinda did. Just like my friend Liz got me hooked on them. 

So then, after saying that, Kara asked if I thought she was cute enough to be in my photo today. And, because she's the bride, I said, "I do!"

(She's always super cute. And she's a great photographer!)

card catalog:
Kara:                                                                                 Laura:
        tank--Loft                                                                           top--Target                     
        necklace--Lisa Leonard                                                        bracelet--Wal-Mart
        skirt--Loft                                                                           white jeans--Abercrombie
        sandals--Old Navy                                                                pumps--Old Navy

(30/90 to go!)


Saved!--Day 59

So here's some Thursday morning fashion math:

One-half of this outfit was rescued from my Goodwill pile. One-fourth belonged to my mother back in the '70s. One-fourth was $5. 

And I think that makes this outfit one-whole awesome. 

I was shopping in Gap months ago and saw this shirt:

And I thought, "Hmm...that looks familiar!" And then a week later I found myself at my parent's house, looking for old board games when I saw a chambray shirt sticking out of my brothers' and I's old dress-up clothes. I have fond memories of using it to be a policewoman.

It has a '70s collar with stays and is a Sears' store brand. My mom totally wore it back in college. Of course, I immediately stole it. 

The skirt was sitting in the "donate" box for several months because the hem fell out. But as I was sorting things, I remembered that, hey, I can sew now. I'm not sure that I'm sold on it's current length, but it'll do. 

The belt was facing a similar fate because it had always made me feel more like a weightlifter than I'd like. (Which would be, at all, I suppose.)

So I brought them back into my closet, and then to the "30 for 30" in order to fully integrate them. (P.S. Have you checked out the remixers for "30 for 30" yet? There's some great ladies joining in)

(31/90 to go!)


Studly--Day 58

I did something different for these photos and took my photos in the front yard. Several neighbors drove by, slowed down and then sped off. It's probably safe to assume that they think I'm crazy now. Good thing I'm moving soon!

This outfit started with the shoes and took off. They drove it to a place I rarely go and I wasn't sure I was pulling off, and then a nice woman in Target complimented my outfit. And since she was also shopping at Target, I knew I could trust her judgment. 

I started with the clogs, then added the ripped jeans, studded T & belt. Then I found myself stacking on jewelry. Three rings, earrings and a charm bracelet just to girl-ify the outfit back a little. I felt it balanced out the studs on the shoes, tee, belt and ring. I hardly ever wear this much jewelry. 

Not gonna lie, though, I felt a little bit Rock 'n Roll. 

These clogs are the best ever. They found me, I think. I had been salivating over the Hasbeens ones, but knew that, at $228, they would NEVER be in my price range. And then, one magical day at Plato's, I found these beauties for about $216 less. That, friends, is a bargain. (And here's the same style on ebay in brown, size 7.) 

card catalog:
                  rings--Fossil, Laundry, Vintage 
                  belt--Miley Cyrus for Wal-Mart
                  clogs--Madden via Plato's

(32/90 to go!)


It's a Man's World--Day 57

Sometimes, I look at other bloggers and wonder why it was they chose the outfit that they did that day. Today, mine was fairly simple, mostly because I'm in the midst of moving and organizing for a garage sale, so I needed something I could move in, and minus the heels, I could totally do that. 

I also had a casual family birthday party, so after moving/organizing, I just added the hat and heels and felt ready to go. Poof! Cuter outfit! I was comfortable, but liked the menswear accessories with a vintage touch. 

I know I've been saying this for a few days, but I finally did send my link to Kendi Everyday and throw in on the "30 for 30" challenge. I figured a) I'm already not shopping and b) it will be easier to pack if I only need to leave 30 items out! I'm a bit nervous, but after I planned out the outfits, realized that it's totally do-able.

My one "cheat" is that I'm in a wedding in a few weeks, so I'm not counting my bridesmaid's dress and shoes. So, really, it's 32 for 30. I think that means I'm an overachiever.

There's quite a few women participating, and so many have great "30's" picked out. It's going to be quite an inspiring 30 days for me, I think.  This will be a first for me, in that I'm going to link to each re-mix throughout the challenge, as well.

30 for 30 Banner
card catalog:
fedora--Eugenia Kim for Target
earrings--Forever 21
t--American Apparel
charm bracelet--vintage
jeans--J. Crew

(33/90 to go!)


Tee-ing Off--Day 56

This weekend, the boyfriend and I stayed with a college roommate and her husband. They, we decided, are the best hosts ever. They fed us, entertained us, and took us to a liquor store that actually sells 6-point beer. 

We were in heaven. 

This color combination isn't one that I typically would have put together. I actually saw a college student (a.k.a. much younger woman) at my work's annual conference wearing this dress with a similar color cardigan and thought "Genius!"

So, thank you, girl-who-I-don't-know-with-amazing-style. You're amazing. Also, you had cuter shoes than me. 

Our friends conveniently live on a golf course. Which conveniently matched my outfit. It was nice of them to pick a home based on what worked best for me, no? 

card catalog:
                    cardigan--Old Navy
                    jersey dress--Target
                    gladiators--Steve Madden

(34/90 to go!)


(Fifty-)Fourth--Day 55

Confession: I am not someone given to wearing red, white and blue on the Fourth. This is as close as I get. Linen and khaki are somewhat ubiquitous with Americana, though, right?

And I feel somewhat as though these pictures look as though I'm on a safari or something. The light was beautiful. 
I'm planning to do Kendi's "30 for 30", but since I'm out of town for the holiday, I can't post the 30 items just yet. I'm pretty excited to get to participate!

card catalog:
                    linen shirt--Gap
                    green sandals--Nine West

(35/90 to go!)


Focused--Day 54

My photos are a point of frustration. I bought a camera remote a few weeks ago, but it's somehow not auto-focusing when I shoot. So the effect is a little blurry. Or maybe we could all just call it "artistic". Let's go with that. 

This was a risky outfit for me, but I feel like somehow it all worked. The neutral shoe and top ground the skirt and belt, which are similar enough in color to "go". I wore this to get Chik-Fil-A with a friend. (Mmmm...nuggets and waffle fries...)

card catalog:
                   striped shirt--Gap
                   belt--Old Navy
                   shoes--Nine West

(36/90 to go!)


Evolution--Day 53

It's HOT where I live. And it doesn't help that the humidity is about 137%, so I've been wearing lots of shorts and tanks, which, yes, those are my outfits, but hardly blog-worthy. 

I thought I found a loophole, though. It had rained and was "cold" (78 degrees), so I thought I could get away with jeans and this lightweight shirt that had been sitting in my closet all alone. This outfit made me feel very "Gardening in the Hamptons," if of course, I had staff to do the actual gardening. And a garden. And a house in the Hamptons. Maybe Martha Stewart and I could do a home exchange. 

card catalog: 
                   white jeans--Abercrombie (old...)
                   yellow wedges--Old Navy

And then the sun came out. It was hot again. So I changed.

card catalog: 
                T-shirt--Thakoon for Target

I thought I would be okay, but then the temperature jumped up another 10 degrees and my poor A/C could barely keep up. Another change was in order:

(Oh, look! A blue skirt!)

card catalog: 
                  skirt--Old Navy
                  sandals--Cynthia Vincent for Target

(37/90 to go!)