Category Archives: Polyvore

Girls’ Nite!

We had so much fun last night!  My sister came over after work, and we commenced to drink champagne, eat radishes dipped in butter and sea salt, giggle, play on Polyvore, and toast each other profusely for several hours.  At some point in the evening, and truth be told that point is a mite foggy, we put on cute clothes and high shoes (I managed to apply a very, very dark smoky eye thanks to this little miracle maker from MAC, the Shadestick in sharkskin), whereupon my husband bundled us into the car and chauffered us to dinner at Sea Change, a brand spanking new establishment with a culinary focus on sustainable seafood.  We loved it – particularly after a glass (or so) of champagne it was wonderful to order without trying to remember whether what fish from what body of water is eco-friendly or eco-hostile.  If you go, sis and I recommend the scallop from the raw bar, the warm beet salad and the char – all with a nice Sancerre.   

This is my Girls’ Nite outfit:

XO, Debtonaire


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Filed under J. Crew, J. Crew Hammered metal skirt, J. Crew Ribbon-front top, Polyvore, Sea Change, Yum

J. Crew Bell Flower Top, continued . . .

Another close-up of the bell flower top, with jacket and two layered necklaces.  (Sorry for photo quality, it was snapped in the ladies room of my office – yikes – the light is not so good.)  Went out for cocktails directly after work and did not have time to change – received several compliments on the top! 

bell flower top 2a

My only reservation regarding this top is what the dry cleaner may do to the darling little stuffed blossom details – I shudder to consider the possibilities . . .

So what do you think of the Bell Flower?

XO,  Debtonaire

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Filed under Bell Flower Top, J. Crew, Polyvore, Shopping

Happy B-day (to me)

I tend to get a bit reflective on my birthday, pensive, sentimental and the like.  For some, this sort of thing is a New Year’s sort of thing, but it’s my personal fiscal year-end that waxes me nostalgic. 

I started the day early, about 6:00 a.m.  (note:  very unusual!), and stumbled downstairs to make pancakes for breakfast (with ingredients, not out of the bottle).  Typically during the summer months, my husband is out of the house by 7:00 a.m., and stepson gets up just before 7, turns on the television, and waits for the nanny while he eats a Pop Tart.  I get up at some point during all this, and race out to the office just before 9:00 a.m., and have my breakfast and coffee there.   At Casa de Debtonaire, mornings are peppered with love-you’s, have-a-good-day’s, and see-you-later’s  shouted over the banisters at high velocity – this is the sum total of our a.m. family interaction.

Today at the breakfast table, like civilized humans, my husband I talked about our day and week ahead.  We were both surprised that my stepson, adorably rumpled but less than gregarious on a normal morning, apparently IS capable of eating more than half a cold toaster pastry when provided decent food (five pancakes!), and also speaks in sentences rather than mono-syllabics once properly fueled.  Particularly for a Monday, it all felt astonishingly warm and sane.  As I drank my coffee and poured maple syrup over my amoeba-shaped but quite edible pancakes, I wondered, reproachfully, about why I had never picked up the spatula in the past.  Why I had not made this small effort, and, more importantly, why had it never before occurred to me to do so?  What do I really gain by retaining an hour or so of sleep a couple days a week?  It’s a fact that I will never be mistaken for June Cleaver, but I would (and will) do this breakfast thing again (and next time have resolved to get out of bed 5 minutes earlier to put in my contacts and apply lip gloss, sans pearls, but as a la Mrs. Cleaver as I can muster). 

Last year, my birthday fell on a Sunday.  It was an average day.  I was at the office.  I was always working – work was my habit and my pleasure.  My company was launching new ventures, it was apparent that we were the brink of the kind of success I had always dreamed of, strove and suffered for.  Finally, most deservedly, I thought, Fate was finally recognizing my potential, my true ability . . . As I sat in my corner office, amid the unremitting torrent of phone calls and emails, and meetings, and travel and red-blinking blackberry notification lights and conference calls at all hours of the day and night, I could hear the money machine cranking up in the background, well-oiled gears clickety-clicking, all the better to provide me with my due reward. 

However, if you have been reading this blog or living anywhere besides under a rock, you are painfully aware that the perfect economic storm gobbled up prosperity all over the globe, leaving me and scores of others like me, trying to within my actual means (rather than my imagined means).   

I am one of the lucky ones.  My only true injury was a sucker punch directly to the ego.  I am still employed  (one of three employees remaining on staff) thanks to generous cash infusions by the owner of the company.  I am hopeful that my position will be secure through year-end.  I turn a mental cartwheel each and every payday.  I am also lucky that my husband is working, and that I don’t truly need to learn to wax my own legs or color my own hair and do so to only to avoid further ebbing my personal flow of conspicuous consumerism.  Our house is fine for now, although our plans for a home gym and finished basement are currently off.  More importantly, miraculously even, after years and in some cases decades of neglect, I have retained relationships with my stepson, my husband, and my family and friends. 

Tonight my husband has a work dinner, an intercompany meeting of regional executives.  (Remember those?  Tony restaurants, chortling, backslapping and other displays of alcohol-enhanced comradery. . . )  I can’t even give my husband a hard time about his work event, birthday or no.  Not only does he feel guilty, but he clearly has the short end of the stick – in his absence, my stepson is taking me to see Ice Age 3, and there is a strong probability of dinner at California Pizza Kitchen as well.  And this is what I am wearing for my birthday date:

XO, Debtonaire

P. S. Back to my usual semi-vapid non-self-reflective self next post, I promise . . .

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Filed under Polyvore, self reflective nonsense

Closet Case

Alas, my closet . . . I yearn for a magazine layout-type closet – have you seen those wonderful California Closet advertisements?  Pristinely folded piles and evenly spaced hanging items, sorted by color, on coordinated hangers, with darling little shoe and handbag cubbies. 

Divinely OCD - My Dream Closet

Divinely OCD - My Dream Closet

Currently my closet is a slapdashery of chaos and mayhem rivaling an accident scene (an accident where no one was harmed in any way, of course, an accident possibly involving an overturned dry-cleaning delivery vehicle, the processing facilities of a full-service Laundromat, several u-fill storage bins, and a small shoe store).  In short – a healthy happy wardrobe tonnage lives IN my closet, but I can’t find anything IN my closet, y’all . . . and it drives me wild. 

My aspiration to closet OCD-ism is one of the reasons why I am so hooked on the Polyvore.  Outfits seeded by Polyvore – my own sets or sets blatantly ripped off from sourced from others – at least help me approach the morning with a plan in hand for the daily recon mission in my closet.  Polyvore, with its orderly, sort-able ‘tags’ and sets’ is my ‘virtual California Closets’ solution. 

Polyvore also assists in ridding my closet of lackluster items before their statutes of retail return limitations expire.  Hence, bold flower shirt (see below) did not make the cut, and a recently purchased cami (also shown below) may soon be returned as well.  If I can’t rock it in Polyvore, I can’t rock in IRL . . .

Bold Floral Top

Bold Floral Top


Print Cami

Print Cami

Is there a downside to all this Polyvore-ing?  Well, fantastically stylish and creative Polyvore peers certainly do create sets with items, basic and fancy, which bear striking resemblance to those residing in my own closet, and continually fashion effortless remixes of these formerly humdrum items.  Their results are can be inspiring (“OMG – I have those shoes AND a dress like that and NEVER CONSIDERED putting them together with that and that and that . . . ”  – i.e. an ability to ‘shop your closet’, as the phenomenon is known in Recession-ese . . . ).  However, amid the din of fall season retail rollouts, it is becoming apparent that observation of others’ advanced Polyvore mixer-y may result in wanton clothing lust when shiny tempting new items are worked into the existing Polyvore vernacular. Which brings me to my J. Crew wish list for fall, along with a few things from my closet for proposed mixing and matching: 



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Filed under Polyvore, Shopping


Well, the gig is up.  Here we are nearing the end of July, and I still have consumer credit outstanding.  The Number is flat-lining at $11k.  (To my eye, the ‘k’ looks so much more pleasant than horrid $000s.)  Past attempts at retail restraint have been well meaning but doomed from the get-go  – due to prior bouts of clothing and accessory starvation (resulting in bingeing) coupled with plain old lack of willpower.  My last plan was to limit purchases to ‘just what I really LOVE’, which didn’t work because, clearly, my ability to love inanimate objects (clothes, shoes, handbags) knows NO BOUNDS. 

So, I ‘fessed up to my husband about my personal debt load.  Rather, my husband inquired about my outstanding credit card balances, and I told him.  He was less than pleased, but not particularly surprised.  Kind of anticlimactic – he appreciates that I make an effort to not schlump around, and has at least a basic understanding of the concept that a certain level of non-schlumpiness comes with a price tag.  Who knew?  I feel a little silly about trying to be so subversive about shopping.  Also in my favor is that I have more job stability than previously anticipated – a surprising change from earlier in the year – so he is more relaxed and I feel less guilty about impacting the family in a negative way in a down economy and weak job market for finance professionals.  

My husband and I differ in our approaches to money.  I am better at picking stocks and investments, but am missing the saving gene.  My husband alternates between crushing conservatism and day trading, but is a fantastic saver.  I suspect his saving ability relies largely on gender – he is not female, hence is immune to the siren song of the Jimmy Choo.  In most economic climates, I am comfortable carrying a certain amount of debt, a small percentage of my personal GDP so to speak.  My husband is not at ease with any debt, as the plaintive cry of the Chloe bag does not keep him awake at night. 

The long and short of it is that I am shifting down to second gear in my quest for financial health (and wardrobe improvement) – the slow track.  And this is what I am wearing today:



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Filed under Chloe, Debt Reduction, Polyvore, Shopping, The Number

Polyvore-ing 7/21/09

Signed up with Polyvorerecently – was probably sole hold-out in certain demographics. I could argue that it is a practical matter – pre-assembled ensembles coupled with others’ inspired combos results in hours a week saved.  (This time is usually spent rooting frantically through my closet).  However, mostly Polyvore is just FUN and I am flat-out addicted.   The Polyvore set shown below is what I am wearing today:


The caption ‘Citron Dress Take 4″ refers to previous attempts (some successful, some not) at styling the yellow-green J. Crew dress. I love the color, but it is a tricky one.  Here are a few prior attempts:


More later . . .

XO Debtonaire

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Filed under Polyvore