Clothing and Accessories

A Hole in My Closet

It has been hot here the last couple days which has revealed a gaping hole in my wardrobe. I have exactly one shirt I can wear when it is hot outside. (See above.) It doesn't look like it would be great for hot weather, but it is tissue-thin. I wore it yesterday. I am wearing it again today because, as I mentioned, I don't have anything else. Also, I can get away with that because I am not going into the office.

The problem is my arms. This isn't a "I hate my chubby arms" insecurity that a lot of women have. I have batwings, and my batwings have their own batwings. I have always had big arms, but losing so much weight so fast has made them so much worse. Trust me when I say they are hideous. That is a statement of fact, not an exaggeration.

Most of the time, I wear a cardigan over a cami, or a cardigan over a dress, or something with long sleeves. Last weekend, we went to the fair and I just couldn't do it. It was so hot. I took off my cardigan and hoped we didn't run into anyone we knew. That's not going to work for me for the rest of the summer.

I'm open to suggestion here. Do you have a favorite hot weather top with sleeves? I have some shopping to do. Fortunately, I am a world class competitive shopper.

Vicarious Shopping: Nothing Over $50

Nothing Over $50


Dorothy Perkins knot dress
$44 -


Sugarhill Boutique heart dress
€30 -


H M stripe dress
£25 -


Belted dress
£22 -



H M layered dress
£25 -


Platform wedge shoes
$42 -


Dollhouse high heel boots
$29 -


Open toe shoes
£30 -





Monsoon gold cluster ring
£12 -


Beach jewelry
$34 -


Flower jewelry
$8.99 -



Leather jewelry
€17 -


ASOS neon jewelry
$11 -


Zara flower jewelry
$50 -


Shiny belt
$44 -



All Saints buckle belt
$50 -


My Jewelry Uniform

Up until last year, I was never a regular wearer of jewelry. I'd been wearing the same pair of diamond studs for nearly 20 years. I've always admired people who seem so natural in jewelry, since I always felt so awkward. I decided that I wanted to look as put together as they did, so I developed a jewelry uniform. This set of jewelry goes with almost any outfit I could put together. If I don't want to think about the perfect accessories to go with something, I know that I can simply put on my jewelry uniform and still look like I made an effort.

Wedding band and engagement ring

Jewelry Uniform

Sapphire ring that I bought myself for my 25th birthday

Jewelry Uniform

Tiffany bracelet from my husband

Jewelry Uniform

Tiffany earrings from my husband

Jewelry Uniform

Necklace with my daughters' initials and birthstones (I lost the green one)

Jewelry Uniform

The Goody Spin Pin Makes a Perfect Bun

I've seen the Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin in stores for awhile, but I was always skeptical about its effectiveness until @Shopafrolic tweeted about it last month. I finally bought it at Target yesterday. You guys, it is amazing. Seriously. It's ridiculous that I waited so long to buy it.

I have thick (less thick now that I have lost a lot of hair due to the weight loss surgery) shoulder-length hair that is layered. I twisted it into a bun, tucked the ends in the best I could, twisted these two pins in, and had a perfect bun. It took me about as long to do as it did to type the previous sentence. That was five hours ago. I just now readjusted one of the pins. If I'd had my hair up in a bun the way I usually do, with a clip or a ponytail holder, I would have adjusted it three times by now.

This video give a tutorial about how to use the Goody Spin Pins.

Three Months After Gastric Bypass

As of today, I am down 41 lbs. I forgot to take my measurements at the beginning of the month, so I'll just wait until next month. I hate doing it. Those numbers are meaningless to me. I care more about the size of the clothes I wear. Right now, I am all 2s: 2X tops and size 22 pants. I am down one size in tops and two sizes in pants.

I actually have a lot of pants that fit me right now. I'm not quite sure how that happened. I have a pair of black chinos, a pair of black slacks, a pair of black jeans, and two pairs of blue jeans. The black jeans are are the only ones I can wear with flat shoes. All of the other pants have to be worn with tall shoes (read: four-inch platform wedges). This poses a bit of a problem since I am leaving in a few days to go to a conference that will entail five days of WALKING. I will probably buy another pair of jeans that I can wear with flat shoes. I can't remember the last time I owned six pairs of pants, all in the same size, that fit me well.

Related: I must stop spending so much money on clothes. I am going to have wait until I am in 18s to buy new clothes again.

The Look for Less: Woven Leather Wedges and Black Leather Booties

Yesterday on The Pioneer Woman, she mentioned a site called Polyvore and, in one of the screenshots, there were these Givenchy woven leather wedges. I was instantly in love, but it is the kind of love I have for Brad Pitt (unattainable), not the kind of love I have for my husband (attained). These shoes cost $1,190. Look, I'll drop $100 on a pair without blinking, but paying ten times that? No. Still, I love them.


I had a little bit of time between my orthodontist appointment and picking up the girls from daycare, so I stopped in at Kohl's to see if I could find a few inexpensive shirts to replace the ones in my closet that are beginning to look like tents on me. What I found were the Candie's Vivien Platform Wedge Sandal. They didn't give me the same tinglies in my lady parts, but they are cute and comfortable and only cost $60. I actually bought them in Blush, not Cognac, as shown here.


If you have been following my shoe adventures on Twitter, you will know that I recently purchased these Kelsi Dagger Wilma booties on Piperlime, but they are a half size too big and out of stock in the size I need. (Extra sad because they are on clearance for $75, down from $150.)


I ordered some insert thingies to try to make them work but, in the meantime, I figured I would see if I could find a pair of shoes at Kohl's that would work instead. I found the Rath Platform Wedges from Simply Vera by Vera Wang. They suite my purposes perfectly, are easier to walk in, and are the same price as the booties, so the booties are going back.


Wardrobe In Memoriam

I convinced my mom to buy a green, animal print (sort of) top by Michael Kors a year or two ago. She rarely paid that much money for clothes, but it looked good on her and she needed to stop wearing such frumpy tops on the weekends. I tried on the same top, in a size larger, but it didn't look good on me. It made me look bigger than I was.

Today, I am wearing her top. It is one of the only things I kept from her closet. I'm glad it fits me now. I'll be a little sad when I am wearing a smaller size and it no longer fits, but then I will be able to wear a green sweater of hers that I kept.

Call for Opinions: Wedge Sandals

Select styles of Jessica Simpson shoes are on sale at today. (Don't go looking for those awesome purple ones, they are not on the site. WTF?)


I didn't see any that I wanted (well, that I wanted and that I think I could walk in), but looking through her shoes did make me want to buy some cute wedge sandals. I know you are shoe-lovers, so please recommend some cute styles for me.

Call for Opinions: I Need a New Raincoat

Photo courtesy of

I need a raincoat that is more professional and grown-up looking than the one I have. I currently use a Columbia rainproof shell like the one pictured above. I have had it for 13 years.

Today I put that jacket on over fuschia knit top, black flowy pants, and shiny pointy-toed flats. The jacket didn't really go with my outfit.

Please help me find a new coat! (Plus sizes. XL is not plus size.)

KEEN Sneakers Are the New Converse All Stars


Remember how I expounded upon my love of Chucks in one of my first posts on this blog? I thought my black low-top Converse All-Star Chuck Taylor sneakers gave me back a little bit of the cool I may have once had. Maybe they did, but once I noticed that everyone from tweens to Sally Fields was wearing Chucks, it became clear that they were no longer as cool as they once were. Fortunately, I had already switched to KEEN.

When I was pregnant, I needed some new shoes; ones that were roomy, comfortable, and provided adequate support. I found the KEEN Ventura sneakers. They are wider than the Chucks and don't make my feet look like boats. They also provided much more cushioning, making them more comfortable for all-day wear. I bought two pairs of the KEEN Ventura sneakers, one in black suede and the other in natural canvas (pictured above). I haven't worn my Chucks since.

Spanx Higher Power Panties Suck It All In

Spanx You don't get to be my size without having tried a girdle or two. Spanx panties are not a girdle. I was a little worried when I first bought a pair of Spanx Higher Power Panties, that they were going to be like those terrible, rubberized body shapers/sausage casings I wore for the prom, and when I was a bridesmaid, and for my own wedding. Then I figured that if thousands of women are singing the praises of these panties and wearing them every day, they can't be that bad.

I am the exact same weight I was three years ago, just before I got pregnant with my first child, but my body has changed. It's lumpier here, saggier there, and I have long since lost the battle of the bulge that likes to hang out over my waist band. Spanx Higher Power Panties turned back the clock to firmer days, smoothing out the lumps and bumps and sucking that bulge back into my waistband where it belongs.

The Spanx Higher Power Panty goes from mid-thigh all the way up to your bra. The bottom edge is legband-free, which is supposed to eliminate bulges. I did have a hint of a indent where they ended, which was slightly noticeable when I wore them with slacks, but not noticeable when I wore them with jeans. The best part about the Spanx Higher Power Panty is the double-gusset crotch. It magically splits open when you need to pee, allowing you to do so without taking off your Spanx.

Today, I bought Spanx High Falutin' Footless Pantyhose for $28 at Lane Bryant. They go from mid-calf to just below your bra. I am hoping these will work better under slacks for me. The Spanx Higher Power Panties are $36 at Lane Bryant. Because that is a lot more than I pay for a regular pair of panties, I haven't yet come to the point where I wear Spanx every day, but I seem to be heading in that direction.

(Note: I also tried a pair of Assets by Sara Blakely, the cheaper line of Spanx available at Target. I recommend paying more for the Spanx. The Assets felt cheaper, were not as comfortable, and did not have the double-gusset crotch.)

What about this ripped jeans trend?

Ripped Jeans 

Images from (via Celeb Trend blog)

Amy asks:

Your opinion on ripped jeans for grown ups. Is a little ripped ok or should they be avoided altogether?

I think ripped jeans are ridiculous on adults. This a trend that comes and goes and I will admit to having participated in it in the past, but I was a teenager. Once you are past your college years, maybe you should put on some real pants and act like an adult.

Tim Gunn Has a Peeve

At the BlogHer conference, in the expo hall, Tide and Bounce had a booth. On day two of the conference, they had Tim Gunn of Project Runway there autographing headshots and getting his picture taken with fans. I have only seen Project Runway and that other makeover show he did a few times, so I was planning to go to a session, but my friends wanted to meet him and I wanted to hang out with them, so I waited in line with them. Some of those ladies were crazy nuts to meet Tim Gunn. One lady just about had an orgasm when he said he liked her outfit.

When it was my turn, he said hello, and I think he shook my hand. He asked my name and how to spell it. I asked him to please make it out to Joanne instead since she LOVES him but was not attending the conference. After that, I didn't really have anything to say to him. He asked me what my blog was about. I told him The Peevery is a group blog where we post about all the little things irritate us. He thought that was funny.

See? He's cracking up. It was all in my delivery.

Michelle, you are so hilarious!

I said, "We have a fashion category. One of Joanne's biggest pet peeves is words on asses." He cocked his head to the side a little, like, "Huh?" and I said, "Like Juicy Couture where it says 'Juicy' across the ass."

Tim Gunn lit up and said, "Don't get me started. It's ridiculous! Ridiculous!" Then we posed for our official picture. I might use this as my Christmas card this year. Even though I am mortified at my hideous outfit which will never be worn again.

I'd just had a baby four weeks earlier.

After our picture was taken, he asked me what my blog URL was so that he could visit it because he thought it was funny. That's when I had my orgasm.

Tim, don't cyberstalk me.

(Thanks to Kate the Peon for taking a picture right at the moment he asked me for the blog URL.)

Online Coupon Codes

When shopping online, I never have an online coupon code provided to me by the store at which I am shopping, so it's a good thing that I can just Google it. If you haven't done this before, you are really missing out on some savings. I just saved 25% off an online shopping order by Googling "Avenue coupon codes." Wherever you are shopping, before you checkout, type the name of the store plus "coupon codes" into Google. You might have to pick through some sites before you find a code that looks valid and applies to your situation, but it is worth a few minutes of your time. I don't have loyalty to a particular site, but has been coming up a lot in my searches lately.

Crocs: Ugly Comfort

Crocs_beach_black_8 It is an irrefutable fact that Crocs are both ugly and comfortable. For a long time, I was unwilling to look past the ugly to experience the comfort. Then I got pregnant. Then my feet swelled up to Flintstonian proportions. Then I became the owner of a pair of bright pink Crocs that had been on clearance. I figured I would wear them until my feet fit into normal shoes again, but, six months after I had my baby, I could still be seen regularly on weekends, running around town in a bright pink pair of Crocs. I was a convert, but that was no excuse for continuing to wear such an obnoxious pair of shoes.

In an overwhelming display of suburbanosity last weekend, I bought a pair of black beach Crocs at Costco, while shopping with my husband and my baby. They are too comfortable to resist.

Photo by

Soft-Soled Baby Shoes

Mostly I think these new baby shoes are kind of ugly. The Robeez are supposedly the miracle of the baby shoe world - shoes that baby can't kick off! Soft-soled so as not to interfere with physical development! $28 for baby shoes!

We received a pair of the Ministar brand that Target sells for $13. They are not 100% kick-proof but for less than half the cost, they do just fine.

I thought maybe all look-a-like baby shoes would work just as well, so when I saw these super cute bug shoes for $8 at Old Navy, I couldn't resist. They stay on the baby's feet for approximately 30 seconds before she either pulls one off and puts it on her mouth or kicks them both completely off. They are going back to the store.

I am not planning to spend any more time or money researching the effectiveness of various brands because, seriously, the baby can't even walk yet.