Stylish | Somewhere in Middle America

Before the holidays, when the crisp fall weather hinted it was time to turn to winter, I began a desperate search for a new pair of warm pajamas. I was frustrated because I wasn’t able to find anything at Target or Kohls appropriate for somebody under the age of 65, and I didn’t bother looking at Victoria’s Secret because I assumed their sleepwear would be just as trashy as their lingerie.

Then, out of the blue, Soma Intimates contacted me about their new “Personality PJs,” a collection of sleepwear with prints that match up with personalities including: GLAM, FUN, CHIC, WILD, CLASSIC and ROMANTIC. I hadn’t thought about checking out Soma Intimates because, well, we don’t have one here in Omaha, so I took their “Personality Quiz” online, and they sent me a free pair of “FUN” pajamas in the Doggie Bone print.

Thanks to the 8 inches of snow we received on Monday, I finally had the chance to spend a guilt-free day lounging in my “Personality PJs.” When I first unwrapped them I was afraid I might actually get too warm wearing them; they looked really heavy. But the modal/cotton blend was actually very comfortable, lightweight yet still cozy. I loved that they had a bit of spandex in them to help keep their shape. I was also impressed that even the brass buttons had a design on them and that they came with an extra button just in case.

I’m always anxious about ordering pants online without trying them on first because my hips have a bit of curve to them and my inseam is a tad longer than a “regular” but not long enough for a “tall.” I was pleasantly surprised that the pants fit almost perfectly. They skimmed my hips and didn’t cling anywhere. My only complaint is that I wish they were a couple of inches longer because I prefer when my lounge pants graze the floor, and I had to hike them down a smidge so that they’d be long enough.

Although there are none in Omaha, there are 130+ Soma boutiques nationwide. Or you can visit, and I highly suggest you do because their “Personality PJs” are now on sale. Sold as separates, you can now score certain styles for just $27 a pair. Although you can no longer take the “Personality Quiz” online, I have faith that you can determine for yourself which pattern best matches your personality. And if you wind up with the Doggie Bone pattern, let me know. We can be pajama twins.

For information on sponsored posts, please email me at pj at somewhereinmiddleamerica dot com.

Today I’m officially 30-and-a-half, so I figure it’s time I gave some serious thought to my belated birthday gift. I’m owed a 30th birthday gift because I wasn’t sure what to ask for when I hit the milestone in March, but I realized over the summer that I’d really like an aquamarine ring to mark the occasion. Clearly, this isn’t a new idea, as I also wanted a piece of jewelry with my birthstone for my 29th birthday. Needless to say, I didn’t get it. (Ahem, husband. You read the blog, right?)

This year, however, I prefer a chunky cocktail ring rather than a set of simple stacking rings that I would wear everyday on my right hand. I’m totally obsessing over this amethyst Marco Bicego Jaipur ring. I love the textured band, which almost looks like faux bois. I was told it comes in blue topaz which looks like aquamarine (kind of), but I can’t find an image online. Unfortunately, it’s way out of our price range…and it’s not aquamarine.

My second favorite ring is this Conroy & Wilcox 18K aquamarine ring. The organic rough-and-tumbled look of the stone makes it casual, yet the size of it makes it a statement piece. But, alas, it’s also way too expensive.

After an extensive search on Etsy for a more affordable aquamarine ring, I stumbled upon Garnet Girl Designs. Her 14K Rock Fetish aquamarine ring might be the perfect compromise. I love the matte finish of the band and the large faceted stone. However, I worry that the color of the aquamarine may not be as intense a shade of blue as I would want, especially since I can’t see it in person before buying. But, the bluer the stone, the higher the price, so I may just have to settle for a paler aquamarine.

I suppose an alternative option would be to buy a loose aquamarine stone and commission somebody to build a ring around it. I wonder how much it would cost to go down that route…

Some of my friends hate their birthstone (hey, J & L, there’s nothing wrong with peridot!), but I love mine…I just don’t love how expensive it is!

How do you feel about your birthstone? Would you want a piece of jewelry with your birthstone in it?

Sunday, while picking up some groceries, I happened upon Dolce Vita’s new collaboration with Target — Dolce Vita for Target. Impulsively, I purchased a pair of black lace-up combat boots because designer collaborations typically fly off the shelf; I figured I could think about them and decide how I might wear them when I got home. Turns out, they’re already sold out online.

Although military-chic is a look that isn’t going away this fall, I didn’t want to invest big money on trendy accessories. The Target boots are less than 1/4 the cost of Dolce Vita’s Besos boot — and look strikingly similar. Granted these boots are faux-leather and not as rugged-looking as the Besos (they almost have a Victorian-granny look to ‘em), but I think they’ll work just fine with skinny jeans, floral tops and blazers or black tights and feminine dresses. Plus, they are surprisingly comfortable. And comfort trumps fashion, right?


lace-up combat boots by somewhereinmiddleamerica featuring dolce vita boots

On Sunday’s episode of “Design Star,” the challenge was to design a room in a glass house based off the type of show the contestants would like to host on HGTV. Prop stylist Emily Henderson, a fan favorite, explained that her show would take a client’s personal fashion style and translate it into a room. She wants us to dress our rooms like we dress ourselves. Sounds awfully similar to Thom Filicia’s “Dress My Nest…”

But that’s not the point. The point is that Emily has a great sense of personal style (see below). She described her look as “untamed, bohemian and effortless “  and threw around words like natural and organic, all of which were reflected in the sophisticated yet playful living room she designed (see above).

In my dreams I dress “untamed, bohemian and effortless” like Emily (although I sort of see her as trendy/preppy/hippie… or whatever style Anthropologie is).  In real life I dress… well, I’m not sure. I feel like my style changes on a daily basis. Some days I dress more on the conservative side. Sometimes I play with color and prints. Most days I wear my hair straight, but sometimes I leave it wavy/curly. And on certain occasions I use my full name rather than my nickname, PJ. It’s like I haven’t decided who I am.

I would love to work with a stylist to help me define who I am on the outside (I’m still working on the inside part) like Abbey did earlier this year.  She hired Stephanie Madewell to rebuild her wardrobe post-baby, as she was adjusting to her new role as mommy. I would love to find somebody who can transform me into my most authentic — and stylish — self. Know anybody?

(images via

We can all agree that shopping for jeans can be a soul-crushing experience. But what about shoe shopping? In the August issue of Lucky, Editor in Chief Kim France writes, “… time spent in the shoe department is rarely less than delightful.”

Well, Kim, not when you wear a 10N. Make that a 10 1/4 narrow. When you have long skinny feet with tiny ankles, nothing fits properly. Your big toe hangs over the edge of sandals just slightly enough to render the shoe too small, but the larger size is always too big. Ankle straps don’t hold your feet in place, and walking can be dangerous when they’re sliding left and right in your sandal. And since stores receive fewer 10s than, say, 8s, you’re lucky if they even carry your size.

An afternoon in the shoe department often results in zero purchases and a whole lot of frustration. And don’t get me started on online shoe shopping. If I can’t try them on first, there’s a 99.9% chance they’re going back. Thank goodness for sites like Zappos that offer free return shipping.

I wish it were possible to have toe-reduction surgery. I would love to be a size 9. Could you imagine?! Plus, I heard that your feet grow when you are pregnant. In my case, I hope they get wider, because if I become a size 11 when I’m preggers I may be forced to perform a toe-ectomy on myself.

What do you have a hard time shopping for? Shoes? Jeans? Something else?

(photo of my “Barbie” feet, which fit perfectly in pointy-toed stilettos but not much else)

Loving this color combination — and the detailing on those grey heels.

(image source)

These are my turquoise rain boots. I wore them all day on Monday because it was raining cats and dogs in Omaha. I wear them nearly every time it rains, but, truth be told, I don’t even like them very much. They’re an awkward height and, after five or so years of wear and tear, they’re scuffed and the shiny coating is cracking. Ironically, I receive more compliments on them than any other pair of shoes I own. Like, strangers stop me on the street in the Old Market or behind me in line at Subway to tell me that they like my boots. Little do they know that what I really want are a pair of these classic wellies.

My sister is getting married Memorial Day weekend, and I need to start thinking about how I want to wear my hair. (I was hoping that the Oscars last month would’ve provided some red carpet inspiration, but, alas, it didn’t.) I’m currently obsessed with this updo — those bangs! that red hair! I won’t be dyeing my hair for the occasion (although red hair would be a lovely contrast to the navy halter-neck I’ll be wearing), but perhaps I could get blunt bangs and pile the rest of my hair into a big poof.

(via Mint)

Currently Exciting/Inspiring Me: Femininity

The new Chanel campaign for Coco Rouge features a perfectly polished Vanessa Paradis, who was chosen, in part, because she embodies “modern elegance.” I’m obsessed with her overall look in the ad, especially those pinks lip! She oozes femininity in the photo, something I’m currently craving. I’m so sick of wearing jeans and solid colored sweaters everyday! Bring on florals, ruffles, dresses, heels and, of course, ladylike makeup.

(image source)

Currently Exciting/Inspiring Me: Fashion Blogs

My Google Reader is full of decor, paper and personal blogs, but a friend recently introduced me to Corks and Caftans, a wine/fashion blog by a husband and wife duo, and now I’m inspired to find more fashion blogs to follow. When I was in middle school, I kept a diary of my outfits to make sure I didn’t repeat a look, but over the years I’ve gotten significantly more lazy in my wardrobe choices. Reading Carey’s posts about her daily outfits makes me want to dress more creatively.

If you’ve got a great fashion blog to recommend, please leave a comment below!

(image of Carey via Corks and Caftans)