Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thursday, December 15th (Day 60)

Today Mz. Helen pulls a classic 'white and black.' Strategically standing next to the deco white-and-black wallhanging in Associate Dean's Andrea's office, and contrasted nicely by the blue of the exam books, here we see Helen in true-blue NYC style in a 3-quarter sleeve white cardigan, short black ruffled skirt, black tights, and black super-efficient pumps. The business (of grading) is serious, and is underscored by the sheer pile of exambooks, the white question sheet, the pencil, and the glassess on the -- also black -- table. Helen's bright smile (sans doggie stress, phew!!), however, and the sheer chic of this outfit will make grading a lighter chore for anyone concerned, one hopes!

P.S. - and may I just take a moment to feel rather pleased that this blog was my idea? Ellen will testify.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wednesday, December 14th (Day 59)

The red shoes are back! Glad to see that Helen is still trying to get her money's worth out of the red patent leather Cole Hahn flats she first sported on Day 52. Today the ruby slippers are a perfect compliment to Helen's black, gray and red argyle sweater. Black shoes just wouldn't have been festive enough during the holiday season!

Is it me or does Helen look a little stressed petting our co-worker's dog Brandi? I wasn't there when the pooch stopped by and I'm not sure if Helen is a dog lover, but if this photo is any indication, my guess is that there aren't any doggie treats under Helen's tree.

We are in the home stretch of the semester, just days from Christmas break, and some of our more loyal followers want Helen to continue on her fashion mission until she shows up in sweats and a t-shirt. If you have an opinion, let us know!

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 13 -- Day 58

Though bulletin board may be a little outdated, our heroine is fashionably au courant. Here Helen, who is always on her toes, sports a silk-rayon blend ballerina dress with great lines and even better flow. Black tights and black patent ballet flats complete the seemingly effortless no-wrinkle look that’s suited for an afternoon of end-of-semester nuttiness followed by an evening of fast-paced Christmas shopping.

Winding down - Monday (Day 57)

This is our last week of work before the holiday break, which I'd call the home stretch, but as an extended metaphor I don't think that works well for our hero.

Today I'm going right for the accessory: Helen, as you may have noticed, Dear Reader, is a fan of the scarf, and this is a great one. Offsetting a long-sleeved fuchsia top over black pants and shoes, the scarf starts our week in grand style.

Stay tuned for a festive five days!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Another week successfully completed!

Helen surely has some Friday-night Fun planned with the grin she's wearing in today's photo. Here she's placing the lovely poinsettia the office received from our facilities department. And the red of the flowers nicely set off her black and gray ensemble, I think. There's definitely a bit of a chill now, so Helen's got black tights under the cute gray tulip skirt (ten-years old and still looking great!). Black boots are a little unusual for our hero, but work well with the sassy look she's got going as the weekend rolls in.

A reminder to please let us know how hard we should push Helen to continue the project. Our original target date has been reached, but the rest of us are still willing to watch her make it work.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thursday, December 8th (Day 55)

Helen mixed it up on Thursday with a festive black and gray patterned dress, black chunky Silpada necklace, black stockings and black suede Stuart Weitzman pumps. (Stuart Weitzman is her favorite brand for shoes and Helen patiently waits and watches until they go on sale). She's also sporting a new gel manicure. Opi malaga wine is the color of choice (30 minutes to dry and lasts 2-3 weeks!).

Helen is a tad more dressy than usual, as the annual Holiday Party was on the agenda for later in the day. Stay tuned for a photo from the festivities. Apparently Helen's not the only one who loves Silpada jewelry and Opi malaga wine nails!

Alright, already! Take the darn picture! (Day 54)

Unfortunately Helen's getting a little miffed at her slacker co-workers whose picture taking and blogging has been less then timely as of late. As a result, her husband Neal had to step up to the plate and take this photo while Helen was in the kitchen whipping up a penne vodka with sausage dinner for her man. Thank you Neal!

On this rainy and dreary day, Helen went with earth tones. Light brown patterned slacks, a brown cardigan with an off white camisole sweater, and classic pearls.

Helen - if we promise to stay on top of the blog, will you promise to extend the challenge into next semester?? Readers, what do you think? Let us know!

Tuesday, December 6th

Where is Tuesday the 6th, you ask?

Stay tuned....we are experiencing technical difficulties with the photo as our VP of Media and Witticisms was unavailable and left the underlings to hold down the fort. The problem should be solved shortly.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

There's no place like home! (Monday, Dec 5th)

"Oh yes we need a little Christmas, right this very minute!" Helen has finally worn red! Yes, our heroine is not fond of red, but apparently this red sweater has a hint of blue in it, so she made an exception. (I'm still looking for the blue). The black turtle neck and black velvet slacks work as a very nice backdrop to this bold three button cardigan. But the coup de grace of this outfit are the red patent leather Cole Haan flats.

Now I'm sure you're asking yourself, if Helen doesn't like red, why does she own red shoes? How often could she possibly wear them? In response to my inquiry she said "I just had to buy them. I fell in love with them!". Well, I guess since we're in the midst of the red and green holiday season, we'll be seeing them again before the semester is out.

And in the words of Dorothy of Oz, owner of another famous pair of red shoes, click your heels three times and say "there's no place like home"!

I Love Rock & Roll!

Something you may not know of me is I love music especially rock and roll! So my bloggers have asked me to post this great shot taken Saturday night with one of my favorite lead guitarist-Ricky Byrd. I was at BB Kings in New York City to see Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes and Ricky came on stage at the show's end to play with the band. As an original member of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (a nominee for this year's Hall of Fame), I have been following Ricky for over 30 years. I was thrilled he would be so kind to take this picture with me.

Onto the clothes--- black jeans, black top, black leather boots and black leather jacket- -what else would one wear to a concert (with the exception of the multi-black shaded scarf)... also a hearing aid due to the many concerts and shows I have seen over the years. No one told me to use ear plugs when I was young, if so they would have been black.

I know it's only rock and roll but I like it.....

Friday, December 2

O Cashmere!

And if it’s not, well, it sure looks like it. Here, Helen has paired a soft medium-hued grey cashmere cardigan (note the pushed up sleeves) with fine gabardine slacks. Though difficult to spot in the photo, the subtle sheen of the slacks mirrors the shine of her two-toned, multi-strand pearl necklace, adding the vertical balance we’ve come to expect of Helen’s ensembles. Patent leather ballet flats ground the overall outfit, while the detail of the necklace, coupled with the soft floral neckline of the cashmere cardigan, pulls attention upward to where we’re greeted by a beaming smile.

Good job, Helen. Those black and grey outfits may look simple, but they never are.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nifty 50!!! (Thursday, December 1st)

Forget the old "Fifty Nifty U-nited States" song from grammar school.....our girl Helen has worn FIFTY nifty outfits so far this semester! Unbelievable!

OK readers, be honest....other than the Housewives of New Jersey, can you think of anyone you know who could stretch their work wardrobe this far?! Today's blog is a tribute to Helen's sense of timeless style and legendary fashion acumen. She's wearing a celery colored sweater and coordinating scarf, paired with velvet slacks - simple, comfortable - perfect for the office - classic Helen!

Ho, Ho, Ho. It's December!

A new month, and Christmas is coming, and in honor of the lighting of the big tree in Rockefeller Center, we have a photo of Helen with her own tree at home on Wednesday.

The weather is still cooperating and Helen has a short black skirt with a long-sleeve white top, black sheer stockings, and a short heel. Vivacious!

How are your holiday decorations coming?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ruffles have Ridges!

Nearing the end of November and our warm weather (we think!...and, yes, I'm feeling alliterative, so sue me).

Helen's complaints on Monday aside, she continues to ride out the unseasonal temperatures with aplomb. Today's outfit: a V-neck, pale blue, long-sleeved top with front ruffles over a black camisole with black pants. She was quick to point out her own matching wavy locks, a rare site in the office (hit the blog archive for a count!).

The weatherman is promising a temperature drop to some serious sweater and tweed weather, so get ready for a sartorial second wind!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm done with this warm weather! (Monday, Nov.28th)

A tired Helen came into the office today after the long Thanksgiving weekend. The reports from Thanksgiving dinner were all positive - the food and company were fantastic! But the first words out of her mouth were "this weather is doing us a disservice!". I heartily agree! If we wanted to wear short sleeves all year long we'd live in Florida! Enough already! We want tweeds, wools and cashmere!

But then the competitive side of Helen emerged and she began contemplating extending the challenge indefinitely. Perhaps the warm weather has been a blessing in disguise, allowing Helen to go where no others have gone before.....could she pull off an entire academic year with out double-dipping in the closet????

Stay tuned.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our heroine took the day off on Wednesday, Nov. 23rd to start preparing her Thanksgiving Feast.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Tuesday, November 22nd

Why does Helen look so relaxed? Is it because it's a short work week and she only had to put together two outfits? Or is it because she finally decided on which brussel sprout recipe to use for Thanksgiving?
(They were delicious, by the way, and she will share the recipe if you're interested).

Helen is wearing a cute corduroy miniskirt and black Anne Taylor long sleeve t-shirt, accessorized by a black belt with silver buttons and and a black, grey and white patterned scarf from D.J. Crater, a local merchant.

Note: We hope our readers patronized their local businesses on November 26th, Small Business Saturday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21st (Day 45)

By now you would think it would be crunch time in the closet! But no, Helen still comes up with a dress we have yet to see this semester! Is she borrowing from friends and neighbors? Has she raided her daughter's closet? Or is she still riding the wave of missed work days (and outfits!) from the Snowtober event a few weeks back?

Today's blue dress is simple, comfortable, classy and most importantly, forgiving. Lots of room to breath. Perhaps it should have been saved for a post-Thanksgiving debut? We hear the menu for Helen's annual Thanksgiving dinner is unbelievable! Look out Food Network, it might be time for a throw down!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Friday, November 18

There is no such thing as too much black.

But just to be sure, Helen always pairs a colorful addition to what otherwise might be described a 'black on black' ensemble. Here, a deeply-hued rich jewel tone cardigan breaks up the monochome. Though difficult to see in the photo, a delicately ruffled collar adds a welcome touch of festivity to our Friday afternoon.

That's our Helen. Always ready for the weekend.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Substitute Teacher

The crazy fall weather—yes, it finally got a bit cold this week—took its toll on our heroine and she had to take a day to recuperate.

Fortunately Helen's stalwart work buddy Andrea was up to the task and served as a last-minute sub, lest our faithful followers be disappointed.

Andrea tends to eschew the black and white for a more earthy palette and Thursday was no exception. We caught her without her jacket sporting a dark brown ensemble with high turtleneck (in case you didn't believe us about the weather changing). Always wearing a smile, Andrea deserves the kudos for stepping up...and saving us from the pressure of filling in for Helen.

Get better soon!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hump day!

Yep, a full week of work. Will wonders never cease?

Honestly though, it's been a beautiful fall...apart from that pesky snowstorm, and Helen is taking it all in stride. Well, apart from the occasional cloud in her otherwise sunny disposition (we'll spare you the details). Wednesday we had another lovely black-and-white pants outfit, with a great textured top (ruffles, I'd call 'em), covered over with a button-up sweater, sleeves tastefully rolled up. (Careful followers of the blog may have noticed that Helen's a fan of "rolling up"—as I call it.) Pointy shoes (I'm sure there's a better fashionista term for them) complete the outfit.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tuesday, November 15th

What? None for me? Today's photo shows Helen looking enviously at some student art work in the hallway. The subject is devouring some Chicken McNuggets and fries and I think our heroine is getting tired of salads for lunch!

I know what you're thinking! "Another all-black outfit?"...but you're wrong! The photo doesn't do the skirt justice. It's a beautiful patterned and textured skirt in soldier blue and black. Very stylish. I'm sorry our readers couldn't see it in person!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14th (Day 41)

"Summertime, summertime, summertime, summertime!" is the melody that ran through my head when Helen walked into the office on Monday. This has been one weird and wacky fall and Helen is starting to get a little frustrated. She's getting tired of the warm weather outfits, and is dying to break out the wools, cashmeres, and tweeds and put the short sleeve tops in the storage bins. The long range forecast calls for a dip in temperatures over the weekend, followed by more warm weather next week. Maybe Helen can take a photo in her favorite wool outfit on Saturday and share it with her readers!


An auspicious date and day 40 of Helen's project! (I'm not doing the counting on this, so I'll have to take everyone's word for it.)

Helen's looking very serious here in her go-to-faculty-meeting suit. Reading glasses and clipboard round out the look. This is not Helen's favorite task in the office—which puts her in good company with lots of others who would rather not be at a long meeting late Friday afternoon—but what can you do? The job's the job.

Warm weather continues and I remain optimistic that our heroine will persevere well into winter. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 39--Celebration

My daughter was accepted into a highly completive film program in Los Angeles, so my husband decided we should have a celebratory dinner. It was also the Dean's birthday--another reason for my decorative cardigan and flouncy skirt. I hope everyone finds reasons to celebrate--life is too short not to have fun.

Wednesday, November 9th (Day 38)

Thirty eight days and our heroine is still surprising us! On Wednesday, Helen wore a red and brown patterned jersey dress. She admitted she was not a big fan of this outfit, but felt a tad more glamorous when she arrived that morning wearing her ruffled cape. As a result, we opted to take the the photo outside at lunch time so our readers would be able to see the complete outfit. The cape also prevents Helen from blending into the fall foliage!

A note to our more observant readers: The cape is a repeat, but "outerwear" is not part of the challenge!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Taking the hint

Well, somebody's a little grumpy! :-)

OK, Helen's got us dead to rights. This blogging thing requires at least a little consistency, so let's see if we can do better. After all, we've got the easy part!

Last Tuesday—yeah, that was a while ago—saw Helen in another simple, yet elegant, black-and-grey pants outfit. I need hardly point out the accessories anymore, but I like the thin belt on this one, and the chunky necklace provides a nice contrast and complements the circular neckline well.

That whole Snowtober thing aside, the weather has been holding out pretty well, and we're expected to be back up in the 60s again for a few days this week. If that keeps up at all, my money's on Helen to push boldly into next semester with no problem.


My bloggers have let me down. Pictures have been taken all week yet no posts have been composed. Time to crack the whip tomorrow. Hopefully they will catch up shortly. Till then I am still on target and have not duplicated an outfit yet. Discussion is taking place when the actual semester is considered over but I believe whatever is decided I will complete this mission.

I was in the Hamptons this weekend, saw a consignment store name "Out of the Closet"-how come there was no objection to this store's name but my blog name had to be changed? Just commenting!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monday, November 7 (Day 36)

Skirt or skort? Place your bets!

It was a gorgeous day so our heroine of the bottomless closet is posing outside for her photo op. I liked today's outfit. Simple. Comfortable. Hip. Enough said.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back to Work! (Friday, Nov 4)

One day of work this week, and Helen is swamped with mailers, but elegant as ever! Punching up her basic black slacks and top is a wine-colored (cabernet, says Helen) sweater. Personally I'm a fan of the long drapery, so I love this outfit.

Besides if you have to work Friday as if it were the entire week, you might as well look good!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Calm before the Storm

Hard to believe it was just a week ago, but here's Helen last Friday, as we waited, ignorant of the gigantic mess we were about to be in due to a little late-October snowstorm. If I didn't know better, I'd say she was trying to escape by climbing up our bookshelves.

As for the outfit, it a well-coordinated dark-blue and maroon combo, set off with a great (and wide) belt. You can't see it, but trust me that there's a nice necklace too.

As for the unexpected Snowtober "vacation"...only Helen knows what she wore in the un-electrified privacy of her unheated home. No doubt she's started looking at the winter section of the closet!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Rainy Day Post from Helen -Day 33

I purposely shrunk this picture because my smile is just way to cheesy and what was I thinking! My co-worker stated her immediate thought when she saw this outfit was "water". I was thinking whimsical but now in retrospect a Glamour Don't! Perhaps I was influenced by one of my favorite Disney princesses, Ariel, The Little Mermaid. In any case, enjoy this outfit you will never see it worn again--I promise!

Can I take your order?

On Wednesday (day 32), Helen did not stray far from her black infused wardrobe, but she did mix it up by wearing a vest....is it possible that she has run out of cardigans??? Helen may want to reconsider pairing the black vest with a white blouse next season, since my initial thought was, "is she moonlighting at Rocco's?" Maybe that's why she's wearing such a big smile!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tuesday, October 25th (Day 31)

Helen swooped into the office today wearing a gorgeous black ruffled cape from Talbots (sorry it's not in the picture!). A rust-colored cardigan with tuxedo pleats and brown textured slacks completed the outfit. Since fall is the season of hardy mums, Helen's photo today was taken as she cared for a straggly little mum that one of her co-workers brought back to life over the last few months.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 30-- Monday in Chicago

I visited Chicago over the weekend to see my daughter so I took a vacation day on Monday. Since I was not at my desk on a regular workday I was asked to post what I wear on a day off. This picture was taken in my beautiful room at the W in downtown Chicago. (Thought you might like the poster hanging in my room.) Wonderful hotel in a wonderful town. One thing I noticed about Chicago is scarves--everybody wears them in so many ways. Back to work on Tuesday and back to my closet!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Date Night!

It's Friday the 21st of October and Helen is looking svelte and ready for a night out on the town with Neal! A black skirt, tights, shoes and cardigan over a royal blue top, accessorized by a beautiful black necklace. Helen is digging into the closet bringing out old standbys but still has the ability to remain hip. The royal blue and black color combo was seen prominently displayed over the weekend in the women's section of Macys in the Short Hills Mall.

Last Thursday, October 20

OK, so I'm a little behind, and somebody else posted Friday already. I trust in our intelligent readership to work that out. Meanwhile...

The autumn wardrobe is in full play these days, as daily highs are lingering in the 60s with crisp, cool mornings. Thursday saw Helen in khakis with a maroon long-sleeve top, elegantly—as always!—accessorized.

For the traditional, Helen's posing in front of old-school e-readers made out of dead plants! Crazy pre-modern world.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pizza Day!


One thing about the job is that there are a variety of tasks to keep one on one's toes. Wednesday we had a big pizza order, and I mean big! Here's Helen supervising the arrival of 48 pizza boxes before they are distributed. It was a rainy, though not too cold, day, and Helen is back to a more autumnal look with black pants and a short-sleeved sweater over a long-sleeved white blouse, accessorized with a wide black belt. Quite a switch from Tuesday!

(An editorial note: yours truly just got a new iOS device with a built-in voice-activated agent and improved camera, so expect better photos.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 19th (Day 27)

Springtime in October! Helen surprises us once again on this beautiful sunny day. She dug deep into the warm weather wardrobe and came up with a touch of spring! A new fan of the blog who happened to be walking by noted that it's the first time in quite a while that we've seen our Goddess of the Bottomless Closet in yellow. Say goodbye for now to the beautiful floral top.....off to the Rubbermaid storage tote!

Monday, October 17th (Day 25)

Tough day on the fashion front! Helen took one for the team today, bringing out one of her least favorite dresses in order to extend the streak into week 5. When asked to describe the outfit, she referred to it as the jersey cotton "brown bubble dress", followed by "and Neal hates it too!"

This begs the question...will the brown bubble dress be tucked away in the attic for another season....or will some lucky person be the recipient of a hand-me-down? Any takers?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Note from Helen


Now that I am almost halfway through the experiment of not wearing the same outfit for an entire semester, I thought it was time to show you-----TA DA!


Not as big as you might have expected and certainly not as tidy as I would like it to be. These pictures were taken before the turnover from summer to winter clothing. My bedroom now has four Rubbermaid bins (as shown below) strewn throughout the room. (Does nothing for the decor!) I usually spend a couple of hours each season switching clothes including purging clothes that no longer fit or might be dated.

This experiment started as a test to myself that I was not wanting of any more outfits but it is killing me not being able to buy any clothing. Even Barbie gets a new outfit every season. I will note that my husband is loving the fact the credit card is no longer smoking...

Friday, October 14th (Day 24)

It must have been tempting to go casual to celebrate the end of the work week, but Helen went with a simple, classy, executive look on Friday. Loved the necklace.

Nicely done!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

To boldly go!

Fall weather continued on Thursday with overcast skies, as Helen continued with her fall wardrobe. Today a black-and-white print skirt, white top, and black ¾-sleeve sweater. The temperatures are holding out, especially with the humidity today, so the transition has so far been a gradual one. The forecast promises more of the same, so we'll watch how she handles the upcoming weeks.

(Careful readers may have noticed the improved quality of our photos, as we've started to use Helen's own, ever ready digital in place of JM's iPod.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12th (Day 22)

Fall has arrived! Helen has moved on to the earth tones, wearing brown slacks and a print top with a jungle inspired print, accessorized with a brown belt and coordinating necklace. If she sat down in the comfy chair behind her she would blend right in! Truth be told, I'll bet she's just dying to curl up in that chair, put her feet up on the ottoman, and think about all the outfit options she has now that the fall wardrobe has made its debut!

Tuesday, October 11 (Day 21)

Look! No Stockings!

Taking advantage of what we hear might be the last of our warm, summer-like days, Helen has paired her light-weight patterned jersey wrap dress with a black mid-heel pump that's not too too pointy. The trick here (if you've not already noticed) is balancing all that black against a still tan leg. The result is a perfect reflection of our weather: the darker hue signals fall while the bare leg evokes summer. Well done, Helen. Well done.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A New Week

Still warm on Monday as we enter week four of the project! Helen is hanging onto the summery look with a floral-pattern skirt, solid matching top and light sweater.

The forecast calls for some cooling off and autumnal rain later in the week, so we may be seeing the last of this section of the wardrobe. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 7th (Day 19)

TGIF! I thought Helen made a bold move on Friday, wearing a figure hugging light pink top on the day the office staff was devouring a Nonna's pizza. She assured me that the top was "forgiving" and she was right....no muffin top in sight in this post pizza photo op!

Monday, October 10, 2011


Yes, prints! With the exclamation point because that's the first thing several people said upon seeing Helen last Thursday. We're experiencing a little Indian summer this year and Helen's taking full advantage, sticking with the warm-weather clothes and bright colors. This time she accessorized with a lovely fuchsia shawl to match the print and make the cooler morning and evening hours more comfortable.

Regular readers will also notice that we've been moving outside for out photos, trying to keep up with the wardrobe variety. Once the leaves start turning, we'll see how creative we can be.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5th (Day 17)

Helen's looking lovely on her lunch break on this gorgeous day! Black shoes, stockings and skirt paired with a rose colored top. Although the photo doesn't show the detail in her scarf, there are rose-colored dots in the pattern that match perfectly with her top. I ask myself once again, "how does she do it??"