the commander in chic

the commander in chic

i'm ashley. i live in pittsburgh. i'm a creative writer and i drink a lot of wine. they only pay me for one of those things.

the holy grail?


bras are important. many of us take for granted the value of a good, well-fitting bra. we wear bras that aren’t the right size, we wear bras that poke us and make us itchy and that we can’t wait to rip off and toss into the corner at the end of the day. and we might not even realize the difference a quality bra can make in our clothed appearance—weird lumps and bulges certainly detract from even your favorite, fits-like-it-was-made-for-you top.

for years i have been on the hunt for the solution: the holy grail of bras. and i may have finally discovered it. the BEST bra. like, EVERRR.

now, a few things to consider: 1) i’ve gone through hundreds of bras and have hated almost all of them, so this declaration is not to be taken lightly. 2) HOWEVER, i also have very specific bra preferences, all of which come from having a larger-than-average chest, so this post may be more helpful/applicable to girls with a B/C cup and above.

as for my bra requirements: for one, i don’t like padding, not even a minimal amount of it. i know i’m in the minority on this, but i just don’t like the added bulkiness. i wore padded bras for years because i thought it was mandatory, but once i ditched the padding, i never went back. also, i like a little more coverage in my bras. i’m a full C cup, and i like to keep “the girls” firmly in place—no funny business. there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re spilling out the front of a bra every time you bend over (i’m looking at you, demi bras!). as you can probably imagine, the combination of no padding and more coverage usually doesn’t equal the prettiest of bra options. 


with that said, i purchased the wacoal “body by wacoal” underwire bra in october of last year (i want to emphasize the fact that i didn’t wear this bra for a week and declare my undying love for it—it’s been a while). since then, i’ve purchased 2 more and i don’t think i’ll ever buy anything else. why? first, it’s a surprisingly pretty bra (i like the mesh cutout details), holds everything in firmly (you could seriously do jumping jacks in it), and provides enough coverage to avoid any spillage—but without looking like a granny bra. i actually like the way it looks, both on its own and under clothes (totally invisible under clothes!)… which doesn’t happen often for me.

but most importantly, i cannot even exaggerate how comfortable this bra is. particularly for an underwire bra (i can’t get away with the underwire-less variety). i forget that i am wearing a bra at all. i could sleep in it. it’s actually more comfortable than any of my sports bras. it’s even made of moisture-wicking fabric, so it’s literally like wearing yoga pants on your chest (if only there was a gif to illustrate this concept), and you don’t have to deal with a sweaty, gross-feeling bra in warm weather. for those that prefer bras with a front closure, it also comes in an equally awesome racerback, front-closing version, which i own. and it comes in sizes up to a DD.

i could go on, but, bottom line: the bra feels like HEAVEN, you guys. like your boobs are floating in the sky on their own little personal clouds. who doesn’t want that? i mean, BOOBS ON CLOUDS. CLOUDS, DAMN IT!

note: this is not a paid review and i’m not affiliated with wacoal in any way. nor do i know how to pronounce “wacoal.” this is just me sharing my priceless knowledge and wisdom with you out of the kindness of my heart.

yes, you’re welcome. yes, i’m a fucking saint. 


stuff it.




…your stocking, that is. 

uncommon goods is a brooklyn-based retailer that focuses on—as the name suggests—unique and handcrafted items. even better, in my opinion, they strive to do business in a way that is friendly to people, animals, and the environment. in fact, for every purchase you make, they will donate $1 to the non-profit of your choice, and have already donated over $700,000 to charities around the world. as brutal as draining your wallet on holiday gifts can be, it at least eases the pain (slightly) to know the money you spend is being used in a positive way. …right? *cries into empty wallet*

i’ve looked at the site here and there but have never actually gone through with a purchase, so i was pretty excited about the chance to review a few items from their christmas gifts collection. 



these bracelets—a set of seven—surprised me. i expected them to be somewhat flimsy and thin from the photo, but they actually feel sturdy, thicker than i’d imagined, and very well-made. i love that they incorporate all the prettiest fall/winter colors, most are adjustable, and they are so intricately detailed up close. you can wear them all together or separately, if you’re into that.


as for the hat, i was a little unsure at first, mainly because i have never met a hat i didn’t look like a total weirdo in, but i really like this one. it’s super soft, made by fair trade artisans in nepal, and perhaps the very best feature…the detachable pompom!


it’s like getting a bonus accessory! you can move it around, wear it with another hat, wear it in your hair (don’t do that), whatever floats your boat. and if you’re having a serious business, no-pompom kind of day, then you just take that sucker off. BAM.


i’ll work on my serious face.

another reason i rarely wear hats is that my “hat head” is beyond anything you’ve ever seen. it’s just tragic. i could wear a hat for less than 10 seconds and my hair is matted to my skull for a week. BUT, when i took this hat off (after wearing it for quite a while), my hair somehow looked BETTER. it had VOLUME. it was shinier! 



i’m not saying the hat is magic, but the hat might be magic.

if you’re still searching for gifts, particularly for people who are hard to shop for or seemingly already own everything in the world, give uncommon goods a look. they have a ridiculous number of options, categorized in a million different ways (for girls, guys, by hobby, etc.) to make finding what you’re looking for fairly easy. AND they seem to be trying to do things the right way, in a world where prioritizing ethical, responsible behavior is often trumped by the opportunity to make more money. let’s support that, mmmkay? 


public service announcement

i’m tired of all of you crying outside my house, banging on my windows, and begging for more bathroom selfies*, so i’m officially resurrecting this blog thing of mine. commence the celebratory dance of your choosing.

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pray for me. pray for us all.

*none of those things happened.

Anonymous asked:
What are your thoughts on a bright floral print blouse in the winter? Should I work it honey-badger style, or just stop kidding myself that we're even close to seeing flowers any time soon?

robert frost once wrote, “two roads diverged in a wood, and i, i took the one the honey badger recommended.” or something like that. 

you can totally rock floral print in the winter. winter florals tend to have a darker background than spring florals (think black, navy), and also are usually a larger print, rather than an itty bitty flower design. if your blouse is questionable, the key is to make it clear that you understand what season it is with the rest of your outfit—no bare legs or super-short hemlines. adding layers like opaque tights, knit cardigans, blazers, vests, scarves, and sticking to winter-friendly fabrics like wool and velvet will help winterize your look.

here’s how i’d do it:

How to wear floral print in winter

snoop dogg got french tips, and suddenly i feel even worse about my current sad, sorry, chipped nail situation. 

also, what is happening?


men’s fashion: i don’t get it.

i want to understand. i really do.

(top photo from left to right: craig green, sibling, jw anderson. bottom photo: sibling. all from london men’s fashion week fall/winter 2013 collections, all very, very confusing.)


jupe du jour: cozy add-ons + cyber monday

one of the best/worst things about colder weather is that no matter how frumpy or dressed up you are underneath, you spend most of your time outside looking exactly the same: coat, scarf, hat, gloves. after a few months, it gets a little boring. and i start to get a little lazy. (no one noticed that i’ve worn this shirt 4 times this week, right?)

lately, at least in pittsburgh, we’ve had a lot of “in-between” weather—it’s not cold enough for a heavy winter coat, but it’s also not warm enough to forgo outerwear altogether. translation: vest weather!

this faux fur bb dakota vest from jupe is perfect for the mildly cool temperatures and makes a great cozy addition on those days that you don’t want to completely cover up your outfit. it’s like the perfect wingman—it’s there for you, but it lets you shine.

i love that the collar is sturdy enough to stand up if you want a little extra shield from the wind. annnd (*drumroll*) it has POCKETS! warm hands for the win!

on a final and very important note, jupe is offering 25% off everything today + free shipping for cyber monday! no code necessary and the offer is valid today only.

get your shopping on from the comfort of your home and support a fantastic small business at the same time—it doesn’t get much better or easier.

outfit details:

vest: adrien faux fur vest by bb dakota, $72, jupe boutique

dress: greylin, via hautelook

shoes: forever 21 (a few years old)


the limited gift card winner

thanks to everyone who entered my $50 the limited gift card giveaway!

sorry i’m a few days late, but we have a winner! i mean, you’re all winners, but there’s only one winner who gets a gift card. i know, life is unfair.

the winner is: michelle pickett! keep an eye out for an e-mail from me so we can get your gift card to you, michelle. 


giveaway: $50 gift card to the limited

the lovely people at the limited sent me this adorable necklace and asked me to style it in celebration of the opening of the new store in the mall at robinson here in pittsburgh, to which i happily obliged.

i really love the versatility of this necklace. i styled it casually here, but you could just as easily use it to add some sparkly flair to a little black dress or even an evening gown.

do you like the necklace too, or have your eye on something else in the store or online?

well, aren’t you in luck! the limited gave me a $50 gift card to give to one of you!

- to enter, simply comment on this post, leaving me a way to contact you if you win. 

- for an additional entry (i.e., another chance to win), like the commander in chic on facebook. leave a separate comment saying you did so.

- for yet another entry, follow me on twitter. leave a separate comment saying you did so. 

for another entry, follow me around for a day and tell me how smart and pretty i am. …just kidding. kind of.

the giveaway will be open until thursday, november 15th at 11:59pm est, and a winner will be randomly selected and announced next friday, november 16th. 

good luck!


i attended the hip’tique fall preview party thursday evening, where i tried on clothes, drank wine and hung out with a bunch of awesome people. yeah. it was tough, guys.

anyway, i purchased the fancified baseball tee above (only $42!), but ended up putting the bold-shouldered green sweater below back on the rack.

regret: i feel it.

(lace shorts in first photo: gold hawk from bylangley)

(photos stolen from terra and the hip’tique facebook page!)


nail art doesn’t usually interest me, probably because i can barely paint my nails a solid color without somehow screwing it up. the dripping blood nails at prabal gurung, however, were not only mindblowingly awesome, they look like something i might actually be capable of pulling off!

the nails were created by sally hansen manicurist tracylee, who used an artist’s “stringer” brush to create a dripping effect with sally hansen polish in “angel bite” on models’ bare nails, finishing with a layer of clear top coat.

angel bite, along with two other shades created for the prabal gurung for sally hansen spring collection, arrives in stores in march 2013.

so, how many side eyes do you think i’ll get when i show up to my economics class with bloody nails?

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(via fashionista and the cut)


it’s monday and ashley don’t care.


falling models galore

i don’t know about you, but i’m having the kind of day where i really needed to take a break and watch other people suffer for a few minutes. well, lookie here!

this post is dedicated to my favorite lover of watching models eat it, sara zucker. ;)

(via buzzfeed)



my insincere apologies if you are one of these people, but who in their right mind would spend $100 (the SALE price, mind you) on a black umbrella just because it’s missoni (which, by the way, no one will ever even know)?


monday blues.