The 411 on Scarves

I love scarves.  I have a whole drawer full of them.  I often am tempted to just throw them all on my bed and roll around on them like a bunch of cash.  Weird?  Maybe, but I’m okay with it.  These are often things that people buy, then never use…heck, I’ve been plenty guilty of this myself at times.  But I have found there are certain ways I LOVE to wear them, and henceforth, have allowed myself permission to buy them occasionally.  I might need to free up another drawer here soon…

I thought that I’d write a new post on scarves (I think I’ve done one before, but I can’t remember so I’m doing it again!) just to give you some ideas on the ways that I find are fun and easy and don’t add a lot of time to your getting dressed routine.  And it might save some of those random scarves you have laying around from extinction, right?

The “Sweat Wiper”
Sounds so gross right?  That’s why I called it that…I mean, a little shock value never hurt anyone, am I right Lady Gaga?  This is something I saw on a runway and I kind of ran away with it (pun intended) and made it my own.  Tie a bandana or a scarf around your wrist, leave it plain, add a brooch (bonus: you get to use those brooches you never wear), layer it with bracelets…and bam.  You look AMAZEBALLS.  As an added feature, you can wipe your sweaty forehead with it.  Just watch out for the brooch, that’ll leave a mark.

The “Working Girl”
I call it this because it reminds me of one of those 80’s blouses with the tie at the neck that are so popular once again.  But this way, you don’t have to buy a whole new shirt, you can make your own!  Simply take a long skinny scarf and tie it in a bow around your neck.  Kind of has a high fashion vibe to it, and looks great with chokers and layered necklaces.  I also use ribbons for this too!

 

The “Lady Tie”
Dude.  I cannot tie a tie.  My husband has to tie them for me every time I get it in my brain that I want to wear one.  But I CAN tie a knot.  And that’s all you need to do for this.  You can use a short scarf and make it kind of western, or you can use a long scarf and instead of a bow, just tie a simple knot and let it hang.  Easy peasy.

The “My Hair Is So Gross”
We ALL have those days.  The days when not even a bucket of dry shampoo is gonna hide that fact that you haven’t washed your hair in three days, you worked out every single one of those days, and there may or may not be peanut butter hiding in there somewhere from your kid’s lunch.  And then something magical happens.  You tie a scarf around your head, roll your hair up over the scarf in the back and secure it with a few bobby pins, and suddenly you are getting more compliments on your hair than those AMAZING shoes you actually spent a lot of money on.  The best kind of scarf for this is one of those super thin and lightweight large square scarves that you can roll up diagonally and tie around your head easily with a little to spare.

Have I convinced you to bust out your scarves yet?  And have you tried rolling around on them gleefully?  No?  Okay, cool, maybe later.

If you have a great way you love to wear yours, please tell me because I’m always looking for new ways to use these beauties!

Happy scarf-ing!
Katy

Advice In Style: Shopping The Men’s Section

In fashion, women’s clothing often seems to take cues from men’s stuff.  Like “boyfriend jeans” or “boyfriend tees” (they really really want us to steal stuff from our boyfriends don’t they??) it seems like the idea of menswear influence never goes out of style.  Like when Diane Keaton wore a white suit to the Oscars so many years ago, it’s just always classy.  So…what does that mean?  Like, does it work to actually buy men’s clothes?  I think everyone has their own answer to that question, but I’m going to answer the way that I tend to shop the men’s section.  The answer is…yes AND no!

I am the kind of shopper that tends to keep an open mind and doesn’t care much for what section clothing has been classified as.  I will shop the pajama section, the costume section, the kid’s section and the men’s section ALL for clothing I will wear out and about.  I also tend to look in ALL sizes, because not only is sizing majorly inconsistent even within brands, but also things often get put in the wrong size category on accident.  Who cares about labels or numbers right?  Well, I guess scientists and mathematicians, but we all know I fall into neither of those categories, so I’m allowed to not care 🙂

So here you go…my tips on Shopping The Men’s Section:

1. Shirts, shirts, and more shirts.  The men’s section of most stores often has the best graphic tees, hands down.  This is true of Urban Outfitters, Target, thrift stores, and basically anyplace that carries tees.  Here’s the rub.  They won’t always FIT great, so you must try them on, and be prepared to modify if necessary.  I have made awesome muscle tees out of men’s tees, because they tend to be nice and long, and often the sleeves are the most problematic area for fitting and flattering a woman’s body.  I have cut off the neckline, stretched out the neckline, and cut holes to add distressing…really it’s up to you what you want to do.  The great thing about them, is they tend to be larger than women’s tees, so you get a great oversized look or can knot them at the waist with extra room to spare!
2. Levi’s & Wranglers. If you’re tall and not super duper skinny like me, Levi’s and Wrangler’s are a great find from the men’s section.  If you’re looking for mom jeans and you’re in the 28-30plus range of waist sizes, this can be your jackpot!
3. Shoes.  Vintage shoes run small, and if you’re thrifting with larger feet, men’s shoes can be a total score.  Vintage cowboy boots, loafers, and oxfords can be a good find in antique and thrift stores from the men’s section.
4. Button Down Shirts.  I have seen people do some pretty amazingly creative stuff with men’s button downs!  You can turn them into strapless tops by tossing the arms behind you and tying them around your waist…you can unbutton the whole thing and criss-cross wrap it on you like a wrap dress…basically you can really repurpose a great men’s button down, as long as you like the fit of the sleeves.  I love a good small vintage men’s button down or flannel, because it gives me the option of knotting it in the front or wearing it open like a jacket!

This button down caught my attention RIGHT away.  The print is so retro and I just knew I loved it enough to figure out what to do with it!  I loved the thought of using this with some bell bottoms and really going with the vibe of the print.  Even though the sleeves on men’s shirts can be a bit big like these sleeves, but in this case, the fabric allows them to drape kind of like a little bell sleeve (I ALWAYS unbutton the wrist buttons on any shirt first thing when I put it on) which makes it okay that they’re large-ish.

Hopefully these ideas will encourage you to at least give the men’s section a tiny peek next time you’re out shopping…you never know what you’re going to find!!

Happy hunting!
Katy

How To Dress Like You’re Going To A Music Festival

The complete title of this post should really read: “How To Dress Like You’re Going To A Music Festival…When You Don’t Even Know The Lineup” but that was too long to fit in the title space.  So now you know what you’re in for.  I just have to get something off my chest, this is a real life confession, and you may just not like me as much for it but I gotta be honest.  Here goes.  Deep breath.

I don’t think I’d like music festivals.  If someone handed me a wad of cash and a nanny for three days and said: “Here you go!  Go to Coachella!” I would quite honestly head straight to Disneyland and have the best three days ever.  I am quite certain, as much as I LOVE MUSIC, that music festivals are most likely not for me.  Plus, I’m really more of a Shawn Mendes person than Modest Mouse and  I don’t run with the “hip” music crowd, I’ll listen to vintage Britney any day over John Legend.  And now you like me even less don’t you.  Oh well.  In the words of the great philosopher, “I am what I am.”  And I most definitely would probably LOVE green eggs and ham, FYI.

All this being said, I must share with you that my music festival resume, per say, is quite limited.  So, there is a chance I would enjoy such a thing.  As long as camping is not involved.  Oh, and there’s air conditioning or a beach nearby.  And we’re back…

When I was in high school, my parents took me to a Christian Music Festival called Spirit West Coast that was basically the “safer” version of your average festival.  I put the word “safe” in quotes because to be honest, I don’t know much about regular music festivals and I also know better than to just automatically assume that anything Christian is automatically “safe”.  That being said, it was definitely tamer than most concerts could get, but it had a lot of elements that I would imagine any music festival would hold.  TONS of people.  Check.  Moving like herds of cattle over bridges and funneling slowly but surely (and noisily) into concert venues, all the while baking in the hot merciless sunshine.  NOISE, noise, and more noise.  Check.  We did camp (see, I HAVE camped in my life A LOT before you guys!) when we went one year, and the relentless high school girl high pitched screaming went on for the full 24 hours.  Also, people bringing their own instruments and trying to participate in the festival at midnight.  This is not appreciated, BTW.  HEAT, DIRT, and crappy food.  Check.  It’s mandatory that you receive at the very least a medium intensity sunburn despite the pounds of sunscreen you apply.  Also, you must be covered in a fine film of dust all the while sucking down sodas and eating something that was once food and has now been fried in something that was once considered oil.  Gross.  Exhaustion by mid afternoon, but desperately loading up on sugar and caffeine so you can make it to the headliner.  Which is the whole reason you are enduring this business to begin with.  Check.  Time for another confession.  I most definitely planned on meeting and marrying one of the guys from the band DC Talk (anyone remember them? Hello children of the 90s!) so I made it my mission to see ALL of their concerts.  And then I finally got up close to the stage, close enough to touch him, and then realized he was about…three quarters of my size.  Sigh.  The man of my high school dreams was a pint sized human being with a voice the size of Texas.  Drat. My dream died right there (because you know his stature was the main thing keeping us apart…ah forbidden love) but my mission to see them in concert did not.  The days spent as sunbaked fried food eating cattle were mostly about seeing as many concerts that I may or may not care about, all to stay alert for DC Talk.  Worth it?  Sure…why not.

The memory highlight of this festival experience was seeing Katy Perry (at that time she was Katy Hudson) running around with her friends (I had met her that year at a local church) and later remembering this and telling it as my “celebrity anecdote”…how I “knew her” (met her) before she kissed a girl and liked it.

There’s a big “but” coming after all this.  Not a big BUTT, a big BUT.  I love dressing like I’m going to a music festival.  Because it’s okay to dress like it and not go.  Here are some small guidelines to adhere to, so that you can get questions like “oh are you going to Coachella?” when you’re really just buying the ingredients for shepherd’s pie.  (I speak from experience).

  1. FRINGE.  Go with the fringy boots, ALWAYS.  Because you always want to protect your feet from the dirt at music festivals and regardless of what you’re doing, the fringe is swishy and fun to walk in.
  2. FEATHERS.  Yes, you CAN wear fringe and feathers in the same outfit as long as you play it cool.  Go with fringe boots and feather earrings for example.  You have the rest of your outfit as a buffer for the fact that you may be twinning with Steven Tyler.
  3. CUT OFFS.  The essential festival wear is also the essential summer wear, so keep em guessing.  The great news is that if you’re not comfortable with booty shorts, get a good pair of loose-ish jeans (just make sure they’re loose in the thigh area so you have the freedom to roll them up if you want AND they won’t give you a thigh bulge!) and cut them off at the height you want them.  I recommend cutting them at a slight angle up from the inner thigh to the outer thigh…so they’re a teeny tiny bit shorter at the outside than the inside.  Again, they DO NOT have to be shorty shorts.  But this slight angle gives a more flattering look to them.
  4. IX-NAY ON THE GLITTER.  Sorry guys.  I love glitter, and I would totally wear it on a daily basis, but ONLY with a simpler outfit.  If you wear glitter, glitter tattoos, or henna tattoos, you will be in FULL festival mode and this is where it gets a tad sketchy when you’re just picking up your kids from school.  Don’t get me wrong.  You can do it if you want to, but you are entering costume territory and will get stared at and get asked about your favorite Radiohead song.  And to that question, I have no answer except I love Justin Bieber.

Shameless self promotion time.  This duster is the newest piece from Velvet California (my clothing line baby!) and I love it.  I’m modeling the prototype and it’s coming soon to the site!  I hope you love it too! 🙂

Oh, if you don’t have three layer fringe Minnetonka boots, get them.  In multiple colors 🙂
Katy

 

 

The Five Stages Of Buying Mass Produced Clothing

You know the drill.  You walk into Target/H&M/Forever 21/Zara (take your pick of any mass produced big name box store) and you go through the five stages of box store shopping.  1. Guilt: “I should be buying local and not buying mass produced stuff!” 2. Elation: “OH MY GOSH THIS SWEATER IS SO CUUUUUUTE!” 3. Trepidation: “Okay, but doesn’t EVERYONE ELSE have this top??” 4. Mad Rush of Emotions: “BUT DO YOU SEE HOW CHEAP IT IS???”  5. Succombing To The Sweet Scent of Deals: “I’m buying it.  ALL.”

You guys, I started a clothing line, so I have my own feelings about fast fashion.  Now that I know how much time, effort, and money goes into making real clothing, it is frustrating how quickly Zara can pump out zillions of things before I can even get half a piece of clothing done.  That being said though, I go through all the five stages just like everyone else.  And yes, I usually cave in, and buy all the deals.  And nope, I don’t regret it.  So let’s talk about how to sort of…make it all better somehow.

How do you buy something at a box store and NOT look like every other blogger/mom/girl who loves shopping out there?  I’m just gonna throw out some ideas that might help you look at things differently and encourage a healthy mix of small batch AND big box store shopping.  Because let’s face it.  Almost no one can steer completely clear of the biggies.

  1. Choose wisely.  When shopping at one of the mass produced places, you must try and avoid the strong magnetic allure of “It’s 75% off so I HAVE TO BUY IT!”  Just because it’s uber cheap, doesn’t mean you NEED it.  Stop, breathe, and ask yourself if it’s as good as what you already have OR if it meets a need in your wardrobe.  I know the madness is easy to get into.  But do a “final edit” when you get to the register and lose whatever you have doubts about.
  2. Think about how you’ll wear it.  This is when you get to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other people who are currently buying that exact same piece of clothing (because, you’ve got great taste, so of course other people will want it!).  This is the FUN part.  Plus, it’ll help you decide whether or not you will actually wear what you’re gonna buy.  Think about pairing this top or dress (or whatever it is) with vintage accessories.  Or maybe take a handmade item or unique pair of shoes and put them with it…basically mix in your piece that EVERYONE may have with pieces that NO ONE ELSE has.  No way on earth you’re gonna look like everyone else now, is there? 🙂
  3. Weigh your options.  Let’s be honest.  Sometimes, Target and Zara have great on trend pieces at a fraction of the price, and a fraction of the price is really what is most affordable and practical for that particular thing.  However, there are also times when it really makes more sense to get something REAL instead.  This is really dependent on what it is you’re looking at.  For example, say you’ve been eying a handmade pair of bell bottoms on Instagram or Etsy that are just stunning.  They are custom fit, hand dyed, and exactly what you’ve been looking at.  Plus, you have been following the maker on social media and you know her dog’s name and what kind of coffee she likes and a lot of little endearing details about her life.  Then you walk into Target and you see a somewhat similar pair of bell bottoms.  They don’t fit quite as well, but they’re cute and about one quarter of the cost of the others.  Okay, I can firmly say (within reason, like really without knowing what your budget is, so please don’t get into debt or something because of me!) that this is one of those scenarios where it’s better to spend the dough.  You get what you’ve been drooling over, you support the maker, and also, you get pants that will LAST.  When people buy things from me, I literally almost cry.  That’s how much it means to me.  So when you buy from a maker, you are MAKING THEIR WEEK.
  4. Buy sparingly.  I am consistently drawn to the clothing section at Target.  And Zara?  Get out of town…I would be in TROUBLE if I had one anywhere near me.  But no matter how insanely much I want to just buy buy buy clothes when I get to Target, I force myself to only buy occasionally.  Because to be quite honest, the things I buy from Target often end up being my least favorite things…the things that end up going to the thrift store.  With the exception of the things I have chosen wisely and put more thought into my purchase.  This helps me to curb my appetite when I get there and just want to binge.

That being said, I have made a few Target clothing purchases recently, and those are the first I’ve made in close to a year!

I tried on this jumpsuit and I had to have it.  It’s just so lovely and spring-y and I think it looks way nicer than the average Target pieces.  I decided however to pair it with this vintage denim duster I got from a friend’s second hand store, Revamped The Collection, and some vintage jewelry and boots.  That way, it looks way different from the way I’ve seen it worn on Instagram already!  So you see?  You CAN have your cake and eat it too!!  Unless, however you’re on a low carb diet like me, in which case you cannot either have cake or eat it.

You catch my drift.
Happy Wednesday
Katy

Does This Sweater Make Me Look Fat? (and other things I don’t care about)

Man repelling clothes.  We’ve talked about them before, and I assuredly will talk about them again.  Like today.  I went into one of my favorite second hand/vintage stores downtown, and I found this amazing Free People sweater.  Let me clarify “amazing” because the word can have a multitude of meanings, right?  Sometimes “amazing” can mean delicate, intricate, and like a work of art.  Sometimes “amazing” can mean beautiful, flattering, and comfortable all at the same time.  And then other times, “amazing” can mean “it’s a freaking snuggie that’s socially acceptable to wear in public.”  In this case, I clearly mean the latter of these three definitions.

And when you find the equivalent of a wearable blanket made by Free People (this is actually more common of a find than you may think), what do you do?  You try it on.  Then you examine yourself from all angles, discover that it’s not flattering, and THEN what do you do?  Buy it anyway because somehow, wearing a giant knit poncho dress makes you feel like 67% cooler than you actually are…plus, who cares if it’s flattering or not because you can totally eat a bagel before wearing it and no one will ever know.  Yes, you are, AN EVIL GENIUS WHO CAN SNEAKILY EAT CARBS AND STILL LOOK COOL.  Free People may not be the best brand in the world, but thank goodness for their influence on style because there are some days you just don’t wanna suck it in all day long.

I find that there are some women who care more about the way things look, and some who care more about the way things look ON their bodies.  And then some, like me, care about both, but it greatly depends on the day you ask me.  Most of the time however, I will forgo the “this isn’t the MOST flattering for my body” voice in my head and just wear whatever it is just because I love it.  Hence, I bought the wearable blanket.  And yes, I will be wearing it regularly in a variety of ways.

Maybe you’re afraid of oversized sweaters, and that’s ok.  But in case you really want to try one and aren’t sure how…here are a few tips on things that pair well with the snuggie swaps you find out there:

  1. Pair them with everything else fitted.  Do not wear other baggy items of clothing with that giant blanket, but that’s kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it?
  2. If the sweater is long enough to cover your rear, go pants-less.  Please, please wear underwear and maybe a pair of shorts if the sweater is on the short side…we don’t need any “uh oh” moments that are R rated.
  3. Wear that giant thing over a collared shirt and bunch the sleeves up.  That gives it a kind of “preppy J Crew” vibe.
  4. Wear with a slip dress or something lacy under it.  That way, you’re balancing out the boxy oversized knit with something delicate.
  5. If all else fails, put on a beanie, giant oversized glasses, and channel Mary Kate and Ashley. 

And there you have it.  I’m wearing a blanket, and it’s somehow normal.  Ahhhhh I love being cozy in the winter time!

Happy giant sweater weather
Katy

Advice in Style: Wearing What Doesn’t Look Good on You

I will admit something you probably already know.  I don’t always care whether something looks amazing on me or not.  I mean, if something looks really bad on me, I won’t wear it.  But let’s just say…if something isn’t like…the BEST on me but I love it, I’ll just go ahead and wear it anyway.  And you know how it goes, sometimes styles you love don’t always suit your shape unfortunately.  Let’s talk about this phenomenon.

My body shape is such that I don’t have, like, a ton of SHAPE.  I’ve never in my life had a defined waist.  I’ve always been more of a straight up and down body type with not a huge differentiation from my bust to my waist to my hips.  I’ve got more “curves” I guess you could say since having babies, but still, my waist is not something that I like to emphasize a lot.  I’d rather wear a short skirt than a midriff bearing top.  One of the styles that I have ALWAYS loved, is the micro pleated skirt.  Over the years I have bought them, realized they looked bad on me, gotten rid of them, then bought them all over again…repeating this endless cycle of hoping one day, I would put on a micro pleated skirt and look exactly like Heidi Klum would look wearing one.  Dang you Heidi.

Most of the time, there are solutions for these “problems”.  Sometimes, you gotta cut and run with a style, but occasionally, if you want it badly enough, you can make it happen.  Now, I can’t solve or offer advice for every single body issue out there unless it is specifically asked of me…but those of you who struggle with “finding their waist”…this is for you!

Problem Solving For The Waistless Masses (me)

-For two piece outfits, make sure the top is loose fitting.  Tight tops will only emphasize the fact that you don’t have a defined waist.  Then, instead of tucking in the top all the way around (not flattering on me), only tuck in the front and let the back hang out.  This give the illusion of a thinner waist, while still giving you the tucked in look you’re going for!  Ta Da!
-If you are going with a more fitted look, get a corseted style top or something with vertical lines that again, give the illusion of a waist.  Pair this top with a full skirt or looser pants OR make sure the dress you are buying has a full skirt.
-If you want to wear a shift dress and you just look like you could possibly be pregnant (I frickin hate that because I LOVE shift dresses), make sure you buy the dress large enough that it doesn’t hang on anything.  The right fabric is key here, and usually a non-t shirt fabric is the way to go.  Something more silk/polyester or maybe a denim that’s a slightly (or majorly) stiffer fabric will help give you that shift dress shape without proving that you have a non flat abdomen.  Because as you know, women are NOT SUPPOSED to have an abdomen UNLESS they are pregnant.  I have learned this from watching every Victoria’s Secret model in the history of mankind go from nine months pregnant to completely washboard abs in two days post partum.  And they only breastfed you guys, that’s all!!  (insert MAJOR eye roll here).
-Belts.  For those of you with no waist, that one word evokes a strong reaction.  You are either sweating, swearing, or screaming “I CAN’T WEAR THEM!!” right now.  Yep, I feel that.  And I love belts you guys!!  The absolute best belts I have ever found, are ones that are either stretchy or adjustable.  That way, I can put one on and maneuver it around until it actually looks right on me.  Yes, you can wear a belt.  But it is definitely more tricky.  So find a couple of adjustable (by adjustable, I mean like d-ring, stretchy, or tie-on) belts, and play around.  It’s always better to wear something with a little extra fabric in it because that way, the fuller dress will give the illusion of a smaller waist.
-One last tip.  Play with color blocking.  Often a dark color paired with the thing you don’t love on you (if it’s a two piece outfit) can help.  For example, see the photos below!

You guys, I couldn’t resist the allure of the metallic micro pleats this year.  I know, they’re not the most flattering on my body type.  But I love them so much, I’m gonna deal.  Here is my answer to all the bad things micro pleats do to my shape (add bulk at my hips, remind the world I am not Heidi Klum…).  I have something bulky, a sweater, on top, and this helps with the fact that this style is not flattering on my hips.  I tried on a neutral colored sweater first with this skirt and quickly realized that all it did was make me look sort of wide.  Swap it for the black, and the result was WAY better.  Wham, bam, thank you for the micro pleats, ma’am!

If you have a waist, ignore this and do all the fun things that I cannot do with clothing please!  And if you don’t have a waist, don’t cry over belts that don’t work.  You can do it!  If I can, you can!

Katy

Advice In Style: Bag Lady Chic

I find it fascinating that what once is considered “ugly”, can suddenly (or more like gradually over time, but it often feels sudden) be in style and, well, attractive.  Trends are so interesting to watch.  It would be so funny to hop in a time machine in a normal outfit from today and see how someone in the, say, 1930’s would respond.  I think it would be quite amusing to hear what people from other eras had to say about today’s sense of style!

Years ago I remember being in Starbucks with my dad, and in typical “dad” fashion, he felt the need to comment on the garb of the youth.  He said: “I can’t tell who’s homeless and who’s dressed like that on purpose!”  (does it get more DAD than that?)  And while that does sound like a super parent-y thing to say to your young daughter, I think he has a point!  There is most definitely a style happening that once belonged exclusively to what we would call a “bag lady”.  It can be sort of a derogatory term and is kind of reminiscent of “cat lady”.  Both have bad connotations, but at the same time, are kind of hip now.  I mean, when I was in high school, we would have cringed seeing someone with a cat on a knitted sweater or a girl wearing a thousand layers over baggy jeans.  It would have been a faux-pas-faux-sure.  (do you see what I did there?)  And yet now, this is not so.

Before we break down this style, we must give props to the originators of this style.  The girls who brought bag lady from the streets to the runways…Mary Kate and Ashley.

27086, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Saturday 20th December 2008. A homeless looking Mary Kate Olsen awaits her driver after eating at Cafe Vida in the Pacific Palisades. Photograph: ©Gaz Shirley/PacificCoastNews.com

See what I’m talking about?  The caption even SAYS she looks homeless.  But how much you wanna bet that outfit cost, huh?  And there’s my point.  Bag lady is now chic.  I thought I’d give some tips on how to rock this style…some of them are more facetious than others, but you all know I kid because I love. 🙂

  1. Nothing should be your size.  If it is, you’re doing it wrong.  The key to this look is wearing EVERYTHING oversized.  That means you’re sizing up at least one to two sizes.  All kidding aside, the way to make this look GOOD and not like you just have no clue what size you are, is to pick things that are oversized but still flattering.  You’ll see Mary Kate and Ashley wearing a lot of thin drapey oversized dresses that hang on them large, but because they’re drapey, they don’t look like you’ve gained 10 pounds.  Thin fabrics are usually a good idea, or heavier knits that hang instead of stand up on their own, adding bulk.  Also, oversized structured jackets and sweaters can look chicer than baggy coats…however, the whole “giant puffy jacket” look is most definitely having a moment right now.
  2. Your jeans should be baggy enough to fit a diaper in the crotch.  Please don’t WEAR a diaper, but you catch my drift.  As in the previous point, if you get denim that’s soft enough, it will hang heavier on you and won’t look bulky.
  3. Structured shoes are a must.  If you wear this look with something casual like tennis shoes, it will be bag lady in the WRONG way.  So loafers, heels, booties, and scrappy sandals will be your friend with this look.  It’s all in the details.
  4. Don’t go too crazy on the jewelry.  This look is all about the mass amount of clothing you’re wearing and if you try to layer a ton of big jewelry, you WILL look like you’re just wearing everything in your closet.

Here’s my “bag lady chic” look.  I’ve got my favorite boyfriend Levi’s that sit lower on my waist because they’re a size too big, an oversized drapey vintage cami top, and my huge structured coat.  Structured shoes and simpl(er) jewelry make it not TOO crazy.

Some people really don’t like to wear this look.  I understand that.  It’s not the most flattering or slimming, but it sure does FEEL cool to rock!  If you’re feeling shy about it, you can always simplify it a little and wear skinny jeans instead of the boyfriend baggy fit…that might help you not feel SO oversized!  It’s all about finding the way that YOU like to wear a trend, not how other people wear it!
Happy bag lady-ing
Katy

Advice in Style: How To Rock Grandpa Chic

Your grandma and grandpa are like, totally on point right now.  I have a friend who consistently points out that the robe/pants/shoes I’m wearing are exactly what her grandfather wears.  Yes, old people are trés CHIC right now!  I see it everywhere whether it’s on the runways or on Instagram…everyone is rocking the grandpa chic look.  And I love it.

One of the things that makes this easy for me is that I don’t have much of a relationship with my grandparents.  Trust me, this makes me sad.  I wish I could participate in a program where grandparents adopt me and tell me stories and talk to me…this sounds like a dream to me!  None of my grandparents have been very present in my life and while they have a granddaughter who would absolutely ADORE to listen to all their stories, they sure aren’t telling them to me. The lack of relationship with them however has caused me to not have clothing associations with them…know what I mean?  Like, if your grandpa ACTUALLY used to wear something, you may have a difficult time seeing it as stylish and instead only be able to picture your grandparent puttering around in it.  Sure, some of us have super stylish grandparents, but most of us don’t really try to mimic how they dressed or currently dress at any point in time.

My association with my grandparents’ style are….whiskey (my grandpa’s cologne),  bad polyester (the thick stiff scratchy kind), and 80’s sweaters that have a lot of random colors and “things” sewn on them.  That’s about all I can come up with when it comes to my associations.  Lucky for me (besides the obvious “missing out on the relationship” downside), I get to experience grandparent couture in my own brand new way!

If this is a style you’re scared of, or just need inspiration to try, I’m going to show you two ways to wear a pair of grandpa chic pants.

Full-On Grandpa Chic


This whole outfit for the most part is thrifted.  Grandpa pants, sweater vest and shoes, and grandma hat and blouse.  One of the best parts about grandparent chic is that it’s EASILY found at thrift stores CHEAP.  This is a great way to fully wear a runway style for under $20.  Loafers are a MUST.

Grandpa Chic “Light”

Okay, so you love the style, but you want/need to dress a little less like you fought in Vietnam.  I get it, that’s okay, you can still pull this off.  Take those grandpa chic pants you got, add a pair of booties or lace up biker boots and a graphic tee.  Maybe some jewelry…and you’ve got “bad grandpa” chic.  You know what I mean not bad, BAD.  I haven’t seen Bad Grandpa, but that’s what I think of when I say this.

So go grab yourselves some plaid pants, and get complaining about how things were better in “the good old days”.  Grandparents are cool, and that’s okay with me 🙂
Katy

Advice in Style: Rebellious Athleisure

I know what you’re thinking right now.  “What on earth is rebellious athleisure?” No, this is not a new trend that you’ve never heard of or a new movement happening on Instagram.  This is just what I’m calling my look for this post.  It’s more of a…”state of mind” than it is a trend.  I will explain, naturally.

Athleisure is this new, and for me, kind of semi repulsive, movement where girls wear yoga clothes all the time.  I love/hate this.  Here’s why.  I LOVE CLOTHES.  There is something SO incredible about watching movies set in the 1950s when women dressed for EVERYTHING.  They dressed for dinner (not like, dinner out, but simply dinner at home at their own table), they dressed for bed, they dressed to go outside and get the morning paper.  Yes, times have changed.  I love all this…however, I do have two toddlers and honey, ain’t nobody got time for all that fussiness.  Enter athleisure.  Part of me rejects this trend because it feels like it’s laughing in the face of women actually owning their own style, or even HAVING a style for that matter.  But the other part of me absolutely loves being able to throw on clothes and chase after my kids at the playground.

With all these conflicting love/hate feelings, I have come up with my OWN brand of athleisure wear that gives me better “feels” about this convenient trend.  “Rebellious athleisure”.  I have decided to participate in this trend, but with my own twist.  I wear my athleisure, with a touch of dressed up style.  Because this means I can be comfortable AND express my sense of style to all those judgmental kids at the playground.  (kidding.)  And they said you can’t have it all…

I’ve got my leggings, on trend for athleisure.  Mine came from Zara…my other “rebellion” you could say against the norms of athleisure is to buy my pieces at places that are more about fashion than about actually working out.  Then I’ve got my vintage fur cardigan.  (I believe the designers of this coat would probably have some choice words for me about wearing it like this!) and I’ve got my slip on loafers…kind of a sandal/loafer combo!

Mimicking this is easy.  As I’ve talked about in previous posts about track pants and the like, mix in athleisure pieces with things that are higher fashion.  A nice jacket or sweater goes a long way to balance out a pair of leggings or some track pants.  Gold tennis shoes or fringed boots add a nice element of surprise to this look.  Either way, express yourself with your athleisure in your own unique way, and THAT is having great style.

You see what I did there?  I managed to not reject an entire trend based on principle and also…to embrace the necessity of mom-wear while taking care of young children.  And being rebellious in the process, because all good styles start with some rebellion 🙂
Katy

Advice in Style: How To Dress Like A “Have”

First of all I want to clear something up.  I don’t like the whole idea of the “haves” and the “have nots”…this post is most definitely not meant to reinforce this concept!  But, if you keep reading, hopefully you’ll get my point (and have some fun too!).

I wrote an article a little while ago about how Vogue attacked fashion bloggers and attempted to minimize their value using some choice words that seemed a bit more like something you’d say to a close friend instead of making them public to the world.  If you want to get my whole take on what they said, please read the post!  This whole thing got me thinking about the fashion industry as a whole.  So, I love fashion.  Obviously.  I want to go to fashion week, see the famous runway shows, and own some couture of my own.  I love it.  However (you can see the big “but” right?) there are some things about the fashion industry that aren’t so nice.  Fashion has always been an indicator, and sometimes dictator of classes.  I mean, it used to be actually illegal for people of certain classes and incomes to wear some styles of clothing.  That way, you could look at a person and determine how much money they make!  Can you believe this?  I mean, talk about a horrible and judgmental world to live in where you could be thrown in jail for wearing a dress that didn’t fit your wallet size.  Yuck.  Maybe things have changed and progressed quite a bit since then.  But we are still not immune from this whole “judge a book by it’s cover” thing.  I think we can often still size someone up based on their outfit pretty darn easily.  But now, since it’s legal to wear anything really, we can pull the wool over people’s eyes much easier!

Years ago there was this old hippie guy who worked at my local Trader Joe’s.  He was super opinionated, kind of funny, and liked to kind of talk at you and spout out his political thoughts and whatever was on his mind while he was ringing up your groceries.  I rather enjoyed it.  I would just listen, nod my head, and bag up my own groceries while he told me all the problems with the world and all that jazz.  After a couple months of this, he stopped talking and asked me a question!  He asked me: “so what do you do?”  I answered him (I was a full time worship pastor at the time at my church) and when I gave my answer, he literally did a double take.  He looked so surprised.  “What?” he said, shocked at my answer “oh wow…I thought you were like one of those super rich San Luis girls who…” (his answer trailed off into a lot of things I don’t remember, but were most definitely not things that describe me.  He then proceeded to tell me that because of my clothing, how I looked when I came into the store, he had made these determinations about me.  Yep.  He thought I was a “have”.  I remember what I was wearing that day.  I wear wearing a Juicy Couture dress I had got second hand and a furry pair of slippers from Target that people would literally stop their cars, roll down their windows, and ask me where I had gotten my “boots”.  I think you can tell where this whole thing is going!

It’s not the point I’m making, but hey, let’s attempt to stop sizing each other up by our clothes, ok?  I do it all the time, and I am working on NOT doing that.  I’ve been falsely judged because of what I wear lots of times.  The point I’m really making, is that we never should feel “less than” or shut out of the fashion industry just because we aren’t a mega celebrity with deep pockets and a trust fund.  You can look like a “have” (and BE a “have” just because, hey, you’ve got what matters right??) without spending a lot of dough.  Here are some tips for ya, in case you need them 🙂

Second hand stores and thrift stores are always, always worth a look.  I know many of you already know this, but I cannot even tell you some of the stuff I’ve seen at thrift stores for just a few dollars.  I mean, just because something was expensive or designer, doesn’t mean that whoever is selling it there knows that.  You will often see stuff worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars sitting right next to stuff from Old Navy.
Get out of town.  There’s something about going places you don’t normally go to shop that makes you find great stuff.  Don’t be afraid to drive to neighboring towns or go to the “rich” areas to check their thrift stores.  It’s like trick-or- treating in the neighborhoods who give out king size candy bars instead of just staying close by and getting a zillion “fun size” ones.  Fun size, my ass.
Stay off the beaten path. When you’re in a store like Target, steer clear of the women’s section.  This sounds super not intuitive, which is why it works.  If I were to put together a complete outfit from a store like Target (and trust me, I go there enough to know what I’m talking about) and I wanted it to look expensive, here’s what I would do.  Shoes: slipper section (especially around fall…you never KNOW what furry boot-like treasures await you), Top: boys section (graphic tee), men’s undershirt, or women’s pajama section for a button down pj top, Jacket: men’s or boy’s section for a blazer, Jeans: women’s section, but take a pair of scissors and a razor and modify them, Accessories: little girl’s section.  Do you catch my drift?  Part of why this works is that if you have a Target in your town, every woman wears stuff from the women’s section.  Therefore, if you shop around the women’s section, no one will know that what you have on came from Target.  Plus, I’m gonna say this again.  Those furry slippers got me more compliments than almost anything I think I have ever bought.  And they were like $10.
Be true to yourself.  Don’t buy or wear stuff that you don’t love just because it’s a designer name.  This will never get you anywhere in feeling great about yourself because you won’t feel great in your clothes.  Confidence in one’s outfit goes a long way to conveying that you love what you are wearing and who you are.  So if you don’t love it, don’t wear it no matter what the original price tag is.  Plus, sometimes you’ll find stuff that was expensive originally marked down at second hand stores simply because…it’s ugly.  Designers have “misses” too and often those are the things that people buy, regret, then get rid of.  Make sure that it’s a good find and not just a “used to be expensive” find.

And here it is.  Proof that I don’t iron my outfits when I probably should.  (I hate ironing!)  I love this outfit.  My top is a thrifted silk pajama shirt, jeans are old Levi’s I distressed myself, and my shoes cost $5 at H&M.  You could easily find an outfit like this in a magazine for about 32 times what I actually paid for this.  Looks can be deceiving, you guys 🙂

I don’t care what you have, you are a “have”.  Remember that.  No more keeping up with the Joneses, keeping up with myself is work enough!

Happy Monday
Katy