On Basics…and Being Anything But.

Most of you guys know me by now.  And if this is the first post you’ve read, hi!  My name is Katy, and I wear weird stuff.  I love putting clothes together that “don’t belong” and pairing stuff that could be “totally wrong” together.  So when I wear basics, I get bored if I don’t spice them up a bit.  Despite all this, I do love a good basic!  Welcome to my new series: Basics…Anything BUT!!!  I’m taking that “don’t be basic” thing to the next level, so come along with me if you feel like adding some spice to your life!

I’m gonna try to show you how you can take simple things (things you may have in your drawers) and make them more interesting using only a few extra pieces.  Some of them you may have in your closet, and some of them will be worth buying to add interest to many potential outfits hiding out in there, just waiting to be inspired!  But I’ll do my best to give you some DIY ideas, thrifting tips, and links to fun stuff you may want to snag at a bargain (or as much of a bargain as I can find!).  As ALWAYS…these ideas are meant to INSPIRE you.  Change things up as you get ideas…find your OWN unique spice to add in, because I know you got it in you!

Today it’s all about that blue gingham shirt.  You know, that one shirt that you always see in the J Crew catalog.  The one that the girl who always dresses really well sports with a pencil skirt or the perfect boyfriend jeans.  This is a key item for your closet, no matter WHAT your style, because it’s an easy go-to item.  It always looks tailored and precise.  Whether you buy it from J Crew, Gap, or a thrift store (this is a PERFECT item to thrift, the second hand shops tend to be loaded with them), it always looks nice.  The obvious things to wear this shirt with would be the things I already mentioned, but of course, my style bent always leans towards the unexpected, so that’s exactly where we are going to go today!

VINTAGE FUNK
This is for when you want to be either rocker chic, or just tomboy for the day.  Fun, easy, and great layering for spring time weather!

This look is ALL about the thrift store you guys.  Layering a tee over a gingham shirt has ENDLESS options!
THRIFTY TIP:  Shop thrift stores for vintage tees (focus on the men’s section and just look in the appropriate correlating size that will fit you) and loafers.  Boyfriend jeans are also a great thrift store find, you just have to be persistent.  If you want to go with the new option, I would suggest Gap (watch for sales) or Levi’s (vintage are best though!).
SWAP IT OUT:  Switch this look up by adding tennis shoes and and make it more sporty.  A Harley tee or a black destroyed tee and a pair of heels will turn this into a rocker chic outfit in no time!
CRAFTY DIY:  To get the rocker chic look easy-peasy, thrift a black tee and go crazy on that thing.  Stretch it out, cut a few holes with some scissors, and cut and fray the sleeves and the bottom hem.

DENIM CLASSIC
This look feels inspired by the J Crew catalog, but with an element of personality that keeps it from being straight off the pages.

Layering a chambray top over the gingham (pull the gingham collar and sleeves out to add texture) creates some layers that add interest.  Add a statement necklace and some black booties.
THRIFTY TIP:  Chambray tops, denim button downs, and denim jackets are all great thrift store items.  Also, Target usually has a decent selection of them (this one is Merona from Target) for under or around $20.  SQUASH BLOSSOM WOES?  THIS ONE will only set you back $18, and no one will be the wiser.  You won’t regret it!
SWAP IT OUT:  Another really fun layering idea is to layer a patterned button down over the gingham instead of the chambray.  A floral would be gorgeous!
CRAFTY DIY:  Don’t have a squash blossom or a great statement necklace?  Craft stores are typically loaded with beads and cool pendants.  Often if you just visit the bead section you will get inspired by just looking at what they have and that clear stuff that looks like fishing line is super easy to string beads on!

NONSENSICAL LACE
Layering a lace dress over a gingham shirt and bell bottoms?  I must be mad…


This look is like preppy meets festival wear.  Because, who says you have to decide to be one or the other?  If you can, be both! :)  The key to this look is to pull the collar and the sleeves out so that the shirt is still the under layer and it’s obvious.
THRIFTY TIP:  Lace is very IN right now, so you’re in luck!  The best way to pull this look off, is to head down to a thrift shop and shop the lingerie section for vintage slips or robes.  Lots of FUN!  Also, Forever 21 has SO MANY that would layer BEAUTIFULLY for this look…just check THESE out.
SWAP IT OUT:  Don’t have lace or lace just not your thing?  Try crochet.  A crochet tank top or dress would be a great swap for this look!
CRAFTY DIY:  Leather necklaces like this one are everywhere and they often cost more than a pretty penny, know what I’m saying?  Head to your local craft store and buy an assortment of leather laces, ribbon, and lace.  Make a “loop”, which will be the necklace part out of a leather lace, then tie a bunch of ribbon, lace, and even chain on…and you’ll basically recreate this look at a fraction of the price.  Don’t wanna craft? (I feel ya) THIS ONE is virtually the same for only $15!

CLASSIC ALL AMERICAN.  WITH A TWIST.
Red, white, and blue.  Oh yeah, and pink.  Why not?  Let’s keep it interesting!

A gingham shirt with a red skirt (no matter what length!) is always a classic, all American look.  But add THIS statement necklace (it’s under $30 and comes in two colors!) and you’ve completely changed it from a simple classic, to super interesting!
THRIFTY TIP:  Don’t want to spend even $30 for a necklace?  No worries.  Tons of options HERE to spend around $15 and you get to pick the look you want!
SWAP IT OUT:  Switch out the maxi skirt for a pencil skirt or a mini, and add some cool boots.  Cowboy will give you a western flair, and tall boots and a mini together give a go go girl vibe.
CRAFTY DIY:  If you want to get all creative and stuff (like SO MANY of you are!) get some fun tassels at your craft store (sometimes they’re in the drapery section, sometimes in the “riffraff” area, and attach them either onto a leather lace “necklace” you’ve tied together OR you can attach them onto a chain and make a super cool on-trend tassel necklace!  Heck, you can even make matching earrings too while you’re at it!

Go nuts with this look guys!  And if you do, please tag me when you post because I LOVE to see new and fresh ideas!  You INSPIRE ME!

Katy

6 thoughts on “On Basics…and Being Anything But.”

  1. You’re so stinkin cute! And dang it, if I wasn’t looking for a plaid button down today!! Lol, but the collars bug with my hair length. Can’t wait to see more of this type of article! 😆

    1. You are the SWEETEST this comment seriously makes me SO happy!!!! I remember when I had hair your length and I really had a hard time wearing collared shirts too!! I swear thrift stores are the BEST places for these tops. Also, thredup.com has a lot of super nice ones like J Crew and stuff for under $20 which is awesome. I’ve got another one like this coming on Wednesday and I’m trying to do one a week for a while, so there will be a new one on basics this Wednesday! Also, I can keep my eye out for stuff at Curio if you let me know what you’re looking for :)

  2. You’re so gorgeous Katy! I can’t believe it’s taking me so long to hit your blog up, I mean instagram only tells you so much! Love all the layering you do, I’ve never been a good layerer (is that a word?) but you totally pull it off! I can’t take my eyes off that lace and flare number, such an amazing outfit. You rock it all!

    http://www.blueumbrellalane.com

    Em xx

    1. Emily you are SO kind!!!! I am such a big fan of yours, so your compliments carry much weight!!! I’ve never been a great layerer either and it’s only been more recently that I’ve gotten more of the hang of it! It’s harder to do in warmer climates (as you know!) You’re so awesome :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *