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

Mom-parison…Is Real

Mom-parison.  It’s a very real thing.  You understand when I say “mom-parison” I mean comparing ourselves as mothers to other mothers, NOT comparing our mothers to other moms right?  Just had to be clear on that…in case it wasn’t clear enough…

I still feel like a “new mom” in many ways.  Mainly because I have two children who are so close together that it’s like having twins…so basically everything I do with them, we do all at once.  Potty training was no fun.  But we did it all together, and it was my first time doing such a thing.  I’ve had kids now for four years, which in mom years (are those like dog years?  I’m suspicious of this possibility) is a long time, but in ACTUAL years, doesn’t feel like that long.  Whenever I embark on a new mom-venture, I am basically googling everything to find out how the H#** you are supposed to get kids to pee in the potty, use the pedals on a tricycle, or put their own pants on.  Because how am I supposed to know?  This is my first time doing all this too!  So starting preschool has been an adventure so far.  It’s my new mom-venture.  And I don’t know what I’m doing.

Mom-parison starts early.  From the day you give birth as a matter of fact.  Let’s just get one thing straight: when you push a HUMAN out of your crotch, you should be getting mad props and the size and length of said human really shouldn’t matter.  But somehow, it does.  This is your first clue that you will be judged freely for EVERY TINY ASPECT OF PARENTING from here on out.  Just watch what happens…a woman tells everyone that her baby was six pounds and everyone just says “awwww how sweet…” and the woman next to her tells the audience that her baby was ten and a half pounds and the crowd goes WILD!!  People will applaud her and tell her how boss she is and give her all the glory…because the human she pushed out was a few pounds larger than the other woman’s child.  What the…yes, it starts here.  Then there’s the “how long did you breastfeed?” competitions, the “how long does your baby sleep?” and so on, and so forth.  And now, after all this…comes school.  The time when you REALLY start comparing yourself.

Here’s how it goes down for me on school mornings.  I rip myself outta bed as late as I can, because, tired.  I hurriedly pack everything (inevitably forgetting something, like the kid’s art projects they were supposed to share with the class or their snack, which I have to then buy at school when we arrive) and then beg and plead with the kids to only bring ONE stuffed animal and not 17, like they have requested.  We race to school, cursing any light traffic we might hit, and then thankfully make it to the parking lot.  I park in the most remote parking space I can possibly find so that no one sees my car.  In a world of Range Rovers, I am…hiding from the general public trying to trick everyone into thinking my Rover is in the shop…and has been for a while now.  I nervously check around to make sure no one sees me, and thereby associates me with my car (once I parked next to a Maserati in the drop off zone and that was SUPER nerve wracking to say the least) and then we head to school.  I mentally pat myself on the back for the fact that while my car may be, uh, embarrassing, my outfit looks like I’m going to Coachella so that’s pretty tight if you ask me.  Then we get to the classroom.  I scan the room and realize that there are kids with really cute outfits on.  My daughter is usually covered in paint and food when I pick her up from school, not to mention she will SCREAM at me if I even attempt to put anything on her that’s not leggings and a t shirt…so cute outfit dressing is not an option.  Mom strike two.  The next thing I notice is that most of the kids have written their own names on their art work, while mine are all written by the teacher.  And sure, it all looks like hieroglyphics and is virtually unreadable, but still.  THEY KNOW HOW TO WRITE THEIR NAMES WHY DON’T MY KIDS KNOW HOW TO DO THAT??  Yikes.  Mom strike three.  Inevitably throughout the day there will be a meeting or moment with the other moms where I feel like they are speaking Chinese and I have NO idea what is going on…apparently I missed the email I was supposed to read or I missed on of the books I was supposed to buy or I don’t know if the words they are using are acronyms or ? and then I have to remind myself that I did graduate college with honors in an English speaking country and I’m not a complete idiot.  And yet, I feel like one somehow…because everyone is nodding and agreeing and I look like a deer in the headlights.  Then someone will ask if anyone has any questions and I resist the urge to put my hand up and stupidly say “uhhh what?” with my mouth hanging open.  Because, uh, I want them to like me at least a little.  Maybe I should just say “oh but look at my super cool boots!” instead of asking questions.  Divert their attention to the one thing I nailed that morning…not a bad idea…

I’m typically at mom strike seven by the end of the day because, well, there are two of them and one of me and sometimes I get tired and there’s just not enough coffee to help with my mom brain.  And because I don’t play sports, there’s no limit on strikes and that’s a darn good thing because some days I need a lot of them.  Still want that Range Rover though…


Yes, I realize we SHOULDN’T ever compare ourselves to other people.  But…yeah, that’s just a normal reaction to being around other humans!  The answer to this I’ve found is to try my best to focus on the things I’m good at and to celebrate the great and amazing things that happened throughout the day…that way I don’t get bogged down in car shame.  The other answer is to know other cool moms who are real and help you by being themselves.  This amazing top came from Amber Moon, which is run by a super cool mom who is also a super sweet and encouraging woman.  Women like her remind me that it’s okay to be human, to be normal, and that I am great at some things (Pinterest crafts is NOT one of them) and that I should celebrate those things!  The pants are Nightcap and the shoes are ix style which is a super cool company as well as super comfy sandals.

And now, to get my kids to finish their veggies.  Because I’m gonna win this one…
Katy

 

Fashion Feelings: Tough and Tender

I like to pretend I’m tough.  I like to dress up in rocker tees, big jewelry, get tattoos, and load on the black eyeliner.  Because that makes me look and feel tough, and when the pedal really hits the medal, I am not really all that tough.  I can’t watch tv shows where people die.  Unless, of course, they are coming back as a vampire or werewolf.  Because that’s just cool.  I’ve never been good at confrontation.  In fact, when I’ve had to do those kinds of things in the past, I typically can’t breathe while I’m saying what has to be said and then I just dissolve into tears afterwards.  No, I would say when it comes to being tough or tender, I am firmly in the “tender” camp.

I volunteered at the thrift store that supports my kids’ school today, because first of all, that means I get to shop while doing it (bonus) and also I need to log in some hours to support their school.  I’m happy to do it.  I may have bought a few things in the process, we cannot be certain 😉  When I came in and put on my “Volunteer” name tag, the manager oriented me to the store (even though she knows I know the store pretty darn well!) and she said, “just don’t be rude to people”.  I laughed and told her that I wasn’t sure I knew how to be rude to people and she kind of cocked her head and looked at me…saying: “yeah…I can’t really imagine you being rude at all…”  She then went on to say that it was easy for her to be not so nice to people.  Have you noticed that people are usually one or the other?  Tough OR tender?  I’ve met a few people who are both, but they’re more rare than the either/or people.  Like me.

Whatever we are, we usually have to work on the opposite.  I have to work on being tough.  Constantly.  With my kids, with my business, heck, even when I order food and they get it wrong.  I am so NOT into confrontation that I would most definitely chose the path of least resistance when it comes to the potential for hurting people’s feelings.  But since that is no way to live and is obviously a super ineffective parenting method, I have to work on the opposite.  However, I have known lots of people who are like, ready to GO all the time.  You know, the ones who get excited when they hear that there might be a problem and they’re ready to defend anyone, anywhere, over anything.  They have to work on being tender.  It’s like…if they could see more from the other person’s perspective and if I could maybe pay attention to my OWN perspective for once…we could meet in the middle and be tough AND tender.  The sweet spot.

It’s hard and often painful to do things that are out of our nature.  I mean, the times I’ve had to confront people for work or something, I have waited until it was ABSOLUTELY necessary to do so.  I ran through what I had to do, I had people help me come up with what needed to be said.  And yet, in the moment, I felt like I was dragging my nails across a chalkboard or trying to breathe under water (actually kind of literally on that last one!).  I can imagine, for a person who finds confrontation quite easy, it might feel the same NOT jumping up and dealing with what’s bugging them, and instead listening and letting something go.  I’ve experienced this over and over again, and yet it always seems to apply no matter what’s going on in my life:  the path of least resistance is not always the best place to be.  I don’t go looking for confrontation or difficulty (I think we’ve established that already!) but I also don’t automatically assume that when things are hard or don’t feel natural, that I’m in the wrong place.  Because if that were the case, I would literally NEVER do anything new, ever.

I found these Blank NYC faux leather bells on Poshmark for a great deal, and I had to have them.  I mean, they’re like so Grease meets hippie vibes.  And I really loved the idea of wearing a kind of lumberjack vintage flannel with them.  Super tough!  One of the most special things about this outfit though, is my necklace.  It belonged to the most tough and tender woman I have ever known and I am beyond honored to own something of hers.  Myself and a lot of other people lost her recently and she reminds me still to love people relentlessly but to never back down, ever.  And now, I gotta figure out how to breathe under water… 🙂

Happy Wednesday…hope you’re being tough when you need to be and tender when it counts!
Katy

Fashion Feelings: Tiny Annoying Setbacks

Seriously you guys, my life is like one perpetual diet.  And I’m not referring to the fact that I eat healthy.  No, no, that is something I do because I like to do it.  I eat salads instead of fries and acai bowls instead of ice cream because I actually feel better when I do.  What I’m referring to is the calorie counting and the not splurging on even healthy treats.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Yes, it’s called #momlife and the fact that I just don’t get to get as much sleep as I’d like, I tend to run out of energy from changing multiple diapers, cleaning up toys, and loading and unloading kids into car seats…and for all of these things, my body wants MORE FOOD.  So you want to know what happens?  I get into a routine.  I have a great week where I’ve worked out every day, my calories have been #onpoint, and I’m just #killingit.  (sorry for all the hashtags, it’s hard to stop once you start). And then…one of the kids gives me a mild tummy bug, a cold, or wakes up in the middle of the night and BOOM.  Routine destroyed.  #fail.  (#sorrynotsorry omg how do I turn it off??)

It drives me crazy.  I get frustrated because my typical iron clad low carb routine dissolves into me having to eat toast because my stomach is messed up, not working out because I have middle-of-the-night-toddler-freak-out exhaustion, or just overall eating more than I should because I don’t have the time to pay attention to my calorie count.  Or I’m just tired and hungry.  So I eat a little extra. Sure, sure, I need to give myself grace.  I know, I’m crazy hard on myself often when it comes to this stuff, so let’s try to focus on the point I’m making and not that I’m just plain crazy.  Crazy hard on myself or crazy…it’s all about the same thing!

My kids are young.  And it’s so fun to have young kids.  They’re so freaking cute.  But this often causes small “setbacks” in my routine.  It forces me to be okay with some weeks being “bad diet” weeks.  Even though I try my darnedest…sometimes I just need an acai bowl on a day I didn’t work out.  (I know you’re like “Oh my GOSH Katy you’re SO CRAZY!” #sarcasm)  But this is kind of the truth about being a mom at times.  You have to let go of the things you once held dear.  Your precious schedule.

Even though it is hard, and my feelings of frustration are valid, I think it’s kind of good for me at times to just do my best to be okay with who I am right now.  Yes, I will keep working on that dang last ten pounds until I can kick them (and I WILL kick them), but it’s good for me to learn to accept who I am at the moment.  I’m a mom.  I have more of a “mom body” than I used to, and some of that will always remain, weight lost or not.  I have stretch marks.  And sometimes, I won’t be able to stick to my routine.  That needs to be okay with me, because life is about more than just being hyper disciplined, as good as discipline is.

I’m thankful for clothes like this, because you know what?  They always look good.  I don’t have to be having a “thin day” to wear them and feel great about myself.  This cocoon wrap is from Aavintedge, and her mom (@modmelrose) is just about the coolest seamstress EVER.  My gosh, I want so much more of her stuff.  Scratch that.  I basically want everything she makes.  She uses vintage fabrics and makes the best stuff out of them.  And then there’s stretch velvet bell bottoms.  Go get yourself a custom pair, why don’t ya?  Because everyone needs more velvet in their lives 😉

Eat a donut for me will ya?
Katy

Advice in Style: The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Style

You know what’s funny?  Watching movies set in past times when women wore things like corsets and stuff…and then watching myself complain about having to button my jeans.  Yeah.  Times have changed.  I mean, we have it so easy!  We don’t have to deal with giant petticoats (unless we want to) or constrictive shape wear (unless you count spanx, which are again, optional)…the worst thing we have to do is literally, button our skinny jeans.  Pretty sure we have it darn easy, ladies!

All that to be said, we don’t have to make things more complicated if we don’t want to.  If you’re one of those “I want to feel like I’m wearing pajamas all day, every day” kinda gals, this is your lucky day.  Because corsets are for costumes, buttons are for elevators, spanx are for Kanye’s fashion show.   Yeah, I went there.

Lazy gals, your day has arrived.  We live in the era of stretch fabrics, velcro, and leggings in every imaginable pattern.  You are now the cool girls.  Your workouts can now be reserved for the gym and not for trying to get on a stubborn pair of slightly too small “standing only” jeans.

The I Don’t Want To Button My Pants Lazy Girl’s Guide To Style:

Ditch the jeans like it’s Turkey Day.  I love denim, but you can be stylish without a pair of jeans.  The sheer amount of palazzo pants, maxi skirts, leggings, and stretchy bell bottoms out there right now is staggering.  I have so many pairs of jeans, and I often go weeks without touching them just because I have so many other options.
Keep the jeans, lose the pesky button.  I am having an endless love affair with high waisted stretch jeans.  So much so, that I’m considering doing my own for my upcoming clothing line.  I have a pair of these, and you guys, they’re worth every penny.
Wear pajamas.  All day.  You all know how I feel about pajama dressing, it’s chic, different, and COMFORTABLE.  No one (unless they’re super weird) makes uncomfortable pajamas.  You can easily buy pajama tops and bottoms even at places like Target or Old Navy and wear them as shirts and or bottoms.  It looks very classy when paired with the right top or bottom, depending on what look you are going for.
Layer like a pro.  I love that the style these days is more “messy” than “fussy”.  It’s like, instead of polo shirts with the collar flipped up (please tell me what that’s about you guys) there’s tees with jackets and flowy pants.  Messy is the “look”, meaning that it’s all about doing things imperfectly and not nitpicking at your outfit.  (key word, lazy)
No more laces.  Don’t tell your mom, but all that time she spent teaching you to tie your own shoes was, well, a waste.  Because pull on, slip on, slide on shoes are your new BFF.  I cannot tell you how many times I chose a pair of pull-on boots over a pair that I have to zip up (heaven forbid I put that much effort into getting dressed) simply because it was easy.  Mules, slides, and cowboy boots are like “look ma! No hands!” kinda shoes.
Buy yourself a good dry shampoo.  If you don’t already have dry shampoo, goodness gracious get your butt into your car and get some.  Or at the very least, be lazy and order some.  No, NOW.  I didn’t mean later, I meant now!  Because dry shampoo is the lazy girl’s best hair friend, and saves time, and probably lives as well for all I know.  If you have dark hair, this one is the bomb and smells amazing too.  If you have blonde hair, opt for a lighter option.  Both of these are safe, natural products that you will most definitely get your money’s worth.  An added perk of using the natural ones is that they don’t build up like the chemical ones do.  These you can use a few days in a row without getting that nasty yucky hair feeling after only one day of use.

Here’s my lazy girl look.  I have a robe I got from Urban Outfitters, my pull on flares from Show Me Your Mumu (no cussing, struggling, or sucking in the gut required), and a thrifted slip dress.  My hair is fully equipped with dry shampoo and a little salt spray and my lipstick is a crayon (one swipe and done).  I have on some slide on mules so I can literally just step into them and go.

Go be lazy you guys.  It’s ok, I won’t tell 🙂
Katy

Fashion Feelings: Peace, Love, and No Refined Sugar

I’m just about the least and most hippie person you’ll ever meet.  Is that confusing?  I can’t imagine why…

I was raised by a mom who embraced the late 80s versions of “health food”.  There was yoga, carob (the “other chocolate” which turns out is not really chocolate at all.  Nice try mom.), homemade noodles in our chicken soup, and we never, ever, ever, ever (I could go on) drank soda or juice.  She made me go to the renaissance fair one year (it was weird) and she made everything from scratch.  Period.  The first time I had Taco Bell was in junior high.  I used to beg her to use a box mix for my birthday cakes (she never conceded).  Let’s talk about my dad.  He thought she was trying to poison us and fed me oreos and cheese balls in bulk.  He thought yoga was bunk, ice cream needed to be purchased in buckets and no smaller quantities, and well, carob?  That was DEFINITELY NOT chocolate.

Maybe my parents didn’t agree on food, but the one thing they agreed on was the lack of television watching or pop culture that they allowed in the house.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  However, this meant that until the late 90s when I was actually allowed to listed to a radio station for the first time, I knew nothing of pop culture or the arts.  I mean really.  I didn’t know who Bob Dylan was (Jakob Dylan’s dad, right?).  I knew a few Beatles songs, but other than that, up until the era of the boy band, it’s kind of a blank.  I was raised like a hippie in the most undecidedly NON hippie fashion.

I now consider myself like, 50 percent hippie.  You know, like, I’m part Irish, part French, part Swedish…and part hippie.  Perfectly logical.  My food habits?  Completely hippie.  I make bone broth and ghee and I don’t eat refined sugar.  My music habits?  Completely non hippie.  Pop, country, and the like.  My cleaning and personal care habits?  Peace, yo.  I DIY laundry soap, toothpaste, and only buy clean skincare and makeup.  But my taste in television shows?  The least chill and hippie ever.  MY STYLE?  I think you know the answer to that.

I went shopping with a couple good friends and saw this amazing thing sticking out of the racks.  I grabbed it, and started laughing hysterically.  My friends took notice, and followed suit because…well, it’s simultaneously the best and worst thing I’ve ever seen.  It was half off, so I bought it.  Anything that gets that much of my attention is just gonna happen.  One of the girls who worked at the second hand store said multiple times: “I’m SO HAPPY you’re buying the Janis Joplin thingy!”  And I was like, oh good…I’m wearing the clothes of a woman I know nothing about…

I put it with bell bottoms (of course!) and have big plans to create some bells like this but MORE HIPPIE (of course again!).  And really, this thing needs no explanation.  Except it was probably the most awesome $8 I’ve ever spent.

Gotta go make some hippie concoction in the kitchen now and pretend I know who Janis Joplin is…
Katy

Fashion Feeling: In (the) Navy Now

Color trends are interesting.  Often I have no real clue where the “color of the year” comes from, however I know it does have meaning and comes from research and all that.  Just because something’s the “color of the year” or “on trend” doesn’t mean I’m gonna wear it though.  There was that one year when it was this super taupe-y purple…and boy do I NOT look good in that color.  So, I just went “off trend” for the year and wore orange instead.  Because I always wear orange.

This year, for fall, it seems that navy is making a resurgence.  Gosh what a great color.  I mean, it’s ALWAYS “in”, it looks good on basically every skin tone, and it’s just a good basic color.  A little more interesting than black, but still very slimming and neutral.  Win-win.  I’ve also noticed that nautical style is really making a huge comeback as well.

Considering I’ve never been on a boat really…maybe once my mom made me go whale watching as a child and I’ve been terrified of whales ever since…this is most definitely a poser-y style for me.  But hey, isn’t all style like that?  I mean, I wear a Boy Scout shirt and I have no clue about the Boy Scouts.  (They’re not the ones with the cookies, so…) I wear rock and roll stuff and while I do play guitar, I play like acoustic guitar, not like shredding leads.  So I can pretend I’m in the “navy”, right?

I honestly love the nautical/military kind of trend.  I think it’s structured and flattering, and well, blue and gold together are just SUCH a winning combo.  So classy and always “expensive” looking somehow.  I don’t pay a TON of attention to color trends, quite honestly, but I do when I like them!

Hope your weekend is going swimmingly and you have effectively avoided all whales (unless you’re not scared of them like I am, which, if you’re a normal human, that’s probably the case).
Katy

Trending: Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING

It’s that time of year once again where the leaves are turning brown (I live in California, everything’s basically brown year round), there’s a chill in the air (it’s 90 degrees here today), and everyone’s drinking their first hot pumpkin spice latte (key word here is *hot.  I’m sweating just thinking about it).  What does it all mean?  Two things.  First, fall is here (let the angels sing) and second, America is obsessed with putting pumpkin spice on EVERYTHING.  My husband actually put it on his eggs the other morning.  Hold up with the judgement you guys it was a complete mistake and he most definitely regretted that one, so don’t go planning your breakfasts just yet!  And while people may laugh and make fun of the obsession, I gotta say, it’s a pretty worthwhile thing to be crazy about.  I mean, who doesn’t love fall, and who doesn’t love pumpkins??

Besides the lattes and the eggs (just kidding guys!), the other thing that I’m crazy over right now is the pumpkin COLOR that’s trending for fall!  Sometimes I think that this year someone peered into my brain and came up with the trends because like 40 percent of my closet is orange!  That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I LOVE ORANGE!  Here’s some runway inspiration to check out…you’ll see what I’m talking about.  It’s like they’re wearing their PSL’s…

As you can see…it’s all ORANGE!  I understand, not everyone is crazy about the color and it definitely can come off a little Halloween-y, so I found a few picks of my own that are a fun addition to any fall wardrobe, and aren’t all as committed as that furry sweater and skirt (gimme gimme gimme gimme).

This Zara dress is amazing with all those fall colors, and has oranges and reds all blended together…an easy wear for the orange phobic!

I absolutely LOVE this H&M kimono cardigan!  It’s a great layering piece in THE color for fall! (it’s only $13!)

Look how adorably retro this skirt from Forever 21 is!

And the piece that EVERYONE NEEDS…velvet bells.  These babies are custom made and freaking gorgeous!  Love a good Homecookedkarma bell bottom!

Whether you love orange or not, hope you’re enjoying the start of fall!
Katy

On Labels and Layers

Have you ever been labeled before?  I bet you have.  I think we all have been through those moments, times, or seasons of life where we get kind of “boxed in” so to speak by what other people say about us.  It’s kind of funny because I think sometimes it isn’t even meant to be something that’s offensive at all.  Of course, sometimes it’s meant to manipulate and control you and other times, it’s just a normal thing that we all do to each other, often without even meaning to.  No matter how it’s intended, it can be frustrating.

When I was in high school, I was kind of known for being funny, loud, and full of energy pretty much all the time.  It was my nature, and coupled with the fact that  I was fresh out of home schooling and SO excited to be at actual school with other actual HUMANS, I was just kind of an extra excited teenager.  Of course no one can sustain that energy level all the time, even if it’s your personality.  There were days when I was feeling sad about a boy who didn’t like me or I was tired or not feeling well…and on those days, that’s when the labelling happened.  “What’s WRONG with you??  Are YOU OK?  You’re NEVER like this!!!”  I get it.  People get concerned when you seem a bit off your game.  But it was EXHAUSTING.  It got to the point where even at a young age, if I didn’t feel like being loud and funny for a day, I stayed away from my friends because I grew weary of the labels they had put on me, putting extra pressure to behave in ways I didn’t feel like.  It made me feel like something was wrong with me if I didn’t feel like making jokes and being kind of crazy.  If I was serious, it offended my friends and that was hard for me.  I hated it.  Later on in life more labels came.  In different times and from different people.  There were the: “you NEVER wear stuff like that!” or the “you ALWAYS _________ (fill in the blanks)” and repeated statements that made me feel like I was never allowed to grow.  To change.  For my style to evolve.  Or for me to express myself freely without judgement.  There were so many times when I’d get home and just feel so frustrated.  I felt like I was trying so hard to BE something…half the time I didn’t even know what, I just wanted some freedom to be whatever the heck I wanted to be.

I know I’ve done this to people without realizing it.  I know there are times when stuff flies out of my mouth that is meant as an observation or a concern…and that’s just life.  It’s our nature to notice differences in people.  Like when you see someone wearing an outfit that’s out of their norm…or when you see someone doing things that are different than you’d expect.  With the extreme changes aside, like times when you ACTUALLY do need to be worried about someone because they are definitely not doing well, I’m trying my hardest to ENCOURAGE changes and differences in people.  Because how fun it is to see someone growing.  To see someone being creative.  Or to know that they feel comfortable enough around me to not be “ON” all the time and they feel like they can just express how they’re feeling no matter what that means for them.  I’m at a point where I’m surrounded by people who I feel like I can dress how I want, be funny or serious, and for the most part, they just accept me.  Of course, I have my own labels I’ve put on myself and sometimes it’s hard for me to stop boxing myself in. But it’s just such a lovely thing to not feel like I have to BE something other than myself.

I had a hilarious moment a few months ago where I wore these giant fur leg warmers to church on a Sunday where I was leading worship.  No one even NOTICED.  I was really expecting people to make comments and jokes about them, and no one said a single word.  They just gave me hugs and said hi like normal…and I realized then that I was in the exact right place.  Of COURSE sometimes people comment on my outfits because they are typically a bit more flamboyant than the average, but it’s definitely not in a way that makes me feel pressured to be or dress a certain way.  And it’s wonderful.  It’s okay to be serious on some days and funny on others…to dress preppy one day and then grunge the next.  We are not robots.  And we should never feel afraid to change things up now and again.

Some days I feel pretty darn country.  And some days I feel more like I want to look like a rocker chick.  I’m really neither of those things, but what’s clothing if not fun, right?  This outfit is basically a long vintage slip with a lace top over it, cowboy booties and a cowboy tie on belt, and a ton of necklaces.  Pretty easy!

Sometimes I feel like I can’t buy a pair of shoes that aren’t cowboy boots or a pair of jeans that aren’t bell bottoms.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  I feel like I’m not being “true to myself” or something crazy like that.  I have most definitely labelled myself and made myself feel like I’ve “committed” to a certain style and right now, I’m kind of breaking all my rules lately.  I’m shopping for some new things, some different things…I’ll ALWAYS be true to my boots and my bells.  But a girl’s gotta mix things up now and again for fear of closet boredom!

Happy Tuesday…hope every day finds you dressing and BEING who you are!
Katy

On Photo Shoots (and How I’m Not a Model)

I don’t usually let people take my photos.  Because if someone else is behind the camera, they see all the crazy weird expressions I make.  The expressions I make best are usually:  “goofy”, “serial killer”, and “lazy eye”.  (gosh why has Victoria’s Secret not called me back??) And the expressions I am typically less than successful at are:  “sexy”, “fierce”, and “intense”.  (if you correlate those two lists, you’ll see exactly what happens when I try and make the latter expressions and it will all suddenly make sense.)  When Randi of Guts and Grit Clothing asked if I’d be willing to do a photo shoot with her awesome stuff, I said yes right away…I love her and her stuff so it was an easy choice.  Also, I thought if she’s trying to sell her stuff to serial killers with lazy eyes, then I’m DEFINITELY the best choice for that target market.

Thankfully, she brought Kaitlyn (@hippiesandlippies on Instagram) who’s not only a doll, but is ABSOLUTELY FREAKING HILARIOUS so I had way more fun than I even thought I would!  Sure, it’s kind of the worst trying to “model” (I put it in quotes because it’s something I’m quite bad at) next to a tiny little perfect human being, but when that perfect human is constantly doing weird lunges and trying to grab your rear, it makes it all better.  I think like more than half of the photos are of my with my giant mouth wide open laughing hysterically…(I’m sure Randi appreciated that) because I could not stop cracking up!  It really helped me get over myself a little bit, deal with the fact that my hair, makeup, and nails are basically a hot mess 90 percent of the time, but who the heck cares because the clothes are cool.  So.

Here’s what actually happened for most of the time:

All the tops are hers…she takes vintage jackets and shirts and prints on the back, adds patches or fringe, and basically makes them awesome!

I’ll share more as she sends them to me!  She took SO many that it’s taking a while to transfer them all, so stay tuned for part two 🙂

Happy TUESDAY!  (You made it through Monday, good news!)
Katy