Fashion Feelings: Waiting for Spring

Sometimes in California, it seems that we barely get winter.  We often head straight from summer into indian summer…and then we get like a few days of “cooler weather”, and we are right back where we started in warm temperatures.  I’d say it’s been like that for the past few years here on the Central Coast.  We all buy sweaters and jackets and there are a few bold enough to attempt a pea coat or trench coat (usually the attempts are in vain) and then we stare at our closets, dripping sweat, and wonder why on earth we thought it was a good idea to buy cashmere. You know the story, we got caught up watching Gossip Girl reruns and  had visions of tights and scarves, then came crashing back to reality that you can’t dress like that when it’s 75 outside.  That’s the norm I’d say around here.

However, that is not the case this year.  On the contrary,  we are actually getting our winter.  My rain boots have been worn more in the past few months than they have over the entire time I’ve owned them.  No exaggeration.  Sure, we’ve had a few glorious days that feel like spring, but they are bookended with rain, and LOTS to it.  There’s dams breaking and flooding and mud sliding…all the things that you typically DON’T associate with California…where literally six months ago people were STANDING IN the bone dry lake taking Instagram photos.   And after all that waiting for rain and wondering if we’d ever have a winter again, how do you think it makes us feel?  Yeah.  For the most part, we are all just waiting for spring.

I’m not going to use this post to complain about the weather, no, I’m really talking about the seasons more as a metaphor than anything else.  Because, OBVIOUSLY the rain won’t last forever, and it’s not even all that bad compared to other parts of the world.  What I’m talking about is waiting for newness.  Most of the time, I feel like I am surrounded by people who are waiting for a change to happen.  You can hear it in their conversations as you pass by, you can sense it in them…that urgency to move past something, be it school or a temporary job, to get to where they are going.  Sure, that’s kind of part of life.  A lot of life is spent in waiting rooms, boring classes, jobs we aren’t excited about, grocery store lines…that’s normal.  I’m not really talking about THAT kind of waiting.  I’m talking about the WAITING.  You know, that deep-down-in-your-soul waiting that you can’t talk about without either getting so fired up that you can’t stop thinking about it OR you completely dissolve into tears because you “just can’t” anymore?  THAT kind of waiting.  It’s the kind where you desperately want to get pregnant and have been waiting for what feels like your whole life to be a mom.  It’s the kind where you just KNOW that there’s a job or a purpose for you outside of working at a dead end job filled with busy work you could not care less about.  THAT kind of waiting.  Waiting for spring to come.

I must confess that I have had this kind of waiting in me my whole life.  It’s very painful to even admit that sometimes, because it means I’m still doing it.  It started when I was a child (because I grew up with parents who were “waiting” and unfortunately they passed their torch to me at a very young age in that area).  I was more of a grown up child, who wished and hoped to solve everything for my parents at an age when I should have been more concerned with what the hot new toy was rather than my dad’s income comparative to the home prices in our town.  So even as a child, I was waiting for something that was not my responsibility to wait for.  That sucks.  Because now as an adult, instead of waiting for a “normal” amount of adult years, it’s mostly feels like I came out of the womb with a burden, not only to change things for myself, but to fix it for everyone around me.  And trust me, I’m not the only one suffering from this kind of waiting here.

So what do you do with this kind of waiting?  To be honest, on days like today, I feel like it is actually going to crush me.  What then?  Do you just put on your winter parka and decide that winter will last forever?  Do you just hunker down and accept it?  No.  You put on your spring clothes.  It may be freezing (so maybe don’t LITERALLY do that if you’re in a snowy climate, okay?) and it may feel VERY VERY WRONG.  People may stare at you.  They may even ask you why you’re dressed for spring when it’s CLEARLY still winter outside.  And you tell them: “because spring is right around the corner, and I want to be ready for it when it comes”.  Do you get what I’m saying?  Emotionally, we need to “dress” for spring time.  Because the winter won’t last forever.  Seasons change, and believe me, I know people who are living in spring time and they are still bundled up for the deep freeze.  They’re scared to change their emotional attitudes because they believe it’s still winter time.

On a lighter note, I am quite guilty of dressing for the season I WANT it to be, rather than the one I am currently in.  I think it’s partly just my creative nature, and partly the fact that most of the time if someone tells me something is impossible I tend to take that as a challenge.  Dressing for the wrong season is my forte, quite literally.  Days like today, I humbly admit that I’ve been in my parka all day long even though the weather has been beautiful.  I have gotten it all wrong and it’s time to put on my cropped floral pants and say screw that, I’m dressing for spring!

Who’s with me?
Katy

Pants: Vintage, similar HERE (and on clearance!)
Top: Old Urban Outfitters, similar HERE
C
ombat Boots: Jeffrey Campbell, similar HERE (and a screaming deal too!)
Earrings: H&M in store, black version HERE

Cool Copying: Why I Never Get Rid Of Stuff

Okay, maybe that’s a lie.  I get rid of A LOT of clothes to be honest.  I resell stuff on Poshmark, I trade it in at my local resale store, and I donate stuff to friends and thrift stores.  There’s no WAY I could keep everything, because then I’d be a legit hoarder and you would find me buried under mounds of supposed-to-be-Halloween costumes, weird vintage, and things that virtually no one knows what they are.  I’d be trying to claw my way out, slip sliding on all that satin and velvet.  So yeah, I gotta get rid of stuff.  However, I am often VERY reluctant to do so.  With certain pieces more than others.  Here’s why.

Do you know how many times I have hit a period in my life where I think to myself: “well, I’m never gonna wear THAT style again!” and then…SURPRISE!  I DO!!   Yep.  Remember that box of vintage slips I got rid of years ago?  I STILL REGRET THAT ONE.  There was this one white and blue pinstripe skirt…an amazing pair of boyfriend shorts, and a baby blue polyester vintage suit that I very much remember and miss.  That being said, I have become slightly better at telling what I really just don’t love and won’t re-wear, or what I can replace with something better and won’t ever miss because of it.  So when I saw this photo, I was like YES I AM VINDICATED!  (I’m shouting at myself, because honestly no one else cares about this around me)

I love this look.  It’s equal parts menswear and rock and roll and that is awesome.  I bought this skirt at Forever 21 probably about seven years ago or so, and every so often, it proves to be amazing.  It has spent some time on my “to get rid of” pile, but then at the last minute, it always gets salvaged.  Because I realize how cool it is and realize that the minute I get rid of it, I will most likely spend my free time looking for something to replace it, only to spend three times as much!  No its not like I’ve EVER done THAT before!!  (Sarcasm.)

I got my white blazer on super sale on Black Friday at H&M (hooray!).  I liked the look of the plain white tee with the text on it, so I wore my Bandit Brand “Rock and Roll” shirt because, well, it’s on the nose, but in this look that totally works!  Also, my skirt is fully lined, which just makes it a bit more wearable in the cooler months (here in California, I realize this would not be wearable in the snow!).  But all in all, I think it’s a look worth copying!  And let’s not forget about those EARRINGS.  Yes, my friend Arwyn works miracles in the leather world and did these up right for me.  Ahhhhh, I love her.

Now if only I could get that white pinstripe blazer back that I got rid of so many years ago…that would have been a cool addition too!

Happy Tuesday!  (that is what day it is right??)
Katy

Real World Style: Goth Feels

I’ve never been much down for the whole “goth thing”.  However, I have friends and relatives who fully embraced the trend a long time ago…the whole dark and moody thing just never really worked for me.  I mean, I didn’t even start wearing black until about five years ago!  I am the least dark and twisty person you could find…and a lot of time my style reflects that.  That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the style in certain ways though!

Goth seems like it was a total late 80s and early 90s style kind of sub sect, especially amongst angsty teens.  I remember one of my good friends talking endlessly about Marilyn Manson (although we were a bit on the young side to really be listening to him) and wearing almost black lipstick.  She definitely embraced the moodier side of fashion while I was still wearing pink and listening to uber pop music in all it’s happy glory.

Isn’t it funny how the style cycle is moving quicker these days it seems?  I think because of social media and iPhones and all that jazz, photos get disseminated much quicker and almost immediately after a trend begins, we are oversaturated with it.  Fast fashion pumps out a style quicker than you can blink, and before you know it, you have an email in your inbox from Forever 21 with a complete collection of clothing based on that trend.  The fast fashion fairy godmothers plus the magic of Instagram equals a trend reaching the masses and then being “so over” much MUCH quicker than in any other time in history.  So we are now seeing trends cycle through, like some of the 90s punk goth stuff we are starting to see, when it wasn’t all that long ago we just saw black velvet chokers and dark lips walk down the runway THE LAST TIME they did.

The great thing however about all this lightning speed communication of trends is that there is so much more creativity happening amongst them!  The “goth” we are seeing now is definitely a throw back to the early 90s, but this time, it’s gotten a little fancier.  And this time, I’m gonna test it out because I’m a little bolder in my style choices than I was when I was a kid.  Clearly.

I found this photo in Marie Claire that I liked because it’s kind of an edwardian romantic take on goth.

I love the idea of mixing white and black lace together.  It takes the sweetness and delicacy of the lace and adds an edge.  I love testing out a trend or a style that doesn’t necessarily feel like “me”, because it often gives me new ideas and new courage to think (and dress) outside my usual box!

This look is like the fancier older sister of the moody goth younger brother.  Know what I’m saying?  I have a vintage Gunne Sax lace dress over a vintage black slip dress and some ruffly combat boots…because the ruffle is just plain fun.  I feel both moody and fancy at the same time.  I weirdly used to wear dark lipstick ALL THE TIME, but now it feels fun and yet strange.  It’s not my usual go-to style, but I’m gonna try and sneak some pieces of it into my weekly wardrobe!  Still listening to pop music though.  That’s not gonna change 🙂
Happy Monday!
Katy

 

 

Real World Style: Military Shirts

Isn’t it funny how while some things in fashion come and go, certain things never seem to really ever go out of style?  I mean, I’m pretty sure that leopard print, while it is inordinately hot at the moment, never really goes “out” of style.  And how about florals and plaids?  There’s another example.  Those prints may have their big moments on the runway or in magazines, but they never really go away.  Military tops and jackets are some of those items that I find seem to always, ALWAYS, be around.  I think the way people wear them varies from season to season, but let’s be quite honest…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fashion report that said they were a no-no.  Not that I ever really listen to those reports anyway…because if I love it, it’s “in style” in my closet and in my life!  End of story!

I always feel a little, how do I say this…poser-y wearing military stuff because, I am a wuss.  I complain when I get like, less than nine hours of sleep and when my coffee is not the exact brand I love, so being a part of something as intense as the military is just not the right fit for me.  Clearly.  So my rules for military inspired wear for myself is that it must look “fake” enough so that no one thanks me for my service or thinks I just went on a shopping spree at the army surplus store.  The other trick to pulling off this trend is also to mix it with other styles.  When you put an army jacket with, say, a floral maxi dress or boyfriend jeans and a graphic tee, no one will think you just got off active duty.  Although, once I did get asked if I was a den mother…but being asked if I’m part of the Girl Scouts, while still quite laughable given my feelings about nature, is a different story altogether!

The bottom line is this: military tops and jackets can add a lot of structure and interest to a normal outfit!  They give girly dresses an edge, and frame a tee shirt and jeans quite nicely.  Just remember, if someone salutes you as you walk by, you may need to rethink your combo.

This top is vintage, and when I found it on Poshmark, I knew I had to have it.  It looks to me like a military commander’s shirt (if you’re gonna wear military, may as well wear something that says you’re in charge right?) and I couldn’t pass it up.  And of course, I had to send it to my friend Arwyn (@township31) who at some point, will probably have fringed, embroidered, and painted on my entire closet.  Let’s just get real here.  She added the gold dipped (her genius idea) leather fringe on the front, thereby taking it from strict military into the blurry realm of…cowboy military?  Not sure there’s a category for that, but I’ll just go ahead and start one.  I will definitely wear this as a regular button down with my jeans, but for starters I wanted to play with it a little more.  I threw it over a green slip dress to kind of pay homage to the army green part of the military trend and then put the short combat boots with it to tie it all together.  It’s a little 90’s, a little 80’s, and a little crazy…just how I like it.

If you love military style, I salute you.  And if you’re part of the ACTUAL military, I really really salute you.  Because the store has been out of my favorite coffee for a month now and I am NOT a happy camper.

Happy Monday!
Katy

 

On Style Rebellion

Sometimes I feel a little rebellious.  I mean, don’t we all?  The thing that I think is funny though, is that right now I’m feeling rebellious…against myself.  Yeah, I know, like what does that even MEAN right???  I think I’ve been feeling a little bit like I’ve pigeon holed myself into a style and I just am feeling very caged in.  By me.  I am hoping that this post may help some of you in those times when you feel like you maybe…can’t buy something that isn’t typically “you”, but in reality I’m guessing it will just confirm to you guys that I’m legitimately insane.  I’ll proceed anyway.

Okay, so you know the drill.  We all have things we gravitate towards.  We have our “go-to’s”, our typical shopping spots, our pairings of choice (and I don’t mean wine and cheese).  For me, when I need to put on a pair of shoes, it’s always boots for the most part.  When it comes to jeans, it’s always bell bottoms.  So on, and so forth.  (You may be wondering about kimonos, but uh, yeah those are ALWAYS gonna be happening regardless of what style I’m feeling at the moment, so never fear.  I am still an all kimono, all the time girl.)  Sometimes though, I see something that makes me kinda, sorta, wanna…change it up.  And to be honest, I think I feel like I’m “not allowed” to.  I worry that people will think it’s weird or not like it.  I worry that maybe if I change it up sometimes, I’m not really being “me”.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  And on top of all this unnecessary emotional consideration regarding what pair of shoes I choose…I worry that I will buy something that I will NEVER WEAR.  Yep.  It’s a lot of stress…for not a lot of reason.

I think that I sometimes I feel ashamed because I suddenly want to wear leggings as pants when I’ve always said “leggings are not pants, I will not wear them that way”.  Dang it.  Like that one time I said I hated fringe…and now look at me.  Geez maybe I should talk less.  (That was a joke by the way, because that’s never gonna happen.)  So now, here I am, staring at a pair of $95 leggings wondering if I’ve been brain snatched.  Oh my goodness.  What’s a girl to do?  Isn’t it our prerogative to change our minds once in a while?  What happens if the very thing we judged other people for wearing…we now WANT TO WEAR?  Oh gosh.  Yes, I am going through this very thing right now.

Here’s my answer to this crazy “I-need-to-switch-it-up-right-now” problem.

  1.  First of all, give yourself grace.  You will change your mind on things, sometimes just because you saw it worn in a fashion that you understand and relate to.  That’s okay.  I didn’t like fringe at first because I hadn’t seen it worn in a way I liked.  That all changed.  (Obviously)  Allow yourself to change your mind.  It’s okay, and it’s normal.
  2. Look around.  I spent for-freaking-ever on manrepeller.com because I love her kooky style and it’s just different enough from mine that it really inspires me to change things up.  Look around at the style(s) you are interested in and give yourself enough ideas with the item of clothing to really assure that you will wear it.  Blogs, instagram, magazines, google searches of that item…just look at a bunch of different people wearing what it is you think you want to make sure you still like it (and please, don’t just look at it on the Free People model because those photos are HECKA misleading).
  3. Shop around.  I stared at those $95 leggings (I don’t even like athletic wear you guys) and shopped around until I found a similar enough pair for $22.  My plan is to see how much I wear them at this price, then if I wear them out and love them, then buy the more expensive pair.  See if you can find something relatively cheap so that you can give it a trial run.  That way, if you wear it once and hate it, you don’t feel buyer’s remorse.
  4. Realize that “you” means a variety of things.  I don’t have to wear cowboy boots to be “me”.  I am a creative person who loves to try new styles, wear interesting things, and make a statement in whatever it is I wear.  That means, I do not wear the same thing all the time.  Hence, what is “me”?  Whatever I darn feel like on that day.  You are not what you wear, what you wear is just an expression of you, and how you are feeling that particular day.

I felt like combat boots, a slip dress, and a $2 thrifted plaid nightgown that is now a duster.  And there you have it.  Be rebellious against your style now and then…it makes coming back to your usuals much more fun 🙂

Katy

On Not Being Risk Taker…Except In Fashion!

I was watching Modern Family this week (if you don’t watch it, you must because it’s hilarious!) and one of the plot lines was about parents being overly cautious with their little girl learning to ride a bike.  It was really funny of course, and as a parent now, I completely understand this sentiment.  However, it made me remember myself as a child, and how overly cautious I was…and how it really didn’t serve me well.

I was that kid who basically was afraid of most everything.  Germs, sports, the dark, and giant structures of dinosaur bones (my parents took me to a lot of museums, so that should make more sense to you knowing that).  I was bad at sports because I was scared to take risks, and if you don’t have confidence, you tend to fall a lot.  So I never roller skated down hills.  I never learned to skateboard or do much with bats or balls that could potentially injure me.  I got semi decent at gymnastics until I realized that I was completely not flexible and a foot taller than everyone in my class.  Dance was out after my parent shut it down.  I mean, I was always more interested in music anyway, but being semi decent at something physical would have been nice, you know?  I remember my best friend introducing me to “sour grass”…you know that clover looking stuff that kids chew on because it tastes sour?  I refused to try it, because I informed her that “a dog could have peed on it” and she’d never know.  I was the total life of the party right??

The first time I went on an airplane was when I went on my senior trip to Europe in high school.  I know…dove right in, didn’t I?!  I was of course, fairly afraid to fly (I mean, you’re sitting on a chair IN THE SKY for crying out loud), partly because I’d never done it before.  Hilariously, my very first flight hit some turbulence and 90 percent of the passengers on the plane vomited into those little bags they provide.  Or onto my jacket and my shoe.  So that happened, and I thought that dramamine was just something you had to take to survive flying at all…and for my second flight, no one vomited and everyone fell asleep due to the drugs.  The first time (and second time) I tried snowboarding, I fell on my butt every single time I got off the dumb ski lift.  I mean, the thing was not moving at all that fast, but regardless, I would literally sit down in slow motion in the snow when it stopped.  Yeah.  It sucked.  I finally gave up and tobogganed down the bunny slopes on my rear end like a little kid.  I’ve still never been skiing, water skiing, wake boarding, in a lake, to Mexico, or to the bar downtown that smells like urine and bleach.  You can get a basic sense of how adventurous I truly am!

I really want my kids to have an appropriate amount of fearlessness.  Like, obviously I want them to be smart about stuff, but they shouldn’t be afraid to play sports or try new stuff.  Being adventurous when you’re young gives you a lot more life experiences to lean on and helps you be more of a flexible adult.  Unlike me, who all joking aside, struggles a lot to go out of my hometown where I have my comfort zone all mapped out.  I’m working on it, but it’s so much harder than if I had been taught that certain things weren’t meant to be feared on the level that I feared them.  I mean, I eventually loved sour grass and hey, probably munched on a little dog pee, but it’s sterile right?

Thankfully, I never developed fear of wearing different or interesting things, so that’s something right?  I’ve got a renewed love of vintage slips (can you tell?!) so I thought this one would be fun to pair with my husband’s military inspired shirt (he loves it when I raid his stuff even though my clothes try to eat his clothes in our closet!) and some combat boots.  It’s fun to play around with the soft girly quality of the lacy vintage with the elements of the more masculine like lace up boots and a men’s shirt.  Fearlessness belongs in many things, and fashion is most definitely one of them!

Have an AMAZING and FEARLESS weekend!
Katy

I’m Just Like My Toddler

Sometimes I envy my daughter.  She’s two and she’s already way more out of her shell than I ever was when I was a kid.  That girl is like the funniest person I have ever met!  She dances when she feels like it.  Sings whatever pops into her head.  Wears whatever she wants with whatever she wants.  And she makes the weirdest expressions while she rubs yogurt in her hair.  Ahhhh to be a child.

First of all, I know kids are just kids.  They don’t have a lot of fear in them and they are able to just express themselves without a lot of social constraints.  But still…she’s got a freedom in her that it took me a long time to exhibit.  I was the kind of kid who desperately wanted to be the class clown.  The one who could get everyone’s attention easily and make everyone laugh.  Instead I was the silent one.  Once I tried out for a musical and I didn’t get the part because they said they couldn’t hear me when I spoke.  Yeah, people can pretty much hear me from anywhere now.  I guess it’s always been my goal to be much more like a kid in all the good ways as I grow up…to make up for all the times I wasn’t like a kid when I was younger.

So I dress how I like.  Wear weird things and fluffy skirts.  I try not to rub yogurt in my hair…but I definitely do take cues from my two-year-old 🙂

Dress is from Curio SLO and the boots are Jeffrey Campbell…sunglasses are Free People.  I love the crazy gold vintage embroidery on this dress…and paired with combat boots it feels just a tad tough!

My wish for everyone is that they can have a little muse too…they are the most fun!! 🙂

Happy weekend!
Katy