Fashion Feelings: I Love It, But What Is It?

When I first started college I occasionally babysat for one family that I knew well, you know, to make a little extra spending money and all that.  The little boy that I babysat was one of those super adorable and sweet kids that was really fun to hang out with.  And the best thing was to watch him open presents.  I remember on his fifth birthday, he was just so excited to open each and every present following the cards (at five years old he was way more patient than I am now!) and his reaction to the gifts was just priceless.  His thank you’s were over the top dramatic, and his level of surprise as he ripped off the paper was well worth the money spent on those toys.  And occasionally, he would come across something he just didn’t really know what to do with.  He would open the present, his face would light up and he would say loudly: “WOW, I LOVE IT!!! What IS it?”  Yep, kids reactions are pretty priceless.

I love that kid’s reaction to all his presents, and I often feel like I relate with him in a lot of ways!  When I’m shopping, I often find that if I can’t initially tell what an article of clothing or an accessory is, I am WAY more fascinated with it than usual.  I mean, if I’m puzzled by it, sometimes I want it MORE.  Yes, I enjoy the intrigue of a good mystery fashion item.  I remember the first time I ever saw wrap pants.  I pulled them out of the back bin at the vintage store I worked at, and I was like…”Oh cool, these are…wait…what ARE THEY?”  Or that time I found a drapey vest that also became a scarf.  Dang that thing was confusing if you got it unwound just right…but boy did I love it.  Just because I may not know what it IS, doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE it.

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On Pulling Off Weird Stuff

Often, I get comments from people about what I’m wearing.  Totally normal for me, and for anyone else of you who loves clothing and are bold in your fashion choices…whatever that may look like!  One of the comments I get the MOST however, is usually one regarding how I “pull things off” or how I am “bold and brave” in my outfits.  Again, I completely understand this comment, especially now that I’ve spent some time working in a clothing store listening to women talk while they try stuff on.  I’ve learned a few things about how most women think!  I’ve learned that many women have very little confidence in what they put on their bodies.  That often times, they find what works, and stick to it…then they stop thinking about what they wear.  There’s nothing wrong with that at all!  But I have noticed that sometimes a woman will be shopping, spot something she loves, then sigh longingly and say “I wish I could pull that off like YOU do.”  Hmmm…that never sits well with me.

I get it.  There are just some things that don’t look great on me, some colors that do nothing for my complexion, and some outfits that make me look the OPPOSITE of slimmer.  For sure, those are some outfits that I try to avoid.  I feel like though, there are much fewer of those items that you CAN’T wear…than you think!  Now, this is just my humble opinion.  BUT, I’m just trying to make a point here and let you in on my inner thoughts and feelings!  Because to be honest, I have all the same fears and criticisms about clothing that all women do.  I just choose not to listen to them for the most part.  And THAT…my friends, is the secret to “pulling it off”!

This weekend, we were heading off to this barn by the beach we love to go to (I know, only in California right?) and I was about to reach for my usual shorts and tank top.  Then I spotted this muumuu vintage dress that I haven’t worn in a while, and I thought to myself: “I want to wear THAT.”  I kind of felt like wearing something different than my normal weekend go-to, so I put it on.  I began looking at myself in the mirror from every angle, as all women who are body conscious do!  I then began asking my husband questions like “is this flattering?” and “do I look silly?” (see, even the girl who dresses like a circus willingly has all the same fears!) and then I finally stopped myself in my tracks.  I wore that muumuu, and loved every minute of it.  At that moment, I realized that I wanted to write up a little guide to wearing crazy clothing…and how to pull it off!

HOW TO PULL OFF WEIRD STUFF (because you know you wanna)
keep in mind these are just MY rules, please tell me how you do it!

  1. If You Love It, Wear It.  Seems simple right?  Keep in mind, this is not a guide to how to LOOK great all the time, because for sure, some of the stuff I wear and want to wear is not always the exact right fit for my body.  There are some women who only want to wear stuff that is the right cut for their figure.  Understood…and this is not the post for you!  What I mean by this is that if you really love something, go for it and give it a try!  Forget a little bit about the rules for your body type and remind yourself that muumuus are not flattering on ANYONE, so if you love it, just go for it.  It’s too boring to limit yourself to only clothing that is absolutely the most flattering!
  2. Make It Work.  Okay, so we’ve established that if you really love an item of clothing, you should wear it.  That being said, maybe it can be made better, more flattering, more something that you’re comfortable in!  Can it be belted?  Layered over or under something?  Worn with different shoes?  Tucked it/untucked?  Play with it.  You’d be surprised.  Sometimes you can create different shapes or hide “problem” areas by changing a few details.
  3. Rock It.  Okay, this is important when it comes down to “pulling it off”.  Once you’ve put on that muumuu like I did on Saturday, you have to decide that you are WEARING THE HECK OUTTA THAT THING.  That’s exactly what I did.  I put on my trusty rock and roll cowboy boots, my huge hat, and my turquoise, and I told myself I was gonna rock that thing.  And THAT my friends, is how you do it.  How do you pull stuff off?  You put it on, stop thinking about it and asking questions about it, and JUST DO IT.  This is like me and red lipstick.  I usually have to decide that I’m wearing it, then do it.  It’s the only way I can pull off stuff that I love, but am not typically all that comfortable doing.
  4. Wear Something You Feel Comfortable In Too.  This goes back to the last point…when I put on that muumuu and was feeling questionable about it, I put on some boots and jewelry that I ALWAYS feel good in, and that helped tremendously.  Trouble comes when you are trying to pull off TOO many things at the same time.  Like funky shoes, new jewelry, a crazy outfit, AND makeup that’s out of your norm.  Choose ONE thing to pull off, like a dress or a pair of shoes, or a new shade of lipstick.  Then keep everything else simple around that bold new step.  This will help you pull it off without feeling like you want to run back home screaming and throw on your sweats!
  5. Ask The Right People For Their Opinions.  If you’re feeling unsure about an outfit, ask a friend for some help with styling to get some more creative input.  That being said, you need to choose the right people to do this with.  Do not ask friends who can’t think outside the box.  This will only lead to you scrapping the whole thing when they tell you that it’s not the most flattering or something to that nature.  You need to ask creative friends who love interesting fashion choices.

Yep, this is another one of my kinda weird, but beautiful at the same time vintage pieces.  A sweet girl who works at the Goodwill down the street from me came running up to me with this in her hand last time I was there.  And she nailed it!  This thing is so unique and lovely!  But yeah, it takes me deciding that I’m gonna “pull it off” for me to wear this kind of thing!  I added some boots that I love and make me feel great, so that helps kind of “normalize” the dress for me.  All I can say, is that if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!  I believe in you!  You can always DM me your weird outfits on Instagram.  I have no problem encouraging you and helping you style strange and bold stuff!

Happy Monday all.  Stay cool in all that polyester all of you who are in a heatwave like me!

One of a Kind Vintage Find

I am one of a kind.  I mean, aren’t we all?  I guess when you’re an only child with not very much family, it really drives that point home.  Add that to the fact that I am MUCH different from my parents…and it definitely makes me feel like I am in a class of my own.  I don’t really hear “hey you look SO much like…(insert family member’s name here)” ever.  At all.  I am just me.

To be honest, it’s both cool and lonely.  There are days when I’m glad to be just like one of my vintage finds…one of a kind.  There are also days when I really wish for someone who was like my buddy…my sibling…or just a close relative who shared a little bit of common past or interests.  Maybe that’s why I love to find interesting items that are in a class all of their own.  We belong together.  I sometimes see things and think:  “that belongs to me”.  Like a top or a dress that feels like a long lost relative that I just found and am about to bring home.

This top I found is just like that.  When I saw it I immediately knew it was a one of a kind, unique, and all on it’s own item.  It belongs with me.


It’s times like this when I feel just like ME that I’m ok with being the only one.  Because we are really one of a kind no matter how big our families are!

This top from Tramps and Thieves looks amazing with my Nightcap pants from Ambiance SLO and my Free to Wander squash blossom.  There’s my trusty Frye huaraches from New With Tags too.

Be you.  Be one of a kind…because you are!


Denim Skirts as Dresses and (im)Perfection

What is it about perfection that is just so elusive?  Oh wait…it’s that perfection is a relative concept.  What’s perfect to one person is not perfect to another.  And let’s just be honest, and say that we are almost (if ever at all) never perfect by our own standards.  Why?  Because my version of perfect is Giselle.  Cindy Crawford is perfect.  Most of the bloggers I see on Instagram are pretty perfect to me…I mean have you SEEN those girls?  Like are they for real?  Of course I can never ever attain these impossible standards I’ve placed on myself because I will never ever look like someone other than me.  Darn.

After having two babies in a row, I had ballooned out to approximately 100 pounds above my normal weight.  I had (and still have) stretch marks all over my stomach.  My cheekbones had vanished and I felt like a complete and utter failure.  Even as I write this I almost am laughing at the sheer craziness of that feeling.  I had literally just grown two (rather large) humans in my body and given birth to them, and now was suddenly in charge of taking care of their every need.  And I felt like a failure.  Because I didn’t look perfect.  I’ve lost 90 of those pounds and I should feel like a success, but do I?  Oh heck no.  I take 30 photos of myself, cry, tell myself I shouldn’t be doing this, then I fix my makeup and try another 30.  The photos that do make the cut are still painfully imperfect to me.  I can see the extra weight.  I can see the lack of confidence in my face and the shame for not being who I think I should be.  And it’s painful.  However, I’ve made a new decision that propelled me into doing this blog and talking about clothes and life and all that good stuff.  Every time I feel that urge to seek after perfection and compare myself to all those “perfect” bloggers out there, I remind myself that I am in a new pursuit.  I am in the pursuit of realness.  I am not doing this to try and get a photo that could compete with someone else’s.  I am not trying to show the world how skinny I can be.  I am doing this to seek after who I really am.  To be honest with myself and with everyone who happens upon this blog or upon my Instagram feed…to be who I am and be confident about it.  Oh, and I’m doing this because it’s FUN!!!

I got this denim skirt years ago at Ruby Rose and I never wore it.  I found it in my closet when my stomach was huge from having babies and my weight was kind of off the charts.  It didn’t fit me.  So I pulled it over my head, belted it, put on some fancy cut-offs and boots with it, and suddenly I felt creative, confident, and cute.  Three things I definitely did NOT feel generally speaking.  This skirt dress got me through some pretty rough seasons when nothing felt right in my life.  It holds a special place in my heart because when I put it on, I remember feeling good about myself even though I was not exactly where I wanted to be.  And that’s important.


I think it may be impossible to not feel cute while wearing this vintage sparkly horse head belt.  I mean come on.  Plus when you do the Angelina Jolie patented leg pop, you just kind of feel amazing.  I think that’s going to be my new power pose.

Hope you’re feeling as amazing as you truly are.