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

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

Fashion Feelings: Owning It

Ah, the life of a girl.  We are born, and then we rapidly begin hating body parts.  I think it’s something that we almost don’t even need to be taught, it’s just innate.  But of course, television, the internet, and magazines filled with genetically modified humans don’t help either.  The other day I saw that the Victoria’s Secret “fashion” show was on.  (The “fashion” is in quotes because, um, isn’t it…UNDERWEAR?)  Don’t get me wrong…I’m not hating on it because I can tell there’s some gorgeous, uhhhh, underwear (?) made out of gemstones and feathers and boning and all kinds of comfy things that we all normally wear in our undergarments.  There’s live music and pretty sparkly things and girls the size of toothpicks who have all had 16 children naturally and lost all their weight within moments of childbirth…it’s totally entertainment.  (Okay, it’s possibly I AM hating on it a tad.)  I didn’t watch the show, but the clips I did see made me wonder…”WHY DO WOMEN WANT TO SEE THIS?”  I literally saw a few moments of it and I was instantly looking at myself wondering why I look like I do.  Oh yeah, that’s right.  Because I’M A NORMAL HUMAN.  Dang it.

Despite my crazy rant above, which was a bit unintended, I actually have become a lot more secure about myself over the past few years.  I’m NOWHERE near secure enough to watch a VS “fashion” show obviously, but I’m better than I used to be.  I’ll prove it to you.

I’m an only child, as you know.  Instantly however, I entered into a massive competition…with myself.  I actually remember standing outside in the mobile home park I lived in (the fact that I can even admit to you I lived in one of those is again proof that I’m more secure!) and telling myself that I wanted to be the most beautiful girl…period.  Dang.  I think back to this moment and I remember how fierce I was, how harsh I was being on myself, and how much I was setting myself up for failure.  Because I’d like to argue that there are many, many, MANY most beautiful women in the world.  But that moment definitely started a cycle for me.

I was very sheltered growing up, home schooled, and then I went to a VERY VERY small private high school, so I kind of got what I wanted.  I got to be “popular” (when you’re home schooled, you’re always top of your class, get it?) and I got to be “pretty” and I felt fairly secure in myself.  Or so I thought.  Then I went to Cal Poly State University in my hometown.  Oh freaking em gee, you guys.  That’s when it all went downhill.  Let me tell you a little something about Cal Poly girls.  They are all perfect.  They’re always a little tanner, thinner, blonder, and have more perfect boobs than…EVERYONE.  They have a  brand new Mercedes that their parents bought for them and clothes from brands I had never even heard of.  I was in a world of hurt when I started.  I will never forget how panicky I felt when I started my first quarter of college.  Sure, sure, I got a perfect score on my very first college essay.  That should have been a HUGE win for me.  But instead, all I could see was that one girl.  She had long beautiful hair (my hair has always been a sore spot for me).  She had BOOBS (I had MAYBE and A cup, on a good day.  There was no push up bra that could do that sort of wizardry).  She had this perfect tiny waist (see my last post on how I don’t got one of those).  And she was PERFECT.  She wore her pajamas to class with basically no makeup and, um, I don’t look like that without makeup.  Sure, this sounds like I was her stalker, but really, she was the mirror I looked in every morning at 8am Monday-Thursday.  And it was not a mirror that told me what I wanted to see.

I know a lot of girls struggle with insecurity at some point in their lives, and some even more severe than I did/do.  But I remember there being many, many days when I would hide in my room and not leave the house because I had a big zit, or my hair looked crappy, or I just didn’t like the way my face looked.  Instead of going out and having fun with a friend, I would sit in my room and cry and tell myself what I failure I was and how ugly I was and basically tear myself a new one just because I wasn’t pretty enough.  Ouch.  I wish I could go back and comfort that girl who was so worried about not measuring up.

I’ve grown up a lot since then.  Sure, I still try to avoid staring for long periods of time at “perfect humans” because that definitely doesn’t make me feel great, but I’ve started owning things about myself that I fought for so long.  My hair.  I used to blow dry the crap out of it.  It was platinum blonde, and fried within an inch of it’s life.  I wouldn’t let it curl or frizz at all (which was a losing battle, FYI).  When I finally relented and went back to a more natural shade and then let it just BE…I started actually LIKING the hair I was born with.  I started choosing makeup that complimented ME and MY skin instead of always reading what the latest hot celeb was wearing and trying to make that fit me.  I realized that if I wore the things that made ME look great instead of trying to wear crazy padded bras and things that were attempts at changing my body shape, that I actually could like the way I looked.  I stopped looking at a photo of someone else, then back at myself…I started looking at me, and realizing that I am who I AM and that is what I need to own.  Comparison steals our joy.  Every single time.

Much like our quirks, our “flaws” and our unique features, just OWNING our style makes it work I think.  I think half the battle for most things is just deciding “I’m doing this.”  Many of you know I’m in the process of launching a clothing line that’s all original stuff.  I had a lot of moments where I was waffling back and forth and then finally, I committed.  I decided that this is what I’m doing.  That’s the way I approach getting dressed too.  I love love this denim duster I got from the beautiful new shop Revamped The Collection in Paso Robles.  It’s unique and fun and I put it on and OWN IT.  My boots are just the best things ever, made by the incredible @hillbillygypsyboots (I have three pairs and they’re insane, please get yourself a pair).

And regardless of your size, hair color, or body type, please feel the freedom to own it.  Because nothing is more beautiful than confidence.  Period.  Plus, I’m betting that diamond encrusted undies would chafe like a mother.

Katy

 

Trending: Friday Five Roundup

Okay you guys.  I’m not one for self promotion.  But I am however a VERY EXCITABLE PERSON!!! (can you tell?) So this Friday, I have something really special that I’m just too excited NOT to share with you!  It’s a special edition of the Friday five for ya.  Because I’m popping champagne and smiling like a joker (without the creepy factor obvi).

VELVET CALIFORNIA IS LIVE!!!

I am so happy to say that after a loooooooong time of working on this, things are finally getting going.  I’m so excited, freaked out, and just, well, thankful that I’m getting to do this.  All the people I get to work with locally on producing the pieces are just amazing human beings and all of YOU are too!  (and I made my first official sale, so dang.  I’m just humbled and excited y’all!)

I love denim, and who says it’s not dressy?

Popsugar.com agrees with me, and I love this simple article with five ways to wear denim to a holiday party this year!  Being in California, “dressy” is kind of a misnomer here.  So anytime I see things like this, I love the inspiration because any party I go to around here is guaranteed pretty much to not be black tie.  Get inspired, because denim is HOT.

Starbucks Christmas cups are here, so people, let’s get happy.

Good news everyone.  You can have your coffee in a holiday cup SANS DRAMA.  (“would you like room for cream and a side of MAJOR DRAMA?” -Starbucks employee, circa December 2015)  Gosh, aren’t they pretty??  Gotta go collect em all…

I went to Target today and, well, it took all the restraint in the world…

not to buy everything!  Because…CHRISTMAS HAS ARRIVED!  Be prepared to buy every furry, cute, sparkly, whiskery, plaid thing that you see…only to get home and wonder how many houses you are decorating and why you needed the entire alphabet spelled out in fur letter ornaments.  Because you just do, right?

Thanksgiving for special dietary needs…made simple.

I’m a huge fan of wellnessmama.com and right now she has a full downloadable thanksgiving menu complete with shopping list and all…and it’s all FREE!!  It’s healthy, her recipes tend to be easier than a lot of the paleo/gluten free/health focused recipes floating out there, and, well, anything that simplifies your holidays is a win/win!

Okay, here’s hoping you are feeling full of HOPE, life, and know that you are loved.  Because you sure are 🙂
Katy

 

 

Fashion Feelings: Capes, and (not) Being Supermom

There’s always someone out there with an opinion on whether women can “have it all”.  I’m not here to give my opinion on this idea, however, it was what inspired me to write this, so it has to bear some sort of weight in this post.  I think it’s hard to even give an answer to that plaguing question “can I have it all?” because it’s so highly dependent on what “all” means to you.  I think some women define having it “all” as working and having kids.  Other women would feel slighted by this, and would say that’s not “having it all”, but rather staying home with their children is “all”.  So I’m not going to answer this because there just is no hard and fast answer.  But I think all of us out there with kids are still trying to be supermom, and yes, we are all probably “failing” in our own minds to have it all…whatever that means to us.

I never intended on staying home full time with my children.  That being said, I’m very thankful that I got the chance to do this.  I loved my job and I know that having small amounts of time to focus on other things (other than my children) makes me a better mom.  But given the circumstances of our life at the time that I had my second baby, it would have been a drain on our family and it would have been more hurtful than helpful for us.  So I stayed home, and tried to be supermom.  But that cape is a heavy mantle for me.

For me, I am one of those people who thrives with a job, with a creative passion, and with other creative people around me.  I’m a nerd who loves meetings, organization, and colored tabs in my binders.  Motherhood comes with no binders, and if it did, my kids would promptly smear them with chocolate and destroy them with crayons.  I am not a person that thrives in the chaos of a messy home.  I constantly remind myself that kids need to be messy and that letting go of always having things clean will help me enjoy life more.  But this is a struggle for me.  I wouldn’t trade the time I have at home with my kids for any job, period.  It is priceless.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s not hard.  I often feel stir crazy, crazy exhausted, and just plain crazy.  I am not a great crafting mom, Pinterest mom, or creative mom.  I’m working hard on these things, but it doesn’t come naturally to me.  Speaking in front of people comes naturally to me, but helping my kids with a puzzle pulls muscles in my brain.  It’s funny how natural it is just just love and adore your children…and somehow you think that once you give birth it will also be perfectly natural to know how to make a Disney princess cake from scratch on their birthdays.  For me that is not so.

I am not supermom.  I see a lot of supermoms on Instagram, but I’m going to bet that by their own volition they are most definitely NOT supermoms.  Some days I have to remind myself that I can’t even be a semi decent mom if I don’t take some time away to breathe and do something for myself…let alone be supermom.  There are certain things I think I’m not bad at when it comes to mom-ing.  I cook a lot, I love talking to my kids and reading them stories, singing to them, and shopping with them (big surprise there) and I will be an EXCELLENT Disneyland ride buddy mom.  But crafting?  Getting messy and doing things that I can tell will require extensive vacuuming later?  Playing board games and puzzles?  Not easy for me.  I’ll get there.  But supermom I am not.  I can still wear a cape though, that’s allowed, right?

Capes are making a comeback and if you want to know more about their fashion history, check out this Vogue.com article with some really cool photos.  I got this velvet cape because it is perfect for semi-cool weather (which is something we have a lot over here) and I’ll most likely be wearing it most with jeans or shorts.  Velvet is one of those fabrics that can go SUPER fancy, so pairing it with denim is always an easy way to daytime-it-up.

After all my extensive hair-pulling-out, self shaming, and unashamed comparison on social media, I can only conclude one thing.  Supermom does not exist.  It is a myth that we keep alive in our brains, primarily to torture ourselves.  Kind of like the tooth fairy where we’d actually go to great lengths to TRY and lose teeth (so gross) just to make a couple of bucks.  And in light of this, I will SAY I will stop tormenting myself with images of perfect family photos and event quality birthday parties, but the truth is, I most likely still will.  I am human after all and it comes with the “mom territory” to automatically feel like a failure when things don’t look picturesque.  And with toddlers, most things are covered in crayon scribbles and not in like a cute Instagramable way.

And now, back to the toddler arguments.  And those things are endless.  Happy Friday
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

Real World Style: Fall Couture

I love nothing more than to be flipping through the glossy pages of a magazine and spot an outfit that makes me think: “hey!  I could do that!”  I love when I see a photo that encourages me to put things together in a brand new way.  This is the ultimate way to “shop your closet” or to help you come up with a list of a few pieces to add to your wardrobe for the new season.  When I saw this look in the most recent Vogue, I instantly knew I wanted to give it a shot in the real world.

Dang it.  Now I want a soft pretzel.  Back to the outfit.  I love blazers.  I think they are one of the most key pieces, like a great pair of jeans, that can just completely make an outfit.  They just add something structured to your look and can take anything, even a plain tank top and jeans and sandals and make it look like a legit outfit.  This look, though, made me think about the whole “blazer/skirt” combo.  This is not new, it’s not rocket science, but it just feels very now and fresh to me.  This is what I did with it:

I have a plaid blazer, but because mine is navy and dark green, when I tried to pair it with the red skirt it looked way too Christmas-y.  I liked how the stripes paired with the skirt…kind of had this thing where the lines on the blazer continued on down in the skirt.  It feels so “fall” and so  put together to me.  All I need is that stupid soft pretzel now…

If you don’t have a blazer, definitely add one to your wardrobe.  Here’s a great option for one under $50 at H&M.  I think this look works best with an unstructured skirt better than a pencil skirt for example, because the blazer/pencil skirt pairing is definitely an “I just came from the office” look whereas this is a more creative use of this typical workwear piece.  I would do it with a flowy maxi, a pleated midi, or even a destroyed denim piece to be creative with it!  I love the juxtaposition of the tweed-y blazer with a romantic or rock and roll skirt!

Hope you’re having a great day (and eating a soft pretzel)!
Katy

Advice In Style: How To Dress For Indian Summer

Welcome to September!  That means only one thing…fall, right?  WRONG!  Hahahaha you thought summer was OVER?  JUST KIDDING!  Well, at least for some of us in certain parts of the US, we were just about to get our sweaters out…and then BAM.  Ninety degree weather is baaaaaack.  Now, I’m kind of a weather rebel.  I mean, in some ways, I kind of have to be in order to get to wear some of my stuff more than like, once a year in California.  However, I also get hot very quickly, so I also experience that same desire to change my style when September hits, but since the weather doesn’t want to change along with me, I gotta improvise.  I’ve got some simple (hopefully!) ideas to help those of us sitting here in shorts and a strapless top, sweating, to keep our style from suffering for it!

Unexpected Denim + Fur Accents


I know.  You’re like FUR??  Are you MAD?  Well, that’s a question for another time.  But back to the outfit.  It may be too hot for jeans and you may be too bored for denim shorts.  How about a little denim pinafore or some shortalls?  I also LOVE fur (as many of you know!) and while it’s not the most wearable for indian summer, a little accent never hurt, right?  Add some boots and a short sleeve tee, and you’ll have a little bit of a transitional style going on without sweating too much!

Light Layers

Layers are HARD when it’s warm.  So the breathability factor is super important during this transition season.  A breathable kimono (this one’s my own and coming soon!) and a graphic tee (again, coming soon!) are good fall-ish pieces to try out when it’s still sweltering outside.

Fall Trends…In Summer Lengths

Velvet is one of those awesome fall trends that I am of course, itching (I mean sweating really!) to wear!  If you can find some of the fall fabrics, but in shorter lengths like this skirt, it really helps to make the piece wearable sooner, before the temperatures start to drop.  So try a velvet flared mini skirt with a lightweight blousy button down.  You’ll feel fall without the major deodorant fail.

Hope you guys are staying cool.  Phew.  Where’s my cold brew…
Katy

On Movie Watching Habits and…Kimonos

My poor husband.  I am quite literally, one of the worst people in the world to watch a movie with.  Why, you may ask?  I’m going to tell you.  Now, I’m not defending my movie watching dysfunction, or trying to help you understand me or anything like that.  Because I know that my movie issues are not really “logical” so to speak, and until they come out with a drug for “very choosy about movies”, then this is me, watching (or really not watching) movies.  Get ready.  You may not like me very much by the end of this post, because I will inevitably have offended you by telling you I hated one of your favorite movies or turned off a movie that you watch repeatedly.  And for this, all I can say is, I’m sorry, and I wish I could change it too.

If you were a movie, unless you are one of the Pitch Perfect movies or Jurassic Park/World series…I just may not like you that much.  I can’t explain this strange phenomenon, again, it just…IS.  Let me tell you how this goes for me.  I start a movie.  I’m hopeful, cautiously optimistic, and determined to like (tolerate at best) this freaking movie.  Halfway through, I’m like okay, this isn’t my favorite, I’m not in absolute LOVE, but I’m committed and I’m doing it.  Then, right about at 3/4 of the way through this storyline, something happens.  Usually, whatever’s going on is about to reach it’s peak, and I begin to lose my patience.  At this point, I have the realization that if the main character had just NOT lied or cheated on his wife/gotten a legitimate job instead of stealing/stayed on planet earth…NONE OF THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING.  I begin to question the worthwhile-ness of this character surviving the zombie apocalypse/strange disease epidemic/people with a lot of guns.  And then it hits me.  Because of his/her stupidity, I have WASTED THE PAST HOUR OF MY LIFE stressing about him/her.  I then start imagining a giant bomb obliterating everyone in the movie, a British voiceover saying “And NOW for something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT”, and a herd of puppies running onto the set, playing with chew toys and being generally more deserving of my time and attention.  True story.

I often read the bad reviews of movies before risking seeing them in the theatre (and believe me, that is quite a risk for me).  I read the bad ones, because usually I can tell by the critiques whether or not I will like the movie.  I mean, the good ones can be telling too.  “Sweeping landscapes” means: “I could just look out the window and save my time and money”.  “Heartwarming story” means: “someone will probably get a weird disease and/or die in this movie.”  “Amazing special effects” means: “the writers all quit so the story is complete crap…but hey a lot of things blow up, so it’s all okay.” And the ALWAYS inevitable “historically accurate” will mean: “everyone dies at the end, don’t waste your time.”  Often the things that people DON’T like about movies are the exact things that will make me LOVE them.  “Formulaic and cute” are often touted as critiques of a movie.  Because, if everyone’s happy at the end of the movie, it seems like a lot of people will inevitably hate it.  I’ve learned that movie critics are often much happier getting jerked around and having the rug pulled out from under them than they are watching people live happily ever after.

I think I’ve been scarred by so many movies, I’ve begun to be an instant skeptic.  I mean Titanic?  Apollo 13?  What the heck people.  Thanks for reminding me that I paid ZERO attention in history class.  Oh and how about the beauty that was The Sixth Sense?  HE WAS DEAD THE WHOLE TIME?  THANK YOU FOR WASTING MY TIME.  (I guess I should have said: “spoiler alert”, but I mean if you haven’t seen that movie or know this by now, I don’t know what to tell you).  I have been emotionally traumatized before, so now I’ve become quite choosy about what I will pay attention to.  Here is a full (but not conclusive) list of topics I refuse to watch movies on.  (You should sit down, it’s not short).

  1. War (any war at all.  Imaginary or real).
  2. Zombies/zombie apocalypse (missing chunks of flesh is not my jam.  I made an exception for Warm Bodies, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Zombieland.)
  3. Post apocalyptic movies (I like happy things, have you noticed?)
  4. Anything too raunchy  (Again, exceptions include Wedding Crashers, Bad Moms, Bridesmaids…beyond these though if it’s too much raunch, I’m out).
  5. Musicals (this only means I don’t like movies where they sing ALL the time.  Also, please don’t tell me something is a “musical” then have it actually be “a movie about war”…I was a child when I watched The Sound of Music and this nice movie where a lady with a sort of bizarre haircut made clothing out of curtains and sang a lot took a dark turn into something where they probably all died at the end.  It’s not nice to do that to people.)
  6. Anything too emotional (Sorry Nicholas Sparks.  If I wanted to cry, all I’d have to do is watch one of those “share a Kleenex” commercials.  Dang lady hormones.)
  7. Anything too violent  (I refuse to watch people hurting each other, even if it is “historically accurate.”)
  8. Most things sports related (There are some exceptions to this one.  If the story is good enough, and not too emotional, per number six on my list, then I may care enough to watch it.  Since I care nothing about sports, it has to be a good story outside of people throwing balls around.)
  9. Things that are too “artsy”  (I love creativity, but if it’s like art for art’s sake, I’m out.)
  10. Superhero movies (I don’t make the rules you guys.  I have learned that these movies usually include a lot of things blowing up and creatures I don’t recognize or know what they are.  I love movies about people with superPOWERS, just not super heroes.  Don’t even get me started on the anti-super hero movies, we will be here all day.)
  11. Things that are about people making stupid choices  (If you’re gonna do it, don’t make me live through the stress of it okay?  I make enough of my own and have to live through them!)

So where does that leave us?   You called it.  Pitch Perfect and Jurassic World.  Somehow watching people sing in perfect harmony and getting chased by fictitious dinosaurs just makes me happy.  Since this post is just so down on movies, let me give you some titles I do love, lest you think I am the worst human on the planet who hates movies and frowns all the time.  Legally Blonde, The Royal Tenenbaums, Clueless, Ghostbusters (all of them), Mean Girls, Easy A (I love movies about high school can you tell?), Beetlejuice, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Back To The Future (all of them), Indiana Jones (all of them except number two because ewwwww), The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Pirates of the Caribbean (all except the last one)…to name a few.  Despite what this post may suggest, I actually do love a lot of movies.  But if I don’t love it?  My poor husband has to live with it.

Good news.  You know what I’m NOT choosy about?  Kimonos or kimono like items.  I nabbed this jacket at the store I work at, and a girl who doesn’t work there that often said: “you like Asian fashion don’t you?”  I was like…”I guess…”  and then realized I was literally wearing a shirt that looks like this jacket…and, um, KIMONOS, DUH.

I mean my gosh, how could you not fall in love with the satiny, gorgeously rich colors, and patterns that make up Asian fashion?  Yeah.  I may not be able to sit through a whole movie, but I could sit through one of those dry cleaning automated racks full of kimonos.  I put this with my Madewell mom jeans (I have them in two colors, they are fabulous) and some thrifted loafers I just scored recently.  My necklace was handmade by DesertMermaid on Etsy.

I bet you are way better at movie watching than me.  I bet you sat through the whole Titanic movie and WEREN’T surprised when they all died.  I’ll bet you love superhero movies and have a blast watching summer blockbusters and are not a “hater” as my husband refers to me.  Ah well.  I’ll always have my automated rack of kimonos to dream about…

Happy Monday
Katy