Trending: Friday Five Roundup

It’s Friday, it’s dumping down rain, but I’ve got my coffee and there’s a giant pot of chicken broth simmering on the stove, so it’s all good!  Plus, now I’m bringing to you five things that will hopefully inspire and delight you for your weekend.  No bad news here, only the fun!

The Best Homemade Face Wipes…I’ve GOT To Try

I’m totally in love with Popsugar for their DIYs and fitness videos, as I’ve said before.  And also, since I converted to washing my face with coconut oil, I’ve become a total believer in natural beauty.   THIS recipe looks AMAZING and so so easy.  FYI, frankincense can be a bit pricy to buy, but it is really amazing stuff.  If you don’t have it, you could totally make this without it or sub in a different essential oil depending on your skin type or specific needs.

Manrepeller Rocks NYFW AS USUAL

I gotta be honest.  Looking at Leandre’s outfits that she wore to fashion week is more fun for me than looking at the photos from actual fashion week.  I will be saving this slideshow and pulling MUCH inspiration from the Jedi master of dressing.  Look for yourself, and be inspired.

The Royals Got Renewed For Season 4

HALLELUJAH!  The drama will continue on for a fourth season!  Basically a soap opera set in the palace with Elizabeth Hurley leading the pack (does that NOT sound amazing?), this show keeps me entertained when I need a mom time out.  It’s just the most fun.

Trader Joe’s Wine Shopping Just Got Easier

If you’re like me, you don’t typically leave TJ’s without at least one bottle of wine. But you know how it is, the kids are yelling, you’re trying to decide which one to buy, and your average spending on a bottle is like, $12.  Thanks to this post by Refinery29, we now have a good list of dependable options to study up on (and some are $4.99!) so that next time we go, we can buy with confidence!

Nachos For The Low Carb Types (me)

When you’re like me, the word “nachos” produces two things in you: a profuse stream of drool down your chin and an intense fear of not fitting into your jeans. Yes, I am a low carb type who usually subs things like riced cauliflower for actual rice, zoodles for noodles, and lettuce for a hamburger bun.  So this whole idea of mini bell peppers instead of chips is fairly inspired in my opinion!  Plus, Skinnytaste is such a reliable source for recipes…I’ve never made one I didn’t like.

I hope your Friday is FANTASTIC!

Trending: Friday Five Roundup

It’s Fri-YAY!  Oh my gosh did I actually say that out loud?  I guess I could delete it, but that would take too much work…I’m too far in, I’m committed, so there you have it.  Anywhoo… (who AM I today???) it’s time for a recap of all the super fun crazy silly amazing random things that happened this week!  Have some coffee, read on, and enjoy!

Lady Gaga is doing the halftime show at the Super Bowl!

Now, I could seriously NOT care any less than I do about sports.  Sorry all you sports fans, but I just can’t get myself to get into stuff I am really really really bad at.  However, two years ago when Katy Perry dominated the halftime show, it reminded me that it’s worth waiting for all that silly football stuff to be over so I can watch a concert!  And Lady Gaga?  YES PLEASE.

Scream Queens is back in all it’s pink glory, and really finding it’s bloody bubblegum-hued groove.

This show makes me want to wear more pink.  More capes, more fur, and more…earmuffs.  Yeah, the style is off the hook and this week, well this week really felt like we were back in the zany swing of things where we left off last year!  When I find just the right pieces, I will be doing a Scream Queens inspired style post because, anyone who can pull off this level of pink in an outfit has my respect.

Is there anything better than watching two guys try on spanx?  Yes.  Watching two BRITISH guys try on spanx.  

The Daily Mail asked two guys to try on the Kardashian’s favorite slimming under garments, and well, as you can see, it’s just the most awesome thing ever.  If this doesn’t brighten your day, I can’t help you.

I think Kate Hudson is reading my mind.

Among being, like, the perfect human, I think she can see my thoughts.  Because I LITERALLY JUST dreamed up a pant suit very similar to this for my clothing line, Velvet California.  Of course, mine will have something awesome printed on the back of the jacket and all that, but COME ON.  Is she spying on me?  I’ve reached a new level of narcissism.  Haven’t I.

Pumpkin obsession level: MIDNIGHT.  Because, fall.  

I found this new home blog that I’m completely head over heels for called Style Mutt Home and there’s this pumpkin/succulent tutorial that will have you racing to your local craft store.  Because, OH MY GOSH SO PERFECT.

And now, for some more pumpkin spice coffee.  Must find something pumpkin spice colored to wear and then maybe bake a pumpkin, just to switch it up a little.  And Kate Hudson if you’re reading this, GET OUT OF MY BRAIN.



DIY Styling: Gucci Style Part Two

Aaaaaand we are back!  How many parts of this DIY styling will be Gucci, you may ask?  How many stars in the sky are there…how many grains of sand…just kidding.  This installment of DIY Styling is fairly simple one.  Remember, most of these aren’t as much “do it yourself” as they are “wear it yourself”…this is DIY styling first and foremost!  Because there’s nothing I love more than styling!

One of the greatest things about the Gucci line right now is that it’s incredibly eclectic.  There’s a glorious “mash up” of styles happening that makes this an incredibly fun style to recreate.  Also, pretty easy…because mixing things to create a style is much easier than needing one exact piece to make it happen!

I absolutely love this look in the September issue of Vogue.  I love the baroque mod mash up…because what a strange and unusual combo!  Baroque conjures up images of lots and lots of excessive ruffles, lace, jewels, velvet, and fur.  And then mod makes me think of simple shapes like sheath dresses and clean lines.  But put em both together?  Why not?!

See what I mean?  It’s such a strange and interesting combo that it just might work!

Here’s how you can recreate this look.  You can really do this your own way…all you really need is a mod style dress.  Think a 1960’s style dress (it doesn’t have to be striped or chevron, any 60’s simple sheath will do!) and then add some baroque styling elements.  Baroque is an easy style to add accessories in.  Think large blingy gold statement jewelry, fur scarves, collar necklaces, and the like.  Those are usually an easy find from almost anywhere you go.  Then marry the two (ceremony not necessary) and bam.  Instant “Gucci Style”.

For this look I used a vintage 60’s dress (I stuck with the color theme of the photo for visual simplicity) and I added a vintage fur collar to the dress.  These are often found in the costume section of the thrift stores or sold at vintage shops.  Even Free People sells them!  Then I added this antiqued gold collar necklace (these pearls would do nicely too!) to give that baroque bling.  I have no idea what her footwear is in this image, but hey, that means we get more room for creativity with this look right?  I chose loafers, because, well, nothing says “Gucci” like a great pair of vintage loafers!

Hope this inspires you to go do a little baroque mod mash up of your own!  If you do, please tag me on Instagram so I can see!


DIY Styling: Gucci Style Part One

If you love fashion and you’re breathing oxygen, you most likely have some kind of Gucci obsession.  The eclectic style has trickled down to almost everything we see in magazines and on television shows these days, and for good reason.  What is Gucci style?  Kind of…everything, all mashed up together!  That’s what makes it so glorious!  It’s a 70s meets bohemian meets fur meets prairie meets 60s meets harajuku meets menswear…and somehow after they all meet, they all get along grandly.

So welcome to a new series I am starting, called DIY Styling: Gucci Style.  I’m in no way, shape, or form, a TRUE DIYer…so these do it yourselves are mostly gonna be more like “put it on yourselves” which, as long as you typically can dress yourself, you are quite qualified to do!  Today’s post has a little bit of a DIY, but if you are scared of the DIY’s (like I am), have no fear.  Today’s DIY involves an iron.  Period.  Sure, sure, I hate ironing.  But this is ironing for GUCCI, and that makes it all worthwhile!

Unless you are living under a rock or are not on social media (if you say you are not, then I know you’re lying because you’re reading this post!), you have seen these embroidered bomber jackets.  They’re simultaneously chic and kitschy all at the same time.  Add one to a t-shirt and jeans and you suddenly look like a rock star.  They’re probably the most perfect jacket, ever.  Gucci came out with one of these bad boys and the world went bomber jacket mad.  Now you can find them almost everywhere…from Zara to Asos to Urban Outfitters to those fabulous reversible vintage ones that you will pay a pretty penny for.  The upside?  Spending money on one of them will inevitably be worth it because they’re comfortable, warm, and look Gucci-licious with everything in your closet, even your pajamas.  The downside?  Unless you’re spending over $200 or so on one, then you’re jacket is most likely mass produced and not all that unique.  It’s not a bad thing, but it’s a consideration for sure.  I decided that I wanted my own.  Here’s what I did:

I got a cotton bomber from Asos.  I chose this one because a. it is 100% cotton which means it’s breathable (in California this translates to “wearable for more than one season”) and the iron on patches I bought will stick to it without ruining the jacket b. it was a great price and c. it is a neutral color which will make the patches pop.  If you’re gonna do an iron on patch jacket you have to use cotton and not a silky fabric.  If you’re gonna sew them on, that’s a different story, you can use any fabric you like.  I found some patches I loved locally, but there are just so many on Etsy for such great prices, you will have no problem at all finding any look you like!  I found this incredible back patch on Etsy HERE for about $15 including shipping!

I ironed them on, and voila!  Instant Gucci style bomber jacket, in my own unique design!

Don’t want to DIY it? Here are a few of my favorite ready to wear jackets that won’t kill your budget!  Asos, jersey Asos jacket, this men’s Urban Outfitter’s bomber (since it’s men’s, size down!), and this Zara tiger jacket.

Happy Gucci styling!

On Necklace Layering

Necklace layering.  It’s something that I often do, but rarely think about.  I’ve had a number of people ask me how to do it, and then I have to stop and think about it.  The answer is simple really, you just put on necklaces, and then after a while, you stop putting them on!  Okay, for reals that’s what I do.  However, I do understand that there is an instinct that I have developed over time, and that takes practice.  And you have to start somewhere, and with some level of inspiration.  So I’m going to try and break it down into some basic ideas, with some tips and tricks for you…that way if you’re feeling like you don’t know where to start or you don’t feel like you’ve got your instincts on this yet, you’ll have a place to begin!  Keep in mind, there really are no RULES to this.  There’s no rules other than if you like it or not.  If you like silver, use silver.  If you like gold, use gold.  If you like both, mix them!  The sky is the limit, and anything goes!

To get started, start collecting jewelry!!  This doesn’t have to be an expensive process.  I really don’t own many expensive pieces yet, and that’s ok.  Etsy is a fabulous source for handmade jewelry, and a lot of it is quite inexpensive.  Forever 21, Target, and even places like Kohl’s have very much stepped up their jewelry game and they have many great pieces to mix and match.  And don’t forget about thrift stores, flea markets, and second hand stores!  That’s where you’ll really score and get stuff that no one has ever seen before!!  I have been collecting jewelry for a while now, so it’s quite easy to layer…and once you start your collection and it grows a bit, you’ll see that it gets easier.  The more options you have…well, the more options you’ll have :)

This look is FUN and basically my GO TO right now.  It’s got leather and gold (I’m a gold person, so keep that in mind…silver will work or rose gold too if that’s your metal of choice!) and lots going on.  I like lots going on!
THE PIECES: This is a leather wrap choker with a tassel pendant attached to it (details on that to follow), a layered multi chain necklace, and two vintage gold choker length necklaces.
TIP: The BEST way to make this look easy peasy, is to find one necklace that has a ton of chains on it.  These are pretty easy to find cheap typically at places like F21 or the thrift stores. You can also make one if you’re so inclined by going to the craft stores and getting a bunch of chain and attaching it into one multi length necklace.  Varying the chain colors and link size will make it look even cooler.
TRICK:  Okay you guys.  This leather choker.  It’s a PIECE OF LEATHER I bought at a craft store (leather laces, deerskin is the best if you can find it) and I bought a chain pendant at Michael’s to hang on to it.  It cost me under $10 and I now have a bunch of colors.  It’s so easy, it’s almost wrong.

This look is basically a more delicate layering option.  If you keep the metal monochromatic and the pendants even smaller than these, it will be more delicate and more of a conservative layering look.
THE PIECES: I have a handmade necklace from The Joyful Jewelry Box (love her!), a turquoise cross from Forever 21, and a thrifted agate slice.
TIP: This is an easy look.  The thing you want to do is to keep all the necklaces at very similar lengths…just slightly staggered is best.  Like within half an inch to an inch of each other is best.
TRICK: You can easily make this look by buying chain and small pendants at the craft store and making each necklace just slightly longer than the last.


Chokers are the total new IT necklace.  They are also a GREAT layering piece because they don’t interfere with your other jewelry…there’s no tangling or competing for the same length typically.  This look can be monochromatic like I did it, or can be totally changed up by using different colors.
THE PIECES: This is a deerskin braided concho leather choker by Desert Mermaid, a multi strand turquoise thrifted necklace, and a tassel necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP: The principle behind this look is three distinct lengths.  ONE: a choker, TWO: a collar bone piece, and THREE: a midriff hitting pendant.  Pretty much ANYTHING can be used in this look, even a short necklace instead of a choker if you’re not a choker person.
TRICK:  A piece of ribbon tied around your neck is a perfect layering choker.  It’s cheap and easy and you can literally own every color of the rainbow for super cheap.


Surprise!  You thought this was about NECKLACE layering didn’t you!?  Gotcha!  I mixed in a brooch because remember?  There are NO RULES!
THE PIECES:  This is a tiny collarbone star necklace (the one I wore at my wedding in fact!), a vintage brooch, and a long gold necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP:  This is a great way to layer that won’t get tangled up together!  You can also put a brooch off to the side, or even wear a few in a row across the neckline of your shirt to add more interest.
TRICK: If you love brooches but don’t have any, they can easily be thrifted or made by taking clip on earrings or anything really and gluing it onto a pin.

The wild west ain’t got nothing on this look!  Bolos can be a bit harder to layer because of their long tails.  That’s why layering them under a scarf works beautifully.
THE PIECES:  A thrifted scarf and a bolo made by my lovely Hillbillygypsy Boots.
TIP:  Any scarf will do for this look!  You could use a vintage one or any type really…it will still be a great layering piece over a bolo or a long necklace.
TRICK:  You could find a fabric that you like and cut a square in a scarf size and that’s an easy and cheap way to get any look you want with the pattern you want.


Again with the scarf!  Flip it around, add a brooch, and you’ve got a whole new groove.  Basically this look is about three different lengths.  It’s an easy one!
THE PIECES: Thrifted scarf, a vintage brooch, a thrifted coin necklace, and a long necklace from Anthropologie.
TIP: With a floral scarf and a pretty sparkly brooch, you get a whole different look to this layered vibe.
TRICK: If you don’t have a brooch, you could easily just tie your scarf in a knot, or tie a longer one in a bow, and then add a few necklaces below it and it’s still super cute!

Now…just do it!  Mix some metals, try some tricks…get crazy and bold with this!  Jewelry is an easy and more conservative way (for those of you who have to dress a bit more conservatively for work OR you just aren’t into bold clothing) to add flair and pizazz to an outfit.  I mean, a white tee and jeans could look so put together with some layered jewelry!

If you wanted to buy pieces like the ones I used, I’ll add some links here for you to get started on your hunt!


Hope your week is just jammin’


On Collaborating On A V Neck Tee

It’s Wednesday!  And today, for a special treat, instead of just me showing you some weird and crazy ways to wear your basics, I’ve got a partner in crime!  Mandy from has joined forces with me to get our creative juices going…and boy is she great at being creative!  Let me tell you a little bit about Mandy.

She’s awesome.  I love a girl who when I say: “I put a tie with it”, she doesn’t even blink and says: “oh yeah great idea!”  It’s like the idea of wearing a tie as an accessory is perfectly normal and not weird at all (because for me, it’s totally not!) and she just rolls with it because she loves the fun, the interesting, and the unexpected.  She’s perfectly self depreciating and sarcastic (hmmm…that reminds me of someone else I know…oh yeah.  Me.) and she is a FABULOUS thrifter!  When I see something with super cool and fabulous sleeves, I think of Mandy because she has the BEST SLEEVES!!  I think I first fell in love with Mandy when she declared her undying love for me on Instagram after having like one mini conversation.  Yep, that’s a woman after my own heart.  She’s all in, just like me, and she says what she means right away!  I think our first conversation was about cankles…and we’ve been head over heels ever since! :) We decided that we’d do a little collaboration on an item that most of us have in our drawers or our closets…the plain v neck tee.  I’m gonna share what she did with it first and give my two cents on her looks, but please go to her blog to see the other side of the story!

How “NOW” is Mandy in this look?  I love this look because it’s simple, but the shoes…this look is all in the shoes for me.  I love how she took these perfectly thrashed jeans and then added in these gloriously crisp white heeled lace ups to really class up the whole thing.  I think with this look, you’d typically expect to see flip flops or tennis shoes, but these oxfords really keep it classy in my opinion.

Isn’t she the CUTEST?  Man I wish I had that midriff!!!  I love the knotted detail on the tee with the button down mini skirt…it’s those little details that really change up an outfit, you know?  And of course, the Converse.  I think this look is perfectly summer ready and absolutely adorable.

And this look.  She has the best personality and it completely comes through in her outfits…which is why fashion is SO FUN!  Suspenders and a ruffle skirt?  Yeah she really blew my mind on this one because I honestly have to say I wouldn’t think to do this, and I LOVE IT.  I think the magic of this outfit is that the plain v neck tee really balances out the outfit.  If you were to wear anything more than a basic tee with this, it could take it from day wearable straight into costume territory.  So she really nailed it with this look!  Please go look at her blog to see more photos of these outfits and more!!

And now, for some more fun…with a v neck tee of course!
THE SHIRT: Really ANY v neck shirt will do!  The one I’m using is actually thrifted from the men’s section at the Goodwill.  If you can’t find one there, a great place to grab one (or more) is in the men’s undershirt section at Target or Walmart or any store of the like.  This one is actually a Hanes men’s undershirt!  This is a great place to get them because then if you tend to stain white tees, you won’t be so bummed…because you got a three pack to begin with!

Okay so I’ve got this dress hanging in my closet that I thrifted.  I love the fabric and the drape of the skirt, but the top is kind of, um, terrible on me.  So, add a tee on top and problem solved!

NECKLACE (similar, but made by the same person), BOOTS (similar), DRESS (similar).
THRIFTY TIP: This dress and shirt are both thrifted, and to be honest, dresses like this are so plentiful at thrift stores and maybe if you find one you like the pattern of, this will give you some ideas on how to make it work if you don’t absolutely love the top part of it!
CRAFTY DIY:  Hand distressing men’s new undershirts will give a cheap shirt a more lived in and more expensive feel.  HERE is a tutorial with some simple ideas on how to make a newer shirt look old and vintage!
SWAP IT OUT: Change the boots to sandals (gladiators or flip flops!) and of course, change the color of the tee for a whole new look!

Much like Mandy’s use of suspenders, I took my love of vintage men’s ties and balanced out the crazy with the simple!  Completely makes it wearable and calms down the fun accessories (you know, when the accessories are acting like you’re going to a party and you’re really just going to Target…that kind of deal).

PANTS (similar), PLATFORMS (similar, but same brand).
THRIFTY TIP: Ties are BEST WHEN THRIFTED!  There are SO MANY of these bad boys at the thrift stores it’s not even funny!  Check them out next time you go!
CRAFTY DIY: If you’re not into wearing an actual tie, try a leather wrap necklace. It gives a similar vibe, but you can do it yourself by buying some leather cord or even some ribbon to do it, or buy one HERE.  See how you can even embellish the choker part of it then just wrap and tie in a knot?  Even the least crafty can handle this one!
SWAP IT OUT: A bandana would be super cute…try a bandana and some colored skinnies and some boots.  Super cute.

Again, you can use the plain tee to balance out elements in your closet that are bolder, louder, and more statement making.  It can be a nice blank canvas on which to apply lots of fun jewelry and crazy patterns!
NECKLACE, PANTS (similar, but same brand), CLOGS (similar).
THRIFTY TIP: Blazers are one of the great thrifted items.  Check both the women’s section and the mens, and you’ll be sure to find some good ones if you keep your eyes out!
CRAFTY DIY: If you wanted to make your own accessories, you could easily make a necklace out of seed beads with lots of different colors.  This is another great option for a statement necklace!
SWAP IT OUT:  Instead of clogs, you could use loafers or flats and you could tone down the look with a solid pair of slacks or with jeans.  It would be a much more casual look with a pair of boyfriend jeans and some cute flats!

Sometimes finding a dress for an event can be a beast.  There are just times when you can’t find exactly what you want, or you want sleeves and dresses with sleeves can be harder to come by…you know this story.  Enter the white tee/white skirt that LOOKS like a dress, but it’s much easier!
SKIRT (similar), BOOTS (similar).
THRIFTY TIP: White can be a harder color to thrift for sure.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find!  But you can do this look super easily in black and it will be instantly fancier and easier to find stain-free!
CRAFTY DIY: I saw this feather necklace in a Free People store years ago, and I went out to the craft store, bought chain, feathers, and some crimping beads and made it myself.  It was a little time consuming, but honestly it saved me like $70, so it was worth it!  Another little crafty thing you could do is go buy some Rit Dye at Walmart and buy a white skirt and shirt, and dye them the same color.  Look who’s a genius now!  YOU are!
SWAP IT OUT:  Swap the boots for heels, and the jewelry for something sparkly and you’ve got an event or date night ready look.

I hope you love our collaboration…don’t you just LOVE Mandy?  Her instagram and blog are a treat, so make sure to follow her for lots of thrifting inspiration!

Happy midweek y’all!


On Basics…And Maxi DRESSES

Wednesday is upon us, so it’s once again time to think about how to swap, switch, and snazz up a basic!  “Basics…Anything But” today is all about a maxi dress!  To begin with, let’s have a little heart to heart about maxi dresses, shall we?  I remember watching an episode of The Rachel Zoe Project years ago when she was meeting with buyers for some major department stores to find out what pieces from her line they were going to purchase.  To her shock and horror (being a MAJOR maxi dress lover), NO ONE was ordering the maxis.  Actually, they were ordering everything BUT the maxi dresses.  She asked them why on earth this was the case, and they gave her their honest answer: because they just aren’t big sellers.  Because a lot of women are afraid of the maxi or they just don’t know how to wear it.  This really got me thinking.  I’ve always loved maxi skirts and dresses…I’ve worn them my whole life, and I haven’t really thought twice about it.  But now after spending some time in a clothing store, I’ve realized that this is actually fairly true.  I wouldn’t say that MOST women don’t wear them, but I would say that A LOT of women are not drawn to this length.  The skirts that sell out are the shorter lengths by FAR.  This is the funny thing…maxi dresses and skirts, if they are the correct fit, are actually quite flattering, comfortable, and versatile.  So regardless if you’re a long dress lover or not, let’s try and have some fun with one!

THE DRESS:  Okay so fit is really important on a maxi, just as it is in most dresses.  Floor length dresses tend to be a LOT of fabric (I think this is one of the things that can scare women away to be quite honest) so if this is an issue for you, stay away from a higher waist empire style for SURE.  If the waistline starts just under your boobs, that’s going to be a much longer, fuller skirt than if it starts lower down on your waist, or closer to it.  If you happen to love the empire waist, then go for it!  But if not, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of skirt that is happening!  In order to pull off these swaps and switches successfully, the best style of dress will be a strappy (or strapless) simple maxi that’s a bit more fitted at the top and fuller at the bottom.  The dress I chose is from Free People and it’s got quite a full skirt on it.  (I gotta say, I bought it because Sasha of @snafierce wore it and DANG she rocks it, check out her post!)  You can EASILY do this exact same styling with a simpler dress if you don’t want the huge ruffles!  HERE is a super cute option that’s got some pattern variation and is nice and relaxed and HERE is a super simple budget friendly option (I know it’s called “empire waist” but it’s not full skirted, so it’s much more slimming than the average!)

Let’s start styling!  The beauty of this switch up is that if you have summer events or weddings to attend, you could potentially buy one dress and re wear it multiple ways (including to an everyday non formal function) without wearing the exact same outfit!  Apparently that’s all the rage now (I read about it in the Wall Street Journal this week so I know it’s true!).

Something about this dress reminds me of Gossip Girl!  It’s got a Grecian feel but it’s not quite as fancy as that dress Serena wore in the Hamptons!

I paired this dress with some gladiator sandals (HERE is a great pair for $54!) and some bohemian beachy macrame jewelry to give it a dressed down but still classy feel.  This is a great look for a beach wedding or party!
THRIFTY TIP: This look is VERY similar to the look I put together a few posts ago when I did one about maxi skirts!  So if you don’t have a good long dress or can’t seem to find one, find two long skirts and layer them just like I did on that post!
CRAFTY DIY: If you know how to make macrame plant holders and the like, make yourself a great necklace!  Otherwise, you can totally buy shells at the craft store and hang them on a chain to make your own necklace and it will look super boho beach ready!
SWAP IT OUT: Fringe sandals, or a basic scrappy sandal will also be very beachy keen with this look.  You could also use beaded necklaces instead of shells to add color and change the vibe of the outfit.

Here’s an easy way to change the look of your dress without layering on too much in the hot weather!  It adds a little coverage also if you’re looking to cover your arms or shoulders.

This look is still beachy but it’s a little classier.  It’s a very monochromatic look with this dress, but you could TOTALLY change that by using a different dress or shoes or top!  The crochet top needs to be short typically so that it hits at the right spot and leaves you a bit of a waist with the maxi dress.  HERE is one option, but it will depend on the top of your dress what style works best with it!  HERE is a few color options on the wedges for you (the ticket is that stretchy top because it’s SO comfortable!).
THRIFTY TIP: HERE is a fabulous (and nice retro reproduction too!) steal of an option for a crochet top that comes in black and white to give you a choice of colors!  And while you’re at it, HERE is a great cheap gold collar to give you a pop of metallic for this look!
CRAFTY DIY: Another way to make this look super cool and a little bit tough, is to thrift a bunch of gold chains (or make some at the craft store!) and layer a bunch of them.  That way you have an instant gold collar necklace!
SWAP IT OUT: Swap the cream crochet for black and use silver jewelry and black wedges.  It’ll be more of a nighttime look, a little bit tougher, and less beach ready.

A great way to make almost ANYTHING look more casual and daytime?  A graphic tee.  They layer over or under most anything and everything and they really relax the whole vibe of the outfit!  My answer to most everything is (yes a kimono, but in this outfit that doesn’t apply!) is a graphic tee and cowboy boots.  You can pretty much go anywhere with a casual dress code in those two things.
In this case, I used a tee from Bandit Brand, which is a GREAT place to get graphic tees if you want to splurge and grab something that really does look vintage.  (HERE is my exact shirt).  You could totally grab one of the same prints in many different styles (I just happen to love the muscle tee but sleeves totally work too!) and even some in different colors.  Also, Midnight Rider is another go-to for vintage reproduction tees!
THRIFTY TIP:  So when I started hunting at thrift shops for graphic tees, I realized why they are typically so expensive when you find them online or at a vintage shop.  The good ones are pretty darn hard to find.  But do look when you’re thrifting, just focus on the MEN’S SECTION because that’s where the good ones, if they exist, will be.  The great news is that places like Target have been ROCKING the vintage shirt game and even Forever 21 is getting up to speed too.  Check out THIS ONE and THIS ONE because I know it can be kind of shocking, but I never expect to pay less than around $50 for a good graphic tee and these ones totally fit the bill and come in way under that price!
CRAFTY DIY: I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  A borderline lame or not so hot tee from the thrift store can be saved by stretching the heck out of it, cutting the hems open, and ripping a few holes in it.  Heck I even got one that was basically ugly and I cut a v out of the front and grommeted and laced it up.  Totally changed the shirt into one of my favorites!  Here’s a YouTube tutorial on it!
SWAP IT OUT: You could easily use a cute tee and tennis shoes to liven up this look and make it super fun!  THIS ONE and some white tennis shoes would be fun!

I know, I know, who in their right mind wears a summer dress with fur right?  I DO!!!!  I love the neutrals and the sort of haute couture of the loafers, gold, and the fur vest with this ruffled goodness.
This is a super easy layering option…throw on a vest, slip on some loafers, and go.
THRIFTY TIP:  Fur is one of those things that it’s honestly better to get new…faux fur is preferable usually, and places like Target and Forever 21 and H&M tend to have a plethora of them in the fall.  The great news is that it’s totally off season for fur vests so they’re all on sale!  THIS ONE is under $20!
CRAFTY DIY: HERE is a FABULOUS post on how to make your own statement necklaces out of stuff like ribbon and chain and stuff so that you can create your own bling for much cheaper than the store bought ones!
SWAP IT OUT:  Too hot for fur?  A denim vest or even a funky brocade one would be really fun over a maxi dress!  You could also swap booties for the loafers or even simple ballet or lace up flats for them as well!

We MADE IT!  Now do you wanna try a maxi?  I promise these looks will be cool over a sleeker dress if the ruffles feel like too much for you.  Even a kimono (gasp!) would look amazing over one as well, so GO NUTS!

And happy midweek day y’all we made it this far hallelujah!

On Basics…and Boyfriend Jeans

Hey it’s Wednesday!  That means it must be time for fun with BASICS right?!  You are quite correct!  Today for “Basics…Anything But”, I’ve come up with three looks for a style of denim that is most likely somewhere in your closet, and if it’s not, maybe it should be: the classic boyfriend jean.  I decided to do each of the looks with a different pair of this style of denim, because even though the boyfriend fit is pretty standard, of course there are some of variations on this theme.  Some fit more like a classic baggy pair, like you maybe could have actually stolen them from your boyfriend, and then there’s the more slim fit skinnier boyfriend pair.  (For those of you who have super skinny boyfriends, obviously.  Just kidding.)  There’s also usually a relative amount of distressing on these jeans, but it can range from the slight to the crazy trashed look of say, the One Teaspoon Denim.

THE JEANS:  Okay, so I used three quite different pairs.  One is a vintage men’s pair of Levi’s, another a distressed women’s pair of Levi’s, and then finally, a more classic Gap pair.  I feel like I can’t talk about boyfriend jeans without mentioning the original, Current/Elliott, who came out with this style and caused an explosion in denim years ago.  Theirs are an awesome investment piece if you are looking to buy a pricer pair, OR you can sometimes find them at places like Nordstrom Rack, Off Fifth, and TJ Maxx or Marshall’s at a lower price point.  Other places to find good boyfriend jeans are Gap (seriously one of the best places I’ve found to get good ones!), One Teaspoon (they’re pricey but adorable), thrift stores, Cotton On (great price!), and Old Navy (more bargain prices).  How much you spend really should depend on how they fit you and also how committed you are to this style, whether it’s something you want to just try out and wear occasionally or you want to invest in a good pair you are going to wear more often.

Let’s get going!  There’s a lot of ways you can rock the bf jeans, but hopefully if this is a style you have been stumped on or maybe bored with, this will get your creative style juices going!

This look is a really fun one I think because it’s a little bit preppy, and a little bit tough!  It’s nice to take something like polka dots and toughen them up a bit!  For this look I used slightly distressed Gap boyfriend jeans (they call them “girlfriend jeans” right now there, but they’re a slimmer fit than the traditional pair.  I love using lace tank tops as vests, and this one from Zara is just perfect for that!

Jeans HERE, blouse HERE, vest HERE, loafers HERE, necklace HERE. (these are all just similar pieces to what I’m wearing).
THRIFTY TIP:  Loafers are a great thing to look at thrift stores for!  These one’s I thrifted and they are PERFECT for only $20!  If you’re a polka dot lover, this is also a pattern that’s a great thrift find!  This top I am wearing is a brand new, with the tags on Free People sheer blouse…marked at $88, and I paid $4 for it at Goodwill.
SWAP IT OUT: A plaid shirt would be super cute with this look.  You can switch out the polka dots with plaid and the loafers for booties!
CRAFTY DIY: If you can’t seem to find a sleepless lace top, you can always get any lace top you can find at a thrift store and cut the sleeves off!

I love this look because it’s a total “I feel so cool” outfit!  I used a super distressed pair of Levi’s for this look and a bunch of thrifted stuff…it’s a fun one :)

Jeans HERE, shirt HERE, kimono HERE, booties HERE, necklace HERE. (style suggestions based on this look!)
THRIFTY TIP: Kimonos are a great thing to hunt for in the ROBE/NIGHTGOWN section of the thrift stores as I’ve mentioned before.  Also, the link above the the American Eagle Outfitters jeans is a great denim steal!
SWAP IT OUT: Instead of a band tee, use a patterned or plain tee and put a denim or plaid button down over it and wear it open.  Totally changes the look of the outfit, but still super cool!
CRAFTY DIY: Get some awesome jeans at the thrift store and distress them yourself!  HERE’S an awesome post on how to do it!

For this last look, I used my vintage Levi’s that are my most baggy boyfriend fit.  One of the tricks to wearing the baggier styles is to make sure that the top you are wearing is not too long or oversized…otherwise your outfit will just be way too baggy overall!

Jeans HERE, booties HERE, top HERE.
THRIFTY TIP:  These jeans are like the classic thrifted boyfriend jeans.  I really recommend checking the mens section for the smaller sizes to achieve this look!
SWAP IT OUT:  A puff sleeve top would be adorable with this look too.  Add a vest on top of that, and you have a whole new look!
CRAFTY DIY: Make your own white turquoise necklace!  Just buy a strand of beads and string them and you’re golden!

I love boyfriend jeans.  Bell Bottoms are my total go-to, but boyfriend jeans have a relaxed cool vibe to them that is just fun to mix in sometimes!  Hopefully you’ve got a pair and this will help you jazz them up a bit, but if you don’t have a pair, maybe there’s a link in here that will get you looking at finding the right pair for your body!

Happy happy Wednesday, hope your week is rockin

On Basics…Maxi Skirt Wearing

It’s week three of “Basics…Anything But”!  Now I totally realize that MY definition of “basics” may not be the same as everyone else’s.  For example, I would qualify a slip dress and a kimono as “basics”.  However, I’m trying my darndest to keep THESE basics ACTUAL basics that may be in the average person’s closet.  After I’m done with those, I’ll probably move on to things like the slip dress and kimono and all that just to keep emphasizing how much every woman should have them in her closet!  But for now, I’m trying to stick to BASIC basics!

Today, let’s talk MAXI SKIRTS!  I decided to take a solid maxi skirt and show you some fun and unpredictable ways to mix in this basic with some other pieces you may have in your closet…or you may be looking to buy!  As always, you can use a lot of different fabrics, patterns, and styles of skirt to change up this look!  The sky is the limit!  But let me tell you about what I used, and why!

THE SKIRT:  I purchased this skirt from Free People new a few years ago.  It was exactly what I was looking for, and at the time, there weren’t a lot of maxi skirts to be found, so I looked at it as an investment piece that I could wear a lot of different ways, and boy have I used the heck out of this skirt!  Now truthfully, these kinds of skirts are a lot more plentiful, so getting one at a thrift store or at Target is highly likely, and at a fraction of the price.
FIT: The skirt I used has an elastic waistband, which is KEY for these looks.  Why?  Because the elastic allows you to wear the skirt at a variety of places and not just on your waist.  I have done some of these looks with a non elastic waistband maxi, and it can work, it’s just not as comfortable or easy.  I used a slightly gathered skirt, but a more gathered skirt will add a little extra bohemian glamour, while a non gathered one will be a more fitted look.  Either way works just fine!
FABRIC: This skirt is a stretch jersey…again, you can use a non stretch cotton, but the stretchy flowy fabrics will lay a bit better, be less bulky on, and simply be more comfortable!

Let’s get down to it!  A maxi skirt can go SO many different directions!  This look is great with a solid, striped, floral, or aztec print as well.  You decide :)

To be honest, I bought these two skirts together…to wear exactly like this!  I saw them in a Free People magazine and went out and bought them (they are the same in two different colors) because I needed a dress for a wedding and I couldn’t find one I liked!  However, I have done this EXACT same thing with multiple different variations of skirts, so you do not need to have two of the same to do this!

Okay, so you get the idea?  One skirt pulled up above your boobs like a strapless dress, the skirt underneath at your waist, belted, and…boom.  Flowy strapless bohemian goodness.  I’m a BIG fan of belts that tie on, but a regular belt would work just fine too!  I love gladiator sandals with this look because it’s cool for summer and adds to the boho flair!  The Free People skirts I have are sold out, but HERE is a really cool more fitted and rusched sides one (it has an extra sale code right now too!) If you want to splurge and get a great piece, try HERE.
THRIFTY TIP:  Shop your local thrift shops for maxi skirts!  They are much more common than they used to be.  Also, places like Target, Old Navy, and Forever 21 often have them for around $20.  Don’t forget to check ThredUp too!
SWAP IT OUT:  Change out the gladiator sandals for cowboy boots or just regular boots.  It changes the look of the outfit!  Also, a cool pair of palazzo pants underneath instead of a second skirt is super fun!  I’ve done this before and it looks really cool!
CRAFTY DIY:  Don’t have a tie on belt?  Get some thick ribbon or a strip of cool fabric (denim would be super cool!) and tie a bow at your waist!  It adds a whole new look to the outfit!  Wear it this way with some heels and you got yourself a brand new vibe to the same outfit!

This look basically turns your maxi skirt into a dress…with a little extra flair!

Okay, so again, you pull up your skirt as a strapless dress, then use the kimono belt to create a “waist” for your new dress!  I used some boho inspired accessories because it really seemed to go with the look of the kimono/skirt combo.  For kimonos, a splurge is HERE or HERE and to save some $$, try vintage robes on Etsy or look HERE.
THRIFTY TIP:  My necklace is from Child of Wild, so if you want to splurge on a statement piece, check them out.  However, this look is available for SO MUCH LESS now!!  Check THIS page out!
SWAP IT OUT:  Use a more fitted stretchy skirt.  Almost like a pencil fit maxi.  You’ll get a really sexy sleek strapless dress effect!
CRAFTY DIY:  If you don’t have a kimono, use a large square scarf, OR a large square piece of fabric, fold it in half, and put it over your shoulders with the point in the back.  Tuck in the front pieces into a belt, and you’ll create a poncho like effect and still get the same type of look!

The beauty of an elastic waist skirt is that it can sit anywhere on your body.  It can be low waisted or high waisted…and that gives you versatility for what kind of top you can wear!

For this look, I pulled up my skirt to make it high waisted, allowing me to knot my denim top and go full western gal!
THRIFTY TIP: I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  Chambray tops tend to be fairly easy to find at thrift stores.  Also, I got mine from Target and it is awesome!
SWAP IT OUT: Use a patterned top!  A plaid flannel would be adorable!
CRAFTY DIY:  Don’t have a bolo?  I got mine from the FABULOUS Hillbilly Gypsy Boots (email her and ask for a custom order!)  Here’s a SUPER fun DIY post on how to make your own out of things like bottle caps and stuff for all you UBER crafty peeps out there!

What’s not predictable with a flowy, girly maxi?  A tough graphic tee!  For this look I added some more masculine elements to balance out the skirt and make it interesting!

I thought that a Harley tee, desert booties, a belt, and a squash blossom would be a fun addition to the skirt.
THRIFTY TIP: I got these J Crew booties at a second hand store, but I highly recommend the Tom’s ones since the J Crew ones are sold out!  HERE is a FABULOUS alternative however, and at half the cost!
SWAP IT OUT: Swap the booties for cowboy boots, and use a floral or a sweet girly print tee.  Still adorable, but just changes the look a bit!
CRAFTY DIY: I got this shirt in the men’s section at Goodwill for $4.  I took my scissors to it and made it more awesome!  Find some great old tees and cut the sleeves down (makes the shirt look less like a men’s shirt!) and cut a few holes in it.  You’ll have a great vintage looking tee for a fraction of the cost!  Also, places like Forever 21 are doing GREAT replicas of band tees for CHEAP!

Give it a go!  I hope these posts are super helpful for you and inspire you to be a tad more daring with what you already have!  Once I discovered that I could wear some of my skirts like dresses, it opened up a whole new realm of possibility for my closet!


On Basics…You Just Don’t Have To Be!

Welcome to the second post of the series: Basics…Anything But!  I’m finding that this is challenging me even more than usual to think outside the typical fashion “norms”…and that’s just fun!  I mean, who really needs to be bored with their clothes?!  Today I present to you a simple grey tank top.  Pretty standard.  Nothing super exciting about it.  However, it’s a piece that can transform into many different things…if you just give it a try!  Now obviously, you’re going to make these looks your own and you may use a different top with a different fit to make these looks different.  But let me tell you about the top that I used just so you have an idea of what to look for if this is something you need to add to your wardrobe!

THE TANK TOP:  This is a Rag and Bone tank top.  I know what you’re thinking…did you actually spend THAT MUCH MONEY on a TANK TOP?  Oh heck no!  I went to Off Fifth (which is my total go-to for basics now…it’s similar to a Nordstrom Rack, but the Off Fifth is closer to where I live than one of those!)
FIT: For these specific looks, choose a top that is shorter (not like one of those long tanks that covers your booty)…one that hits just below where your normal jeans waistband starts.  Also, you want to choose one that is a bit loose, so that it will layer nicely and do what you want to do with it instead of showing all the lumps and bumps of the fabric folds underneath!
FABRIC: I chose to buy a nicer top because I wanted a good layering piece to add to all my weird stuff!  Look for a thicker fabric with a good amount of stretch in it.  A good quality stretchy fabric will hang just right and won’t cling in all the wrong places when you’re playing around with layering.

Let’s get started!  Obviously, the color of the tank top isn’t important…I just picked grey because it’s a good neutral.  You could use black, white, tan, or even a bolder color if you want to get crazy!

This is kind of one of those “wait…what are you wearing?” looks, but in a totally chillaxed way.  It’s not SO weird that people will stare…it’s interesting without being bizarre.

Now CLEARLY, you could wear the tank top underneath the kimono/robe like a NORMAL person, but who needs normal right? :)  The nice thing about this look is that you can use any kimono (as long as it has the right sleeves and isn’t a dolman shape), and the tank top will cover everything that needs to be covered if it’s a sheer or lace style!  I added the bolo and the skinny jeans/boots combo to keep it basic, but still interesting!
THRIFTY TIP: Kimonos can be pricey!  The BEST places to find them is in the thrift stores in the lingerie section OR if you don’t seem to be finding what you’re looking for, try HERE…you will find a definite variety of prices, but plenty of good beautiful options for in the $20 range.  Three Bird Nest has one that is gorgeous and under $50…multiple color options so take a look!
SWAP IT OUT: Change the skinny jeans or leggings for bell bottoms!  Make it even more interesting!  Also, the lace/crochet kimono swapped out for a solid will change the look and be a beautiful layering piece.
CRAFTY DIY: If you don’t have a bolo, you can easily go to the craft store and buy some leather laces and make a wrap style necklace.  A large bead can tie it together kind of like a bolo.  Here’s an idea of a wrap necklace so you get the picture.  They’re also not that expensive on that site so if you’re not in a crafty mood, you’ll be covered :)

This look is a little bit preppy, a little bit western, and a little bit bad girl…all wrapped up into one!  The combination of the pearls, plaid, destroyed denim, and clogs, makes for quite an interesting ensemble!

So in this look, the tank top basically becomes a vest, much like in the kimono look.  It just keeps it interesting, and hey, why not??
THRIFTY TIP: Plaid tops are plentiful!  The BEST places to find them are in the men’s section of wherever you are!  Target, Old Navy, Cotton On…these are all very inexpensive places to find things similar to what you’d see at J Crew, but at a better price point.  If you’re small enough, the boy’s section will also suffice!  Pearls are a GREAT thrifting/yard saling item.  All you really need to do is find a few strands and layer them up to get a more rock and roll look…as opposed to a single strand which is much more preppy and girly.
SWAP IT OUT: Switch out the plaid for a striped, floral, or paisley button down.  OR find something kind of kitschy and cute, like a button down with pineapples or cats on it.  Also, clogs are not a necessity for this look, I just liked how they added a little bit of interest.  Wedges, booties, or even heels would be very cute.
CRAFTY DIY: Don’t have destroyed jeans?  There are TONS of tutorials on YouTube on how to distress your own denim.  Mostly what’s required are scissors, a washing machine, and a dryer.  You’ll be good to go!

OBVIOUSLY this tank top works well as an “under” piece!  I LOVE wearing flannels and button downs like light jackets, so this is a great way to “cowgirl” it up!

All I did was reverse the tank top and plaid, add a choker and cowboy boots!  TOTALLY different look!
THRIFTY TIP: Cowboy boots are a good item to thrift, OR keep an eye on Poshmark for really great deals!  Sign up for an account and it will save your size so all you’ll see when you look is the size you want!  You can also make lower offers on Poshmark, so don’t hesitate to try it out!
SWAP IT OUT: Again, switch the plaid out for something more preppy like stripes or floral and swap the boots for wedges or heels!  Instantly a different look!
CRAFTY DIY: Make your own choker!  Mine is made by a FABULOUS woman and I love it, so if you want to buy one, definitely support this lady (it comes in white too!).  If you want to make your own, all you need is a piece of ribbon, tie it on…get some leather laces, braid them into a single braid, tie it on.  EASY!

I’m a major fan of the vintage slip.  I think it’s one of the most versatile pieces you can own, so all you really need for this look is one of those and a belt for the most part!

All I did was put the vintage slip underneath the tank top and belt it.  I made sure the lace was sticking out the top because I like how that looks and I added a denim vest because I’m a sucker for a good vest!!
THRIFTY TIP: GO THRIFT A VINTAGE SLIP!  Or heck, Poshmark is loaded with them, and a lot of them right around $10!  Denim vests/jackets/shirts are also plentiful on the vintage/second hand circuit…I have never needed to buy one of them new!  Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find them!  Belts are also a good thing to keep your eye out for at your local thrift stores.  The great ones are a little more rare, but you will most likely get lucky if you keep looking!
SWAP IT OUT: If you don’t have a vintage slip (but you ARE going to go get one right?? :)) you can totally put any dress under this tank to change the look up.  You can EVEN layer one with sleeves under it and get more of the vest look out of your tank!  Try a floral summer dress or even a fancier lace gown could become more of an everyday piece if you layer it like this!
CRAFTY DIY: Make yourself a cool choker…this one is handmade by PrickliePear. If you don’t have a decent belt, get a great strip of fabric or thick ribbon at a craft store and tie a cute little bow instead of using a leather belt.  That’ll add a sweet and creative little aspect to your outfit!

Now go TRY IT OUT!  I think there are probably a million and one more ways to layer a basic tank top…so if you got more ideas, please share them!!