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 :)

LOTSA LAYERS
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!

COACHELLA?  KIMONO-CHELLA
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 WILD WEST
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!

TOUGH AND TUMBLE
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!

HAPPY MIDWEEK!
Katy

On Basics…and Being Anything But.

Most of you guys know me by now.  And if this is the first post you’ve read, hi!  My name is Katy, and I wear weird stuff.  I love putting clothes together that “don’t belong” and pairing stuff that could be “totally wrong” together.  So when I wear basics, I get bored if I don’t spice them up a bit.  Despite all this, I do love a good basic!  Welcome to my new series: Basics…Anything BUT!!!  I’m taking that “don’t be basic” thing to the next level, so come along with me if you feel like adding some spice to your life!

I’m gonna try to show you how you can take simple things (things you may have in your drawers) and make them more interesting using only a few extra pieces.  Some of them you may have in your closet, and some of them will be worth buying to add interest to many potential outfits hiding out in there, just waiting to be inspired!  But I’ll do my best to give you some DIY ideas, thrifting tips, and links to fun stuff you may want to snag at a bargain (or as much of a bargain as I can find!).  As ALWAYS…these ideas are meant to INSPIRE you.  Change things up as you get ideas…find your OWN unique spice to add in, because I know you got it in you!

Today it’s all about that blue gingham shirt.  You know, that one shirt that you always see in the J Crew catalog.  The one that the girl who always dresses really well sports with a pencil skirt or the perfect boyfriend jeans.  This is a key item for your closet, no matter WHAT your style, because it’s an easy go-to item.  It always looks tailored and precise.  Whether you buy it from J Crew, Gap, or a thrift store (this is a PERFECT item to thrift, the second hand shops tend to be loaded with them), it always looks nice.  The obvious things to wear this shirt with would be the things I already mentioned, but of course, my style bent always leans towards the unexpected, so that’s exactly where we are going to go today!

VINTAGE FUNK
This is for when you want to be either rocker chic, or just tomboy for the day.  Fun, easy, and great layering for spring time weather!

This look is ALL about the thrift store you guys.  Layering a tee over a gingham shirt has ENDLESS options!
THRIFTY TIP:  Shop thrift stores for vintage tees (focus on the men’s section and just look in the appropriate correlating size that will fit you) and loafers.  Boyfriend jeans are also a great thrift store find, you just have to be persistent.  If you want to go with the new option, I would suggest Gap (watch for sales) or Levi’s (vintage are best though!).
SWAP IT OUT:  Switch this look up by adding tennis shoes and and make it more sporty.  A Harley tee or a black destroyed tee and a pair of heels will turn this into a rocker chic outfit in no time!
CRAFTY DIY:  To get the rocker chic look easy-peasy, thrift a black tee and go crazy on that thing.  Stretch it out, cut a few holes with some scissors, and cut and fray the sleeves and the bottom hem.

DENIM CLASSIC
This look feels inspired by the J Crew catalog, but with an element of personality that keeps it from being straight off the pages.

Layering a chambray top over the gingham (pull the gingham collar and sleeves out to add texture) creates some layers that add interest.  Add a statement necklace and some black booties.
THRIFTY TIP:  Chambray tops, denim button downs, and denim jackets are all great thrift store items.  Also, Target usually has a decent selection of them (this one is Merona from Target) for under or around $20.  SQUASH BLOSSOM WOES?  THIS ONE will only set you back $18, and no one will be the wiser.  You won’t regret it!
SWAP IT OUT:  Another really fun layering idea is to layer a patterned button down over the gingham instead of the chambray.  A floral would be gorgeous!
CRAFTY DIY:  Don’t have a squash blossom or a great statement necklace?  Craft stores are typically loaded with beads and cool pendants.  Often if you just visit the bead section you will get inspired by just looking at what they have and that clear stuff that looks like fishing line is super easy to string beads on!

NONSENSICAL LACE
Layering a lace dress over a gingham shirt and bell bottoms?  I must be mad…


This look is like preppy meets festival wear.  Because, who says you have to decide to be one or the other?  If you can, be both! :)  The key to this look is to pull the collar and the sleeves out so that the shirt is still the under layer and it’s obvious.
THRIFTY TIP:  Lace is very IN right now, so you’re in luck!  The best way to pull this look off, is to head down to a thrift shop and shop the lingerie section for vintage slips or robes.  Lots of FUN!  Also, Forever 21 has SO MANY that would layer BEAUTIFULLY for this look…just check THESE out.
SWAP IT OUT:  Don’t have lace or lace just not your thing?  Try crochet.  A crochet tank top or dress would be a great swap for this look!
CRAFTY DIY:  Leather necklaces like this one are everywhere and they often cost more than a pretty penny, know what I’m saying?  Head to your local craft store and buy an assortment of leather laces, ribbon, and lace.  Make a “loop”, which will be the necklace part out of a leather lace, then tie a bunch of ribbon, lace, and even chain on…and you’ll basically recreate this look at a fraction of the price.  Don’t wanna craft? (I feel ya) THIS ONE is virtually the same for only $15!

CLASSIC ALL AMERICAN.  WITH A TWIST.
Red, white, and blue.  Oh yeah, and pink.  Why not?  Let’s keep it interesting!

A gingham shirt with a red skirt (no matter what length!) is always a classic, all American look.  But add THIS statement necklace (it’s under $30 and comes in two colors!) and you’ve completely changed it from a simple classic, to super interesting!
THRIFTY TIP:  Don’t want to spend even $30 for a necklace?  No worries.  Tons of options HERE to spend around $15 and you get to pick the look you want!
SWAP IT OUT:  Switch out the maxi skirt for a pencil skirt or a mini, and add some cool boots.  Cowboy will give you a western flair, and tall boots and a mini together give a go go girl vibe.
CRAFTY DIY:  If you want to get all creative and stuff (like SO MANY of you are!) get some fun tassels at your craft store (sometimes they’re in the drapery section, sometimes in the “riffraff” area, and attach them either onto a leather lace “necklace” you’ve tied together OR you can attach them onto a chain and make a super cool on-trend tassel necklace!  Heck, you can even make matching earrings too while you’re at it!

Go nuts with this look guys!  And if you do, please tag me when you post because I LOVE to see new and fresh ideas!  You INSPIRE ME!

Katy

On (more) Velvet Bell Bottoms and Becoming a Hippie

Yes, the bell bottoms are back.  Are you really all that surprised?  That’s what I thought.  :)

Even though this isn’t a lifestyle or beauty blog, I thought I should share with you my slow journey to becoming a hippie.  Mostly because it’s funny, and also because, well, I love bell bottoms and those things seem to go hand in hand right?   I remember watching a few seasons of Mad Men (worth it just for the clothes and the set design!!) and seeing that the year was 1963 or somewhere around that time.  I was watching, wondering…”where is the hippie fashion??”  I mean, it’s the 60s right?  Isn’t that the era of fringe and paisley and bell bottoms?  And all I was seeing on the screen were house dresses and fur coats and kitten heels…all styles that I very much associate with the 1950s.  And then all of a sudden it became so clear in one single episode of the show.  Don Draper travelled to San Francisco (the show was set in NY, but I’m assuming you probably know that) and the minute he stepped off the plane, THERE THEY WERE.  There were the bohemian caftan queens I had been looking for.  THEY WERE IN CALIFORNIA.

I am a beach community dwelling Californian…so it stands to reason that the odds are pretty dang high that I would become a hippie eventually right?  I mean, there’s juiceries, acai bowl places, vegan restaurants, and kombucha on tap basically all over this place.  (My computer’s spell check hates like all of those words, so clearly it’s not a hippie.  We will have to have words later.)  I’m used to people protesting the buying of turkeys outside of Whole Foods around the holidays.  Green Peace people calling me “super mom” (much to my great irritation because I KNOW it’s a ploy to get my attention) and blocking the entrance to Gap downtown so you HAVE to hear about the whales.  This is an area that has that kind of lifestyle.  I was raised with carob and homemade bone broth and yoga and all that jazz.  Although my dad readily fed me Oreos and cheese balls because he said my mom was “trying to poison him”.  I was well prepared in my hippie lifestyle to come despite my brief addiction to MSG laden foods.

It’s kind of happened in phases.  Like I’d read an article about something and then I’d implement something new into our diet or our habits.  I started making homemade bone broth weekly and drinking it daily and also cooking the kid’s food in it.  I got rid of our plastic food storage containers.  I started using coconut oil for everything (and I mean EVERYTHING…I’m basically that guy from My Big Fat Greek Wedding who puts Windex on everything, but with coconut oil) and started buying organic.  And then…the hippie transformation became more serious…like I threw away a giant overflowing grocery bag full of all my favorite brands of cosmetics.  Ouch.  That one hurt.  I still almost cry when I walk by Sephora I miss all my favorites so much.  But I’m slowly replacing it with other brand and it’s good to know that the ingredients are safe for myself and my children when they get lots of mama kisses!  I started making my own toothpaste and getting more into essential oils.  And then one day, I realized that the girl who used to be annoyed by her mom grinding her own peanut butter has now become even too hippie for Whole Foods.  I mean, you know you’re in trouble when you ask someone who works at WHOLE FOODS for a product and they look at you like you asked them for a magical unicorn that fits in your pocket.  True story.

Ahhhh yes, I am now a California hippie.  I still shave, pluck, wax, and use deoderant (hippie deodorant), and I refuse to camp.  I sure as heck am not sleeping outside in what I can only assume the bears would think is a burrito wrapper.  But in most other ways, I am a kombucha drinking acai loving hippie.  I know a lot of this stuff is becoming mainstream…so I’m not alone in my journey and that’s awesome.  I’m not gonna say much more than this about it all because there are SO MANY amazing blogs about this kind of stuff.  Like Wellness Mama.  That woman is so amazing it’s kind of scary.  I mean, when you check out her blog, think of it as a resource, otherwise you will end up in the fetal position when you realize she’s pregnant with her sixth child, makes her own homemade plastic wrap, crawls through the attic to put in ethernet cables, all while running a huge blog and homeschooling her children.  My kids are currently watching Netflix while I wonder how many meals in a row they have eaten frozen pizza.  So…you catch my drift here.

I love bohemian hippie fashion.  These velvet bells are the newest to my collection and they were custom made by MXCI UK who was kind enough to search high and low for this color for me!  She’s amazing!  The top was just SO classic hippie that I couldn’t resist putting it with the bells for a true 1960s flair.  The squash blossom is from Classic Rock Couture, one of my favorite Etsy shops.

Wildfox tank and Free People bra with a hit of turquoise.  I love the more casual look with these pants because I feel like it’s a great way I can wear them while running errands.

I love this mustard lace shift dress I got at a step from Forever 21 because it totally looks vintage!  The gold arrowhead looking necklace is from Free To Wander and the other is thrifted.

There’s certain things I just can’t do.  Like let go of my Keurig for example even though it’s not the most organic or natural coffee.  But I’m only human right?  I’m probably never gonna be as natural as Wellness Mama or those other super bloggers, but I’m going to keep doing what I can and TRY not to stress about what I can’t do.  Ha.  Easier said than done for me!!!

Hope you beautiful women are having a wonderful start to your week!

Katy

Leggings. My Way.

Leggings are just not my thing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I actually LOVE them.  They are so cute, so comfy, and just so versatile.  Here’s the thing about them that makes them, well, not my thing.  I wore them for two years straight (or what felt like that) while I was pregnant, losing weight, then pregnant again, then losing weight again.  So even the thought of putting them on makes me feel like I’m instantly back in that spot where nothing fits me…except my leggings.  I mean, nothing ruins a perfect article of clothing like wearing it while you’re pregnant or even just feeling overweight.  Hence, my difficulty wearing them now.

Despite my bad association with leggings, I feel like as a mom, there are times in life when I just need to be comfortable, able to crawl under a car to reach a toy, or be in some other strange compromising position that makes a dress or a skirt or even nicer pants just all wrong for the scenario at hand.  When I saw these leggings at HumanKind SLO (our local and amazing fair trade store), I knew these were just the ticket to breaking myself out of my legging rut.  I figured that since I wore the same old black leggings over and over again for a few years, maybe a new and fun patterned pair could help make me feel like I was wearing something brand new instead of the same old same old.

Of course, I wanted to style them as much as I could in “my style”…so wearing them in ways that feel more like ME.  Here’s what I came up with.

 

I got this really awesome tunic from Target with all that fringe down the sides…and it actually has a slit on either side so it hangs really nicely.  You can see I just put a long black tank top under it.  With the black booties and the Child Of Wild necklace, it’s definitely kind of a fun, dressier way to wear them.

 

Hippie leggings.  Headscarf, orange tunic (from Forever 21, but this reminds me so much of Halston Heritage!) and Sam Edelman sandals.  I think this’ll be my “I forgot to wash my hair” day outfit.

 

I got this AMAZING vintage lace duster jacket from Curio SLO and I’m just so excited to pair it with stuff.  I think it could totally be a fun thing to put with these leggings and a long fitted tank.  It’s a way to show off a super vintage piece without adding a ton of bulk underneath it.

 

I think this is my favorite way.  With a vintage distressed tee, some gold jewelry, and sandals.  It’s so casual, but I feel so cool in it.  I don’t often feel cool personally, so when I find an outfit that makes me feel cooler than I am…I wear the heck out of it!

Okay, okay.  I think I’m getting used to the thought of wearing leggings again.  Thanks HumanKind for selling a pair that I just couldn’t resist… :)

Katy