Does This Sweater Make Me Look Fat? (and other things I don’t care about)

Man repelling clothes.  We’ve talked about them before, and I assuredly will talk about them again.  Like today.  I went into one of my favorite second hand/vintage stores downtown, and I found this amazing Free People sweater.  Let me clarify “amazing” because the word can have a multitude of meanings, right?  Sometimes “amazing” can mean delicate, intricate, and like a work of art.  Sometimes “amazing” can mean beautiful, flattering, and comfortable all at the same time.  And then other times, “amazing” can mean “it’s a freaking snuggie that’s socially acceptable to wear in public.”  In this case, I clearly mean the latter of these three definitions.

And when you find the equivalent of a wearable blanket made by Free People (this is actually more common of a find than you may think), what do you do?  You try it on.  Then you examine yourself from all angles, discover that it’s not flattering, and THEN what do you do?  Buy it anyway because somehow, wearing a giant knit poncho dress makes you feel like 67% cooler than you actually are…plus, who cares if it’s flattering or not because you can totally eat a bagel before wearing it and no one will ever know.  Yes, you are, AN EVIL GENIUS WHO CAN SNEAKILY EAT CARBS AND STILL LOOK COOL.  Free People may not be the best brand in the world, but thank goodness for their influence on style because there are some days you just don’t wanna suck it in all day long.

I find that there are some women who care more about the way things look, and some who care more about the way things look ON their bodies.  And then some, like me, care about both, but it greatly depends on the day you ask me.  Most of the time however, I will forgo the “this isn’t the MOST flattering for my body” voice in my head and just wear whatever it is just because I love it.  Hence, I bought the wearable blanket.  And yes, I will be wearing it regularly in a variety of ways.

Maybe you’re afraid of oversized sweaters, and that’s ok.  But in case you really want to try one and aren’t sure how…here are a few tips on things that pair well with the snuggie swaps you find out there:

  1. Pair them with everything else fitted.  Do not wear other baggy items of clothing with that giant blanket, but that’s kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it?
  2. If the sweater is long enough to cover your rear, go pants-less.  Please, please wear underwear and maybe a pair of shorts if the sweater is on the short side…we don’t need any “uh oh” moments that are R rated.
  3. Wear that giant thing over a collared shirt and bunch the sleeves up.  That gives it a kind of “preppy J Crew” vibe.
  4. Wear with a slip dress or something lacy under it.  That way, you’re balancing out the boxy oversized knit with something delicate.
  5. If all else fails, put on a beanie, giant oversized glasses, and channel Mary Kate and Ashley. 

And there you have it.  I’m wearing a blanket, and it’s somehow normal.  Ahhhhh I love being cozy in the winter time!

Happy giant sweater weather
Katy

Trending: TV Inspired Fashion

I’m a tv show fanatic.  You guys know this to be true.  So, when clothing is inspired by my favorite show or directly created from an iconic character, I’m all in.  Turns out Christian Louboutin agrees.  He created a handbag directly inspired by the 90’s show Twin Peaks.

This got me thinking.  If this is possible, then how bout a few other great fashion moments making their way into my closet?  I wouldn’t say no…I know that much to be true!  So here goes, designers who always read my mind (hahahah I love to accuse them of doing that, so here’s my chance!), please read the following and do as I ask.  Because, well, clearly I have that much influence… ;)

Elle Woods at Harvard

I don’t know about you, but I feel like my I.Q. would go up just wearing this outfit.    I love how smart AND chic this whole get up is.  I’d love an Elle Woods inspired closet, to be quite honest.  Why not?  She’s the best.

Reign.  All of it.

If you guys haven’t seen the show, imagine if Free People did medieval costuming.  Yes, it’s THAT gorgeous.  It’s remarkably hard to find any photos of the insanely beautiful Yael Grobglass in her costumes, but I would love to have a few things inspired by her wardrobe!

Good Girls Revolt.  Yes, please.

GGR_S1-Angelson-KH_0118.tif

You guys, this show is SO GOOD.  And Patti’s outfits are the BEST.  I’m halfway there on this because I own those boots, but hey, how about a “Patti inspired” line?  I’m down.  Oh, and can I please have her hair too?

Serena on Gossip Girl, because she wears all the gold.

Okay, okay, I see it.  I have a small, teensy, tiny obsession with blonde hair you guys.  I have just realized that all the women I chose are blonde.  I USED TO BE BLONDE AND I MISS IT, OKAY??  I’m SORRY!!  But let’s get real…IS SHE a unicorn?  I’m quite sure that she is not real, and that dress…oh that dress.  Can I wear it please?  She wore gold gowns so often and this whole get up, is, well, golden to use a bad pun.

And now, I look forward to accusing people of reading my mind and then promptly buying all of it.  Especially that solid gold gown, because I could so grocery shop in that.
Katy

 

 

Trending: Beauty Products…You Eat

No, no, I’m not going to tell you to grab a spoon and go eat your night cream.  That would be weird.  Or would it…

(That’s what my face wash looks like, so I could grab a spoon and eat it if I wanted to!)

Lately, the trend in food and in beauty products has been going natural.  And by “natural”, I don’t mean, like no makeup…I mean, like everything in your beauty products is ACTUALLY safe to eat.  Not that you would, or really should be downing it like a jar of peanut butter (you DO do that too, right?), but ingredients in everything for the most part are starting to get cleaner.  I’m so excited about this.

Non toxic beauty is spreading so much that even places like Free People have a whole section dedicated to beauty products that you actually ingest…kind of like superfoods for your hair and skin.  No longer do you have to go to that little health food store that smells like, well, healthy stuff, or even to Whole Foods to find these edible beauty products.  Obviously, it’s becoming a little more mainstream than ever before.

In some ways this can seem weird.  I mean, we all  heard the whole: “pizza gives you acne” line when we were teenagers, which felt like a convenient excuse that our moms busted out to make us eat stuff we didn’t want to.  But when it comes down to it, we all know that what we eat affects us.  And our skin is the largest organ in our body, and yes, it does express what’s going on in our diet.  I’ve seen this first hand.  What I put ON my skin and what I put IN my body both affect the health of my whole being, skin included.  So while something called “Beauty Dust” may sound a little bit like what Tinkerbell used to help normal humans fly, I think there’s a lot of merit to this kind of stuff.  Plus, I sure could use a little beauty dust most days, I don’t know about you…

Oh, and if you haven’t discovered the magic of coconut oil or oil cleansing with the correct oil for your skin type, please do a little research.  You will end up spending WAY less money on skin care and also you’ll definitely see a difference in the dryness (and lack thereof) in your skin.  It’s worth a try.  Plus, you can always cook a chicken or make a salad with what you got left over.  Win-win.

And now, I want peanut butter.  And I have no one to blame but myself…
Katy

Fashion Feelings: Fit In Or Stand Out

I’ve always been a blend of personality types…or so I feel.  I mean, let’s be honest.  No one really fits into one tiny box that you can check on a personality test, right?  But I think a lot of you can relate with what I’m saying…you kind of feel like you’re a little bit of a lot of qualities mixed together.  Like a “mutt” of personalities, per say. I can be analytical about certain things, but I’m not a crazy logical person.  I’m typically driven by emotions, but not in all situations will that be my deciding factor or what drives me to a decision.  I love to stand out.  But there’s parts of me who also want to fit in.  I think this is something a lot of women can relate with.  And of course, this all relates to style.  Because most things in my life can be paralleled with fashion and how I dress!

I grew up in an area where everyone kind of sort of fits into a certain box.  It’s a pretty homogenous area compared to most other cities.  I mean, it’s not like as extreme as some suburbs can be I’m sure, but definitely, my family did not fit into the boxes that I saw when I went to my friends’ houses as a child.  It was hard on me.  I think when you are born into a home, you think that where you live is “normal” because you don’t know anything else, right?  And then, you get old enough to become aware of things like financial status and all that, and you go to a friend’s house and realize…their house is not up on blocks like yours is.  I lived in a mobile home for the first nine years of my life, and to me that was “normal”.  We were not “poor” really, I mean it was a decent park and this is a nice town so I’d say the mobile home parks are probably nicer than the average…but still.  I sure got a shock when I started going to friends houses and realized that all their furniture was new and matched each other.  I remember after we moved to our first non-mobile home rental house, inviting a friend over to play.  I had seen her house and I knew what she was used to…and that gave me anxiety.  I was probably ten years old, and I was already embarrassed to have a friend over.  At that point we were living in a very nice large house with a big yard, but it wasn’t new and we didn’t have expensive pretty “stuff” in it.  My bedroom set was old (from the 60’s which NOW I love but at the time I was not crazy about) and nothing was decorated anywhere in our house.  I felt like I needed to fix this before having my friend over, so I took matters into my own hands.  I went into the garage, found some cans of paint, used an old pair of haircutting scissors my mom had left into the garage to open the cans, and painted my furniture.  Yes, I ruined that pair of scissors and yes my furniture looked quite bad when I finished with it.  I am NOT good at painting still to this day, and back then I was equally as impatient and my lack of attention to detail makes for a bad combination when it comes to art.  But you get the point.  I SO BADLY wanted to fit in.  I wanted us to live in a brand new tract home like she did.  I wanted new Pottery Barn furniture.  I wanted to look like the “norm” and I was tired of standing out.  Of being the one kid who was home schooled, had old stuff, and whose mom shopped exclusively at the thrift store.  Notice how ALL OF THOSE THINGS are cool now.  I was so born in the wrong era you guys!!!

Then I hit college and I decided that I was a stand out kinda gal.  I wore bandanas on my head like Daisy Duke and cowboy boots and light blue eyeshadow to match my vintage ruffled top.  I wore whatever I wanted.  I stood out.  People would stop me and compliment my style, much like they do now…mostly because I dress differently than the “norm”.  But then, post college, I found myself in a situation where everyone around me was once again, “normal” for the most part.  I somehow started to revert to my childhood feelings of just wanting to fit in.  Maybe it’s because I never experienced it as a kid, maybe I just wanted too badly for my friends to accept me as one of them, I don’t know…I longed to fit in.  Sometimes I look back at the way I dressed during those years and I think…”my gosh, where did I go?”

Now, let me be clear.  I’m not bashing that time in my life or my friends or where I was.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to fit in.  We all have an innate desire to be part of something, and there are times in our life when we just kind of need to feel like “one of the group”.  But I think in my case, I kind of lost a bit of my edge for a while.  No worries…I got it back.  But you guys, I quite honestly think that I am both of these people on different days.  I want to stand out and I want to fit in.  And I think that’s okay.  There are days when I dress completely “normal”.  I just kind of want to feel like a “cool kid” and so I wear something that most people would wear.  Now, those days aren’t often, but they do happen.  And it’s okay.  Most days I dress like it’s Halloween and there was a fire sale at the local thrift store in the “crazy lady” section (they should SO have those at thrift stores…it would make it a lot easier for me to find the stuff I’m looking for), but occasionally, I just need to feel like I wanted so badly for my life to be as a child.  It’s okay, you guys.  You can do both.

This outfit is me “fitting in” and “standing out” all at once.  I’ve been wanting a leopard skirt for a while, but resisting the urge to buy an expensive one from a popular brand…this whole outfit is thrifted or vintage.  It’s my silent rebellion!  I’m fitting in while doing it my OWN UNIQUE WAY!  See?  You can totally do both!!  I love looking at styled photos from say, Free People or couture designers and challenging myself to do that in my own way.  It’s a fun way to both be unique and expressive and to also follow trends.  Because it’s completely okay to like something just because you’ve been seeing people wear it and you think it’s cute.  Stand out and fit in.  Be all the people you are at once.  And don’t tell your therapist I said that, because it sounds like I’m encouraging you to be a crazy person.  :)

Happy Wednesday
Katy

 

Fashion Feelings: To All The Places I’ve Never Been Yet

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not what you’d call a great traveller.  I get anxiety over if I will be able to get good food, what kind of food I will be eating, and where my food will be coming from.  Basically…I have a lot of food-based anxiety.  Like, if I were to go to a country where they served something and I didn’t know what it was…I may have a panic attack.  Heck, I have a panic attack just thinking about eating fast food (probably because I don’t know where it comes from, so I guess that’s not all that different!) so the thought of being served like squid or something makes me all sweaty and freaked out.  (Do people eat squid?  Don’t answer that.)  All that being said, I want to see places I’ve never seen before.

My first time on an airplane was in high school going to Italy, France, and England.  I’ve written about the flight before, how the girl next to me barfed all over me then we all got scared and over compensated for our fears and got drunk on dramamine on the second leg of the journey…yeah, it was a dramatic first airplane experience for sure.  We arrived in Rome, exhausted from being awake for two days straight, wasted on airplane sickness drugs, and delirious.  This is not a great start to a trip.  We spent the first day dragging our smelly unbathed rear ends around a place made entirely of human bones (not sure what that was all about), following the most hyper tour guide that there ever has been.  He was so excited about everything that we all began plotting ways to murder him so that we could go take a nap.  (don’t worry, he survived our tour…but it was a closer call than he realized.)  We got to our hotel room, which smelled like the inside of a moldy paint can (weird I know, but that’s the only way I can describe it) and the first thing I did was take a shower and then, naturally, plug in my hair dryer.  Being the American “blonde” that I am, I used the adaptor wrong and blew a fuse, burning out the power in the entire hotel.  An angry Italian came up to our room, muttering to himself most likely Italian cuss words, unplugged my blow drier and shook his finger at me.  I’m surprised he didn’t smack me with it.

The entire trip I was in complete culture shock.  Everyone had told me how “Americanized” Europe had become.  What were they TALKING ABOUT????  I was in some of the easiest places to travel, considering cultural differences and relative lack of language barriers, and I felt SO LOST.  The food seemed so foreign, the money conversion made me do math (and I HATE MATH), and nothing looked or felt like home.  This is what happens when you are raised in a small town and never experience anything different until you are a teenager.  It’s hard to adapt if you are not in familiar surroundings.

So I can say this with all honesty.  I want to travel.  I’m scared.  But I want to do it.  I want to see places that maybe are not “the usual” suspects that I would say I’ve always wanted to go.  I want to meet people of different cultures and see what the fashions are and just not be scared to try new things.  Oh boy.  That’s a stretch for me.  But I want to do it someday.

I was in Urban Outfitters and saw this shirt on a mannequin in the men’s section.  I instantly fell in love because it looks like a vintage bomber jacket, but in a shirt form!  The detail is just magnificent!

If/when I travel, I will definitely be chronicling my journeys because nothing is more amusing than seeing the world through the eyes of someone as sheltered as me.  I know it, you know it…it’s just pretty dang hilarious even looking back at myself in Europe, not knowing how to flush the toilets because they were different than American toilets.  And I will most definitely learn to use an adaptor.  Because that was just embarrassing.
Katy

Fashion Feeling: Perspective Changes Things

You know how often times people say: “Perspective is everything”? or something to that effect?  It’s a common piece of advice that’s given out freely, usually when someone is struggling with an area of their lives.  I was thinking about this recently while listening to someone talk about a struggle they were dealing with in their current situation.  Perspective is an interesting thing isn’t it?  When you think about it, you could put two people in the same situation, and they can come out describing that situation completely differently.  In that way, perspective is everything.  However, I sometimes get the feeling that when I’m being told this piece of advice, it means that I shouldn’t be looking forward or striving for greater things.  Let me explain.

I’d like to propose a change to this quote.  I would like to say: “perspective CHANGES everything.”  That one little word, to me, is everything!  I completely believe that having the correct perspective is incredibly important, and quite honestly, can be everything in determining your future.  But I don’t think we should just change our perspective on our situation, then sit still.  Say you hate your job.  It’s not what you were made for, it drains the life out of you, and it’s basically something you do just to survive.  Those are valid feelings, and nowhere in the world should anyone say: “you should just learn to love it and stick with it forever!” because that’s not always the truth!  However, you could flip it around and say: “I’m so grateful that I can make a living right now, while I pursue what other things/jobs I can do that bring me more fulfillment than this job right now.”  I think if we can use our perspective to help propel us forward, we can do a lot of amazing things.  So I guess what I’m saying, is that I agree with the statement: “perspective is everything” AS LONG AS we don’t use it to basically tell ourselves that we are stuck and we may as well make the best of it.  Which, sure, there are seasons in life that are very much like that.  I understand.  I’ve been there.  But the good news is, seasons don’t last forever, we can ALWAYS learn new skills, and the better perspective we have on where we are and where we can go next, the more likely we are to go places!  Perspective on where we are, WHO we are, and what we are capable of CHANGES EVERYTHING.

I’ve had this shirt from Anthropologie for years now.  I love it, but I never wear it anymore.  I bought it right after having my second baby and it was literally the magic shirt that made me look thinner when I was most definitely NOT.  It’s one of those shirts that I would have bought no matter what, but because I wore it when I wasn’t feeling all that thin, I have a hard time wearing it now that I’ve lost more weight.  If you’ve ever gone through dramatic weight loss or had a baby you know those pieces I’m talking about!  So the other day, I was looking at the shirt and thought, what if I looked at it differently.  What if I wore it BACKWARDS?  And voila.  My perspective changed!

The bralette is the magic piece for backless tops because it adds a little pizazz!  Mine is Free People.  This top is old, but here’s a similar one if you want to try this out!  The jeans are vintage Levi’s and the shoes are vintage loafers (if you don’t have loafers, get some!!)  My necklace is from the fabulous Free To Wander on Etsy.

I wish changing my perspective on life was as easy as putting my shirt on differently.  But we all gotta start somewhere and just do our best!
Katy

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!
Katy

 

Fashion Feeling: What I “Need”

Have you ever noticed how many times a day we say: “I need ____”?  I find myself saying it all the time.  Constantly.  And then sometimes, I wonder, do I really need what I just said I did?  I’m not always sure I do.  I’m not talking about like, a new pair of shoes, or a fur bomber jacket.  We ALWAYS NEED those things (can I get an “amen” from all you fashionistas out there?)!  That’s not the direction I’m going with this.  No, on the contrary, what I mean is this: I often think I need things to be a certain way before I can go on and do other, new things.  Like, I want all my ducks in a row before I start something new.  (If I had ducks, they would be in a row.  It’s how ducks are supposed to be.)  This is the problem of the non-procrastinating personality.  I was the kid who finished her homework before getting home because I wanted to go have fun, and there was no “fun” for me if my homework wasn’t done.  I like to work first, play after.  It makes my brain feel better.

While that is a good quality to have, it’s not always, shall we say…realistic, when it comes to real life.  It’s all well and good when you’re in school or have a job where you are able to check things off a list and keep everything in a nice spreadsheet.  But in my experience, life is much messier than this.  There’s things that don’t fit into categories, the lines all blur together, and there’s no finishing all the things you need to do…like…ever.

I found myself recently hearing about someone who had basically everything they needed in life.  Like everything.  There was security, there was money, there was space both physically and mentally to be organized.  And I found myself feeling a little…angry about it.  I started thinking things like: “yeah!  That’s what I need.  I shouldn’t be starting a clothing line or trying to work like I am without the space or resources!”  I felt a wave of righteous outrage flow over me.  And I felt completely justified in feeling this way.  I mean, logically, shouldn’t you have everything you need BEFORE you start something new?  The answer to that is as plain and simple as the nose on your face.  No.

Here’s why my “righteous anger” is completely unfounded.  Because when I have the time, the space, and no need to move forward, I will not.  There is something about a small amount of messiness, a need for forward motion in life, and some “lack” I will call it…that can cause incredible creativity.  Diamonds are not made in a cabana on the beach.  They are made in the fire.  Most people in history who did incredible things were not sitting there in mansions surrounded by everything they needed.  No, they actually did not have what they needed, which is what gave them the drive to move forward.  Now I know, it’s not like a recipe for creativity or an equation that says “need causes creating”.  It’s more of an observation really on myself, and on the human race.

So yeah.  I need certain things.  The need is real.  But that “need” shouldn’t be something that I focus on.  When we are in that fire, in that place of discomfort, we have got to focus on what’s in our hearts.  That thing that drives us.  Because often the most beautiful art comes out of discomfort, disappointment, and, well, need.  I got over my indignation when I realized that I only started writing as much as I am, when I ceased having the free time to do so.  Do you see what I mean?  When I had the time, I didn’t use it.  The need has created the desire.

Don’t worry.  I will never every tell you that you don’t need an article of clothing. I’m literally the worst person to ask when you want to make a decision because my default it that if you’re asking, you probably need it!  And no matter if you are in a place of comfort, discomfort, need, or plenty, don’t let yourself forget about what lights your fire.  No matter what space you are in, you can create.  You can build something.  You can move forward.  And if you don’t feel the need to move forward in your own life, you can do it for someone else!  We all have gifts, passions, and abilities that we need to share and use.  Otherwise, the rest of us miss out on what YOU have to offer!

I almost didn’t get this Free People dress.  (I got it second hand). And then, I realized, I needed it.  In the good way :)  The pink vintage concho necklace is from Classic Rock Couture (love her shop!) and the vintage huaraches I thrifted from Goodwill.  All the rest of the jewelry I picked up second hand.

Hope you’re feeling the passion today.  Even if it’s just in your brain while you shuttle your kids around back and forth to school…that’s a perfectly good place to create!
Katy

 

 

On Shopping and Homework

Since it’s a holiday three-day weekend, I thought a fitting subject would be “how to do your homework before buying an item.”

Wait just one tiny minute.  You mean that there’s HOMEWORK involved for shopping?  Here’s the easy answer.  If you want to save money, HECK YES there’s homework to be done!  Yesterday, I was doing a little online shopping, and I realized that I have a total process in which I make shopping decisions.  I didn’t even realize I was doing this until then.  I thought since today’s a holiday, why not have a little homework to do right?  I mean, it’s a day when lots of stuff is on SALE so shopping is definitely happening, so let’s talk about how to do your “due diligence” before you commit to buy!

Now for sure, there are a couple of things to consider when you’re shopping.  One of them is this: is the item you’re looking for very specific…like maybe you found it online or you saw it in a store and you know exactly what brand it is…if this is the case, there’s still homework to be done, but it might change the end result.  There have been times that I’ve done all my homework, and not saved a dime because it turns out I really just had found the best deal to begin with!  But more often than not, if I don’t do my homework before buying, I end up overpaying.  Plain and simple.  You want to get an A+ on your shopping skills?  Yeah me too!

Here’s my usual disclaimer…this is just MY process, you may have your own AND you may have some hot tips I don’t know about, so PLEASE share with me if you do!  I’m always looking for extra credit! :)

HOW TO DO YOUR SHOPPING HOMEWORK:

  1. Google the item you want.  This may seem simple, but how many times have I happened upon something I want, and not taken the two seconds it takes to just google it before buying it from the first place I found it??  OR maybe you are looking for a Free People dress and you just go straight to the Free People site without checking other retailers.  Here’s something I’ve found.  Often, places you don’t even suspect may carry a brand or an item that you want.  Once I desperately wanted a Novella Royale jumpsuit and I googled it, only to find it had gone on sale half price on freepeople.com.  Boy I was glad I googled it!  When you find what you’re looking for, google the exact name of the item, and who knows? You may even get lucky and find it listed on hautelook.com or gilt.com!  Wouldn’t that be amazing?  It kind of surprises me how simple this is, and yet how few people actually do it.  I have purchased things for a fraction of the normal price that it’s listed for AT THE SAME TIME as it’s listed for more…simply because I googled it.  This is also SUPER helpful if the thing you want is sold out in your size.  Sites like swell.com, revolve.com, shopbop.com, zappos.com, lordandtaylor.com, asos.com, as well as all the standards like Nordstrom and Macy’s, ALL carry a variety of brands and sometimes they will have a sale specific to their store that applies to that item!  Did you know that Minnetonka is also carried by American Eagle Outfitters and Urban Outfitters?  Yep.  Google will be your best friend!
  2. Do a search for the item…in different ways.  Sometimes things go by different names.  There’s really nothing new under the sun, we just often call things by different terms than they did in say, the 1960s.  I’ve often run into people who were teenagers during the original time a clothing item was popular and they always say: “in MY day, we called those dungarees” or something like that.  So, say you’re looking for a kimono.  Search for “kimono” of course, but don’t forget to use the term “robe” because often they are synonyms for each other.  This is VERY useful if you are looking at vintage items because people from different generations will call things by different names, so depending on the person selling it, you may need to use different key words.
  3. Check other sites for knock offs or similar items.  I have a few places that are my “go-tos” for this.  I’ve learned that as much as I love Free People, not all of their stuff is unique.  Not only do people knock them off very quickly, but some of their stock is not really unique to their store.  So, I check a few places first.  I check second hand retailers like thredup.com and poshmark.com…this is a great way to find what you are looking for, for less…and sometimes it’s even new with the tags!  I always check zara.com too, because yes, they can be just as expensive, but they often have similar items or sometimes things I like more for less money.  vicicollection.com has had items IDENTICAL to Free People for under $20!  I do a quick scan of their site to check.
  4. Search for a coupon code.  This actually works a lot of the time.  When I find something I’m looking for, I do a quick search for the name of the retailer and “coupon code” and I’ve gotten codes that save me money.  If it’s a smaller retailer or seller, check their instagram or Facebook feed for sales.  Get on their email list to save off your first order AND to get deals.  Once I was ordering something from England and was just about to click the magic “place order” button…when I thought I’d better check my email first.  I did, and since I had subscribed to her emails, I saw that she had sent out a code for free international shipping.  Yep, I just saved myself like $30 just by checking my email first.
  5. Look for the item that inspired the piece you want.  This is kind of interesting to do.  Sometimes I will be obsessed with something…and then I actually find a vintage piece that is virtually identical to what I want.  Um, I’d rather have the original thanks!  Sometimes it’s expensive yes.  But SOMETIMES it’s a fraction of the price.  Here’s a great example.  I bought this dress from Spell Byron Bay that is gorgeous.  I literally had not seen many things like it, so I went for it, shelled out the big bucks, and of course it’s beautiful.  Then I went down to Venice Beach and walked into a vintage store and they had four dresses on the wall that were virtually identical to my dress.  The owner of the store informed me that the Spell girls had just been in their shop to get inspiration!  The dresses were the same price as the Spell one I purchased.  Do you get my drift?  This is the reason I chose this kimono for today’s post.  I have been in LOVE with a Spell kimono that is quite similar to this one, but haven’t been ready to shell out the money for it.  I was on poshmark.com a week ago, and I could not click BUY fast enough when I saw this.  It is almost the same thing, at 1/4 of the price.  And it’s vintage, so it’s the original!  Yep.  Homework pays off you guys.

Okay so this kimono.  I’m freaking in LOVE.  And again, having a little patience and persistence really saved me some money in the long run!  These necklaces are BOTH handmade by amazing women, please support them if you need some new jewelry in your life that really wows people!  The choker is from Desert Mermaid on Etsy (it comes in white too and it is really the most comfortable choker I have ever worn) and the leather fringe one is a BRAND NEW creation by my DEAR friend Jessica of Hillbillygypsy Boots.  She’s selling them on Poshmark too!  The boots are Sam Edelman (they’re like almost completely sold out, so if you want them, I’d shop NOW for them), and even though I own so many fringe boots, boy am I glad I bought these babies.

Argh.  It is most definitely a Monday.  Will someone please tell my kids it’s a holiday?!?
Katy

On Labels and Layers

Have you ever been labeled before?  I bet you have.  I think we all have been through those moments, times, or seasons of life where we get kind of “boxed in” so to speak by what other people say about us.  It’s kind of funny because I think sometimes it isn’t even meant to be something that’s offensive at all.  Of course, sometimes it’s meant to manipulate and control you and other times, it’s just a normal thing that we all do to each other, often without even meaning to.  No matter how it’s intended, it can be frustrating.

When I was in high school, I was kind of known for being funny, loud, and full of energy pretty much all the time.  It was my nature, and coupled with the fact that  I was fresh out of home schooling and SO excited to be at actual school with other actual HUMANS, I was just kind of an extra excited teenager.  Of course no one can sustain that energy level all the time, even if it’s your personality.  There were days when I was feeling sad about a boy who didn’t like me or I was tired or not feeling well…and on those days, that’s when the labelling happened.  “What’s WRONG with you??  Are YOU OK?  You’re NEVER like this!!!”  I get it.  People get concerned when you seem a bit off your game.  But it was EXHAUSTING.  It got to the point where even at a young age, if I didn’t feel like being loud and funny for a day, I stayed away from my friends because I grew weary of the labels they had put on me, putting extra pressure to behave in ways I didn’t feel like.  It made me feel like something was wrong with me if I didn’t feel like making jokes and being kind of crazy.  If I was serious, it offended my friends and that was hard for me.  I hated it.  Later on in life more labels came.  In different times and from different people.  There were the: “you NEVER wear stuff like that!” or the “you ALWAYS _________ (fill in the blanks)” and repeated statements that made me feel like I was never allowed to grow.  To change.  For my style to evolve.  Or for me to express myself freely without judgement.  There were so many times when I’d get home and just feel so frustrated.  I felt like I was trying so hard to BE something…half the time I didn’t even know what, I just wanted some freedom to be whatever the heck I wanted to be.

I know I’ve done this to people without realizing it.  I know there are times when stuff flies out of my mouth that is meant as an observation or a concern…and that’s just life.  It’s our nature to notice differences in people.  Like when you see someone wearing an outfit that’s out of their norm…or when you see someone doing things that are different than you’d expect.  With the extreme changes aside, like times when you ACTUALLY do need to be worried about someone because they are definitely not doing well, I’m trying my hardest to ENCOURAGE changes and differences in people.  Because how fun it is to see someone growing.  To see someone being creative.  Or to know that they feel comfortable enough around me to not be “ON” all the time and they feel like they can just express how they’re feeling no matter what that means for them.  I’m at a point where I’m surrounded by people who I feel like I can dress how I want, be funny or serious, and for the most part, they just accept me.  Of course, I have my own labels I’ve put on myself and sometimes it’s hard for me to stop boxing myself in. But it’s just such a lovely thing to not feel like I have to BE something other than myself.

I had a hilarious moment a few months ago where I wore these giant fur leg warmers to church on a Sunday where I was leading worship.  No one even NOTICED.  I was really expecting people to make comments and jokes about them, and no one said a single word.  They just gave me hugs and said hi like normal…and I realized then that I was in the exact right place.  Of COURSE sometimes people comment on my outfits because they are typically a bit more flamboyant than the average, but it’s definitely not in a way that makes me feel pressured to be or dress a certain way.  And it’s wonderful.  It’s okay to be serious on some days and funny on others…to dress preppy one day and then grunge the next.  We are not robots.  And we should never feel afraid to change things up now and again.

Some days I feel pretty darn country.  And some days I feel more like I want to look like a rocker chick.  I’m really neither of those things, but what’s clothing if not fun, right?  This outfit is basically a long vintage slip with a lace top over it, cowboy booties and a cowboy tie on belt, and a ton of necklaces.  Pretty easy!

Sometimes I feel like I can’t buy a pair of shoes that aren’t cowboy boots or a pair of jeans that aren’t bell bottoms.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  I feel like I’m not being “true to myself” or something crazy like that.  I have most definitely labelled myself and made myself feel like I’ve “committed” to a certain style and right now, I’m kind of breaking all my rules lately.  I’m shopping for some new things, some different things…I’ll ALWAYS be true to my boots and my bells.  But a girl’s gotta mix things up now and again for fear of closet boredom!

Happy Tuesday…hope every day finds you dressing and BEING who you are!
Katy