How To Dress Like You’re Going To A Music Festival

The complete title of this post should really read: “How To Dress Like You’re Going To A Music Festival…When You Don’t Even Know The Lineup” but that was too long to fit in the title space.  So now you know what you’re in for.  I just have to get something off my chest, this is a real life confession, and you may just not like me as much for it but I gotta be honest.  Here goes.  Deep breath.

I don’t think I’d like music festivals.  If someone handed me a wad of cash and a nanny for three days and said: “Here you go!  Go to Coachella!” I would quite honestly head straight to Disneyland and have the best three days ever.  I am quite certain, as much as I LOVE MUSIC, that music festivals are most likely not for me.  Plus, I’m really more of a Shawn Mendes person than Modest Mouse and  I don’t run with the “hip” music crowd, I’ll listen to vintage Britney any day over John Legend.  And now you like me even less don’t you.  Oh well.  In the words of the great philosopher, “I am what I am.”  And I most definitely would probably LOVE green eggs and ham, FYI.

All this being said, I must share with you that my music festival resume, per say, is quite limited.  So, there is a chance I would enjoy such a thing.  As long as camping is not involved.  Oh, and there’s air conditioning or a beach nearby.  And we’re back…

When I was in high school, my parents took me to a Christian Music Festival called Spirit West Coast that was basically the “safer” version of your average festival.  I put the word “safe” in quotes because to be honest, I don’t know much about regular music festivals and I also know better than to just automatically assume that anything Christian is automatically “safe”.  That being said, it was definitely tamer than most concerts could get, but it had a lot of elements that I would imagine any music festival would hold.  TONS of people.  Check.  Moving like herds of cattle over bridges and funneling slowly but surely (and noisily) into concert venues, all the while baking in the hot merciless sunshine.  NOISE, noise, and more noise.  Check.  We did camp (see, I HAVE camped in my life A LOT before you guys!) when we went one year, and the relentless high school girl high pitched screaming went on for the full 24 hours.  Also, people bringing their own instruments and trying to participate in the festival at midnight.  This is not appreciated, BTW.  HEAT, DIRT, and crappy food.  Check.  It’s mandatory that you receive at the very least a medium intensity sunburn despite the pounds of sunscreen you apply.  Also, you must be covered in a fine film of dust all the while sucking down sodas and eating something that was once food and has now been fried in something that was once considered oil.  Gross.  Exhaustion by mid afternoon, but desperately loading up on sugar and caffeine so you can make it to the headliner.  Which is the whole reason you are enduring this business to begin with.  Check.  Time for another confession.  I most definitely planned on meeting and marrying one of the guys from the band DC Talk (anyone remember them? Hello children of the 90s!) so I made it my mission to see ALL of their concerts.  And then I finally got up close to the stage, close enough to touch him, and then realized he was about…three quarters of my size.  Sigh.  The man of my high school dreams was a pint sized human being with a voice the size of Texas.  Drat. My dream died right there (because you know his stature was the main thing keeping us apart…ah forbidden love) but my mission to see them in concert did not.  The days spent as sunbaked fried food eating cattle were mostly about seeing as many concerts that I may or may not care about, all to stay alert for DC Talk.  Worth it?  Sure…why not.

The memory highlight of this festival experience was seeing Katy Perry (at that time she was Katy Hudson) running around with her friends (I had met her that year at a local church) and later remembering this and telling it as my “celebrity anecdote”…how I “knew her” (met her) before she kissed a girl and liked it.

There’s a big “but” coming after all this.  Not a big BUTT, a big BUT.  I love dressing like I’m going to a music festival.  Because it’s okay to dress like it and not go.  Here are some small guidelines to adhere to, so that you can get questions like “oh are you going to Coachella?” when you’re really just buying the ingredients for shepherd’s pie.  (I speak from experience).

  1. FRINGE.  Go with the fringy boots, ALWAYS.  Because you always want to protect your feet from the dirt at music festivals and regardless of what you’re doing, the fringe is swishy and fun to walk in.
  2. FEATHERS.  Yes, you CAN wear fringe and feathers in the same outfit as long as you play it cool.  Go with fringe boots and feather earrings for example.  You have the rest of your outfit as a buffer for the fact that you may be twinning with Steven Tyler.
  3. CUT OFFS.  The essential festival wear is also the essential summer wear, so keep em guessing.  The great news is that if you’re not comfortable with booty shorts, get a good pair of loose-ish jeans (just make sure they’re loose in the thigh area so you have the freedom to roll them up if you want AND they won’t give you a thigh bulge!) and cut them off at the height you want them.  I recommend cutting them at a slight angle up from the inner thigh to the outer thigh…so they’re a teeny tiny bit shorter at the outside than the inside.  Again, they DO NOT have to be shorty shorts.  But this slight angle gives a more flattering look to them.
  4. IX-NAY ON THE GLITTER.  Sorry guys.  I love glitter, and I would totally wear it on a daily basis, but ONLY with a simpler outfit.  If you wear glitter, glitter tattoos, or henna tattoos, you will be in FULL festival mode and this is where it gets a tad sketchy when you’re just picking up your kids from school.  Don’t get me wrong.  You can do it if you want to, but you are entering costume territory and will get stared at and get asked about your favorite Radiohead song.  And to that question, I have no answer except I love Justin Bieber.

Shameless self promotion time.  This duster is the newest piece from Velvet California (my clothing line baby!) and I love it.  I’m modeling the prototype and it’s coming soon to the site!  I hope you love it too! 🙂

Oh, if you don’t have three layer fringe Minnetonka boots, get them.  In multiple colors 🙂
Katy

 

 

The Five Stages Of Buying Mass Produced Clothing

You know the drill.  You walk into Target/H&M/Forever 21/Zara (take your pick of any mass produced big name box store) and you go through the five stages of box store shopping.  1. Guilt: “I should be buying local and not buying mass produced stuff!” 2. Elation: “OH MY GOSH THIS SWEATER IS SO CUUUUUUTE!” 3. Trepidation: “Okay, but doesn’t EVERYONE ELSE have this top??” 4. Mad Rush of Emotions: “BUT DO YOU SEE HOW CHEAP IT IS???”  5. Succombing To The Sweet Scent of Deals: “I’m buying it.  ALL.”

You guys, I started a clothing line, so I have my own feelings about fast fashion.  Now that I know how much time, effort, and money goes into making real clothing, it is frustrating how quickly Zara can pump out zillions of things before I can even get half a piece of clothing done.  That being said though, I go through all the five stages just like everyone else.  And yes, I usually cave in, and buy all the deals.  And nope, I don’t regret it.  So let’s talk about how to sort of…make it all better somehow.

How do you buy something at a box store and NOT look like every other blogger/mom/girl who loves shopping out there?  I’m just gonna throw out some ideas that might help you look at things differently and encourage a healthy mix of small batch AND big box store shopping.  Because let’s face it.  Almost no one can steer completely clear of the biggies.

  1. Choose wisely.  When shopping at one of the mass produced places, you must try and avoid the strong magnetic allure of “It’s 75% off so I HAVE TO BUY IT!”  Just because it’s uber cheap, doesn’t mean you NEED it.  Stop, breathe, and ask yourself if it’s as good as what you already have OR if it meets a need in your wardrobe.  I know the madness is easy to get into.  But do a “final edit” when you get to the register and lose whatever you have doubts about.
  2. Think about how you’ll wear it.  This is when you get to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other people who are currently buying that exact same piece of clothing (because, you’ve got great taste, so of course other people will want it!).  This is the FUN part.  Plus, it’ll help you decide whether or not you will actually wear what you’re gonna buy.  Think about pairing this top or dress (or whatever it is) with vintage accessories.  Or maybe take a handmade item or unique pair of shoes and put them with it…basically mix in your piece that EVERYONE may have with pieces that NO ONE ELSE has.  No way on earth you’re gonna look like everyone else now, is there? 🙂
  3. Weigh your options.  Let’s be honest.  Sometimes, Target and Zara have great on trend pieces at a fraction of the price, and a fraction of the price is really what is most affordable and practical for that particular thing.  However, there are also times when it really makes more sense to get something REAL instead.  This is really dependent on what it is you’re looking at.  For example, say you’ve been eying a handmade pair of bell bottoms on Instagram or Etsy that are just stunning.  They are custom fit, hand dyed, and exactly what you’ve been looking at.  Plus, you have been following the maker on social media and you know her dog’s name and what kind of coffee she likes and a lot of little endearing details about her life.  Then you walk into Target and you see a somewhat similar pair of bell bottoms.  They don’t fit quite as well, but they’re cute and about one quarter of the cost of the others.  Okay, I can firmly say (within reason, like really without knowing what your budget is, so please don’t get into debt or something because of me!) that this is one of those scenarios where it’s better to spend the dough.  You get what you’ve been drooling over, you support the maker, and also, you get pants that will LAST.  When people buy things from me, I literally almost cry.  That’s how much it means to me.  So when you buy from a maker, you are MAKING THEIR WEEK.
  4. Buy sparingly.  I am consistently drawn to the clothing section at Target.  And Zara?  Get out of town…I would be in TROUBLE if I had one anywhere near me.  But no matter how insanely much I want to just buy buy buy clothes when I get to Target, I force myself to only buy occasionally.  Because to be quite honest, the things I buy from Target often end up being my least favorite things…the things that end up going to the thrift store.  With the exception of the things I have chosen wisely and put more thought into my purchase.  This helps me to curb my appetite when I get there and just want to binge.

That being said, I have made a few Target clothing purchases recently, and those are the first I’ve made in close to a year!

I tried on this jumpsuit and I had to have it.  It’s just so lovely and spring-y and I think it looks way nicer than the average Target pieces.  I decided however to pair it with this vintage denim duster I got from a friend’s second hand store, Revamped The Collection, and some vintage jewelry and boots.  That way, it looks way different from the way I’ve seen it worn on Instagram already!  So you see?  You CAN have your cake and eat it too!!  Unless, however you’re on a low carb diet like me, in which case you cannot either have cake or eat it.

You catch my drift.
Happy Wednesday
Katy

Starting a Clothing Line: Chapter One

Chapter One…THE FIRST PIECE

Let’s start at the beginning, which is a very good place to start!  I decided that I’d start blogging about this process, since it’s what I’m firmly entrenched in (that and toddler raising, which I most definitely chronicle as well as you know!) and also since I’m guessing that some of you reading might actually be interested in the whole “backside” of fashion per say.  You can read about the inspiration behind the line here, if you haven’t been following my ramblings this whole time OR you just have a life and don’t read every word I write!

Okay, so the beginning.  Keep in mind, this is my journey, and other people doing this probably have other experiences and may go about things differently.  I am by NO means an expert, and I’m constantly learning as I’m going!  After I got my “vision” you could say, that’s when things got real, know what I mean?  I’d been talking about this for so long, but it wasn’t until I actually began visualizing some pieces and knew exactly what I wanted to start with that I realized that I needed to do this and it was no longer just a vague potential idea floating in the nether regions of my brain.  Now you guys, I cannot draw.  No, no, I don’t want to hear “Oh I’m SURE you can draw, don’t be so hard on yourself!”  No.  Thank you for your kind words that I just completely put in your mouth, but I cannot draw.  When I “draw” my husband laughs at me and asks in a not so nice way (but I forgive him since he’s a very very nice person) “and what is THAT supposed to be?”  (I don’t play pictionary often as you could imagine).  I also don’t sew.  And when I do “sew”, it’s so ugly and makeshift that I would never DREAM of selling said weird item.  ALL THIS to be said, I knew I needed some help to get these visions out of my brain and onto my body.

Thank goodness I started talking to a few people I trusted about this venture, and one of them introduced me to a local pattern maker.  Yes, these magical people exist and they are just about as amazing as that one dude with the long beard who weaves straw into gold in that one fairy tale.  I have since learned that this is an actual profession and you can find them all over!  She listened to my vision, and helped me understand what it is exactly I was undertaking.  In our communications prior to our first meeting, she instructed me to bring in an article or two of clothing that I could show her to demonstrate what it is I wanted her to make.  I brought in a few kimonos (because that’s what I was starting with) and showed her what I liked about them and what I didn’t like.  She answered my questions about fabric, which are numerous.  I thought I was bringing her a lightweight cotton fabric, she informed me that it was actually rayon (yes, I can read a tag, but silly me I thought I knew what it was by feel alone!) and basically helped direct me in how to choose a fabric and all that.  Phew.  She knows A LOT of stuff.

Once I found an acceptable fabric (that was rough, but my next post will undoubtably be about this topic because I talk about fabric like 70 percent of the time it seems like), I brought her the amount she needed and in a couple of weeks, it was done!  I don’t know if I can describe to you what it felt like to see that completed kimono for the first time.  It truly is a strange and wonderful sensation to see and touch something for the first time that you up to this point have only imagined.  It’s incredible.  I tried it on, and we talked about the completed piece, and there were no tweaks needed, otherwise that would have been the next step.  I had my very first piece, and the pattern to go with it.

She sent me to a local woman who has a small sewing studio with a number of women who produce pieces for various size orders.  I chose to go this route because I so much want to support my community as well as the fact that I got to go see the first completed kimono that she sewed and make a “quality inspection” of sorts.  They came out beautifully.  Twenty four completed kimonos that are all mine.  I had embroidered labels made as well as care tags, and since it was a simple piece, I didn’t have to worry about any other details like hardware or elastic.

Here is the second kimono (made with the same pattern as the first).  This is actually the one I had envisioned all along because I wanted to print a design on the back…but because the printing brought up a whole new set of issues (more on that when we discuss tees), I went with a simpler concept for the first run.  The jeans and necklace were custom made (I envisioned a whole outfit around this kimono of course!) by my good friend @township31 who makes the most insane stuff by hand.

More to come soon on this journey!!  Happy Monday!
Katy