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

 

Real World Style: Military Shirts

Isn’t it funny how while some things in fashion come and go, certain things never seem to really ever go out of style?  I mean, I’m pretty sure that leopard print, while it is inordinately hot at the moment, never really goes “out” of style.  And how about florals and plaids?  There’s another example.  Those prints may have their big moments on the runway or in magazines, but they never really go away.  Military tops and jackets are some of those items that I find seem to always, ALWAYS, be around.  I think the way people wear them varies from season to season, but let’s be quite honest…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fashion report that said they were a no-no.  Not that I ever really listen to those reports anyway…because if I love it, it’s “in style” in my closet and in my life!  End of story!

I always feel a little, how do I say this…poser-y wearing military stuff because, I am a wuss.  I complain when I get like, less than nine hours of sleep and when my coffee is not the exact brand I love, so being a part of something as intense as the military is just not the right fit for me.  Clearly.  So my rules for military inspired wear for myself is that it must look “fake” enough so that no one thanks me for my service or thinks I just went on a shopping spree at the army surplus store.  The other trick to pulling off this trend is also to mix it with other styles.  When you put an army jacket with, say, a floral maxi dress or boyfriend jeans and a graphic tee, no one will think you just got off active duty.  Although, once I did get asked if I was a den mother…but being asked if I’m part of the Girl Scouts, while still quite laughable given my feelings about nature, is a different story altogether!

The bottom line is this: military tops and jackets can add a lot of structure and interest to a normal outfit!  They give girly dresses an edge, and frame a tee shirt and jeans quite nicely.  Just remember, if someone salutes you as you walk by, you may need to rethink your combo.

This top is vintage, and when I found it on Poshmark, I knew I had to have it.  It looks to me like a military commander’s shirt (if you’re gonna wear military, may as well wear something that says you’re in charge right?) and I couldn’t pass it up.  And of course, I had to send it to my friend Arwyn (@township31) who at some point, will probably have fringed, embroidered, and painted on my entire closet.  Let’s just get real here.  She added the gold dipped (her genius idea) leather fringe on the front, thereby taking it from strict military into the blurry realm of…cowboy military?  Not sure there’s a category for that, but I’ll just go ahead and start one.  I will definitely wear this as a regular button down with my jeans, but for starters I wanted to play with it a little more.  I threw it over a green slip dress to kind of pay homage to the army green part of the military trend and then put the short combat boots with it to tie it all together.  It’s a little 90’s, a little 80’s, and a little crazy…just how I like it.

If you love military style, I salute you.  And if you’re part of the ACTUAL military, I really really salute you.  Because the store has been out of my favorite coffee for a month now and I am NOT a happy camper.

Happy Monday!
Katy

 

On Lessons Learned From My Kids

Having toddlers is unlike any other experience in my life.  It’s both exhausting and hilarious, fun and not fun, and pretty much just all around insane.  I feel like a forgetful, sleep deprived, hot mess of a human on most days.  I do things like pay for my groceries, and then proceed to leave the store without everything I just paid for.  I forget words that should come easy to me, given that I am a native English speaker and all.  And I say sentences that I never, ever thought I would say.  Words that I previously thought didn’t belong together, now fly out of my mouth with great ease.  Generally they are accompanied by the words “no” or “don’t”, but the result is always the same.  I give humans instructions on basic tasks, like: “chew, then swallow.” Yep.  Life is bizarre.  But these kids teach me a lot of things.  Serious things of course, but come on, the funny things that they teach us are always better right??

So here it is: Lessons I Have Learned From My Two & Three (just now four!) Year Old.  (this is all tongue and cheek obviously, I don’t THINK I need to say that though…)

  1. Sharing is not Caring.  Sharing is Whack.  Yes, let’s de-mistify this one right now.  When people tell you to SHARE, what they’re really telling you to do is to “give away that thing that you really really want and HAD FIRST.”  Pretty much the most unfair principle in life is sharing.  I have learned that when people ask me to share, it’s best to scream “GET YOUR OWN FREAKING ________ THIS ONE’S MINE!” and then to run away.  It’ll work every time and you’ll never have to share again.
  2. If you scream, they will come.  Yes people, I’m about to blow the lid off that whole “waiting patiently” thing.  The louder you scream, the quicker people will do what you want, mostly just to shut you up.  Screaming gives you ALL the power.  The loudest one gets what they want first.
  3. There is no such thing as “too much” sugar.  My toddlers patiently remind me every single day that they do not need meals.  They only need snack bars, cereal, M&M’s, ice cream, and chocolate croissants.  Everything else is optional, but not really necessary.  There is no need to sit down and eat a meal.  It is much preferable to eat what you like, while you do what you want.  Meal times are a fascist regime designed to keep you away from all your stuff.  Revolt against them.
  4. There should be toys sold in EVERY store.  Without toys, a store is basically useless.  Now they don’t have to be actually MEANT to be toys.  Lots of things can double as toys.  Tools at the hardware store make EXCELLENT toys.  Flashlights, back scratchers, and other random little items at the register of your local drugstore work beautifully as well.  But really, if you leave a store WITHOUT something that can be played with, you have failed.  Miserably.
  5. Everything can and should be allowed in your bed/crib.  The BEST way to go to bed at night is with the light on.  If you turn the light off, how can you see your stuff?  Take everything that you like, put it in your bed.  Then play, read, and basically have a party (food is encouraged) because sleep?  That’s for babies.
  6. Clothing is optional, and should be used creatively.  Following the traditional constraints of clothing is a no no.  Phrases like “pants go on your legs” are very closed minded.  Socks can go on your hands.  Pants can double as a super cool hat.  Wearing multiple shirts or pairs of pants simultaneously can be fun.  But please, when you do this, make sure to throw a HUGE fit when the articles of clothing don’t comply with their current situation.  It’s really the only way to deal with this struggle.
  7. Nothing, NOTHING is as important as picking up a dropped toy.  Driving on the freeway?  Not as important.  Trying not to burn dinner?  Paltry.  Have to pee?  It can wait.  When a toy falls out of reach, this is CRITICAL.  Threat level MIDNIGHT.  Alert the neighbors, all your friends, and the white house because THIS IS NOT A DRILL PEOPLE!!!!!  Drop EVERYTHING and pick up that toy.  Or ELSE.

Ah yes.  Toddlers are magical, cute, and secret evil geniuses.  I learn a lot from them!  I am learning, on a more serious note, to not call myself F-A-T when I feel like it…because I sure as heck don’t want them to learn that from me!  And wearing shorts is not the most easy thing for me post babies, but I’m learning to accept myself where I’m at, appreciate how far I’ve come, and keep working towards where I want to be!

I got this giant oversized shirt at Off Fifth, and I love it.  It’s so oversized that I feel like it has a lot of uses.  It is so great for summer!  This necklace is from Free to Wander and the espadrilles are my new go to shoe…they’re from Soludos and they’re so comfy!

Happy Monday all you amazing humans.  Hope you’re screaming loudly and eating some sugar right about now.
Katy

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 :)

ROCKER CHIC
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.

TINY TREASURES
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.

TALKING BOUT TURQUOISE

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.

PRETTY PREPPY

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.

BANDANA WHAT?
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.

URBAN COWGIRL

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!

SCARF, LONG GOLD NECKLACE, LEATHER CHOKER, ASSORTED CHOKERS, SMALL AND MEDIUM NECKLACES FOR LAYERING, BROOCH

Hope your week is just jammin’

Katy

On New Chances and A Thrifted Top

Gosh I love when the tables turn in the right direction.  For a few years there, I really struggled to find the good in stuff around me.  I mean, I knew it was there. I had a lot to be thankful for no doubt.  But honestly, the thoughts that ran through my head were more negative than positive and I had to struggle pretty hard against the negative thoughts most days.  Even when things started to get better and life became more stable, it was still hard.  It takes a long time to conquer loss.  To realize that there is life after the life you had planned fell apart.  To remember that your dreams do matter and that maybe, just maybe, you have some usefulness left in you.  Slowly but surely, I have noticed that the tables have turned in my thoughts.  Sure, I still have lots of things that bum me out.  I have days where I wrestle with old feelings and thoughts.  I have things that discourage me and I feel like maybe I should just give up.  But those days and those thoughts are getting less and less, and I’m finding that my thoughts are often more happy than negative.  Ahhhhh I love this.  I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for this.

Just yesterday I was at church talking to people (because this is where a lot of my social life happens!) and I had this sudden realization.  I LOVE the people around me.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have ALWAYS LOVED the people around me.  Deeply and completely.  But yesterday, talking to someone who is so different from me, someone who loves to go to flea markets…but he goes for Lord of The Rings stuff, swords, and Star Wars action figures…I just felt so happy.  There are so many people around me at this point in my life who are so different.  In every single way.  They’re different ages, backgrounds, interests, and personalities.  But honestly, they’re SO FUN.  I just had this amazing feeling that has become more and more common lately, where I just felt so loved.  So supported.  So encouraged.  This happens more than just at church for me lately.

Instagram has been a mixed bag for me quite honestly.  I know I’ve talked about social medial before, so I won’t go down that road again.  But I have met the BEST people on there.  I talk to some of those girls (one in particular, she knows who she is! :) ) more than I do people I’ve actually met!  And all of those women, ALL OF THEM, have been endlessly encouraging to me.  I don’t think they know that they have brought me to tears with their words of encouragement.  I don’t think they know how low I have been.  How worthless I have felt.  And how “done” I thought I was.  I guess this is my love letter to all of you, my Instagram friends and also to my church, because without you guys, I’d be lost.

Rebeca Zulch, one of the COOLEST girls on Instagram, chose to put me on her website.  Honestly, I feel so flattered to be included on the site of someone who OWNS GUCCI LOAFERS you guys…her shoe closet is like magical unicorns built it out of rainbows and happy thoughts.  She’s beautiful and uplifting, and I got included with so many amazing women including Elise of caturdaystyle.com (another favorite of mine!).  Check out the link to Rebeca’s site HERE.  Gosh.  This is what I mean.  I get that feeling again, that warm feeling that spreads throughout the whole of my being of being loved and supported.  And even though I cheese grated my thumb this morning, everyone’s been in a super crazy mood today, and I’m sweating from every part of my body…I’m so thankful.

I chose this outfit for today because this top was one that almost got passed over at the Goodwill last time I went.  It had the potential to be super ugly, but I gave it a shot, and I fell in love with it.  I realized that it had new life in it.  Sans shoulder pads and with some ripped up old Levis and platforms, it had a chance to be something other than ghetto 80’s fashion.  I can relate.  There have been many days when I thought that if someone would just give me another chance, maybe this time I’d succeed.  Thankfully, life is full of many chances and we get to try and try again.  Just like this shirt!

When you feel low, remember.  You’ll get another chance, another day, and it’s not done.  YOU are not done yet.  In the words of one of the wisest fictional characters, Anne of Green Gables: “tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.”

Own it.
Katy

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!).

HI! I’M SERENA VANDERWOODSEN (IN MY DREAMS)
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.

DO YOU CROCHET?
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.

I JUST LOOK LIKE I RIDE
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!

YETI IN A DRESS
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!
Katy

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!

KIMONO KRAZY
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 :)

GOOD GIRL GONE ROGUE
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!

FLIP IT AND REVERSE IT
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!

VINTAGE MASH UP
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!!

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!
Katy

On Try, Trying Again and A Vintage Nightgown (Dress!)

You know the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”…pretty sure we’ve all heard this at one point or another in our lives.  The part that it doesn’t say however, is how hard that “try, try again” part can be!  I mean, I know we all know that it’s hard to keep persevering and all that, but I think when you’re in the middle of it, it just FEELS harder than you thought it would.  I guess, all I’m doing is stating the obvious.  It’s HARD.

I think one of the things I’ve found for me (and probably for my personality really), is that it feels like the second I feel like I’ve made a little bit of progress in the right direction, something reminds me of the times that things didn’t seem to “work” right.  Sometimes it’s something silly, sometimes it just something normal, and other times it’s something that legitimately would bum anyone out, but ALL the time, it’s something that makes me feel like…hmmm…maybe I SHOULDN’T try, try again.  Wrong.  I know it’s not the way I SHOULD feel, but when it comes to should or shouldn’t, that stuff doesn’t really apply to feelings.  You just kind of feel the way you feel…and it’s what happens next that really matters.

I’ve had a hard time not getting really down on myself often for the ways that I feel.  Or sometimes I give my feelings a little too much weight, and then I feel badly for that…any way you look at it, it’s a lot of feelings.  Too many feelings.  To quote Ron Weasley (Harry Potter fans unite!): “One person can’t feel that all at once.  They’d explode.”  This quote describes me so perfectly at times, and I imagine lots of you can relate with it as well!  The good thing though is that I think that I’m getting SLIGHTLY better at moving on from all those feelings when they happen.  I’m learning that I don’t need to get down on myself for the times that things set off my emotions because of some of my bad memories.  I don’t need to feel badly for my feelings.  That just adds feelings on top of feelings and BOOM (that’s the sound of the explosion, FYI). What I DO need to do however, is to acknowledge them, take a moment to grieve and process the things that I went through for a few minutes, and then put it back in the past where it belongs.  The feelings exist.  They are valid.  But they do not dictate where I go next.  And isn’t it funny how much easier it is to get upset about stuff than it is to celebrate the good stuff?

I had a great morning.  I’m SUPER excited about some new projects I’m working on that I will share with you when I have more to share :).  Then this afternoon, something reminded me of some of the crap that happened a while ago.  It was all fine, it wasn’t even bad!  But I instantly got down about all the stuff I previously had been excited about…until I realized what I was doing.  I was letting how I used to feel dictate how I feel now.  Too many feelings, most of them inappropriate to the situation.  So now, they have been appropriately grieved, and left behind like they need to be.  Breathe in, breathe out…and now I can get back to being excited!  Maybe one of these days I’ll grow up and get it, huh?  :)

I found this dress at a thrift store and it kind of reminded me of a vintage Spell dress, if that existed!  It’s most likely someone’s nightgown, but to me, it’s a boho fabulous dress!  These boots are Minnetonkas and the MOST comfortable, and find an amazing squash blossom HERE for around $20!

Have an UBER FABULOUS weekend!
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 How To Successfully Thrift!

Here’s the thing about thrift store shopping.  One of the BIGGEST components to making an item of clothing appealing, is presentation.  I mean, I was talking to a woman who owns a local store and she told me how she and her co worker used to take things off the sale rack that had been sitting in the store for months, put them in the window on the mannequins, and they’d sell…instantly.  I have discovered this dynamic working at a second hand store.  Often something can sit in the store for so long, but the minute it goes on Instagram, it’s got a waiting list for it.  Thrift stores have absolutely ZERO presentation.  There are often many amazing treasures hiding in the midst of, well, truly ugly things.  Sometimes the “treasures” are even just things that look EXACTLY like that shirt you are thinking about spending $40 at Gap for…but it’s hard to spot because you’re so distracted by that really weird looking cat sweater sitting right next to it.  I’ve been cleaning up at thrift stores lately, but I used to loathe thrift store shopping for clothes.  I found it gross, frustrating, and very unproductive.  Since I’ve had a bit of a turn around in my thrift store “luck” you could say, I thought I’d make a little guide to help you think through your next trip to the Goodwill…or maybe just encourage you to go in the first place!

  1. Vintage slips.  I CANNOT stress this enough you guys…these things are SO versatile even if you DON’T wear funky clothes like I do!  First of all, look at any runway photos (think like Ralph Lauren, Gucci…) and you will spot this style.  They look very high fashion for a fraction of the price.  They are layerable…over things, under things, they make amazing pieces that look a lot like a Free People Intimates piece.  You can even put them under a dress (for more coverage obviously) and let the lace stick out the bottom to extend a dress or a skirt.  Always check the “lingerie” section for these babies.
  2. Button down shirts.  I was about to buy a few of these, had them in my cart online, and then I realized it…I could get this same thing for less than a quarter of the price at Goodwill.  Stripes and gingham are big for spring, and these are plentiful at most thrift stores.  Sure you may have to check a couple of times to get the right size, but I found BOTH of those items today for $4.50 a piece.  So before you go buying these at J Crew (I get it, their stuff IS amazing so it is worth investing if you know you love their fits!), check your local thrifts shops!
  3. White tees.  I know, you think I’m positively LOCO for suggesting this.  Because, like, how can a white tee survive any length of time to make it into a thrift store? Let me tell you how.  Go to the MEN’S section, and look at them.  You’ll find men’s UNDERSHIRTS that have that oversized, kind of vintage-y feel that you pay like five times the amount to find at Zara.  It’s most definitely worth a look.
  4. Dresses.  I find that honestly, the dress section is usually the BEST section in the store.  It’s the place you are most likely, it seems, to find GOOD vintage and interesting pieces, and things that you’d pay a lot more for if you were to find them online in a vintage shop.  I get it, this is where presentation REALLY comes into play.  Often times it’s really hard to spot a great item amongst the bad ones, so you have to pull things out and ask yourself a few key questions.  Does it look like something you would see in a magazine/on the runway/in one of your favorite stores?  Is it layerable?  If you saw this in a cute shop, would you buy it?  Honestly, bad presentation can also make things that aren’t that cute appear cuter than they actually are as well…because if something is the best item in the store, of COURSE it looks good!  I try to picture things I see in the thrift store on bloggers I love or in a magazine spread, and if that image works, I go with the item.  If not, I pass on it.
  5. Blazers.  Thrift stores are usually LOADED with blazers of all kinds and this is a total JACKPOT for this style.  I seriously suggest checking a few second hand stores before spending on this style because I’ve gotten the best blazers from there.  One was from Anthropologie and the other vintage…so you see what I mean?  It’s worth a scan on the racks!

One of the things I’ve learned is that if you are going for a LOOK more than for BRANDS, you’ll do better thrift store shopping in general.  Now some of you may live in areas like San Francisco or Malibu where there are a wealth of higher end thrift shops…and that’s a totally different situation.  I just know for me, being in an area where the thrift stores are really nice but aren’t “fed” by a lot of high end stores, it’s better to look for things that are vintage or that just have the look I’m going for, than to look for say, Free People items.  Once I started looking for “a blue pinstriped button down” (as an example) instead of “designer brands”, I ended up finding SO much better stuff.  Let me boil this down for you.  If you go OFTEN and with a CREATIVE and OPEN mind, you’ll make out like a bandit most times.  There will still be days when you walk away with nothing.  But those days will get fewer and fewer!

I scored this vintage slip and this pinstripe top from Goodwill.  And when I put them on, I completely felt like I could walk a Ralph Lauren runway.  I am in LOVE with this outfit.  It feels like menswear meets bohemian sophisticated glamour.  The boots are from my amazing bootmaking friend Hillbilly Gypsy Boots and they’re the best ever.  The vintage squash blossom is from Classic Rock Couture on Etsy.  I put it over skinny jeans to make it a little more casual and since it’s not quite warm enough to go without.  But when it does warm up, I’ll be rocking this over some tall boots too!

Okay you guys!  Brave those thrift stores!  You can DO IT!
Katy