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

 

Cool Copying: Leopard. Again.

Do you ever see an outfit and just kind of get obsessed with it?  Like, you see a picture of an ensemble, and it’s all you can think about.  You look at it and can almost feel how amazing it would feel on your body.  What?  No that never happens to me!  JUST KIDDING!  (Insert string of laughing till their crying emojis here).

This happens to me…more than I care to admit.  Sometimes we will be out shopping and my son will see a toy, and literally talk about it for days, and almost nothing else.  While it’s easy to find this annoying and all as a parent, I completely understand how he feels!  It’s like this part of your brain that sees something, and triggers this reaction where you think: “if I just got that one THING my life would be complete…”  (Again, insert hilarious laughter emojis because we know how untrue this feeling is!)  So yeah, I get how he feels.  I’m an adult, (I think?) so I know logically now that stuff obviously doesn’t make me happy per say, and that there will always be another “thing/outfit” that makes me feel this same level of obsession.  All that to say, instead of obsessing like crazy and then spending obscene amounts of money just to have something I need, I’ve started a list.

Now, when I see something that triggers that “I need” part of my brain, I’ve started a little list of things that I’m watching out for.  Then, what happens is after a few days of looking, I either sort of forget or change my mind about whatever it is I’m hunting for, I decide to invest a decent amount of money on it because I’ve realized it will be worth it, OR I decide to hold out till I find it for a steal.  This has become a good system for me because it helps out my tendencies towards an obsessive brain!

I was reading through my daily news (all style related of course!) and I came across this outfit on Who What Wear.

Let’s be honest.  There’s Gucci in it, which of course makes me want it.  But the principle of the outfit is simple.  Slip dress, graphic tee, slides.  I have done stuff like this before, but something about this combo is like just enough vintage, just enough Los Angeles cool, and just enough easy to make me need it.  So, I started shopping for a leopard slip dress.  If you look at the actual links to this outfit, you will see that it costs quite a pretty penny.  I’m not opposed to that.  However, besides the Gucci, nothing in this outfit is…not repeatable.  I found a slip on Poshmark for $4 you guys.  So…just saying, sometimes feeding your item/outfit obsession isn’t that bad!

See what I did there?  I took a vintage graphic tee, a second hand leopard slip (these are rather plentiful you guys), and a pair of slides (not Gucci, but I WILL GET THERE!), and done.  I done copied this outfit, y’all.  I could have spent $200 on a leopard slip dress.  That would have been fine.  But the difference is, the dress I got for $4 is basically the same thing as this one.  This is different than, obsessing over a Gucci bag.  (which I am, can you tell?)  There may be no substitute for that one item, so you gotta shell out the big bucks.  But it pays to know the difference right?

Go forth, and copy.  It is, after all, the highest form of flattery!
Katy

Real World Style: Hanna Marin

I’m an unashamed Pretty Little Liars fan.  I have been completely sucked in and engrossed in the happenings of Rosewood since the beginning of the show, and I have loved every minute of the mystery, the surprises, and the FASHION.  You know when a show is about girls (Sex and the City, Gossip Girl) that the clothes are gonna be off the hook.  And this one does not disappoint.  If you don’t watch it, you really don’t need to know what it’s about to appreciate the good style of the four girls.  Each girl has her own signature look and I love watching and re-watching episodes when I need a little bit of new inspiration.  One of the great things about this show is that it’s in this fictional place where it’s basically perpetually fall.  What does this mean?  This means they always get to wear the PERFECT clothing.  Lots of layers, tights, boots…all the things we typically want to wear year round, but especially if you’re like me and in a warmer area, are limited to layering only during a few precious months out of the year.

Now I’m all about originality.  But don’t you ever look at an outfit and think to yourself: “I just want to wear that outfit.”  I think we all do.  There are times when the simplicity of seeing something on someone, and then replicating it is a nice little interjection into your daily style.  I think it also allows you to try out a different style and refresh your wardrobe a bit…”copying” can be a nice way to get new ideas and new pieces!  This happened to me the other evening while watching the show.  I saw her outfit, and thought…I’m gonna do that.  So I did.  Here’s what happened.

The outfit: rose gold/copper satin bomber, leopard button down, and skinny jeans.  So easy right?  I love the simplicity of it, the layers, and the combination of the leopard and the metallic.  Totally wearable and chic.  Her jacket is actually from Topshop so it’s under $100, but I knew I could do better than that.  I found this one for closer to $40 and it’s so great!  I thrifted a button down leopard top, those are typically a great easy thrift store find.  You could even switch up this look with a gingham, striped, or plaid button down to make it your own!  I needed some high waisted skinny jeans, so I found some at Urban Outfitters on sale for about $40.  Hers are from Frame Denim and those will set you back a bit more than these.  (*photo and information from the fantastic wornontv.net on which you can find out where all your favorite characters shop!)

And there you have it.  I can now look like my favorite “Liar” for a frAction of the cost!  (sorry, that was a little bit of PLL humor for you all ;)

hAppy WednesdAy :)
kAty

 

On Wearing Leopard…Not Like A Flintstone

Leopard print.  You either love it, or you hate it.  Right?  Some women gravitate towards it and wear it like a neutral and other women just reject it like it’s a string bikini in a five star restaurant.  I get it.  Leopard can go wrong, as can most things in fashion right?  But have no fear, there are ways to get it right!

I found this crazy vintage leopard jumpsuit and I put it on IMMEDIATELY (which is what I do with all jumpsuits) and the first thing I thought was: “I look like a Flinstone.”  Now, did this deter me from BUYING that jumpsuit?  HECK TO THE NAW!!!!  So I thought this would be a PERFECT blog post topic!  How to wear leopard without looking like a Flintstone!  Whatcha think, you in?

Okay.  Clearly what I’m wearing is a bit, um, further on the commitment scale when it comes to leopard.  However, these tips I think could probably help you out even if your a bit leopard phobic and want to try it out just for fun.

Tips To Wearing Leopard Print
*if you’re kinda sorta scared of it. 

  1. Do Not Wear Tribal Jewelry With It.  This seems like an easy one, but just for reals, avoid anything bone, beaded (for the most part, there are a few exceptions, just keep this in mind), feathers, or anything that looks too…earthy.  Those are the things that along side leopard, will look like Bam Bam couture.  I’ve found that large gold or silver statement jewelry or layered turquoise will instantly take the leopard from caveman to bohemian in a hot second.
  2. Keep The Footwear Simple.  This means tone down the fringe, fur, patterns, and gladiators…keep it to booties, tennis shoes, espadrilles, sandals, or something western when you’re wearing a LOT of leopard.  Today I wore a leopard shirt with denim shorts, and I wore tall fringe boots with it and it totally worked because I had the denim thrown in.  However, I did NOT wear any of my custom beaded boots or flashy footwear.  The simpler the footwear, the better.
  3. Mix It With Neutrals.  If you’re wearing a leopard skirt…add a white, black, nude, or chambray top.  Leopard top?  Jeans or denim shorts hands down is the best option.  Leopard and denim is always a good and easy combo that’s guaranteed to take you OUT of the prehistoric.  (They didn’t have jeans back then, so you see?  Safe choice.)
  4. Go Cowboy.  Leopard goes western real easy-like.  So cowboy boots and that kind of thing are always a good way to style your grrrrreat new piece.  (It’s possible I’m having too much fun with this.)  I’ve learned that the best ways to swing your style when it comes to animal print are: bohemian, western, or chic.  So…turquoise, cowboy boots, or like chambray pants and a blazer over a leopard shirt.  Got those images kinda locked in your brain?  You’re good to go.
  5. Use It As An Accent.  If you want to wear leopard, but are just WAY too freaked about it, try a small piece.  Find a leopard bag, scarf, or pair of shoes that you can just mix in with your wardrobe.  Or layer a sweater vest OVER a leopard button down…that way it’s there, but it’s less of a statement.  I guarantee that if you try this and end up liking it, you’ll get more and more comfortable with the pattern and may end up wearing it in larger pieces.
  6. Don’t Draw Attention To It.  This is like a life rule that ALL women (myself included) need to just stop doing.  Have you noticed that if you’re insecure or slightly uncomfortable about something that you constantly bring it up?  I do that.  People will compliment me and I’ll be like “oh yeah I feel like it might make me look fat and I feel like a Flintstone and I wasn’t sure if I should wear this…” instead of just being like “hey thanks!”  Or sometimes, I don’t even wait for them to bring it up.  I point dramatically to the thing I’m uncomfortable with and then ramble on for half an hour about my issues, my childhood, and how I really feel like Taylor Swift changed my life.  You get the point right?  We’ve all been on the other end of this situation and don’t you kinda want to scream “STOP GRABBING YOUR ARM “FAT” AND BLUBBERING ON!”  I do.  So anyway, the point is, stop drawing attention to the new thing you are trying out and it will become more normal.

As you can see, this is not leopard for the faint of heart!  But I mixed in some turquoise and some very very boringly neutral booties (which I keep in my closet for just this kind of occasion!) and hey, I’m not a Flintstone!

Happy leopard wearing all you babes
Katy

 

 

 

 

Leopard IS a Neutral

Working at a resale shop, I often have the privilege of getting to style women of all ages and all styles.  I get to talk to them about what they like, what they won’t wear, and how they like to style themselves.  Everyone is so different in their style personality and their lists of “dos and don’ts” for getting dressed!  One of the things I’ve noticed is that there are certain topics or items that when they come up, the response is either a adamant: YES I LOVE IT or the exact opposite…an: I WOULD RATHER GO NAKED THAN WEAR ____.  Okay okay, maybe the dislike isn’t quite THAT strong, but you get the general idea!!  Among those things are: the color yellow, palazzo pants, patterned leggings or pants, strapless things, maxi dresses, and yes, leopard.  I completely understand this.  Sometimes leopard can conjure up an image of a flashy, skin tight, blingy, way over the top outfit that turns women off to the pattern all together.  And if you’re the kind of person who likes to wear a simpler, more understated look and this is your association with leopard, then I totally get it!

I’m here to tell you today that leopard print can be a neutral.  For all you who want to start pattern mixing…leopard is one of those patterns that mixes quite well with florals and plaids, making it a very basic pattern to mix in to your wardrobe.  Leopard print booties are a great way to add a pop of pattern to a simple jeans and tee.  A leopard print scarf can make a black dress so chic.  It’s a great accent pattern!

I have leopard EVERYTHING.  I could do it from head to toe (alright I couldn’t do it well…I just COULD clothe myself in it from head to toe if I wanted to, you know what I mean!).  I love it.  You know what I love it with?  The color red and cowboy boots.  So that’s what I’m going to show you today…how to wear leopard in a more fun, boho cowgirl kind of way!  Because if that doesn’t sound like fun then I don’t know what does!!

Okay so with this geometric sweater, this leopard skirt totally looks nothing like the traditional ways you often see leopard being worn.  If you  mix leopard with more masculine pieces and strong primary colors, it won’t have that fluffy, little girl look it can have like when it’s mixed with pink or purple.  I also love how cowboy boots make it more casual.

Don’t you love how red mixes with leopard?  When you add a vintage men’s graphic tee, again it makes leopard more of a neutral and fun piece.

I love how herringbone mixes with leopard.  Again, kind of a menswear inspired outfit.  The brown suede and black fringe on the scarf really ties together the brown and black of the skirt.

Leopard doesn’t have to be worn in a skin tight bodycon dress.  Although that’s super sexy…it doesn’t have to be like that!  It can be fun, casual, and bohemian when done right!!

Give it a shot!  You never know till you try it!!

Happy middle of the week!

Katy