Fashion Feelings: American Girl Style

Did any of you have an American Girl doll growing up?  I had one.  And she was my prized possession.  I used to get the American Girl Doll catalog that came out every couple of weeks and I would pour over it, much like I do over fashion magazines now.  I had those pages memorized and all I wanted in the world it seemed was one of those dolls.  I read all the books and I decided I wanted Samantha.  She was my favorite character and she had brown hair and brown eyes like me.  Gosh I loved those dolls so much.

I begged my parents for one for probably two years and finally, in one of the defining moments of my childhood, I opened that giant box with Samantha in it.  She had perfect curls and smooth skin (at the time the dolls were made in Germany, so they were incredible quality) and this gorgeous high necked plaid dress on.  Oh I loved her so.  I so badly wanted all her accessories…her gold four poster bed was a dream to me…and her clothes.  Oh her clothes.  I never did get anything else from that catalog, but I still can see it all in my mind.  I could probably almost describe her outfits to this day!  Her velvet cape with the white fur muff, her long white nightgown…it’s all still in my childlike mind’s eye.

I found this dress at a thrift store in the Halloween section, and I think it’s meant to be a nightgown.  But not so much anymore!  It has a little bit of a Samantha feeling to me.  It has a victorian element to it with the lace and the high neck and the puffed sleeves…but I think it works as a dress today if it’s styled right!

This is, of course, my modern day take on Samantha’s style.  It’s obviously too costume-y to dress straight out of 1904, but no one said we can’t take elements of that style and make them wearable!

When my daughter gets old enough I hope she wants one of these dolls…and I can pass on my Samantha to her and buy her a new one of her choosing.  And if you haven’t been to the American Girl Stores…dang they’re like something out of my childhood dreams!

Things like this make me miss childhood.  I wasn’t super into dolls per say, but something about having a doll that had a full life story behind her and the history that went with it made her extra special to me.

I don’t know that I’m going to manage to get anything even remotely costume-y (and by that, I think you know that I mean, like, not my normal costume clothes haha) but hey, this is kind of an American Girl Doll costume right?  I’ll take it.

Happy Halloween!
Katy

 

Advice in Style: Rebellious Athleisure

I know what you’re thinking right now.  “What on earth is rebellious athleisure?” No, this is not a new trend that you’ve never heard of or a new movement happening on Instagram.  This is just what I’m calling my look for this post.  It’s more of a…”state of mind” than it is a trend.  I will explain, naturally.

Athleisure is this new, and for me, kind of semi repulsive, movement where girls wear yoga clothes all the time.  I love/hate this.  Here’s why.  I LOVE CLOTHES.  There is something SO incredible about watching movies set in the 1950s when women dressed for EVERYTHING.  They dressed for dinner (not like, dinner out, but simply dinner at home at their own table), they dressed for bed, they dressed to go outside and get the morning paper.  Yes, times have changed.  I love all this…however, I do have two toddlers and honey, ain’t nobody got time for all that fussiness.  Enter athleisure.  Part of me rejects this trend because it feels like it’s laughing in the face of women actually owning their own style, or even HAVING a style for that matter.  But the other part of me absolutely loves being able to throw on clothes and chase after my kids at the playground.

With all these conflicting love/hate feelings, I have come up with my OWN brand of athleisure wear that gives me better “feels” about this convenient trend.  “Rebellious athleisure”.  I have decided to participate in this trend, but with my own twist.  I wear my athleisure, with a touch of dressed up style.  Because this means I can be comfortable AND express my sense of style to all those judgmental kids at the playground.  (kidding.)  And they said you can’t have it all…

I’ve got my leggings, on trend for athleisure.  Mine came from Zara…my other “rebellion” you could say against the norms of athleisure is to buy my pieces at places that are more about fashion than about actually working out.  Then I’ve got my vintage fur cardigan.  (I believe the designers of this coat would probably have some choice words for me about wearing it like this!) and I’ve got my slip on loafers…kind of a sandal/loafer combo!

Mimicking this is easy.  As I’ve talked about in previous posts about track pants and the like, mix in athleisure pieces with things that are higher fashion.  A nice jacket or sweater goes a long way to balance out a pair of leggings or some track pants.  Gold tennis shoes or fringed boots add a nice element of surprise to this look.  Either way, express yourself with your athleisure in your own unique way, and THAT is having great style.

You see what I did there?  I managed to not reject an entire trend based on principle and also…to embrace the necessity of mom-wear while taking care of young children.  And being rebellious in the process, because all good styles start with some rebellion :)
Katy

Fashion Feeling: In (the) Navy Now

Color trends are interesting.  Often I have no real clue where the “color of the year” comes from, however I know it does have meaning and comes from research and all that.  Just because something’s the “color of the year” or “on trend” doesn’t mean I’m gonna wear it though.  There was that one year when it was this super taupe-y purple…and boy do I NOT look good in that color.  So, I just went “off trend” for the year and wore orange instead.  Because I always wear orange.

This year, for fall, it seems that navy is making a resurgence.  Gosh what a great color.  I mean, it’s ALWAYS “in”, it looks good on basically every skin tone, and it’s just a good basic color.  A little more interesting than black, but still very slimming and neutral.  Win-win.  I’ve also noticed that nautical style is really making a huge comeback as well.

Considering I’ve never been on a boat really…maybe once my mom made me go whale watching as a child and I’ve been terrified of whales ever since…this is most definitely a poser-y style for me.  But hey, isn’t all style like that?  I mean, I wear a Boy Scout shirt and I have no clue about the Boy Scouts.  (They’re not the ones with the cookies, so…) I wear rock and roll stuff and while I do play guitar, I play like acoustic guitar, not like shredding leads.  So I can pretend I’m in the “navy”, right?

I honestly love the nautical/military kind of trend.  I think it’s structured and flattering, and well, blue and gold together are just SUCH a winning combo.  So classy and always “expensive” looking somehow.  I don’t pay a TON of attention to color trends, quite honestly, but I do when I like them!

Hope your weekend is going swimmingly and you have effectively avoided all whales (unless you’re not scared of them like I am, which, if you’re a normal human, that’s probably the case).
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

 

On Movie Watching Habits and…Kimonos

My poor husband.  I am quite literally, one of the worst people in the world to watch a movie with.  Why, you may ask?  I’m going to tell you.  Now, I’m not defending my movie watching dysfunction, or trying to help you understand me or anything like that.  Because I know that my movie issues are not really “logical” so to speak, and until they come out with a drug for “very choosy about movies”, then this is me, watching (or really not watching) movies.  Get ready.  You may not like me very much by the end of this post, because I will inevitably have offended you by telling you I hated one of your favorite movies or turned off a movie that you watch repeatedly.  And for this, all I can say is, I’m sorry, and I wish I could change it too.

If you were a movie, unless you are one of the Pitch Perfect movies or Jurassic Park/World series…I just may not like you that much.  I can’t explain this strange phenomenon, again, it just…IS.  Let me tell you how this goes for me.  I start a movie.  I’m hopeful, cautiously optimistic, and determined to like (tolerate at best) this freaking movie.  Halfway through, I’m like okay, this isn’t my favorite, I’m not in absolute LOVE, but I’m committed and I’m doing it.  Then, right about at 3/4 of the way through this storyline, something happens.  Usually, whatever’s going on is about to reach it’s peak, and I begin to lose my patience.  At this point, I have the realization that if the main character had just NOT lied or cheated on his wife/gotten a legitimate job instead of stealing/stayed on planet earth…NONE OF THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING.  I begin to question the worthwhile-ness of this character surviving the zombie apocalypse/strange disease epidemic/people with a lot of guns.  And then it hits me.  Because of his/her stupidity, I have WASTED THE PAST HOUR OF MY LIFE stressing about him/her.  I then start imagining a giant bomb obliterating everyone in the movie, a British voiceover saying “And NOW for something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT”, and a herd of puppies running onto the set, playing with chew toys and being generally more deserving of my time and attention.  True story.

I often read the bad reviews of movies before risking seeing them in the theatre (and believe me, that is quite a risk for me).  I read the bad ones, because usually I can tell by the critiques whether or not I will like the movie.  I mean, the good ones can be telling too.  “Sweeping landscapes” means: “I could just look out the window and save my time and money”.  “Heartwarming story” means: “someone will probably get a weird disease and/or die in this movie.”  “Amazing special effects” means: “the writers all quit so the story is complete crap…but hey a lot of things blow up, so it’s all okay.” And the ALWAYS inevitable “historically accurate” will mean: “everyone dies at the end, don’t waste your time.”  Often the things that people DON’T like about movies are the exact things that will make me LOVE them.  “Formulaic and cute” are often touted as critiques of a movie.  Because, if everyone’s happy at the end of the movie, it seems like a lot of people will inevitably hate it.  I’ve learned that movie critics are often much happier getting jerked around and having the rug pulled out from under them than they are watching people live happily ever after.

I think I’ve been scarred by so many movies, I’ve begun to be an instant skeptic.  I mean Titanic?  Apollo 13?  What the heck people.  Thanks for reminding me that I paid ZERO attention in history class.  Oh and how about the beauty that was The Sixth Sense?  HE WAS DEAD THE WHOLE TIME?  THANK YOU FOR WASTING MY TIME.  (I guess I should have said: “spoiler alert”, but I mean if you haven’t seen that movie or know this by now, I don’t know what to tell you).  I have been emotionally traumatized before, so now I’ve become quite choosy about what I will pay attention to.  Here is a full (but not conclusive) list of topics I refuse to watch movies on.  (You should sit down, it’s not short).

  1. War (any war at all.  Imaginary or real).
  2. Zombies/zombie apocalypse (missing chunks of flesh is not my jam.  I made an exception for Warm Bodies, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Zombieland.)
  3. Post apocalyptic movies (I like happy things, have you noticed?)
  4. Anything too raunchy  (Again, exceptions include Wedding Crashers, Bad Moms, Bridesmaids…beyond these though if it’s too much raunch, I’m out).
  5. Musicals (this only means I don’t like movies where they sing ALL the time.  Also, please don’t tell me something is a “musical” then have it actually be “a movie about war”…I was a child when I watched The Sound of Music and this nice movie where a lady with a sort of bizarre haircut made clothing out of curtains and sang a lot took a dark turn into something where they probably all died at the end.  It’s not nice to do that to people.)
  6. Anything too emotional (Sorry Nicholas Sparks.  If I wanted to cry, all I’d have to do is watch one of those “share a Kleenex” commercials.  Dang lady hormones.)
  7. Anything too violent  (I refuse to watch people hurting each other, even if it is “historically accurate.”)
  8. Most things sports related (There are some exceptions to this one.  If the story is good enough, and not too emotional, per number six on my list, then I may care enough to watch it.  Since I care nothing about sports, it has to be a good story outside of people throwing balls around.)
  9. Things that are too “artsy”  (I love creativity, but if it’s like art for art’s sake, I’m out.)
  10. Superhero movies (I don’t make the rules you guys.  I have learned that these movies usually include a lot of things blowing up and creatures I don’t recognize or know what they are.  I love movies about people with superPOWERS, just not super heroes.  Don’t even get me started on the anti-super hero movies, we will be here all day.)
  11. Things that are about people making stupid choices  (If you’re gonna do it, don’t make me live through the stress of it okay?  I make enough of my own and have to live through them!)

So where does that leave us?   You called it.  Pitch Perfect and Jurassic World.  Somehow watching people sing in perfect harmony and getting chased by fictitious dinosaurs just makes me happy.  Since this post is just so down on movies, let me give you some titles I do love, lest you think I am the worst human on the planet who hates movies and frowns all the time.  Legally Blonde, The Royal Tenenbaums, Clueless, Ghostbusters (all of them), Mean Girls, Easy A (I love movies about high school can you tell?), Beetlejuice, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Back To The Future (all of them), Indiana Jones (all of them except number two because ewwwww), The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Pirates of the Caribbean (all except the last one)…to name a few.  Despite what this post may suggest, I actually do love a lot of movies.  But if I don’t love it?  My poor husband has to live with it.

Good news.  You know what I’m NOT choosy about?  Kimonos or kimono like items.  I nabbed this jacket at the store I work at, and a girl who doesn’t work there that often said: “you like Asian fashion don’t you?”  I was like…”I guess…”  and then realized I was literally wearing a shirt that looks like this jacket…and, um, KIMONOS, DUH.

I mean my gosh, how could you not fall in love with the satiny, gorgeously rich colors, and patterns that make up Asian fashion?  Yeah.  I may not be able to sit through a whole movie, but I could sit through one of those dry cleaning automated racks full of kimonos.  I put this with my Madewell mom jeans (I have them in two colors, they are fabulous) and some thrifted loafers I just scored recently.  My necklace was handmade by DesertMermaid on Etsy.

I bet you are way better at movie watching than me.  I bet you sat through the whole Titanic movie and WEREN’T surprised when they all died.  I’ll bet you love superhero movies and have a blast watching summer blockbusters and are not a “hater” as my husband refers to me.  Ah well.  I’ll always have my automated rack of kimonos to dream about…

Happy Monday
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 Ponchos, Hipsters, and Hair

I was a little late to the hipster party.  I mean, when I was younger, I wore pastel plaids, denim maxi skirts, big turquoise glasses, and most definitely listened to a cassette player and records because my parents didn’t feel the need to advance in technology.  The problem was that these things weren’t COOL at that time.  Let me tell you, it took me a LOOOOONG time to appreciate denim skirts in my life because they used to be something I associated with being out of date, out of style, and socially awkward.  So I guess you could say that I was one of those original hipster types…but clearly not by my choosing!

I remember when I got my first “real” haircut, like one that my mom didn’t give me.  It was when layers hit big and although I was much too young to be allowed to even know what Friends was, but I sure as heck knew who Jennifer Aniston was.  And yes, I wanted to BE her like most girls.  I went to my mom’s friend who cut hair out of her mobile home (you can tell how this story is going to end!) and asked her for “layers like Jennifer Aniston”.  Well, I didn’t get them.  I got layers like Courtney Cox, who at the time had MUCH shorter hair than Jennifer did.  It was terrible.  I’m not saying that in a self depreciating “I know I looked cute but I’m going to pretend I was awkward” way.  No.  It was simply BAD with my textured hair and lack of knowledge on how to style it.  I spent most of my sophomore year trying to undo that travesty.  And then came (cue the scary music) THE PERMS.  I don’t understand who in their right mind would ever allow someone with such textured and odd hair to get a PERM, but it sure happened.  In that same mobile home, I spent hours with my nose jammed against the screen trying not to vomit from the smell of rotten eggs and chemicals slathered all over my head.  The result was ALWAYS the same.  Me, desperately pulling at my strangely kinky hair, wishing I had never done it.  Again.  But I asked for a “BODY WAVE”!!!!  Yeah, we know.  That’s what EVERYONE thinks their getting, and yet they leave looking like Diana Ross.

It really wasn’t until my junior year that I began to even START to get a clue.  That less can be more when it comes to layers, perms are most definitely NOT for me, and that plaid and denim were for home schoolers.  I then transferred ALL of my original efforts into makeup, and ended up wearing lipstick in a deep shade of brown for years.  Makeup was my new passion, and I overdid it like CRAZY.  Once a little kid told me: “your lipstick is as DARK AS THE MOON.”  I had no idea what that meant, but I figured it was not good.  I also wanted boobs and didn’t have them, so I wore one of those 10 pound water bras from Victoria’s Secret that basically sloshed when you walked.  I desperately tried to undo all of my faux pas by creating new ones…which is kind of human nature right??  We feel dorky so we try really hard to be cool, and thereby end up just being dorky in new ways!  Ahhhhh yes.  I considered piercing my belly button (my dad said over his dead body) and I bleached my hair as much as possible so as to look like Britney Spears.  Glitter, baby pink lipstick, and tight white tank tops were my jam.  I tried, but I never could really rock that look either.

Finally, FINALLY, I am starting to feel like I have a little bit of my groove.  Maybe it’s that I’m finally not bleaching my hair, or that I’m not addicted to dark makeup, or that I stopped trying to make my boobs look like a porn star…but I feel like while I’m stilly just kind of a dorky person, I’m more ME.  Sure.  I overdo the HECK out of my clothes.  But that’s just ME, isn’t it?!?

I’m totally wearing this poncho backwards.  Because I like it better that way!  It’s super fun vintage and was $10 at a local thrift store…and I mean, how could I pass that up!  I immediately wanted to wear it with some orange bells, although I’m definitely gonna wear it with jeans too!  I loved using the circle jewelry to compliment the stripes of the poncho.  Kind of a juxtaposition of shapes!  I have on some vintage men’s loafers that I thought classed up the whole thing too.  It’s fun, bright, and backwards, just like I can be :)

Keep being you

Katy

On Individuality and A Super Individual Outfit

When I was a kid, I wondered occasionally if I had been dropped off by aliens because I felt so different from my parents.  I mean, I have some of their physical features, sure, but who I was was SO very opposite from them, that I felt out of place.  I mean, I definitely got some of their genetics.  Height from my dad, not a whole lot from my mom, but bad hair from everyone I’m even remotely related to.  I got their love of music and animals, but beyond that…I felt like I was not related to them at all.  It was a strange feeling, and given my lack of siblings, there wasn’t anyone to share this with or to feel like I had someone else to possibly be like.

When my son was born, I was shocked to see his incredibly fair features.  His light blue eyes and bright blonde hair…he is the opposite of my husband and I.  It’s funny, while he looks like us in some ways, he also looks nothing like us in others…he’s his own person.  It’s amazing how some things get passed on and some things don’t.   I mean, we can inherit things from our parents that aren’t just genetic features or things we love to do.  My parents passed on to my my eye color and my hair color, but they also passed on to me other things that are more subtle.  They were quite fearful when I was a child.  So fearful that something might happen to me, that they never ever were apart from me.  This passed on a very strong irrational fear that I could never be away from them, even for a couple of hours, without something bad happening.  I struggled with this through my whole childhood and only was really able to successfully go to friend’s houses without my mom tagging along with me when I was about 12 years old.  And this trait is not something that’s new to the family either.  There are a few people in my extended family who actually never left home at all.  Ever.  It’s a trait that’s been just as prominent as eye color or foot size that has been handed down for generations now.

Have you ever noticed that kids sometimes grow up and repeat the same “mistakes” their parents made?  I’ve seen this before and kind of wondered why on earth they would make the exact same choice their parents did…when they’ve had the opportunity to watch how that choice affected the lives of the ones who came before them.  It’s because we pass down to our kids more than just our talents or looks.  We pass down to them other things, good and bad.  My mom is a ver passionate person who tends to go full speed ahead on issues.  I got that from her.  And my dad has a great sense of humor…which is where I learned to laugh so much.  But there were also the fears, the inability to take risks, and the never feeling good enough…those things also tried to hop right aboard my life too.  And this is why I’ve been thinking so much about it all.  What am I going to pass on to my kids?  I mean, obviously I’m only human so no matter how hard I try, I’m sure they’re going to pick up some stuff from me that’s not super awesome.  But I’d really like to stop making negative comments about myself to start.  Stop being so paranoid about weight loss and eating correctly…I don’t want them to be afraid to eat things that are fun.  I don’t want them to have a mom who gives up on her dreams, thereby enabling them to do the same.  Or a mom who doesn’t feel like she deserves a compliment.  I want to teach them that it’s okay to travel, and that leaving home and seeing the world isn’t a scary thing.  Although, I still battle that fear in myself.  Regardless, I can change these things in myself for my kids and do things that might be uncomfortable for me so not only can THEY live out a full life, but maybe I can also do things I never really thought I’d have the guts to do.  I think it’s worth it.

One thing I’m betting I will pass on to my children is that it’s okay to dress like an individual.  Already they want to wear superhero capes and animal hats and all kinds of fun stuff when we go out to the store.  And I’m sure as heck gonna let them because being who they are is important to me.  I was an individual from birth, and that’s never changed.

The thing I love about this outfit is that it’s kind of crazy, but in a way that all the elements actually compliments each other.  The pants were on super sale on zara.com and the lace top was from there as well.  The pink top and the loafers were thrifted, as was the gold necklace.  This outfit just makes me happy.  It’s fun, vintage inspired, and has the right mix of bohemian and structured 70’s that I love.

No matter if you FEEL like you’re an individual or not, you are.  You might have inherited a LOT from your parents…genetically and emotionally…but that doesn’t mean that you are not your own person!  If I can be myself after years of feeling like I couldn’t even survive being away from my parents, then you can too! :)

Happy weekend

Katy