Advice In Style: Shopping The Men’s Section

In fashion, women’s clothing often seems to take cues from men’s stuff.  Like “boyfriend jeans” or “boyfriend tees” (they really really want us to steal stuff from our boyfriends don’t they??) it seems like the idea of menswear influence never goes out of style.  Like when Diane Keaton wore a white suit to the Oscars so many years ago, it’s just always classy.  So…what does that mean?  Like, does it work to actually buy men’s clothes?  I think everyone has their own answer to that question, but I’m going to answer the way that I tend to shop the men’s section.  The answer is…yes AND no!

I am the kind of shopper that tends to keep an open mind and doesn’t care much for what section clothing has been classified as.  I will shop the pajama section, the costume section, the kid’s section and the men’s section ALL for clothing I will wear out and about.  I also tend to look in ALL sizes, because not only is sizing majorly inconsistent even within brands, but also things often get put in the wrong size category on accident.  Who cares about labels or numbers right?  Well, I guess scientists and mathematicians, but we all know I fall into neither of those categories, so I’m allowed to not care :)

So here you go…my tips on Shopping The Men’s Section:

1. Shirts, shirts, and more shirts.  The men’s section of most stores often has the best graphic tees, hands down.  This is true of Urban Outfitters, Target, thrift stores, and basically anyplace that carries tees.  Here’s the rub.  They won’t always FIT great, so you must try them on, and be prepared to modify if necessary.  I have made awesome muscle tees out of men’s tees, because they tend to be nice and long, and often the sleeves are the most problematic area for fitting and flattering a woman’s body.  I have cut off the neckline, stretched out the neckline, and cut holes to add distressing…really it’s up to you what you want to do.  The great thing about them, is they tend to be larger than women’s tees, so you get a great oversized look or can knot them at the waist with extra room to spare!
2. Levi’s & Wranglers. If you’re tall and not super duper skinny like me, Levi’s and Wrangler’s are a great find from the men’s section.  If you’re looking for mom jeans and you’re in the 28-30plus range of waist sizes, this can be your jackpot!
3. Shoes.  Vintage shoes run small, and if you’re thrifting with larger feet, men’s shoes can be a total score.  Vintage cowboy boots, loafers, and oxfords can be a good find in antique and thrift stores from the men’s section.
4. Button Down Shirts.  I have seen people do some pretty amazingly creative stuff with men’s button downs!  You can turn them into strapless tops by tossing the arms behind you and tying them around your waist…you can unbutton the whole thing and criss-cross wrap it on you like a wrap dress…basically you can really repurpose a great men’s button down, as long as you like the fit of the sleeves.  I love a good small vintage men’s button down or flannel, because it gives me the option of knotting it in the front or wearing it open like a jacket!

This button down caught my attention RIGHT away.  The print is so retro and I just knew I loved it enough to figure out what to do with it!  I loved the thought of using this with some bell bottoms and really going with the vibe of the print.  Even though the sleeves on men’s shirts can be a bit big like these sleeves, but in this case, the fabric allows them to drape kind of like a little bell sleeve (I ALWAYS unbutton the wrist buttons on any shirt first thing when I put it on) which makes it okay that they’re large-ish.

Hopefully these ideas will encourage you to at least give the men’s section a tiny peek next time you’re out shopping…you never know what you’re going to find!!

Happy hunting!

Cool Copying: Why I Never Get Rid Of Stuff

Okay, maybe that’s a lie.  I get rid of A LOT of clothes to be honest.  I resell stuff on Poshmark, I trade it in at my local resale store, and I donate stuff to friends and thrift stores.  There’s no WAY I could keep everything, because then I’d be a legit hoarder and you would find me buried under mounds of supposed-to-be-Halloween costumes, weird vintage, and things that virtually no one knows what they are.  I’d be trying to claw my way out, slip sliding on all that satin and velvet.  So yeah, I gotta get rid of stuff.  However, I am often VERY reluctant to do so.  With certain pieces more than others.  Here’s why.

Do you know how many times I have hit a period in my life where I think to myself: “well, I’m never gonna wear THAT style again!” and then…SURPRISE!  I DO!!   Yep.  Remember that box of vintage slips I got rid of years ago?  I STILL REGRET THAT ONE.  There was this one white and blue pinstripe skirt…an amazing pair of boyfriend shorts, and a baby blue polyester vintage suit that I very much remember and miss.  That being said, I have become slightly better at telling what I really just don’t love and won’t re-wear, or what I can replace with something better and won’t ever miss because of it.  So when I saw this photo, I was like YES I AM VINDICATED!  (I’m shouting at myself, because honestly no one else cares about this around me)

I love this look.  It’s equal parts menswear and rock and roll and that is awesome.  I bought this skirt at Forever 21 probably about seven years ago or so, and every so often, it proves to be amazing.  It has spent some time on my “to get rid of” pile, but then at the last minute, it always gets salvaged.  Because I realize how cool it is and realize that the minute I get rid of it, I will most likely spend my free time looking for something to replace it, only to spend three times as much!  No its not like I’ve EVER done THAT before!!  (Sarcasm.)

I got my white blazer on super sale on Black Friday at H&M (hooray!).  I liked the look of the plain white tee with the text on it, so I wore my Bandit Brand “Rock and Roll” shirt because, well, it’s on the nose, but in this look that totally works!  Also, my skirt is fully lined, which just makes it a bit more wearable in the cooler months (here in California, I realize this would not be wearable in the snow!).  But all in all, I think it’s a look worth copying!  And let’s not forget about those EARRINGS.  Yes, my friend Arwyn works miracles in the leather world and did these up right for me.  Ahhhhh, I love her.

Now if only I could get that white pinstripe blazer back that I got rid of so many years ago…that would have been a cool addition too!

Happy Tuesday!  (that is what day it is right??)

Trending: Cuba

Up till this point, if someone said “Cuba”, my first two thoughts were “cigars” and “missile crisis.”  But now…something’s changed.  My first thoughts are no longer about things I don’t care for or don’t really understand…my mind now turns to the colorful images of the scenery, the architecture, and, duh, the FASHION.  And I’m not the only one.  With the recent surge of tourism (for obvious reasons!) happening to Cuba, everyone is predicting that the next wave of couture will be influenced by that “Old Havana” style that is so prevalent there.  If you haven’t really seen what I’m talking about, look up Cuban fashion and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Chanel actually held their runway show there in May…signifying that this is the new wave of style to hit the runways, and therefore, most likely a lot of the stores we shop at regularly!  Futuristic fashion right now is actually more like a glimpse into the past!

So what does this mean?  This means COLOR!  Pink, blue, and yellow seem to be predominant shades in this style, as well as gold decadence.  RUFFLES and flouncy pieces are key.  TROPICAL patterns (think vacation destinations like palm trees and exotic flowers) are ruling these fun flowy pieces.  MENSWEAR accents tie the whole look together, like oxford shoes and fedoras (think men’s style from the 40s & 50s).  I don’t think these things are really all that much of a stretch from what’s been going on in style recently, however I think these pieces will really start to become predominant in the spring and summer when the weather starts warming up.

Want to be futuristic and start wearing these pieces now?  (Me too!)

This dress is the perfect one and done piece for this look!  Try a pair of oxfords (these have a little bit of a feminine flair to them) and a fedora and a shimmery gold scarf to add that Havana bling.  You are so ahead of the curve!

Happy styling!


On Pajama Dressing. All Week Long, Baby.

I have made a decision.  I am going to stay in my pajamas all week long.  Now I need to clarify this decision a little bit.  This does not mean that I’ve decided to Netflix and chill all week, just lounging in comfy clothes.  On the contrary…I’m talking about wearing my pajamas…IN PUBLIC!  I’ve recently become obsessed with pajama dressing, ever since it’s made it’s way to the runways, I’ve decided that I am FINALLY justified in spending all that dough on a set from J Crew (I have wanted them for YEARS but kinda felt like maybe I was a lunatic.  Verdict’s still out on that, but I finally have a reason to buy the jammies at least!)

Now, I get that given my intense love affair with kimonos, this isn’t a large leap to actual pajamas.  However, this is a slightly different idea, given that these more structured, menswear style pajamas aren’t something that you generally just throw on over a graphic tee and a pair of jeans.  And I’m not gonna lie…this trend does have it’s challenges!  It’s not a hard one, but there are some pitfalls to avoid when you’re workin’ the lounge wear, so let’s get going!

Let’s start with where to buy.  There’s one rule in life that I’ve found to be quite true.  Once you spend money on something, you will inevitably find a thousand more, and cheaper, at a thrift store.  This is exactly what happened to me!  However, I am SO glad I did buy this set I’ve been coveting from J Crew, because it is PERFECTION and I have yet to find any pajama pants that fit me well from a thrift store.  That’s not to say that it can’t be done, but I’m just tall and have long legs, so sometimes vintage pants are challenging for me!  If you’re looking to buy a new set but don’t want to spend that kind of money, I also found a cheaper top and pants pair at Asos.  The thing that IS however not hard to find at thrift stores, are pajama tops.  I’ve gotten some fabulous ones that are actual vintage, and some fabulous ones that are just second hand Banana Republic and Gap…so keep your mind open when you’re looking!  There are no rules to which style to buy, except what you like!  What I have been looking for is the traditional, collared button down, menswear look with contrasting piping around the edges.

Here’s a few ground rules, just to keep you from getting (too many) weird looks.  I mean, to me, if I’m not getting at least a few weird looks, then I’ve gone soft!  But I know not everyone loves to push the boundaries as much as I do, so I’m gonna try and keep this simple and wearable…then you can add the boundary pushing on top of it if you want!
Don’t wear your set…at the same time.  This is key, because if you’re wearing pajama bottoms AND a pajama top…well, then you’re really just wearing pajamas aren’t you?!  The ONLY way you can break this rule is by buying one of those super swanky pricey SATIN sets, and wearing them with super tall heels and fancy jewelry.  This, is really the only way to look like you are not ON PURPOSE rolling out of the house in your pjs.  We are not Paris Hilton circa 2001, people, just…no.  Ok.  Remember.  Pajama top with OTHER pants or a skirt, pajama bottoms with another tee.  Easy as pie!
Watch your accessories.  Don’t wear shoes that look like slippers, and please, do not wear a scrunchie.  I’m just gonna say this and hope I’m not offending anyone…but the second half of that statement probably should be followed, like 365 days of the year…FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  Just think about accessories that would never be worn to sleep in, and you’ll be just fine!
Rock it.  This is easy.  When you have a moment of “oh my gosh I’m wearing a pajama shirt…OUTSIDE!” just remind yourself that it’s honestly not that much different from a regular collared shirt!  The piping and pocket are really all that sets this shirt apart from a basic button down!  Panic moment over!

So here you have it…all week long I’ll be showing you different ways to wear pajamas.  Partly because I’m obsessed, and partly because, well, you guys…once I start looking for something, I literally can NOT STOP finding it, and then, well each piece I find is better/different than the last and…my closet is full of pajamas now!  For today, I’ve got two ways to wear the traditional, men’s style long sleeved pajama tops.  If you want an easy way to start trying this trend, THIS is the piece you want to buy.  Because it’s the easiest to mix in to your wardrobe, AND the easiest to find at a bargain at thrift stores!

Because pajama shirts are typically pretty oversized an boxy, the best way to counter that is with some slim fit pants!  I wanted to add a little element of grunge to it, so I added a gold choker and some Converse as well.  Destroyed skinny jeans add a nice balance to the very structured top.  See how easy that is though?  Just add a pajama top to your jeans and sneaks and you’re all set to go!

By the way, I don’t iron.  Like ever.  So please forgive the wrinkles.  I justified it that you’d never actually iron your pajamas (right? If you do, then I’m kind of in awe…) so I didn’t need to iron these.  Another reason to love pjs right!?  On this look, I kind of did a little bit of a “cheat” on my rules above…I wore some pajama STYLE pants with an actual pajama top.  This works though because the pants are  definitely not pajamas.  The BEST place to get pajama style pants is Zara (where these are from) and you could definitely wear them to nice places and no one would ever actually think you were in your jammies.  I added espadrilles (these are CLOSE to slipper style, but the large platform on these kind of makes them a little nicer than actual slippers).  See how I’m kind of toeing the line on those “rules” I gave you above?  Those are just general rules of thumb just to keep things simple.  But rules are meant to be broken.  Except the scrunchie rule. That one is not meant to be broken.  Ever.

Okay.  Now that I’ve offended scrunchie wearers all over, I hope that you are gonna go try the pajama trend!  And if this isn’t speaking to you, then just wait, I got more for ya…have no fears!  I got more jammies that will never be worn to bed where these came from!



On Mermaid Pants and How I Don’t Do Resolutions.

Okay so every January 1st, I feel all this pressure to come up with a long (or short) list of resolutions.  It stresses me out, I finally concede and write a list of the standards…lose weight, read more, spend more time with family blah blah blah…you know, the usual suspects.  This year, I was thinking a lot about it, and I finally came to a conclusion.  I hate New Year’s resolutions.  You know why?  Because I’m a resolute person.  I come up with resolutions ALL YEAR LONG.  I hate procrastinating, so if I’m gonna do something, I’m gonna start NOW.  And putting all these things on a specific date just stresses me out because there’s this big build up…and then potential for let down just as quickly.  Instead of resolutions, I have HOPES and DREAMS for this year.

My husband and I already wrote down our goals…large and small, practical and fun…for our family.  Some of them are things we can do and others are just things we are going to work towards and hope the rest will follow.  But for me, I think in general, I can boil all my hopes and dreams down to a single word for 2016.  FUN.

Now this may sound trite.  It may sound irresponsible.  It may even sound kind of oversimplified.  But here’s the truth.  I’m planning on working my butt off to REALLY lose the last of the baby belly weight I’ve been toting around.  I’m planning on getting up earlier, getting more organized…a whole lot of stuff that’s not really all that “fun” per say.  But here’s what I mean.  I have about three years of absolutely no fun at all to make up for.  Three years of hopelessness, pain, and loss that I have been grieving over for this last year.  While I was in the midst of all of it, I thought that if I could just simply get out, I’d be completely happy and filled with joy.  Wrong.  I think everyone who’s ever been through any type of trauma knows that getting out isn’t the only thing that needs to happen to restore you to a place of health and happiness.  You can be free and yet still be a captive because emotionally you’re carrying around all the stuff you went through.  This past year, I’ve been carrying a pretty big backpack filled with a lot of things.  Fear of events repeating themselves or of running into people from my “old life”…will they judge me, will they be angry with me, will they understand or not understand?  Pain from all the disappointment and hurts that happened.  Loss from having all my hopes, dreams, and plans take a giant leap into an abyss instead of going where I thought they were headed.  That’s a lot to carry around.  I’ve had a year to grieve.  A year to process.  To face some of those fears.  To let myself be sad and feel the wounds that I was afflicted with.  And I think that’s plenty of time.  At least, I’m sure hoping it was!

My big hope for this year is that I can turn a corner and enter a new chapter.  That the healing will be complete enough that I can really start ENJOYING stuff.  That I can be a little more spontaneous and stop worrying about what happened a few years ago.  That I can be more present in the moment and not lost in memories that have consumed so much of me over the past year.  FUN.  I hope I get a lot of chances to be silly.  To feel like a kid again for a few moments.  To just take a breather from the worry and the burdens I’ve been carrying.  I hope that I can finally let myself take a breath after everything.  Because I am resolved to be a very disciplined person this coming year.  I always am.  But I hope to find a whole heck of a lot of FUN in the midst of that.

This outfit is what I’d consider as pretty dang FUN.  The pants are the crowning jewel.  I may not be a mega mermaid fan, but I sure love how they make me feel like one!

I got these pants from the amazing who sells custom made pants out of vintage fabrics.  I’m completely SOLD!  I thought the lace and the tie made a fun addition to the outfit.  Because what’s more fun that wearing some ruffles and a tie together??

Happy New Year’s my friends!  I hope that your hopes and dreams for this coming year are so much bigger than they’ve ever been.  And most of all, I hope you have fun getting there!

On Having Regrets and Having Fun

Regret is such a powerful emotion.  I guess I kind of thought (naively) when I was younger, that if I did a good enough job and always made the right choices, I would avoid this horrendous thing altogether.  Boy was I wrong.  I learned the hard way that there are even consequences for making the RIGHT choices at times.  Gosh, I look back and sometimes harbor huge regrets about decisions I made that were right and I honestly couldn’t imagine me making a different one given who I was at the time and the situation I had to deal with. However, I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by what that decision cost me over time, that I wish I’d just gone ahead and made the easy decision.  I mean, how naive was I that I actually thought I could avoid regret over the course of my life?

I’ve often wondered why we have such an obsession with looking back at our lives.  For a long time, I was so gung-ho about the future, so driven, and just so bound and determined to get there, that I wasted absolutely ZERO time on the past.  I had blinders on, and I was obsessed with getting to where I wanted to be.  So much so, that I often struggled with enjoying my present and struggled with depression about why I couldn’t get things done faster.  I felt like I had lived an entire lifetime of regret vicariously through my parents during my childhood.   I had watched their regrets form throughout my life and felt their disappointment like it was my own.  One of the horrible hazards of being an only child, by the way.  So when I “grew up” and had a life of my own, I was like nope…not gonna happen to me.  This made it all the more painful when not only did the future that I had imagined disappear (or at least it FELT like it did), but also everything that I had worked for and tried to build towards that future was stolen from us.  Suddenly it felt like I was left standing there, holding a pile of ashes in my hands with a trail of people behind me who were either angry with me from making the decisions I had had to make or who had moved on without me, having no understanding of what had just happened to me.  Regret.  Searing regret.  Wishing I had compromised and not let lesser opportunities pass me by.  Wishing I had just done something, anything different, that maybe would have not led to the disintegration of everything I had poured my heart and soul into so passionately.

One of the things I have realized that is the worst thing about regret, is that it kind of tends to try to ruin your future.  It tells you that the decisions you have made in the past will keep you from moving forward.  And along with that regret, comes that obsession with the “good old days” where you look back with such longing because, well, the devil you know is much better than the devil you don’t right??  No.  That’s the kind of thought pattern that keeps me from making new memories and keeps me from really experiencing joy in TODAY, in a brand new time period.  Yeah, but I don’t KNOW this time period.  I am not FAMILIAR with it like I was with that one.  I don’t one hundred percent know the new me and my new dreams for my future, and that’s scary.  It would be so much easier to just have my old ones back…and yet…there’s a reason they turned to ash in the first place.

I know it’s way past time for me to let go of these regrets that I’ve wrestled with. Because I don’t have a time machine, so I can’t do anything about those choices.  It is a GOOD thing I don’t because no one who is a borderline OCD perfectionist should ever be allowed to go near one of those things.  EVER.  Otherwise I’ll go back in time just to check to make sure I locked the car, add on a fourth necklace to my outfit, and definitely check to see if I left the stove on for the 19th time.  Important stuff, if you ask me.  It’s time to let go because I WANT to have a future.  And the past is not my future.  While it may hold some warm and fuzzy memories, it is NOT where I am meant to go.  I am meant to go forward, to grow and change, and to learn from even the choices I made that were the right ones to make.  To boldly go where I’ve never gone before and experience an amazing future, even if it’s not exactly as I pictured it before.  It will be EVEN BETTER if I let it.  This is where I think the appropriate song to play would be “You Can’t Touch This” because I’m moving forward, and I’m not taking that old stuff with me.

Whew.  That was a lot of emotion.  Kind of like listening to an Adele album and weeping for a little bit and then afterwards, watching a comedy on tv and eating some candy just to lighten up a little!  After all that deep digging and pondering, here’s the candy and fun part :)

I felt like while talking about such a deep and emotional topic, I should choose a super fun and borderline crazy outfit because, well, life is meant to be much more fun that we make it.  I may love Adele songs but I also love Taylor Swift.  Because life is supposed to be FUN and we just need to sing “Shake it Off” and the top of our lungs and dance like a lunatic because, well, it’s FUN.

So today’s outfit is entitled: “How To Wear Fun Clothes”

I’ve been a bit obsessed with trying to wear a squash blossom necklace with a tie.  Because I’ve never seen anyone do it before, and it just sounds bold and amazing if you ask me.  I haven’t had any luck with trying to mix the two and have everything lay in just the right spot, until I found this nice compromise piece.  I’ve had this pin on vintage-y scarf bow for years.  I never really knew what to do with it, and then I decided to try it with this lace top from Zara and this necklace from Classic Rock Couture.  The menswear pants that are Vince but thrifted from a store in Santa Barbara completed this slightly masculine look.  It’s a little silly, and a lot fun.

Hope your week is going amazingly!!


On Menswear and Being a Woman

Warning.  I’m feeling a wee bit hyper today.  So who the heck knows how this post is going to come out.  But I’ll try to put a cap on the crazy for you all. :)

When I was a little girl, I think I was very confused about normal stuff (as kids often are) and I remember thinking that even though I was a girl, I’d also get to try out being a boy too.  I hesitate in a way to even mention this because I’m not trying to tell you I WANTED to be a boy…there’s kind of a lot of popularity regarding this topic lately and I’m REALLY not trying to make a statement about it.  So forget about Caitlyn Jenner and come along with me in this story! :)  I was just confused for half a second. (I also kind of thought mother nature and father time were married…you catch my kid-brain crazy drift?) I was a bit confused about the fact that I was a girl, and that’s just who I was: for good, and that people didn’t just switch back and forth.  I figured it out rather quickly, and also sorted out the whole father time confusion as well, and I am finally now in my right mind.  I think.

Growing up as a girl is weird.  You know why?  Other girls.  That’s why.  My earliest girl friend, who was actually kind of forced upon me, was this horrid girl who was SUPER mean to me.  Our moms were friends, so naturally I had to hang out with her.  This girl was straight evil and she introduced me to “girl culture.”  She told me she was prettier than I was.  She showed me how my shoes were ugly and how hers were beautiful.  She told me she was a princess and that I was not.  Dude we were like five years old.  This sh** starts early, people.  After this nurturing and healthy female relationship (dripping with sarcasm clearly), I moved on to my best friend and some other girl friends who were awesome.  Fun, supportive, and just into being goofy…we were just all together along for the ride of junior high and high school.  We made cheesy faux horror movies together.  We toilet papered teacher’s houses because we actually loved our teachers.  (Weird way of expressing love, I know, but we were in high school, so you gotta keep that in consideration!) We had a blast.  And then came my next foray into “girl culture”.

Early in high school I started singing at my church, which was amazing for me since singing is like breathing to me…necessary for the life of my soul.  I began to relearn about the drama of females.  There was a woman singing with me who was about ten plus years older than me, who immediately began to act insecure about me singing with her.  She’d make little jabs at me, put me down for my age, and treat me like I was a baby who knew nothing at all about anything.  This was a bit puzzling to me since she was an adult who was married and I was a 15 year old high school girl with acne.  Sigh.  Women don’t discriminate with who threatens them.  I decided to just tread lightly when I was around her and let her be so as not to aggravate her massive and crushing insecurities.

Post college I learned about my own insecurities around other women when I realized that I had become somewhat of a drone…following whatever my friends said and did.  I thought I was relatively confident and free from major insecurities…but boy was I wrong.  I found that my fears didn’t lead me to put others down, it led me to put myself down.  And there I was, back in that same relationship I was in at five years old.  Except I was my own bully.

Girls are weird you guys.  We are amazing creatures who can love and support each other if we want to.  But if we don’t, LOOK OUT.  No one knows how to tear you down in all the right places like a girl.  Many times I’ve kind of wondered if life isn’t just easier when you’re a guy…punching each other in the shoulder and saying: “hey man.”  End of conversation.  “How about those sports guys playing on that field with some sort of ball?” (yeah I realize that NO GUY in the history of the universe has ever said that phrase, but I am a girl so cut me some slack!)  You know what though?  I’m happy to be a girl…because as good as girls can be at cutting other women down, NO ONE can build you back up like an amazing girl friend.  And that’s the kind of woman I always want to be.

Menswear.  I’m channeling my inner “how bout those sports guys” and dressing like the prettiest dude I can imagine! :)

I’m a total sucker for a vintage tie.  I found this one at a thrift store for $3 and there’s just no way this was made for a guy!!  It’s WAY too pretty!  The jacket is thrifted as well as the turquoise and the pants are from Zara.  You guys I’ve fallen in LOVE with Zara for basics.  I’m a little late to the Zara party, but hey, I’m joining now.


I changed it up to be a little more of a basic structured boxy look, which has a menswear feel to it.  The top is from Zara and the amazing squash blossom is handmade from Free To Wander.

Okay girls.  I hope you are surrounded with women who make you feel beautiful and amazing even on your darkest and ugliest days.  Because that’s what every woman needs!  Love to all of you!