The 411 on Scarves

I love scarves.  I have a whole drawer full of them.  I often am tempted to just throw them all on my bed and roll around on them like a bunch of cash.  Weird?  Maybe, but I’m okay with it.  These are often things that people buy, then never use…heck, I’ve been plenty guilty of this myself at times.  But I have found there are certain ways I LOVE to wear them, and henceforth, have allowed myself permission to buy them occasionally.  I might need to free up another drawer here soon…

I thought that I’d write a new post on scarves (I think I’ve done one before, but I can’t remember so I’m doing it again!) just to give you some ideas on the ways that I find are fun and easy and don’t add a lot of time to your getting dressed routine.  And it might save some of those random scarves you have laying around from extinction, right?

The “Sweat Wiper”
Sounds so gross right?  That’s why I called it that…I mean, a little shock value never hurt anyone, am I right Lady Gaga?  This is something I saw on a runway and I kind of ran away with it (pun intended) and made it my own.  Tie a bandana or a scarf around your wrist, leave it plain, add a brooch (bonus: you get to use those brooches you never wear), layer it with bracelets…and bam.  You look AMAZEBALLS.  As an added feature, you can wipe your sweaty forehead with it.  Just watch out for the brooch, that’ll leave a mark.

The “Working Girl”
I call it this because it reminds me of one of those 80’s blouses with the tie at the neck that are so popular once again.  But this way, you don’t have to buy a whole new shirt, you can make your own!  Simply take a long skinny scarf and tie it in a bow around your neck.  Kind of has a high fashion vibe to it, and looks great with chokers and layered necklaces.  I also use ribbons for this too!

 

The “Lady Tie”
Dude.  I cannot tie a tie.  My husband has to tie them for me every time I get it in my brain that I want to wear one.  But I CAN tie a knot.  And that’s all you need to do for this.  You can use a short scarf and make it kind of western, or you can use a long scarf and instead of a bow, just tie a simple knot and let it hang.  Easy peasy.

The “My Hair Is So Gross”
We ALL have those days.  The days when not even a bucket of dry shampoo is gonna hide that fact that you haven’t washed your hair in three days, you worked out every single one of those days, and there may or may not be peanut butter hiding in there somewhere from your kid’s lunch.  And then something magical happens.  You tie a scarf around your head, roll your hair up over the scarf in the back and secure it with a few bobby pins, and suddenly you are getting more compliments on your hair than those AMAZING shoes you actually spent a lot of money on.  The best kind of scarf for this is one of those super thin and lightweight large square scarves that you can roll up diagonally and tie around your head easily with a little to spare.

Have I convinced you to bust out your scarves yet?  And have you tried rolling around on them gleefully?  No?  Okay, cool, maybe later.

If you have a great way you love to wear yours, please tell me because I’m always looking for new ways to use these beauties!

Happy scarf-ing!
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 Knowing Yourself and The Perfect Dress For Me

I had a small epiphany the other day.  I’ve been really battling with this last 10-15 pounds I want to lose since having my babies back to back.  I mean, I’ve lost 100 pounds, but this last 15 is just driving me CRAZY!!!  I have lost this kind of weight before having kids, but no matter how much I work out, how much I do not eat sugar, or how clean I eat, it just hasn’t budged an inch.  Literally.  So the other day I was frustrated.  I was thinking back to when I lost weight before and trying to remember how I did it.  Then it hit me.  I was eating very differently than I am now.  Why had I not figured this out?  Because I’ve been listening to other people’s versions of what works for so long that I forgot what works for ME…and when it comes to most things, that’s all that really matters.

This whole epiphany really made me realize how beyond just weight loss, this is WAY too easy a trap for me to fall into in so many areas.  I mean, getting inspired by other people and learning from them is awesome!  But attempting to copy someone else is not.  There are just certain things that I KNOW about myself, and when instead of just sticking to them I copy someone else, I end up frustrated.  I’ve done this with the way I dress.  My makeup.  Even the way I talk or behave towards people.  When I forget who I am and how my body, personality, and passions work…things just don’t work the same.

You know what I think is funny?  That it takes me multiple times to learn the same simple lesson.  Once I was at Whole Foods and the checker’s lip color was like off the charts incredible.  It was this natural pinky flushed color, and I was just completely obsessed.  Of course I asked her what it was, and she told me.  Now I’ve tried that product before.  It’s fairly popular, and I’d tested it out and it makes me look like I have Barbie pink lipstick on.  It’s not natural, it’s not flushed, it’s more like I just drank pink Kool Aid and forgot to wipe my mouth.  And not in a good way.  So what do you think I did when she told me what the color was?  You got it, I went out and got it right away.  Like how on earth did I graduate college if I can’t even learn this simple lesson?!?  You can guess how it looked on me the second time I tried.  Yup.  Kool Aid.

I haven’t lost the rest of the weight because I’ve been eating in ways that help OTHER people lose weight.  And you want to know something?  I’ve already tried these same things before with the same results.  Lemme just go try that Kool Aid lipstick one more time…hang on…WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?!?  Okay all yelling aside, I think trying new things is awesome.  I want to always be learning and growing.  But seriously, some things are not, and never will be, ME.  Certain colors will never look good on me.  Some diets will never be effective for my body.  No matter how pretty another girl looks or how thin she got, that’s not me. And focusing on what makes ME the best version of myself is infinitely less frustrating than trying to copy someone else.

It’s easy to do though.  You know the story.  You see someone on instagram and you think she’s gorgeous and you want her hair color and that dress and oh yeah her makeup too.  Then you try it all on (and avoid a hair color correction disaster by discussing this with your hair stylist first thank GOODNESS) and it’s terrible.  Instead of looking like a glowy goddess, you look like a sallow slightly heavier (and with fat arm too) version of yourself.  And then you wonder WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED???  Oh yeah.  You didn’t do what makes YOU look like a glowy goddess, you did what makes HER look like a glowy goddess.  And therein lies the problem.  I am constantly trying to work at this.  I forgot a lot of what makes me, ME for a few years, and I’m kind of getting a new chance to learn all of that over again.  So some of it is me remembering stuff that I really do love, and some of it is unlearning habits and thoughts that just aren’t me at all.  

As much as I adore vintage, not all vintage looks good on me.  I just can’t do most empire waists (without looking pregnant), tunic straight styles (which I love!), and some off shoulder tent kinds of styles.  But I now know this after years of trying and buying the wrong styles, and this dress is one of those dresses that I feel great in.  The bell sleeves and the colors are just exactly right.  The waist line is flattering and it fits my shoulders perfectly.  My boots are these amazing Wild And Free Jewelry ones, but I don’t think she’s doing custom boots anymore so you can special order some from Hillbilly Gypsy Boots.

Full disclosure.  I’m not technically allowed to wear this vintage scarf because my son has claimed it as his own, and he uses it to ribbon dance with (all the while conveniently hitting his sister in the face), tie up treasures and use as a knapsack, and pull out of things like a magician.  But he was napping so I briefly borrowed it back for a moment. 🙂

HAPPY WEEKEND!
Katy

On Yet Another Caftan and New Life in the Winter

Between the town where our house is and the town that we “live” in (where we shop, work, and play), there’s a big hill.  It’s about a 15 minute drive down what is referred to as “the grade”.  Usually it’s used in contexts like: “Oh you have to drive THE GRADE?” or “well, I certainly don’t want to have to drive THE GRADE!” as though it is some type of immensely challenging mountain that needs to be scaled up with brute force.  When we moved “over the grade”, I was a bit uneasy about this transition, since all my life I’ve been hearing about driving THE GRADE and it kind of freaked me out.  Turns out it’s just a big hill, and not much more.  And as much as I do miss living in the town we “live” in, I’ve come to enjoy that aforementioned dreaded drive because of the views.  It’s just a moment of peace where I get to look at nature and think for a few seconds before running my errands or whatever I’m heading into town to do.  As long as the kids aren’t screaming.  Haha.

California has been remarkably dry this year.  I mean to be honest, we’ve gotten less rain in the past few years than I ever remember in my lifetime.  So little rain that the lakes have been dry.  And when I say dry, I mean, DRY.  All that dryness translated into a pretty bad fire year and well, THE GRADE has a lot of fire issues when it gets like this.  All of this lack of rain led to a massive grade fire a few months ago.  It was an epic fire.  I mean, dozens of fire trucks lining the freeway (and those were just the ones we could see from the road), helicopters flying over the area, and flames.  The flames!  Right up to the freeway, you could see massive billowing black smoke rising from the fires engulfing the dried out area.  It was quite an ordeal.  Needless to say, this huge fire has left the whole area pretty blackened, dead, and even more dry than it was before.  For months now, the drive has been less scenic, and more of a landscape filled with blackened bushes and dead dirt.

This morning I got the kids ready and began our descent down THE GRADE.  I was kind of having a bit of a rough morning…just wrestling with some of the choices I had made in the past, and thinking about the dreams that I have had in my heart for so long that have long felt dead and dry.  I was thinking about all of this as we drove and then I sort of looked up at what was around me.  I mean, clearly I was looking out the window as I drove, but I wasn’t really SEEING what was around me.  When I actually SAW what we were passing by, I almost thought I was hallucinating.  It was like a scene from a movie where things are magically transformed or something…the hills had green LIFE on them.  The trees were green.  The ground that had been dead and dry had patches of grass on it.  It was so beautiful, it took my breath away for a moment.  You see, we’ve actually been getting a little bit of real rain over the past month.  And it’s almost like overnight, everything looked different.

I actually started crying when I saw this because it really felt like just yesterday the ground was all singed and just plain dead.  Now, there’s life there.  Beautiful, hopeful…life.  It really reminded me how things can change in an instant.  How a dream that can be long gone, even feel so dead that it has no chance of living again, can actually breathe again.

My longest and closest friend who is more like a sister to me just got married a year ago.  She had long dreamed of getting married and for years and had struggled with not meeting the right guy, and with losing hope that it would ever happen.  I remember talking to her and hearing in her voice that she wasn’t sure if it would happen at all.  Hearing that tone in her voice that basically had given up hoping for this thing that had long been in her heart.  Then one day, she went on this date and she was on it for EIGHT HOURS.  When I heard from her after that date (I of course texted her a few times during just to make sure she was OKAY…I mean this was a set up and she’d never actually MET the guy!) I knew he was it.  I think she knew too.  In one day, everything changed.  If she had truly given up and not even gone on the date because of how many times she had tried and failed to meet the right person, she never would have gotten married.

Sometimes it seems like it’s just not worth it to keep hoping for something when it hasn’t happened yet.  I know I often feel like that.  But it’s in times like that, when all it takes is a simple reminder that in one minute, things that looked lost can be found again.  And that’s what I’m hoping for in the new year.  More than anything else, I hope that it’s a story I get to live for myself and hear from other people too…that things that they thought were dead and gone, are alive and well.

This dress felt fitting for talking about new life.  Because I know this floral is so NOT a winter weather pattern, but it just makes me so happy I couldn’t wait to wear it!  I have a bit of a caftan problem.  I already have a few amazing ones, but when I saw this one, the bright floral print really just couldn’t be resisted.  I got it from this awesome Instagram vintage shop called @hustlevintage and I paired it with a thin scarf that I tied into a bow to keep it sweet, and some vintage red cowboy boots to keep it kind of monochromatic in all of it’s craziness.

Sometimes you just need to put on a crazy bright floral dress in the dead of winter and call it.  New life is coming, whether it looks like it or not, because all it takes is one minute…and the flowers will be blooming again!

Happy Monday

Katy

A Scarf As A Top? Heck Yeah!

You know what I think is kind of funny?  Thinking back to what I used to think was pretty.  Like clothes I wanted to wear and styles I thought were amazing.  I remember for like five minutes wearing those mesh slip on flats (I think they were probably technically slippers in whatever culture they originated from) that had like shiny flowers on the toes.  Tons of tiny butterfly clips in my hair…remember that lovely trend??  Or how about Juicy Couture head to toe monochromatic velour sweatsuits.  Ohhhhh yeahhhhh I loved that one for a while.  For a while it was all leggings and skinny jeans and now it’s all wide leg pants and bell bottoms.  Isn’t it weird how one year your perception of something can be one way, then literally just a year later, you see the exact same outfit or style COMPLETELY differently??

Nothing about the actual styles changed.  It’s just our perception of them that changed.  Sometimes that happens to me with clothing items in my closet.  Like for example this scarf that I’ve had for years.  I love it.  But as a scarf, I just don’t love wearing it.  I’ve worn it before, but it just didn’t really work super well.  So one day, I decided if it was a shirt, I’d love it.

As a shirt, I absolutely love this scarf.  I tied it into a halter top because it’s a rather large scarf, and I love the print too much to use it as an accent piece.  If I wear it with high waisted bell bottoms, it feels very vintage and 1970’s to me.  It’s all about perception.  As a scarf, I’m just probably not gonna wear it.  But as a top, It’s one of my favorite hot weather tops!  The bells are my new favorites from Show Me Your Mumu and the earrings are from Southbound.

I betcha there are some things in your closet that you could repurpose or just wear differently and change your perception of them!  Like a skirt as a dress, a scarf as a halter top or a head wrap, an earring even as a new necklace pendant.  Sometimes we all just need to see things a little differently to discover a whole new world right underneath our noses! 🙂

Katy