My Summer “Wish List”

Let me get this out of the way, because I hate preachy posts that make me feel like I shouldn’t want stuff.  TRUST ME, I have a list three miles long of the things that I want, and NONE OF THEM are cheap.  So making you feel like I’m all altruistic and have sworn off shopping would be a MAJOR miscommunication.  However this post is not about stuff.  It’s my grown up summer wish list, which doesn’t have as nice a ring to it as the whole grown up Christmas list, I realize, but it’s not Christmas and I’m frickin hot.

My Summer Wish List*
(*does not include all the stuff I want, I’ll hit you up later Santa Claus.)

  1. Have Fun
    I love how as a grown up, I have to like, purpose to have fun.  What the literal heck, you guys???  As a kid, all you want is to be a grown up so you can do whatever you want whenever you wanna do it.  Then you become a grown up, and you realize you can basically never ever do what you want because you have kids, you’re not independently wealthy, and, oh yeah, there are other people in this world who need you to do stuff for them.  One of my goals for the summer is to have fun.  Both the kind of fun that involves me shopping by myself and the kind that involves doing family stuff with my husband and kids…and trying desperately to ENJOY it instead of stressing about the fact that the kids are TOUCHING EVERYTHING.  Wish me luck, people.
  2. Be Wise, But Worry Less
    I like to shop.  Every time I intentionally try to “spend less” I end up feeling restricted mostly due to how I was raised, and I end up impulse buying something just so that I don’t feel trapped.  Uhhh…that’s not wise.  I find that for me, when I intend to “be wise” with how I shop, it makes for healthy purchasing habits.  I buy the things I would be sad I missed out on if I was strictly just trying to save money…and I don’t buy the things I would have bought just to make myself feel better.  And the second half of this whole thing goes along with this.  Worry less…meaning, when I’m being wise with my purchases, I can stop worrying about spending needlessly.  I want to enjoy the all the fun I’m trying to let myself have after all, right??
  3. Give Myself A Break
    I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself.  To lose weight, to keep the house clean, to get my kids in bed exactly at the same time every night…and inevitably something gets in the way of any number of the things I’m attempting to control…and then I feel like I failed.  So this summer, I’d like to give myself more rest time.  Time to read a book, time to not think about any of the things I “need” to do, and time to recharge.  I often fill up that time with other things, and then feel rather burnt out on life.  That’s no good for anyone.

This dress was kind of one of those “I’d have been bummed if I missed it” purchases.  I popped into New With Tags in Paso Robles and this Raga LA dress was just hanging there, staring me in the face.  It’s so lightweight and flowy and makes for one of those great summer outfits that makes you feel so dressed up without being hot and uncomfortable.  The choker is from Amanda of The Desert Mermaid and the bolo is from my good friend Jessica from Hillbillygypsyboots.  The lace bralette is from Urban Outfitters, but you can find these babies almost anywhere now including Target!

Whatever’s on your wish list for the summer, I wish you great luck getting it or getting it done!

Katy

 

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!
Katy

The Five Stages Of Buying Mass Produced Clothing

You know the drill.  You walk into Target/H&M/Forever 21/Zara (take your pick of any mass produced big name box store) and you go through the five stages of box store shopping.  1. Guilt: “I should be buying local and not buying mass produced stuff!” 2. Elation: “OH MY GOSH THIS SWEATER IS SO CUUUUUUTE!” 3. Trepidation: “Okay, but doesn’t EVERYONE ELSE have this top??” 4. Mad Rush of Emotions: “BUT DO YOU SEE HOW CHEAP IT IS???”  5. Succombing To The Sweet Scent of Deals: “I’m buying it.  ALL.”

You guys, I started a clothing line, so I have my own feelings about fast fashion.  Now that I know how much time, effort, and money goes into making real clothing, it is frustrating how quickly Zara can pump out zillions of things before I can even get half a piece of clothing done.  That being said though, I go through all the five stages just like everyone else.  And yes, I usually cave in, and buy all the deals.  And nope, I don’t regret it.  So let’s talk about how to sort of…make it all better somehow.

How do you buy something at a box store and NOT look like every other blogger/mom/girl who loves shopping out there?  I’m just gonna throw out some ideas that might help you look at things differently and encourage a healthy mix of small batch AND big box store shopping.  Because let’s face it.  Almost no one can steer completely clear of the biggies.

  1. Choose wisely.  When shopping at one of the mass produced places, you must try and avoid the strong magnetic allure of “It’s 75% off so I HAVE TO BUY IT!”  Just because it’s uber cheap, doesn’t mean you NEED it.  Stop, breathe, and ask yourself if it’s as good as what you already have OR if it meets a need in your wardrobe.  I know the madness is easy to get into.  But do a “final edit” when you get to the register and lose whatever you have doubts about.
  2. Think about how you’ll wear it.  This is when you get to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other people who are currently buying that exact same piece of clothing (because, you’ve got great taste, so of course other people will want it!).  This is the FUN part.  Plus, it’ll help you decide whether or not you will actually wear what you’re gonna buy.  Think about pairing this top or dress (or whatever it is) with vintage accessories.  Or maybe take a handmade item or unique pair of shoes and put them with it…basically mix in your piece that EVERYONE may have with pieces that NO ONE ELSE has.  No way on earth you’re gonna look like everyone else now, is there? 🙂
  3. Weigh your options.  Let’s be honest.  Sometimes, Target and Zara have great on trend pieces at a fraction of the price, and a fraction of the price is really what is most affordable and practical for that particular thing.  However, there are also times when it really makes more sense to get something REAL instead.  This is really dependent on what it is you’re looking at.  For example, say you’ve been eying a handmade pair of bell bottoms on Instagram or Etsy that are just stunning.  They are custom fit, hand dyed, and exactly what you’ve been looking at.  Plus, you have been following the maker on social media and you know her dog’s name and what kind of coffee she likes and a lot of little endearing details about her life.  Then you walk into Target and you see a somewhat similar pair of bell bottoms.  They don’t fit quite as well, but they’re cute and about one quarter of the cost of the others.  Okay, I can firmly say (within reason, like really without knowing what your budget is, so please don’t get into debt or something because of me!) that this is one of those scenarios where it’s better to spend the dough.  You get what you’ve been drooling over, you support the maker, and also, you get pants that will LAST.  When people buy things from me, I literally almost cry.  That’s how much it means to me.  So when you buy from a maker, you are MAKING THEIR WEEK.
  4. Buy sparingly.  I am consistently drawn to the clothing section at Target.  And Zara?  Get out of town…I would be in TROUBLE if I had one anywhere near me.  But no matter how insanely much I want to just buy buy buy clothes when I get to Target, I force myself to only buy occasionally.  Because to be quite honest, the things I buy from Target often end up being my least favorite things…the things that end up going to the thrift store.  With the exception of the things I have chosen wisely and put more thought into my purchase.  This helps me to curb my appetite when I get there and just want to binge.

That being said, I have made a few Target clothing purchases recently, and those are the first I’ve made in close to a year!

I tried on this jumpsuit and I had to have it.  It’s just so lovely and spring-y and I think it looks way nicer than the average Target pieces.  I decided however to pair it with this vintage denim duster I got from a friend’s second hand store, Revamped The Collection, and some vintage jewelry and boots.  That way, it looks way different from the way I’ve seen it worn on Instagram already!  So you see?  You CAN have your cake and eat it too!!  Unless, however you’re on a low carb diet like me, in which case you cannot either have cake or eat it.

You catch my drift.
Happy Wednesday
Katy

Fashion Feelings: Tough and Tender

I like to pretend I’m tough.  I like to dress up in rocker tees, big jewelry, get tattoos, and load on the black eyeliner.  Because that makes me look and feel tough, and when the pedal really hits the medal, I am not really all that tough.  I can’t watch tv shows where people die.  Unless, of course, they are coming back as a vampire or werewolf.  Because that’s just cool.  I’ve never been good at confrontation.  In fact, when I’ve had to do those kinds of things in the past, I typically can’t breathe while I’m saying what has to be said and then I just dissolve into tears afterwards.  No, I would say when it comes to being tough or tender, I am firmly in the “tender” camp.

I volunteered at the thrift store that supports my kids’ school today, because first of all, that means I get to shop while doing it (bonus) and also I need to log in some hours to support their school.  I’m happy to do it.  I may have bought a few things in the process, we cannot be certain 😉  When I came in and put on my “Volunteer” name tag, the manager oriented me to the store (even though she knows I know the store pretty darn well!) and she said, “just don’t be rude to people”.  I laughed and told her that I wasn’t sure I knew how to be rude to people and she kind of cocked her head and looked at me…saying: “yeah…I can’t really imagine you being rude at all…”  She then went on to say that it was easy for her to be not so nice to people.  Have you noticed that people are usually one or the other?  Tough OR tender?  I’ve met a few people who are both, but they’re more rare than the either/or people.  Like me.

Whatever we are, we usually have to work on the opposite.  I have to work on being tough.  Constantly.  With my kids, with my business, heck, even when I order food and they get it wrong.  I am so NOT into confrontation that I would most definitely chose the path of least resistance when it comes to the potential for hurting people’s feelings.  But since that is no way to live and is obviously a super ineffective parenting method, I have to work on the opposite.  However, I have known lots of people who are like, ready to GO all the time.  You know, the ones who get excited when they hear that there might be a problem and they’re ready to defend anyone, anywhere, over anything.  They have to work on being tender.  It’s like…if they could see more from the other person’s perspective and if I could maybe pay attention to my OWN perspective for once…we could meet in the middle and be tough AND tender.  The sweet spot.

It’s hard and often painful to do things that are out of our nature.  I mean, the times I’ve had to confront people for work or something, I have waited until it was ABSOLUTELY necessary to do so.  I ran through what I had to do, I had people help me come up with what needed to be said.  And yet, in the moment, I felt like I was dragging my nails across a chalkboard or trying to breathe under water (actually kind of literally on that last one!).  I can imagine, for a person who finds confrontation quite easy, it might feel the same NOT jumping up and dealing with what’s bugging them, and instead listening and letting something go.  I’ve experienced this over and over again, and yet it always seems to apply no matter what’s going on in my life:  the path of least resistance is not always the best place to be.  I don’t go looking for confrontation or difficulty (I think we’ve established that already!) but I also don’t automatically assume that when things are hard or don’t feel natural, that I’m in the wrong place.  Because if that were the case, I would literally NEVER do anything new, ever.

I found these Blank NYC faux leather bells on Poshmark for a great deal, and I had to have them.  I mean, they’re like so Grease meets hippie vibes.  And I really loved the idea of wearing a kind of lumberjack vintage flannel with them.  Super tough!  One of the most special things about this outfit though, is my necklace.  It belonged to the most tough and tender woman I have ever known and I am beyond honored to own something of hers.  Myself and a lot of other people lost her recently and she reminds me still to love people relentlessly but to never back down, ever.  And now, I gotta figure out how to breathe under water… 🙂

Happy Wednesday…hope you’re being tough when you need to be and tender when it counts!
Katy

Fashion Feels: Black Friday

Black Friday.  It’s like a drug for me.  And yet, I cannot get a single friend to go shopping with me on this holiest of all days.  I mean, it’s literally the most crazy, fun, buzziest shopping day of the year.  The day when I actually get grandma to babysit the kids so that my husband and I can go out nice and early and DO THIS SHIZ.  Yes, I am a serious, but really more fun, Black Friday shopper.

Sure, sure, most of my best shopping is done from small businesses, thrift stores, and vintage shops.  Absolutely do I believe in supporting these places FIRST and FOREMOST.  I mean, I OWN a small business now for crying out loud, so I must also believe in and support them.  But there’s just something about Black Friday that I just LOVE.  It’s like a club.  You go out early, dressed in your sweats (the cute ones of course), get a giant coffee, and you see each other and nod in silent solidarity.  We are the hardcore.  The ones willing to sacrifice an hour or two (or more if you’re one of the crazies who goes out at midnight) of precious sleep to score a DVD for a mere $5.  Does it matter that no one really buys DVDs anymore?  No.  It’s the fact that you are buying an actual MAJOR MOTION PICTURE for five buckaroos that gives you that little thrill and keeps you going.  That, and the giant coffee you’re toting around.  Um, refill please.

Before I move on to my day, which I will try and document with photos that are worthy of looking at, let me give you some background.  I am an only child.  You probably know this already, but I need you to know it for this post.  I was a very social person from day one, born to two people who would rather stay at home or go bird watching than go to a mall or a grocery store.  Yes, you heard me right. BIRD WATCHING.  Now this may be like totes hipster and cool and all these days, but guys…just no.  I wanted to be where the action was.  I would beg my mom to go somewhere, ANYWHERE (and NOT the library or the used bookstore, and if you knew my mom you’d understand why…ten hours later we are still at the xerox machine…) and yet, they’d usually stay home.  Boredom was my middle name.  My dad would balk at the idea of going Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve and I would poke and prod until he’d drive me down there just so I could be where all the humans were.  My Christmases were me, getting toys, and then basically waiting until all my friends were done with their Christmases so I could actually PLAY with my new stuff.

Get some kleenex ready, because this is some good stuff right here.  I remember on Christmas Day, I would literally sit on the back of the couch, looking out the huge window in the front of the house we lived in.  I would watch the house down the street, where four siblings lived, receive car after car after car filled with PEOPLE getting out.  I remember wishing so hard that it hurt that it could be me over there.  Because…I LIKE BEING AROUND PEOPLE.  Honestly, I could buy like one thing and have the best black Friday ever.  Because the shopping is not even the best part of the day for me.  It’s just the fact that if I know where all of my kind will be on any given day, I will make it a point to be there.  It makes me feel like I’m part of the buzz.

SO HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!  Here’s my day…broken down by steps for you! 🙂

Step one.  Set the alarm, MAKE myself leave that dream I was having and get in the shower, because, $9.99 jacket at H&M.  Shower, brush teeth, makeup, dress in layers, eggs, no coffee (no time).

Step two. Park, and jump out to claim my jacket and find a white blazer (SUCCESS!) and whatever other goodies may be on sale.  There are like four people in the store (thank you sleepy small town) so I am tempted to over dramatically scream GET OUTTA MY WAY and act like I’m warding off vicious shoppers, but because I’ve had no coffee yet, the amusement must stay imaginary.

Step three.  Get COFFEE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.  Take a weird selfie in an alley way where a dog is watching me because…well, I don’t know why there was a dog eating something in an alley, but I’m too tired to answer this strange question.

Step four.  Head to Target, where all the people actually are to hunt for doorbuster, and SURPRISE! get sucked into the clothing section because with the Cartwheel app everything is 45% off.  So…clothes shopping it is.

Step five.  Go back downtown for some green juice and a sitting break.  Then hit up some random stores and find a place to eat some FOOD.  Ahhhhhhh…more caffeine.  Suck down that iced tea and THEN remember to take a photo of it (too tired to be an awesome instagrammer today).

Step six.  Take an awkward selfie in the bathroom, because the bathroom of this restaurant coordinates with my pants, and then take a photo of my husband who is always posing weird for photos in hopes that I will one day pay attention to the weird thing he is doing and actually take a photo of him instead of me.

Step seven.  Go home, drink more coffee, listen to the kids squawk in their cribs during “nap time” and asses the spoils.  Success, not much money spent, and heck to the yes I got that $9.99 jacket.  Now I’m ready for GILMORE GIRLS REVIVAL (!!) and bed.  Ahhhhh bed.

I love Black Friday.  Even the fact that the movie we were gonna see today was sold out, nothing can ruin my Black Friday buzz.

Sleep tight all you shopping warriors.  We done good.
Katy

 

 

Fashion Feelings: I Love It, But What Is It?

When I first started college I occasionally babysat for one family that I knew well, you know, to make a little extra spending money and all that.  The little boy that I babysat was one of those super adorable and sweet kids that was really fun to hang out with.  And the best thing was to watch him open presents.  I remember on his fifth birthday, he was just so excited to open each and every present following the cards (at five years old he was way more patient than I am now!) and his reaction to the gifts was just priceless.  His thank you’s were over the top dramatic, and his level of surprise as he ripped off the paper was well worth the money spent on those toys.  And occasionally, he would come across something he just didn’t really know what to do with.  He would open the present, his face would light up and he would say loudly: “WOW, I LOVE IT!!! What IS it?”  Yep, kids reactions are pretty priceless.

I love that kid’s reaction to all his presents, and I often feel like I relate with him in a lot of ways!  When I’m shopping, I often find that if I can’t initially tell what an article of clothing or an accessory is, I am WAY more fascinated with it than usual.  I mean, if I’m puzzled by it, sometimes I want it MORE.  Yes, I enjoy the intrigue of a good mystery fashion item.  I remember the first time I ever saw wrap pants.  I pulled them out of the back bin at the vintage store I worked at, and I was like…”Oh cool, these are…wait…what ARE THEY?”  Or that time I found a drapey vest that also became a scarf.  Dang that thing was confusing if you got it unwound just right…but boy did I love it.  Just because I may not know what it IS, doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE it.

Continue reading Fashion Feelings: I Love It, But What Is It?

Fashion Feelings: Being the “Fat Friend”

Once upon a time, all of my friends that I shopped with were smaller than me.  I don’t mean skinnier, I mean actually SMALLER.  Like, I’m 5’9″ and they were all much, much shorter than I am.  I’d like to point some things out that are obvious, except that NOTHING is obvious in girl world when it comes to issues of weight.  Tall girls wear larger sizes.  Tall girls eat more calories than shorter girls.  Tall girls look larger in photos when they are next to smaller girls.  Yes, all of these things are like totally “duh”, but you try telling that to any girl who is sensitive about her weight.  I’ll give you an example.
Me (talking to my husband, a month after giving birth to my second baby in a row):  “I’m so fat.”
My husband: “You literally JUST had two babies.  You are not fat, you just gave birth to two large human children.”
Me: “I’m so fat.”
I’m only gonna say this once.  Women…be crazy.  I…am crazy.  You can reason with me about how I’m taller and I’m normal sized and all that, but my brain still goes to crazy town when I go jeans shopping.  I think a lot of you can relate.

I ever so kindly gave myself a (mostly) joking nickname when I’d go shopping with my tiny friends.  I’d call myself: “the fat friend”.  Too big for you?  Toss it over to the dressing room next to you where “the fat friend” is!  Needless to say, this kind of humor is not really the kindest when you’re trying to deal with your self esteem issues…yeah, I know.  I can be mean to myself.  I have since stopped even jokingly calling myself that because I want to speak kindly about myself as well as others.  But I am going to point this out…sometimes being the…”taller friend” I will now call myself…has its benefits.  The shoes that are too large for someone else will inevitably fit me.  The extra long dress that someone else would have to hem is just right for me.  And that is when I do not mind being “the taller friend”!

I have an awesome friend I’ve mentioned countless times before (and will mention countless more) who lives in the glorious vintage clothing mecca of San Francisco.  And she sent me these pants because well, I’m “the taller friend”.  I may need more calories than her and I may look like a mammoth hunchback next to her in photos (because in photos, “the taller friend” inevitably will hunch over to try to put her face next to the smaller friend instead of her boobs), but when it comes to wearing these snakeskin palazzo pants, I will happily be “the taller friend” all day long.

Whatever size you are, own it, and realize that it has it’s benefits.  Whether it’s larger or smaller than someone next to you, whatever doesn’t fit her will probably fit you.  Score.

Katy

Advice in Style: How To Dress Like A “Have”

First of all I want to clear something up.  I don’t like the whole idea of the “haves” and the “have nots”…this post is most definitely not meant to reinforce this concept!  But, if you keep reading, hopefully you’ll get my point (and have some fun too!).

I wrote an article a little while ago about how Vogue attacked fashion bloggers and attempted to minimize their value using some choice words that seemed a bit more like something you’d say to a close friend instead of making them public to the world.  If you want to get my whole take on what they said, please read the post!  This whole thing got me thinking about the fashion industry as a whole.  So, I love fashion.  Obviously.  I want to go to fashion week, see the famous runway shows, and own some couture of my own.  I love it.  However (you can see the big “but” right?) there are some things about the fashion industry that aren’t so nice.  Fashion has always been an indicator, and sometimes dictator of classes.  I mean, it used to be actually illegal for people of certain classes and incomes to wear some styles of clothing.  That way, you could look at a person and determine how much money they make!  Can you believe this?  I mean, talk about a horrible and judgmental world to live in where you could be thrown in jail for wearing a dress that didn’t fit your wallet size.  Yuck.  Maybe things have changed and progressed quite a bit since then.  But we are still not immune from this whole “judge a book by it’s cover” thing.  I think we can often still size someone up based on their outfit pretty darn easily.  But now, since it’s legal to wear anything really, we can pull the wool over people’s eyes much easier!

Years ago there was this old hippie guy who worked at my local Trader Joe’s.  He was super opinionated, kind of funny, and liked to kind of talk at you and spout out his political thoughts and whatever was on his mind while he was ringing up your groceries.  I rather enjoyed it.  I would just listen, nod my head, and bag up my own groceries while he told me all the problems with the world and all that jazz.  After a couple months of this, he stopped talking and asked me a question!  He asked me: “so what do you do?”  I answered him (I was a full time worship pastor at the time at my church) and when I gave my answer, he literally did a double take.  He looked so surprised.  “What?” he said, shocked at my answer “oh wow…I thought you were like one of those super rich San Luis girls who…” (his answer trailed off into a lot of things I don’t remember, but were most definitely not things that describe me.  He then proceeded to tell me that because of my clothing, how I looked when I came into the store, he had made these determinations about me.  Yep.  He thought I was a “have”.  I remember what I was wearing that day.  I wear wearing a Juicy Couture dress I had got second hand and a furry pair of slippers from Target that people would literally stop their cars, roll down their windows, and ask me where I had gotten my “boots”.  I think you can tell where this whole thing is going!

It’s not the point I’m making, but hey, let’s attempt to stop sizing each other up by our clothes, ok?  I do it all the time, and I am working on NOT doing that.  I’ve been falsely judged because of what I wear lots of times.  The point I’m really making, is that we never should feel “less than” or shut out of the fashion industry just because we aren’t a mega celebrity with deep pockets and a trust fund.  You can look like a “have” (and BE a “have” just because, hey, you’ve got what matters right??) without spending a lot of dough.  Here are some tips for ya, in case you need them 🙂

Second hand stores and thrift stores are always, always worth a look.  I know many of you already know this, but I cannot even tell you some of the stuff I’ve seen at thrift stores for just a few dollars.  I mean, just because something was expensive or designer, doesn’t mean that whoever is selling it there knows that.  You will often see stuff worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars sitting right next to stuff from Old Navy.
Get out of town.  There’s something about going places you don’t normally go to shop that makes you find great stuff.  Don’t be afraid to drive to neighboring towns or go to the “rich” areas to check their thrift stores.  It’s like trick-or- treating in the neighborhoods who give out king size candy bars instead of just staying close by and getting a zillion “fun size” ones.  Fun size, my ass.
Stay off the beaten path. When you’re in a store like Target, steer clear of the women’s section.  This sounds super not intuitive, which is why it works.  If I were to put together a complete outfit from a store like Target (and trust me, I go there enough to know what I’m talking about) and I wanted it to look expensive, here’s what I would do.  Shoes: slipper section (especially around fall…you never KNOW what furry boot-like treasures await you), Top: boys section (graphic tee), men’s undershirt, or women’s pajama section for a button down pj top, Jacket: men’s or boy’s section for a blazer, Jeans: women’s section, but take a pair of scissors and a razor and modify them, Accessories: little girl’s section.  Do you catch my drift?  Part of why this works is that if you have a Target in your town, every woman wears stuff from the women’s section.  Therefore, if you shop around the women’s section, no one will know that what you have on came from Target.  Plus, I’m gonna say this again.  Those furry slippers got me more compliments than almost anything I think I have ever bought.  And they were like $10.
Be true to yourself.  Don’t buy or wear stuff that you don’t love just because it’s a designer name.  This will never get you anywhere in feeling great about yourself because you won’t feel great in your clothes.  Confidence in one’s outfit goes a long way to conveying that you love what you are wearing and who you are.  So if you don’t love it, don’t wear it no matter what the original price tag is.  Plus, sometimes you’ll find stuff that was expensive originally marked down at second hand stores simply because…it’s ugly.  Designers have “misses” too and often those are the things that people buy, regret, then get rid of.  Make sure that it’s a good find and not just a “used to be expensive” find.

And here it is.  Proof that I don’t iron my outfits when I probably should.  (I hate ironing!)  I love this outfit.  My top is a thrifted silk pajama shirt, jeans are old Levi’s I distressed myself, and my shoes cost $5 at H&M.  You could easily find an outfit like this in a magazine for about 32 times what I actually paid for this.  Looks can be deceiving, you guys 🙂

I don’t care what you have, you are a “have”.  Remember that.  No more keeping up with the Joneses, keeping up with myself is work enough!

Happy Monday
Katy

Fashion Feeling: Nothing To Wear

Do you ever just put something on, and feel AMAZING?  And then, naturally, you immediately forget the outfit and the next day whine that you have “nothing to wear”?  This is my daily routine.  I have about seven years worth of amazing outfits hanging in my closet that I add to almost daily…and yet…I can never figure out what to wear.  The struggle is real, people.

Sometimes what I remember and what I forget baffles me.  Why is it that I can remember a hundred negative things over the course of the past few years and yet I can’t remember that one amazing thing that happened yesterday?  Dang it.  I hate that it’s easier to remember the bad stuff.  I’m generally a positive, happy person.  And yet, my brain can cling to the bad stuff the same as any other human out there.

It’s very easy for me to focus on the things that make me unhappy.  The things I want.  The things that I haven’t achieved yet.  So instead, I thought I’d make a list of the things that make me happy.  The things that I love, that bring joy to my life and a smile to my face.  Maybe you can do the same!  Things I love: (these are a few of my favorite things!)
1. Starbucks cold brew (if you see me on Instagram, you know this already!)
2. Putting pumpkin spice in my coffee in the mornings (not all of these are about coffee, I promise)
3. Really nailing my outfit
4. Getting the house clean and sitting down in the evening to watch a tv show with my husband
5. New episodes of my favorite shows (I love my tv, guys)
6. Grocery shopping with coffee and getting everything I need on the list (coffee again, sorry!)
7. Finding a GREAT find at the thrift store or at any store really.  Just finding something that I’ve been looking for or that makes me feel fabulous.
8. My kids singing songs (all originals of course) and reading me their books.  Their interpretations of things are hilarious and FAR better than the originals!
9. Fall.  I LOVE FALL.
10. Listening to Coldplay.  I never, ever get tired of anything they do.

There are a LOT of other things that are even more dear to my heart than these things.  But sometimes, I think in times when you’re struggling, it’s helpful to find those small things that bring you joy in your everyday life.  Those are the mundane things amongst the struggles and the exhaustion of life that really are like the “frosting” on your days!

This outfit combines two things I love.  A fabulous outfit (I feel the greatest in something funky and unexpected) and a super great find.  I visited a local thrift store I frequent as often as possible and I picked up this vintage boyscout tee for $4.99!  It was definitely one of those fabulous finds for me!  I decided that layering and mixing this tee with a slightly quirky outfit was the best way to make sure no one thinks I’m actually trying to look like a scout, so ruffles and plaid it is!  I love the combination of the plaid pencil skirt and the floral ruffles, all tied together with this pair of basic riding boots.  Everyone needs at least one pair of regular, good old, riding boots in their closet.  Because you never know when the rest of your outfit will be SO CRAZY you’ll just need a normal pair of shoes right?  (I can hear you laughing at me!)

No matter what’s going on, hope you can find those little things that make you happy amidst everyday life.  And that you have a fabulous outfit on at the very least 🙂
Katy

 

 

Advice In Style: Costume Couture

Drop everything you are doing right now, stop reading this, and run, RUN to your local thrift store.  Okay, okay, maybe finish reading this so you know why you’re running.  I went to my local Goodwill the other day, and do you know what I saw?  THE COSTUMES ARE OUT!  (I know, I need to switch to decaf, I hear you loud and clear).  You guys, I cannot emphasize enough how much this is the BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO THRIFT.  (*Pouring decaf now).  Now, you may be saying: “Katy, I don’t wear weird stuff like you, I don’t want to shop in the costume section!”  But that’s why you need to read this post.  From the weird to the conservative, there is something for you in that costume section.  Lemme break it down for you!

Sure.  This looks like madness.  All together, you’re thinking: “Well THIS sure doesn’t look like couture to me!”  That’s where you’re wrong.  I would bet money that a runway stylist could shop the costume section at the Goodwill, send a model down the runway in it, and you probably wouldn’t even know which model was wearing the “costume couture”.  Why?  Because styling is everything.  Sure, that jacket doesn’t look expensive siting on the rack next to the Spiderman costume!  Nothing would!  But here’s how you can shop top trends and regular style staples in the COSTUME SECTION!

Jackets

This jacket is a real vintage jacket.  It’s only in the costume section because someone deemed it “costume worthy”.  That’s something to remember if you are feeling insecure about this whole ordeal!

Check out this black beauty of a duster I found!  I just saw this style on the Today Show this morning you guys.  Top trends in the costume section.  Under $20.

Retro Denim
This is a GREAT time to find some classic 1970’s bell bottoms, some 80’s overalls, or pretty much any era of great denim.

How about this patchwork denim vest, totally on trend for Fall?

Metallics
Metallics are so hot right now.  Thanks to the costume section, you won’t have to pay much to give this look a shot!

GOLD BABY!

Skirts
There are skirts a-plenty during this time a year!  I’ve seen vintage petticoats (which make amazing prairie skirts, think Spell Style), square dancing skirts, and even just simple solid colored vintage midis…on trend for Fall.

This black skirt is full and perfectly flattering for the upcoming season!

Fringe
You know I love me some fringe.  I saw a fringe vest today and really, the crowning jewel of my costume couture hunting happened right here:

This is a vintage, handmade, leather fringe tunic.  I know.  I know.  I got no words you guys.

Pajama Couture
Pajamas are so hot right now…you can wear the top with jeans or the bottoms with a graphic tee…or just rock ’em together, devil may care!

Maxi Dresses
Sometimes vintage nightgowns make the best maxi dresses.  They often are what the new bohemian maxi styles are modeled after!

I fully plan on wearing this bohemian maxi with cowboy boots and lots of turquoise.

Kimonos
Yeah, I said it.  This is THE TIME to find traditional gorgeous asian couture!

Just look at those pretties…perfect with jeans!

Military Jackets
These are out in spades right now, and they are always so chic!

And So…
I decided to make my very own thrift store dressing room costume couture chic outfit (over my athletic leggings obviously)!

Sure, the dressing room isn’t quite couture, but hey, the prices and the finds make it worth it!

GO FORTH AND COSTUME SHOP!
Katy