Advice in Style: Wearing What Doesn’t Look Good on You

I will admit something you probably already know.  I don’t always care whether something looks amazing on me or not.  I mean, if something looks really bad on me, I won’t wear it.  But let’s just say…if something isn’t like…the BEST on me but I love it, I’ll just go ahead and wear it anyway.  And you know how it goes, sometimes styles you love don’t always suit your shape unfortunately.  Let’s talk about this phenomenon.

My body shape is such that I don’t have, like, a ton of SHAPE.  I’ve never in my life had a defined waist.  I’ve always been more of a straight up and down body type with not a huge differentiation from my bust to my waist to my hips.  I’ve got more “curves” I guess you could say since having babies, but still, my waist is not something that I like to emphasize a lot.  I’d rather wear a short skirt than a midriff bearing top.  One of the styles that I have ALWAYS loved, is the micro pleated skirt.  Over the years I have bought them, realized they looked bad on me, gotten rid of them, then bought them all over again…repeating this endless cycle of hoping one day, I would put on a micro pleated skirt and look exactly like Heidi Klum would look wearing one.  Dang you Heidi.

Most of the time, there are solutions for these “problems”.  Sometimes, you gotta cut and run with a style, but occasionally, if you want it badly enough, you can make it happen.  Now, I can’t solve or offer advice for every single body issue out there unless it is specifically asked of me…but those of you who struggle with “finding their waist”…this is for you!

Problem Solving For The Waistless Masses (me)

-For two piece outfits, make sure the top is loose fitting.  Tight tops will only emphasize the fact that you don’t have a defined waist.  Then, instead of tucking in the top all the way around (not flattering on me), only tuck in the front and let the back hang out.  This give the illusion of a thinner waist, while still giving you the tucked in look you’re going for!  Ta Da!
-If you are going with a more fitted look, get a corseted style top or something with vertical lines that again, give the illusion of a waist.  Pair this top with a full skirt or looser pants OR make sure the dress you are buying has a full skirt.
-If you want to wear a shift dress and you just look like you could possibly be pregnant (I frickin hate that because I LOVE shift dresses), make sure you buy the dress large enough that it doesn’t hang on anything.  The right fabric is key here, and usually a non-t shirt fabric is the way to go.  Something more silk/polyester or maybe a denim that’s a slightly (or majorly) stiffer fabric will help give you that shift dress shape without proving that you have a non flat abdomen.  Because as you know, women are NOT SUPPOSED to have an abdomen UNLESS they are pregnant.  I have learned this from watching every Victoria’s Secret model in the history of mankind go from nine months pregnant to completely washboard abs in two days post partum.  And they only breastfed you guys, that’s all!!  (insert MAJOR eye roll here).
-Belts.  For those of you with no waist, that one word evokes a strong reaction.  You are either sweating, swearing, or screaming “I CAN’T WEAR THEM!!” right now.  Yep, I feel that.  And I love belts you guys!!  The absolute best belts I have ever found, are ones that are either stretchy or adjustable.  That way, I can put one on and maneuver it around until it actually looks right on me.  Yes, you can wear a belt.  But it is definitely more tricky.  So find a couple of adjustable (by adjustable, I mean like d-ring, stretchy, or tie-on) belts, and play around.  It’s always better to wear something with a little extra fabric in it because that way, the fuller dress will give the illusion of a smaller waist.
-One last tip.  Play with color blocking.  Often a dark color paired with the thing you don’t love on you (if it’s a two piece outfit) can help.  For example, see the photos below!

You guys, I couldn’t resist the allure of the metallic micro pleats this year.  I know, they’re not the most flattering on my body type.  But I love them so much, I’m gonna deal.  Here is my answer to all the bad things micro pleats do to my shape (add bulk at my hips, remind the world I am not Heidi Klum…).  I have something bulky, a sweater, on top, and this helps with the fact that this style is not flattering on my hips.  I tried on a neutral colored sweater first with this skirt and quickly realized that all it did was make me look sort of wide.  Swap it for the black, and the result was WAY better.  Wham, bam, thank you for the micro pleats, ma’am!

If you have a waist, ignore this and do all the fun things that I cannot do with clothing please!  And if you don’t have a waist, don’t cry over belts that don’t work.  You can do it!  If I can, you can!

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

Advice in Style: The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Style

You know what’s funny?  Watching movies set in past times when women wore things like corsets and stuff…and then watching myself complain about having to button my jeans.  Yeah.  Times have changed.  I mean, we have it so easy!  We don’t have to deal with giant petticoats (unless we want to) or constrictive shape wear (unless you count spanx, which are again, optional)…the worst thing we have to do is literally, button our skinny jeans.  Pretty sure we have it darn easy, ladies!

All that to be said, we don’t have to make things more complicated if we don’t want to.  If you’re one of those “I want to feel like I’m wearing pajamas all day, every day” kinda gals, this is your lucky day.  Because corsets are for costumes, buttons are for elevators, spanx are for Kanye’s fashion show.   Yeah, I went there.

Lazy gals, your day has arrived.  We live in the era of stretch fabrics, velcro, and leggings in every imaginable pattern.  You are now the cool girls.  Your workouts can now be reserved for the gym and not for trying to get on a stubborn pair of slightly too small “standing only” jeans.

The I Don’t Want To Button My Pants Lazy Girl’s Guide To Style:

Ditch the jeans like it’s Turkey Day.  I love denim, but you can be stylish without a pair of jeans.  The sheer amount of palazzo pants, maxi skirts, leggings, and stretchy bell bottoms out there right now is staggering.  I have so many pairs of jeans, and I often go weeks without touching them just because I have so many other options.
Keep the jeans, lose the pesky button.  I am having an endless love affair with high waisted stretch jeans.  So much so, that I’m considering doing my own for my upcoming clothing line.  I have a pair of these, and you guys, they’re worth every penny.
Wear pajamas.  All day.  You all know how I feel about pajama dressing, it’s chic, different, and COMFORTABLE.  No one (unless they’re super weird) makes uncomfortable pajamas.  You can easily buy pajama tops and bottoms even at places like Target or Old Navy and wear them as shirts and or bottoms.  It looks very classy when paired with the right top or bottom, depending on what look you are going for.
Layer like a pro.  I love that the style these days is more “messy” than “fussy”.  It’s like, instead of polo shirts with the collar flipped up (please tell me what that’s about you guys) there’s tees with jackets and flowy pants.  Messy is the “look”, meaning that it’s all about doing things imperfectly and not nitpicking at your outfit.  (key word, lazy)
No more laces.  Don’t tell your mom, but all that time she spent teaching you to tie your own shoes was, well, a waste.  Because pull on, slip on, slide on shoes are your new BFF.  I cannot tell you how many times I chose a pair of pull-on boots over a pair that I have to zip up (heaven forbid I put that much effort into getting dressed) simply because it was easy.  Mules, slides, and cowboy boots are like “look ma! No hands!” kinda shoes.
Buy yourself a good dry shampoo.  If you don’t already have dry shampoo, goodness gracious get your butt into your car and get some.  Or at the very least, be lazy and order some.  No, NOW.  I didn’t mean later, I meant now!  Because dry shampoo is the lazy girl’s best hair friend, and saves time, and probably lives as well for all I know.  If you have dark hair, this one is the bomb and smells amazing too.  If you have blonde hair, opt for a lighter option.  Both of these are safe, natural products that you will most definitely get your money’s worth.  An added perk of using the natural ones is that they don’t build up like the chemical ones do.  These you can use a few days in a row without getting that nasty yucky hair feeling after only one day of use.

Here’s my lazy girl look.  I have a robe I got from Urban Outfitters, my pull on flares from Show Me Your Mumu (no cussing, struggling, or sucking in the gut required), and a thrifted slip dress.  My hair is fully equipped with dry shampoo and a little salt spray and my lipstick is a crayon (one swipe and done).  I have on some slide on mules so I can literally just step into them and go.

Go be lazy you guys.  It’s ok, I won’t tell :)
Katy

Advice in Style: How To Dress Like You Tried

Hi, my name is Katy, and sometimes I don’t feel like putting together a fun and creative outfit.  Sometimes, I just want to throw something on and go.  Maybe I’m just tired, maybe I just have to run out to the store and don’t feel like putting a ton of effort into what I’m wearing, or maybe I’m just not feeling all that creative, but I still want to feel like I look good.  Know what I’m saying?  I’m going to introduce you to your new lazy day BFF, the new MVP of your closet, the thing that will make you look “date night” while you feel “pajamas”.  I’m talking about the black jumpsuit.  This is not a theory, you guys, this is a tried and tested fact. This is the LBD of the daytime, the go-to for park days and target runs.  It’s the thing that may not be all that exciting, but it’ll sure as heck get a whole lotta wear!

Let me tell you a few stories of my first hand experiences with my LBJ (not, Lyndon B. Johnson, Long Black Jumpsuit, to clarify). I went to Target with one of these babies on with some red lipstick.  I got told multiple times that I looked “SO GOOD”  and “SO PUT TOGETHER”.  I wore a different one out running errands and someone asked me “where I was going”.  I looked at her, puzzled, and said…”um, here?”  Then I realized that I looked like I was going to a fancy event because of this amazing article of clothing that requires ZERO effort.  Another time I was at a playground, and one of the moms told me she had been staring at me because she thought I looked so good.  Have I convinced you yet?

If you really want to look good, and I mean, like you REALLY tried, add lipstick and a nice pair of mule slides.  I’m not kidding you guys, this is the magic look for the days you just don’t wanna try.

Here are some options for you.  Strapless, really cute culotte style, and probably the most comfortable and flattering (in the tummy area primarily!) thing you’ll ever wear.

Go get yourselves one of these!  You won’t regret it :)
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