On Style Rebellion

Sometimes I feel a little rebellious.  I mean, don’t we all?  The thing that I think is funny though, is that right now I’m feeling rebellious…against myself.  Yeah, I know, like what does that even MEAN right???  I think I’ve been feeling a little bit like I’ve pigeon holed myself into a style and I just am feeling very caged in.  By me.  I am hoping that this post may help some of you in those times when you feel like you maybe…can’t buy something that isn’t typically “you”, but in reality I’m guessing it will just confirm to you guys that I’m legitimately insane.  I’ll proceed anyway.

Okay, so you know the drill.  We all have things we gravitate towards.  We have our “go-to’s”, our typical shopping spots, our pairings of choice (and I don’t mean wine and cheese).  For me, when I need to put on a pair of shoes, it’s always boots for the most part.  When it comes to jeans, it’s always bell bottoms.  So on, and so forth.  (You may be wondering about kimonos, but uh, yeah those are ALWAYS gonna be happening regardless of what style I’m feeling at the moment, so never fear.  I am still an all kimono, all the time girl.)  Sometimes though, I see something that makes me kinda, sorta, wanna…change it up.  And to be honest, I think I feel like I’m “not allowed” to.  I worry that people will think it’s weird or not like it.  I worry that maybe if I change it up sometimes, I’m not really being “me”.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  And on top of all this unnecessary emotional consideration regarding what pair of shoes I choose…I worry that I will buy something that I will NEVER WEAR.  Yep.  It’s a lot of stress…for not a lot of reason.

I think that I sometimes I feel ashamed because I suddenly want to wear leggings as pants when I’ve always said “leggings are not pants, I will not wear them that way”.  Dang it.  Like that one time I said I hated fringe…and now look at me.  Geez maybe I should talk less.  (That was a joke by the way, because that’s never gonna happen.)  So now, here I am, staring at a pair of $95 leggings wondering if I’ve been brain snatched.  Oh my goodness.  What’s a girl to do?  Isn’t it our prerogative to change our minds once in a while?  What happens if the very thing we judged other people for wearing…we now WANT TO WEAR?  Oh gosh.  Yes, I am going through this very thing right now.

Here’s my answer to this crazy “I-need-to-switch-it-up-right-now” problem.

  1.  First of all, give yourself grace.  You will change your mind on things, sometimes just because you saw it worn in a fashion that you understand and relate to.  That’s okay.  I didn’t like fringe at first because I hadn’t seen it worn in a way I liked.  That all changed.  (Obviously)  Allow yourself to change your mind.  It’s okay, and it’s normal.
  2. Look around.  I spent for-freaking-ever on manrepeller.com because I love her kooky style and it’s just different enough from mine that it really inspires me to change things up.  Look around at the style(s) you are interested in and give yourself enough ideas with the item of clothing to really assure that you will wear it.  Blogs, instagram, magazines, google searches of that item…just look at a bunch of different people wearing what it is you think you want to make sure you still like it (and please, don’t just look at it on the Free People model because those photos are HECKA misleading).
  3. Shop around.  I stared at those $95 leggings (I don’t even like athletic wear you guys) and shopped around until I found a similar enough pair for $22.  My plan is to see how much I wear them at this price, then if I wear them out and love them, then buy the more expensive pair.  See if you can find something relatively cheap so that you can give it a trial run.  That way, if you wear it once and hate it, you don’t feel buyer’s remorse.
  4. Realize that “you” means a variety of things.  I don’t have to wear cowboy boots to be “me”.  I am a creative person who loves to try new styles, wear interesting things, and make a statement in whatever it is I wear.  That means, I do not wear the same thing all the time.  Hence, what is “me”?  Whatever I darn feel like on that day.  You are not what you wear, what you wear is just an expression of you, and how you are feeling that particular day.

I felt like combat boots, a slip dress, and a $2 thrifted plaid nightgown that is now a duster.  And there you have it.  Be rebellious against your style now and then…it makes coming back to your usuals much more fun :)

Katy

On Wearing Leopard…Not Like A Flintstone

Leopard print.  You either love it, or you hate it.  Right?  Some women gravitate towards it and wear it like a neutral and other women just reject it like it’s a string bikini in a five star restaurant.  I get it.  Leopard can go wrong, as can most things in fashion right?  But have no fear, there are ways to get it right!

I found this crazy vintage leopard jumpsuit and I put it on IMMEDIATELY (which is what I do with all jumpsuits) and the first thing I thought was: “I look like a Flinstone.”  Now, did this deter me from BUYING that jumpsuit?  HECK TO THE NAW!!!!  So I thought this would be a PERFECT blog post topic!  How to wear leopard without looking like a Flintstone!  Whatcha think, you in?

Okay.  Clearly what I’m wearing is a bit, um, further on the commitment scale when it comes to leopard.  However, these tips I think could probably help you out even if your a bit leopard phobic and want to try it out just for fun.

Tips To Wearing Leopard Print
*if you’re kinda sorta scared of it. 

  1. Do Not Wear Tribal Jewelry With It.  This seems like an easy one, but just for reals, avoid anything bone, beaded (for the most part, there are a few exceptions, just keep this in mind), feathers, or anything that looks too…earthy.  Those are the things that along side leopard, will look like Bam Bam couture.  I’ve found that large gold or silver statement jewelry or layered turquoise will instantly take the leopard from caveman to bohemian in a hot second.
  2. Keep The Footwear Simple.  This means tone down the fringe, fur, patterns, and gladiators…keep it to booties, tennis shoes, espadrilles, sandals, or something western when you’re wearing a LOT of leopard.  Today I wore a leopard shirt with denim shorts, and I wore tall fringe boots with it and it totally worked because I had the denim thrown in.  However, I did NOT wear any of my custom beaded boots or flashy footwear.  The simpler the footwear, the better.
  3. Mix It With Neutrals.  If you’re wearing a leopard skirt…add a white, black, nude, or chambray top.  Leopard top?  Jeans or denim shorts hands down is the best option.  Leopard and denim is always a good and easy combo that’s guaranteed to take you OUT of the prehistoric.  (They didn’t have jeans back then, so you see?  Safe choice.)
  4. Go Cowboy.  Leopard goes western real easy-like.  So cowboy boots and that kind of thing are always a good way to style your grrrrreat new piece.  (It’s possible I’m having too much fun with this.)  I’ve learned that the best ways to swing your style when it comes to animal print are: bohemian, western, or chic.  So…turquoise, cowboy boots, or like chambray pants and a blazer over a leopard shirt.  Got those images kinda locked in your brain?  You’re good to go.
  5. Use It As An Accent.  If you want to wear leopard, but are just WAY too freaked about it, try a small piece.  Find a leopard bag, scarf, or pair of shoes that you can just mix in with your wardrobe.  Or layer a sweater vest OVER a leopard button down…that way it’s there, but it’s less of a statement.  I guarantee that if you try this and end up liking it, you’ll get more and more comfortable with the pattern and may end up wearing it in larger pieces.
  6. Don’t Draw Attention To It.  This is like a life rule that ALL women (myself included) need to just stop doing.  Have you noticed that if you’re insecure or slightly uncomfortable about something that you constantly bring it up?  I do that.  People will compliment me and I’ll be like “oh yeah I feel like it might make me look fat and I feel like a Flintstone and I wasn’t sure if I should wear this…” instead of just being like “hey thanks!”  Or sometimes, I don’t even wait for them to bring it up.  I point dramatically to the thing I’m uncomfortable with and then ramble on for half an hour about my issues, my childhood, and how I really feel like Taylor Swift changed my life.  You get the point right?  We’ve all been on the other end of this situation and don’t you kinda want to scream “STOP GRABBING YOUR ARM “FAT” AND BLUBBERING ON!”  I do.  So anyway, the point is, stop drawing attention to the new thing you are trying out and it will become more normal.

As you can see, this is not leopard for the faint of heart!  But I mixed in some turquoise and some very very boringly neutral booties (which I keep in my closet for just this kind of occasion!) and hey, I’m not a Flintstone!

Happy leopard wearing all you babes
Katy

 

 

 

 

On Pajama Dressing, Part Three.

Alrighty, it’s been a whole week of PYJAMAS!!!  I still am super psyched about this whole trend because it’s just so comfy and I feel like I have a whole new set of pieces to mix into my (busting at the seams) closet!  Now, since I talk about and (most likely) overuse kimonos in all my posts, I wanted to steer clear of doing a look with one of those in this week of jammies.  I mean, they are definitely part of the trend, but they’re kind of one of those things that I use in a larger sense of this whole loungewear thing that’s going on.  So for today, I wanted to use a couple other things besides the pyjama tops that I’ve been wearing in the earlier posts!

The thing about pyjama bottoms, is that the shape is pretty important.  I had a hard time thrifting these for that reason.  The older styles, and cheaper brands tend to have a decidedly tapered leg, which is just not a great shape for me at all.  Now, I do know some girls who can pull this funky shape off like a boss, but I am not one of them.  I generally need pants to have a straight shape to the leg or at least a slight flare to them for them to work on me.  This is why I went ahead and actually ordered this pyjama set from J Crew, and I’m really glad I did because these pants are exactly what I needed!  There are A LOT of things you can do with these pants.  I think dressing them up with a blazer and heels would look amazing, but for today, I’m dressing them down, thinking about how I’d run to the grocery store or go shopping in them.

A graphic tee and heeled clogs would be one way that I would wear these pants.  They are a GREAT choice for summer because they are lightweight and breathable…so perfect for a day when you don’t feel like shorts or a skirt.  Jewelry is key when it comes to this trend as I’ve mentioned before because it makes certain that people know that you are INTENTIONALLY wearing something that looks like pyjamas!

The second piece of clothing I wanted to bust out, is this funky vintage robe I got thrifting.  Now, some robes completely double as kimonos and you almost cannot even tell the difference if you wear them like you would a kimono.  However, there are some pieces that are obviously robes…they have tighter sleeves and they hang like they are supposed to be worn as a traditional post shower piece of clothing.  Sometimes they aren’t really acceptable for wearing outside (like those big fuzzy fluffy things you actually DO wear post shower!), but other times, they are beautiful items of clothing that can work much like a kimono style piece of clothing.

I have a tendency to want to minimize what’s going on on my bottom half when I wear something like a pretty dramatic or very funky robe.  That means that I gravitate towards shorts or skinny jeans, because they don’t add bulk when I have something rather bulky on top.  I also kept the top simple and form fitting so as not to add unnecessary bulkiness on the top.  I love the fur boots with this because, well I love those boots with everything, but they kind of are almost paying homage to slippers! Lots of turquoise and a tassel felt like a good addition to class up this sleepwear item.

It’s just loads of fun you guys.  Where is the fun in dressing when you can’t wear stuff “wrong” right?  It’s fun to test out what can double for what, and not compromise comfort while doing it!

Hope you’re in your jammies, netflixing, and chillaxing :)
Katy

On Pajama Dressing. Because, It’s Wednesday.

So I’m back.  Still in my pjs.  Really in awe of how all you super cool Brits call them “pyjamas”, which my American spell check absolutely hates, but I honestly think is way cooler than plain ole “pajamas”.  Maybe that’s the trick…when we sleep in them, they’re pajamas, and when we are classy and wear them out and about, they’re pyjamas.  I like it!  But enough about wordplay, let’s talk JAMMIES!

If you’re on the fence about this PYJAMA trend, let me try and talk you off the fence, and on to the appropriate side of the yard (my side, which is, OBVIOUSLY the RIGHT side. ;)) Here’s a few reasons I love this trend, and always have.

It has a kind of “devil may care” vibe.  You know those girls who always look cool and like they aren’t trying very hard…that’s what this look kind of gives off.  It’s got a little bit of an air of, “I don’t care, I rolled out of bed looking this hot” to it.  I’m so not effortlessly cool, so if there’s a style that makes me look like that, I’m instantly sold.

It’s cozy, but still looks nice.  These shirts, as I said in the last post about PYJAMAS, are only one step away from collared shirts.  This is kind of cool because they look good with slacks, a blazer, or a pencil skirt…among MANY different pieces you can mix them in with.  This makes them kind of a classy/casual hybrid.  It’s like a button down, but with added interest.

It’s different.  While this is definitely a “trend”, I really don’t see this in real life that often.  So it’s unique, and you can easily rock this and look like you are “trend setting” because quite honestly, most people don’t really know what’s going on on the runways or in fashion unless they’re super into it like we are.  Many of the “trends” I see in magazines are not that popular on the streets unless you live in a fashionable area, or it’s been a “trend” for quite some time.  This trend is different, but not so different that you’ll stick out like crazy.  It’s a small way to add interest to your outfit without you feeling like you have to go out on a limb and have everyone staring at you!  (Unless you enjoy that feeling, and if you do, we should talk because I’ll give you the “special” tips on how to look like a crazy person.  I pull that off daily.)

Today, I’ve got a short sleeved pyjama (I just decided that I’m British today, so roll with it ok?) top that I thrifted, and styled two ways.  This is very similar to the long sleeved one, but it’s maybe more summer appropriate.

When people say they don’t know what they can wear cowboy boots with, I respond, “um, well, hmmm…EVERYTHING.”  But I digress.  I love how easy and casual this vintage pyjama (it’s my story, and I’m sticking to it) top looks with some cutoffs.  The vintage cowboy boots in red kind of add a “if Wonder Woman wore pyjamas, this is what she’d wear” vibe.  Don’t you think? :)

I love these pyjama (stop trying to auto correct me, computer!) style pants from Zara.  I think this is a way to class up this vintage top and of course, espadrilles because it’s summer and they are just so comfy, I can’t resist!  Again, adding on lots of jewelry to your pyjamas (yep, still doing it) will counteract that “wait…are you just wearing your jammies?” look instantly.  Because unless you know someone who sleeps in loads of jewelry, then this is not a normal night time loungewear look!

Have I convinced you yet?  No worries, I still got one post to go on this topic.  Then I promise to get out of my pyjamas (you’d think auto correct would have given up by now, but it’s a persistent little bugger isn’t it) and talk about some other stuff.  I’m not quitting this trend though, even when the magazines decide that it’s “out”.  This is to classic and timeless (and comfortable!) to ever be OUT in my opinion!

Happy midweek all you pyjama wearing gals!
Katy

 

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!

HAPPY MONDAY AND STAY IN YOUR JAMMIES!
Katy

 

On How Avoid Shopping Regret

Regret.  It’s something none of us like to experience, but unfortunately at one point or other…we all do.  EVEN IN SHOPPING!  How many of you have bought something that you regretted spending your hard earned money on?  Show of hands?  If you’re not raising your hand, then please, teach me your magical ways and please, rewrite this post for me.  And of course, the only things we ever regret buying are the things we actually spent money on right, because who ever regrets spending $2 at a thrift store??  Okay, so sometimes, we regret those impulse buys, those crazy “when am I actually ever gonna wear this?” buys…but sometimes, I actually end up regretting those “this is a basic I’m gonna wear it all the time” buys.  Like, WHAAAAAAT?  How can you regret a “basic” buy?  Yeah.  I think you know exactly what I’m talking about.  You’ve got that one pair of jeans you spent $200 on that you never wear.  That one dress that was supposed to be your “summer staple dress” that kind of makes you feel itchy and bulgy…and now it has permanent residency in the back of your closet, mocking you every time you see it.

So how do we avoid this horrid shopping regret hangover from those things you totally convinced yourself were “SO worth it?”  Okay, obviously this just happens from time to time.  Sometime, call it insanity, or just a moment where you suddenly decide that you are Alexa Chung and from this day forth you will be dressing exactly like her, but it does happen.  I have had times when I see something I would never wear…and suddenly I envision myself driving a vintage convertible (I can’t even roll the windows down because, um hair + lipgloss you guys, so a convertible is NEVER HAPPENING) looking exactly like Audrey Hepburn and only drinking things out of a martini glass.  Then I regret buying that headscarf because when the frick am I ever gonna wear a headscarf (rarely).  Maybe we can’t completely prevent this situation, HOWEVER, there is hope!  Tell that summer dress in your closet to shut it’s expensive, er, mouth, and let’s talk about some ways to avoid SHOPPING REGRET!

HOW TO NOT REGRET YOUR PURCHASES
*these are all only my IDEAS on the topic.  If you’ve got tips to add, I would LOVE to hear them!

  1. Avoid making snap decisions.  Maybe this is a no-brainer, but I think we all need to be reminded of this one from time to time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of a frantic sale, a super amazing instagram post, or something that is “one of a kind”.  When I get in this moment and am about to click BUY or race to the register elbowing other shoppers out of the way, I talk to myself.  (Not OUT LOUD people will think you’re crazy so please do this SILENTLY)  I remind myself of a couple things.  There are other amazing “one of a kind” things.  I WILL find something else I love no matter if this thing is “the one” for me or not.  Just reminding yourself of this point will calm you down and help you not make a rash decision.  Take a deep breath, and really LOOK at what you are going to buy.  Try it on, take a photo of yourself in it if you can try it on (this is HUGELY helpful because if you hate the photo of you in it, you will most likely hate that item of clothing on you), and if it’s online, look at the item details.  Check the measurements and the fabric.  Ask yourself if you can resell it or pass it on to a friend if it doesn’t work for you.  Just take time to THINK.  When I’m in the moment, I often realize later I didn’t even really look at what I was buying and just bought because I got kind of frantic!
  2. Do your homework.  I wrote a whole post on this, but the quick and “in the moment” way to do this, is to bust out your smart phone and do a quick search for the item OR a similar item, by brand name or style.  Sometimes you’ll see that what you’re about to buy isn’t a good deal at all.
  3. Picture at least three outfits on yourself with this item.  This is INSANELY effective for me.  Sometimes I am just about to buy something, and then I realize, I can’t think AT ALL of how I’m gonna wear it.  If you can picture at LEAST three different ways to wear this thing you’re about to buy and spend a good chunk of money on, then it’s worth it.  It means it won’t sit in your closet or your drawer because you automatically will know how to wear it.  Still want it and can’t come up with three ways to wear it?  Okay, that’s cool!  Do your RESEARCH!  Look up that item of clothing using a hashtag on instagram or google “how to wear bell bottoms” online and this could solve that issue quickly, expand your style horizons, AND allow you to buy this thing you really want!
  4. Know your body.  This is an important one.  I’ve spent money on things that are not the best for my body type, then I wish I’d maybe spent a little less on something that isn’t my favorite thing to wear.  This isn’t to say that you can’t try things that are “wrong” for your body…I firmly believe that you can and should wear what you love, no matter what your body type.  However, most of the time if it isn’t the most flattering fit or the most comfortable, you’re not likely to choose it often.  One of the most helpful things I’ve found when online shopping, and not being able to try something on (not being able to try stuff on can make it really hard to tell if it will look good on you or not!), is to google that item of clothing or that style and click on the IMAGES tab.  Then, you’ll see lots of different body types in this style.  Stores use girls who are like a size 0 or 2, and if it makes HER look, um, larger than she is, then it’s not gonna do ANYTHING for you REGARDGLESS of your size.  Trust me on this one.  Sometimes I’ve been saved from wasting money on something by actually seeing a photo of this thing I want on a NORMAL HUMAN and realizing that it sure as heck is gonna do nothing for me.
  5. Know your style.  This is another important one.  It’s not always the best idea to spend a lot of money on an item of clothing that deviates from your usual style.  Again, this is not to say that you should never buy something that’s outside your norm!  HECK NO!  I’ve been known to buy and wear polo shirts and I’m NOT a polo shirt person.  But hey, I felt like wearing a polo, so I bought one!  But it’s not the best idea to drop hundreds of dollars on a shoe trend you’d “like to try”, unless you don’t care if they never get worn.  I’ve had the best luck testing out a new style by buying second hand or maybe just buying a cheaper Target version, just to see how I feel about it before committing to it for real.  Think of it as a “trial run” before buying something that you actually are putting a larger chunk of money towards.
  6. Think about it.  Okay, sometimes you don’t have the liberty of putting something on hold, walking away from it, or waiting a week.  However, if you do have this freedom, do it.  This works every time.  You’ll either completely forget about it, or be so obsessed with it that you can’t stop thinking of ways to wear it.  This will definitely reduce your chances of regretting a purchase by 99.9%.

I love to bargain shop.  I also, though, love to from time to time, walk into a super nice store and spend an absurd amount of money on something, because sometimes that makes it feel special!  I think both are important to do, both can really provide you with great items that you’ll love forever.  I’ve gotten better and better at NOT buying things I regret just by using these tools…however it still happens!  And when it does, hey, you’re only human and you love to shop so, forgive yourself :)

I got this dress for under $20, which was great because I love it, but it’s not something I’m gonna wear like all the time.  It’s comfortable enough, but the vintage fabric makes it a hard summer heat piece for me…so the price was right for me to wear this occasionally and not regret spending on it!  The boots, I got on sale but still spent a good amount on and man do I NOT regret buying them.  Even though I have a lot of fringe boots (this fact made me almost not buy them in fact) I love them and wear them quite frequently.  I actually considered buying them for months before finally doing it (and I ended up getting them much cheaper because I waited!), and I’m so happy I took the risk!

Happy weekend shopping all you beautiful girls!  Whether you are bargain hunting, online shopping, or heading to Barney’s…enjoy it :)
Katy

 

On Style Ruts and Having Fun

Even people who love to wear clothes and to shop get into style ruts.  Like me.  I love to style and to put together outfits…but these past two weeks I’ve been kind of, off my game you could say.  Not like in a slump where I can’t figure out what to wear, but more like I’m just kind of uninspired I guess.  It’s funny how something you love so much and generally have fun doing can even feel like a chore at times.  Blog posts have been not really happening as much the past couple of weeks, partly because life has been busy and partly because figuring out what to write about and what I want to creatively put together has been more of a struggle than usual.

I know that I put a lot of pressure on myself to preform in a lot of ways.  This is partly what causes the ruts for me quite honestly.  I put pressure on myself to come up with great ideas and to constantly outdo myself and then suddenly things that are typically fun for me become frustrating and exhausting.  So today, I decided that adopting the Nike slogan was the best idea.  Just do it.  And then I had my inspiration.  Today, let’s talk about getting out of a style rut.  This post is as much for me as it is for you…maybe more!

So here we go!  This may be different for you than it is for me, but if you’re suddenly a closet case, suffering from outfit anxiety and blue jean boredom…here’s some tips to help you get OUT of that rut, and INTO something new!

HAVE FUN.  This might sound silly, but sometimes to counteract boredom with a bit of fun, you gotta be a little silly, a little goofy, maybe even a little juvenile.  Like for example, putting some pompom sandals with your jeans and a tee.  Wearing a shirt that has a woodland creature on it.  Adding a little piece of “costume” to your outfit…it can be small and subtle like a clever slogan on a piece of jewelry or bolder like a flower crown.  All I’m saying is, wear something that makes you smile and reminds you of playing dress up as a little girl.  No one even needs to know that’s what you’re doing, but you’ll feel the difference!

GET BACK TO BASICS.  This has two meanings, really.  First off, revisit the BASICS in your closet.  For example, I realized that my denim collection needed a refresh.  I have a lot of jeans, but many of them are old and kind of out of date and not the style I’m craving lately.  I have some great flares and bells, but I’ve been in a rut with those things…I needed some good skinny jeans and some great boyfriend jeans to add in.  So check out your basics…you may even have all that you really need, but maybe you need to clean some of the old basics out and replace them with some new graphic or plain tees with a revamped fit and style.  The second meaning of this statement is, to remember what you love, style-wise.  Get back to the basics of WHO you ARE, the STYLES you LOVE, and the LOOKS you ADMIRE.  If you’re a classic jean and tee girl, then re wear a few of your favorite things or an outfit you felt great in last time you wore it.  (yes, outfit repeating is not only allowed, it is encouraged!) Remember what eras you love and play with mimicking them.  I’m a 70’s lover, so for me, that means throwing on my high waisted orange bell bottoms and a retro t shirt.  I feel like “me” in that look and it never bores me.  It always feels fresh to me.

GO SHOPPING.  Okay, I get it.  This may not be in your budget, I understand!!  But how about thrift store shopping?  I use thrifting all the time to get out of a rut and sometimes buying a $5 vintage denim skirt or scoring a $4 Free People top is all I need to do it.  You could also call up a few friends and do a closet swap!  That way no one pays a dime, and everyone leaves with new stuff.  And don’t forget about places like Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads Trading Co. that will pay you cash or give you store credit for your gently used stuff.  You really don’t need to go on a huge shopping spree to get out of a rut!

GET INSPIRED.  Magazine photo spreads are my favorite for this.  Because just the act of seeing what other people are doing creatively will often spark your creativity.  You’ll see new layering ideas, new pattern mixing thoughts, and ideas of pieces you may want to add in to your wardrobe.  Fashion is basically all of us copying each other but with our own flair added to it!  I love it love it LOVE IT when I hear that someone was inspired by me.  When someone asks if she can “copy me” (usually that means she’s doing her own thing but it was inspired by me, so it’s not really even copying to me!) it MAKES MY DAY.  It is the HIGHEST compliment to me to hear that something I wore inspired someone else.  So take a look at the Free People catalog, Instagram, Vogue, Who What Wear…whatever inspires you most, and COPY AWAY!

Okay, so this is me breaking out of my style rut!  I thrifted this two piece (top and skirt) vintage MADNESS from the Goodwill.  It’s CRAZY isn’t it?  And I LOVE IT!  I will most likely wear this together and separately mixed with other pieces, and I think it’s just fabulously and horrifyingly bizarre.  I decided that after being in a rut, I needed to have some fun and wear some vintage (abiding by my rules that I talked about above!) and just be a little crazy.  I don’t have to be creative in this outfit because it does all the work for me honestly.  But it’s a start for me getting back to having some fun with styling again!

HAVE FUN this week with your outfits!  I mean, why not right?  Outfits are totally a creative expression of who we are!

Happy Tuesday
Katy

On Basics…And Maxi DRESSES

Wednesday is upon us, so it’s once again time to think about how to swap, switch, and snazz up a basic!  “Basics…Anything But” today is all about a maxi dress!  To begin with, let’s have a little heart to heart about maxi dresses, shall we?  I remember watching an episode of The Rachel Zoe Project years ago when she was meeting with buyers for some major department stores to find out what pieces from her line they were going to purchase.  To her shock and horror (being a MAJOR maxi dress lover), NO ONE was ordering the maxis.  Actually, they were ordering everything BUT the maxi dresses.  She asked them why on earth this was the case, and they gave her their honest answer: because they just aren’t big sellers.  Because a lot of women are afraid of the maxi or they just don’t know how to wear it.  This really got me thinking.  I’ve always loved maxi skirts and dresses…I’ve worn them my whole life, and I haven’t really thought twice about it.  But now after spending some time in a clothing store, I’ve realized that this is actually fairly true.  I wouldn’t say that MOST women don’t wear them, but I would say that A LOT of women are not drawn to this length.  The skirts that sell out are the shorter lengths by FAR.  This is the funny thing…maxi dresses and skirts, if they are the correct fit, are actually quite flattering, comfortable, and versatile.  So regardless if you’re a long dress lover or not, let’s try and have some fun with one!

THE DRESS:  Okay so fit is really important on a maxi, just as it is in most dresses.  Floor length dresses tend to be a LOT of fabric (I think this is one of the things that can scare women away to be quite honest) so if this is an issue for you, stay away from a higher waist empire style for SURE.  If the waistline starts just under your boobs, that’s going to be a much longer, fuller skirt than if it starts lower down on your waist, or closer to it.  If you happen to love the empire waist, then go for it!  But if not, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of skirt that is happening!  In order to pull off these swaps and switches successfully, the best style of dress will be a strappy (or strapless) simple maxi that’s a bit more fitted at the top and fuller at the bottom.  The dress I chose is from Free People and it’s got quite a full skirt on it.  (I gotta say, I bought it because Sasha of @snafierce wore it and DANG she rocks it, check out her post!)  You can EASILY do this exact same styling with a simpler dress if you don’t want the huge ruffles!  HERE is a super cute option that’s got some pattern variation and is nice and relaxed and HERE is a super simple budget friendly option (I know it’s called “empire waist” but it’s not full skirted, so it’s much more slimming than the average!)

Let’s start styling!  The beauty of this switch up is that if you have summer events or weddings to attend, you could potentially buy one dress and re wear it multiple ways (including to an everyday non formal function) without wearing the exact same outfit!  Apparently that’s all the rage now (I read about it in the Wall Street Journal this week so I know it’s true!).

HI! I’M SERENA VANDERWOODSEN (IN MY DREAMS)
Something about this dress reminds me of Gossip Girl!  It’s got a Grecian feel but it’s not quite as fancy as that dress Serena wore in the Hamptons!

I paired this dress with some gladiator sandals (HERE is a great pair for $54!) and some bohemian beachy macrame jewelry to give it a dressed down but still classy feel.  This is a great look for a beach wedding or party!
THRIFTY TIP: This look is VERY similar to the look I put together a few posts ago when I did one about maxi skirts!  So if you don’t have a good long dress or can’t seem to find one, find two long skirts and layer them just like I did on that post!
CRAFTY DIY: If you know how to make macrame plant holders and the like, make yourself a great necklace!  Otherwise, you can totally buy shells at the craft store and hang them on a chain to make your own necklace and it will look super boho beach ready!
SWAP IT OUT: Fringe sandals, or a basic scrappy sandal will also be very beachy keen with this look.  You could also use beaded necklaces instead of shells to add color and change the vibe of the outfit.

DO YOU CROCHET?
Here’s an easy way to change the look of your dress without layering on too much in the hot weather!  It adds a little coverage also if you’re looking to cover your arms or shoulders.


This look is still beachy but it’s a little classier.  It’s a very monochromatic look with this dress, but you could TOTALLY change that by using a different dress or shoes or top!  The crochet top needs to be short typically so that it hits at the right spot and leaves you a bit of a waist with the maxi dress.  HERE is one option, but it will depend on the top of your dress what style works best with it!  HERE is a few color options on the wedges for you (the ticket is that stretchy top because it’s SO comfortable!).
THRIFTY TIP: HERE is a fabulous (and nice retro reproduction too!) steal of an option for a crochet top that comes in black and white to give you a choice of colors!  And while you’re at it, HERE is a great cheap gold collar to give you a pop of metallic for this look!
CRAFTY DIY: Another way to make this look super cool and a little bit tough, is to thrift a bunch of gold chains (or make some at the craft store!) and layer a bunch of them.  That way you have an instant gold collar necklace!
SWAP IT OUT: Swap the cream crochet for black and use silver jewelry and black wedges.  It’ll be more of a nighttime look, a little bit tougher, and less beach ready.

I JUST LOOK LIKE I RIDE
A great way to make almost ANYTHING look more casual and daytime?  A graphic tee.  They layer over or under most anything and everything and they really relax the whole vibe of the outfit!  My answer to most everything is (yes a kimono, but in this outfit that doesn’t apply!) is a graphic tee and cowboy boots.  You can pretty much go anywhere with a casual dress code in those two things.
In this case, I used a tee from Bandit Brand, which is a GREAT place to get graphic tees if you want to splurge and grab something that really does look vintage.  (HERE is my exact shirt).  You could totally grab one of the same prints in many different styles (I just happen to love the muscle tee but sleeves totally work too!) and even some in different colors.  Also, Midnight Rider is another go-to for vintage reproduction tees!
THRIFTY TIP:  So when I started hunting at thrift shops for graphic tees, I realized why they are typically so expensive when you find them online or at a vintage shop.  The good ones are pretty darn hard to find.  But do look when you’re thrifting, just focus on the MEN’S SECTION because that’s where the good ones, if they exist, will be.  The great news is that places like Target have been ROCKING the vintage shirt game and even Forever 21 is getting up to speed too.  Check out THIS ONE and THIS ONE because I know it can be kind of shocking, but I never expect to pay less than around $50 for a good graphic tee and these ones totally fit the bill and come in way under that price!
CRAFTY DIY: I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  A borderline lame or not so hot tee from the thrift store can be saved by stretching the heck out of it, cutting the hems open, and ripping a few holes in it.  Heck I even got one that was basically ugly and I cut a v out of the front and grommeted and laced it up.  Totally changed the shirt into one of my favorites!  Here’s a YouTube tutorial on it!
SWAP IT OUT: You could easily use a cute tee and tennis shoes to liven up this look and make it super fun!  THIS ONE and some white tennis shoes would be fun!

YETI IN A DRESS
I know, I know, who in their right mind wears a summer dress with fur right?  I DO!!!!  I love the neutrals and the sort of haute couture of the loafers, gold, and the fur vest with this ruffled goodness.
This is a super easy layering option…throw on a vest, slip on some loafers, and go.
THRIFTY TIP:  Fur is one of those things that it’s honestly better to get new…faux fur is preferable usually, and places like Target and Forever 21 and H&M tend to have a plethora of them in the fall.  The great news is that it’s totally off season for fur vests so they’re all on sale!  THIS ONE is under $20!
CRAFTY DIY: HERE is a FABULOUS post on how to make your own statement necklaces out of stuff like ribbon and chain and stuff so that you can create your own bling for much cheaper than the store bought ones!
SWAP IT OUT:  Too hot for fur?  A denim vest or even a funky brocade one would be really fun over a maxi dress!  You could also swap booties for the loafers or even simple ballet or lace up flats for them as well!

We MADE IT!  Now do you wanna try a maxi?  I promise these looks will be cool over a sleeker dress if the ruffles feel like too much for you.  Even a kimono (gasp!) would look amazing over one as well, so GO NUTS!

And happy midweek day y’all we made it this far hallelujah!
Katy