Fashion Feelings: Fur the Love

For some reason, ever since starting a blog, I’ve been using ridiculous puns like “fur the love” and stuff…I don’t know why this is, but apparently my blog humor is cheeseball.  I love words, I love writing, so writing a lame/clever pun just gives me a tiny thrill…what can I say!?  Today, obviously, I’m talking about fur.  And no, this will not be a “vegan versus meat eater” type post.  In usual style, I’m not gonna tackle politics, I’m going to be silly about it.  Because being silly is way more fun than being serious.  And we all spend too much time being serious about stuff in my opinion.

When it comes to fur, I’m kind of obsessed.  That being said, I would have a very hard time buying it brand new.  I am a total animal lover and I’d run a dog rescue organization if I had the money, time, and space.  I eat meat, but I could not hunt.  I don’t know what that makes me…maybe just confused? but either way, I do love fur.  And if I see a fur at the thrift store or at a second hand store, I snap it up.  It’s the way I feel like I can feed my fur fashion obsession without feeding a sketchy (at best) industry.  And I’m not educated enough about the whole industry (please don’t educate me on it, I can’t watch or hear that stuff because I’ll cry) to really even speak about it.  Thrifted fur is my kinda fur.

Did any of you ever watch America’s Next Top Model?  I watched for about 1,976 seasons until I eventually realized that it’s the same thing every single season.  Yes, I’m a bit dense, so it took me a lot of seasons to finally get bored with it.  Boy did I enjoy it while it lasted though.  Of all the seasons I watched, there was this once scene that stood out to me.  I am telling you, you MUST watch this clip.  Because it’s solid GOLD reality television you guys.

If your video player is broken or you decided to skip the video, let me break it down for you.  When asked about her feelings on fur, the model basically says that she thinks it’s perfectly fine as long as the animal is already dead.  Um, honey, I don’t think they make roadkill jackets.  Can you imagine?  Tire tracks down the back of your tick infested deer coat.  A patchwork possum fur jacket.  A bomber made of skunks that decided to cross the road for an unknown reason and met their demise.  You know, there could be a market for this you guys…maybe my clothing line is missing the mark…

Yes, I think in all of fashion history, THIS moment on television is probably the best one regarding the fur industry.  I wear a lot of fur boots, faux or real.  I have had grown men hug my furry legs, toddlers dive for my feet and hang on like I was wearing a stuffed animal (because I technically am, but my feet are the “stuffing”), and people make jokes about how I “forgot to shave”.  I love to rock some major fur.

I found this full rabbit fur jacket for $20 at the thrift store.  It is in flawless condition.  I don’t care that it’s typically 80 degrees here, I will wear this thing.  And as a side benefit, I’ll probably get a lot of hugs, and I like hugs.

I hope today you learned just a little more about the roadkill fur industry, because it’s something we just don’t know enough about.  (hehehehehe)

Katy

Fashion Feelings: American Girl Style

Did any of you have an American Girl doll growing up?  I had one.  And she was my prized possession.  I used to get the American Girl Doll catalog that came out every couple of weeks and I would pour over it, much like I do over fashion magazines now.  I had those pages memorized and all I wanted in the world it seemed was one of those dolls.  I read all the books and I decided I wanted Samantha.  She was my favorite character and she had brown hair and brown eyes like me.  Gosh I loved those dolls so much.

I begged my parents for one for probably two years and finally, in one of the defining moments of my childhood, I opened that giant box with Samantha in it.  She had perfect curls and smooth skin (at the time the dolls were made in Germany, so they were incredible quality) and this gorgeous high necked plaid dress on.  Oh I loved her so.  I so badly wanted all her accessories…her gold four poster bed was a dream to me…and her clothes.  Oh her clothes.  I never did get anything else from that catalog, but I still can see it all in my mind.  I could probably almost describe her outfits to this day!  Her velvet cape with the white fur muff, her long white nightgown…it’s all still in my childlike mind’s eye.

I found this dress at a thrift store in the Halloween section, and I think it’s meant to be a nightgown.  But not so much anymore!  It has a little bit of a Samantha feeling to me.  It has a victorian element to it with the lace and the high neck and the puffed sleeves…but I think it works as a dress today if it’s styled right!

This is, of course, my modern day take on Samantha’s style.  It’s obviously too costume-y to dress straight out of 1904, but no one said we can’t take elements of that style and make them wearable!

When my daughter gets old enough I hope she wants one of these dolls…and I can pass on my Samantha to her and buy her a new one of her choosing.  And if you haven’t been to the American Girl Stores…dang they’re like something out of my childhood dreams!

Things like this make me miss childhood.  I wasn’t super into dolls per say, but something about having a doll that had a full life story behind her and the history that went with it made her extra special to me.

I don’t know that I’m going to manage to get anything even remotely costume-y (and by that, I think you know that I mean, like, not my normal costume clothes haha) but hey, this is kind of an American Girl Doll costume right?  I’ll take it.

Happy Halloween!
Katy

 

On Collaborating On A V Neck Tee

It’s Wednesday!  And today, for a special treat, instead of just me showing you some weird and crazy ways to wear your basics, I’ve got a partner in crime!  Mandy from milehighthrifter.com has joined forces with me to get our creative juices going…and boy is she great at being creative!  Let me tell you a little bit about Mandy.

She’s awesome.  I love a girl who when I say: “I put a tie with it”, she doesn’t even blink and says: “oh yeah great idea!”  It’s like the idea of wearing a tie as an accessory is perfectly normal and not weird at all (because for me, it’s totally not!) and she just rolls with it because she loves the fun, the interesting, and the unexpected.  She’s perfectly self depreciating and sarcastic (hmmm…that reminds me of someone else I know…oh yeah.  Me.) and she is a FABULOUS thrifter!  When I see something with super cool and fabulous sleeves, I think of Mandy because she has the BEST SLEEVES!!  I think I first fell in love with Mandy when she declared her undying love for me on Instagram after having like one mini conversation.  Yep, that’s a woman after my own heart.  She’s all in, just like me, and she says what she means right away!  I think our first conversation was about cankles…and we’ve been head over heels ever since! :) We decided that we’d do a little collaboration on an item that most of us have in our drawers or our closets…the plain v neck tee.  I’m gonna share what she did with it first and give my two cents on her looks, but please go to her blog to see the other side of the story!

How “NOW” is Mandy in this look?  I love this look because it’s simple, but the shoes…this look is all in the shoes for me.  I love how she took these perfectly thrashed jeans and then added in these gloriously crisp white heeled lace ups to really class up the whole thing.  I think with this look, you’d typically expect to see flip flops or tennis shoes, but these oxfords really keep it classy in my opinion.

Isn’t she the CUTEST?  Man I wish I had that midriff!!!  I love the knotted detail on the tee with the button down mini skirt…it’s those little details that really change up an outfit, you know?  And of course, the Converse.  I think this look is perfectly summer ready and absolutely adorable.

And this look.  She has the best personality and it completely comes through in her outfits…which is why fashion is SO FUN!  Suspenders and a ruffle skirt?  Yeah she really blew my mind on this one because I honestly have to say I wouldn’t think to do this, and I LOVE IT.  I think the magic of this outfit is that the plain v neck tee really balances out the outfit.  If you were to wear anything more than a basic tee with this, it could take it from day wearable straight into costume territory.  So she really nailed it with this look!  Please go look at her blog to see more photos of these outfits and more!!

And now, for some more fun…with a v neck tee of course!
THE SHIRT: Really ANY v neck shirt will do!  The one I’m using is actually thrifted from the men’s section at the Goodwill.  If you can’t find one there, a great place to grab one (or more) is in the men’s undershirt section at Target or Walmart or any store of the like.  This one is actually a Hanes men’s undershirt!  This is a great place to get them because then if you tend to stain white tees, you won’t be so bummed…because you got a three pack to begin with!

IS IT A SKIRT OR A DRESS?  YOU’LL NEVER KNOW
Okay so I’ve got this dress hanging in my closet that I thrifted.  I love the fabric and the drape of the skirt, but the top is kind of, um, terrible on me.  So, add a tee on top and problem solved!


NECKLACE (similar, but made by the same person), BOOTS (similar), DRESS (similar).
THRIFTY TIP: This dress and shirt are both thrifted, and to be honest, dresses like this are so plentiful at thrift stores and maybe if you find one you like the pattern of, this will give you some ideas on how to make it work if you don’t absolutely love the top part of it!
CRAFTY DIY:  Hand distressing men’s new undershirts will give a cheap shirt a more lived in and more expensive feel.  HERE is a tutorial with some simple ideas on how to make a newer shirt look old and vintage!
SWAP IT OUT: Change the boots to sandals (gladiators or flip flops!) and of course, change the color of the tee for a whole new look!

THAT 70’S TEE
Much like Mandy’s use of suspenders, I took my love of vintage men’s ties and balanced out the crazy with the simple!  Completely makes it wearable and calms down the fun accessories (you know, when the accessories are acting like you’re going to a party and you’re really just going to Target…that kind of deal).

PANTS (similar), PLATFORMS (similar, but same brand).
THRIFTY TIP: Ties are BEST WHEN THRIFTED!  There are SO MANY of these bad boys at the thrift stores it’s not even funny!  Check them out next time you go!
CRAFTY DIY: If you’re not into wearing an actual tie, try a leather wrap necklace. It gives a similar vibe, but you can do it yourself by buying some leather cord or even some ribbon to do it, or buy one HERE.  See how you can even embellish the choker part of it then just wrap and tie in a knot?  Even the least crafty can handle this one!
SWAP IT OUT: A bandana would be super cute…try a bandana and some colored skinnies and some boots.  Super cute.

FRINGY BUSINESS
Again, you can use the plain tee to balance out elements in your closet that are bolder, louder, and more statement making.  It can be a nice blank canvas on which to apply lots of fun jewelry and crazy patterns!
NECKLACE, PANTS (similar, but same brand), CLOGS (similar).
THRIFTY TIP: Blazers are one of the great thrifted items.  Check both the women’s section and the mens, and you’ll be sure to find some good ones if you keep your eyes out!
CRAFTY DIY: If you wanted to make your own accessories, you could easily make a necklace out of seed beads with lots of different colors.  This is another great option for a statement necklace!
SWAP IT OUT:  Instead of clogs, you could use loafers or flats and you could tone down the look with a solid pair of slacks or with jeans.  It would be a much more casual look with a pair of boyfriend jeans and some cute flats!

THE LITTLE WHITE DRESS.  I MEAN SKIRT AND TEE.
Sometimes finding a dress for an event can be a beast.  There are just times when you can’t find exactly what you want, or you want sleeves and dresses with sleeves can be harder to come by…you know this story.  Enter the white tee/white skirt that LOOKS like a dress, but it’s much easier!
SKIRT (similar), BOOTS (similar).
THRIFTY TIP: White can be a harder color to thrift for sure.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find!  But you can do this look super easily in black and it will be instantly fancier and easier to find stain-free!
CRAFTY DIY: I saw this feather necklace in a Free People store years ago, and I went out to the craft store, bought chain, feathers, and some crimping beads and made it myself.  It was a little time consuming, but honestly it saved me like $70, so it was worth it!  Another little crafty thing you could do is go buy some Rit Dye at Walmart and buy a white skirt and shirt, and dye them the same color.  Look who’s a genius now!  YOU are!
SWAP IT OUT:  Swap the boots for heels, and the jewelry for something sparkly and you’ve got an event or date night ready look.

I hope you love our collaboration…don’t you just LOVE Mandy?  Her instagram and blog are a treat, so make sure to follow her for lots of thrifting inspiration!

Happy midweek y’all!
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

On Basics…and Boyfriend Jeans

Hey it’s Wednesday!  That means it must be time for fun with BASICS right?!  You are quite correct!  Today for “Basics…Anything But”, I’ve come up with three looks for a style of denim that is most likely somewhere in your closet, and if it’s not, maybe it should be: the classic boyfriend jean.  I decided to do each of the looks with a different pair of this style of denim, because even though the boyfriend fit is pretty standard, of course there are some of variations on this theme.  Some fit more like a classic baggy pair, like you maybe could have actually stolen them from your boyfriend, and then there’s the more slim fit skinnier boyfriend pair.  (For those of you who have super skinny boyfriends, obviously.  Just kidding.)  There’s also usually a relative amount of distressing on these jeans, but it can range from the slight to the crazy trashed look of say, the One Teaspoon Denim.

THE JEANS:  Okay, so I used three quite different pairs.  One is a vintage men’s pair of Levi’s, another a distressed women’s pair of Levi’s, and then finally, a more classic Gap pair.  I feel like I can’t talk about boyfriend jeans without mentioning the original, Current/Elliott, who came out with this style and caused an explosion in denim years ago.  Theirs are an awesome investment piece if you are looking to buy a pricer pair, OR you can sometimes find them at places like Nordstrom Rack, Off Fifth, and TJ Maxx or Marshall’s at a lower price point.  Other places to find good boyfriend jeans are Gap (seriously one of the best places I’ve found to get good ones!), One Teaspoon (they’re pricey but adorable), thrift stores, Cotton On (great price!), and Old Navy (more bargain prices).  How much you spend really should depend on how they fit you and also how committed you are to this style, whether it’s something you want to just try out and wear occasionally or you want to invest in a good pair you are going to wear more often.

Let’s get going!  There’s a lot of ways you can rock the bf jeans, but hopefully if this is a style you have been stumped on or maybe bored with, this will get your creative style juices going!

DON’T MESS WITH ME, I’M PREPPY
This look is a really fun one I think because it’s a little bit preppy, and a little bit tough!  It’s nice to take something like polka dots and toughen them up a bit!  For this look I used slightly distressed Gap boyfriend jeans (they call them “girlfriend jeans” right now there, but they’re a slimmer fit than the traditional pair.  I love using lace tank tops as vests, and this one from Zara is just perfect for that!

Jeans HERE, blouse HERE, vest HERE, loafers HERE, necklace HERE. (these are all just similar pieces to what I’m wearing).
THRIFTY TIP:  Loafers are a great thing to look at thrift stores for!  These one’s I thrifted and they are PERFECT for only $20!  If you’re a polka dot lover, this is also a pattern that’s a great thrift find!  This top I am wearing is a brand new, with the tags on Free People sheer blouse…marked at $88, and I paid $4 for it at Goodwill.
SWAP IT OUT: A plaid shirt would be super cute with this look.  You can switch out the polka dots with plaid and the loafers for booties!
CRAFTY DIY: If you can’t seem to find a sleepless lace top, you can always get any lace top you can find at a thrift store and cut the sleeves off!

I’M WITH THE BAND
I love this look because it’s a total “I feel so cool” outfit!  I used a super distressed pair of Levi’s for this look and a bunch of thrifted stuff…it’s a fun one :)

Jeans HERE, shirt HERE, kimono HERE, booties HERE, necklace HERE. (style suggestions based on this look!)
THRIFTY TIP: Kimonos are a great thing to hunt for in the ROBE/NIGHTGOWN section of the thrift stores as I’ve mentioned before.  Also, the link above the the American Eagle Outfitters jeans is a great denim steal!
SWAP IT OUT: Instead of a band tee, use a patterned or plain tee and put a denim or plaid button down over it and wear it open.  Totally changes the look of the outfit, but still super cool!
CRAFTY DIY: Get some awesome jeans at the thrift store and distress them yourself!  HERE’S an awesome post on how to do it!

MY BOYFRIEND’S NOT BOHO BUT MY OUTFIT IS
For this last look, I used my vintage Levi’s that are my most baggy boyfriend fit.  One of the tricks to wearing the baggier styles is to make sure that the top you are wearing is not too long or oversized…otherwise your outfit will just be way too baggy overall!

Jeans HERE, booties HERE, top HERE.
THRIFTY TIP:  These jeans are like the classic thrifted boyfriend jeans.  I really recommend checking the mens section for the smaller sizes to achieve this look!
SWAP IT OUT:  A puff sleeve top would be adorable with this look too.  Add a vest on top of that, and you have a whole new look!
CRAFTY DIY: Make your own white turquoise necklace!  Just buy a strand of beads and string them and you’re golden!

I love boyfriend jeans.  Bell Bottoms are my total go-to, but boyfriend jeans have a relaxed cool vibe to them that is just fun to mix in sometimes!  Hopefully you’ve got a pair and this will help you jazz them up a bit, but if you don’t have a pair, maybe there’s a link in here that will get you looking at finding the right pair for your body!

Happy happy Wednesday, hope your week is rockin
Katy

On A Simple Life And A Simple Dress

Stories from the past fascinate me.  I guess you could say that history fascinates me, but it really wasn’t until college that I had the most amazing history teacher who actually told stories…that I realized that history was more than just dates and names to be memorized and then regurgitated onto a scantron form.  Now I’ll read or watch anything I can that’s based on a historical time period because it just comes alive and makes me feel like I get a real taste of the time period…even if it’s fictionalized a little (or a lot in some cases!).  It’s so interesting to think about how things are different now from then…and what things have changed the most.  I mean, people…they don’t really change that much right?  We still want mostly the same things.  But it’s the things that surround us and the methods by which we live that have changed SO much!

Of course, the era of the 60s and the 70s is probably the most fascinating to me, partly because of the fashion, but also because it’s not THAT long ago.  I mean, a lot of our parents were either born then or lived through those decades, so it’s not like we are that far removed from them.  However the differences between now and then are pretty crazy right?  I mean cell phones.  Just watch a show from the 60s and people are still talking on these phones with these long old curly phone cords that are attached to THE WALL.  Can’t go very far with one of those, now can you!  Or the internet.  I mean, how on EARTH did you learn stuff without it?  Can you even imagine what it’s like to want to know something…and have to go to a LIBRARY to find out about it?  Weird.  And yet, a lot of the people we interact with on a daily basis would tell you how normal this all used to be.  And now you can stop being so hard on your mom for wondering what the heck Twitter is.  Because the poor woman had to get in her car and drive to a place filled with books just to find out stuff, we gotta cut her some slack for not knowing what “LOL” means.  (NOT “lots of love”,  mom.  It’s really not, I promise.)

It’s funny how with all the changes there are from then till now that it’s easy sometimes to long for a simpler time.  There are so many days when I get tired of staring at screens all the time.  I get frustrated with the amount of anxiety it can cause to know so much sometimes.  I mean, remember when a strange pain in your right knee didn’t lead to a 45 minute trip down Google lane only to discover you MAY have a strange exotic bird disease that gives you approximately 6 months to live?  Maybe that’s a SLIGHT exaggeration, but you know what I mean!!!  I grew up with a LOT of unnecessary medical education in my home which led to me being a hypochondriac.  Sometimes knowing stuff really backfires on you.  It’s funny how there’s just so much good about having all this access to information and yet, so much bad as well.  Hypochondriacs know this all to well!

I just finished watching 11-22-63, that show based on a Stephen King book all about the assassination (or the prevention thereof!) of JFK.  It totally showed some pieces of life in the 60s, which were so fun to watch.  Funny how we always see this as a “simpler time” and yet in some ways…it was worse.  I mean, I think we see things as being “worse” now mainly because we have all these channels of news that broadcast stuff constantly.  Bad stuff happened back then, but often no one knew about it because there were no cameras on cell phones, security cameras everywhere, and Facebook for it to be wildly (and widely) disseminated.  That’s kind of worse in some ways.  People got to hide in the darkness of lack of information, whereas now getting away with stuff is hard because everywhere you go, someone is snapchatting or facebooking right next to you.  So yeah, so much information can cause anxiety or this false idea that the world is going to hell in a hand basket…but I’m not sure that it actually has gotten worse.  We’ve just been educated on what’s going on around us instead of things being kept in the dark.  I mean, in 1963, a guy literally walked into a building right next to where the president was going to be with a rifle the size of a curtain rod and killed him.  That would not be even remotely possible these days!

The moral of this story is, stop googling weird diseases and your life will be better!  Just kidding!!  Except I really should stop that for reals…haha.  I really think that while we do often long for a simpler time, it’s great to be thankful for the ways all the madness of technology has made our lives better, and then quit staring at screens for a while and engage in real life.  There’s the simple life we need.  Right in front of us.

This dress is one that I found at the Goodwill and the belt was thrifted a long time ago too.  It’s one of those ensembles that makes me feel perfectly retro, girly, and cute.  Since I can’t give you links to this exact look, I’ll give you a few that have a similar vibe!  This dress is adorable and the perfect red number! Here’s a sweet little stretchy belt that would compliment it so nicely.  These boots are a STEAL for riding boots like these Banana Republic ones I got years ago.  So simple.  Just about as easy as Googleing stuff right! :)

Hope your Monday is off to a great start!
Katy

On How To Successfully Thrift!

Here’s the thing about thrift store shopping.  One of the BIGGEST components to making an item of clothing appealing, is presentation.  I mean, I was talking to a woman who owns a local store and she told me how she and her co worker used to take things off the sale rack that had been sitting in the store for months, put them in the window on the mannequins, and they’d sell…instantly.  I have discovered this dynamic working at a second hand store.  Often something can sit in the store for so long, but the minute it goes on Instagram, it’s got a waiting list for it.  Thrift stores have absolutely ZERO presentation.  There are often many amazing treasures hiding in the midst of, well, truly ugly things.  Sometimes the “treasures” are even just things that look EXACTLY like that shirt you are thinking about spending $40 at Gap for…but it’s hard to spot because you’re so distracted by that really weird looking cat sweater sitting right next to it.  I’ve been cleaning up at thrift stores lately, but I used to loathe thrift store shopping for clothes.  I found it gross, frustrating, and very unproductive.  Since I’ve had a bit of a turn around in my thrift store “luck” you could say, I thought I’d make a little guide to help you think through your next trip to the Goodwill…or maybe just encourage you to go in the first place!

  1. Vintage slips.  I CANNOT stress this enough you guys…these things are SO versatile even if you DON’T wear funky clothes like I do!  First of all, look at any runway photos (think like Ralph Lauren, Gucci…) and you will spot this style.  They look very high fashion for a fraction of the price.  They are layerable…over things, under things, they make amazing pieces that look a lot like a Free People Intimates piece.  You can even put them under a dress (for more coverage obviously) and let the lace stick out the bottom to extend a dress or a skirt.  Always check the “lingerie” section for these babies.
  2. Button down shirts.  I was about to buy a few of these, had them in my cart online, and then I realized it…I could get this same thing for less than a quarter of the price at Goodwill.  Stripes and gingham are big for spring, and these are plentiful at most thrift stores.  Sure you may have to check a couple of times to get the right size, but I found BOTH of those items today for $4.50 a piece.  So before you go buying these at J Crew (I get it, their stuff IS amazing so it is worth investing if you know you love their fits!), check your local thrifts shops!
  3. White tees.  I know, you think I’m positively LOCO for suggesting this.  Because, like, how can a white tee survive any length of time to make it into a thrift store? Let me tell you how.  Go to the MEN’S section, and look at them.  You’ll find men’s UNDERSHIRTS that have that oversized, kind of vintage-y feel that you pay like five times the amount to find at Zara.  It’s most definitely worth a look.
  4. Dresses.  I find that honestly, the dress section is usually the BEST section in the store.  It’s the place you are most likely, it seems, to find GOOD vintage and interesting pieces, and things that you’d pay a lot more for if you were to find them online in a vintage shop.  I get it, this is where presentation REALLY comes into play.  Often times it’s really hard to spot a great item amongst the bad ones, so you have to pull things out and ask yourself a few key questions.  Does it look like something you would see in a magazine/on the runway/in one of your favorite stores?  Is it layerable?  If you saw this in a cute shop, would you buy it?  Honestly, bad presentation can also make things that aren’t that cute appear cuter than they actually are as well…because if something is the best item in the store, of COURSE it looks good!  I try to picture things I see in the thrift store on bloggers I love or in a magazine spread, and if that image works, I go with the item.  If not, I pass on it.
  5. Blazers.  Thrift stores are usually LOADED with blazers of all kinds and this is a total JACKPOT for this style.  I seriously suggest checking a few second hand stores before spending on this style because I’ve gotten the best blazers from there.  One was from Anthropologie and the other vintage…so you see what I mean?  It’s worth a scan on the racks!

One of the things I’ve learned is that if you are going for a LOOK more than for BRANDS, you’ll do better thrift store shopping in general.  Now some of you may live in areas like San Francisco or Malibu where there are a wealth of higher end thrift shops…and that’s a totally different situation.  I just know for me, being in an area where the thrift stores are really nice but aren’t “fed” by a lot of high end stores, it’s better to look for things that are vintage or that just have the look I’m going for, than to look for say, Free People items.  Once I started looking for “a blue pinstriped button down” (as an example) instead of “designer brands”, I ended up finding SO much better stuff.  Let me boil this down for you.  If you go OFTEN and with a CREATIVE and OPEN mind, you’ll make out like a bandit most times.  There will still be days when you walk away with nothing.  But those days will get fewer and fewer!

I scored this vintage slip and this pinstripe top from Goodwill.  And when I put them on, I completely felt like I could walk a Ralph Lauren runway.  I am in LOVE with this outfit.  It feels like menswear meets bohemian sophisticated glamour.  The boots are from my amazing bootmaking friend Hillbilly Gypsy Boots and they’re the best ever.  The vintage squash blossom is from Classic Rock Couture on Etsy.  I put it over skinny jeans to make it a little more casual and since it’s not quite warm enough to go without.  But when it does warm up, I’ll be rocking this over some tall boots too!

Okay you guys!  Brave those thrift stores!  You can DO IT!
Katy

On Individuality and A Super Individual Outfit

When I was a kid, I wondered occasionally if I had been dropped off by aliens because I felt so different from my parents.  I mean, I have some of their physical features, sure, but who I was was SO very opposite from them, that I felt out of place.  I mean, I definitely got some of their genetics.  Height from my dad, not a whole lot from my mom, but bad hair from everyone I’m even remotely related to.  I got their love of music and animals, but beyond that…I felt like I was not related to them at all.  It was a strange feeling, and given my lack of siblings, there wasn’t anyone to share this with or to feel like I had someone else to possibly be like.

When my son was born, I was shocked to see his incredibly fair features.  His light blue eyes and bright blonde hair…he is the opposite of my husband and I.  It’s funny, while he looks like us in some ways, he also looks nothing like us in others…he’s his own person.  It’s amazing how some things get passed on and some things don’t.   I mean, we can inherit things from our parents that aren’t just genetic features or things we love to do.  My parents passed on to my my eye color and my hair color, but they also passed on to me other things that are more subtle.  They were quite fearful when I was a child.  So fearful that something might happen to me, that they never ever were apart from me.  This passed on a very strong irrational fear that I could never be away from them, even for a couple of hours, without something bad happening.  I struggled with this through my whole childhood and only was really able to successfully go to friend’s houses without my mom tagging along with me when I was about 12 years old.  And this trait is not something that’s new to the family either.  There are a few people in my extended family who actually never left home at all.  Ever.  It’s a trait that’s been just as prominent as eye color or foot size that has been handed down for generations now.

Have you ever noticed that kids sometimes grow up and repeat the same “mistakes” their parents made?  I’ve seen this before and kind of wondered why on earth they would make the exact same choice their parents did…when they’ve had the opportunity to watch how that choice affected the lives of the ones who came before them.  It’s because we pass down to our kids more than just our talents or looks.  We pass down to them other things, good and bad.  My mom is a ver passionate person who tends to go full speed ahead on issues.  I got that from her.  And my dad has a great sense of humor…which is where I learned to laugh so much.  But there were also the fears, the inability to take risks, and the never feeling good enough…those things also tried to hop right aboard my life too.  And this is why I’ve been thinking so much about it all.  What am I going to pass on to my kids?  I mean, obviously I’m only human so no matter how hard I try, I’m sure they’re going to pick up some stuff from me that’s not super awesome.  But I’d really like to stop making negative comments about myself to start.  Stop being so paranoid about weight loss and eating correctly…I don’t want them to be afraid to eat things that are fun.  I don’t want them to have a mom who gives up on her dreams, thereby enabling them to do the same.  Or a mom who doesn’t feel like she deserves a compliment.  I want to teach them that it’s okay to travel, and that leaving home and seeing the world isn’t a scary thing.  Although, I still battle that fear in myself.  Regardless, I can change these things in myself for my kids and do things that might be uncomfortable for me so not only can THEY live out a full life, but maybe I can also do things I never really thought I’d have the guts to do.  I think it’s worth it.

One thing I’m betting I will pass on to my children is that it’s okay to dress like an individual.  Already they want to wear superhero capes and animal hats and all kinds of fun stuff when we go out to the store.  And I’m sure as heck gonna let them because being who they are is important to me.  I was an individual from birth, and that’s never changed.

The thing I love about this outfit is that it’s kind of crazy, but in a way that all the elements actually compliments each other.  The pants were on super sale on zara.com and the lace top was from there as well.  The pink top and the loafers were thrifted, as was the gold necklace.  This outfit just makes me happy.  It’s fun, vintage inspired, and has the right mix of bohemian and structured 70’s that I love.

No matter if you FEEL like you’re an individual or not, you are.  You might have inherited a LOT from your parents…genetically and emotionally…but that doesn’t mean that you are not your own person!  If I can be myself after years of feeling like I couldn’t even survive being away from my parents, then you can too! :)

Happy weekend

Katy

On New Styles and Wanting a Refund

Do you ever have something little happen that really shouldn’t bug you that much, but instead you fly off the handle?  That happened to me the other day.  I had been part of a monthly beauty subscription box and one of the month’s boxes never arrived.  I emailed them a few times, getting little to no response.  Then when I finally did get a response, what I got was a pretty simple: “it’s your responsibility”.  That was AFTER they consistently asked me questions I had already answered in previously (and obviously unread) emails.  I never got the box.  Of course this is pretty annoying and even rude (and quite shockingly poor customer service).  However, it was my reaction that surprised me more than anything.  Usually I’m pretty chill about this kind of thing.  I’d expect myself to be disappointed and probably cancel my service (which I did).  But I found myself almost in a complete rage.  I felt offended.  Hurt even.  I felt ripped off in a much bigger way than I should have.  I even cried a little.  I emailed them and told them I was super disappointed and no longer would be a customer.  I was nice of course, but I’d say I ripped them a new one in a courteous fashion.

When I got that email basically saying they didn’t care whether I got what I ordered or not, I found myself feeling things on a level that were a bit out of proportion to what was actually going on.  I mean, I was MAD.  A lot of what my family and I went through a few years ago that quite literally leveled me for a while, was basically being ripped off over and over again…in a lot of different ways.  People who were supposed to care for us, stole from us.  People who I thought were there for me, were not.  I feel like in some ways I poured my life like a bunch of quarters into a vending machine that promptly said: “out of order” and left me high and dry.  It was a shocking time in my life because it let me see the true nature of greed and also, the honest and harsh reality of my life.  And I wanted a refund.

There are some days when what we lost feels unbearable to me.  Days like that one, where someone ripped me off for $20 and I felt like it was the last straw.  Days when I want to literally hunt all those people down and demand that they understand how it felt and what it did to me.  Days when I want a refund on my time, on my feelings, and for the pieces of my heart that I gave away and thought it was an investment.  Those are the days when I struggle the most.  Those are also the days that my husband usually has to remind me of the fact that the best is yet to come, and no amount of me pouring my heart out ever will come back completely void.  That there were good things that came out of the bad…even the horribly painful.  It’s a hard thing for me to remember when it hurts.

One of the things I find the most amazing, is watching new life come out of previously “dead” areas.  Like watching plants grow in the spring after the ground looks dry and devoid of life.  Like watching a new relationship form after an old one has “died”…whether it’s a literal death or an emotional one.  Like seeing someone get a new start after everything looked hopeless.  I think the only way this really happens is by letting go of the old “dead” parts.  And that is much easier said than done.  I think as the new year approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want for the new year.  New life is one of those things…and that means me letting go of the old.  For me that means emotionally letting go and not being afraid of that letting go.  It means forgiving…and that includes forgiving myself (which is the hardest person for me to forgive!).  It means letting go of what was lost (including that box I never got!) and letting it be, and allowing space for the newness that is to come.

I’ve been getting a lot of new inspiration for outfits lately.  That’s not to say that I’m getting rid of my old styles, because I still love them!  But I guess I’m letting myself have fun, be open to new ideas, and finding ways of growing and changing in my style.  Newness is always a good idea!  :)

I went to the Goodwill to get some sweaters, but instead ended up with this awesome vintage shirt that is actually Avon brand.  I couldn’t pass it up!  I’m having a lot of fun with vintage scarves lately, especially mixing them with jewelry.  Because, well more is always more to me! :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Katy

On Thrifting and This Epic Vintage Dress

I’ve been having a hard time not being discouraged about a lot of things lately.  I think it’s just one of those times where I am kind of in a plateau with my weight loss and there’s a lot of things like car troubles and other frustrations that have been getting me down a bit.  It’s Christmas time, which is just magical, and I have a wonderful husband and kids, so I have nothing to complain about…however sometimes there are just those little things in life that seem to weigh me down more than I’d like.  Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard I try, I can’t shake off the negative thoughts and feelings that are just, well, part of life from time to time!

I think there are just times when all the stuff I went through a year or so ago, all those moments of complete and utter panic, often kind of haunt me…I don’t think I’m the only one who has ever felt like this.  You know those moments where you are about to panic even when everything is totally ok?  It’s amazing how powerful thoughts can be even if you’re in the most peaceful of situations!  I continually have to keep shifting my perception of life towards the positive and amazing things that are going on.  Just like I have to focus on the 100 pounds I did lose, not the 10 stuck ones.  I have to focus on the great place we live and the fun we get to have as a family, not the car that needs fixing.  Perspective is just everything often times.

I think it’s totally normal for us as humans to kind of “learn” from our experiences, the good and the bad.  Like if you go through a bad relationship, you often attribute all the bad things that your previous partner did to you to your new partner, who may have none of those tendencies.  And then you have to unlearn all those things!  I’m kind of in that process, but with life.  I’m currently “unlearning” all the harsh things that I went through for a while.  Just because they happened then, doesn’t mean they are going to happen again.  But that’s a hard thing to train your brain to receive.  Those hard and negative things really stick with you…even more so than the positive and encouraging things unfortunately!

Here’s how all of this applies to today’s outfit.  I feel like thrift store shopping is kind of a learned art.  When I find something great, I remember that find, and I am motivated to keep going.  And then when I find more great things, I get even better at hunting and frequenting the same places or even finding new ones!  However, for years I only could find bad stuff…I don’t think my eyes were really open to what I was actually looking for…so I hated thrift store shopping.  It was intimidating, pointless, and ended in wasted time and frustration.  But once I got the right perspective, I started being able to see the jewels in the midst of the stuff I didn’t want.  I started one by one finding items I truly valued and loved.  And I unlearned all my bad thrift store feelings.  Now I don’t associate thrift store shopping with ewwwww gross I don’t wanna go there!  And I feel like having the right perception and attitude has helped me find some of the stuff I have gotten.

I think this dress is possibly one of the best thrift store finds I’ve ever scored.  It’s the kind of dress I would TOTALLY buy online if I saw it.  It’s just kind of epic AND it’s orange, my favorite color.  When I saw this hiding in the racks at Goodwill, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Do you see what I mean?  This dress is just so unique!  And I’m so thankful I got to unlearn all my bad thrifting thoughts so that I could find it.  And now, to unlearn all the other garbage I learned!

Hope your week is just as epic and fun as this thrift store find :)
Katy