Advice In Style: How To Dress Like A Cult Leader

At some point in my fashion journey, I have had a revelation.  I have seen the light.  And it has beckoned me towards it.  Yes, my style is often an epic mashup of lots of things, but amongst those style elements, one of them has emerged frequently.  I like to dress like a cult leader at times.  I know, I know.  I am as horrified as you are.  How can this be?  I seem so mild mannered and sweet…(well now I’m just straight up lying through my teeth, how very cult leader of me!)  But yes, I have realized this, and I wanted to do the right thing and share it with all of you.

After having this, um, spiritual-like enlightenment, I had another epiphany.  Lots of cult leader style is in high fashion.  Often.

Let’s stop for a moment.  Doesn’t high fashion sometimes just…make you LAUGH???  I mean, if I was wearing all that couture, I would NOT be wailing and acting like someone just died.  I’d be doing a happy dance with a permanent smile affixed to my face.  (How very, un-cult leader-y of me).  But this is it.  High fashion meets cult leader.  And I have signed up.  I’m drinking the Kool-Ade.

If you’re kind of confused about what on earth I mean by “cult leader style”, let me break it down for you.  It’s pretty simple.
1. Sleeves.  Cult leaders need long bell sleeves because they do a lot of hand and arm gesturing.  The flowy sleeves really help drive their point home.  I don’t think I’m very convincing at all in short sleeves.
2. Dress Shape.  You don’t see a lot of waistbands or belts on cult leaders.  I’m not sure why…but you have to wear tunic shaped dresses, no matter male or female.  No pants, no belts, just a long piece of fabric.  Keep it simple.  That way, you can focus on more important things, like naming new planets and coming up with a theme song.  (Cult leaders have those right?)
3. Demeanor.  You must always appear calm and put together.  Aw crap.  Guess I can’t be a cult leader after all guys.  Or I guess, as in the photo above, you can wail at random like a crazy person.  But I don’t recommend that in a normal setting like in, say, a coffee shop with other humans present.  Also, patting people’s heads and saying “my child” a lot is a bonus.  This will definitely give you that extra authority…mixed with those long sleeves…that you need to gain followers.

Here’s my look that definitely says: “come follow me, my child” (see how I did that?) and I know you want to go and do the same.  Okay.  Gotta go finish up my theme song now…

On Not Being Realistic and A Crazy Tunic

What’s the difference between a pessimist and a realist?  (this is not the intro to a joke.  Kind of.)  A realist is a pessimist in a clever disguise!  Now this is just MY definition, so quote me on it if you want, but don’t go trying to find this in a dictionary or anything!  Let me explain.  I have come to realize that often, as important as it is to be “real” at times, when people are being “realistic”, this tends to lean towards the negative.  I know, sometimes you gotta really look at reality and do what you need to do.  But that is not what this post is all about.  This post is about seeing things greater than reality.

I think what inspired this train of thought primarily, was watching the movie Joy. Have you seen it?  You should.  I mean, literally, GO WATCH IT!!!  The movie is based on the life of the woman who is called “the queen of QVC” because she’s sold more products on there than anyone.  This movie shows her life as she…against insurmountable odds and with no money to speak of…invents a product and literally saves her family.  This story didn’t just speak to me, it screamed at me.  After watching this inspiring story, where her entire family and all her friends were constantly telling her to give up and just call it (they were actually being realists, considering the nature of her circumstances), I couldn’t help but think more about this blatant defiance of circumstances.  I mean, just dream with me.  Imagine if everyone in the world was like this.  Imagine if instead of giving up when things get hard, each person saw the potential in themselves, in their dreams, and in their circumstances.  What if, instead of being  “realists”, people decided to fight against the negative things in their lives. I know that every situation is different.  But I’m fairly certain that for the most part, we are all way too quick to give up, to throw in the towel, and to blame things on “the economy”…”not enough resources”…or “not enough skills”, when those things are often not insurmountable.  Or even true for that matter.

I hate when I get discouraged and start being “realistic” about life.  Because no good story is “realistic”.  The best stories, whether it be in history or in movies or in real life, are the ones where the hero actually conquered something.  And the thing that needed to be conquered probably seemed impossible.  It probably was hard, and discouraging, and there probably weren’t nearly enough resources to realistically conquer the obstacle.  So here I am, in real life, and I’m ready to start looking at things less realistically.  I’d like to stop being weighed down by things that seem “impossible” and start looking for opportunities instead.  Yes, being a realist is just too close to being a pessimist for me.

This outfit just screams “cult leader” to me.  I mean, I can’t NOT see it!!  So yes, this is my “I’m forming a cult” outfit (I’m really just kidding you should know that by now!) and my cult is one of hopefulness!  So join me.  Let’s start persevering, stop giving up, and start realizing that there’s more to life than “reality”.  This fabulous 1970s cult tunic was thrifted and I added a lot of jewelry and some riding boots to keep it from being too “fresh off the compound”.  Know what I mean? :)

Hope your week is going fabulously and you are feeling all sorts of motivation to do all the things you are so gifted at!

On Collaborating and A Sweet Deal For You!

When it comes to vintage clothing, I’ve discovered that there are two types of people.  People who love vintage, and people who do not.  Amongst the people who do not, there tend to be varying reasons why…for example they just don’t know how to wear it, it doesn’t fit them correctly, or they just really love new stuff as opposed to older things.  All of those reasons I completely understand, however I firmly fall into the first category obviously!  I love owning things that had a story and a life before me.  I love finding unique things from decades past and giving them new life.  And I love how detailed and intricate most of those vintage items were made…by hand and with purpose and intention.  And I love finding people who love vintage like me.

I got to meet (on Instagram) the girls behind The Reformed Moth (a shop on Etsy and also a storefront in Newport, Rhode Island) and these girls really GET vintage.  They reached out to me to do a collaboration (my first one!) and style some of their pieces, so of COURSE I jumped at the opportunity!  I was not disappointed.  These girls have mad taste.  Honestly I could buy and wear everything on their shop if they were all in my size!  Every piece I tried on was absolutely FLAWLESS.  This is QUALITY vintage.  This is not “thrift store” vintage…this is boutique, handmade, in PERFECT condition vintage.  And I loved every piece I got to style.  I had such a great time and each of these four pieces were on their own so stunning that I did my best to respect them and show them off for the artwork that they are.  I’m excited to share them with you and also give you a little incentive to check out their shop below! :)

This first dress was just stunning on it’s own when I put it on.  It was very fitted on me, so I was kind of expecting it to not flatter me, but I felt SO sexy in it with the side slits and body hugging shape.  I added a thin scarf in pink and ankle booties in orange because they brought out the gorgeous spring florals in the pattern.  I love this dress with gold jewelry because it adds a little glamour!

I LOVE the bright pink on this velvet tunic dress!  It is so bold and fun!  Because it’s so vibrant, I wanted to add a lot of neutrals and go a little western with this piece because it’s kind of an unexpected twist.  This dress is SO so soft and fully lined too…it is just gorgeous on its own.

This dress was one that kind of surprised me when I put it on, because the sleeves…oh those sleeves!  It has these PERFECT flutter sleeves that are SO flattering and so fun to wear.  I wanted to switch it up from a typical retro housedress style to something more bold, so I added this giant gold bohemian collar necklace and tall lace up moccasins.  Those flutter sleeves kind of gave a little bit of an allowance for this more traditional pattern and style to be more wild and free and less vintage housewife.  This dress could be worn over skinny jeans, bell bottoms, with flats or heels…and still be stunning.  It’s a total style chameleon!

And now, for the piece that stole my heart with its sweetness factor.  This little tunic dress is clearly handmade and just the cutest thing ever.  I put it over a vintage puffy sleeve top and used simple tall boots because I didn’t want anything to interfere with the adorable detailing on this dress.  Jewelry really would just detract from it, so I left it off.  I think this was my absolute favorite piece to style because of its uniqueness and it’s pretty accents and front pockets!

You guys need to check out this shop.

Danielle and Rebecca started The Reformed Moth five years ago, and their original intention was to upcycle vintage clothing.  They began finding pieces that were so good as they were, that they decided to not mess with perfection and sell them in their original state!  They are just like me…LOVE the thrill of the perfect vintage find at a flea market…those pieces that are wearable and on trend even though they were made long ago.  These girls have excellent standards and taste…you’ll see when you look through their shop.  They were named “Newport’s Best Kept Secret” in a local magazine…and once you take a look, you’ll see why!

Go shop!  Get 25% off with code statelyvelvet :)

I’m really grateful to these girls for giving me the chance to style some of their pieces.  I’m hooked!


H&M Tunic…Doing Double Duty

I feel like I’m always doing at minimum two things at once.  Like making breakfast, washing dishes, and filling up water cups…plus trying to make coffee at the same time.  See?  That’s four things right there.  Maybe I’m “resting” and folding laundry at the same time.  Running on the treadmill and managing instagram for my job.  Trying to write a blog post while getting constant requests to make an elephant out of play dough.  What the?!?  What am I, Michelangelo??  I can barely make a snake out of play dough, let alone a mammal.  Oh geez.  My elephant looks like a snake that ate a large mammal.  Epic play dough fail.

I love items of clothes that can do double duty too.  I have a great love for tunics because they can either be a dress or a shirt.  I love it.  Double duty.  I found this one at H&M for $10 and that price just can’t be beat either!  It’s just long enough to be a dress (confession: I wear cutoffs under all my dresses just to be safe…like a never-nude for all you Arrested Development fans out there!) and just short enough to wear over pants or leggings and kind of look like a top.  Such a steal!


I went with vintage cowboy boots because I thought it was a nice contrast to the sort of boho world vibe this pattern has.  Then turquoise and beaded fringe because, well, those go with everything!


Because bell bottoms are my leggings, I put the tunic over my lace Nightcap bells.  I simplified the jewelry a little because the lace pants really change the feel of the tunic.

Double duty items are easy.  They work in warm and cool weather and again, it’s nice to have pieces that easily layer for when it ACTUALLY gets cooler!!

Happy Wednesday!