Cool Copying: Chanel and Elbow Patches

You know what I need more of in my life?  Elbow patches.  I feel like they just add that little element of like Sherlock Holmes chic that makes any jacket cooler.  Yeah.  I need more of those things.  When I was a kid, my first career of choice was to be a detective.  I read a lot of kids mystery books and I always was on the hunt for a good “mystery.”  Once my best friend and I saw a mannequin hand in a convertible car parked on the side of the road.  Because we were the best detectives around and had a strong nose for a good mystery, naturally, we stole it.  And that was the extent of my career as a detective.  I know, the irony is not lost on me that the real mystery here to the person who OWNED THE MANNEQUIN HAND was who stole it…but that’s not my point.  Elbow patches a great detective make.

Elbow patches also make me think of professors.  I always thought that teachers were supposed to dress a certain way (probably because I was homeschooled until I was in high school and had never actually met a real teacher).  Then when I got in high school, I realized that teachers are just normal people.  Some of them dress “teacher-y” and others…wear weird stuff.  I had this one teacher, who was just plain weird.  That sounds mean, but you guys, he was.  He wore the same corduroy pants from 1975 (but not in a cool way) with a neon windbreaker from 1985 (see what I mean about the “not cool way” thing?) basically every single day.  He stared at the center of your forehead when he talked to you and never, ever looked you straight in the eye.  His gaze would wander farther and farther from the region of the top half of your face the longer he talked, until he was just looking out the window.  Whenever he’d say “YOU!” and call on someone, we’d all just look at each other like: “do YOU know who he’s looking at?  Because I sure don’t.”

Then I got to college and I walked into the first day of my first math class.  I realized that the girl writing on the chalkboard was the TEACHER even though she looked like she was younger than us.  Turns out students can teach too (student teacher, anyone?), so assuming that anyone who looks just like us was NOT the teacher was a bad idea.  The best though was my botany lab professor, who at the beginning of the quarter told us that he was retiring after this and really didn’t give a rat’s behind about this class.  Sweet.  That was an amazing start to the lab.  He was super tall and thin, had kind of 70’s rocker long grey hair (again, not in a cool way) and wore the same belt with a massive silver dragon belt buckle on it every single day.  I watched him chew out the entire class and call us all stupid because “we couldn’t follow instructions” for a test.  His instructions were total whack, you guys, and we were the smart ones, I guarantee this.  He had a conniption and looked like he may cry, die, or lie down on the floor.  Yes, so many teachers in the world.  And honestly, a shockingly disappointing amount wear elbow patches.  Sigh.  My school didn’t look like Hogwarts either.  Wtf.

I saw this Chanel ad and the minute I saw it, I knew I needed to copy it.  Because, tweed, pastels, and pearls…it is just SUCH a great mash up.

So here’s my version of it, for now.  I’m still going to be on the hunt for more pieces in this look, but here’s what I’ve found…

I thrifted the jacket and the skirt and the pearls…well I made those all by myself!  YouTube video coming soon! :)  I used riding boots for now, but the next thing I’m on the hunt for are OXFORDS because, I know they are coming in in a BIG way.

Sadly, this jacket does not have elbow patches, but it’s pretty darn close to that style.  And also, sadly Hogwarts does not exist in real life.  At least that’s what I’m told, but honestly I don’t really believe that.

Happy ALMOST Thanksgiving!  Get that turkey brining!  :)
Katy

Advice in Style: Mashups

Anyone else out there used to watch Glee?  Then you know what a great mashup is.  You take two things that are amazing and you put them together.  Two different things that seem like they may have nothing in common, and you combine them…often learning that there is more common ground between the two things than you think.  Style mashups happen ALL the time, but no one ever calls them that!  So I’m just slapping a Glee-friendly label on them and showing you a few.

1970’s meets western:

Preppy meets vintage rocker:

Asian inspired gown meets bicker chick:

Rockabilly chills with rock and roll:

You catch my drift?  So what makes for a great mashup?  In music it’s things like similar chording, a common theme between the lyrics, and the possibility for a compatible tempo.  But what about in style?  How do you make sure that the two worlds will live happily ever after instead of fighting for the center stage?

Here’s some helpful ideas for you.  None of them are RULES…because there’s LOTS of ways to make a great mashup!
1. Pick one dominant theme.  One way to do this is to pick one or two pieces that you want to be the focus.  Then fill in the blanks in between with simple things.  Like, choose crazy 1980’s sneakers and a preppy tweed blazer…and fill in the gaps with a white shirt and jeans.  That way your mashup has some neutral territory.
2. Separate the mashup with some space.  If you’re freaked by this idea, shoes and something on your top half (like a top or a jacket) is the easiest way to give it a go.  That way, there’s a little bit of territory between the two things you’re mixing.
3. Choose styles that “go with everything”.  Obviously, not everything, well, goes with everything, but let me explain.  Cowboy boots tend to be one of those things that are an easy style mix up piece.  They go with fancy edwardian dresses for some epic style confusion.  They work with a rocker tee and goth leather mini skirt.  They are usually a sure fire, go-to, mashup piece when you’re looking to add something.  Converse are also another great piece.  Plaid/tweed blazers, seventies scarves, and 1950’s brooches usually mix in well with other fashion statements too!
4. Just give it a try.  There are many times when you may think to yourself: “this is going to look terrible together!”  But then you try it on all together…and voila!  Magic happens!

I’m all about style mashups.  Partly because I can never make up my mind about what style I’m into at the moment.  Partly because I love to get creative and see what happens when fashions collide.  Partly because…it’s way fun!!!

I got this (most likely a costume) vintage dress at a thrift store and I decided to wear it open like a robe because it has the most amazing drape to it…and the sleeves!! OMG!  I was trying to figure out what to wear it with, and these over the knee western fringe boots just would NOT get out of my mind.  I really just loved the idea of these two major pieces hanging out together.  It just somehow…seems like they belong together!  I also added one of my favorite fringe pieces from my amazing friend Jessica (Hillbillygypsy Boots) to tie in with the fringe on the boots.

Go forth and mash it up!  Have some fun!  This is where you get to break all the rules :)
Katy

Real World Style: Fall Couture

I love nothing more than to be flipping through the glossy pages of a magazine and spot an outfit that makes me think: “hey!  I could do that!”  I love when I see a photo that encourages me to put things together in a brand new way.  This is the ultimate way to “shop your closet” or to help you come up with a list of a few pieces to add to your wardrobe for the new season.  When I saw this look in the most recent Vogue, I instantly knew I wanted to give it a shot in the real world.

Dang it.  Now I want a soft pretzel.  Back to the outfit.  I love blazers.  I think they are one of the most key pieces, like a great pair of jeans, that can just completely make an outfit.  They just add something structured to your look and can take anything, even a plain tank top and jeans and sandals and make it look like a legit outfit.  This look, though, made me think about the whole “blazer/skirt” combo.  This is not new, it’s not rocket science, but it just feels very now and fresh to me.  This is what I did with it:

I have a plaid blazer, but because mine is navy and dark green, when I tried to pair it with the red skirt it looked way too Christmas-y.  I liked how the stripes paired with the skirt…kind of had this thing where the lines on the blazer continued on down in the skirt.  It feels so “fall” and so  put together to me.  All I need is that stupid soft pretzel now…

If you don’t have a blazer, definitely add one to your wardrobe.  Here’s a great option for one under $50 at H&M.  I think this look works best with an unstructured skirt better than a pencil skirt for example, because the blazer/pencil skirt pairing is definitely an “I just came from the office” look whereas this is a more creative use of this typical workwear piece.  I would do it with a flowy maxi, a pleated midi, or even a destroyed denim piece to be creative with it!  I love the juxtaposition of the tweed-y blazer with a romantic or rock and roll skirt!

Hope you’re having a great day (and eating a soft pretzel)!
Katy