Fashion Feelings: Capes, and (not) Being Supermom

There’s always someone out there with an opinion on whether women can “have it all”.  I’m not here to give my opinion on this idea, however, it was what inspired me to write this, so it has to bear some sort of weight in this post.  I think it’s hard to even give an answer to that plaguing question “can I have it all?” because it’s so highly dependent on what “all” means to you.  I think some women define having it “all” as working and having kids.  Other women would feel slighted by this, and would say that’s not “having it all”, but rather staying home with their children is “all”.  So I’m not going to answer this because there just is no hard and fast answer.  But I think all of us out there with kids are still trying to be supermom, and yes, we are all probably “failing” in our own minds to have it all…whatever that means to us.

I never intended on staying home full time with my children.  That being said, I’m very thankful that I got the chance to do this.  I loved my job and I know that having small amounts of time to focus on other things (other than my children) makes me a better mom.  But given the circumstances of our life at the time that I had my second baby, it would have been a drain on our family and it would have been more hurtful than helpful for us.  So I stayed home, and tried to be supermom.  But that cape is a heavy mantle for me.

For me, I am one of those people who thrives with a job, with a creative passion, and with other creative people around me.  I’m a nerd who loves meetings, organization, and colored tabs in my binders.  Motherhood comes with no binders, and if it did, my kids would promptly smear them with chocolate and destroy them with crayons.  I am not a person that thrives in the chaos of a messy home.  I constantly remind myself that kids need to be messy and that letting go of always having things clean will help me enjoy life more.  But this is a struggle for me.  I wouldn’t trade the time I have at home with my kids for any job, period.  It is priceless.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s not hard.  I often feel stir crazy, crazy exhausted, and just plain crazy.  I am not a great crafting mom, Pinterest mom, or creative mom.  I’m working hard on these things, but it doesn’t come naturally to me.  Speaking in front of people comes naturally to me, but helping my kids with a puzzle pulls muscles in my brain.  It’s funny how natural it is just just love and adore your children…and somehow you think that once you give birth it will also be perfectly natural to know how to make a Disney princess cake from scratch on their birthdays.  For me that is not so.

I am not supermom.  I see a lot of supermoms on Instagram, but I’m going to bet that by their own volition they are most definitely NOT supermoms.  Some days I have to remind myself that I can’t even be a semi decent mom if I don’t take some time away to breathe and do something for myself…let alone be supermom.  There are certain things I think I’m not bad at when it comes to mom-ing.  I cook a lot, I love talking to my kids and reading them stories, singing to them, and shopping with them (big surprise there) and I will be an EXCELLENT Disneyland ride buddy mom.  But crafting?  Getting messy and doing things that I can tell will require extensive vacuuming later?  Playing board games and puzzles?  Not easy for me.  I’ll get there.  But supermom I am not.  I can still wear a cape though, that’s allowed, right?

Capes are making a comeback and if you want to know more about their fashion history, check out this Vogue.com article with some really cool photos.  I got this velvet cape because it is perfect for semi-cool weather (which is something we have a lot over here) and I’ll most likely be wearing it most with jeans or shorts.  Velvet is one of those fabrics that can go SUPER fancy, so pairing it with denim is always an easy way to daytime-it-up.

After all my extensive hair-pulling-out, self shaming, and unashamed comparison on social media, I can only conclude one thing.  Supermom does not exist.  It is a myth that we keep alive in our brains, primarily to torture ourselves.  Kind of like the tooth fairy where we’d actually go to great lengths to TRY and lose teeth (so gross) just to make a couple of bucks.  And in light of this, I will SAY I will stop tormenting myself with images of perfect family photos and event quality birthday parties, but the truth is, I most likely still will.  I am human after all and it comes with the “mom territory” to automatically feel like a failure when things don’t look picturesque.  And with toddlers, most things are covered in crayon scribbles and not in like a cute Instagramable way.

And now, back to the toddler arguments.  And those things are endless.  Happy Friday
Katy

Advice in Style: How To Dress Like A “Have”

First of all I want to clear something up.  I don’t like the whole idea of the “haves” and the “have nots”…this post is most definitely not meant to reinforce this concept!  But, if you keep reading, hopefully you’ll get my point (and have some fun too!).

I wrote an article a little while ago about how Vogue attacked fashion bloggers and attempted to minimize their value using some choice words that seemed a bit more like something you’d say to a close friend instead of making them public to the world.  If you want to get my whole take on what they said, please read the post!  This whole thing got me thinking about the fashion industry as a whole.  So, I love fashion.  Obviously.  I want to go to fashion week, see the famous runway shows, and own some couture of my own.  I love it.  However (you can see the big “but” right?) there are some things about the fashion industry that aren’t so nice.  Fashion has always been an indicator, and sometimes dictator of classes.  I mean, it used to be actually illegal for people of certain classes and incomes to wear some styles of clothing.  That way, you could look at a person and determine how much money they make!  Can you believe this?  I mean, talk about a horrible and judgmental world to live in where you could be thrown in jail for wearing a dress that didn’t fit your wallet size.  Yuck.  Maybe things have changed and progressed quite a bit since then.  But we are still not immune from this whole “judge a book by it’s cover” thing.  I think we can often still size someone up based on their outfit pretty darn easily.  But now, since it’s legal to wear anything really, we can pull the wool over people’s eyes much easier!

Years ago there was this old hippie guy who worked at my local Trader Joe’s.  He was super opinionated, kind of funny, and liked to kind of talk at you and spout out his political thoughts and whatever was on his mind while he was ringing up your groceries.  I rather enjoyed it.  I would just listen, nod my head, and bag up my own groceries while he told me all the problems with the world and all that jazz.  After a couple months of this, he stopped talking and asked me a question!  He asked me: “so what do you do?”  I answered him (I was a full time worship pastor at the time at my church) and when I gave my answer, he literally did a double take.  He looked so surprised.  “What?” he said, shocked at my answer “oh wow…I thought you were like one of those super rich San Luis girls who…” (his answer trailed off into a lot of things I don’t remember, but were most definitely not things that describe me.  He then proceeded to tell me that because of my clothing, how I looked when I came into the store, he had made these determinations about me.  Yep.  He thought I was a “have”.  I remember what I was wearing that day.  I wear wearing a Juicy Couture dress I had got second hand and a furry pair of slippers from Target that people would literally stop their cars, roll down their windows, and ask me where I had gotten my “boots”.  I think you can tell where this whole thing is going!

It’s not the point I’m making, but hey, let’s attempt to stop sizing each other up by our clothes, ok?  I do it all the time, and I am working on NOT doing that.  I’ve been falsely judged because of what I wear lots of times.  The point I’m really making, is that we never should feel “less than” or shut out of the fashion industry just because we aren’t a mega celebrity with deep pockets and a trust fund.  You can look like a “have” (and BE a “have” just because, hey, you’ve got what matters right??) without spending a lot of dough.  Here are some tips for ya, in case you need them :)

Second hand stores and thrift stores are always, always worth a look.  I know many of you already know this, but I cannot even tell you some of the stuff I’ve seen at thrift stores for just a few dollars.  I mean, just because something was expensive or designer, doesn’t mean that whoever is selling it there knows that.  You will often see stuff worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars sitting right next to stuff from Old Navy.
Get out of town.  There’s something about going places you don’t normally go to shop that makes you find great stuff.  Don’t be afraid to drive to neighboring towns or go to the “rich” areas to check their thrift stores.  It’s like trick-or- treating in the neighborhoods who give out king size candy bars instead of just staying close by and getting a zillion “fun size” ones.  Fun size, my ass.
Stay off the beaten path. When you’re in a store like Target, steer clear of the women’s section.  This sounds super not intuitive, which is why it works.  If I were to put together a complete outfit from a store like Target (and trust me, I go there enough to know what I’m talking about) and I wanted it to look expensive, here’s what I would do.  Shoes: slipper section (especially around fall…you never KNOW what furry boot-like treasures await you), Top: boys section (graphic tee), men’s undershirt, or women’s pajama section for a button down pj top, Jacket: men’s or boy’s section for a blazer, Jeans: women’s section, but take a pair of scissors and a razor and modify them, Accessories: little girl’s section.  Do you catch my drift?  Part of why this works is that if you have a Target in your town, every woman wears stuff from the women’s section.  Therefore, if you shop around the women’s section, no one will know that what you have on came from Target.  Plus, I’m gonna say this again.  Those furry slippers got me more compliments than almost anything I think I have ever bought.  And they were like $10.
Be true to yourself.  Don’t buy or wear stuff that you don’t love just because it’s a designer name.  This will never get you anywhere in feeling great about yourself because you won’t feel great in your clothes.  Confidence in one’s outfit goes a long way to conveying that you love what you are wearing and who you are.  So if you don’t love it, don’t wear it no matter what the original price tag is.  Plus, sometimes you’ll find stuff that was expensive originally marked down at second hand stores simply because…it’s ugly.  Designers have “misses” too and often those are the things that people buy, regret, then get rid of.  Make sure that it’s a good find and not just a “used to be expensive” find.

And here it is.  Proof that I don’t iron my outfits when I probably should.  (I hate ironing!)  I love this outfit.  My top is a thrifted silk pajama shirt, jeans are old Levi’s I distressed myself, and my shoes cost $5 at H&M.  You could easily find an outfit like this in a magazine for about 32 times what I actually paid for this.  Looks can be deceiving, you guys :)

I don’t care what you have, you are a “have”.  Remember that.  No more keeping up with the Joneses, keeping up with myself is work enough!

Happy Monday
Katy

Trending: Vogue’s War on Bloggers

So…apparently Vogue hates bloggers?  Ouch.  I recently came across the (now infamous) article that was written as a recap of Milan fashion week, in which they slammed fashion bloggers more than just a few times.  Read it here and see for yourself.

I have many, many thoughts on what they said.  Before I begin, let me say one thing.  This article doesn’t anger me, nor does it really offend me…it just really makes me think.
“There’s not much I can add here beyond how funny it is that we even still call them “bloggers,” as so few of them even do that anymore. Rather than a celebration of any actual style, it seems to be all about turning up, looking ridiculous, posing, twitching in your seat as you check your social media feeds, fleeing, changing, repeating . . .” (excerpt from the article)
I have so many thoughts after reading this article swirling around in my brain!  There is a major shift in how…the world, really…works on basically every level.  I mean, think about it.  iPhones and social media have changed the way EVERYTHING works.  Actresses are the new models, youtube stars are the new celebrities, and bloggers are the new…”it girls”.  Like it or not, things are not as compartmentalized as they used to be.  Music is now streaming on monthly services or, heck, free on youtube.  People no longer get their news from the morning papers and writers no longer have to get a book published in the traditional fashion to become a professionally paid writer.  So hearing what Vogue’s thoughts are on bloggers to me seems like asking The New York Times what they think about people getting their daily news from Twitter.  Yeah. I’m gonna guess they don’t love it.

There’s kind of like an “old guard”/”new guard” thing going on here, and I think both are right in many ways.  While reading this article, I got a few distinct feelings from it.  First of all, it reads like the comments of a jealous ex-girlfriend.  Do you know what I’m saying?  This is just my opinion…but to me, when a girl uses the words “pathetic” and “desperate”, these are not objective comments.  The article is not a news article per say – about how they feel saddened about how things have changed and miss the ways things used to be.  That is a legitimate feeling to have.  No, this is a “I feel threatened so I need to name call” situation.  It doesn’t make me angry, rather, uncomfortable because I feel like I’m reading someone’s diary.  Like, these comments would have been better stated verbally in a meeting between these editors…and definitely not printed for all to read.  That just feels…icky.

Second of all, this article sounds to me much like when I talk to my grandma about television…and all she can say is how much better things used to be in “the good old days”.  This is a total valid feeling.  However, if we don’t move with the times, we expire.  Don’t get me wrong on this…I am of the mind that we MUST, beyond a shadow of a doubt, maintain the values and memories of our history.  This means that we can’t forget where we came from.  We need to keep the things that never, ever go out of date…like creating things that really last, speaking the truth and making statements with our art, and honoring those who came before us and paved the way for us.  However, if we don’t embrace and use things like social media, blogs, and the like to our advantage…we become out of date and not relatable, especially to the next generations.  While it is the job of establishments like Vogue to maintain their core values, to put out a print publication and make fashion statements and report on what’s going on in the giant world of style…they must absolutely learn to embrace what is happening in the blogosphere.  Because it’s real, it’s happening, and like it or not, it’s not going anywhere.

All that being said, I understand where they are coming from.  I think in every single profession, hobby, and realm, there are plenty of people who phone it in, who are just there for the “free stuff”, who cheapen things for the rest of us.  But come on.  That happens in every area of life, whether you work at Starbucks serving coffee or you are a top level designer in a large fashion house – there will be people who do a disservice to their profession.  That’s just part of life.  So my thought is…don’t attack the whole world of bloggers just because you saw a few you didn’t like.

I get it.  They think that bloggers have cheapened the fashion world.  You know what?  They’re not wrong.  It’s true, it used to be only the elite who got photographed in these pieces of art.  But is it a bad thing that the fashion world has opened up a little bit and now normal people who aren’t a size 0 and happened to get discovered at a mall somewhere get to actually participate?  Gosh.  I would never have made it as a model.  I don’t want to be a model!  But I sure as heck want to wear the clothes and play in the fashion world!  Fast fashion, blogging, insta celebrities… sure there is a dark and yucky side to all of this rapidly changing dialogue.  But let’s get real and honest.  These things, while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, allow people with real budgets and real bodies and real lives to say something in the fashion world.  It gives people a voice.  And yeah, not everyone has a great one.  But we all need to have the opportunity to say what we need to say.

This is a lot of deep thought for a weekend, y’all.  Time to go watch some fluffy tv…
Happy weekend
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

Real World Style: Magazine Fall Style

I love pouring through those amazing haute couture spreads in the latest (or even old editions really) issues of Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire…basically you name a magazine, I love it.  One of the things that’s always a struggle though, is to make the looks they put together actually wearable in real life.  I mean, a lot of haute couture is more art that inspires fashion than pieces that are really supposed to be worn to the grocery store or to a holiday party.  Let’s get real.  Some of those girls on the runways or in the photo shoots…aren’t wearing any underwear.  Sorry guys, I love fashion a lot, but I’m not showing my nipples while buying diapers at Target.  At least intentionally.

Challenging as it can be, sometimes there are looks that are more easily reproducible in those glossy pages than the ones that consist primarily of mesh and body paint!  These are the most fun looks because they are great outfit inspiration when I’m feeling like I don’t know what I want to wear!  One tip I’ve learned…vintage is often a GREAT substitute for haute couture pieces.  Often times vintage is what inspired those pieces we all see and love, and it’s at a fraction of the price and more accessible to those of us who don’t live near a Versace or Gucci store!

I love this look.  The fall feelings…the mixture of the menswear blazer, the feminine pleats, and the gritty rainboots all creates a beautiful piece of art.  This is one of those looks that, may be fantastically pricey and couture, is easily replicated out of normal clothing that is either already in your closet, or is somewhere around you at a normal store!

Everything on me is vintage, except for those Hunter boots.  And you know what, everyone needs a pair of Hunters!  It barely rains here, but when it does, I bust out these amazing things happily!  Micro pleats are a huge trend for fall 2016, and micro pleats are SO VINTAGE!  Here’s a basic option from H&M for a micro pleated skirt dress.  My jacket is an amazing Goodwill find (I watched another girl try it on and waited for her to put it back before snatching it up!) but here’s an incredible velvet blazer that would be SO good with that H&M micro pleat dress!

And there you have it, proof you can dress haute couture without spending the big bucks (unless you wanna, and there is NO judgement from me on that!).
Katy

DIY Styling: Gucci Style Part Two

Aaaaaand we are back!  How many parts of this DIY styling will be Gucci, you may ask?  How many stars in the sky are there…how many grains of sand…just kidding.  This installment of DIY Styling is fairly simple one.  Remember, most of these aren’t as much “do it yourself” as they are “wear it yourself”…this is DIY styling first and foremost!  Because there’s nothing I love more than styling!

One of the greatest things about the Gucci line right now is that it’s incredibly eclectic.  There’s a glorious “mash up” of styles happening that makes this an incredibly fun style to recreate.  Also, pretty easy…because mixing things to create a style is much easier than needing one exact piece to make it happen!

I absolutely love this look in the September issue of Vogue.  I love the baroque mod mash up…because what a strange and unusual combo!  Baroque conjures up images of lots and lots of excessive ruffles, lace, jewels, velvet, and fur.  And then mod makes me think of simple shapes like sheath dresses and clean lines.  But put em both together?  Why not?!

See what I mean?  It’s such a strange and interesting combo that it just might work!

Here’s how you can recreate this look.  You can really do this your own way…all you really need is a mod style dress.  Think a 1960’s style dress (it doesn’t have to be striped or chevron, any 60’s simple sheath will do!) and then add some baroque styling elements.  Baroque is an easy style to add accessories in.  Think large blingy gold statement jewelry, fur scarves, collar necklaces, and the like.  Those are usually an easy find from almost anywhere you go.  Then marry the two (ceremony not necessary) and bam.  Instant “Gucci Style”.

For this look I used a vintage 60’s dress (I stuck with the color theme of the photo for visual simplicity) and I added a vintage fur collar to the dress.  These are often found in the costume section of the thrift stores or sold at vintage shops.  Even Free People sells them!  Then I added this antiqued gold collar necklace (these pearls would do nicely too!) to give that baroque bling.  I have no idea what her footwear is in this image, but hey, that means we get more room for creativity with this look right?  I chose loafers, because, well, nothing says “Gucci” like a great pair of vintage loafers!

Hope this inspires you to go do a little baroque mod mash up of your own!  If you do, please tag me on Instagram so I can see!
Katy