My Summer “Wish List”

Let me get this out of the way, because I hate preachy posts that make me feel like I shouldn’t want stuff.  TRUST ME, I have a list three miles long of the things that I want, and NONE OF THEM are cheap.  So making you feel like I’m all altruistic and have sworn off shopping would be a MAJOR miscommunication.  However this post is not about stuff.  It’s my grown up summer wish list, which doesn’t have as nice a ring to it as the whole grown up Christmas list, I realize, but it’s not Christmas and I’m frickin hot.

My Summer Wish List*
(*does not include all the stuff I want, I’ll hit you up later Santa Claus.)

  1. Have Fun
    I love how as a grown up, I have to like, purpose to have fun.  What the literal heck, you guys???  As a kid, all you want is to be a grown up so you can do whatever you want whenever you wanna do it.  Then you become a grown up, and you realize you can basically never ever do what you want because you have kids, you’re not independently wealthy, and, oh yeah, there are other people in this world who need you to do stuff for them.  One of my goals for the summer is to have fun.  Both the kind of fun that involves me shopping by myself and the kind that involves doing family stuff with my husband and kids…and trying desperately to ENJOY it instead of stressing about the fact that the kids are TOUCHING EVERYTHING.  Wish me luck, people.
  2. Be Wise, But Worry Less
    I like to shop.  Every time I intentionally try to “spend less” I end up feeling restricted mostly due to how I was raised, and I end up impulse buying something just so that I don’t feel trapped.  Uhhh…that’s not wise.  I find that for me, when I intend to “be wise” with how I shop, it makes for healthy purchasing habits.  I buy the things I would be sad I missed out on if I was strictly just trying to save money…and I don’t buy the things I would have bought just to make myself feel better.  And the second half of this whole thing goes along with this.  Worry less…meaning, when I’m being wise with my purchases, I can stop worrying about spending needlessly.  I want to enjoy the all the fun I’m trying to let myself have after all, right??
  3. Give Myself A Break
    I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself.  To lose weight, to keep the house clean, to get my kids in bed exactly at the same time every night…and inevitably something gets in the way of any number of the things I’m attempting to control…and then I feel like I failed.  So this summer, I’d like to give myself more rest time.  Time to read a book, time to not think about any of the things I “need” to do, and time to recharge.  I often fill up that time with other things, and then feel rather burnt out on life.  That’s no good for anyone.

This dress was kind of one of those “I’d have been bummed if I missed it” purchases.  I popped into New With Tags in Paso Robles and this Raga LA dress was just hanging there, staring me in the face.  It’s so lightweight and flowy and makes for one of those great summer outfits that makes you feel so dressed up without being hot and uncomfortable.  The choker is from Amanda of The Desert Mermaid and the bolo is from my good friend Jessica from Hillbillygypsyboots.  The lace bralette is from Urban Outfitters, but you can find these babies almost anywhere now including Target!

Whatever’s on your wish list for the summer, I wish you great luck getting it or getting it done!

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

Advice In Style: How To Dress Like RiRi In The Wild West

The other day I was thinking: “what would it look like if Rihanna was in the wild west?”  (yes, I do occasionally have thought like this, I really couldn’t make this up if I tried).  Now, I like Rihanna a lot.  I love her music and she just seems like a super cool person to me.  But I’m not really like, a follower of her style per say…I think it’s cool but it’s not always really “me”.  That being said, I am not one to discard someone’s style just because I am not usually inspired by it.  The girl has super cool style.  And occasionally, she just nails it.

Yeah.  Whether you relate to her style typically or not, she’s just a super cool girl! In imagining this whole “Rihanna in the wild west” thing, I imagine it would go a little like that old movie Wild, Wild West…you know that not super amazing movie with Will Smith and Salma Hayek in it from 1999?  It was kind of a futuristic steampunk western.  Not all that memorable as a movie, but visually it was kind of fun.

I remember there being a nice mixture of rock and roll style and typical western garb.  So yeah, I think Rihanna could rock the wild west.  And I wanted to as well!

What you need for this look:
Attitude.  Obvi.  I mean, it IS RIHANNA after all.
A finger gun.  Because, well, I don’t trust myself with a real one.
A maxi skirt.  This one is COMING SOON in my new Velvet California line, and I’m loving this skirt more than any other maxi I’ve ever worn.  It’s just so…swishy.
An amazing punk western band geek jacket.  Yeah, betcha didn’t really know that mash up could be a thing right?  This one may be a Halloween costume, but DANG.  And that’s how I roll anyway.
Some animal jewelry.  Mixing animals?  No problem you’re bada$$ like that.
Cowboy boots.  I mean, come on you need these gorgeous things anyway.
And a bandana. This is the wild west after all.

Now you are fully equipped to channel RiRi while staking your claim in some uncharted territory.  Just all in a day’s work, people.

Happy land staking
Katy

Real World Style: Farmer’s Market Style

If you shop often or look at Instagram style feeds on a regular basis, no doubt you’ve seen the phrase “farmer’s market style” used to describe an outfit.  I have to admit, I both love and hate that description.  Why, you ask?  Let me explain.  First of all, I love it.  I see this outfit that is minimalistic and yet romantic in it’s minimalism, and I immediately begin imagining myself wearing this outfit and farmer’s market-ing.  I see this beautiful image of myself wearing this lovely outfit, buying organic fruits and veggies, laughing and strolling through a busy, yet peaceful street overflowing with produce.  Then I sit down and drink an espresso at an outdoor cafe (I’m in Europe at this point, naturally) and read a beautiful old educational French book.  The sun is shining, the weather is perfect, and I look like a European model (because why not right?  If I’m gonna have a fantasy, I’m sure as heck gonna look like a model in it) and my red lipstick has magically not transferred at all to my teeth or to my perfectly white coffee cup.  And then, I realize what has happened.  I have gone insane.  Finally the inevitable has happened.  Because I don’t read educational books, I read teen novels.  When I wear red lipstick, it gets on EVERYTHING.  When I go to the farmer’s market, it consists of me pushing a giant motorhome sized stroller covered in old food and juice, saying “oh…sorry…excuse me…” as I run over people’s feet while we “stroll” through the street.  There are toddlers screaming “GET DOWN” repeatedly and I’m probably sweating because all things in life involve me sweating, the vegetables have poked holes in the flimsy bags they gave us (because I inevitably forgot my perfect “farmer’s market” bags I bought when this fantasy overtake me last time), and there’s no outdoor cafe with espresso.  There is only the outfit I was wearing earlier because I forgot to change into my romantic minimalist look and me, wondering why going to the farmer’s market is NOTHING like the movies.

Dang it.  Regardless of this juxtaposition of my fantasy life against reality, I still do love “farmer’s market style”!  So why not just wear it any old day of the week? I’d like to propose that when this glorious fantasy overtakes you, realize you do actually love the outfit, even though it doesn’t come with a free trip to the French Riviera.  Where I am quite sure, their red lipstick stays put.


This vintage top and raw silk skirt I bought from Bumbleebuck Vintage, who is the MASTER of romantic minimalism.  You will want to buy everything in her shop simply because it’s lovely.  I added the hat and the scarf and the vintage slip on Ariat booties because it just added a little bit of a western flair to the outfit.  And now, I’m off to the farmer’s market.  Just kidding.  I’ll be doing laundry in my jammies.  #reallife

Katy

On Jealousy and Fringe

Jealousy.  It’s one of those feelings that we all come across at one point or another.  And is it just me, or has social media managed to feed the green-eyed monster and somehow made it…bigger and more accessible?  It’s kind of the worst, yuckiest feeling, and yet…it still happens whether we like it or not.  Today, I had a run in with the not-so-lovely feeling.

I was out and about, and I saw someone who I actually do not know personally.  At all.  But thanks to the magic of social media, I know quite a bit about her.  At least, what she chooses to share that is (I feel like that always needs to be clarified, right?).  So I saw her, and because I “know so much about her”, I found myself feeling jealous.  Before I knew it, I was thinking things like: “wow it must be nice to be her…to have so much money…to be able to do and buy whatever she wants…” I mean, it took all of 3.5 seconds for my thoughts to escalate to this point where I was feeling angry with her.  What on earth??  I was so repulsed by my thoughts and feelings…and yet I still had them.  I really know NOTHING about her as a person.  And yet, for 3.5 seconds, I was kinda sorta actively hating her.  Wow.  I’ve found that it’s gotten easier and easier for me to forgive people for being judgmental and mean at times because, hi, my name is Katy, and I sometimes have judgmental and mean thoughts.  Yep.  I’m no better than anyone else.  My world has been rocked, yet again!

So in the moment I was jealous of this poor girl who had no idea I was directing laser beam thoughts of hate at her, I didn’t think for a second about who she was, what her life is/has been like, or what she’s been through.  I have no idea.  I mean really, I have NO IDEA.  I don’t know her story.  I mean, for all I know, she could have had a very difficult life up to this point.  I REALLY DON’T KNOW, and that’s the problem with jealousy.  I don’t know what it’s like to be her, what she feels, and who she is as a human.  Picture this.  What if you took a homeless person who had been through hell, and overnight made her a multimillionaire.  You gave her a brand new Range Rover, an expensive makeover, and all the right social media photos.  I bet you anything, people would say those exact things I had thought earlier today.  “wow, it must be nice to be her!”  IS IT?  Gosh we really DON’T KNOW, do we??  Sure, there are some people who do seem to live a sort of “charmed life”, but no matter what, we do not know what it’s like to live from their perspective.  I talked myself down from hate laser beams quickly…once I realized how out of hand my thinking had become.

Regardless, her story is not my story.  Sure, she has stuff I want.  That’s a normal, natural part of life.  Just because she has it, doesn’t mean I can’t have it.  There’s enough to go around.  But my story, my timeline, and my path is not hers, and it would be better if I could focus on MY story instead of looking over at hers and wishing that it was mine.  Easier said than done, but it’s something I remind myself of often.  None of us are immune from jealousy, and all of us are guilty from time to time of coveting someone else position in life.  Eyes forward, encourage each other, and keep moving forward.  That’s what we have to do.  Because looking at each other isn’t really forward is it…it’s more like trying to hop the fence and go sideways.

Gotta wear my attitude like want to wear my clothes.  Boldly and with grace.


My good friend found me this top from her friend up in San Francisco, Souls of California (she has the BEST vintage!) and it’s insane.  It’s drapey and fringy and all the things I love!  I put it with vintage Levi’s, thrifted braided huarache like sandals and this amazing white turquoise necklace handmade by DesertMermaid.

Hope you are loving living YOUR story this week!  I’m working on that right now… 😉
Katy

 

On Tips For Customizing Your Wardrobe

You know what I’ve discovered?  That if there’s a “custom” option for a piece of clothing, I will ALWAYS choose it.  There’s just something about having something that ONLY you have…no one else…that makes my heart go pitter patter.  Somehow I’m always willing to spend more money to have something that was created just for me.  I think it’s even funny how if I find something that’s from Forever 21, but at like, a thrift store or a second hand store, I’m WAY more likely to buy it than if I actually found it at…Forever 21 itself!  Because the appeal of a single item hiding on a rack is WAY stronger than a giant rack full of the same thing.  It just seems…cheaper and way less cute than if it was standing alone!  I know, I know, it’s totally a trick of the mind because it’s the EXACT SAME THING that was at a box store on a huge rack maybe just months before…but it’s just different somehow!  I get it.  Custom stuff takes time and extra moolah, but to me, it’s worth it.

I had a revelation a long time ago when I found out that basically ALL celebrities who wear vintage and, well, anything else…get ALL their stuff altered to fit them. Wow.  That means that it’s not like, my body type or my height or whatever, it’s just that EVERYONE’S BODY is different!  I think this is what makes me place extra value on custom clothing.  It means that it will be literally made..for YOU.  Now I know we can’t all afford to get every piece of clothing custom made, and honestly that’s not necessary.  Sometimes you walk in to Target, and something fits you like a glove.  But when you’re really having trouble finding something, it might be worth the investment to just get it specially made!  I had trouble finding overalls that would fit me, so I special ordered them from LykkeWullf.  It was so worth the money.  Now I have a pair of overalls…made to fit me.  My exact measurements.  Comfortable AND cute.  Same with all the loads of stuff I have ordered from my FABULOUS friend Arwyn (@township31).  You are going to see a lot of stuff from her because, well, I love her, and she is so dang creative, I can’t stop!

Tips for customizing your wardrobe: (hint: you don’t need to buy all new stuff!)

  1. Etsy.com is your best friend.  I mean, gosh golly you can’t even go a few seconds of searching without finding something that you can custom order.  It’s a mecca for creativity and custom fits.
  2. Contact people over Instagram/Facebook and ask.  I’ve been surprised sometimes at the people who actually do custom orders but don’t necessarily advertise for it!  I’ve honestly just asked people…”hey can you make me one of those?” with GREAT success most times.
  3. Find a local tailor.  This can be the BOMB when it comes to thrifting.  Often it’s cheaper than you think, so just ask.  You never know what will happen!  This is a great way to take things you already have, but don’t fit you right, and make them AMAZING.  Also, it can be a great way to bargain shop for stuff.  Granted, you need to take into account the cost of the alterations, but you may still be getting a grand steal if you buy a pair of jeans at Goodwill for, say $15, and then it costs $20 to alter them.  Still can be much cheaper than buying them new!
  4. Know your measurements, even if it hurts.  I’m not gonna lie.  When I sent my measurement to LykkeWullf to get my overalls, I actually apologized.  Darn that stupid measuring tape that makes me feel like a loser!  It’s JUST a number, and remember it’s better to have clothes that fit well and make you look good, than it is to lie about your waist for vanity’s sake.  But darn it if it’s not tempting too…
  5. Decide what’s worth it and what’s not.  Some things can be belted, safety pinned, or just worn oversized, and it’s just fine.  Other things, like jeans for example, need to fit to look good.  So remember that it’s okay to invest in certain pieces, and you don’t always have to get a crazy bargain on every single thing in your closet!
  6. Find a creative friend who sews.  This is another great way to upgrade stuff you already have.  I mean, say you have a dress you never wear, but you love the fabric.  What if you had a friend who likes to sew cut the bottom off and add an elastic waistband?  Voila!  Instant skirt!  The options are endless when it comes to this kind of thing.  I mean, honestly I just cut stuff up sometimes and see what happens.  Some fabrics don’t fray easily and simply cutting off the sleeves or cutting a dress into a top can make an instant difference.

Okay.  This vest is like a dream to me.  I mean, when I saw that Arwyn had made one I immediately asked if I could commission her to make me one!  I am in awe of this craftsmanship.  I put it with this vintage Gunne Sax dress and my fringe boots from Sam Edelman…because it gave it a nice bohemian prairie feel!

I’m sweating bullets.  No, I’m not nervous, it’s just freaking hot.  Hope you all are staying cool out there…
Katy

On Being My Own Sheriff and Fringe

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be nice and encouraging to other people, but not so much to yourself?  That’s how it is for me at least.  I sometimes find myself encouraging people in the very same areas that just a few hours before, I was discouraging myself about.  It’s frustrating.  I find that when it comes to myself, I’m a total mean girl.  To me.  I don’t need any help from anyone else, I can be my own worst enemy.

When it comes to other people, I think it’s easy to have more perspective.  I can sit and listen to someone tell me a story, even a discouraging one, and I can somehow find the good in it, the good that will come out of it, or even just the ability to encourage them to hang in there and keep on going because the best is yet to come.  However, when I see my own story, and only find all the things that are hard, the things that feel impossible, and then stay focused on those things.  There are certain subjects that are total “triggers” I think in our lives.  Those things that set us off and get us on that road to binge eating potato chips and staying in our pajamas because “it’s just not worth trying”.  I’ve got some of those triggers.  The car I drive right now.  My extra abdomen fat.  Seeing certain things that I’ve wanted my whole life.  Yep, those are the things that can send me into a box of kleenex, feeling like all of life is hopeless.

Gah.  What are we supposed to do though, avoid all those things that remind us of the stuff we have yet to accomplish?  Just not look at the things that hurt us?  That’s impossible!!!  No, I think it’s time for me to learn some self discipline.  I think that I need to start policing my thoughts a little bit better.  I need to start talking to myself about all the good things that are yet to come and the good things that have already come out of the difficulties.  Because they’re definitely there, but I need to stop ignoring them so much!  I think this is so much easier said than done.  I think that sometimes it kind of feels great to wallow, to be negative, and to let myself just “feel” everything that I’ve already felt a million times before, and honestly…it’s time to stop.  If I can encourage other people I can encourage myself.  There’s a new sheriff in town, and I’m not letting me get down about things that can, and WILL change!

Let’s talk about these pants.  I don’t know if there is much to say about them because…well when you see the photos, you’ll get it.  They are custom embroidered and hand fringed by @township31 on Instagram…she has become a dear friend and, well, I pretty much have a list a mile long of things she is custom doing for me.  My gosh.  She’s so talented it’s not even funny!  These pants are a pair of Current/Elliott flares that I’ve had in my closet for years, and I sent them to her to add some fringe and embroider the booty.  She came up with the rest and added some AMAZING stars on them (because rainbows and stars!!!!).  She’s a genius with denim, leather, and a needle and thread among many other things that she creates!

The first time I wore these pants, I felt like an old timey sheriff.  So now I call them my “sheriff pants”.  I like it.  Time to start dressing like a sheriff…and acting like one!  😉

Happy Monday!
Katy

 

On Labels and Layers

Have you ever been labeled before?  I bet you have.  I think we all have been through those moments, times, or seasons of life where we get kind of “boxed in” so to speak by what other people say about us.  It’s kind of funny because I think sometimes it isn’t even meant to be something that’s offensive at all.  Of course, sometimes it’s meant to manipulate and control you and other times, it’s just a normal thing that we all do to each other, often without even meaning to.  No matter how it’s intended, it can be frustrating.

When I was in high school, I was kind of known for being funny, loud, and full of energy pretty much all the time.  It was my nature, and coupled with the fact that  I was fresh out of home schooling and SO excited to be at actual school with other actual HUMANS, I was just kind of an extra excited teenager.  Of course no one can sustain that energy level all the time, even if it’s your personality.  There were days when I was feeling sad about a boy who didn’t like me or I was tired or not feeling well…and on those days, that’s when the labelling happened.  “What’s WRONG with you??  Are YOU OK?  You’re NEVER like this!!!”  I get it.  People get concerned when you seem a bit off your game.  But it was EXHAUSTING.  It got to the point where even at a young age, if I didn’t feel like being loud and funny for a day, I stayed away from my friends because I grew weary of the labels they had put on me, putting extra pressure to behave in ways I didn’t feel like.  It made me feel like something was wrong with me if I didn’t feel like making jokes and being kind of crazy.  If I was serious, it offended my friends and that was hard for me.  I hated it.  Later on in life more labels came.  In different times and from different people.  There were the: “you NEVER wear stuff like that!” or the “you ALWAYS _________ (fill in the blanks)” and repeated statements that made me feel like I was never allowed to grow.  To change.  For my style to evolve.  Or for me to express myself freely without judgement.  There were so many times when I’d get home and just feel so frustrated.  I felt like I was trying so hard to BE something…half the time I didn’t even know what, I just wanted some freedom to be whatever the heck I wanted to be.

I know I’ve done this to people without realizing it.  I know there are times when stuff flies out of my mouth that is meant as an observation or a concern…and that’s just life.  It’s our nature to notice differences in people.  Like when you see someone wearing an outfit that’s out of their norm…or when you see someone doing things that are different than you’d expect.  With the extreme changes aside, like times when you ACTUALLY do need to be worried about someone because they are definitely not doing well, I’m trying my hardest to ENCOURAGE changes and differences in people.  Because how fun it is to see someone growing.  To see someone being creative.  Or to know that they feel comfortable enough around me to not be “ON” all the time and they feel like they can just express how they’re feeling no matter what that means for them.  I’m at a point where I’m surrounded by people who I feel like I can dress how I want, be funny or serious, and for the most part, they just accept me.  Of course, I have my own labels I’ve put on myself and sometimes it’s hard for me to stop boxing myself in. But it’s just such a lovely thing to not feel like I have to BE something other than myself.

I had a hilarious moment a few months ago where I wore these giant fur leg warmers to church on a Sunday where I was leading worship.  No one even NOTICED.  I was really expecting people to make comments and jokes about them, and no one said a single word.  They just gave me hugs and said hi like normal…and I realized then that I was in the exact right place.  Of COURSE sometimes people comment on my outfits because they are typically a bit more flamboyant than the average, but it’s definitely not in a way that makes me feel pressured to be or dress a certain way.  And it’s wonderful.  It’s okay to be serious on some days and funny on others…to dress preppy one day and then grunge the next.  We are not robots.  And we should never feel afraid to change things up now and again.

Some days I feel pretty darn country.  And some days I feel more like I want to look like a rocker chick.  I’m really neither of those things, but what’s clothing if not fun, right?  This outfit is basically a long vintage slip with a lace top over it, cowboy booties and a cowboy tie on belt, and a ton of necklaces.  Pretty easy!

Sometimes I feel like I can’t buy a pair of shoes that aren’t cowboy boots or a pair of jeans that aren’t bell bottoms.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  I feel like I’m not being “true to myself” or something crazy like that.  I have most definitely labelled myself and made myself feel like I’ve “committed” to a certain style and right now, I’m kind of breaking all my rules lately.  I’m shopping for some new things, some different things…I’ll ALWAYS be true to my boots and my bells.  But a girl’s gotta mix things up now and again for fear of closet boredom!

Happy Tuesday…hope every day finds you dressing and BEING who you are!
Katy

On First Impressions and Cowboy Caftans

First impressions are so interesting aren’t they?  I know you should “never judge a book by its cover” and all that, but of COURSE the cover has at least a TINY bit to do with the book doesn’t it?  Sometimes it doesn’t have as much to do with it  as we THINK it does, but it’s most definitely part of who/what that book is.  Funny how some people make such a strong impression that it kind of defines part of who you see them to be forever really, and other people just kind of somehow “come to be” in your life and you don’t really remember the first time you met them.  Some people I feel like kind of just fade into our lives and they just always ARE, and others, well, you most CERTAINLY remember what kind of impression they made right off the bat.

When I was at Cal Poly, in one of my classes we had to give a mini presentation about who we were during the first day of class.  Nothing major, we didn’t have to prepare anything, it was more of a “who are you?” type thing so that we knew more than each other’s faces and maybe a name or two.  This one guy, let’s call him “Joe” (*names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty and I most DEFINITELY DO remember his name), decided that just simply answering the question was not enough.  While most of us sat in our chairs and gave the usual: “my name is ______ and I like shopping and reading and long walks on the beach blah blah”, when it was his turn he leapt up and ran to the front of the room.  He immediately grabbed a dry erase marker and began drawing on the board as though we were playing some sort of Pictionary game.  We watched as he drew, not sure where this was going, and honestly it didn’t look like it was going anyplace good.  He finally finished his “work of art” and turned to face the class.  “Hi!  I’m Joe*!  And THIS (he motioned dramatically at the drawing on the board) is a diagram of my butt.”  He proceeded to explain where there was hair, as well as where there was not hair on his butt, why this was interesting, and probably some other details about himself that no one remembered because we were all stunned into a silence, memorizing that image of his butt against our wills.  When he finished, the professor gave him a long hard look, said: “Okaayyyyyy…thank you?” and later gave him QUITE a talking to about how inappropriate this presentation was.  Uh…YOU THINK???  I remember this guy’s real name.  But I called him “butt guy” instead, and he has been henceforth known as “butt guy” by my husband too.  I mean, the other day, I saw someone I went to college with and Eric said, “Oh was that butt guy?”  You SEE???  His first impression will NEVER DIE amongst those of us who were in that class that day.  I know nothing about him.  But I’m a wealth of information on his rear end.  Unfortunately.

Ah yes, first impressions.  There have been times when people have told me their first impressions of me.  Usually if I’m getting told by people what they thought of me initially, it’s because they formed a bad impression of me, and not a good one.  Otherwise it’s not really a great story.  Like “oh when I met you I thought you were super nice haha…” yeah not nearly as good of a story as “I thought you were vapid, popular, ditzy, and vain.”  Pretty sure I’ve heard some form of all of these things about myself.  Weird because I’m really not popular and I’m so self deprecating most days people would not think I was all that vain.  I do say a lot of dumb stuff probably too loudly so sure I’ll take ditzy no problem…whatever I used to be a blonde right!?  Anyway, whenever people are telling me their first impressions of me its because they were wrong…(“hey you’re not popular at all!” just kidding, see there’s the self deprecating side speaking up!) and they’ve realized that I’m not who I came across as at all.

To be completely honest, UNLESS you are talking about your butt along with diagrams and stuff, I’m pretty sure what you are wearing comes into play largely with your first impression.  Sure it’s also your facial expressions, body language, and what’s coming out of your mouth…but clothes are an easy first impression maker.  This is partly why I love clothes though…it’s a way of expressing yourself in a very visual way that’s immediate.  It’s like you get to put together your own piece of art, then wear it to show people:  “Hey, I made this outfit!”  It may not always come across as who you are completely, but it’s your creation and it expresses a part of your creativity and your personality!

Yep I’m two posts in a row with the caftans guys, what can I say.  I didn’t plan it that way, but I bought this thing the INSTANT I saw it on The Hippie Shake‘s website it was too amazing.  I mean, most caftans are like 1970s Florida beach wear, which I LOVE.  But this one, this one is like 1970s cowboy meets California beach!  The choker is from PrickliePear and the boots are handmade…get similar ones from Hillbillygypsy Boots!

Hope your week is starting off well, and that you haven’t seen any diagrams of anyone’s rear ends lately.  It really does stick with you…
Katy

On Basics…You Just Don’t Have To Be!

Welcome to the second post of the series: Basics…Anything But!  I’m finding that this is challenging me even more than usual to think outside the typical fashion “norms”…and that’s just fun!  I mean, who really needs to be bored with their clothes?!  Today I present to you a simple grey tank top.  Pretty standard.  Nothing super exciting about it.  However, it’s a piece that can transform into many different things…if you just give it a try!  Now obviously, you’re going to make these looks your own and you may use a different top with a different fit to make these looks different.  But let me tell you about the top that I used just so you have an idea of what to look for if this is something you need to add to your wardrobe!

THE TANK TOP:  This is a Rag and Bone tank top.  I know what you’re thinking…did you actually spend THAT MUCH MONEY on a TANK TOP?  Oh heck no!  I went to Off Fifth (which is my total go-to for basics now…it’s similar to a Nordstrom Rack, but the Off Fifth is closer to where I live than one of those!)
FIT: For these specific looks, choose a top that is shorter (not like one of those long tanks that covers your booty)…one that hits just below where your normal jeans waistband starts.  Also, you want to choose one that is a bit loose, so that it will layer nicely and do what you want to do with it instead of showing all the lumps and bumps of the fabric folds underneath!
FABRIC: I chose to buy a nicer top because I wanted a good layering piece to add to all my weird stuff!  Look for a thicker fabric with a good amount of stretch in it.  A good quality stretchy fabric will hang just right and won’t cling in all the wrong places when you’re playing around with layering.

Let’s get started!  Obviously, the color of the tank top isn’t important…I just picked grey because it’s a good neutral.  You could use black, white, tan, or even a bolder color if you want to get crazy!

KIMONO KRAZY
This is kind of one of those “wait…what are you wearing?” looks, but in a totally chillaxed way.  It’s not SO weird that people will stare…it’s interesting without being bizarre.

Now CLEARLY, you could wear the tank top underneath the kimono/robe like a NORMAL person, but who needs normal right? 🙂  The nice thing about this look is that you can use any kimono (as long as it has the right sleeves and isn’t a dolman shape), and the tank top will cover everything that needs to be covered if it’s a sheer or lace style!  I added the bolo and the skinny jeans/boots combo to keep it basic, but still interesting!
THRIFTY TIP: Kimonos can be pricey!  The BEST places to find them is in the thrift stores in the lingerie section OR if you don’t seem to be finding what you’re looking for, try HERE…you will find a definite variety of prices, but plenty of good beautiful options for in the $20 range.  Three Bird Nest has one that is gorgeous and under $50…multiple color options so take a look!
SWAP IT OUT: Change the skinny jeans or leggings for bell bottoms!  Make it even more interesting!  Also, the lace/crochet kimono swapped out for a solid will change the look and be a beautiful layering piece.
CRAFTY DIY: If you don’t have a bolo, you can easily go to the craft store and buy some leather laces and make a wrap style necklace.  A large bead can tie it together kind of like a bolo.  Here’s an idea of a wrap necklace so you get the picture.  They’re also not that expensive on that site so if you’re not in a crafty mood, you’ll be covered 🙂

GOOD GIRL GONE ROGUE
This look is a little bit preppy, a little bit western, and a little bit bad girl…all wrapped up into one!  The combination of the pearls, plaid, destroyed denim, and clogs, makes for quite an interesting ensemble!

So in this look, the tank top basically becomes a vest, much like in the kimono look.  It just keeps it interesting, and hey, why not??
THRIFTY TIP: Plaid tops are plentiful!  The BEST places to find them are in the men’s section of wherever you are!  Target, Old Navy, Cotton On…these are all very inexpensive places to find things similar to what you’d see at J Crew, but at a better price point.  If you’re small enough, the boy’s section will also suffice!  Pearls are a GREAT thrifting/yard saling item.  All you really need to do is find a few strands and layer them up to get a more rock and roll look…as opposed to a single strand which is much more preppy and girly.
SWAP IT OUT: Switch out the plaid for a striped, floral, or paisley button down.  OR find something kind of kitschy and cute, like a button down with pineapples or cats on it.  Also, clogs are not a necessity for this look, I just liked how they added a little bit of interest.  Wedges, booties, or even heels would be very cute.
CRAFTY DIY: Don’t have destroyed jeans?  There are TONS of tutorials on YouTube on how to distress your own denim.  Mostly what’s required are scissors, a washing machine, and a dryer.  You’ll be good to go!

FLIP IT AND REVERSE IT
OBVIOUSLY this tank top works well as an “under” piece!  I LOVE wearing flannels and button downs like light jackets, so this is a great way to “cowgirl” it up!

All I did was reverse the tank top and plaid, add a choker and cowboy boots!  TOTALLY different look!
THRIFTY TIP: Cowboy boots are a good item to thrift, OR keep an eye on Poshmark for really great deals!  Sign up for an account and it will save your size so all you’ll see when you look is the size you want!  You can also make lower offers on Poshmark, so don’t hesitate to try it out!
SWAP IT OUT: Again, switch the plaid out for something more preppy like stripes or floral and swap the boots for wedges or heels!  Instantly a different look!
CRAFTY DIY: Make your own choker!  Mine is made by a FABULOUS woman and I love it, so if you want to buy one, definitely support this lady (it comes in white too!).  If you want to make your own, all you need is a piece of ribbon, tie it on…get some leather laces, braid them into a single braid, tie it on.  EASY!

VINTAGE MASH UP
I’m a major fan of the vintage slip.  I think it’s one of the most versatile pieces you can own, so all you really need for this look is one of those and a belt for the most part!

All I did was put the vintage slip underneath the tank top and belt it.  I made sure the lace was sticking out the top because I like how that looks and I added a denim vest because I’m a sucker for a good vest!!
THRIFTY TIP: GO THRIFT A VINTAGE SLIP!  Or heck, Poshmark is loaded with them, and a lot of them right around $10!  Denim vests/jackets/shirts are also plentiful on the vintage/second hand circuit…I have never needed to buy one of them new!  Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find them!  Belts are also a good thing to keep your eye out for at your local thrift stores.  The great ones are a little more rare, but you will most likely get lucky if you keep looking!
SWAP IT OUT: If you don’t have a vintage slip (but you ARE going to go get one right?? :)) you can totally put any dress under this tank to change the look up.  You can EVEN layer one with sleeves under it and get more of the vest look out of your tank!  Try a floral summer dress or even a fancier lace gown could become more of an everyday piece if you layer it like this!
CRAFTY DIY: Make yourself a cool choker…this one is handmade by PrickliePear. If you don’t have a decent belt, get a great strip of fabric or thick ribbon at a craft store and tie a cute little bow instead of using a leather belt.  That’ll add a sweet and creative little aspect to your outfit!

Now go TRY IT OUT!  I think there are probably a million and one more ways to layer a basic tank top…so if you got more ideas, please share them!!

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!
Katy