Thursday, November 28, 2013

Plaid & Rhinestones

Oh plaid...... I was forced to wear you for 8 years in the form of a Catholic School uniform. Then, there was the "grunge" era in high school while listening to non-stop Pearl Jam. I guess it's been almost 20 years (holy crap) and time for some new plaid flannel. In this decade, I am dressing it up with some flare jeans and rhinestones! I can't take credit for this necklace design though..... I saw it on Pinterest from the lovely Denise who designs for Michael's using Halcraft beads. Out of all the statement necklaces I have, I did not have a white rhinestone one. I knew when the right one came along I would know. I was loving this one from Ily Couture, but whew - what a price tag! Y'all know me, I can find it or make it cheaper. I caught the components on the 50% off sale, so it cost me about $16 to make this necklace. I just love the vintage and floral aspect of it.
Apt 9 Flare Jeans - Kohl's
Brown Belt - Target
Brown Boots - JC Penney
Miss Albright Americana Tote - Anthropologie (see how I altered it here)
Necklace - made by me using components from Michael's

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Working from Home

Several months ago, my lifestyle changed quite a bit. Back in May, my department announced a program to "work from home" for half of your work week. I decided to partake knowing that my husband was job hunting and not knowing where that would take us. He is now working about an hour and a half away, and as we look to move closer to that area, this work from home program is a great way for me to keep my job since I will only have to commute half the time.
As I have adjusted to this new lifestyle, a few things have changed. Obviously, I don't have to "dress up" every day. I am also only washing my hair every other day (the days I do go into the office). Cutting down on my morning routine, saving product, water, etc..... has been nice. But as tempting as it is to work in my pajamas all day, that is not what I do. I still have to take my son to and from daycare everyday, and occasionally I will run some errands during my lunch hour. Needless to say, throwing on some comfy clothes and tying my hair up is the answer. 
One of the hardest challenges to all of this is the blog here. Since this has turned into a fashion blog, from my original jewelry blog intent, I want to offer the best content that I can. Ideally, I would love to post everyday. And for every 1 post that I do, there are probably 5 more that I decide not to publish either because I didn't think the outfit was good enough and/or the pictures were not good enough. (Which I am seriously tempted to upgrade my camera.... maybe there will be some good deals over the holidays that will convince me. Canon Rebel?)
Anyway, there is no reason not to share some of my more "casual" outfits as well so I am going to start doing that. Starting with this one:

Here is a good example of finding a detail you like (such as these crochet sleeves) that is more pocketbook friendly. Free People Thermal for $68 or Sonoma Thermal from Kohl's for $9.99 (you can probably guess which one I picked, and I am tempted to get more colors). This is such an easy top to throw on and it is so comfy but yet it has those special details so it doesn't look like you are raiding your man's outdoor gear!
Worn with black jeggings from JC Penney from a few years ago. Bare Traps boots from a few years ago. And my Anthro DIY vintage glasses necklace (see original post here).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Altering Tips

You are probably no stranger to altering clothes, such as hemming pants or a dress. But do you ever think outside the box? Accessories, shoes, bags, etc? I recently transformed a few pieces to better fit my lifestyle, and thought I would share them. I hope it gives you some inspiration to see the potential in things!
First up, this super cute tote I recently got at Anthropologie (Miss Albright Americana Tote). I am a lover of old, beat up suitcases that tell a story. Here we have what appears to be an old leather bag, complete with destination stickers. When actually, the image is printed onto a coated cotton canvas. I love these kind of illusions! But look at those puny straps it came with! I have always been one who needs my hands free, hence preferring nice shoulder straps on my bags. This is even more important with a toddler! Many a times I have passed up a cute purse because it did not have a strap that was: A. long enough to easily get on my shoulder and B. would not stay on my shoulder. Well, not this time!
My first instinct was to take it to a shoe repair shop (cobblers can repair handbags too), but alas this would just be an added errand to my never ending list. Especially since the closest one to me is a half hour whether I go East or West. So I started searching for ideas online - could I fashion something myself with supplies I already had? I mean, I have dabbled in some leather and metal work.....
When it came down to it, once I added up the cost of running to all the craft stores, buying leather, hardware, cutting the leather, etc..... and perhaps not being pleased with the end result, I decided to purchase ready made straps from Value Belts Plus on eBay. I could pick my color, length, hardware, etc.... and it was all shipped straight to my door in less than a week! The new straps just clipped onto the existing rings on the bag, and then I cut the small ones off. Real leather, adjustable, and they look as though they belong on the bag because of their buckle/belt look. Viola! Sometimes, you just have to weight all your options to see which makes the most sense in terms of running errands / cost. I couldn't be more pleased!

Next up we have these boots. Are they boots? Are they Mary Janes? Yet another illusion I fell in love with when I first saw Prada's Button Boots last Fall. Yeah, not affording Prada in this lifetime. Anthropologie carried Vic Matie's Icon Mary-Jane Boots last year, but even they were too expensive. And by the time they were marked down within reach, my size was sold out. Besides, the silver part was just a little too space age for me and wouldn't have gone with as much. I found these cuties on eBay........ for $4.00!!! They are by XOXO and the style is "Chance". Since I didn't get a "before" picture, I decided to search on eBay again only to see someone trying to sell a pair for $120!!! Guess they got the memo that they looked like designer boots - I doubt they retailed for that much new. Anyway, you can see how the heel had a red fade to it. I did not like this so I painted the heels with some 99 cent Martha Stewart paint from Michael's. I have worn them twice and the paint has held up! Sweet deal!

Lastly, I have this jacket that I recently got at my local consignment shop. Oh, the rosettes, the rick rack, the bead accents, the ruffles....... was this cute or was I sadly mistaken? I mean, it had all of the details I usually love??? I realized the ruffle around the lapel is what pushes it over into Dollywood territory. Hmmm, I am not much of a sewer, especially on a sheer fabric like that. Should I try to glue it around to the underside? Oh hell, I just cut the straps off an Anthropologie bag.... bring on the scissors! What do I have to lose?
Oh yeah, much, much better already! I can also tell that the previous owner moved the buttons in for a better fit. So you see ladies, if it's not perfect to begin with, there is no reason why you can't make it perfect with a little imagination!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fashion Roadkill

Today, I tried not to be "fashion roadkill"....... meaning, I tried not to fall when walking. Now, some might say these pants alone would be considered "fashion roadkill", and that's fine. You are entitled to your opinion. This is the second time I have worn these pants (see first time here) and even after having them shortened, I think they are still too long. As you can see, I am wearing pretty high heels to help them from dragging on the ground. But that solution is defeated when the heel catches the hem and you fear you will: 1. Fall, 2. Rip your pants, or 3. Tear your pants completed off! Luckily, I made it through the day, taking each step slowly and with purpose. That was hard for me as I am usually a fast walker! These pants are staying in the closet now until I can get them fixed again!

Elevenses Chevron Wide Legs : Anthropologie
Statement Necklace : TJ Maxx
Button Down : Sears (years ago)
Sam & Libby Kaye Buckle Boot : Target

*Can I just say that Target has been rocking it in the shoe department this year! I bought 3 pairs of sandals there this summer, and so far these boots this Fall.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Library Books

When Fall rolls around, fashion can turn to academia. No, I am not talking about rolling to class in your sweatpants. I am talking about the preppy looks that brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and J. Crew can turn out. Even though I don't go to school anymore, I can still feel the anticipation in the air come September as it always signals new clothes and new beginnings.
This book print shirtdress was a focal in Tommy Hilfiger's Fall ads. When something is featured like this, it is instantly popular when it hits the racks. I loved the quirkiness of this dress instantly.
In my true bargain hunting fashion, I compared the deals/sales/coupons on both the Tommy Hilfiger site (where it is currently sold out) as well as Macy's (the only other site I could find this dress on). I hate having to order something without trying it on first, so I was glad my local Macy's got this dress in. Knowing what size I needed, I just kept waiting. The frustrating thing with Macy's, is that their online prices do not match what is in store. The majority of the time, you are going to get a better deal in store. Such as this case...... the dress is still marked $89.50 online. In store though, it is $44.75 (half off) and I had a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $30. That brought it down to $34.75, a nice price for a dress in my book (no pun intended)! Moral of the story? Do your homework for the best deals.
My only beef with shirtdresses..... is when you sit down and the buttons pull, making you always worry about your modesty. I contemplated a solution to this today that I might try: have the bottom half of the dress sewn together so this doesn't happen.
I so enjoyed having pictures taken in my local library as well. In today's age of digital technology, I still prefer good ole fashioned books! I utilize my library ALL THE TIME - it is my tax dollars after all. We all love to read in this family!
Boots - Kohl's (last year)
Brown Tights - anywhere!
Necklace - The Limited (years ago)
My Grandpa's Vintage Watch