T-Shirt Styling

To me, this sweater is reminiscent of the children’s bible illustrations of Joseph’s coat of many colors. It’s a great statement piece to add some spunk when styling a t-shirt.

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First of all, I have no idea what I am doing in this picture. Let’s move on. T-shirts! Wearing a t-shirt doesn’t have to be boring. Comfy and cute do not have to be mutually exclusive. It takes a little bit of creativity, but a casual look can have just as much personality as a more dressed up look.
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If you’re going to wear a t-shirt, wear one that represents something that you’re into or that supports an organization you like. My t-shirt is from Cheap Rent, a group of OKC artists that design and print shirts. It’s quirky, comfortable, and yet a lot cuter than wearing an old church camp shirt or a shirt from one’s old high school. Lately, I’ve been into tying all my t-shirt at the waist to create a more flattering shape.

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Surround your shirt with hecka cute accessories. I’m wearing this adorable pair of sneakers I bought on Depop, but, contrary to popular belief, t-shirts can definitely be worn with flats and loafers too. Don’t be scared to pair different patterns with a graphic t-shirt. I layered mine over a wide-leg denim jumpsuit. Try tucking one into a denim skirt or tying it at the waist over a dress.

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Wearing a t-shirt should be playful and fun, so don’t think too hard about it. I still have tons of t-shirts from different events and camps I went to in high school, but I’ve decided recently that I am going to pick two or three shirts that are my favorite and turn the rest into dish rags. I thought it would be a fun activity for earth day, but we’ll see if I actually get around to it before the summer. Thanks to my friend Ryan from Ryality.com for taking these pictures.

Happy National Poetry month!

Lemon Drop Dress Transformation – Handmade Fashion

Over spring break I had a few spare moments to work on a small project. Sometimes I don’t have time to sew an entire dress from scratch, but I’m always making alterations on pieces that I pick up at the thrift store. Keep scrolling to see a vintage dress transformation.

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Before:

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Personally, I would argue that there is not necessarily anything wrong with this dress in its original form. However, the length is not very practical and the sheer amount of pattern contained in this skirt is not very wearable unless I were attending some kind of clown-prom. I loved this quirky dress, but I knew that I would not have many occasions to wear it if I kept it at this length.

 

After:

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I gave my six-dollar dress a chop at the finger tips. Who doesn’t love a mini dress? Now the dress is more playful and can be worn on a daily basis.

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This was such a simple alteration. I just hemmed the bottom to a length that is flattering on me. There was so much fabric left over that I even made this cute lil’ matching scarf. Thrifting is so much more fruitful when you are able to sew. Instead of looking for items that are perfect, I often look for items that have potential and then make them perfect for myself.

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Let me know if you guys are interested in more handmade pieces and thrift shop transformations!

Rainbow Bright

Every once in a while I put on a outfit so perfect that it seems to have the supernatural ability to improve my mood by 200%. This outfit makes me feel like a sunbeam.

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This darling handmade vintage dress is from Jenny’s Thrift in Oklahoma City. It is such a lovely, locally owned vintage store with the kindest owners. Stop in if you are in the area.

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My adorable friend Hope gave me this woven handbag a few years ago. It is just begging to carried around with me all spring. I love woven/wicker purses; they make everything feel like a picnic.

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Pastels are gorgeous, but an entirely pastel outfit can be little flat sometimes. That’s why I love the addition of this vibrant orange velvet ribbon, which I stole shamelessly from my mother’s sewing room.

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Sunnier days are ahead of us, friends. Happy Good Friday.

Tulips in the City

Tulips are my favorite flower. I’ve always dreamed of frolicking through the enormous tulip farms in Holland. When in the middle of Oklahoma City, unexpectedly stumbling upon a planter of the beautiful bulbs does my heart just as well. I’m learning to bask in the glimpses of beauty around me, taking them for what they are without stealing my own wonder with comparison.

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This outfit gives me serious Madeline vibes because of the hat and tie. If you did not grow up watching or reading Madeline, you seriously missed out. She is the tiny, fierce, French little girls’ empowerment icon we all deserve. This outfit has a school girl feel but with a little more adventure.

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This spring I am fully embracing color. I am going to get as close as humanly possible to dressing like a clown while still feeling cute. A lot of people are scared to wear too much color because it is gaudy or attention grabbing, but it makes me feel vibrant and alive. Life is short; play dress-up as your favorite flower.

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My neck tie, previously debuted on this blog as a hair tie, is a vintage piece I bought along with this super unique button down from a thrift store in Springfield, MO. (I just have to brag for a moment that they each only cost me a dollar.) My mother’s impeccable taste strikes again, as she gifted me this sunny yellow beret. The jeans are old news, but the metallic is a lot of fun and makes up for the fact that this outfit is lacking any print. Interesting textures, such as my jeans, and interesting structures, such as this scalloped collar, can add a lot to an outfit that is solely color-blocked.

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My spring break was for friends, coffee, exploration of my city, and packing my heart extra full to last the rest of the semester. Once again, I have my talented friend Andrea to thank for taking these pictures and taking me to coffee shops. (This one is Clarity Coffee in OKC.)

Here is to finding our miniature tulip fields all around us.

Spring Break – Handmade Fashion

IT’S SPRING BREAK, FOLKS. Well, it’s almost spring break, at least. Today’s outfit is reflective of the care-free times and sunny weather that I am wishing for all of us.

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This bright yellow and peach top is a result of me experimenting with pattern-free sewing. The style is mega simple. It is just a straight tank with no darts of any kind. Seriously, this tank was laughably simple to make. However, I’ll admit, being hecka flat-chested made this project much easier for me than the average girl, as this fabric has no stretch. This fabric was bought second-hand from a vintage shop in Siloam Springs, AR. I love vintage florals; they are so much more vibrant than a lot of the floral prints in stores today.

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Say hello to my favorite shoes of spring. Can you believe these dreamy rainbow pastel shoes are so wearable? My mom gave me these Rocket Dog sneakers as a gift, and might I add, she has fantastic taste. My mother has always encouraged my fashion escapades, no matter how wild, and I am eternally grateful. Whether or not her keen eye for style was passed down to me, her appreciation of the strange and beautiful has made me the person I am today.

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I have owned several slightly different variations of these John-Depp’s-Willy-Wonka-esque glasses over the years. I am honestly not sure why I keep buying the same glasses, but they are still working for me. Also, I know you are coveting my high-end “aesthetic” bracelet. Too bad for you. It is one of a kind, made for me by my sister. I only wear the finest jewelry. 

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Since this fabric has such little stretch, I needed to create a way to actually fit my head through the collar. I used this as an opportunity to add a cute little bow detail to the back.

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There are not too many different hairstyles for short hair. On most days, I do not mind this at all, but when the weather is warm it is nice to get the hair out of my face with some little buns. It seems that this hair style is being referred to as “space buns” on the internet, although I have no idea where the name got its origin. My brother once referred to these buns as “the biscuits on your head,” so that works, too.

I hope you all have a fun (and safe) spring break!

Pop Art Style

It does not take a sleuth to realize that I am into retro fashion. I love the whimsical and bright styles of the 1960’s. Rather than wear these pieces in the exact fashion one would have 75 years ago, it is so much more fun to mix old-school pieces with more modern pieces to create a collision of style.

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Almost none of these pieces are actually vintage, just vintage-inspired. The only vintage piece is my blue scarf, which I picked up at an antique/vintage shop somewhere in Springfield, MO. This top is from Victoria Beckham’s amazingly mod 2017 line from Target. These cigarette style pants (they are high-waisted underneath my top) are several years old from my Forever 21 days. Since I wear these saddle shoes in at least 99.5% of my outfit posts, I no longer feel the need to divulge where they are from anymore.

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I decided to bring this outfit up to date with my denim jacket. It meshes well with this outfit because it has the same playful and colorful vibe, due to all the pins/buttons. Yet, it also tones down the in-your-face style of the bright orange and stripes.

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One of my favorite details of this outfit is the way the scalloped edge of the tops peaks out below my jacket.

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I know wearing tons of pins may be an over-used trend right now, but I say to heck with it. No one should stop wearing a certain style that they like just because it has become popular. Wear what you like and let the trends come and go. Almost all of these pins where given to me by various friends. I love this jacket because it allows me to carry a little piece of a bunch of people who love me with me everywhere that I go.

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Spring weather is the absolute best, no contest. I am super excited to be posting tons of colorful and sunny outfits soon, so be on the look out. Thanks for all the positive feedback on my previous post, even though it did not exactly have much (or, anything) to do with fashion. I enjoy writing a lot, so a post like that may sneak its way on here every once in a while. Have a great week, and good luck to all who are studying for or recovering from midterms!

 

Dear Women Who Feel Like They are Doing It Wrong

There is a phenomenon that comes with being a girl that I have never been able to explain to those who do not experience it– the feeling that you can do no right simply because you were born a female. Some will say this is exaggeration or that it is not worth talking about, but I would argue that it matters more than we can ever realize.

Growing up, I was very classically feminine. I liked to sew and cook. I decorated myself with bows and glitter. I was a girl’s girl, the kind who would make any mother proud. I thought that displaying all of the attributes that I was supposed to exhibit as a girl would make me feel whole, would make me the best version of myself that I could be. However, I began to notice that while I was encouraged to be all of the things, I was also treated like I was lesser because of them. Whether by peers, the media, or older women, I was told to be feminine–to be delicate, cover my mouth while I ate, and worry about what boys liked. Yet, I was treated like I was shallow for being exactly what I was made to believe I should be. I was a “silly girl” caught up in trivial girl things that did not really matter. I started to notice all that I was not allowed to do, like have body hair, or pray in church service or serve communion (lest God get distracted by the fact that I have boobs). I had things to say, questions to ask, and songs to be sung, but I felt like there was no place for me. I felt like being born a girl was a disability, like it started me out with less choices and talents.

Beginning to notice the lack of respect I received for being the “good old-fashion” girl I was supposed to be, I gave it up. At around age 13 I stopped wearing dresses, I stopped painting my nails, and I stopped associating myself with anything considered girly, even something as arbitrary as the color pink. My mother begged me to paint my toe nails and wear something other than camp t-shirts. I had always been “funny…for a girl.” Second class funny. At this time, I just accepted that girls were not allowed to be as funny as boys. I guess something about having higher pitched voice made my jokes lose some kind of punch. Still, I held onto to the misguided hope that if I made myself a little less female, my humor might be more highly respected. I played the classic “I have more guy-friends than girl-friends” card whenever I could, claiming there was “less drama” that way. (This was a total lie. I had maybe two guy-friends.) Almost every girl you know has played this card at one point or another. I was disassociating myself with women in an attempt to raise my status. Praying that if others thought I was cool enough to be “one of the guys”, they might take a moment to listen to what I had to say the way they listened to boys. I thought I had discovered the secret to success: pretending to be care-free by shedding my femininity, the former image that made people consider me too soft to have something powerful to say. I found it to have the opposite effect. Instead of gaining power by rejecting my femininity, I gained glances of distaste. I was thought to be messy and immature. I was a disgrace. Something had gone wrong.

This is the feeling that burned inside of me, yet went unactualized for years and years: you cannot be a girl in the “right way” when the society around you has set you up to fail. If you become the pink, glittery girl of dreams, you are considered shallow and weak and incapable of depth. If you ignore the “rules” of being female by cutting your hair and leaving legs unshaven, you are a failure, unwanted and undesirable. I felt like I was destined to be a second class citizen of any community of which I was a part. I felt like no matter how smart I was or pretty I was, it did not matter. I felt like, because I was a girl, because of something I had no power over, no one would ever listen to me. There is no such thing as being a girl the “right way” when the world wants so desperately for you to feel wrong. So many industries profit off our insecurity and self-hatred that it is enforced at every turn.

So, women—whether classic or unorthodox or somewhere in-between—this is for you. You are enough. If you feel like you are doing this whole “being a woman” thing wrong, that is because there is not just one way to do it. When you decide that you love yourself, whether delicate or harsh or somewhere in-between, you become something dangerously beautiful. You are something the world does not know how to handle. You are uncontainable. So, instead of trying on all the versions of womanhood that you are told you should, put on whatever makes you feel confident. Put on gorgeous and smart. Put on care-free and strong. Put on funny and wild. Put on logical and quiet. Put on confidence in the face of a world that wants to see you doubt. Whatever you are, whatever you have been taught is a deficit, you are enough. And beyond being good enough, you are powerful and strong and radiant. It is okay to define these words differently than the way you were taught.

Happy International Women’s Day to all women of all different walks, colors, and battles of varying degrees. Thank you for continuing to fight for a world in which I do not have to make myself smaller to feel like I belong.

Overall Style (Ethical Update)

As someone trying ardently to support sustainable and ethically conscious fashion, I have been thinking a lot about the effect of repping brands that I do not support anymore by continuing to wear their items. I have not come to a clear cut solution, but let me take you through my thought process. Maybe you will have some insight to offer me on the conversation.

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This outfit is old. I bought all of these pieces around two years ago. The shirt is from Forever 21, the overalls are from the Gap, the shoes were a gift, and the socks from an estate sale. When I bought this shirt, I still had not given up shopping at Forever 21. Knowing what I know now about their lack of transparency and many scandals, my Forever 21 days are long gone. However, I am often left questioning whether or not I should still wear the items that I already have from them, even if I am no longer currently shopping there.

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My first instinct was to say no. For the sake of starting over fresh in this ethical fashion process, I should purge my wardrobe of all of the remnants of my ignorance. I did not want anyone to accuse me of faking it or still supporting companies I claimed to renounce. I thought, if someone liked my shirt and asked where it was from, I would have to tell them I bought it at Forever 21 and then I would be unintentionally promoting them.

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After further thought, I have come to a different conclusion. If I still like the piece of clothing, even it is from a place I no longer support, I am going to keep wearing it until I am actually done with it. There is enough clothing waste in the world to begin with, and I cannot undo my past mistakes by being wasteful with the clothing items I have now. The only purpose ridding myself of the items would serve now is to make myself feel better without actually doing any good but adding to landfills and thrift store piles.

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We may want everything to be black and white, but sometimes the best solution is truly a nuanced one; a solution that takes more thought to arrive. Instead of being ashamed when someone asks where my top is from, I think it could actually be a great opportunity to spread awareness of ethical fashion. I can take the opportunity to briefly explain why I no longer shop there anymore.

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Living conscious of one’s effect on the world is not about rigidity and perfection. Being legalistic will ultimately cause frustration and failure. I am doing my best to hold myself to high standards without creating an atmosphere for disappointment. Have you been able to find a balance in your attempts to be conscious? Let me know your thoughts on this conversation, even if you disagree.

Let’s keep learning together and challenging one another!

Tips and Tricks: Taking the Ethical Fashion Plunge (3 of 3)

Want to take the ethical fashion plunge, but not sure where to begin? I have compiled a list of my tips for getting started. If you have been following the series, you’ll know I wrote two informational posts about fashion’s effect on humanity and on the earth, which help explain why you should start being more conscious of how you’re handling clothing. Now that you know why, I thought it would be helpful for me to provide a how, as well. It may not be plausible to make all of these drastic changes immediately, but I’d challenge you to pick a couple of these to implement in your daily life.

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How to Start the Ethical Fashion Journey

  • DONATE your old clothes rather than just tossing them.

    • Take clothing to a trusted thrift store. Many of those drop-boxes on the side of the road can be misleading. They often end up throwing a lot of the items away, rather than actually reusing them. (This is not true in all cases, but try to look into it before you toss the bag.)
    • Let your friends look through your old clothes. I bet you’re pretty stylish. You know your pals would love a free blouse.
    • Pay attention to the people in your community, and give hand-me-downs to those that can use them. When I was in high school, there was never a shortage of junior high girls at my church who would happily receive the items which I had outgrown.
  • MAKE something new out of something old.

    • One of my favorite youtubers and biggest ethical fashion inspirations, Annika Victoria, has a TON of tutorials for sewing and clothing DIYs. She has varying difficulty levels, so there is something for everyone.
    • If you can’t sew your old clothes into something you’d like to wear, you can easily create dish rags or re-usable grocery bags out of them. Even if you aren’t much of a DIY-er, you’d be surprised how simple it is to up-cycle. (Let me know below if you’d be interested in a tutorial on any of these, to help you kick-start your up-cycling.)
  • EDUCATE yourself.

    • Good On You app is a great resource to find out what stores you like to shop at are ethical. It is a super easy to keep this app on your phone and check it before you head out to shop or even while you are in a store.
    • This website has a lot of information on the transparency of popular brands.
    • We have access to infinite knowledge with the internet. There are apps, websites, and something as simple as a quick google search can get you farther than you think.
    • We need to show the fashion industry we won’t stand for the way they are conducting things. They want our money, and if they realize they won’t get it if they keep abusing their power, they’ll start to make changes. You can’t stop supporting bad companies if you aren’t willing to find out who is doing what.
  • INVEST in ethically conscious, well-made items.

    • Brands that are ethically conscious tend to be more expensive by nature. It takes more money to pay workers well and keep facilities up to code. We need to change our mindsets from expecting to buy tons of items for cheap to investing in key pieces that we can keep longer. In the end, the money evens out, we just throw out less poorly made items.
    • Big Bud Press is one of my favorite brands, currently. They may be a little out-there for some of my readers, but they are full of psychedelic color and all of their items are made in Los Angeles. They are totally transparent, and often post videos of their clothes-making processes on their Instagram story.
    • Miracle Eye is a 1960’s and 1970’s inspired clothing line, which is totally ethical from start to finish. I’m obsessed with their velvet mini dresses and jumpsuits. Getting into ethical fashion is a great way to start supporting small businesses and artists who are doing great things in fashion.
    • If you are into hiking, or pretending that you are outdoorsy, Patagonia is actually one of the most outstanding brands I have ever seen. They have TONS of information on their website about sustainability.
    • There are plenty of other ethical brands online. Searching Etsy is a pretty easy way to find some, if none of my suggestions tickle your fancy, I’d encourage you to search out the locally owned stores, vintage shops, and thrift shops  in your area.

(I am not affiliated with any of the brands or other resources linked throughout this post.)

If you are overwhelmed, simply pick one or two of these changes to integrate into your life. It may seem like we are too small to make a positive change with our personal choices, but a movement always starts with individuals. If you learned anything from this post, I hope it was that there are tangible ways to make a change on the world around us. We mustn’t be idle when there is so much good we are capable of accomplishing. Are there any tips you would add to the list? Let me know!