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.

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!

The Most Perfect Dress in the Whole World (Probably)

Look at that dress twirl. Have you ever seen something so magnificent? For today’s outfit, I dress down this ruffly dream-dress because a dress this great deserves to be worn on a daily basis.

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This dress is from Target’s (ethically conscious) Who What Wear line. It comes in a millennial pink too and I was so in love with it that I bought both colors. It’s ruffly, frilly, girly, and comfy. The way it moves with me when I walk makes me want to dance. A dress that makes you want to dance is a dress worth wearing every day.

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Shoe choice is everything when it comes to dressing an item up or down. Choosing these lace up boots with my (admittedly ripped) pantyhose makes it perfect for everyday. Even though my thrift shop boots are casual, they harmonize with the dress because they have the same kind of vintage vibe. I’m all for frills on frills, so if I could ever find a pair of lace socks high enough to peak above my boots, I’d wear them with this for sure. If I were to dress this up, I’d wear a pair of heals or Mary-Jane flats.

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My favorite part about any black and white outfit is that I can wear whatever color lipstick I want. This lavender lipstick paired with my frilly black dress has a little bit of a gothic-lolita vibe that I dig. Also, tell me those sleeves aren’t beautiful. I dare you.

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When it comes to accessorizing such a statement dress, less is more. This heart broach was the perfect choice for me, any less or any more would have been overkill. It is the perfect sweet and quirky match for this girly dress. If you pay close attention to these last two pictures you can see that I am wearing two different earrings. I’d like to say that this is on purpose, but these are honestly just the only two I could find. However, I like the affect and think that you can wear whatever the heck you want.

And with that, I hope you all have joy filled holidays.

Thrifting 101

Thrifting isn’t new. In fact, it is pretty trendy right now. Even so, many people are struck with an overwhelming fear upon entering a stuffed-to-the-brim thrift shop, unable to tell the hidden gems from the smelly and trashy garments. If you feel this shrinking, suffocating fear, as though you might be consumed and overcome by the thrift shop, and then spit back out with nothing to show for it, read on, dear friend. Upon request, I decided to type up my personal strategy to help you slay the beast.

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1. Know What You’re Into

The best way to overcome the initial thrifters’ shock is to go in knowing your favorite colors, patterns, and textures. I don’t always have time to go through and look at every single item on a rack. Shopping that way can be draining and make one want to give up before ever finding anything. Instead of this, I skim the racks by running my hand over them and looking for colors in my color scheme. For me, this means looking for polka dots, pastels, and unique patterns. I only pull items that I know might already fit into my wardrobe, cutting down on time and making the whole experience much less overwhelming and much quicker.

2. Ditch the Name Brands

Hear me out. Most of the trendy styles you are into are not as new as you think. You can find older items that fit into current trends with the only difference being that it is some random brand no one has ever heard of instead of Forever 21. Trends like corduroy, crushed velvet, and flannels have been around since the 90s and earlier. If you keep an open mind, you will be able to find some killer unique pieces which are right on trend that no one else will be able to replicate.

3. But If You Can’t….

The best shops for name brands are chains such as Goodwill and Salvation Army. More people are apt to donate there since they are the most well-known, so they are more likely to carry big name items. Another thing to keep in mind is the area demographics. Sometimes driving into the snooty area of town and shopping in their thrift shops can pay off. This is basically the same concept as having your parents drive you to the neighborhoods that you knew would give out full-sized candy bars on Halloween as a kid. Thankfully, thrift store prices tend to stay the same no matter what area you are in, but the people in these areas will donate high-scale items.

4. Try that Bad Boy on!

There have been so many times an item looked iffy on the hanger but became one of my new favorites once I tried it on. Thrift shops are full of ugly-cute type of items. The type of thing that is interesting to you and that you are kind of into, but it is a little too out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. The best part about thrift shops is finding an item you never knew existed. So just try it on.

5. Check the Pockets

Okay, I know this one is weird, but this one is absolutely from personal error. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have subconsciously reached my hand into a newly-thrifted jacket pocket only to violently retreat it back out in sheer terror. You never know what is lurking in the pockets, so take a look before you put it through the wash for the first time. I have found old candy, receipts, crumbs, and who knows what else. Just trust me.

6. Don’t Confine Yourself

Full disclosure, I don’t only shop in the women’s section. Sometimes the men’s section has much better sweaters. I am pretty small, so I’ll even check the little girl’s XL section sometimes. Not everyone can shop so freely, due to size restrictions, but don’t be afraid to break out of your designated section and check out the others.

 

Thrift shopping is great for the environment and for you wallet, not to mention your unique style. If you’ve been on the fence about it, I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know if this list helped you out. Now go forth and find the perfect Christmas outfit.