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!

 

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!

Baby Blue – Handmade Fashion

This blog has been up and running for several months and, yet, this is the first time I have featured a clothing item that I made myself. This is mostly due to the fact that this blog has only ever known fall and winter, and 95% of my sewing projects are dresses. So, without further ado, brought to you by an unexpectedly warm day in the middle of February, I present to you one of my own creations.

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This dress was made from a reproduction of a vintage 1960’s pattern. 1960’s mini dresses are one of absolute favorite pieces of clothing, ever. They are so cutesy and whimsical and wearable. I love how the 60’s style is very doll-like. These dresses are versatile, easy to style, and do not blow up in the wind like most dresses, which is a pretty huge plus if you ask me.

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I picked up this vintage, baby blue fabric from a second-hand store in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. One of my favorite places to buy fabric is at thrift stores and vintage shops. Not only is it more inexpensive than buying new, but I can always find unique patterns and colors that I wouldn’t be able to find somewhere like Jo-Ann’s or Hobby Lobby. These colorful buttons were found in one of the many, many jars of my mother’s button collection. Having a sewing teacher for a mother has its perks. The button details add a lot of character to a dress which would otherwise have a lot blank space.

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My friend Charity took these super fun pictures for this blog post. I am infinitely thankful that I have so many friends who have an artistic eye and are down for impromptu photo shoots. Also, Charity told me I had to pose by this because it matched my yellow button.

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This was my first attempt at using a decorative zipper, and I love the way it turned out. I usually opt for an invisible zipper, because they are easy and unnoticeable, but, like the buttons, this zipper is an example of how small details can make such a huge difference.

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I started sewing my own clothing mostly because I was having a hard time finding clothes in styles that I wanted. Vintage shopping can be expensive and time consuming, and sometimes the pieces I have made up in my head just don’t exist yet. Sewing gave me a creative outlet; a way to put the inside of my brain on the outside of my body. Now that I am learning about ethical fashion, being able to sew my own clothes is a great option because I know exactly where every piece comes from. I’m looking forward to spring so that I can post more of the pieces I designed and made myself.

I hope you are all staying warm these last weeks of winter.

Pink(ish) Everything

Surprise! I dyed my hair purple. Or pink. Whatever. I don’t need labels. What better way to debut my pink(ish) hair on my blog than with an entirely pink outfit?

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Listen, I know that it is frowned upon to wear an outfit composed entirely of one color, but it is secretly one of my favorite things to do. Maybe I just like to challenge myself to pull off an outfit that is kind of hard to pull off. Or, maybe I just like how extra cutesy I feel in head to toe pink.

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I’d like to offer some tips on rocking singular colored look, but it is pretty subjective. However, I do recommend making sure that the shades are very different. My sweater is very pale, while the roses on my shirt are hot pink, and my shoes are bubblegum. They compliment each other better this way than if they were more similar. If the shades are too close together, it just looks like you didn’t really know what you were doing, while choosing diverse shades of the color appears as a purposeful statement.

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To get my hair a lighter color, I used regular dye in a vibrant color which I diluted with hair conditioner until it was closer to the shade that I wanted. I have been having a reoccurring problem of hair dyes lying to me about their color. This dye is Punky Colors’ “plum” and it is a little pinker than I intended. I also tried the same brand’s “purple” and found that it was even more pink. However, I still enjoy the color and am finding that is staying in my hair fairly well through washes. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and rock it anyway. (Also, please note and appreciate that I am having a good eyeliner day in this picture.)

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My embroidered rose shirt was thrifted from Penny Pincher’s here in Joplin, which has since closed down, my baby pink cardigan is from Goodwill, and my pink Keds are from Goodwill, as well. The only non-thrifted piece of my outfit are these super comfy high-waisted jeans from Target. I like to keep it casual and cozy on days where I have to be in class most of the day. I keep it cute at the same time by choosing cozy pieces in my favorite colors, with fun prints and textures.

Today’s pictures were just taken around my campus because as school is heading into full swing, it becomes a little harder to find extra time to take pictures. (Not to mention the lack of cute locations in Joplin.) I hope you enjoyed my simple and slightly ridiculous outfit, none the less. 

Coffee Shop Blues (and Other Colors)

Sometimes the stars align when I walk into a building and my outfit matches the interior design so well that an impromptu photo shoot is necessary. On those days, I am thankful that my favorite coffee shop buddy is a killer photographer like Andrea.

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These photos were all taken at Hank’s Coffee and Wine in Midtown, OKC before I left to go back to Joplin for school. It was such a cozy hangout spot with great coffee. There were almost always dogs there, so that is also a major plus. I am definitely missing it after being back at school for a week.

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The lighting in Hank’s was gorgeous, not to mention the mixture of this pastel couch and the muted tones in my outfit. I used to cringe at the idea of indoor photo shoots in shops and restaurants. They were so public and embarrassing to do in the middle of everyone. Let me tell you, I have pretty much lost any fear, barely even flinching when Andrea jokingly told me to pose like a “sexy librarian” in the middle of a busy coffee shop.

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This bandit style scarf is the closest to cowgirl that my style will ever get. I love tying my square scarves like this because it displays the print much better than when I tie them ascot-style. This scarf has the cutest little fruit print (apples? oranges? I honestly have no idea) so it is a total injustice not to wear it this way every once in a while.

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This outfit is composed of a second-hand scarf, a sweater stolen from my sister’s closet, and a jumpsuit I bought at target my senior year. So, good luck finding any of these pieces. Layering is my best friend. This wide-leg, denim jumpsuit is one my favorite 70s’ vibe pieces I own. I love layering over and under it so that I can get as much use as possible out of such a unique piece.

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Once again, might I point out that socks are the single most underrated accessory? Capri length pants are my favorite because I get a little room to peak my socks. These sheer,  lacy socks were a Christmas present, so I couldn’t tell you where they are from. They seem like a small detail, but their addition makes a difference, tying in the ivory background of the scarf.

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I pretty much consider this couch as a part of my outfit. So, I thought I’d end this post with a picture of my completed look.

I am making a goal to post much more consistently this semester to force myself to take some regular time off from school to create, so you can look forward to that. Unless you hate this blog, then sorry. Why are you reading it? Also, I am still working on my second post in my ethical fashion series, so don’t loose faith in me. I put a lot of effort into them to make sure they are as accurate and well-researched as possible, so hold on a bit longer. It is coming. Here is a link to my last one, if you missed it. I added a few more pictures than usual to this post, so thanks for scrolling through them all.

I am wishing you all a peaceful beginning to the semester.

Pastel Dream

Happy 2018, friends. Today I am kicking the garbage fire that was 2017 goodbye by bringing you a fresh and bright photo set from my New Years Eve (one of the outfits I wore, at least) taken by my dear friend, Andrea Schultz.

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If you will pardon my bragging on my friend for a minute, I was super blessed to be shot by Andrea this week. Her photography improves this blog post by like 400%. Plus, she was willing to freeze her fingers off to take these. If you want to keep up with her (and you should) you can follow her on twitter and instagram.

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This outfit is a pastel dream. I had a lucky day vintage shopping and found this orange creamsicle colored vintage jacket and this chunky, colorful statement necklace at one of OKC’s best local shops, Bad Granny’s Bazaar. I cannot stress enough how excited I was to find this necklace. I had been picturing a colorful, pastel statement necklace just like this for months and, at this point, no one can convince me that I did not will it into existence with the power of my mind.

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The silver metallic overlay of these jeans add a lot of character to this casual outfit. The idea that an outfit can have style while still being casual was a concept I did not understand for a long time. Recently, I have been having a lot of fun making my casual outfits just as playful and interesting as my more extravagant ones.

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Statement necklaces are an easy way to add some fun to an every day t-shirt, like this one. They are everywhere these days, but I have a hard time finding them in my style. Vintage shops and thrift shops are the perfect places to find more unique styles, so you look a little less like a suburban mom while wearing them (unless that is your thing, then by all means). This one gives me some Iris Apfel vibes, although it obviously does not hold a candle to her queenly style.

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This year was rough for most of us, and there is not a huge chance that 2018 will be without pain or trouble either. But I hope you all still find joy and light within it, find time to make art, and find time to love one another and allow yourself to be loved. I know it does not have much to do with fashion but, like the nerdy English major I am, I want to ring in the new year with a quote of a poem.

In his poem “The Mower,” Philip Larken writes, “We should be careful / Of each other, we should be kind / While there is still time.”

Happy (or, at least, better) 2018, everyone.

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.

Sister Style – Fall Fashion

Today I am introducing my sister, Lauren, who is entirely opposite of me and yet still my best friend. I wanted to feature her Thanksgiving outfit alongside mine to showcase how different styles can still compliment one another.

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My sister’s outfit is almost entirely thrifted. Like me, she is also pretty concerned with where all the clothes she owns were made. Her outfit passes the ethics test. I am really into the top she is wearing. It is a little hard to see from the pictures, but it is kind of shiny and iridescent. My outfit is second-hand besides the overalls which are from the Gap.

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Lauren and I have vastly different styles. I am very girly and playful, bordering on childish at times. She is always earth-toned and cool – a little dark, even. But I have always admired her style and, even if she rolls her eyes every once in a while, she loves mine too.

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Today I am at my grandparents’ cattle ranch, surrounded by the joyful hearts of family, friends, and even a few strangers. In the midst of all of this, I am thankful for my hospitable family who love and appreciate the quirks in me. I am thankful that I have grown up in a family, immediate and extended, that has always cultivated creativity.

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I am not giving as many details because I just felt like keeping it simple and focusing on the pictures today. (Pictures which were, once again, taken by my dear friend Julie Montoya.)

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I also wanted to show-off my fierce older sister, her epic bangs and butt-kickin’ mom jeans.

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I hope that this Thanksgiving day leaves your belly full of food and your heart full of love. If this holiday season is hard for you, I pray that you are able to hold on through it and know that you are deserving of love even if it feels far away.

 

 

One Dress, Three Looks – Fall Fashion

I got a little carried away while planning an outfit this week and couldn’t pick just one. So this week I bring to you, not one, but three unique outfits that I styled starting with one simple black and white dress. It is easier than you’d think to layer your way into a diverse wardrobe without buying tons of different pieces.

Outfit # 1

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This first look is the most out of the box and it is definitely my favorite of the three. Wearing a turtleneck underneath a collared dress may sound a little goofy in theory, but it looks a lot more put together than one might imagine. I love the quirky combination of my second-hand Who What Wear brand dress and my favorite cozy turtleneck. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

Outfit #2

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For this look, rather than wearing the sweater underneath, I pulled one over the top. This allows the collar to peak out from over the sweater in cutesy way. It also creates an allusion that one is wearing a skirt and shirt, rather than a dress, which causes the outfit to be even more versatile. Any sweater or long sleeved shirt could be worn over a dress like this, but I love the playful vibe this ruffled sweater gives this look. If you’re feeling a little more risky, you could venture beyond solid colors and wear a sweatshirt with a graphic or lettering to create something more fun and casual.

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I’m not huge on accessories – I like to let the main pieces of the outfit do the talking. However, I am big-time into socks. This one pair of socks worked well with all three of my looks, creating a color blocking effect. (Also, I majorly dig the Wes Anderson vibes from this backdrop.)

Outfit # 3

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Last but not least, the simplest of the three outfits. By just throwing on my favorite cardigan, I let the dress itself be the main focus of this outfit. When it comes to choosing cardigans, the length makes all of the difference. Because this dress is a loose-fit, a longer cardigan was more appropriate. A shorter sweater would have hit in an unflattering place on my body. If you are not sure, try on a couple of them.

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Whether you are thinking about starting a capsule wardrobe, participating in Dressember,  or just trying to save space in a suitcase this holiday season, it is possible to create several unique looks with just one staple piece. Wear your sweaters over, under, or open – the possibilities are endless. I hope this post was helpful to anyone in a style rut this season.

Stay kind!