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.

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.

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!

Sunshine in November – Fall Fashion

 

Fun fact: this entire photo set was taken by my sister at a Panera Bread.

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These are the only pair of earrings I currently own and, honestly, they are the only pair I need. They jazz up any solid colored shirt I own, especially turtlenecks. I’m in love with turtlenecks and this shade of yellow. It’s so vibrant and warm and yet still totally appropriate for autumn. (Although, to be honest, I have never really cared much about trivial fashion “rules” for the seasons.)

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This day was fairly warm for a fall day, but still cold enough to manage a sweater. I kept a balance by wearing this sweater with high-waisted shorts, and these vintage knee-high socks for a little extra warmth.

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This outfit is entirely second-hand, from thrift shops, hand-me-downs and estate sales. It is channeling a some-what era confused vibe, landing mostly in the 1970s’, which is a favorite of mine right now.

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If your are looking for a pair of staple shoes for your wardrobe, saddle shoes are it. I can wear them with almost everything I own and they are super comfortable! I admit, people often confuse them for bowling shoes, but that is not as much of a insult to me as it was probably meant to be. I’ve got no beef with bowling shoes. Plus, these shoes can be worn all year round, rain or shine.

Whether the days are chilly or warm, I hope this week treats you well!

 

100% Thrifted Fall Layers – Fall Fashion

Contrary to these deceivingly sunny pictures, it was a fairly chilly day when I wore this outfit. The key to getting away with wearing dresses in the brisk fall weather is layers.
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This outfit brought to you 100% by thrift shops. I have layered a black collared blouse beneath a yellow long-sleeved shirt and threw my favorite 90s’ overall dress over the top. One of the best ways to transition your wardrobe into fall is to keep all of your short-sleeved, collared blouses around to wear under sweaters and long sleeved tops.

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Okay, so I may have lied slightly. My outfit is more like 99% thrifted. The pin I am wearing, my all-time favorite pin, is from the Sparkle Collective’s Etsy shop. It says “baby cats” around the edges, which are a little rust-stained because it has been through the wash a few too many times. (It hardly ever leaves this dress.)

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My good friend Ryan from Ryality blog took these pictures for me. She was a huge help and inspiration in the process of setting up this blog, so check her out if you have a second.

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Per request, I will be working on a thrift-shopping guide full of all my tips and tricks, so sign up to receive my email alerts if you want to know when that comes out. Or don’t if you hate knowing how to find inexpensive, ethical, stylish clothing. That’s cool too.

Peace and blessings.

Professional Doesn’t Mean Boring – Fall Fashion

As a future teacher who will have to integrate business-casual into my everyday life sooner than I’d like to think, I have made it a goal to find a way to make it my own.

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About a week ago, I had to attend an honors ceremony at my school. To my dismay, they gave zero dressing guidelines. I decided to play it safe and test out my professional styling skills. DSCN0347 (3)

For the first time in a very, very long time my outfit contains zero thrifted items. It is a strange feeling to be wearing items that others could actually purchase in a store if they wanted. Both items are purchased from stores committed to having strictly ethical factory  regulations, so fear not!

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This ruffly sweater is from Target’s new line called “A New Day” and I am obsessed with it. (Although it reminds me slightly of Pennywise the clown.) I think the key to making a professional look stylish is by not losing your personality in it. This sweater is girly and a little weird, so it still represents my personality. These yellow ankle pants are from the gap. Simply choosing an ankle cut pant takes this look from being frumpy to being clean and youthful.

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This outfit is simple, but the details make all the difference.

Lady Bug – Fall Fashion

Ah, yes, the time of year where the weather gets slightly colder (slowly, but surely), and my outfits become uncomfortably transitional. It is the fall outfit in the morning, summer outfit in the afternoon kind of whether here in the Midwest and my outfits reflect an attempt at some sort of balance.
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It’s not all bad, however, as I can wear mom-jeans that are short enough to show my cute socks. Socks are one of the most underrated accessories, in my opinion.

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This outfit was almost entirely thrifted, save the socks and shoes. The top is one of those amazingly comfortable and slightly clown-like old lady shirts from a random brand that I could never find in an actual store, but was lucky enough to stumble across at a local Goodwill. The jelly shoes were a gift from my sister and the ribbed, baby blue socks are one of the last Forever 21 items left in my wardrobe.DSCN0144 (2)

If you didn’t know, Forever 21 is pretty well-known for being unethical when it comes to factory work. They are also notorious for stealing small artists’ ideas and marketing them as their own. I love some adorably cheap fashion as much as the next person, so it took me a while to commit to not shopping there anymore, but I have finally stopped for good. There are still remnants in my wardrobe which I am slowly phasing out, but having been an ignorantly religious Forever 21 shopper throughout all of junior high and high school, it is harder to weed out than you’d think (no pun intended with my plant theme). All well, everyone has to start somewhere.