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Harem Jumpers: Stylish & Comfy Style or 80’s Fashion Relic?

harem jumper OOTD

I am a child of the late 80’s/early 90’s and I loved every wacky, bodacious second of it. Although as we reflect back on those years, it is undeniable that an overwhelming majority of our most painfully awkward and embarrassing pop culture moments occurred in the 80’s.  It was a decade that produced some of the most memorable cringeworthy style fads of all time, such as: Acid wash jeans, scrunchies, hairspray and perms, neon colored wind suits and of course harem pants. Inspired by the greats of the era, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice.


 

(I still firmly believe those were the greatest fashion years of my life. Sometimes I wonder if it was growing up in the late 80’s early 90’s that gave me my flare for the dramatic when it comes to clothes (hence wearing an oversized jumper in 2015 and loving it))

Just recently I saw a picture of everyone’s favorite overgrown man child, Justin Beiber, wearing some serious harem pants and  I literally said outloud: “Hammer did it better.” Bc. how could anyone forget this:

or this:

and while we’re at it, this:

unfortantly, hammer pants were one of the few fashion items my parents refused to purchase for me (along with glittery  pink, fringed cowboy boots). I see now that my parents were doing me a favor because i have a feeling my hammer pants wouldn’t have gone over very well with all the kids at my school in West Texas. So, thanks guys for that.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t fulfill my Hammer Time fantasy as an adult! I am free to make my own bad decisions! Sometimes being an adult IS great, because no one can tell you “no” if you want to buy an oversized diaper jumper and wear it in public!

I was pleasantly surprised with how it fit, although it’s a very thin jersey knit fabric so it attaches its self to unappealing areas (the crutch and the butt). I did wear it on a really windy day which didn’t help with that though. It is really comfortable and I actually really like the styling and draping of the fabric. I had to be careful when I walked because this particular jumper always ended up giving me a wedgie. The jumpsuit I purchased was the cheap version (as usual) which may speak to the thinness of the fabric. Shopbop has a designer brand option which is undoubtably better quality in their  Basic Terrain Harem Jumpsuit, for $158.00:

basic terrain jumpsuit


to wear or not to wear:

It’s not an item I will be wearing very often but it’s really fun to have in my closet for days when I  am feeling bored with everything else in my closet and also because I like to put it on and do the Hammer Time dance in the mirror when I need a quick trip down memory lane. Plus, I bought mine on Amazon for less than $15.00

In conclusion: no one pulls it off like the Hammer but I have a feeling the harem jumper hasn’t had it’s final style moment yet…
harem jumper street styleMy Outfit details: Spaghetti Strap Harem Jumper, $14.95, vintage tooled leather bag, Gottex Women’s Laurent Felt Hat, $79.00 on Amazon, Yara Birkenstock Thongs $120.00

yara birkenstock thongs

 

so the final question is: would you? I am totally okay if your answer is a resounding no.

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spring style: fun, flowy, floral, boho dresses

hooray for all things Spring….Sun, flowers, rain, birds, allergies. I’ll take it all if it means I can stand outside for more than a minute without getting frostbite.  I’ve been waiting for a day that was nice enough to wear my Free People Parker Dress. Although there aren’t enough photoshopping or fliters that help my legs look less blindingly white and pasty.

free people dress black esparilldos

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite floral spring dresses I found online:

Free People Parker Dress, $69.00:

FREE-people-parker-dress-sage

MINKPINK Women’s Moon Flower Midi Dress:

mink-pink-midifloral-dress

Needle & Thread’s Summer Garden Floral Sequin Bodycon Dress ($360.00):

needle&thread-bodycon-sequin-garden-dress

Free People First Kiss Dress, $98.00:

free-people-first-kiss-boho-dress

 

Free People Embroidered Austin Dress, $148.00:
free-people-austin-embroidered-dress

Needle & Thread Gilded Filigree Three Quarter Sleeve Cocktail Dress:
needle&thread-gilded-filigree-dress

 BB Dakota ‘Heleen’ Print Fit and Flare Midi Dress ($98.00) at Nordstroms:

BB-dokata-heleen-floral-dress

Volcom Juniors Nevermore Dress

volcom-floral-dress

 

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Spring Style Trend: Boyfriend Jeans (My new favorite pair)

 

i don’t know if technically I could call these boyfriend jeans since my boyfriend wouldn’t be caught dead in these and also because he’s smaller than me. But I’m okay with that because that means I get them all to myself. And the last time I bought a pair of Diesel jeans was in college over 10 years ago because I wanted to be cool like my friend David Mata. I have been searching for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans for me because I don’t have a skinny frame (tree trunk legs) and any pair of boyfriend jeans I tried on always ended up looking like a bad pair bootleg skinny leg jeans on me. I remember when I tried on “mom jeans” at H&M, ha! I love the fit of these jeans because they are super baggy, especially in the crotch (yeah, I already psychoanalyzed myself about this). Also, I love the wash and the color and I’m sold.
diesel boyfriend jeans

Working on learning from my friend Shana at the MomEdit and trying to simplify and minimills my outfits which is really really hard for me. But if I can control my urge to through on something bright orange, I do like the way the minimalist casual style looks.

I highly recommend my jeans if you like this type of style, although they are pretty pricey- I don’t think I could find a pair I love more. They are Women’s Diesel FAYZA Boyfriend Denim

Diesel Jeans Fayza 0810n Fidanzato D 80_03_LRG

which I got on Amazon for $174.00

My shoes are Viscata Escala Espadrilles

also purchased on Amazon for $44.95 and they are amazingly comfortable.


spring 2015 boyfriend jeans thiswildpreciouslife

asos kimmi shrunken boyfriend jean vintage wash

 

g star arc 3d boyfriendblend boyfriend jeans with distressing asosDiesel Jeans Fayza 0810n Fidanzato D 80_03_LRG river islandwhistles boyfriend jeans in midwash denim

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Art Collaboration with The Mom Edit Style Blog

mom edit march art style fashion collaboration jessica ross

I am so so excited to be collaborating again with the AMAZING Shana, and her equally amazing blog: The Mom Edit on a series of monthly fashion themed art pieces.

Shana's latest spring OOTD on the mom edit.
Shana’s latest spring OOTD on the mom edit.

I love being able to collaborate with Shana. She has been an enthusiastic supporter and an advocate for me and my art, even when I usually can’t stand whatever it is I’ve made. supporter and cheerleader  She is passionate, enthusiastic and just all around bad ass. I love all of her style and she approaches each post with honesty and frankness about life that makes me laugh out loud.

I was really struggling creatively the last few months and this collaboration has  breathed new life into  my art and given me a new purpose and direction. This project has also been hands down the hardest artistic challenge I’ve undertaken simply because it’s so scary for me to have my artwork “out there” to be seen and judged. I usually have two modes: 1) being super impulsive about what I publish on social media and then afterwards feeling embarrassed or 2) overthinking and analyzing every thing I make until I just stop mid-way through and never finish it.

Here is the March art piece I did for The Mom Edit along with Shana’s picks to go along with it:

jess ross mom edit art collaboration march spring style

jessbobess march-collage-01-614x1024

And here is the link to her article:

http://themomedit.com/2015/03/hello-march-and-some-exciting-news/

This is the art piece I did for the February collaboration with The Mom Edit:

valentine-01 mom edit art collaboration

Here is her AMAZING outfit that inspired the art I did for her and the LINK to her article Winter Florals and Leather Jackets (The Anti-Valentines Day Outfit):

chiffon-maxi-leather-jacket-winter-floral-beanie-681x1024 chiffon-maxi-skirt-winter-floral-tank-leather-jacket-sole-society-winter-beanie

 

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OOTD: An Ode to Spring, All the Bright Colors, J.Crew, & My New Style Idol, Monling Lee

monling lee  colorindex jcrew

Her name is Monling Lee and she is my everything.

monling jcrew colorblock

She is an architect and urban designer with a passion for vibrant colors and a sense of style that is one of a kind.  I first discovered her via Instagram @monlinglee fell instantly in love with every single one of her photos.  She combines her unique and brilliantly colored personal style in perfectly coordinated urban environments. moonlingleecolorindex

 

By following her instagram account, I found out that she was teaming up with J. Crew to “Test-drive” Their new spring accessories on their blog: hello.jcrew.com. And was inspired to try to create my own color blocked outfit with my skirt I bought for a penny at Nordstroms Rack. JCrew and Monling Lee are having an instagram contest on how where you wear (and pair, and pile on) your J.Crew accessories with the hashtags #ACCESSORYFIX and #JCREWCONTEST for a chance to win one of three $1,500 shopping sprees. And although I don’t have a new spring accessory to actually join in…here are my outfits:
Processed with VSCOcam with 7 preset

 

color block jcrew spring

 

 

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Style Tutorial: Three Ways to Wear White Denim in Winter

 

I don’t wear white often because of a few reasons (like being unable to go more than 10 minutes without spilling something) but the after Labor Day rule isn’t one of them . But, I’ve seen a lot of cool styling this winter with white denim or trousers and I don’t know if it’s becoming more fashionably acceptable to wear white after the designated time. I kind of think wearing white is perfect in the winter, especially when I am getting sick of all the black I wear in mourning for the summer.

so here are three different ways to casually style white denim jeans for winter wear….

winterwhitedenimoutfitonestripe-cardigan-fringe-bag-white-denim-zara-nordstroms-beanie-winterwinter-white-denim-style-inspiration
white-denim-suede-wedgesplaidscarf
winteroutfit3white-denim-wedge-booties-zara-plaid-scarf-nordstromHow do you guys feel about white denim during winter? Yay or nay??

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OOTD For Under $100: Shorts, Tights, Wedge Booties, Stripe Top & Cardigan

Greetings from Arizona! I am not used to this warm, winter weather but I am definitely making the most of it. It’s nice to see the sun and to remember there is such a thing as summer….

plaidsnordstromhortstightswedgebooties

 

Top:  H&M Short Jersey Top $9.95, Shorts: Forever21 High Waisted Plaid Shorts $16.50, Tights: TopShop US Glitter Tights, $18.00,Cardigan: Zara Wrap Around Cardigan $39.00, Booties: Nordstroms, Tom’s ‘Desert’ Wedge Bootie $89.99, Bag: Rebecca Minkoff ‘Moto’ Hobo Bag $325.00, Necklace: Tiffany & Co Elsa Peretti Silver Pendant Full Heart, $150.00

wedgebootiesstightszaratopplaidshortsHere are a few similiar/different options of the same outfit:

Stripe Rib Crop Top by TopShop, $30.00

stripribedcroptoptopshop

Plaid Wool Trouser Shorts, Gap $39.99

Gap-Women-Plaid-Trousers-wool

Hue Over The Knee Chunky Stitched Ribbed Socks, Nordstroms $8.00

hue-nordstrom-knee-socks

Via Spiga Booties-Fabienne, Bloomingdales $168.00

via-spiga-bloomingdales-booties

 

Cardigan Jacket, Zara $79.99

zara-linen-cardigan-wrap-wool

 

Leather Bucket Bag, Zara $119.90

leather-bag-fringes-zara

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#OOTD: Double Side Split Top & Knee High Stockings

I’m trying out something different and just going to post more simple, short OOTD (outfit of the day) posts with the outfit details…bc sometimes I can’t think of anything really interesting to write about the outfit…unless you guys think of something.

overside baggy cardigan, tights and knee high stockings
overside baggy cardigan, tights and knee high stockings
deep, double side split top, tights and knee high stockings
deep, double side split top, tights and knee high stockings

outfit details and prices:

skirt: ZARA knit tube skirt, blush color, $79.90,

zara knit skirt

 

cardigan: Zara TWO-TONED wrap jacket, $79.95,

zara cardigan

Socks: Commando Up All Night Thigh High Socks, $34.00, Nordstroms

thigh high socks

Tights: Nordstrom’s ‘Love’ Sweater Tights, charcoal color, $28.00

or these American Apparel Above the Knee Socks available on Amazon for only $13.00

Click on picture to purchase in amazon

Nordstroms charcoal sweater tights
Nordstroms charcoal sweater tights

Boots: Madden Girl “Mistley” Combat Boots $34.99 available on 6PM.com

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20 Original Winter/Holiday Themed Art Journal Ideas

20 artist journal page ideas

I put together a little Holiday Themed Art Journal Idea List, some of the ideas are a bit simple but fun.

I always find myself journaling and sketching a lot over the Christmas and New Years breaks. I think it’s my way of reflecting on everything that happened over the past year as well as gearing up for the new year ahead (also because I usually like to start the new new calendar year off with a fresh journal so I try to fill up the remaining pages in the old one). Also, I am one of those people who religiously comes up with New Years Resolutions every year…The older I get, the more it’s becoming a bucket list and a reminder for me that life is moving fast. I am a big list person too…I just feel better about my lack of organizational skills when I can cross off even the most mundane tasks.

I also rounded up some of my favorite journal pages from this year….they are nothing like some of the pages I see of other artists on pinterest or tumblr…but they make me happy 🙂 Some of them can fit as examples for the Winter themed list so Ill note them if they do…

 

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

One of my favorite things to do is write down  inspiring quotes, passages, poems r song lyrics I come across and then create some sort of art around it.

ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with inspiring quote
ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with quote
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
succulent and cacti planters
succulent and cacti planters
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page

mixed media artist sketchbook page

abstract watercolor journal page

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My Midi Dress Dilemma: 4 Tips for Wearing a Midi for the Body Conscious Woman

6 marvelou smidis(all 6 dresses available on asos top left: ASOS RED CARPET Premium Embellished Midi Dress With Plunge Front $227.40, top middle: Asos Midi Wiggle Dress in Paisley Print $113.17, top right: ASOS Baroque Embellished Midi Shift Dress $161.08, bottom left: Self Portrait Lucille Midi Dress  $473.75, bottom middle: ASOS Petite Wiggle Dress with Wrap Back $85.28,  bottom right: ASOS Gray Floral Drape Back Midi $94.75)


I really, really love the midi dress look and I emphasis the word look because the way a midi dress looks on a model (stunning) is not how a midi LOOKS on me. The models’ curves (or lack of them) are perfectly highlighted in the form fitting style of a midi and the length accentuates their slim legs. I don’t know if I really thought that I would look the same as the 100 pound 5ft 9 model did in the same midi.

Here is the midi dress I purchased:

jersey midi asos
Asos Midi Cami Body Conscious Dress

but…SURPRISE! I didn’t look anything like the model. It accentuated my curves alright, every friggin nook and cranny was on display. It probably didn’t help that the midi I bought was thin jersey fabric, which is probably one of the least forgiving fabrics there is. So I buried the dress in the back of my closet and tried to forget I ever thought I could pull the look off.

The thing is…I’ve never liked my body, but I also think most women in America have struggled with loving and accepting their bodies at some point. I’ve been working up to writing about the journey I am on to loving myself and it’s been a long, bloody battle for me but….(and I swear all this has to it has to do with the midi dress!)

But since I turning 30 this year, it really hit me how much of life I have wasted and how many experiences I missed out on because I’ve been to busy disliking myself and caring to much what people think.Doing these self-absorbed, materialistic Personal Style posts was a coconscious decision of mine to do what makes me happy and to (try) not to worry about whether or not people like it. Also, it’s nice to actually start caring about myself again 🙂


So, when cleaning up my closet, I stumbling on the crumpled up midi dress of disappointment and gave it another go (outfitted in my spanx body armor) and decided to give it another try and I came up with a few different ways to wear a form fitting midi with more confidence.

#1 Oversized Cardigans like this one from Revolve Clothing, are your friends.

drapey cardigan

Wearing a big, drapey cardigan helps me feel like I have a layer of protection and it keeps all my lumpy areas that I am self-conscious about covered. But the open front still shows off the cute length and style of the midi.

midi skirt winter outfit

#2 Wearing shoes with heels (booties are my favorite for winter) add much needed length to your frame.

Here are a few pair of booties that give me the warm fuzzies and that I think would look good with a a casual style midi dress:

Joe's Cutout booties

 

 

above: Joe’s ‘Abby’ Cutout Leather Booties available at Nordstroms for $119.37 (40% off from original price of $198.95) Sam Edelman booties

 

Above: Circus by Sam Edelman “Talon” Booties  available on sale at Nordstroms for $87.06 (originally $129.95)

wedge booties

Above: Naughty Monkey ‘Angle Tangle’ Toe Wedge Bootie also at Nordstroms for $129.95

For a dressier look here are a few heels I am currently drooling over:

Gucci Gold toe Heel

above: Gucci’ ‘Coline’ T-Strap Cap Toe Heels at Nordstroms for $398.98

capped toe heels

 

 

above: Joe’s  ‘Ali’ Ankle Strap Pump, on sale at Nordstroms for $72.95dark blue pumps

 

above: Louise et Cie ‘Sarmienta’ Pump at Nordstroms for only $79.95 (50% off)

Most midis cut off at around calf-level (depending on height) which I love but also has the tendency to make legs look shorter and bulkier.

#3 Layer it up to create different looks.

A midi is fun to play around with different looks and is a versatile dress that can be simple and classic or fun and trendy.  Adding colorful layers, like my favorite crazy plaid pants, creates lines, and helps to “distract” the eye from those worry areas.


IMG_6163 - Version 2
midiandblacktopA split sided basic top is perfect to throw over a midi because it covers my least favorite areas (my tummy and the booty) and I like the look it creates.

#4: Spanx is also your friend.

Good ole trusty spanx, instilling confidence into the self-conscious since the dawning of time.

 

 

 

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An Easy and Fun DIY Abstract Art Project Tutorial for All Ages!

abstract art ideas

 

I can’t help that my natural artistic impulses are the same as every 2 year old who has just been given their first ever box of crayons (to take all the colors, smash them together, color all the paper,  mess all over the floor and then take a nap curled up in the eye of the hurricane). I swear I have every intention of trying to become a decent artist when I get out my graphite pencils and little eraser to practice sketching. Somehow though, I always end up on the floor surrounded by paint in every color and shade available. But Im at my happiest and  most inspired making my kaleidoscopic messes…

Abstract Geometric Watercolor Artwork by Yao Cheng

I happened to spot the inspiration for this DIY art project in an advertisement in House Beautiful magazine for minted.com. I ripped it right out (don’t worry, it was my copy!) , taped it to my wall and started to go to work on my own version. Later, I was able to investigate further and discovered (thank you pinterest) that the Artist’s is Yao Cheng, she specials in beautiful watercolor paintings and her online store on Minted’s website is FULL of stunning watercolor prints. The above piece and the object of inspiration is “Hexagon Cluster,” and you can purchase  her Limited Edition of Hexagon Cluster print on Minted (or click through the links) for anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on size and finish.

Here is everything you will need to make it:

1) watercolor paints (the Kids Crayola watercolors work just fine) and paper (brushes and cups of water as well)

I suggest the following liquid watercolors for bright, vibrant colors:

Sargent Art 8-Ounce Watercolor Magic Set (10 different watercolors for $49.95)

click on picture to view in Amazon

or Dr. Phil’s Concentrated Watercolors (my personal favorites) They average about $5.00 a bottle or a set of 14 is around $69.99.

Dr Phil’s Concentrated Watercolors (click pic to view in Amazon)

2) Watercolor Paper Pad

For the best price and quality, I suggest Strathmore 360900 Cold Press 140-Pound 12-Sheets Strathmore Watercolor Paper Pad, 9-Inch by 12-Inch, which is only around $7.00, also available on Amazon

Click photo to purchase in Amazon

 

3) Thick, heavyweight white paper Mixed Media paper works well, just something to hold the weight of mixed media and glue without tapering.

4) Scissors and a gluestick!

The How To:

The steps to making this DIY project are super simple.  But since I’m not sure of how the original artist created her stunning piece so I’ll tell you how I made my version.

1) Get out your watercolors and watercolor paper and go crazy (this is one of my favorite things in the world to do). You don’t need any fancy paper or expensive watercolors. In fact, I mostly used plain old, reliable Crayola Washable Watercolors  (available in probably every single pharmacy and grocery store in America).   because I had just moved to Grand Rapids from Chicago when I got this project itch, I had none of my supplies and couldn’t wait a few days till I went home again.

* Try experimenting with colors…I love playing with colors and mixing and matching up colors I wouldn’t usually put together while doing this…I tend to lean towards bright, bold, colors but what I love about Cheng’s is that she uses subtle, subdued colors with a pop of bold color that makes the piece stand out. Her use of subtle tones and light/grey hues accentuates the rich blues and the  subtle use of warm orange colors all come together to create a vibrant, yet refreshingly simple and peaceful piece of art that would compliment many differently styled rooms.

2) Using a ruler or something to help you draw straight lines, trace out 20-30 hexagons (6 sided shapes). Make sure to make all different sized hexagons..the sides don’t necessarily have to be symmetrical or have all equal lengths..this will help to add to the abstract and organic feeling of the piece.

3) Arrange them in a way you like on your heavyweight art board..the only rule I used for myself was that each shape has to be touching another shape by at least one point..I think this helps adds continuity and fluidity of the artwork and helps guide the viewer’s eye from each unique hexagon to the next.

I also tried another technique and did one piece where all the sides of the shapes had to be touching sides perfectly..this one took a little more time and a lot of cutting down shapes to fit better…

DIY abstract art project

4) admire, frame and hang!

Here are a few that I did, as you can see, I have a hard time using natural and subtle colors- which I think makes my finished pieces a little to “in your face.” But to each their own!

DIY Abstract Shape Art Project

abstract diy shape project

 

And that is it my friends!

 

 

 

 

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It’s a Wrap: A Perfect Fall Skirt

wrapskirtI first spied this “Twisted High Low Skirt” skirt via the DailyLook, where they called it their  “Must Have Skirt of the Season,” for $32.99. I loved the comfortable jersey fabric, the dramatic, sweeping look and it’s versatility. Although, my version comes complete with a layer of tummy tucker underwear, spanx and tights. Im not entirely sure I could pull this off without any of my “special friends.”

WRAP skirt

Being the poor, cheapskate that I am, (not like $32.99 is a lot!!!)  I found a very similar skirt on Amazon: TheMogan Women’s Knotted Asymmetrical Jersey Fitted Skirt
in a TON of different colors for or only $13.00, which I purchased in “Slate”:

teal drape skirt

As of late, GoJane has been one of my favorite online fashion sites, with insanely cheap and trendy shoes and clothes. I love their unique and flattering designs and funky patterns (I know this reads like an advertisement, but I def. don’t get paid for anything I write about on my blog). GoJane  has a ton of different color options for their asymmetrical twist skirts and a couple of fun different but similarly designed skirts that I am itching after,Like this “Knotty Satisfaction” Skirt for $16.50: 

102447-e-burgundy-0And the “Tie-Dye Draped Skirt” for $19.50:

89973-e-ivoryblack-0

AAAAAAND the “Just Drape It Asymmetrical Skirt” for $25.80. 
101805-e-navy-0

What do you guys think of these skirts? Too much? Not enough? I do have to say that the one benefit of getting the higher-quality version is that it is mod likely made out of a better quality fabric that doesn’t show off every bump and crevice. :/ Would love to see your pictures of how you styled this skirt….

just email me at thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com, and I will post them on my blog!

Hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing, fun-filled weekend.

xxxoxo

jess

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