What’s not to love about it Fall? (Except of course, if like me, you currently live in the Midwest, then Fall is accompanied by a gnawing feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach; an impending sense of doom knowing that winter is coming soon). But, I’m handling it the same way I handle all of my life’s problems: denial.
You know, maybe I am a basic bitch- and maybe that’s ok? because I love all the basic girl things about Autumn: the falling leaves, the brisk weather, and the clothing options: boyfriend jeans, comfy sweaters, colorful scarves, and boots (LOTS of boots). Comfort is alwayyyys number one.
You know those trends that come and go (mom jeans, Birkenstocks, dr. martans, etc) but you can’t let go of? They always hold a special place in your heart and your wardrobe, and no matter how “in” or “out” your beloved trend may become, you cling stubbornly to it and refuse to let die.
Fringe is that for me. Well, one of many in a long list of fashion faux pas I commit every time I get dressed.
But no matter how ridiculous I may end up looking I pass up a good ole fringed clothing item without picturing myself twirling gaily in the wind wearing said fringed clothing item, ala Buddy the Elf…
Usually these daydreams involve meadows and music and ponies….but that’s a story for another day.
I stumbled upon my new favorite fringed clothing unexpectedly while browsing the boutiques on a mini vacation to Traverse City. I almost passed it up because even for me, I was worried it might be a” bit much” (and for me that’s really saying something) but the imagined twirling I was doing while wearing that skirt was too glorious to pass up.
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.
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite floral spring dresses I found online:
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:
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.
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.
#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:
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.
A 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.
You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use that title!
Maybe turning 30 brought some maturity to me finally, as seen in my new found love of all things plaid.
I don’t know.
But I do know that before this winter I have never preferred Plaid or any other “Classic” styles. But as in most things with me, I always go overboard with any new interest of mine, Whether it’s: painting, DIY projects, yoga, or clothing, I suck all the fun out of whatever it is I like, until I am sick of it. That’s probably how my new love of “Plaid” will end up, but for now, me and plaid are BFFs.
I have seen so many cute plaid scarfs, hats, and ect. on my friends and people I see out and about, this winter that I wish I could have taken pictures of some people I saw who inspired my new obsession for plaid. If anyone has any pics of them wearing their favorite plaid accessory or clothing item to add to this post, or your opinion on plaid, my email email@example.com and I will add it!
But For now, here are some of my favorite plaidy plaids…
I’ve got a little pooch belly, but hey that’s okay!
Skirt is from Charlotte Russe ($19.99 or buy 1 get 1 for $10.00) which I bought in store and couldn’t find online but they have a similar one online (for $19.99):
Knit short sleeve white top is from H&M from this summer but I found a similar top from H&M that I actually think would look better with the plaid skirt. Their Heavy Jersey Fabric Short Sleeve Top available online in black or light grey for only $17.95:
The boots I bought at Target, probably 2 winters ago, and are still my tried and true favorites (plus the heels are about 2″ so I can actually go wear them out without walking like I am on stilts ) I love the contrasting brown leather ankle strappy things that make it okay for me to wear with black or brown (at least thats what I tell myself..fashion experts would probably say different). But I found a very similar pair by Dv by Dolce Vita Brand, called their Jaxen Suede Booties available at Lord and Taylor online and on sale for only $64.48 (marked down from $128):
My second “Plaid” winter outfit, is mainly just these pants I found at Forever21. I bought them online, (Got super excited and actually bought two of the same exact pair..so if anyone is interested in a free pair of pants…email me!) A lot of my style decision thought process goes something like this: “Should I really be considering wearing this?” “I look ridiculous.” and finally “Oh well, who cares!” and then proceed to checkout. And so it was with these pants:
These Gingham plaid pants are available at Forever 21 currently on sale for only $16.99. But aren’t for the faint of heart, I’ve got some junk in my trunks and these pants def. don’t help to conceal that. But they are red plaid pants for under $20 so…
As a kid, I loved going through my fabulous grandma’s costume jewelry collection. I could never narrow it down to one or even two favorite accessories, and instead piled as many necklaces on as my little kid neck would allow.
So, once I became aware that layered statement necklaces were an actual trend and saw necklaces like Dylanex’s Falkor ($890):
I have been trying to create my own cheaper “DIY” version. I quickly realized it’s not quite as easy as throwing on every silver necklace I own and walking out the door. I feel like I am constantly walking a fine line between “fashionable” and “mentally unstable homeless person”, when it comes to my personal style. It was actually pretty difficult to mix and match pieces together to create something tasteful and stylish (and doesn’t look like I raided my Grandma’s costume jewelry with my eyes closed). I ended up with two layered statement pieces: one silver and one gold…Usually, I prefer gold colored jewelry but there are a lot of awesome silver metal boho statement necklaces out there to choose from.
I have to admit that since I have started trying my hand (try, being the operative word here) at “personal style” and fashion-y posts, I have gained much admiration & respect for fashion bloggers because, Damn Gina, ya’ll make it look easy. Mad props (my apologies ahead of time, I’m apparently “Fresh” like the Prince today).
(complete with shrug and grin…and mustache?)
My current method is propping my little phone up on my purse and setting it on my car to take video or photos & even then it’s hard to find a photo were I don’t look all lumpy and awkward AND not making a ridiculous face. Not to mention, my photos end up being all sideways because my phone slips slowly out of place and the quality is not very good.
Anyways…. I found this top on a retail website that offered affordable fashion, much like GoJane, in fact, I stumbled upon the website while looking for GoJane, but frustratingly, every trace of the website has disappeared. I can’t find my receipt (went through the trash) or even the website address (I had cleared my cache on safari to get a program working). All I have to go on is that the brand is called “Better Be” and couldn’t even find a website for them, only find a few items on amazon. I’m frustrated because I really like it, and would love to find more similar to it and in different colors. So if anyone stumbles across it, or something like it, please let me know!!
It is super comfortable fabric, fits well (if a little thin) and goes well dressed up or down.
BUT, ever the deal hunter, I found mine at (and don’t judge!) at Burlington Coat Factory, for $16.99!! And, although they aren’t online anymore, I found a pair of the same brand, (Maurices), offering a similar pair for sale on their website for only $10.00!
With my Gold Eagle Statement Necklace, from Old Navy, that I was so excited to find, I took about 100 selfies of me wearing it, while doing the thumbs up and pointing to it, in about 50 of pictures.
I really do want to see what you guys are wearing and doing, even reading or painting…so if you ever want to be featured on here just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I spent longer than I should have trying to fit as many words starting with the letter “F” in the title.. (Ill save you the counting: it’s four). I’ve been waiting alll summer to write this post. Because Autumn is my favorite. I’ve seen this Someecards Ecard floating around online the past few weeks:
And as a white girl who likes her yoga pants (they are comfy and stretchy!) I have several objections. First off, I don’t think an individual’s avid appreciation for the Fall Season has anything to do with the fact I am a white girl who likes her yoga pants on occasion (so comfy and stretchy!). Secondly, I don’t even like Pumpkin Spice Lattes (pumpkin candles, loaf breads, muffins and pancakes are another story). But, I will tell you my favorite things about Fall without you having to go through the trouble of saying “Pumpkin Spice Latte” 3 times. (Who’s the weirdo now? At least Im not the one talking to my mirror…amiright?)
I was thinking about what it was that made me love Autumn so much and I found this “Autumn Blessing” Affirmation on pinterest that resonated with me:
I never realized before that all the changes in nature that Autumn brings; (the crisp weather, bright colored leaves, the smell of firewood burning that permeates the air) really does represent a time of transformation and reflection. As a very sensory and visually orientated person, I appreciate the transformations to my physical environment that Fall brings. It forces me to acknowledge the passing of time, every time I walk outdoors. I appreciate the Autumn season even more after being in Southern California for four years while at school. Looking back at that wonderful life experience, it feels like one really long summer and its difficult for me to remember exactly when my favorite and most precious memories occurred. While the winter season is a whole other beast here in the Midwest, I’ve come to relish the Fall season even more.
Besides the beautiful weather (and the dozens of colorful leaves I find and put in my coat pockets and forget about and then spend the rest of the year pulling crumbled up bits of dried leaves out of various pockets) the other reason I love Autumn is for the fashion!
Maybe its because I remember all those end of summer clothes shopping excursions with my mom trying to pick out the perfect outfit for the first day of school, or maybe it’s because I spend my entire summers sweating through everything I wear the second I step outdoors and I’ve never felt comfortable in my skin in a summer wardrobe: shorts (the chafing!), bikinis (the shaving!) and tank tops (the arm jiggles!). I am much more comfortable covering up “all that” in scarves and over sized sweaters.
As usual, I got sidetracked on what was supposed to be a short intro into the main subject of this post: my 6 Fall Wardrobe Essentials.
I decided to make an inspiration board using my illustrations so here we go:
1. Leather (or Leatherette) Moto Jacket:
Not so heavy or bulky as a winter coat and as the outermost layer of clothing, it’s the important in making a “style statement.” With oversized cardigans and slouchy, drapey sweaters and not to mention scarves, a simple, classic and fitted moto leather jacket keeps me from looking like a chunky pumpkin.
for (wait for it, wait for it) $890. I love everything about this jacket (the dramatic, asymmetrical collar or oversized lapels) and the color. And if I was in a position to buy it, I would and probably never take it off.
available at Urban Outfitters for $98.00. And it’s VEGAN, so you can feel good about not harming animals while wearing it!
2) A Bold (Tribal Inspired) Statement Jewelry Piece:
When I’m browsing for clothing or jewelry online, I always, 100% of the time, go with the more outrageous, the more colorful and bold option. Should a 30 year old be purchasing leopard print jeans? I learned the answer (it’s a big NO for me) when I showed up to the elementary school I was teaching at, only to run into 7th grader wearing the same exact pair as me (she was embarrassed, I was like “twinsies!!) At these moments, I question my sanity and resentfully acknowledge my actual age. (I am 30, I am 30, I am 30). I am learning the beauty of simplicity but this is not one of those times. I give you the aptly named Falkor necklace from DylanLex.com…
and my reaction to seeing this necklace for the first time can be summed up in the following picture:
and the Falcor necklace can be yours for only $980.00!
aaaand that’s the face I made when I saw the price.
Or you can do what I do, to wile away the hours and find some original and tribal inspired statement necklaces over on my favorite site on the web, etsy.
3. Boho Leather Handbag
Just recently I have re-fallen in love with bucket bags and leather backpacks as well as vintage tooled leather bags as well. I have been debating on fringed leather bags for years now and I still like them, although, they are becoming part of that festival season uniform- but my eye is always drawn to them.
Madewell makes a classic and simple style leather backpack- I don’t know why, but almost every leather bag I have ever owned is this carmel color. It’s definitely my favorite and saves me from having to decide wether to go with black or brown.
I also love the vintage fabric woven tote/bucket bags/leather backpacks but have yet to find a patterned bag that is also a designer brand Etsy and Ebay are my stomping grounds for those unique and beautiful finds and the best part is they are usually one of a kind!
My heart skipped a beat when I saw this woven, Ikat, bucket bag on etsy:
whew, sorry this post is getting long! thanks for sticking with me.
Fourth on the list of Fall Wardrobe Essentials is….
4. Oversized, Slouchy, Sweater or Cardigan:
My two personal favorite sweaters of this season (as well as the color contrast jeans) are both from H&M. Although not everything is carried in their online store…
The Oversized Sweater is available online in both gray and navy blue for an absolute steal of $14.95. I love this sweater and am so glad it caught my eye, although I have to admit , I would have passed it by if the mustard color version hadn’t caught my eye in the store. I love the length and the lightweight texture. I also am a big fan of contrast colors (as you might have guessed) but the black sleeves are definitely pleather and not very breathable.
And here is the dark blue version also on sale for $14.95. I love the leather pants and really would like some of my own (imitation leather of course) but let’s hope this beautiful model’s leather pants are not made of the same pleather material as the sweater, or she is definitely sweating it out. What do you guys think about leather pants? Do you own any?
My second favorite oversized sweater is also from H&M, the Ribbed-Knit Sweater, which I got in Orange and is also nicely priced at $24.95. For the low prices, I am impressed with the quality of the garments I have purchased from H&M.
and just cause a girl’s gotta dream about overpriced clothing items I will never be able to afford way out of my reach… my ultimate dream sweaters are both from Acne Studios (one of my new favorite “Dream” brands).
The Galactic Turtleneck Sweater is available at Barney’s New York and Also Acne Studio’s website for $620.00.
oh boots, bootie, boot, boots. I love boots….I can never have enough. What is it about women and their love for shoes and handbags? I don’t know, and don’t really care. In the past, I have always gone for tall, knee high length boots, but in recent years I am drawn more and more to ankle boots.
Basically every boot that Anthropologie has on their website is amazing. Their whole selection of boots, booties, ect, are kick ass, and usually always are.
I love the triple buckles and the price of the Vendaveles Boots (available exclusively online at Anthropologie) for $150.00.
Since I am loving anything and everything color blocked this season I love both of these booties from Anthropologie:
and the Coromell Booties, $130.00, also available exclusively online at Anthropologie as well.
#6: Patterned Fitted Pencil Skirt
Goes well with an oversized sweater, tights and booties. And again, anthropologie stuns with their patterned pencil skirts:
Perhaps my favorite skirt at the moment (which I am currently trying unsuccessfully to persuade my boyfriend to buy for me for our 2 year anniversary) is this beautiful Tapestry Pencil Skirt, $98.00 from Anthropologie, available online and in stores.
I love the longer length of the new pencil skirts, like this Collection Stripe Skirt, from J.Crew for $128.00, but on sale right now for 25% off using the code: SHOPFORFALL.
Thank you for sticking with me through this incredibly long and incredibly materialistic post. I hope you all take the time to enjoy the first official day of Fall tomorrow.
I lurrrv t-shirt necklaces! These are two that I’ve made. They are super easy to do and make a big impact. I also use them as scarves in the winter. Here is a tutorial. Just need old t-shirts and scissors.
Happy New Years!!!! I hope everyone had a fantastically memorable New Years Eve. Mine was definitely memorable but not so much fantastic. We listened to a really horrible 70’s cover band (in TIGHT COSTUMES!) and watched a bunch of surprisingly limber, but incredibly inappropriate drunk old women dance. Next year, I’m not even going to try. I will be at my house, with my husband and my dog; which is always what I wish I was doing when I am out on New Years Eve.
Anyways. Back to felt. fantastic felt! felt-tastic.
Felt. I love this stuff! I’ve been hearing a lot about felting crafts in the past few years- it seems to be what all the cool kids are crafting these days- but, as usual, I am running a little bit behind with the “trends” and have only just fallen in love with felt! And fell hard!
So I thought I would share this felt flower necklace craft that I’ve adapted from a couple of different crafters….I love Martha Stewart’s fabric flower necklace and have unsucsessfully attempted it several times but my flowers don’t look anything like Martha’s. And I KNOW for a fact that I picked up the felt flowers from some creative and inspiring crafter on the internet but I cannot find the website for the life of me! I’ll add the links in when I find them.
Making the felt flowers are super easy. All you need are felt squares, which come in so many different bright and fun colors (Michael’s has them for $.29 per 8 x 11″ sheet), permanant marker, craft scissors, tacky glue (the clear kind works the best) and random circular objects of various sizes! They come in so many bright and fun colors too. Just trace various sized circular objects and cut them out.
The next step is cutting the felt circle by cutting in a circular spiralliing motion. Then, starting from the inside, with the smallest circle, overlap the layers to create wider and wider circles. Dab some clear tacky glue every once in a while on sections of the felt and then a dab of clue and the ending tip to keep it together.
Once you have a good amount of completed felt flowers, (as you can tell from the above pictures of my felt flowers, I got a little OCD and made way more felt flowers than is needed), then you need to make the base of the necklace. I’ve used a kidney bean shape to create a curve around the neck, but you can do anything really.
Using needle and thread, arrange the flowers and sew them onto the backing. I also threw in some
Thanks to my beautiful friend Mary who was nice enough to be my felt-tastic model!
Ethiopia holds a special place in my heart. I have been blessed to visit three times to work in an orphanage for children with HIV/AIDS and to teach English.
A close family friend, who is the executive director and co-founder of of the Beza International Ministries approached me with these beautiful necklaces made of coffee beans by Ethiopians living with HIV/AIDS.
The Beza Entoto Outreach Program was created by Beza International Ministries as a result of the growing number of people suffering from HIV/AIDS in Entoto, a region in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.
The Beza Entoto Outreach Program established a project that would allow individuals living with HIV/AIDS to generate their own income.
Jewelry making was chosen because does not demand expensive equipment and is not arduous. The individuals who make the jewelry are paid a sustainable income and by purchasing a piece of jewelry you are directly helping someone in Ethiopia provide for themselves and for their families.
I pay a fair trade price for each necklace and also donate 30% of each purchased piece
directly to the Beza Entoto Outreach Program.
Please visit my new website if you are interested in purchasing a necklace and to learn more about the jewelry and the beautiful people who make them: