Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Little red dress, four ways

Summer has been flying by lately, and I've been enjoying my time outdoors! I have lots more planned for the season, so time can slow on down anytime now, amiright?

Several of my plans include celebrating the nuptials of very good friends, so I spent the last couple of weeks on the hunt for a dress to wear to various wedding-related events. I finally found this little red dress at Anthropologie (which also comes in lavender; similar but shorter look for less here) and immediately concocted several ways to style it.

First up, I'm planning to wear the dress to my best friend's bachelorette party in Charleston, SC. Strappy gold heels and delicate ribboned jewelry are a must, obviously:

Charleston Bachelorette Party

 
Next, I'm in a wedding in Nashville. Obviously I'll be wearing a bridesmaid dress in the wedding, but she's having her rehearsal dinner at a BBQ joint so I can style the dress a little more casually:

Nashville Rehearsal Dinner BBQ

 
Last but not least, my boyfriend's buddy is getting married this fall at a ski resort in Vermont. Temps will be a little cooler, which gives me the opportunity to toughen the dress up a bit with a leather jacket and badass jewelry:


Vermont Ski Chalet Wedding

 


Then, when all the fun is over, the dress will make its way into my work wardrobe, like so:


Work dress

 
 
How would you style this dress? Is a LRD the new LBD?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

It's about time for a new capsule wardrobe for summer, don't you think?

Without further ado:
Summer 2015 Capsule



This is actually fairly similar to the capsule I posted for Spring 2015, but to be honest my spring capsule was sort of a disaster. I didn't end up buying many of the pieces I had intended to, so the capsule ended up being really terrible and unusable, which led to me pulling random items from storage to wear, which led to me pulling aaaaaallllll of my clothing out when I felt like I had 'nothing to wear'....which led to me still only wearing the same few pieces yet feeling uninspired by my closet. 

So, this summer, I've decided on a few things:
1) I really limited my color palette. I kept trying to force color into my capsules, but those pieces just went unworn and led to the above problems. So this time around, I focused on white, black, and denim pieces with a few patterns and pinks thrown in for when I'm feeling adventurous!
2) In order for my closet to be usable, I need to have all the pieces! Last capsule I didn't buy much because I was busy buying plane tickets for my friends' weddings (#firstworldproblems) but this time around I've decided to commit some dough to the project. 

I've pulled together most of the capsule already from my existing closet, but I still have a few notable items missing. Namely, white jeans, a white blazer, a white buttonup, and the perfect nude heels (I need to be able to rock them as a bridesmaid twice this year, but then wear them to work after).

I have these heels ordered, but I'm having the hardest time trying to find the last three pieces. I don't want to spend too much because I will, without a doubt, stain these white pieces before the year is out. Any suggestions?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Drop-dead gorgeous jewelry alert!!

Recently I stopped by one of my favorite Portland stores, Adorn, where I came upon a new jewelry line and fell in love. They had these beautifully simplistic yet artistic silver- and gold-toned bracelets repurposed from things like old sink faucets and brass door handles.

Through the magical world of the Internet, I tracked down the source of the beauty to an artist named Kine from Kenya, who crafts his wearable art in the slums of Kibera and sells through a New York-based shop called Soko. Here's a small sampling of the gorgeousness, but please click here for his full collection!



Kine at Soko

The shop that distributes these beautiful pieces, Soko, has a really amazing mission. In their words, they were "founded on the belief that innovation can empower women, can connect markets, and can foster opportunities that change lives."

Soko works with artisans in developing countries, helping them not only to distribute their work but also training them in economic skills to succeed in their businesses. 

In addition to Kine, Soko stocks pieces from a variety of different artisans. Here's a peek at some of the others' work: 

Shop Soko


Aren't they beautiful??! I highly suggest  checking out the rest of the wares at shopsoko.com! And for your first purchase, you can get 20% by joining their mailing list. At the top of my wishlist? This bracelet set, this single-bar ring, and this flat-topped oval ring. I'm all about the simple statement jewelry! Which are your favorites?

Saturday, 13 June 2015

All dressed up and nowhere to go...

Sorry for the recent radio silence; life has gotten away from me a bit. Several (and by several I mean 8) of my good friends are getting married this summer, so weekends have been full of bridal showers, bachelorettes, and the weddings themselves.

I'm in three of them, so my outfits are planned for those, but I've been on the hunt for wedding guest gear for the other 3. I've come across several options that I'll share later, but I also found some fun options that, while not appropriate for my events, would be really fun to rock somewhere.



Dresses


I'm loving on this simple maxi dress. Paired with a slicked-back pony, futuristic jewelry, and killer heels, I'd feel like a total badass.

It's hard to see from this image, but dress #2 is covered in Picasso-esque line drawings of faces. I kept with the cartoon-y feel by adding polka-dot pumps and clutch plus tassel earrings, but modernized the outfit with the hairstyle.



Dresses 2


I'm so in love with how the left dress has a punk edge despite the floral motif, so a braided mohawk seemed appropriate. Adding in one of my current favorite trends (ear jackets), some strappy metallic heels, and a striped clutch takes this floral dress from cute to rebellious.

I adore the unexpected color palette of the next dress; I would never think to pair baby blue, citrus yellow, maroon, and black, but the pattern makes it all work. I love the scallop detail on these heels (they come in pink and gold, too!), and the hairstyle is deceptively easy!

Dresses 3

Lastly, we have a set of colorful dresses. The intricate lace of the top left dress gets repeated in the clutch and shoes, so I topped it off with simple pearl earrings and a romantic hairdo. 

Next, the silhouette and floral pattern of the other blue dress makes it a show-stopper on its own, so I kept the accessories and hairstyle simple. 

Likewise, the bottom left dress has such a modern, striking cut that simple hair, shoes, and accessories seemed the best match.

Not to be outdone, the dramatic ruffle of the bottom right dress makes such a statement that no jewelry is really required except some simple earrings. To emphasize the color of the dress I added coral heels and clutch, and I think this would look great on a redhead!


Which outfit would you be most likely to rock?

Friday, 3 April 2015

I'm baaaaaaack....with a Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe!


Hello loves! Long time no talk! I don't know about you, but I feel like 2015 is flyyyyyyyyyying by so quickly!

Let's just jump right into things, shall we? Now that the weather has taken a turn for the prettier, it's time to retire my sweaters and tights for a springier collection! Here's what I'm thinking for Spring 2015:


Spring 2015 Capsule


When my boyfriend and I were packing up to move to Portland, we did a huuuuuuuge purge of all the 'stuff' we didn't really need or use anymore, plus we got rid of anything we still loved but that was too worn out to justify moving (like raggedy hiking clothes, worn-out work flats, etc). So I'm in the market to revive my wardrobe!

Ideally, in order to achieve a wardrobe similar to the dream capsule version shown above, I'd need to purchase the following:

 

 
Spring 2015 Capsule Purchases


It will be a surprise to no long-term readers that I've already made a few purchases, all of which are black or white (cantstopwontstop with my love of neutrals!) I already have the white buttonup, white striped dress, black flats, and black wedges on their way to me.

But if I were to purchase the entire wishlist, it would take $1094 out of my bank account, which is more than I'm willing to spend...by, like, a lot. So I'll be on the hunt for alternative options to create the looks I want without blowing my entire tax return (I do have a car loan to pay off, after all ;)

Here are a few tips for prioritizing your shopping dollars:

1. Decide which options you'll wear the most and invest accordingly.
  • For example, I perused my Work and Play style boards on Pinterest, and many of the outfits feature white jeans, so a good pair of well-fitting white denim is near the top of my list. 

2. Determine which items need to withstand the most wear, and buy the best quality for your budget.
  • Since having hip surgery (twice..), I can't wear high heels or cheap, thin flats, so I'm more willing to spend money on cushy sandals, flats, and wedges.
3. Figure out the look you're going for and pick a statement piece that fits that look in the most versatile way.
  • I've been loving the pretty floral items debuting in shops and on Instagram ("Florals for spring? Groundbreaking." #namethatmovie), so I'm determined to add a little colorful pattern to my wardrobe. I love the floral dress shown above, but there are limited ways I can wear it (basically +/- a jacket or blazer), so the floral skirt or blazer are probably better options for me.
4. On a related note, buy pieces that can be worn multiple ways.
  • For example, the buttonup chambray dress can be worn alone, with a jacket/blazer, over a buttonup, or unbuttoned it could act as a long vest.
5. Wait for sales (duh).
  • This tip is pretty obvious, but if you know that a store has frequent sales (or coupons if you sign up for their emails)....wait for those sales. For example, the white skirt and white jeans shown total $150 full-price, but they're from the Loft which frequently has 20-40% off sales, saving me up to $60. Likewise, if an item is sold at multiple stores (like the BB Dakota chambray dress above), do a quick Google search to find the best price for the item.
6. Decide if a cheaper alternative is worth it.
  • Sometimes, rule #2 doesn't apply--items don't need to withstand lots of wear and tear, so a cheaper alternative to your ideal option may be ok. For example, I really like the black vest shown, but it's a fairly trendy item right now so I could find a cheaper alternative at Forever 21.
7. Shop thrift stores for basics.
  • If I was looking for a pair of jeans or black pants, the first place I'd stop would be a thrift store because name-brand versions of these items can easily be found at a heavy discount.
7. If you finally find the holy grail item that's been on your shopping list forever....buy it!
  • For example, I've been on the hunt for over a year for a soft, slouchy white buttonup, so when I found one for $60 (a little more than I was trying to spend), I decided to just go for it!

What are your favorite tips for getting the best bang for your buck?

Monday, 16 February 2015

New apartment intro tour!

Vinny and I have officially been in our new apartment for a month, so I thought it was about time to show you how things are shaking out so far decor-wise. We have a fairly long to-do list (which translates to a fairly long shopping list), but we are taking our time and tackling the list one by one. 

Today I took some shots of our bathroom, living room, dining area, and kitchen. The only areas not really shown today are the entryway and the bedroom, but those areas are still in need of a little crap-ton of TLC ;)

Bathroom:


There's a nice amount of storage in here, and opposite of the toilet/sink area above are the full tub/shower and the washer/dryer. 


I was able to use a couple of my favorite prints from Girl and Parrot on Etsy (here and here)



My Jonathan Adler mohawk match strike makes me smile every time :)


Like in my last home, I used these Claire Elsaesser prints over the toilet. 

Bathroom To-Do List:

  • Get a shower curtain
  • Get a little stool for next to the tub, all stocked up with bath salts and oils :)


Living Area:


Since it's a small living area, we furnished it really simply, although we'd like to add a comfy chair and a larger coffee table eventually. Photobomb credits: My puppy, Charli :)


Opposite the sofa we have our TV and a couple Ikea Vittsjo bookshelves. 



I've been having fun styling the shelves with our favorite books, prints, and plants.


Living Room To-Do List:

  • Replace lamp shades on end table lamps
  • Add 2 other pieces of artwork to the wall between the TV and sofa (I have the art, I just need to pick up 2 more Ikea frames)
  • Potentially add a wood bench with pillows under the artwork
  • Add a wood console under the TV
  • Get a larger coffee table
  • Swap out the pillows (I'm waiting on some new feather inserts I ordered)
  • Add a cozy wool rug under the sofa
  • Repot the plants on the shelves
  • Add hanging plants to the right-hand corner of the sofa
  • Potentially add an easy chair



Kitchen:


Our kitchen is just one long workspace, which took some getting used to. At the right-hand side of the photo you can see the table in our little dining nook.


My brother made those striped wood cutting boards! #talented


The hardest-working area of our kitchen, the coffee bar ;)

Kitchen To-Do List:
  • Add a long runner or 2 2x3 rugs in front of the sink and stove
  • Get a more colorful tea towel to hang on the stove handle
  • Style the shelf over the sink better, potentially adding a clock


Dining Area:

Not much to see here--and apologies for the dark shot, blogger wouldn't let me upload the lightened-up version :-/ Our 'dining table' is actually a campaign desk from World Market, but it fits perfectly in the space.

Dining Area To-Do List: 
  • Add placements (on order)
  • Buy new dining chairs
  • Potentially trim the drapes in something more colorful, or add a pelmet?


Overall I like where things are headed, but looking at these photos makes me more aware of how grey everything is. It would be nice to add in a little more color or texture to liven things up a bit, although I'd like the overall vibe to be fairly calm and cozy. 

What do you think? Any suggestions? Oh, and because I couldn't not post these....here are a couple bonus shots of my fur-baby :)







Isn't she the cutest?!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

February-March-April 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Ok, ok, I'm a little late posting this capsule, which I started at the beginning of February. But that's because I've been fiddling with it these first couple of weeks.

*Gasp* But isn't that against the rules of a capsule?? Aren't you supposed to pick your capsule items at the beginning and wear only those pieces??

Yes, that's the general idea. But I started February with a few different items, and once I started trying to get dressed with the new capsule, I found myself staring into my closet, at a loss for what to wear each morning. And that totally defeats the purpose of a capsule wardrobe, so I spent an extra couple of weeks tweaking things until the capsule became functional and inspirational again. Here's what I've ended up with:

Feb-March-April 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Key: Bold = Capsule Basics; Italics = New Pieces; Regular font = Filler Pieces

Neutral Tops:
1-3: Black, white, and striped tanks
4. Chambray buttonup
5. Black long-sleeve striped tee
6. Black plaid buttonup
7. Grey v-neck tee
8. Graphic tee (Minnesota)

Colorful Tops:
1. Silk buttonup
2. Long-sleeve crossover top
3. Silky tee
4. Silky long-sleeve
5. Crop sweater

Jackets/Blazers/Cardigans:
1.Black blazer
2. Jean jacket
3. Cream moto jacket
4. Color blazer
5. Black waterfall cardigan
6. Long sweater cardigan

Bottoms: 
1. Black trousers
2. Black skirt
3. Skinny jeans
4. Grey pencil skirt
5. Striped skirt
6. Black maxi skirt
7. Grey trousers
8. Colored cords
9. Black cropped ankle pants

Dresses: 
1. Maroon dress
2. B&W Target dress
3. Fuchsia shift dress

Shoes: 
1. Black boots
2. Black flats
3. B&W printed flats
4. White Converse
5. Black moto boots
6. Black wedge booties


To come up with the final 37 items for this capsule, I played around with numbers a bit. Originally a had a few more sweaters and tops and 6 bottoms, but I quickly learned that this left my closet unbalanced--I felt like I didn't have enough bottoms to wear to work. So I swapped out the tops that I gravitated away from and added in a few more pants. I also found that I prefer neutral bottoms but I like to split my tops pretty equally between neutrals and colorful options. In an ideal world, all of my colorful items would coordinate with each other, but since this is a real closet and not a made-up Pinterest one, I'm limited by the colors I've already purchased.

What are some of the tricks you've learned to make your capsule more functional?