Open Back Spring Tank

 

 

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Between 2 hour delays and working on a separate project last week, this top didn’t come along as quickly as I had wanted it to. But it came nonetheless. It was like Christmas…it came without packages, boxes, or bags, and there was nothing that old Grinch of busy-ness could do to stop it! IMG_2814

Now, I won’t be wearing it without another shirt on under it- unless I had really, really high waisted pants on and it was like a hundred and thirty degrees outside and someone could guarantee me that I wouldn’t run into my dad, or anyone from my conservative family for that matter. I used to throw caution-and modesty-to the wind, much to my mother’s chagrin, but poor girl, she wasn’t as strong-willed as I am. I had an unshakable argument, too. She had been a hippie, a real flower child of the 60s. Like she never went braless! If I had known then what I know now that mother’s are right in ways we can’t imagine in our naive, rebellious youth! Oh well. Now I have my own children to wrangle, so the tables have turned. I’ve already told them they’ll never be more stubborn than mommy, though, so I refuse to back down on the important issues. (That’s my sometimess-too-gentle-and-peaceable mother in the background picture. She was beautiful! Man, if I could take back the misery I caused her, I would. Well, sae la vie, I suppose.)IMG_2816

Back to the shirt. I may not wear it without something under it, but sheer is hot right now! Would I send it down a runway like that or put it in a photoshoot? Heck yes! I may be a fairly modest midwesterner, but I am, after all, an Yves Saint Laurent Girl at heart. . . Mastermind behind the iconic women’s tuxedo and sheer secretary blouses of the 70s- worn, of course, sans bras.

Also, Lets take a moment of reverence for these new palazzo pants. No, I didn’t make them, but I was just as excited to buy them for $11.99 at Sears last week! I will be wearing them with everything! And, yes, they do have pockets. Thank you for rejoicing with me over that fact. I know you did. Because nobody doesn’t love pockets!

IMG_2819I didn’t want the bra strap to show, but I”ll be wearing a cami under it, so it works for me!

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IMG_2821-0That criss-cross back turned out really well. Let me just say that it was no fun sewing the straps into the back neck binding, but we’ll leave that little saga for another post.

IMG_2827This post is for you, Mom, the one who told me to follow my dreams and believed I would be a writer since my second grade teacher told you so. I didn’t want to be for quite a while-perhaps just to be obstinate-but I’m writing now. . .and I love it. I wish I had listened to you sooner, but thank you for never really backing down, even when I ran all over you. You had your way in the end. I love and miss you!

 

The Moral of the Story?

Always remember to be grateful for pockets! It’s not until you buy a pair of pants, bring them home, and then realize the front pockets aren’t real that you truly appreciate them the way they deserve.

And listen to your mothers! Unless maybe they were hippies. In that case, go ahead and have a little fun with them. I think they enjoy the banter.

LaLove High Waisted Jacquard Skirt

IMG_2593Here’s the finished skirt I previewed last week in my WIP Wednesday Post. I’m thrilled to be done with it, and even more excited to design, pattern, and sew a blouse to go with it. Until then, I’ve got a cream secretary blouse that was my grandma’s that I’m really fired up about pairing with this skirt.

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Who Says You Can’t Wear Work Socks And Sneakers With Pearls?

IMG_2133Well, probably most people. But in this post I’ll prove that those three can go together quite nicely. Actually, I do it on a really regular basis. I love sneakers. My feet are cold all the time and though, like I’ve said before, all I ever buy is dresses and stilettos, all I ever wear is jeans and tennis shoes. And despite that, sometimes I’m fancy on top.

Let me take a moment to really stress that I’m not condoning mixing clothes genres in any hideous way. It is not and will never be okay to wear a pullover hoodie as outerwear if you are wearing heels!!! If you do that, I love you. You’re probably a great person. But stop it!

Likewise, I’m not saying it’s okay to wear super athletic or chunky shoes with a really formal top. That’s stupid. If your shoes have high tops, air cushions, springs, or 5 different neon colors, they WERE NOT MADE to wear with anything but the most casual of clothing. Preferably they should be worn with other athletic gear. And I know I shouldn’t have to say it, but I probably do. . .that outfit should not be considered as any more than super casual. Don’t wear your spinning outfit to date night. I don’t care how much it cost. It’s still like wearing your pajamas out.

 Now, after that necessary and kind of mean disclaimer, I’d like to show you the right way to get away with dressing up sneakers. (You thought I was gonna say murder, didn’t you? I HAVE to start watching that show-it’s all I hear about.)

First. Let’s talk about the shoes. Something cute, please. Something that doesn’t look like a basketball or marathon running shoe. Like a sketcher or a plain Converse All Star, perhaps. Also, color…Hot pink and neon green ain’t gonna make anything look classy, ladies! Stick with the basics- black, brown, white, or my personal favorite, gray. Ah, gray. Gris. Grau. Gri. Harmaa. (That one’s Finnish. It follows no common language rules.) The point is, get something in a staple color that’ll go with everything.IMG_2141

Second. Pick your pants accordingly. If you have sneakers that are closer to dress shoes than tennis shoes, you can get away with some slacks and trousers. Otherwise, choose a good jean.

Third. Go as glam as you want up top…SO LONG AS IT MATCHES THE LEVEL OF FORMALITY WITH THE REST OF THE OUTFIT! That’s key. You can dress jeans and sneakers up, but only so far. Even I wouldn’t wear my kicks with a really extravagant, formal blouse. People, it just looks funny!

Fourth. Make it a play on the casual. You know that cute black t-shirt you have that, despite its simplicity, makes you feel like a rockstar? Wear it as a foundation shirt. Then vamp up the voltage (See what I did there?) by pairing it with accessories and hair that are a little fancier than normal.IMG_2135Okay, so all that about sneakers and pearls, but what about the work socks? Well, that part’s just because I’m a Hoosier. Plus my husband’s a mechanic. I don’t know about your state-or country-right now, but in Indiana, it’s frickin freezing!!! They delayed school for two hours today just because of the temperature. So I did what any loving wife with cold toes would do. I stole my husband’s warm Snap-On socks! He’s very lucky to have me.IMG_2142IMG_2140This is my “Oh, these pearls? I just had them lying around.” face. It’d be cuter if they were real. They literally have bits of glitter shellacked to them, so I don’t believe they are. Oh well. They’re still pretty.

So, have fun playing and mixing different levels of formal and casual. All I ask is that you do it right. Watch the extremes. And if I catch you in heels and a hoodie, you’ll be looking at the business end of a hissy fit! Or at least a cringe. Cause I’m a red-blooded midwesterner. And we have the decency  to be kind to your face, even when all we can think about is your terrible sense of style! And that’s why we’re the heartland of America, peolple!

How’d The Ugly Sweaters Turn Out?

Dec. 2014 Group 2 414Like dresses for the most part.  But we did end up with a couple legitimate sweaters. I didn’t go all out and nothing lights up, so my best friend’s is still my favorite. (She had twinkling stars poking out from holes all around her sweater. She’s so stinking creative.) We didn’t win any best sweater awards at church, but they were fun to wear and pretty fun to make.

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 This dress was just so adorable the way it was. Both of my girls wanted to keep it for every day wear. Neither of their names start with a C.

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So I admit, I  kind of threw the dresses together at the last minute. I ran out of steam a bit after the sweaters, but the girls enjoyed them. They both had jingle bells on them, so it was a pretty loud church service. Fun.
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Mine was pretty silly. It wasn’t as extravagant as I was gonna go for, but I just couldn’t resist this cute ugly puppy! I did manage to add really big jingle bells to my right shoulder so I could do a little festive shoulder jig every few minutes to make sure everyone at the party was still awake and merry.
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This is the hubby! That’s the nicest thing I can think to call him since he often calls me his “ole lady.” Flattering. I’m still proud of our Goodwill crochet score. I’m extra super proud that there are jingle bells in each of those wreaths. I totally made him jiggle for everyone who complimented his sweater. The man can shimmy.IMG_2031Dec. 2014 Group 2 421

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I feel like I have a lot of explaining to do about this picture. I didn’t get any pictures of myself in the hat and the sweater together, but this is the magnificent hat I found to go with. I think I may wear it throughout the year when I have diva moments. Try arguing with a woman in that hat!

Merry Christmas, guys!!!!

Sunday’s Best


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I had been planning on skipping Sundays for blogging, but it’s my favorite day for outfit spotting, and I don’t think I can wait until Mondays to share them with you guys. So from here on out, I’ll try my darnedest to post my favorite street wear-or church wear- outfit from the week. In addition to spotlighting great style in general, I want to show the fashionable side of the Hoosier state. (Indiana, U.S. for you way-out-of-towners.)
If only my photography skills could live up to this outfit! For one thing, the shoes look a little orange in the picture, but they’re actually a bright tomato red. If it’s not absolutely clear from the picture, I assure you it’s completely perfect in every way. I love the Sundays my friend Megan comes home from college, because it’s always a glimpse into a brilliant style mind. And into a closet I totally want to play dress-up in! I officially nominate her the vintage queen of our area- she always KILLS IT! Every piece of this look is thrifted-as is her entire wardrobe. Blows my mind! I do love me some vintage, but I have to admit, I often can’t resist a lot of the trendy, cheapy fashion of the chain stores. (I won’t exactly name names, but I seem to have quite a weakness for a store named after a certain damp aquatic mammal.)
I always tell people you can better achieve a high fashion look by buying vintage. Megan proves that- every day. (That’s pronounced urrr day if you’re a tried and true Midwesterner.) You can expect to see her as a repeat Sunday’s Best winner, and I can’t wait to keep posting pictures of great looks…as soon as it stops being weird to ask people out of nowhere if i can photograph them.

So tell me, guys, are you loving this look, too?

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2014 Holiday Dress Options

Holiday Dress Options

This style board is one I made on Polyvore.com and highlights a few of the trends I like this year. When dressing on a budget, I like to look for silhouettes to emulate on my own using what I have on hand as much as possible. My favorite pieces from this collage are the black dress with gold straps and the navy long sleeve dress. I think both are very interesting, but the navy is probably the one I’d wear to stand out this season. Notice the common shapes on the other dresses. This blouson style would be sure to draw the eye- and, yes, why not wear navy to your Christmas function? Happy shopping, styling, or sewing!!!