Category Archives: How To

White Collar. Blue Collar. Silver Collar. Lace Collar.

I love a good collar. Whether it be on a well-worn button up shirt, a cute little dog, or your friend that has that not-so-secret fetish. Not to sound too fashiony, but collars have been everywhere lately. They’ve technically been everywhere for a long time, but for right now “everywhere” means all of the shops and blogs I stalk.

For me personally, it gets too damn hot here to put on a fitted shirt and button it all the way up. When you pop on a standalone collar, you can toss it over a dress, over a cool tee, or over another collar if you’re some kind of crazy risk taker.

Gold Sequin: ASOS – White Beaded: Topshop – Floral: Marni

Lace: Romwe – Fringe: DANNIJO – Faux Leather: Karl

Don’t want to spend too much cash? Get yourself to the nearest thrift store, grab a men’s shirt, and chop that collar off. Then stud it, dye it, paint it, bead it, fringe it. (Probably not all of those at once or it’ll be some kind of chic vomit.)

You can even fake that coated denim look by choosing a denim collar and using a sponge brush to paint it. Paint it the color of the denim, or dye the denim first to the color you’d like. Once it dries you’ll have that shiny leather look.

 

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I’m Crushing on Carrie

Carrie Brownstein is one half of Portlandia, one fourth of Wild Flag, and completely awesome. Brownstein’s wardrobe tends to consist of feminine tops, fitted denim and simple-but-chic footwear. Her signature red lips lend to her girly side, and her comedic performance on Portlandia makes her cute. But it’s when she steps on stage to perform that you realize, despite the sweet blouses and adorable smile, this woman is a total badass. She began her career in music (with Sleater Kinney) and it’s clearly her strong suit. She performed with Wild Flag at this years Coachella, and it’s seriously the only festival news I’ll be reporting.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

There are so many great performance shots, but I think this one captures her outfit and this outfit best represents her style. It’s so simple, but she pulls it off so well. The question is, what will she wear the second weekend? Enough of my freaky love letter, here’s an outfit and a bit of an inspired remix.

Blouse: Jil Sander

Jeans: J Brand

Boots: TopShop

—–

Blouse: ModCloth

Shorts: Miss Selfridge

Boots: Acne

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Get the Look: Trailer Trash Tracys

I love the video for Trailer Trash Tracys “You Wish You Were Red.” The kaleidoscopic colors are entrancing with the dreamy instrumentals and Suzanne Aztoria’s wonderful vocals. But what I love most, is her makeup.

  • Start by covering the lid and inner corner in a metallic silver shadow. I personally recommend MAC’s Metal-X shadow in Cyber.
  • Using a matte black shadow, draw a line above your crease that extends out past your eye. Creating an exaggerated kind of Edie Sedgwick mod cateye. Bring that line around to your bottom lash line and almost to the inner corner. You’ll want the whole lid to be silver, with black above the crease. Fill in the “cateye” area.
  • Line the top lash line with a kohl liner.
  • If you have smaller eyes, I’d suggest lining your bottom waterline with a white eyeliner to make your eyes appear larger.
  • Apply false lashes, add a single gem under each eye and finish it off with a nude lipstick!
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How To: Make A Sweatshirt Chic

It is finally cooling down in New Orleans; and by “cooling down” I mean below 70 degrees. Now we can really begin to work with layering, which is key in this city/region.  I won’t lie, I love to be comfortable and I’m also rarely willing to risk that comfort for the sake of fashion. But it presents me with a challenge, and I love a challenge. So I’m taking the ultimate in comfort, a men’s crewneck sweatshirt and glamming it up.

 

 Option 1:

 Pardon me for going all dark, but I have to.  This one is about playing with texture, especially when you’ve got a lot of one shade. The sweatshirt itself is super simple, so you want a pleated maxi skirt and some sky high killer boots. Toss a bright belt over the sweater for a pop of color on top of all the bleak black, and add a floppy wool hat to play off the flowy skirt.

 Option 2:

I went to the next level of fabulous for this one. Grab a crisp white button up (a definite wardrobe must have) and put the sweater on over it, with the collar on the outside. Add a chunky bib necklace to keep the white/grey combo from getting too boring. I love these printed shorts, they are the ultimate way to play up more simple pieces. Finish it all off with a bright loafer. Best part, when you remove the sweater you’ve got a chic and polished outfit underneath.

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A Decade of Fab: The 70’s

The 1970’s are one of my favorite decades when it comes to fashion. In the early years, Hippies were still going strong. Then you had the arrival of Glam Rock and Punk, bringing their own new look to things. The 70’s were also the ever popular Disco era. Polyester was most definitely not uncommon, and platform shoes were a favorite of both men and women.

Look for: Hot Pants, Bellbottoms, Platform boots and shoes, Lamé, Wrap dresses, Leather biker jackets, Studs, Doc Martens, Sequined tops, Baseball tees, Leotards, Jumpsuits, Ripped jeans, Rhinestones

Colors/Prints: Paisley, Leopard Print, Shimmery, Metallics, Jewel Tones

Face/Hair: Feathered hair (Farrah Fawcett, Middle Parts, Afros, Mohawk, Messy Crop, Natural Waves, Eccentric Glam Makeup, Natural makeup

Watch: Velvet Goldmine, Annie Hall, Saturday Night Fever, Sid & Nancy, Sleeper

Read into: Halston, Pam Grier, Marc Bolan, Vivienne Westwood

A Decade of Fab: The 50’s

With the 1950’s came with the glorification of the all-American housewife and the infamous Pin-Up girl. Silhouettes took on an hourglass shape; larger chests and wider hips were the ideal. The 1950’s were also the beginning of youth culture, and with that came a whole new set of styles and trends. When looking back on 50’s fashion most people think immediately of the Hollywood starlet or the retro housewife, but we can’t forget the Teddy Girls and Beatniks.

Look for: Pencil skirts, cuffed trousers, saddle shoes, cotton dresses, metal zippers, fitted blouses,

Colors/Prints: Pastels, Subdued hues, black/grey (for Teddys and Beats) florals, stripes, plaid

Face/Hair: Prim and proper styles (Audrey), Bouffants (Sophia), Short bangs (Bettie), Gorgeous curls (Liz)

Watch: Rear Window, Jailhouse Rock, Teaserama

Read Into: Pierre Balmain, Lucille Ball, Jack Kerouac

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A Decade of Fab: The 20’s

Since I’m a fan of vintage clothing, the history of fashion and because we’re nearing Halloween, I’m going to be doing a series of posts. Each post will feature a decade and a bit about the styles of that decade. It’s a bit of a history lesson and also a little how-to if you want to expand your wardrobe, or if you need costume ideas!

First up are the 1920’s, a decade where people began to let loose from the constraints (literally, no more corsets) of the previous couple centuries. Women’s fashion went in the direction of a more boyish figure; smaller chests and hidden waists were a break from the pushed up and tucked in. Rayon, a synthetic silk became popular and was available to the masses in a time where silk was expensive and somewhat hard to come by. Fashion and general style got more laid back and creative throughout the 20’s and 30’s.

Look for: Beading, Fringe, Drop-Waist, Trousers, Mid-Length Skirts, Mandarin Collars, Cloche Hats, Fur Trim

Colors/Prints: Jewel Tones, Muted Colors, Art Deco and Exotic Prints

Face/Hair: Cupid’s Bow Lips, Curly or Straight Bobs

Watch: Chicago, Boardwalk Empire

Read into: Coco Chanel, Zelda Fitzgerald, Jean Patou

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How To: Make a Crop Top Work

It’s officially Summer and the crop top is everywhere. I think it’s a versatile piece that isn’t just meant for midriff-baring, and can be worn by almost anyone. To be lazy, and because I’m obsessed; everything is from TopShop.

First up, the crops:

Wear them with:

High Waist Shorts/Skirt/Jeans:

Pairing a cropped shirt with anything high waisted is the most universally flattering and perfect if you only want to show a bit of skin.

Pair the tee with a body-con skirt, the bustier with flared jeans, the lace with skinny jeans, and the shirt with shorts.

Bare it All – Hide it All:

If you’re comfortable with showing off your midriff, the classic way to wear a cropped shirt is with anything low-waisted. Which is obvious. But if you aren’t or don’t have the svelte figure to do so, there is a simple solution. The fitted tank.

Find one that fits well and isn’t loose. Tuck it in,  don’t wear it un-tucked or your look will seem unfinished and somewhat sloppy.  Avoid white and nude. This also doesn’t work with every sort of crop top.

Wear the cropped tank in a solid color with a colorful tank underneath to create a color blocking effect. Pair the lace with black for a more romantic and sophisticated look. The fringe works well with any color, the tank underneath just pulls it together.

This is also a good opportunity to show off a fabulous belt!

Wear Over a Dress:

Don’t have the right skirt? A dress will do.

Pair the tank or tee over a dress where the skirt begins right at the waist, to match up with the top. Or pair the tee or the lace over a sleek maxi dress to break it up.

Below is an outfit I styled earlier with a Free People dress and Furst of a Kind top.

So, got any other ideas on how to wear a crop top?

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How To: Top Knot!

The classic ballerina top knot has turned messy and chic for summer. It’s super easy and a great way to keep your hair up during the hot summer months.

  1. You need a rubber hair band and second day hair. It’s possible to do with clean hair, but much easier with dirty hair.

2. Flip your head over, brush your hair out and pull it together on top of your head.

3. End up with a totally 90’s top ponytail

4. Twist that ponytail, make sure its tight and that you twist it as far to the end as you can.

(You can also braid the ponytail to the make the bun more interesting!)

5. Twist the twist around itself to create a messy bun, secure the bun with the hair band and take care of any fly aways with some bobby pins.

6. Fix your bangs and you’re done!

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Vintage Shopping Tips

photo: miss.libertine

Whether you’re trying to have a more unique wardrobe, can’t get into modern fashion, or just want to look like Joan from Mad Men, Vintage shopping can be an exciting experience. So if you’re new to the world of vintage, here are a few tips to help get you started!

Era:

  • Clothing/Jewelry/Accessories from the 1940’s to the 1990’s is vintage, anything older is antique, anything newer is contemporary.

Notable Qualities:

  • Washing instructions on tags did not come about until the 1970’s, which is an easy way to discern whether or not a piece is from the ’60s or the ’70s as some styles were similar in both decades.
  • Clothing from the ’40s and ’50s will most often have a metal zipper, some modern clothing has metal zippers, but older ones are thicker and rougher. Keeping an eye out for the zipper makes it easy to recognize if a piece is true vintage or if it is a reproduction.
  • Many items from the ’40s and ’50s will have buttons instead of zippers. But most pieces almost always have either one. When it comes to buttons, there isn’t any real way to tell. So you have to guess for yourself, or check the tag…
  • Tags from this time period were simple, usually rectangular with only a brand name and sometimes a location (many items were locally made, not mass produced like today).
  • Let the different patterns and prints help you identify what decade the item is from. For example: Light florals, muted colors, polka dots, pin dots and checkered patterns were common in the ’40s and ’50s. Color blocking, bigger, brighter florals, paisley and geometric prints were common for the ’60s and ’70s. Neons, animal prints, geometric prints (again) were common in the 80’s. Darker florals, ditsy florals and plaid were common in the 90’s.
  • For the most part, just study up on the decade you’re most interested in. Sometimes if the tag is obviously not modern, simply looking over the style of the garment is the easiest way to identify when it was made.

Jewelry, Handbags, other Accessories:

Purses and accessories mainly follow the last thing I said, you just have to know the era. A bright leather cross-body bag is most likely ’80s, whereas a small handbag with a clasp is probably ’50s.

Jewelery can be tricky. Vintage style jewelry is popular right now, so many places are going to have vintage reproduction jewelry. It’s usually rather easy to tell though, the quality will be different and the price will be much lower. Your best bet if you are unsure about a piece is to ask the seller, whether it be online or in person. Most of the time they will know, and sometimes they’ll even know where it came from and if there’s an interesting story behind it.

One thing to look for is any kind of marking or name. Not all vintage jewelry will have one, but if it does, looking up the name will help you know for sure.

Don’t think just because it’s vintage it’s going to be high quality and real. One mistake I notice people make is claiming a glamorous piece made with fake stones must be modern and cheap. There was plenty of gorgeous costume jewelry in the ’50s and ’60s and plenty of gaudy plastic jewelry in the ’80s. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth anything today, these pieces are still hard to find and rather valuable.

Some very valuable and hard to find materials are: bakelite, resin, bone, lucite and celluloid.

 

 

That’s all I’ve got for now, I hope these tips are helpful!

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