Monday, November 25, 2013

1 Dress 5 Ways!

    In one of my first blog posts (here), I discussed my essential clothing items and what makes them so dynamic to my wardrobe. Today, I would like to expound upon my neutral colored dress. When my inspiration is running dry, this is the dress that I turn to. With little effort, it can fit many moods, occasions, and climates. Below, I have modeled five outfits to show you how to make a basic dress look fabulous.

   First, is my "spring" look. I spruced up the dress by adding one of my favorite elements, which is my red leather belt. The dress has short sleeves, so throwing a cardigan on over it gives it warmth and adds dimension. With my elegant flats and green clutch, I could be ready to head out the door for a birthday party or dinner at a friend's house.
    In the summer, I can wear my button-up dress with sneakers and tooled leather belt for a more casual look. The outfit is comfortable enough for some outdoor activity, but still has a classy element. It would be appropriate for a relaxing 4th of July barbeque.
   Yes, Copper is wearing a scarf. Mom thought it would be fun if he matched me for the photo! He endured it admirably. When the weather outside turns cold, the dress can stand up to a chilly walk around the neighborhood with the right elements added to it. I am wearing it with a feminine hoodie (which was a Free People thrift store find that would have been around $70 brand new, if their current prices are any indication), crocheted scarf, tights, and boots.
   This is the outfit that I actually have been wearing today. Another way that I like make my dress warmer is to layer a long-sleeved shirt under it. It's also fun to mix and match what tights and leggings I wear with it.
   My last example is a slightly dressy outfit. When the occasion calls for heels, the neutral dress is there for me. With a fitted cardigan, it has a ladylike, almost retro look that would work well for Sunday best church attire. If I put on a sparkly bracelet and grab a cute clutch, I'm ready to go out to dinner.
  I most likely won't be posting again until after Thanksgiving. In fact, I'm almost certain that I won't, unless I come up with a fantastic idea and some extra time. ;)  Perhaps I will post my outfit for said holiday if it turns out well. Oddly enough, I don't have it planned yet. I usually have my clothes for special occasions figured out in advance. Do any of you do that?
 All that being said, happy Thanksgiving! Remember to be truly grateful to the Lord for
 what He has done.
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." ~ Hebrews 13:15

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thrifting Expedition!

   How can a girl spend a November afternoon in a fun and rewarding way? Go thrift shopping! Today, my mom, grandma and I paid several of our home town's thrift stores a visit. Not only was it a lovely way to spend a girls' day out, but it also produced some cute purchases.
  Technically, not all of our shopping was at thrift shops. We also visited consignment stores. The difference has confused me for a while, so here are definitions from and Bing dictionary to help you and I out:

* Thrift Shop - A shop that sells used articles, especially clothing, as to benefit a charitable organization.
* Consignment Store - special retail outlet: a retail outlet that stocks and sells goods on a sale-or-return basis, or as an agent selling on behalf of others and receiving a percentage

So, at a consignment store, the person who gave the items to be sold gets a profit. Typically, consignment stores stick with items that are in good shape, but that means they can be more expensive.
   Now, come with me on my shopping expedition! If you're not a fan of second-hand shopping yet, I hope that I will help you to be more willing to give it a try. If you already do like it, I know that you will relate to my experience!

 While looking for outerwear at our first stop, I saw this jacket that reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. Most second-hand stores have their clothing divided into categories and sizes, so it is a simple shopping experience. They also have dressing rooms, though not as many as you will find at a store in the mall.

 Here is part of the store at the third shop we visited. The owner gets quality brands of clothing. Sometimes, you can find top of the line garments at thrift stores that hardly look worn.

   In the above picture, I'm at my favorite shop, which sells vintage and modern clothes, as well as various knickknacks and locally made jewelry. Though I didn't find anything there to buy, there were a few cute jackets. I think a big reason for my being fond of this store is the cute d├ęcor.
   As we walked down the street, the clouds made magnificent formations! We stopped for hot drinks and a cookie at a local bakery and coffee shop. Then, we headed to a shop in another part of town before calling it a day.
   This was my outfit for the day. When I know that I'm going to be trying clothes on I try to dress in clothing that is easy to get on and off. I wore a button-up shirt (these are ideal if one wants to make changes without mussing their hair in the process) with a camisole under it, and favorite jeans. Since I knew that many tops need a cami underneath, I made sure to wear one to try them on with. Boots are also easy to get on and off, since they zip up - there are no laces to deal with! The scarf is there to add warmth and pizzaz. ;)
  Above are two tags on a dress at our last thrift store stop. The dress is from an expensive designer label. Of course, $50 is still pricy, but it's way better than $360! You never know what deals you'll find at the thrift store.
   These are my items of the day! The blouse in the top photo and skirt in the bottom photo were each between $3.00 and $4.00 . The short-sleeved jacket was about $7.00. One thing that I like about shopping second-hand is that I can find many adorable styles in more varieties than at the mall. All the while, I get to be frugal and not spend so much of my hard earned cash. ;)
Okay, I'm ready to kick back for the rest of the evening! I hope that you have enjoyed this post. The verses I leave you with tonight are about a wise woman who dressed well and was full of wisdom. :)
"She extends her hand to the poor, Yes she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple."
 ~Proverbs 31:20-22

Friday, November 15, 2013

Teal Sweater

  So much for getting two posts out this week! I have been terribly busy with other projects, such as getting things ready to send to the lady I illustrate for, and preparing b-day gifts for three of my friends. I'm here now though! :)
  Today's outfit is centered around a new item of clothing. The friends who are always finding fun stuff for me and my mom are responsible for my now having this beautiful teal cashmere turtleneck! Not only is it in my favorite color family, but it is also one of the softest things I've felt. If anyone reading this thinks that they can't find "nice" things second-hand, they should think again.

   I decided to style my sweater in a 60's mod style. Back in the day, there were people that made up a subculture called "modernists" because they listened to modern jazz (see Wikipedia). The mod lifestyle isn't something I would ever want to emulate, but the word "mod" also came to define a certain style of the 1960's and 70's. For lack of a better word, that is what I use. :) Popular in this style were turtlenecks, A-line skirts, boots and black tights. I have all these components, so I put them together for a casual yet classy November outfit.

   Here, you see my practicing my snooty model pose. Haha! The sneer wasn't actually on purpose! I'm wearing my essential second-hand denim skirt, which I think will need replacement quite soon. As I said before, the turtleneck was a find that friends gave me. The boots are my expensive yet long-lasting pair that you have seen before and will continue to see until next July. ;) For an extra sparkle, I added my silver chain with two of my favorite pendants.
  Well, I am off to have dinner and go to Bible study! I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.
"In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." ~Psalm 62:7-8

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sunny Day Outfit

  Today was one of those fall days in which the sun displays its golden rays, brightening the crisp air. My outfit matched the weather with mainly autumnal colors and a pop of warm yellow. I wore this to a baby shower, and was warm enough to keep from being chilly when I went outside to play hide-and-seek with a friend and two little girls.

  The sweater and skirt are both thrift store finds from friends. My tights and boots were bought new. The denim jacket was from either a thrift or consignment store - I don't quite remember! Because of my sometimes odd imagination, the colors of this look made me think of a pencil. :)

  I hope that you all have been enjoying your weekend thus far and that you will have a blessed Sunday tomorrow!
"As the hart panteth for the brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."
~Psalm 42:1

Monday, November 4, 2013

Style Inspiration / Bloglovin

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  Okay, that's rather boring. I just connected to Bloglovin, and it wishes me to paste this code into a post in order to claim my blog. However, what is a post on a fashion blog without something style related in it!?
  I have decided to make this an "official" post with some actual meat to it. So far, I haven't had any outfit photo shoots this week, so there's nothing to share as far as that goes. I do have something else fun to show you, though!
  In one of the folders on my computer, I have accumulated a small gallery of  pictures of retro ladies with spiffy style. A few of them have been used for projects or reference, and some are simply saved for inspiration. Most of the time, they just collect dust (metaphorically, of course). Why shouldn't I wipe off the proverbial dust and share them here to spice up this dull post? Without further ado, enjoy these vintage gals and their garb!

 Audrey Hepburn is a go-to inspiration for myself and many fashionistas.
This is a famous photo of Dior's New Look from the late 1940s.
I like the contrast trim on Deborah Kerr's jacket!
As usual, Grace Kelly is ladylike. :)
Olivia de Havilland is cute with a cropped sweater over her dress.
Julie Andrews wears utterly glamorous attire for the New York premiere of The Sound of Music.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

My first Hair Tutorial!

  Though clothing is normally our first choice in how we present ourselves every day, hair is also an important factor of our daily routine. Each day's hair style (or non-style) shows others how much time, energy, and thought we put into our grooming that morning. It can communicate femininity, a care-free attitude, or no-nonsense approach. Our hair complements our clothes, and helps us when we are going for a specific look.
  That being said, hair is not always the easiest thing to manage. Many girls (myself included) have trouble taming our locks. We get stuck in styles that we know how to do quickly. While having the ability to spend short amounts of time at the mirror can be a good thing, sometimes we get tired of looking the same way!
  I usually wear my hair down, but for the past year or so I have been experimenting with putting it up more often. I am most definitely not an expert yet. There seem to be many lady bloggers who are far better at doing hair than I am! At the same time, I realize that there are also many other gals out there who don't even know where to start.
  This style is for those who want an easy updo that looks pretty and doesn't take hours to do. It requires prior knowledge of French and traditional braiding; if you don't know how to do one or both of those, I would suggest looking at a YouTube tutorial. My hair is rather long, but this style should work with shoulder-length hair as well. Without further ado, here is the French braid side bun:

1) I begin by brushing my hair and putting it over my shoulder on one side. It was already inclined that way, since I combed it to the side when it was wet. In fact, I usually perform updos while my hair is still wet, but that wasn't possible today. :) I prefer to put the hair on the opposite side of my part, where my bangs are.
 2) I begin a traditional braid in a horizontal direction by taking a chunk of hair from the bottom left side of my head and putting it over a chunk just above it. I am holding my hair up higher than I will actually braid it in, so that you can see it.
3) Here, I take some hair from the top of my head and put it over the center strand.
4) Now I start to French braid, by taking some hair from the nape of my neck and adding it to the bottom strand.
5) I continue the French braid by adding hair to the top strand.
6) I keep French braiding until there is no hair left to add to the braid. You can make your braid loose or tight, high or low.
7) At this point, I put the ends of my hair into a traditional braid. There are some messy bits which I will cover up with the bun. When there are pieces of hair that stick out too much, they can usually be tucked away with pins. :)
8) Now, I coil my hair in a counterclockwise motion at the nape of my neck. Sometimes I leave the ends out, depending on how I want the bun to look. My bun is messy, but you can make yours tighter, if you wish.
9) I pin the bun into place. Hairspray may be beneficial at this point, if your hair doesn't like to stay put.
10) To finish off the style, I add a cute leather flower pin.

  Yay! I reached my goal of doing two posts this week. :D I hope that everyone finds something of beauty in their weekend, whether your plans are relaxing, busy, grave or fun. Until next time, I will leave you with this wonderful verse about beauty:

"And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD."~Ezekiel 16:14