Lite Brite, Anyone? – Brights in Bold Fall Fashion

As I was uploading and reviewing the photos from today’s post, I couldn’t help but think of the Lite Brite  toy by Hasbro from the 80’s.  Does anybody else remember this toy?  Or am I completely dating myself?  Ok, so granted, I never actually had one — but I do vividly remember the commercials, in particular around the holidays, of little kids creating crazy designs on a dark board with neon bright pegs.  And I always thought it was the coolest thing….  Anyway, today’s photos definitely brought it back to me – bright colors against a dark back drop – hence the inspired title!

Anyway, my outfit inspiration from today actually came from a J. Crew look that I saw online last week. (Latest Obsession:  Printed Pencil SkirtBut the crazy thing is…  even though it was my full intention to recreate the J. Crew look, apparently I was actually re-channeling a previous look of my own!  Remember the Blazer and Skinny Jeans Restyled post?  Yep – it is the ABSOLUTE identical look.  The only thing that’s different?  Skirt instead of Jeans, Long Sleeve Tee instead of Tank and add in the Gray Tights.  CRAZY.  I mean who unintentionally does that?  Hilarious!  Apparently I really like this color combo!

Tip: Consider your short sleeve blazer as a “vest” of sorts.  Pair it over a long sleeve tee or blouse.  It creates a very unexpected yet polished look.

What I’m Wearing: Kenya L. Designs Blazer – purchase here, J. Crew Top, J. Crew Wool Pencil Skirt, Gray Sweater Tights, BCBG Girls Mary Jane’s, Michael Kors Purse and Watch, Versona Accessories

What’s been your latest style inspiration?  I’d love to hear from you!

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Holiday Stockings

Well Blog Family, it is the official start of the holidays.  All of the Turkey and shopping definitely affected my blogging intentions this past week.  I certainly had good intentions, I promise, but there was something about being full on dressing and turkey, watching Thanksgiving Day parades, doing some Black Friday shopping, and screaming at my favorite teams during football games that made it tough!

Anyway, it was a great holiday.  I enjoyed the time with my family so much — I really didn’t want them to leave today.  We had lots of food, good times and laughs.  It was just a great week.  And now, I think I am officially in the holiday mood!  I just finished putting up the Christmas tree and hanging the Christmas stockings.  Yay!!  Now, if only I could get started on my holiday shopping list!  We’ll work on that next week.

In the meantime, I thought I would share some other “holiday stockings” of mine….  I think the holiday season is the perfect time to jazz up your everyday attire just a step.  And tights are a great way to do that.  Tights come in a variety of festive prints and patterns.  Think about it… in many ways, tights are the perfect fashion accessory.  They are an easy and inexpensive way to add some fun and personality to your outfit.  Here are one of my favorite pairs by Jessica Simpson paired with my Vince Camuto booties.  I like the contrast of this look: the tweed skirt…against the patterned tights… against the woven leather bootie!  In a nutshell, don’t be afraid to “mix it up” a bit with the patterns that you choose and what you pair them with.

Here are a few others that I think are fun:

How do you change your fashion as you get closer to the holidays?  Any favorite tights that you’ve found?  Let me know.  Hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving and a terrific start to the week.

And be sure to check out my Etsy Shop: 25% Holiday Sale Now Underway!!!

OOTD: Sheer Shirts and Riding Boots

Yesterday was an amazingly beautiful day in Charlotte.  It was one of those days that really makes you enjoy the beauty of fall and appreciate all of the little things….  like the gold and orange hues falling from the trees and a baby blue sky.  It was a perfect fall day and quite appropriate for the weekend before Thanksgiving.

I have to admit that I am usually all in a complete rush everywhere that I go and with everything that I do.  I’m not really sure why.  I think it’s just part of me being me.  I live my life by To Do’s and schedules and rules.  Ughhh.  But I’ve gotten so used to that rushed feeling that I tend to take things for granted sometimes.  I am learning, though, as I get older, just to take it all in and enjoy.  And a big part of that is just being grateful for the little things.  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  No rushing.  No angrily flipping someone off someone in traffic (yes, I do that)…  just slow down and enjoy.  Ahhh…  It was quite nice.

I decided to wear a sheer high low blouse that I found at The Rack a few weeks back and my Kelsi Dagger riding boots (Remember the Riding High post?  Well, it was my first time wearing the Kelsi Daggers btw and I simply adore the covered heel).  The high low blouse definitely took me back to the 80’s but hey… it was a chance to channel my inner Joan Collins and Dynasty, right?(minus the shoulder pads – thank you very much).  Anyway, I was inspired by all the vibrant fall colors.  Here in the south, a beautiful fall day always seems to be shrouded in a “halo of gold”.  I know it sounds cliche but it’s true.  I’m not sure if it is because the sun is reflecting off the leaves or what (I don’t even know if that makes sense) but there is this “look” that fall has here.   And I think I was unconsciously channeling that as I put together my look.

What I’m Wearing: Victoria’s Secret Cardigan, Liberty Love Blouse, Gap Ankle Length Skinnies, Kelsi Dagger Riding Boots, Marc by Marc Jacobs Rose Gold Watch, Nordstrom Rack Rose Gold Accessories

How is fall inspiring your fashion?  I’d love to hear from you.  Let me know!

Have a great week everyone!!  Thanksgiving is just a few days away!

Latest Obsession: The Printed Pencil Skirt

Yes, that’s right, my latest fashion crush is the pencil skirt.  I know, it sounds incredibly boring, doesn’t it?  But, believe me,  this is not the pencil skirt of old.  This classic style has gotten a well timed makeover — splashes of bold colors and vibrant prints included!

So, you might be wondering if this look is for you….  Absolutely it is!  The pencil skirt is a wardrobe staple simply because this cut is so flattering on practically every body type.  And adding the printed twist gives this look a new perspective and boosts the fun factor!  Bonus points: if you’ve been hesitant to try out printed pants, this is a great way to test out prints on your “bottom half”. 

What do you think?  Do you feel inspired?  I certainly do.  I personally love these looks from J. Crew!  I’ve definitely added them to my lust list.  I love how each look has been styled with some of the latest trends: bold colors, mixed prints and contrasting fabrics.

So much personality… great for day but easy to transition to night.  I love it!  My biggest challenge — which one to choose?  I just can’t decide!  I absolutely love the yellow skirt (my next style inspiration – look for a future post) but I adore the pink tweed skirt with the bubble print blouse!  The black piping detail is so sophisticated, yet fun. And how chic is the tuxedo skirt?  Just fabulous.  So many ways to wear this look – it is an absolute must have in your closet right now!

Which of these looks inspire you?  Are you loving the printed pencil skirt right now?  Let me know!

Shop Your Closet: How to Wear Vintage Blazers

I’ve always been a big outerwear girl….  jackets, coats, blazers, vests….  You name it – I pretty much own it.  So, of course, you probably think that means I live some place that’s really cold, right?  Nahhh….  I just happen to think that jackets are the perfect accessory!  They are an easy way to add some instant glam to practically any look.  I love to pair a good blazer with jeans and a tee but there are so many ways to wear this classic piece (pair it with sheath dresses, maxi-dresses, pencil skirts, denim skirts, jeans, trousers, shorts, t-shirts and tanks).  The options are unlimited, so don’t be afraid to experiment….  regardless of your style, it’s easy to make the look your own!

Now, my personal obsession at the moment is with vintage style blazers.   I’ve been on a full scale mission to find some good ones.  I’ve had a lot of success with my recent thrift shopping adventures (Value Village: $3.50 each for the 2 pictured on the right)….

but you can also find great options right in your own closet.

Here are 3 quick things you can do to update your “shop your closet” blazer:

  • Big shoulder pads?  Pull them out.  Lots of 80’s blazers had fabulous prints but those awfully large shoulder pads.  Pull those right out and you’ve got a great foundation to start with.
  • Are the buttons boring or outdated?  Replace them.  And not just on the jacket body but also consider changing or adding buttons to the cuffs.  It’s an easy and inexpensive way to add a funky edge.
  • Still looking for a little extra flair?  Add equestrian inspired elbow patches.  A great way to give the blazer a more menswear inspired feel – which is all the rage right now.  Check out Fab Sugar’s DIY tutorial (How to Add Elbow Patches to a Sweater).

But don’t fret, if you threw away all of those great blazers from years past….  consider raiding your boyfriend’s, husband’s or father’s closets!  (Sorry guys!) And don’t forget to check out the men’s section in local thrift stores.  You’ll find lots of great options there.

How are you all wearing your vintage blazers?  Any other styling tips?  I’d love to hear from you!!!

What I’m Wearing: Hong Kong Vintage Thrift Find Blazer, J. Crew Tee, True Religion Jeans, Quipid Riding Boots, J. Crew Bubble Necklace

Have a great week everyone!

DIY: How to Upcycle a Denim Jacket (Sleeve Swap Part 2)

Ok, let’s just get all the cards out on the table.  I cannot sew.  Not one bit.  Period.  (So, if you are looking for great sewing technique here…  ummm…. turn away now).  Don’t get me wrong, I can stitch when I need to… maybe re-sew a button back on if it comes off, patch a hole here and there, but that’s pretty much the extent of it.  So, when I took on the challenge of removing the sleeves from an old denim jacket and replacing them with the sleeves from my sweater, I’m not quite sure I had the full intention of really doing the sewing myself.  Sure, I mentioned that I might in my post about it (UPCYCLED DENIM JACKET: SWAPPING SLEEVES) but honestly, in my mind, I had already decided to take the jacket to my handy seamstress and call it a day.  Yep , easy right?  Sure, really easy….  until she absolutely refused to do it.  Just said no.  Too risky she said.  It just won’t work.

Now, anybody that knows me knows that if you tell me that I can’t do something, it absolutely becomes my goal to do it.  That’s just how I am.  It actually annoyed me that she refused.  So, I got a little “huffy”.  I asked her IF it could be done, how would you do it?   She told me…  and I set out to do it.

So, here’s what you need:

An old denim jacket (one that you won’t mind messing up – just in case)

A thick cable knit sweater (or a sweatshirt would do fine as well)

Bias tape (you can pick this up from a fabric or craft store – like JoAnn’s)

Thick needle and thread

Here’s what you do:

First up, remove the sleeves from your jacket.  I cut the sleeves as close to the seam as possible.

Now, remove the sleeves from your sweater.  I found this easiest to do with the sweater turned inside out.  This allowed me to clearly see the sleeve seam.  This is important because you want to cut above the seam by approximately 4 or 5 inches.  This leaves the entire sleeve in tact, and ensures you have a strong stitch in place,  which will ultimately keep the sweater from unraveling.

Next, I stitched the bias tape to the exposed sweater edges.  This essentially binds all of the open pieces.  Again, this ensures that the sweater does not begin to unravel.  To be safe, you’ll want to complete at least 2 full revolutions around.

Once the open sweater ends were bound, I took the sleeve and stitched it to jacket itself.  I found this easiest to do from the inside of the jacket.  I simply inserted the sleeve into the arm hole, turned the jacket inside out and began stitching the sleeve to the jacket.  It’s important to be sure the sleeve length is right when you insert it (so please check this before you start stitching).  I would also recommend pulling the sleeve far enough inside the arm hole so you are not stitching from the very end of the sweater sleeve.

My stitching isn’t the best (it’s quite crude actually) but hopefully you get the idea.  And I like the end result.  I think it adds “character” to the jacket (but of course I’m probably biased).  On a side note: I did wear the jacket out last weekend and no one was staring oddly or laughing and pointing (no more than normal anyway) so maybe that’s a good sign!

What do you all think?  I’d be interested to hear your feedback.  Was there a better or different way to do this?  What DIY upcycled projects are you taking on?  I’d love to hear from you!!!

My Weekend Trip to Hong Kong (Vintage)

I’ll be honest…  I’ve never been much of a thrift or consignment girl.  I’m not exactly sure why.  I’ve just always tended to be more on the mainstream side of things (translation = mall hog)…  Until recently that is.  My own journey with design has opened my eyes to just how beautiful being unique is.  I find more and more that I don’t like being the “same” as everyone else.  In fact it annoys me at times.  I like being different… having my own unique style, my own point of view and owning that.  I’ve been finding new ways (and venues) to help me express my fashion point of view.

So, my latest find (and I must say by far the absolute best) is Hong Kong Vintage in the Plaza Midwood section of Charlotte.  *On a side note* Plaza Midwood itself has changed drastically in the past few years.  The district has a somewhat artsy edge to it – similar to NoDa – but maybe a little better.  It felt very fresh, very open – it was, dare I say, “bustling” with activity.  There were so many new little shops and cool eating spots.  If you haven’t been there, you must go.

Hong Kong Vintage is a true “vintage” shop.  There were vintage items from every era.  Clothes, purses, jewelry, shoes, household items, luggage.  You name it, it was there (but not cluttered).  The merchandise itself was very cool.  Everything in the shop was in great condition, high quality, yet very reasonably priced.  The shop was also organized extremely well.  Essentially organized by colors and type.  This was the biggest selling point for me….  I often find it difficult to shop in the usual thrift or consignment store because it’s just too doggone hard to find anything.  But this was easy…  The store just had a very hip vibe to it and the owner, Elizabeth, was extremely helpful.  As soon as I had a few items in hand, she was over to start a dressing room for me.  I ended up picking up 5 items total, (3 dresses, 1 blazer and a purse) for ~$85.  Not bad for some super cool finds.

My biggest tip; be sure to try everything on.  Since much is vintage, many items don’t have size labels inside.  There were quite a few items that I thought were fine by sight but when I tried them… didn’t work for me.

All in all, I must admit that I completely fell in love with this shop.  It is by far the best vintage experience I have had and has completely sealed its spot in my official shopping rotation!!  Check them out when you have a moment (they also have an online site).

Tell me about your favorite thrift or  vintage shop?  Any tips to share?

What I’m Wearing: Upcycled Denim Jacket With Knit Sleeves (yes, it is complete — I’ve been meaning to post for weeks.  It is coming soon – I promise.  In the meantime, check out Part I of my prior DIY post), BCBG Top, Target black leggings, Quipid Riding Boots, Louis Vuitton Damier Ebone Neverfull