Are you faithful to your taste? by Kari

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Before (not pictured: my ear muffs!)
After
Uniqlo gray pea coat; green patterned scarf, gift from my sis-in-law; gray wool gloves; off-white J.Crew cardigan; off-white Gap button up; J.Crew gold skinny beltJ.Crew pencil skirt; royal blue Gap tights; Pour la Victoire gray patent oxfords; gold Timex watch; green vintage clutch

Lately, I've woken up every morning and just been so bummed by the sea of neutrals that inhabit my closet that I feel forced to wear especially in the winter time. I mean, come on, boots only come in like three colors. I didn't want NYC to change my bright, fun style, but I feel like over the past couple of months it has. I found myself not wearing my fun necklaces or gravitating more towards neutrals because I didn't want to look weird to my new co-workers or people at church. And then on Sunday, I had an epiphany. WHO CARES?! Like Kristine mentioned in her last post, bright clothes make ME happy and when you get dressed, you should dress for yourself. I posted a quote on my instagram (follow me!) the other day that helped me put it in perspective, "Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style." How awesome is that? I've always felt like this about stuff but sometimes we all just get knocked off our feet and we have to find our way back to what makes us happy, even if it's the tiniest thing like wearing fun and colorful outfits. So in honor of that quote and getting back to what brightens my day, I put together this outfit. I wanted to take a before and after pick so you guys get the idea of the amount of layers I have to wear. Seriously takes me 20 minutes to get suited up before I can go out!

Do you recognize that skirt? I wore it in my "farewell" post three months ago in sunny L.A. and by just adding tights and a chunky sweater it still works in winter even if it is mostly white! I felt totally confident and comfortable in this on Sunday and I got a lot of compliments from my new friends, which made me happy.

P.S. Can you guys believe that little clutch? I just got 'er from a cute vintage store we stumbled on here in our neighborhood. The handle even folds down into the purse if you don't want to use it. Clever, right?!

Four Ways To Wear a Black Turtleneck

Monday, January 30, 2012
I tried out another experiment with a black turtleneck this time. I chose it because I've had such a difficult time styling it before, which is why I've only worn it five times. So at first I was kinda bummed about this experiment but then I got really into it with all these ideas!! I think I could've gotten a couple more outfits out of it but then I wouldn't have any posts. I know - my life is hard.

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sample sale necklace, $5; Gap turtleneck, $19 (similar); Gap Outlet boyfriend jeans, $26 (similar); vintage bag, $5 (similar); JCPenney heels (similar)

For this outfit, I kept it casual with boyfriend jeans but dressed it up with a bauble necklace and colorful heels. This would be good for a lunch date or a casual office dress code (like mine!). Switch your shoes for colorful flats for a play date or school.

c/o sproos shop headbandGap turtleneck, $19 (similar); skirt made from thrifted IKEA curtain, $3; JCPenney heels

I wore this outfit to church. I kept it simple again with my jeweled headband. It makes me feel so fancy! With my curtain maxi skirt, I'm basically ready for a ball. (Do they even exist anymore? If so, why am I never invited??)

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MNG by Mango trenchcoat via JCPenney (similar); Gap turtleneck, $19 (similar); sample sale pants, $1; Old Navy boots (similar)

This outfit features my $1 pants I got at the sample sale too! They were really long so I hemmed them to be cropped pants. They have a weird drop-crotch to them but they were a $1 and they're super comfy I can sleep in them! I wouldn't be surprised if they are actually pajama bottoms. Oh, and they have pockets. Double score!

This is another spin on the dressy casual similar to the first outfit. The top half says 'I mean business' and the bottom half says 'but not really.' Since this was such a comfy cozy outfit, I'd wear this again for anything. Just swap the shoes depending on the event:  flats for running a quick errand, chunky platform sandals for a slightly dressy casual look, or bright colorful heels for a dressier look.

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hair clip from Korea; Gap turtleneck, $19 (similar); vintage skirt, $5; tights from Korea, $5 (similar); Ros Hommerson oxfords, $26 (similar)

This was another church look inspired by a pin on Pinterest. It looks like it's from ASOS. I was inspired by the black with a pop of color. I don't have a yellow skirt (yet) so I substituted my hot pink one. I also used this pin for my hairspiration.


Which look is your favorite? And how else would you wear a black turtleneck?

A Most Favorite Color Scheme by Kristine

Friday, January 27, 2012
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IMG_1982
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scarf from Japan; Tulle blouse; Urban Outfitters jeans (similar); Seychelles shoes (similar)

I love color. Every now and then, I try to do the chic dark-neutrals look...and I like how easy it is to look put together in those colors...but it just feels wrong to me. I need color in my outfit to make me feel bright and happy! 

This outfit has one of my favorite color schemes in it:  purple and red. Occasionally, I go crazy with colorblocking, but I decided to separate the two colors with jeans for a more subdued look. These red heels have been with me for the past few years or so; somehow they add a fun pop of color to almost every outfit. I think every girl should have a pair of red or red-orange shoes to spice up any blah outfit! The head scarf was added for a bit of an unexpected color. I always think it's interesting to add an element that doesn't quite match... (But then again, sometimes I remind myself of that crazy art teacher we all probably had in elementary school...)

Take 6

Thursday, January 26, 2012
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Forever 21 cardigan; thrifted Gap shirt, $6; thrifted and skinnied Target jeans, $8; We Love Colors socks; Franco Sarto shoes, $32; Philly tote bag

Denim on denim:  take 6. I added neon socks I got for Christmas to add some color to an otherwise simple outfit. I think it makes me look like I have tennis ball ankles, which is what everyone wants, right? The outfit would've been fine without the pop of neon but I've learned the easiest way to incorporate bold color is into simple outfits like this denim-on-denim look.

Furrrrry

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
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fur collar via sample sale, $5; c/o modbod shirt; secondhand Gap jeans, $9; thrifted bag, $5; Target shoes

For this look, I was inspired by Wendy's Lookbook. Perhaps "inspired" is used too loosely here.. I outright copied her!

This fur collar was purchased at the same sample sale where I got this necklace. I don't have anything furry besides Rosie, but I can't wear her.. She's too chubby a cat. So I was so excited when I saw this fur collar I pretty much dove for it. The way some of the women at the sample sale were behaving, it seemed acceptable.

Turn Your Handbags Into Wall Art by Kristina

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Orange Slam

Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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H&M jacket, $20; H&M shirt, $8; Forever 21 skirt, $7; thrifted Nine West shoes, $3

This orange blazer was a recent purchase of mine. I instilled the secondhand-only shopping rule just a couple months ago but with the holiday season and subsequent Christmas shopping, I was in constant buying mode. Now that it's over and I'm back to reality, I'm done shopping. ...Hahahahaha. No, I'm not. 

But, seriously, isn't this blazer amazing? Also, a casual way to wear it.

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Come on, Chase!

Primary Colors by Kari

Monday, January 23, 2012
H&M brown leather bomber jacket; J. Crew Factory striped sweater; Uniqlo blue button up shirt' Ralph Lauren patterned scarf; Gap legging jeansMadewell brown oxfords

Lately, I've been feeling like keeping outfits really simple.  I know Elaine says she's been gravitating toward all black so maybe it's the season or something in the air.  I threw this outfit on for New Year's Eve, actually, for dinner with friends.  Don't you love how festive it is?!  Don't you love my gorgeous backdrop?  Yeah, we're still figuring out my hubby being my photographer and we snapped these on our way out and forgot there were trash cans behind me.  Oops!  True to form, this outfit is a little bit boyish and I stuck to primary colors.  I love how the scarf (gift from my hubs) plays off everything in the outfit and kind of brings it all together.

$1 Items for Sale!

Friday, January 20, 2012
I posted a couple months ago about my Smashion store and just wanted to tell everyone who have bought from me a big THANK YOU! Thank you for cleaning out my closet and giving me more reasons to go shopping!! ;)

In other news, going forward I've decided to only charge $1 (not including shipping) for all courtesy items from sponsors. Bloggers get a lot of stuff for free. For the items that don't jive with my style, I'm selling for next to nothing! Just pay for the shipping! It didn't feel right to charge you guys for items I didn't pay for.

Right now, there are three two one item up for $1:  Tsubo heelsMink Pink floral blouse, and modbod white cami. Get it, get it!



Check back frequently for more items! I tire of my things quickly.

Black Swan

Friday, January 20, 2012
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headband c/o Sproos Shop; shirt c/o modbod; Forever 21 skirt; Fitzwell flats, $76

Can I just pretend to be a graceful ballerina for one day? Because I'm the least graceful person in the world, says my mom and the scars on my knees.

I loved wearing this. All black? YES. I kept it simple with no jewelry to let my sparkly headband speak for itself. It may have been too simple but all black is never too simple. It's classic.

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Confession:  I hate headbands. I used to wear them 24/7 when I was little so I associate it with being a little girl. I may have watched too many episodes of Gossip Girl because I'm slowly leaning towards them... If you're in a rush, put your hair up in a loose, messy bun and wear a headband to keep the extra hair out of your face and you're all set. Like I said...EASY, right??

Button It Down with Flares

Thursday, January 19, 2012
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H&M shirt, $15; necklace via sample sale, $5; secondhand Gap jeans, $9, Target shoes; vintage bag, $5

Can you tell I'm obsessed with this necklace? When I love something, I can't stop wearing it. That's when I know my purchase was worthwhile. But it doesn't mean I don't love my one-timers! (One-timers:  items I've only worn once and probably won't wear again but can't part with.)

So I've worn this loose button-down with boyfriend jeans before and had to try it out with flared jeans this time. (Skinny jeans next!) Also, I like this shirt a lot better with the sleeves rolled up. Looks more relaxed.

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Don't mind my acne....

Tried out a new hairstyle as well. Parted my hair to the side then French braided one side of my hair and then pulled it back in a low pony. I teased the pony to make it full and messy. When you pull your hair back into a pony, it helps to have your hair teased beforehand to have volume.

I'm Blue

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
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necklace via sample sale, $5; H&M men's shirt, $3; vintage skirt, $6; Target shoes, $25; vintage bag, $5


This outfit was inspired by one of Madewell's Spring 2012 looks. I loved the blue/purple monochrome with the pop of turquoise. Confession:  I loved this outfit so much I wore this twice in the same week! Am I going to a fashion blogger purgatory now?

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P.S. Close-up of my face acne necklace that I raved about here. I know you were all dying to see it.

How To Make a Flower Beanie by Kristina

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Denim on Denim... Again

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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secondhand necklace, $5; thrifted Gap shirt, $6; Gap Outlet jeans, $26; Target shoes, $8; philly tote bag; vintage bag, $5

I've done denim on denim plenty of times on da blog (1, 2, 3, 4) and off. I haven't tried it with boyfriend jeans though until now. I've tested it out before but the fit of the shirt is looser* than I desired paired with boyfriend jeans so I scrapped the idea. I must've forgotten about the loose-on-loose* problem because I was totally fine wearing this and didn't mind the looseness* of both items together. I actually liked it! Isn't it weird? You don't like how something looks/fits one day but later you love it?

I paired this denim ensemble with a gold choker necklace and brown strappy heels to dress it up a bit. I think I'm ready for a cocktail party. Someone invite me!

Also, anybody else lovin' my I "pretzel" philly bag? Now I'm craving a pretzel. It has to be from a dirty shopping cart in a questionable neighborhood. And then you have to dip it in cherry or lemon Rita's. It's the ultimate Philly experience. ..I miss the east. :(

*For your reference:  Loose v. lose.

Shellac Nail Review by Kari

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Have you guys heard about Shellac nails?  I feel like it's getting popular these days.  Anyone ever tried it?  Well, over Christmas (we stayed in NYC - first Christmas away from "home!") I bought a Groupon and gave it a whirl.  First, I'll say this:  I love getting my nails done. LOVE IT!  In NYC you can get a quick standard mani/pedi for $20.  So. Awesome.  Anyway, my sister-in-law told me about Shellac since she's super into manicures too.  She said it's a new type of polish that is supposed to last 2 weeks without chipping or nicks or anything and it doesn't damage your nails as much as gels.  Have you guys tried gels?  I haven't, but I guess they file down your nail so it leaves your nail weaker and you have to get gels professionally removed?  This is just what I've heard on the street.  So, in the name of science and an awesome deal, I tried Shellac.  

Exhibit A

I snapped this pic like the night I got them done.  (Please disregard my hang nails, etc. Those are not due to Shellac, rather my inability to care for my nails!)

Here are my findings:
  • Shellac manis take about the same time, maybe a little longer, to get done.  We're talking 30-40 minutes.
  • Limited colors are available because it's a unique formula that is still new so get ready for a smaller selection. 
  • The manicurist will not massage or soak your hands (mine didn't) at the beginning, she gets right down to business!
  • Your hands will constantly be under UV lights between coats to dry and set them.  You will be flipping your hands to make sure they get set from all sides.  Mine were like 2 little caves - 1 for each hand and my manicurist told me when to flip and come out.  
  • At the end, because of the drying process and the unique properties of Shellac, your nails will be COMPLETELY DRY!  No more worrying about digging around in your purse right after your mani, or keeping your hands safe for a while after you leave.  It's DONE.  She massaged my hands and tapped on the nail to show me it was really dunzos.  I was nervous, but I didn't need to be.  These babies were completely fine.

Conclusions/Results:
  • I am freaking tough on my nails, scrubbing dishes, and doing other things that would normally make lesser manicures chip and wither away.  My Shellac mani lasted for about a week and half before it started to chip a bit.  I mean a tiny bit.  
  • Everyone will be jealous of your awesome nails and wonder if they are fake, but you get to assure them they are your real nails and Shellac magically makes them look awesome. 
  • I started picking at the chips and peeled off my Shellac easily but you can read about how to properly remove it here when the time comes.  

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend getting this done.  In NYC it's about $40 a pop (not cheap!) so keep your eyes peeled for deals but I kinda think it's worth it because of the instant dry, how it looks, and how long it lasts.  Tell me your experiences with Shellac!



Belt Loop Secrets by Melissa

Monday, January 16, 2012

J.Crew skirt; Aldo boots; belt from great-grandmother's closet


I love the look of a skinny belt wrapped about a pencil skirt. It just adds extra emphasis to your waist! What I don't love is a skinny belt that won't stay in place. I don't know about all of you gals but I only have ONE pencil skirt with belt loops. So after too many days constantly adjusting my belt, I decided something had to be done. With little to no skill with a sewing machine, I turn to the next best thing:  safety pins!

Keep the pin head on the inside of the skirt and pin it a little larger than the width of your belt and you have a sleek belt look that stays tight against the fabric keeping your belt in place! I usually put one on either side of my skirt. I have never had anyone notice they were there. ;)

Embellished Collars: Yay or Nay? by Kari

Monday, January 16, 2012
Lately, I've been seeing more and more of a newish trend:  embellished collars.  Have you guys noticed it?  I've seen this little detail popping up as accessories and on shirts.  I've spied it in all shapes and sizes:  studded spikes, rhinestones, large metal necklaces, and any other way you can imagine.  So what sayest thou?  Yea or nay?  Personally, I'm kind of digging it.  What I like about this trend is that you can make it your own.  Make it as statement-worthy or understated as you like.  I love little details in fashion.  I feel like those little bits and pieces are the things that really spice up and bring together an outfit. 

images here & here

Now, how to style this thing?  Here's how I would do it:  keep it simple.  Start with a solid color tee or button-up.  Keep the neckline high so you don't see much skin - I just think it would look a little strange with a v-neck but maybe you can make it work!  Now, layer on your fab new collar (or perhaps you've spiced up an existing top).  Next, put on your favorite pair of jeans and some wedge booties and a blazer and you're ready for a night on the town.  Keep other accessories minimal for a chic sleek look, have an arm party, or add another necklace to make a statement depending on your outing or how adventurous you're feeling.  Don't want to invest in this trend just yet?  Check out this DIY for inspiration.

images here, here & here


Necklaces by Asos at ShopStyle

P.S. More trends..