Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baby Bangs Inspiration

Baby Bangs inspiration

Lately, I've been feeling the need to change up my hair, and not just because my bangs prefer to spend their summers plastered to my forehead in a flat mass of sweaty grossness.

But I don't want to stop having bangs. Enter idea: get baby bangs! It's been one of those ideas that won't stop pestering me. I'm a little worried about how they'll look and how easy they'll be to style, but I think I'm going to go for it.

In looking online for inspiration, I've discovered that the way to keep them from looking too retro, severe, or Girl-with-the-Dragon-Tatoo-ish, is to get punky jagged bangs rather than straight-across Bettie Page bangs.

The first time I noticed jagged baby bangs was in the early '00s when Phoebe got them on Charmed. At the time, my brain could barely conceive of them as intentional, much less enviable. But times have changed (it's what they do) and I'm totally feeling the look now.

What do you think?

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Friday, July 26, 2013

DI(fr)Yday: Tie-dyed Cutoffs

Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs

Last weekend, Ryan's parents hosted a tie-dye party. Though never exactly hippies, his parents are very into tie dye. I couldn't decide what I would bring to dye until the night before when I saw some really cute tie-dye cutoffs in the latest issue of Bust Magazine. So, the next morning, before the party, I went thrifting and found two pair of jeans to transform.

Thrifting jeans for cutoffs is much easier than trying to find perfect, thrifted full-legnth jeans because the length doesn't matter and the cut of the leg barely matters. Here, I used a pair of white women's capri-length jeans and a pair of blue men's bootcut jeans. I like to use men's jeans because their pockets are long enough to stick out the bottom of your shorts. But you have the be careful, because mens jeans can have smaller hip-to-thigh ratios. Cut into the seams on the outside of the legs to open up the thighs a bit if you need to.

*     *     *

First, I cut off the legs, leaving a 3.5-inch inseam and angling the cut slightly up toward the sides. Shorts inseams are a personal preference, and, if you're not sure how short you want your cutoffs, I recommend erring on the side of long, trying them on, and then cutting shorter if you need to. Remember to test the length sitting down as well as standing. For me, 3.5 inches is the perfect length to give me enough thigh coverage that I feel comfortable, without looking like mom shorts.

Next came the distressing. Of course, you could just fray the edges and call it a day, but I think a good distressed pair of cutoffs is so much better than a crisp pair. I hadn't distressed jeans since high school, so I gathered a bunch of supplies together: steel wool, sand paper, scissors, a craft knife. While the sand paper was great for loosening up the denim all over, the craft knife turned out to be the most indispensable tool. My friend even discovered a great method for getting those large holes with lots of strings running across: you cut only the vertical threads with the craft knife, little by little, and then use steel wool to open it up so that the uncut horizontal threads have free rein.

Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs
Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs
Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs

Finally, it was time to dye. I'm not a tie-dying expert by any means, and I'm sure there are many more informative tutorials online than I could share here. But I will tell you what methods I personally used to get these effects.

For the white shorts, I used the scrunch method. I then used yellow, green, turquoise, and purple dye in a rainbow pattern from left to right. You could just squirt color everywhere to get a more random effect, but I wanted a progressive rainbow look.

After letting the dye soak in overnight, I rinsed the shorts until the water ran clean, removed the rubber bands and rinsed them some more, and then machine washed them together in hot water to set the dye.

Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs
Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs
Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs

For the blue shorts, I used the accordion method and black dye.

Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs

This was a different project for me, since I haven't tie-dyed or distressed denim in about ten years. But I really love the results. I definitely want to experiment more with dying shorts and other things in the future.

Tie-dyed distress denim shorts cutoffs

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

IFB Asks: What's Your Signature Color?

The latest IFB Project asks, "what's your signature color?" and, while I don't think I could ever actually use the phrase "signature color" without feeling pretentious, it's an easy question for me to answer. Navy is the foundation on which my wardrobe rests.

This didn't happen intentionally. I never chose navy so much as it chose me. All I know is that one day I looked around I noticed that navy was my color.

When it came time to choose what stones would compliment the diamond in my engagement ring, I knew I wanted sapphires, not just to honor my mother (they're her birthstone) but also because navy seemed like a color I wouldn't tire of wearing every day for the rest of my life.

Navy is forever.

Outfit - Tucker for Target ruffled back dress, vintage gold clutch, Downton Abbey hair
Save the Date Outfit: Anthropologie horse and polkadot print dress "Petaluma Peep Hem Dress", hand-me-sown kicks, Modcloth leather pouch belt, Jewelmint leather cuff with silver horse
Spring Sunset outfit: striped mariner anchor dress from J.Crew, altered vintage denim vest, brown boots, skinny jeans, wide-brimmed wool hat - Anthropologie "sweaterknit rancher"
La Marinière outfit: marinière striped top, jeans, Jeffrey Campbell Lita booties, sparkly suede clutch, Noir jewelry dinosaur bone rib cage cuff bracelet, J.Crew pavé cable link bracelet, arty ring, neon bangle
Double dots outfit: polkadot skirt from J. Crew Factory, polkadot top from H&M, thrifted belt, thrifted espadrilles, Anne Boleyn necklace made by me

Once, when friend told me she had no time for navy -- why did it need to exist, other than to trick her into accidentally wearing one navy sock and one black sock? -- I suddenly felt overcome with incredulous defensiveness. Why did black need to exist? What made it so great anyway, huh?

4th of July Outfit: Nautical dress with rope belt from Target, modcloth red and white striped peep-toe shoes, pavé cable bracelet from J.Crew, etc.
Morning Glory outfit: AG polkadot Stevie ankle jeans from Anthropologie, black Converse lowtop sneakers, sleveless button-down chambray shirt, cropped gray sweatshirt from Stylemint
Easter outfit: SIlver flats, mustard tights, Missoni for Target chevron dress, dusty rose felt cloche

While navy is a good and practical neutral that can, despite frequent arguments to the contrary, be worn with black (ask Yve Saint Laurent if you don't believe me), my love for it extends beyond the practical and into fantasy. Two years ago, I wrote in an installment of my retired feature "Color Theory," that navy is "a bit prep school, it's a bit sailor. It's so French and yet so all American."

There's the practicality of navy, of course. There's the denim and the chambray and the perfect wool peacoat. But the fantasy of Navy is what makes me come back to it over and over again.

Pattern outfit: Target teal pattern dress with lattice back, rainbow-leather huaraches, patterned belt, straw bag
Sunset and structure outfit: Peter-Pan-collar dress, floral flats, pavé cable bracelet, etc.
Meet Hazel outfit: ruffled floral dress, vintage cape-cut plaid jacket, knee socks, Wanted brown leather oxfords
Alice outfit: rosebud dress, grayscale color-block over-the-knee socks, flatforms, cropped paper-thin cashmere sweater from Styemint,
Polkadot peplum outfit: polkadot peplum top, Levi's Made and Crafted white jeans, Miss Trish for Target pearl and coral sandals, knotted pearls

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What I wore today: 07/20/2013 (Straw & Stripes)

Straw & Stripes outfit: striped Gap t-shirt, vintage circle skirt, quilted Modcloth flats, straw fedora

Last Saturday, we met up with friends and family to see Ryan's brother's girlfriend's roller derby bout. Roller derby is one of the most fun sports to watch, and it's even more fun with a big group of people, a bucket of beer, and a hot dog. This is what I wore.

There's something to be said for the versatility of striped shirts. They are one of my favorite basics, a go-to item that I can't get enough of. 

Here, I paired a favorite short-sleeved version with a straw hat and a vintage skirt. I like the way the girliness of the skirt balances out the masculinity of the hat. 

Straw & Stripes outfit: striped Gap t-shirt, vintage circle skirt, quilted Modcloth flats, straw fedora
Straw & Stripes outfit: striped Gap t-shirt, vintage circle skirt, quilted Modcloth flats, straw fedora
Straw & Stripes outfit: striped Gap t-shirt, vintage circle skirt, quilted Modcloth flats, straw fedora
Straw & Stripes outfit: striped Gap t-shirt, vintage circle skirt, quilted Modcloth flats, straw fedora

Striped t-shirt - The Gap
Vintage circle skirt - Check Lays an Egg
Quilted flats - Modcloth
Studded-bottom bag - eBay
Straw fedora - H&M
Leopard belt - Anthropologie

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Friday, July 19, 2013

My Guide to Helpful Wedding Books and Magazines

I'm a guidebook girl; when I'm going to visit a new place, I like to peruse piles of guidebooks first, and I'm no different when it comes time to trek new life-experience territory. When I moved into my first apartment, I read tons of home decorating books, and when I got engaged last summer, I couldn't wait to hit the bookstore to peruse wedding magazines, books, and planners.

A few days after we decided to get married, I found myself in a bookstore, finally cracking the spine on a few of those wedding magazines that I had always been vaguely curious about while maintaining a safe distance from. I didn't want to be the single girl who reads wedding magazines and has a wedding board on Pinterest.

When I brought my selections to the bookstore counter, the cashier asked me when I was getting married. "Not 'til next January," I said. She was the first person to learn of our engagement.

I soon discovered that, while traditional wedding magazines have pretty fashion spreads of white gowns and thick appendixes full of contact information for local vendors, they don't have any vitally helpful information that a modern bride can't discover in a few minutes browsing theknot.com.

I would, however, soon discover a few books that, like trusted friends, would give me all the advice, support, and information I was seeking in those early, heady days of engagement.

My Guide to Helpful Wedding Books and Magazines
Real Simple Weddings
A good place to start

Soon after getting engaged, I read Real Simple Weddings straight through. Organized into sections like "guest list and invitations," it provided straightforward, concise, common sense advice that really got the ball rolling for me and helped me get an idea of all the different components that would need to come together, as well as where to start making decisions.

My Guide to Helpful Wedding Books and Magazines
Offbeat BrideA Practical Wedding
Gave me permission to do things differently

Soon after my initial foray into the wedding-magazine section, I visited my favorite bookstore, Joseph-Beth, and found the book Offbeat Bride. We still hadn't gotten my ring made and therefor hadn't told anyone about our engagement. I sat in Joseph-Beth's café, Brontë, that afternoon, drinking a glass of champagne, reading a wedding books, and feeling gloriously secretive and indulgent.

Offbeat Bride provided me with lots of personal stories and advice from real brides who did things their own way. It got me thinking about all the things that were really important to me (a meaningful ceremony, an amazing dress, an intimate guest list), and gave me permission to say "forget it" (and sometimes a more adult version of that sentiment) to all the things I just didn't care about (aisle runners, bouquet tosses, guest books).

Later, I read A Practical Wedding, a similar book that helped remind me that most "traditions" and "musts" aren't actually that old or necessary. Both these books helped give me the permission I was seeking to have the wedding we wanted to have. Knowing that so many other brides had successfully pulled of their offbeat visions made me feel much more confident in my ability to do so.

My Guide to Helpful Wedding Books and Magazines
Style Me Pretty Weddings
Time for the pretty stuff

The Style Me Pretty book and blog along with the blog, Green Wedding Shoes, have been lovely and inspirational sources for style ideas. Our wedding decor is going to be 100% DIY, and I really owe it to these incredible sources (which make up most of the ideas pinned to my wedding board) for helping me brainstorm ideas as narrow them down to the important ones.

If Pinterest and wedding blogs are overwhelming you, I definitely recommend the Style Me Pretty Weddings book because, rather than just overloading you with gorgeous images, it gives you some advice and guidelines for narrowing down your ideas and streamlining them into one, cohesive aesthetic. 

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Words to Live by

Fashion is Evolution Célèste Brott's Words to Live by

After reading Emily's manifesto in February, I've been thinking a lot about the words that I live by.

I compiled a list of pieces of advice; some of them are important and inspiring, others are practical if not life-altering, and still others are a bit silly but, nonetheless, good words to live by.

What words of advice do you try to live by?
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Featured in IFB's Links à la Mode

I'm honored to be featured again in IFB's Links à la Mode. See the full feature below.

lalam0711

It's Getting Hot In Here

With summer in full swing, you'd think it'd be a time to slow down... not so much! Even though summer style require less coverage of our bodies, it's certainly still fun to cover on our blogs. How do you wear shorts without slumming it? What bikini should you wear in Miami or the Hamptons? Questions, questions! This week's links roundup will cover all your summer fashion and beauty questions, and get you fired up for the fall, but let's hope that fall doesn't come to soon.

Links a la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What I wore today: 07/08/2013 (Save the Date)

Save the Date Outfit: Anthropologie horse and polkadot print dress "Petaluma Peep Hem Dress", hand-me-sown kicks, Modcloth leather pouch belt, Jewelmint leather cuff with silver horse

On Monday, I mailed our Save the Dates and had my first meeting with our invitations and stationary designer. At the six-month mark, Ryan and I are finding ourselves in crunch time, booking our last few big vendors and transitioning from dreamy-wedding-planning mode into execution-of-said-dreamy-plans mode. It's equal parts exciting and stressful.

Well, maybe the scales are tipped a bit toward exciting!

I've been wearing this dress a lot since buying it a month or two ago. It's so light that it's pretty much perfect for muggy summer-in-the-Ohio-valley weather. And you'd be surprised how versatile a polka-dot-and-horse-print dress can be.

Save the Date Outfit: Anthropologie horse and polkadot print dress "Petaluma Peep Hem Dress", hand-me-sown kicks, Modcloth leather pouch belt, Jewelmint leather cuff with silver horse
Save the Date Outfit: Anthropologie horse and polkadot print dress "Petaluma Peep Hem Dress", hand-me-sown kicks, Modcloth leather pouch belt, Jewelmint leather cuff with silver horse
Save the Date Outfit: Anthropologie horse and polkadot print dress "Petaluma Peep Hem Dress", hand-me-sown kicks, Modcloth leather pouch belt, Jewelmint leather cuff with silver horse
Save the Date Outfit: Anthropologie horse and polkadot print dress "Petaluma Peep Hem Dress", hand-me-sown kicks, Modcloth leather pouch belt, Jewelmint leather cuff with silver horse
Save the Date Outfit: Anthropologie horse and polkadot print dress "Petaluma Peep Hem Dress", hand-me-sown kicks, Modcloth leather pouch belt, Jewelmint leather cuff with silver horse

Polkadot and horse-print "Peruluma Peep Hem Dress" - Anthropologie
"Nonverse" kicks - hand-me-downs from my soon-to-be mother-in-law
Leather pouch belt - Modcloth
Leather cuff with silver horse - Jewelmint

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