Fashion Friday – Spring Outfits

It is unseasonably warm in Minnesota right now. Usually we would still be slogging through a snowstorm or two or five in March, but instead it’s been in the 50’s or 60’s all week and what little snow we had is nearly gone! All of which has me dreaming of spring fashion, gardening, and painting my toenails. I might even shave my legs. Crazy, I know.

I hopped over to Polyvore and put together some ideas, plus some of my own stuff I can’t wait to put together this year, to give you some inspiration. An added bonus – nothing is over $50! Cause new wardrobes don’t have to break your bank. Check out my profile there, and you can click on the items in the sets for links!

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Spring Florals

I’m not a huge floral person; it really has to be done right for it to catch my eye and not think of grandmotherly couches. In general, I like bolder colors and a bolder pattern – tiny florals make me think of Laura Ashley. All these pieces caught my eye in a good way. I love the shape of the first cami top, plus the combo of green and pink is classic, slightly preppy, and always makes me think of spring. I love the colors in the second and third tops – they are so bright and almost tropical – and for a subtler hint of floral, you can’t go wrong with lace in a strong color. The top next to the lace top is a bird and floral pattern; I cannot resist a cute bird print! The sweatshirt would look super cute with skirts or jeans or thrown over a dress on a cooler night. Lastly, I’m not sure why I like the last top but I just do! Something about the colors.

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Skirts

I love a good flouncy skirt. How cute is that little green skirt with the bow? It would look really cute with that bird print shirt above, tucked in, with a cute pair of black heels. I also love the galaxy print on the skirt next to it, very fun and colorful without being overly girly. Anchors are timeless, and you could mix prints nicely by pairing it with a blue and white striped boatneck tee – add in some red accessories if you want to go full tilt, or scale it back with neutrals. That yellow flouncy skirt is so bright it almost hurts to look at it doesn’t it? What a great bright almost neutral color – you could pair it with nearly anything so long as it lets that yellow stand out. I’m always in the market for an easy long skirt – they make me look long and lean, which is a feat considering I’m 5’2″ with hips. And finally, you will never fail with a cute denim skirt.

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Accessories

Can’t or don’t want to overhaul your whole wardrobe this year? Accessories are the easiest and cheapest way to update your look. A new pair of cat-eye sunglasses, or a fun floral hair clip, or delicate jewelry can make last year’s jeans and tees and skirts feel new and fresh. I love those neutral sandals, they look dressier than flip flops but are just as easy. The fisherman’s cap looks really classic; I’m picturing it with ripped jeans and a soft white t-shirt, and brown booties. And the easiest way, hands down, to update your look is a new lippie or blush or hair color! The purple locks are actually hair extensions – seriously considering those. I keep getting the itch to dye my hair purple, but I don’t want to have to bleach my hair into oblivion. That would be an easy way to do it!

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Finally, some of my own pieces. A couple are new, most are things I’ve had! It’s a good idea to assess what you have before you buy more – you may be able to remix your own wardrobe into something that feels new. The strapless blue dress is from Old Navy, and is a good example of the florals I go for – bold colors, bold pattern. The grey striped top is from Gordman’s – I cannot ever resist grey or stripes, and I love the shape of the hem, how it goes down longer at the sides. It’s very easy and breezy but doesn’t overwhelm me. Ripped jeans are from Aeropostale, and I got them on sale last year – I would never pay their full price, and you don’t have to spend $50 on ripped jeans either. If you like the look, find a pair at your thrift shop that fit you well and distress them yourself! The top is from Target’s Merona line, it’s a nice layering piece since it’s kind of see through, and a nice color combo with the light purple and orange. It honestly looks really good with that green skirt, which I wouldn’t have expected! Lastly, the crocheted bright orange shoes I got at Target last year, the saddle shoes I found at TJ Maxx, and the leopard heels at DSW for $10 (I KNOW)!

Here’s to new outfits and new accessories, and I hope it’s just as warm where you are!

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Fashion Friday – Blog Edition

I love reading various fashion blogs, for inspiration or just for fun. Here are a few of my favorite ones from around the interwebs!

Go Fug YourselfThis is pure fun. I mean I guess sometimes it could serve as inspiration, if cracked out fashion is what you’re going for. Heather and Jessica chronicle all the questionable, eyebrow-raising, often hilarious, sometimes amazing fashion of celebrities and quasi celebrities. Their writing is top notch and often hilarious – Heather’s spoof of Jennifer Lopez (“HOLA LOVERS”) is a particular high point – and they can be as deliciously bitchy as their beloved Dynasty icons. Look out soon for Fug Madness – their version of March Madness which pits the best of the worst of the past year against each other.

The SartorialistThis is the work of a fantastic street style photographer named Scott Schuman. He travels all over the world and photographs any interesting fashion that catches his eye, both men’s and women’s. It’s beautifully shot, and super interesting to see the choices made by impossibly chic people of different cultures and walks of life.

Trop RougeVanessa of Trop Rouge has one of those effortlessly cool, slightly androgynous styles. It’s fun to scroll through her site and dream of oxford shoes, blazers and cool hats! Also she has enviable hair.

The Chronicles of HerJust a lovely fashion site filled with pretty easy things. She tends toward high end but there’s still a lot of great ideas here.

The Little MagpieA site run by a Scot by the name of Amy Spencer. She has kind of a bohemian chic vibe going, and has a good mix of high and low fashion. She is one of the people I want to be when I grow up.

I hope you find some of you next favorite sites here! Happy reading!

Fashion Friday – Booties

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I didn’t really need new shoes. I mean, I have a lot of them. Flats, boots, high heels. Black, brown, grey, red, blue, leopard. But what I didn’t have was a really hot pair of high heeled black ankle boots. This is my justification and I’m sticking to it.

It didn’t help that they were in the clearance section of DSW, and my friend had a $5 off coupon she wasn’t going to use. So that day I walked out with these beautiful Guess booties!

Soft black suede and shiny black snakeskin are bisected by a zipper on each side – a decorative silver one with Guess imprinted on the pull, and the functional one on the other side. It features a 4″ heel and a 1″ platform, and rounded toes. As far as comfort goes, I wore them the other day when I had a couple of hours to kill. My friend had a long job interview near Ridgedale Mall, so I decided walking around a mall for two hours would be a great way to test these puppies out!

They are definitely not the type of shoe you can do any marathon walking in, nor can you walk very fast in them, but while my feet were tired by the end they weren’t screaming for mercy either. They would be absolutely fine for a shorter shopping trip, or running errands, or going out somewhere where you’ll be sitting, like dinner or a show. Some people may not understand the impulse to wear a shoe that isn’t 100% comfortable, but the fact is wearing a shoe like this makes you feel sexy and beautiful and powerful – it makes you hold your body a certain way, stand up taller and straighter, and it forces you to saunter rather than scurry to your next destination.

I couldn’t find this exact bootie on DSW’s website, but they still have plenty of similar styles – definitely check out their clearance section for cheaper options! If you don’t have a good pair of high-heeled ankle boots in your repertoire, consider investing in a pair. They look great paired with jeans; either dress them up with dark skinnies, or down with lighter distressed denim. Or pair them with a skirt like this one or this one – you can add black tights for a monochromatic look or leave your legs bare for contrast. Or, put on a pair of fleece lined leggings and these shorts (which are currently 50% off!), then top with a crisp white button down shirt or a pretty knit sweater like this one.

Happy shopping!

Travel Tuesday – Snowbird Edition

We’re in the long slog of winter now. The slow march down the backside of the hill, which seems like it keeps going on and on and on until finally, when you think you can’t take it anymore, spring appears in the valley. It’s for this reason that many people choose to take a vacation somewhere – anywhere – warm and maybe tropical. Retail stores want to take advantage of this instinct, naturally, so if you ever wondered why swimsuits start showing up in Target and other places right after Christmas, there’s your answer.

To be fair, this is one of the easiest Minnesota winters I’ve lived through so far. We haven’t had a ton of snow (I have pictures from one year where the snowbanks on our driveway were over my head), and we’ve only had one, maybe two weeks of deep freeze temps. Still, if I could, I would love to take off to somewhere with a beach and warm sunshine! If I was lucky enough to make it somewhere warm, I would consider splurging a little on a fabulous retro swimsuit.

Retro is poised to be one of the big trends in swimwear this year. I’ve even seen an example or two pop up in Target’s offerings. So I searched the internet last night for some great pieces you can buy now, if you’re lucky enough to take a snowbird vacation, and found these!

Wonder Woman Halter One Piece – Starting off with a bang here. This is fantastic! I found this and the next one on a site called Pinup Girl Clothing; they have a ton of different styles. None of them are super cheap – they average around $100 – so at $40 this one is kind of a steal. It features a deep plunge halter neckline and a low cut back, and Wonder Woman’s signature red, blue and stars design. This is hot, and in this day and age of comic book movies, it will get you noticed at the beach.

Tiger Bikini – That link is just for the top; bottoms are here. This is so Bettie Page – animal print, high waisted bottoms, bra style top. The lovely thing about retro or vintage styles is they’re better tailored to curvy feminine shapes – and the high waists can hide a multitude of sins. The top is $64 and the bottoms are $48.

High Tide and True One-Piece in Navy – ModCloth is another great resource for vintage style clothing. This $89.99 one-piece is super adorable, with it’s polka dots, ivory collar neckline and low-cut legs. Add a great floppy hat, big sunglasses and red lips and you’ll be the talk of the pool.

Navy and Red One-Piece Sailor Swimsuit – Classic sailor style. Red and white striped top combined with a rich navy bodice, plus six buttons like you’d find on sailor pants. This $88 suit also features a tummy control panel and red and white striped detailing on the legs that help slim the leg and hip area.

High-Waisted Leopard Bikini Set – Now for a couple cheaper options. This set is super cute – it features a leopard print bustier-style top with a zipper and high waisted black bottoms with a leopard tie. It’s on sale for $16.95 and they only have size small left! Which means Mama might get a new bikini this year …

Two-Tone Ruffled SwimsuitYesStyle is one of several websites out there that ship from the Hong Kong area. When checking out these websites, it’s definitely a good idea to research them online – BBB rankings, customer reviews, etc. There are some out there that are a tad shady, but I’ve never had any problem with this website. It ships fairly quickly, for coming from Hong Kong – I think the last time I ordered something, it took about 1-2 weeks – and the items are good quality. Just be aware that shipping does take longer than other websites, and most of their clothing is one size, so check the measurements! This site has a conversion chart which is super helpful. Not all of their swim styles are retro, but they definitely have a good selection of retro style suits – this super cute ivory and black ruffled one-shoulder number reminds me of something Sophia Loren would wear! They also have a white and black off-the-shoulder style. Both are $16.11.

So if you’re going somewhere warm on vacation, take a look at one of these! And come pick me up and smuggle me in your suitcase. I’m small and I don’t mind, I swear!

Fashion Friday – Can you resist his call?

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Guys this is such a cool shirt. It’s a cool website all around, but this shirt is so very cool. These guys take books, and print the entire book on t-shirts, posters, totes, etc in such a way that the negative space forms a picture. This one is H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulu”. Have you read Lovecraft? He’s considered to be one of the forefathers of horror fiction, though when he died he was virtually unknown and broke. Hearbreaking, because he was incredibly talented.

The story centers around a strange cult worshipping Cthulu, who is described as a weird combination of octopus, dragon, and a human caricature. An inspector named Legrasse interrogates a cultist and finds, “They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men…and…formed a cult which had never died…hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be waiting to liberate him.”

If you haven’t read it, you should. And once you read it you should buy this shirt, and then maybe buy me one too?