Friday, July 27, 2012

Spruce up some old jeans? Sure!

Adding Lace Details to Shorts

An easy way to make homemade shorts more interesting (and look more legit) is to give a border to the pant legs or pockets. You will need:
  • Jean shorts
  • Border material (lace)
  • Sewing machine
These were old jeans that I outgrew and cut off to make shorts, but you can obviously use some that were originally shorts to begin with. I chose to girly them up with lace... appropriately so, lace is kind of my thing. I liked pairing the purely white colored lace with the lighter, washed out jeans; a beige lace looked good with the dark wash jeans.

On the darker shorts, I sewed a lace border along the newly cut hem line and trimming the edge of the back pockets. Simple enough.

I gave the lighter wash jeans a side detail on each leg. First, I cut a slit along the outer side seam of the pants, no taller than the lace fabric would cover. I just hemmed the shortness I wanted, adding no borders on this pair. Then I sewed the lace onto the split areas. Then I bordered the back pockets with the matching lace.
I am not advocating staying up until the wee hours of the night in order to finish sewing your pieces. I did. I'll probably pay for my lack of sleep, but I'm the kind of person that cannot stand to leave a project incomplete. So here I am at 11:20 p.m. But they're done!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world." - Marilyn Monroe

I am so so so soooo sorry! I didn't post last week at all, and it makes me feel awkwardly distant. And ashamed, to a point. The past two weeks have been turbulent for me to say the least. Life happens, and life happens fast. But I'm here now, and I'm going to act like I didn't miss a beat. Unfortunately, we've been having powerful thunderstorms for days on end... not very conducive for outfit photos. Not willing to let the imitation tropical storms get in our way, we first tried to shoot today's photos inside. It did not work to our advantage. But quick side note, do you not absolutely love Erin's dresser??
It was quickly concluded that outside lighting would be significantly better, we would just avoid the rain by remaining on the porch. Turns out that even though it limited options, there are worse scenarios.
In contrast to "Colorblocked", this outfit consists of nothing brand new. Ok, so I ordered the shoes from Forever 21, but the clothes are thrifted. I found this silky skirt in the vintage section of a thrift store and was drawn to the "old luggage" vibe. The shirt is an interesting story. When it first landed in my possession, I was extremely sceptical; I appreciated the cut, however, (and I so wish I had taken a "before" picture to illustrate) it must have previously belonged to a pirate hooker. Two lace-up panels went up the front, exposing skin beneath the criss-cross shoe string laces. So. tacky. It was all kinds of hideous. I did somehow see potential in it, thank goodness, and I decided to reinvent the piece. I sewed matching fabric and vertical strips of lace in place of the pirate panels, and voilĂ  it was a complete transformation.

(Yeah. Just imagine this action going on. It was not gonna fly.)

Top: thrifted/altered, skirt: thrifted
shoes: Forever 21, umbrella: courtesy of Erin
bracelet: antique (grandmother's)


In one of my first posts I briefly mentioned the various decades that influence my style. I would classify this particular outfit as "dainty Victorian with a glamorous flair." Whenever I apply a pop of intense red lipstick, my look automatically goes bold Marilyn glam. To me, she represents classic 50's luxurious, yet simple, style. For those of you who didn't know already, I have a deep fascination with Ms. Marilyn Monroe. No, not for the sexually promiscuous side of her life. Despite popular beliefs, there was more to her than just THAT. She was a talented Hollywood performer who redefined the world of fashion and women's self-image worldwide. As several celebrities, she struggled with issues, but what I admire is how she remained genuine; she kept the essence of a carefree joy even when she didn't feel that way deep down, sharing an empowering confidence to women of that time period. After she had been declined by company after company, Monroe was the first "plus sized" model to be accepted into the business. She shared lot of positive and uplifting influence through her involvement in social rights movements. These things about her intrigue me. I could keep going, but I digress. I guess this rant was bound to happen sooner or later. I really did mean to focus more on mixing time period styles before diving into an explanation of my Marilyn obsession. No worries, I will revisit that theme more extensively at a later point. I think I promised that exact statement in the earlier mentioned post...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Two lives, one shirt (How She Wore It)

The shirt you see on Erin is the topic of this week's post. It's my top, purchased from Papaya. No, there's nothing particularly special about the shirt; the two of us don't have a Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants thing going on with it... nothing like that. I have decided it'd be cool to do a "How She Wore It" feature every now and then where two people wear the same article of clothing in different ways, piecing together an outfit that is distinct to her style. The picture above gives you an image of the skeleton (minus the added belt) we worked with for today: a cream colored, ruffled flower top. I actually find it hilarious that we chose similar outfit structures, considering that neither of us knew how the other would wear it until we met up. We both paired it with dark washed jeans and had some sort of sleeved cover. However, this works to my advantage in a way. It displays our personal outfit styles by the differences in the parallels, if that makes any sense at all.


Top: Papaya, cardigan: Marshalls,
shorts: A'GACI, shoes: Marty and Liz's Shoes

I chose a cardigan, Erin went with a blazer. Erin wore long straight-legged jeans, I chose trouser cut shorts. My color palette brought out cool tones, hers were warm. See? Similar, yet very different. I find it interesting how an item's look can be changed like that. A person can emphasize various aspects and details by piecing it in another ensemble, giving it a new feel. To describe this shirt for just a moment, it's made of an incredibly comfortable fabric; it's light, soft, and breezy. Cute wooden buttons add an earthy feel. The colors for the flowers aren't the typical "spring flower" colors. I appreciate that. It gives an early fall vibe, to me. It seemed to match the woods around us, com to think of it. Brown and dry, contrasting with the lush green vegetation. I don't have much in these colors, so I like messing around with combinations of what to wear with it.
I also have to share my unadulterated love for these oxford cut-out shoes!! I lucked up and found them in the depths of Marty and Liz's Shoes thrift store. Caramel brown is the new black, if you ask me. Erin will probably be the first to argue that, but to each her own, eh? But seriously. This may easily be the coolest pair of shoes I own, and they're so convenient for most summer days. My feet hate being confined in stiff closed-toed shoes during warm weather, but I don't like doing sandals all the time either. These shoes are the perfect blend of unique, comfortable, practical, and versatile. Mega win for me.