Archive | October, 2010

Oops! New Website.

27 Oct

Just a heads up – I moved this site to a new address. I totally forgot to post that on here. Oops!

You can check out my blog at www.sidewalkready.com

Thanks!

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Wedding Friday – Blazer Over Dress.

9 Oct

Today I was thrilled to ATTEND a wedding. What a relief to be at a marriage celebration and not be worried about capturing pictures of every little thing!

I took this opportunity to wear a dress that I’ve owned for nearly a year but felt was too dressy to wear while working an event. I found this at the Banana Republic Outlet and after promotional discounts and my small employee discount on sale items, the dress was roughly $40. Great deal!

Because it is October, I planned to wear a Gap tuxedo blazer over the dress … and even though it ended up being in the mid-70s … I still wore it. It was SUCH a gorgeous day but I had to follow my inspiration!

Today’s inspiration comes from Blake Lively’s look:

My version of the blazer/dress combination:

Close up detail of my DIY purse from the previous post. On my shoes, clip on earrings. Just another use for the generous gift from my client!

A detail shot of my dress … the beaded collar is what I loved the most.

Aaand my hair. I used a different clip on earring  to cover my bobby pin. 🙂

Can’t even say how nice it was being a guest at a wedding! The wedding was glamorous, yet laid back … and the bride was GORGEOUS. I really loved her chic dress. It was sleek and simple, right up my alley!
Congratulations to Stephanie and Justin – You have a long, happy life ahead of you!

Outfit Breakdown.
Blazer: The Gap (Originally $98)
Dress: Banana Republic ($40ish)
Ring: Old Navy ($6.50)
Bracelets: Old Navy ($10.50)
Shoes: Banana Republic (Originally $98)
Nail Polish: OPI’s Bagota Blackberry on both fingers and toes.

Sometimes dressing for weddings in cold weather, even as a guest, can be tricky. Plan ahead! I really liked the structure of the blazer over my dress as opposed to a cardigan because my dress was a shift style. Even though I didn’t need the blazer after all, it still added a little something to my look. What do you think? Should blazers be used in work environments only? How do you feel about the blazer over a more formal dress? Is this something you will try?

-Kayls.

Chiffon Purse DIY

8 Oct

My first DIY project! I saw this idea on another fashion blog – thanks …love Maegan for the inspiration!

This is the original inspiration piece – The Christian Louboutin Satin Petal Bag (retails for $1,495).

Here is my before:
An ex-prom purse I picked up at Goodwill for $2. Nothing extraordinary.

Okay, now to turn this into something special! It’s very easy, just time consuming. Perfect project for a day off.

I used a roll of black chiffon that I found in the remnants bin at Jo Ann Fabrics for $1. I bought the fabric awhile back thinking I would find a use for it someday – so glad I did!

So first step: Cut a strip of chiffon. The size of the strip will affect the size of the flower. My strips were approximately 4″x8″. By my picture below, it’s pretty clear to see that perfection is not necessary.

Next, fold the strip into an accordion-style fold.

After, cut all of the corners off. I pinned my folded strip first to make it easier. A general idea of what it should look like after it’s cut:

And un-fold. Again, perfection need not apply …

Now start a running stitch down the center of the strip simply weaving your needle in and out of the fabric.

Once you’ve reached the end, scrunch up the fabric and tie off the string creating a flower.

Now find a good placement on the purse for the flower and attach with string.

Continue until all areas that you want covered with the chiffon are complete … this takes time. If you need a break, take pictures of your pets.

Shanty.

Epworth.

Yeah, they’re cute … now back to work.

Cut, fold, cut, stitch, flower, attach, repeat, repeat, repeat, complete!

I placed my flowers on the lower half of the purse and all over the back. At the magnetic closure, I placed one flower and a button in the center … I love the results!

What do you think of my $3 purse compared to the Christian Louboutin version? Is this simple enough that you think you could make your own? I’m sure many of you have old un-used clutches laying around from school dances. Give it a shot!

-Kayls.

 

Celebrating Emma Watson – Black and White Stripes

7 Oct

Celebrating Emma Watson. Yes, that’s right, the girl from the Harry Potter movies.

You may remember this version of Emma Watson.

Hermione Granger at her finest.

Now check out the latest version of Emma Watson.

Hello, awesome haircut!

I am totally in LOVE with this pixie cut on her. If I wasn’t attached to my long hair right now, I’d run out and get this haircut tomorrow. Someday.

Because I’m kind of obsessed with her new look, I chose to do a feature on her. I found this picture of her and I really enjoyed her sweater.

Wide stripes are frightening for a lot of people. They are bold and definitely make a statement.

I only have one shirt in my closet with wide stripes like the one she is sporting above … and I happened to purchase it for a Halloween costume. I was a mime last year. After I wore the shirt as a part of my costume, I put it in the dryer and it shrunk. I kept it because I thought I might choose to be a mime again some year … but today I pulled it out of my costume box and chose to wear it.

So there you have it. Bold black and white stripes. This shirt used to be a lot longer … the shrinkage has now turned this into a cropped shirt. Luckily those are coming back in style.

I’m really am happy to be seeing a transition from long tops to short tops though. Not that I didn’t like the long tops, but I’m ready for something new. I am a fan of this trend. Especially the loose fitting cropped tops I’ve seen. Not too cropped though, let’s not get crazy.

I was searching for pictures of intentionally cropped tops that I could post and I found this:

My shirt amped up a few levels. I’m not loving this shirt in particular just because I think the crop is too short and the sleeves are too huge. But you get the idea.

Here are a couple close ups of my outfit today.

I chose accessories with a little bit of edge, but let’s be honest, I could never take this the whole way. I just don’t have an edgy aesthetic. 

And just for clarification, no that’s not a coke spoon. It’s an antique salt spoon that I turned into a pendant. I don’t do drugs.

Outfit Breakdown:
Top: Forever 21
Spoon Necklace: Antique
“K” Neckalce: Adorn Me (location in Ann Arbor, MI)
Belt: The Gap ($9.99)
Jeans: The Gap (Originally $69.50)
Shoes: Banana Republic

I never thought I would wear this shirt aside from my costume. Not only because it’s not what I would typically wear, but also because it shrunk significantly in the wash. Thanks to the new cropped trend, I could make this shirt work. Don’t you just love how trends cycle? Not saying that you shouldn’t get right of old clothes but you never know when you’ll be able to bring out long forsaken wardrobe pieces!

Also, props to Emma Watson for her bravery when it came to cutting her hair. This bold pixie cut inspires me – and hopefully you – to continue taking fashion risks!

-Kayls.

Overcoming My Disdain For Black Pants.

6 Oct

Okay, so … While searching through fashion inspiration online, I found this picture of Hilary Duff and really enjoyed what she had going on (aside from the fact that her pants appear significantly too long).

I thought this would be a good look to re-create … just one problem: I hate black pants. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on black pants for being black pants … I just don’t like the memories that I carry with my black pants.

When I was in cosmetology school, we  were required to wear black pants every day. Ugh. That’s enough of a rut already. On top of that, we had to wear these big, ugly, parachute-esque smocks and closed-toe, black shoes. Because of this, I wore pretty much the same thing 5 days a week for about 11 months. Black pants are now my nemesis.

Attempting to re-create this look pulled on my creativity strings a bit considering I haven’t purchased a pair of black pants since 2007. I pulled out a pair from cos. school and after coloring in a bleach stain with a permanent black marker, they we ready to wear.

I really love the ones Hilary is wearing above, high wasited and wide leg. It works really well with the tucked in blouse … but considering I don’t own anything like that, I tweaked the look a bit.


Because the rise these pants is fairly low, I left my shirt untucked instead. Though in keeping with Ms. Duff’s look, I stuck with a blousy top. To give it some shape, I wrapped a scarf around my waist as a pseud0-belt.

The gold detail on the straps of my top is actually a pair of clip on earrings. One of my favorite clients at the salon gave me some of her Aunt’s old clip-ons that she had around her home. I’m so excited about them! Lots of fun things in store … 🙂

Here is a detail shot:

I also thought my sandals deserved a feature … considering this might be the last week I can get away with open toed shoes. I really love these. Dressier than a flip flop but just as comfy!

Outfit Breakdown.
Top: Target ($19.99)
Clip-On Earrings: Vintage and gifted.
Scarf: Gift, though purchased at Charlotte Russe
Bracelet: Forever 21 – Same as yesterday’s.
Pants: Forever 21
Shoes: The Gap

There we go. Black pants. I did it. There is a lesson in itself. Re-use old things you never thought you’d wear again. Give it another try. These pants were three years old and stained but as Tim Gunn would say, I “made it work”. Also, a few small additions to a simple top and it looks totally different! … Oh, the things accessorizing can do. Have fun!

-Kayls.

Debunking Fashion Rules – Brown and Black

5 Oct

I’m sure you’ve heard that brown and black don’t go together. In certain situations, yes. But there are ways to wear these colors together and to do it well. Just another way to expand your wardrobe options. 🙂

Here is how I wore these colors together today.

The above shade of brown was light enough that it accented the black as opposed to competing with it. I also think this works better than wearing a brown top with black pants or vice versa. Accessorizing with the brown, in my opinion, was more successful. My black dress wasn’t quite warm enough for the weather in it’s own, so underneath I layered a black top and tights.

A couple other things I’d like to address aside from the color theme – my scarf and belt. Both I found at the Salvation Army for $.99. I saw the scarf and bought it without a purpose in mind, but I liked it and knew I’d find something to do with it. I liked the way it worked around my neck today. I was also thinking I could wrap it around a purse someday. The belt – I have a hard time finding waist belts in my size … so one solution I have found is woven belts! You can wear them at any length you want – hip or waist. Perfect.

This is my favorite purse. I actually carry this most every day just for lack of a better option. This is the first time I’ve featured it because it doesn’t normally match what I’m wearing very well. I normally wait to buy purses until I find one I love since I carry them daily. I was particularly drawn to the bohemian feel of this purse … but also that it still has structure. It’s just the right size, too. I can carry everything I need, but there isn’t enough room to hoard unnecessary items. The strap is also adjustable. It works hanging from one shoulder and I can sling across my body as well. I’m still waiting to find my perfect black purse …

Here is my ponytail trick for today. I’m sure you’ve seen it done before … but not everyone knows how to execute it. It’s simple! Just pull your hair into a ponytail with a hair band. After that, take a piece of hair from the ponytail (I usually take one from underneath), wrap it around your band, and pin it into place. Stick the pin straight into your ponytail through the band to anchor it.

Outfit Breakdown.
Scarf: Salvation Army ($.99)
Dress: The Gap
Top: The Gap (Originally $19.50)
Belt: Salvation Army ($.99)
Tights: The Gap (Originally $12.50)
Bracelets: Forever 21 and mom hand-me-down

Cowboy Boots: Gift from my Texan Aunt. (How appropriate!)
Purse: Banana Republic (Originally $150)

There you have it! Do you think you will go against this fashion rule and try brown and black together? Give it a try! It’s different and unexpected. 🙂

– Kayls.

Tips and Tricks – Clear Nail Polish and Proportions

5 Oct

I had a comment on the last post that I wanted to address in it’s own post. I was about to respond but then I realized my reply comment turned into a novel.

Here is the comment:

“I always feel funny tucking a shirt into a skirt…what is too high/low?? It always looks kinda funky on me but you look super cute!

p.s. If you paint a thin layer of clear nail polish on each side of the ribbon, it should stop the fraying. It was a little tip I picked up from a DIY magazine!”

First off, let’s discuss clear nail polish.

It sounds like a great solution to my fraying ribbon problem. I will definitely keep that in mind next time since I already lightly burned/melted the edges of the ribbon and that worked perfect. Props to a facebook friend for that suggestion!

Two other ways I commonly use clear nail polish:

#1: To stop a run in a pair of tights. If you get a run somewhere in a pair  of tights that can be hidden (i.e. the toe) take some clear nail polish and dab it where the run began, and where the run ends. It’ll harden up those fibers so they won’t separate and continue to run.
#2. Have a cheap ring that tarnishes your finger? Coat the inside of the ring with clear nail polish. It will create a barrier between the ring and your finger. Say “goodbye” to that green stain!

Some of you may already know of those tricks. Do you have anymore? Let me know!

When to tuck a top into a skirt:
I tuck tops into skirts ALL the time. I normally like my skirts to hit right at my natural waist, and because of that, leaving a shirt untucked wouldn’t work very well. The one from the previous entry sits just below my waist … it’s a touch too big. But because the skirt is flowy, a shirt hanging over it would be too much baggy on baggy.

However, I recently styled a senior portrait session where we put together a skirt/tucked top combo and because she was pretty much all legs (lucky girl!), we left the skirt a little above the hips to balance out her proportion. The skirt at her waist would have made her torso disappear.

Assess what body type you have. If you have a long torso and short legs, skirts at the waist with a top tucked in are perfect to elongate your legs. If you have a short torso with long legs, wear your skirt lower so you don’t lose your top half.

When to tuck a shirt in or leave it out sometimes goes on a case to case basis. However, here is a guide dealing with clothing proportions:

If you are wearing something loose on the bottom (i.e. a flowy skirt) what you wear on top should be more sleek. So if the shirt you chose isn’t super tight, like the one I wore yesterday, tuck it in! This will ensure that you don’t drown in what you’re wearing.
Lauren Conrad followed this principle when choosing her outfit below:
However, if you want to wear a more tight fitting shirt, you can leave it untucked. Just make sure it isn’t bunching over your skirt and that you are still keeping your body proportions in mind! But in all honesty, the trend right now is wearing flouncy skirts at the waist.
Here is Lauren Conrad in a tight top and flowy skirt (though she is still tucking the top).

This hint also works the opposite way. If you are wearing something more structured on the bottom (i.e. a pencil skirt) you can get away with wearing something more blousy on top and leaving it untucked. Though a blousy top tucked into a pencil skirt looks adorable too. In my opinion, you can get away with tight on tight when the bottom half is a skirt. If it’s skinny jeans, stick to a blousy top.
Christina Ricci rocks the pencil skirt and blousy top here:
Notice her skirt falls a little below her waist here – but with the combination of her heels, her legs still look miles long.

When all else fails, try a top both tucked and untucked. See what looks better! Or get someone else’s opinion if you’re not sure. 🙂

Let me know if this helps or if you have more questions!
-Kayls.