August 28, 2015

DIY FRIDAY: BOXY PLEATED TOP SEWING TUTORIAL









OUTFIT DETAILS: top made by me (other tops in this same gorgeous color here, here and here) | dittos jeans (same, different wash) | old ankle boots, similar here | rebecca minkoff bag | sunglasses

A couple of weeks ago I pinned this pretty pleated top. Most of the time it takes me a few months (or even years) to make something I pin, but this one was stuck in my head and I couldn't get it out. Plus, after nearly an entire summer of not sewing, I was getting a major itch. 

This shirt was definitely a challenge for me to pattern and create, since I had to determine how the pleats would line up and how the measuring would work out, but I love projects that stretch my sewing abilities. And I love how this top turned out. 

My only complaint is that the inspiration top appears to be made of a thinner polyester fabric, whereas I used a more sturdy textured knit for mine, which made the top a little bulkier and result in me looking about six months pregnant from certain angles. The hazards of finishing a project an hour before you shoot it and forgetting to try it on....c'est la vie. 

So when you make this, use a lighter weight fabric and you won't run into this problem. Unless you are actually six months pregnant and don't mind looking it. Fair warning. 

And don't forget! If you're a non-seamstress, The Modern Girl's Guide to Sewing is the perfect place to learn all of my sewing skills -- check it out right here.

Click READ MORE below to find the full sewing tutorial!

photos by rad and happy

August 26, 2015

5 MUST-HAVES FOR BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING










OUTFIT 1: little black dress | old chambray, similar here | white perforated sneakers | similar watch


As a little girl and up through college, back to school shopping was always one of my favorite things about school. And even though I'm not going to school this year (and haven't for a bunch of years now), I still like to do a little bit of Fall shopping to prep my closet for the cooler months.

The key to creating a versatile and remixable closet is having a good mix of essentials and basics, and then some fun and unexpected pieces that express your personality. If you have a collection of good basics that work well together, the outfits you can create by mixing and matching are nearly endless and you get much more bang for your buck when shopping. Throw in a few fun pieces, and you have even more outfit possibilities, all that share your personality.


5 Must-Haves for Back To School Shopping (or shopping in general)

Little Black Dress. You'll find this on any clothing essentials list, because it's the most versatile piece ever. I love this one from Norma Kamali because it easily goes back and forth between dressy and casual. I paired it with sneakers and a chambray for a super easy school or daytime look, but you could dress it up with a pair of strappy heels, oversized sparkly earrings, lipstick, and curled hair and you'd be ready for a fancy date night or the school dance. 

Chambray Button Up. I  bought my first chambray button up three or four years ago and haven't ever looked back. They're the perfect layering piece under a sweater, over a sleeveless dress, tied around your waist like I did here (which you can do with jeans, shorts, skirts, or dresses), buttoned up and knotted at the waist with a skirt, or just worn as a regular top with a pair of jeans. Did I say the little black dress was the most versatile? I actually think the chambray button up takes the cake. 

Sneakers. I honestly thought the sneaker trend was going to be short lived, but I think we're going on about two years strong here and they're definitely not going anywhere. And you'd better believe I'm not complaining. Although my closet is groaning under the weight as I add more and more to my collection. Slip on sneaks are the perfect school shoe for any kid, and they're also the perfect shoe for moms. I love these perforated white ones from Report because they go with everything from jeans to dresses and are easy to wipe clean when needed.  

Ankle Boots. If you're going to have any two shoes in your closet this fall, slip on sneakers and ankle boots should be your two. There are a million pairs of ankle boots to choose from, but a classic pair will last you for years and won't go out of style anytime soon. Sam Edelman is one of my favorite shoe designers, and I'm in love with these Petty ankle boots in "putty." I will be wearing them all fall and winter long. 

Jeans. Of course one of the most important pieces in any girl's closet is a great fitting pair of jeans. They're some of the hardest pieces to shop for though because everyone's body types are so different, and sizing varies so much from brand to brand, but having at least one pair of jeans that you love and that fit you perfectly is such an essential. Also I'll be sharing some of my favorite pairs of jeans soon on the blog!  

Once you have those essentials in your closet, it's time to fill the rest up with pieces that fit your personality and add life and visual interest to your basics.  Find fun tops in different lengths, colors, patterns, and styles. Choose jewelry that fits your lifestyle and aesthetic. Pick outerwear that fits your weather needs and compliments your basics. 

And don't forget the bags! If you're going back to school, find a backpack or bag that fits your personality. If you're not, choose bags that express your style and fit your lifestyle -- you should have at least one large bag, one small bag, and one clutch. 

What other must-haves are on your list for back to school/Fall shopping?



photos by rad and happy. In partnership with Zappos. 

August 24, 2015

3 TIPS FOR TRANSITIONING YOUR WARDROBE TO FALL

Merrick's Art | Transitioning your wardrobe to fall

Merrick's Art | Transitioning your wardrobe to fall

Merrick's Art | Transitioning your wardrobe to fall

Merrick's Art | Transitioning your wardrobe to fall

OUTFIT DETAILS: tunic | jeans here and here (extra distressing by me) | sandals (more sizes here) | envelope crossbody bag | pendant necklace (similar here) | floppy hat (under 30!)

photos by sara walk

Back to school is right around the corner, Halloween decorations are starting to show up in stores, and probably many of you, like me, are starting to get the Fall itch. Time to pull out all the sweaters and boots! But since it's still warm enough for summer clothes, here's a few tips for transitioning your wardrobe so you feel like Fall, but you won't overheat in layers.

1. Pull out the dark hues. Burgundy, olive, burnt orange, mustard, or plaid...wearing anything in these colors or patterns will instantly make you feel ready for Autumn. Just find lightweight blouses, button ups, or simple dresses in these colors, rather than sweaters or jackets so you beat the heat but still feel seasonal.

2. Try festive accessories. You don't need a full Fall outfit to feel ready for the season. Swap out your pink and orange nail polish for burgundy or navy blue. Add ankle boots to your summer dress. Pair your lightweight blouse with a floppy wool hat. Small doses will give you the feel without the layers. 

3. Wear your Fall layers unexpectedly. You can still pull out your scarves, jackets, and sweaters -- just tie your sweaters and jackets around your waist for a layered (but much cooler) look, or tie your scarf around your purse strap. It helps add the amazing textures and layers that come during the cooler months, but won't have you sweating your buns off all day. 

And if all else fails, just go make something pumpkin flavored ;) 

Any other tips for transitioning to Fall? I'm suddenly craving crunchy leaves, cable knit sweaters, and apple cider like crazy. 
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