Friday, March 24, 2017

Wear it Two Ways: Fishnet Tights


Though fishnets might conjure a lot of images—from sultry Cabarets in the 1930s, to showgirls dancing a kickline, to 90s punk culture—one thing is certain: they've been in and out of style throughout much of recent history. Well, guess what? They're baaaa-aaaack! From large knit patterns, to delicate pastel and nude versions, you're sure to find a style that suits you this season! You can even find fishnet socks if you literally just want to dip your toe in and try them out.

We've created totally opposite looks, to show examples of how you can make fishnets a loud, wild statement pieces or a classy, subtle detail. Check out the rundown of how we each styled them below!

MOLLY



Since I've been in a lot of theatre productions, black fishnets have been a staple in my dresser since I was about 14. I'm so happy they'll be making appearances on me off-stage now that they're trending IRL! They can add an edgy, textured look to just about any ensemble.


Even pairing them with a white top and jeans makes for a super snazzy outfit with tons of character. I'm especially loving them with ripped jeans, so they show through the rips. I've seen them styled a lot peeking up through the top of a waistline for a super '90s grunge look here, so I tried it out and I'm kind of loving it. You could style them so they barely peek out, or higher at your natural waistline like I did to ensure the least amount of muffin-top possibility ;) 


Since these fishnets are the statement piece, I went with super simple details otherwise. A delicate white, ruffled top balances out the tough look of the tights and jeans, and clogs and a choker add to the '90s theme I kind of have going. 


Blush pink sunnies and a hot pink lip add a warm, sunny vibe to the look. A black fringe clutch is the perfect balance of understated and fun that tops off the whole thing perfectly. 


I'm just loving fishnets, but if you're not quiiiiite sure about jumping in headfirst into nothing but nets, keep reading to see how you can ease into the trend or make it more work appropriate with Jodi's tips below!


Molly's Outfit Details: Black Fishnets, Top: H&M (similar here and here), Jeans: H&M (similar), Necklace: DIY, Clogs: Target (similar here and here), Clutch: H&M (similar), Sunglasses: Donna's Dress Shop (similar)

JODI



I know what you're thinking. "Where the heck are her fishnets? I thought this was a post about fishnets! Gimme all the fishnets!" 


Don't worry babies, I got your fishnets. 


Here they are! As Molly mentioned, I styled my fishnets in a way that allows you to try this trend out in a more subtle way. Nude fishnets are a great way to sneak a little bit of edge into your outfit while not alarming anyone in HR. 


Since nude fishnets go with literally everything, I focused on a retro-inspired work outfit. This top is going down in wardrobe history as one of my all time favorite tops ever. It features wonderfully big bell sleeves AND and fun peplum back! Plus, it's nearly identical to a much, much pricier top. What more could you ask for? 


Blue cropped flares and white heels make perfect partners to showcase the nude fishnets, and a bright orange straw clutch and huge navy earrings add an extra vintage touch. What do you think? Will you try this trend in a bold way, or tiptoe into it with barely-there neutrals? 


Jodi's Outfit Details: Top: SheIn, Cropped flares: Express, Fishnets: Simply Vera Wang (similar), Heels: Rock & Republic for Kohl's, Earrings: H&M, Clutch: Stitch Fix, Sunglasses: Quay

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DIY Lace Cropped Flares


What do you do when you find a totally dreamy pair of pants that are slightly more than you want to spend, and by the time they go on sale, you don't snag them in time? You make your own, of course!


I loved the edgy yet whimsical look of a pair of lace-trimmed cropped flares from Zara (see inset above), and figured I could probably take a crack at crafting my own from a pair of too-long flares I already owned, and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out! As an added bonus, I only spent about $14 on this whole project!


All you need besides your standard sewing supplies (sewing machine, pins, black thread), are a pair of black flare jeans (I swear H&M always has these on their sale racks in-store–I snagged some for $9.99, but they aren't online) and about a yard of wide lace trim. I got trim with elastic, since it was only $3.99 a yard compared to $10+/yd, and then used a seam-ripper to remove the elastic band.


Now that you've got all your components, let's get started!

First, cut the bottom flares off of the bottom of the jeans, so the pant length falls about 6 inches above your ankle. Prep for this by rolling up the jeans, while wearing them, and finding a good length (keeping in mind that the bell you sew back on will add length. Be sure to measure up from the bottom of the hem, so you cut off an even measurement all the way around each flare. Also, I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but lay the jeans flat before cutting them; don't cut them while you're still wearing them. ;)


Next, turn your jeans inside out and put them back on. Pin the inner seams from the knees down to create a slim fit pant. The drama will be in the attached flare we add back on, so taking the flare out of the top half is needed to create contrast.

Sew the inner seams of the pants and cut off excess material. Make sure they fit well right-side-out and set aside.


Now, grab your lace! Measure the lace out, so the length of each piece is the circumference of the bottom of the flare. Pin into a circle and sew together, to create one band of lace for each.

Next, turn your detached flares inside-out, pin the lace around the bottom hem, with about 1/2 inch exposed at the bottom. You can always go in and cut more off the hem later if you'd like. Pin the lace around the hem of the pant and sew into place around the upper edge of the lace using thread that perfectly matches the jeans.



Then, trim the tops of the detached flares so they measure about 6 1/2 in. tall. You can mock these up on the pants first to see where you'd like them to fall and customize the height.


Using a large needle and sewing by hand, double up black thread and make a large stitch around the top perimeter, about 1 inch down from the top of the flare. Pull the thread tight, so the fabric bunches and the inner circumference is the same as the slim leg pant you'll be attaching it to. Knot the thread and cut. Repeat for second flare.


Now, all you have to do is attach the flares to the pants. Pin the flares on where you want them to fall (probably a good idea to try them on again). Use a sewing machine to stitch over the bunching stitch you just made to attach both of the flares to the pant legs.


Last, you have the option of trimming the bottom of the jeans to create an uneven hemline, and expose different amounts of the lace around the perimeter. (I cut mine so the pant is slightly longer in the back than the front, or you could make more severe choppy cuts for an edgier look.


You're done! You've now got some ultra-stylish jeans that check off boxes for multiple Spring trends: flares, cropped pants, ruffles, and lace. No one will know that you've made these trendy trousers on the cheap and that they didn't cost and arm and a leg!

-Molly

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Trends 2017

This year has got us itching for Spring a little extra because we've had previews of warm spring-like weather much earlier than usual. We may or may not have already been stocking up on pieces recently that we're ready to bust out at a moment's notice. So, we've rounded up a few of the trends that we are extremely excited about this season. The best part is that there's tons of overlap between all of these trends, so you'll notice that some of our favorite finds had trouble fitting into just one category!


Trend #1: Topheavy
Giant ruffles, strong shoulders and humongous sleeves are all the rage this season. You will be hard pressed to find a top that doesn't offer some sort of embellishment or fancy structure right now and we can't wait to wear them all!

1. Loeil
2. Zara
3. Loeil
4. ASOS
5. Zara
6. H&M
7. Storets



Trend #2: Pinstripes
This trend is literally everywhere at the moment. Pinstripes are always a classic look, but you will also see them being mixed in with the topheavy trend we mentioned above. Whether in blue or white or other colors, this is sure to be a huge hit all spring and summer long!

1. Forever 21
2. ASOS
3. SheIn
4. SheIn
5. ASOS
6. SheIn
7. Forever 21
8. SheIn




Trend #3: Mules
Mules have been popping up slowly the last few months, but spring is the perfect time to really get into this trend! We're seeing mules in every way imaginable, with bows, open toes, high heels, flats, metallics...you name it, there is a mule to fit your taste.

1. Sam Edelman
2. Urban Outfitters
3. ASOS
4. ASOS
5. ASOS
6. Zara
7. Urban Outfitters
8. ASOS




Trend #4: Embroidery
Embroidery is another classic that is making a resurgence this season. You'll find it on everything from dresses and tops, to shoes, bag and even phone cases! It can be styled to be whimsical, boho, quirky, or super elegant; it crosses all genres of style.

1. Zara
2. Forever 21
3. Zara
4. Francesca's Boutique
5. Steve Madden
6. Forever 21
7. ASOS
8. Chicwish
9. Kate Spade
10. Steve Madden




Trend #5: Sheer Material
Sheer pieces are perfect for the warmer months, because you can layer them (another trend for spring) and not feel weighed down. Another thing you'll be sure to see is the combination of embroidery and sheer material.

1. Forever 21
2. Forever 21
3. Forever 21
4. ASOS
5. Anthropologie
6. Zara
7. SheIn



Trend #6: Bright Colors
It seems like common sense that bright colors would be in for spring, but these pop art colors are taking it to a whole new level. You can mix and match your bright colors, or keep it minimal with accessories. Either way, things will be looking really bright!

1. Banana Republic
2. Macy's
3. SheIn
4. Forever 21
5. Forever 21
6. Storets
7. Sam Edelman
8. Macy's
9. Topshop




Trend #7: Lucite Heels
The lucite heel trend is something that is a little unexpected, but super fun! Transparent details are going to be on everything from purses, to backpacks, to rain jackets this season, but we especially love it on shoes! It will run the whole gamut: sandals, heels and boots, and even mixed with clear material to give the illusion that you aren't wearing any shoes at all!

1. Zara 
2. Steve Madden
3. Forever 21
4. Steve Madden
5. ASOS
6. Go Jane
7. ASOS
8. Lulu's

What are you most looking forward to this spring? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Molly's St. Patrick's Day Style


Earlier this week, Jodi styled a sleek and dressy St. Paddy's day look that would be perfect for a date night or workday, so I'm here to bring you the other side of the (leprechaun's) coin! I went for a super comfy out-and-about style that would be warm and cozy in the roller coaster weather we're currently experiencing in the Midwest.


I love this green sparkly mock neck sweater. I guess you could wear it all winter, but I really like to reserve it for Christmas and St. Patrick's day, when you need lots of green and sparkles. To even out the top heavy look, I went with sleek high waisted shorts. 


A fun way to wear shorts while not freezing your bum off is to pair them with tights and over-the-knee boots. This combo really isn't any colder than wearing pants, in my opinion, but helps spice up the rut of black jeans I may or may not get stuck in.  


I accessorized with a quartz crystal necklace I picked up from the local jeweler, Opal Luna, since Ireland always reminds me of serene landscapes and gorgeous nature. A mint green purse added a different pop of green and hexagonal sunglasses gave some character to the otherwise pretty simple look. Bad girl braids are my new favorite casual weekend go-to look. Once you get the hang of braiding, this style takes about 5 minutes tops. Which is perfect if you're running out the door to get your St. Paddy's celebrating on!


How are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day? Let us know in the comments!


Outfit Details: Sweater: H&M (similar), Shorts: TJ Maxx (similar), OTK Boots: Forever 21 (similar), Purse: Target (similar), Necklace: Opal Luna

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes


Happy Wednesday! Jodi here to bring you a very special recipe just in time for St. Patrick's Day! My family has strong Irish roots, so St. Paddy's Day is like Christmas to us, you know, aside from Christmas being like Christmas to us. I digress. My aunt is a supreme baker, so I invited her to share her very special boozy Irish Car Bomb cupcake recipe so you can make some for your St. Patrick's Day celebration this Friday! I'll turn it over to Megan now. Bombs away! 


Being Irish and always trying to find creative ways to consume alcohol, my family has been drinking the Irish Car Bomb since before it was cool.  Like we had to tell the bartender how to make it, before it was cool.  When I found this recipe on the Brown Eyed Baker blog I had to try them.  I've been making them by special request every year since then.  If you have a fairly well stocked kitchen, you may only need to pick up the booze for these.  There's always some left over so it's a perfect excuse for an Irish coffee with your cupcake...


Guinness cupcakes with a Jameson whiskey ganache center and topped with an Irish Cream frosting.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cupcakes:

1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or whatever you have on hand
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

For the Baileys Frosting:

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Irish Cream, I use Sean's



DIRECTIONS:

Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard muffin tins with liners.

Place the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat just until it starts to come together, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Immediately pour it over the chocolate, then let it sit for two minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the mixture from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until a little thicker but still soft enough to be poured, about 10 minutes. (If it becomes too stiff, simply give it a good whisk and it will loosen up.)

Fill the Cupcakes: Using a decorator tip, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Divide the prepared ganache between the centers of the cupcakes.

Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.




As I'm eating them I always try to figure out what I love best.  The dark chocolate Guiness cake, the Jameson truffle, or the creamy, buttery icing.  I usually take a drink of my coffee, and eat one more just to be sure that it is the Jameson truffle that gets me.  Everytime.  Try these out this St. Patrick's Day and see what  your favorite part is! - Megan



Monday, March 13, 2017

Jodi's St. Patrick's Day Style


As you know, it's good luck to wear green on St. Patrick's Day. I also like to throw a little gold into the mix for extra luck and to represent that gold you're sure to find at the end of the rainbow!


Bright colors are going to be big this spring and I am really excited to experiment with adding more color to my wardrobe. This green dress is a great way to get started with that trend. The pattern has bits of gold and other subtle colors mixed throughout, making it the perfect spring floral dress. 


My favorite straw bag and gold accessories make this not only perfect for St. Paddy's day, but also for transitioning into the warmer seasons ahead. I'm feeling lucky, I think we're in for warmer weather soon! 


Outfit details: Dress: Modcloth, Heels: Topshop, Bag: Cult Gaia