Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Retro Milkmaid Braids

Milkmaid braids are effortlessly cool and can really take an ensemble to the next level. But, for those of us with super fine hair, it may kind of look like 2 small ropes sitting on your head from a distance, without any extra oomph or body to give the style any shape. That's where the teased retro part comes in! I think it really fancies the look up too, for weddings and nice events.

I find that this style works better if I haven't washed my hair that day. So, it's also a perfect look to throw together when you don't have time to wash your hair, too. Once you get styling it down, it only takes about 5 minutes to do.

First, start by teasing the top portion of your hair and secure with a couple of bobby pins. See my baby beehive tutorial for the breakdown on this.

Next, divide your hair in half, taking care to pull gently, so you don't pull the securing pins out. Braid your hair out to the side, pulling straight out from your hear and secure with a clear elastic. 

Then do the same to the other side. You could now pose as Pippi Longstocking!

Take one braid, and cross over your head, securing by pushing a bobby pin upwards into the end of the braid by the clear elastic. Secure with at least one more pin on the top of your head until the braid doesn't feel loose.

Take the remaining braid and fold the base over the end of the first secured braid. Fold over the top of your head and tuck near the base of the first braid. Secure with an upwards bobby pin again and pin until it no longer feels loose. If the braids are poking out at the ends, use bobby pins to fold the opposite braid over loose hairs and pin away.

Next, remove the bobby pins in the back of your head. They may have separated by now; that's OK! They help keep the top portion mostly in place, so you don't end up with a part down the back of your whole head.

Smooth the beehive hair downwards and out to either side until it rests nicely and you're happy with the shape of your pouf as a whole. Pull out any hair you want to frame your face. Secure the U-shaped loops the hair forms in the back by pushing bobbypins upwards into the hair under the base of the braids on either side. Use the end of a rattail comb to pull up any sections that you want to poof out more.

Last but definitely not least hairspray the living bejeezus out of the whole thing (insane face encouraged) and ta-da! You're ready for a fancy event, or simply a super glamorous third-day-after-washing-your-hair look.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Black Overalls

Since last fall, it's become apparent that overalls are back, and there's nothing we can do to fight it. Unlike grunge styles in years past, now it's trendy to pair them with heels, a sophisticated top and jewelry. These are not your OshKosh B'gosh style, here. They are even kind of *gasp* classy.

I've tried on a lot of pairs, and just didn't think they were going to work for my body, so I resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to live vicariously through countless Instagrammers who styled them beautifully. Until now.

I gave these a shot, because I love the idea of black overalls. I feel like it helps up the classy factor by not being denim, and I own about 4 times the amount of black jeans as denim, so it would suffice to say that black jeans are 100% in my comfort zone. Speaking of comfort. You guys! I am becoming a full-on overall advocate. It feels like you're cheating by running around in your PJs or something, but they're socially acceptable!

I paired the 'alls (can that be shortened? I'm going to see if this catches on. Maybe " 'eralls" ?) with a classic black and white striped top and cutout heeled booties. To up the dressy factor, I thought a red lip and feminine jewelry with a sleek hair bow would be perfect.

A braid helped keep the look playful, but the teased part of it helps add that retro flair I always sneak in. To style this, check out my baby beehive hair tutorial and simply French braid the rest, then remove the bobby pins.


So, I guess the moral of this story is: if there's a new trend that you'd really like to try but you feel like it won't work for your body, don't give up! Maybe that 44th time you try it on will be the winner ;)

Shirt: The Limited, Overalls: Target, Booties: Target (similar), Purse: Urban Outfitters (similar), Sunglasses: H&M, Earrings: Target (similar), Marble Ring: Forever 21


Friday, September 25, 2015

Fall White

In the past, I tended to steer clear of white. I think I was always under the impression that white just wasn't flattering. Then along came this dress and changed my mind.

I actually got it to wear for my bridal shower, so you might recognize it from this post. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to wear it much more this year, but I decided to chuck that old rule of not wearing white after Labor Day out the window and make the most of the mild temperatures and transition this beaut into fall. All you gotta do is switch out the accessories and voila! A crisp, fresh fall outfit. 

This dress is made of a sturdy, scuba material too, so it's actually perfect for cooler temps. It also has a great silhouette with a full skirt and flirty top. Plus, it has pockets! Both Molly and I have made it clear that there is nothing better than dresses with pockets. 

These shoes have been in my closet for years. They are perfect for fall and winter. Deep reds and burgundy are definitely in right now and they complement your fall whites perfectly! The little bit of animal print really makes them stand out too. They'd also make a good addition to a Cruella de Vil Halloween costume, dontcha think? 

Outfit details: Dress: ASOS, Shoes: Naughty Monkey, Clutch: H&M, Sunglasses: Modcloth


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Molly's Whimsical DIY Wedding

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. Since I had such a blast planning the retro and whimsical details of the wedding, I thought this would be the perfect time share a little slice of the day with you!

Everyone says it,  but our wedding really was the best day of our lives (thus far!). Not only were we surrounded by all our loved ones, but it absolutely was a labor of love. We were married in my parents' yard with decorations I made by hand. We had desserts made with wild blackberries from their property, flowers my mom arranged, chickens my aunt helped corral, napkins my mother-in-law sewed, and landscaping my dad spent countless hours on. Jodi even did my makeup (she's so good at it, I'm disappointed she can't do my makeup on her own wedding day, but I guess she has more important things to worry about!). This day was a group effort if there ever was one.

When first planning our wedding, my mom was doing her best to wrap her head around the theme I was going for, and I finally said something about how it was basically an upscale picnic. That clicked, and we took it and ran. I could go on for entirely too long about the artistic direction and a breakdown of the day, but this is a blog post and not a novel, so I've rounded up six of my favorite (and most unique) aspects of the day to share with you.

1. Vintage Galore. From thrifted tablecloths, to rented mismatched China and kitschy planter centerpieces, to my wedding jewelry, we mixed old and new to make a whimsical wonderland. Somehow this crazy vision of mine came together and I couldn't have been more pleased. Our families were probably relieved not to have to be on constant lookout for $5 dining tables, too!

2. Chickens! My parents raise small flocks for eggs, and we didn't think it made sense to have them cooped up (pun intended) while everyone was celebrating around them! So, my mom painted the coop to match the d├ęcor, we added some fun flowers to the chicken wire, and put them in little handmade bow ties to match our colors. And, yes, they did specifically get some beautiful white fluffy silkies (or as we called them, "wedding chickens") just for the event! These were also great entertainment for the kids.

3. Thumbprint Guest Book. Our unconventional guest book was another favorite of mine. Our friend, Katie, who illustrated our programs, too, drew us a lovely tree that people added their fingerprints to. It was perfect to have this thumbprint tree because we actually got married under a large oak tree. It's now hanging in our living room, rather than tucked away in a book, which I love.

4. Mismatched bridesmaids. Another decision I'm so glad I made was to have mismatched bridesmaids dresses. I gave everyone a color swatch to aim for, and I love the eclectic and individual look it created. This wouldn't necessarily work for every wedding, but it was perfect for an upscale picnic.

5. Outdoor games. I think sometimes if the wedding and reception are in the same place, there can be a bit of awkward downtime while the couple shoots a couple of photos and greets everyone. This provided a fun family and adult activity that people really enjoyed.

6. DIY Hairpiece. My homemade hairpiece was the wildcard winner of the day. I looked high and low for retro-looking hairpieces, and all of them were, um, a little out of my price range. So, I got some vintage jewelry from a couple of places on Etsy, and a hair comb from Hobby Lobby. I figured I didn't have anything to lose if it didn't work. It ended up working perfectly and costing less than $10!

These lovely photos featured throughout are from Scout Photo, and having them take our photos was another great decision on our part. We loved the editorial and un-posed style of their photography.

I'll end with this video from the amazingly talented couple at Captured in Frames. We weren't going to spring for a videographer at all until we saw their videos. It ended up being the best decision of the day besides choosing each other. They do actual magic in filming and editing and showed this movie short at the end of the reception that night! Watching this recap while eating popcorn with our favorite people with fireworks in the background was the perfect ending to a perfect day.



Monday, September 21, 2015

Couldn't Pleat Me More


A couple of years ago, I took a trip to Japan to visit my best friend, who got a job there after school. While unfortunately, she isn't a huge fan of the super-cutesy vintage-inspired fashion that is everywhere there, it was all I could do not to buy four more suitcases and fill them with clothes. From peter pan collars, to little bows and lace details, it was far from the schoolgirl look with platform shoes I'd so wrongly envisioned I'd be seeing on the streets.


Pleated skirts were in abundance in every style and color, but I especially loved the pocket detailing and uneven pleats on this one. (Though I may have gotten at least a couple of other pleated skirts there, too!) I also found these adorable 1920s-inspired heels while on the trip as well. I rounded out the ensemble with a flowy white top, classic tortoiseshell sunglasses, and some simple jewelry to let the skirt really shine.

I've talked before about how I can't get enough '20s style here, and it seems to be a recurring theme. After this skirt had already become an established staple in my wardrobe, I even caught a similar look on Gillian Darmody from Boardwalk Empire. Girl stole my look!

Do you have a favorite era that inspires your style? I think for me, it's a straight up tie between the '20s and the '60s. You can't make me choose!

Top: Forever 21 (similar here), Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters (similar), Skirt: Boutique in Japan, Shoes: Boutique in Japan, Ring: Vintage, Bracelets: Zara, Tortoiseshell Barrette: J. Crew  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Red, White and Ruffled

I have a confession to make. If an article of clothing is checked in any way (plaid, gingham, you name it) I immediately fall in love with it and have to have it. Heck, if anything has the slightest plaid pattern on it, I turn into Smeagol and start murmuring to myself. This has led to half of my closet, and home, being checked in some way. 

This skirt was certainly no exception. Plus, it was on sale. Can we say no-brainer? Since the temps are still hovering in the mid 80's here, I figured it was a good time to get some last minute wear out of this outfit. The deep reds help it feel slightly fall like, while the crisp white ruffles on the crop top keep it fun and light. I am always looking for an occasion to wear these shoes as well and this seemed like the perfect opportunity! 

Speaking of plaid, are you guys excited about the plaid items coming to Target? You can bet your bottom dollar that I have been stalking the Target website keeping an eye out for them. I believe some more got released a couple of days ago, so go and get ya some! I'm waiting for the plaid mounted deer head (fake, of course) to make it's debut. I wonder how my fiance will feel about hanging that over our mantle? 

Outfit details: Top: Viva Aviva, Skirt: The Limited, Wedges: Seychelles, Clutch: The Limited, Sunglasses: GAP 

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