Summer Swimmies

Contrary to how it may appear that I have never worn a swim suit since my skin is roughly the color of a crisp white bed sheet, I have! Gotta pile on that SPF, but it happens. And with the weather finally warming up, I’m just itching to soak up a little sun (and this year I’ll have a yard in which to soak it up!). So, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite looks this year.

 photo Swim-2013-Faves_zps1d607c30.jpg

I may not have jumped on the adorable high-waisted bandwagon last year—I admit I’m still a little wary of what these tan lines may look like—but I ordered the bottom half of Look Three to pair with a navy and white polka-dot bandeau I picked up at the GAP. I just received them this week and so far my husband’s review is that he doesn’t understand them. He made a point to say that it’s not like he doesn’t like them, he just doesn’t get it. He followed this with saying that I look like I’m from Mad Men. How that would not be a compliment is beyond me. So, I suppose only summer will tell. Any thoughts on high waisted bikini bottoms?

One and Two: Urban Outfitters, Three: ASOS, Four and Five: Modcloth.

Miss Swiss

Well, it’s cold out. Official sweater weather, if you will. Which I suppose is acceptable since we’ve now passed Thanksgiving. So, sweaters ahead!

This is one of my favorite winter sweaters because it hits all the important requirements: warm and practical, classic but fun. The black and white pattern gives this a timeless winter-y look while the shoulder frills make it a bit more of a statement piece.

Black skinny jeans are the perfect neutral item to set the sweater off. But, just when you’re worrying that too much black and white is getting boring, there’s a pop of green in these fun moccasins I picked up. Whew. Shoot, count my hair color in and I’m downright festive.

And when the cold, dry weather hits, my hair has a tendency to look like I put my finger in an electrical socket after taking off my scarf and coat. Haphazardly pinning up braids is a fun way to keep the hair in check. It’s a simple play on Swiss braids. I feel like between the updo and the sweater, I should be running round the Alps or at least drinking some hot cocoa.

Sweater: Modcloth, Pants: H&M, Shoes: Modcloth

Happy sweater weather!

Moonrise Kingdom Halloween Costumes

Months ago, we weren’t halfway through watching Moonrise Kingdom in the theater when Andy leans over, grabs my arm and whispers, “Halloween costumes.” Which sounds like a normal enough thing for one person to say to another. But this is coming from a guy who wore the same Halloween costume for four years in a row. That just about describes his level of enthusiasm for the holiday. Just along for the ride, but surely not driving the Halloween car.

So, you better believe I grabbed these characters by the horns and went with it. If you haven’t seen Moonrise Kingdom (which you should!), the story is set in the mid-sixties and follows Suzy Bishop and Sam Shukusky, two misfit twelve-year-olds on the island of New Penzance, who run away to be with each other. (The photo below is from the movie, check out more here.)

Though I kept my eye out for costumes items for a few months, I didn’t find much and, being empty-handed, finally had to get pretty serious a couple of weeks before Halloween. I soon discovered that there were no pink dresses, saddle oxford shoes or coonskin hats where we live. Believe me, I looked everywhere. This meant sewing and improvising and sewing more. Yep, I sewed a coonskin hat out of furry fabric. Something I never thought I would do in my life.

I also made the dress I wore. Yes, from scratch. It was the first time I’d made something from a pattern and not from deconstructing other clothes or using existing pieces as a guide. For those of you who don’t know me too well, it was kind of a miracle I read through the instructions without just jumping in and cutting all over the place, much less followed the directions all the way through. But I made it and it stayed in one piece and it looked like a real dress! That’s the idea, I guess.

But talk about a learning experience. Like when the lady at the fabric store emphasized that I should go by my measurements and not size, which put me at eight sizes larger than I usually wear. So I trusted her, but when I actually put the dress on for the first time, it was like a large tent. And that, if you’re new to sewing, you should read the directions 28970 times before you do anything drastic like cut fabric. No mistakes there, but there might have been if I’d only read them 28969 times.

After a week of work and a lot of pinpricks later, I couldn’t be happier that I’d gone for it or more thrilled about how it turned out. Then, a few finishing touches of the binoculars (what she pretends is her magic power), bug earrings Sam fashioned for her (and pierced her ears for), bold blue eyeshadow (purposely with the finesse of a 12-year-old), lots of time with a blowdryer and hairspray to get my short bangs locked into place, and the proper socks and shoes… I was the spitting image of Suzy (apart from being 12 and lopping off my hair, that is).

When it was all said and done, besides our good friends, only  a few people we saw that night recognized who we were. Andy was asked if he was Davy Crockett more than once and I was even asked if I was a pilgrim (I cannot make this stuff up, folks). But we loved them and it was worth it for the few people we didn’t know who approached us and told us how, how perfect the costumes were.

On Andy: Coonskin hat: homemade with furry fabric from Hobby Lobby, Glasses: Walmart, Shirt: His grandfather’s from 1951, Brooch: Homemade from vintage jewelry, Pants: The Gap, Shoes: ASC

On Molly: Dress: Made from Simplicity pattern 3833– Dress A (collar and cuffs freehanded) from JoAnn Fabric, Earrings: Homemade from plastic bugs, Socks: Walmart, Shoes: Urban Outfitters

It may take longer, but we sure do love homemade costumes. Check out some of our friends’ below: Daryl from the Walking Dead, a cactus and Fifty Shades of Grey. Did you make a costume this year? It was worth it, right?

Autumnal Shorts

Isn’t “autumnal” a wonderful word? I’m trying to fit it casually into as many conversations as I can, and I count it as a success that I only sometimes get weird looks for working into all sorts of things. Autumn’s always been my very favorite season. It’s the perfect time to mix spring, summer and winter clothes. Throw a little brown in the mix and viola! You’ve got an autumn wardrobe.

Essentially anything that qualifies as “chic grandma fashion” fits into fall-time seamlessly, and since this is what at least a chunk of my wardrobe seems to be, it works perfectly for me. The muted, vintage-y, old-couch-conjuring patterns are all made for this time of year and I couldn’t be more excited.

I also have to point out that there is a very small window where you can get away with wearing wool shorts. Believe me, I’ve tried during the summer. Not cool. In the most literal way possible. We are living in that shorts-with-tights appropriate window right now, so you better believe I’m wearing the heck out of these babies.

To accent this basic fall number, gold nails are perfect. Gold is always my favorite nail color, so it’s especially nice when it actually coordinates with what I’m wearing. So, here’s to wearing things you really cannot get away with in any other season! And grandma-chic fashion! And autumnal-osity of all sorts.

Outfit details: shirt: Zara, shorts: Urban Outfitters, shoes: BC Footwear, nail polish: Revlon Golden, lips: Burt’s Bee’s Rhubarb, eyes: Covergirl Mink

Happy Birthday, America!

Hope all of you (fellow Americans) had a wonderful and safe 4th of July! This was kind of a weird one for me. It was my first 4th ever not going home to Missouri, since it fell on a Wednesday. Missouri: where my parents live out in the country and we set off fireworks all day long. This year I never got that up-close fireworks smell, and I must say, I never realized how much I’d miss it.

Andy and I did see an awesome little fireworks show in Illinois, in addition to a day of grilling and major deep cleaning (whoo!). So, all in all, it was a great day. I think I’ll just have to rethink my definition of the 4th of July.

I will chalk up my obnoxiously patriotic outfit to this searching for a new definition. That fact, and the fact that this is a “natural” holiday for me, since for years people have teased me about being so patriotic (red hair, pale white skin and blue eyes… get it?). It’s all in good fun, so I own it.  And a little vintage flair adds less irony to any situation, right?!

When it’s this hot, I feel like simple is best. Temperatures exceed 100, and an updo is the only way you’ll see my hair. The high-waisted shorts and a vintage cut tank mixed with an orangey red lipstick add a playful but classic flair without being fussy. Did you bust out any fun patriotic pieces for the 4th of July?

Outfit details: Shorts: Urban Outfitters, Shirt: Urban Outfitters, Shoes: Urban Outfitters, Bow: Claire’s, Bracelet: Vintage (my grandmother’s), Nails: Sally Hansen Sonic Boom Lips: Revlon Kiss Me Coral

Feeling Dotty

‘Tis the season for summery events. Graduations, weddings, and the like. Which, of course means breaking out outfits that are slightly dressier than the-ole-day-to-day!

I snazzed up this lovely dress with some thrifted polka dot earrings, which I think helped to create a vintage-y overall look.

For the life of me (and the ump-teen people I’ve polled) I cant figure out if the detail on this dress is black or navy. It looks clearly like one or the other in certain lights. Unfortunately, I cannot be followed around by the same light source all day. So, I played it safe and went with brown shoes. Which ended up matching pretty perfectly. I picked them up in Japan and, like all shoes I seemed to try on there, they are incredibly comfortable. Aren’t they lovely?

This is just one of those outfits that makes you feel a little old-fashioned and a lot happy.

Outfit details: Dress: The Limited, Earrings: Thrifted, Shoes: Grand Fleur, Lips: Burt’s Bees’s Rhubarb Lip Shimmer

Happy June!!

Outfit: Cool, Breezy and Colorful

The summer heat has finally hit. Which means, anything reminiscent of sleeves or form-fittedness on any day that I may spend more than 15 minutes outside is out. Cool and breezy is in.

This light dress epitomizes breezy-ness. The fabric is so pretty and flowy.

The vibrant orange-y red is perfectly complimented by teal accents. The green tinge in the blue creates near complimentary colors that play off of each other so well.

This fun belt is an old piece of my mom’s and the shoes are the perfect item to boost the dressy factor.

Outfit details: Dress: Target, Shoes: Target, Belt: my mom’s, Earrings: Kohl’s, Lips: Revlon Kiss Me Coral, Nails: Sally Hansen Sonic Boom

Do you have any favorite outfits that keep you cool and breezy?