Friday, July 29, 2011

What I Wore: Fiesta Dinner Style

So recently I got a iPhone (whomp whomp).  I do love the heck out of it.  It is a phone, camera, mini-computer, music station, etc all in one.  My purse is so much lighter.

Now I will say that I have about 1,000 toy camera apps on my phone (more like 6 or so) & I love them.  This one was taken with Instaplus (an app to go with Instagram).  It was before I stepped out to a delicious Mexican Restaurant with some friends.

Look how hipster I am.....

So I thought I'd share with you my summer go to outfit inspiration from, guess where, Polyvore!

Check the set out here

During the summer I live in casual clothes.  For me (my size & my modesty) sometimes sleevless & shorts aren't an option.  I either opt for shorts with a tee from Forever21 or shorts with a light cardigan. 
I like wearing cardigans into the summer because layers are my friend.
I suggest picking up cardigans that are jersey knit & short sleeve to keep cool during the heat.
Strappy sandals, a messenger bag, & watch are essential.  I can't live if I don't have my watch on.
(I forgot it last night & was constantly looking at my bare wrist!)

I also mix brown & black.  I think if there is an equal mix that the taboo isn't too bad.

What do you live in in the Summer time? 

Do you have instagram? follow me! I always post them to twitter too!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fashion for Less: Stunna Shades need them.  Or at least I do.  Pretty much year-round I sport some crazy shades, but I never pay over five bucks for them. When you're as dedicated to frugal and eye-catching eye-wear as I am, you begin acquire a hit-list of places for cheap lenses.  My top three are Charlotte Russe, Big Lots, and Gabriel Brothers (or Rugged Wearhouse for those of you in the south). All of these places carry interesting frames that won't cost you more than the change that you can scrounge up from the floor of your car.  These are some of my current favorite styles, including classic wayfarers, bright colors and prints, architectural frames, and Jenni's favorite nudes.  shades

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We Love Today: "Nudity"

When it's too darn hot outside, everyone wants to be naked, but nobody wants to be arrested. It's a catch-22! Here's how I deal with the heat, and how sometimes those naked pieces can bolster your wardrobe.

Shoes are a good place to start your career in acceptable nudity.  There's something sexy about barely-there shoes, and I tried a very sheer pinkish topcoat instead of my usual brights. I personally prefer my coral nails, but it was fun and a good excuse to buy $2 nail polish from Charlotte Russe.

Yep, that's my underwear drawer. Notice the set right on top - nude bra, nude panties.  These aren't the sexiest things I own, but they are incredibly useful, and I would recommend them for every woman.  I hate to break it to you, but everyone can see that white bra through your white shirt.  Sorry!  Just for the record, I prefer bras by Jockey.  More expensive, but so worth it.                

I found this beautiful little shift dress at Kohl's, by Lauren Conrad, for $18.  It's a little big on me, but all I had to do was add a belt, put up my hair, and choose some fly accessories.  The shoes are Steve Madden, which I got at Ross.  If you're not crazy about heels, wedges will definitely work, as will black.  It also works for fall/winter with tights and a coat that covers the hem, preferably worn open, and at night.

Other than pulling a Madonna, what indecent fashion exposures lurk in your closet, waiting to sell you a watch?  Let us know here, and follow us on Twitter!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekly Inspiration: Nautical Necessities

Nautical Necessities

Nautical Necessities by est1839 featuring a slouchy cardigan

In a previous post I mentioned my affinity for nautical summer style as opposed to, say, the surfer girl, pastel princess, hippie, or Daisy Duke.  Here are some ideas for crafting such a style.  It's a little more refined than your typical sun-dress, yet it still has a certain edge to it.
Smooth sailing!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fashion For Less: Watch Out!

Hello!  This week has just flown by.  Lately I've been unpacking, working, & haven't found time to blog.  These past weeks have been all about pining to Pinterest, collecting fun images, & plain 'ol relaxing in my down time.

So now that I have a whole collection of things I want to share, I thought I'd start by sharing an image that has two styles/accessories I love: scarves & watches.

I love the double watch look & often sported it during college.
I still have some of my accessories stashed away that need to be unpacked 
so I can't wait to get back to this trend!
I also have a rack full of scarves & I remember when I fell in love with them.
This one in a cute little bow is to die for!

I like to say I collect scarves, but the truth is, I pretty much collect everything!
I love the unique finds from thrift shops & other second hand stores.

Since I love polyvore, I decided to look through a few pages of watches to find some 
that I'd love to sport double.

My fave place to find unique watches? The thrift store!
All of the watches in this set are $10 & up.  The top right one is over $2,000! (wwwhhhaaatttt!?!?!?)

But you can totally DIY one of them with an old watch face & leather/fabric from the craft store.
I am working on making a really cool watch DIY to share here! 
(keep a look out!)

What are your fave accessories? I'd love to know!

ps. I am linking to this great Friday Fancies link party over at Long Distance Loving!
Check out the other awesome entries & vote!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shop With Us: How Trendy Are We, Really?

Wednesday is usually our DIY day, but since I'm not yet as crafty as my graduated-with-a-degree-in-art colleagues, I thought I'd be real with you and discuss trends.

Trends can be a fun, interesting take on current fashion, or a designer's specific interpretation of the patterns of each season, and that's all well and good, but does it actually affect your style?

One of my big rules about shopping frugally is this: If you have to buy something else to make that garment work in the most basic way, it's not worth it.  If those shoes hurt in the store, leave them there.  You'll have money to blow on more important things, like sushi and pedicures.

However, every now and then, I'll see a trend or read another fashion blog (like this one) about one, and I'll think, I can totally do that. Here's how.

Snakeskin print has all the sensuality of a snake without any of the drawbacks of using actual snakeskin. The catch: It can be dated and overwhelming on a large piece of clothing, like a dress or even a top.  It looks best on accessories, like my fly shades ($5 at Charming Charlie) or on a great pair of flats, like the ones at Old Navy.  Bonus - Old Navy also carries flats in other animal prints, like zebra. Love!

Granny-chic is now a big catchphrase in the fashion world, and it can be really really awesome, but even though Moe's handbag is amazing, I'm not sure the style is for me.  I like certain things about it, such as cat-eye sunglasses and brooches, but I love showing my legs. I saw this sweater in Kohl's and although I didn't buy it, I thought it was a good marriage of the two ideas, with the retro pattern/color palette and the modernized drape.  If you want to own it when there isn't a heat advisory throughout your state, I'd recommend a tank or graphic tee and skinny jeans.

This little gem of a wallet belongs to my cousin Becca, and I am like, totes jeal.  I covet it, and the coolest part about it is that it's the work of a local artist in Boston, who is a friend of my other cousin, Alison.  I'll let you know who as soon as I get more information about them, and definitely an Etsy account.

I hope you try trends, as long as they don't involve tye-dye.  Bonsoir!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We Love today: Frugal Feathered Finds

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of lovely ladies shaking their tail feathers. And by that I mean wearing feathers…in their hair, as earrings and in some daring cases sewn on as fringes.  The trend is really taking off (like a bird….okay, enough with the puns), and I wholeheartedly approve.  Recently, at the Delaplane Strawberry Festival, my friend Christi and I found some really cool feather earrings for 5 bucks from a craft vendor. 

I like them because they are just slightly longer than my hair and they match it too.  It makes it seem like if I could grow feathers, that’s the color they would be….and I’m not sure why, but that appeals to me. I also like that they fork off like a swallow’s tail.

Christi, in addition to these earrings from the festival, found some lovely blue clip-in feathers for her hair (at the Purple Fern in Winchester). Both items are an aqua blue hue that match her several bird tattoos.   It’s a really lovely thing when someone’s outer appearance matches their character, and Christi’s avian accessories just seem to complement her personality effortlessly.

These would also be simple and inexpensive to make on your own….I’ll roll that around in my head for a while and see if I can come up with something worth sharing!

Your fine feathered friend,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inspiration Board: Is it too soon for tights?

It is the middle of Summer & all I can think about is breaking out my tights! I love to look at style inspiration Kaelah Bee from Little Chief Honey Bee for some tights inspiration.

Recently she started a love affair with heels and is now sharing the love between her flats & her new affinity for height!  I love the way she pairs her tights with open toed shoes.  I have the perfect pair that I want to wear with tights when the weather cools off

These from Claire's for $26

What are your favorite pieces to transition from summer to fall?
Am I right, is this a bit too soon? 
Its just been so hot here that I want it to cool down!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What We Wore to the Black-and-White Ball

In the July issue of Glamour (one of our fave magazines), there was a shoot with Janelle Monae, a soulful singer and fashion maven, known to wear almost exclusively black and white outfits. I know a lot of people associate black and white with Truman Capote or Audrey Hepburn, but I think it's definitely still awesome with frontrunners like Janelle Monae.  I tried my own interpretations - here they are!

I thought this looked more classically black-and-white, and more ladylike, channeling Audrey for sure.  Patent-leather kitten heels, a white sundress, and a black sash.  I also tied my hair in an unfussy knot, and my makeup was demure (eyeliner only on the top lid, mascara, foundation, lip balm).  Honestly, it wasn't that comfortable, and I wasn't about to put on a big floppy hat to go to the races.  A mint julep would be nice, though.

This is my salute to Ms. Monae and her wonderful re-interpretation of Capote's Black and White Ball.  There's still a sliver of femininity, but it's much more powerful, with a men's blazer, faux-croc cluth (how fab is that? It's from ModCloth) and velvet heels with zippers by Steve Madden.  Her style advice? Red lips, or nails, or shoes.

So, what do you think? Have we succeeded in re-telling this classic tale? Send us your awesome black-and-white outfits here, or find us on Twitter.

(Special thanks to my photographer, Will, my younger brother. You're awesome - TEAM WILL.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DIY: Getting in the Skein of Things- Knitted Summer Accessories for the Scarf Lover

Hi, my name is Amy and my favorite season is winter. This is a fact about me that seems to illicit strange looks from most people.  I just can't help but to love being able to completely cover my body in as much fabric as possible, and sadly this is just not practical in the summer months.  Especially not this week, with highs in the mid-nineties.  Despite this, I was suddenly inspired this weekend to pick back up one of my most beloved winter pastimes: knitting! This came about because one of my good friends (who happens to be studying fibers at JMU) made an awesome electric blue crocheted necklace that somehow beautifully and gracefully captured her refined DIY aesthetic.  She made a long single strand (I’m talking really long) and then wound it around her neck to create a many-layered necklace.  It has all the soft cuddliness of a scarf with none of the heat.  It looked something like this, although this is a version my mom and I recreated for you guys out of some olive drab yarn I had laying around.

I also decided to make my own design for a necklace by knitting instead of crocheting (because for some reason that’s easier for me).  I made it 6 stitches across and just kept on going until I could wrap it around my neck a few times.  In the photograph I twisted it a few times and tied it into place to give it the swirled look.  The haphazard nature of these projects is so attractive to me because they can be as simple or as complex as I (or you!)  want.   They could be used as a necklace, headband, belt, or bracelet. You could sew buttons on them or weave beads into them, and best of all, you can pretty much quit as soon as you get tired of doing it and still have a wearable item.  They make great projects for beginning crafters, and immensely gratifying ones for those who are more experienced. 

Needless to say, this is a great use for that weird leftover half-skein that’s taking up space in your life.  Even if you bought yarn to make them you could easily make 4 with one skein (which costs between 2 and 5 dollars usually).  So cheap.  

Beginners can easily replicate my design and my friend’s design with these directions from Lion yarn.

For those experienced with knitting and crocheting, this pattern from Aromy’s Originals will give you a more challenging and lovely necklace from your leftovers.

Anyone else have creative and fashionable uses for leftover craft goodies or yarn?  We’d love to hear about them!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We Love Today: I Always Need More...

That's right, I love me some accessories.  Working at Claire's for about 3 years didn't help either.  I'd walk out of the store after each shift having bought loads of rings, necklaces, etc.  I loved it!  I got to see the new things before any one else did.

I am sure you all know about pinterest, so here are some things I love 

ps. you can follow all of our pinterest boards by clicking on the links in the side bar!

I took a jewelry class in college where we cast rings & what not.
I would have loved to take it again because the first time was all about learning how to make things.
I never really got the hang of it until the end of the class.
I love silver & gold together.  Is that wrong??

This watch just screams style.  I have a thing for collecting watches.
Well, let's say I have a thing for collecting things
I think this can totally be DIY'ed! Stay tuned for an update on that!

It's about the middle of summer now & you would think I'd have my full summer wardrobe all put together.  But since I've been moving, that is totally not the case! 
I still have loads to bring over to the new house.

Do you have any Summer accessory staples?
Is there something you wear all year round?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

She's Out of My League

If I had $600 to spend on just one item of clothing, it'd be this dress. 

Maybe one day.

 Fashionably yours,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fashion For Less Friday

One of the many perks of being an artist/writer/musician/printmaker/blogger is that we have equally (if not more) talented friends. Our friend Jared is a gifted photographer, and today he snapped pics of me in some of my frugalest finds. I'll share them with you, plus outfit ideas and shopping tips.

I found this funky safari-inspired romper ($8) at Forever 21, and although rompers pose slightly more wardrobe malfunction (add a few minutes when powdering your nose) risk, they're definitely worth it for the daring. Since it's summer and so hot, I wore a locket ($4) and a bag, but ordinarily I would wear tights and a cardigan and maybe a scarf. Yes, you should be totes jeal of my ($12) Chanel bag, and yes, any major city Goodwill has troves of fashion treasures. If that's not an option, those denim espadrilles were just $12 at Roses in Farmville.

This adorable girl is Molly, who is a food and culture junkie, not to mention an amazing singer. We went to my favorite Vietnamese place, then she agreed to be photographed for this article because that beautiful maxi dress with its violet-hued paisley came from Kohl's ($15).

I guess I felt extra jetset today, so I put on another thrifty ($3) find from another Goodwill, albeit not from a major city. This dress is super versatile, which is helpful when establishing a style. Here I wore it with those amazing lime-green suede pumps ($8 at Gabriel Brothers), but ordinarily I would wear an embellished sandal, sunglasses, and maybe a hat with a large floppy brim. It's a classic shape, but it definitely needs a belt ($15 Betsey Johnson at Marshalls), and the wider your belt is, the littler your waist looks. I also recommend a chunky bangle and dangling earrings, or a standout pendant. Whichever you prefer - make it your own.

This is one of my favorite looks - the idea that you can throw on a chic little dress with a few interesting details and look great everywhere. I found this adorable ($5) dress at Rugged Wearhouse in Lynchburg, and I've nicknamed it my "Parisian bistro dress", because I can put it on and all I need is my bicycle and a baguette. I paired it with ($10) pop-art flats from Urban Outfitters, a picnic-basket-shaped necklace by Betsey Johnson ($25 at Nordstrom Rack), and a wonderful Marc Jacobs bag ($58 - pricy, I know, but I love it, at Saks Off Fifth).  I call it my "Inception bag", because it's a handbag with a sketch of a handbag on it. Or a dream within a dream.

Which finds are you most proud of? Let us know right here, right now.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

What We Wore

A few weeks ago during a free magazine reading session at the Longwood bookstore (this anecdote is making me nostalgic already), I handed a copy of Nylon magazine to my friend.  He looked at me skeptically, but having just looked over everything of real interest to him he had nothing to lose.  After a few moments of quiet contemplation he looked up and exclaimed “I wish more girls dressed like this!”

 One of the things I love about Nylon is the way that they pick a character (often from an older film, but sometimes from pop culture in general) and outline interesting modern variants on their style.  They also tell you new ways to construct outfits and transform blasé looks to blazing ones (à la Nicki Minaj).  I love their ability to make weirdness work, and they always introduce me to styles I want to emulate.  In addition to this they always include really interesting color schemes, which I particularly love because I have a tendency to dress in the same colors all the time (primarily blacks, grays, and blues).

So in the true sense of their experimental attitude, I often choose a theme and base my outfit for the day around it.  It helps me utilize the funkier pieces in my wardrobe and it also makes that certain weirdness blend in a little better. This particular outfit was M.I.A. inspired, and I wore it on my Friday off to run errands on a hot day made even hotter by my A.C. being broken in my car.

  Often in the summer light colors and floral patterns rule.  While this is a pretty and classic look, I like to break out of the ordinary, and this outfit does that without being too strange for everyday.  I like to sub out the traditional summer sun dress for a high-waisted skirt paired with an African batik print top.  The top and the skirt are both from Gabriel Brothers for about $6 a piece.  It takes a little hunting to find something amazing there, but it’s completely worth it. You could also pair a similar skirt with a striped shirt for a nautical style (my other favorite thematic twist to a summer outfit).  More on that later. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

DIY: Carpetbagger - Tapestry Envelope Bag

Hello all, Moe here with a fun (and cheap) ! As you know we are from Virginia, I think I am the most South of everyone, & I love carpetbaggers - stylish tapestry bags I mean!

This DIY is a cute summer tapestry envelope bag made from some great & cheap stuff from the Dollar Tree & JoAnne Fabrics

If you know anything about me, you know that I love print & pattern!  I've always admired heavily embroidered bags - ones that are granny chic.  I found some inspiration on pinterest, too!

And what does the end product look like?

Cool eh?

What you will need:
Placemat, length of chain, two large jump rings, permanent fabric glue, needle & thread, or sewing machine, beads/studs/etc

Step by Step:

Take the place mat & fold it twice to create a clutch shape.
experiment with placement to ensure that the flap will stay closed on it's own
Pin & sew up the sides

Grab your length of chain & jump rings.
Poke the jump rings through the placemat.
(this may take a few tries & something sharp...I gave up & sewed my chain on)
Since I wanted a double chain look, I wove a smaller chain through my bigger chain.
This will make it stronger & distribute the weight since the chain was sewn & not attached with jump rings.

Embellish with beads/studs/etc
These I found in the button aisle of JoAnne's. At first I had some wooden beads but I liked these stud like things better.

Pair with your jeans or cut off shorts.  Perfect for a night out or off to work.
Tuck the chain in in order to carry it as a clutch then when you need your hands, pull out the chain & throw it over your shoulder!

I plan on switching out my purse so I can wear this bag to work tomorrow!

Have you DIY'd something perfect & love to show it off?
Let us know, send your fave links & projects to 

What will you try this summer?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Inspiration - Music

Hi, I'm Jenni

Hi, I'm Jenni by est1839 featuring short shorts

This is my first-ever Inspiration Board, so don't lose faith in me - I'll get the hang of it!
I wanted to combine something about my art (music) with a list of clothes I can fantasize about having without draining my grad school savings.
In music, there is a technique called "text-painting" where composers would manipulate the melody of a piece to match the emotion of a set of text.  It gives shape and feeling to the piece, which I hoped would become clear with this fabulous, fabulous striped blazer from (Just Female Blazer Sari).  Everything else seems effortless, like a great performance, and versatile, like a great performer.
Besides, nothing says "adventure" like blue velvet boots by Alexander McQueen.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Manicure Monday: Happy 4th of July!

Personally, I love a good manicure. Also, if I don't keep my nails polished, I will most certainly bite them. I think holidays are the best time to try something new and fun and festive.

Products Used
OPI, Yoga-ta Get This Blue
Essie, Who's She Red
OPI, Alpine Snow
Sally Hansen No Chip Acrylic Top Coat

You could do these little designs with really any color combination, and you can always not stripe the red nail for a simpler look. 

Have a beautiful holiday.

Fashionably yours,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hello From Megan + A Word About Bad Hair Days

Hi guys! Megan here. I just wanted to drop by and tell you how excited I am about this blog adventure I'm starting with these three fellow Longwood friends of mine.

And then I wanted to tell you something about my hair.

I just got bangs. This isn't really a big deal, but I've never had bangs before in my life, with the exception of one time in seventh grade. I didn't know anything about styling hair, and I think I had a crazy cowlick, so the whole thing was Not Pretty. But I got them anyway, and after having a tiny identity crisis for 48 hours, I began to love them. And I still do!

They're pretty awesome, and they make me feel chic and fashion-forward even when I'm just wearing a tee-shirt. The only problem is that I pretty much always have to blow dry and style them, which is an issue because I only wash my hair twice a week. At the most. So, sometimes I stick the front of my head under the sink and wash just my bangs, but that's kind of a huge ordeal for me. So, sometimes I just don't do it. But then I walk around my apartment looking like a crazy little animal. Obviously, this is the part of the story where I introduce you to my new hat.

J.Crew, you know me so well!

A hat is pretty much my go-to for bad hair days. In my days at Longwood, I almost always reached for a baseball cap, but there's something about being an M.A. candidate in a pretty creative master's program and writing a fashion blog that is making me feel like baseball caps are pretty socially unacceptable for me to just wear around every day. 

So, I say find a good one and stick with it! I might add to my collection soon.

Last but not least, I had an incident with a cake-pop today. 

Luckily I was wearing my hat and really didn't mind losing my dessert.
That's right--that's a fake pout right there, people.

What are your bad hair day tips? 
Do you have a hat you love? Send me a picture!
est1839 [at] gmail [dot] com

Fashionably yours,

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