Monday, June 30, 2014

You Had One Job

Dear Weather,

You had one job; to stay dry so that I could get outside on my one day off and shoot photos before my tennis match, both things which are now complete write-offs.  I would understand if you were just giving us a summertime shower here and again, but that is simply not the case. You are relentless, and you disappoint me.

I hope you don't think that your responsibilities as far as summer are over - I can assure you they are most certainly not.  This type of behaviour simply will not stand. You'd best pull your socks up - consider yourself on notice.


Now that that's taken care of, let's talk about clothes then, shall we? This is a silk Banana Republic skirt (last seen here) that I found at a consignment store in Minneapolis.  With a piece like this, it would be really easy to style it very matchy-matchy and go with the obvious black or white shirt combo. I always like to try and avoid that and mix it up a little - dress it down a bit as I did here. I like the juxtaposition of the chambray of the shirt against the silk, and the slide sandals give a little height (good for a pencil-length skirt) without being overly dressy.

thrifted Banana Republic skirt, similar / J. Crew shirt / thrifted Franco Sarto sandals, similar / Judith Ripka watch (old), similar / Brighton bracelet (old), similar / London blue topaz stud earrings, similar ring, similar ring

Make it Happen. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Simple Summer Shorts Look

I always find it challenging when it is hot outside to feel properly dressed in a really casual summer look. Just shorts and a tee always feels kind of "around the house" to me, so I try to find pieces with a bit of texture or interest to add a bit of depth to something simple. It just feels better somehow...more complete. Or maybe it's all in my head.

thrifted blouse, similar / Forever 21 shorts, similar / naturaliser sandals (old), similar / 14K and Austrailian opal pinky ring (old). similar

Make it Happen

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

12 Liner Looks in 7 Minutes

As an extension of having realised that I have been doing my makeup in the same few variations for as long as I've been an adult, I continue on my mission to expand my repertoire. I found Julia Graf on YouTube this week, and her succinct, well-narrated videos really give a girl a lot to think about. Will I use all of these techniques in the real world? Probably not, but like with any new discipline, it's more about learning what is possible and the techniques behind it. Enjoy. 

I plopped-in a pair of colour contacts for the exercise, just for fun (sometimes for nights out I like to use them as an accessory). Since we're dealing with some extreme looks here, I figured what the heck. These I believe are Freshlook Gemstone Green, in case you like to play around with these things as I do. 

When it was my turn to turn my hand at some of these eyeliner looks, here is what I learned. 
  1. I completely suck at liquid eyeliner and always will
  2. I stopped lining my "waterline" in 1987. Perhaps I need to start again, I like the look 
  3. After all of this work, my favourite look is still and will always be the smoky eye. 
  4. I'm inherently lazy, and out of all of these looks, will probably only use the smoky eye, the straight line, and the feline. And maybe a modified sixties flick. Maybe. 
All things told, it was a fun way to spend a bit of time on a rainy afternoon, and I did learn a little something about what goes behind the looks you see in photo shoots. Might come in handy some day, who knows?

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Big White Silk Sack

This dress is one of those screaming-all-the-way-home-good-bargains that I found a few years back while visiting the USA. This is an Adrienne Vittadini silk cowl dress (fully-lined!), and I found it for $20 on the sale rack at the TJ Maxx in my hometown. There was only one of these dresses on the rack and it was at least two sizes too big for me, but knowing a good deal when I see one, I grabbed it anyway and wore it with a belt until I found an alterations place to take it in for me.

I like how the style of this dress is slightly reminiscent of the sack dresses of the 1960s. Normally, this would be a style I would try and avoid, as voluminous clothing tends to be...well, voluminous.  I avoid super-flowy, unstructured clothes because I feel silly in them with my rather muscular build - like The Indredible Hulk in a tutu or something (I know, I know...I'm prone to fits of exaggeration). This dress however, manages to avoid the pitfalls of unstructured clothing; it acknowledges the lines of the body underneath it without clinging to it or giving it an extra-helping of bulk. It's a great summer dress for when it gets hot, because it does't stick to you. Not that it ever gets that hot here, but you know...I've heard that it does in other places.


To me, this is strictly a hair-up kind of a dress. The neckline is interesting, and all you really need is to give it some room to do its thing. Okay, maybe some earrings and a pair of gold sandals (which I consider a neutral with a kick), but any more than that and I'd feel like the dress would be weighed-down.

Adrienne Vittadini silk dress (old), similar / thrifted gold leather sandals, similar / leaf earrings (old), similar / Andrea Jovine sunglasses (old), similar

Make it Happen.

Friday, June 20, 2014

You Just Can't Beat The Classics

As much as I love a crazy print, bright colour, and all manner of spiky, gilded edginess, there are times when you just want something simple and low-fuss. I find myself reaching for classic preppy-inspired pieces quite often in summer. The clean lines and relative sturdiness of the garments work well when you are out of doors and on the move, and always look somewhat finished. If I am heading off on a trip to some very casual summer destination, I often pack a suitcase full of stuff like this. You're never over, nor underdressed, and the shapes seem to work well on an athletic body.

No, it's not the most exciting thing in my closet, but when the sun comes out up here in the Highlands, we are too busy being out in it to care much.

I did add some leopard shoes though. Because, of course.

Lacoste sleeveless polo / Jones New York skirt (old), similar / Chinese Laundry shoes (old), similar / Honora pearls / Andrea Jovine sunglasses (old), similar

Make it Happen. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

De-Skankify A Pair of Cutoffs

Okay, I realise that cutoffs will always suffer from a bit of an image problem (thanks for nothing, Daisy Duke). They're not everyone's cup of tea. I still like them every now and again, but if the very thought of them sends shivers up and down your spine, you can substitute them for a destroyed pair of boyfriend jeans, denim skirt, or any other ripped-to-shreds piece of denim you care to imagine.

I've always found that the secret to pulling off a look with cutoffs is....well, it's not really a secret...that's giving it too much credit. The thing (better?) I like to do with cutoffs is pair them with something very buttoned-down and sweet, or elegant and blowsy. That way, instead of the cutoffs being the focal point of the outfit, they are more of an accessory that serves to dress-down the look a bit with some edge and humour. I also like to pair them with bohemian-inspired pieces, but with a heavy dose of caution. If there is one thing that turns me off, it's that hackneyed, overwrought "festival" look; the cutoffs and midriff tops, the flowers in the hair and boots with shorts. Bleh. It's been done. Again, and again, and again. I'd say that was a look best left to the twenty somethings (if I believed such things), but really I just think it's a look that should just be left.

J. Crew peplum top (old), similar / thrifted cutoffs, similarsimilar / Sam and Libby for Target sandals (old), similar / gold earrings (old), similar / beaded stretch ring (old), similar

Make it Happen.

Monday, June 16, 2014

3 Piece Suit With Sensible Shoes

I was sort of feeling like I had run out of things to show you this week. I haven't bought anything new in a while (which is good. I have plenty of clothes), and as I went through my closet, I realised that I have probably photographed just about everything in there at least once. That sentiment lasted all of about four minutes. There is always another combination or reinvention to be had. I think that the posts where I "shop my closet" are some of my favourite looks, because it forces me to see things in a different light.

I have always loved the idea of a shorts suit, but hadn't really thought much more about it, as my opportunities to wear a suit, let alone shorts, are quite few here in Scotland. That said, I like this look a lot, and will probably reproduce it with some other items in my closet. It's a great summer look, and even though it's a "suit", the shorts keep it casual enough to be able to wear it in a variety of environments. With just a change of shoes you could bring this look from a more daytime vibe (as I am wearing it here) to an evening look. The next time the weather is as balmy as it is today and I'm going out to dinner or drinks, I'm totally wearing this. Yup.

thrifted Herve Bernard blazer, simlarsimilar / Moschino Cheap and Chic waistcoat (last season), similar, similar, similar / Forever 21 shorts, similar, similar / Gap tee / thrifted Ferragamo Vara shoes, similar

This post was proudly shared with Not Dead Yet Style and Mis Papelicos' Share-In-Style

Make it Happen.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Best Summer Makeup Look Ever!

Today, when I got home from my tennis match, I took advantage of my makeup-free face and intent to shower by experimenting with makeup. I have taken to doing this since I let my hair go natural, because I feel like I need a few more tricks up my sleeve to keep me from looking too washed-out.

Having just come back from the South of France (yes, I was away last week while the blog soldiered on...cheating on you with a stack full of novels and a bottle of rosé), I find that despite my best efforts with the SPF 50, I still instantly turn the colour of toast points when I'm outdoors for any length of time. This poses an interesting conundrum with the silver hair, trying to find just the right shades that work with my summer skin and the head of hair that I'm still getting used to.

I always turn to Lisa Eldridge's site for advice from her video library. Instead of looking for tips specifically for people with silver hair, I basically just pick looks that speak to me, and try them on. I think this is important. Those of us with silver hair are always being bombarded the do's and dont's of makeup and clothing colour choices. At the end of the day, it's just hair, and as symbolic as it may seem, it shouldn't define us to the point that we deny ourselves choices that we might otherwise make simply because they are the wrong shade of ecru.

This look is a doozy, and I'm sharing it with you as a matter of urgency because I think it would look good on everyone, no matter what your colouring. Summer is upon us, and it's nice to have a lighter, more glowy makeup look when the temperature rises. What I like best about this look is the absence of dark liner, something that I have always relied heavily on in the past. I used to shun light, metallic liners as fodder for teenagers. I stand corrected.  Here's the video. Below it is the look as it turned out on me (with sweaty tennis court hair...again) in all types of lighting.

What I Used

What She Used

Sunday, June 8, 2014

1995 Calling...

I was schlepping around the house today when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realised how much I seemed to be channeling my 1990s self. Right down to the sweater tied around my waist (in plaid, no less), which is something I rarely ever do. Too fussy.

I think this time around, my unwashed grunge hair is far more realistic than it ever was back then. Probably because this time it is actual unwashed grunge hair. Back in the day we used to buy product to make our tresses look slept-in. You know...nice, clean dirt that smells like cucumber or coconut as opposed to the real thing.

The shoes are thrifted, and I'm fairly confident that they are circa the actual 90's.  All things told, I always did appreciate how easy it was to get dressed in the not-trying-too-hard 90s. Apparently I have not matured or evolved in any way since then.  What a surprise *rolls eyes*.

 Time Machine.