Thursday, January 31, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 12

Day 12

This was definitely my favorite ensemble of the week. I love this peplum I picked up from (any guesses?) TJ Maxx. It has a cute little peter pan collar and loops for a belt at the waist. It originally came with skinny beige one, but I managed to lose it between my dorm and moving back home over the break. Luckily, I had this black bow one that came with a shift I got from JC Penney's. 

I have a love/hate relationship with the collar necklace I have on. I got it because of the great ombre coloring that in the light changes from red to green to violet. What is there not to like about it? Well, when I got it in the mail from Forever 21, it came broken. And not just that: I checked my receipt and it stated that it was a final sale item, meaning I could not return it. My issue was that when I bought it, not only was this not indicated anytime during checkout, but I bought the necklace at FULL PRICE. Of course, once I looked at the description, I saw the "final price" tag on there, though it doesn't give a reason why. It may have been cheap to begin with and I was able to fix it, but it's the ethics of the thing. I am sure I will be buying more things from Forever 21, but I will stray from getting jewelry or accessories from them.

And the best part of the outfit today was... the hair! I have tried over and over again to try and get vintage hair. Most of the tutorials I have tried have succeeded in giving me nice curls, but not the vintage look I wanted. Others had hot rollers  in them, which I do not have. What I do own is about 100 bobby pins and used this to my advantage.

I'll explain the process, though I do not have pictures of it. Fortunately, my sister (who is actually a model) is having me do her hair, and I hope to take her pictures to make a tutorial of it.

All you need for the hair is a large barrel curling iron (I used Hot Tools Gold, 1.25 inches; it's the one used in many tutorials, even the ones featuring Lauren Conrad), bobby pins, heat protectant spray, and hair spray.

The base of my tutorial comes from this awesome video I found on YouTube (I would put the video directly onto the site, but the user disabled the embedding feature). The goal of it is to get curls similar to Lana Del Rey's style. This itself is difficult to do if you do not have very long hair, but the placement and direction of the curls does succeed in getting the pretty pin up curls for shorter hair lengths. I would watch this before hand in order to get how I am explaining the curl positions.

  1. Part your hair so that it goes from the side you prefer diagonally back to the center of your hair. Spray heat protectant over hair. 
  2. Section of any bangs you have and curl the hair so that the hair root is lifted (hair is curled opposite of the part). 
  3. Once you release the curl, make sure to hold its shape. Pin the curl so that it is able to retain it's shape.
  4. Repeat this process, starting at the front of the hair to the back. When going to the opposite side of the part, make sure to still have the curl have the root lifted and on top of the barrel, NOT under it. This is important. 
  5. Once the curls are all pinned, spray with hair spray. 
  6. Let the curls set and cool. The timing depends on how thick and long your hair is. For perspective, I have thick, medium length hair and I let it sit about a half hour. 
  7. Take pins out and run fingers through hair. If you like the volume, then DO NOT brush through the curls. If you would like less volume, go ahead and use a paddle brush (For mine, I ran my fingers through it because I liked the thick curls and high volume).
  8. TADA! You are officially from the 50s!
Shopping List: 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 11

Day 11

 I apologize for my frizzy hair. Did not have time to take picture until after I spent an hour in a greenhouse! The black shirt is one of my favorites that I got a while ago for Christmas and wore during high school (business casual dress code). I paired it with the pearl necklace and earrings, jeans and the floral sneakers from target.

If you notice in the first pic, I changed up my nails. They have white triangles at the base and dark violet tips. Something different that I'm playing around with!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 10

Day 10

Rocker today. I got the vest from Forever 21 courtesy of my loving grandma and a quickly used gift card. I'm not usually one for vests. Since I was little, I never really understood the point of them. I mean, really, why would you want your chest covered but not your arms?! But I really like this faux leather one. Right now, I have been seeing an onslaught on dark leather, whether it be boots, pants, skirts, or jackets. I love that this is in a nice deep burgundy hue that stands apart from the normally black color palette. 

The hair was a lot of fun. I kept the curls from yesterday and did a deep part on my left side. All it needed was a little touch up with a wand, and I was good to go!

Shopping List:

Monday, January 28, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 9

Day 9 

I kicked off week 3 with one of my favorite finds from TJ Maxx. As you may have figured out from the shopping lists at the end of the entries, I frequent the store quite a bit. It is within walking distance of my campus (a 16 minute walk, but do able nonetheless), and the closest place to get decently priced clothes without going out to the mall.

I love this sweater, mostly because of the unique and eye-catching print. I was happy to say the least that my prediction of graphic sweaters becoming a trend did actually come true, and made sure that this sweater was on trend for fall and winter. The sweater has a great tunic length that can make pairing it with leggings doable. Of course, I had to pair it with my lovely oxfords!

Shopping List:
  • Cotton Emporium Sweater: TJ Maxx 
Pinterest Inspiration (Pinspiration?)

Source: via Noelle on Pinterest

Waterfall braids -although not revolutionary- are my new favorite things. This tutorial is straight forward and helped me get the 'do right!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 8

Day 8

Nearly didn't post this! Now because I forgot.. well, sort of. When I was done with class, I wanted to hurry and do my laundry before other people in my hall claimed it. Nearly put detergent on the top before I realized I had not taken any pictures yet!

Without realizing it, this ENTIRE week was filled with striped tops. Literally. Every day. This is not typical for me, but it happens. 

I love this top I recently got from Forever 21. It's a simple top, and by now you have heard me rant about how much I love horizontal stripes. Unlike the other outfits from this week, these stripes are thicker. I was originally going to pair it with dark pants, but I instead went with these electric blue jeggings and my combat boots.  I also wore my favorite scarf from New York and Company. Originally, I was not sure how I wanted to tie it. I was going to tie it in the back to make it look like an infinity scarf, but did not really like the knot at the back of my neck. Instead, I went with knotting it at the front. 

I also wore pretty little violet heart and bow earrings I got  a while ago on Etsy. Unfortunately, the shop closed, but I have found a few others that are very similar.

Swarovski hearts with bow earrings from violleville

Shopping List:
Pinterest Inspiration

                                                                                   Source: via Noelle on Pinterest

This awesome tutorial was found over at the To Die For Blog. It's a great way to add volume and texture to the traditional sock bun!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 7

Day 7

I forever am in love with this jacket. I picked it up at an H&M in France and have adored it ever since. It works buttoned or unbuttoned, still cutting nicely to my waist. I have usually limited it to spring and fall outfits. As a spur of the moment decision, I grabbed it before heading off to class. Luckily, it worked marvelously. The boat neck cable sweater underneath worked will with it, especially when I cuffed the sweater over the jacket. I am tempted to pick up a coral or yellow sweater to see how the different colors would work with the jacket.

If you can see, the nails are coincidentally colored the same shade as the necklace. I was a bit overtired and a bit stressed from school last night and started to dot my nails with white, pale pink, and dark violet polish over the lilac base. Surprisingly, I got a few compliments from them, so I guess they came out okay!

Shopping List:
  • Boat-neck pullover in Darkest Navy: JCP
  • Jeans: TJ Maxx 
  • Blazer: H&M

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 6

Day 6 

Today, I knew I had to look semi professional for multiple reasons. Not only did I have a meeting with a campus office and try to recruit people for a on campus club, but I just came back from the first newspaper meeting where I have been instated as an editor! Instead of going with business casual or even a skirt or dress, I used this fun blazer-esque top. It's more of a tee shirt material than anything, but the cut and shape give off the jacket appeal. I love the horizontal stripes in it; usually I try and steer clear from them, but I think because of the cut, it does not give the "wider" illusion that is usually associated with it. 

To make it a little more me, I paired it with my beloved combat boots. This time, I folded them over so that the floral print was visible. 

For my hair, I went with a french braided headband that I will admit to finally mastering. Unfortunately, I have not found a tutorial on Pintrest or YouTube that adequately shows how to make it as easy as I have for myself. I tried to do it where it is two braids on either side that come together in the front, but because of my medium hair length, it can be a bit challenging. When I first tried the french braid technique after seeing pictures of other people doing it, it kept coming out out bumpy and uneven and took such a long time that my hands and neck would kill. Now, I'm down to it only taking me about two minutes at most because of some tricks I learned myself! Maybe one of these days I will make a tutorial for it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 5

Another week, another outfit! Day 5

After a morning of digging in the dirt for my horticulture course, I was able to get into this little ditty for my afternoon class.

I must admit: I love body cons skirts, especially this simple black one. I have found it to be a year round useful addition to an outfit when I don't feel like wearing jeans. In the winter, I like to pair it with tights and sometimes even with some black thigh high socks.

When I make an outfit like this one, I subconsciously keep in mind fitted vs. unfitted. It's nearly a rule of thumb for me: if the top is very fitted, then the bottoms should be relaxed, and vice versa. Because it only reached the teens up here in upstate NY, I knew I wanted to wear a sweatshirt (Thankfully, my campus has underground tunnels, so I did not have to go out in the cold with the tights!). Since it has a relaxed fit to it, I could wear the body con with it (I nearly wore jeggings, but I knew I wore some last week and wanted to mix it up a bit). The oxfords have once again made an appearance, as has the Tiffany charm necklace.

Shopping List:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trending: Stacked Bracelets

I am in love with the stacked bracelet trends that are showing up, especially when they are in pretty pastel shades. It's a perfect finishing touch to most every outfit for spring. I especially like the different textures and materials paired together to compliment one another. 

I found a lot of handmade ones that I love over on Etsy. Samantha Morta of SLDesignsHBJ has some great bracelets for reasonable prices.

Grey Shaded Bracelets
Amethyst and White Bracelets

If you're willing to spend a bit more on stacked bracelets, check out this awesome one from Sandra Warner's GotChakra shop. It's coral colored beads look great with the gold charms and rhinestone accents.

Gold Accented Bracelets

Friday, January 18, 2013

Trending: Chevron

If there's one thing I have seen all over Pinterest and Polyvore lately, it's chevron. Chevron tops, chevron nails, chevron rugs; it's hard for me to scroll and not see them somewhere!

The pattern hit the runway a year ago in many Spring 2012, but has been around for decades. Italian fashion house Missoni is one of the most famous users of the zigzag design, incorporating it into tops, bottoms, and dresses alike.
Olivia Bonas top

JCP top

Chevrons can be very flattering on people when worn correctly. Larger, thicker chevron lines are able to balance out a larger frame while thinner lines can create curves for those lacking in them.

Not sure about the trend? Try it out on nails! I found this great tutorial on Pinterest (Originally from Lines Across) that uses three different nail colors and tape to achieve the look.

                                                                                           Source: via Noelle on Pinterest

Thursday, January 17, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 4

Day #4

Sweater dresses are my comfy clothes. After a long night of homework, I threw this no effort dress on and paired it with tights and tall boots. Usually, I pair it with a waist belt, but the dress looks flattering on my figure and found it unneeded

Shopping List:
  • Sweater dress: Macy's
  • Boots: Famous Footwear
Pinterest Inspiration
                                                                                        Source: Uploaded by user via Noelle on Pinterest

I've done this idea before and have found it very handy. Sometimes it can be hard to make the pretty big curls that are so poplar. When I know I will not have time in the morning to use my hair wand, I will pin curl my hair and wrap it at night. In the morning, I take out the pins and it my hair looks nice and curled. 

                                                                                     Source: via Noelle on Pinterest

This is a handy dandy guide I found that I plan on using many more times. I paired my cowl neck dress with a small Tiffany charm necklace, matching the length of the one suggested.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 3

Three days in a row?! Insanity!

Day #3

This outfit is relatively unexciting, but on purpose. I spent (probably too much) time on my hair and make-up today to put more attention to it rather than what I was wearing. I wish I had gotten good pictures of it, but I went with a sock bun with a french braid in the back. Because I knew I was going to work this morning at 10 and would not be done with classes until 9 (luckily I got out early today!), I wanted a stay put bun looked both pretty and relaxed. I also did some cat eyes, which you can see if you squint your eyes on the picture to the left. 

[As a side note, if you cannot tell, these glasses are not real. In fact, they are the 3D ones that you get from the movie theater. Years ago, one of my older sisters punched out the lens in them and walked around for months with them on. Although I did not wear them to classes, I do think they go well with the look!]

The necklace was the one statement piece I did want to add to the ensemble. My older sister gave it to me during one of the many wardrobe revisions she goes through. She couldn't figure out what to do with it, and I grabbed at it as soon as I saw it. Necklaces like this are great add ins for an outfit, especially if the the rest of it (like mine today) lacks texture or prints. 

I also pulled these sneaks out my closet. If you ask anyone who knows me, they would be able to tell you that I very seldom wear sneakers unless I am at work or in the gym. I'm just not in love with them. These are an exception. I love the flowery print, especially on a dreary day like today when it was down to the thirties and dark.

Shopping List:
  • Speak 2 Me cardigan: JC Penny's
  • Pink high low button up: H&M
  • Jeans: TJ Maxx
  • Mossimo floral sneakers: Target

Pinterest Inspirations!

I love this tutorial because I have tried so many times to try and get a sock bun, but something about my hair just would not cooperate when the directions said to roll the hair with the sock. This one says to put a hair tie over the spread out hair, which made my life so much easier. 
Make Up

                                                                              Source: via Noelle on Pinterest

I love cat eyes, and I love that whoever I repinned this from called them "kitten eyes"; there like baby ones. The pictures show you step by step how to develop the eye.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ABW Challenge: Day 2

Just as the day before, this was not the outfit I was expecting to wear today, mostly because I didn't really plan out accordingly yesterday. In any event, it came together well.
Day #2

My leopard skirt is something I love to pair with an all black ensemble, just to give it some life and keep it interesting. I remember seeing it on clearance at Victoria's Secret in the Pink section and thinking, "How has no one bought this yet!?" It was marked down from $35 to $12, and I could not resist the opportunity to grab it. Circle hem skirts are an established part of my wardrobe ever since I visited France and came home with some from the stores over there. Although they reached a high point a few summers ago, I can't bring myself not to wear them, even in the cold. Paired with solid tights and a fitted sweater, it transitions well for the winter. 

I also love the collar necklace I found from H&M last fall. I had been wanting some since I saw so many in sets on Polyvore, but many were a bit pricey. I like this one because it is not an established collar and can act as a necklace instead. In fact, my supervisor at work loves it, but thinks its in the shape of a bow as opposed to a peter pan collar).

I'm sure these studded oxfords will be appearing several more times on here. If I'm not wearing my combat boots, I most likely have these on my feet. They were a great find over at TJ Maxx.

Shopping List:
  • Sweater: The Gap
  • Collar necklace: H&M
  • Leopard Skirt: Pink by Victoria's Secret
  • Tights: Drug Store
  • Madden Girl oxfords: TJ Maxx

Monday, January 14, 2013

ABW (Already Been Worn) Challenge: Day 1

I just started a new semester at school, and this time around, I wanted to try and challenge myself: How many days can I go without repeating an outfit? Although it's not a major, life altering or mind bending experience, attempting it last semester was pretty fun and was able to get my mind off of burning out from lack of sleep/stress/studying/the usual debilitating college problems. Hopefully, I'll be able to do this for all four days a week I have classes, but if something crazy happens or I'm swamped, I'll try and make sets instead of taking photos.

Day #1

In truth, this was not the outfit I had in mind. We had a warm front just yesterday, and our usual winter weather went up to 65 degrees. When I tried to see the weather for the next day, I mistakenly thought it'd be warm again, making me choose to wear a grey pencil skirt and studded oxfords in place of the black jeggings and combat boots. But I still liked how the outfit came together, mostly because I got to wear my blazer (one of my most worn and favorite things in my wardrobe). I also decided to add the pearls just as something different. The bag is courtesy of, and is my everyday backpack. It was inexpensive and has lasted me one semester so far without any tears or mishaps.

Shopping List

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter Wear


It can sometimes be difficult to transition out of the holiday months into January. With the gift exchanges and work parties in the past, it can be hard to differentiate what can be appropriate for the Secret Santa exchange and what would still be useable in a few months in the future. After all, there is a lot more you can get away with in the fashion arena during the time between November and December; sequins and glitter seem to be never ending, as are the patterns and colors they are paired with.

Dresses and tops in this set resemble some useable items that may be in a wardrobe after the flurry of gift wrapping has subsided. The baroque patterns in the sweater and sweater dress somewhat resemble the holiday months, but in a way that more represents the fall 2012 trends instead of St. Nick. The dark colors will look great when paired with pops of color, such as a pair of violet heels or a mustard yellow satchel. 

The shift is a classic and must have for any closet. A black one can become a year round staple and can be worn to multiple places and occasions when paired with other items. With the one in the above set, a pair of riding boots, tights, and even a studded motorcycle jacket can make it an exciting outfit for January instead of being paired with pops of red and green as in the months before.