Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What A Strange Trip It's Been

So this is going to be a long one...

I'm going to start off by saying that being 35 years old is weird... I kind of feel like I am stuck in some sort of mid life version of that Britney Spears song "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman". On one hand I still feel like the person who could stay up until 3 a.m and take 4 tequila shots, but on the other hand I know I would, worse case scenario, die or, best case scenario, end up wishing I was dead for 2 days if I tried that now. Being in my 30's has ended up feeling like some sort of crazy transitional period.

I definitely feel like my personal style has evolved since hitting my 30's. I'm positive that motherhood has played a big role in that as well. Becoming a Mommy was almost like starting from scratch; like adulthood's new puberty or something. My body changed, and things I was comfortable in were no longer comfortable anymore. I was in a new mom rut, you guys. I abandoned pants with buttons, and leggings were my new best friend. All my time and energy was spent supporting this tiny new life, and I was a-okay with that for a while. I also gained A LOT of weight during my pregnancy. 75 pounds to be exact. I never lost all of it after Nugget was born. I carried around 30 extra pounds for 2 years after she was born. Mid way through that 2 year period I started feeling like it was time to get my groove back. I had to figure out who I was as a person again after I had devoted every ounce of myself into being "Ava's Mommy". I needed to figure out who Cassandra was again. The thing I learned is that I was never going back to who I was before becoming a 30 something mom. I was the same, but I was different if that makes any sense. If you are a mom though, of course it makes sense.

The first step of my personal style journey was discovering LuLaRoe. I know the response to the brand is a mixed bag. People either love it or hate it. There doesn't seem to be a lot of in between. For me though, LuLaRoe was a godsend at the time. You mean, I can look cute and be comfortable? Sign me up. I was fully into the cult of LuLaRoe. I was stalking Facebook pages looking for Unicorn patterns. I was hosting my own pop ups so I could earn free stuff. I was snatching up ALL THE THINGS!!! My closet was bursting with clothes. My husband was concerned for our bank account. I needed to rein it in, and I needed to find some balance. I had lost those quirks to my personal style that made me, well, ME! I looked like a walking LuLaRoe advertisement.

I combed through some of my old pieces that I had hung on to. Of course they were too small, but the essence of my style was still there. There was lots of black, animal print, stripes, distressing, and vintage. I compared it to the LuLaRoe that I had been buying with a frenzied pace over the past year, and I found that the new didn't really have a common thread at all. It was a random hodgepodge of things that I thought I liked at the time, but in reality what I loved was the novelty of it. I had loved that slightly rock and roll style with a dash of vintage before my pregnancy, and I found that I was still drawn to it in my 30s. That, my friends, is because it's the core of what I seek in my personal style. I had to weave that back into my new quest for comfort and mom appropriate things.

The first thing I did was I went through all the LuLaRoe with an objective eye. I weeded out anything that didn't feel like me, and well it was a lot of stuff. I found that I was impulse buying, and with LuLaRoe that can be a real problem. Since there is no guarantee of seeing the same pattern twice I was experiencing serious FOMO, and that had to stop. I found that when I was done I had a nice selection of solids, stripes,  and classic patterns like animal prints and florals. Nice florals though, not the ones that look like a bad acid trip (if you shop LuLaRoe you know what I am talking about). I started mixing in the new with the old, and I found that I had a new look that was still the old me, but it was evolved for the person I had became.

For me, I had always equated Mom style with being relaxed to the point of not caring, but since becoming a Mom I have discovered thats not the case. Now, Mom Style is being stylish while still being able to execute my responsibilities as a mother. I found that I could look styled and put together, but still able to tend to Ava. It was my epiphany. I was ready for change. I was also ready to be able to wear my wedding ring after almost 3 years. You see it hadn't fit in that long due to the weight gain . Me and the Hubs decided to get healthy starting January the 1st (You know, a resolution 😏). The thing is, when you are ready for change, and its motivated by something other than vanity, you tap into this hidden well of determination. I wanted to be healthy for my daughter. I wanted to set a good example so that she could see what healthy self care looks like. I wanted to be able to wear the ring that had so many emotional ties to it. The pounds started to come of. Here we are, 5 months later, and I can wear my rings again and I can put on pants with buttons and zippers.

So, here I am, finally catching my stride in this 30's thing. I still love my LuLa, but I also love distressed jeans and a great vintage find. I found ways to make all these things work together, and I think that I am pulling it off! See, one of the most amazing things about being 35, is this new found confidence that I have (well, except for that time 2 weeks ago that I decided to shop at American Eagle, but thats another story for another blog post 😂). I feel strong and capable in my 30's, and that is something that I never had in my 20's. I finally feel that I am ready to pick up this blog again and share my journey with y'all. I can't wait to see what my future brings.

xoxo,
Cassandra




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

(Pencil) Skirting The Issues





Over the past couple of weeks I have been really busy getting my Etsy shop reorganized, so I haven't really had a chance to go thrifting or to blog. I don't really have any vintage to post right now either, so I decided to do a post on my new LuLaRoe Cassie skirt. While this isn't vintage, it is a pencil skirt, which is a really classic style. The story below could easily be replicated using an awesome vintage pencil skirt too :)

I have a love / hate relationship with pencil skirts. I love how they look on other people, and I hate how they look on me. I am always drawn in by their sleek shape and classic styling. In my mind I look curvy and Marilyn Monroe-esque wearing a pencil skirt. In reality I look like a busted can of biscuits. The struggle is real!

So lays the groundwork for the events that transpired... A few weeks ago I joined the Facebook page of Lindsay Laugherty, who is a LuLaRoe Consultant. You can find her Facebook group here. she is awesome and has some super cute things. I highly recommend that you join! I was browsing through her page, and lo and behold I came across a snapshot of the most fantastic print. It was sea horses! I knew that whatever this garment was I had to have it. It could have been a potato sack for all I cared. Those sea horses were calling my name. I inquired what exactly this pattern was on,  and I got my answer: a Cassie skirt. Now, for those of you not familiar with LuLaRoe the Cassie is a pencil skirt. I had my doubts for a fraction of a second. I knew there was a really good chance that I would look like the equivalent of the potato in the sack mentioned above wearing that skirt. I didn't care. I had to have it, so when she had her launch party I snapped that skirt up really quick. I was already making hypothetical outfits in my head. In all of those mental pictures I looked svelte and ready to conquer the world.

The pattern that started it all

Fast forward a few days, and my skirt that could have been sewn by the Angels themselves was in my mailbox. There was no way it could look bad on me! I unwrapped my package an laid the skirt out on the bed. I instantly began to question my judgement. It was so... Pencil skirt-y. I broke out into a sweat. The panic was washing over me. Now, I am pretty body confident, and the fact that I don't wear a size 6 doesn't bother me. I'm fuller figured and I am okay with that, but I swear that skirt was laying there just mocking me, striking fear deep into my heart.

What did I get myself into...

I sighed and pulled on my Cassie, and surprise, I pretty much looked like a busted can of biscuits. The curse of the pencil skirt continued. I stood there looking at myself in the mirror, and decided that skirt was way too amazing to return, even if pencil skirts do strike fear deep into my heart. I was gonna be damned if the pencil skirt that shared my name was going to defeat me. I learned a lesson. If you are a plus sized and pear shaped gal like myself you CAN wear a pencil skirt! You just have to be a little more creative in your styling. So I raided my closet and came up with a few options for wearing my fantabulous skirt!

So here is the skirt worn in a not so flattering way. I really felt uncomfortable with the skirt worn this way, because it put an emphasis on the area that I am most self conscious about: My stomach. It never bothered me a whole lot until I had Ava Nugget, and now I have the dreaded post pregnancy mommy pooch. This pencil skirt is no bueno with a shirt tucked into it like this.

Thats a big ol negative
So here is option number one and it is really perfect for fall. I paired my skirt with a flowy longer t shirt from Old Navy. It was a little shapeless so I knotted it from the inside, and it was exactly what it needed. The shirt was loose enough to conceal my stomach, and knotting it really helped to create some shape. I paired it with yellow tights to really bring out the yellow in the flowers, and gray boots were a nice way to tone down the tights a little bit.

Option number one: knotted t shirt and tights

Option number two is dressier than option one. I really like the look of a shirt tucked into a pencil skirt, but with my body type I was going to have to come up with a way to make this look more flattering. I decided to go with a jersey knit drapey cardigan on top. This was pretty much perfect for this look. It really pulled this whole look together. I think this would be a perfect style for the office.

Option 2: tucked in skirt with a cardigan

Option 3 was really fun. I actually am wearing my Cassie skirt as a shirt here! This is really easy to do with a Cassie because the fabric is stretchy and free of zippers or any other element that might make it fit weird. It essentially is a tube of fabric. I paired my Cassie shirt with a Lindsay kimono, skinny jeans, and a pair of gladiator sandals. I think this might have been my favorite look of the three.

Option 3: Cassie as a shirt

The final option for styling this skirt is to wear it as an infinity scarf. This is totally doable because, once again, the Cassie is just a tube of fabric. I love how this looked with the cropped skinny jeans and ankle booties. Its a really casual and fun look. It would work perfectly for a casual weekend.

Option 3: Cassie as a scarf

So there you have it! Here are 4 options for wearing a pencil skirt if you are plus sized. I think after this experience I have really gained a new appreciation for the pencil skirt, and I am not nearly as intimidated by it. In fact, it's safe to say that this is one of my new favorite wardrobe staples. The lesson I learned is that just because a certain style of clothing seems to be off limits doesn't mean it has to be. You just have to be a little more creative in the ways that you wear it.

xoxo,
Cassandra






Wednesday, September 7, 2016

TREND WATCH // GRANNY CHIC

When I go out looking for vintage clothing I am always drawn towards certain things. I like big cozy coats and cardigans. I like floral prints and plaids (and I am not opposed to mixing the two under the right circumstances). I like ladylike frame bags, and I like feminine silk scarves. It occurred to me that I might have some Granny Chic tendencies. What is Granny Chic you might be asking? Well the simple answer is that it is exactly what it sounds like. It pretty much looks like you might have raided Grandma's closet for your outfit of the day, and it is totally having a moment, and it's a vintage lover's dream. Granny Chic styles pretty much dominated the 2016 Fall Fashion Week Runways, and its no surprise why...it's so darn comfy! If its done right it can be oh so stylish too! Here are a few ways to capture a Granny Chic look of your own.



Find the fab dress I am wearing above here

OVER SIZED COATS:
Oversized coats are pretty much the pillar of Granny Chic Fashion. I love the swing styles from the 60's. Look for coats in warm and cozy fabrics like wool, velvet. or tweed. Faux fur is also a good choice, and will be huge this fall as well.

CARDIGANS:
Cardigans are also an integral part of the Granny Chic look. Pick one that is a little on the loose side and in a chunky knit. The goal is for the cardigan to actually look warm.


BOW NECK BLOUSES:
These are those blouses that have the scarf like tie around the neck. For the purest interpretation of this trend be sure to tie it neatly into a bow. Granny wouldn't leave the house with her scarf all untied and a mess ;)

MID LENGTH SKIRTS:
 Be sure to pick a skirt on the fuller side. Get bonus points if you choose a pleated style. Keep an eye out for a skirt that your grandmother would wear to church. When you find it, you will know you are on the right path.

FLORAL PRINTs:
If I had to pick only one print to embody the Granny Chic movement it would be floral. Wear it on dresses and skirts, and even mix it with other patterns like plaid or stripes. A modestly cut midi dress will look especially smart when it is in a floral print. Be extra on trend by using a floral print in a dark color palette. Dark florals are another big trend for fall.

DON'T FORGET TO ACCESSORIZE!
No Granny Chic look would be complete without accessories. Tie a silk scarf around your head, and wear a pair of oversized sunglasses. Also, be sure to rock those heels with a pair of socks, and put on a classic pearl necklace. For the truly adventurous you could even dye your hair gray.


GRANNY CHIC MUST HAVES
1. Vintage 70s Coat,  2. Vintage Striped Shirt Dress,  3. Vintage Cable Knit Cardigan,
4. Vintage Ruffled Blouse,  5. Vintage Frame Bag,  6. Vintage Plaid Skirt,
7. Vintage 2 Piece Suit, 8. Vintage Lace-up Booties,  9. Vintage Bow Neck Blouse


The biggest thing with trends like this is to just have fun! Dip your toe in or go full on Granny Chic. There really isn't a right or wrong way to do it. For the beginner try wearing a bow neck blouse with a solid skirt and carry a frame bag. If you are more daring try a look similar to the one that I tried on at the beginning of this blog. The point is to enjoy the clothes you are wearing!













Friday, September 2, 2016

Refashion Friday - 9-2-16

Guess what day it is? FlashbackFriday? Close but not quite, because virtually everything on this blog is a flashback ;) IT'S REFASHION FRIDAY!!! It's the day that I take the goodies that I find on Thriftscore Thursday and style them in a way so that they are more wearable in the modern world. I use peices from my own closet, because I want to keep the Refashion Friday experience as real as possible. Lets face it, anyone can create a perfect outfit when they have the entire virtual closet of the internet to pick from. In real life we don't have that option. We only have what is in our own closet at home, and I want to replicate that reality. Also, I will include pricing and store info whenever possible, because I want my readers to know that it is possible to be stylish on a budget!

 As you might recall, I found some pretty sweet stuff while on Vacation in Akron, OH. I found a pink and white polyester shirt dress, a red polka dot skirt / shirt combo, and a red white and blue drop waist mini dress. I couldn't wait to get home and be able to style these pieces.

Before I dive into my Refashions this week I have got to introduce you to my helper! Her name is Eunice, and she is a dressmaker's dummy made to my Great Grandmother's body specifications. This dressmakers dummy is almost at antique status. She will be showing up quite often in my blog <3

Meet Eunice, vintage model expert!


I started with the most challenging piece: the pink and white polyester dress. I had to brainstorm a little to come up with an idea that didn't feel forced or contrived. It was a little tough to style this dress because I really wanted to downplay the "1970's diner waitress" aesthetic. I think I found the answer in a gray LuLaRoe Lindsay Kimono. First, I would just like to say that I love, love, LOVE me some LuLaRoe. It is a new obsession, and I can happily say that I could live in vintage or LuLaRoe, or a combination of the two! I found this particular Lindsay on Poshmark for a steal. The Lindsay is the perfect contrast to the dress because it is flowy and modern; the exact opposite of my Brady Bunch Dress. I cinched the waist with a braided belt to maintain the shape of the dress underneath. For accessories I went for ladylike vintage accessories. I chose a pair of bow adorned d'Orsay pumps and a structured bag from my Easy shop. A studded wood bangle is a nice finishing touch.








OUTFIT BREAKDOWN:
Vintage Dress - Rebel Rose Vintage - $40.00 - PURCHASE HERE
LuLaRoe Lindsay Kimono - Poshmark - $30.00
Black Belt - Walmart - $2.00
Black Vintage Bag - Rebel Rose Vintage - $40.00
Black Vintage Pumps - Rebel Rose Vintage - $30.00 - PURCHASE HERE
Black Studded Bangle: $5.00
OUTFIT TOTAL: $147.00



Refashion number 2 is the bow neck blouse that was part of the blouse / skirt set I found at Goodwill. I chose to separate the two items, because wearing the two together was just too matronly for my taste. Personally I always have found the bow neck blouse as being to cloyingly sweet for my personal taste. I usually choose to leave the neck tie undone. This gives it a more relaxed look, and the bow resembles a scarf draped around the neck. I also leave two top couple of buttons undone. I decided to pair this top with a pair of distressed and studded jeans. Once again, I made a conscious choice to downplay the sweetness of the blouse.  For the accessories I wanted to keep in line with the jeans. I decided to go with a pair of zippered pumps and a silver collar style necklace. I think along with the jeans it really gave this outfit a rock and roll vibe.








OUTFIT BREAKDOWN:
Vintage Blouse - Rebel Rose Vintage - $20.00 - PURCHASE HERE
Distressed SEVEn Jeans - TJ Maxx - $24.99
Black Heels - Maurice's - $20.00
Necklace - I honestly can't remember where I found this! I know it was less than $10.00 though :)
OUTFIT TOTAL: $74.99


Refashion number 3 is the second half of the blouse / skirt combo. I adore this skirt! If it was in my size there is no way that this would be for sale in my Etsy shop! I am sucker for a vintage midi skirt. I decided to keep this refashion fairly simple, because I really wanted to showcase how pretty this skirt is. I decided to pair it with a simple black tank top and feminine open toe color block pumps. A fun belt and necklace added some interest without overwhelming the focus of the outfit, which is the skirt.








OUTFIT BREAKDOWN:
Vintage Skirt - Rebel Rose Vintage - $25.00 - PURCHASE HERE
Black Tank Top - Motherhood - $15.00
Belt - No Boundaries - Walmart - $5.00
Colorblock Heels - Guess - $39.99
Necklace - Charming Charlie - 9.99
OUTFIT TOTAL: $94.99


For the final refashion I have the drop waist Minidress in a red, white, and blue floral print. I'm pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to find this dress before the 4th of July, because it would have been perfect! Oh well, it is still adorable on any other day of the year :) I decided to style this dress pretty casually. I paired it with yet another distressed and studded item from my own closet: a cropped denim vest. If you can't tell, I have a definite preference for anything that is a little edgy and rock and roll. I also paired a vintage gray envelope cross body bag with it. A cool thing about this bag is that the strap can be removed and the bag can be used as a clutch as well. I love pieces with versatility like that.  I don't show a shoe with this, but I think that a classic white pair of Converse All Stars would go perfectly with this!





OUTFIT BREAKDOWN:
Vintage Dress - Rebel Rose Vintage - $30.00 - PURCHASE HERE
Denim Vest (plain -studded by yours truly) - No Boundaries - Walmart - 12.00
Vintage Purse - Rebel Rose Vintage - $10.00 - PURCHASE HERE
White Converse All Stars (not pictured) - $49.95
OUTFIT TOTAL: $101.95


So there you have it! An awesome ( and a little lengthy) Refashion Friday! Remember to check the outfit breakdowns after each refashion, because some of these things are for sale ;)

xoxo,
Cassie






















Monday, August 29, 2016

Thrifty Thursday

I know you are thinking Thrifty Thursday? But it's only Monday. Well I was out of town on Thrifty Thursday, and I did mention last week that I would post my finds when I got a chance. Well here is my chance. I got started later in the day than I intended to, so I only ended up hitting 2 places. I din't find a lot, but the few things I did find were pretty awesome.

The first place that I went was The Village Discount Outlet. The one that we went to was on Waterloo Rd. in Akron, and from what I can tell this is a chain of thrift shops in Ohio. It was recommended by Ryan's Grandma that this was a good place to go, because it is very large. Boy, she wasn't kidding! This place was pretty huge. All of the racks were double deckers, and there were so many different things to look at! After combing through the racks I noted that most of the items here were more recent and not of the vintage variety. I was still able to find a nice little dress from the late 60's / early 70's, and a super cute little vintage coat for Ava Nugget.


The Village Discount Outlet, Akron OH

Now thats a lot of clothes!

There's something so pretty about brightly
colored scarves all lined up

So this happened while I was shopping.
The blue car is ours FYI.

Pretty drop waist floral dress

It's handmade too!

Love the textures and colors in this fabric!

My favorite find of the trip:
a tiny vintage coat for Ava Nugget!

I can't even handle this cuteness...

Those details though!

And a Union Made tag to boot :D

The second place I stopped was the good ole Goodwill. It was on Waterloo Rd. as well. It was your standard Goodwill, if not a little on the larger side. The first thing I noticed was a rack of coats when I walked in the door. There were a few vintage furs on the rack that were reasonably priced, but fur of any kind is pretty gross to me, so I passed on the coats. I browsed the bags, but nothing really caught my eye. Next I hit up the dresses, which is my favorite spot. I have had pretty good luck at the Goodwill's in Chattanooga, and this one in Akron was no different. I was able to find a shirt style dress from the 70's and a matching skirt / shirt combo from the 70's as well. As I was checking out I spotted a vintage Coach shoulder bag and was super excited, because the tag read $15. Sadly, the tag was probably worth more than the bag, because it was in ROUGH shape. So it goes at the Goodwill: they always seem to mark up anything with a recognizable brand, no matter the condition.


All Goodwill's pretty much look the same.

This just screams "Alice from The Brady Bunch"

Patterns and textures

I think these buttons come standard
on this type of dress

Sold as a set...I can't imagine wearing these
together...waaaaay to matronly.

This pleated circle skirt is so cute though!

The blouse isn't too shabby either.

Gotta love a vintage polka dot!

So there you have it! My Thrifty Thursday on a Monday. Come back tomorrow and I will style my finds so as not to look like we have emerged directly out of a time machine.

xoxo,
Cassie