21empiredesigns

Fashion and Interior Design… and a little more :)

Making the Most: Three in One August 16, 2013

A couple months ago, I did a post on making the most of your wardrobe – reusing and reinventing what you already have to come up with fresh outfits… Well, I’ve been putting it into practice, and here’s a fun example for you guys 🙂

One of my favorite tops is a black and white striped boatneck top that I got at Old Navy last year for around $10…. an awesome deal that has served me well as a go-to winter/fall shirt and beyond! It’s super cute, works for my figure, and will always be on trend 🙂  My challenge to myself was to find 5 ways to wear it that were different than normal, and I was able to get even more than that from my $10 top… I’ve shared my most workable three here. All photo credit goes to the awesome Laura R., author of the photography blog “Laura’s Photography“. Aside from being a wonderful friend, she’s an amazing photographer with a great eye, and I had so much fun shooting with her this week 🙂 (P.S. – I also found out that it’s a lot more fun to edit someone else’s photos than your own!!)

So without further ado…. the outfits!

1. Date Night

This outfit is best for any date or event where you’re feeling a little girly and want to step up the casual a little bit. The key to this outfit is in the details. The pearl jewelry adds a touch of feminine class, as does the lace fabric of the skirt (a splurge for me at $20 at Target!). I completed the look with kitten heels with bow details, tying in the colors and sealing the girly tone 🙂
If you’re not into the whole girly-girl look, modernize the outfit by switching out the pearl necklace for a bright necklace with a good focal point and bright nails (like my rapidly chipping mani 😛 – “Spring Street” by NYC + “Gold” sparkle polish by Milani)
If you’re feeling more casual, switch out the shoes for a pair of casual flats or Sperrys and less dressy jewelry.

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These cuties by "Mootsie Tootsie" were my first pair of high school party shoes three years ago :P <3

These cuties by “Mootsie Tootsie” were my first pair of high school party shoes three years ago 😛 ❤

A birthday gift from my parents, this Stauer necklace is one of my favorites, and has appeared in several of my photography attempts and countless outfits :)

A birthday gift from my parents, this Stauer necklace is one of my favorites, and has appeared in several of my photography attempts and countless outfits 🙂

2. Working Chic

If you work in a semi-casual environment and love a little color, or if you’re just going somewhere and want to look a more little put together, this outfit (my favorite by far xD) is for you!
This outfit was inspired in so many ways… it started out with a book (I can’t even remember which one) that said a scarf tied around the neck is super-Parisian (yes, that’s paraphrased :P)… So in the interest of experimentation, I grabbed the nearest scarf (which happened to be a beautiful, really bright party favor from an Indian-themed birthday party :D) and just tried it… I’d also picked up a tip from the latest InStyle magazine for printed shoes that entails rolling up the hems of jeans to ankle length to show off the shoe. So why not try it with my new super-cute patent leather Mary Janes? (Long story, but I’d been looking for a nude heel for a while, and I grabbed the pair by Soda in the pictures for $15 at Burlington Coat Factory a few weeks ago <3)  The blazer (H&M) came last, as a way to tie in the whole outfit, and it became my favorite, just like that! When accessorizing the outfit, I wanted to give it a little bit of a “single girl” edge, so I added what my friend calls my “breakup ring” (which I got at a sidewalk sale for $5 – SCORE) and a pair of oversized hoops (3 pairs for $5 at Walmart) for a little dose of Attitude (and if you’re a single working woman like me, you’ve earned that for sure :P)
P.S. – the bag is just your average mid-size white bag… I think I got it from Walmart, but it was a few years ago, and I honestly don’t remember how much it was… but I love it 😀

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I'm in love with the colors in the scarfffffff <3 <3

Favorite pair of jeans right now… they have little rips up near the top of the leg, and I LOVE the wash! Playing with the contrast while editing was SO much fun when it came to the jeans…

$5 at a sidewalk sale in Haddonfield... and I don't even remember what the store was... lol

$5 at a sidewalk sale in Haddonfield… and I don’t even remember what the store was… lol

3. Girly Urban

What a contradiction, right? Well, that’s the thing I like about fashion – contradictions work! (most of the time, anyway…)  This outfit breaks a few rules – but that’s what rules are for, right? First, black and blue. Who says, I say! Next is two seemingly contradictory genres of style. But I and others have found that they actually coexist quite well! So much for rules.

This outfit works really well for a dressy casual occasion, or just for a feel-good, look-good day. The jeggings are SO comfortableeee, and the jewelry is just fun to wear. I found the jeggings by “YMI” at Bare Foot Shoes when I was in Philly with my mom, and the necklace was a steal for $5 at Charming Charlie’s (my favorite jewelry store in the world!). The earrings I made myself (courtesy of Christiana’s Jewelry Shoppe), and the beaded headband was apparently from Children’s Place (one of my mom’s give-away-or-throw-away items that I’ve kept for several years…). The shoes I found for $10 on clearance at Old Navy, and while I have to admit, they’re not fun to wear for more than a few hours, they’re one of my favorite “attitude” shoes 😛

For this outfit, if you’re feeling more urban than girly, pair it with some rocker jewelry in a dark metal (like gunmetal) and handful of rings, dark makeup (I just stuck to lip gloss and winged liquid liner) and no-mess updo… I liked the girly touch in gold and pink hues, but that’s a personal style preference based on the day I chose it!

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Here’s a better view of the headband and jewelry! (I’m actually obsessed with the necklace <3)

This bag has been through the mill with me for over five years now... I still like to think it's real, even though I got it for free at a giveaway... but it's such a great go-to bag :) :)

This bag has been through the mill with me for over five years now (as you can see, it’s a littler worn 😦 )… I still like to think it’s real (HA), even though I got it for free at a giveaway… but it’s such a great go-to bag 🙂 🙂

So anyway, those are three of my favorite outfits with this top – Date Night, Working Chic, and Girly Urban! I really want to hear from you guys, so I have two questions for you!! Which outfit is your favorite… and what are your tips or tricks for making the most of YOUR wardrobe?

Thanks so much and hope you enjoyed! Like, comment, and follow! 😛

~Christiana S.~ (OMG… WordPress won’t let me do tildas anymore??? My mind just exploded….)

P.S. – Don’t forget to visit Laura’s blog, “Laura’s Photography“!

 

Making the most of EVERYTHING in your closet! June 5, 2013

Soooooo… long time no see!! It’s been crazy busy for me the past couple months, and I haven’t had any energy to write. But summer’s here and it’s time to get back on the ball… (we’ll see how long that lasts!)

Anyways, so if you read the title, you know what’s going on! We ALL have those dreaded days (even us fashion “experts” who aren’t supposed to) where we open the closet and feel like we have nothing to wear… well, the good news is, there is 🙂  There’s stuff in there, isn’t there? So here are my 3 things to remember when putting together outfits (which I got to try out on a good friend who was having the exact same problem trying to get together business casual outfits last week :P) that will help you conquer this feeling.

1. Get a pair of fresh eyes!

One of the best things you can do in this situation is to get someone else to go through your closet with you. And this doesn’t have to be a fashion person even (it would be awesome, but sometimes you don’t have that option) – just someone who can be objective, creative, and challenging – including a sister, close friend, or even a fashion-conscious mom! When I went through my friend’s closet, which she had been feeling bored and uninspired by, I literally saw and found piles of super cute clothes that could be paired up in multiple new and fun ensembles that she hadn’t thought of, resulting in me leaving her with several new outfits that didn’t cost anything! This fresh perspective can energize you and give you new ideas – fresh ways to pair up clothes that you hadn’t thought of or seen before!

 

2. Don’t write a piece of clothing off!

One thing my friend would say a lot when I pulled a piece of clothing was “Don’t you think it’s too churchy/casual/(replace with any occasion-specific adjective)”. This is one of the deadly concepts that tends to squelch your own creativity and innovation when it comes to your wardrobe. Instead of thinking of a piece of clothing as a “casual” piece, or a “business-y” piece, think of it instead as an accessory – an unidentified component to a thousand different outfits. In other words, don’t label clothing. We turned several pieces that she had considered too churchy or casual into outfits that were fun, adorable, and business-y, simply by pairing them with other things that brought that vibe to the outfit. By thinking of a piece as only useable for a particular type of outfit, you severely limit yourself AND your closet, making the process of choosing clothes boring and daunting.

 

3. Pairing is KEY!

My last point! To follow up with the second point, what makes an outfit is what you pair each piece with. The reason why the second point works is because you can take that “churchy” piece (in this case, a long floral skirt), and pair it with a sleek, simple shirt (here, it was a dark gray cami), a fitted blazer or quarter length sleeve sweater (like we did), and a pair of good shoes, and instead of having a “churchy” outfit, you have a nice business casual outfit. Not what you would have expected looking at that unwearable “churchy” skirt, huh? It wasn’t what she expected either. But by taking an objective perspective and challenging yourself to make it into something new you can make all the difference you need in your closet. I guarantee you there are a ton of things in your closet that you could pair with something completely different to make something new out of it. You can change a WHOLE piece of clothing by just pairing it with something different and even unexpected.

 

So there’s my “make the most of everything” advice! Before I end though, I have to thank my friend for letting me into her closet and putting up with me as I challenged her closet ideas! I would literally go through and pull the pieces she absolutely hated or thought would never work and have her try them anyway! Not something most people would put up with, so kudos to her! [Disclaimer: we DID make all of them work, so I didn’t LEAVE her in her in the clothes she hated :)] Anyways, thank you again, girl! You were so helpful in giving me insight to write this post and know that the points actually work 😉

For all the rest of you reading this, I really hope it was helpful, and don’t forget to be objective, creative, and open minded! I promise it helps a ton!

~Christiana S.~

 

 
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