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Valentino-Inspired Floral Look

zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-3zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-8zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-11zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-5zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-7zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-6zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-10zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-9zara-two-piece-flora-embroidered-set-valentino-dupe-2Top: Zara (sold out, very similar here) // Skirt: Zara (sold out, similar here) // Boots: Chinese Laundry // Bag: New Look (old, similar here)// Necklace: Julie Vos // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via DITTO // Bracelet: Lily Dawson // Rings: BaubleBar and Rachel Zoe (sold out, similar here)

Botanical prints are everywhere right now, yes, but none were done quite so well as the embroidered versions found at the Valentino Pre-Fall 2015 show. The classically puritanical Valentino silhouettes and Botticelli-inspired embroidery have stayed with me ever since I saw them (aren’t they stunning?), and I knew it would only be a few seasons before this trend trickled down. And so, after a bout of uncharacteristic retail patience, I finally hunted down a fast-fashion approximation of the looks I pined for the year before—on sale, no less!

One day, maybe, after I’ve earned my way to a student loan-free life and a house with a library and a rolling ladder, I’ll be able to afford the real thing. But in the very likely chance that doesn’t happen, I think I’ll still be pretty darn happy with my two-piece Zara look. Although the floral print and short skirt hem smack of springtime cheer and sunnier weather, I couldn’t bear to keep this combo in my closet for long. Out came the tights and the over-the-knee boots to save the day and keep me warm enough to brave a beautiful Iowa City winter sunset.


DIY Days-of-the-Week Undies


When I was a little girl, I had a set of days-of-the-week underwear that I absolutely adored. What’s not to love about pretty pastel underwear designed for a specific day and printed with adorable little icons? During a recent session of childhood reminiscing, I decided that I absolutely needed my own set of modern-day DOTW undies.

To my complete shock, I could only find one (one!) set of grown-up ladies’ days-of-the-week underwear, and they ring in, of course, at just under $200. Yes, they are gorgeous, and yes they are delicate and lacy and pretty, and yes I wanted them. But not that bad. Plus, this was a project I was pretty sure I would be able to tackle in grand DIY style.

So, I headed to Target, dug into my fast-growing stash of embroidery thread and got to work.


For this project, you’ll need the following:
• embroidery thread
• seven pairs of underwear
• letter template
• tracing paper
• painter’s tape

1. Ok, so the “proper” way to do this first step would probably be to use a fabric pen to draw the letters on the underwear and then use an embroidery hoop to work the letters. But that’s not what I did. I didn’t have an embroidery hoop at hand, so I improvised. To start, I traced the letters from my computer screen onto a strip of tracing paper, and cut each letter into its own small square, leaving about a half an inch on each side.

2. Center your letter atop your underwear, and tape each side securely with a piece of painter’s tape, making sure the paper is laying flat against the underwear.

3. Using a simple backstitch, follow the outlines of the tracing paper until your letter is fully embroidered. Tie off your thread and trim any excess. Repeat six more times until you have a full weeks’ worth of playful, fun, throwback undies!