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Clothing, Shopping, Style

Golden Girl

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Dress: Forever 21 (old, similar shown below) // Earrings: Forever 21 (old, similar) // Jacket: Forever 21 (old, similar) // Watch: Michael Kors (similar) // Bracelet: Julie Vos // Bag: (old, similar) // Shoes: Nine West (old, similar)

When I painted myself a mental picture of the life I would lead in Iowa, it did not include red carpets. But wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly where I found myself last weekend: getting my picture taken at a movie premier in downtown Cedar Rapids (hello, big-city living). Thanks to one of my coworkers who played a very convincing Elf #4 in the family-friendly, locally made masterpiece Up on the Wooftop, I finally had the opportunity to get all dressed up in this little gold number (originally purchased as part of a Bond girl Halloween costume and heretofore hanging forlornly at the back of my closet, waiting to be worn in earnest).

I would absolutely love it if there were more movie premiers in my future, but as that’s not currently the case, I guess I’ll have to settle for some dressed-up holiday parties. As evidenced by my aforementioned love of Goldfinger and my choice of premier garb, I’m a big fan of the gilded look. Thankfully, the fact that the ’70s redux is now in full swing coupled with the fact that it’s the season of all things shiny and bright means that gold dresses abound. From the short and sequined to the strappy and wrapped, there’s a golden dress with your name on it. But just be warned: you might be stopped for an autograph the first time you take one of these 14-karat frocks out for a spin.

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Game, Set, Match

tennis5tennis2tennis4 tennis3tennis1

To date, my involvement in tennis has been purely tangential: I can claim more than one tennis pro as a friend, I enjoy watching Wimbledon, and I spend a few minutes every day throwing a mini tennis ball for my mini dog to fetch. It’s only natural, then, that the sport would gradually move off the sidelines and into my wardrobe.

Enter this pretty preppy dress. The drop waist paired with pleats in a watery green shade immediately calls to mind 1920s tennis dresses à la Coco Chanel. Yes, the hemline might be a bit shorter, but the slouchy silhouette and flowing fabric pays a pretty good tribute. And just like Coco’s relatively comfortable sportswear—which allowed women to actually play tennis—this little number is one of the easiest daytime dresses I own.

I don’t care if it means nothing, when it comes to this dress I am in love–love!

mccallstylenewsmay1928Sportswear patterns from the 1920s

Accessories, DIY

DIY Monogrammed Clutch

lips4lips3lips2lips5Sweatshirt: Forever 21 // Skirt: Frenchi (old) // Bag: Forever 21 // Shoes: Target (old) // Nails: Essie Going Incognito // Lipstick: NARS Carthage

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at a wearable diy project, so I sewed this intricately sequined sweatshirt. Just kidding, it’s from Forever 21—and it’s pretty much a dead ringer for this designer version (and Georgie May Jagger‘s pout). What I did do myself, however, was monogram the heck out of this clutch.

After indulging in a little bargain retail therapy last week, I left Forever 21 not only with this sparkling sweatshirt, but with this bright red clutch for the sweet, sweet price of $12.

Everyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love monograms, and I’ve had my eye on this GiGi New York bag for awhile now. So I figured this inexpensive clutch was the perfect canvas on which to try my monogramming skills. It was super easy, and I love the way it turned out.


1. Print out your initials in black ink on regular printer paper (I printed mine in a few different sizes to see which I liked best).
2. Place a strip of thick washi tape over the printed initials.
3. Turn the paper over and cut out the letters with an X-Acto knife, being careful to be extra precise.
4. When all the letters are cut out, carefully peel off the washi tape. This is your stencil.
5. Center the washi tape stencil on your clutch and smooth it down. Go over it a few times, pressing firmly down in order to prevent bleeding.
6. I used this paint in gold leaf, but something like this should also do the trick. I painted one coat, allowed it to dry and painted a second coat. Use enough paint to get in all the nooks and crannies but don’t glob it on too thick or you run the risk of bleeding.
7. Let the paint dry for at least and hour and then peel off the washi tape. Voilà!

I’m already planning my next monogram project, and at the risk of sounding lippy: you should too!

Accessories, Clothing, On the Cheapish

Seeing in Color

blue-sunnies4My favorite summer accessories, hands down, are sunglasses. And while the rest of the fashion world may be putting on their plaid and pulling up their boots in preparation for fall, I’m enjoying the start of San Francisco’s Indian summer. Meaning it’s the perfect time to talk about my favorite new eyewear.

I’ve had my eye on a bright blue version of these Madewell Hepcat Shades for quite some time, so when I stumbled across these practically identical Forever 21 sunnies for all of $6, I almost bought them in all three colors. Retro frame? Check. Reflective lenses? Check. Perfect powder blue hue? Check!

It turns out that I’ve been so subconsciously drawn to this fresh color that almost everything I’ve recently purchased seems to match my new sunglasses. I love wearing them with this ladylike Lush frock, and they also look great poolside when worn with my—you guessed it—blue and white bikini. Plus they look really cute on my pup!blue-sunniesblue-sunnies7blue-sunnies2blue-sunnies6blue-sunnies5

Accessories, Clothing

Put a Beau on It!

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of taking this pretty new Kate Spade Beau bag out for a spin at a party hosted by Kate Spade and San Francisco Magazine.pinkdeck7beaupartyA couple glasses of pink champagne later, my friend Sarah and I were having a grand old time trying things on and treating ourselves to some fun new items. Afterward, we headed up to her roof just in time to snap a few photos before the light left for the night. The Golden Gate Bridge makes for a pretty great backdrop, don’t you think?pinkdeck2pinkdeck5pinkdeck3Shirt: Forever 21, Skirt: Frenchi – also seen here, Bag: Kate Spade