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Accessories, DIY

DIY Discount: Pompom Riding Cap

gray-outfit-diy-pompom-baseball-hat-7This is a tale of a girl and a hat. The girl in question is one very sweet coworker with a head made for wearing hats (seriously, she looks good in everything) and the hat that started it all was crafted from dove gray brushed wool felt by couture milliner Eugenia Kim. Once upon a time, the aforementioned girl happened upon said $300 fur-topped hat and in the blink of an eye, she had donned the beautiful creation, never to be the same again. She wore the hat for as long as she could, and when she finally had to take it off, she shed a single tear. Or maybe she just looked wistfully back at the hat as it stood there on the shelf, perky pom-a-bristling.

eugenia-kim-hatHaving myself, at times, felt the frustratingly strong tug of unaffordable luxury goods, I remembered this tragic scene when I stumbled across a wool riding hat with a similar silhouette and a much more manageable price tag. Then I thought a thought that often pops into my head during my aspirational window-shopping sessions: why not use my creative wiles to affix a fur pompom to this budget beauty and DIY my way to a pretty close approximation of the Eugenia Kim?

And so two birds were killed with one stone: I made my charming friend a surprise birthday gift that perfectly suited her lovely head, and a new blog column was born! The DIY Discount will continue to feature homemade hacks on designer goods, so we can all craft our way to better wardrobes.

For this project, you’ll need the following:
• a gray fur pompom
• a wool riding cap/baseball hat
• needle and threadriding-hat1. If you’re using the same type of bag charm fur pompom as I did, you’ll first want to snip off the elastic band attaching the keychain to the pom. Make sure you don’t accidentally trim off any of the fur.

2. Using a needle and matching thread, stitch the pompom to the top of the hat, making sure it’s nice and secure. Knot the thread on the underside of the hat and trim any excess thread.

3.Take pictures for your blog of you wearing the hat you made for your friend (I’m sure she won’t mind)!

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Hat: DIYed from this // Jacket: Banana Republic (Sold out, similar) // Top: Banana Republic // Jeans: Old Navy // Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target (old) // Shoes: Sole Society (old, but I also love these) // Gloves: Target (old, similar)

Clothing, Style

How to Style Culottes for Fall

blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-1blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-3blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-8blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-9 blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-4blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-7blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-5blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-10blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-2Top: Boohoo // Pants: Alice + Olivia // Shoes: J.Crew (similar, lower-heel option here) // Brooches: vintage // Bag: Vintage // Bag Charms: Amazon // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via DITTO // Bracelet: Banana Republic // Rings: BaubleBar // Watch: Michael Kors

If you thought I was going to say stick a sweater on top and call it a day, you were wrong. You were very, very wrong. Yes, autumn heralds the advent of knitwear, but it also marks the beginning of open season on all things sparkly. And furry. And ruffly. Right?

I recently discovered these epic Alice + Olivia high-waisted culottes on major clearance at Nordstrom Rack. Admittedly, they are from the Spring season, but having admired them from the time I first spied them on the Style.com (RIP) presentation recap, I knew I had to pick them up and never let go. I floated out of the store—thanking my lucky shopping stars—determined to repurpose these charming umbrella-striped culottes for fall use.

My usual instinct is to pair a voluminous piece with a streamlined one, to balance out the silhouette. Here, however, I went full steam ahead and paired these pleated pants with an equally billowing top. I affectionately refer to it as my Puffy Shirt and I love it very much. Next step in fall-ifying this look? Add as much sparkle and lush texture as possible without looking gauche. That means silver cracked-leather pumps, a trio of vintage brooches and a sublime silver-and-gold box clutch all found at my very favorite local antique shop, and a cluster of furry pompoms for good measure.

Were my shoulders a little cold? Maybe, but sometimes you have to shiver a little to look good.

Clothing, Shopping, Uncategorized

Black + White Windowpane

black-and-white-windowpane-1 black-and-white-windowpane-6black-and-white-windowpane-4black-and-white-windowpane-2black-and-white-windowpane-5black-and-white-windowpane-8Hat: Target // Jacket: Forever 21 // Top: J.Crew // Jeans: Old Navy // Purse: Steve Madden (similar) // Shoes: Target // Necklace: Julie Vos // Sunglasses: Prada

I love a good windowpane print. There’s something about the shadowy interplay between black and white that is at once elegantly timeless and graphically modern. I practically wore out my favorite windowpane scarf this winter, so as temperatures finally started to warm up, I began the hunt for a more lightweight iteration.

After plenty of online window shopping, I finally found exactly what I was looking for in this printed silk tee from J.Crew. Not only do I love the small-scale windowpane print, but (almost) more importantly, I love the small design details. Supple silk inhabits an oversized t-shirt silhouette, mixing high and low aesthetics with signature Lyons aplomb. Slender black piping traces the shirttail hem, furthering the fun interplay between casual and luxe. I really could go on about this shirt for awhile…I think my day job is rubbing off on me.

But, in wrapping up this post, I suppose I should mention that since my #WearMoreHats campaign of 2015 began, I’ve been stocking up on headwear in earnest. My latest acquisition—this white straw Panama hat—is miraculous in that it both fits my very large head and cost a mere fifteen dollars. Win/win/windowpane.

Lifestyle

Nutcracker Tradition

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Dress: Forever 21 // Jacket: Forever 21 // Earrings: Jeweliq // Shoes: Target // Bracelets: BaubleBar + Julie Vos // Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas until I’ve gone to The Nutcracker. Ever since my grandmother took me to see The Sacramento Ballet’s production of the Christmas classic almost 20 years ago, I’ve had a minor obsession with it. I named my dog Clarabelle after the main character Clara, and my house is currently filled with the Nutcrackers I’ve collected over the years. I make sure to see it at least once a year, and I made Max promise that if we moved to Iowa, he would take me to see The Nutcracker at the Joffrey in Chicago.

While I missed seeing my beloved San Francisco Ballet’s art deco-inspired and historic production (not to mention Maria Kochetkova‘s Grand Pas de Deux), I am always happy to experience a new interpretation. Besides absolutely adoring the dancing itself, I love the ritual of going to the ballet. I love getting dressed up, eating a delicious dinner followed by a glass of Champaign at intermission, and perusing the gift shop to pick out a new Nutcracker to add to my collection.

Usually, I have my Nutcracker dress picked out weeks in advance, but this year I was at a loss. I waited until the last minute to decide what to wear, and ultimately forgot to pack anything suitable for my trip to Chicago. I had a bit of Christmas shopping to finish up in the city, so while I was out, I stopped by Forever 21 and picked up this cranberry pleated maxi dress along with this faux-fur-and-leather jacket. Since the temperature was in the 20s, I was desperate to find something warm to wear without looking like I was completely bundled up. Luckily, this combo fit the bill perfectly, and I spent a lovely night all dressed up with my beau and my favorite ballet characters.

Clothing

Blue Buffalo Check

blue-buffalo-check-1 blue-buffalo-check-2 blue-buffalo-check-3 blue-buffalo-check-5 blue-buffalo-check-6 blue-buffalo-check-7 blue-buffalo-check-8Dress: Target (old) // Jacket: Zara (old, but similar here) // Fur Stole: vintage // Bag: Kate Spade (similar) // Sunglasses: Prada // Necklace: 14th & Union (similar) // Shoes: Aldo (similar)

No pattern feels quite so autumnal as buffalo check. Although Paul Bunyan wore his in red, I prefer mine reimagined in colors like cobalt blue, as seen above, and paired with luxe elements like leather and fur. Somehow, until recently, I didn’t know the name for this pattern. I suppose I thought it was just a large-scale gingham. But once I went down the Google rabbit hole in search of information about this bold, beloved pattern, I discovered much more than its name.

You know the original Hudson’s Bay point blankets? The ones knocked off by Pendleton and currently enjoying a moment in the interior design spotlight? Well, those blankets were brought to the New World in the 18th and 19th centuries to trade with Native Americans for fur pelts. The natives, and traders, fashioned the thick wool blankets into coats designed to protect them from the cold, wet Canadian winters.

Fast forward a few years, and Hudson’s Bay Company decides to make a lighter-weight version of their sought-after blankets. This thinner version was printed with red and black stripes to form the buffalo check. Many men in the Northwest opted to wear jackets made from the buffalo check blankets, and they spread across the country with the logging industry; this is where we get the image of Paul Bunyan in a buffalo check flannel. And, after my history lesson, I feel my choice of fur stole was not only sartorially sound, it was (somewhat) inspired by history?