DIY Emire Waist Dress

Got a silver dress at H&M two years ago with an impossibly small bust area. The kind that would be perfect for the girl who can go bra-less. Thanks H&M. But I'm the idiot who bought it because it was shiny and I just wanted it.

So I wore it once with a cardigan over it and it's been sitting in the closet ever since.

I found a cute black tank top at NY&Company for $6 and had an idea for salvaging the dress.

I detached the skirt of the dress, chopped off the bottom of the tank top and then shirred* the two pieces together. Since the tank top already had some cute tulle ruffle detailing, I decided to expand on that by adding a layer of black tulle over the skirt and letting the raw edges of the skirt be exposed.

Paired with my favorite cinch belt, I have an adorable new dress.

You can't always change your body to fit into clothes, but you can always change the clothes to fit your body.

*Shirring is simply fabric gathered by elastic and if you have a sewing machine it is super easy.
All you need is some thin round elastic cord, hand wound on a bobbin. Use your regular thread on top and be sure to lock your stitch at the beginning and end. As you sew, your fabric will automatically gather!

Where Clothes Come From

How many countries are in your closet? I've got at least 18 in mine.
Recently I've been paying more attention to the names of the countries stitched on the clothes I'd like to own, with my intentions to buy more things made in the USA.

It's not as common as I'd like (or as perhaps it should be), but things made in the USA are out there.

For clothing, one of my favorite brands Max Studio (commonly found at TJMaxx and clearance racks at Macys), is made here. For shoes, mostly sandals, I've found Onex.

But a good deal of clothing and shoe labels don't consistently use just one country - so you always have to remember to check!

I'm not about to change my life, or my shopping habits to only buying things made here, but I am trying to be more aware.

PS. I recently watched Wal*Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices

The Frye Company Boot

The name Frye elicits a certain feeling of classic American wardrobe staple. A well made leather boot that will wear for years and years and always be in style.

I really want a pair.

But since Frye's average price point is $300, I'm left feeling high and dry. Even on sale the knee high styles nary dip below $100.

So I though I might try ebay. While ebay always has a decent offering of NIB items, I wouldn't be opposed to a 'gently worn' pair if it would get me a pair of Frye boots for under $50.

Unfortunately the general trend of previously worn frye boots end with auction prices from $80 to $200! Am I alone in thinking that is absurd? We are talking about shoes that other people have worn! What makes last season's used Fry Boot worth half it's retail value, when you could buy a new pair of leather boots from Aldo for the same price?

Is it so wrong to think that once worn, the resale value drops to the thrift store price of $15?
Am I really the only person to think that used boots are worth that much?

Strand of Pearls

Grey Cardigan, Black top, Purple Tights, Grey Boots

For the best deal on a pearl necklace; skip Forever 21, pass on by Target, ignore the jewelers, and go to a craft store, such as Michael's, ACMoore, or Joann Fabrics. There you will find a great selection of prestrung pearls, freshwater in several sizes, shapes, and colors. For even less, you can get beautiful glass ones.

Once you've got your strand, all you will need to do is knot the ends together tightly, or if you want to splurge (an extra .60 cents or so) on a clasp, you can make a very expensive looking necklace.

190 6mm pearls created a 42" strand, which can be worn long, doubled, or knotted. My cost was $3. How can you beat that?

Wearing Mustard Pants

Mustard Cords, Navy Top, Grey Bubble Cardigan, Turquoise Sandals
Got my mustard cords from the Gap ($38 from $54). So what to wear them with?

Today's Look: Navy top, Grey bubble cardigan, turquoise sandals, turquoise necklace
Mustard + Blue + Grey = Awesome.
There is probably some scientific research showing that yellow and blue together make people happy. Or perhaps it makes people want to spend money, since both Best Buy and Ikea use that color combo. But it's easy to see how well they compliment each other. Light grey is a perfect neutral and I loved the idea of having two shades of blue in the outfit.

Now, three more looks!

Look One: Weekend - Teal top, black vest, black flats
The teal contrasts beautifully with the mustard and keeping the other elements dark really allows for the yellow to standout.

Look Two: Work> After Work - Rust top, lilac scarf, patterned flats, brown blazer
Anything found in nature always works well, so rust and mustard for the fall are pretty much a given. The lilac gives the outfit a lot of playfulness, and the brown blazer makes it office appropriate.

Look Three: Evening - Sequin striped top, black beaded heels, bangles, cocktail ring
Why can't mustard work for evening? The 'honey bee' look is bold and unique. Tons of sparkle with the top, the shoes, and the ring.