Q + A // styling a lace top

Perhaps it is untimely to do a post about styling lace on the cusp of fall and winter, but looking back through my archives I've probably worn my lace tops just about as much in the colder months as I have in the summer.  The few lace tops I have in my closer are some of my favorite items to remix.  Lace can tend to either veer into matronly territory, or be a little risqué and see-through, but I've also found it to be easy to layer in funky, eclectic, and cute ways!

While it might be a bit too revealing for some, I actually rather like styling my lace tops with only a bra underneath.  The two looks below both are styled with just a bra underneath, no cami, but I didn't feel self conscious or scandalous in either outfit.  If you want to get the same look, without baring the skin, you could always wear a nude cami underneath to mimic the look.  I really love this look on hot summer days because it's so breezy and light.

One of my favorite ways to wear lace tops is by layering them over a dress.  This can easily change up the look of a dress and is a great way to give some of your old dresses a new look.  By layering a top over a dress, you're essentially wearing the dress as a skirt, but with a lace top you still get the peek of the dress underneath through the lace pattern.  This is also a great way to start layering if you want to style lace in the winter.  Start by layering a lace top over a dress, then you can add a scarf, a cardigan, tights, etc.  You can also keep layering in the summer by doing this. 

You can also layer a bit by tucking the lace top into a belt at your waist.  This gives the waist a bit more definition than just wearing the top sans belt.  I also find that I really like wearing lace tops with a long necklace or a scarf.  

You can also tuck lace tops into high waisted skirts for a more tailored styling than the more bohemian look of having it layered over a dress.  Of course, if you want to go for a more undone look, you can always tuck just the front and then layer necklaces or a scarf over top, or even throw on a cute cardigan to make it more fall friendly.  
Lace is one of those fabrics that can function in a ton of ways.  It can be sexy, or bohemian, or grandma, or eclectic.  It can act as a neutral or a print.  I tend to style my white lace tops on top of lighter colors, so it functions more as a neutral than a print, but I also mix prints like it's nobody's business, so perhaps I just am not aware of how I'm actually print mixing.  Layering a lace top over darker colors does make the lace pattern pop more, though, so be aware that your lace will function more as a print when you pair it with a darker base layer.  When it's worn on top of a lighter color, the lace pattern is much more subtle, which makes it easier to wear with other prints.  

If you're looking for a lace top similar to the ones I've styled in this post, I got them a couple years ago so I'm pretty sure they're not in stock anymore but you can find some similar ones here:

Oasap // Yes Style // Alice & Olivia


STLFW // project:design!

The first day I was in town for STLFW, I flew in, got to the hotel, met my lovely roommate, and then we got ready to head out for our first night of festivities.  There was a blogger dinner planned at Basso, which was right next door to the hotel, so we grabbed a few outfit photos and then headed down for dinner.  The dinner was amazing and the restaurant was an underground, den-like venue, which made for a nice, intimate setting, despite there being about twenty of us.  It was fun meeting the group of bloggers for the first time and filling up on amazing food and drinks.  There was a happy hour planned for after dinner, but we had the option of attending the Project:Design! runway show, so Jackie and I decided to skip the happy hour and go out to the show instead.  I'm glad we did, because no one else decided to go to happy hour anyway and we ended up getting front row seats to the show!!  


You can see the collections from the show in their entirety here, but I also grabbed some shots of my own and wanted to share a few of my personal favorite looks and designers from the night.

My favorite designer from the Project:Design! show was probably Lauren Bander.  The first look with the crop top and maxi is just perfection.  The collection had a sophisticated bohemian vibe to it, just right for spring/summer.  I would totally rock that bottom look too.  So breezy and fresh.


Another favorite was Abaya Dake.  I loved his use of bright colors, geometric patterns, and the incorporation of bold, ethnic prints.  Overall, it's just a really fun collection that has a playfulness that isn't too self aware or pretentious.  



Black by Maria Silver was in my top three favorite collections.  There were fun, "fashion-y" pieces mixed with a lot of super wearable pieces.  This first look is definitely very wearable, and I'm dying over the last look.  I want that crop top like whoa, mostly because I have high waisted black jeans that would complete the look perfectly.


Which collection is your favorite? Click through for a few more collections from Project:Design!
Fouché Couture

Elise Lammert


Q Liu


delightfully tacky x modcloth

Exciting news!  Over the past couple months I've been working with ModCloth on a vintage collection inspired by my style!  It launched on Monday and I'm super excited to share it with you all.  Over the past few years my style inspiration has shifted from a 1950's - early 60's look, back to a more casual bohemian/rock and roll/pin-up style, which is what I was more inspired by when I was younger.  It's so funny how style can be cyclical, even within your own life!  These days I've been loving the styles of chicks like Grace Slick, Bettie Page, and Carly Simon.  You can read more about my inspiration for this collection over at the ModCloth blog, and head over to ModCloth to take a look at the collection!



Q + A // how to style jeans

In high school all I wore were jeans.  Mostly low-rise flare and bootcut jeans because it was the early 2000's and, well, that's what you wore.  My "uniform" was jeans, skater shoes, and little boy's t-shirts.  When I began exploring my style I ended up swinging to the opposite end of the spectrum and dressed very "girly" for a few years.  You almost never saw me in pants.  Now I feel like I'm settling in somewhere between my high school style and my super-girly style.  Since getting a big more in shape, too, I feel more comfortable in pants.  I have rather short legs, and I'm short to begin with, so I never look like those NYC street style photos of tall model-like girls wearing skinny jeans.  I think for a long time it frustrated me to not look like I envisioned an outfit looking, because I saw the same outfit on one of those tall, slender off-duty-models and my body is not ever going to be that.  But I think something about feeling more fit made me feel like I looked better in jeans, even though I don't think my body's actual shape changed too much.  This pear shape girl will always be a pear shaped girl, no matter what weight I'm at.  But anyway, I digress.  Styling jeans.  First step: don't expect to look like girls who don't have your body shape.  Get over that.  Stop being disappointed that you don't have a thigh gap, or that your ass is as flat as a pancake, or that your hips are "weird."  



Lets start with just blue jeans.  They're pretty standard.  I walk into any store or restaurant and I bet 90% of people are wearing blue jeans.  I like a darker wash jean, just because it feels a bit less casual.  It seems easier to wear dark jeans in a stylish way.  I like to pair jeans with fun heels and a fun top.  Jeans will almost always be a neutral aspect of your outfit, so doing something more exciting with the other elements of your outfit is a good way to raise the level of your outfit a few notches.  Pick a bold print, or bright color.  Or do both!

I love high waisted jeans because I feel like they give me more options for styling.  I can either style them as high waisted by pairing a crop top 



The three outfits above all are with more low rise jeans.  I'm not a huge fan of low rise anymore, but low-rise is still a very popular cut.  For low rise jeans I don't tuck in my top as much, like I do with high waisted jeans, but you can take a longer top and just tuck the front bit in.  The jeans in the very top photo of this post are more mid-rise and you can see I tucked one flap of my button down shirt in.  But if you have a longer tee or blouse, instead of tucking the shirt all the way around, just tuck in a little bit to reveal your belt buckle!

I've never been a fan of the dress-with-pants fad, but for some reason the photo above is one of my favorite outfits.  Nowadays I would choose jeggings instead of regular jeans, but it can be a nice way to keep warm on a cold day while still wearing a dress.  I think the dress-with-jeans look can be super tricky to make work, but sometimes...


Plaid is one of my favorite casual tops to pair with jeans.  This is definitely a more casual look, not dressy, but it's still a great way to style jeans if you're just going to school or going grocery shopping and don't care to look fancy at all.  Creating layers adds interest, so you can layer a plaid shirt over a tee and then wear a jacket over that.  Or roll up your jean cuffs and add a belt. 



This is a super old outfit, but I really like this look and it's also the only example I have of a wash like acid-wash.  I really love pairing a blazer with a more casual top and jeans.  I currently don't have any good blazers (I really want a neon blazer!), but I'd love to wear an outfit like this one again.  I went super mono-chromatic with this one, just black and white and shade of grey, but I can imagine this with a bright pump and maybe a colorful statement necklace bringing just the right little element of color.


When it comes to colored or patterned jeans I tend to keep the other elements less crazy.  Paring black and white is a pretty safe bet when you're styling with colored jeans.  One fun thing to do is go on pinterest and search for something like "mint color palette" and it'll show you tons of color palettes of colors that pair well with mint.  So if you're not sure what colors will go well with your colored jeans, try that!  I personally am currently obsessed with mint and coral paired together. 


Footwear with jeans is really limitless.  I wear pretty much all kinds of shoes with jeans.  Statement heels, moccasins, boots, flats.  But wearing a shoe with style of it's own will help your jeans not fall flat.  Don't just wear your old sneakers.  Find a pair of shoes that goes with the vibe of your outfit and compliments it.  Have a go-to pair of shoes that goes with almost everything so, when in doubt, you can just go for those.  Maybe a cute pair of black flats.  With a couple repeats, I'm wearing a different pair of shoes in every photo in this post.  I love how heels make jeans a bit more fancy, and then moccasins make them more casual.  Boots tend to add a layering effect, which I like.


spring forward

Spring is that you?  The other day I spied little blooms starting to appear on a few trees around town, so perhaps spring is indeed on its way.  This maxi dress has be really wanting warmer weather to arrive, as it's the perfect simple summer dress, but for now I'm adding a bit of warmth by layering, and luckily the sun provided enough heat that I didn't even need a coat on top. 
My little basil seeds have started to sprout in my windowsill, so maybe spring really is on its way.  I have big plans to renovate our yard to create a side-yard with a patio and garden and I want to garden a ton this summer!  I've got like three issues of Sunset magazine all about gardening and a bunch of starters all ready to go on our kitchen table.  I'm a super-newb when it comes to gardening, so hopefully this first summer isn't a total bust, but even if I totally fail it'll at least be a learning experience and next summer will be better.  Do you guys have any favorite online gardening resources?  It's still a bit chilly, I think, to start outdoor beds (which is good because I haven't built them yet...), but I'm excited to be able to start getting my hands and knees dirty!

dress/courtesy of modcloth :: necklace/courtesy of adorn by sarah lewis
turquoise bracelet/courtesy of musana jewelry :: multicolor bracelet/courtesy of jewelmint
top/thrifted (similar) :: shoes/courtesy of blowfish shoes :: photos by Dan