Saturday, May 31, 2014

Road Trippin'!

Thursday afternoon, the boyfriend and I left Charleston for a road trip to New England to see my little brother graduate and have a small vacation to visit family. I had only found out the day before that my brother was even going to graduate, but in a few hours we managed to get everything ready... which included ourselves.

Boyfriend was in dire need of a haircut and bought himself a nice new hair clipper set that afternoon. After I shaved his head, I decided on a whim to try out this amazing diagonal undercut I found only the day before:

Via Alex Scissors

I showed bf the picture and he cut it for me! Considering he's no barber, I think he did a good job. It's hard to get a good, tight top knot like in the picture above; mostly my hair wants to drape over the line. I love it, though! It feels amazing, and it's fun to play with when I'm resting my head in my hand.


I also went ahead and did straight blue dye on the front part of my hair (which you can kind of see in front of my ear), and the back I diluted only a very little bit with conditioner. It's pretty dark in the front, but it looks neat and makes my roots not as obvious (getting that straightened out at a salon after the trip).



I'll be taking pictures of our journey (and the things I've packed) and updating along the way, so check back soon, Beautiful!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Weekend SUP Bathing Suit Fun Times!

With the promise of a long weekend comes the opportunity for out-of-town friends to come and enjoy some of what Charleston has to offer. This weekend was the first time I've had the opportunity to rent a Stand-Up Paddleboard for a few hours, while my friends used their own kayaks to paddle around a large tidal creek by a harbor. It was a beautiful, sunny day and not too windy--just perfect, really. 

Here's what I wore!


The button-up is a vintage men's shirt that is so thin and soft--uber comfortable.


The shorts I got on clearance from Urban Outfitters, and the sandals are by Lucky Penny.


A good friend convinced me to get this bathing suit from Asos by PayPaling me some of the money toward it. I'm so glad she helped me get this suit; it's so pretty and makes me feel pretty glamorous, I gotta say.


Standing tall on my SUP!


Me and one of my buddies relaxing on the water.


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Time to shop for some bathing suits!

Asos Sienna Floral Belted Bandeau Suit, on sale for $36.20 (very few sizes left)










Friday, May 23, 2014

Closet Hero: Knit Skater Skirt

Confession: I'm kind of a weird shopper. By that, I mean I tend to focus on the crazy, statement pieces instead of the basics. Thankfully, I noticed my shortcoming some years ago and started to work on building a solid collection of wardrobe staples, heretoforthwith known as Closet Heroes. With each Closet Hero I'd like to show you a few looks you can build around each versatile piece.

My first Closet Hero is a knit a-line skirt, or skater skirt. Knit skirts have been around for ages, but come in many shapes and iterations. Remember the hip-hugging pleated skirts that were basically as wide as a belt? Ugh. Not cute. My favorite (and I think most flattering) cut of skirt is the a-line or circle skirt that starts at the natural waist line and ends just above the knee.

My first look debuts the crop top I told you about in an earlier post. I've never worn a crop top ever! It's a little crazy to feel the wind on your belly for the first time. I noticed with this particular pattern that the stripes lined up in such a way as to possibly make my boobs look bigger rather than smaller (as I was hoping). Let that be a lesson! Never trust the way a pattern looks online will be the way yours looks at home.



Because the skirt hits at the smallest point of my waist, the crop top is only showing the tiniest sliver of skin. I figured that with this crazy pattern in the top, I'd just go full-on edgy with the shoes and sunglasses, too.


I found these sunnies in the dollar bin at a Michael's last year and they just make me smile. They're so ridiculous!   


I was digging the modern warrior look, but didn't want to wear a lot of metal that would break me out (boo allergies!), so I went with  this beaded necklace completely void of the stuff. Not only do I get the look of a different collar, but I stay cool and rash-free, too! Bonus.


Today me and the boyfriend went to the Shem Creek area in Mt. Pleasant to take pictures. It's a great place to hang out and spend a quiet moment or three. You can see fiddler crabs, birds of all kinds, and maybe even a dolphin if you're lucky. This boardwalk/pier goes from the marshes all the way out into the harbor where the shrimp boats come in and out.



I love spending time near the water, but with coastal scenery like this comes humidity, and the wet-set curls I had slept in all night were deflated in minutes.


No biggie: I always keep bobby pins in my bag just for times like these. I just curl my hair over onto itself and pin it against the nape of my neck, and now my hair is up and cute! 

Here you can also check out the sheer back on this top I snagged on clearance at Target the other week. It's kinda sexy, kinda conservative. 

This is the type of top where a couple of different bras would work: a strapless or seamless bandeau if you want to keep the sheer top clean, OR go for a shamelessly sexy black bra and let the lines become part of the shirt itself. You could also wear a black camisole (or shaping cami) over your bra.


I chose the little lacy number. Normally I wouldn't wear a lace bra under such a thin fabric, but it helps that this blouse is looser and just barely skims the fabric of my bra. 


This is my Tomboy-with-a-sexy-secret outfit, featuring the ShoeMint loafers I snagged at the same time as my Asos crop top. I had to break them in for a couple of days, but they feel pretty good now. The navy is much more subtle than it looked online, but they still look great. Add a little bit of shine with the choker and the belt and there you have outfit #2!


My last look featuring my lovely, easy-breezy skater skirt is more on the casual side. With the flannel shirt tied at the same level as the skirt's waist, you end up making a whole new skirt! It's doing the work of a peplem by keeping your waist defined and adding depth to your overall look, but if you get cold, BAM! Extra warmth delivered.


I just love this shirt. I got it from the Monster Jam show a few months ago. I love that stuff! Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!


Found this little guy hiding in the sea grass!


From this angle, I could just be wearing a plaid skirt. I like that about it! 


Obviously these are just three out of many, many ways you can style a skirt like this. I picked this grey color because I wanted to wear it around the house and my house is lousy with cat hair. Grey (especially a heather grey) doesn't show animal hair nearly as bad as other colors. 

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Now to shop for some skirts! 

Woven A-Line Skirt in black, $14.80










Thursday, May 15, 2014

TBT To 1997!

Aw, yiss, cats and kittens! I found another gem in my pile o' photographs! This one was taken on a school field trip when I was 14 or so. And the kid running into the photo? Classic middle school boys, amiright?


This outfit is so 90s. The baggy light-wash mom jeans, cropped shirt, the chambray shirt around the waist... it's all there. I don't know if you can tell how thick a sole I'm rocking on those Sketchers, but they're intense. Also, if you take a peek between my legs (not like that, you perv!), you can almost see my favorite tiny backpack/purse. I seriously doubt I would ever do a tiny backpack again, but I am finding myself drawn to the full-size leather versions coming around these days.

Here are some I think look pretty cool and avoid that weird 90s nostalgia thing:

Tory Burch Ellen Tall Backpack, via Shopbop

Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Mariska, via Zappos


The Transport Rucksack, via Madewell

If real leather isn't your bag (see what I did there?), Asos has some stellar options for the budget-savvy as well.

Asos Boxy Backpack with chunky metal fittings, via Asos

Asos Clean Backpack with adjustable straps, via Asos

And this little cutie by New Look is on sale for less than $28! 






Monday, May 12, 2014

Blue Hair and Blue Crown

It's Monday! 

I just celebrated my second anniversary with my boyfriend this weekend and also learned about my step-dad's terminal prognosis. It's been a weekend of extremes to say the least.

On the superficial side of things, I added a LOT more blue to my hair and finally got it to a shade I like. Check it!


Coming soon with a few ways to wear a jersey skater skirt!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Five Bras Every Woman Should Own

If you have boobs, you have bras. Do you have the right ones for your wardrobe, though? This list is all about versatility; making sure that you have a bra for any occasion and every garment. Keep in mind that you're going to need more than one of most of these bras, though. The elastic needs at least a day to reset, so it's best to rotate one or more of your everyday bras to keep them in good working condition.

 1.)  The Workhorse: T-Shirt Bra

This is going to be the bra you wear with just about everything; the one you have in black, skin color, and maybe a cute print or splashy color. 

A t-shirt bra is one that is made of a smooth fabric, has simple straps, and can be demi, full-cup, or plunge.
If your chest is on the smaller side, you can do a demi-cup t-shirt bra like this one: 


Simple, sleek--pretty much invisible, which is what you want.

If you're on the bustier side of life like me, demi bras tend to cause more problems than they're worth. Every time you bend over or move vigorously in any way, one of the girls is halfway outta that minimum security prison. Trust me. Not worth it. 

What you need to keep the girls in their cells are higher walls! The higher the underwire comes up the middle of the bra, the more supportive it will be. Also look for bras that don't have a lot of stretch. Stretchy bras wear out quickly and don't offer much support, but molded bras or bras made of a firm, non-stretch material (even the straps!) will not only last you from breakfast to pajamas, but last months or even years longer with proper care.

This is my every day bra, made by Fantasie. I've had it for about 18 months and it's still holding up well: the elastic is still good, no major pilling on the sides, and the cups have kept their shape. Also, it keeps the girls nicely separated (a must in the summer). It's totally worth the investment to have a bra like this as your wardrobe workhorse.


The one downside of this bra is that it's not good for my deepest v-neck shirts. A little bit of the cup tends to peek out a little.

Have you checked out H&M's selection of bras lately? You totally should. Their sizes go up to an F cup and prices range from $10-$25. Seriously! This t-shirt bra is as basic as it gets, but if basic is what you need, this isn't a bad place to start. You can wear this guy with almost everything, including v-necks.


Of course there are some kinds of tops that require a different set of straps to remain hidden (and thus keep the fantasy alive that your breasts are just naturally that perfect). For your racerbacks, one-strap, halter-neck, strapless top/dress needs, you're going to need the bra in my #2 spot...

2.)  The Chameleon: Multi-Way Bra

This is another place you're going to really reap benefits per dollar you spend, and exponentially so the bigger your cup size. You should look for a bra with a rather wide band, and at least three to four hooks. The band is the only thing that's really giving you any support, so it needs to be snug, too. I usually go down one band size so that it fits me using the furthest set of hooks. Many strapless bras have that in mind with their sizing, though, so you really need to try these on first if you can. 

This strapless version from Wacoal has really great reviews and has all the elements you need.



I'm also seriously considering buying this Le Mystere strapless bra. The lines are great, and also has pretty good reviews.


The biggest benefit of these bras are the straps that you can configure into many shapes for whatever you need, but it should also stay up on its own without too much fidgeting.


 If you have a lot of strappy tops and dresses, you should think about having more than one of these. During the summer, when you're likely to wear those items, you're also more likely to sweat through those items and your bra. If you're the type of girl who mostly wears tees year-round, you can get away with only one in your arsenal. 

3.)  The Heavy Sweater: Sports Bra

Even if you live a mostly sedentary life, you're going to have an occasion for a quality sports bra. This is another area in which the make and price of sports bras made for the under-C-cup set is enormously different compared to what bigger ladies need. Smaller-chested ladies can pretty much pick out any cotton 2-pack of sports bras for $15 and call it a day. Those of us in larger cups need the super-heavy duty stuff to keep the girls from moving and bouncing painfully. 

Enter the Enell Sports Bra!


I have two of these guys, and they're the only thing I've tried that really, truly kept my boobs from bouncing all over the place while I run. They squish your boobs down pretty hardcore, I gotta say. I admit to using this under a big, blousy top when I didn't want a lot of width from the side. It's a little pricey, but that's about average when you're looking for a sports bra that will fit the DD+ set and actually work. 


All of these have great reviews, but I can't speak for them personally. 



Wacoal Maximum Control Sports Bra, $65 (from C to H cup)

Whether or not you choose a bra with an underwire is totally up to you. My Enell doesn't have one, but all these others do. If you're active, it would benefit you to buy a couple different kinds to find out what you like best and then stock up! Someone who works out every day or every other day should have two or three sports bras at least.

There's another kind of sweating I'm a big fan of, and to facilitate the sexy times without getting your lady lumps in a twist, you should definitely own at least one really pretty (even if impractical) bra that purely functions to make you look and feel like a million bucks:

4.)  The Looker: Pretty Lingerie

It's true what they say about wearing sexy under-things: it makes you feel powerful and confident in a totally unique way. Yeah, your significant other will really appreciate it, but that's just gravy. You can make this bra serve many purposes if you get a smooth style in a plunge shape: sexy and functional! 


Again, check out H&M for cheap regular-sized bras and some cute options for E-F cups like this one, which I have in the teal blue color. It's got a rhinestone and a tiny bow in the center and doesn't skimp on support. That's practically unheard of for less than $20!


Those bras being the special snowflakes they are, I should show you what is the typical priceline for a sexy bra.



I have a Cleo by Panache bra and I just love it. It makes my boobs look UH-mazing and it feels great, even after a full day. Highly recommended by me.

The final bra on my list of must-haves really depends on your wardrobe, lifestyle, and boob size. 

If you want to lessen the impact (width-wise) of  your boobs under button-ups (fewer button-hole gaps!), t-shirts (less stretched!), and dresses (so sleek!), your bra is...

5.)  The Self-Explanatory: Minimizer

My minimizer, the one I've bought three times over the last seven or eight years, is this Bali Satin Tracings Minimizer. There's basically no stretch to this bra, so there's little moving around. The straps are padded and comfortable and don't slip down or stretch out. Since there's no padding and the back is mesh, you stay relatively cool on hot days, too. It's not the prettiest bra, though, I admit.


There are prettier bras meant to minimize, though!




OR

5.)  The CIA Bra: Built-In Support Tank

I'm calling this the CIA bra because it is a super-secret, super-undercover bra. It looks like you're not wearing one at all! MAGIC. These are so amazing for warmer months when you can't bare the thought of wearing more than one layer of anything or when you want the look of a strappy top without worrying about bra straps or wearing a strapless bra.


This is the version I own and love. I have three of them because they are just the best friggin' things ever if you're on the busty side and want to join in on the built-in bra top thing without looking like a porn extra. It's just fabulous. 

If you're on the smaller end of the spectrum, your options are wide open and cheap! Here's a super-basic version from Victoria's Secret, but they have a TON of options for bra tops there. 

The Essential Bra Top, $14.50, or 3 for $33.


OR

5.)  The Cover-Up: Seamless Bandeau

The purpose of the seamless bandeau is for all those times your bra peeks out from your clothes (on purpose). Low back shirts, open-back shirts and dresses are all over the place these days, and unless you don't need to wear a bra at all (lucky!), you should think about getting a seamless bandeau. You can wear it on its own or with your regular strapless bra for the underwire and more support, and then slip this little guy over it (they come in tons of colors) to hide the hooks and wires and generally keep your look from veering into trashy territory. 



These also come in handy for those super-cool muscle tees with the huge armholes. Unless you have one of those teeny-tiny bralettes that are meant to be shown off, wear one of these to hide your cups and whatnot!


Accessories!!

Here are some bra-related accessories to help get the most mileage out of your bras. 




Showing your bra straps is not cute. I don't care who you are or what "look" you're going for, exposed straps are trashy and easily avoided. Just don't do it.





I'd like to leave on one last note about the color of your bra: no white bras. They don't work under much and heaven forbid you accidentally wander under a black light. 
Under black garments, wear black bras (or super dark blues/greens). I've seen pictures where the flash made my shiny nude bra show up under clothes. Not cute. 
If you want to keep your bra shape and color to yourself, wear a flesh-colored bra under white clothes. On the other hand, the shadow of a bra under a white tee is rocker-cool if you go with that look.
Printed bras are cute, but should be relegated to thicker clothes that won't show the pattern.


There you have it! My top five essential bras for pretty much any garment in your closet.
Did I miss anything?