Friday, November 16, 2012

Winding Down For The Weekend

Ah, the calm before the storm...

Next week, Theo and I will be visiting family and friends in L.A. for the Thanksgiving holiday(!!).  I am sooooooooooooooo excited to see the sun!  And play in it!  And feel it's warmth!  Wow.  Nothing but clouds and darkness for the next 9 months over here so, needless to say, this weeklong trip will be a welcome change.

Anyway, I'm starting to wind down this weekend in preparation for next week.  We took a cozy walk through the park and along the water yesterday and I found comfort again in my signature look.  You know, the signature look - the go-to outfit that's a little stylish and mostly comfortable and maybe worn too much?  
That's the one.  


Nothing but an oversize top, leggings, smoking shoe/brogue/flat and a HUGE scarf.


and a fitted leather jacket!



jacket: Muubuu / top: Asos / scarf: H&M / leggings: Zella / flats: thrifted (Trotter)


Yes, these leather smoking shoes are new :)  Never-worn, thrifted favorites and a new addition to my Tiny Closet.  I know, I know they're not something to call your mom about but they are perfect for my wardrobe and really, that's all that matters right?  

For work, errands, and casual outings, I was so happy to find another pair of handsome, glossy shoes.  
To go with my signature look!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Last Poncho... and My First Tutorial!

So!  Last week, I made a wool poncho and debuted it a couple days ago.  It was cool.  You know.  It was very plaid.  Anyway, I tried again :)  
This time, I used a stiffer fabric.  I wanted something more dramatic like dupioni or tulle - but warmer: 

I went with felted wool...  In cobalt!

 poncho: Tiny Closet / belt: Zara Man / denim: Benetton / heels: Aldo
accessories - cuff: Nordstrom / cage ring: H&M

As much as I love black, the original ensemble I had in mind was leather pants and black booties, but I wasn't in the mood to be predictable.  So I chose cognac, nude and sandblasted denim colors to coordinate with this blue!


I altered the design a bit to suit my personal style for this look (and also to suit the stiff fabric as this original design was in jersey).  So it's a bit more regal, more formal, and the back imitates the tails of a man's formal tux!


I really like the croc print on this Zara Man belt.  Ooo, that texture with this felted poncho!  And of course, gold really was the only accessory choice in my mind for this.  Maybe because I'm obsessed with gold jewelry :)


So I am much happier with poncho #2!  
What do you think??

Aaaand, a few ladies wanted to know how this super simple poncho was made.  I felt a quirky iPhone-staged tutorial was in order!

I didn't have enough wool to show you how I made this in full size so I made a miniature version of the poncho but also used my mannequin in parts to show you how to measure the poncho for length and width.  I am not P.S. I  Made This nor pair and a spare (I'm obsessed with both though!) so bear with me!

This is my first tutorial.  Shall we begin?  Okay:


Step 1.  You Will Need...
2 yards of material / scissors / measuring tape / needle and matching colored thread



Step 2.  Measurements For Your Poncho

The poncho itself is one piece of material.  So since it's one piece, hang your measuring tape over your shoulder, placing the start of your measuring tape where you wish the front of the poncho to hit you.  Note the inches where you want your poncho to end in the back and voile, you've got the length of your poncho.

Next, hold the start of your measuring tape from elbow to elbow, going up over your shoulders.  Now you've got the width of your poncho!

With the length and width of your poncho, you are now ready to cut your material.  And yes, it's just a big square.


Step 3.  Cut Your Material

Now we get into the miniature part of the tutorial.  I like the edges of my poncho to be rounded so that it doesn't look like a blanket and it drapes better.

This is a model of the poncho laid out flat.



Step 4.  Create Neck Opening

You may have chosen the front of your poncho to be a different length than the back.  I made my front shorter than the back.  So cutting your neck opening on the poncho depends on those two lengths.




Step 5.  Measure & Cut Neckline

In order to make that huge collar that you see on both ponchos I've shown, the neckline can't just be a slit.  You will need to measure how wide your neck hole will be.  

If you're not sure, you can easily measure the neck hole of a sweater or top that you own.

 


Step 6.  Create Collar

Time to sew!  You may sew by hand or use a sewing a machine.  The collar I've made is 14 inches (2') and then I crunch and fold it over.  Of course, you can make your collar as long or as short as you wish.  



Step 7.  Finishing Up!  Attaching Neckline

If you do want to have a large folded over collar, you will need to sew it onto the poncho inside out.  This is so that when you fold it, the folded side will be the correct side of the material, hiding the seam.


Lastly, you will then attach the collar onto the neckline of the poncho!  
You can hand sew this or use a machine.


If you haven't seen the first poncho, click here


Thanks so much for your compliments and feedback on this project!  Can't wait to show you the dress I'm working on for Thanksgiving holiday weekend!  
Thanks for visiting :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chain Accenting

I was trying on various belts on Monday for these particular low rise Benetton skinnies. Nothing was really working.  
Actually, these denims have never looked attractive in belts as they hit me at the widest part of my body - a belt just highlights it.  

What I needed was something slung.  And a bit dressy to go with my blazer and gold cuff.  Then I realized, my thrifted black and gold chain necklace would be perfect.  
So I attached both ends of the necklace to parts of my jeans.  

Not a belt, but just the right accenting that I needed.



blazer: thrifted / asymmetric top: Asos / denim: Benetton / earrings: Tory Burch / flats: thrifted / cuff: Nordstrom

I am totally loving this!  I think on my next thrift trip, I'm going to look for long necklaces to go further with this.  It'll be a great look for Summer skirts and dresses!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Colorful Expressions

So, I pretty much never wear lipstick.  In fact, I stick to one trusty makeup routine no matter the occasion.  But laaaaately, I've been thinking that I'm looking a bit washed out.

During the Summer, my skin get's a deep shade of of bronzy brown and my lips kinda ripen to a pink hue.  In the Winter... forget about it.  My skin get's super pale and my lips begin to prune and darken a horrible death color.  Then they fade away.  Surprisingly it took me a while to realize what the issue was.  Then I figured it out:

Your girl needs lipstick.  Stat!

So I went to various stores and rifled through my old lipsticks and after much testing, I was right.  Lipstick not only brought out my blush but brought out my teeth, my eyes - everything.  Mama liked!  So, I picked out the best shades for Winter - and Summer... Well, they're amazing shades all around - and incase you too are having trouble finding color lately, I thought I'd share my findings.

Let's start with Red:

M.A.C. Ruby Woo with Lip Glass on top (for extra shine!!)

Obviously, this is a power pop color for everyone.  Some save it for special occasions and some wear it every single day.  It's a classic.  I love it best with white and navy to make it even preppier!

So after I found my shades, it inspired me to wear more color as well.  So then I experimented with lip/top color combinations.  

Next is Powder Pink:

NARS Roman Holiday

Usually girls with my skin tone shy away from ultra light pinks.  The trick for wearing milky light colors is to find the correct undertone that matches your skin.  
It can often look to chalky if you aren't careful.  

After Rihanna began wearing lilac and cotton candy colors on her lips, I had to try it.  I wear this shade every once in a while, usually going out at night (only because it looks great in photos with a flash!) and during the Spring and Summer but I'm leaving this baby out all year because it's sickening!

On to Party Pink:

Loreal Velvety Fuchsia

Surprisingly enough, this particular type of lip color is a sheer.  Which makes wearing colors like puce and fuchsia excellent for the office!  I found this shade at Rite-Aid and immediately recalled Bobby Brown's 'Pretty Powerful' campaign.  A concept I totally could get behind, in her 'Pretty Powerful' book, I was surprised to find she consistently used bright pinks on almost every woman she consulted to upgrade their natural beauty.  I was sold.  I love bright pinks on jewel tones and black!

And now Nude:



Dior Addict Ultra #531 - this color is rare and no longer made but you'll find 
Neglige Pink is similar!

I went through a frost phase and this Dior frosty gloss was the only frost that stayed with me.  I loooove nudes.  Maybe because I've always been intimidated by lipsticks and nude meets me in the middle.  It's not too clear in the photos but this nude is a bit coral and pretty frosty.  It's light and goes with almost everything.  
The coral hue is especially warming for my face.  I found nude colors pop most on mink, white and cobalt.

And speaking of warming - I love a good Merlot:

 M.A.C. Mattene shades (mine is in the middle)

Getting back in to Fall/Winter spirit, I love dark purples and merlot shades.  I love them against worn denim, cognac and chocolatey browns!  

I also wore this shade with a particularly stunning black dress in an earlier post, 'Parlez Vous Le Francais' and I still don't know the name of it...  :-/  
It's by M.A.C. and just like one of M.A.C.'s Mattene shades as it is a matte finish.

So this will definitely keep me perkier looking through this grueling Northwest weather.  And if you're living under dark clouds as well, 
I hope my lil adventure helped put some color back on your face too!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Plaid...Lots of Plaid

Last week, I attempted to sew a duplicate copy of a Tiny Closet favorite:


This Asos brand jersey poncho, as I had shown in an earlier post is a go-to for working out and errand runs.  In fact, I loved it so much when I got it in the mail that I ordered another.  

Anyway, it also happens to be a super easy sewing pattern!  So I copied it - but for Winter wear, I thought I would upgrade it a little from 
just a simple jersey poncho to a luxurious boucle or boiled wool poncho for the Winter months!  Great idea right?  Right.

So I picked out some beautiful wool fabric and voila!  Great fabric choice, right?
WRONG.


First of all - waaaaaay too much plaid.  Rookie mistake on my part: plaid should really be worn sparingly.  Especially large plaid prints.  And here, my plaid poncho is the focal point but, oy - it's overkill.  

Now you might be saying to yourself, "What a drama queen... It's not that bad at all!" but since I was determined to showcase my work in a post, please note that I spent a lot of time re-working the look to make it bearable.


Notice, I placed a belt right in the middle, cinching all the plaid fabric and essentially cutting up the print, thus giving the eye a break.  Also, I wore matching black long sleeved top under so you have, yet again, another distraction from the plaid.  And lastly, I wore a black overcoat to hide the volume of the print.  So it's pretty okay with those touch ups yeah?  I've still got a ways to go though.


 coat: The Limited / poncho: Tiny Closet / denim: Zara / heels: Deisel

What I do absolutely adore about the stiff wool fabric though is, like I had planned, the cowl-like collar on the jersey version is now stiff and regal on the wool Winter version!  So hot!!!

I spent so much money on the fabric, I will not give up on this!  I've been sewing a black lining in the back.  We'll see how the finished product turns out.  Meanwhile, since I'm incredibly impatient with this, I bought another ream of wool (not patterned) and I will be showing it this week so cross your fingers for me!

Friday, November 9, 2012

All Dolled Up

Swing coats have always been so classic to me.  I personally think they're timeless and if I was 5'10, my Tiny Closet would have an entire collection of them!  But I'm not.  
And swing coats make me look juvenile because I am pint size... and also because they're just normally seen on little girls and dolls.

Still, when layered casually (and not worn with a Sunday school dress), a swing coat really does have a classic, confident femininity for any age.

coat: Forever21 / striped dress: StyleMint / all other items thrifted or vintage




cage ring: H&M 


My hair was completely picked brushed out in this post.  I brushed it all out in order to trim it myself but I didn't have time to re-wash it and activate the curls.  
First time my hair has been brushed out like this before.  It was so pillowy and shapeable, ha!  I think I might do it more often.  

With this classic, casual layering, a cute navy swing coat that's verging on dressy and "doll-like" becomes a natural counterpart and a more feminine version of the trench.  I dig it.

Have a splendid weekend!
I'm excited to show you my new sewing projects come Monday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vintage Sweaters

Over the Summer, when I was coming across so many awesome thrift and consignment stores, I began collecting vintage sweaters.  
Some that I came across were so awful I couldn't really deny them (and I do intend to wear them for giggles...) but there were a couple sweaters I picked up that were kinda cute - 
you know, they toed that Cosby chic line.   Like, if I wore them, my snarky girlfriends would say, "uh, nice sweater..." but we'd both know I looked cool :)

Like this one:


Or this one:

denim: Benetton / shoes: CMG

So, they're fun and cozy, right?  And if I want to tone down their dated patterns, I like wrapping them in a tailored leather jacket, like this graphite jacket from Muubuu!  
Makes them more modern and even cuter!


And this 3/4 length sleeve bomber from Ever:




I've been meaning to share these oxford-like flats.  From the moment I saw these Bass shoes at Nordstrom, I had to have them.  The handsome styling, the suede bows, and the keyhole opening, 
I'm still in love!!  Definitely a Tiny Closet staple.

Election night was intense!  I was on the edge of my seat all evening.  
Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Textures & Patterns

I finally broke down on Monday and accepted the fact that in order to stay comfortable and healthy, I need to wear a coat.  Ugh.

I have a love/hate relationship with coats.  I love them because they look so amazing on models and hangers... but as soon as I put one on, I'm Miss. Frumpy McFrumpelton.  Something is always off.  My shoulders are too broad or my boobs are too small or my butt is wide - eh, forget about it...

Since my measurements are unique, I don't like feeling bad about myself with silly coats that don't fit so I only have Natalie-measurement-friendly items to choose from.  So coat-wise, my Tiny Closet is actually made up of sweaters, scarves, short coats and jackets.  

The reason I sulk around this time every year though is because I have one amazing coat that fits (yay!) but I've been wearing it for 6 Winters now (!!!) and it's hangin on by a thread ladies.  I can't let it go since I have nothing else so I am resigned to wear this Titanic of winter coats until it will inevitably snag on something and completely come undone.


I found this endangered Winter item at Anthropologie years ago on a sale rack for like, 80% off.  A slim, boucle swing coat, cut on the bias with a dramatic collar.  Boucle is usually way too much texture for me (I like smoother, more streamlined wools) but the tailoring is miraculous and from day one, it fit like a charm.  I even liked the gold glittery threading!  This coat was really meant to be worn to dinners and shows and not the hell I've put it through but still, it's really become my bestie. 



This skirt I designed and sewed over the Summer.  It's a very drapey linen and I wore it during the Summer months with a muscle tee and flats here.  It's really for all seasons though!  Slip on some black opaques, winter booties and a sweater and voila :)


This sweater dress up top I tucked into my skirt.  It can be worn several different ways and it's identical to the sweater I wore here a couple weeks ago.  Both from H&M and come in these two colors.

coat: Anthropologie / sweater: H&M / skirt: Tiny Closet / rattan belt: Forever21 / tights: DKNY / booties: Jessica Simpson 

With all the pattern mixing that's been going on in street style, I wanted to try my hand at it mildly.  These are perfect pattern and textures to work with for Winter:  seasonless linen with a boucle and a woven.  And both geometric patterns!  Fun and cozy :)


So, I made my first poncho and it was an epic fail.  
Wanna see pictures?  More on that later!

Happy Monday

Monday, November 5, 2012

Feeling Regal

I have been waiting to wear this coat again.  I was a vintage-shopping maniac over the Summer and one of my stellar finds was this coat.  I debuted it first on my birthday.  It was my special day so I had to wear my new favorite vintage find, of course.  But as it was nearly June, it wasn't really the time for wool.  But now - Now is quite the time.  

Hit it!


On Sunday, I wore this faaaabulous coat as a dress.  It made me feel untouchable!  Now that I look at it, I think it's really the only way to wear it, yes?  I like this ensemble much better than the first time I wore it.  What would you say?




Needing a pick me up Saturday night, I finally got rid of the remaining wedding polish and got back to my usual mani habit.  Purple and yellow are always my go-to.  This time I got frosty with it.  I will update this post as soon as I find out what color I'm actually wearing... Way to drop the ball, I know.

I found this awesome cage ring over the weekend while fluttering through H&M.  I've pretty much always bought my jewelry from Forever21 or H&M.  I'm slowly evolving out of my accessories complex (being the minimalist that I am) but for years, I just never fancied little things clinging to me so I've never been interested in paying more than $15 for rings and bracelets and the like.  But with the fashion jewelry scene really becoming amazingly imaginative and cool, I can't deny issues.  I am starting to plan some investments in various pieces.  Can't wait to share that!


dress coat: vintage from Le Frock / heels: Matiko / oversize ring: H&M

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