Cuffed Jeans and The Boots with the Heels

a fashion fanatic, chocoholic, and a DIY devotee


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Style Rules for Guys

1. If you don’t care about fashion, but want to look good all the time I have two words for you. Desert. Shoes. These are literally the “sisterhood of the traveling pants” of shoes. They look good on men young and old, tall and short. They fit with a ton of different styles.

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2. Please don’t show me your white tube socks.

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3. Wearing suit vests without the suit add an instant polished look to your outfit without adding bulk. Wearing them with denim achieves a classic, but modern look.

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4. Don’t be afraid to wear pink! Pink is a calming color, so wearing it makes you feel more relaxed. I think lighter pink is easier to pull off, but with the right style of shirt, hot pink looks good too.

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5. Match your belt with your shoes. I may sound hypocritical as I break this rule all the time, but I think that women’s shoes are more of a statement item. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that you should complete match the shade. Wearing a belt in the same color family, but with an interesting detail is really cool.

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6. Just say no to jorts. Unless you’re a carpenter (or maybe if you’re wearing desert shoes. Seriously, these are fashion miracles).

7. Men can mix patterns! Polka dots and stripes together are not a fashion faux-pas, but a cool look.
Three pieces of advice:
1. If you’re mixing too things, make one piece have a larger print and one piece have a smaller print. Without this, the print will get lost and look busy.
2. Match the main color of one piece with an accent or lesser color in the other piece. This makes the look cohesive without looking matchy-matchy.
3. Another way to join a look together is by using opposite colors on the color wheel. This makes both colors more vibrant because there is a strong contrast.

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8. One of my favorite people ever is Bill Cosby and he illustrates this principle. There is nothing cooler than a guy with an interesting sweater.

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9. Don’t be afraid to have fun with fashion! Try a new trend, mix some patterns, or even add a pop of color. For me, there’s nothing more stylish than a guy wearing something different with confidence. And a pair of desert shoes doesn’t hurt 🙂

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Ladies, what are your fashion rules for guys? Gentlemen, do you agree with my rules?


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Ways to Wear: Black and White and Read All Over

give me something I can dance to

give me something I can dance to

If you’ve never heard of IFB, you definitely need to check it out! They have amazing tips for any style blogger that are fun and easy-to-read. One of my favorites is the IFB Project, a weekly style challenge for IFB members. I love reading all the different posts and ways people spin the topic. This week’s project is Black and White Ball!

madewithover

When I thought of ball, I thought of dress codes. Is it a white tie? Black tie? I decided to style four different black & white outfits to attend any of these possible balls.

Look #1: Casual

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For me, there’s something great about a crisp white shirt. It’s so easy to pair and I love the sharp look when it’s paired with black jeans. I paired it with a black necklace, a white bracelet, and a clear clutch. Keeping with the black and white trend, I paired my DIY googly eye gladiators to finish the look. I feel like this outfit looks clear, but I don’t really think that can really describe an outfit :).

Shirt: Thrifted

Pants: Cotton On

Shoes: DIY

Clutch: DIY

Necklace: Thrifted

Bracelet: Gifted

Look #2: Beach Formal

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I think a beach formal dress code is the hardest thing to follow. I paired a white men’s dress shirt with my LBD. I wore my neutral sandals with this thrifted brown bag. My favorite thing about this bag is that it has a cell phone size a la Zack Morris pocket. My hair is down with a braid crown. This shirt is perfect because it can be tied for a more beachy look or untied for a looser look.

Shirt: Thrifted

Dress: New York and Company

Necklace: Gifted

Bag: Thrifted

Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Look #3: Cocktail

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This top was made my great grandmother. I love the sequins (if only sewing talent was genetic). I usually wear the skirt as a business skirt for interviews and events, so this outfit is super easy to throw on after work. Even though those shoes are a little high, they’re perfect for dancing as you can see.

Shirt: Gifted

Skirt: H&M

Shoes: White House|Black Market

Look #4: Formal

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I love this dress. It’s fun and flirty, but also is really classic. To play up the formal aspect of the outfit, I wrapped a bow tie around my wrist several times as a bracelet. I paired with my green wedges with the black and white detailing and a sequin-y purse. I admit it – I love sequins. Maybe a little too much. Nah.

Dress: Macy’s

Shoes: Payless

Necklace: Charlotte Russe

Bow tie: Dad’s

Purse: Thrifted

What’s your favorite look? How do you navigate difficult dress codes?

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Also, I’ve been loving taking street art photos this week and I thought they’d be a cool way to combine the many photos I take when doing my outfit posts. Please let me know what you think 🙂


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The Sunday Edition: Links of August 18, 2013

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1. I love this bicycle ride-in espresso bar – so cool!

2. This is an oldie, but a great one – 25 reasons why you should dress up everyday!

3. Gingerbread cookie dough truffles. Count me in.

4. Buzzfeed’s 39 easy ways to decorate your walls is really inspiring.

5. Four words: triple. chocolate. mousse. cakes. Enough said.

6. These photos are portraits of family members without people. Very cool.

7. This latte art is incredible.

8. Another cool card DIY – using just a pin.

9. This is a really interesting photo project of girls and their rooms.

Favorite Song: Boomerang by Lucy Schwartz


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Back to School: Hair Chemistry

I decided to try something new today and write a little about the science of hair and hair care. Let me know if it’s interesting or my engineering geekness is showing 🙂

Courtesy of Makeup For Life

Courtesy of Makeup For Life

There are three parts of the hair: cuticle, cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle protects your hair from damage and looks like a bunch of scales. The cuticle strengthens your hair; if your cuticle is damaged, your hair will be brittle. One way to test for cuticle damage is by shampooing, conditioning, and then combing. If the hair sticks to the comb and makes it difficult to move, your cuticle has damage. Another thing to take into account is the pH of shampoo or anything going into your hair.  pH is a measure of acidity of a solution. More acidic solutions shrink and stiffen the cuticle whereas alkaline solutions soften the cuticle. Your hair needs to be a balance of acidity and basicity, but studies have shown that more acidic hair is healthier.

The cortex is the biggest part of the hair. It looks like an old school telephone cord. With this structure, it’s more elastic and flexible. (Side note: if your hair is not elastic, that means the cortex may be damaged). When a cuticle is damaged, you might have split ends, or frayed cortexes. The medulla is in the center. This is more common in thicker hair, as it’s just a spongy core.

Is the hair you see actually dead? 

The hair starts underneath the skin in the follicle which is basically this tiny hole in your skin. At the bottom of this hole, there are cells that grow and make the hair. Once the hair leaves the skin, it’s dead as a doornail. So, the part you see (the shaft), is not alive. This means that you can’t really heal your hair once it’s damaged. Unlike a scab on your skin, there is no real healing mechanism.

This picture (and others noted with POI) are from the blog Point of Interest, a really interesting blog about cosmetic chemistry.

This picture are from the blog Point of Interest, a really interesting blog about cosmetic chemistry.

How does my hair get shiny? 

Sebum, or oil, keeps our hair shiny and fills gaps where the hair cuticles have been depleted. Sebum has wax and fats which smoothen the cuticles. When the cuticles are smooth, light can easily be reflected, making it look shiny. Curly hair has less smooth cuticles – making it look less shiny. However, too much sebum and your hair looks oily – and oil can stick dirt to your hair. Too much oil can also clog the follicle and prevent hair growth. 

Shampoo uses soaps or detergents to get rid of the oil. Detergents are solutions of surfactants. Normally, as the old axiom says, oil and water don’t mix. Surfactants change the properties of the water so that it can first wet the oil. Shampoos with detergent are actually preferable because they are not alkaline and don’t leave calcium deposits, making your hair look dull and lifeless. Too much shampooing and the sebum that protects your hair is all gone, making your hair look dull and damaged. Conditioner on the other hand creates a waxy coating over the cuticle and strengths it as well. By putting a waxy coating over your hair, you’re making the cuticle smoother and making light easier to reflect off of it.

Why is my hair curly? 

Curliness has two factors: the shape of the hair in the follicle and where the keratin proteins are. Keratin proteins make up your hair, skin, and nails. The cortex of your hair is made up protofibrils which is a collection of four keratin proteins. These keratin proteins are attached using hydrogen bonds (bonds of a hydrogen atom to an oxygen atom); this bond is relatively weak. For straight hair, these hydrogen bonds attach to other keratins at the same site, making a very uniform and organized hair. For curly hair, they attach haphazardly, causing bends and twists in the cortex and then in the hair. Since these hydrogen bonds are so weak, water can break them. When the hair redries, the hydrogen bonds will reform.

The hair’s form when dry will depend the form the hair is when it’s wet. If it’s air dried when someone is sleeping, the bonds will bond haphazardly as the wet hair is placed haphazardly. If it’s blow dried, the heat forces the hair to dry straighter. This is the reason braiding your hair when wet makes the hair curlier. The hydrogen bonds are a temporary hair shape determiner, but your natural texture comes from the amount of bridges that connect your keratin proteins are present in your hair. There is another bond that gives the hair its natural texture, disulfide bonds, or bridges attaching keratin proteins. Curlier hair has more bridges, causing the hair to bend to keep these bridges. When you get a perm, you add disulfide bonds to your hair, making your hair curlier.


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Ways to Wear: Overalls/Dungarees, Part 2

I’m back with more ways to wear overalls. I loved finding different ways to pair these pieces. If you haven’t seen part one, click here!

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1. Add a scarf.

Adding a scarf adds some interest to the neckline. This scarf is actually the bottom of a housedress that I’m refashioning. I love the print.

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Shirt: Thrifted

Overalls: Thrifted

Scarf: Thrifted

Shoes: Payless

2. Wear a shirt with an interesting neckline.

Since the overalls length is adjustable, I decided to play with the top. Turtlenecks or the high 90s-esque necklines that are in season add a different twist to overalls.

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Shirt: Espirit

Overalls: Thrifted

Belt: White House|Black Market

Shoes: Payless

3. Wear a button-down shirt.

Buttoned to the top or with a few open on the top, adding a button-down shirt adds some glam. Watch out to not wear anything too striped or you might look like a farmer.

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Shirt: Thrifted

Overalls: Thrifted

Shoes: Thrifted

4. Make it really girly.

By adding this girly pussy bow blouse, it breaks up the boyish shape of overalls. I love the look with one strap off the shoulder.

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Shirt: Forever 21

Overalls: Thrifted

Belt: Forever 21

5. Edge it up.

With a pair of combat boots and a hat, this outfit changes up the youthful look of overalls.

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Overalls: Thrifted

Shirt: New York and Company

Hat: Thrifted

Shoes: Thrifted

6. Add a skirt.

I know this is a little weird, but I think with a blazer and flouncy skirt, the overall top peaking out is very interesting. I would love to know your thoughts!
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surprise there are overalls underneath

surprise there are overalls underneath

Overalls: Thrifted

Shirt: New York and Company

Skirt: Express

Blazer: New York and Company

 

I think the best advice for styling overalls is to have fun with it! They’re not a super serious clothing item – so enjoy the days you wear them!

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wee


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Trends at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards

I’ve always loved the Teen Choice Awards fashion because it’s very different than normal award shows fashion. The outfits are very summery and more casual – and therefore, provide a ton of style inspiration.

Pastel Above the Knee Dresses with Soft Embellishments 

Very cute, very summery. These ladies showed off some leg with these pastel dresses.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Carly Chaikin- Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Brittany Snow – Jason Merritt / Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, trends 2013 teen choice awards

Troain Bellisario

 

Gabby Douglas - Getty Images

Gabby Douglas – Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Katie Cassidy

Katie Cassidy

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Anna Camp-not a huge fan of this one, but still a part of the trend – Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Jumpsuits & Men’s Suit Inspired

Shay Mitchell- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Shay Mitchell- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev

Demi Lovato- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Demi Lovato- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Crystal Reed- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Crystal Reed- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Tamara Mowry-Housley- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Tamara Mowry-Housley- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Sundresses with Quirky Prints 

A lot of these outfits have a Modcloth vibe to them.

janel parrish, teen choice awards 2013, janel parrish teen choice awards, teen choice awards trends

Janel Parrish- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards 2013, kerry washington teen choice awards

Kerry Washington- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice award trends 2013, hailee steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld- Steve Granitz/WireImage

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice award trends, maddie hasson teen choice awards

Maddie Hasson

Matching Separates 

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends

Chelsea Kane

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends

Naya Rivera

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends, cher lloyd

Cher Lloyd

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends,

Host Lucy Hale- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Taking the Surfing and Beach Theme More Seriously 

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice award trends

Bella Thorne- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, teen choice awards trends

Lilly Collins- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

teen choice awards 2013, rebel wilson teen choice awards

Rebel Wilson- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Which look was your favorite? Which trend was your favorite? Who are your worst and best dressed celebs? 


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The Sunday Edition: Links of August 11, 2013

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1. Can you solve these 10 of the most difficult logic problems?

2. Did you know that this is a coffee berry. Here are 25 things you never knew about coffee.

3. This random book dispenser is literally so awesome. You’d need to go 112 million times to collect all the books.

4. I love this baby and his selfies.

5. I’m seriously addicted to crepes and here’s a good recipe to make them without being in France.

6. These hats are so cool; I especially like the zipper one.

7. A DIY girly bow tie!

8. These once in a lifetime shots are incredible. I love the kids with the Pepsi and mentos explosion.

9. These are some secrets learned at makeup school.

Song of the Week: Straw Hat by the Ceremonies