Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Staying Stylish on a Budget: More Tips!

via Fashion Gone Rogue
On my last post about budget style, my friend Michelle left the following tips in a comment. She had some really great ideas, and I wanted to make sure you didn't miss what she had to say! Read on for some great advice:
I'm not the best bargain-hunter I know, but I do have a rule that I will never pay full price for anything. Here are a few of my tips:
  1. Sign up for a Gap credit card. You can use it at Gap/Old Navy/Banana Repulic/Piperlime AND cardholders often get a better discount during a sale. Additionally you get rewards certificates that are basically gift certificates you can spend in the store. I pay mine off at the end of every month to avoid interest charges.

  2. Make a list of your top wants/needs each new season. It's your list so you can always change/add to it, but I find the list keeps me from wasting my money on things I'll regret later. (Note from Casey: I completely agree with this. For years now I've been making a "to look for" list as each season approaches -- it keeps me on track and helps me determine my priorities as I shop.)
  3. Buy seasonal items toward the end of the season. This takes a lot of patience BUT pays off. You can get really high quality clothing for the price you would have paid for a knock-off at the beginning of the season.
  4. Know what days your favorite stores mark down their merchandise. Also know when they tend to have a really big seasonal sale. I read online that the two biggest mark-down times of the year are after Christmas and at the end of June. But you can also get great deals over Thanksgiving and Memorial Day. I tend to delay purchases until one of those big sale times arrives if at all possible.
  5. Here's one I don't take advantage of enough: if you're ordering online, use Ebates. If you have an account with them and purchase through one of their affiliate links, you get cash back at the rate of 2-8% depending on the store. They will actually mail you a check that you can deposit in your bank account!
  6. Don't buy anything you don't love. Also, don't buy anything that doesn't fit well unless you know you can alter it or have it tailored for a reasonable price.
Thanks for reading and sharing, Michelle!

If you have tips like these you want to share, leave a comment or email me!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Oscars!

Did you catch the Oscars last night? Overall, I loved the old Hollywood feel that a lot of actresses went for. But honestly, I felt the red carpet was lacking in blow-you-away dresses. I actually saw a number of non-A-list attendees in the background whose dresses looked really intriguing and I kept wishing a camera would zoom in on them. Unfortunately, there's no way to know who in the world they were.

There were a few standouts, though! Favorites:
Amanda Seyfried: Loved the gray-lavender color plus the gold accents, along with the train.

Stacy Keibler: Her entire look just worked so well -- very 20's. The cut of the dress was impeccable. 

Jennifer Lawrence: At first, I wrote her dress off as boring, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. The color, texture, and that a-mazing skirt won me over in the end. It's Dior, after all!

Samantha Barks: I tend to like her dress choices in general... this one was just simple and awesome. (Her necklace is also awesome.) Plus, the teal dress she wore for her performance during the actual show was also stunning. Double win on her part.

Least favorites:
Naomi Watts: It's like the Jetsons meets wacko ice skating outfit. (Thanks to Lydia & Janet for the ice skating reference.)

Anne Hathaway: She pulled a Taylor Swift and picked a dress worthy of a middle school dance in 1999. As my friends Jessica & Erin aptly put it, it's just begging for a goth choker and a spiky up-do with chopsticks in it.

Jennifer Garner: While the color worked really well for her, all I saw was her being attacked by a purple sea slug, from behind.

Also, the question haunting everyone who watched last night: Did Kristen Stewart even brush her hair before arriving at the red carpet?

I want to know your best & worst picks!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Girl Friday: Janet

Everyone: This is my sweet friend Janet.
I've always admired Janet's style: a fun mixture of colorful pieces, basic & classic prints, and overall good taste. As a mom, I love her dedication to looking put together while remaining practical (who wants baby spit up on a silk blouse?). Jan has a balanced and instructive perspective on purchasing clothing as well, and has a good sense of when to splurge and when to save. I hope you enjoy meeting her via this interview!
*   *   *   *   *  

The Twenty Ninth: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase.
Janet: Classic preppy with a twist of hipster.

TN: How has your style evolved over the years? 
J: In high school, I don't think I had a major sense of style because I wore a school uniform and on the weekends it was mostly all about jeans and t-shirts. When I went away to college, I started to have more of a desire to wear fashionable clothes because I could actually pick out an outfit for the day, my peers had closets full of fun clothes to wear, and I lived 5 blocks from shopping in Georgetown. Looking back, now I can see how a lot of my desire to shop was so fed by materialism that I got lost in what store something was from rather than creating my own unique style. A few years ago I was burnt out from it all, and my husband and I decided to do a clothing fast for an entire year. It was one of the best things I have ever done. It was so hard, but we did it. I came out of that year with a much better idea of my own style and a sense of purpose with it, as well as realizing what true needs are, and I was able to get rid of so many clothes that I realized I never wore.

TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share? 
J: In high school I was in the bathroom and I heard the bell ring. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach knowing that the teacher whose class I was late for was notorious for giving out detentions for being late. Unbeknownst to me, my uniform skirt ended up getting tucked into my underwear, leaving my whole backside for the world to see. And the worst part: the person to point it out was a guy friend. Thankfully, I didn't end up with a detention for being late. The embarrassment was punishment enough.

TN: Who are your style influences?
J: Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly are so iconic. They all inspire me in how their fashion was classy, timeless, and elegant. Naturally, not all the fashions they wore back then are in style today and conversely so of the styles I wear today, but I hope I can look back at pictures one day and not be totally horrified by my outfit choices.

TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?
J: J.Crew, Madewell, Gap, with the occasional Old Navy and Anthropologie purchase. For accessories, thrift stores are one of my favorite go-to's.

How do you pick out an outfit?
J: Being a mom, I don't always have time to think a lot about what I'm going to wear, but as a general rule, I love mixing classic prints with bright colors and trying new things. As a result, I've discovered new favorite combinations and it makes getting dressed more fun too.  

TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
J: It's not a clothing item per se, but it is my look: I got bangs in the summer and while I wasn't too sure when I did it, now I am so glad I did. Its an easy way to keep things fun as a mom and look put together without trying too hard.

TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear and why?
J: Right now its got to be my Minnetonka moccasins. They match everything, are super comfy, and are the perfect everyday shoe for running errands and going out with the kids. Beyond that, wearing colored pants is always a favorite.

TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
J: This is easy. I will never, ever, under any circumstance wear flip flops with socks or those horrible toe shoes.

TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
J: The two makeup items I cant live without: Bobbi Brown's Shimmerblock compact and Origins mascara are my absolute favorites. I've been using various shades of the Shimmerblock for years now. It works well as a blush and an eye make up palette. The mascara was given to me as a Christmas gift by my friend Jenne and it was the best, most practical gift ever. I can't live without it now. 

TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share?
J: Save up and invest in a handful of quality pieces that will last for years to come, even if you drop some serious cash -- you won't ever regret it. Maybe even set a goal to make one "quality" purchase a year. For me, last year it was a pair of Frye boots, the year prior it was a pair of post-baby designer jeans, and this year, I haven't settled on something yet, but something tells me it might involve Marc Jacobs because I can't get enough of his stuff.

*   *   *   *   *

Love you and your style, Jan. Thanks for inspiring me to keep things colorful... in more ways than one.

(All of Janet's pictures were taken by Kristen Morris of I'm Kristen Photography.)

Know someone who should be featured on The 29th? Interested in being interviewed yourself? Drop me a line: casey [at] thetwentyninth [dot] com.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Non-Flasher's Guide to Wearing Sheer Tees & Blouses

I love this tee from Madewell, pinned by my friend Janet. She actually ended up purchasing it (thanks to a crazy sale they had going on)... but now isn't quite sure how to style it, due to the fact that it's sheer, except for the opaque polka dots.

So how do you style and wear a sheer tee or blouse? A few ideas:
  • Wear a similarly colored camisole or tank top underneath: I know. Duh. But the color of the undershirt is the kicker here. In the case of Janet's tee: if you wore a white tank under it, it would look like... you're wearing a white tank under it. But, if you wear a red cami underneath, it'll blend with the pattern, actually look like part of the shirt, and add interest (not to mention coverage). If your top is patterned, feel free to match the cami or tank to one of the lighter colors in the pattern.
  • Wear a nude camisole underneath: I recommend wearing a nude cami underneath if your top is a light color. You don't want to distract from the color (or even alter the color) of the top by wearing an odd colored undershirt.
  • Layer over a tube top: If you don't like the look of straps under the blouse and prefer a more streamlined option, a tube top is a great option. It provides enough coverage, but not too much. Bandeaus are another option for the more daring. (PS: for all you moms out there who own BellaBands... a friend pointed out that they can double as tube tops in a pinch.)
  • Try it over a dress: A dress is a tank top & a skirt in one (Captain Obvious strikes again). Throw the tee or blouse on over a dress (I'm thinking a maxi dress in particular would be cute) and you've got coordinated and built-in coverage all in one. 
Sigh. Light and airy tees and blouses make me eager for warm weather. Can't wait for some 70 degree temps (she said, as she glanced outside at the sub-zero tundra that is currently DC...). 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Staying Stylish On a Budget (Share Your Favorite Tips!)

Since spring is just around the corner and with it come shopping trips for warm weather clothes, I thought now would be a good time to answer the following question. Brittany asks:
"I'd be interested in a post on how to stay in style on a budget. With 2 kids and one on the way, a lot of times I think of how I need to spend money on the kids and not me, etc."
I'm glad I'm not the only one with a teeny clothing budget and a desire (guilt complex?) to spend any clothing money that comes my way on adorable duds for my little ones. So let's get real -- how DO you buy the clothes you love on a budget? Here are a few of my favorite tips (for more, go back to this post).

Work with & negotiate your budget: If there's a particular garment that you need or would love to have, figure out if there are budget categories you can cut back on for a month or so (for example, your grocery budget: plan cheap meals for a month, if it's cool with your husband/roommates) and then use the leftover money for that piece you want.

Stalk the stores you love and the pieces you love: Sign up for your favorite stores' sales emails, get familiar with their sale rhythms (i.e. Old Navy is bound to have some kind of online discount code on every. single. obscure. holiday.), and do online and in-store research before you purchase. I pin things that I'm interested in onto my style board on Pinterest -- it reminds me to go back and check in a few weeks to see if a certain piece went on sale or into clearance. 

Use discount codes: As mentioned in my Christmas shopping post, always search for a possible discount code or coupon before you buy online or go to a store. It's as simple as going to Google and typing in "*store name* discount code" or "*store name* coupon." My favorite online coupon code sites are RetailMeNot, Dealigg, and DealsPlus. All three of these typically offer reliable coupon codes for many popular retailers. A quick search like this can save you $5-$10, or even shipping costs. You can also follow blogs that post coupon codes or deals, and liking the Facebook pages of your favorite stores can help ensure you're up to date on any promotions they're running.

Use ShopStyle / Google search: ShopStyle is amazing because it allows you to search online retailers across the board for a specific item, while specifying color & price range. If you're not brand-loyal, this is a great option. In addition, sometimes a basic Google search (using their shopping tab) can be really helpful. The vendors that pop up can be a little obscure, but they oftentimes will carry something similar to a more expensive piece for a lot less.

Shop at cheap chic / thrift / discount stores: Whether you score on things for you or your kids at these types of places, the money you save can then be spent on one or the other of you somewhere else. That's why I'm always talking about shopping places like Forever 21, H&M, and Old Navy -- for trendier items and basics, you can't beat their prices (of course, if you're going for quality and longevity, that's a whole other ball game). Goodwill can also be a treasure trove, depending on what you're looking for, or you can always try places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Ross. (See this series of posts from last fall on shopping at thrift stores for more tips & tricks.) Just resist the urge to buy things just because they're cheap -- stick to what you're really looking for!

Organize a clothing swap with friends: Last year, a small group of friends and I were all working on cleaning out our closets for one reason or another, so we all pooled our cast offs and traded! I scored some cute blazers (thanks to my office-working friends), a silk tank, a J.Crew tee I'd wanted for forever, and some fun jewelry, all for the low, low cost of cleaning out my closet and hanging out with my buddies. I highly recommend doing this, especially with friends who are as enthusiastic about it as you are and won't just throw in their high-school cast offs to trade (haha).

Make a list of things you'd like to find, and send it to me! I'd love to help you search for those elusive pieces.

Here's the thing: I also have a lot of amazing, penny-pinching, money-saving, coupon-clipping, discount diva friends who, I'm sure, have some awesome tips for staying fashionable while still having to pay for kids. So, you lovely friends! Can you let us in on your secrets in the comments section?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Girl Friday: Heather

Meet Heather!
Heather was nominated for a Girl Friday interview by her sister-in-law, Kristen... One look at the outfit photos she sent and I understood why Kristen passed along her name -- this girl's got style! I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did, via her answers, haha.

*   *   *   *   *
The Twenty Ninth: Tell us a little bit about what you're currently doing.
Heather: I stay home with my 7 month old little girl, and squeeze in my hobbies where I can (running & fitness, home projects, and my design blog RestlessOasis).
TN: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase:
A: Casual cool, classic. 
TN: How has your style evolved over the years?
A: I was what I like to call "a late bloomer." I don't think I gave things too much thought until I started dating my husband (to be fair, I was a broke college student!). Now it's a fun creative outlet for me.

TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share?
A: Thankfully no recent clothing mishaps, but a couple years ago I had Lasik eye surgery done. I had a wedding to go to the day after, and if you are familiar with the surgery you know that you can't wear any makeup for a couple weeks after. Being the blonde, fair-skinned girl that I am, I decided to have fun with red lipstick. I went to MAC and must have tried on a dozen shades before I settled on one color. Now I realize that I chose that color based on the build up of other colors on my lips, because it wasn't red at all. It was 80s hot pink, and I didn't put it on until I arrived at the wedding. Then I panicked and tried taking it off. The end result was smeared hot pink lips. It was a hot look.
TN: Who are your style influences?
A: My friends, and fashion bloggers (Damsel in Dior, Could I Have That, Andy Heart, Sincerely Jules, See Jane)
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?
A: Zara, Madewell, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and Nordstrom.

TN: How do you pick out an outfit?
A: I think I go with my mood a lot of times. A lot of times, I start with an inspiration piece and go from there.
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
A: Generally speaking, I've gradually become less "safe." When I have time I love experimenting with makeup and hair.
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear, and why?
A: I love shoes, because you can make an outfit from just a t-shirt and jeans. Jackets are another favorite because I love layering.

TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
A: I'm learning to never say never... but currently I can't fathom wearing the wedge sneakers trend (why?). Also, being an army wife, but I would never wear camo anything.
TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
A: I love Kiehl's eye cream. I may be a tired mom some days, but this keeps me from looking like it. It also lasts me six months.
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share?
A: Throw the rules out the window and have fun. Look at high fashion for inspiration and then find cheaper options. I think very carefully about each purchase, even if its a cheap shirt from Target... I would rather have fewer things in my closet and wear all of them than a closet stuffed with clothes that I don't like. Quality over quantity where possible! 

*   *   *   *   *

Thank you for interviewing, Heather!

Do you know someone who should be featured on The 29th? Interested in being interviewed yourself? Drop me a line: casey [at] thetwentyninth [dot] com. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

All You Need is...

via Pastel Fables on Etsy

Have a beautiful day loving those who love you... and maybe even those who don't love you but in your dreams they do and one day your unrequited love will be the dream because they will eventually declare their love for you...

The morning started off with exchanging valentines with David & Viley in bed, sitting under the covers, with messy hair (because that's real love). Soon Violet and I will be off to deliver valentines around our apartment (the leasing lady gets one, and Vi's little buddy a few floors down). And tonight, sundaes and burgers and staring into each other's eyes await David and I. It should be a good February 14. Hope it's the same for you!

Happy happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Sartorialist & Co.

via Style & The City
You know what's cool? The revolutionary way that street fashion is starting to shape the fashion world and what's seen on the runways.

Photographers and blogs like The Sartorialist, Style & The City, and Jak & Jil feature pictures of fashionable people in their everyday element: walking to work, drinking coffee, talking on their phone, looking fabulous (and maybe even a little odd). The fashion world has become slightly obsessed with the ease, history, and imperfection behind the clothes and outfits worn by the people captured in these photos.

I often wondered what makes street photographers stop and take notice... Then I saw this article about New York street photographers during Fashion Week: where to find them and how to make them find you (i.e. what are they looking for when it comes to the subjects of their photographs). It's pretty fascinating!
via Jak & Jil

via Jak & Jil

via Jak & Jil

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Neon, and How to Wear It

(via Pinterest)
My color-loving friend Janet emailed me this question:
"Neon is so in right now and I love it. Here's the catch... I don't always know what to do with it. So any fashion tips or suggestions would be welcomed... I bought a bright neon pink button down and that's the item in particular that's tripping me up."
Contrary to popular belief, neon is not just for crimp-haired teenyboppers wearing splatter-painted jeans. There are ways to make it chic! Since neon is so bright, a good rule of thumb is to match it up with pieces that will neutralize it:
  • Pair neon with colors like: camel (preppy), nude & blush (sweet), white (preppy & beachy), navy (classic & preppy), olive green (bohemian & edgy), and grays (chic or edgy).
  • Black can also work with neon, but avoid wearing brights with mostly black pieces and accessories if you're not going for the black-lit 80's roller-rink look.
  • If you're feeling brave & colorful, try neon pieces with monochromatic or opposite-colored pastels. For example, wear neon pink with lavender, or citron with mint green. Conversely, try a pastel pink with citron or mint green matched with orchid purple. (This may not work with all pieces, but it's worth a try. Keep it tasteful!)
  • Simple patterns act as another neutralizer for neon. Basic stripes or dots in neutral colors -- black & white, gray & white, camel & white, etc. -- can work well. An olive green camo print is also a fun option, if paired with a classy shoe and simple, classic accessories. 
  • Pair neon with textures. Things like lace or knits can create a good foil for bright colors, since the interest of the texture balances the color out.
Regarding Janet's neon pink shirt -- here are some ideas, based on the list above!

Do you have a favorite way to wear neon? Currently, I'm loving matching a highlighter yellow shirt with my olive green zipper-pocket pants. Take that, gray days!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Currently Loving: February

I always misspelled "February" growing up (kind of like how I still misspell the word "misspell"). It's got that tricky, nearly silent "r" in the middle. So I'd just write, "Febuary." I actually still say "Febuary." Probably because pronouncing that first "r" is a little pretentious, okay?

Let's talk lovelies and love and all that. Here's what I'm digging this month, from the top.
  • Spicy Mexican Quinoa Soup: I found this recipe last winter, and it's become a cold-weather go-to around here. It's a spicy tomato-based soup, but it's served over quinoa and with sliced avocado which break up the heat. It's mild enough that Vi can still eat and enjoy it (and me too... I'm not exactly adventurous when it comes to spicy). Seriously perfect for sniffly noses and February temperatures. Highly recommend. (As does David.)
  • Finding the Perfect LBD: Truth is, I've bought a couple little black dresses over the years -- for weddings or last minute holiday parties -- but I've never truly loved any of them. As of last week, I was still on the hunt for that wear-all be-all and end-all elusive LBD that everyone always talks about. And I found it. Perfect length, versatile fabric & style, can be dressed up or down, gorgeous sleeves, and amazingly on sale for 50% in the store. Yeah. I love this dress.
  • Loving it Up on Valentines Day: My mom always made Valentines Day special for me and my siblings -- heart stickies on the windows, candy and a little present at the breakfast table, and after dinner we'd have a huge family valentines-making soiree. The table would be covered with pink & red paper, doilies of all shapes & sizes, gluesticks, glitter, markers, and stickers (usually Snoopy ones), and we'd all set to work constructing the cleverest, funniest, inside-jokiest valentines we could manage, to be distributed while we ate dessert. I have the sweetest memories of Valentines Day. This year, David and I plan to keep to our tradition of eating Five Guys, making sundaes, and watching a movie on the couch -- all our favorites. Ah, love.
  • New Ankle Booties: It's kind of hard to sound mature when you're talking about "booties." It makes it sound like I'm referring to some kind of irreverent baby shower gift. Whatever their name implies, they are tres chic. These ones were added to my closet just recently, and I love them enough to share them with you here, even though it required me to write "booties" multiple times.
Are you loving anything in particular this month? Do share!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Girl Friday: Sarah

Good morning, sweet readers: meet Sarah!
Sarah is an artist, and that shines through in her clothes. She pulls off the layered-vintage-chic look effortlessly, and inspires me with her choice in colors, unique pieces, and fun accessories. Her interview is below -- please enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *
The Twenty Ninth: Tell us a little bit about what you're currently doing.
Sarah: I am currently a Visual Manager for Anthropologie in Chevy Chase, where I have been for almost four years now. It is as perfect a job as I could imagine! I am able to be creative and use my art background every day in my work. At home is my husband Robert who works at night and my 19 month old daughter, Olive. We are expecting our second baby (a boy!) in April.
TN: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase:
S: Juxtaposition of texture, color and silhouette. 
TN: How has your style evolved over the years?
S: I've always loved putting outfits together, but I have definitely become more adventurous with bright colors, patterns, and accessories. Working in an environment where it's easy to get inspired by the beautiful clothes and people that come through the doors, you can't help but take risks with your wardrobe.
TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share?
S: All I can say is that I will never do a cartwheel in ripped/distressed jeans again.
TN: Who are your style influences?
S: I love Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy and Grace Kelly. I like to put modern twists on the style of old Hollywood. On the flip side, I also think Rachel Zoe's baggy style is effortlessly chic.
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?
S: Most of my clothes are from Anthropologie and I don't really have time to shop otherwise. Work ends up being my one stop shop since there are so many timeless pieces I can collect and reinvent every season. For some of my basics, I love to wander across the street to J.Crew for a great layering cardigan or blazer. H&M and Target are also cheap places to get simple tops and bottoms to layer more special statement pieces over.
TN: How do you pick out an outfit?
S: I love to mix textures and proportions. If I am wearing a fitted bottom, I pair it with a baggier top and vice versa. Before I walk out the door, I make sure the outfit is finished off with a great accessory.
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
S: My favorite thing to experiment with is lipstick. If you pick the right shade, lipstick never fails to make an outfit look even more polished and complete.
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear, and why?
S: A mid-calf length Leifsdottir dress from Anthropologie (see pic below). It is my go-to dress for special occasions. I can pair it with heels or ankle boots. The design of it has just the right combination of vintage and modern. It almost looks like a dress my grandma would have handed down to me and I love that.

TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
S: Uggs.
TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
S: I usually end up buying something different each time I go back to Sephora, but the one thing I find myself always picking up is Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. I hate the way my hair is when it's just washed and dried (too flat). This Surf Spray gives it that great separated, tousled texture you usually get from being at the beach all day.
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share?
S: If you are looking to liven up a simple wardrobe, I would start with investing a few great accessories first, like a great statement necklace or patterned scarf. You can pair those great accessories with jeans and t-shirt and look really put together.

*   *   *   *   *

Thanks for interviewing and sharing your life with us, Sarah -- and congrats on baby #2!
(All pictures were taken by Sarah's husband, Robert.)

Know someone who should be featured on The Twenty Ninth? Interested in being interviewed yourself? Drop me a line: casey [at] thetwentyninth [dot] com. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bittersweet Zine: Winter 2013, Issue No. 10

The winter issue of Bittersweet is finally off the presses!
See, Mom and Dad? See my name there in little letters under the staff photo?! (Cue that one Taylor Swift song about stuff like dreams and making things happen.)

Here's the actual picture, in case you're curious about the styling... As you can see, we went with warm neutrals & denim, with some splashes of orangey reds:
photo by Steve Jeter
It was a privilege to be part of this whole process -- check out the entire issue of the magazine online, here!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Home Styling: Corner Shelf

We've made a few subtle changes around Apartment 607: the new year and my anticipation of spring made me antsy (and apparently creative to some degree). I like to switch things up every couple of months... if I feel inspired, that is.

This is just a little shelf in one little corner, but I like the way it turned out:
Here's what's on display:
  • Photograph of a pair of traditional Japanese sandals, taken by my late grandmother.
  • Antique copy of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, a gift from David.
  • Little floral cup, also my late grandmother's. 
  • Coral from our last trip to Hawaii.
  • Blue candle box, given to us (along with the candle!) as a wedding gift from a friend. 
  • Framed "HOME" artwork that I threw together last year using paint chips & Scrabble letters (it's a little rough, but from far away, I like how it turned out).

Little corners filled with memories make me happy.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Winterize Your Maxi Dress

Hey hey, hope you all had a great weekend -- we spent ours putting the finishing touches on Violet & Bea's room, getting lots of reading done (I'm currently loving this book), and watching the Ravens beat San Francisco's rears last night with good friends.

Let's begin the week with a styling question, shall we?

My friend Erin asked:
"I was wondering how you would style a navy blue maxi dress (short sleeve) for winter? My office is relatively casual, so work appropriate/casual ideas would be much appreciated."
Maxi dresses are awesome because they're so versatile. Since they're long, when maxis are layered well, they can actually be a warm option for cold weather. (Plus you can throw on a pair of leggings or tights underneath, or even socks if you're wearing boots... no one will know!)

Here's how I'd winterize a maxi dress, with a nice casual work environment in mind:
Maxi Dress in Winter
Hope this helps. As always, feel free to leave comments if you're reading and have additional ideas!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Style for Petites & the 5'4" & Under Set, Part 3

(via Collage Vintage)
Today we're finishing up our series on petite styling! Below are a few last fashion tips and a couple of links for a little more inspiration:
  • Avoid big prints. They tend to overwhelm your figure if you're short. Stick to smaller prints and patterns so your face is the focal point.
  • Always think in terms of verticality and lengthening: Even something as simple as a long pendant necklace can help with the illusion of height!
  • Things like structured jackets, well-fitting tees, and heels are your best friends. Anything that doesn't lose you in a swath of fabric will only help you. Structured and well-fitting garments will draw attention to your figure rather than drown it.
  • When it comes to length for skirts, tunics, and dresses, keep hems at the mid- to lower-thigh. Not only will that ensure that you have enough leg showing (but not too much!) to keep you looking lean and taller, but it'll also give the illusion of a longer torso as well, because you'll be more equally proportioned. 
  • Rachel Bilson has become a celebrity style icon for petite women -- Google her name and style (or do a search on Pinterest!) for inspiration. She's got some great tips and outfit ideas. 
  • Extra Petite is a blog by a 20-something gal who loves classic J.Crew style. She has a lot of great tips on how to, as a petite woman, successfully shop in the kid's section of popular stores.
  • La Vie Petite is a blog written by a petite mom with a fun sense of style. (Note: She does tend to dress very conservatively when it comes to skirt length, and honestly I don't think it's always very becoming... I'd stick to above the knee skirts/dresses if you're comfortable with it.)

Advice from Jenevieve: Some things I stay away from (as much as it pains me, sometimes) are maxi dresses, long skirts, skirts that hit right below the knee (unless I am wearing heels), capris (except the ones I work out in), and long blazers/jackets (coats are mostly exempt from this rule, because it's a practical thing).

Advice from Mindy: There are some things that you just need to be comfortable saying doesn't work best for your body type, and that's okay. One example for me was when thick belts were in a few years ago. I have an extremely short waist (i.e. no waist), so a thick belt just makes me look really boxy and thick around the middle. When belt styles became a little thinner, I still avoided them because I had it in my head that belts at the waist didn't work for me. It wasn't until late last year that I tried skinnier belts and realized that it was just thick belts that don't work for me -- thinner belts actually work great for my short/petite waist. So don't write-off of an entire style, but try to tweak it or add something to make it work for you. 

Mindy included these last couple remarks, and I thought she hit the nail on the head: It's just important to learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Tall girls wish they were shorter, petite girls wish they were taller. But the reality is there are a lot of styles that may not work the best for tall girls, short girls, busty girls, flat girls, curvy girls, long-legged girls, long-waisted girls... We all get to work with what we've got, and I think that's part of the fun of it!

Thanks for sharing, Jenevieve and Mindy! If anyone else has tips for petites, leave a comment and fill us in!