Category Archives: Take a Vote!

Help me pick the perfect outfit for Pitchfork!

Pitchfork Music Festival kicked off yesterday over at Union Park. The three day summer music festival focuses on artists & bands from alternative rock, rap, hip-hop & electronica, with a little punk, jazz, and experimental thrown in the mix as well. This may be my favorite festival of them all because there’s such a variety in the line-up that there’s something for everyone. Sick of one sound?…just move on to the next stage and listen to a different set! Whether you plant yourself in the grass for a musical escape & drift off into an audible daydream or commit to going deep the pit, you’re bound to have a memorable musical experience; and with the likes of Bjork, Belle & Sebastian, MIA, and R. Kelly headlining this year’s line-up, that’s a definite guarantee.

I’m only going tomorrow and since it’s my only day, I intend on spending the whole day in the musical array. The second best thing at festivals, following the music, is the fashion!  I want to pick out something that’s stylish, but still comfortable since I’ll be there all day long. There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to picking out what you’re going to wear, such as…

  • The Weather & Elements– With every outdoor activity you run the risk of inclement weather. Hot or cold, rain or shine, the fate of the festival is up to Mother Nature. I looked ahead at the forecast for tomorrow and it’s calling for mostly cloudy skies with a high of 78°. That sounds like the perfect day to me! Considering the recent string up upper-90° hot, humid days we’ve had here in Chicago (and everywhere else in the country) this little cool-down is welcomed. Since Union Park has very few trees shade is a scarcity; so I’ll rely on mostly cloudy skies to shield me from the sweltering sun. Something lightweight and breezy is the best choice for this kind of forecast. When rain shows up on the radar that’s another story!
  • An All-day Affair – Attending an outdoor festival is often an all-day affair. You must make sure to wear something that’s keeps you cool and comfortable under the afternoon’s blazing sun…but warm enough when the sun is long gone. The gates open at Noon, first artists hit the stage around 1:00pm, the headliner goes on around 8:30 and the festival finishes up around 10pm. That’s a long day! With no re-entry allowed, once you cross that gate you only have what you brought with to work with.
  • Your Surroundings – Pitchfork is located in Union Park on the Near West Side of Chicago. I’ve been to a few festivals at UP (North Coast Music Festival is also held in this park) and it’s my #1 choice for a concert site. It’s a wide-open grassy plot; you can pretty much plop yourself down once you pick the perfect spot, you don’t even need to bring a blanket! Two weeks ago I went to WaveFront which was up at Montrose Beach; the set-up in the sand was a first for me and while it was fun, being surrounded by all that sand got a little annoying after a while. The little granules were everywhere – in my hair, pockets, shoes, drink; there was no way of avoiding it. :/
  • Style vs. Sentimental ValueHow much do you care about what you’re planning to wear? Are you willing to risk wrecking it? It’s pretty much a given that whatever you wear is going to get dirty, maybe even destroyed. Its dusty, maxis drag on the ground, layers get lost or left behind, tops get torn when things get rowdy – just keep in mind that whatever you wear may need some maintenance repairs when you get home or even thrown away entirely. I made the mistake of wearing one of my favorite scarves to a DeadMau5 concert at Congress Theatre. I lost it somewhere in the crowd at some point during the set…I have no idea when, where, or how (I made sure it was tied!)…but when the lights went up, it was no longer around my neck. I loved my silky snake-motif scarf & lost it…I’ll never make that mistake again! Another bad idea – flip-flops! If someone steps on your heel and rips it off your foot you’re stuck with only one shoe…and that would suck. I have my special pair of purple lace-up sneakers that I wear everywhere. They’re secured to my feet, won’t break, and protect my little piggies from being crushed in the crowd…the only down-fall: tan lines – but that’s the least of my worries.
  • The Bathroom Situation – You might find this to be a funny thing to factor in, but hear me out. Any fest-vet will say it’s important to 1. Locate all the lavatories so you know exactly where to go when you have to go, because there’s bound to be a long line when you get there. 2. Think fast – wasting time in line just to go to the bathroom sucks, especially when you’re trying to go in between music sets. Wear something that’s quick & easy to take on and off. If you can make it out of a port-a-potty without setting anything down (gross) and without having to take a breath that’s usually the best! And I’m pretty sure the person behind you will appreciate your speedy pee as well. 3. BYOTP – Bring. Your. Own. Toilet. Paper. (Kleenex, napkin, paper towel, heck, leaves for all I care). It’s almost a guarantee that they’ll run out of TP by the time the festival finishes, so remember your own resources. Rompers probably aren’t the best in regards to the restrooms. Do you really want to have to pull down your entire outfit in the port-a-potty??

I’m sure there are a few factors that I’m forgetting, but oh well; I’ll add those to my next pre-festival post. Keeping these points in mind, I need to pick out the perfect outfit for Pitchfork, add I’d like you to help! Here are a couple of my choices…

All-Saints Twisted Fringe Top & Cut-Offs (2)

1. My All-Saint’s charcoal fringe cotton top & cut-offs

Anthropologie Chevron Suit, Dad's Plaid & Cut-Offs (3)

2. A chevron-print one-piece swimsuit underneath cut-offs & my dad’s blue plaid button-down, with my brown suede cross-body bag

Free People Wildcard Tank Top & Cut-Offs (2)

3. My Free People ‘WILDCARD’ cut-off tank top and J.Crew rolled shorts, with my Free People brown leather hip belt.

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4. An Urban Outfitters tank top and cut-offs, with my fuchsia velvet fanny pack

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5. My Free People floral print high-low silk top and cut-offs, with my Top Shop olive wool hat & fuchsia velvet fanny pack

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6. A purple vintage floral-motif tank top and Arden B. ivory maxi skirt, with a plaid fedora & my brown suede cross-body bag

Urban Outfitters antique-motif kimono with band graphic tee and cut-off denim shorts (2)

7. A Joy Division graphic tee underneath my Urban Outfitters antique-motif fringe wrap with denim cut-offs

Urban Outfitters red floral tank with navajo shorts (1)8. A vintage floral-motif tank top with my Navajo-print shorts

Gold Maxi Dress &  Navajo-Print Scarf9. My Alternative Apparel golden maxi dress with a Navajo- print scarf

Urban Outfitters black & ivory navajo print jumper (1)10. My Urban Outfitters Navajo-print harem jumper with a southwestern carpet belt.

Vote now on what you think I should wear tomorrow!…

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Clashing Separates Combine to Create these Creative, Quirky Outfits!

So, I took a short break from showing you all the different ways I styled my Free People bronze embroidered leather pants; but if you were keeping track, I’m up to 7 different outfits so far. I still have many more ways to show you and I’ll start out again with 2 outfits that, at first glance, might seem completely out-of-whack, but actually come together to make quite creative outfits!

These bold looks boast saturated hues, tailored silhouettes, and tons of texture! Both of these outfits are built from clashing separates that infuse a youthful attitude to an otherwise classic style. Check them out…

Outfit #1:

Anthropologie Plaid Shirt, Free People Lace Blazer & Bronze Embroidered Pants Plaid Shirt, Lace Blazer & Bronze Vegan Leather Bottoms

A Quirky Combo: Saturated Hues, Playful Print, Tailored Silhouette & Tons of Texture

Here I’ve paired my classic plaid button-down shirt from Anthropologie with the contemporary slim-cut embroidered cropped pants. To amp-up the ensemble another notch, I layered a fitted Free People lace blazer over the cotton top. The primary-colored plaid faintly peaks through the forest green lace in this colorful cloth collage of true hues, while the metallic bronze bottoms emit a slight iridescent sheen.

As the plaid pattern takes your eye on a maze, the burnout lace blazer and intricately embroidered vegan leather bottoms are tempting to touch – stimulating the senses in so many ways!

Outfit #2:

Free People Velvet Blazer, Chambray Shirt & Bronze Embroidered Bottoms

Chambray Shirt, Velvet Blazer & Bronze Vegan Leather Bottoms

A Quirky Combo: Spicy Hues, Tailored Silhouette & Tons of Texture

The elements of this second ensemble are similar to the first; but while this outfit may have a little less color, it makes up for in texture. Here I’ve layered my rust-colored velvet Free People blazer over a Free People chambray button-down shirt to go along with the bronze bottoms. The sumptuously soft velvet of this unstructured jacket falls loose for a relaxed fit, but the stiff vegan leather pants stay true to their structured slim-fit. The spicy autumnal hue and heavy-weight fabrics make this an ideal outfit for fall.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you that these outfits were a little whacky!

These quirky combinations definitely aren’t dull – but even with everything going on in the clothing; the most important component in pulling off these looks is confidence! Knowing you’re going to stand-out while walking down the street and being secure with that is the ultimate accessory in achieving exceptional personal style.

Do you have the confidence to pull off these audacious outfits, or are you more comfortable blending in with the crowd?

I Can Pull Off (and Up) Leather Pants Better Than Ross Can!

I came by these Embroidered Vegan Leather Pants in the sale section at Free People about a month ago…

Free People Embroidered Vegan Leather Pants

I’m not surprised that the statement pants went on sale; even though Free People shoppers are fashion-forward, not everyone can pull off a pair of metallic vegan leather pants with embroidery embellishment along the leg.

Now, I consider myself to have a pretty progressive style sense, so naturally I was drawn to the bold bronze bottoms. And the fact that they were marked all the way down to $29.95 (originally $148.00)…that was just a bonus! I love the iridescent sheen that radiates off them in the light and the intricate embroidered design down the front. They’re surprisingly comfortable for being made of vegan leather; sometimes that material sticks to your skin because the heavy-weight fabric doesn’t breathe.

***Random Side note: Whenever I think of leather pants, I think of the episode of Friends when Ross wears a pair over to his date’s place. He’s overheating & uncomfortable, so he goes into the bathroom to cool down; but when he pulls the leather pants down…he can’t get them back up! He call’s Joey for advice, and after trying baby powder and lotion, he’s still left with his pants around his ankles. :/

Friends Episode - Ross Wears Leather PantsClick on the image to play video of the episode

Thankfully, whoever designed these unique pants must have taken that into consideration, because there’s a sewn-in cotton liner on the inside…so I’ll never run into the issue Ross had! :)

And for as much as the embellished bottoms stand out, they actually integrated into my wardrobe quite well! Take a wild guess at how many different outfits I created using these statement slacks.

Send me a comment with what you think the final count is & I’ll start showing you results tomorrow…!

1 Sale Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways – Now That’s a Deal!

Like I said last week, I’m surprised the Lucia Delphinium Shawl Sweater lasted long enough on the sales floor at Anthropologie to be marked all the way down to $19.95! If I could’ve bought the digital pattern knit at its original price of $248.00 I probably would’ve; and following the first markdown to $129.95 I was entertaining the idea even more. I must have missed it when it was marked down to $39.95, because I definitely would have bought it then; but thankfully I spotted it once again after the final markdown – and ended up saving even more!  (Luckily, I got the last one in stock!)

Anthropologie Lucia Delphinium Shawl Sweater on Sale

Everyone else must not have seen the potential in this unique, versatile piece like I did or I’m sure they would’ve scooped it up much sooner! The innovative design allows for a ton of options when wearing this hand-knit top. I spent some time playing around with it over the past week & check out some of the different ways I styled it…

1.   Buttoned all the way up in the front & the back

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

2.   Basically worn in reverse – with the cozy wrap in front & pop of pattern in the back

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

3.   This is probably the most creative way I could wear this piece – here I’ve unbuttoned the top entirely then wrapped the two panels around to the back. A single button at the bottom secures it in place and wha-lah – thick-knit sweater turned twist-front top!

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

4.   Here, I swung the shrug around again so the pattern’s on the back. Either wear the poncho loosely draped like this or undo the top button and sling an arm though for a one-shoulder look

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

5.   With the simple oblong shape, when totally undone the sweater turns into a standard scarf that can be simply wrapped around your neck

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

6. Or, left open & looped through, the sweater can be wrapped like a handkerchief scarf

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

7.   Buttoned up the front but left open in the back, now it’s baggy like a blanket (a stylish snuggie perhaps?)

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

8.  This is my 2nd favorite way I styled the sweater – into a one-shoulder top! Simply shift it to the side & slide an arm though; buttons line the single slouchy sleeve while the other shoulder stays exposed.

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

9.   With all but the top button undone & the back left open the sweater is now a cape vest. Other obvious variations would be to only fasten the center button, or the bottom 3 buttons, or every other button. Ok, ok, not really…now I’m getting a little carried away – but you get the idea!

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

See what I mean?! There’s so many ways to style this super-soft sweater…and to pay only $19.95 for it – that’s what I call a steal! If you divide the 9 different ways I styled it by the price I paid, that comes down to $2.20 a look. (And that’s just counting what I showed you – there’s no doubt even more ways this top can be worn!)

A practical purchase?? – I’d say so! Would you have bought this unusual piece had you come across it? What price would’ve you been willing to pay? And lastly, which way is your fav?

1 Shirt, 7 Ways, 7 Days BONUS: My Red Embroidered-Front Tunic & Vintage Vest

I’ve already shown you a week’s worth of ways to wear my favorite Free People embroidered-front tunic, but I still have one last look I’d like to share!…

Outfit #8

Free People Embroidered-Front Tunic & Vintage Vest

Free People Embroidered-Front Tunic & Vintage Vest

This is one of the original ways I styled my favorite top over two years ago (notice the photos from my old apartment). Here I’ve layered my vintage patchwork vest over the bright red top and paired it with my Arden B. ivory maxi skirt. My Minnetonka Moccasin suede fringe lace-up boots coordinate seamlessly with the cognac suede & crochet vest that I found in my aunt’s childhood closet.

This is my western take on the top – what do you think?

Well…1 shirt, 8 different ways – out of all the outfits, which one is your #1?

Ways to Wear it: Free People Embroidered-Front Tunic

Ways to Wear it: Free People Embroidered-Front Tunic