Friday, March 28, 2014

Stale & Co ; Mens handcrafted Accessories. My review and thoughts.

About a month ago I began chatting with Daryl from the brand Stale & Co ; A brand new brand who just launched their website  in February. Their handmade items caught my eye on instagram and after a few emails we thought I would be a good candidate to try their items out. I got to choose three pieces and have now been wearing them for about two weeks. I must say I'm completely obsessed with them! They are understated but still eye catching. I've really been enjoying matching them up with my outfits.

First I'm going to tell you about the three pieces I chose and I will also tell you guys about the brand and the two fantastic people behind the scenes. While yes the pieces were sent to me free of charge all of my thoughts and experiences with them as well as the three accesories are mine and I don't get anything for getting people to buy these items. I want to promote a great brand that I really like and had a great experience with their service and products. Thank you so much to Stella and Daryl for these beautiful gifts and I wish you guys the best. 

All items will be linked to their website

The three items I picked were:
The Kris Cuff
The George Jr Bracelet
The Willie Brass Skull Necklace

I have a few images of how I wore all three pieces and I will review each piece individually.
This is the Willie necklace, the skull is very cartoony like almost alien shape. For me thats perfect because I love everything a bit odd and nerdy. It almost reminds me of something that would have been in The Nightmare Before Christmas. It's on black hand-crochet cotton yarn. There are two brass beads that can be moved up or down to adjust the length witch I love! I can wear it high or low depending if i'm stacking accessories. 

The two bracelets are great for stacking. I went for black and brass because I love the look of it as you can see I had a bag that matched the similar contrast.

My favorite and most worn piece right now is the Kris Cuff. I've been wearing it nearly every day. I love the texture hammered into the brass. It's a bit on the heavy side but not too much, just enough. It can be opened or closed a bit to adjust the size for your wrist however I wouldn't keep moving it in and out of it's shape. Just fit it to your wrist and then you can slide it on and off easily.

The George Jr Bracelet features a hand-cut brass tube centre piece and some gorgeous 6mm black lava rock beads. The beads are nice and sturdy. It fits me perfectly and after a few wears it's still comes on and off easily and stays put. It is on an elastic band so it stretches for taking on and off easily.

Overall I'm adoring my pieces. Stella and Daryl have an amazing vision and great craftsmanship.The detail and amount of work put into them makes me adore them that much more. I've been wearing all of them constantly and get constant remarks and questions about them. The quality is fantastic and knowing they are hand crafted by someone is just super awesome. The materials are of great quality. Shipping took about 13 days and they do ship internationally, for free I must add! Overall I'm so grateful for the opportunity to try out their pieces. I love all three and I've already got my eye on a few of their other pieces. That "The Lenny Necklace" is on the top of that list and love the "The Marc Bracelet". To be honest I love so many of them i'd spend all day linking you so just check out them them out!

About Stale & Co

About the brand
Stale & Co launched in early 2014 and was founded with a simple belief of handcrafting quality products that is not only based on aesthetics, but also quality that is made to last.
Our inspiration stems from the classic gentlemen; the ones that believe in a well-tailored suit, a classic watch, and shoes to walk the talk. Stale & Co seeks to make accessories to complement the contemporary men for both work and play.
Using only quality materials and made with the finest craftsmanship, every Stale & Co piece is built with rigorous attention and definite precision. Each piece is designed and handcrafted using traditional jewelry-making and metal-smithing techniques. So when you put on a Stale & Co piece, you are not only wearing a piece of accessory, but also a piece of our belief and hard work.

About Us
Behind the brand, we're a duet hailing from sunny Singapore, with a penchant for designs of extraordinaire virtue and exceptional workmanship.
The chief designer/artisan of Stale & Co, Stella, specialises in the discipline of metalsmith and has received training at the famed Jewelry Arts Institute in New York City. She brings with her years of experience in experimenting with different techniques and styles of jewelry-making into the Stale & Co outfit.
Brand Manager, Daryl, has had prior experience in fashion photography and graphic design, and was involved in various local and international projects over the years. Having an obsession with clean lines, design, and composition, he is the one behind the brand image and identity.
Combining experiences from fashion, photography, graphic design, metal-smithing, and crafting, we have the vision to make things not only you can wear on a daily basis, but also items that you'll want to hand down to the next generation.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Denim Bonanza! quick DIY tutorial on my Denim Crotch Clutch~

I've had quite a lot of people ask how I made my Denim Crotch clutch so since I had a day off work I thought I'd make another one but photograph my process this time so I could share.

I made the original crotch clutch a nearly a year ago now and it was just something I randomly thought of after noticing how many "fat jeans" I had nothing to do with. I love recycling so I decided to see if I could make a clutch out of it. The first one I made was hand stitched but since I recently aquired a sewing machine I wanted to try again and this time it was not only much faster but I feel it'll last better with wear.

Now for the tutorial 

Firstly you'll need a pair of jeans you don't care about (could easily pick some up at a thrift store for $2.5-$5
The clutch will be made up of one of the front pockets and the zipper/button opening.

Here I was Measuring the original clutch so that I had an idea of how big I wanted the new one  

Start cutting into the jeans, making sure to leave half an inch of extra fabric for sewing.  

 You will pretty much remove the back of the jeans only leaving about 3-4 inches to one side of the zipper so that the zipper can be centered on the clutch. Of course if you want the zipper anywhere else you can adjust however you see fit. Remember that it's best to leave extra material then to cut too much.

You don't want to cut the pocket so make sure you move it out of the way if you need to cut near or around it.

 This is what it will look like before you start to sew. Don't worry about cutting the same perfectly at first, you can always go back and reshape it slowly to get your desired shape.

 Once you have the shape that you want turn it inside out and start to sew leaving a bit of room between the edge and where the stitching will be.

 Again, be mindful of the pocket and make sure you move it out of the way when you're sewing to make it functional. As you can see I had leftover material on the edges, you can cut it but I just leave it since it's going to be on the inside of the clutch anyway. I sewed the side opening first to make sure the clutch's shape stayed true to how I wanted it.

 Do the same for the bottom and like I said before it's best to have too much material than too little. Once you've done both open sides turn your clutch right-side out. The top of the jeans will still be open but you want that to lay flat so you don't want to sewing it from the inside or it'll take away from the blue jean look and feel.

 As you can see here I've stitched the top part but I did it in two parts. I wanted to be able to undo the button for easier access (something I didn't do the first time around) this way I can open it wider and can fit my bigger sunglass case if I wanted to.

 BAM! now you have a quirky, fun fashion accesory that certainly will start conversations. The denim is not an extremely thick fabric so it'll be a bit slouchy so a perfect square is not something that really matters. Personally I like a bit of that not so perfect look. Keep in mind that trial and error does happen so don't sure your favorite pair of jeans for this. You can also costomize these anyway you want to. Leaving the belt loops even allows for you to add a strap to make it a fun little satchel.

As you can see I can fit quite a lot in the little clutch. My wallet, pack of gum, keys, chapstick and even some sunglasses fit with no issues. The inside pocket for things you don't want falling out and the back pocket is for anything you need to grab quickly. 

I also want to thank these two fabulous blogs who featured my clutch a few weeks ago <3 it really does mean the world to me that other people even care what I'm doing. So thank you again ladies! 

I hope the tutorial made sense as I'm still new at explaining how I do things it's a bit hard to know if others will understand how I explain things. If you do need help with anything leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as I see it.

I would love to know if anyone does make one of these so tag me on instagram @iruisu or leave me a comment here! with much love, Luis. 

PS: stay fabulous <3 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Finding and Exploring Your Personal Style

Recently I've had a lot of different compliments on my image and style choices. Some ask for advice on building a similar style or make comments like "Oh I love your bowtie I just wish I could pull one off". Truth is, I was once one of them. Finding your personal style is not something that happens overnight. First you just have to be open to trying new things. Before I started wearing bowties on a regular basis I used to look at pictures of classic dapper fashion and think to myself "oh I could just never pull that off" thing is I was just scared of change. Like a new haircut changing the way your dress is a little more mental than you'd think. Being afraid of what people will think is normal and something you just have to get over at the end of the day you're the one wearing your clothes not them. People will always have something to say but as long as you're confident anything negative is dimmed down by how good you feel about yourself.

When I first began changing the way I dressed in order to turn into the polished dapper gentleman I wanted to become I had no idea where to begin. Fact is that only because things look good on models does not mean you'll have the same luck when putting on the exact same outfit. I look back at some of my outfits and trust me, I looked terrible but trial and error is the only way to learn fashion. As long as you feel comfortable in your own style screw what others say or those silly "fashion rules". Fashion is a way to express your own individuality and like music you shouldn't limit yourself to just one genre. I get most of my fashion inspiration from classic 20's, 30's and 40's mens fashion. That does not mean I'm not influenced by street fashion and trends. It's just about finding a balance that works for you. Personally I love mixing different styles, taking elements of punk and adding them to a bowtie and blazer look.

One thing that I noticed after a while of dressing a certain way is that I felt limited to only one style or a specific look. Earlier this year I really started to explore street style and less known types of fashion. Changing my look from season to season is something fun and I think more people should play around with their looks. It's kind of like a haircut, you want to try a new one but you're afraid it'll look terrible and then be stuck with it but instead you can easily just change your shirt and be back to your comfort zone.

I often hear people say they just don't have the funds to revamp their whole closet well truth is you don't have to spend tons of money to get a new you. A great way to start changing your style is to start thrifting. The reason I say this is because if you want to try out wearing blazers and ties why spend 50-150 dollars on a well fitting blazer and another 20-50 bucks on a good tie. Thrifting is a fantastic way to build your wardrobe slowly and at an affordable price. I've found plenty of great blazers and ties for under $5. Once you think you've found a style that suits you and your lifestyle you can begin investing in certain pieces for your wardrobe. I'll give you my list of things I choose to invest in and things that should be bought at cheaper flash fashion style stores.

My tips for a more fabulous you: 

~Find your fashion inspiration. 
~There is not real templet for how one should dress, it's up to you and how you want to be perceived.  
~It's okay to mix styles and to try out new trends. 
~Have fun, life is far too short to worry about what others think.
~Do take your environments into consideration while getting dressed (will you be standing a slot? perhaps the painful  vintage oxfords aren't the way to go)  
~Invest in certain pieces, things to invest in are items you can wear over and over in many different ways and you know will last. Things to get cheaply should be trend items and things that don't really matter too much. 
~ Find your signature scent
~Designer items are nice if you have the money but it's not something required to feel or look good.

-A good perfume/cologne 
-Classic winter Coat   
-Anything you'd find yourself wearing for years to come 
-One or two good pairs of sunglasses
-One of a kind pieces you know you can't find anywhere else 

Things to grab on the cheaper side:
-Trend items, fact is trends come and go so don't spend big bucks on something you won't wear next year. 
-If you're someone who likes having a bunch of different accessories theres tons of different accessory shops where you can find trendy pieces very cheaply. 
-Basic pieces like tshirts and other commonly found items
-Anything you know you won't be able to wear on a regular basis.

I hope that this gives you a bit of confidence in finding your new style and building your new wardrobe. Just remember that your style is how you want your reflection to look in the mirror. Fashion rules were made to be broken and if everyone dressed the same this world would be a dull basic place to live. Don't let negative comments affect you and don't ever feel like you can't explore other types of fashion simply because someone says so. If you feel confident people will notice, this may attract negative remarks but as long as you keep your chin up and don't let people's opinions mold you then you're already ahead of so many others who would rather be cookie cutter clones and fit in than be different and stand out. 

If there's anything else you'd like to know or anything you'd like me to explain I will gladly speak to you about it. Leave me a comment here, instagram or any other social media you may have me on.  

Stay Fabulous, - Luis.

 Classic Style                                                                               Street Style

Monday, October 21, 2013

My weight loss story: How I lost and maintained it off

My battle with learning to love my self and make healthy decisions

This is quite the loaded subject, my weight loss story is both long and has had a few failures. My weight problems began when my family immigrated to the United States from Mexico. I was 8 and we went from having fresh made food using fresh veggies and little meat (meat is much more expensive so it was a luxury) to a whole new world. My school fed me things like pizza, nachos, fast food was everywhere and extremely cheap. For a family with two parents working as much as possible to provide for us it was much easier for our parents to grab some burgers on the way home. Soon I’d gone from a fairly thin boy to quite chubby kid. I even remember the first time someone called me fat, I cried and somehow found that eating one of the many snacks our parents had in our home for us to eat made me feel better. I don’t want to put all the blame on my parents, they were doing what they came to the states for. They were working hard and providing us with things we didn’t have before.

 My weight yo-yoed from age 9-early 20’s. Many people don’t really speak about the effect of body issues boys deal with. Girls have a lot of attention talking about body image but there’s not much for boys, being left to just deal with it in silence. My parents tried to feed us well but having the freedom of picking your own meal when your parents are working, I took advantage. I tried more times than I can count to diet and tried every type of diet I heard of. You'd be shocked at how many different types of diets there are to try but I tried any. Growing up being the fat kid is hard enough. Add being a bit weird and it made me a target for many people’s bullying and mean jokes, this lead to a lot of self-hatred and isolation. I was a very self-destructive teen both mentally and emotionally torturing myself and letting what people did and said to me mold my views on me. My weight went up and down throughout my teens but as a junior I made the choice to become vegetarian. This began my weight loss since I couldn't eat a lot of the bad stuff at school and I began eating healthier. In my senior year I finally made some friends that were a positive influence on me. I joined the tennis team with my best friends (one was the captain of our school's team and the other was our tennis manager) I was suddenly a lot more active and the pounds began shedding off. What most people didn't know was that I was dealing with an eating disorder. Being vegetarian I could just make the case that I couldn't eat the things at school. I was only eating a single cup of fruit I would bring from home for lunch. At night I might have a bowl of cheerios to stop my stomach from hurting and of course the occasional real meal every few days. I lost about 45 pounds my senior year playing tennis and barely eating.  Suddenly I had friends, things to do, was invited to events and even attended my senior prom. This only proved that I was worth more thin than fat. People constantly complimented my achievements but somehow I never felt happy with myself.  After high school my friends began to move away for college, I stopped playing tennis and became isolated again. Before I knew it I’d gained all the weight back and then some stopping at 280 pounds.

Fast forward a year at 19 I looked in a mirror and could not even look at my reflection without nearly bursting into tears. I decided enough was enough. I’d finally come to terms with my sexuality and I wanted to come out of the closet. I was met with the reality that gay men are not the nicest people in the world and that being a fat gay would just be highschool all over again. I began to cut bad things out of my diet and working out. I lost 30 pounds and that alone was such a confidence boost. Guys were actually beginning to become interested in me. Then I met a man named Daniel, he somehow looked past my weight and saw me for who I really was. He never made me feel ugly he wanted me the way I was and it was actually a scary thought. Since at the time I could not imagine why anyone would be interested in me. He and I remained friends and casually dated for about a year. During that year I kept up with my healthier eating and working out. Slowly losing weight I began to explore the gay scene of Atlanta. Attending my first pride, going to my first gay club and it was intoxicating. I made some pretty cool friends and was feeling accepted by people. Sure I was still the fat friend but here and there boys would actually hit on me. After a year of playing around in the scene I realized I was looking for something I already had. Someone who loved me, not my body but me. Daniel and I became officially a couple and have been together since. He never once complained about my weight, he taught me I was worth more than my physical appearance. Being loved is one of the most powerful things that can happen to someone because it teaches you that you’re worth loving. That’s the first step to making this change something that actually stuck. He and I began working out together, I dropped to 210 pounds and I was actually happy with the way I was starting to look. I began dressing in dress shirts and bowties. People were complimenting me on my style and my confidence grew. However once I turned 21 the amount of alcohol I was consuming did cause me to gain weight and I went up to about 230 pounds. On August 2012 I decided due to my love for fashion that I wanted to be thin. But not because I hated the way I looked, because I knew I deserved to be healthy, wear the things I wanted, not having to un-tag every picture I looked fat in and I just wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin.  That’s when I began my quest for a healthier, thinner version of me.

Now that I spoke about what drove me to want a healthier life I can tell how you I managed to go from 223 to 160 in 9 months. First I'll start with how I changed my diet.

I lost 25 of pounds simply by making huge changes in the way and how much I was eating. The reason I didn’t work out during this was because I cut out most carbs and sugars so I didn’t have the extra energy or calories to burn. Also in prior attempts to lose weight whenever I’d start working out I’d use it as an excuse to indulge, keeping me at a plateau. Cutting my portions in more than half and cutting out a lot of the things I was eating was the first step. It was a bit extreme but my body needed a detox. We don’t really realize how dependent we are on the bad foods we eat. Yes it was hard, I even had to do the entire holiday season not eating many sweets and few healthy carbs. Just remember it’s temporary. You have to take control of your body. I only ate veggies and low calorie vegetarian protein foods from September to January.

A good tool to use is the phone application My Fitness Pal. This teaches you how to calorie count and once you actually see the numbers it shows you how many calories are in the foods you’re eating. You can search or even just scan the barcode and it will give you the calories per serving and serving size. If you want results you have to keep updating it every time you eat. Persistence is the only real way to stay on track. I lost an average of 2 pounds per week. I only weighed myself once a week and wrote down my progress, this really helped encourage me.  Sometimes you don’t lose any weight or not as much as the week before but you should always give yourself a 2 pound leeway. This can be water weight or just one of those days were you weight a little more. I always weighed myself at the same time of the day, right after working out and before lunch. Your weight does change slightly throughout the day.  Here is a screen cap of my notes where I kept track of my weight loss. You can see I averaged about 2 pounds a week but sometimes only lost one or half a pound.

I stopped recording my weight at 168 because my original goal was 170. However I did drop down to 160 before I increased my calorie intake and now I'm at a healthy 165-168.  

After my 4 months of very strict dieting I thought it was time to start working out and this meant increasing my calorie intake. My Fitness Pal does take working out into your program. You put in how long you worked out/what you did and it tells you the amount of calories you’ve burned. I personally used an elliptical. You have to remember when you’re first starting that you can’t jump into it full force. You need to ease into it. I began by doing 15 minutes with low resistance and low incline. I added 5 minutes a week and slowly built up my leg muscles by increasing the resistance until I was doing 40 minutes a day on the elliptical. I know that working out can be boring but one thing that really helped me was finding shows on Netflix and only watching while on the elliptical. Find a good show or if you like books do an audio book. Keep yourself entertained this way you’re not just counting down the minutes until you’re done. The key is to find a workout routine that works for you, find a diet that works for you. Even now after I reached my weight goal I still read the calories on everything I eat and choose healthier options. I may not write down everything I eat but I have a much clearer view on the things I eat. I know it’s hard being the one friend at the table who orders the salad or salmon while everyone else gets French fries and a huge burger. People even like to make you feel bad for making healthy choices but at the end of the day it’s your body, your decision and screw what people think. You are in control of your own body and how you treat it, Eat healthy, think healthy and act healthy.

Here is a list of some of the things I didn't allow myself to have during my 4 month detox. Some of these I still don’t have because frankly I've found more delicious, healthy snacks to replace them with.

-Processed sugars
-Non-Wheat breads
-Ice cream
-Cake and other pastries
-Fried foods of any kind
-Cow milk
-Potato chips / any type of chip like product
-Fast food 
-All junk food really.

I know it sounds terrible to cut out your favorite foods but it’s only temporary (well some of them) By the end of your detox and once you’re starting to workout you can start having healthier versions of your favorite things.  I replaced cow milk with unsweetened vanilla almond milk (only 30 calories per serving). I don’t drink any soda and to be honest I don’t crave the sweets anymore. If I feel the need to snack fruits and nuts are a great alternative. Even peanut butter (be mindful of the high calorie content and how much a serving actually is) one of my favorite snacks is a banana with some peanut butter. It’s filling and rich in flavor. For me chocolate is a huge weakness so I get to enjoy chocolate in my daily protein shakes after I workout. That’s also a fantastic incentive to get it done!  Find ways to reward yourself by the time you’re done with the first part you make much better decisions. The best thing about reaching your ultimate goal is that you can start indulging in your favorite things, even chocolate! or whatever your vice is.  You’re just smarter about your choices in food. If you love pasta, enjoy pasta. Go for the whole wheat pasta and only have it once or twice a week. Adding lots of veggies or lean proteins to your meals is great, this will take up some your servings but replacing the bad parts with just as filling healthy ingredients. Always use a smaller plate it’s a way to trick your mind that you’re eating more than you actually are. If you want seconds after you’re done with your first plate don't just go fill your plate again. Remember that the feeling of being extremely full is not a positive thing. Give yourself 10-15 minutes between servings this gives your body time to get the food if you eat a plate back to back before you know it you’ve over eaten. Another tip is to drink lots of water, I drink at least two litters of water not only will this help you lose weight, keep you hydrated but it will keep your skin clear and glowing. Before I began this strict 2 litters of water daily I’m sure I didn’t even drink one a day and my skin was terrible. I broke out on a regular basis but now if I do break out it clears out with in a day or two and it’s rare I get a real breakout. I personally don’t do sugar free and fat free things because overly processed foods are harmful to your body. Fact is that “sugar free” things have to use chemicals your body is not meant to intake. Fat free things use other things that turn into fat after you eat it.  Be as natural as you can, find a farmers market near you. They make finding seasonal and local veggies easy and that’s the key to a healthy and diverse diet. I’m not saying be a vegetarian like me but eating more veggies will cause you to replace the fatty foods and remain full. Farmers markets will also have better quality produce at a much cheaper price than regular stores.

So here is a list of things to remember

-Learn to calorie count using the app My Fitness Pal or something similar
-Drink 2 litters of water daily
-Wait 15 minutes between servings
-Use smaller plates when serving your food
-If there’s a healthier version of the thing you like go for that instead
-Find your local farmers market and make weekly trips for delicious, fresh produce at an affordable price
-Find a tv show you like and only allow yourself to watch it while working out (or a book you like)
-When you start working out do it slowly, don’t overdo it or you’ll make excuses next time
-Find a support group within your friends and family
-While dining out you can use your phone to look up the calorie content of most well known restaurants
-Don’t get discouraged even if you gain a pound or two one week that shows you that you need to make adjustments to your routine
-Carry a bag of almonds of other nuts with you, this way if you get hungry you can eat a handful of that instead of a candy bar 
-If you want to snack get healthy snack like baby carrots and other very low calorie veggies. They fulfill the craving of something crunchy for me rather than chips. (or any veggie/fruit that you prefer)
-Best way to avoid snacking is to not buy any! Don’t temp yourself
 -While still losing weight, only weight yourself once a week. Your weight varies from day to day and it could lead to discouragement

The key to maintaining your weight is to stay strict about your workouts but allowing yourself to have the things you like to eat. If you choose to drink red wine is a great way to go but always limit yourself to 2 drinks (of course if it’s your birthday or special occasion and you want to party then do so) it just can’t be a regular thing. The key is to enjoy the things you like without making it something you do on a regular basis. Never bring a whole box of cookies or bag of chips near you. Serve yourself a small portion and put them back in the kitchen. This way you have to walk all the way back to get more that alone makes me second guess hmmmm do I really want to go get more? A lot of people warned me that once I stopped my diet I would gain all the weight back and more. The reason a lot of people think that is because they are used to these fad diets that don’t really work. The key is not to diet but to make changes in your life. Temporary changes will only have temporary results.

I want to mention is that you have to learn to love you at whatever size you are. When I first lost the weight in high school I did it out of self-hate in a very self-destructive manner. To this day I suffer from my anorexic past. Don’t lose weight because you hate yourself do it because you love yourself enough to want more for you. Trust me this summer was the first time in so many years that I took my shirt off at a pool. It was the first time I wore a tank top in public and living in Atlanta we get some pretty brutal summers. I don’t ever have to worry oh man I have to make sure I untag myself from the pictures my friends just took because I’m sure I looked terrible. Losing weight only changes your body not your mind. With that being said the first time I looked in a mirror and thought “damn you look good!” it was the most rewarding feeling because I knew I had worked very hard for it. I see these ads for so many miracle pills but have you actually met someone whose taken these pills and are healthy, fit and happy with themselves? Other people telling you that you look fantastic is just the cherry on the ice cream cone you can now have guilt free! Once you’ve found a healthy diet and exercise routine that works for you maintaining your weight is not that hard. Always give yourself a 2-3 pound leeway and don't freak out if you've randomly gained a few pounds. Stay focused and you'll be back to seeing those lower numbers. 

I hope that my journey helps other people find their own path. I’m not saying my way will work for everyone just like all the mainstream diets work for everyone but it’s really just common sense. Eat less, eat healthy, be active and stay positive. This is going to affect you in so many other ways than just your pants size. Working out is a fantastic stress reliever and for someone who deals with some anxiety I’ve found it as a great way to get my mind back to normal. Good luck on all your goals and remember that you're not alone. 

With my love and good wishes, Luis. 

now for some pictures showing how much my appearance has changed from last year.
June 2012 

September 2013 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Givenchy Inspired Hoodie

A few months ago I saw a Givenchy hoodie that I loved but sadly at 835 dollars I can't afford it. So what's a chica to do when you want something you can't afford? Make your own! 

The original hoodie can be found on here are some refrence pictures: 

Now for my version:

                                            Grey Hoodie                      Black Pullover

It took a little bit of trial and error making this but overall I'm pleased to say I made it, I really like it and at 18 dollars total to make I can't complain! <3 

Hope you enjoyed and you get some fun ideas for your own fall wardrobe! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thrifting 101 & Thrift Haul

Today I went to one of my local thrift stores so I could do a quick how-to thrifting 101 post. But to my delight I found a few things I couldn't leave behind so this post is now a Thrifting 101 with a thrifting haul! 

First some quick tips to use while shopping

The first thing I do when I get into the store is find out the color of the week. There are several tag colors and once a week they change the color of the week that means anything with that tag will be half off! Goodwill changes the color every Sunday, so the sooner you go after a color change the bigger chance that you might find things with that color tag. Some thrift stores do 50% off everything days so just ask at your local one so you can know when the best day to go would be.

As you make your way through the racks of clothes you'll notice that all the clothes are facing the same direction on the rack. Use this to your advantage while searching. When I search through racks of dress shirts I check for a few things.

1: Do I like it at first glance 2: Check the size 3: Check for stains or rips. 4: Check the brand. 
 5: Check the tag color 

The reason I check for the brand last is because you should like the item whether or not it's designer. This allows you to leave pieces with a hole or stain without feeling like you're missing out. Do note that just feeling the fabric you can tell if the shirt is of higher quality. 

When checking through blazers keep in mind that the brand tag will be on the inside so they take a little longer to go through.

When going through ties, touch is key. Expensive ties and cheap ones have a huge difference in material but checking the designer is very easy. Some do have it on the other end of the tie so check both.   

As you go through things if you like something, put it in your cart! don't leave it because it's a free for-all and I've lost things to someone who saw me pick something up and I put it down. Your cart might get full very quickly but that's okay because you want to make some trips to the fitting room to make sure the things fit you. Lots of things don't look great on like on the rack. Putting the item on also allows you to check for any rips and stains that you might have missed when you first picked it up. Don't ever feel bad about leaving something behind because it didn't fit or was ruined somehow. 

You can see I went in with a lot more than I actually got. 

I go from section to section looking for things, checking and double checking. Thrifting is time consuming and since you have to make sure the clothes aren't ruined taking your time is key. 

Be mindful of the prices. 
Throughout the store they have the prices for different things, but there are some things with "Special Pricing" this means they are nicer stuff and sometimes are kept behind a counter so make sure to keep an eye out for any tags on the garment. 

Remember that while finding designer items is really fun, if you don't like it there's no reason to get it! I've found a YSL blazer and Hermes tie that I didn't even notice were designer until months after buying them. Liking the pieces is the most important thing and them being designer should be a bonus not the reason you buy it. 

Other things to remember is that location does matter, but I've found great things in poorer areas. Going to a nicer area sometimes comes with nicer things, but it's always hit or miss. Don't get discouraged! I would say about 80% of the time I walk out empty handed but then some days I have great luck and find beautiful designer items. Remember that you're looking for that one gem in the piles of crap. A lot of the clothes are donated because people have worn them to death so don't get anything you won't wear. 


 YSL Dress shirt: $4.94

Grey British Mist Trench $8.98

Camel London Fog Trench $15.50
(special priced item)

Polka Dot Burberrys $2.92
Floral Nordstrom
Cabralli Collection $1.46


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