Monday, December 30, 2013

NYE 2014 // DRESS 2 KILL

NYE is maaaybe my favorite holiday because it's the one holiday we get to dress to the nines (no matter if you're in a scummy bar) and you'll magically never feel over-dressed!  Normally I don't plan things until the last minute, so if you're like me I thought I would give you and idea of what I'll be wearing tomorrow and some tips on how to stay in the spotlight on a glitter-bombed night of attire.

I love sequins...I have 3 completely-covered-in-sequin dresses in my closet and of course NYE is pretty much the only occasion they can be worn.  But I'm always trying to be the show stopper, and on New Year's I've come to realize one thing....EVERYONE will be in sequins. So my look for this NYE is SANS sequins....LET US ALL GASP

My thoughts and ventures have led me to experimenting with texture more than anything.  Also, jewel tones will have you killing the game amongst the silver, gold, and black sea.

I am going to be back in Lawrence, KS for NYE.  I know you may be asking,  "why the heck would you not want to be in the city for this?"  I am going to be back in Lawrence, KS for NYE because my Bear Club Boys will be doing the night right, exactly how I like-- great music, great humans, and great dancing.  I want to be dancing...which leads me to my outfit of choice:

a Teal Velvet One-Shoulder Romper.
it's got the feels, the uniqueness of not being a damn dress....and i can DANCE in this (i shudder at the thought of trying to have fun in a strapless number)

the trouble with a romper...a one-shoulder romper...a velvet one-shoulder pairing accessories, like, how do i do this??

My advice is to keep it pretty simple to keep it stunning.  Black tights because it's stupid cold this time of year, and simple black heels or boots to match.

**The important thing with statement dresses/jumpsuits for anyone that does decide to stick with a mass of sequins or sparkles is to keep your accessories pretty tame, you will get lost under the lights so fast!**

With such a neckline you just can't do a necklace (maybe a choker, if you must). Also bracelets may look a little stiff with the one-shoulder (dear lord, why did I choose this?) But, alas!  I find the drama can be best brought to your ears with some really sparkly, long/big earrings.

To complete the overall look you must weigh your makeup and hair into the equation just as equally as your apparel.  Lately I've been SO very interested in the "glossy eye".  I've recently tried it out for a few photo/video project shoots.  It catches light in such an interesting way (with all the other girlies wearing cakes of glitter on their faces, you will feel incredibly superior).

To do a glossy eye:

1. Put some eyeshadow on ya eyes...stick to a fairly light color at least for your first outting (if you touch this or have more hooded eyes it will smear pretty quickly!  I've experimented with mostly orangey brown and red tones.  If you're worried about making a mess of it consider a light gold or pearly pink
2. Don't do much on eyeliner (if any) and stick close to the lash line. It will smear and crease and as you can tell in the above photo after not even an hour of wear it's getting weeird
3. Get some clear lip gloss or a liquid kind of chapstick and gently dap it on top of your eyeshadow. Test this before you coat your whole eye and make sure your eyes don't feel irritated.  To make it more dramatic...coat with a thicker layer of lipgloss!  I used this kind without any bother
4. Mascara shouldn't affect your gloss, just be careful when applying!

I like a bold lip pretty much all the time but if I'm trying to keep my lids in check and my lipstick from getting all over the place I'm going to be so high maintenance to be around UGH.  I would consider using the same gloss on your lips and leaving things neutral.  If you still want a little more drama, go bolder with your bronzer or blush.

Let's also consider our nails in this NYE plan of attack--

With our nice jewel tone base of the teal, I'm drawn to a nice olive green tone to pair.  A nice warm topaz or deep ruby would be interesting as well.

For my look I used Wet 'n Wild's Sage of the City as a base with Nabi's Dark Green Glitter.
 I then used some small craft glitter I had in my arsenal and applied while the nails were still wet.  A bunch of top coats are a good idea to keep things intact. (I'll need a chisel to get this off!)

Finally for the hair I chose to keep things up and out of the way.  I wanted a more casual accompaniment and a high pony works wonderfully. For a more classic, pulled together look so a high doughnut bun also seems fitting. With this neckline (as it loves to cause problems) hair is best kept up off the shoulders.  If down, I suggest swooping it behind the shoulder entirely or over in front of the shoulder with the strap.

So we've got texture from the velvet, texture on the glossy eye, rough chunks of stones on the ears, and 3D sparkle on the nails but I am missing the biggest component of the season.  FUR!

I bought this coat at Ragstock down the street from where I worked in Wicker Park.  It was down in the basement with a random assortment of some (i'll say it) "pretty hideous fur coats" and I didn't need it but what can you do when you find the most perfect rabbit fur coat for a 20 dollar bill??

So I hope you look fabulous tomorrow evening! If you are in Lawrence and need a place to have fun, meet me at the Taproom, we will bounce with the goombas into 2014--

Sunday, December 15, 2013


To make up for lost time, today's post in a three-fer and lucky for me not really about outfits so I didn't even really have to dress myself today...MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

First off I have a bit of a beauty post, one I've been meaning to try out for months now and just finally attempted (with actual success, surprisingly)--

what is it, you ask?

THE TWO-TONE LIP has been pinned multiple times on my pinterest beauty board. Most tutorials say to use lip stains or the OCC lip tars.  I decided to dig in my treasure trove of lip products and see what would work.  I ended up using these:

Apparently I'm a Revlon rep, but their lip service is pretty on point.  For the top lip I used the ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Ultimate Orchid.  This stuff is really cool and I knew it would be perfect for this two-toned effect because it's very liquidy but dries quickly and stays put (just make sure you're lips are VERY moisturized before you put it on because it'll look crumbly in a hot second, if not). I opted for the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic for the bottom lip.  I have posted before about this series of balm stains and can't get enough--they're the only lipwear I want to wear during these brutal winter months because they are very moisturing but still allow you play with fun colors! I must say, however, for the two-toned lip you may want to stick with a more traditional stain so that it doesn't smudge as much as the balm stains.

OMG I LOVE IT (and hey, if it smudges a bit, you get an ombre effect so that's just a bonus in my book!)

As well, if you are wondering my polish on my nails is from American Apparel in the color Parakeet!

Let's move on the second part of this blog post...

THIS WINTER WEATHER...THIS CHICAGO WIND....IT IS NO JOKE.  As a Kansan my whole life I was like "shut up all you Chicagans (is that the correct identifier?) the weather is pretty much the same as Kansas."  But no, there is this nasty wind here that will eat your insides and rattle your fragile bones as you walk to and from your bus stop each morning and night.  So, against my redheaded stubborness I caved and became a big ol baby who needed some warmer winter wear. (Thankfully, winter apparel is "practical" so I didn't feel bad when I found these BEAUTIFUL items of warmth at H&M last week:

Nope, not a color balance issue...these bad boys are NAVY

There's something so fresh about the color navy this time of year and lately I've been into the idea of mixing things people have always told you not to mix--- like black and navy and even things like off-whites and whites. Although maybe not practical if you're in and out of places during your day, rings on the outside of your gloves (if they're pretty slim-fit gloves, such as these) looks like a million bucks.
These leather gloves are from H&M.  Also, be sure to get a pair that are a smidge tight on you because they're stretch out quite a bit after a little wear!

Thirdly, just a bit of a show and tell because I couldn't help myself:

This little beauty of a clutch magically appeared before me at the resale shop I work at last week, and you can bet your bottom dollar I put that on hold for myself the second I set eyes on it.  Normally, I'm a little hesitant to scream and shout to the world that "HEY GUYS, I'M A PHOTOGRAPHER" with camera related gadgets and apparel, what-have-you, but this is the exception....let me nerd out, okay.

In closing, I would like to thank my window for giving me the loveliest of light today and making my skin look wayyy less scaly than it actually is.  Let me know if you try out the two-toned lip and what colors or products you use, I will continue experimenting, too!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


To begin let me make excuses as to why my posting has been prolonged:

a. I have no free time because I started rewatching 30 Rock on Netflix from the beginning
b. I don't wear anything but grey and black and white and I wear the same 3-5 outfits to work
c. I thought my camera lens was in need of repair but it was just reeeally dusty
d. I'm LAZY
e. all of the above

correct answer: E. ALL OF THE ABOVE, FOLKS

Moving onward and forward to the topic of today. Let's focus on a few important things going on in my life like how do I survive winter and not look like I'm just roaming around in clothes fit for hibernating? Another important factor to discuss today is "How to Be a Baller"/"How to Win the Game"

As you may recognize, I'm introducing a well seasoned player from previous blog posting experiences today- this sequin jersey.  I decided to not be stupid just wearing the tank top jersey and finally put some damn clothes on...since it's apparently December already. And to put more clothes on means that beautiful thing called layering.


Am I right? My thought process stemmed from "okay, a turtleneck under this? no? *shudders*" to "i only have one cardigan and i wear it too much, people definitely notice"


swish for the win

The button down dresses up the more casual qualities of a sportswear piece and add some complexity to a before now, pretty basic idea. 

Also on a side note I saw this photo (below) on the internet a few weeks ago and wanted to be as cool as her:

(she's so much better as being cool though, let's be honest)

To complete the look, I didn't want to overwhelm an already dazzling "star athlete" of a jersey so black jeans were the obvious choice.  Footwear, however, had to provide some stability and interest to the look.  And lucky for me and my lack of blogging lately I have, indeed, gained a new member in my closet: SOME HEFTY ASS TIMBERLANDS~

and I guess I'll end on that note.
xx your favorite goon, Alex

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Yes, plaid is a fall staple and No, today I not going to explain why it is just is.
Another beautiful thing I love is bending the rules or expanding on them, so let me expand on using plaid in your wardrobe a little...OR A LOT.

Powerclashing. You've probably heard about it by now, and if not, it's literally just throwing a bunch of prints and patterns and colors together that are so overwhelming that they work.  My favorite form of powerclashing actually involves the use of the same pattern in an entire outfit, like using florals for example: mix up the scale of the print, the actual kind of flower, and/or the background color of the print.  The other day I tried this method out with plaid:

Thoughts?  I feel like this can work...however, I would do a plaid (unlike my button-down) that doesn't have white as the main background color, it's a little loud and overwhelms the skirt a tad.  Also, this look is too tame for me, TOO TAME.

Hey football heads, I completely support your decisions for a tied waist flannel this 2013

For layering practicality, an extra flannel shirt will save your hide and its addition balances out the two plaids and no one's fighting anymore. Yay, a happy group of garmets!  Things to remember: This outer flannel should be a little bigger and less fitted/structured that the one that's tucked into the skirt.  I suggest having both a women's and men's shirt in your arsenal!

best of luck! xx Alex

Friday, November 8, 2013


I'll try anything once (or in some cases, once in a while after it's been long enough to forget why I've only done something once before) and boy does putting nail wraps on my nails fall into this category of things that happen on a very rare occasion.  After milling around the Urban Outfitters next door after work waiting on a ride, I perused the sale items, one of them being these gemstone all-over print nailwraps by NPW.  They were originally $6 to which I'd pass up without a second thought but for $1.99 my temptations and desires blocked out past memories of the wars spent with nailwraps prior and I ended up at the checkout, nailwraps in hand.

As with anything, I put off applying these things for a matter of weeks (probably as my terror finally set in).  Finally mustering up the energy and having a day off I took what felt like hours and put them on.  For me, I have small thin fingers and nails.  These wraps are ridiculously wide for my nails, the smallest size fitting my middle fingers the closest.  So for me, I had to cut up most of the pieces and shape them a bit...I'm sure you might have to do the same.  This lead to a lot of imperfections but honestly no one better be eyeballing my hands close enough to notice the flaws!  As suggested putting a base coat on prior is a good idea to smooth out the wraps and give them a little something-something to stick to...and rub with quite a bit of pressure once you get them placed right.   Make sure to file the ends of the wraps off really well too and apply a topcoat or two.  I've had mine on almost three days now and they look untouched, so all that trouble may be somewhat worth it. But won't be seeing a post on nail wraps from me for at least another year.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Ahh, having a pair of dress pants you love...a very rare and beautiful and almost non-existent thing.  You've heard of pancake butt right? That is what dress pants do to my butt. It's the pockets, it's generally the weird waistbands that hit on the widest part of the's the devil in disguise: THE DRESS PANT.

But after years and years of shunning the classic dress pant from my wardrobe and navigating the business casual with other tactics, I've always had this strange desire to face my fears again..I CAN'T LET DRESS PANTS BULLY ME FOREVER!

And then a magic moment, after too many hours of working in a resale clothing shop it just happened, I found something. Something I could even deem somewhat flattering on my stick of a body.  I don't know when these pants were on the racks at H&M but they definitely have some modern features I like like the skinnier leg, higher waist, and front zips at the ankle.  Sometimes people don't think dress pants really go out of style...but my god have I seen some horrifying wide-legged trousers and pinstripes in my young life already.

Playing dress-up is easy and also really boring. So today I decided to post a look that dresses down these dress pants! (Obviously I'm very into this idea of mixing dressy/casual pieces lately).

Anything sporty is a good idea if you're trying to make an outfit less up-tight and more effortless (the little half tuck of a button-down will also give some ease to your look).  To balance out the two sides of the coin with this look opt for a third element...i suggest punk-inspired because dress pants are very punk. I went for some cheetah print creepers.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Lately, I've had my eye on streetwear/urban apparel and it's ability to encompass the effortless "I'm trying to look cool without looking like I'm trying" as I've previously mentioned many-a-time.  For me, I'm focused on the way sporty pieces have recently been incorporated into street style fashion with more dressy or tailored pieces.  If you know me, I blab on and on about how Adidas slides are the future and THEY ARE. The beautiful thing is that we can translate this into so many more ways that express that idea.  Here's some of my favorite inspirations:

(ahhh, Ivania, my biggest inspiration always)

So here are a few of my suit-ups:

Gray Zip-Ankle Jeans (hand-me-downs): J-Brand
Black Chelsea Boots: Kohl's

Loose Black Tee: H&M
Sequin Shoes: Converse

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I am truly sorry for the delay in my posting as of late...but it's because I was back home in Kansas for a few days!  Today's post is both a "hair & beauty" type post but mostly a personal/life-in-general type post...hopefully one that's relatable to people who are currently facing that awkward stage (much like puberty) in which you are financially equivalent to how the poor kid who sat by himself at lunch feels in a middle school cafeteria.

So how was going back home, you ask?
There are many answers to that question in which you know I will describe in much too detail.  So, firstly, a better question(s): was it too soon to go back? what is the protocol?

It felt about right, and it worked out to get scheduled off five days in a row so I can't argue.  It's been almost three months since I moved to Chicago, and aside from being a whopping 2 hours away from home during college I haven't been gone from home that much longer than the span of 3 months or so.  And this time is weird because before I was knowingly coming home from studying abroad in London and a summer spent interning in Minneapolis.  So this is weird, and I think timing-wise it was can't expect this homegirl to take too many giant steps yet!

Home was beautiful and I spent an abundance of time with my in pure luxury.  Home is great too because I was fed well and broke the beautiful streak I had going of eating peanut butter and jellys every day.  I took pictures ( "kinda artsy" ones, even), walked out to the pond and explored the woods north of our farm, and honestly just kinda sat around and watched football on the tv, too. Besides that and spending some quality time in Lawrence though I MOST IMPORTANTLY GOT MY HAIRCUT:


But I'm glad I went ahead with hair was really looking something of a mess, and with a really straight, blunt chop chop it was remedied.  As much as I loved the ombre trend when I ventured into it over 2 years ago...that trend has been beaten like a gat-damn dead horse and I'm so bored. Very aware the remenants of my sudo-ombre lingered on my scraggley ends I knew needed to send out an SOS.

So as an update, I think this small little inch or two of a very straight application of color makes it SO FRESH.  I wasn't going to go for straight bangs but it only felt right to push the look to another level. And I also have a secret! The undermost layer of bangs are in blonde, too!  I still feel weird and haven't fully accepted them but, hey, I'm one of those people who can't face her fears and waits months on end to go back home to her hairdresser she's had for 5 years to get it cut.

Here are some of the snaps I got the morning I went out to shoot--thanks to my momma for making a strong pot of coffee and waking me up before sunrise!:

Friday, October 4, 2013


I'll say it, If you are wearing overalls you probably look kinda stupid right now. OK OK Let's lay it all out on the table before (if not, already) I turn into a pretentious prick who seems too good for what's trending currently, this post is about the good and the bad of a trend and the topic if you haven't guessed is....
Let's face it, you can only pull overalls off if you time travel back to the late 80's and 90's.  Don't get me wrong, like any 22 year old I LOVE reminiscing back to my childhood where I didn't know what bills were and thought receiving mail meant I would be getting a $2 bill from my grandparents in a card. Honestly, my 8 year old self circa 1999 would applaud today's trending performance....but what does she know, she colored in the lines in her coloring book.

I feel stuck in this lack-luster state of mind when it comes to most trends lately, or because of their increasingly rapid changes and lack of growth and development, best described as "micro-trends". Dear God, save us all from the horrible future of more foreseeable micro-trends.

What could I hate about overalls?

There is nothing I hate about overalls.

The problem I have with today's resurgence of the beautiful contraption called the overall, is that upon it's comeback it has not completely evolved or moved forward.  Trends recycle, and show up a few decades later, but they are considered and adjusted to fit into their new time period.  We are treating overalls in a sentimental way, which has glossed our eyes and our ability to challenge perspective...we don't want to be perceived as that 35 year old guy who still acts like he's in high school, do we?  I'll be the first to admit that I still want to be a kid and sometimes dress like a kid, but that's probably some other personal deep-seeded issue.  More probable in defining my fear of this current trend is the fact that for the first time I'm seeing a trend reappear in the bredth of my own lifespan and it's w e i r d.

As much as this is in no way a real issue in the way of news, I want you to know that there is hope for the overall in my book.  I'm not condoning it's existence and have it's best interests in mind...I'm even excited about it lately.

After fumbling around on the internet like a fish flopping on dry land (the daily norm), I ran across a blog post that would change my mind about this whole internal conflict overalls had created in me.  Yes, there have been some adjustments made to the overall, one being an update of material in the creation of the leather-all (Thanks Phillip Lim, I'll always love you).  In a more tailored cut, we're seeing a stage of inbetween or similarly the skirt with suspender straps combo;  I feel like we're there but not just yet.  Finally on the verge of giving up and scrapping the trend and waiting for it to pass I found the answer in my quest for the holy grail.  THE OVERALL CROP TOP

As personal opinion, I find the Overall Crop Top as a success in the re-inventing of the overall itself.  Maybe it seems like too easy of an answer, but I think it's ballsy and with anything in life, taking that initial cut is the most important (luckily for us, it's just one and done and the best part is you can actually use the original overall in your world takeover).  The key to the crop top approach is that it is also a trend that is surfacing (which is being worn differently with full mid-length skirts or in matching top/bottom pairings).  Combining the Overall and the Crop Top you get something new.

After finding my solution to the future of overalls, I had to have my own.  Slowly plotting my attack, I envisioned a swift DIY.  Thankfully for me and my ability to procrastinate for month(s) on projects I came across an already cropped overall at the resale shop I work at.  When I got home with the piece, the real challenge was only beginning--HOW DO I WEAR THIS? I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS

Here's what I'd researched:

1. With a high-waisted skirt makes sense proportion-wise for 2013's standards and
2. Who doesn't love a little sideboob

(I like it, but I also felt a little too naked)

3.  Lounge/track pants are a beautiful thing and paired with a crop top and heels make a complete look

But how do I make an outfit for upcoming fall weather and still incorporate this piece?  I'll admit my attempt was just that- an attempt for now.  I'm feeling it but know the answer (like in my quest for the re-invented idea for the overall) is still out there- for the time being, here's my look:

Tell me your thoughts on the overall and/or other micro trends you are in fear of,