Sewn by Me: Zimmermann-Inspired Floral Mesh Top

Last month I had my final fraternity formal of my college career. Obviously I wanted to make something special to stand out on this night. Nobody wants to have the same dress as someone else so why not assure that doesn’t happen by sewing your own look?

sewing trendy summer top

I am always inspired by the constant Zimmermann looks I see on Instagram. The brand is so girly yet edgy and chic. While I am still not at the point in my life where I can comfortably afford to drop thousands on a sundress, I CAN design my own look with similar design elements.

mood fabrics floral mesh

I fell in love with this mesh floral fabric at Mood Fabrics as soon as I came across it on its roll in a bin. I thought it was incredibly unique to find a floral print on such a thick mesh. The fabric is even a bit transparent, making for a beautiful look up against the skin.

sew in zipper top

I actually used the same pattern I featured in my last sewing post, “Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit”, to make this top. McCall’s #7626 has truly been the universal pattern of my spring wardrobe. I simply used the bodice pieces of the jumpsuit and disregarded the pant leg pattern pieces. I also decided to make the top strapless and omit using the strap pattern pieces.

I followed the pattern just as I would if making the jumpsuit. I lined the front bodice pieces with black satin fabric and lined the back bodice pieces with the mesh fabric so that the back pieces would still maintain some transparency. I also decided to opt for an exposed metal zipper for design purposes.

Mod fabrics zimmerman inspired

To achieve the “Zimmermann look” I bought thick white mesh trim to add to each seam of the bodice. I used 1 1/2 inch thick trim in the front and 1 inch trim on the side seams. Make sure you sew this onto the bodice before sewing in the lining. This trim was super affordable at Mood and added a really cool element when sewn over the bodice seams.

spring box bag look

Overall, this top was very easy to make. It is the fabric and trim that really makes this top special. It just proves how beautiful fabric can make a huge difference in the things you make. While I wanted to sew a matching skirt for a two-piece look, I think this look still ended up looking chic and beautiful. I paired the top with my favorite chiffon shorts from Aritzia, box bag from Urban Outfitters, and black Aldo heels.

spring fashion blogger

What do you want to see me make next? I am moving onto sewing a lot of pieces for my summer wardrobe so I’m thinking rompers, sundresses, and linen shorts. Let me know in the comments below!

Advertisements

Is Socioeconomic Status Still Limiting Style?

Just a few days ago my Fashion Club at school held a “Diversity in Fashion” discussion with people from different cultural organizations on campus. We focused on a few questions that were important to this group of people; one of them being “does your socioeconomic status affect the way you dress?”.

It was unanimously agreed upon within the group that the answer was an absolute yes. However, while this was especially the case 10 or 20 years ago, is the answer to this question beginning to change?

spring floral jumpsuit

Ever since I was young my mom would give me a budget of a few hundred dollars each school year to spend on my seasonal wardrobe. I had to choose carefully which pieces I spent my money on. Did I want to splurge on a pair of jeans I would wear over and over again? Or did I want to head to the fast fashion stores for a few trendy items?

spring fashion blogger

It really was a fun little game to me. Fun until I had spent my entire budget and later found a pair of shoes I loved but were no longer in the budget, that is. It is definitely hard to create a diverse wardrobe with endless outfit opportunities when you can’t afford to shell out the money for every item you love. However, new fashion trends and brands are making this easier and easier.

spring 2018 trends

Macklemore made thrift shopping cool in 2012 and it has been a trendy thing to do ever since. I guess this is one positive thing we can thank modern-day rappers for. Thrift shopping gives us all an opportunity to find trendy, vintage pieces at an affordable price point. It even gives us a chance to find brands we wouldn’t otherwise be able to buy. Before 2012, thrift shopping was viewed as an activity for those who couldn’t afford new clothing. However, current trends in the industry have shaped it into an acceptable and fun way to shop.

fashion blogger look for less

Fast fashion stores are also trendier than ever. Stores have completely re-branded themselves to fit the latest styles showcased on the runways and by celebrities. Target is the perfect example of this. It is a store available to everyone all over the country, whether you are in the city or suburbs. Target has recently launched new brands that focus on trends prominent in the industry today. They have even launched a plus size fashion line with these same fashion-forward pieces.

spring affordable fashion

I was able to find this jumpsuit for $18 on the sale rack at Target. Not only are the prices at these stores more affordable, but they also offer a vast selection of stylish pieces in the sale section. If you are smart about the way you shop, it is absolutely possible to be fashion-forward on a budget. Not to mention my shoes are also from Target! I have been on the hunt for a pair of white mules for awhile now and was able to find the perfect pair for less than $50.

However, anything becoming more affordable always come at some sort of price. In the case of fashion, that cost is ethics. As clothing becomes cheaper, unethical practices in the fashion industry become more prominent. Big corporations are stealing smaller artists’ designs, toxins are being released into the environment, and children are working long hours in factories in Third World countries. The issues are endless. Our struggles in America are causing greater struggles in countries halfway around the world.

target fashion rebrand

So while we may be happier here that we can finally afford to be fashionable, others around the world are suffering because of it. There really is no way to win unless we can find a way to make fashion affordable and ethical.

Do you agree that it is becoming easier to be stylish on a budget? How do you feel about the hidden costs behind this? I would love to hear your thoughts below!

Sewn by Me: Cutout Jumpsuit

I have been actively seeking out trendy and fashionable sewing bloggers for some time now. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck. Most sewing bloggers I find are super conservative in their style and over the age of thirty-five. For someone who is constantly following the latest trends in fashion and is pretty young, this just isn’t the ideal source of inspiration.

This being said, I’ve decided to add to my blog what I’ve found lacking on the internet- a young, trendy approach to sewing. As I make new pieces I will be updating you on the patterns I used, the various adjustments I made on them, and where I found my fabrics.

IMG_4751.JPG

You may recognize this jumpsuit from one of my past posts, Not Your Average Housewife. I used the same pattern for this one as I did for that one yet they turned out totally different! This just goes to show that a little bit of adjustments here and there can end in an entirely unique garment.

IMG_4741.JPG

I used McCall’s M7626 as a base for both jumpsuits. For the “Not Your Average Housewife” jumpsuit I kept the pattern almost exactly the same as the original. I used the pattern for jumpsuit D but added the straps of jumpsuit C. The only difference is that the one strap pattern uses buckles and the other doesn’t.

IMG_4729

When I used this pattern the second time, to make the jumpsuit pictured, I created a cutout in the front, used an exposed zipper, and tailored the leg seams.

IMG_4750

Getting the cutout just right was a bit difficult. I wanted to make it large enough where I could wear the jumpsuit out to a club and still be sexy but low enough on the top piece that there wasn’t too much underboob (just keeping it real here!). Sounds like a weird issue but it required lots of playing around with the straps and how the fabric would lay when sewn to the pants portion of the jumpsuit.

IMG_4743

The exposed zipper was obviously a lot easier to sew in than the invisible zipper, so I was happy about that. Invisible zippers are probably my least favorite thing to sew. For the pants I simply cut out the original pattern and then tailored the perfect fit to me when I tried the finished ensemble on. I also cuffed the jumpsuit so it would hit just above the ankle and look flattering with all different shoe types.

IMG_4727

I already bought this fabric in a nude color to make another jumpsuit for spring. They are just so easy to wear and a lot of fun to make. Be sure to let me know if you’ve ever used this pattern or if you plan on picking it up. Happy sewing!

Opposites Attract

We’ve all heard the phrase “opposites attract”. Most likely you’ve heard it while discussing relationships with friends, and you’ve probably even used it to justify dating the boy that you know is no good for you. While I am not a firm believer in this saying, I am also not totally opposed to it. I am constantly attracted to quite the opposite of me… grungy street art. From graffiti to broken windows to torn down posters, I love it all.

nyc street style

I can’t explain just why I am attracted to these kinds of scenes, but I am. Maybe it’s the bright colors and outrageousness of it all? Or maybe I like how it defines a city in its own unique way? Grungy street art is so different from my own personal style which is sophisticated and put-together. I typically go for clean lines and silhouettes when dressing myself but thrive on the disorder of graffiti.

new york street art

When dealing with a creative viewpoint it is safe to say that opposites absolutely do attract. As someone who appreciates art and self-expression, I can say that I enjoy art that is the opposite of me because it pushes me to think of wild ideas that I never would have thought by looking at art that feels familiar. It lets me escape myself for a bit and takes me somewhere new.

New York Fashion Week 2018

I can’t help but wonder the story behind graffiti and other forms of street art. What kinds of people are the ones spraying this graffiti? Or hanging up these posters? Are they doing it in the middle of the night to avoid getting caught? Or in the busy daylight so people can appreciate all of the work that goes into it? Did the artists think long and hard about the mark they are making on the city? Or maybe they decided to be impulsive and take a creative risk?

new york city blogger

We are all attracted to the mysteries behind the person with the opposite personality from ours, or the creative expression that is the opposite of our own. Who doesn’t love solving a good mystery? It allows you to think outside the box and expand the comfort zone of your own mind. You think in ways you’ve never thought before, just trying to understand that person or work of art.

edit18

Similarly to dating the bad boy, you experience a thrill that you’ve never experienced before; just because it feels so new and different! You may not keep him around for awhile or bring him back home to mom and dad, just like you aren’t hunting down a local graffiti artist to spray paint your apartment with bright colors, but you are experiencing life through a different lens.

new york city street style

This blouse is my “George Washington” blouse, as my cousin likes to call it. It is sheer and airy, making it quite the romantic top, opposite from the grungy backdrop. Adding a leather belt and structured bag polishes off the sophisticated-casual look. To add some color I matched my lipstick with my burgundy shoes. As much as I love to wear neutrals, I clearly can’t stray away from color completely.

grunge outfit details

So, after all, I guess I actually am a believer that “opposites attract”. However, they attract in ways that depend on the timing and setting. Opposites don’t always stick in our most comfortable environments or long-term life plans, but they are there for us to appreciate and enjoy for a brief time.

new york city blogger

Bag: Mango (similar)        Shoes: Splendid        Blouse: Nasty Gal       Jeans: Topshop

Lipstick: Nars                Earrings: Forever21 (similar)              Belt: Calvin Klein (similar)

What opposite are you attracted to? Leave me a comment down below! If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out The Rise of Jersey City Street Art, Independence//Dependence, and Shoreditch Street Style.

Photography by Christopher Chase

Not Your Average Housewife

While I am definitely not a housewife (or anywhere close), I couldn’t help but feel like I was playing the role of a fabulously-dressed, nontraditional housewife as I pushed my grocery cart through aisles filled with potato chips and tomato sauce.

17F59073-D124-4660-82E2-684B5FBDA374.JPG

This idea that women are the ones who do the grocery shopping for the family is still pretty prominent, but us millennial women are reshaping this role every day. We are quickly moving from the ones who bring home the groceries to the ones who bring home the dough. Thank god I’m not bringing groceries home anytime soon or my imaginary children would be eating a diet of purely potato chips.

housewife high fashion shoot

It ended up being quite ironic that I chose to wear this home-sewn jumpsuit for this photo shoot. Sewing used to be just another chore listed on the “to-do” list of a stereotypical housewife. However, it has now shaped itself into a hobby rather than a chore; a hobby many women unfortunately do not have the skill or desire necessary to learn.

DB3FA7E3-49D2-40D2-B392-4379D78F791C.JPG

I have been sewing since I was 8 years old. The moment I picked up a sewing needle I knew it was something I would be hooked on for life. There is something so magical about being able to construct your own clothing and see your own designs come to life. In our modern age, those who know how to sew (like me) are those who are extremely passionate about art and design. It is something that is no longer viewed as a common skill but rather as a talent and an art. Just look at our society’s fascination with the television show “Project Runway”!

649EE96F-9DCA-44CA-96BE-4EB50EF17FF7 (1).JPG

This jumpsuit has quickly become one of my favorite things I have sewn because of its vintage vibes and perfectly tailored fit. I was able to find this ’70s-inspired plaid fabric at my local Jo-Ann Fabric store and the hardware at M&J Trimming in New York City. I modified McCall’s Pattern #7626 to include the buckle and grommet detailing.

DD61EE23-DF74-4E3B-AAD6-EC091DFBDA71.JPG

Don’t let gender stereotypes keep you from pursuing a hobby that you love. This is the age of change and breaking out of the gender roles that society assigned to us centuries ago. If you want to grocery shop in the most fabulous jumpsuit you own, who’s stopping you? If you are a man and want to learn to make your own suit jackets, who’s stopping you?

96F469FD-796F-42DC-92EB-6220F3123348.JPG

The only answer to those questions is yourself. We are the only ones that limit ourselves to the roles society wants us to mold into. We are society and we determine the shape of these gender molds. Reshape your own mold. Get out there and break those gender roles.

Lipstick: Nars Pure Matte                                                     Earrings (similar): Forever 21

Jumpsuit: Madison Mae Designs

Similar Jumpsuits: Forever 21, Honey Punch, Banana Republic

When was the last time you felt thankful?

When was the last time you felt thankful? Really think about this. Think about the last time you thanked God for all that is in front of you. Think about the last time you felt thankful for someone in your life. Think about the last time you felt thankful to be alive.

Now, was your answer to this question “Thanksgiving Day”, or maybe “Christmas”? I hope not.

24093694_10213181318841779_1563104042_o (1).jpg

It is hard to be mindful of our surroundings when we are constantly connected to our phones, laptops, and various media sources. We rarely take the time to sit back and really think about what matters in life and to just be present in the moment.

Being present really is the key to being thankful. When you are present you see the things and people in front of you for what they are. You have a clear mind to reflect on how much you appreciate them and how they contribute to your happiness and overall well-being.

24139294_10213181331242089_490142511_o

It is easy to get caught up in the go go go, trust me, I am very guilty of this. I often have a hard time stepping back and thinking about how thankful I am until something unfortunate happens. Obviously, this is not the way it should be. If we learn to be thankful for things as they come, rather than as they go, we would be much happier human beings.

24115672_10213181327682000_888982643_o (1)

I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for my good health and beating heart. I am thankful for my education and the opportunities given to me. I am thankful for all of the beautiful places I have seen. But, I am also thankful for things like a well-fitting jumpsuit (thanks Zara!) and a beautiful fall landscape reflected in the lake. When we learn to appreciate little things like these, we learn to appreciate every moment of life and its greater picture.

So the next time you see a friend or are celebrating with family, be present. Appreciate the fact that they are right in front of you. Enjoy them. Cherish them. And, most importantly, be thankful for them.

Jumpsuit (similar): Revolve                                                                   Bracelet: Comfort Station

Boots (similar): Bloomingdale’s

Ethereal Smog

While I took these pictures in the winter in London, you can barely even tell. London in winter/early spring pretty much looks like the East coast on a rainy, fall day. I thought now would be the perfect time to share these photos for some seasonal outfit inspiration.

ethereal5

ethereal11

ethereal7

img_8310

ethereal10

ethereal18

Looking at these pictures brings back the feeling of being new to a city halfway across the world and knowing nobody. At my University’s involvement fair I was able to connect with Londoners based on our common love for fashion and photography. No matter where you are or how different your culture is from other’s, you can always find someone with the same passion as you.

For more London photography check out My Daily Commute in Pictures.

The Rise of Jersey City Street Art

Art. It is all around us but not everyone chooses to see it. Street art was once viewed as a crime thought to be ruining the beauty of a simple neighborhood. However, a lot has changed in the last few years and the whole concept of street art has turned from a negative to a positive.

desrt5

Art murals like the ones in this post are now viewed as a way to draw interest to an otherwise ugly space, such as a parking lot. Different colors, patterns, and images are being painted in areas with the purpose of changing the perception of neighborhood elements that have otherwise been thought of as unpleasant to the eye.

art1

From parking lots to the back entrances of restaurants, murals have turned these places into popular picture spots. Walking around this area of Jersey City I saw multiple photoshoots occurring; not just fashion bloggers like myself, but engagement and couple shoots. Ten years ago these murals would have been viewed as vandalism rather than a place where couples want to share some of the most important pictures of their lives.

geo4

Once the exact opposite, street art can now be viewed as a way to gentrify a neighborhood and attract a new crowd of people. Neighborhoods like Jersey City, Shoreditch, Chelsea, and even my hometown, are embracing this new approach to enliven a neighborhood. So what exactly changed to all of a sudden make street art “cool”?

art3

Is it the rise of millennials and our culture that are making this a new trend? Maybe. Or maybe it was society’s increasing interest with Banksy, the anonymous British artist known for making political statements with murals popping up on city walls overnight.

We may never really know how society began to accept this form of art that it was so strongly against in the past. However, it is important to consider its importance and how it has changed society for the better. It has given artists a platform where their art is guaranteed to be seen and recognized. It has also introduced the concept of art to many people and has shown them just how powerful it can be.

IMG_3032

Similar to street art, I aim to express myself through what I choose to put on my body each day. The way we dress and what we wear paints a picture of who we are in other’s minds. As cliché as it is, we all judge a book by its cover. It is important to express who you are and what you believe in through what you wear, just like street artists express their views on society through their murals.

geo2

Whether you are a fan of street art or not, the next time you see a mural, stop and try to interpret what the artist was thinking at the time he or she painted it. Art has the power to express meaningful messages if we allow it to. Also consider what message you are projecting to the world when you get dressed tomorrow morning. Clothes, colors, and patterns have the ability to say so much without having to actually say it.

Bag (similar): Bloomingdale’s                                                                Boots (similar): Off 5th

One Shoulder Sweater: ASOS (ON SALE!)

Check out Parisian Street Art (the 10th arrondissement) and Amsterdam’s Art Scene to see some of my favorite street art in Europe.

 

 

 

Summer Bummer

Now that Labor Day has rolled around, it is officially the end of the summer. No more beach days, daily ice cream cones, runs along the ocean, or endless lobster rolls. It is time that reality rolls back into our lives.

While I have spent my summer interning 5 days a week as well as working most nights, summer still felt like a time of relaxation and winding down. Responsibilities seem a little less apparent when the sun is shining bright and the salty breeze is blowing through your hair.

new york city fashion blogger

Being a Gemini, with two very different personalities, my simple side tends to come out in the summer while my hustling city slicker personality tends to shy away for the time being. That being said, my summer involved lots of yoga, reading, and enjoying the beauties that nature had to offer me.

new york city fashion blogger

I am a firm believer that we all need to take some time to step back and re-evaluate our goals and what we are working towards. Summer is the perfect time to do this. It allows you to clear your head of the stress and worries and to focus on what really matters. Clearing your mind allows you to step into the back-to-school season with crystal clear intentions of what you really wish to accomplish in the next year.

Mood fabrics hand sewn kimono

Working this summer taught me exactly what I need out of my future career once I graduate college in the spring. It taught me the type of people, environment, and work itself that I value in a career. However, more importantly, spending the summer with my family by the beach taught me an even more important lesson; life is short.

new york city blogger style

Life is very short. Whatever your biggest worry is today, there are much more meaningful things to worry about. Your little worries mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. If you want to go out with your friends one night when you have work early in the morning, go out. If you want to wear your favorite kimono that is way too dressy for the beach, wear it. If you have to drive 4 hours in one day just to say hi to your grandparents, do it.

aritzia vintage denim shorts

Do what you will end up remembering years from now. The lasting memories that certain choices shape for you are worth the sacrifice. So stop stressing the littlest of worries and easiest of decisions and live your life to its fullest capacity.

vintage fashion blogger outfit

After all, life is short, and so is summer.

What important lesson did you learn this summer? Leave me a comment below! If you enjoyed this post be sure to read my reflection of last summer, And the Summertime Sadness Sets In…. For similar pictures and posts follow me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

The Power of a Place

We all know the feeling. The feeling of nostalgia. The feeling of all of your memories flooding back. The feeling as if you never even left. All of these feelings are part of visiting a place that holds such an important place in your memory.

fashion blogger style

There are many places that remind me of memories from my childhood. My beach house. The bedroom from my teenage years. My grandparent’s house. All of these places instantly bring me back to when I was 12 years old and running around outside, barefoot, my biggest concern being what flavor of ice cream I would consume that night. Whenever I visit here I quickly forget the responsibilities of adulthood and feel as if I have no worries in the world.

fashion blogger style

Why do places have this effect on the human brain? According to Nautilus (my new favorite publication, might I add), we actually seem to replace all of our childhood memories in order to make room for new ones that form during adulthood. However, these scrambled memories are brought into consciousness when stimulated with certain scents, words, or places. So, as it turns out, our favorite places act as a source of stimulation to recover our repressed memories that we may not think about on a daily basis.

tommy hilfiger sneakers

This beautiful lake is where many of my fondest childhood memories were made. Ones that I hope to always cherish and never forget. Being by the lake makes me feel as if just yesterday I was canoeing and catching fish off of the dock with my pop-pop.

back to school outfit idea

While much has changed since then, including my sense of style, I will always feel like a young, happy preteen by that lake. I am also happy to say that my style has upgraded from those days. My daily uniform back then may or may not have included an old basketball camp t-shirt and colorful, mesh shorts from Limited Too.

fashion blogger statement earrings

If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited a place that reminds you of all the amazing memories that molded you into the individual you are today, then what are you waiting for? Go out there and relive the happiness a younger you once experienced. Trust me, it will refresh your outlook on how you are living as an adult.

back to school style

So tell me, what is your favorite place that brings all of your most cherished memories flooding back? What place is the most powerful to you?

For similar pictures and posts follow me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. If you enjoyed this post in particular, check out The Sunshine Effect.