Thursday, June 9, 2016

Common Thread: Embroidery Details, Guitar Straps & the 80s

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Embroidery work and details are everywhere this summer and the pieces that carry this distinction are proof that it is indeed all in the details. Last month when I was styling clothes at Intermix Bellevue for a segment I did on KING 5 television I became slightly obsessed with a beautiful jacket that my friend Linda wore in the segment. This Rakeem Embroidered Linen Jacket has the coolest details: from the smocked sleeves to the vented front to the raspberry embroidery work all over the back and front of the jacket, it is a standout summer piece. Apparently it has been one of the most crazy popular pieces for Intermix this season and with good reason. It is really beautiful. I also really love this Tarek Embroidered Jacket: both of these pieces are exclusive for Intermix.

I paired this jacket with an army green Marni skirt with pockets, my favorite Chloe black wedge sandal and a great little white tiered blouse found at Queen Anne Dispatch: all versatile pieces that I can use as a base for different summer looks. Embroidery work shows up again on the Rebecca Minkoff Embroidered Guitar Strap that I added to my leopard Kate Spade bag. Guitar straps on handbags are quite a thing at the moment and expect them to continue on until fall. I think they have a decidedly 80s rock and roll vibe to them. A guitar strap really does transform a great bag into a next level cool piece with originality. I have snapping mine onto various handbags that have rings on them, and it gave great personality to a plain black Sole Society Tote I got for Mother's Day which I am taking on a trip to Europe this summer. 

Long sleeveless vests are a fresh way to update a summer look because they look amazing with denim, skirts or over a dress. The one I am wearing has rough edges detail around the armholes looks like someone ripped the sleeves off a jacket. Very 80s as well.  :) I also really like this Glamorous Stripe Longline Vest because the stripes would look great with denim or white and the length has a groovy girl vibe to it. Pair it with distressed denim and leopard heels and be the coolest girl in the room. 

Summer clutches are another great way to show some style with embroidery work. This oversized Star Mela clutch is adorned with beautiful embroidery peacocks that offset the simplicity of the woven fabric body of the bag. I bought this one in France but I was so excited to see that Intermix (again! yes, I love this company) is carrying this British brand. 

I am a little of a 'go big or go home" type of girl when it comes to a lot of jewelry pieces. I like my rings simple and elegant but wear earrings that have some standout style. I wore two different earrings for this shoot. I love the oversized personality of many J.Crew earrings and often wear them for making an impact with my look. I also have been revisiting my feather earrings again for summer so when I found these leather feather earrings on Etsy from LoveAtFirstBlush, I was super excited. Their leather edges are dipped in gold and they have two tiny gold chains hanging down in the earring front giving lots of great detail. I chose the black to stand out against my blonde hair but there are other colors available as well. Gorgeous fun. 

I am off to Italy and France with my family for the next three weeks and will be posting our adventures from Instagram. See you back here on west fulton street in July. Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Overall Chic: How To Wear Overalls When You Are A Grownup

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Since announcing my age on television recently during a style segment I did for KING 5’s morning show New Day Northwest, I think it is safe to assume that I am not particularly shy. (If you missed it, you’ll just have to guess. Be nice.) This blog originated as a way for me to talk about everything in my life, including fashion, travel, friends, milestones, and my family. Over time it has evolved into mostly a fashion blog that has followed me as time moves forward, documented my style as it has evolved each year. While I haven't got any younger, I definitely got braver, and I have learned a lot along the way. In addition to writing this blog I have also work for Vanguard Seattle as their style writer for the past three years. Although I found myself in the position of being older than the rest of the staff, it ended up not mattering one bit, in fact, getting to know younger writers and people with a multitude of talents, interests and experiences opened up my world and my city to me in a fantastic way. If I have learned anything about aging, its that one must keep learning, seeing and experiencing life around you every day, every chance you get.

I think I have said this before, but I cannot stand those lists that tell you what to wear at whatever age you are. I think its safe to say that part of the perks of being a grownup is that YOU get to decide how you dress yourself. While I am saying a little silent prayer you choose wisely, its up to you to decide what looks and feels best on your person. Not being one who likes to be told what to do, and even less of a rule follower, I always like to interpret trends that I love with the attitude of “how” can I wear this, not ‘I can’t wear this at my age”.  Make it work for you and forget the damn lists.

And so we come to the overalls trend. Personally, I will leave the shortalls (those would be shorts that are overalls) to the younger set—not that they were ever really "me", even back in the day. But the overalls out and about the last couple of years I really love, so I am all for this fun trend.  I bought a faux leather pair from H&M last year and wore them in the fall to an auction with a lace high neck blouse and some kick ass high heels. Now that's a grownup way to wear overalls.

These Madewell Flea Market Flare Overalls in the Rita Wash are one of my favorite new denim pieces. Their higher waist gives your legs that long and lean look with a cool 70s flare, plus I love the sassy little crisscross straps instead of a more western looking bib in the back. I opted to not hem them so I could wear them with all my summer wedges, in particular this snake and rope pair I own. A similar pair are here and here. You can hem them to wear with sneakers or flats as well to go for a more laid back feel.

House of Lavande Batari Bracelet and Hammitt Bag
What top you choose definitely determines what look you are going for with these overalls, which makes them versatile. I like wearing my taupe silk Equipment blouse with them for a dressy feel, or a black lace top for a little edge. My Christophe Sauvat Embroidered Off The Shoulder Top is full on summery fun with a little bit of sex appeal and would be perfect for a BBQ or party.  This Hammitt Los Angeles Tony Militare Bag was a purchase I made this spring on a trip to LA to see my family. Down in Manhattan Beach we stopped in a boutique called Cami that carried these cool locally made handbags with a cult following. This camouflage and gold crossbody bag has an exterior cell phone outer pocket and sassy red suede lining, and is a great size for traveling or dashing around town.

Miguel Ases Earrings and House of Lavande Bracelet at Favery

The gold embroidery in my top definitely made me want to wear gold jewelry to accent. I love the company Favery, which represents independent designers of jewelry and accessories and has the most unique pieces. I am completely smitten with these gorgeous Miguel Ases chandelier earrings. They are hand woven with Swarovski crystals, Japanese Miyuki glass beads, and 18-karat gold plated rondelles. The details on these earrings are truly beautiful, proving yet again that chandelier earrings are a must-have style for your jewelry box. The House of Lavande Batari Bracelet is one of those extraordinary pieces that you will want to wear every day as one of your signature looks. The brass chain link and pyrite stone make it chic and edgy at the same time.

I also love the denim on denim look, which I know can scare people. My AllSaints cropped distressed denim jacket compliments the smooth blue wash of the overalls. As long as the denim washes aren't matching perfectly or there is some distinction between pieces, go ahead and layer that denim on denim all you want.

Being overall chic doesn't have to include overalls, but I bet you will find this is a very fun trend to try. Happy June!