When most of us think of Summertime in the fashion sense, we probably think of bright shades, fun whimsical prints and frilly details. While there is plenty of that out there, those thoughts come primarily from our wild and free childhoods—for me, at least. These kinds of motifs aren’t hard to find for those who enjoy them as adults (Lilly Pulitzer, anyone?), but if you’re like me, you might prefer more modern, minimal, toned down earthy shades for warm weather vacations, beach parties or trips to the pool. I like darker shades, but every now and then I might bust out of my rut and go for something at least slightly more playful. While writing this, I’m thinking a lot about swimwear, but for this post I’m going to focus on another Summer addiction…bags! The excessive enjoyment I get from fashionable containment isn’t limited to any season in particular, but my taste buds just re-activated when I saw a collection of new stylish Summer bags from Madewell! I already have plenty of pieces to carry my essentials to whatever these brighter months may bring, but I guess maybe I do like some whimsy after all…in the form of styling flexibility!
When it comes to handbags and footwear, usually I go for leather. This is mostly for the durability factor, but also because it also ages so beautifully, and it is a byproduct that otherwise would be discarded. Also, I buy most of my stuff secondhand nowadays, so since I understand the problem of the meat industry being so terrible for our environment, this helps me feel a bit better. However, I’ve noticed the animal friendly, vegan community really making incredible strides in their manufacturing practices, with vegan leather being just about as strong, if not as strong, as the real thing. Matt & Nat has been an amazing vegan handbag brand on my radar for quite some time now, and I’ve carried a few of their products for awhile and they’ve held up quite well!
I’m a little obsessed with ways to contain and organize things, whether it be boxes, bags, drawers, or any of that fun stuff from the organization department of Bed Bath and Beyond. Collecting nice bags, just like shoes and jeans, naturally has been a fun way to entertain that taste—combined with my love for creativity and style, they’re a sure hit, right? I love quality, organization, good design and a fun way to express myself beyond what I’m immediately wearing. I own bags that fit modestly with my day’s outfit, and others that are more like statement pieces for when I’m feeling a little extra funky. I haven’t actually purchased a bag in quite a few years now, but it’s always fun to look! One brand that I recently discovered and has earned a spot in my mind is Susan Alexandra, who makes these super cute woven beaded bags! Not only are they fun, head-turning, conversation-sparking statement pieces, but each bag totally gives me a sense of childhood arts-and-crafty nostalgia.
It can be quite hard to shop for moms…by that time in a woman’s life, she might be fairly particular and settled in her tastes and not quite feel the need for additional items around the house. Sometimes all that moms want is your company, which really is better than any gift! Jewelry, a card or flowers are always a given, but sometimes they can seem so cliché. Many people opt for DIY gifts, but how many of us have the time nowadays to craft something up? Mother’s Day is one of those times when a special, unique gift can go a long way. Personalization is a huge option, but where can you go for something emblazoned with a personal message that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? I don’t know why Etsy is still often seen as simply a place where creative folks offer whatever crafts they deem special enough to purchase (which it kid of is, but..), because it’s seriously one of the best places to find quality items made with love to pass on to loved ones (or keep for yourself), that you can’t find anywhere else. I’ve written several posts featuring this fun shopping destination, featuring Valentine’s Day gifts, leather tote bags, Etsy shops by friends, and some of my favorite general finds. I love supporting independent artists a whole lot more than huge chain stores or brands! So I decided to curate a post featuring 20 unique last minute Mother’s Day gifts from Etsy!
OK first thing’s first, I know, I went MIA again, and I apologize…but be rest assured that if I was ever going to quit this blog (which aint gonna happen), I’d make a statement. Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s exactly what went down—I basically had three weekends of DJ gigs, work picked up, and I took a little vacation to Lucidity Festival (which yes, involved one of those gigs)! It was nice to take a break, but was also looking forward to picking it up again. Whether I post three times a week or once or not at all, I’m always looking for new things to write about! I thought today’s post should somehow tie into the music festival spirit, so I decided to write about a staple in that community which I’ve noticed gaining traction in the contemporary fashion world: utility belts. You might know them as belt bags, or most commonly, fanny packs. However, this notably tacky piece from the ’80s has totally been reinvented!
I cracked up. I hope you did too! I love getting my little curated newsletters from Etsy…especially around major holidays. Two years ago (I skipped last year) I featured a Valentine’s Day gift guide from Revolve, but this year I’m enjoying all of the creative and personal Valentine’s Day gift ideas from Etsy! In fact, I should probably feature these more often! Significant others can be notoriously difficult to shop for, especially around Valentine’s Day when everyone’s expecting chocolate, fancy dinners and gemstones. Well, maybe not everyone, but it can be tough to find the perfect non-cliche, personalized gifts every time a holiday centered around love, family or friendship rolls around when our lives are as busy as they are. Rushing out to a fancy dinner also means dealing with packed restaurants, difficult-to-come-by reservations and slower service, and chocolate or jewelry often just seems so thoughtless or forced. Some people opt for DIY gifts, but why not go for something unique and thoughtful crafted by someone who specializes in such a thing, when our creative juices, time and energy are fried by our daily grinds…especially when there are adorably convenient options for personal customization?
Hello again! I hope everyone had a nice holiday season and some great time with family and friends. I am quite blessed during this time of the year to receive paid time off from my 9-5, and although I could spend that time writing more posts for all of you, I always choose it to relax and take a break from everything. It truly is needed as soon as it comes around! It’s also a great time to reflect on the past year and think about how to start fresh after New Years Day. Many people come up with resolutions, whereas I prefer to keep good habits year round. However, I do like to think about what goals and fun events I plan to reach and attend throughout the next twelve months.
I try not to shop too much for footwear these days…I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say I already have a decent collection! I at least try to look for a variety of purposes when I shop for shoes…quality tall ones for the winter, mid-calf boots to cover up cropped jeans, low booties, black booties, a solid black pair of nice heels, a comfortable pair or two of sneakers (Converse, specifically) and one high top, a variety of different colors and styles of sandals (flat and with heels) for summer…you get the idea! I try to keep to mostly the basics, but it can be tough to discriminate when you run across something that’s SO COOL, even if it looks like something you already have! You gotta have some fun with shopping, too.
Just like shoes (or jeans, in my case), almost every girl loves to have an assortment of bags for every occasion. It’s hard for someone fashionably creative to settle on just one or two, right? However, as full as a wardrobe may get with bags of every color, style or even brand, one thing holds basically true: just about everyone desires that one solid, quality bag that lasts through years and years, and possibly even gets better with use. As fun as it is to go crazy with collecting multiple styles, sometimes going back to basics is a tasteful move. I personally have my everyday bag (with a few alternatives if I feel like switching it up), a few evening bags to fit different occasions or moods, and some that are best suited for day trips or outdoor adventures like hiking, festivals or the beach.
All of the charitable brands I’ve written about here have warmed my heart. In a crazy world full of anger and hate, it’s so nice to focus on the good of humanity from time to time. Among my favorites of all the charities I’ve discovered while running this blog is Mitscoots, an Austin-based brand born in 2012 after its founders witnessed first hand the fundamental needs of the homeless while on volunteer work in the city, in 2008. Quality gear and a clean pair of socks were the most requested items, and with that in mind, the Mitscoots brand began. Mitscoots works with local and national charities to send an equal pair of one of their high quality socks, beanies, tees and more to someone in need with every purchase. The brand also employs the transitioning homeless to help package up and ship your purchased items to you! This helps develop confidence, skills, motivation and network building for these individuals to began building better lives. Everything Mitscoots creates is also manufactured in the United States.