Print Mixing Maxi Skirt | Emily x Kristina

I may be a little late to the maxi skirt trend (can we even call it a trend anymore?) but this summer I am loving long skirts.

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I swapped this skirt with Kristina months ago, and took the time to style it a few different ways while I had it. It is such a bright and cheerful piece, and the primary-color palette really makes it fun to play with.

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Sometimes in summer I miss the layered looks of fall and winter, but then I remember that adding accessories can be just as fun as adding layers. And even with just two pieces, there is still a lot you can do with prints, shapes and colors.

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The print on this dress makes me dream about creating my own textile by doing fabric stamping. Have you guys ever tried it? Merrick’s Art had a simple tutorial on it recently that got me thinking about what a fun project it could be.

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What do you do to keep your looks interesting in the summer? Sometimes when it’s this hot I can’t even bear to wear necklaces! Give us your best hot-weather accessorizing tips.

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Cruisin’ | Emily x Hannah

Sometimes you just have to spend some time with a piece before you know what to do with it. Such was the case with this awesomely colorful poncho I swapped with Hannah. She sent it to me a few weeks ago, and it took me a while to get a good vision of how to style this unique and distinctive piece. But I love a good challenge!

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I jumped at the chance to swap this poncho because I have literally never worn a poncho until now. How did I make it to the ripe old age of 30-noneofyourbusiness without wearing a poncho? Well, it just happened that way. So I had to give it a whirl.

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I realize this may seem like an odd choice for the beginning of summer, but let me tell you, upstate New York is tricky like that. You’ll be sweating it out in 90-degree heat one day, and the next day, bam! Low of 42. So you’ve got to be prepared for anything. This was actually a genius way to chase away the morning and evening chill, but it was easy to throw off when the day warmed up.

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I can’t pinpoint my exact inspiration for this outfit, but when I put it all together, I had the general feeling of “Someone’s Grandma going on a cruise.” Which, you know, I’m OK with that! I wrote a couple of blog posts about being inspired by the different styles of my two grandmothers. So, #grandmastyle4life, I say.

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Note that I am being a total rebel here and mixing my gold sparkly nail polish with silver sparkly earrings. What can I say, I like to live on the edge.

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Thanks to Hannah for letting me tick “wear a poncho” off my life list! This was super comfy and fun to wear.

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Collar Necklace | Noelle x Emily

 

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Emily was gracious enough to let me borrow this lovely scalloped collar shaped necklace. I was so excited when I saw it in her closet because it was so full of sweet little details. I not much for accessories, but this is exactly the kind of accessory that I would like to add to my collection. It’s a statement piece that mimics the characteristics of a collared shirt or dress. I was even more pleased when I saw it in person because it is solid. It’s heavy and thick and I imagine it could take a beating. Much like many women I know, it’s beautifully formed with sweet, delicate details and fortified with strength and resilience. Because it takes from both the hard and the soft it’s perfect for adding to any outfit.

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I wore it to mimic a collar on my floral sweater as a nod to the collegiate quality of my plaid driendl skirt. I love mixing this skirt up in different outfits because it has a distinct preppy style with its navy color and plaid print. Yet, the primary colored lines offer a chance to play up lots of different styles and colors. The skirt can be librarian chic, 1950’s sweet, or even spunky and ecclectic with a graphic tee and statement belt. I’m going to be putting it up for swap to see what the over lovely ladies can do with it!

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Sweater: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s | Skirt: Thrifted: Shoes: Payless | Necklace: Emily’s

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Cinco de Mayo: Oaxacan Dress + Pompon Crown | Emily x Kristina

Like they used to say on the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

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I had been eyeing this beautiful Oaxacan-style embroidered dress of Kristina’s since she first posted it ages ago. And when it came my way to be styled, I didn’t know at first what I wanted to do with it.

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But then quite suddenly I figured it out. And I was so driven to create this vision that I got out some old yarn scraps and sat down and made a pompon crown because it just felt like that was what needed to happen. And even though making those stupid pompons was, seriously, the most boring craft I have ever done, it was worth it. Because my plan came together.

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This look is a real mish-mash of ideas and inspirations. I’m sure the pompon crown I saw on Mariah a while back was on my mind. I thought about how Kristina styled the dress originally, and how I styled it for her when we did our style swap. And when I put it all together, I felt a little bit like Tasha and a little bit like Frida (Kahlo, that is).

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I bought these little apple earrings last summer and just found them the other day — I must have tucked them into my purse when I was going around to yard sales, and set aside that purse for the whole fall and winter! (Please tell me this happens to other people …) I don’t wear dangly earrings often, but the shape and size of these are perfect for me, especially with my hair up.

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Thanks, Kristina, for sharing this stupendous dress! You can see how much fun I had wearing it. I styled a second look with it, too, that I’ll show you another time. Until then —

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Red Polka Dots + Striped Skirt | Shaped by Stripes

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Emily here with the latest installment of our Shaped by Stripes feature! This month we are showcasing how a simple style — in this case, a striped skirt — can be worn in different ways, on different body types. Check out the previous looks from Lyndsey, Hannah and Kristina, too!

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I actually bought this skirt specifically so I could join in our month-long style challenge — it’s from H&M by way of thredUP (use my code to sign up and get $10 to spend), and I’m excited to add it to my wardrobe.

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My closet is already pretty full of black-and-white patterned clothes — polka dots, stripes, florals — which are fun to mix with colors, as I’ve done here. The skirt itself, though, is a little weird. The fabric is stretchy and I assumed the waistband would be elastic, but … it isn’t. It doesn’t really stretch at all. And there’s no fasteners. So even though this skirt fits my waist perfectly, I have to put it on from the top (like a dress), and even at that, it’s a tight fit! What gives, H&M? I guess it wasn’t designed for someone with hips?

I added a pair of abalone earrings that mimic the polka dots on my top, and a rhinestone tennis bracelet that I found at a yard sale last summer. It’s fake as fake can be, but it’s still sparkly, so I’m good with it.

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I’m inspired to try out some other looks with my new skirt! What would you pair it with? If you want to play along with us, tag your outfit pics with #shapedbystripes so we can see and share what you come up with!

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Emily | Red cape + checked trousers

Sometimes all it takes is a fresh set of eyes to help you see something in a new way.

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I bought this red cape a few years back at my local Salvation Army because — well, it’s a vintage cape, do I really need a reason? But then … it sat in my closet. And sat. And sat.

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But after offering it up for swap in this group, I’ve found myself much more inspired to wear this piece. Kristina wore it beautifully over full skirts with heels, and then Noelle looked super chic and crisp in a plaid top and gray straight skirt.

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When I was reunited with my cape, I paired it with a vintage Op Art top (which my grandmother sewed for my aunt in the 1970s), a pair of checked skinny trousers and my trusty black heels for a look that felt both straightforward and distinctive. And if there was ever any doubt in my mind about whether capes are easy to wear, it’s gone now! All these looks have proven otherwise.

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How they wore it

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Red cape, I’m sorry I let you sit in the closet for so long. I promise I’ll bring you out to play more often. Thanks to Kristina and Noelle for inspiring me to stop neglecting this fabulous garment!

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Goodbye green: Mint dress + windowpane check cardigan

I recently did a big closet purge and picked out this mint dress as one to get rid of. So this outfit post is a swan song of sorts. But there’s a good chance you’ll see it here again, because I’m sending it off to Kristina after this — not just for a swap, but for keeps (or for as long as she wants it).

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I have gotten a lot better at getting rid of things that aren’t working for me, but it’s still hard. Hannah posted a great video mini series the other day over at The SITS Girls about thrifting and decluttering, and I loved some of her advice.

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I definitely have the polar opposite of a capsule wardrobe, in many different ways. For one thing, I am not interested in narrowing my style down to one particular “look” or genre of fashion. What thrills me about style is trying new things, experimenting, playing around and having fun.

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This outfit is a great example of how I put things together — I start with a piece and just … keep adding until it feels right. (There is occasionally subtraction, too, but let’s be honest, I’m not a “less is more” kind of person.) Hair and makeup are always afterthoughts, once the outfit is set. And I’m not exactly sure why this outfit read mod to me once I got done — but it was fun to do this faux beehive and take advantage of my hair’s natural volume.

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Much as I love the idea of a full-skirted mint dress, the cut just isn’t one I really like. I’ve learned that if I’m always reaching for thing to wear over or under a dress, it probably means I don’t love the cut of it. And this is a case in point.

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How they wore it

I am a little sad to say goodbye to this dress, but, I’m excited to see it on Kristina — and maybe some of the other ladies in this group! To keep up with all of us, be sure to follow us on our brand spankin’ new Instagram, where we’re having fun sharing tidbits of our own lives as well as looks we love from other ladies.

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Blanket scarf, dress + leggings | Emily x Justine

What motivates you when you put together an outfit?

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For me, it’s usually one of two ideas: 1) I want to see if I can re-create look I’ve seen/been inspired by; or 2) I want to see if I can style something in a way that’s new and different. And lately, it’s a lot more of #2. But I’ve got to admit, this blanket scarf I swapped with Justine had me stumped!

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I was all confident that I could come up with a totally new way to wear a blanket scarf, that no one had ever seen or imagined! And then I returned to Earth and realized that … nope.

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So I decided that, well, maybe I can’t re-invent the wheel and come up with a new way of wearing what might literally be THE most popular accessory among fashion bloggers. But! I can put my own spin on it and wear it in a way that feels a bit more “me.”

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On paper, this look is very similar to the way Justine and Lyndsey have styled it. But the little details made me feel like I had managed to put a different twist on this look. I am a huge fan of scarves, and I adored wearing this great big blanket scarf all day. You can make fun of the trend all you want, but this thing was cozy. And anything that allows me to be warm and fashionable at the same time is tops on my list.

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How they wore it

Thanks, Justine, for letting me snuggle up in this cuddly blanket scarf! Us upstate New Yorkers need all the warmth we can get this time of year.e

 

Gold sequined blazer + pleather leggings | Emily x Hannah

The blazer so nice, I wore it twice!

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Last time I styled this glitzy sequined blazer of Hannah’s, I went full-on glam with it. But I also wanted to try a more casual look (if anything that involves gold sequins can be considered “casual”).

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I added a simple gold chain and kept the rest of the outfit in neutral tones to let this brilliant blazer shine.

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Note that I am deeply undecided about these boots I thrifted, because let’s face it, they’re basically proto-Uggs and that is one thing I swore I would never wear. But … they’re really warm! And comfy! And fleece-lined! So I am trying to find a few ways to wear them that aren’t awful.

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But I love everything about this blazer! It’s gold, it’s sparkly, it’s cute — what’s not to love.

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How they wore it

Thanks, Hannah, for letting me play with this glittery blazer once more!

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Vintage cape + floral maxi skirt | Emily x Kristina

Sometimes when you see an item at the thrift store, you just HAVE to buy it even though it’s completely impractical and you have no idea when/how you will wear it. Enter this red cape:

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My feeling about clothes is that you have to follow your heart. I know some people might get a lot of joy out of a wardrobe that’s totally utilitarian, practical and predictable. But not me.

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That’s why a) I snatched up this vintage red knit cape the moment I saw it; and b) I begged Kristina to let me borrow this skirt after she posted her first outfit pics with it.

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In fact, I was so enamored of this skirt that I styled it twice (scroll down to see a pic from my previous post). This print just made me smile, and I couldn’t help but pair it with another bright, primary color.

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I usually avoid outfits that don’t have a defined waistline (or at least a narrowed point in the torso, like an empire waist). But I really enjoyed the drama of combining the A-line skirt with the sweeping cape.

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How they wore it

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Thanks, Kristina, for letting me play with this fun wrap skirt, and for sharing some great looks with my red cape!

Emily Signature