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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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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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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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

Cherry print dress and blue shrug | Emily x Kristina

When I borrowed this cherry print dress from Kristina, I just couldn’t settle on one look — it’s such a versatile piece! (You can see the other look I styled here.)

Shaped by Style | Cherry print dress + blue shrug

Shaped by Style | Cherry print dress + blue shrug

This is the face you make when you realize you are posing for a photo with no shoes on. Don’t laugh, this happens to me way more often than you might think!

Shaped by Style | Cherry print dress + blue shrug

If you can’t tell from my posing here, I felt very pretty and feminine in this outfit. I love pairing sky blue with red, and since the print of this dress is more muted, you can really take it in almost any direction you want. It’s funny, I think most people feel like pairing colors with a print like this might be tough, but once you start trying combos out, you’d be surprised what you can pull off.

Shaped by Style | Cherry print dress + blue shrug

A well-placed shrug can really accentuate your curves! This is a good thing if you’re un-curvy like me, but it’s something to be mindful of if that’s not what you’re after.

Shaped by Style | Cherry print dress + blue shrug

How they wore it

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Thanks again to Kristina for letting me play around with this pretty dress! And don’t forget to enter our giveaway — entries close at midnight tomorrow, so don’t get left out of the fun!

Emily Signature

Cherry Print Dress with Stripes and 90s Nostalgia | Emily x Kristina

One of my favorite pastimes when I was in junior high was speculating and imagining what I would be like when I grew older. I used to write letters to my older self on my birthday (to be opened a year later), filled with questions and suppositions (confession, I totally stole that idea from a book but I can’t remember which one).

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I also used to draw pictures of how I imagined I would look one, two, five, 10 years into the future. My hair was always longer (and awesome-looking), I always had a better figure and, of course, I had a killer wardrobe.

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Something about this look got me thinking about how my teenage self — who totally would have rocked this outfit, by the way, substituting Doc Martens for these booties — would view my style today. Goodness knows a lot has changed; I’ve got a much better sense of the silhouettes that I prefer, and I’ve learned to differentiate between clothes that I like on the hanger, and clothes that I like on my body. (That one is still a struggle sometimes!)

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But I also think in some ways, I’ve become more conservative. I can see my 16-year-old self, with her ripped fishnets, turquoise hair, sparkly purple lipstick and 70s platform shoes sneering at my polo shirts, khakis and white loafers. But I think she would approve of this outfit — the mix of prints, the moody palette and the mix of feminine and edgy.

Cherry print dress | Shaped by Style

I often have to remind myself that taking a fashion “risk” is really very little of a risk at all. Sure, you might get some odd looks or people might raise an eyebrow — but, so what? If I could handle that when I was 16 (and, you better believe there were plenty of raised eyebrows), I surely should be able to handle it as a grown woman!

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How they wore it

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Thanks, Kristina, for letting me borrow this adorable cherry-print dress and get all nostalgic!

Emily | Bread and Roses Vintage

Wrap Skirt as Halter Dress | Emily x Kristina

So, my usual modus operandi is to style things in a way that’s work-appropriate. But sometimes I just have to give in to inspiration and play dress-up.

Shaped by Style | Wrap skirt to halter dress 1

I was absolutely in love with this wrap skirt when Kristina posted it a few weeks ago, and was thrilled when she offered it up for a swap. And even though I could have styled this skirt about a zillion different ways, I went with my original inspiration.

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I knew I wanted to turn the skirt into a halter dress (which couldn’t be easier, you just bring the ends to the front, cross them over your chest and either tie them behind your neck, or bring the strings back around your waist as a belt, like I did here). And the rest just flowed from there. I thrifted this wonderful bright bandana scarf a few months ago, and I love using it as a turban/head scarf to add some bright color near my face. These yellow hoops are pretty much the only brightly-colored earrings I have, so that was a gimme. And I chose this necklace to lend, I don’t know, kind of a tropical flavor to the whole thing?

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The funny thing is, this look is TOTALLY out of my comfort zone. I rarely wear my hair up, because I feel like it’s more flattering for me to have it framing my face. I don’t often wear sleeveless tops, and when I do, I NEVER wear halter tops. And this skirt style and length is one I wouldn’t usually consider.

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But you know what? I am in love with this whole look. And doing this taught me that it’s worth letting go of the stories we tell ourselves about what “works” for our shape, or what’s “flattering” for us, and not be afraid to try things out. Do you stick to certain styles and silhouettes? Or do you prefer to experiment?

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How they wore it

How They Wore It | Kristina

Thanks, Kristina, for letting me have fun with this amazing vintage skirt!

Emily | Bread and Roses Vintage