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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Vintage Mauve Maxi | Noelle x Kristina

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This gazebo has become my go-to “oops, I procrastinated and now it’s raining” picture taking spot.But, hey. I do not hate it. It works perfectly with the way I interpreted this lovely, vintage mauve maxi from Kristina. When I initially saw the photos of this dress I fell in love with the ethereal quality that speaks to my Pre-Raphaelite tendencies, but once I had it in hand another style came to mind.

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Kristina had already knocked it out of the sartorial park with her boho inspired outfit. The boho look is definitely authentic to the decade that birthed this dress and depending on accessories, I could see it on either an earthy hippie or a glamorous disco queen. It even reminds me of a dress my ever-stylish grandmother wore in the seventies.

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But, when you really look into the history of fashion and the different eras it becomes clear that many style associated with the later half of the 20th century, in fact, have their roots in much earlier decades. While we might associate flutter sleeves and flowing skirts with the hippies of the sixties and the dancing queens of the seventies, the look actually made its modern debut in the 1930’s-1940’s world of Hollywood glamour. As easily as this style could have been worn by Donna Summer, the great Bette Davis could have donned it, as well. The similarities exist in the draping and the pleating, the use of the lightweight, flowing fabrics, and the Grecian inspired cuts. I mean, see? The ancient Greeks even did Old Hollywood before Hollywood did.

So, while I was first drawn to the earthy quality of the dress, when it was my turn to take a crack at it, I decided to pay homage to a whole different decade. An intricate, metallic belt, t-strap shoes, flowing hair, and matte lips take this look to the allure and the romance of the silver screen.

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Sunburst | Noelle x Kristina

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As promised, here is my colorful, retro inspired interpretation of the famous horse print dress! Last time I wore the dress (which you can see here), I brought this crazy print into our century and toned it down with some edgy, black accessories to show how wearable the dress actually was. This time around I’m embracing all it’s nutso, retro vibes and crazy colors because…just look at it’s awesomeness!

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Using the dress as a jumper layered over these billowy sheer sleeves harkens back the era the dress was born in. I feel like a secretary on the later seasons of Mad Men that just decided to go hang out in a field for the fun of it. Obviously, a true to era interpretation and a sunburst color palate isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure as heck is mine!

And now I have to say farewell to the most amazing dress ever so Kristina can be reunited with it. I can’t wait to see what it’s next adventure is going to be.

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Long Sleeved Dress: Thrifted | Horse Print Dress: Kristina | Shoes: Thrifted | Brooch: Antique Store | Lips: Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Beeper as a base and LA Girl Matte Flat Velvet Lipstick in Oh, La, La on top

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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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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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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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Horse Print Dress | Noelle x Kristina

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When I first discovered Shaped by Style, through Hannah’s blog, the very first post I ever read was about this dress and I was hooked. They had me at brightly colored, vintage horse print. So, I knew exactly which swap item I wanted my first post to be about!

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I was a little nervous about it fitting but I didn’t need to be, at all. This dress is a great example of how versatile clothing can be on different bodies. On Emily and Hannah it holds it shape while floating away from the body in a pleasing a-line silhouette. On me and a pregnant Kristina it hugs all the curves and baby bumps of our bodies quite nicely. The fit looks intentional on all of us and makes me believe this dress comes with a touch of magic.

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This will not be the last time you see me in this dress. Trust me. I felt a little manic when I pulled it out of the package and started wildly grabbing things out of my closet to see what it looked the best with. Did I want to go nuts with a rainbow of layers? Well, yeah. But that’s coming later. For my first attempt at styling it, I wanted to illustrate how a vintage dress with an almost ridiculous print can fit into a modern, even edgy, aesthetic. Pairing it with trendy black pieces, like ankle boots and a motorcycle jacket, updates the style in a cool, sleek way and also frames the dress allowing those great saturated colors to pop. My trusty herringbone tights provide coverage but also highlight my legs and eliminate the possibility of this dress looking too “old-fashioned.”

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Thank you so much to Kristina for being a genius thrifter and rescuing this beauty from being turned into a Halloween costume. Then continuing it’s story further and delivering it into the hands of bloggers all across the country. You are doing this dress a great service!

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