White Maxi Dress–PPP No. 4

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June in Hong Kong means beach time, so when it was my turn to choose something to pass around for the 4th Ping Pong Post, I chose this white maxi dress. It’s flowy and airy and see through! Gasp! But not so much so that I can still feel covered when I take the five minute walk from my house to the beach in this dress quasi coverup. A couple of months ago I layered the white maxi dress over a pair of khaki green skinnies with a boho blazer. From that post, I can remember a comment from Sam saying, “Send it my way!” So, I did exactly that–I wonder what Samantha and Anna came up with…..Keep scrolling!

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Samantha from Fake Fabulous

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Samantha is so demure and classy. Sometimes she reminds me so much of Audrey Hepburn–does anyone else see it? Samantha is always very poised and extremely put together. Yes, there’s a quirky bit usually thrown in, but her statuesque presence is what gets me.

Samantha’s Fake Fabulous and Instagram
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Anna from Anna Island Style

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Anna has two things in common with both my styling and Sam’s. Like me she hit the beach, and like Sam, she layered a slip dress underneath. But Anna’s dress is of a fun tropical flavor. It’s as if she’s added more beach vibes to an already perfect beach scene. I love it! Obviously all three of us need to be partaking in Sam’s bubblies for this styling. Too bad we’re all so far away from each other!

Anna’s Island Style Blog and Instagram
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The beach always requires one accessory for me: my puka shells from Puka Beach, Boracay. The instant I hit a beach, I’ve usually got these two strands wrapped around my ankles.

Do you have anything–aside from SPF, that you must wear that signifies beach time to you? A special hat or scarf, a sentimental beach towel, or a piece of jewellery like my anklets?

And what about White Maxi Dress, Ping Pong Post No. 4?

And, if you received this dress in the mail, how would you have styled it?

End of the School Year

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Oh my! The end of the school year! I’ve packed…I’ve finished school…we celebrated Kevin’s birthday and Vincent’s end to his primary education…and now, I’m ready for summer! The end of the school year is always such an incredible whirlwind. It’s good, but when I scramble out of it, I always feel a bit wiped. Kevin too. The kids maybe. But now, we have summer. Awwwww. Deep breath! And big grins. And a flight to catch in a few moments. The itinerary is as such: first stop Seattle. We fly out today on Saturday but we land earlier on Saturday than when we left! I know–crazy!! Time zones….Then, on Sunday, tomorrow kind of, Kevin and I fly to San Diego while he attends a middle school leadership conference and I play tag along/plus one/ wifey! (We haven’t had this sort of get away in over ten years–gasp!) The kids stay with Grammy and Babaji and then all them join us in San Diego on Wednesday. A highlight of our summer is always the little side trip we get to take with Kevin’s folks. They have always been our best travel companions, and we’ve rented a beach house in La Jolla. All of us can’t wait–stay tuned on Instagram. After our trip to San Diego, we fly back to Seattle for just one day there and then we hit Spokane, Washington on Tuesday, June 28th. From then on out, it’s Spirit Lake, Idaho BabAy! Oh, that porch bed is calling me. Before all that though, I’m posting these pics to celebrate the end of this school year.

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Here’s Vinnie’s 8th grade picture found in the Oriental, HKIS 2016 year book. He’s changing before our eyes these days growing into a young man.
The child’s face in him has been left behind.

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Kevin and I struck a prom pose–but why not!

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These two! They’ve got a really neat bond.

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I was happy to capture this candid shot. Vincent turned to his friend while in line to receive his certificate to shake his buddy Henry’s hand. Vincent has made some really good friends in his four years here at HKIS. What’s hard is having to say goodbye to a few of them. Luckily, I just have a feeling he will see them again.

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A special occasion calls for a special dress. Come July 24th, this dress will have been in my closet for 19 years. I wore this dress to our rehearsal dinner the night before we got married in 1997. It’s a keeper! As is Kevie!!

How will you be celebrating your summer? Do you have a reunion? Family trip? I hope you have a great summer and a chance to catch your breath. I know all the Kremb de la Kremb clan will be doing just that!

Dressing Up with Tennis Shoes

Just this week I confessed to the chronic pain I experience in my hip, and how I still try to remain happy. One of the ways I manage each day is by wearing comfortable shoes…but what about when I need to dress up? Like, just this week I have had three rather formal events to attend: a graduation dinner, a senior brunch, and graduation. Alongside all the grad festivities, there’s my son’s 8th grade recognition party. All these events pose a problem for the enthusiastic fashionista in me: dressing up with tennis shoes? Can it be done and how? In my mind, since I’ve been wearing tennis shoes each day, every day for about a year now, I now just wear them as if they’re any other shoe. This dress I’m wearing…I bought it for cocktail parties–in fact I wore it to my school’s Christmas party with a turtleneck underneath, fleeced tights, a long cardi, and over the knee boots. It is a great party dress! Here, I dressed up everything the same way I would for a party: smokey shadow, blingy accessories, a bright pink lip, yet when it came to my shoes, I chose my black Converse. Dressing up with tennis shoes in my opinion is a state of mind–if I feel dressed up, I will be dressed up. It goes back to another one of my mantras: if you think you are, you are! So, for the senior brunch, I wore a turquoise jumpsuit and my sleeveless white blazer with my sparkly Keds. For my son’s 8th grade recognition party I’ll be wearing my rehearsal dinner dress with a pair of khaki Supergas. And for graduation, I’ll pair a white dress with my Reebok classics. My shoes aren’t what dress me up; rather it’s my attitude that dresses me up!


Outfit Details:
  • I picked up this dress from Forever 21. The sparkles really got to me as did the Star Trek like shoulders. I really couldn’t resist. It’s a little snug in spots, so I wear a pair of spanks underneath. I like how the back (not shown–sorry!) is also a “V.”
  • Chucks are stable for me…I’m ready to get a white pair too. I just saw a student at the senior brunch who took off all the labels on a white pair, and it looked so cool. I will be copying him momentarily….thanks for the style inspo Benson!
  • The earrings are from a random shop in Jardine’s Bazaar. They have all these little vintage like earrings. I picked up more than a few–totally not necessary, but I’m such a sucker when it comes to accessories! The necklace is part of a set of three from Forever 21. I just chose one so as not to over-bling myself! Hahha. And the clutch was picked up at the annual 4th of July Parade Picnic that we attend every summer. I head straight to the same booth each and every year and always score some goodies from this lady. And the sunniest were a random find on a trip to China. Little markets in China seem to have the quirkiest sunglasses like this silvery, leopard pair!
  • My hair was freshly cut in these pics–I have finally gotten to the mullet. Not sure if I’m used to it and even like it, but I finally reached my hair goal. What do you think? Hahha! Maybe I really don’t want to know…. Wink wink.
  • Setting Details:

    Stanley Market has all sorts of fun walls all over the place. For these outfit pics, Gigi and I were headed to the same place I first posed with this dress, but on the way we ran into this cute panda painted by Printhouse HK. He seemed to be winking at us, saying, “Hey! Stop here. Take some pics with me!”

Don’t Be Blue!

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“Don’t be blue!” I say! And Francis too. Francis is this cute little guy I met at my neighborhood court. He let me borrow his toy ball which gave me the chance to pretend a little bit. I think I get props in this post for my ability to act like I’m playing ball. Due to hip complications, it’s all a pose!

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Don’t be blue! That’s what I am mentally trying to do. Generally, I am a very happy person–I consider myself to be happy-go-lucky. Sure I experience stress, and I definitely wear my emotions on my sleeve, or so I’m told. Running a high school library, I have a very front facing job where I serve a close community all day long. I mingle amongst the students and talk to the adults passing through. Upon all appearances, and on this blog for that matter, I appear happy. Most all of us have an ability to present a happy face. But, what about when something brings us terribly down? Don’t be blue? Just like that? Sometimes it’s not so easy, but we have to try. Just recently I wrote about going with what works–a post that basically states all the things that make me happy.

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Material items can only bring so much happiness. I can’t claim to have a solution for those times when I’m feeling down because of the chronic pain I am experiencing in my right hip continues. Even after my first surgery back in late August, it’s hard to be “happy” when I’m constantly in pain. My first hip doctor told me to “push through” the pain. While since then, I’ve received a second opinion because I can only handle so much pain, I am starting to find a different meaning for “pushing through.” There are a few things I need to do….

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Pushing through might mean I need to continue to be my happy self. It’s my nature, so I must continue with this attitude I have toward life. Second, I need to find beauty, love, happiness, all the things that make life wonderful, and celebrate it. Take this cute little boy who was so determined to strike his own pose. He made me happy, so while the athletic shots in these pictures are fake, the smiles are most definitely not. Finally, something I have started to do recently to help me remain happy is rely on others. I’m fiercely independent, so it’s hard for me to ask for help or to share what’s really going on with me. Therefore I’ve started to reach out and seek support–take for example this very honest and rather exposing blog post. I don’t normally share anything this negative or personal here on Kremb de la Kremb. Wow. Feels good. I’m not usually this honest. But, I am pushing through. Don’t be blue. I’ve definitely got myself a new mantra.

Francis

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Don’t Be Blue!

If you are daring enough to share, what have you done to get you through your blues? Do you have any wisdom to share with me as I work through pain management?

PS: The Outfit Details

For those who are interested I’ll tell you a little bit of what I’m wearing….

  • Of course you can probably guess where the shirt and skirt are from–yes, Forever 41. Op, I did it again; I mean Forever 21.
  • My sunglasses are from Topshop. They’re the pair that haunted my thoughts when I didn’t buy them the first time around. It wasn’t until another branch opened that I was able to get them. The moment I saw them, I did NOT hesitate!
  • Anytime I go to Forever 21 in Causeway Bay, I also stop and see my jewellery guy Ben in Jardine’s Bazaar. He’s the fourth stall on the left. He has the best costume jewellery–like these statement earrings.
  • I think my new Reebok tennies could use their own post. Oh, the story behind getting these sneakers. Let’s just say it wasn’t easy! So I’ll save the style story for another post!
  • DIY Tassel Sandals

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    I keep seeing the most beautiful tassel sandals all over this spring in magazines, on blogs, and in my Instagram feed. Most of the pairs I see have been around $300 USD! That’s way too much for me to splurge on a pair of trendy sandals–at least for now. But, when I found a pair of similar lace up sandals at my trusty Forever 21 plus a very trendy and colorful tassel necklace, I saw a DIY waiting to happen. These DIY tassel sandals were easy to make, and they ended up costing me $30 USD–that’s one zero less! #winwin

    1. Buy the Supplies.

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    I bought this pair of sandals and a tassel necklace from Forever 21. (I couldn’t find the tassel necklace, but I know any craft store carries tassels–menaing you could skip my next step of freeing the tassels from the necklace.) I then needed jewellery wire cutters and pliers.

    2. Prep the Tassels.

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    I cut off each of the tassels with the wire cutters. Once free of the necklace I sorted each tassel by color and then appointed a set for each sandal.

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    3. Start adding the tassels

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    I opened up each tassel, then added it to the lace. I was random with the placing trying to compliment the colors along the way. (I had the extra work of prepping each tassel, but tassels are sold ready to go at craft stores.)

    That’s it!

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    More Outfit Details:

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    Aside from the DIY Tassel Sandals that I made, here are some more details about what I’m wearing:

  • My top is also yet one other off the shoulder top I purchased at Forever 21. The red on this one just got me! I couldn’t resist!!
  • My cutoffs are Levis that I cut off literally! There’s a great second hand store in Rathdrum, Idaho that carries a ton of great Levis called Frugal Bob’s. I always make a quick stop into this little shop. The silver feathers added to this DIY embellished scarf are also from this little boutique. Thanks for the goods Bob!
  • My sunglasses are from this trip to Liang Jiang, wandering around the little cobblestone streets.
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  • And the simple pearl necklace was purchased in a Shanghai market while visiting my sister, ShangMarLa. (Now that she’s moving away from Shanghai, can she still keep this nickname?)

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    *Norbyah, thank you for taking the pictures!

  • More Boho, More Paisley

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    Just Monday I participated in a blogger collab with The Fab 40s. The theme was boho. Here I am again two days later with more boho, more paisley. It was around November when I posted about my Thanksgiving paisley pants. This pair, just about as old, maybe even older, are my Spring pair of paisley. You know, now that I think about it…these pants date back even further. They were my very first online purchase–from J.Crew, the pioneers of online shopping. That means they might be as old as 15 or so years–proving that I’ve always been a sucker for anything paisley. This whole boho theme simply chosen for the eight of us to style, has got me thinking a lot about my personal style. I’m reminiscing all the way back to my high school senior pictures. Let me give a little despcription of just one of the three photos, and you tell me if my bohemian ways have been rooted thick. My favorite pic had me in a pair of oversized, red patched-up, Levi jeans. Oh, those jeans were so (flippin’) cool! I wore a red tee and had colorful seed bracelets stranded around my wrist. Oh, and I chose to go barefoot for these pics, sitting all cool Indian style. I miss those red patched jeans so much. Jill Cramp, my doppelgänger and good friend plus original owner of my fake ID, gave them to me. I don’t think I’ve felt as cool in a pair of jeans since…. Hmmm, maybe it’s time for a DIY. Yes, from paisley to patches, from beaded jewellery and fringe accents, to tons of texture, my boho style runs thick. Is it the story behind it all rather than the actual items of clothing? That’s what I’m left wondering. What makes me boho? What do you think?

    *This summer I’ll take a picture of the above described senior picture. I’ll then update this post with the beloved red patched jeans from Jill.

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    Outfit Details:

    I’m just curious? Do you care about the outfit details? Each items is long gone by now but I’ll tell you anyway…

  • Kevin gave me the earrings for Christmas one year. Each year at Christmas I always know there will be a pair under the tree for me. I love this annual gift.
  • Two of the stacked necklaces were made by my friend Mariana from Venezuela. The turquoise one is mine, and my mom let me have her coral one. Both pearl drop and the evil eye were purchased in Shanghai at a market during a visit to my sister.
  • The top is from Forever 21, and the pants are from J. Crew. Like I said they are really, really old. I still love them. They are in great shape proving that sometimes quality is better than quantity. Something I’m trying to embrace more of….
  • The fringe bag is from a second visit to Target (after I obsessed over not getting it the first time I saw it!), and the shoes are from Zara as are my sunnies.
  • Yay or nay to the outfit deets?

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    Have a Laugh!

    I think it might be fun to start including some of my funny, dorky outtakes. For example, here Remota (the name I have fondly given to my remote control so cleverly hidden in my right hand, ha ha!) told me to pretend like I’m looking for someone coming around the corner. Convincing? I don’t think so! Have a good laugh on my behalf!!

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    The Fab 40s in Boho

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    Jennie from A Pocket Full of Polka Dots called boho for this month’s Fab 40s’ theme. Of course I was super excited to hear this theme because let’s face it: I’m definitely a bit bohemian in my style. I am a sucker for anything with a cultural aesthetic especially when it comes to colorful tassels, intricate embroidery, or paisley patterns. The thing is when I started to figure out how to style an outfit for this post, I got a little nervous. I could totally overdo my bohemian style–kinda like this Coachella inspired look or this whimsical LRD (little red dress). For some reason, since I claim myself to be a little boho, I was scared to appear OTT (over the top) as I am sometimes referred. So, for this look, I just dressed as if it was a normal Saturday. Perhaps I would go shopping in town for the day. Because usually for every day, I add a little touch of bohemian to my look whether it’s with tassels, fringe, lace, or cutoff denim, there’s always a little something hippy chic to my style.

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    Jennie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots

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    Generally Jennie is our petite, classy, and preppy rep. She really wanted to challenge herself with the boho theme. In my opinion, her entire looks seems pretty effortless. She nailed boho chic–utterly and completely. And she still looks super cute. Nice job Jennie! And what a fun theme for all of us. See more of Jennie’s classy style over at A Pocketful of Polka Dots.

    Daenel from Living Outside of the Stacks

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    Jennie not only named our theme this month, but she also invited Daenel from Living Outside of the Stacks–and yes, she’s referring to the library stacks. Daenel is a fellow librarian! Yay for that!! Also, Daenel knows how to wear bohemian. I love the pettticoat layer she has going on underneath her neutral floral wrap dress.

    Sheela of Sheela Writes

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    Queen She–as I’ve started to call my good friend Sheela, really surprised me with this look. The floppy hat, fringe bag, dress as tunic with a kimono layer, well it’s no surprise she looks like she hangs with the Olsen twins. What I do adore about Sheela’s styling here is that she still as the funky as heck heels thrown it.

    Mary of Curly Bird Chirps

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    It’s pretty unanimous and it might become official: Mary is the expert with dresses. Each and every time she just kills the look with a new and different dress. And now with the boho theme this one might just be my favorite. The blue color and the fabric’s pattern are just stunning.

    Samantha of Fake Fabulous

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    Samantha always has it goin’ on! She is seriously a chameleon of style. She layers like no one’s business and can adapt to each style’s theme with ease. My favorite part of Sam’s styling are those lovely layered necklaces. I know there is a style story behind each one. I feel like I could sit on her patio and listen to the stories behind them all….

    Diane from Fashion on the 4th Floor

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    Simply put, Diane is just cool. Look how sleek she is here. With legs for days, she’s rockin’ those flares. Her muted color choices are boho in of themselves. Are you wondering if she really did attend Coachella alongside the other glamorous bloggers? I am!!

    Dawn Lucy from Fashion Should Be Fun

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    Dawn Lucy, we are going to miss you so much. Jennie really did choose the best theme for your final Fab 40s post. You have always been a boho style inspiration for me in each of your style posts. You seem quite similar to me in that there’s usually some touch of bohemian in your sartorial choices. DL, all the best to you next month as you turn 50 and enter into even more amazing style–because that’s what you have no matter what your age. Luckily, Fashion Should be Fun isn’t too far away! It’s been so wonderful getting to know you!

    And me from Kremb de la Kremb!

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    I grabbed my new off the shoulder black top and paired it with my DIYed cutoff denim skirt. I wore two embellished items that I made myself: fringe sandals and a tassel bag. To include a little India to my look I added my Ganesha silver earrings. And finally, I just wore some funky mirrored aviator styled sunnies that I picked up in Boracay, Philippines. Do I look subtely boho to you? I hope so! I really didn’t want to over do it–which if you looked at my wardrobe would be totally possible!

    Purple Leopard Jumpsuit – Ping Pong Post No. 3

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    I might have squealed when I opened this month’s Ping Pong Post package and saw this purple leopard jumpsuit inside. It’s quite known that I love leopard (see here, here, here, and here), and I don’t discriminate against leopard in color (as seen here and here). Once I held it up, I will admit to a cringe when I saw the “S” tag indicating a small in size. I am not small. I have never been a small. I’m ok with that. So, I did have a moment of, “Oh gosh, I hope I can squeeze into this….” And I did, but it was literally a squeeze. Because the jumpsuit was a little small on me, I also lost the proper length for my legs. It was at that point that I decided to tie each one up in a pseudo bow. I actually just used hair ties to create the bows–similar to a hair bun. I have a ton of semi-formal events coming up from graduation and its dinner to prom. I styled this jumpsuit as if I was attending one of those events; hence the ostrich bag came out as did my satin bowed kitten heels. I wasn’t sure about the jewellery, so I went with my chunky silver chains and simple silver hoops. My Girls were a bit smushed, but it was kind of fun to be flat for once! (This might be too much info for you readers, but I couldn’t even fit a bra! Hopefully you can’t tell too much.)

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    Samantha in the Purple Leopard Jumpsuit

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    Samantha, from Fake Fabulous, is the pro at mixing. Look how she added green into the mix: in her necklace and shoes. Then she accentuated with more shades of blue with the sash and cluth. She told Anna and I how freezing these pics were taken back in March, and I believe her. I bet the sleeveless duster did nothin’ but it sure does look classy.
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    Anna in the Purple Leopard Jumpsuit

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    Anna, from Anna’s Island Style, went with pattern mixing which is so fun! I love how she added a striped tee underneath. Plus all of her accessories from the rings she’s wearing to her bold shoes are such fun. She’s embraced the whimsical with success.
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    Ann in the Purple Leopard Jumpsuit

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    Here you have me–with a flat chest up above! I kind of love that picture since this silhouette usually doesn’t happen for me!
    (But down below, if I’m honest the Girls look a little wonky! Haha. Again, TMI
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    Your turn! How would have you styled this purple leopard jumpsuit? Do share in the comments. 

    DIY with a Tailor: Off the Shoulder Dress

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    Sometimes I start a DIY and I realize I’m going to need some help. I think this is ok. I can sew–barely; I’m definitely a novice. But my lovely tailor in my neighborhood is amazing. And, she’s so sweet! I got started on this DIY and by the end realized when it came to the sewing, I’d need her help.

    Let me back up: when I saw this long sleeve, crew neck dress in HM on sale for only $12, I instantly saw it as an off the shoulder dress for spring. At some point I’ll have to stop with all the off the shoulder styles, but for now, I’m deciding to go with what works, and this style works for me!

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    Here’s what I did to turn this long sleeve dress into an off the shoulder one:

    1. Choose a long sleeve tee or dress.

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    This DIY could be done with a long sleeve tee or dress. It could even be done with a regular old tee shirt (see here for the easiest t-shirt DIY ever).

    2. Put the item on, and using four pins, measure.

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    First, pin the point at which you would like the top to sit on your chest. (I went on the high side since I did not want to show cleavage while wearing this dress.)  Then, take another pin and mark where you plan to cut which would be folded over for the hem. I went about an inch higher than the top’s hemmed edge. Finally, mark the sleeve in the same way.

    3. Now, cut across at the top pin.

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    Luckily for me, I was able to cut right along the line, so an item with stripes is highly recommendable. Otherwise, using a ruler, measure how far is needed to cut, take that measurement, and mark the garment across evenly. Then, cut across that line.

    4. Hem and sew. Or, at this point, take it to a tailor.

    Now, fold to the second pin mark, and hem. This is where I decided that my tailor would be better at sewing the hem. For this dress, I also hemmed the length–shorter just works better for me and my legs!

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    Now, tell me:

    Have you embraced the off the shoulder trend? Do you intend to? I’ve definitely got more of this look coming. This spring going into summer, I can’t seem to get enough of it!

    *Thank you Norbyah for these pics. You got the sun and me just right! 

    *Also this post has been linked up to the Project Sister Act, #iwillwearwhatilike, Turning Heads.

    Go With What Works!

    Go With What Works 3The more mature (I won’t use older here!) I get, I’ve decided to GO WITH WHAT WORKS! There are many things that are hard on me, that I prefer not to get into–mainly my hip and the chronic pain it’s causing me. Therefore and rather, I like to focus my energy on the good. Basically, I decide to go with what works. While of course my family and the people in my life make me happy, there are also things–you know, stuff! For this post, I’m going to share some of the physical things in life that bring me joy.

    Go With What Works!

    Here are some things that make me happy (in no particular order):

  • the beach
  • baths
  • books
  • clothes
  • jewellery
  • makeup
  • markets
  • tans (even if they’re fake!)
  • cafés (with good cappuccinos and really good books!)
  • trips
  • sun and water
  • sunsets
  • cocktail hour
  • home-cooked meals
  • also chic restaurants
  • magazines
  • as well as fashion/style blogs
  • Instagram
  • popcorn
  • especially with red wine
  • and a movie on a Friday night
  • dark chocolate (especially with sea salt)
  • *I’ve added to this list a gazillion times since it’s been posted! The list of things keeps growing!! Hahhaha.

    And last but very much not least, these two things always work for me!
  • white off the shoulder tops
  • cutoff jean shorts
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    What about you?

    What are your things that you go with that always work for you? Are there any things that just make you happy?

    *This post has been linked up to the Project Sister Act, #iwillwearwhatilike, Turning Heads.