A couple years ago while thrifting, I came across something that most would pass by: a 3XL white cotton ladies nightgown with great pleat work on the top. I felt it would make an awesome dress… with a little work.
STYLIST TIP: When thrifting, there is no section that is off limits, or void of potential. I could easily just go to my size and find cute stuff (and I totally do), but I never would have found this awesome nightgown if I wasn’t willing to at least look at other sections.
I paid $1.99 and brought it home to disassemble it. I cut out a ton of fabric in the back and sized it to my shoulder width. Then just brought up the hem. I wear this dress all year round in a million ways (ok, more like 7 or 8).
I have quite a few pictures of me in the dress from different seasons, but to clearly convey the styling options,
I went on Polyvore and made a White Dress Collection using a similar looking dress. ENJOY!
Using the dress as a blank canvas, pick almost any item to pair with it, and build your outfit around it.
I started this look off with the shoes, then softened it a bit with pink.
Sweet Vintage Cinched-In Glam.
Comfy Nerdy Explorer.
How do you build a look? Do you go for comfort? For color?
Well,depending on the day it is. That cute little groundhog saw his shadow, so technically we’re still in winter. But depending on the day, it can be cloudy, dreary and raining or bright and sunny with high 60’s all the way to 80’s. Freakin make up your mind, California!
With our weather in an identity crisis, we thought we’d share our version of a transitional winter wardrobe. I’ll be upfront: I’m a firm believer in layering. Obviously you want to be seasonally relevant (no bright spring florals), but much of your rest-of-the-year wardrobe still works for winter with just a bit of layering.
The key to the winter wardrobe (and a transitional one): OUTERWEAR.
We went on Polyvore and put together what we feel are the essential outerwear
pieces a girl needs for surviving the remainder of winter and transitioning into spring. Here’s a look at the basics to look for in each item and some styling tips:
— OUTFIT: Part of it: Blazer stays on, so integrate how it hangs & works with your blouse/dress into the overall look. Buuuut, there’s 2 different schools of blazers…
— FIT: Completely fitted is the key. The blazer needs to have the shoulders hit just right and be able to button comfortably without pulling. Unless you’re going for an intentionally retro look, it should hit at or right above the hips.
— COLOR: For the traditional blazer cut, go with black or another basic solid.Simple, chic. THEN there’s the other school of blazers…
FIT: the indie fit is much less, well, fitted. longer, with wider shoulders,
(much easier to find while thrifting, as it’s a vintage look made-modern).
COLOR: go big with pattern on the blazer and go simple underneath. Or vice versa.
Add a hat, dark rimmed glasses and chunky flat boots: you’re so indie.
— OUTFIT: Part of it. Wear it super accessorized (above) or totally simple.
Easy to throw on over complete basics and Voila! you have an outfit.
— FIT: slouch + comfort — however you wanna rock it. Length/volume is up to you.
— COLOR: As with the blazer, black or dark grey are the most versatile, but for this piece in particular, it’s great to have a fun pattern.
— OUTFIT: Part of it, or an addition. Up to you.
— FIT: completely fitted. Needs to be able to fully zip up and not pull.
— COLOR, ETC: black. period. This jacket can dress up or dress down pretty much anything. How much embellishment (zippers, belts, epaulets) you choose will determine how versatile it is. Simpler & cleaner lines: wear with everything.
— FIT: fitted, but not too snug. People can tend to do this piece a bit too boxy. Get tailored lines, but with room for extra layers underneath.
— COLOR: sometimes you can find an awesome bold colored pea coat, but usually you find black, grey and navy. You know your colors, and what you’d be wearing it over. Your call, as it is outerwear.
— OUTFIT: outerwear or integrated. This is my ultimate easy-day cheater winter piece. Leggings, a comfy stretchy long sleeved top and flat boots. Throw a poncho over it and it’s suddenly an outfit (I laugh when I get complimented on this look, but it’s awesome!)
(Did you see my post with the poncho? )
— FIT: loosey-goosey, comfy awesome. Whatever volume, color, you do it and be happy with your easy look.
— OUTFIT: outerwear only.
— FIT: the more fitted, the better. Make sure all the buttons line up and fit you well. If the shoulders are great but you need a little tighter / looser fit, it’s often easy to have a tailor adjust the button placement.
— COLOR: I’m trench obsessed… I have 7 or 8. All thrifted, all different colors. The fit is most important on this one. Have fun with color & pattern!
This is my good friend Paul. He’s significantly older than my usual Manly Monday subject, but no less stylish or worth getting to know. When telling a friend about him and this post, she asked if Paul and I are related. Nope. “So you just have a friend who’s over 70?” Yep. And quite a good one at that.
I feel like Paul has been an old soul for a long time.
And I always selfishly wish I’d met him years ago so my
life could have had more years with him in it.
Paul is practical in his style, without needing to wear things other guys his age do (read: stuffy old man clothes). He’s not out reading fashion magazines or watching E! to see what’s on trend. But in being practical, and fully himself, it has charm and panache.
His thrifted jacket has all the little details that make it such a great find for so little.
When buying a thrifted jacket, double check all the details (no ripped seams, proper stiffness in collar, buttons, etc) to make sure everything is in good shape, buttons especially. If it’s a vintage piece, oftentimes a few buttons are missing, which means you need to replace them all to have them match.
I honestly wish you could all meet him. My words and images don’t do justice to the joy this man brings to the world. His pragmatic style and almost always neutral palette aren’t a dead give-away to his vibrant and lively spirit.
A truly wise soul, he has encouraged and inspired me more profoundly than many I’ve known for much longer. I think everyone should know someone who gets to the heart of things and sees the beauty in life and in others. Paul makes me want to be a better person. I hope that same spirit can be said for me someday.
This bag is awesome. And so Paul.
His handmade bag is made of buffalo hide with
clasps and details made of antlers. Yeah, I know.
Do you know a guy with great style and even better personality?
Nominate him to be featured on Manly Monday.
email kari: email@example.com
This week’s look is sweet and comfortable, while still drawing attention with bold color. We started with the dress & added accessories based on the colors in the dress pattern. The objective: look ultra feminine while staying warm.
Every girl should have a great pair of cowgirl boots.
Finding a cranberry pair for under $5 is a shopping victory.
PS: Thigh-high sweater socks are perfect for pairing with maxi’s in winter.
New Zoya gold polish is our latest beauty obsession via GlossyBox. The perfect subdued &
shiny color for this look, and hasn’t chipped or peeled after a week! Thanks to darling Emily
of Sacramento’s best beauty blog, The Emery Board for our GlossyBox subscription!
When shopping secondhand, once you check for major imperfections, the real deal is in the details. Stitching, construction, color consistency: make sure it’s up to snuff. Building a wardrobe of well-made pieces with delightful details (for less) is one of the main perks of shopping secondhand.
Going on 5 years with these boots and they’re still a favorite find.
A skinny belt or tie in a bold color (even paired with a bold pattern) really helps to pull it all together and creates symmetry and balance. Whatever your size, placing it at your smallest part draws attention there, visually cinching you in for a smaller overall look.
Local places we love to shop secondhand:
French Cuff Consignment, Article Consignment, Freestyle, Thrift Town & Goodwill
If you want to shop smarter, overhaul your closet or just reimagine your look, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org: We’ll send you our rates and set up an appointment.
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter : JuniperJames
For more thrifty inspiration, follow our hashtags: #outfitunder20 / #shoesunder10
PEOPLE MATTER. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
We are always looking for ways to make a difference, or support those who do. If you aren’t familiar with the company Sevenly, we encourage you to get connected & informed.
Sevenly takes on a different charity every week, raising funds & awareness for them through the sale of in-house designed apparel for men, women & kids.
They believe that PEOPLE MATTER, and it is possible to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
We couldn’t agree more.
This Sevenly campaign (pictured) is near & dear to our hearts, as it directly supports a charity called Reece’s Rainbows, helping families afford to adopt little loves with Downs Syndrome from around the world. We’d never heard of RR before it was featured, and now are proud supporters of the incredible life-giving work they do.
Our director Kari’s adopted little sister has Downs Syndrome, and is the light of her life. We applaud Reece’s Rainbows for their work, and Sevenly for their commitment to making a difference around the world every day.
FASHION moving people FORWARD.
xo JJ crew
When discussing stylish men in Sac, the conversation wouldn’t be complete without Tre Borden.
Known for his bright color choices, quirky accessories and unapologetically rocking whatever he’s wearing, he’s the go-to guy to put on a runway full of “Sacramento-known” personalities.
Walking the runway for Fashion’s Night Out 2013.
Nautical / patriotic layers. Leather jacket FTW.
Never be afraid to wear pink.
Our director Kari & Tre after they walked the runway together.
His go-to accessories: bowties & sunglasses. Quirk + mystery.
How we’re inspired:
rock the quirky accessory, mix & match pattern,
and never shy away from bold colors in unconventional pieces.
xo the JJ crew