Friday, February 26, 2010

Is It Over Yet?

Do you guys ever have those weeks where getting dressed is impossible and every combination you try just isn't quite right? Yeah, I'm having one of those.
Every morning I left for work late with my bedroom resembling the aftermath of a tornado.

Dress: BB Dakota via Century 21, $25 // Turtleneck: Target, $5 // Belt: ? // Boots: Payless, $20 // Earrings: Courtesy of Early Jewelry

I was satisfied (finally!) with this more edgy, casual treatment of my favorite work dress. Hopefully the bad spell has ended. I'm in charge of a run for a local fashion show on Monday and need to be in top form! More details to come on that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peachy Keen

Top: Thrifted, $5 // Skirt: Thrifted, $1 // Leggings: Courtesy of We Love Colors // Boots: Courtesy of BC Footwear // Scarf: Gift 

I was so excited to find this billowy floral blouse over the weekend. It encompasses my spring color palette (and style mood in general) so perfectly.


I recently tried out the newly launched Couturious, a site that lets you play stylist with designer clothes. You can customize everything from the model and background to each detail of the outfit. I must say, once you get on a roll, it's hard to stop! I was even inspired to imitate some of my creations using clothes from my own closet. Give it a try!

Misketch Blogger of the Month

A huge thank you to Linda of Struggles of a Creative Mind for choosing me as her Misketch Blogger of the Month for February! To see her write-up and my little interview, check out her blog. If you'd like to know more about her illustrations, check out

Monday, February 22, 2010


Blazer: Vintage Levi's, thrifted, $1.50 // Sweater: Gap, $30 // Tights: HUE via TJMaxx, $5 // Socks: Target, $5 // Boots: Payless, $20 // Purse: Vintage, thrifted, $1 // Belt: I've had it since high school

With a fresh blanket of snow on the ground and plenty of sunshine, today is a beautiful, sparkly day. Though it feels warmer than the actual temperature, it's still very cold. Lately I feel like I've forgotten how to dress for winter weather. I'm so fixated on what I want to wear for spring, that I end up in ensembles that are either inappropriate or uninspired. Today, I was determined to change that. I layered like I meant it. Hopefully I can find enough inspiration to get through this last bit of winter.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Playing with Proportion

Sweater: Thrifted, $1 // Skirt: Thrifted, $4 // Necklace: Fred Flare, $11 // Bag: Thrifted, $1 // Shoes: Lucky Brand, courtesy of Lucky Magazine

So, after yesterday's denim conversation, guess who didn't wear jeans on this casual Friday? I'm pretty certain I was the only one in the entire office. Despite sporting a skirt, I was still casual and oh so comfy in this sweater. I really like the roomy top and chunky necklace paired with the short skirt and sandals.

Oh, and since you liked it, I recycled my pose / smile from yesterday. Hopefully I'll get back to taking some photos outdoors. Happy weekend, everyone!

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner

The winner is one of several Sarahs. I included a screenshot of the winning comment to hopefully avoid confusion. Please contact me at as soon as possible to claim your prize. Thanks, everyone for entering!



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blue Jean Baby

White shirt: Thrifted, $3 // Denim shirt dress: Prototype via TJMaxx, $10 // Jeans: Almost Famous via TJMaxx, $18 // Shoes: Payless // Hat: Target, $13

As I was putting on my office-y clothes this morning, I got a call saying I didn't need to come in. At that point, my style mood took a very casual turn, so I decided to try out the denim-on-denim trend. I would have liked to button the top, but it's just too long. A shorter (but still loose-fitting) denim button-up is definitely on my list for spring, so I kept an eye out while thrifting this afternoon. Every single denim shirt I found (both women's and men's) was adorned with hilariously tacky embroidery, from flowers to basketballs to Looney Tunes. Sigh.

It's probably no secret that I'm a die-hard denim fan, but I feel like jeans have sort of a bad reputation. I realize that they are the epitome of casual American style. I know everyone and their mom and dog wears them all the time and that fashion-minded people set themselves apart by not wearing them. And I'll be the first to admit that they are a cop-out of sorts. I'm probably most creative when forced to not wear jeans. But, man. I love jeans. And I always think fashion bloggers (who tend not to wear them very much) look amazing when they do. Anyway, my ode to denim is complete.

I'm excited to try this trend in different, more feminine ways. I think my next combination might be this same top buttoned and belted over my denim leggings with tall heels and jewelry. Also, I'm sure my trusty high-waisted denim skirt will come into play once the weather warms. How do you guys feel about the denim-heavy look or jeans in general?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fade to Black

Shirt: H.I.P. via TJMaxx, $12 // Cardigan: Julie's Closet via TJMaxx, $13 // Pants: H&M, $20 // Shoes: alice + olivia for Payless

I almost wore an all-black outfit to work today but ultimately decided against it. Not only was it kind of boring, but also it played up the severity of my haircut a little too much for its office debut. To add some softness, I opted for these textural grey pieces. They keep the look sleek and neutral but create a nice gradient effect.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Early Jewelry Giveaway Winners

The winner of the necklace is comment #42, Abby.
The winner of the earrings is comment #132, Jessie.

Please contact me at kansascouture at gmail dot com as soon as possible to claim your prize.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What To Wear on Valentine's Day & Shabby Apple GIVEAWAY

Top: Kimchi & Blue, thrifted, $2 // Skirt: Target, $17 // Tights: Courtesy of We Love Colors // Shoes: Vintage, thrifted, $3 // Necklace: Gift

I know Valentine's Day induces the gag reflex in many or at least a rolling of the eyes, but I've always had a soft spot for the holiday. Not so much the landfill-destined talking bears or cheap chocolate, but the construction paper hearts with cursive handwriting and the excuse to wear lots of pink. For day, I went for a cutesy ensemble that pays subtle tribute to some symbols of the holiday.

Dress: Courtesy of // Shoes: Forever 21, gift // Clutch: Urban Expressions, courtesy of Lucky

For night, I'm loving this delightfully dramatic black dress that sent me. The oversize bow and moldable collar make it feel event-worthy. Too bad I'm not at Fashion Week. Swanky cocktails with my beau will have to do. I kept the rest of the look simple with nude pumps, a red envelope clutch and bold lips.

And now, a Valentine for you! Shabby Apple would like to give one of my readers a dress. Check out their women's dresses. You can choose from 90 Words Per Minute, Daisy, Duck Beach and Anchors Away. Leave a comment on this post specifying your favorite, and a winner will be randomly selected next Friday, February 19th. One comment per person, please. Enter by 11:00 p.m. CST on Thursday, February 18th. Sorry, this contest is not open to international readers. Also, my readers can enter the code kansasco10off to get 10% off.

Bowled Over

My stylist (Teri at the Green Room if local folks are curious) mentioned bowl cuts when I got my bob awhile back. I was intrigued but didn't think much about it until I stumbled upon a couple of pictures that made me want one. I just love the '60s mod feel of this style. I'll have to start grooming my eyebrows again and endure weird looks from confused Kansans, but it's well worth it. I love it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Had This Dream I Was Flying...

Sweater: Vintage, thrifted, $3 // Jeans: Almost Famous via TJMaxx, $18 // Hat: H&M, $15 // Boots: Courtesy of BC Footwear

I totally forgot about this picture I took last weekend featuring my thrifted batwing sweater. I'm not crazy about the way I styled it. It's kind of a tricky piece. Next time, I'm thinking something sleeker like skinny black pants, heels and a big necklace. Any ideas?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Last Whirl with Curls

Dress: Courtesy of // Belt:Vintage, thrifted, $1 // Tights: Courtesy of We Love Colors // Flower: Hobby Lobby, $1 // Shoes: Seychelles, $23

I've really been digging the wavy look lately, so I knew I had to fire up my curling iron one last time before getting my hair cut this evening. As for the outfit, I remixed this tweed dress with light tights, a thin belt and simple black flats. Keep an eye out for the new hairstyle.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kansas Couture in Lucky Magazine

As a couple of you pointed out in comments, I was featured in the March issue of Lucky Magazine. Tasked with doing some online shopping using, I had a lot of fun experimenting with different ways to find cute stuff. You can see a couple of the items I found (the skirt and the shoes) in my outfit post from yesterday. Thanks, Lucky and Bing!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Long Story Short

Shirt: One Clothing via TJMaxx, $8 // Skirt: Lucca Couture via, courtesty of Lucky Magazine // Tights: HUE via TJMaxx, $5 // Shoes: N.Y.L.A. via, courtesy of Lucky // Necklace: Gift

Super quick post today! For now, this is all I have to say: I shouldn't be allowed to wear white. Within the first five minutes of wearing this shirt for the first time, I managed to get coffee on my shoulder. Even taking my clumsiness into consideration, I'm dumbfounded.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Early Jewelry Valentine's Day Giveaway

You got to know Kylie of Early Jewelry a little bit the other day, and now you have a chance to win one of her pieces! Here are the two beautiful items up for grabs: a gold-filled hammered wire and oxidized sterling silver heart necklace (retail $70) and a pair of asymmetrical geode earrings (retail $62). Two winners will be picked!

To enter, leave a comment on this post. One comment per person, please. Open to international readers. Entries accepted until 11:00 p.m. Central Time on February 13th.  Winners will be randomly selected and announced on Valentine's Day. Good luck!

Also, if you want to get some cute earrings for a good cause, Early Jewelry is donating all of the profits from these $15 heart studs to the American Red Cross.

Snowball Fight!

Scarf: Urban Outfitters, gift // Shirt: Thrifted, $3 // Pants: Old Navy, $9 // Shoes: Payless

On Friday, we had the best little snowstorm. It wasn't cold outside, the huge flakes looked beautiful as they fell, and the snow was wet, so it packed perfectly for snowballs. I wish I had had more time to play! The day was busy but casual, so I went for easy comfort with laid-back trousers, a roomy top and simple ankle boots.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Local Designer Kylie Grater of Early Jewelry

I recently sat down with Kansas artist Kylie Grater of Early Jewelry at her studio. Much like Kansas Couture, Kylie expresses her design aesthetic from a Midwestern perspective. Her distinctive handmade pieces are loved by women all over the world. She sells her work through her website, Etsy and at boutiques throughout the country. Currently working with Free People for their May catalog, she has also sold her jewelry through Urban Outfitters and has been featured in Nylon, Teen Magazine, Rachel Ray and more.
Kansas Couture: Tell me about your inspiration.
Early Jewelry: I go for natural, simple, clean design. I'm inspired by open spaces and rural souvenirs like wood, leather and antler: things you might find on a walk. Design-wise, I draw on the cleanliness of the rural Kansas landscape... plots of field and horizon lines.

KC: How did you start making jewelry?
EJ: I grew up in a tiny town and always liked being creative as a kid. In high school, I had a great art teacher who gave me lots of allowances. I studied metalsmithing at KU and spent a year in England, which prepared me professionally. I launched Early Jewelry through LOLA in 2005 and have been doing it full time for three years.
"I like being from Kansas. It's part of the Early Jewelry identity." 

KC: Tell me about your process.
EJ: I'm very materials-based. I don't do a lot of sketching. I'll see a shape in nature and then think about the design in my mind. I'm always manufacturing, forming and producing using techniques that I know work. I keep my production simple.

KC: Why do you stay in Kansas?
EJ: The internet is the only reason I can run this business out of Lawrence. My website allows me to have my own store, my own brand, my own identity. I can market myself internationally. And I like being from Kansas. It's part of the Early Jewelry identity. Being from Kansas can be cool. People find it quaint. It's not necessarily a reality to people. It's an idea or concept.
"I have ... a moral desire to have my business reflect good."

KC: Why is it important to be involved in the local art community?
EJ: Growing up in a small community taught me the importance of volunteerism. Involvement in the community in general is ingrained in me. I have a business but also a moral desire to have my business reflect good. Through this activism, I always meet people, which leads to other things.

KC: Do you have any advice for people interested in starting their own business?
EJ: Knowing business is really important. To go from just being crafty to a full-time job, you have to understand marketing, if and how you're going to advertise, producing a quality product, managing interns, bookkeeping, staying extremely organized and more. You feel like you have to do everything, but I'm doing what I like, and it's totally my voice.
Stay tuned: On Monday, there will be an Early Jewelry Valentine's Day giveaway!

Hey, Local Folks!
Here are some upcoming Early Jewelry events:

"Have a Heart" Valentine Art Show -- Van Go Mobile Arts, non-profit
RECEPTION: Friday, February 5th, 5 - 8 pm
715 New Jersey St
Lawrence, KS
February 6th - 14th,
1 - 5 pm

Early Jewelry @ First Fridays each month in the Kansas City Crossroads District 7 - 10 pm
Speak Salon
327 1/2 Southwest Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64108

Fashion Loves People and Early Jewelry Trunk Show
Saturday, February 6th, 10 am - 6 pm
Haught Style
6951 Tomahawk Road
Prairie Village, KS

Lola Valentine's Show
Saturday, February 13th, noon - 6 pm
500 Locust
Lawrence, KS 

Thrifting is My Drug of Choice

I used to thrift at least once a week. The selection in my town is pretty abysmal, but the nearby town where I work is a treasure trove. The stores are not picked over, and they're way cheaper. Once I got my little bundle of joy, however, I started rushing home after work, which means (you guessed it) no more thrifting. Oh, the sacrifices one makes for doggie parenthood. Yesterday, after a months-long hiatus, I made a quick trip to the thrift store. It felt amazing. I think I had been going through withdrawal. For how little time I spent there, the trip was pretty successful.


-Vintage oxfords
-Clark's flats
-Kimchi & Blue lace blouse
-Vintage batwing sweater
-Polka dot blouse
-Ann Taylor blazer
-Oversize sheer blouse
-Vintage high-waist shorts


Not everything fits (I hardly ever try stuff on at thrift stores), but I was definitely happy with what I came away with. I'm sure I'll kick myself for saying this next time I covet something totally unattainable, but I daresay it's better to NOT have a lot of money for buying clothes. Honestly, if I had an unlimited clothing budget or even just a considerable one, I wouldn't know what to buy. When you can choose from anything, how would you decide? And would it hold the same value and meaning to you? I would probably end up buying way too much and appreciating it less. 

When your budget limits you to thrift stores or sale racks, you have to really hunt for the good stuff. It isn't just presented to you on a carefully composed display. And you have to make the most of what you get. That may mean altering items or getting creative with the way you incorporate them into your wardrobe. The feeling I get after a fruitful thrifting trip is way different (and way better) than the remorse or uncertainty that comes with regular retail shopping. I feel accomplished, invigorated and responsible because I didn't spend much and I'm putting old clothes to good use. 

Anyway, Maybe this is just an unhealthy obsession of mine or my way of making myself feel better for not having a lot of money. I realize thrifting isn't fun for everyone, and I also don't want to downplay the importance of sometimes spending more for good quality. How do you guys feel about thriting, shopping on a budget and the prospect of having an unlimited budget?   

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shady Lady

Shirt: Gap, $10 // Skirt: Vintage, thrifted, hemmed, $1 // Necklace: Urban Outfitters, $10 // Boots: Courtesy of BC Footwear

My apologies for the shadowy indoor picture. I look like I should be telling a campfire ghost story. One of these days I'll figure out how to take a decent indoor picture. Anyway, this is what I wore to work yesterday. I finally got around to hemming this skirt. Since I haven't worn it in so long, it feels like a new piece. I love it when that happens.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spring Fever

Shirt: Urban Outfitters, $10 // Shorts: Insight, courtesy of // Tights: Gift // Shoes: Forever 21, gift // Bow tie: American Apparel sash, $16

Here's what I wore on Sunday to a benefit. I swear, lately I've just been dressing like it's spring and then throwing on a winter coat. Speaking of spring, I can't wait to style these new shorts in lots of different ways once the weather warms up. Way back in September, Weardrobe Conference sponsor 80s Purple gave us all gift cards. I'm so glad I waited to spend mine. I have a really hard time finding shorts I like, and these are great. That's all for today, folks. I'm beat. Good night!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Such Beautiful Shirts"

Sweater: GAP (altered by me), $30 // Leggings: Courtesy of We Love Colors // Head wrap: American Apparel Sash // Necklace: Forever 21, $9 // Boots: Urban Outfitters, $25

Remember this sweater? I kept finding myself wanting to wear a big cozy sweater but passing on this one because the neck cuff was just too bothersome. So, as I often impetuously do, snip snip! And I'm so happy with the result. I think I'll wear it much more often now. Paired with soft, comfy leggings from We Love Colors, this was the perfect laidback Saturday look.

As for the head wrap, Erin of calivintage was definitely the inspiration here. I knew the American Apparel sash would be great for big bows around my waist and neck, but Erin's tutorial inspired me to try it as a turban. I definitely need to work on my technique. She does it like a pro!

In combination with red lipstick for an evening out, the turban elicited a lot of comments including references to Daisy Buchanan. Speaking of which... have you heard? Baz Luhrmann is making a Great Gatsby adaptation. I'm beyond thrilled!