Grunge Sweatpants and Plaid Flannel

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Unknown 3 Comments

I feel like I'm hibernating by mid-December. I don't emerge from the lazy sweatpants chrysalis I've created until after New Years. I didn't fully exit my holiday cocoon to shoot this look for you. I just sort of elevated my laziness to comfy chic.

It helps that these sweatpants - which you might recognize from my last Stitch Fix unboxing - are the most comfortable thing I own. I could honestly live in them and I'll freely admit that I have been for the last few weeks. The material is thick, soft, and warm enough for the unseasonably cold temperatures we've had in Seattle the past few weeks (we even had snow!). I feel eternally indebted to Stitch Fix for sending these to me.

I liked the idea of a white crop top and over sized flannel pairing. I'm still learning to love and accept my body enough to wear crop tops. I find layering one with something I can button up if I start feeling self conscious is a nice way to ease into a style that still makes me a bit uncomfortable at times.

You're probably tired of seeing this flannel but it's one of my favorites and you can't deny how fiercely it pairs with red Converses.

Shop this Look 

Plaid flannel shirt, thrifted (similar)

White crop top, thrifted (similar)

Gray sweatpant joggers, Stitch Fix (similar)

Red converse sneakers, thrifted (exact)

Safety pin earrings, Nordstrom Rack (similar)

Circle ring, Asos (similar)


Distressed Dark Floral Grunge

Monday, December 19, 2016 Sam 2 Comments

I love this wonky mirrored dark floral print. When I first saw it, it reminded me of the heavy damask upholstery used on furniture in the 1970's. How could I not buy it immediately?

Also, shout out to all my short torso babes - we can wear shirts as dresses. I squealed with joy when I realized this was long enough to wear with tights instead of leggings. I knew I wanted to wear my favorite thick, distressed tights and to top it off with a velvet over shirt. Since I'd already committed to an array of tacky fabrics, I figured why not carry the theme throughout with some velvet patterned creepers.

I figure I'm the short, curvy, blonde version of this so-bad-it's-good Sci-Fi b-movie plot: a 1970's living room sofa time travels to the 1990's and gets discarded in an alleyway until a group of hipsters rescue it in the late 2000's, re-purpose it, and then put it in their own hipster-y living room. Or something like that. You get the gist.

Shop This Look

Mirrored floral tunic, thrifted (similar)

Velvet shirt, thrifted (similar)

Spike necklace, Etsy (exact)

Distressed black tights, Asos (exact)

Black velvet creepers, thrifted - tag says TUK (similar)


Wantable Unboxing and Try On December 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016 Sam 3 Comments

Well, you know what they say. One subscription box is just a gateway drug into the next subscription box. Okay, they don't say that but I do. After my success with Stitch Fix, I decided to give Wantable a try to see how it compared. Every unboxing I've watched for Wantable has been amazing and I've seen some styles that would work well for my specific aesthetic. Don't get too excited though. This got a little....weird.

The Unboxing:
The Try-On:

Project Social T, Cross My Heart Hoodie, size large $64

Is this soft? Yes. Is it swallowing me whole? Yes. Is it worth $64? Not even a little.

Status: Sent Back
Cross Front Ruffle Detail Dress, size Large, $39

This was supposed to be a dress but there wasn't a chance in hell this was getting over my chest. It's okay because I hate this so much. Neck ruffles? Yellow flowers? Bleh. I'm sure this is exactly the photo you wanted to see on a Friday afternoon. You're welcome.

Status: Kept because I couldn't get it off and will not have to wear it for all eternity. Just kidding, Sent Back but I've definitely gotten stuck in clothes before so it's not much of a stretch, sadly.
Kensie Ponte Skinny with Zip Detail, size Large, $68

Let's follow something that's insanely too small with something comically too large. How fun. I could tell these were big right out of the box, but this is just laughable.

Status: Kept because they swallowed me whole and now I'm swimming in pants indefinitely. Just kidding. Sorry, humor is the only thing getting me through this. Sent Back. 
Sarah Skinny Black Clear Water, size 30, $64

Another poorly fitting pair of pants but not laughably so, unfortunately. I had to cuff them about six times to make them actually "ankle" length like they claim to be. The crotch isn't doing me any favors either.

Status: Sent Back
Trunk LTD Journey Tee, size Large, $65

I like this shirt but it's too large. I usually take a medium in Trunk LTD. And as exciting as it is to get a graphic tee in a styling box, this is something I could easily just go purchase from the Trunk LTD website (and probably cheaper because I'd wait till it went on sale).

Status: Sent Back
Project Social T Starlight Scoopback Top, size Large, $58

God, the sizing in this box is atrocious. What is even happening with this shirt? My arms need to grow about size inches to wear this apparently.

Status: Sent Back. I don't even have a joke because now it's just gotten sad.
BCBGeneration Drape Front Jacket, size Large, $118 (!!!!!what?!?!!!?!!!!!!)

Oh hello, you're still here? How long have I been out? Sorry, fainted when I saw that price. It's not like this was insanely luxe or well made. I've seen almost the exact same thing in Target for under $30. You can't tell from this photo but this hit me above my lower back which is the strangest cut I've ever seen on a jacket.

Status: Sent Back

The Verdict:

This is some of the worst fitting clothing I've ever put on my body. And I tried shopping at Hollister back in the 9th grade with a size 34DDD chest. For a styling service that asks a lot about sizing, they are terrible at it. And it wasn't even a consistent kind of bad where everything was too big or too small - it was a mix. How could you pack that floral dress in the same box as that slouchy scoopback top - those two things could not be any farther apart in sizing. There's no way they'd fit the same body.

Apart from that, many of these brands are "mall" brands for lack of a better term. Project Social T is easily bought at Nordstrom Rack (discounted, I might add). Kensie is easily bought at Macy's (who provides coupons regularly). There's nothing wrong with that necessarily, it just feels bad that I could buy these pieces elsewhere and for much cheaper. It made it feel less special.

Does the box fit my style? Yes, visually, it does. Unfortunately, the sizing mistakes are unforgivable. I won't be trying Wantable again. I'll stick with Stitch Fix who have consistently provided appropriate sizing. I don't think anyone should walk away from a style box  feeling bad about their body and there's where I'm at right now.

To sum it up, I'm out $20 and my body image took a blow. Thanks, Wantables.

Update: For full transparency, Wantable contacted me almost immediately after I checked out on their website (the checkout information I gave was obviously very negative) to offer me a waived styling fee to try another box. I declined this offer. I have no desire to relive a sizing disaster like this again. If one or two things hadn't fit, I'd maybe consider but every item had fit issues and they were all over the place. I have made so many strides in getting to a place where I'm comfortable with my body. I'd rather stick with a service like Stitch Fix that has obviously taken great care with my sizing and measurements to give me clothes my body feels good in.


Mia in Thrifted Grunge

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Sam 0 Comments

This is part one in an ongoing photography series. The project involves going with a model to a thrift store, putting together an entire grunge outfit, and then shooting it immediately following our shopping trip. It combines three things I love dearly: photography, grunge fashion, and thrift store shopping. This was the first attempt and I couldn't be more pleased with the results.

Meet Mia. She's a wonderfully versatile model with a bubbly personality. We spent about 45 minutes shopping together. We started in the outwear section. My hope was to create an ensemble around a statement piece. Not long into our search, I found an amazing black puffer coat with a shiny trash bag-esque finish and zippers on zippers. It was exactly the statement I wanted to make. Now armed with my cornerstone, I continued the search and found this burgundy velvet maxi skirt. A puffer coat and a 90's skirt together? Hell yes. It was love at first sight - truly a match made in grunge heaven.

My model arrived wearing a fun graphic tank and layering flannel - both of which had been purchased during her own thrift store excursions. They were already so perfect and fit with my theme so we kept them for the shoot. We topped everything off with this neat purple tie that Mia found chilling out in the men's section.

And just when I thought the day couldn't get any more rad, we walked behind the thrift store to find some parked semis, a dilapidated fence, and a moss stricken parking lot. The grunge gods heard my prayers and the universe provided. Everything came together perfectly and culminated into this grunge photo set. I can't wait for my next session! Check back soon for more photos as I build this series!

Visit Mia's Model Mayhem page for more of her work!


Lazy Sunday Oversized Grunge

Monday, December 12, 2016 Sam 3 Comments

Let me get real with you. I ate an ungodly amount of french toast before I shot this set. That's what Sunday is all about for me. Laziness and tasty food. This outfit was the perfect for stuffing my face with breakfast. Most of these items have been in my closet a long time which is unusual for me since I usually don't hang on to clothing for long.

The burgundy sweater was a Christmas gift from my mom four years ago. It's perfectly worn out and so so soft. I'm probably never getting rid of it. The skirt was a thrift store find from a couple summers ago. It's black and white floral print fits like a neutral into my wardrobe. Bonus: it's a maxi skirt that ins't insanely long on me which is nearly impossible to find. It's had a long standing place in my wardrobe because of it's perfect print and perfect length. The tights are so old that the knit has stretched out to give it a soft and sheer quality.

The newest item I'm wearing is the fabulous velvet patterned black creepers I'm wearing. They were a thrift store find (!!!) but are originally from TUK. You may recall I have quite the luck when it comes to finding shoes second hand. These are one of my greatest finds of all time.

I finished it all off with a barely there makeup. I must say I'm proud of that subtle contour job. Finally, I took the photos right on my patio. Voila! Lazy Sunday done right.

Shop this Look

Burgundy sweater, gifted, tag says American Eagle (similar)

Black and white floral maxi skirt, thrifted (similar)

Crystal necklace, local small business (similar)

Bird skull earrings, local small business (similar)

Black tights, old (similar)

Black velvet pattern creepers, thrifted, TUK brand (similar)


Alternative Retailer Master List

Friday, December 09, 2016 Unknown 0 Comments

Alt Shopping Retailer Master List

I've started compiling a list of online alternative retailers I've shopped at and come across in my alt fashion journey. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I plan on updating it any time I come across a new store that features alternative clothing. It's my hope that you can consult this list any time you want to update your wardrobe both to find new stores and to remember ones that may have slipped your mind!

(I am not affiliated with any of these retailers - clicking a link does not compensate me in any way)

All Saints - clothes, shoes, and accessories (pricey but worth it if you can afford it)

Asos - massive selection of clothes (including plus & petite sizes), shoes, and accessories

Asos Marketplace - secondhand clothing, shoes, and accessories - including vintage

Attitude Clothing Co. - clothes, shoes, and accessories

Beserk - clothes, shoes, accessories, home wares, and memorabilia 

Black Milk Clothing - Clothes and some accessories

BooHoo - clothes, shoes, accessories 

Buckle - clothes, shoes, and accessories

Chain Candy - clothes, shoes, accessories 

Chaser - clothes (known for graphic tees and shirts with cutouts)

Depop - secondhand clothes, shoes, accessories, art (requires app download on mobile device)

Dolls Kill - clothes, shoes, makeup, and accessories 

Drop Dead - clothes

Feminist Apparel - clothes and accessories

H&M - clothes, shoes, and accessories.

Hot Topic - clothes, band tees, shoes, accessories, and novelties

Joan Brown - clothes, accessories

Junk Food - clothes (known for graphic tees and lounge wear)

KarmaLoop - clothes, shoes, and accessories

Kate's Clothing - clothes, shoes, and accessories. (based in UK but ships internationally!)

Kill Star  - clothes and accessories

Lime Crime - makeup

LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs - makeup (they have the fucking cutest morbid packaging)

Mango - clothes, shoes, and accessories

Missguided - clothes, shoes, and accessories. 

Modcloth - large selection of clothing, shoes, accessories, and home wares (skews retro/vintage but worth checking)

Nasty Gal - clothes, shoes, and accessories

Nordstrom Rack - clothes, shoes, accessories (alt & norm, you'll have to search their inventory but worth it)

Petals and Peacocks - clothes and small selection of accessories

Rebel's Market - clothes, shoes, and accessories

Sinister Soles - shoes

Sourpuss - clothes, shoes, accessories, housewares, and novelties

Spiritual Gangster - clothes and some accessories

Swell - clothes, shoes, and accessories

TagPop - mystery vintage clothing and accessories for cheap

Threadsence - clothes and accessories

Torrid - plus size clothes, shoes, and accessories

Tripp NYC - clothes and accessories

Trunk LTD - clothes (known for graphic shirts and distressed band tees)

T.U.K - shoes

Tunnel Vision - clothes including plus sizes, some accessories and home wares, vintage section

Queen of Darkness - clothes and accessories

Unif - clothes, shoes, and accessories 

Vagabond - shoes

Valfre - clothes and accessories

Wildfang - clothes, shoes, and accessories

World of Leggings - every print, color, and style of legging ever. (they also carry plus size)

Zara - clothes, shoes, and accessories

Zumiez - clothes, shoes, accessories

Don't see one of your fave alt retailers listed? Leave a comment so I can check them out. Maybe I'll add it!


A Grunge Twist On A Nostalgic DARE Shirt

Wednesday, December 07, 2016 Unknown 6 Comments

I still remember the DARE shirt I got in fifth grade. It was gray with big red letters and it was an extra large which was simply comedic on my tiny child body. I wore the shit out of that shirt. So you can imagine that when I saw this one - but in black and with fab distressing - I had to get it immediately. It was partly for nostalgia and partly because I loved the idea of grunging it up with my leather jacket and fishnets.

The shoes are a recent thrift store find that I'm still freaking out over. I have the best used shoe luck. I think they're absolute perfection paired with knee high socks. This might be my favorite outfit for the entire year. If I had a pick a uniform to wear the rest of my life, this would be the one.

Did you have to take a resist drug and violence course in school? Was it the DARE program? Did you get a rad t-shirt? I'm especially curious what your program was called if you're outside the US!

Shop This Look

Bleached DARE shirt, WabiSabiGeneralStore on Etsy (similar)

Vintage leather jacket, thrifted (similar)

Plaid flannel shirt, thrifted (similar)

Light wash denim shorts, thrifted (similar)

Fishnet tights, Hot Topic (exact)

Black knee high socks, Sock Dreams (exact)

Black chunky shoes, thrifted Vagabond brand (similar)