It’s Fall, y’all. Part Two: Cookies and Crafts.

Scratch that.

It doesn’t feel like fall at all.

It feels like icemageddon played ding dong ditch at my home in North Texas.

Technically, winter begins December 21st a the start of winter solstice; however, this year it showed up a little too early to a party that it was never invited to in the first place.

Global Warming? Where you at?

Here are some yummy goodies to help you finish fall strong and bring you right into the Christmas spirit!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.

pumpkin cream cheese muffin

  • Filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Muffins
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Streusel Topping
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter

Prepare filling by beating together all ingredients. Freeze for at least 1 hour.

Line 18 muffin cups with paper baking cups or grease and flour the muffin cups. Heat oven to 375°.

Muffins: In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, combine the 2 2/3 cups of flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add eggs, pumpkin, vegetable oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until well blended.

Streusel Topping: In a small bowl, combine the 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and butter. Work together with a fork or fingers. Set aside.

Fill muffin cups about one-third full with the muffin batter, then put about 1 tablespoon of frozen cream cheese mixture in the center of each. Top with about 1 more tablespoon of the pumpkin batter, or until cups are about 3/4 full. Make sure all of the cream cheese is covered. Sprinkle each muffin with a little of the streusel topping. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, until firm.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese filling and Chocolate Ganache. *I know this is a terrible picture but it was all I had left*

cake

  • Pumpkin Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, being sure to scrape down the edges after adding each egg. Beat in the vanilla.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice. Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once mixed, turn the mixer off and gently fold in the pumpkin puree.
Scoop batter equally into the cake pans and level with a knife. Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes. Gently remove the cake from the pans and place on a cooling rack.
Make the cream cheese frosting filling by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the powered sugar and mix until a stiff but spreadable mixture forms.
Place one of the cakes bottom side up on a cake stand. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top. Place the other cake, top side up, on top of the frosting.
Make the ganache right before you are ready to use it, by heating the heavy cream in a saucepan just until simmering. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl you can easily pour from (I used my 4 cup measuring cup). Pour the hot cream over the top. Make sure all of the chocolate is submerged in the cream. Let stand for two minutes.
Gently whisk the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate has melted and the mixture has a glossy look to it.
Carefully, and working from the center outward, pour the chocolate ganache over the cake. The ganache will be thick, you can use a knife to spread it around. Do this quickly before the ganache hardens.
After ganache hardens, about 15 minutes you can slice and serve the cake.
Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to allow the cake to come to room temperature.

Dark Chocolate Popovers and Cinnamon Whipped Cream.

popover

  • Popovers
  • 4 tablespoons butter, browned
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk, slightly warm in temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped and tossed in a bit of flour
  • whipped cream
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush a popover pan (muffin pan or deep mini cake pans work well too) with 2 tablespoons of the browned butter.

Add the eggs to a blender and puree until combined. Add in the warmed milk, the vanilla, remaining butter, flour and salt, blending until the batter is combined.

Place the pan in the oven and heat it for 5 minutes. Remove it from the oven and pour the popover batter in the pan, filling the tins 3/4 of the way full. Add half of the chopped chocolate to the tins. Bake for 25 minutes and do not open the oven!

Once the popovers are finished, remove them from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate. Let cool slightly before serving with whipped cream.

whipped cream
Add the heavy cream to the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until peaks form and the whipped cream is thick. Beat in the sugar and vanilla extract. I added 1 TSP of cinnamon and used it in Mexican hot chocolate, as well as with my popovers. It was delicious. I plan on making it again using real strawberries. The possibilities are endless! Refrigerate any leftovers.

Turkey Wild Rice Soup.

turkey wild rice soup

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked, cubed turkey breast
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add carrot, celery, onion, green onion, rosemary, thyme, pepper and garlic. Sauté about 8 minutes or until browned.Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Stir in turkey and rice; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes or until rice is tender (15-20 minutes if using quick cooking rice).

Combine flour and milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until there are no lumps. Add to soup and stir well.

Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently. Season with salt, to taste.

As I have been iced in since Thursday night, I’ve had ample time for crafting. These things are so cute and make great gifts.

Mugs.

mugs

Find a mug you like- I bought mine at Target and choose your medium. I did one with sharpie and the other with sharpie paint. If you choose paint, a little goes a long way.  If you use too much, it will bubble when you cook it.

Bake the mug for 30 minutes at 350. Hand wash to ensure design will be maintained. You can wash it in the dish washer, but the design might not last as long.

Celtic Knot headband.

headband

Literally all I had to do was watch this video. I chose to make mine with grey polar fleece. I LOVE the way it turned out.

Pine Cones.

pine cone garland

cotton and pine cones

I love pine cones any time of year, but Christmas pine cones are the best because they’re scented with cinnamon. I hot glued some onto twine and hung it in my cube at work. Now my desk is winter wonderland. I also paired some with cotton in a vase, for a chic-southern look.

Bow Ties.

merry christmas bowtieChristmas bow tie

Bow ties are my favorite thing to make, so I love incorporating them into Christmas decorations and giving them as gifts.

Painting.

Fall deer and pumpkintoesIt may be time to move from pumpkins to peppermints, but glitter deer heads are always in style. I simply got a wooden piece and glued it to to a canvas, painted, and glittered. Christmas nails are also a must. I always love O.P.I. and Essie, but my newest obsession is Julep.

May your Christmas season be filled with JOY!

JOY

It’s Fall, y’all. Part One: Sweaters and Scarves.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I’m all for summer fun. I love the freckles, and crop tops, and the seemingly never ending nights.

But, I also love sweaters, and football, and warming up by a crackling fire.  God really knew what he was doing when he created the seasons…they creep up just in time…rewarding you with a change in weather, wardrobe, and flavors.

Texas fall can sometimes be hard, wardrobe wise. Our weather is somewhat bi polar. It can be 80 degrees one day and fall to below 50 degrees the next. (I remember wearing shorts in December last year).

Here’s what I’ve been doing to transition my wardrobe into fall and keep me from suffocating myself due to poor choice in clothing:

Pair a sweater with a skirt you’d usually wear leggings with. 

FAll 1 outfit

This gives you room to “breath” and not overheat! This chunky cable knit sweater with elbow patches I bought from here. The mini is a tweed fabric with buttons that’s from here circa 2007. Does that make it vintage? I skipped the usual tights and paired it with my favorite pair of oxfords. With a high of 80 and a low of 50, this outfit was the perfect combination for Fall in Texas.

Think Thin.

fall 12 outfitWhen shopping for fall clothing, buy thin. This lets allows you to get more versatility, because you can always layer it with boots or a scarf to provide more warmth. This is another great sweater from here, paired with my all time favorite pair of pants from my all time favorite store. (I have them in multiple colors and am not ashamed!)  My shoes are my favorite buy this fall- suede wedge booties. I found them accidentally here.

Mo Shoes, Mo Problems Less Problems.

fall shoes

*Not pictured, my fabulous Uggs, that are definitely my favorite Winter shoe! But really, shoes can make or break your outfit and boots can help you create an effortless fall look. Pair them with jeans, skirts, or dresses. They are no rules- you can even throw in a contrasting tall sock! (Pictured from left to right, Marshall’s, Indigo by Clarks, Frye, Olsenboye, Nine West, Gianni Bini, Nine West).

Now you have no excuse but to look the season. Excuse me, but I think my pumpkin hot chocolate is ready…See you next time for part two: Cookies and Crafts!

Are you trendy or trendless?

Cold weather has finally hit Texas (for this week at least), so you can definitely find me sporting my favorite winter-weather shoes: Ugg Boots. You may tell me that they’re too UGGly to function, but at the end of the day, whose feet are warmer? …That’s what I thought. Mine are.  As I was pulling them on this brisk morning, I began to think about when Uggs became mainstream and a necessity to people other than those in harsh weather climates.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Kate Hudson starred in Raising Helen in 2004 and was seen sporting snow boots. As soon as I saw her, I knew I had to have some. Of course, I didn’t get the real thing…I bought the department store brand, because that was all my 13 year old budget could afford.

Now days,  I still sport snow boots- but I own the real kind and it’s  not because I’m still yearning to be like Kate Hudson. I wear them simply because I want to. This summer I was wearing  a headband around my head, kind of hippy-esque. A man pointed to my brow and said “Is that in or something?” I was taken aback a bit, but I replied “uhh, I mean I kind of just wear it because I want to. I wouldn’t deem it in or out of style.”

That exact statement is the problem that American retailers are facing: America is so high tech and eager for the next best thing, that trends are here today and gone tomorrow, and quite frankly, some just don’t care anymore. Don’t believe me? Read what the New York Times has to say about it…

This fall I went cool hunting in Austin, Texas. I was given the task of spotting emerging trends before they become mainstream. I would take some paparazzi pics, but most of the time I would ask permission. People would often respond to my request in surprised tones, asking if they were indeed trendy. This is definitely proof that people are doing more of what they want and less of what magazines or celebrities tell them to do.

This is partially technology’s fault. There’s so much information readily available, which causes trend run times to be shorter and shorter. People often overlook certain trends, because they know they’re not worth it. Not only will technology and American greed for speed affect trends of the future, but it will also affect jobs in the apparel industry. Fashion, color, and trend forecaststing play a large role in the market, and to watch them grow to be inessential would be heartbreaking.  Americans wanted cheaper products, which led us to import more and make less. This is what caused the garment district in New York to go almost nonexistent and I pray this does not occur with these positions.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I hate trends, nor am I saying that in the near future we won’t have any; I’m just saying that as of now, America is leaning more towards doing what they want instead of buying that nude lipstick because InStyle said to. Don’t think that this post was written because I feel like I am above fashion trends and I snub my nose at them all.  I do follow some trend forecasting  and cool hunting companies because I like to be kept in the loop with the fashion industry.  But, then again, that’s part of my job…to be in the know of what is incoming and what is outgoing. On that note, I better go clean out my closet…there are some things in there that are definitely out…

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m a bow tie kind of girl.

We all know that bow ties are in right now- whether you’re a fratstar or a hipster, they look good. But what about for girls?

If you have read my previous posts, you know how I feel about menswear. For those who are new, I LOVE menswear. I seriously could dress guys all day long and be content… J. Crew, will you take me?

It's a Tux-y Subject :  wedding brooklyn menswear Untitled 1 Untitled-1

Anyway, another point I’ve made is how I like to wear mens clothing such as shirts or cardigans. An androgynous look with a feminine twist is very in right now. One accessory that is gaining wide spread popularity for women to wear is the bow tie. This summer when I was working for JC Penney, there were a couple of girls who came in and they were shopping for bow ties for themselves! At that point, I knew I was not alone in my love for the accessory!

One of my favorite things to sew for Southern Elle are bow ties. I got so jealous that I started making them and wearing them as headbands. My sister looks adorable rocking this maroon star bow tie headband. I have a tendency to buy fabrics that are pretty and then figure out what I’d like to do with them. I fell in love with a brown cotton blend with white polka dots and decided to make a bow tie out of it…for myself.  I love the way it looks with the chambray shirt. I’ll definitely be wearing it again. But don’t my word for the trend…Check out the Ralph Lauren ad below. She makes bow ties look phenomenal. Also, one of my favorite American made brand is Kiel James Patrick. He is coming out with a new collection of bow tie bracelets. I’m in heaven.

If the bow tie is a little too boyish for you, then try a similar idea with a scarf!

If scarves are still to big for you, then rock a lady tie! They are basically necklaces for your shirt.

Womens Neck Tie - White & Black Zig Zag - Art Deco

This trend may be new for some, but in reality, it’s only resurfacing. We saw this hit in 2009, but the masses are just now picking it up. That shouldn’t surprise you though, because when a new idea occurs we are usually slow to adapt.

TIE-STYLE

Whether it’s for a costume or to show your trendy side,  rock a bow tie and you can’t go wrong.

p.s. Check out my latest Style post for Fleur Ibis!

p.p.s. I graduate in 40 days. Thank you Shutterfly.

The Politics of Fashion.

If you hadn’t noticed, the presidential election is going on.

Silly me, how could you not notice?

The RNC and the DNC are the only things TV channels can talk about and I bet your facebook friends are posting like crazy people  about their opinions and how you should feel the same exact way.

I have my beliefs, but I don’t go posting a bunch of single minded rudeness. Even when there was the Chickfila fiasco, I didn’t post a hate statuses to stir up feisty comments. (Though yes,I support Chickfila in every way. Our country is founded on principles that were made because of persecution. Stating that a man and a woman is the true definition of marriage isn’t hating on GLBT. Chickfila is a Christian based company that is even closed on Sundays. Did you think they were going to contradict the Bible in order to please everyone? I digress…) Why can’t we all just love each other?

I’m a member of Baylor College Republicans and don’t really agree with everything Obama has done; however, I do respect the man. But, that’s a Biblical command.

1 Peter 2:13-14, 17 says  “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good…Honor everyone. Love the Brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor.”

Peter is saying that by honoring the government officials, we honor God. Here’s a really good article I stumbled upon that shows you the importance of honoring Obama even if you disagree completely.  All I can say is that he is a dynamite speaker and his wife has a wonderful wardrobe…which leads me to my next point.

FASHION IN POLITICS

If you have tuned into the RNC and DNC, then you know what the FLOTUS and Ann wore to their respective conventions.

Last week in Florida, Ann Romney sported a traditional and classy Oscar de le Renta red dress from his pre-fall 2012 collection.

This ensemble was safe and sophisticated…definitely FLOTUS material.

This week,  Michelle Obama showed up in North Carolina sporting a dress made by Tracy Reese coupled with J. Crew heels.

No matter if you’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Anarchist, you have to agree that she looked stunning. This custom made dress was chosen because she hoped to relate more to the American women, as Reese’s garments retail around $350. She is known for her love of J. Crew, so it came as no surprise that she donned their suede heels. The thing that most people were gushing over most was not either of the above statement pieces. People have been ravishing over her fingernail polish. Yes, you read that correctly: fingernail polish!! It was a blue-greige tint applied through the ever popular gel manicure. The brand is Artistic Colour Gloss Soak Off Color Gel in “Vogue”  If you can’t afford that type of manicure, then give these a try OPI I Don’t Give A Rotterdam or Essie Boxer Shorts for a cheaper yet chic look. Don’t like these colors, but still love Obama? His campaign is selling nail polish… think I’m kidding?  Think again.

essie Nail Color Yogaga Collection.Opens in a new windowThough Michelle’s outfit is getting a lot of buzz, I’m not sure if it was DNC worthy. I’m a bit of a traditionalist, so though I like it, I wouldn’t have worn it on the night she did. For a First Lady who gets criticized for her casualness, I’m not sure I would have pushed the envelope on this special week. I mean, who wears a sweater to meet QE2? I wouldn’t… Not to mention, Oscar de la Renta has expressed hurt feelings that he doesn’t get to design for her. That’s great and all that Michelle chose to support a U.S. African American designer who is somewhat affordable; I’m all for supporting designers on the brink of stardom. If Tracy Reese wasn’t already well off by selling to stores like Anthropologie, she certainly is now! I didn’t hate the outfit, just hated that it wasn’t more first lady like.

No, I’m not against trendiness for First Ladies. I’m actually jealous of Mrs. O’s J. Crew collection, though my jealousy for her does not surpass my longing for Jackie O’s closet.  I’m all for modernizing, but I don’t think this should transfer over to fashion within politics. Let’s face it. Our leaders set the tone and trends for American fashion. We have already lost a sense of pride in what we wear, and at the rate we’re going, it’s only going to get worse. As the daughter of a Baptist deacon who still wears a suit and tie every Sunday, I have high standards. In a world where popular TV shows consist of Jersey Shore and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,  America doesn’t need any more help on the casual scene.

p.s. Oscar de la Renta, you can make me a dress ANYDAY.

There’s something trickling down…

FALL TRENDS ARE!

There are certain things that just make me smile- some call these God-Winks. I love when I see trends hit mainstream that I have seen grow from the beginning. It makes me feel like I’m in the exact field I’m supposed to be in.

So, what exactly does it mean to “trickle down” ? Basically, these trends have made their way from couture to the masses.
For example...
-neon pants: I first saw these at J. Crew last November and loved them from the get-go. I have seen them reach the mass market- they now sell them in places like American Eagle and JC Penney for 1/3 of the price they cost at J. Crew last year.
-mens statement socks: I caught on these from David Wolfe this spring and fell for the fun nature. I searched long and hard to find my dad some (and eventually did from ASOS) but now they are more available and in a wider range of colors and patterns. I just love the way a fun pair of socks peeks out from under mens trousers.
-Peplums: This blast from the past of Christian Dior’s New Look has successfully made it from couture to college kids (and others for that matter). It has been popular on dresses, skirts, and tops, but will probably start to fade out soon.
-hi-low/mullet skirts:  Jason Wu wowed the crowd with this form of skirt for Spring 2012. I made one of these for myself early spring because I couldn’t find one that I liked. Now, however they are available in all different fabrics and colors.
Fall is basically a month away (September 22)… Can you feel it in the air? Fat chance if you’re in Texas; the heat is still upon us.  Though we may not be able to feel the cool air yet, let’s look at some of the hottest trends this fall.
DENIM: If you’ve been reading my previous blog posts, you know that I’m a huge fan of denim. It goes with anything and is so classic. It’s originally a trickle up trend…Coal miners wore jeans and then the upper class wanted them too! I’m very happy this trend is being carried into the fall. (Not that I’d stop sporting it if it “went out of style”…I really just do what I want.)  The up and coming trend for denim is to be faded and ripped. I personally don’t know if I will participate, mainly because I love my dark jeans so much and I already went through my distressed denim phase. Does that make me old? Oh well, here are some looks off the runway.
PRINTS:
          –ANIMAL SKINS: This spring at FGI career day, David Wolfe said that cheetah was out- if you wore it you were either a superstar or a slut. I refuse to believe that, as I love it, even enough to have J. Crew cheetah Cafe Capris.  He said that zebra would be in, but that’s not what I think… There’s an influx of reptile print, snake more specifically. Michael Kors was one of many who participated in this trend for 2012.
      -AZTEC/NAVAJO: This print started popping up in stores as early as last winter and was all over the Dallas Market last week. From sweaters, to mini-skirts, this print is easy to wear. I purchased this Buffalo sweater and can’t wait to sport it this fall.
      –CHEVRONS: This isn’t as big as the previous two prints, but I think it will be around long enough to be considered a fad. Rachel Bilson is one of many celebs who have been seen wearing them.
DECORATIVE COLLARS: Louis Vuitton put a beautiful Peter Pan Collar necklace on the runway earlier this year and everyone else seemed to love it.  The craze is beginning to become more mainstream and will probably hit its peak this winter. Kate Spade just came out with bedazzled PPC  on blouses and they’re sure to be a hit. I worked at the Dallas Market last week and one of the most popular blouses had a lace collar! For those who can’t purchase the higher end garments, there are collar necklaces available at every price point. My friend Rachel bought her collar necklace last spring…it’s no wonder she’s a fashion major.
Coming soon:
MENSWEAR: This makes me oh so happy. There were some girls who came into JCP this summer for bowties…for themselves. I wanted to reach across the cash wrap and hug them. You’d know this if you read this post. I love when women done menswear in a chic manor. Urban Outfitters has some manikins with bowties for girls. I’m not really sure if this will hit the masses, but the menswear influence is definitely coming.
WIDE LEGGED PANTS: no, not bell bottoms- big pants all around…kind of like long gaucho pants. These are great if you can pull them off. I’m looking for a good pair, but have yet to find some. There were quite a few pairs of these at market, which inspired me to look harder to find some! I can’t wait until these Mink Pink ones are available.
New IT color: Mint has been one of my favorite colors this season and I will definitely continue wearing it, but it’s fixing to get kicked to the curb. This fall, Oxblood- a rich, deep redish hue, is going to make a scene. Basically, Oxblood is the new mint.
GATSBY: Like it or not, movies greatly influence trends. Remember when Kate Hudson wore Uggs with mini skirts in Raising Helen? That was the beginning of the snow boot being widely popular. Sadly, The Great Gatsby release has been pushed back to the Spring, but it will definitely still influence fashion; it’s trends are probably better suited for spring anyway. (pun intended) The Dallas Market theme this August was “Gatsby Goes Modern.”  It was amazing!
On that note, I’ll end with a quote from the The Great Gatsby:
“Can’t repeat the past?… Why of course you can!”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
After all, fashion is really just a repetition of what has already been done…

It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a boyfriend because…

…he would probably break up with me for stealing his clothes.

HAH. I couldn’t help but title this post  like that. It’s actually not about relationships at all.

But really.

Now I’m not referring to the “ohhh I’m your girlfriend now; let me wear you shirt to bed” type thing. I’m talking about actual garments. I have a current obsession with menswear. You can find me shopping the mens department or altering items from their section to fit my body better.

Exhibit A: I bought this American Living Chambray shirt at JC Penney’s. When I purchased it my co-workers asked who it was for. When I told them it was for me they gave me quite  funny looks.

But when I wore this outfit to work they changed their minds completely.

Exhibit B: I stumbled upon this Stafford oxford shirt at JC Penney and fell in love with the green and white striped pattern, so I had to get it. Naturally.

Again, my co-workers thought I was crazy when I got it, but when I wore it to work, they all wanted one!

Exhibit C: Last fall I purchased these Oxford Shoes and my roommates told me they looked like a grandma shoe. I told them just to wait it out because soon they’d be popular.  Of course when they popped up in J. Crew’s magazine, I happily rubbed it in their faces. These shoes are based off mens oxfords but are made for women. I love sporting them.

Exhibit D: It’s no secret: I love Mary-Kate and Ashley.   They have a line called Olsenboye at JC Penney and I always try to shop that section. I found these combat boots and thought they’d be the perfect fit for my fall wardrobe. Of course, they’re based off combat boots worn in war, typically by men.

Those are just a few examples. I would love to find a way to wear skinny ties in a girlier way, because I would make so many to wear. I’m already experimenting with making “hair ties.” Literally.

I’m not quite sure where this obsession stemmed from. I’d like to say Coco Chanel, but who knows?  One of her biggest complaints with other designers of her time was that they constricted women. She described her style very differently and it’s the way I usually feel when I sew apparel. In her own words she said:

“I make fashions women can live in, breathe in, feel comfortable in, and look young in.”