This chunky and edgy necklace that I hand made is now one of my go to necklaces for a night out. I used tortoise shell beads with crystal spikes and pearls individually wire wrapped onto sturdy gold chains. I love mixing the edgy crystal spikes with the more classic pearls and gold chains. I love this necklace for dressing up a casual outfit or topping off a fancy little black dress.
Friendship bracelets bring back memories of long road trips with my family, driving through Europe visiting some of the most beautiful places on earth. To wile the hours away, my sister and I would knot our friendship bracelets, and try out fun and new designs, which we would then bestow upon our friends with much pride… This season, to my joy, friendship bracelets have been trending, both on the runway and on street–but these bracelets are the next-level-bracelets. With new textures and with added hardware, these bracelets are stacked with bangles, watches, and fine jewelry to create a slightly more casual/bohemian feel to any outfit. Below are some examples of ways that the friendship bracelet can be worn in a very grown-up way.
Making my own bracelets…. 😉
Everyone knows that French women are undeniably chic. But why? I will endeavor to show why I think they are so chic, and share some ideas of how to incorporate some French styling tips into your style.
Obviously, it all started with Coco Chanel and her revolutionary couture fashions for women. She was the first to incorporate men’s wear into women’s fashion, starting a revolution in women’s fashion. The way she mixed men’s materials and cuts with the feminine details of pearls, red lipstick and perfume was immediately attractive to everyone.
Since then, French women have always mixed the structured look of men’s wear with super feminine details, to create a simple yet powerful look. Below you see two women at a cafe wearing a masculine Pea Coat and a turtle neck, but with very feminine delicate details such as their handbags, their shoes, their hair etc.
Now we morph into the modern French woman: she is cool, classy, elegant with a hint of rock and roll edge and men’s wear as well. The epitome of this look is of course “Les Voguettes:” the editors and staff of French Vogue. They are almost always seen with skinny jeans, men’s dress shirts half tucked in, feminine pointy stilettos or kitten heels, messy rock-chic hair, and minimal makeup–although they love to sport a red lip or smoky eye. The effect is a “oh-I-just-threw-this-together” look that is simple, attractive and modern.
Although French women like to seem as if they just rolled out of bed, they also love the structure and elegance of menswear, which juxtaposes against their messy hair and untucked shirts.
Then you have your classic French girl, who wears a lot of dark monochrome outfits, which make her look tall, slender, and elegant. However, as you can see, there is still an element of messiness, which makes the look seem very natural, instead of being too prim and proper. They love to take extremely prim and proper preppy looks (such as the classic pointy black kitten heel), and wear them with an edginess and messiness, which grounds the look. You can see the girl below’s hair and makeup are quite messy, while the rest of her outfit is quite sophisticated and classic.
Here are 10 essentials in a French woman’s closet:
1.) A crisp white shirt. (I get mine in the boy’s department, because they are a fraction of the cost of women’s shirts and are just as chic.)
2.) Skinny jeans, leather pants or structured trousers. (Black, white, and indigo)
3.) A little black dress.
4.) A dark interesting pencil skirt.
5.) A trench coat.
6.) Black heels.
7.) Chic flats.
8.) Large black sunglasses.
9.) Tailored dark blazer.
10.) Silk blouse.
First I sketched a rough picture of what I wanted to make, then I went to Hobby Lobby and Joe Ann’s Fabrics to get the things I needed.
Here is a list of the materials used:
- Fresh water and fake pearls of various sizes.
- Mother of pearl shell shards.
- Various colors (cream, yellow, clear, and light pink) and shapes of crystals, both Swarovski and others.
- Silver deco beads.
- Swarovski silver and crystal rondelle spacer beads.
- A two-inch lace, a trimmer lace, and another thicker, stretchy lace that was about 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Head pins.
- Mod Podge Shiny finishing spray.
Step One: Cut two pieces of a wide lace and arrange in a V shape.
Step Two: Sew the two pieces together, and then sew in some pleats so that the necklace curves around your neck. Keep on trying it on to make sure that it fits around your neck well.
Step Three: Sew a lace trim on the inside of the necklace for an added touch.
Step Four: Sew another piece of lace on top of the wide lace–this will give more support for the hundreds of beads that we will attach later.
Step Five: Sew a chain of peals and crystals on the edge of the wide lace and onto of the trim lace. This will create a more “professional” look.
Step Six: Sew a clasp on. I got a clasp that had three rings on it which I sewed, and then reenforced with wire–this is a necessary step because the necklace will be very heavy, and so it needs the extra support, otherwise the clasp will tear off. I finished the clasp by spraying it with a finishing spray so that it won’t tarnish or rust.
Step Seven: Finally attach the beads! Put them on a head pin, trim, and bend, attaching it to the necklace. I first attached the bigger, statement beads evenly, and then added hundreds of little pearls, crystals, and mother of pearl shell shards. You can add as many or as few as you like–depending on how full you want it to be.
How to style: I paired the necklace with a strapless dress, which created the illusion of having a halter neck line. Since it is such a statement necklace, make sure to keep other accessories to a minimum. I also wear this necklace with a pair of jeans and some killer nude heels (sorry, no pics). I am planning on wearing it with a navy v-neck maxi dress for a fancy event.
I encourage you all to embrace your natural beauty, and to complement and highlight your beauty with fashion. While there is no mistaking the quality and beauty of high-end labels, the point of fashion is not to own the most expensive handbag or shoes, but to find the most beautiful items that will bring even more beauty and art to your already beautiful self. Fashion is, after all, not about the clothes, but about the way in which one wears the clothes. Embrace your individual style, and don’t stress about where the clothes come from. If you have the means to afford beautifully crafted items, don’t be afraid to splurge, if you can’t afford them, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to look, and feel, beautiful on a budget. There will be lots of tips coming soon!
Today I am wearing a beautiful dress from Target which I got for an amazing deal: $8:47!! The material is very thin and so it is perfect for sunny Florida. It is super comfortable, and perfect for day-time events, because it is bright and cheerful, but also very modest. I love how the black detailing draws the eye upwards, so if you are a pear-shape (body type) like me, having more detailing on the upper part of the body can make you look more proportionate. Also, if, like me, you have a smaller bust, the detailing on the bust will create the illusion of more volume.
I designed and made the necklace myself; using a thick industrial wire, I bent it this way and that, to create a zig-zagged collar necklace that was inspired by some of the ancient Egyptian jewelry. I created little bunches of stone beads, and wired them to the necklace. I think it turned out rather well! I call it my Pharaoh’s Daughter Necklace. 😉
The cocktail ring is by Forever 21, and goes perfectly with almost everything in my closet!
The clutch was a super fun project! My sister, Maria, bought me a cream clutch from Nine West and lots of beautiful beads, and I glued all the beads on in fun patterns. It was inspired by a Emilio Pucci clutch that was on the runway last year.
The shoes are one of my most prized possessions! My extremely generous brother-in-law and sister bought them for me. They are by Jimmy Choo, and they are a limited edition pair of the Nova shoe. The lace is by Valentino. I love how the delicate lace compliments the simple silhouette. They add glamour and elegance to any outfit, and they are surprisingly comfortable to walk in.
Since I have so many accessories and so many little details, I wanted to keep the makeup understated and fresh—also I am going to day-time events, so it needed to be day-time appropriate. Inspired by Rosy Huntington-Whitely, I created a soft natural eye with a light shimmery browny/bronzy shade, then I added a bit of pencil eyeliner and mascara. I used foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, and a highlight on the face, and ended with a bright, but still soft, coral lipstick. This took about 3-4 minutes to accomplish.
Similarly, I wanted to keep the hair simple, but since I wanted to show off my necklace (and because it is hot outside…and I didn’t have time to wash it today), I made a braid along my hairline on the side of the head, then gathered my hair into a low bun, and pinned it onto my head with some bobby pins, and ended with a dash of hair spray. This took also took about 3-4 minutes to accomplish.
Peek into a woman’s closet, and you peek into her personality, character and identity. You can tell if she likes bright colors or likes black, whether she is conservative or flamboyant, whether she is organized or messy, cheerful or morose…
So, here is a peek into my IDENTITY! As you can see, I LOVE color, I am flamboyant, and I’m (usually) pretty organized. I love bold jewelry, bold makeup, and bold clothes. I am literally such a crazy-colorful dresser that people stop me in the airport to tell me how cheerful and chic I look. 🙂 So! I want to share my tips for creating a home for your expressive side–your clothes and accessories!
Tip # 1: Organize and sort your clothes and accessories at LEAST 2 times a year. I honestly do this about 10 times a year, no joke. It really just lets you know what clothes are lurking in the shadows, and lets you be inspired by memories of times past… Sigh. You don’t have to stress yourself out by thinking, “I NEED to get rid of 4 items.” Relax. It’s clothes– not food. Since I have so many colorful clothes, I color code everything, and put like with like: i.e. put the dresses together, the t-shirts, skirts, trousers, shorts… etc. Organization is key for inspiration AND practicality.
Tip # 2: Put pretty things on display for inspiration. I hang all my jewelry on the wall, and lay out my scarves on a shelve where I can see them. If you have a killer pair of shoes that call, “I am chic,” at you, display them! Beauty is inspirational, and it can make dressing well more enjoyable, too!
Tip # 3: Keep your shoes in their boxes and stack them in a corner. If there is no picture or description of shoes are inside, write on some painter’s tape with a sharpie, and stick the tag on the front of the box. Not only will your shoes be well preserved, but your closet/room will…. smell better. I only keep a few pairs of shoes on display, and store all the rest in their boxes. It is also super easy to find which shoes you want to wear this way….
These tips are great for every-day life, but are also GREAT for when you are packing for a trip; since all my clothes are color-coordinated, it makes putting outfits together a breeze!