“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”
One of my biggest personal goals is to lead a more sustainable life. Rethinking. Reusing. Repurposing. A place I have really been honing in on is my closet. What do I really need? What can I rework into a new look? What can I use for something entirely different?
Because of this, I wanted to rethink this area of my blog. I don't necessarily want to encourage readers to go out and buy brand new things. Because that's not what I do. If I see something new I like, I normally ask myself, "Can I find it used or can I create it myself?" Many of my fashion posts already feature items that can't be linked because they're not new. They're deep discount or thrift shop finds that I've had for years.
I'm going to start a new series called "Outfit Imitation." The only new items you'll see featured in this series will be included in the outfits I'm copying because they inspire me! I'll visit a variety of different thrift shops to create the looks I'm after and share all of the details with you.
I can only hope that through this series others will begin looking at used clothing or the pieces they already have in a different way, finding that imitating the items we think we "NEED to have fresh of the rack" can provide the same level of satisfaction, if not more.
The first outfit I'm imitating is from my previous post about LOFT:
I love this outfit because it's very much my style. A long skirt belted at the waist with an oversize cardigan is my dream uniform for the upcoming winter months.
In one stop at the Crossroads Goodwill in Waterloo, I was able to find all of the pieces I needed to duplicate this outfit:
Here's more of a close up:
The total cost for the cardigan, belt, skirt and shoes was $15.50. If I were to purchase all of the items pictured in the LOFT photo, I would have been out around $300!
When I'm "over" this look, it will return to circulation in a thrift store for someone else to discover and love. It gives me happy feels when I think about clothing having a long life span with several different owners. It's pretty special when you think about what an important role clothing plays in how we express and feel about ourselves.
Show me what outfits are inspiring YOU. I'd love to see the thrift store gems you find to recreate your favorite looks! Tag me on Instagram (@countrywrennest) or email me at email@example.com. I'll feature any looks I'm sent on the blog within this new series!
I've seen ads for LOFT all my life, mostly in magazines. Nice stuff, but I never paid close attention. I recently visited Tanger Outlets in Williamsburg, Iowa with my aunt, Rachel, and stopped by the LOFT store. It was great!
I really loved the variety of clothing they had. Most of it would be considered professional wear, but because that's something that is hard to come by anymore, I got really excited. I always have a hard time finding structured professional clothing that doesn't look "old." I'm a young professional and want to express myself with fun colors, prints and cuts!
I also think that a lot of their pieces could go from day to night really easily. They show a lot of their items paired with jeans and it creates a really polished look.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces from their online collection:
They're slightly out of my price range, which probably explains why I haven't bought anything from them before. But, if I'm looking for a special piece, I know where I'll look. Until then, I'll just draw styling inspiration from them so I can wear my thrifted finds in new ways!
I am NOT a lipstick person, but I recently discovered I AM a lip STAIN person!
I've wanted to change up my make up routine a little bit, especially when I have evening plans. So along with new eye shadow in a Fall palette, I picked up a lip stain from CVS Pharmacy to see how I liked it. The verdict was in immediately - loved it.
The option I chose was from Wet n Wild, which is traditionally know for being a "low end" make up line. I've always loved this line because the products are inexpensive but always on trend, so if you want to try something out without making a huge commitment, their products are perfect. I would put it up against any of the more expensive brands out there, especially after trying their lip stain.
The lip stain is easy to put on, stays on my lips (and off my teeth), keeps my lips moisturized and the rich color holds all night (or day) long without reapplying.
I chose the color "Truffle in Paradise" which is a deep berry color. They had options ranging from nude to pale pink and true red to dark brown.
If you're like me - looking for a pop of color on your lips but not one hundred percent sold on lipstick - I highly recommend trying lip stain. I'm obsessed with it and plan to expand my collection!
Although I like really busy (normally floral) prints and bright colors, there are times when I love pairing classic black and white pieces.
Truly, nothing beats a tailored button-up tucked into pixie pants that fit just right. I wore this outfit to work and felt effortlessly pulled together.
The shirt was given to me, the pants are from Old Navy, and the flats are from JCPenney. All three pieces are items you can find anywhere, at anytime. If you enjoy thrifting, I can guarantee you could pull together a look similar to this at a place like Stuff Store or Goodwill.
Here's a closer look:
If you're like me and gravitate towards the "wild side" of fashion - don't forget that classic pieces of clothing exist for a reason - they are timeless examples of how to look chic at any age, during any period in time!
I really like crop tops, but I've never felt like I could pull one off. I'm too "large," too "old," etc. Blah, blah, blah.
Well you know what. I gave a crop top a test run, and I loved it!
I didn't get too crazy with it, but for me, showing any amount of my stomach (outside of wearing a swimming suit) feels risqué!
The crop top I wore was actually a t-shirt knotted on the side to create the look of a crop top. I paired it with a full skirt that hit me in a very flattering part of my stomach. And although it's technically Fall around here, I wore a pair of black sandals because it was a nice, warm day out.
I especially loved the skirt. It is a vintage skirt I bought at an estate sale in Wisconsin this past Summer. It is a light, linen material, buttons up the front, and the print is gardening themed.
If you're like me, and have been hesitant to plunge into the crop top world - join me! No matter your size, age, etc., if styled correctly, a crop top can look good on anyone. I must say, I felt pretty confident, cute, and stylish - it was totally worth the risk!
I'm a Fall girl to my core, but I'm having a hard time accepting that Summer is almost over...Summer at The Farm is the best season. I think what I'll miss most is walking around barefoot in my garden.
To lift my spirits about the inevitable end of this lovely time of year, I put on my new floral dress and had a photo shoot!
This post is for styling inspiration only - I don't have outfit details - and here's why: The dress I am wearing came from a very unexpected place...the Gift Shop where I work, Covenant Medical Center! They have special order, "boutique" style clothing, so I have no idea how to tell you where to go for it! And the booties, I've had for years. They are awful to walk in (I almost broke my ankle walking in our yard with them) but they are one pair that I just can't part with. If I remember right, they were from Target.
I love how this dress is light and easy. It's just the right length and I love the peek-a-boo cutout in the front. I usually shy away from sleeveless dresses because I am insecure about my arms, but I made an exception for this dress! I picture myself transitioning it into winter by wearing an olive green cardigan, black tights and heels with it.
Here's a close-up of the print and of the booties:
Those booties are so cute though, right?! And here's one more, with our new family member, Homer, stealing the show!
Ilana Glazer is both a fashion inspiration and girl crush of mine! There's a lot to like about her - smart, witty, original - but also, cute as a button. She seems really authentic in the way she presents herself, and since that's something I'm personally working on, I think that's what really attracts me to her.
I recently went to see the latest movie she is in, Rough Night. Overall, pretty good. Think female version of The Hangover with a slightly darker twist. Although the movie didn't necessarily "move me," I did walk away with something - some serious outfit ideas based on what Ilana's character wore. See below for some of my favorites (don't mind the facial expressions, it's hard to find quality screen grabs from movies!):
Although the outfits may seem pretty basic and casual, I liked the effortless edginess of them. Even when I'm at my most casual, I always think about being on trend. I've mimicked her style recently by pairing a grey t-shirt with (tinier than I'm usually comfortable with) black shorts and a dark grey hoodie tied around my waist - topping it all off with black Converse high tops.
I also really like her hair because it's the same as mine - super curly! When I inevitably cut my hair short in the future, I'm going to consider letting my curls fly free like hers!
Which celebrity's style are you really digging right now?
I like to stay up on the latest fashion statements - clothing and beyond. A hair trend that I haven't been able to stop thinking about lately? Undercuts. Like this one:
I've actually been obsessed with undercuts for a while. Ever since Anya Ayoung-Chee was on Project Runway in 2011, I've dreamed about having an undercut like hers:
I always tell myself that I'm too old. I can't do it because of my career. I don't know what other people will think. But because I've been so inspired by all of the cute undercuts I've seen recently, I actually think that an undercut is something I want to try!
We only live once, right? Stop dreaming, start doing? No risk, no reward? It will grow back? Fuck it? What other sayings can I tell myself about the benefits of taking a risk before I do it?
I need a little hand holding and encouragement on this one. So if you have an undercut and love it, tell me I'm making the right choice! If you've taken a haircut risk in the past and it paid off, tell me!
After a weekend of play in Chicago visiting "The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism" I was feeling very rock and roll!
I absolutely love the Stones' logo. There's something very rebellious and naughty about it. Two things that I am not, but wish I was. So wearing it on my clothes at least makes me feel like I am.
I've been into old t-shirts a lot lately - especially my husband's old t-shirts! This is one of his. I combined it with a pair of Old Navy ripped jeans I've had forever, some black flats and my new favorite accessory, a classic, navy blue bandanna.
I received several compliments on this look on our way home. It was extremely comfortable to travel in, made me feel like the punk rock city girl I am at heart, and paid homage to my guys, The Rolling Stones.
My favorite high fashion designer line is, and always will be, Alexander McQueen. I'm quite obsessed, actually. From skulls and leather to floral and lace, this line offers collections that are me in clothing form. I only wish the prices weren't absolutely insane...for a "commoner" like me, owning one of these pieces is highly unlikely, so daydreaming about them will just have to do!
A long-time favorite accessory of mine is their Knuckle Box Clutch:
Being a collector of scarves, I've also pined over their classic skull scarf:
In one of their most recent runway shows, they walked some KILLER leather jackets with floral embellishments down the runway layered over flowy, floral dresses. The contrast was absolutely stunning:
Do you remember these? Alexander McQueen introduced the Armadillo shoe - OUCH - but what a beautiful, special creation:
A few years ago they launched a line with mirrored prints and out of this world silhouettes. It started a huge retail trend (mimicking the print concept at least):
And lastly - here are a few of Alexander McQueen's most famous works. I love each piece equally. I appreciate the fantasy and the pushed limits. I love the exotic materials and whimsy feel. Every single detail is like fashion porn to me - it makes my heart race!