5 Great Reasons You Should Thrift

I love shopping at consignment and thrift stores. You never know what you’ll come across, and I’ve always managed to find real gems. Apart from feeling like you’re contributing to society by up-cycling goods that may’ve never had another chance, you’ll feel like you’re wearing unique pieces not accessible to every single person.

5 Good Reasons To Thrift Shop:

  1. Finding last season gems is always a fun find! Especially if they’re a classic piece you can style regardless of the trends.
  2. Saving Cash. Thrifting is a great way to scratch that shopping itch, and you save money by doing it.
  3. Finding pieces they don’t even sell in your country! So much win.
  4. Vintage treasures you’ll never regret finding. Think denim, skirts, boxy blouses, oversized sweaters!
  5. Amazing fur coats. They always have the best fur coats.

I recently found a light grey, slight cropped, cashmere polo neck sweater, made in Italy, for £4. You literally can’t go wrong.

Check it out here!

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Why You Should Try Unique Sweaters!

Apart from really elevating a look and giving your over style a total makeover, unique sweaters (ones with a special or different design or design element) are a timeless commodity.

Some examples:

You can dress any of these up or down depending on your situation and your wardrobe contents. I love pairing a unique sweater with a midi length pencil skirt and ankle boots. It creates a really fun, distinct look that stands out in a crowd. Dressing it down can be as easy as throwing on your favorite jeans and sneakers.

Check out my look below!

 

Into the Wild

We’ve gone and done it again. We’ve traipsed through the woods, across soggy marsh land esq situations and towards dried rocky river beds with breathtaking views  to bring you this seasons trends, looks and general attitudes, dispositions and beautiful people.

Brent (photographer and creative genius) and I started the afternoon not knowing quite sure which of our models would show up to the shoot, this is obviously a stressful situation albeit hilarious. As life goes in our small town it just so happens that our models are our friends, and to our advantage they’re all beautiful, but they also have lives and jobs and so on. We met at Brents’ office downtown and with much fear I opened the door, fully not knowing who would be there but having a vague idea and a vague hope.

My fears were stilled because Matt was there, with his beautiful wife Jess. And so, as a troupe, we traipsed out to the truck to go find our location for the shoot that day. Location this time round happened to be Whiskeytown lake, at the back end, and we ended up bouncing down some dirt roads, through trees and into the wilderness stumbling upon the most beautiful vlei you could imagine. It seemed like a little pocket of something, something special and almost magical that I cant’t quite find the words to describe. There were still fresh bear, coyote and mountain lion prints in the squishy floor of the semi dried up cove. We were legitimately in the wilderness and were expectant of an impending wild beast attack at any given moment.

We put Matt into an outfit but were soon joined by a group of native spectators. Mountain people, I think. Or so they seemed. (They were probably just local farmers but my sense for extravagance pins them as mountain folk). They watched with much amusement, whilst puffing away on their joints, as Brent handled the camera and Matt handled the smolder, I in turned handled coughing away the puffy clouds. It was hilarious. I don’t know that they’d ever seen a photo shoot, and they’d make little comments here and there as if to encourage us in our exciting endeavor.

Hunter and his crew showed up then, and as it turned out, we were doing two shoots in one that day. After Hunter and his band, Gabriel Kansas, were done with their album shoot we proceeded with Hunter and Matt. It seemed so easy to shoot them together, both the most laid back guys, no posing needed. It was natural and it was real. After taking in the beauty of that place, and after watching Paul (from Gabriel Kanses) streak around with a Minnesota flag, which was hilarious, and also deciding on next location, we packed up and met Grace on the other side of Whiskeytown. Grace is flawless. A natural beauty who doesn’t try. She just is.

Again we traipsed and hiked/slithered down the side of what I assume to be the dried lake, and came to a rocky little beach where we shot the three of them together, and again, it was perfect. Brent captured them in such an amazing way, so at ease, so peaceful. It was as if we had stumbled upon them just being there. It was such a relaxing shoot, it seemed so easy.

Our outfits were inspired by winter wear; knit norwegian sweaters, scarves, the odd fur here and there, boots, blue grass, european class and that rough but sweet woodsy feel. This seasons winter wear is inspired by cozy but chic.

And so here it is, introducing our Into the Wild shoot. Enjoy! Also check out Brent’s website bvaphoto.com/blog.

Click on the first image to open the slideshow.

The Season’s Sweater

How to wear this season’s staple without looking like a soccer mom or a carpet bag.

Finding those great knit sweaters to wear when the weather gets chilly can be tricky if you’re not sure what it is that you’re looking for. (If you live within two miles of a Forever 21, however, you have nothing to fear because everything is just so trendy, you could shop with your eyes closed and still manage to look good). When you’ve been  relegated, however, to a few department stores, consignment stores and your brother’s/dad’s/boyfriend’s/husband’s closet, the options for greatness is severely diminished. I do believe in shopping online but sometimes you just need to try stuff on. I love consignment and thrift stores because I always find some great vintage pieces that are to die for.

I love this simple cropped cashmere sweater, such a sweet little thing but paired with the pants and shoes it gives this outfit the perfect balance between edgy and classy.

There’s not really a sweater that’s so hideous that you can’t do anything with it, unless it is covered with anything sewn on, especially  bells, poinsettias, bits of leaf, or weird shapes (bar aztec). Don’t be afraid of anything with a fun pattern though. A bow on the shoulder is a great little added lux.  I always try to get a sweater in the most raw form of its material whether it’s a type of wool or cashmere or a blend of the two. Anything else that’s not natural will make you hot; your body won’t be able to breathe which turns you into a sweaty mess.

I stay away from v-neck sweaters unless it’s a cardigan or a deep-v, I can never seem to find one that sits just right on people unless it’s very chunky. I love a scoop, crew or boat neck. I feel as though those are the most flattering especially since it can be either bulky or light-weight and it always seem to sit just right.

Over-sized loose fitting sweaters are a major trend this season, especially worn with booties and  fun leather jackets, vests or a chunky scarf. When doing an over-sized sweater remember that it is bulky so keep the pants/jeans/skirts etc on the tight fitting side. Also, because it’s such a casual piece of clothing, bring balance to your over-all by wearing a dressier shoe, (not uggs, for instance, unless you are lounging around your house) and crisp, clean makeup and kept hair. You don’t want to completely look like you rolled out of your house without paying any attention to yourself whatsoever.

Below are some fun sweater ideas. Pay attention to the shape, size and the overall look. Whether it’s cropped, 3/4 sleeved, crew neck or boat neck, you could easily find any of the below styles at any store if you search a little more than usual. Remember you can always layer with blouses underneath to create some texture and layering. Don’t feel like you need to be stuck buying something in “your size”. I often will buy sweaters a few sizes bigger or smaller if I want to achieve a certain look.

Check out the looks below!

Wardrobe Essentials and the Art of the Sock.

Fellas, we’re revisiting the age old story, the one that suggests what you should have in your closet if you want to look back next year and say that the winter of 2012-2013 was your best winter yet; also, it’ll be easier for you to dress in the morning if you have a helping hand with knowing what looks good, no matter what.

First let’s start with these boys:

Jasons’ look:

Keep your vintage tee and a wool blend (either tweed or something to that effect) extra slim fit pant paired with your oldest most rugged brogue boots, it completes this outfit. The tee dresses down the pants and the boot adds that edge that it needed. Sometimes it’s nice to create variety in your look, shying away from wearing jeans every day. Mix it up a little but maintain your comfort and edge if you’d like.  He accessorized with a hat.

Calebs’ look: For a more dressy look, something more put together that’s do-able for the office (not if you’re a lawyer though, sorry…). Try a cotton blend (or wool blend if it’s real cold) button-up shirt paired with an extra slim fit chino pant in dark dark blue (or color of your choice) and a pair of oxfords or brogues. If the weather is particularly cold where you live, go ahead and wear fun patterned or solid colored socks (try something that ties in with the color of your shirt or pants). Not only will your feet stay warm, but the socks give an exciting detail. NEVER wear white socks. Leave those for the gym and other extra-curricular activities.

Which brings us to this conversation: The do’s and don’t’s of sock wearing.

DO wear fun socks with dress shoes – it’s a fun detail that tells women, your boss and all the other important people in your life that you pay attention to detail and that you care.

DON’T wear fun socks with sneakers. It’s too much.

DO wear no-show socks with your sneakers, it’s a much neater look. If you argue that your feet will get cold then you should be investing in boots. It is winter after all and you might be the fool wearing Vans in the snow. No bueno. Your toes’ll turn black and have to be chopped off which makes for an awkward story as to why you no longer have toes. Don’t be that guy.

DON’T wear gym socks (those white bunchy ones) for your every day chukka wear. But DO wear black instead. You can never go wrong with black. It doesn’t stand out like a beacon in the night hailing lost sailors and sirens. Example below!

Jason’s second look:

Simply, cozy, casual, classy. Jason wears a cable knit sweater with a cowl neck and a hat, completely casual but put-together looking. Pair this with those wool blend extra slim fit pants and boots, or jeans and chukkas, and your whole look is complete. You’re put-together but you’re still comfortable.

This sweater is great because you can also throw a tweed blazer over, or a bomber jacket, or a pea coat of some sorts. It goes with everything.

Check out the different looks below, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to try new things! You’ll be surprised at the outcome.

Finally! The Pre-Winter Campaign!

A few weeks ago we did a photo shoot that seemed more like family time than an actual photo shoot.

The photographer, Trevor Boyd, had been wanting to do something using only natural lighting while maintaining the flawless look  that a studio would bring. We spent some time looking at different locations that had great lighting and finally settled on his friend’s place who also happened to be one of the models, Caleb. It has massive windows and a perfectly white living room. After settling on a time we decided we would shoot Meeks and Caleb and hopefully find more models along the way. Little did we know that they would come off the street in the shape of friends and friends of friends that  perchance would happen to stop by.

The first unexpected model to arrive on scene was Emily, who grew up in England and was here for school. She had heard through one of Caleb’s room mates that we were doing a shoot and wanted to hang out and be a spectator. At this point we had a few of those as friends would drop in to say hi and watch the process. Trev, Allie and I took one look at her, asked her what her name was and if she was free for the afternoon. With much excited bewilderment, she shakily said yes and  was thrown immediately into position with hair, makeup and a sweater. The rest with her is history. Trev couldn’t stop gaping at her and frankly neither could I. She was flawless and her innocence only added to her beauty. We couldn’t believe our luck, that this absolutely stunning girl just stumbled through the front door, and despite her nervousness, absolutely killed it in front of the camera.

Our next visitor were Trevs’ friends Jason and Lisa who stopped by to say their farewells. The two were headed back to LA after a weekend retreat in town. Once again, gaping ensued. Trev asked Jason if he had 5 minutes, those 5 minutes turned into about 3 hours of more gaping and shooting and exclamations on how amazing he was, and how ridiculous it was that everyone looked so good together. Again, it was perfect. Lisa yelled her two cents with eyes glued to her phone and gave much feedback and ideas. We couldn’t have done it without her. Meanwhile clothes were swapped in and out, closets were raided, clothes were shared and the corner of the living room started looking a little rambunctious.

As models posed and sweated it out in heavy sweaters and makeup, pizza was ordered and soda was drunk, loud music kept our pace going and our gorgeous hair and makeup girl, Mariah, gave haircuts wherever she could find a willing head, and I was willing. The girl knows how to cut hair. The beautiful Allie ran around fetching things and dressing people, steaming clothes and making sure everyone had anything they needed. She was a godsend.

After we wrapped up the day, shooting at the lake with the sun setting, we looked back on it with whimsy. We didn’t want it to end. New friendships were formed and etched forever in our minds, were the warmest and most affectionate memories.

We decided that the only way to do photo shoots, fashion, style, life was being family. And from here on out that’s the way it’ll be.

Enjoy some of the shots taken at Calebs’ house!

(Click on the first image to open the slideshow)

Fall Cozy for Him

Fellas, not sure how to put together an outfit that doesn’t consist of a tank, shorts and boat shoes for the soon approaching chill? Here’s how to not be the guy at Thanksgiving this year still living in the Endless Summer.

When it comes to chilly weather, layering is key. The way to pull that off while still hanging on to your dignity is by paying attention to colors first, then textures (whether it’s knit, cotton, leather etc). Your outfit doesn’t necessarily have to match, it just has to “go”. Start with a tee, then throw on a vintage denim shirt, throw on a knit sweater over that (can either be chunky or not, depending on the look you’re going for. Chunky is more cozy and relaxing, the other a little classier). Finish the look with the coat of your choice.

Alternatively, you could try layering flannel under your denim shirt and a tee under that for extra texture. Accessories are an easy way to add layer as well, even if they’re just peeking out. A watch with a few bracelets is always a good look, or a beanie etc. Roll up your jeans and do fun socks with brogues, oxfords, desert boots, work boots etc and your layering 101 is complete. Try looking for shirts that have some fun to them, whether it’s an aztec pattern, a good wash, or great material. Sweaters are great for layering as well, so invest in a few different ones and your wardrobe will be much easier to work with.

Remember to try new things!

Look of the Day!

Jill’s look is a oversized flannel, layered with a slightly cropped sweater, black ripped shorts and the “party from last night” gold kitten heels.

This look is great for every day running around, keeping cozy and looking cute while doing it!

Throw on a pair of black stockings and ankle boots or flats to warm up your look.

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