DIY Inspiration from J. Crew August 2012 Catalog

I am on so many catalog mailing lists just for the inspiration!  I love window-shopping more than anything: collecting ideas, re-mixing, thinking, “Hey, I could DIY that!”  Rather than actually shopping the products, I’m scouting for DIY inspo, and here are some ideas I’ve formulated from J. Crew’s latest catalog: (which, by the way, I always adore the styling of)

J. Crew Style Guide August 2012 (more…)

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DIY Ideas from Anthropologie November 2011 Catalog

Oh, Anthro – such a source for DIY inspiration, as always!  Though Alicia from Dismount Creative was similarly inspired by the latest catalog, I wanted to post a few more things that could be DIY’d straight out of the pages of Anthropologie’s most recent offerings.  And besides, who wants to pay $500 for a sweater?  (Or $2,175 for a box set of books, for that matter??…marked down to a mere $1400 on the website, I now note.)

Use neon fabric paint and masking tape to liven up a bland clutch with a bright stripe.

Add candy-colored lace edging to a neutral cardigan for a Jason Wu-inspired feel.

Easily DIY those boots by gluing some printed fabric onto the shafts of some vintage boots.  And the earrings?  Snake chain on french hooks, with clipped feathers hanging off the bottom.  (Use a glue-in cord end to connect the feathers to the chain.)

Pretty up a chunky cropped sweater with hand-sewn clusters of crystals.

DIY some party booties with a handful of tulle and some sparkly beads.

DIY a formed bangle with some white Polyshrink plastic, forming the curve while still warm and wearing oven mitts.

Make a bustier extra-special with the addition of velvet ribbon and gold nailheads.

Make slippers all your own by hand-sewing vintage keys or buttons onto the toes.

Dress up your favorite mocs with the addition of some pretty trims, tied in a bow.


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DIY Inspiration: Free People October 2011 Catalog

I personally love the Free People catalog – it’s always chock-full of inspiration (both styling inspiration and DIY!) and on every page emanates an ethereal, dreamy beauty.  I’m digging all the rust- and caramel colors, reminiscent of Fall foliage, and the beautiful 70’s-style textures that are just begging to be touched.  Here are a couple DIY inspirations that struck me as totally do-able this season:

Update a jacket with a printed fabric glued onto the back of it and decorated with pompons.  Add a yarn fringe trim around the edges, and more printed ribbon at the cuffs.

Break away from boring stripes by sewing in gray jersey at the sleeves.

Create a convertible coat by cutting a wool overcoat in half just below the waist, hemming each piece, and adding heavy-duty snaps to hold the whole thing together (you’ll lose about 1.5″ of length though).

Easily re-create this necklace with a scrap of leather, a rhinestone, and some wooden beads.  Looking for a fur vest?  Try P.S. I Made Thistutorial using faux fur here.

Glue bright, striped fabric over the outers and tongues of a pair of black combat boots.  Leave the toeboxes uncovered.

This dress totally reminds me of A Pair and a Spare‘s DIY Bodycon rug-dress.  Could you not use the rug fabric in different orientations to create the front of this little number, layering it on top of a black bodycon dress?  I think you could!!

Find a pretty lace crocheted doily/throw/tablecloth, and if needed cut out parts of it so the design stands out, and use it as you would fabric to create a cropped tee.  The necklace?  A piece of gold embossing metal (available at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics) lying on a sticky-foam backing with jumprings attached to it.  Anyone can do it!

Browse the full Free People October Catalog


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Saks Catalog: Beach Reading

Akris printed dress, $1990. A rarely-seen print from Akris. I love how it looks like an abstract image of some technology-related graphic.

So the Saks catalog arrived the other day (I had had a gift card to Saks a little while ago and so, when I used, it, I ended up on one of their mailing lists…which is fine with me cuz I love browsing through catalogs! It gives me ideas to make myself!) – and I wanted to share with you a couple images that have me all a-drool.

MAXMARA ruffle-front blouse, $350. These aren’t ruffles so much as origami-style pleats. I love what a fresh take this is on the standard crisp white blouse! Perhaps I’ll DIY a thrift-store find…or maybe cough up the $350 if I get desperate.;-) MAXMARA Printed pencil skirt, $475. The print is abstract and chic – and totally do-able with your own fabric paints and a brush!

Marc Jacobs Cheetah-print Trench Coat, $498, and Pointelle Cotton Top with bows, $138. Leopard is everywhere, no kidding! I love that this top uses bows over buttons (snaps) as closure detail – so sweet! (And so DIY-able!:-)

Jimmy Choo Saks Exclusive Leather Bag with Snake Metal Detail, $1295. Kind of sinister yet high-brow at the same time.

You can view (and shop, if you are so inclined!) the entire catalog online here. Whether you shop for Spring items or pieces to update your winter wardrobe (or gourmet food gifts – a new development at Saks! With mini truffle cheeseburgers, caviar, artisan chocolates, and lobster tails available), enter code HOLIDAY9 to get free shipping, and get a free gift box with red ribbon at checkout.

-Carly J. Cais

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J. Crew Reinvented: I Want to Marry this Stylist!

piling on the necklaces…

Seriously, up until Summer ’09 when I thought of J. Crew…well, what sprung to mind wasn’t “trendy” or “fashionable”…I’m sorry to say it was more like “staples” and “fusty.” (I love that word…learned it from that old Judy Blume classic Just As Long As We’re Together.) Silly old me.

what a fabulous idea: pairing old rolled-up sweats with pretty cardigan and rhinestones!

But when I received their August ’09 catalog, I literally gasped.

I wanted pretty much everything on each page.

perfect lighting and khakis punched up with multi-necklaces and bright blue…

Everything. And I am not a J. Crew person (though I did attend a college where everyone was swathed from head to toe in J.Crew for some inexplicable reason…these were the days when J. Crew was the Prince of Preppiness) but suffice it to say, I drooled over this catalog.

The photography, the redesigned “staples,” the eye candy jewelry…but more so the styling! Oh, the styling!

collegiate Russian princess layering on her jewels? Check! (All images above from

The multi-layered necklaces, ankle socks with mismatched pastels, shoe clips, flowery embellishments…

boxers layered under shorts and then cuffed onto the outside? I gotta get me some of those!

wearing a tie over a ruffled blouse? Brilliant!
and this flower necklace thing??? GORGE!

All other images found via Alice in Wonderland

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