Essential Summer Acessories from Mango


1. Color T4 Belt ($39.90) / 2. Cast4 Shoe ($59.99)

3. Fletcha Ring ($29.90) / 4. LLuna Necklace ($44.90) / 5. Fox Bracelet ($34.90) 6. Foulard Topping Scarf ($34.90) / 7. Cuba Sunglases ($34.90)

8. Barbados Sunglasses ($34.90) / 9. Pablot Bracelet ($29.90) / 10. Rodi Shoe ($154.90) / 11. Big Handbag ($59.90)

12. Anne Belt ($49.90) / 13. Maldivas Sunglasses ($34.90)

14. Kiti Handbag ($99.90) / 15. Ingles Shoes ($79.99) / 16. Rosal Scarf ($29.90) / 17.  HAITYT4 Handbag ($69.90)

Ever shopped at Mango before?

I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting an actual store but now I’m filling my virtual shopping cart as I write, delighted with my new online discovery!  Cross-body flap bags, natural-colored oxfords, chic sunglasses, patterned scarves, statement jewelry…  Every neutral accessory that’s just perfect for summer is here.  And it’s so affordable!

I think I’ve found a new go-to store for everything.  (Plus they sell incredibly chic clothing!!)

How about you?  Have you ever shopped Mango before?  Did it live up to expectations?



Array by FactoryPR and by me.

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Trend: Kaftans for Summer!

Hot And Heavy, Baby! Spring 2011 by TheAcademic ♥s Andrej Pejic! featuring flared jeans

Kaftans (or Caftans) seem to be on everyone’s mind lately as a summer staple.  Polyvore even put together an array of latest looks featuring caftans – and I’m loving the breezy, lunch-on-the-Riviera feel to them.  From Elizabeth Taylor to the Olson twins, caftans have always been a mainstay of A-listers, but now they’re most definitely on-trend for the rest of us.

From left to right: French Connection Diamond Embellished Caftan, ASOS Pleat Front Chiffon Cover Upicon, Helene Berman Oversized Flower Short Kimono Kaftan; all


How to get the look without breaking the bank:

Besides sourcing one from a lower-priced store, like, ASOS.comicon, or even Forever 21, a great alternative would by thrifting something sheer, oversized, and fabulous – and just repurposing it as a caftan.  (Adding trims or details as you desire.)  You could also sew your own in your favorite fabric with a pattern from Burdastyle.

BurdaStyle’s 07/2010 Caftan Pattern

This 07/2010 pattern an extremely simple one, easily made more modest or revealing as you may choose, and for me, the fun part would not only be choosing the fabric – but also finding my favorite trim to adorn the neckline and sleeve-openings!  You could make it as glamorous or as casual, as sheer or as opaque, as bright or as neutral a poolside cover-up as you wanted!  Speaking of cover-ups, there’s also another item that’s been playing on my mind:

Sienna Bikini, $55; Saskia Attachable Skirt, $40; Rebecca Manning.

(I know it’s not a caftan per se since it doesn’t cover the shoulders…but it’s too pretty not to mention!)  This gorgeous convertible bikini cover-up is from Rebecca Manning on FashionStake [a website that allows emerging designers to sell directly to the public by allowing them to secure orders before going to the manufacturers, paying for a full run of items, and then being stuck with excess inventory and no cash at the end of the season – which is a fantastic solution to the incredible waste in the fashion industry by over-manufacturing, and the high start-up costs to the independent designer.  Plus because the order is placed by the customer first it allows the designer to offer the item at a high discount compared to what it would retail for if it were manufactured first and then sitting on a retail shelf, waiting to be sold.  I LOVE the innovation of this site!!)

Anyway, not only is the above bikini top flattering and chic, but the “caftan” part simply attaches to the front.  Choose your favorite color for the bikini and print for the caftan skirt part.  Ingenious!

Also: how timely! is currently giving away a $920 Missoni Kaftan!

Enter to Win the Missoni Kaftan Here

(giveaway period closes in 14 hours!!)

How do you feel about caftans?  Loving them?  Or too “Golden Girls” for your taste?

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Leave Comment Q&A Marathon: How Do I Make…This??

So I’ve received a lot of questions in my account asking “How do I make this? with a link to a photo.  Here are my quick analyses of the hotw-tos (and please everyone, chime in in the comments if you’re struck with another way to make these items!):

Hi! How do you sew something like this: or this?

I see lace dresses are on your mind!

The first one doesn’t even look like it is a dress – the edges look completely unsewn and it appears like the person wearing it just added a belt and let the edges flap in the wind.;-)  You could possibly re-create this garment with a piece of lace about a yard or so wide, and literally cut a hole in the center for your neck – and wear half the fabric in the front and half in the back!!  (If it were me, I would allow the sleeves to drape to about the waist, and then sew the skirt part since I wouldn’t be comfortable walking around in a dress that’s kind of like an open toga at the sides…)

The second dress is just a typical tank-style dress; it’s very hard to see the detail on it but it looks like the top has crochet edging along the armscyes and bust; it’s fully lined; and the bottom appears to be gathered tiers of lace.  There may even be little lace rosettes dotted on the bottom tiers but it’s a little hard to tell.  SecretLifeofaBioNerd shared a video on Threadbanger on how to make a sweet lace dress; simply adopt her method for making the skirt (but add a couple more tiers instead of just the one she has), hand-sew the rosettes on there if you like (sourced from the bridal area of your local fabric/notions store), cut and sew a tanktop-style top, and add a crochet applique to the neck area.  Speaking of crochet…

How do you sew this? Is there a way of cutting the crochet part without it unravelling? Someone told me that if I cut rib knit, it frays, is that true?

Are you trying to re-create this from scratch or are you trying to alter the piece that you have?  If you’re trying to make this from scratch, you will either have to crochet the top embellishment yourself, rip it off of a dress or shirt that already exists, or buy a bridal or crochet applique from the fabric store to use for your piece.  I’ve never seen crochet embellishment like that come on a roll like fabric does; I don’t think you can just go to the fabric store and get a yard of it cut for you to use.  The crochet embellishment would have been made-to-order by the manufacturer’s and even if you can find a big piece; cutting it down to fit the size of your top would just cause the whole thing to unravel (unless you really know what you are doing and snip certain threads and tie them off together etc. as you go…you can certainly try but something like that poses a problem even for experienced crocheters and knitters, so I wouldn’t really recommend it if you can avoid it at all).

Rib knit is an entirely different thing than this crochet piece…if you’re talking about your standard cotton or spandex interlock rib-knit, then it will only fray to the extend that cotton or spandex knit fabric does.  Repeated stretching will cause it to fray more.  In using rib knit, as with any knit, you need to overlock the raw edges to prevent fray and wear and tear.  You can cut it no problem but it will have to be finished if you’re planning on using it in something wearable (especially if that something is washable too!)  But it doesn’t really unravel like crochet or a knitted sweater…unless you find a loose weft thread and yank on it…

If you’re trying to alter this piece that you already have, again, don’t cut the crochet part if you want to retain it at all; just sew on top of it/through it.  (You can add darts or gathers to take up the extra fabric to alter it smaller…to make it bigger I don’t think it’s possible without cutting the crochet, which will have you running into the previous problem.

Hey could you do a tutorial on how to make this kind of structure?

Ohmygoodness.  Okay, that piece is a huge amount of work.  Not to say that it can’t be done, but if you can buy off-the-rack from American Apparel (still available here BTW!), it will probably be cheaper than all your time and effort going into it.  But if you really want to make a top like that…

Find a rose-embellished mesh fabric and make a basic shirt out of it!!  High-end fabric stores and stores that cater to designers may have exactly this type of fabric, which you can buy in however many yards you need, and then make your shirt out of it.  I did find it online here, but the price is not listed so you’d have to call the company to find out more…and even if you can’t find the fabric as yardage you might be able to re-appropriate something.

I saw this photo on Cruel*Thing of a DIY rose-embellished skirt…made from a pillowcase!  Which is a fabulous idea made even more fabulous by the beautiful pillowcase Diana used.  Bravo!

Do an Ebay search and there’s usually some similar pillowcases available, which you can cut up and use for your shirt.

And if you really want to make every single one of those fabric roses yourself…There’s a great tutorial on Cut Out + Keep, submitted by one of my fave DIY’ers Stacie G. from Stars for Streetlights on making a Fendi-style rose dress, which you can adapt for making a shirt like this.  The shirt you want to make uses flat chiffon cording to make those roses – if you check out the trims section of your local fabric store, you can probably find this similar flat trim.

Good luck!



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DIY Fringed Gladiator Sandals: Create Couture Challenge

Yes, another project I submitted for Style Sample Magazine and New York Design Shop’s Create Couture Challenge back in early August.  I’ll get all of these posted if it kills me!!!

You Need:

*Mocha Suedette Fringe
*Mini Gold Pyramid Studs
*Large Gold Pyramid Studs

Additional Tools/Materials:

*faux suede or leather strappy sandals (American Eagle Tomahawk Beaded Sandals from Payless)
*leather glue
*awl (optional)
*moleskin (optional)

[prep: remove any embellishments from shoes first]
How to:

1. Push studs into the straps of the shoes, using pliers to bend the prongs over on the underside.  If you have trouble pushing the studs through the shoe material, an awl can be helpful to punch holes first.  You can also use small pieces of moleskin on the inside of the shoes if any prongs scratch your feet when you are wearing them.

2. Measure length of fringe needed by wrapping it around top of sandals.  Cut.

3. Apply a thin strip of leather glue to the tops of the sandals, and press the fringe into it.  Allow to dry.

And that’s it!

Gladiatrix, boho, SoCal…however you say it, these sandals are FAB!


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Summer Hair Styling Tips

vivi magazine
Add a brooch to a folded wide scarf for a headband-look.  (Fold scarf into about 3″ wide to replicate this.)

I know you guys are probably completely sick of my going on and on about my favorite magazine Vivi, but I thought this particular editorial on styling with hair accessories was really useful.  With summer here I’m suffering from bad hair day after bad hair day (what with the hot, dry Oregon summer and me growing my hair out n all) – so hair accessories for me a MUST to induce a little bit of chic-ness into my outfit when everything on my head has fallen flat.

So here you go – I made these extra big so you can click on them and enlarge to see the how-to.  Hope this is helpful and gives you some styling ideas!

vivi magazine
Bohemian-style hair: using an elasticized headband and a flower headband.

vivi magazine

Using scarves: 1) Regular Bow (uses 30″ square scarf) and Big Bow (uses 69″ long scarf) , 2) Petite Ponytail Scarf (uses 19″ square scarf), 3) Turban (uses 63″ long scarf)

from Vivi Magazine August issue


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