Fashion, Shoes, Uncategorized

Dressing for Events the Right Way.

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Godparents and Fashion? Yes, Please! Los Angeles. April 2016

This past weekend I was lucky(?) enough to get to attend three different events stemming from/surrounding my family’s parish/school. Despite the commonalities between these events, each one required a very different fashion approach.

The first event (last Friday night) was a parish wide gala held at a local country club. For me, any event like this (a gala!) is a chance for you to pull out all the sparkles and the glamour – very few of us regularly get the chance!

On the flip side, this is also a school and parish event with both school teachers/staff and the parish clergy in attendance. As someone who works at the school in attendance with many of my students parents, this was also a work event (in terms of thinking about coverage).

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Gala Night Fashion.

Part of why I make this note about coverage comes directly from some of the fashion choices I saw on the dance floor. We had a large contigency of school moms in barely there outfits – painted on bandage dresses, don’t-drop-the-soap hem lines, and sometimes a combination of the two. I need to add, I am not saying this to fashion or body shame anyone. I am simply thrying to point out that you should be aware of where you are and who you are with – you are always making an impression so you may as well make them count!

My choice for the evening was my little sisters old prom dress. The dress was bought from Forever 21 a few years back for about $20. I love the drama of it – the high-low hem line paired with sky high velvet platform wedges let me show some skin while the sequins and jeweled necklace added shine to the top, pulling up the eyes. The skirt oves to catch the air – again adding to dramatics – and since the dress was a little large on me, a simple black belt helped to pull in the waist.

Since the dress says so much and is so dark – great for night events – I poped some color in by adding a bold lip and a smiple double braided side ponytail. For make up, I added a little sparkle and pulled my winged eyeliner out a little bit further and bolder. In these events, it’s all about balancing.

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First Communion Fahion.

The second event was our second graders first communion last Saturday. I was working this event as an assistant photographer so as well as being event and location appropriate, my dress also had to be functional for working with the kids and positioning myself around the curch without blocking views.

My choice for this event was a Target steal – $13 on sale! – floral, salmon-based, floor length dress. Since it’s hot here in California already, I loved the cut of this dress. the thin translucent overdress is thin enough to allow movement of air while the underdress is long enough for modesty. The overdress also has slits up both sides which came in handy when having to crouch down for pictures.

For chruch, the length of the dress also offsets the sleeveless top. Also because this is a day event, I suggest keeping a frilly dress like this paired with small accessories. Paired with sime thick heeled peep-toes and a belt-clinched waist, and you are ready for summer but with the easy sophistication to either run around a music festival – this was one mothers take on the outfit (besides that she loved it) – a picnic or, like me, a first communion.

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Baptism Fashion.

The third event was my niece’s baptism where I served as Godmother(!). Because Mags was all in white (of course) I wanted a bright bress for her to pop against. For Gilmore Girls fans, yes, I asked if a baby went with the dress before choosing it that morning.

This was another Target find – not on sale this time – that I paid $22 for.

I love the dresses high neck line and the pop of surrles aroung the sleeves. For Easter, I wore a much bigger necklace, but for this event I kept a shiny but simple silver necklace to pull the eyes up but that wouldn’t get in the way of the little one snuggling in.

Again, this was a day event so I made sure the makeup and hair stayed simple, with added day-time details like a floral cinch-belt and peeptoe heals (which switched to braided sandals for the afterparty). Add in some after-church shades and you are all kinds of set.

That’s it!

I’ve already talked about my other big social dress up days (look up my boat party post) which covers a very different kind of social event and setting.

So, here’s my sum up: look for appropriateness based on the who(s) and the where(s) of your event, pay attention to balance for your details as well as in your color palette, and (a big one for me) as much as you may want to spend money on an outfit because you have an excuse, you don’t have to spend much to make something work for you!

  • Taylor Gallagher
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Fashion, Shoes

I’ll wear you to death:

A shoe lover’s story.

Old boots on the left and New on the right.

Old boots on the left and New on the right.

Hi, my name is Taylor and I fully admit to having a shopaholic personality.

Yes, I love to shop—after months of living in London, I went to an actual mall a few weeks back to help a friend shop (I didn’t even buy anything!) and simply walking around was inspiring new outfit ideas and made me feel a little closer to home.

What can I say, I’m a valley girl at heart.

Despite this disposition, I have trained myself not only to not mindlessly consume, but consume only the basics I really need (undergarments, tee-shirts, jeans, ect) and things that I absolutely love.

Unfortunately, this means that I have a habit of wearing things to death—sometimes past this point.

Nowhere has this been more evident that in my recently departed studded biker boots purchased from Target about two and a half year (YEARS!) back.

These were honestly the perfect shoe.

They were black leather (probably not real but…) with buckles and studs. They gave a fun jingle like cowboy spurs which made me smile as I walked. They cut an inch below my calf—higher than a bootie lower than my wide calves which defy a high boot—and had a loose top which didn’t cause issues when my jeans inevitably bunched within them. They were light weight and perfectly broken in after only a few wears. They were perfectly happy to trudge through all kinds of weather, all types of roads and all kinds distances. And, they cost less than 25 dollars.

Like I said, the perfect boot.

However, over the last two or three months of constant wear, these beautiful lovelies have become more super glue than boot. They’ve taken on water, rocks nestled in the holes in the heels, and at long last, I can not only stick my hand from one side of the boot (between the fabric and the rubber sole) to the other but tug pass my sock along the way.

So yes, I’m sitting here in Austria and I know it’s time (my mother’s laughter at the shoes pathetic state helped a bit as well…).

Hence this little tribute which says goodbye to the little shoes that could (seriously these shoes hiked miles and at least a year past their expiration date) and hello to the up priced boots that will hopefully live up to them.

Sailing in from Portugal with a price tag (on sale) for triple the price, these boots may not have all the studs, history, or pant-bunching space, but with a sturdy build and exciting visual texture, I’m hopeful for a new favorite!

So (a very fond) farewell to the old and many hellos to the new, this shopaholic has found her shoes.

–Taylor Gallagher

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Fashion, Shoes

Fancy-Dress Bowling Style…

…and a little more on the boat party that wasn’t. So as promised on Tuesday and the epic tale of the missed boat adventures, here is outfit that launched a million(alright not quite…) smiles and strange looks across London (if you missed the full story, check out When you miss the boat…). A few posts back I wrote up a review on the shopping site Chicwish, mainly focused on the two tulle skirts I was pumped about ordering. Well, they not only came in quickly but they are just as much fun as I hoped they would be. And, yes, I am actually wearing both of these skirts in the picture!

Boat party dress... or not. London, England. May 2015.

Boat party dress… or not. London, England. May 2015.

I absolutely adore this Amore tulle skirt because it is so versatile—a feature you wouldn’t expect from a tulle skirt! Most of this versatility comes from the skirts construction: two layers of tulle over the darker base lining all cut in a basic A-line pattern which means that while this skirt has some natural volume, for the most part it lies flat. This means that wearing this to work, on the tube, around the city is just as easy and space consuming as any other skirt you could pick to wear—bigger skirts, for example, can make sitting down a major pain! When you are planning on making a party sized fashion statement, however, a bigger skirt may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Which brings us to my lovely Lavender mini. While this piece is a little less versatile for me—I am personally not a miniskirt at the office girl!—it does a great job double tasking as a beautiful weekend choice and a great substitute for a petticoat when worn at the hips. So yes, two skirts helped me make the above outfit totaling at about £50—£26 and £24 respectfully—which isn’t bad considering I didn’t have to construct them myself and taking Stacy and Clinton (What Not to Wear)’s ‘cost per wear’ into account. Still, with that kind of price tag, keeping the rest of your outfit on the cheaper side is always a good thing, if you can’t simply use what you have on hand, that is.

My Rory Gilmore styled go bag. London, Engalnd. May, 2015

My Rory Gilmore styled go bag. London, England. May, 2015

I got the black crop top (here’s a great design they didn’t have at my store but would be a great substitute!), belt, and hair flower at H&M which totaled out at less than £12. When it comes to your top, H&M and most other stores have different cuts, materials, and colors to choose from. For this look, it was important to get something that hugged my curves to offset the fullness of the skirt, in a complementary neutral color—black was perfect with the black belt and unlike a pale pink which would have matched the tulle nicely, black doesn’t show dirt or sweat from running around all night like a light shirt would have—and in a simple material that wouldn’t compete with the tulle—there are a lot of cute lace and knit tops but unless you are willing to pay loads for quality, they’ll probably just clash!

Devils in the Details. London, England. May, 2015.

Devils in the Details. London, England. May, 2015.

The rest of my outfit from heels and flats (both Target—the heels are from Massimo and cost me $15 last summer, look interchangeable with a variety of designer/boutique shoes still being sold but for at least double that price, and are very easy to run around in!) and jewelry I happened to have on hand but to get this look, just throw on what makes you comfortable and a (shiny) costume necklace that looks elegant, simple and brings attention up to your face. I top this off with an easy and fresh faced makeup design with rose-gold to bronze smokey eye with an exaggerated winged liner. To glam this up further, I lined my lower lashes, the inner corners of my eyes and just under the winged edge of the liner using the same shimmering gold ELF eye-shadow pencil I used for the gold part of the rose-gold lids. Because of the attention to my eyes, I kept the rest of my face simple forgoing any heavy concealer for a nice oil free face lotion—tinted BB Cream works just as well—and coral lipstick and blush blended with a touch of bronzer as a slight cheekbone contour. Another great makeup style for this look—which I’ll be doing next time—is to go full 50s style with a neural smokey eye, keeping the exaggerated cat eye, and a bold red lipstick (just be sure to either buy a brand that stays, fades well, or be willing to reapply throughout your night out!). Pair this with a leather moto-jacket rather than a cardigan, and you’ll make quite the statement! One last thing that I have to say about this outfit (or others like it) is that if you decide to go out on the town in it—even if you aren’t running across bridges and flashing tourists you pj shorts—be ready to draw attention to yourself. While the club boys trying to chat me up while I was trying to drink my cider and sing along to my girl T-Swift, even those who said truly nice things about the outfit before getting creepy, were a bigger pain than I needed, it was the people on the streets both during the day and walking home that made the outfit for me. From little girls with wide eyes to the security guards with their slight nods and small smiles I passed in the slight drizzle of late night London, knowing you look a little like a princess in the land of miniskirts is kind of a fun feeling. And no judgement on miniskirts—sometimes being a princess is just more fun!

–Taylor Gallagher

P.S. For inquiring minds, Cal’s excuse for forgetting to get me was something about a curling iron and other disasters which I didn’t fully understand during my Tuesday post. Apparently—from other reliable sources—there was a ripped dress incident and a last minute hair curler replacement errand which caused quiet the fuss—ie the disasters—but Cal really was fixing his hair and curls before he got distracted by everything else—the boy was lending girls HIS hairspray before they left. Nothing wrong with a man caring enough to put the effort in, but the explanation of all the disasters felt like a story worth sharing!

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Fashion, Shoes

A Quick Check in…

This post is a quick plug to let you all know what’s going on.

I’ve been working like crazy but tomorrow night I’ll be heading out to a concert by “The Darling Buds”–they don’t have anything too official out yet but look them up on YouTube if you’re a fan of music-making Brit boys!

FullSizeRender (3)Because of the timing of it and me not wanting to wait almost a whole week to review, I’ll be posting up a review about the night by Sunday evening and then be back on schedule with a few Fashion Fridays the following weeks.

FullSizeRenderSo there you have it!

And for one #FashionFriday sneak peak at planning for a Satifying Saturday, How about some Sequins and Spikes, Sparkle and Studs?

Have a great weeknd; I know I will.

–Taylor Gallagher

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Fashion, Shoes

One heel of a pain

I apologize for the pun, but I have to make this quick but I have to run out the door soon for my final stop of reading week.

When packing last week I mentioned boots as a great option believing that there was going to be rain. What I forgot to mention was always pack shoes you would swear your life on will not kill your feet and don’t just research the weather but the area you’ll be covering as well.

As it turns out, Paris and Lyon, while beautiful cities, have another thing in common besides the country they are situated in: HILLS!! (and not little ones…)

While I knew my boots would hold up better than most my other shoes walking around as much as I do on a trip, not taking the terrain and slip factor into account, we’ll just say my feet are angry.

So, what have I learned?

No matter where you are going, pack a good pair of tennis shoes/workout shoes. there functional and are strangely trending even in the fashionable regions of the world.

Also, your feet will thank you!

–Taylor Gallagher

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London Fashion Eye: Timberland vs Dr Martins

As a recent ex-pat living in London I do a lot of walking. While this is a bit of a change from the drive everywhere attitude of living in Los Angeles, I’ve come to love the daily fashion show of street-wear I get to see walking one place or the other—it’s like looking through pintrest but in real life out there!

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Timberland Boot                Oxblood Dr Martin

One of the major patterns I’ve witnessed in these walks is the trend towards Dr Martins and Timberland style footwear. I’ve even listened in on people casually debating which of these classic work boots they were going to purchase between the classic Timberlands and a pair of oxblood Docs (the latter of which I am currently coveting). The debate rounded itself out with the purchaser flipping her hair back and exclaiming “You’re right; I’m a Timberland girl at heart.”

While I fall heavily on the Docs side of the debate, the more I see Timberlands marching around town in all its styled variations, the more I am being won over. The fact that Timberland is an American brand I’m falling for in England is an interesting coincidence and probably one of the draws keeping me with Docs. There’s also the fact that while Timberlands generally stay in there classic-variety, yellow comfort zone, Docs span a range of colors and patterned styles.

One of my favorite trends for these rough and tumble boots is pairing them with something softer. They pair perfectly with a pair of tights and a fit and flair or shift dress (with a Peter Pan collar for my styling taste), or a loose blouse tucked into a colored or patterned skinnies with a blazer and some chunky jewelry. It’s a nice balancing act of hard and soft, masculine and feminine.

Plus, in a city that rains as much as London, boys and girls alike need sturdy and cool footwear that doesn’t let out a rubber squeak with every step (sorry Wellingtons!), so getting into either style of book is sure to keep your feet dry and stylish as you navigate the fashionably inclined streets of this amazing city.

–Taylor Gallagher

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Fashion, Shoes

Pumped Up Kicks

Flats are my everyday, go-to.  They dress up a casual outfit and are versatile and easy enough to wear from the wee hours of the morning to late, late at night.

Despite my never ending love for flats, I have needed something more casual when I am, quite literally, running around during my 15 hour school and work days. Welcome to the shoe family, sneakers!

I scoured the shelves at H&M on my last shopping trip for the most stylish (and affordable!) shoes.

Snakeskin Slip-Ons – $29.99 (Not sold online)
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WHY I LOVE THEM: The neutral color scheme of snakeskin is far from overwhelming, but the texture adds depth and style to everyday outfits. I style them with my favorite jeans, worn out t-shirt and black sunnies.

Black Quilted Hi-Tops – $49.95

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WHY I LOVE THEM: Quilted leather and a gold chain add an instant cool factor to any ensemble. On a laid back weekend, pair them with leggings and an over-sized sweater. Or, dress down a suit by pairing these kicks with skinny trousers and a tailored blazer. Gold accessories are a must.

 

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