Fashion, Uncategorized

Personal style and what I’m craving now

When it comes to fashion and style, most people will tell you that picking one defining look and building your personal style around it is the best thing you can do – this is seen in the rise of the capsule wardrobe and the minimalist wardrobe (similar ideas but each can be realized in very different ways). While I like some of the ideas these trends produced – slimming your closet down, cutting back on what you own and therefore wasteful, useless buying, ect. – however, I don’t think I can really, truly commit to these and I don’t believe I would ever want to.

My style choices span across almost all walks of fashion – princess and casual tulle, tees and jeans, high-waist trousers and crop tops, 90’s plaid and dark lipped grunge, full on mix and matched suits (vests, ties, and jackets), to floral frocks and bohemian maxi skirts. To top it all off, I usual mix and match between these styles and switch the style quickly from day to day based on what mood I wake up in even more than what the day has in store.  While this means my wardrobe might be spilling out more than I’d like (i admit I have a LOT of clothes) there is a freedom to be able to decide between grunge, princess and pantsuit without feeling like I’ve abandoned my personal brand.

Still, even with my wide range of personal style choices, there are some trends (some older than others) that have sprung up recently or have begun to nag at me more than others but are definitely considered old loves:

1. Little white dress:

Every girl knows that somewhere in their closet is meant to be one garment: the LBD (Little Black Dress). This is the dress you can grab for any occasion and by a simple dressing up or down, you’ll be ready to go at the drop of a hat. It’s a dress that is so flattering, you know it won’t let you down – you know the cut, the material, everything because it is your perfect LBD.

A few years ago, a twist happened and so many people were showing up in show stopping Little White Dresses – they did everything the black dresses did but felt more daring because we all know the white can be a dangerous color if you’re not careful (spills, sheerness in bad lighting, hides nothing, must I go on?).

While these neutral dresses are on a more level playing field know, I’m really enjoying the thrill of the LWD especially twisted into separates (as you will see). I just bought a pleated maxi skirt and am on the hunt for the perfect white top for it. Which leads us to:

2. Evening separates

I’ll admit I was totally inspired by Rent the Runway’s Waltz Dress by Bailey 44 for a fun gala event I’m going to at the end of the month, but couldn’t help thinking, how great would that be in white (See how #1 works?). The other issue with the dress above is that it only looks like separates, while in reality there is a thin sheer netting between them – I’m not sure how this should work on all skin tones.

For me the choice was clear: take my inspiration an buy pieces that I are cheaper than renting the designer dress and that I’ll be able to wear over and over again, together or apart. This is my favorite part about all separates but especially when you are buying for occasion wear – you have so many options! At a later date, I’ll be able to down plyy a nice white maxi with a t-shirt and sandals and and pair a fun gala top (once I find one that satisfies) with cropped wide-leg trousers and converse for a funky summer look.

Speaking of which:

3. Wide leg trousers

Frankly, I don’t care which point in history you attribute the style to (the silk suit 20s, newsie and musical laden 40s, or ’10 Things I Hate About You’ styling 90s) I love and rock it all. I’ve been living in my two H&M pairs (which you can’t find online) which are longist-cropped (since I’m short legged), elastic, high-waist, light-weight trousers pretty much since I bought them. I love the movement and since they are cropped, pairing these with sandals, converse, booties or heels all work to make a fun, quirky aesthetic.

The hardest park for me is fit and it’s something to really watch out for if this a trend you are looking to try out. Frankly, like most things in the fashion world, these aren’t perfectly fitted for curvy girls. You don’t want anything tight – the material should skim the widest part of you, not cling. I had to buy a size up since my widest parts are my upper thighs but this means the waist band is loose. In the end, I like this because I can choose where the pants sit but I will be adding belt loops because of this. Remember, alterations are your friend!

4. Floral skinny ties:

I’ve seen these beauties popping up in men sections left and right and I want them all!A floral skinny tie is great fro ladies and gentlemen because they give someone of any designation a touch of pretty as well as visual interest that can brighten up a piece. For me, a skinny tie is also the way to go as a woman because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or look clownish, especially if you are petite.

The key to wearing these flashier styles is knowing how to pair your pieces. look at your background colors and keep to that tone – I’ve loved seeing a navy floral paired with a navy jacket or vest but a dark charcoal works well too, rather than a black suit which mostly makes it look like you dresses in bad light and didn’t see the navy.

If you try this trend, you’re usually going to want the tie to be the main event of the outfit – too much eyeball- drawing competition is headache inducing – but floral is one pattern that is hard to pair. That being said, if you do it right…

5. Mixing and matching patterns

Again, like the beginning of the Little White Dress, mixing and matching is a daring adventure in fashion that walks a narrow line but if you don’t mind a few experiments and some critics that will never be on your side, it can be a whole lot of fun. Personally I love watching people do daring mixes of patterns, colors and styles and there are tons of online guides that can help you start to explore without making you look like you dress in the dark (see another theme).

One of my close male friends loves mixing his plaids and always gets mixed results but nothing ever looks garish. He finds the balance by pairing like colors and sticking to subtle patterns – one plaid out of two (more that this gets daunting!) has to stay really subtle almost invisible and playing off a color within your matching set – but don’t match the plaids! This is two much.

For me, stripes are almost a neutral most often paired with a plaid but a floral of a pole-a-dot does nicely too. Again, there are tons of guides on how to do it but the main factor is, even if you have more than one pattern, nothing is competing – there is an order in subtlety that allows each to meld together into a single unified picture.

As I’ve said, my style varies and, for me, settling for one style is putting yourself in a box. Sure you may always appear camera ready but where is the fun in being that clean cut and cookie-cutter all the time?

–Taylor Gallagher


Miss Fisher and the Wide Leg Trouser.

As I’ve been running about throughout my winter break – prepping for trips, dealing with holidays, and photography trips – life has mainly been a topsy-turvy mess.

Throughout this mess, I’ve had one real constant: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. If you haven’t seen this gem (now available at least on US Netflix), I’ll give you a quick run down: set in the 1920s in Australia, an heiress with a sharp mind and a ‘better to ask forgiveness’ attitude, Miss Phryne Fisher, starts working as a private detective. Armed with a quick witted script, a pistol, the most beautiful wardrobe, a detective, constable, and riveting staff, Miss Fisher has completely stolen my heart.

Whether you love action, fashion, mysteries, romance, 1920s feminism, or just a group of great, beautiful people with pretty accents, this show has a lot to offer.

What really sealed it for me, of course, is the fashion.

I do not have the 1920s figure by any stretch of an imagination – they love sheath dresses and minimal curves while I am somewhere between an hourglass and a pear.

Still, what I love most about dear Phryne’s wardrobe is not the sparkled flapper gear, but her affinity for camisoles and wide leg trousers. This isn’t the first time I’ve fallen in love with this style; watching the cast of Anything Goes put on by the local theatre began my love affair.

These pants are all high waists and wide circumferences, so my only worry falls on unflattering pleats – not all pleats are created equal. My biggest issue right now is figuring out what will work when few walk-in stores  have these on hand. if you don’t mind online shopping, retailers such as Modcloth have quite a few options, I especially love their Haute Historian Pants.

So that’s up next on my new fashion obsessions and (hopefully) purchases, but until then, watch, love, and live stylishly.

  • Taylor Gallagher
Fashion, Uncategorized

All about the Braids:

Because we can all use a break from politics can’t we?

So as part of my household and barony in the SCA who is new but always willing to jump in, I have become the hairdresser of our group. I love fashion and details and, since braiding my own hair is possible but causes issues when I want to really innovate, I have fallen in love with working on other peoples hair for events.

As I have said, I typically work with a viking persona which involves some fun simple braids that I’m building up, but soon we will be moving to more Grecian and Roman styles which get much more complex rather quickly. Hence, Pinterst!

so both in terms of SCA and my daily life, here are some fun braided looks I am looking forward to tackling:

8e24d951436512a2bef6b2ad66e6b2d91.  I’m starting out with this easy to do Viking braid look. I love this because – minus the hair beads (which, again, I love) – this is a relatively easy style to do. It’s all about varying braid sizes  and keeping things balanced without being overly structured.

I love the smallest braids that have been woven and twisted around the non-braided strands. I have thought about creating something similar – a more Elizabethan woven hair net (think Ever After with Drew Barrymore but with a braid net!) but keeping things stringy never crossed my mind. This is definitely the next thing I will be trying the next time I am a viking at war!

266162b0a75ff760a2a13fee1f037e0f2. My second Viking braid is great for those who need to keep their hair out of their face. Unlike braid 1, this is a pulled back look which gives volume and texture with two styles but three braids to create vivid contrast. The issue with doing this myself is centered on the fishtail braid; I have never been able to really master this style on my own head so I can’s wait to work it all out on someone else’s hair. I think this can be just as successful with a regular braid down the back.

To keep up the volume in the front of the style (especially if you have strait hair that doesn’t like to stay in any style), try curing, teasing, and/or use volume/curling mouse the hair that will form your front twists. The stunning park for my is adding the french braids along the twists. To add some volume and lift from these french braids into the twists, consider doing single anchor braids – adding hair to your french braid on one side (the one farthest from the twists) which lifts the un-anchored side which can be pinned to your twist.

*But now onto the next stage of Roman/Grecian styles. These get much more complicated but I am so excited to get my hands into my friends’ hair – many have much longer hair than I have so they will give me more to work with.

45125202f7f2bcdc3dec232a3f7ab1d73. This look involves braids, curls, twists, and a broken up ponytail; with all the intricacies of this style, this is a banquet/special occasion look, not your average war hairstyle. I have fashioned a whole set of fancy pins which work perfectly for glamming up any style but are definitely suited here. In a quick tangent, these are easy to make – take some easy crafting wire and pearl beads; string the pearl on the wire twice, creating a loop for the bobby pin; twist wire around to secure and snip wire.

As I said, This look takes a lot of work but most of that is curling most of your hair – it shouldn’t matter if these are overnight or quick hot curlers. Based on the curls, expect to have to use multiple types of curlers and curl sizes. Using both curled and straight hair, the styling of these features is what really pulls the look together. I love the over and under twisting between the tight braid spiral and the loose broken up ponytail. And look really carefully! you have tiny woven braids throughout the front of the style. Finally, choose your flyaways carefully and keep it balanced!

43ef377c3fa08f11285b053cb94ae1a04. This is technically four pictures but I am focusing on the on to the top right. Each of these shots show an example of hair from this period and I think they are all worth playing with. The three I didn’t select have harder to pull off fronts – getting those roll curls to stay in place would be hell!

For the one I did pick, again this is a mix of features which is amazing – twists, braids and a low bun. I fell in love with this style from the first for two reason: 1. I love a good faux hawk and 2. there is a great simplicity here that looks complex.

Again, this look is all about volume so the same rules I gave for the second Viking braid apply here – if you do not get volume into your faux hawk, the whole look will disappear. Tease the center section as you braid, use your mouse and braid up and toward the front of your face rather than the usual back braid. I know, this will feel very odd while fashioning this hairstyle but I love a faux hawk pony tail so I am talking from experience. Since your Faux hawk is center stage here, keep yous twists balanced but down play them – don’t make your hair fight with itself!

028c0cce2fd39b477354cea02233e7065. My last pick was hard for me; I could work with a crown braid, a basic faux hawk, or a four piece braid – I love them all. In the end, I had to pick a look that technically isn’t braided but is firmly part of this new stage of persona – which I need in Southern California where it is too hot to be a Viking all the time!

Again, I love all of these ribboned looks and they are so much easier than all the braids which is a refreshing change, but I am going to focus on one in particular: B. the ribbon accented top knot. I love the positioning of the ribbon in this look and how it elevates a very simple but. There are so many times when you need to get the hair off of your neck at an event and this look is effortless and practical yet purposeful – no one can accuse you of simply not wanting to deal with your hair!

The key is to play with texture. Texture will help the ribbon stay in place naturally, though I always recommend extra security with bobby pins. if you don’t have curls or waves and can’t be bothered to do the work to make them (or you just love fancy braiding), you can create texture by making small braids – or a mix of sizes – which lead to your top knot. You can then either lay your crossed ribbon over the braids or wind it through a few for added depth.

Remember, it’s the Society for Creative Anachronism, emphasis on creative. Go play, have fun, and get braiding! Also, If you have any questions, ask me anything.

  • Taylor Gallagher
Fashion, Uncategorized

Do or Don’t: Cat Ear Headbands.

Throughout this school year – and more and more surrounding Halloween – varying designs of cat ear headbands have been popping up all over the school yard. While our old principal would never had allowed it, the current standing around school is a simple ‘if you are not distracting yourself or others, wear your headband and enjoy. Every time I see the girls running around with these headbands, I can’t help but smile; they are running around and having fun and it simple makes my day.

This week, one girl who I had complemented on her bejeweled ears suggested that I get a pair. I laughed and let her know that at 25 I wasn’t sure that was exactly in my range of acceptable headgear. Of course, she came back saying people my age – Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande – wear them and since I look young anyway, I should just do it. Now, first mentioning that I am not a famous musician, am looking for a job not at the school, and really don’t need help looking young – I will be carded forever! – I sent her out to play.

However, this has cause me to wonder: at what point so we stop wearing this kind of stuff?

Of course, the answer is changing – these eccentric additions to wardrobes of all types is growing. Each person has to choose what they can handle based on their lifestyles, career, as well as many other personal factors.

For me, I am 25 years old, regularly get mistaken for a teenager, am looking for work on a more corporate environment (like in marketing), and generally move from preppy posh to casual jeans and t-shirts.

I am kind of in love with the cat ear bowler hat that were all over the place last year but I don’t think that I’d be able to do your cat ear headband for anything other than a costume.

Still if you want to look at a few options in headbands here are a few (1, 2, 3, 4) and let me know, where do you stand on the cat headband (or cat fashion as a whole!) trend? Where do you draw the line?

  • Taylor Gallagher

Bring on the Fall!

I know, I know, I’m in Los Angeles so honestly there really aren’t any seasons worth a major wardrobe change but I absolutely love layering and all the colors that take over in the fall. Luckily, you can find many layers thin enough that you can fight the slightly cooler weather, not sweat to death, and still get all the chicness of fall’s best options.

For me, this means pulling out the yellows, browns and oranges contrasted with some navy and burgundy selections across booties, scarfs, and sweaters and textures from knits to velvet to corduroy.

Some of my biggest ‘can’t-wait-to-wear’ trends that work alongside the LA heat:

Booties, bright tights, and textured miniskirts – I love my burgundy and navy leggings but I can never figure out how to wear them in the summer without looking overdone – the next set I’m looking forward to adding is a mustard yellow pair! Throw on some booties and a short but textured skirt really plays with the focus. I love my Target-mini that has a paisley pattern on material that resembles an old couch cover – I swear it’s much cuter that I just made it sound. Top this with a light shirt and ultra light cardigan that you can bunch to your elbows and you will look balanced but not overheat.

Velvet jegging/skinnies (the kind with a proper button front), a loose and flowing  blouse, and a sleeveless jacket or blazer – I love mixing my textured skinnies which fit like a love with a slightly structured jacket and a unstructured top. Again, mixing in all your great colors and textures here is key. My sleeveless buster is a light but sturdy knit with a simple lined plaid in grey and black while my skinnies are burgundy in a lush but not shiny velvet. If you a bit colder, with about throwing a light cable knit sweater rather than a blouse. In a blouse, however, a great floral will add a great feminine touch.

Everything Plaid! – Yep, I am one of those. I’m looking forward to getting back to my ’90’s childhood roots and rocking plaid however I can. But how to do this and not look like lumberjack? well, you could totally embrace the trend but I love throwing oversize plaid shirts together with black or colored leather (nor worn out brows – too workman!) – preferably a skirt or vest. Avoid any really sturdy work boots – play with cut out or strappy booties for the feminine flair – or too much wool and you’ll be fine!

I know this is a really simple list, but think pieces when you are looking to shake up your wardrobe for fall; velvet pants, sleeveless jackets, sweaters, mini skirts, bight colorful tights, plaid staples and booties. You don’t need to change your whole wardrobe to embrace everything fall has to offer, just think about fresh ways to put items you have together that would otherwise feel like too much during spring or summer.

So if the sweater weather starts rolling in (or not!), get ready, get excited, and feel free to play!

  • Taylor Gallagher

Fall in Love with Lulus

I know, I know, I’ve been all over Pinterest this past month but this time I need to tell you about a site I have fallen in complete love with through one particular pin:

Emma Approved

Joanna Sotomura as Emma in Emma Approved

Lulus is a great shop with all kinds of great pieces for women from shoes to coats to your everyday wear. They are always running sales as well as getting a 10% discount if you sign up for email notifications. Currently, there store houses are behind schedule which means you may not get your order very quickly, however, they are giving $10 discount vouchers on your next purchase because of it.

I’m not usually one for online shopping – you can’t feel the material, you can’t see the cut on you (and unless you are exactly model sized, this can be a big difference!), you can’t try it on, and the list continues. However, there are times when I must make an exception and Lulus Royal Luxe Ivory Print Dress was one of them.

If you’ve been following along, over a year ago I talked a bit about web series and my master’s thesis which relied heavily on transmedial webseries as the main focus of my marketing theory. Well, one such literary webseries was the amazing Emma Approved by Pemberley Digital, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic Emma.

The show followed the archived footage created by Emma Woodhouse, lifestyle coach and while the story brought me back week after week so did Emma’s wardrobe. This dress was featured on the webseries and the second it popped up on Pintrest with an Emma Approved tag and a link to where I could buy it, I was sold!

(The discounts of course sold it that much quicker!)

Remember, if you are buying online, check for discounts, look at reviews (both positive and negative), check out all sizing charts given, measure twice, and look at the terms and conditions when it comes to returns and exchanges so you don;t end up stuck with a dress you will never be able to wear! What’s worse than buyers remorse? Owner’s envy (envying something in your own closet you’ll never wear. If you suffer this, get rid of that item, please! I doesn’t matter how much you may have spent on it.)

So yes, it’s love – with this dress, with this site and with this webseries – check them out and until next time: be well, be safe, be smart, and thanks for reading.

  • Taylor Gallagher

For the Love of a Pencil Skirt…

Yes, this is a Pintrest post and a post all about my favorite pencil skirts that I am longing to own.

Truth be told, I own more fluffy yet elegant tulle and long Hepburnesque / Roman Holiday skirts, many of which I have had to weigh down with hem anchors – just stitch weighted washers into the hem of your underskirt which is made easy by the hole in the middle of said washer (much easier than a penny-ed hem)! I love these skirts because they clench nicely at my waist and then flare out in exaggerated A-lines.

I am petite and curvy – the small of my waist is 31 inches smaller than the widest part of my hips (That is 12.2 inches, ie a little over a foot distance!) – so pencil skirts are a major love and yet head ache for me. It doesn’t help that my running regime seems to have shrunk in my waist more while adding a little bit of muscle girth to my hips (not where I need it but c’est la vie, I’d rather keep running!).

So, yes, I am pintrest longing while I bide my time until I get a job that will let me start heading to a tailor with as many pencil skirts as I can get my hands on. And that’s what all curvy girls need: a good tailor in their Rolodex (or our technological equivalent) to nip in the waistline without breaking the smooth curve from waist to knee (or below) which can happen easily with an inexperienced seamstress (such as doing it yourself!).

To follow are my current crushes as well as the links you follow from Pinterest!

Therefore, with a final, huge thank you to the shop social media crews and other fashion bloggers for giving me such pretty things to look at and I cannot wait to join the legion of snappily dressed fashion forward women in these amazing skirts. If I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be the lovely Crochet number featured on the Collage Vintage Blog – a french fashion blog – and sold on my favorite clothing site, Chicwish.

Until next time, my lovelies, live well, run fast, and find yourself a tailor!

  • Taylor Gallagher