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

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

Costume Time!!

It’s Halloween. Or almost…

Growing up, this was always a holiday that got me into trouble. No, not because I caused trouble but because when it comes to costuming I am highly detail oriented as well as a perfectionist. I would drive my mother – a woman who worked non-stop but still took the time every Halloween for most of my sisters’ and my childhood to make our costumes including whipping up patterns on the fly – absolutely crazy as year after year she’d have to argue out compromises with me over all my crazy details.

Still, I would spend hours sketching out costumes from tv shows, movies, books, or whatever else I was obsessed with at the time and plan out every layer and prop that would have to be made or purchased only to discover (with my mother’s tireless explaining) that what I was drawing was way too much to get done – and yet, I still have this issue as seen in all the prepped details and yet completely unfinished steampunk Alice (of Wonderland and Disney/California Adventure’s now concluded Tea Time Show) costume still sitting in boxes in my closet.

So this year (not for the first time!), I’ve decided to go a little more simple with pieces that I can afford to buy on my budget that will also be able to slide seamlessly into my wardrobe, or (better yet) with pieces I already own.

Currently, I am choosing between two costumes that toe the line between subtly and different enough to stay in the costume department and I would love some input.

The Choices:

Coraline From Liaka’s 2009 stop-motion film Coraline (If you haven’t seen it, do! It’s creepy enough for a Halloween movie – throw in ParaNorman after and make a night of it – but family friendly so you shouldn’t have to hide under the covers… too much.)


Laika’s Coraline from 2009’s Coraline

The basics: Blue hair, dragonfly clip, orange lipstick, star sweater (like this!), blue booties, and black skinny jeans. You can also go with a yellow raincoat and wellies or a striped orange sweater. If you are feeling artistic, draw buttons on your closed eyelids but make sure you set the prep the eyelid, set the make up and let everything dry – it’s a fun surprise but can get messy. Carry around a black cat (preferably the stuffed kind) and there you have it.

Pros: Overall, the costume is simple and every piece can be worn again. You can have fun challenging yourself in this but if it’s too much work, skip the button eyes and cat and you can still make your point.

Cons: The hair. If you can get away with dying your hair this color blue both in your work/school life and your complexion, go for it. It is possible to find this shade in both permanent and washable dyes. If, like me, this just isn’t an option, there are ways of coloring your hair like this that can be put in one day and then washed out. With this color, chalk won’t do – that’s a pastel thing and it will be all over everything so be wary – but colored hair spray would. the big warning is that you will get helmet hair, a very colorful bathroom (if that’s where you are spraying), and will need a fair amount if you want to cover your whole head. My hair is fairly light so to get the right shade, I would be mixing black spray in with blue. You can get both at Party City as well as most Halloween or beauty supplies but the best Coraline blue I’ve see in probably here. Of course, there is always the wig option, but I’ve never found one worth the money that doesn’t make me scratch my head all night!

There is also the “Wait… who are you?” factor. While you might be recognizable to a Laika fan, these films are surprisingly unknown and since it came out 7 years ago, your costume is sure to go over many people’s heads. Then again, finding those who know and appreciate your costume is pretty cool.

Next up: Selina Kyle from Fox’s  Gotham. Selina Kyle is the young/future Catwoman (played by the very talented Carmen Bicondova) who is portrayed as a young pick pocket/street urchin who is constantly in the thick of things, many times getting in the middle to help save young Bruce Wayne.


Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle on Fox’s Gotham

The basics: big curls, steampunk goggles, black ripped skinny jeans and fishnets or (for season 3) leather sided leggings, boots (knee highs or booties with leather shin guards), leather jacket, dark grey hoodie, black crew neck top, collar necklace and leather/fishnet fingerless gloves. You can throw a few other details if you want to hone in on a specific episode; ie. if you don’e want curls, go super straight with a slouchy beanie like in the later half of season 2.

Pros: Finding all of these items in dark colors is super easy and I am pretty sure I have something that works. You also have a lot of choices seeing as her look changes – in the specific pieces as well as how she styles her hair – from episode to episode and season to season. The things I don’t have – ie. knee high boots (I have oddly wide calves so finding a good pair that fits is really difficult!) – are things I want to get anyway. Plus, seeing my hair all up and curled will be so much fun.

Cons: I live in Los Angeles so even in October, this is a lot of layers so sweating through the layers is an issue and then the costume is also really dark so you have to pay a lot of attention walking around outside! Because there are a lot more pieces, this costumes details can also get slightly more expensive even when you are compromising on some of the detail (you don’t need the leather jacket that cost over one or two hundred dollars, but even cheap jackets can add to your price tag). Again, while this show is well-publicized, recognition can also be an issue (or a plus for those that do).

So, if you can’t tell, at this point I am leaning toward Selina Kyle – it’s more work finding all the pieces but much less work  (mostly hair) anytime you have to put the costume together – Halloween parties as well as the actual night if you are going out.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Taylor Gallagher



DIY Wall Art.

Last week’s post was all about catching the decor bug and since then, I’ve been putting a variety of the suggestions to the test! From gaining bruises and strained muscles while rearranging every piece of furniture that isn’t nailed down in my room (the room feels so long now!), to trashing bags of old clutter, to refiling papers that were otherwise misplaced, to making a new soft and fluffy body pillow to change the look of my bedding, to, finally(!) making my own fun and fantastic, nerdy wall art.

1. Start out by finding something cute but simple you want to frame. For me, this was two car window decals I bought at convention years ago – Joss Whedon’s Firefly based. These could be stickers, decals, or any odd thing you want to frame (I have a set of old rustic keys frames in a shadow box and I love it).

2. Buy a picture frame big enough to house whatever your “art” is. Have fun with this! I went with two black oval frames. I loved how they contrasted with my rectangular frames for all my other art yet keep to the same pallet.

3. Think about your backdrop in respect to the “art” you’ve selected for yourself. You can use wallpaper, wrapping paper, construction paper, fabric, or any other backing and cut it down to fit your frame. Since my decals are white, I went with black paper to give the best contrast. I used a highlighter pencil to trace the circumference of the inner portion of the frame. Remember, you can cut it a little small, however, be careful the you can’t see around your backing when it’s all put together or your work will just look messy.

4. Stick your sticker/decal to the glass and put together your frame. One piece of advice, check out which way your decal sticks. I always assumed that I had to face my decal so you could read it through the glass, however, it actually sticks to the outside. Also, these decals are sticky and are not really shiftable – once they make contact, they can and will start to adhere onto the glass. Still, make sure you really rub down each piece of the decal because bubbles can be visible and cause peeling later.

5. Now that the frame is together and it all looks good, hang your new art enjoy it – one of a kind art is quite a thing to have. Look at my set by step pictures below!

If you are looking for other kinds of wall art, look at melted crayon art (tons of fun and lots of tutorials) or cutting geometric shapes onto canvas for a 3-dimensional square of patterning. And if you liked the idea of the easy up wallpaper discussed last time, be warned that you need a flat wall rather than a textured one (so now I have white brick wallpaper ready and waiting for whenever I move into my own place).

But my next project? Reupholster my desk chair. I just saw a post on this by Amanda from the fabulous blog, Advice from a 20 Something, and it was a total inspiration! Once I’ve tried it out myself, I’ll be sure to let you all know how it went.

  • Taylor Gallagher

Easy Room Change Ups.

I am in a total home decor kick right now, however, unfortunately, I’m still living in a single, overstuffed room which I grew up in which means I really don’t have the ability to explore this passion. Also, I’m not in a possession to spend money on more decor even if I did have the room.

But, still, this is a need I’ve been feeling a lot recently so I’ve started to think of easy but cheap ideas that will let you change up your space with little effort.

1. Rearrange what you have.

There is a reason that Feng Shui is an art form that has lasted for centuries. If you start to feel like your room is stuck in a rut and you along with it, shift things around. This could be as easy as shifting where your desk or book shelves are, switching your wall art (this could be wall placement or the pictures or art themselves), or changing up the little bits and bobs you have on display.

For me, I can only move so much stuff – my bed is made up of kitchen cabinets along one of my walls and I have no way of moving it around. If I want big shifts, I’m mostly regulated to my wall hangings from pictures, art, or the creative jewelry displays I’ve created. Command strip hooks and frame Velcro are great resources if you are thinking about moving things around regularly – a lot easier than hammering nails and then filling holes later.

2. Change some details.

This can be as easy as adding or switching out a throw rug, some throw pillows, or curtains. I’ve been seriously loving Target’s college (and overall)  decor section. They have some great soft, furry throws and pillows that can give your room a nice, easy and chic change. However, this does cost money as each piece can add up more quickly than you would expect it to.

If you have to spend money, think about ways of adding things that can help you out later. I’ve recently bout some very cute office supplies like filing folders and a gold wire case to hold them. These have let me organize my files while I get on the road to adulting while adding a cute yet sophisticated air to my ‘clutter’. on the other hand, remember that space is limited of you an’t just keep adding without thought.


Target’s easy Peel and Stick Divine Brick Wallpaper.

*If you are looking for a bigger change and have a bit more money to spare, think about redoing a whole wall. I absolutely love Target’s easy wallpaper sheets. There versions of textured Peel and Stick wallpaper is amazingly lovely and is not permanent! Easily applied and easily cleaned up, this is a big change even if you just used strips to accent and offset other details!

4. Make it Yourself.

If you are looking for a slightly cheaper (if done right!) but unique touch, think about making things yourself. There are tons of videos and tutorials that teach you how to reupholster chairs, sew pillow slip covers and the like, but, to start out, I’m planning on tackling something much smaller.

I have had some car window stickers (Joss Whedon’s Firefly themed!) fro years, but because I’ve never wanted to commit them to a window or car and risk losing them in the endeavor. Now, I’m finally going to be making them into framed wall art.

You take a frame – I like the look of shadow box frames – around the size of your sticker and stick it to the inner glass. Next, create a backing using colored or patterned paper or material against the supplied back of the frame, making sure that there is a good contrast. Put together the frame and hang your beautiful, unique piece of art!

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be trying out each of these change ups and hopefully this will add a bit more energy to the rest of my day to day activities. If you try any of these out, let me know how it all works out.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.


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