Month: March 2014

The Clinical Application of Blood: Fashion Challenge

Photography by Stephanie Olani Reyes

The Grandpa Sweater…the ugly, the classic. Mostly everyone has had one in their lifetime. It’s that comfy sweater that is really just not the cutest in the world, but too comfy to let go of. Well someone was nice enough to let go of theirs for me. This one was picked up at Salvation Army for around $3.99. Many of my friends I showed it to actually liked the print on it as well, surprisingly enough. I also picked up in the same trip a pair of classic leather biker pants. They reeked of the smoke of about 50 packs of cigarettes combined and had a scent that reached distances of 72 feet. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I was going to be using them in this project so I didn’t get a photo of the pants before I Edward Scissorhanded them. But you can check out the sweater below. Take note of the avant garde hole on my chest in the close up.

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Initially, my plan was to create a leather panel in the front with the fabric from the leather pants. I made the panel, didn’t like it and started over. I simplified it by just using a leather pocket to cover the hole and took the sweater in on the sides after cutting off the sleeves. It was a much simpler design and I think it worked nicely with the busy print. Dressing sweaters up has been a huge trend on recent runways, with sweaters even staying put for this spring’s trends. The cozy sweater isn’t just for your winter wardrobe anymore.

So what was projected to be another 8-inch snowstorm turned out to be just a sprinkling (thank goodness), but nevertheless, I did not feel like freezing my bones off again. So I thought it would be best to nurture my mind with a little reading (A.K.A. “me pretending to read in a library” photo shoot, while I get to stay warm). Apparently we didn’t realize until after we grabbed the “prop” books, that we were in what looked like the clinical research section, lots of info on blood, research on cocaine and various things of that nature. Hence the title for today’s post, which can be found in the shot of my heels below. Only the best for our shoots.

 

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Top: Upcycled Sweater

Bralette: Aerie

Skirt: The Limited

Shoes: Jessica Simpson, similar here

Purse: Hand-me-down from my Aunt who sorts through her closet about every other day

RingsForever 21 and Goodwill

 

Happy Thrifting! xo

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my post featured on Rent the Runway! And keep telling your friends, family, and pet gerbil about Resourceful Refinement! Share the link!

 

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Spring, Where Are You?

Photography by Stephanie Olani Reyes

In the dead of a cold, blistering wind that could only be brought about by the presence of a tornado, Steph and I had this joyous shoot. Okay, so I may be a bit dramatic, but you try channeling Tyra Banks while freezing your tuchus off. You can’t say I’m not dedicated as I received looks from those passing by like I had been walking an warthog on a leash. Steph… she just laughed as she was all bundled up in her warm coat and hat.  At least I had my tea!

With graduation being right around the corner, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for interview and business appropriate clothes. I am not one for a simple looking blazer, and of course, the blazers that I do like are really expensive and way out of my price range. So short sleeves it is!  My friend that picked out my item to alter this week actually spotted this top. It was $4.50 at Salvation army.  White is been really on trend and with the interesting neckline/sleeve detail, my mind was made up.  I was rushing around to finish projects for midterms and study for tests, so I needed a simple outfit that was easy and comfortable to get me through the whole day on campus (mostly in the library…in the farthest corner…on the third floor…with soundproof earphones…complete with three full days worth in meals and coffee). The vest was a last minute addition, as the library sometimes gets a bit chilly.

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While you are at it, check out my full DIY from my “Suit Up” Fashion Challenge featured on Rent the Runway (click here).  I will be attending their Capstone Weekend and leaving on Friday so I am really excited!

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Top: Salvation Army

Vest: Former jacket (I cut the sleeves off) that my mother didn’t want…and my mother didn’t think I would wear …. el. oh. el.

Jeans: Who else but American Eagle Outfitters, similar here

Boots: Dolce Vita, similar here

 

Happy Thrifting! xo

Elbow Fat Is the Latest Trend: Fashion Challenge

Photography by Stephanie Olani Reyes

Remember last week’s Fashion Challenge with that hideous dress for $4.50? (Look here for a refresher) Here, I bring you part two! So again, here is the initial dress…

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While the print of the dress grew on me, I decided to make it into a top, a v-neck more specifically. I layered it with a lace bralette so I didn’t feel too exposed with the deep cut. I forgot to get some shots of the back, but I also put a deep v-cut in the back and kept the original buttons on the skirt.

Now if there is one part of my body I am insecure about, well it would be everything, just  like any other girl or woman.  But most of my insecurities stem from my arms. I have always felt they were “fat” and frequently refer to them as “bingo arms”. I have trouble finding tops that fit my small frame but large arms, which only adds to my troubles. And this photo shoot, I don’t know what I did but it really accentuated my arm… situation. To clarify, no I have never broken or sprained my arms. That is just their natural beauty. I decided to put these unflattering photos up anyway because I don’t really care anymore. Okay, I lied, I totally care. I just prefer to get it all out in the open. Fashion bloggers give women a bad rep. I don’t mean that in an entirely bad way, but it seems that most popular fashion bloggers are super skinny, pretty and model on the side. It gives us an idealistic image that society says we are supposed to look like, but most women do not. I will be the first to say that I do not fall into that idealistic image. So come one and come all to see my weird looking elbow fat.  Love it or leave it.

And a big thank you to my friend Angela who helped inspire me with her blog post on body image (link here).

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Top: Upcycled from Goodwill

Pants: American Eagle Outfitters, similar here

Lace Bralette: Aerie

Shoes: Target

Necklace: Urban Outfitters

Ring: Goodwill

Happy thrifting!

He Was A Skater Boy, She Said See You Later Boy

Photography by Stephanie Olani Reyes

The song “Skater Boy” basically defines my childhood youth.  I thought Avril Lavigne was the coolest person on the planet because she was such a rebellious female, breaking all the social normalcies for the feminine ideal. I look back now and I still agree with my naive idolization, she just could have done it with a little less eyeliner. As far as woman crushes go, Avril and I parted ways. I’m onto a new woman and she goes by the name Lana Del Rey.

This week I decided to get a bit cray and ventured to Salvation Army  for my thrift hunt to switch things up.  They were slightly more expensive, but had a bigger selection.  My local store also had some AWESOME, and I mean AWESOMEEEEEE, old school suitcases.  It wasn’t even like they had just a few, there was a whole wall of them in every color. Although I didn’t pick one up (yet) I will get some photos for you for next week!

The graphic tees have been a huge trend lately and I love them to death.  They are so easy to throw on when I just feel like being comfy.  This Indiana University tee was $1.50 and I can already see it becoming a staple.  One great thing about thrift shopping is that the pieces are already lived in. Some see that as a bad thing, but I relish it.  Someone has lovingly worn that piece so much and so often, that it felt worn out or they outgrew it.  And us thrift shoppers reap all the rewards. No need to break in those leather boots, our dear friend, we’ll call her Becky, broke them in just for you.  And that denim jacket? Wrap yourself in that luxurious cotton because…Chad wore it to some great concerts knowing you would love that denim jacket as if it were your own puppy. So love the wear and tear, friends!

I wanted to share a great article I found on  WhoWhatWear with a guide on what to thrift and what to buy for this season. Be sure to check it out!

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Top: Salvation Army

Pants: Can’t remember for the life of me. But they are falling apart and I’m a pathetic person for letting these pants reach that point.

Shoes: Converse

Hat: Borrowed from my wonderful sorority “little”

Rings: Madewell & Goodwill

Happy thrifting!

Snip Snip Here, Snip Snip There : Fashion Challenge

Photography by Stephanie Olani Reyes

What is a dress without a matching vest?! It is nothing, that’s what it is. It is exactly why this dress and vest number is simply undeniably… horrible. Thank you to my friend Amanda S. for picking out this trend-setting piece for 2014. You, ladies and gentlemen, can find this, or something similar, it at your local thrift store for $4.50. Make sure you check out the football shoulder pads as well!

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I was utterly stumped for this one and initially wasn’t too thrilled with the print but it ended up growing on me. With ethnic prints becoming such a huge trend I figured I could make it work…but that is for next week! There will be two parts to this transformation as I had so much to work with.

The first alteration was a simple one, but I ended up liking it a million times more than I thought I would. So if you can’t see, the outfit is in fact a dress. The white top is sewn into the ethnic skirt.  I detached the top with a few simple cuts and took out the shoulder pads. I don’t know what is up with me and the crop tops lately, I guess I’ve just really been feelin ’em. Also, I am not usually one to wear a crop top without high-rise pants or high-rise shorts, but since they are still stuck at home while I am stuck at school, you will have to bear with me.  Next up, some research! I knew I wanted some cut outs. Hollah at ya girl Karla who is simply amazing. She makes me want to buy the  simplest, chicest fashion. I can only hope to one day be as cool as her. So I just sort of went for it, and hoped for the best, eyeballing it the whole way.

I definitely want to see if I can pick up some more plain tees and sweatshirts to do some more cool cut outs because I’m obsessed.

Any of you blog lovers out there, I just found out about this site called “Bloglovin”. I kid you not, it will make your life so much more organized! It allows you to follow your favorite blogs all in the same spot, giving you one newsfeed with all your favorite bloggers newest posts. It can organize them for you by ones you have or haven’t read and you can also “favorite” articles and discover more new blogs. Here is a link to my page on Bloglovin that you can follow me on!

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Top: Upcycled from Goodwill

Pants: American Eagle Outfitters, similar here

Shoes: Target

Necklace: Urban Outfitters, similar here and here

Twelve Pack:  Courtesy of Rugby