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Clothing: Everything in this outfit is vintage with the exception of the tank top I probably got from K-Mart back in high school!
Do any of you own a layering bib? I’m not sure if that is the official name for it, but it’s this little piece of layering garment that used to exist in my grandmother’s time. You put it on through your neck, and it just sits without having to button it. Some may have buttons, but they are really just there for decoration. The bib starts from above your collar bone to the bottom of your breast. It could have been either for modesty or for adding variety to your tops. Below is an example of layering bibs with a fake collar. I haven’t found these anywhere else with the whole bib attached to the collar. I see mostly just collars. Wish they made more of these! What I have on in the photos above is truly vintage, made of polyester (very light weight) and is decorated with lace.
The trend today is to wear just the fake collar or bib necklaces (the other kind that you’ll see more), but I don’t really like those as much because most of them are too tiny and sit beneath the spot where your collar actually should be. There are also those fake collars made of fabric, and they look more natural. None of those satisfy modest clothing practices really, because they are so small and barely cover anything. I did buy myself fabric fake collars, because I like the style of uniforms and structure. The layering bibs are ones that actually work for covering up your chest, back, and collar bone, BUT… these things do NOT exist in retail, sadly. I’ve only been finding them at thrift stores. They’re all about at least 30 years old and are mostly turtleneck bibs.
Below is an example of a nice beaded fake peter pan collar you can wear over your top. Like all other fake collars however, you have to have a high neck top to begin with for these to blend in naturally with your outfit as if attached. Otherwise, there your skin will show in between.
I do find wonderfully elaborate vintage tops with gorgeous collars everywhere, so I need to make a tutorial for you all soon transforming oversized vintage tops into useful layering bibs. ;-)
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How can you get enough of SHELLS? You live in these things everyday—you layer with these, sleep with these, workout with these…
Zeebee Threads has quite a good selection of comfortable and sleek shells with different lengths and styles for various seasons. They’ve got shells that are thermals, sheer rib, flowy, off the shoulder, short/long sleeved… you name it. They’ve got an impressive selection.
For someone who loves to layer, I don’t think I have enough shells at all. I somehow lose these things like socks. Some (un)lucky person out there I’m sure got a hold of a couple of my sweat(literally)shirts at my old gym.
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I’ve been avoiding wearing anything too cutesie these days, but I just can’t help going back to how I used to dress. Thinking that it’s almost Valentine’s Day and all (excuses, excuses), I decided to wear something fun and pink for a change. Aryamia sent me a nice off the shoulder dress in black, which I absolutely love! It’s sleek and sexy. The dress also comes in a variety of colors, in two sizes (S/M & M/L) and is a bit stretchy, so it’ll fit the slim and curvy alike. Underneath, I put on a vintage 70s long sleeved blouse with a giant bow to “top” it off. I really like the spillage action—the pink polka dots popping out of the black dress and the bow hanging down the center. These light weight leg warmers I have on I wore as socks by scrunching them down. I also put on two special brooches, the rose from Giovanni and Coco Mademoiselle from Chanel.
Aryamia has dresses, tops, and leggings for the spunky indie girl. You can choose to layer the clothes with something neutral or colorful depending on what you’re dealing with if you wish, just like what I did with this blouse on a wintery and windy afternoon. To smooth off the dress’ silhouette after tucking in the shirt, I put on an underbust corset (or you can use stretchy shapewear). That way it doesn’t look like I have waves of fat bulging out of the dress (layering fixes 101!). which was actually from the folds of the blouse under it. You don’t always have to get cropped tops or chop off your beautiful shirts just to get this accomplished. Aryamia does sell cropped tops though if you want to check that out. The fabric of the dress is just wonderful! It’s not heavy at all, so judging by that, I believe everything else in the store is of good quality.
So for Valentine’s, if you feel like you’ve been giving too much love to others without getting much in return, treat yourself instead—perhaps with a nice dress or those pair of shoes you’ve always wanted. You need to be a happy person, without overindulging and being mentally content with your life, before you can healthily serve others with little or without self pity.
Brooch: Giovanni & Chanel
Ring: Cookie Lee
Shoes: Michael Kors (similar)
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Although this outfit doesn’t seem to be very comfortable to wear during the summer, I thought I’d put something together with this lace top that Half Tee sent me. Because the lace clings to your skin and is long sleeved, this might be better to wear during the fall or spring. The idea behind Half Tee is simple—cropped tees for layering. So this lace top ends right beneath my bust, and what I have on underneath is a black tank top. Nifty. The whole thing looks like it’s one piece! They also have this in white, which I’m sure I’d like as well. Thanks so much, Half Tee!
If there’s one thing I hate about layering (as much as I love doing it), it’s feeling too warm with multiple layers on. I know layering a lot of things looks so awesome, but it’s not wise to overdo it with full length tops. Even during the colder months, full length tops also add too much bulk, which makes you look worse than modest—big. Being cautious about how you present yourself shouldn’t have to mean being negatively self-conscious about your body image.
I know for some people being modest is to be conservative, and being conservative is to not love your body. I don’t think of it that way at all. It’s the word conservative that gets me. It’s somewhat distasteful. It means too close to plain. I dislike simple outfits as much as I dislike bland food. If I were to go on about word choices here, I think being minimalist however is beautiful, even though that means too close to being simple. Because minimalist just means avoiding being extravagant, and being extravagant is overdoing it. Ah, forget it.
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Layering should be fun and shouldn’t have to be a nightmare. I find it most exciting when the end result of layering turns out to be better than I expected, like I couldn’t believe that I just created something like it. I guess that goes for every art form. I decided to keep it simple today, however. You can’t really do much layering during summer because it’s just too hot out. Some do it with accessories—layering necklaces and bracelets, stacking rings, etc. I have here a layering pencil skirt in camel given to me by LayerWear Basics. With it, I wore a tunic that’s too short to wear on its own with bare legs. What I like about this skirt is that it’s sturdy, but it’s not too thick for the summer. I’ve had my share of cheap and low-quality materials in clothes sent to me from all over the Web, but I was really impressed by the quality of this material. I like that it’s fitted everywhere and goes straight down, so it doesn’t distract attention away from my main article of clothing, the tunic.
There are different types of layering. In the broadest sense, layering involves two things: 1) adding complexity to an outfit and 2) concealing areas of your body. Layering shells are designed to be covert, concealing areas of the body you don’t want to show for various reasons. They usually go underneath a low neckline shirt, a shirt that’s too short and shows the front of your tummy or your back—what have you. Whatever your reasons are, if you need some basic layering pieces, LayerWear Basics is a good place to start. They don’t have a wide selection (just 1 top, 2 skirts, and 1 dress), but they do have a variety of colors for each of their pieces. When you think about it, those things are about all you really need for basic layering—hence their name.
Below is a photo of the skirt I was wearing in black taken from their Web site. This skirt is designed to be easily folded around the tummy to adjust length without adding too much bulk around the tummy. Of course, who wants to look like they’re pregnant when they’re not? I was able to get a couple of folds from this skirt without looking like I had even a food baby. It clings pretty tight around your skin to accomplish that, but it is very comfortable.