Caradise: The MacGyver of Fashion

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(A special thanks to Phillip Hamer Photography for the images in this post!)

My friend was recently debating about what to wear for an upcoming event. She’d bought two jumpsuits: one with a bold floral print and one solid black. After little consternation, she decided to return the printed one and keep the black one, citing that she could only wear the floral one once or twice because people are bound to remember the print, whereas the black she could wear over and over without anyone paying it much heed.

Well, welcome to the dilemma that is my closet. It is a print convention filled with dresses and jumpsuits and blouses that not only must I remember where I wore them last but whom I was around. Heaven forbid I scare my friends with the same overbearing print more than once. It is complicated life I lead, trying to keep my prints and the company they keep as fresh as a Krispy Kreme donut.

So in an effort to get more life out of my wardrobe, I often take MacGyver -like measures to fashion new outfits out of old and trick my friends and family into thinking I’m wearing an entirely new article of clothing ( … bwah – ha – ha!). Here’s my latest: wearing this custom DEMESTIK wrap dress as a skirt (yes, the top is folded down around my hips), with THIS one shoulder top and Claire Flowers heels.

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(… and in case you wanted proof, here is the dress in it’s entirety!)

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Have $22 to Spare?

There is so much guilt hanging in my closet, in the form of expensive tops I’ve bought but only worn once.  Why I buy them in the first place, I really don’t know… but that’s a topic for another, much longer, soul-searching sorta blog. In the mean time, I’m here with this guilt-free $21 (!!!) , striped, peplum top for your wearing pleasure. Try it with jeans or a pencil skirt and you’ve got an outfit casual to fancy.  As with all of these fast fashion sites, I sized up and am wearing a medium. Shop my top HERE.

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(Also, these photos were taken at the new Chapman Plaza in the northeast corner of Shaw Park. If you’re local and haven’t been, you should definitely take a spin around. They’ve added a waterfall, great rock formations, a pond and pavilion that makes the corner of Hanley and Brentwood feel kind of like a Midwestern Yosemite… in a good way.)

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One of my favorite ways to transition summer dresses to fall is to add a leather jacket. Here, I topped my cap sleeve Free People dress (on sale here!) with a lightweight Zara leather jacket. Mine is old but I found you some similar and similarly priced ones below.  Also of note, my block heel ankle- wrap shoes are on sale and come in three colors! Shop all the loot below.

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Dress  //  Shoes here and here // Jacket similar here and here  // Sunnies 

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A Fashionable Keyword Search

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Whenever I’m on a website that’s a bit daunting, just due to the sheer volume of clothes to choose from, I resort to a keyword search. “Midi Dress” is a common one, but others might be “Ruffled,” “Distressed,” “High Waist” … all words that help narrow down the clothes that best fit my personal style and in turn save me a lot of scrolling.

Therefore, when tackling this particular website, where there are a TON of options, a key word search was in order.  I was in the market for a casual statement top, so typed in two of my favorite shirt characteristics as of late: “embroidery” and “stripes.”  Up popped this guy, which embodied both. Love at first sight.  Throw in the $29 price tag and things got a lot sweeter. I recommend you size up in this top (as with everything on the website, for that matter). I’m in a medium and could maybe even have used a large. Shop my shirt here

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And to save you time, I’ve done a little edit for you. Some other favorites are below. Priced at for $22, $28, and $63 respectively. Can’t go wrong!

Frill Hem Sweatshirt  //  Midi Skirt   // Leopard Coat

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Sale Shopping 101

There is nothing more annoying than shopping a tiered sale and landing right below the cut off for the next level of savings. Let me explain: That sale in which if you spend $200, you save 25%, only to find the total in your bill amounts to $195. The struggle is real, my friends.  And this is exactly the reason why all of my kids’ socks come from the Gap. Because when I need to spend $75 to use my Gap Cash (and save a whopping $20), my bill inevitably comes to $72. Grrrr. Socks or undies or one of those annoying little charms they keep near the register usually will do the trick and set me over the savings threshold.

So, not only am I a blogger, but I’m also apparently your mathematician. Because I’m here to do a little fashion addition to help you save as much dough as possible at the biggest Shopbop Sale of the year. The sale goes a little something like this:  Save 20% on orders up to $500 and save 25% on orders $500 and over. So guess what the magic number is, Caradise readers?!? $501.

Here are some ways to get there, so you’re not buying those socks you don’t need. Now, of course, you could make your life easy and just buy this or these  or this and call it a day. You’re call.

Booties + Earrings

 

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Dress + Sandals + Bracelet

 

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Puffer  + Hat + Sweater

 

Dress + Clutch + Jeans

 

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“When Love and Hate Collide”

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Here’s a confession. Despite what my t-shirt is telling you, I don’t like Def Leppard. Not a bit. In fact, most of their songs make me want to pop an Advil and (with the exception of Pour Some Sugar on Me) I would probably change the station if I stumbled upon their tunes on the radio. But, you see, in the case of this shirt, along with the Def Leopard comes that faded British flag logo, that cool yellow font … all plastered on a soft, buttery cotton slim-fit muscle tee.  So. I guess I’m in a bit of a band bind.

Because none of the bands that make up my Spotify playlists (Old Crow Medicine Show, Nathaniel Ratliff & The Night Sweats,  The Avett Brothers to name a few) are replete with fashionable logos and those logos are definitely not found on comfy Chaser tees.  It’s a pickle. Or maybe I’m just a poser.  Either way I don’t mind. I will just keep playing the part …  walking down my suburban sidewalk, with my coifed hair, wearing my professionally tattered jeans, store-bought distressed sneakers and maybe fool a person or two into thinking that’s Hysteria playing on my iPod.

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Top here // Jeans last seen here // Shoes here (but sizes spotty) and similar here and here.

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Come Sail Away …

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If you find yourself in New York between now and October 15th, I highly recommend you check out Grand Banks, a floating oyster bar parked on Pier 25 in lower Manhattan.

Started in 2014 by a few friends who were more sailors than restauranteurs, they got the idea from the 19th century oyster barges that would park along the Hudson years ago and sell their wares to hungry passers-by, directly from their decks. The owners of Grand Banks thought it’d be a great idea to do a modern take on this by-gone tradition.

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Above photos courtesy of http://www.grandbanks.org

So after finding a boat that fit the bill and teaming up with some scions of the NY food industry, Grand Banks was born. The boat is called the Sherman Wicker (and at 142 feet is New York’s largest wooden vessel). A 1900’s schooner, the boat was the last of a fleet of wooden schooners fishing the Grand Banks that would move cargos of fish and salt from the North Atlantic to South America. This was her trade until 1968, when the boat was retired from active duty and entrusted to the Grand Banks Schooner Museum in Maine. Then, after a stint on display at the Maine Maritime Museum, the boat was finally turned over to the Maritime Society in 2014, where it was eventually renovated and repurposed into the restaurant/bar it is today.

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Top and last seen on sale here //  Jeans //  Sneakers

For the renovation, the crew quarters below deck were turned into a kitchen and two bars were built on the deck. The ship is open until midnight everyday and serves up a variety of local seafood and shellfish. However, you better visit soon because it closes for the season in mid-October … when it sails south in search of warmer temps.

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Artist Crush: Tommy Clarke

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I have to admit, the finders fee on this artist goes to my brother, who after stumbling upon Tommy Clarke’s work at a SOHO gallery snagged one for his own apartment. I quickly fell in love with the almost abstract quality of Clarke’s aerial photos, the way they’re photographs that don’t really read as such.

Clarke was born on the South Coast of England and his work is partially inspired by all of his trips to the beach growing up. He first photographed Bondi Beach in Australia and has since moved on to other locales worldwide. When not traveling, he works out of his London studio. Here are some of my favorites, but you can read more about Tommy Clarke and shop all of his photos here:

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5 things I’m buying for Fall

Or wanting to buy at least …

  1. An updated loafer. I love the idea of a daytime shoe that isn’t a sneaker, but just as comfy. Up the excitement and opt for a tassle or pattern, but still wear them as a neutral (… those purple ones in the middle are 50% off today!).

 

 

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2. Something Yellow. Move over millennial pink, there’s a new color in town! I’m going to choose a mustard-y hue, so that my yellow reads more Fall than Summer.

 

 

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3. Embellished Bag. Sequins, fur, grommets, feathers. There are so many crazy options out there to pick from. Bonus: The two bags on the left are under $75, thereby leaving you a little cash to carry on the inside.

 

 

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4. Pajamas…. for day. They were in for Spring and I want to wear them into Fall. Top with an animal print coat and you are cold weather ready.  Not ready to dive head first into this look? Keep it to a simpler pattern or just buy one piece, top or pants, and pair with a chambray or a neural.

 

 

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5. Fur. Faux fur. Specifically, funky faux fur! No boring neutrals in sight when it comes to faux fur this season. Wild colors are adorning every item you can think of – from backpacks, to coats, to purses – how can you resist? Betcha didn’t know you needed a fur bag, did you? Like the one below at left …. it is $40, comes in three colors and will keep your cell phone nice and toasty as temperatures dip. Just sayin’.

 

 

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White After Labor Day

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Granted, not the most exciting outfit post, but can you really ever have too many white tops in your closet? Nah. Sometimes basics are good.  Also doesn’t hurt that this particular basic is on sale for $25. It’s poplin (so a little more substantial than a tee), buttons down the back and comes in three colors. It’s been on repeat lately, but most recently worn with jeans and sneakers while exploring the streets of NY with my kiddos. Shop it here and similar version here!

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