Posts Categorized: accessories

Reader Request: Styling Shawls and Scarves

styling shawls

Images courtesy Un-Fancy

Reader Isabel had this question:

I love to knit and am always trying new techniques/patterns and am slowly building a collection of knitted garments. Styling toques (I’m Canadian after all) and sweaters is pretty straight forward: it’s cold, so wear a toque or sweater. My challenge is primarily with shawls and scarves: how do I incorporate these into my wardrobe of jeans and t-shirts that works for a mother of a young kid and someone who is kind of lazy in the fashion department? (I’d rather knit a few extra minutes, or spend the time outside or with my family than fuss over clothing that same amount of time). In other words, how can I make my hand knits er, hip, instead of dowdy?

With blanket scarves and ponchos in high demand, this is actually a great time to work those hand-knits into your daily outfits. And I think jeans and tees are the perfect balance to shawls and scarves that may be a bit on the bulky side. As always, balancing volume (the handknits) with fitted-ness is wise, so go for slim-fitting jeans, tops that skim your curves, and figure-hugging jackets. In addition to the two above from Un-Fancy – both of which will work well with large scarves or shawls – here are a few other ideas:

poncho-kappahl-cape_400

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This works best with a large rectangle, but you might be able to finagle a similar look from a triangular shawl. The key here is asymmetry: One half of the shawl hangs straight down from the shoulder and over the arm, the other is thrown across the body at a diagonal. This looks fabulous with a simple dress – add tights and boots for winter wear – but could also work with skinny jeans and a thin sweater.

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This is the tie I see used most often for blanket scarves, but you fold them into a triangle before tying so it’ll work great with triangular shawls. Since wearing a scarf or shawl this way places a ton of fabric right near your face and neck, I’d recommend wearing your hair up and doing fitted clothes all over if you can.

blanket scarf 1

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Yep, belting giant scarves is a thing right now. The addition of a duster or long blazer makes this look feel less overwhelming. Also make sure to use a medium or thin belt – wide belts tend to look odd over huge scarves. I’ve seen belted scarves over maxi dresses, but personally prefer the look with jeans as shown here.

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OK fine, this is a ruana. But consider the other elements – heeled ankle boots, slim boyfriend jeans, fitted top – and swap in a large shawl.

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Image source – tutorial there, too

This is some pretty advanced scarf-wearing, but I think it might look a little less funky with two scarves of the same color. Or even in the same color range. Click the link above for a tutorial on the tie. This is cute with the jacket and button-front, but could also work with a sweater dress and boots or a simple sweater and jeans.

Hopefully some of these will work for both hand-knit scarves and shawls! Need more ideas? For a cornucopia of scarf-tying inspiration, check Mai Tai’s Picture Book.

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Reader Request: Stylish Watches

stylish watches

left | right

Reader Sue had this question:

I’d like to hear from you about women’s watches – what’s in, what’s out. I see people with such a variety of styles. In the last couple of years I’ve seen so many women wearing big men’s watches … and wonder what is up with that!

I’m not much of a watch-wearer myself – though I do own and love the tortoiseshell Nixon pictured above – so I had to do a bit of research for this one.

It’s true that large-faced, menswear-influenced watch styles have been favored for several years, and currently they’re still more desirable than slimmer, delicate styles. Since borrowed-from-the-boys looks and athleisure are both hot, it makes sense that watch styles would skew masculine and sporty to match. Michael Kors has churned out many popular models, including the rose gold style above, and although many are in the $250 – $300 range, they go on sale for around $150 which is about what you’d pay for a Fossil watch.  Those who opt for slimmer, more ladylike watch styles tend to wear them on the same wrist with a pile of bracelets.

Color and material preferences do shift about somewhat. According to a Harper’s Bazaar article, colorful watches – especially ceramic models – were the trendy style for summer, though the author predicted that most fashionistas would downshift into neutrals for fall. Silvertone metals – sterling, stainless steel, or white gold – are beating out warm golden tones nowadays, though rose gold is still super hot. Vintage classics in all colors are always en vogue, and if you can’t afford a real-deal Cartier Tank or Rolex Oyster, less expensive versions with the same scale and features are a safe bet. Although leather bands will always be chic, most watch-wearers go for bracelet styles these days.

I don’t know about you folks, but I’ve seen far more men than women embracing smart watches, Beyoncé notwithstanding. That said, I think some of them are incredibly slick especially this round-faced Motorola model. Of course, it took a while for smart phones to take root, so in five years we may all have traded in our Timexes for itty bitty wrist-computers.

If you’re interested in digging deeper, try Watch Time or A Blog to Watch, though the latter focuses mainly on luxury models.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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This Week I Love …

… shoulder-strap totes.

Sounds like an oxymoron, right. Allow me to explain: With winter comes poofy coats. Poofy coats make shoulder bags a tricky proposition, since the straps tend to slide against the slick nylon. So I’ve come to love totes for winter use. BUT. They must have shoulder straps, too. Because I use all of my bags year-round, and need the shoulder option for non-winter. And also occasionally need both hands in winter and risk shoulder-slippage.

Here are a few totes with removable shoulder straps that I’m ogling right now:

the leather shop etsy

Leather Satchel – $145, The Leather Store

I’m pretty sure this bag has been in my Etsy faves for multiple years running, now. Love the shape of those handles, the external pockets, and that nice, wide shoulder strap. I’ve owned bags from The Leather Store and they’re absolutely top-notch hand-made bags.

frye melissa hobo

Frye Melissa Hobo – $387.95

Technically a hobo, but functionally a tote since that short strap is likely a tight fit on many shoulders. This is a narrow bag, but large at 13″ x 13″ and also comes in three gorgeous weathered browns.

steve madden fringe tote

Steve Madden Blucyy – $59.97

A marvelously oversized tote at 12.5″ x 20″ x 5″, on-trend with fringe accents, and vegan-friendly to boot! This might actually be able to double as a super stylish overnight bag. Also love this slightly smaller tassel-adorned brick red tote from Steve Madden.

small cognac tote

Elliott Lucca Iara Midi Tote – $167.95 – $177.95

Far smaller at 10″ x 4″ x 9.5″, this compact tote still has plenty of room for your everyday essentials. Elliott Lucca is a highly underrated bag designer, in my opinion, and you can get this style in cognac as shown here, as well as black, burgundy, slate felt, blush, or blush felt.

snakeskin tote

Street Level Python Print Tote – $28.98

If leopard feels too loud but you love the look of animal prints, give snake print a try. This medium-sized vegan-friendly option will look chic with everything from neutrals to bold brights.

recycled tire tote

Novica Upcycled Cotton Shoulder Bag with Recycled Tire Accents – $62.99

This bag is such a find: Great price, handmade, and crafted from recycled materials. Nice and big at 14.5″ x 19.75″ x 5.5″, and includes a large exterior pocket.

canvas tote

48 North Canvas Tote with Shoulder Strap – $130

Gotta give a shout-out to Minneapolis-based 48 North, whose waxed canvas totes have also lurked on my Etsy favorites for ages. If you’re not a fan of this olive drab, have this bag made custom in black, sage, gray, or another versatile neutral.

harveys seatbelt bag

Harveys Seatbelt Bag Medium Streamline Tote – $128

Reader Pat reminded me that Harveys bags are made in the U.S. from durable, vegan-friendly seatbelt material. I’m not a huge fan of the traditional woven Harveys bags, but this striped one is adorable.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details. Sustainable options are either used, handmade, made in the U.S., artisan made in non-sweatshop conditions, or made using sustainable/fair trade practices.

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