- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Id0FrFe2.dpuf Hell or High Fashion: A Bug's Life

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Bug's Life

Shirt, Gap.  Sweater & jeans, H&M.  Shoes, DVF.  Necklace, Alexis Bittar.  Hat, F21.

I love bugs.  I don't necessarily care for the real-life kind, but put a cartoon crawler or sparkly spider on literally any type of apparel and I'll buy it!  This obsession has led to more bug-printed clothing, shoes, rings, and brooches than I can count on my hands and feet- and I still can't stop!  This ladybug purse, these spider sandals, and these eight-legged earrings are all at the top of my "Buy" list.   I'm going to make such a great eccentric old cat lady someday!
While my wildlife wardrobe will of course look amazing at 80, I don't want to give off that "old lady" vibe just yet.  One of my constant challenges is wearing something that is seen as eccentric and old and making it young, hip, and fresh. 

I last wore this ladybug button down for my feature on KMS California UK's style website, RealStyleInspiration.com.  (You can read that article here!)  The shirt is pretty detailed: it's called the "Shrunken Boyfriend" fit (my favorite style from the Gap- I have about 3 different prints in this cut!) so it's a longer and looser than most dress shirts, and it's covered in pink and red cartoon critters. 
A tiny, all-over print on a white background tends to be less than flattering- white is somewhat widening, and a tiny print can make it seem like your body has a lot of surface space to cover- so I took care of that potential problem by throwing a sweater on top!  This ensures that the fun print gets shown off at the collar and tails, but a solid sweater offers a bit more shape.
Because one bug is never enough, I added my favorite Alexis Bittar scarab necklace to the mix!  This necklace is really special to me- I worked at Alexis Bittar for a long time and pined over this piece almost every day.  It was the most expensive piece in the whole collection though, and at $900 I knew I could never call it my own.   But as luck would have it, I landed my first paying modeling gig with KMS California when there was just one of these babies left in the store!  I used some of my earnings (coupled with a very generous employee discount) to treat myself.  Now this scarab piece will always remind me of that great experience- I'm so glad I indulged!!
To keep the knit sweater/bug combo fresh and fun, I added a slouchy pair of boyfriend jeans on bottom.  This low-riding, relaxed fit screams "trendy and young", which is just what I needed to balance out my octogenarian tendencies!  A very hipster bowler hat and the sexiest stilleto sandals I own reinforced the "hip twentysomething" idea, keeping my look balanced and age-approriate.
Fashion Tips from "A Bug's Life":
1.  Collect what you love, even if it's weird!  Do you have a strange obsession with a certain style or print?  Let yourself go crazy with it from time to time if it makes you happy!  Skull-printed pieces are everywhere right now- if that's your  print of choice, limit yourself to one or two pieces per outfit.  A skeleton scarf paired with skull stud earrings is chic when balanced out with classic neutrals; a skull scarf on top of a skull dress with skull jewelry is too much. 
2.  Act your age.  I really do believe that anyone of any age can rock any style trend, but you have to adapt it to your particular situation.  Of course a man in his 40s should wear skinny jeans if he wants to-- paired with a sleek button down and blazer (as opposed to a casual screened tee), skinnies can be totally age-appropriate! 
For us girls, playsuits and overalls are HUGE right now.  To avoid looking like a preschooler at the park, skip the socks & sneakers and try pairing your overalls with chunky heels.  Make it work!
3.  Treat yourself.  As fully grown adults, investing in clothing and accessories is a great idea (you know you're not going to grow out of it in a year!).  I've begun adding special pieces to my closet to commemorate big events in my life: I'll look back on my first modeling job every time I wear my Alexis Bittar necklace and be proud of the work I did.  I indulged in classic Prada heels for my college graduation, and now whenever I put them on I wear them with a sense of accomplishment. 
So buy yourself that classic leather wallet with your first paycheck from a new job, or celebrate a big birthday with a sleek pair of cufflinks.  You'll be reminded of the best times in your life when you wear them, and that sense of confidence is the best accessory!

I'm starting an in-between-blogs Instagram feature called "StyleSnaps" this week- little screen shots of outfit details that don't make it to Hell or High Fashion.  Follow me on Instagram @jdefino for more style updates!

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