Wednesday, June 12, 2013
At last, the long-awaited Yangon street style post, perhaps the only Yangon street style post on the entire world wide web.
These are a few street photos from my trip to Myanmar a few months ago.
Myanmar has been under military rule for decades and has been cut off from the western world until recently. So most people still wear the traditional longyi, a long skirt tied at the waist. Men and women tie it differently. Almost everybody wears a dress shirt. Flip flops are the national footwear.
The absence of western t-shirts, blue jeans and shorts is refreshing. The Myanmar people look dignified across age, gender and occupation and make the tourists look disheveled by comparison.
Myanmar people are also unbelievably friendly, tolerating and sometimes welcoming picture taking by visitors.
A few opt for western style clothes or hair.
And some young people mix and match - a longyi with a t-shirt as an example.
Many women carry colorful plastic totes instead of a handbag, which allows room for lunch.
The top of the head is also useful for carrying everything from tiny bowls to entire street food stations.
Myanmar men and women are fearless about mixing pattern.
Women, children and some men wear thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from bark and used as a sunscreen.
Female Buddhist monks wear pink robes with an orange sash.
Yangon is mostly Buddhist with a mix of Muslim and Christian.
Add a bright head covering, thanaka, betel nut, and bubble tea and you have a colorful mix.
Vendors sell antique hill tribe jewelry.
And for you DIYers out there, this is standard equipment. People carry foot-pedaled sewing machines out to the street and set up shop repairing and making clothes, shoes and bags. Nothing is wasted.
Colonial-era buildings that have barely changed since the British left.
I'll share some of the goodies I bought in an upcoming post.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Dreary day. Busy week. Wish I lived inside of this photo shoot, all calm, cool and colorful.
Photography by Horst Diekgerdes for Instyle magazine, normally known more for cute outfits and celebrity fawning than inspiring imagery.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Here are two super easy alterations you can make to a thrift store skirt that don't even require a sewing machine.
I've had a lot of success finding colorful skirts in thrift stores, but sometimes the fit and style leaves much to be desired. The 1990s were an era of putting padding where no padding should go (e.g. shoulder pads, harem pants, and adding pleats and pockets to the hip area.)
If we take another look at our wonky skirt from yesterday, you will note that part of the problem is gapping bulky pockets.
Solution: Pin and hand sew the pockets shut. Turn the skirt inside out and chop off the pockets.
The second alteration helps with the shapelessness you will sometimes see in a second-hand skirt. See how the skirt tapers out at the end when it really would look a lot better if it were straight or even tapered in?
If you don't want to bother with actually tapering the skirt (and you may not want to if the skirt is full at the top since it will just exaggerate the problem), just sew up the back slit.
If the back slit has flaps, make sure they overlap evenly (both flaps should bend in just a tad.) Pin and try moving around in the skirt. If you're OK, then hand stitch the flap shut.
Still a little "poofy" but definitely better.
Have you found any quick fixes for your clothes?
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Welcome back to lessons in trying to wear your Pinterest Style board. Today you will be introduced to a life-changing skirt and the secret to coping with waist pleats.
Here's our Pinterest inspiration above, which comes from Daily Crush.
Here's my take on it. The lace top is thrifted. The purse also was thrifted, and I repaired the zipper.
The bracelet is vintage from my mom's stash and looks very Chanel in my opinion.
I got the skirt for about $20 at Annie Sez, and it's the best $20 I've spent in a long time.
If you don't have an Annie Sez in town, here are a few other options, all available online and long enough to be work appropriate:
- Zara has an emerald pencil skirt for $59.90.
- JCP has Liz Claiborne cotton/spandex green pencil skirts on sale for $24.99.
- Then there's the Kingdom of Colorful Pencil Skirts, J. Crew, which has a green one on sale for $56.00.
- Dillards has green Calvin Klein pencil skirts for $47.40.
- Macy's has Ellen Tracy green pencil skirts for $29.98.
To see some of the possibilities, check out the inspiration below.
Paris Fashion Week from Fab Sugar, J. Crew, Marni green dress bottom from Gal Meets Glam, green skirt and striped top from Perfection Possibilities, source unknown, Green skirt and stripe top at SwellMayde, green skirt and scarf print top from Extra Petite, turquoise green skirt at Daily Crush.
While we are on the subject of skirts, let's talk about pleats. Up until my Annie Sez purchase, I was getting by with a thrift store skirt with circa 1990s waist pleats and (cringe) a bit of elastic.
The difference isn't huge, as you can see below, but I did immediately lose three pounds by wearing a "modern fit" skirt. Modern fit skirts sit a little lower and have no embellishments around the waist. This makes them super flexible - they look good with just about any kind of top.
I can't believe it took me this long in life to figure this out but - waist pleats can only be worn with a top that is tucked in.
I considered dumping my thrift store skirt, but it was silk and this terrific color and then I saw the dress below from Marc Jacobs. It was hundreds of dollars and is sold out.
Did you see that? ELASTIC!
If Marc Jacobs can peddle a green elastic waistband, then I can rethink my 1990s skirt.
Also check out Emerson Fry's skirt below, also hundreds of dollars and sold out. (And Banana Republic is pushing waist pleats. I am on trend!)
So I kept the thrift store skirt. With a tucked in semi-loose blouse or t-shirt, it still works.
Have you joined the world of colored bottoms? Are you feeling waist pleats?
Friday, May 31, 2013
This DIY necklace combines four trends into one piece of jewelry: raffia, rope, pom poms and rhinestones. You can make it using components from the new line Martha Stewart Jewelry and a few inexpensive additional supplies.
As reported earlier, high-end designers are all over pom poms and raffia this spring. Tory Burch and Dolce & Gabbana knock offs are everywhere from Anthropologie to H&M.
Why settle for a $60 knock-off when you can DIY your own custom jewelry.
Here is some of Martha's new stuff - tools, rhinestones, settings, beads, enamels, glazes and epoxy clay. I hope to play with the clay and custom molds in a future project. Martha Stewart Jewelry is available only at Michaels.
I'm not much of one for tiny crafty things, and the sight of a whole box of weensy rhinestones, beads and charms put me in a cold sweat. I could imagine Martha tut-tutting over my shoulder as I flipped an entire container of little gems onto the carpet.
About 12 hours later, I came up with this.
To make it you'll need:
- 10 mm rhinestones and settings
- 6 mm rhinestones and settings
- filigree (package of three)
- 21 small jump rings
- 6 large jump rings (8 mm)
- 2 end caps (about 6 mm depending on rope thickness)
- Martha Stewart chain
- 1 lobster clasp
- spool of raffia
- piece of rope
- three pom poms
- Martha Stewart jewelry glue
- white glue for raffia
Cut a 16-inch piece of rope. Cut the raffia into pieces about six inches long. Bend in half. Apply glue and glue to rope. Go back and forth over a 5-inch section, layering raffia until you get a nice thick necklace base.
Use up the whole spool (60 feet in my case.) This will take forever.
Glue the four large rhinestones into settings with two loops. Using small jump rings (I made my own with jewelry wire. This also will take forever. This is Martha. We did not say it would be easy, only that it would be fabulous.) attach the rhinestones to the filigree as seen above.
Glue the small rhinestones into their settings.
You won't have enough single loop settings in one package for the next step, so either cut off loops from some of the double loop settings or buy more than one package. Above you see a double loop setting and a cut-off single loop setting. Sand down any rough spots.
Attach the 15 smaller rhinestones as show, five per filigree. You will be hating life right about now.
Hard part is over. Glue pom poms to the filigree. Now use three large jump rings to attach the components to the rope as seen above and below.
Glue on two end caps. Add two large jump rings and add chain.
Add another jump ring and lobster clasp to the top of the necklace.
The whole thing looks like this. You can wear it full length or shorten it up to be more of a bib or collar necklace.
This is my first totally self-designed jewelry not made from something weird like jump rope or a tin can. The products aren't quick to use by any means but when you are done you feel like you really created something. If I had more filigree, I would have made this a five pom pom necklace (and might still do so).
Here's more on Plaid Crafts and Martha Stewart Jewelry:
Disclosure: Plaid Crafts provided me with the products and reimbursed me for trying them. The project and opinions are my own.
Check out the diversity of projects you can create with this line of jewelry: