mommy chic

 

mommy chic

Splendid navy shirt (stylebop.com); Mango denim jacket (mango.com); Chiffon skirt (etsy.com); UGG Australia gladiator sandals (office.co.uk); Marc by Marc Jacobs marc jacobs handbag (couture.zappos.com); Wrap bracelet (etsy.com); Sunglasses (cwonder.com)

 

As the mom of a two-year old, many times with style it comes down to function over form—-easy and comfortable are key!  But truly, you don’t have to sacrifice your style because you are spending the afternoon with your kiddo.  You may be passing on those 5 inch heels for the occasion, but this look is effortlessly chic, whether you are a mommy or not!

 

place cards

I absolutely love having place cards for a party!  It takes away any awkwardness that guests feel about where to sit—the decision has already been made by a thoughtful hostess, who has taken the time to place them with others with whom they will have a wonderful time.

I often find that the most interesting place cards are made from gift tags, tied to something like a piece of chocolate or a cake pop.  It not only serves as a place card, but as a fun takeaway for your guests.

This place card is from a recent birthday dinner at my house.  How cute!

 

image credit: dthoskins

local style {bianca, Lexington, KY}

Bluegrass THREADS is thrilled to feature the fabulous Bianca Spriggs, as a local style standout.  A phenomenal poet and Lexington art scene staple, Bianca’s style is just as creative and vibrant!  If you haven’t seen her amazing Transylvania 2012 Commencement address, check it out here.

Photo credit Rebecca Gayle Howell 

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m a writer and multidisciplinary artist based in Lexington. My background is in the arts so you’ll find me everywhere from a poetry reading to hamming it up onstage to hanging art in a gallery. You can learn more about my exploits here: www.biancaspriggs.com.

Describe your personal style…
Part tomboy, part kept woman. Think cowboy boots peeking from under the hem of a sari-silk caftan.

Who are your style icons?
Anyone who looks completely at ease in what they’re wearing whether it be a ball-gown or a pair of sweats. For instance, Michelle Obama. I’m always checking out how she arranges her outfits. She’s tends to stay on the conservative side (no surprise given her current role as First Lady, right?) but knows what to do with color, fit, and fabric. And she manages to have fun with her clothing. It’s clear she learned her silhouette, complexion, and palette, well before the White House called. Am I gushing?

What does “bluegrass style” mean to you?
Bluegrass Style for me means, if it feels good, wear it. Attention to comfort seems paramount in this region. I think it’s because we’re pretty laid back around these parts.

Any favorite local spots to shop?
Because I’m full-figured, it’s hard to find a ton of stuff in my size at the boutiques. So, I get the basics primarily at a chain store where I know I can shop, and accessorize at boutiques like Street Scene or Third Street Stuff. I even do some hunting for unique jewelry and scarves at thrift stores or Goodwill. Because I have an international aesthetic, I also make a point to stock up on ethnic jewelry (I’m a sucker for cowrie shell anything and bulky, uncut bling), bags, and caftans at events like the Roots and Heritage Festival once a year.

Any other bluegrass hotspots we should check out?

In terms of just being inspired, I love Scout Antiques and Michler’s. I always walk out with something unique to complement my surroundings whether I’m at my office or at home or in my studio.

What are some style challenges that you face, and how do you deal with them?
Again, shopping for a full-figure can be a challenge because style can be really trendy and not every trend is for every body, literally. So, for instance I have a larger chest, so a faux animal vest isn’t necessarily my best bet. I know no matter what I weigh at the moment, if I can stick with timeless pieces, classics that I know for sure look good on me, later I can “wild out” with accessories. As a foundation, I prefer a fairly basic and well made outfit in terms of color and silhouette. More often than not, you’ll see me in my “uniform,” a black top and dark denims. I don’t like a ton of patterns covering my body, but I also don’t mind to ham it up with unique jewelry, shoes, bags, and scarves.

Accessories make my wardrobe supremely versatile. I also have varied taste when it comes to clothing combos. I used to fret that my style wasn’t really like everyone else’s. But, then I realized, oh, yeah. I’m an artist. I get to be a little eccentric. I’m going to put on a cut-up retro t-shirt, jeans, bangles, and heels and rock out. I just am. Or, when the mood strikes, I’m going to wander around in a dress and cowboy boots and big hoop earrings. But being comfortable in those combinations allows me to own them. The common denominator can be color choices and fabric choices, but ultimately, it’s me!

How important is hair and make-up to your personal style?
Oh, boy, hair. I have really big, curly hair. I used to fry it, dye it, lay it to the side, and all that, but I have come to realize that my hair, for all its poof, is actually very delicate. Thick but fine. Kinda like me. So, I stick to quality products that work for it, get it trimmed twice a year, and baby it to death with moisturizer. My new favorite is the Argan Oil line by One ‘n Only which you can get at Ulta or Sally’s. I’ve got a couple simple styles that work for my face and then I just let it do its thing.

I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis. My skin is just too prone to breakouts and I have large pores. Best thing I can do for makeup is to drink a ton of water, take my vitamins, and use a moderate amount of facial cleanser, toner, etc. I have to admit, there’s nothing like Lush’s Ocean Salt to really make me feel pampered if I’ve had a rough day. And those cucumber towelette facial wipes you can get at Rite Aid. (I’ve even got my husband into a nice relaxing face towelette before bed!)

But for going out, I use a light powder and concealer, and head straight for the eyes. I am a sucker for a dramatic eye. Black liner, bronzes, golds, and pale shimmers, make me feel like an Amazon queen! My all time favorite lipstick is Estee Lauder’s Tiger Eye. And my favorite fragrances come from Jesus del Pozo. I can’t overstate the power of a gorgeous perfume…as much a head turner as any daring blouse! I love Duende and Halloween the best from his line.

Which are the accessories that you never go without?
Cute but functional bag. Cute but comfortable shoes like beaded moccasins. iPhone in a snazzy, yet resilient case.

Talk to us about fall style.  Animal print (especially reptile) is big for fall 2012—do or don’t?
It’ll be mostly about color for me. This year I’m feeling plum, saffron, olive, and cognac. I’m also on the hunt for a little twinkle, so my accessory will be the ever snazzy brooch.
Oooweee, do I love animal print! I suggest if you’re going for reptile, go gator, not python. But use it sparingly, especially if it’s a stand-out color like fuchsia or something, on an accessory, not the whole outfit. It’s all about the power of suggestion. Another print I love whenever I see it is ostrich. That counts as a reptile right? Didn’t they use to be related to dinosaurs?

Thanks, Bianca!  You can check other local style features here, here and here.

If you or someone you know is a local style standout, send us a photo to katherine@bluegrassthreadsky.com or diana@bluegrassthreadsky.com.

 

braided belt

The braided belt is a staple for summer!  It looks great with summer fabrics like linen, cotton, seersucker, and even chiffon.

If you’re new to belting here are some ideas for what your braided belt can do:

  • Cinch a sundress (I love it over a Maxi dress)
  • Jazz up a cardigan
  • Add interest under a blazer
  • Hold up your pants and shorts

So belt it!

 

local artist {christie, Lexington, KY}

Have you ever wanted a piece of custom art for your home or for a gift, but you weren’t sure who to ask or thought it would cost a fortune?  Bluegrass THREADS would like to introduce you to Christie Bransom, a local artist and graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts.  She is an amazingly talented lady!  We wanted to share with you information on her custom art business, but of course, we had to ask her a few style questions, too!

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

A native of Lexington, I recently graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts, and hold a B.A. in Studio Art with an emphasis in Ceramics.

My interests and hobbies are vast, but a common thread which ties everything together is an incorporation and an appreciation for art, creativity, and beauty. I like to consider myself a “trained observer” and I love to discover and acknowledge the beauty in even the simplest of things this life has to offer.  One of the greatest gifts I can receive in this world is being able to witness the joy on someone’s face that I have been able to bless with my art.  There is no greater feeling of accomplishment and pride than that.

Describe your personal style…

I like to call my style “Comfy Chic” which essentially boils down to gym clothes and Nikes or jeans and a t-shirt with flip-flops. Even though my wardrobe is essentially plain, I always, ALWAYS have my hair and makeup done to perfection. This is where I allow my creative juices to flow and let the artist in me shine.

What does “bluegrass style” mean to you?

To me, Bluegrass Style is making the most out of what you have, whether it’s a beautiful tailored suit, or a pair of sweats. Bluegrass Style is all about confidence, demeanor, and poise. No matter what outfit you’re donning, as long as you exude those three things, very few people will even notice what you’re wearing. Regardless of whether you’re dressed to the nines, or wearing jeans and a t-shirt, the way you carry yourself will be what draws people in and will be the one thing they will walk away remembering.  I was raised by a bargain hunter and have adopted that same mentality. I like to find a deal in stores, but I like to do it quickly!  I absolutely love super-feminine shoes.  5” heels, sexy designs, and shoes that make a bold statement.  I usually make my shoes (a phenomenal pair of heels) the focal point of every outfit.

Any favorite local spots to shop?

My favorite spots to shop are places where you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

What are some style challenges that you face, and how do you deal with them? 

One of my greatest style challenges is finding clothes that fit my frame well.  Before I buy an article of clothing, I ask myself the following questions:

1. “Does this article of clothing do what it should? Does it fit me where it needs to and flatter my figure?”

2. “Is this something that is super-trendy and will go out of style, or is it a classic that can be worn long-term and be updated with accessories?”

3. “Does it compliment my skin tone and hair color?”

4. “Am I about to make this purchase for quality or quantity?”

5. “Do I love it? Can I live without it?”

In asking myself these questions, I avoid purchasing items that I will never wear or that are unflattering, and limit myself to only acquiring items that allow me to look my best, regardless of style or occasion.

How important is hair and make-up to your personal style?

The highlight of my morning routine is when I get to sit down and focus on my hair and makeup. I have always loved makeup, even as a child, and completely lavish in the process. I cut and color my own hair and thoroughly enjoy playing around with different styles. Scissors don’t scare me and I am constantly changing and altering my cut and style to suit whatever mood I am in. I love being creative, coming up with new and daring “looks”, and finding new ways to accentuate my best features while still maintaining a natural, yet put together appearance. I absolutely love the entire process, start to finish, of applying makeup and seeing transformations. I am very bold and open to new looks and styles when it comes to hair and makeup.

Which are the accessories that you never go without?

I’m not much for accessories, but two things I will never go without is earrings and lip gloss. Earrings and luscious lips complete a look, no matter what it is.

What is your must have for fall?

Cowboy boots. You can wear them with anything!

Animal print (especially reptile) is big for fall 2012—do or don’t?

DO…in moderation. I prefer animal print as an accessory – handbags, shoes, jewelry. When it comes to animal prints, less is definitely more. Let it make a subtle statement and make an outfit pop, DON’T pull a Snooki and let people confuse you for an escaped zoo animal.

Tell us about your business and how our readers can be in touch…

My business is pretty simple – the customer tells me what they want, and I do it. I have some pieces that are for sale, but most people prefer to have custom work. I specialize in portraiture, but am open to creating whatever a client wants. My website has quite an array of examples of previous work, is easy to navigate, and includes a page for pricing. I work very closely with clients to come up with an idea of what they want their final product to be, and will generally send progress photos of the piece in case any adjustments are needed. My first and foremost priority is creating a piece of art that that the client is happy with, and will go to any means to make sure that happens.

You can visit my website at https://sites.google.com/site/artbychristinalynn/ and can email me with any questions or requests at CLBRAN3@yahoo.com.

 

 

As a special incentive for all Bluegrass THREADS readers, Christie is graciously offering a discount on her custom work.  Just mention this coupon below!  Thanks, Christie!