Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nothing can change this love

Shorts: J.Crew ($15)
Shoes: Gap ($34)
Necklace: H&M ($9)
Ring: F21 ($5)
Bracelets: gifts
Sunnies: Fred Flare ($11)
I've been going more of the bohemian route lately with my outfits, it's been ungodly hot for the past couple of days and I work in a second floor office with no AC. Bohemian is really the only option when you're working in an 85 degree office. So I was thrilled to wake up to cooler weather this morning and be able to dress a little more...Classic. While I love flowey dresses and sandals as much as the next girl, I also love classic looks like this one. I have a little obsession with striped bateau tops, and was stoked to receive this top from ModCloth. I loved the unique take on a wardrobe staple, the fabric is actually rayon (so much lighter and breezier than cotton), and the stripes are made of threaded ribbon, rather than printed on. I paired it with black sailor shorts and classic flats and threw on a cropped trench to walk to work in (not shown). I had an important meeting this afternoon, so I was happy that I had gone the more traditional route.

Life has been changing a lot lately (which I will get into in another post), which has me thinking a lot about this blog. Orchid Grey is almost a year old (June 10!) and it's come a long way since it's inception. But what about the future? That's where YOU come in! What would you like to see more of on this blog? Daily Style? Art? Inspiration? How-to's? Something else? Let me know! I'm so excited for what the future holds for this blog, and after a week or so of slacking, I feel newly motivated!

PS- It's almost the weekend!

May Sponsor Round-up!

So before the month is up- which it almost is!- I wanted to take a moment to thank my sponsors for May:
Is anyone else obsessed with ModCloth's dresses? I definitely am! I'll admit that I occasionally find myself compulsively checking their new arrivals daily. The three dresses above are some of my favorites as of late.
Next up we have Vintage Shoe Love! How beautiful is that vintage stamped leather purse? Lisa has curated an amazing collection of vintage shoes and purses, her collection just seems to keep growing! What I love most about the shop is her attention to keeping a variety of sizes, as an 8.5, I have such a hard time finding vintage shoes that actually fit.

And last, but certainly not least is Kdikio Vintage! Kristen has such a great collection of vintage accessories in her shop, especially necklaces and bracelets, which I can't seem to get enough of these days. That ring in the middle is so pretty!

Thank you again to all of my May sponsors, and to all of my readers! I loved reading about what you want to see more of on this blog and I'm so excited for the months to come! Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

June Sponsorships Available


Ad space is now available for June! If interested, email me at jkoboyle(at)gmail.com for details.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My friday project

What did you do on friday? I MacGyver'd a dress!
Dress: hand-me-down from Adria
Belt: Vintage hand-me-down
Shoes: Courtesy of ModCloth
Bag: Thrifted ($10)
Sunnies: Fred Flare ($11)
heart and cross rings: F21 ($5)
Bracelet: Thrift ($2)
Necklace: F21 ($8)
photos: chris
A lot of people ask me about thrift shopping on this blog- I seem to have quite a bit of luck with it- one of my secrets is to look for the potential in things. Although this dress wasn't thrifted by me, my friend Adria obviously saw that it had something going for it on the rack, and then when it showed up at my doorstep after a closet clean-out of hers, I saw the potential too. The first thing that caught my eye was the vibrancy of the fabric, I love that bright blue, it's not like anything in my closet already. I also noticed the composition of the fabric, unlike many dresses of it's era (early 1980's) it's not made of polyester, it's silk- one of my favorite materials. The shape on the rack was kind of frumpy and limp, but after trying it on I found that the shoulders fit my frame perfectly and while the silhouette was different than what I normally go for, I liked the change. So, how to make it better? I hacked off about 10 inches from the bottom, and used stitch witchery instead of sewing a blind stitch hem. My reasons for coping out on the hem were because silk is so light any little stitch would show, and I was in a hurry! All in all it took me 20 minutes to make myself a new dress! So, moral of the story: always look for potential! (see the uninspiring before image below)
The before (excuse the bad photo):
How was your weekend?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Song for Sunshine

Jacket: J.Crew outlet ($15 ?)
Shirt: J.Crew outlet ($15)
Belt: Vintage from friend
Skirt: Urban outfitters ($20)
Tights: Urban Outfitters ($4)
Bracelet: Modern Millie's ($4)
Shoes: Nine West via Swap
Another grey and cloudy day, I'm so glad I decided not to pack away these blue tights with the rest of my winter things. It always seems to be the case that I pack up my cold weather gear in anticipation of summer, and BOOM, it's cold, dark and rainy the next day. I guess that's what you get with New England. I wanted to keep things summery but warm today, so I chose to go a little nautical. I love tan, blue and white together, and adding just a small pop of red (rather than red tights) keeps things from getting too 4th of July.

I got these awesome shoes at the swap last week:
I honestly don't have too much to say today, I always feel so weird about sharing the not-so-good side of life on this blog (I am afraid of boring people) but honestly work and life both have me run into the ground. Chris and I may be getting a new car soon, our Volvo has been having countless problems lately which makes me sad and I think it's just time to cut our losses. I hate looking for new cars, it took me nearly a month to settle on the one I have now and other than the major (expensive too) issues it's had, I really like it. I'm really looking forward to another weekend with no plans! Sorry for the rant, I've had an amazingly long day.

Have a good night!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Over the Weekend...

Dress: American Apparel thrifted ($5)
Belt: Vintage from friend
Bag: Thrifted ($10)
Necklace: Dolly & Boy
Sunglasses: Fred Flare ($11)
Sandals: Volcom courtesy of PacSun Spring Break Crew
Hat: Target ($10 sale)
How was everyone's weekend? Mine was great! For the first time in a long time I actually feel like I had a weekend. It can be really difficult to allow myself to relax and not worry/think about work and projects, and I typically have to work a lot of Saturdays at the College. But not this weekend! Saturday was nice but windy so Chris and I made a trip to Savers where I picked up this cute t-shirt dress by American Apparel (I also found a cute vintage kilt for winter, and a Dolly Parton album). It was perfect for a weekend spent doing relaxing things. On Sunday morning we rose semi-early and headed to the weekly flea market up in Rowley. I love this Summer ritual of ours, it gets us both up early and we get to spend some much needed time together. Chris found that beautiful stamped silver cigarette case, and I found a hanging planter for my growing collection of jade plants. The rest of the day was spent lounging at the sea-side park down the street, eating gelato, and snuggling cats and it ended at a roof-top pot luck with friends. Such a lovely time! Also, you may be noticing things are looking a little different around here! I have a new template which my amazingly talented friend Erica patiently created for me, thanks Lady!

Today's weather was grey and cold, a far cry from the predicted 74 degrees Weather.com was boasting today. Summer seems to be holding out on us! How was your weekend?

PS- I updated Shop Orchid's Closet this afternoon! Five new items are available in various sizes!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hair-Do How-to #4: Beachy Waves (or Barbie hair)

Ok, Please excuse my nerdy-ness. It took me a million tries to get this, sixth time's a charm I always say! Anyways, I promised this months ago and I'm really sorry it has taken me so long to do it. I was planning on one more "Dress Your Best" post, but Fridays never seem to work out for me, outfit wise. So second best thing:

video

Let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you for all of the sweet comments this week, I loved reading about your favorite books, and your favorite parts of yourself as well. I think "Dress Your Best" was such an amazing idea, and something that I think everyone should think about more often. The good parts are always better to focus on than the parts you'd rather change. It's so easy to get caught up in celebrity culture, magazines, etc. and that's why I think blogs are so important, they offer an alternative. An alternative voice (yours) and an alternative point of view (about a million points of view!). Anyways, I just wanted to write a general Thank you for all of the support this week and for reading my blog.

Oh! and I'll be launching a new template this weekend, so don't be alarmed if you visit the site and things are a little different, just a new column and a few new features! I'm excited!

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

There ain't no words for the beauty, the splendor, the wonder...

Dress Your Best, day three!
Red Licorice Belt: Courtesy of ModCloth.com
Jeans: Vintage via thrift ($6)
Shoes: Steve Madden ($19 sale)
Sunnies: UO ($4 sale)
Chris says that hair isn't a body part because if you cut it off, you won't die. I disagree. It grows from your head, it's a body part. And, while you may not die by cutting it off, I know I'm not the only one here who has experienced the post-haircut meltdown where you realize your brilliant "shag" is actually just a mullet (true story). So today is day three (for me, 4 for other's) of Dress Your Best Week, and if you haven't figured it out already, one of my favorite parts of myself is my hair! I have always had fun with my hair- at least when I wasn't sobbing over a bad cut/color decision- and I actually used to work reception at Chris' mom's salon back in New Hampshire. Working at the salon, I met some amazing girls, it was so fun to be around creative people who loved their jobs, and of course I learned a lot about styling my own hair! I've always gone back and forth about attending hair school, someday maybe I will! One of these days I really want to do a post about all the styles I've had, maybe once I get my scanner set up.

I went with a decidedly 1970's vibe with my outfit, because I thought it worked with my big, kind-of-feathered hair. I got this amazing Lolita t-shirt from ModCloth. These Out of Print shirts have been making the rounds in the blog world lately, and for good reason, they're so comfortable! Like that perfect 1970's worn-in t-shirt of your father's (minus the holes and axel grease). I chose the Lolita print because it's a v-neck which is more flattering on me, but also because it's my all-time favorite book (I may or may not be harboring a stolen copy of Lolita and Valley of the Dolls from my hometown library...I'll never tell...). What is your favorite book?


ModCloth.com is a sponsor of Orchid Grey

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dress Your Best Day 2!

Dress: Thrifted & cut ($3)
Belt: Vintage Thrift ($1)
Tights: Urban Outfitters ($14)
Cardigan: J.Crew Outlet (old)
Ring: gift from Punky
Shoes: courtesy of Vintage Shoe Love
For today's Dress Your Best look, I chose to focus on a body part that I never expected to ever really love: my legs. First, a little back story: I never thought much of my legs and knees, I ran track all through middle and high school but was never very fast. They were useful for snowboarding, and running and that's about it, but otherwise caused me nothing but grief. I've always had issues with my knees in particular, in middle school I collapsed getting out of the shower and found out it was because I had inherited my family's long ligaments. I had to wear a leg brace for a long time (which was uncomfortable) and every now and then my knee cap will dislocate (really gross, I know). Last summer, after installing a gallery show, I had severe pain in my knees for weeks and they had blown up to the size of softballs, I finally went to the doctor and found out that I had arthritis and bone spurs in both knees caused by untreated sports injuries. Awesome. Well, that was all the incentive I needed to finally take care of myself! I joined a gym, stopped running on pavement, and lost 15 pounds. Pounds that are no longer crushing down on my poor knees. So, I'm happy to say that I finally love my legs, they were the motivation I needed to take care of my entire body.
To highlight my new favorite feature, I wore a pair of heart tights and vintage black heels from Vintage Shoe Love. Heels are still tough for me to wear, but this pair is pretty low, and with some re-enforcement inside they're downright comfortable!

There are so many more bloggers taking part in Dress Your Best, go here to see who else is participating!

Vintage Shoe Love is a sponsor of Orchid Grey and kindly provided the shoes in this post

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gonna get me a gal that'll go out on the town (plus shop update!)

Sweater: Second-hand from friend
Belt: Vintage ($1)
Necklace: H&M ($9)
Shoes: Guess ($24)

So this week is Dress Your Best week over at Academichic, when I received the email asking me to participate, I immediately said yes! One of the reasons I was drawn to blogging in the first place was that blogs offered something that magazines didn't: a true representation of very shape and size body imaginable. I loved the idea of Dress Your Best, it can sometimes be too easy to get hung up on one's flaws, having a whole week devoted to our best parts is a refreshing idea! So my first gold star this week goes to my figure.

One of my absolute favorite features of my body is my shape, I love having an hourglass figure and I love dressing an hourglass figure. So, when I saw this dress on ModCloth, I knew it would be perfect on me. I was sure it would sell out fast, but there are still some on the website! It's a little step out of the ordinary for me with the bright florals and sweetheart neckline, but I love it (I did have to tailor it a little by bringing in the sides of the top). It makes me feel like a modern pin-up, it'll be perfect for a summer date! To accentuate my small waist, I added a black belt and threw on a little sweater because it was freezing out!
I haven't always been so comfortable with my body, in high school I wore a lot of baggy clothing. It wasn't until college that I really learned to love my body. When I found rockabilly music (Trivia! the title of this post is a lyric from a Roy Orbison song) and pin-ups, I really developed an appreciation for my curves, here was a subculture that celebrated a "classic" figure! I eventually fell out of that scene, but my appreciation for curves and a little something to grab onto is still with me.

Don't forget to check out the other bloggers participating in Dress Your Best!
What parts of your body do you love?

PS- You didn't think I forgot did you?! I updated Shop Orchid Grey this afternoon! There are four new items up and many more to come! I'll also have more pictures of the swap later on in the week, I'm glad you all liked the video!

ModCloth.com is a sponsor of Orchid Grey and kindly provided the dress in this post

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sneak Peek: Over the Weekend

I had such a great weekend! I'm so excited to say that! Here is a little sneak peek at what I was up to on Saturday (I'll have more pictures of the event tomorrow!):

The Swapaholics from Amy Chase on Vimeo.

Video taken by Punky of Punky Style, Haberdash Vintage, and the Swapaholics!

I have to say, I am super awkward in front of the camera, they interviewed us separately about our blogs and I'm pretty sure I addressed a pile of clothes the whole time rather than look at the camera. I noticed that I'm a little shifty eyed too, I think it's because of the amount of public speaking I do, I'm always making sure I make eye contact with everyone while I speak! We're our own worst critics, huh?

It was so nice to see Jen and Punky again, they are both amazing girls and I wish I got to see them more. It's amazing, I never expected to connect with as many people as I have through this blog.

I hope everyone had a great weekend, I'm keeping things short tonight because I'm in the middle of finishing up final edits for a freelance project for the College. Have a good night!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Slow Days of Summer

Another beautiful day today!
Dress: TjMaxx ($25)
Shoes: Salvation Army ($6)
Belt: vintage from friend
Necklaces: courtesy of Noble Town Vintage
The wind today was absolutely ridiculous. I had all of these grand plans for a photo-shoot in a new location, but had to rethink the whole thing because of the sheer windy-ness! I'm pretty sure I have accidentally flashed my whole town from the wind blowing up my dress. I'm over it, I need a solution! So the grand photo-shoot will have to wait until another day, this little nook is really pretty right now anyways. The flowers shielded me from the wind and some overly curious gawkers too!

I've been making a noble attempt at breaking in these wedges. I found them brand new at Salvation Army back in January (they're from Target originally), and they're a little narrow. I'm finding that as I wear wedges more and more, I'm getting a little addicted to the extra height!

Couturious Scholarship Winner!

Remember the Couturious Scholarship contest? Well we have chosen a winner for the $2000 prize:

Connie Chang from Otis College of Art and Design!
Her winning look:
Travel Chic
Connie writes: "Hello, my name is Connie Chang and I am currently a Fashion Design student at Otis College of Art & Design. Fashion and fine art has always been my favorite subjects since I was very young and am continually educating myself to grow to become a bridal designer someday. I enjoy expressing myself through creating art and I love exploring those who create their own. I admire genuine people with kind hearts and passion, and believe success simply comes from hard work and determination. As much as I love traveling, "Travel Chic" is a perfect way of expressing the style of outfit I prefer to dress while I am on the road."

I absolutely loved Connie's "Travel Chic" look, definitely something I would wear to explore the streets of Italy or France in the summertime! Congrats Connie!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's a rainy day sunshine girl

Happy Cinco de Mayo! The weather has been unbelievable this week, aside from a random thunderstorm yesterday afternoon, it's been just gorgeous. I love this time of year, when you haven't begun to take the weather for granted and it's not hot or humid enough yet to warrant complaints. Everything is so green too, it's amazing! I know I sound all dippy about this, but after a particularly harsh and ugly New England winter, Summer just seems like a miracle. Like something you kind of forget exists November through April, and then all of a sudden it's here!



Dress: Church sale altered ($2)
Shoes: Salvation Army ($6)
Belt: Thrift store find from Mom ($1)
Anyways, on to my outfit: I love the satisfaction an entirely thrifted outfit brings, like you beat the man or something. Take that society. I found this dress last year at a local Church rummage sale. When I bought it, it was super baggy on top and had some particularly gnarly sleeves, something a granny probably donated. I originally bought it thinking I would make it into a skirt or something, i really liked the linen-type fabric, and didn't see much hope for it staying a dress. Well, I was wrong, after hacking it with scissors and taking it in about 6 inches either side up top, I really love it! I've really been feeling dresses this week with minimal accessories, they're a little too easy!
Do you have Cinco De Mayo plans? I'll be making Jen's tostadas and drinking Coronas with my honey. Certainly quieter than the typical bar scene, but I like it that way!

Oh, and wow! I never expected the response I got for my new Shop Orchid Grey feature! Thank you all! Everything is spoken for right now, but there will be another update next week, so stay tuned! xoxo