ReFashion 2015 Upsizing The Maxi Skirt

Sheer Mini Maxi ReFashion

Hi Lovelies! If you are just wandering onto my blog you’ll find me mid Wardrobe ReFashion! I had to share one more ReFashion2015 post before as March comes to an end! This one is another Upsize! I found this skirt at the thrift store. It was probably a size 14. I wear dress and bottoms from size 22-26! But it was an extremely full gathered circle skirt and if you remember from my last resize, that means it can be let out and the fabric more than accommodated my wider waist! Since the fabric of the skirt is sheer I thought it would be a nice way to get seasonless wear out of it and show some of my best assets, my smokin’ hot legs! untitled

ReFashion Sheer Mini Maxi Sew guide

  1. First I cut the waist band off of the skirt to let out the true width of fabric.
  2. Next I set aside some elastic and a new waist band to attach later.
  3. I used a T-shirt to replace the long polyester blend slip that was now too small. I cut the collar and sleeves off of an oversize t-shirt for my new slip. But you can also cut two rectangles of fabric of your choice if you sew and have fabric you’d like to use. You can also change it up and play with different colors if you like.
  4. Lastly I attached the slip the skirt, before sewing them to the new waistband. Then I insert the elastic as outlined in the Jogger Pant tutorial and there you have my newly ReFashioned Sheer Mini Maxi skirt.

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The Sheer Mini Maxi w/ boots and a Leather Jacket for very sunny California Autumn.

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Here is my simple style take on the Mini Maxi for Spring/Summer w/ my fave wedges, Dr. Scholls.

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XOXOXO

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Character Study: Denise Huxtable

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Oh my GAWD! The television show A Different World just showed up on Netflix to stream in its entirety! Leave it to Netflix to get me waxing nostalgic! A Different World was a great show that showed a diversity of Black people going to college that had never been seen before. Such a great funny show. And yes it had a lot of lesson episodes, because college kids are still kids, growing up.If you haven’t seen it check it out!  It was the the spin off of a little show called The Cosby Show that starred Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable going to historically Black Hillman College. Oddly enough I had been planning on donig a DH tribute anywho so can’t give them all of the credit! So Cool! Marathon is pending. But first we have to talk about Lisa or actually, Denise.

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Denise Huxtable was my first Alternative Black Girl. I later learned that she was almost every teenage girl’s favorite 80s TV style icon!  Not to mention just plain cool girl. Never mean, always chill and even when she was riled up spoke her truth and kept it mellow. (Unlike Vanessa! #justsayin) Her wardrobe full of Japanese designer pieces, prints and fabulous asymmetrical voluminous clothes screamed Bohemian art chics unite! Most of all it said Be your own fabulous self. And although there were plenty of outfits I would gladly have worn out of that closet, It was always about the sense of style that she had! Denise just resonated ease and confidence.That’s what we all admired, her ability to be that easy, that confident, that unique. Still do!

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Apparently we have Costume Designer Sara Lemire to thank for unique and extremely stylish Huxtables. In a 1987 Interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. “With Lisa, I would have gone much more outrageous with the hair and hats, but I don’t have much control over the hair,” says Lemire, 44. (Other people are in charge of hair and makeup.) “Lisa always had great taste and liked great things. For me, it was like dressing myself if I was 20 years younger.” Can you imagine if she did what she wanted to do with Denise’s look??  Gush!

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Fun Fact: Lisa Bonet had eloped with musician Lenny Kravitz on November 16, 1987, announced that she was preggers in early 1988. A pregnant college freshman was not what the producers of A Different World had in mind, so she was fired! Of course she was rehired back on The Cosby Show for Season Five. Of course, she was outfitted in oversize jackets and loose-fitting patterned shirts until she conveniently went away to  Zaire to work with a photographer. When she came back from Africa, she was Denise Kendall, wife of a Navy officer and her wardrobe took another fabulous turn, as did her hair! Different as it should be but still fab. As always not afraid of perception and a stylin Icon. Who never took herself too seriously.

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Denise Huxtable and all of the Huxtable women were in fact Style Icons of not only the time, but forever! I love how the Philadelphia Inquirer piece ends. It is still so very relevant: ‘ “Most of all, Lemire keeps exploring the power of television, how it affects clothing and clothing affects characters and viewers. “I look at a lot of television and can’t understand what the costume designers are doing,” she says, shaking her head. “It looks like a lot of people have forgotten that it’s a visual medium.” ‘ So Freakin’ True, almost 30 years later!  I LOVE You Denise! No worries there will be a Lisa Bonet Style Icon post in the near future! I got you.

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For amazing Denise Love check out HuxtableHotness on Tumblr and a google search will hook you up like it did me. Thanks gawds I have responsibilities!

xoxo
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ReFashion2015: Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport

ReFashion 2015 Continues Lovelies! Sometimes all it takes is a quick and dirty upgrade! I have become a huge fan of my little FolkArt Metallic waterbased non toxic paints. I have used them on 3 pairs of shoes so far and am pretty happy with them so far!

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 I wore this outfit to a screening of Blade Runner at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Too much fun with my two favorite blondes! Dinner, a movie and a some Old Hollywood casual glam. Even if no one else dresses up i like to pay homage doing my subtle theme thing.

11046626_10152602165677003_2914820237009245453_nNow for the Shoes! I have been wanting a great pair of oxfords for some time. I am really not one for cheap shoes, but when I came across these cute shoes at the thrift store, I couldn’t refuse! For the record Steve Madden and I don’t get along. I find the shoes cheap and ill fitting frankly. But because I was I found them at the thrift shop I was willing to work with them. The simple black and white oxfords were too cute to pass up and a bit too big which meant there was space for some serious comfort shoe inserts to counterbalance the thin flat soles. Also I am checking out how I might be able to add a more substantial heel and maybe even a more sole. The shoe cobbler won’t do any of that because their so inexpensive, but I’m going to try to bump up the quality on these guys a bit. Cuz that’s just how I roll!
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PicMonkey CollageThat being said, Such a simple redux. The technique I use to paint shoes is outlined on my ShoeBoot ReFashion. But again because these shoes aren’t leather the staying power of applying paint is limited so the paint job like the shoes are unfortunately temporary. I am definitely still on the hunt for a well made quality oxford but in the mean time I’ve recycled a very cute shoe that will do for now!

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11038108_10152602165582003_1701211102470653363_n Dress: One of my best Thrifted finds in a while!
Scarf: Oldie but Goodie from my Closet
Sweater Coat: Made my Moi, SweetLeigh
Shoes: Thrifted, ReFashioned

xoxo

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Girl Gang: The Dinner Party

March is Women’s History month here in the U.S.  Women are spectacular and women’s day is everyday in my world. Well some of my favorite women, the women of #UntamedStyle, have gotten together for March to celebrate Women with this month’s theme of Girl Gang. I was reminded of feminists icon, Judy Chicago’s feminist art installation, The Dinner Party which I had the chance to see when it was installed in the Brooklyn Museum. If I could gather any group of women together  for my Dream Dinner Party it would be much more intimate then over a 1,000 women represented in that work of art. Maybe 6 iconic living or dead women who fascinate me. I would love to pick their brains, share our experiences and lure them into becoming members of my girl gang.

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I’d take a page from Frida Kahlo’s cookbook and prepare a Zucchini Salad, have a wine seltzer and fresh fruit bar for improvised Sangria. I would invite everyone to  bring a dish of their creation, after all,  we’re all creatives here. We’d mill and settle as we please around a lovely outdoor area with candles and faerie lights for when the wind picked up. I imagine lots of foliage and lush flowers. More lanterns to move with us as our engrossing conversation leads us easily all night. 15150459048_13eacb5727_b THE GUEST LIST Nona Faustine, a radiant artist whose projects rock my world! In her artist statement Nona says that her “work starts where intersecting identities meet history. Through self portraiture I explore issues about the body within photography. One of her most mesmerizing works is the “White Shoes” Series. She tours locations of New York City’s 250 year history of hidden slavery through photographs. In these locations she takes nude self portraits in white shoes. Stunning, shocking, and moving are these intersections.  Nona Faustine currently has a GoFundMe along with amazing photographer Marilynn Nance to fund their travel to “Black Portraiture[s] II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-staging Histories”, conference in Italy.  Yes Nona, so much yes.

“From Her Body Sprang Their Greatest Wealth” 2013 Site of Colonial Slave Market, Wall Street Copyright of Nona Faustine All Rights Reserved

Iris Apfel is a Style Genius, in her youth she workde for Womens Wear Daily, became an interior designer and along with her husband ran a textile imports company. Let’s not even mention her huge collection of vintage costume jewerly. GaH! I would love to sit down with her and pick her brain for fashion and design stories for days.  At 93 years old her wit is as sharp as ever and she is about to finally be the star of a documentary of her life. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. But I’d rather sit and talk to the woman whose wardrobe was worthy of a museum exhibition, fabulous Iris.

Carol Rossetti you know. If you don’t know her by her name you know her by her deceptively simple and kind Women Project. The illustrator and designer created a series of biographical images of named women, some inspired by women she knew personally and many more as a result of fans contributing to her work.  These simple illustrations are lessons in identity politics. In her project statement she says “I feel very disturbed by the world’s attempts to control women’s bodies, behaviors and identities; so I’ve started a series of illustrations in a friendly tone hoping to reach people about how absurd this really is.” Her illustrations of women with names and identities completely their own and without apology have been translated into innumerable languages and any woman can relate to this important body of work that will soon become a book. Carol is inspiring!

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Maya Angelou was lost to our physical world in May of 2014. She posthumously released a recording completed before her death of a collaborative hip hop album of her seminal work I know why the Caged Bird Sings. The album is called Caged Bird Songs and it is amazing. What is most interesting for me about the project is that through it I learned that Maya Angelou – before she was one of our most revered poets – was a musician, a calypso singer and modern dancer. I have fallen in love with Maya all over again. I would love to spend some time with the divine Ms. Angelou. slide_351348_3790147_free Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski. There is little I can say that can begin to summarize the work of this Queer mixed Afro-Latina artist. Her artist statement speaks for it self. I can only offer the final paragraph of it for you to, like me, imagine how amazing her company might be. ” I call my works experiments because I don’t see them as conclusive or original.  I am acutely aware that whatever I make is in constant dialogue with what has been made before, and see my practice as a continuation of variables that are in persistent rotation to produce unending results.  I experiment so that I may allow myself the freedom to change my mind, to be pushed into new ways of thinking, making, and naming.  I am interested in using the future as a site of experimentation, as well as a space to gain freedom and visibility around the conversations of race, gender, sexuality, and class. I see this making a kind of sympathetic magic. Not because it calls into being that which is rendered, but because it calls into question that which has already been, and dreams up that which could be.” Sounds like magic to me.

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Storm Sayer by Amarylis DeJesus Moleski

Ruth Asawa was an incredible artist. She is known for both her large scale public sculptures in San Francsico, co-founding the Alvarado Arts Workshop for young students developing a teaching method for arts and gardening used all over the bay area.  She died in 2013 after living with Lupus since 1984. My favorite work of hers are her wire scultpures, pictured below. I would love to engage with this forward thinker and creative mind.

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Portraits of Ruth Asawa with her work by Imogen Cunningham (Left) Her work as displayed on her living room (right)

And there you have an amazing Dinner Party My loves and secret Fantasy Girl Gang. I think I would call it a gathering of Unicorns.  Who would be on your Guest List? Check out some members of my real life Girl Gang, my #UntamedStyle Cohorts on their amazing blogs! ! Zadry Link! PiaMichelle Link! Margot Link!Aarti Link!

Veronica

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ReFashion 2015: The Rock Star Cape

11043130_10152602660757003_7941020441858267809_n1Its Thrifty Thursday and the Gone Thrifting Crew is having a Rock Star moment or theme this week! Can you guess who my Rock Star is!? None other then Goddess Janelle Monae! Golly I Love that woman! Talented, gorgeous, fresh, an amazing artist and she has impeccable style. This is of course also a ReFashion, because there’s got to be a ReFashion 2015 Project.

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In case you’ve been living under a rock, Janelle Monae is a divine creature who fuses Soul, R&B, Good ole Fashion Rock and Roll with Pop and manages to make it all seem so very fresh and new…. The first time I saw her in concert, there has only been one time thus far but many more to come as far as I’m concerned, she rocked a cape. She did this stellar number to a James Brown tune, complete with James Brown theatrics and I knew she was one of the most amazing people on earth. Talent and impeccable style. Here’s a sampling of her on an off stage style!

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Back to ReFashioning! Below is a pictorial on the steps I took to transform a thrifted Ulla Popken lined tweed skirt that my mother actually found for me, and transformed into a boxy cape. The inspiration for which is here.

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The first part of the process essentially was removing the waist band. I cut off a few inches of the fairly long skirt from the waist down to leave an intact hem. Then I separated the waistband to use as banding for the arm holes. I measured against my neck to determine how much space I needed for my collar and sewed up the remainder. I then shaped that closure to create a rounded shoulder. Once that was done I tried on the cape in process to better determine where I would cut out my arm holes. Once those things were complete I moved on to finishing.

Make Cape 2Next in the process was attaching the simple skirt lining with top closure modifications. I cut the arm holes in the lining after sewing in lining and before creating the arm hole banding. It was a pretty simple project and for the most part I am happy with it. I installed a zipper closure, but did not do a great job. Plus I think I will go back and adjust some of the shaping. I was totally going for 80s alternative Denise Huxtable, but its a little too boxy. But for now, I’ll Rock my Inner Janelle Monae!

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xoxo

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Crush: Lizzo

So I have been mildly obsessed with the video series Style Like U for some time. Its a phenomenal series of videos and interviews on stylish people’s closets.  They recently started a What’s Underneath project. Which is an exploration of body image and self image. Yay Style Like U! I also love that they committed the month of February to Black Lives Matter featuring some bad ass style Black identified industry professionals and artists. But this fabulous interview that quickly became my favorite is from October of last year. I am adoring Lizzo.

Not only is she a classically trained flutist turned rapper about to open up for Slater-Kinney’s Reunion tour, but a beautiful young woman in process of loving herself, and not afraid to discuss it. The way she saves her weave for last and discusses hair #UGH I adore this woman. Beautiful Soul, BadAss artist.

Ummmm Yeah, You’re Welcome.
xoxo

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CinePhile: Star Trek -The Original Series

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There is no reason anyone who does not know me fairly personally should know this, but I am a Trekker. If you refer to us as Trekkies, you’re getting it wrong. I am a Next Generations Junkie, Deep Space 9, Voyager and the Star Trek: Enterprise, never REALLY grabbed my attention like Generations did.

Jean Luc Picard was my preferred fictional candidate for President during his series run. Boy we could have used him. The Prime Directive was about maintaining justice to create lasting peace. Crew members, Troy, the Empath/advisor, Geordi the visually impaired engineer and his bestie Data the android, were my favorites. Next Generation won my intellect and its harmonious crew made me happy. I wasn’t excited about the latest movie installments, but I was quickly won with a play on the origins of my favorite Star Trek crew to date. Star Trek The Original Series. (STOS)

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All five Star Trek TV and Film Crews

STOS will Always have my heart. The year is 1966 and our world here in the United States is erupting with racial strife and disparity, U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war is 5 years in and the country is divided. A little TV show appears imagining not only a future where humans of all nations and ethnicities are in harmony but where we have ventured outside of our galaxy to explore and befriend other species, beings and unknown entities in the Universe.

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The STOS Universe, Artwork by Dusty Abell

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Above Poster Art by Juan Ortiz

As progressive as the concept of the show is there are some pretty Un-PC things about STOS, like Kirk. Everything about him really, the womanizing, the Earth all the way rhetoric and our way or the highway propaganda in many an episode. Not to mention the put up your dukes macho man mandate in every episode. But at the end of the day I love Captain Kirk, I loved William Shatner’s iconic timing and I loved the crew and there sometimes fantastic explorations best.

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Its kind of remarkable that the show’s crew consisted of Mr. Sulu, a Japanese Pilot played by an actual Japanese actor (George Takei).  A Russian co-pilot Mr. Chekov(Walter Koenig), impressive during the rise of Anti-Communism, and a multilingual Black woman communications officer Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) in the midst of Segregation and Voting Rights battles for Blacks across the Country. Our friendly Scottish engineer, Scotty (James Doohan), and the Captain’s home grown southern bestie Dr. McCoy (DeForrest Kelly) were thrown in for good measure adding melodrama and humor. Then the alien crew member who was born to reason, that we would come to know as a Vulcan, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

kirk-and-spock7365b7d2f9c3e37885a216e243332b98Uhura. She is my shining star. She does not appear in every episode, nor does she get a whole lot of lines in many episodes. But she’s there and by now you probably know how hard it was for actress Nichelle Nichols to deal with being the only black woman on the show and treated as far less then an equal. And how Dr. Martin Luther King had to remind of her the impact of just being there, being seen and on our screens night after night in a world where Black people were not considered equal was so important. He couldn’t have been more right. Seeing her in that context still blows my mind, almost every time.

On the rare occasion she has a significant part in the story it’s divine. And although I believe its entirely sexist to have her and every other woman on the show barely dressed in most episodes, the costume design as it applies to she and Nurse Chapel and every alien woman guest starring on the show gives me LIFE! We’ll talk more about Lieutenant Uhura in the future don’t you worry.

mp_startrek_uhuraStar Trek2080901-uhura_distracts_hikaru_sulu__mirror_Kirk may be a holy roller egotist but he’s a charmer. Ultimately he won me over in the end through his bromance with Mr. Spock that makes my heart sing, Spock is where my heart truly lies. Spock was my my first weird guy crush. He was logical, respectful, and he was half alien! Which was awesome. He was like your inner voice of reason except hot and with pointy ears. He might as well of had tatoos and body piercings. I loved everything to do with Spock. I loved his loyalty, his nobility and ability to fix almost any problem, and love his friend so dearly. Nimoy radiated soul in a character that was supposed to have contained his every emotion.

The_Enterprise_Incident_236Spock_and_Horta_mind_meld 960Nimoy went on to star in other parts, direct films, including two of my favorite Star Trek feature films III and IV. He shot several photography books including the Full Body Project which is series on female beauty embodied by Large women. Yay for the Fat Bottomed Girls! When I learned that Leonard Nimoy had died it was pretty heartbreaking. Lucky for me and everyone else who loved his legacy of television, film, music and photography, his spirit lives on in his creative work. So in celebration my favorite Sci-Fi actor ever and the series I love: RIP darling Leonard Nimoy. Live Long and Prosper babies. #LLAP

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xoxo

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The Empowerment Project: Decolonize Body Love

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This week, February 22-28 is National Eating Disorder Awareness week friends. I saw this t-shirt on Etsy some time ago but just finally bought one. Doing so was an act of self love, self care and self affirmation. This amazing (refashioned) shirt is from Nalgona Positive Shop on Etsy. Gloria Lucas is the brain child behind the shirt and Nalgona Positive Pride which is a community dedicated to decolonial healing and eating disorder awareness for a diverse fat positive community. NPP was “started in response to the pervasiveness of hetero-normative white supremacist ideals in love your body campaigns.” So Much YES.

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Since I returned to Instagram and began my self love journey, I have been participating in monthly yoga challenges. I have even won prizes in challenges despite my own fears/bias of not being the right type to be seen, much less recognized for my expression of being in my body. But even with all of the amazing support, validation, Likes and beautiful comments I receive, I find myself comparing my body to those lithe white women that are in the ads for lululemon and who exist in the world, in your yoga class and on Instagram. This is not healthy, this comparison. I am reminded of that quote,  “Comparison is the Thief of Joy”- Theordore Roosevelt. And add that it is also the killer of solidarity. And we need to be in solidarity with each other.

10991139_10152581245092003_7613314951057218711_nIt is not healthy for me to measure my body and self image to another’s, period. It devalues me to measure myself by this image that has been forced upon me as a norm in the context of Yoga. It also reminded me that to associate yoga with a white fitness oriented thin women instead of Indian men from whom this spiritual restorative practice began is very much about colonization.   It is in those moments that I recognize and really feel the battle cry that we Decolonize Body Love. (*Correction – It turns out that Yoga originated in Egypt c. 40,000 BCE. before migrating to India. Fascinating!)

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Radical self love and self acceptance is my battle-cry for the year. My year of love begins with self. All of myself, just as I am with dark skin, big belly, large thighs, massive calved, fat, gap toothed nappy haired black woman. What’s not to love. Truly. LOVE all of myself. I have to radically love and accept the body I am in and that involves removing a lot of propaganda I’ve been force fed my entire life. This propaganda of an ideal body hurts us all. This propaganda can lead to low self esteem, self image and eating disorders. Replacing that propaganda with positive messages and actions is a daily struggle. One that brings me tears and joy.  Today it makes me proud. #Proud2BMe.

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Share your #loveyourrealselfie on social media and check out the NEDA National Eating Disorder Awareness  organization for information and resources on eating disorders. Visit their website or helpline: http://www.NationalEatingDisorders.org, NEDA Helpline: 800-931-2237.

xoxo

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ReFashion 2015: Wardrobe Vision Board Pt. 2

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In the first installment of my Wardrobe Vision Board Post I talked about figuring out the shapes and silhouettes that work best for me and identifying Basix that I have and need in my wardrobe. For me these are key to my … Continue reading