My Top 5 Favorite Not-So-Obvious Accessories by Kristen

Hey there! I’m Kristen from The Mrs. and The Momma….a blog about my musings of life as a wife, mom to four, and a clothes-loving gal. I started my blog after having my last baby to chronicle how my style would evolve during my “transition” phase, but my blog has turned into much more than that. It’s really my fifth child.

For me getting dressed everyday is something I look forward to…especially the accessorizing part. But we all know the basics of accessorizing, right? What I mean is that items such as belts, bags, scarves, and jewelry are commonplace in what we wear. They naturally pull together outfits and are basically the cornerstones of accessories, if you will.

What I love about fashion are the other accessories that give that needed “pop” to an outfit. Not that the above-mentioned items don’t make things interesting, but sometimes I look in the mirror and think, “This just needs something more.” when my other accessories aren’t quite stepping up to the plate. Enter:  My Top 5 Favorite Not-So-Obvious Accessories. (You like that title?)

5.  Nails
Yes, nails can be an accessory. Well manicured, bold-colored nails can bring that wow-factor. What better cheap and easy way to change your look from day to day? (Ahem, more like week to week, for me at least.)

 


4. Hair

Ginnifer Goodwin, Elle Magazine

I’ve had approximately 36.7 hair styles in the past decade of my life. I just love to try new styles and colors.  A statement hair style such as a pixie cut, a platinum bob, or simply curling normally straight hair can be an accessory to any wardrobe, because the hair standing out on it’s own diminishes the need for strong accessories elsewhere. Look for people with similar face shapes and  coloring as you for inspiration to see what new “statement” hair styles you could try out. I’m absolutely in love with this particular cut.

3. Lips

I know this is kind of a given, but when you need that pop of color, the best way to achieve it in mere seconds is slapping on some bright lipstick. Your choice of make-up, specifically lipstick color, can make or break a look. Coming from a generation who has generally shied away from lipstick and adhered rather to gloss, I find it somewhat hard to get on the bandwagon, but I’m trying. Just make sure you line before you apply. Nobody likes bleeding lipstick.

 

2. Broaches
Pins and broaches are wonderful in my book. It’s an extra bonus if they are vintage, such as this one that belonged to my grandmother.
Whether they’re placed on a lapel, hat, purse, or on a chain as a necklace, broaches are super versatile in adding an interesting flare. Next opportunity you have, go rummage through your grandmother’s old costume jewelry…I’d be willing to bet you’ll score a find!

1. Hats

Okay, people, if we all band together, I’m pretty positive we can be successful in bringing fascinators over to America. I would die for an occasion to wear one! But until then, I guess I’ll settle for regular hats. Boo. No, not really…I love wearing hats. What better multi-purpose accessory? Not only do they cover up bad hair days and keep your head warm, but there are endless possibilities when styling an outfit around a hat. My favorites include the Gap beret I’m wearing in the above picture and the one below from Target.

Coco Chanel said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” I’m not sure I agree with this statement, but whenever in doubt, I do make sure I’ve got at least something of interest going on. So I’d love to hear…what are some of your favorite not-so-obvious ways to accessorize?

How to Draw Fashion Illustrations by Heather

Hey guys! I’m Heather Anderson. I blog about fashion, hair, beauty, and art over at Latter Day Style. Elaine was nice enough to let me guest post and teach you guys more about fashion illustration.

Like you guys, I love Clothed Much. I’ve been following the blog for a while and love Elaine’s polished, yet relaxed style. When putting this post together, I knew I wanted to feature some of Elaine’s outfits. I was planning on just choosing three, but I couldn’t decide.. There were too many good ones and I ended up with ten looks! Read on to learn more about fashion illustration.

My Desk

Tools

  • Pencil, sharpener, eraser
  • Color medium (colored pencils, markers, gouache, paint, etc.)
  • Black pen
  • Paper (computer paper, tracing, or vellum paper)

Extras

  • Oval stencil, circle stencil, French curved ruler, or standard ruler
  • White out pen and gel pens
  • Utility knife
  • Drafter’s brush
  • Clothing catalog, pictures to draw from, reference books
  • Prismacolor markers, colored pencils, Micron pens for outlines

Drawing the Fashion Figure

Add the basic landmarks, head, shoulders, waist, hips, knees, elbows…
Connect the dots.
Draw the basic figure.
Transfer the image.

Most fashion illustrations are based on the standard 9 heads proportion, even though most people are only 7 heads. What this means is the total height of the figure can be divided into 9 equal parts. Even if you don’t plan on drawing your fashion figures based on the standard fashion template, it is still important to first understand the human body, how it moves, and how it is shaped so you can create realistic and artistic sketches.

Gather pictures and catalogs. It’s also a great idea to take a figure drawing class, and practice, practice, practice. Only after you have mastered the basic fashion figure can you move on to making it your own.

Stylization

 Source: twopeasinabucket.com

After mastering the fashion figure, each illustrator finds their own style. It is important to have your unique look:  maybe big eyes is your trademark or a tiny waist or spindly long legs. The point here is to try new things until you find what works for you. My illustrations have gone through a few changes over the years, and sometimes I even tweak my look to match my audience. I have come to like my figures, which are shorter than most illustrations, to have bigger heads, hips, and long legs.

There are lots of wonderful fashion illustrators. Be inspired by them, but stay true to your art and always keep it original. Above are some samples from a few of my favorite illustrators. Notice what changes each made on their fashion figures.

Sketching Your Design

After deciding how your fashion figures will look, it is important to make a master copy of this figure. I outline it in black permanent marker, and if I am doing quick sketches or a collection, I place the master copy underneath my new blank piece of paper. I then draw my clothes with the light outline of the body as a guide. Designers often use light boxes or vellum paper (a thick tracing paper) to do this, but I find plain computer paper works just fine.

There are a few techniques that will help your illustrations look more realistic.

  • You want to keep your lines smooth, fluid, and relaxed.
  • When drawing gathers, keep your lines loose (think cursive Ms and Ws).
  • Wrinkles can be illustrated by a couple of wide loops.
  • Pleats are more structured and exact.

Rendering Fabrics

In fashion illustration, it is important to know how to draw fabric. Illustrations are about getting an idea across, and fabric choice is a huge part of that. So, collect fabric samples and get familiar with different materials and prints.

Sequins

Start with a few rows of circles.
Layer your darker colors.

Drawing sequins can take a while, but if done right, it can add interest to any design. There are lots of techniques for drawing embellishments. I like to start with a light base color coloring in almost the whole piece while leaving some white areas for shine. Then, I go in layer by layer with a darker shade drawing simple circles. At the end, I dot in my darkest circles and add the shine using colored pencils, gel pens, or white-out pen adding random dots and half circles.

Add shine.

Prints

The easiest way to draw prints is to break the whole print down into sections; most prints are easily divided into rows, grids or clusters. Floral prints can easily be divided into vertical rows. Sketch lines following the movement of the garment. Afterwards, you can break up your print. Instead of drawing a flower with a stem, look for shapes. A flower can be sectioned off in the top as a circle and the bottom, a heart.

Jeans

Draw out your jeans.
Lay down your color.
Add a few white lines for the twill weave.
Draw stitching.

It’s crucial to know how to draw jeans, and because there is such a variety of colors, washes, and finishes, it’s important to know how to draw a variety of looks. Usually, for lighter jeans, I use grays mixed with light blues. For worn, muddy jeans, I mix brown and indigo blue. For this dark wash, I stick with a simple blue, added some white colored pencil diagonal lines to represent the twill weave, and finished up with white stitching.

Hair

Start by laying down the lightest color.
Add in your shading.
Add shine, and you’re done!

Hair can be tricky; the more practice, the better. Don’t feel like you need to draw every strand of hair; keep it simple. Start with the lightest color of hair first covering the whole area except where the hair shines. It’s helpful to draw from a picture or, as Bina Abling does, draw a little sun on one corner of the paper and shade your illustration according to that light source. So, if you draw a sun on the right, your shading should be on the left of your figure. Slowly add darker layers of color. Finish up with colored pencils by adding in extra color and a few strands of hair.

Skin

Skin tone is pretty straight-forward. I like to start at the top and work my way in sections. I do a first coat of color, then go back and add my shading. I shade on the opposite side of my light source and where any piece of clothing ends (necklines, sleeves, hems, etc.) After the skin is done, I like to add a little color to the lips and cheeks.

Flats

The other side of fashion illustration is the technical side. Called technicals or “flats,” these illustrations show how each garment would look flattened when off a figure. Flats are supposed to be to scale, exact, and detailed. These serve as an instruction manual for pattern makers and seamstresses. If you want to design, but can’t seem to be able to draw, this is an option. There are computer programs that can help you create designs. But, I would recommend at least learning how to draw basic flats so you can always be able to sketch ideas and designs.

Skin tone is pretty straight-forward. I like to start at the top and work my way in sections. I do a first coat of color, then go back and add my shading. I shade on the opposite side of my light source and where any piece of clothing ends (necklines, sleeves, hems, etc.) After the skin is done, I like to add a little color to the lips and cheeks.

Flats

The other side of fashion illustration is the technical side. Called technicals or “flats,” these illustrations show how each garment would look flattened when off a figure. Flats are supposed to be to scale, exact, and detailed. These serve as an instruction manual for pattern makers and seamstresses. If you want to design, but can’t seem to be able to draw, this is an option. There are computer programs that can help you create designs. But, I would recommend at least learning how to draw basic flats so you can always be able to sketch ideas and designs.

My Finished Sketches

 

 

I hope you guys enjoyed learning a little more about fashion illustrations. There is so much I couldn’t include and so much more to learn. If you want more, check out my sketches, get a copy of the grid, and see videos on how I drew these sketches of Elaine.
Additional resources:

No Shampoo? No Shower? No Problem. by Monica

Hello! My name is Monica, but you can call me your newest e-roommate. My best friend/ex-roommate and I blog over at Ask the Duplex, a blog where we ask all of the questions that we used to be able to ask our roommates any hour of the day.

Disclaimer:  This post may or may not gross you out. You may also lose all respect for me as your surrogate roommate. If you are one who believes in personal hygiene, bathing, or have a fear of lice, please exit this post at your earliest convenience.

People often wonder how I can go so long without washing my hair. I mentioned in a recent post that I have a toolkit full of dirty (literally) little secrets. I have a lifetime supply of secrets, and I actually studied trichology for 2,000 hours. Okay, I just went to cosmetology school, but trichology just sounds a lot cooler. And, my goal in life is to sound cool.

So, let’s delve in, shall we? Take the picture below for example:

Looks clean, right? It’s not. In fact, it’s not clean at all and it’s actually healthier than it would be if I washed my hair every day or even every other day.

So, let’s discuss how to fool people into believing you’re clean…

 

Wash your hair two times. Yeah, you heard me. Scrub that little noggin of yours twice. It goes a little something like this… You get in the shower, wet your hair down, put shampoo in your hair, scrub it a lot, rinse it out. Then, do this all over again:  get more shampoo, scrub, and rinse. You are washing and rinsing your hair two times — one time to get all the gunk out (e.g., baby powder, hairspray) and one time to get the hair nice and clean.

Get scrubbin’. When I say scrub that noggin, I’m not joking. Get those little fingernails ready and scrub like you mean it.

Condition from the earlobes down. After you have scrubbed your scalp nice and clean, you need to condition the ENDS of your hair. Ends, being the key word here, folks. Your roots don’t need conditioning.

Get your hands outta there. Remember when it was cool to run your fingers through your hair? You would start at the bangs and push the hair back, but then two seconds later it would fall back to a middle part, so then you’d have to run your fingers through it again. Anyone remember that? Or was that just cool at my Junior High? Anyways, it’s not cool anymore. Don’t do it.

Get some baby powder. Baby powder will change your life. Blonde hair, red hair, brown hair, black hair. It doesn’t matter. Baby powder soaks up oils and let’s you go longer between washes. All you do is put some baby powder in your hands (preferably a scented kind – you smell less like a baby that way), whip your head upside down and put the baby powder straight in the roots. Then brush it out. Then avoid giving your husband a hug while he is wearing a black suit. Also, avoid going straight to the gym — you may or may not come home with white all over your face.

Put hairspray in your roots. A little teasing never did anyone any harm. Well, maybe it harmed Hillary Duff just a little bit. But, if your bangs are looking a little greasy, backcomb it (tease it), and spray it with hairspray. Let it sit for a bit, then slightly brush it out.

Lay off the products. Hairdressers sometimes encourage you to buy a bunch of crap to put in your hair. You really don’t need a ton of products, especially at your roots. Try to avoid putting products at your roots for a while and see if you can tell a difference. If you’re putting something like gloss drops or Biosilk in your hair, make sure it is only going on the ends.

And, now for two dirty hair pics..

That is all for now. Enjoy the extra hours in the day now that you aren’t showering, blow drying, and flat-ironing your life away.