DIY Anthropologie Colorblocked Shades

Though I do enjoy the finer things in life, when it comes to sunglasses I think I enjoy the cheapo plastic pairs equally to the designer variety. Everyone could use a few dumb pairs of retro sunnies in an overly distracting color, right?

Right. Like these Colorblocked Shades from Anthropologie:

I love these. The pop of orange, the on-trend color blocking and the wayfarer shape are all winners. At $38, they’re pretty reasonable – but not as reasonable as DIY-ing them with the super-cheap pair I already had at home. As soon as I saw these Anthropolgie shades I thought of the pair I bought a few summers ago:

They’re…fine. I bought them because they were something like $5 and I liked the shape, which is very close to the Anthropologie shades to begin with.

Time for an upgrade! To start, I covered the frames with a paper towel (to protect the lenses) and wrapped it all up in foil, leaving just the earpieces exposed. A normal person might have used painters tape, but I was running low. This baked potato contraption actually worked out perfectly.

Plastic is a tricky thing to paint and I didn’t want my shades to start chipping and peeling, so I began by spraying them with a white primer. Next, I used gold spray paint on just the ends. The Anthropologie version is more of a nude color, but I was feeling metallic. Once that dried I brushed a thin coat of bright peachy-orange acrylic paint over the rest. Tip: THIN coats are key. I finished it off with a coat of clear varnish to (hopefully) prevent chipping.

The results:

Ready for summer!

How to Wear Metallic Zebra Print

You read that right. I finally wore a skirt I’ve been trying to wear for two years and I owe it all to chambray. I think my next Fashion Show at Lunch post will have to feature this genius shirt in three ways. It’s just so comfy and easy and versatile. I think by now we can all add chambray shirts to our wardrobes with confidence that this isn’t just a trend, but a staple piece – it’s really the resurgence of a classic, the combination of a basic button down and all-American denim. I say it’s here to stay. Wranglers is like, “Yeah, no duh.”

I wore this on Friday night, first to an event at Ann Taylor with my friends Kari and Joan and then to the MCA for one of their First Friday events with Todd:

Chambray shirt: J.Crew, Skirt: BCBG Generation.

I bought this skirt during a sale about two years ago, and this is the FIRST time I’ve ever worn it. I’m not happy about that – I am not one to buy something and let it sit. But I mean, it’s a metallic, zebra-print skirt. Who am I? I remember thinking I would wear it for New Year’s Eve. But then I remembered that I hate New Year’s Eve. My goal is to spend it in the most casual, least invasive way possible – not on my couch, but as close to that as I can get. Like on a friend’s couch. So a metallic, zebra-print skirt is probably unnecessary.

Until we enter the chambray shirt. I gave it as a gift to myself during J.Crew’s site-wide Black Friday sale and have to recommend it because it’s so soft and comfy, but you can easily find your own less expensive version (Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters and Old Navy, for example). Chambray works so perfectly with metallics, sequins, bold colors and all the crazy stuff you want to wear but need to tone down in some way. Thank you, chambray.

Styling Sesh

One of the coolest things to me is finding out when someone I haven’t met before (and therefore did not coerce into reading this) likes my blog! One of my sister’s co-workers (hi, Karli!) emailed Lauren to ask if I would give her styling advice. Karli is a new mom and I think just basically felt like she was in a style rut. Many women wear the same “safe” styles over and over again – they’re tired of it, but feel stuck because it’s hard to try something new. Some people just need a lil push!

Lauren set up a day for us all to go to Camden Boutique in Elmhurst, which is our favorite boutique that I’ve mentioned before. A few of Lauren’s other co-workers joined us so we had a big group: Karli, Laura, Val and Lauren D. I asked the girls to pick out things they liked but might normally not have chosen, and with lots of help from Dee (Camden’s owner and our very good friend!), we styled the girls in different looks to give everyone a better idea of how one piece could turn into multiple outfits.

With Karli, the thing I was most excited about was getting her into skinny jeans. She thought she couldn’t wear them! Most untrue statement ever. A nice pair of dark wash skinny jeans can be flattering on basically every body shape. Of course, what you wear with them makes all the difference. A long, belted, blousy top is super flattering, as Karli demonstrates:

Cute, right? Simple yet stylish. Next is Laura, who has an upcoming trip to Vegas planned. This dress is perfect for nightlife:

Laura looks great in this dress (if only I had the right shoes)! As you can see in the picture, the necklace comes attached but is actually removable. This, along with the fact that the dress is a soft, almost sweatshirt-like material, makes it extremely versatile. So many possibilities! This is what I live for. Look at some of the ways we found to wear it:

Now, Val. Val is one of those girls who looks good in everything she tries on. Fact. I love this denim shirt dress on her, which soft and comfy and can easily be accessorized in a million ways:

Tip: When a dress comes with its own belt, trying changing it out. Instant upgrade. I also love how the scarf in the second picture changes everything. I like the legging/boot combo in the second picture (wardrobe staple) but the one thing I’d change about the first look is to do bare legs so the leggings aren’t cutting at the calf. My sister also owns this dress and I will be asking and/or begging to borrow it from her.

Lastly we have Lauren D., who tried on this orange dress by Bella Dahl, the same designer as the dress above. I love a dress like this because it’s easy to throw on and can act as a blank canvas when you’re up for accessorizing a little more. In the second look, I unbuttoned a grey top and layered it over the dress with a leopard print belt.

Lauren D. also tried a pair of these great faded, salmon-colored jeans that I was obsessed with. I love colored denim and although it can be intimidating at first, it won’t seem that way when everyone is wearing them this spring. Colored denim for all!

I love this picture and everyone looks really great, but Lauren D. in the printed top with those colored jeans – so, SO good. It’s just a little more unexpected and takes the style up to the next level.

So that was a little taste of our shopping trip! I loved hanging out with all the girls and special thanks to my co-stylist Dee and Lauren for all your help (who you can’t see here because she took all the pictures, thanks Lauren!).

Most of what you see here can be bought online at CamdenBoutique.com. If you’re in the Chicago area, you must check out her store in downtown Elmhurst. Dee and I are hoping to work an event together soon, so be on the lookout for more on that!