Monday, April 16, 2012

My Style >> Farms + Feathers

Over Easter weekend, Robbie and I took a break from our obsessive spring cleaning spree to drive out to a local park and snap some photos of another of my favorite spring outfits.  The park used to be a farm, and its grounds contain all sorts of awesomeness, including the coolest old silo, a vibrant red barn, and almost 20 acres of gorgeous wetlands.  A couple of years ago we went there to take pictures with our Holga camera, and with the beautiful weather, it seemed like the perfect time to go back.  It was really nice to take our time, just walking around and hanging out in nature.

If I had to pick one piece of clothing from my wardrobe that defined my style, this dress would definitely be a contender. Back in February, I was visiting my sister in Indianapolis and we decided to go to Target to check out the Jason Wu collection that was released that weekend.  We were pretty bummed to discover that the majority of the Targets there didn't have the collection, but I did snag this super cute patterned dress (from Target's good ol' Mossimo line) for a whopping $25.  I adore black and white patterned fabric because it's incredibly versatile in the ways it can be styled, but can still make a garment feel like a statement piece.  The dress actually came with a sash, but I decided that it felt more "me" with a more simple, shift-style look.

Like the other garments from My Style posts, I've been wearing this dress quite often over the last couple of months.  I've never really had the only-wear-something-once mindset.  If you love an outfit, I say enjoy it as much as possible!  Fashion never used to be viewed as something that's disposable, and the concept of choosing clothing that you'll have for a long time is a huge part of our mission at Mountains of the Moon (my clothing line).  I really feel that having staple pieces that can be styled different ways for multiple seasons is the key to having a truly great wardrobe.  I'm pretty smitten with this simple little dress and look forward to wearing it again and again.

As much as I love the dress, my absolute favorite part of this outfit is the gorgeous feather necklace, which I have officially worn at least every other day since I received it earlier this month.  The ridiculously talented Laura from Roots and Feathers made it for me, and it couldn't be more perfect.  Laura and I met through the blogging world (she has a wonderful blog that you absolutely must check out, if you aren't already familiar with it), and quickly realized that we were kindred spirits.  This is the second necklace I own that she designed, and both are among my most treasured pieces of jewelry.  The attention to detail and craftsmanship in her work is impressive on its own, but it's the passion and thought behind it that makes it so special.  Everything she creates is so unique and inspired, and I feel really lucky to be able to wear something so obviously designed with love. 

There was a tiny chill to the air when the wind blew that day, so I threw on my old standby - eggplant tights.  If you haven't noticed, I have a thing for earthy purple tights. They're subdued enough to go with almost anything, but they still add a little hint of color.  I also decided to bring along my new denim jacket, which I discovered the day before at Goodwill.  I swear you guys, it called out to me from across the store, shoved helplessly on the rack in between two horrendous bedazzled jackets with excessively padded shoulders.  It was pretty close to brand new, and when I saw that it was Ann Taylor (hello, I will last forever) and $4(!!!), my day was made.

As for the hat, it's kind of a funny story.  The day we did the shoot, I'd just spent a good 4 hours cleaning out my closet and had come across an old straw hat that used to hang on the wall of my mom's house.  (Completely random.  I have no idea why it was in my closet.)  Before we left, I glanced down and noticed that straw hat, all lonesome and forgotten in the Goodwill pile, and suddenly felt compelled to try it on, just for fun.  It looked cute but a little plain, so I grabbed the black sash that had originally come with my dress, tied it around the hat, and voila!  I had a new hat, fashioned from wall decor and a discarded accessory.

The black moccasins I wore were a gift from my cousin a couple of years ago.  She'd bought them and they didn't fit her, so I lucked out.  They're starting to show some wear, but I can't part with them quite yet. 

Feather Necklace: c/o Roots and Feathers  //  Dress: Target
Straw hat: decor taken from my mom's wall (true story)  //  Tights: Target
Jacket: thrifted (Ann Taylor)  //  Shoes: gift from cousin  //  Bracelets: thrifted

I have to say it again: Robbie is an infinitely better photographer than I am.  And he loves taking pictures, so I don't feel completely guilty about harassing him to photograph my outfits.  It's actually been really fun to visit some of our favorite places and do our dorky little shoots.  I can't wait until next week when he's home for a while (the longest stretch he'll be home since 2011, woot!) so we can do some more of these.

P.S.  We'll be continuing to accept questions for our new FAQ page for a few more days.  If there's something you'd like to know, I'd love to hear it!  Click here for more details.

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  1. Love the entire outfit and the stories behind each piece. Your pairing of eggplant tights with the black and white is so fun but classy all rolled into one.
    Catherine Denton

  2. pretty melissa! your robbie is fab with the camera. here's how i wore my vintage black & white printed dress i own eggplant tights too. here's an example mine. i think i accidentally shrank them in the dryer though. :P great straw hat & denim jacket story. :) laura does have a really unique style i admire.

  3. Ohhhh I love this outfit so much!! The feather necklace and patterned dress are perfect together!! The hat is adorable, so funny it was wall decor haha :-) You look like you should be in a style photo from Coachella :-D

  4. Gorgeous photos, and the outfit is perfection! And I love Laura so very very much!! I've had the pleasure of getting to know her through Blowfish, and she is such an amazing lady. You both are my favorite! :)

  5. I've never understood the "wear it once" mindset, either. Who has a closet big enough for that, anyway? Mixing and matching staples is definitely the way to go. That's an awesome dress, by the way.

  6. Those pictures are just gorgeous. I'm partial to the black and white one, it looks like it should be in a fashion magazine!

  7. Super cute!! Love the pics, he really did do a very nice job!! Don't you love to score at the thrift store?

  8. one of my favorite posts from you! the setting is perfect (how lucky you have that close by), and you look just lovely. good deal on the mocs too!

  9. i just bought that dress because of this post :). i love the necklace too. and the pictures are gorgeous.

  10. What an awesome backdrop for photos! Love the outfit. Hope you're still doing well <3

  11. I fell behind in reading my blogs this week, so I'm going to comment on the ones I missed here.
    1. This post is great! Love the outfit, and the pictures. Inspiring : ]
    2. I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend. She seems like the kind of person I wish I had had the chance to know. I hope you're doing better and continuing your healing.
    3. The videos you shared made me giggle. And there lots of "awwwwww"s here while watching the kitties one : ]

  12. melissa, that dress is soooo rad, and looks equally beautiful on you! and those tights! omg, i need those tights, ha ha! a color i dont have. yum. love the way you styled the whole outfit. and i completely agree about having staples in your wardrobe that you can wear over and over, but in different ways. the only way to do it! love it all. and your right, robbie is an excellent photographer! so glad he is going to be home for a stretch this time!!! makes my heart happy for you friend. so glad you love your necklace :)

    1. You are amazing Laura. But you already know I feel this way :). Thank you again for such a special, beautiful gift! My new favorite necklace!

  13. Absolutely perfect outfit, and wonderful photos! Simply gorgeous!

  14. I was kind of surprised when I saw this outfit because I wore something very, very similar just this weekend! I'm a big fan of eggplant tights and I just picked up a pair of black moccasins in Harajuku for only 1,000 yen ($10).

    motu viget

  15. Thanks so much you guys for your comments! It makes me so happy that you like the outfit and the photography. You all rock :)

  16. Yeah I love black and white patterned things too. That dress is super cute. And that farm/park sounds really cool. :)

  17. Your are Stunning! So beautiful! Love these and love the outfit!

  18. Cute outfit! That dress looks great on you and that necklace is gorgeous.

    Also, that is a park!? Why can't there be awesome parks like that where I live!? Wait a minute... you live in Northern IL, don't you? I live in Northern IL, so there are parks like that where I live!

    Oh my goodness. That was very rambling. I apologize. I think I've been reading my big sister's comments too much. She always rambles really long through them. Sorry again. :)

  19. These are such lovely pictures!! You have amazing style and I agree with you about staple pieces. Love your purple tights!!

    x Aliya

  20. I'm really loving how you're doing these outfit shoots. It's so nice to see what you're wearing and not just what you would like to wear from the internet. Gorgeous outfit <3


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