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Entries in how to (21)


Staying Cute, Cool & Comfortable During Festival Season

By In this fleeting moment on Flickr

Now that we’re rolling into the heart of summer (yes, I mixed my metaphors, but it’s OK since I’m being shameless about it), festival season is here. Festivals and fairs are great social outings for the community- (and fun-) minded fashionista, but they are also a fashion tragedy waiting to happen. I’ve assembled a quick list of ideas to ensure your next outing is a success. Because I care.

By BeautifullyPure on FlickrFind sensible shoes. Let’s get the most obvious piece advice out of the way first: wear a good flat. It can (and should!) be cute, but it should also be comfortable. Which means staying away from thin-soled ballerina slippers with no support. I can pretty confidently guarantee that your feet will hurt after walking on uneven grass or hard pavement in these types of shoes for four or five hours. Remember, most fairs and festivals are short on seating, so you won’t have much opportunity for reprieve if you’re in an impractical shoe.

Wear fresh-faced makeup. The last thing you want is for your makeup to slowly melt off your face and run onto your cute top. Yes, it does, in fact, look as gross as it sounds (speaking from personal experience). Select a mineral makeup or tinted moisturizer with a built in SPF. If you tend to get oily, it will be exacerbated by the weather, so remember to use a mattifying foundation primer and toss some blotting papers into your purse.

Carry a small cross-body purse. Speaking of purses, a festival is no place for a hobo large enough to carry a small child. Smaller purses have been enjoying a bit of a resurgence lately, so it’s quite convenient that this particular trend also happens to be practical. Your hands will be free to hold a teddy bear or perhaps a turkey leg, and you don’t have to experience the buzz-killing anxiety of not knowing where to stash your purse before you get on a ride.

Choose natural, breathable fabrics. I know I’m stating the obvious right now, but I feel like it has to be said—it’s really hot outside guys. And nobody wants to overheat because their wearing a portable, personal sauna. Scary and embarrassing. Stick to light natural fabrics like cotton and linen, which will breathe and wick away moisture.

Avoid short-sleeved tees. Because Farmer’s Tan. That is all.

By BeautifullyPure on FlickrGo retro. Retro is always in and the fashion mavens of the past are great inspiration for sensible, stylish attire. If you’re looking for a new look, try your favorite thrift store or Mod Cloth, which has a lot of great retro-inspired pieces.

Select smart, stylish accessories. If you're a hat person, think about incorporating a sun or cowboy hat into your look. If you're doing the retro look, try a head-band, round shades and a brightly-colored lipstick!


How to Build a Personal Fashion Emergency Kit

We’ve all had it happen. Out and about, doing our gathered business, and suddenly... your pants rip. Or your top button pops off. Or you’re needed as a last minute guest on Ellen. Your nail chips, snags, or pops off. You spill chimichurri sauce on your brand new one-of-a-kind vintage shop top. These, my dears, are fashion emergencies. Yes, I provided a lot of examples. Yes, from mostly from personal experience. Don’t judge me. Learn from me.

On this very fierce fashion Friday I am going to give you a step by step guide to building a personal fashion emergency kit. Filled with myriad items, some you probably have lying around the house, some you don’t, this baby can bail you out again and again in life, and I’m of the opinion that every gathered woman should have one or two fashion emergency kits lying around. Whether you’re a power professional, a mom, a socialite, an activist, emergencies arise. 

So what are some super smart and savvy uses for your custom emergency kit?

- In your purse or tote. Duh!

- At work. No more leaving work in a panic or begging the office rival for a tampon.

- In the car. If you’re a fashionista on the go, you probably spend a lot of time driving.

- Travel. Going on a trip? Place in your carry on with a sigh of relief.

- Special occasions. Getting married? Dance performance? Public speaking engagement? Do you really want to be unprepared for the unexpected?

- Moms, teachers. You know what terrors await. Be prepared. Hear my battle cry!

I think I’ve made my point. You can use this! So pay attention. Or you will look like this... 

1. Find a cute bag. Not too large, definitely not too small. Although you’re going to pack this bag full of stuff, it’s going to be small or trial-sized amounts of the things that you need. A clear bag or one with tiny compartments is nice, if you’re the organized type or forgetful of what you’re tossing in the bag. For my travellers, a clear bag is also a bonus because you can just toss it on the belt in the airport security line and it’s compliant with TSA regulations.

2. Make a List. Check it twice. The key to a really awesome kit is putting a bit of thought into it. This step is the most important because you have to start with thinking of the purpose of this kit. (Use the list above.) For the purposes of showing what it’s all about, I will use examples of what I stock in my own little bag of wonders, but feel free to personalize and be creative.


- compact mirror

- extra pair of tights or panty hose (if you wear them)

- trial size perfume

- tweezers

- 5 q tips

- 5 cotton pads or balls

- 2 pantiliners

- 2 tampons

- small pack of tissue

- 4 aspirin or other pain killer (tylenol, excedrin, etc)

- 1 alka-seltzer

- any emergency meds (inhaler, benadryl, insulin, etc)

- bandaid

- antiseptic pad

Hair Emergency

 - 5 bobby pins

- scrunchie or 2 elastic bands

- trial size or travel container hair gel (or any other essential hair product)

- headband

- mini hairbrush

Clothing/Shoe Emergency

- fashion tape

- 5 safety pins, varying sizes

- foot petals

- sewing kit

- strap perfect

- stain remover pen

- febreeze

- city slips

Makeup Emergency

- makeup remover wipes

- nude lip gloss

- black eyeliner

- mascara

 Nail Emergency

- nail file or mini nail kit

- polish remover wipes

- 1 bottle clear or black polish

3. Toss it in. Zip it up! So this is the part where you get it all to fit in the bag. Remember, you don’t need full packages of these things. You really only need to include enough for 1 or 2 pinch uses. I suggest you make multiple kits at once and put them in different places.

Last tip: I suggest you restock the kit with the thing you used at the first opportunity. Otherwise, your kit will run low on certain things, and you will be "caught out there" like Kelis. You have been warned.


How to Go Thrifting

By hownowdesign on FlickrOver the past couple of years, thrifting has become a bit of a thing (an understatement, I know). Several of our favorite gathered ladies (and many a hipster besides) source thrift stores for some of their funkiest (not literally) vintage and coolest statement pieces. But shopping for thrift is quite different from regular shopping, and it can be difficult to learn how to triumphantly conquer this latest fashion frontier. Below I’ve compiled some tips on how to get the most out of your next thrift store outing.  

What success looks like by hownowdesign on Flickr1. Set yourself up for success. This is no regular shopping expedition. Thrifting takes some time. You’ll be combing through piles of junk in search of fashion treasure, so make the thrift store (or stores) your first stop of the day. You’ll still be fresh, and won’t be bogged down with a bunch of unwieldy shopping bags. Opt for one of your smaller purses (I sometimes like to go sans purse and cram my lip gloss, phone, cards and cash into my front pockets) and wear comfortable shoes. You don’t want your feet getting tired midway through your second rack! 

2. Select you targets carefully. Every city has thrift stores of varying levels of quality, and that quality is usually determined by the mission of the thrift store and the income levels of the people that live near it. Some second-hand shops are “boutiques” that cater specifically to those thrifting for fashion. They only take designers items, so you won’t have as much junk to sift through, but their prices are generally a bit higher than your standard Salvation Army. Traditional thrift stores are still great places to shop, although it may take more time to find what you’re looking for. Try looking at stores in your town’s high-rent district(s). After a couple of trips, you’ll begin to notice where you’re finding the goods and you can target those stores exclusively in the future.

3. Keep an eye out for quality, condition and cleanliness. Look for well-made pieces that likely cost their original purchaser a pretty penny. Ask yourself, do I like how the stitching is done, the quality of the fabric, and—if it’s something like a blazer—is the garment in question fully-lined? If it looks cheaply made or is barely hanging together, keep it moving. You don't want to waste your money on clothes that won't survive their first washing.

Make sure you spot any imperfections before handing over your hard-earned cash. If an item is stained or needs to be altered, take the additional cost into account when considering whether or not you’re actually getting a good deal. And you should be pretty confident that you (or a professional) can get a stain out or successfully mend a garment before purchasing. After all, that flaw might be the reason it ended up in a thrift store in the first place.

One last note on cleanliness. Whenever you’re bringing something into your home that previously lived in someone else’s home, you have to think about hygiene. The analogy I like to think of is picking up a couch left on a street curb. Thrifting is a little different, but not by much. Carefully look over anything you want to buy and if it looks suspicious (I’m thinking of bed bugs and just the thought is making me itchy), leave it. Wash all new purchases ASAP. If you were looking for an excuse to buy a steamer, you’re welcome. That musty, vaguely unpleasant smell all thrift stores seem to share should tell you everything you need to know.

4. Shop for statement pieces and high-end designers. Now that I’ve scared you sufficiently, let me tell you one of the best reasons to shop at thrift stores. They are a great place to find designer pieces for far less than you would pay for them anywhere else. I once found a Kate Spade attaché for $10 in a thrift store on Melrose in Los Angeles. You always want to keep an eye out for great finds like this, but be careful to make sure you don’t end up with a fake. Become familiar with the calling cards of your favorite designers (and the common shortcuts employed in knock offs), so you can recognize them right away. Remember, you aren’t necessarily looking to fill your entire closet. Instead, shop for pieces that make your pupils dilate when you first see them. One great piece can make the entire expedition worthwhile.Don't forget homewares! By ex.libris on Flickr

5. The best thrift is always free... This is especially true if you have older, stylish women in your life. My late grandmother had an extensive collection of gorgeous costume jewelry, which I have been slowly acquiring through selective poaching every time I go home to visit my mom. Who knows what vintage goodies are tucked away in the basement, attic, or storage unit of a close relative? It’s amazing what people keep around (and in good shape) for years and years. Vintage jewelry, belts, coats (particularly furs) and even home furnishings may await you, and your loved one may want nothing in return but the extra space they’ll gain from you clearing out some old “junk.”

What's your favorite thrift store find? Send it to us, and if we love it, we'll share it!


Professional Style Inspiration for Summer! 

Summer’s here and it’s getting hot! For us professionals and nine-to-fivers, what to wear to work becomes an enigma as we try to balance out sweltering heat with icy air conditioning. In today’s workplace, the game has changed for women, and so have the dress codes for the most part - more fluid, flexible, and permissive. Fashionistas can have fun with it, and still dress to impress and win that promotion or recognition that you so richly deserve. Today’s post looks at style inspiration for summer work looks and some tips to help you style your way through summer. 

The Power Player 

As a power player, you aren’t dressing for the job you want --  you’ve already arrived. Tailored lines, bold color, and rich details and accessories are the order of the day. A classic and conservative dress code can benefit from playing up the season’s hottest colors and adding textured fabrics like the jaquard in the skirt pictured above. Like most power players, your work obligations extend past the workday, so transitional pieces need to go from day to night with little more than taking off your blazer.

A tip: Carry a edgy wristlet or clutch in your tote to hold your essentials and you’re ready for the cocktail party in two shakes!

The Trendsetter  

A trendsetter is most at home in a creative industry like design, but also thrives in less strict and conservative work environments. Edgy hair and nail colors are safe here. Also, props and unconventional accent pieces make your style distinct. Another place to distinguish yourself is makeup - feel free to play up your eye or lips with color (not both... and for goodness sake, no glitter!). Because you’re never boring, replace that boring work cardigan with a leather motorcycle jacket and keep away AC frostbite.

A tip: An alternate flat shoe can save your tootsies during the day so that you can dance the night away after a full day at the office.

The Casually Chic 

A casual workplace is even more of a playground - the world is your oyster. Take risks and wear those fun patterned pants, even jeans (no rips, please). What we at TGL discourage is taking the “business casual” look to the rock bottom by wearing yoga pants, sweats, and the like. Avoid! Even in a casual work environment, a snazzy dresser has an advantage. Everyone will know your name and secretly hope that you will chose them to bless with a makeover.


A tip: bolder colors outside of the basics will look amazing and show off that sparkling personality!


In Transition

Okay, so you’re looking for a J-O-B... keep your head up! We here at TGL suggest that you give the prim and proper business sheath a try for interviews. (It works for Michelle Obama!) Update the basic black to a power blue, and you’re guaranteed to turn heads. The key here is not to overwhelm all those brains, skills, and knowledge with distracting makeup, jewelry, or hair in an interview. Remember, most hiring managers make decisions based on emotion (whether they like you and can imagine you in the workplace) and then justify that feeling with logic (your amazing resume says you have skills and education). That means that you have to display your amazing self in its best light. Confidence and poise win major points with men and women.

A tip: Interviewing and job searching is a head game. This is a case where your attitude can create opportunity out of thin air. Keep your spirits up with style inspiration! This is also an excellent time to step up your bargain shopping game if your interviewing attire needs a boost and the budget is tight.

So? How did we do? If you care to share, please do in the comments below! You can also email or facebook us to share your style, and if we like, we’ll share with the world. What are you waiting for?   


How to Rock a Trend: The Maxi Dress

Hello, Gathered Ladies! Short post today, since I’m travelling. The maxi dress is a very versatile piece that can be worn three of four seasons a year (and year-round if you live in sunny SoCal). However,
there are some potential pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid to make sure you look fabulous every time you step out in a maxi dress.

1. Match your maxi to the occasion. Maxis come in a variety of styles, fabrics and colors, and depending on where you’re going, your maxi may or may not be a good fit. More casual fabrics, such as cotton and denim, are great for everything from shopping expeditions to casual dates. Dressier fabrics, like silk or chiffon, are great for garden parties or afternoon tea. Remember, your accessories will help you successfully dress your maxi up or down, so…

2. Select the right accessories for the weather and season. Remember when I said you can rock your maxi from spring to fall? Well, the right accessories will make it work. In the spring, pair it with a jean jacket or casual blazer, an armful of bangles, and peep-toe wedges. For the summer, try sandals, an eye-catching necklace and a statement ring. When the weather starts to chill again, you can rock your maxi with an over-sized cardigan, boots and a beanie. Have fun and experiment!

3. Undergarments! As we all have been learning from Danni, the undergarments matter under any dress, but especially under a fitted maxi. Look for seamless underwear, or a structured slip for additional support and smoothness. Up top, be sure your bra isn’t visible. With maxis, this usually means racerback or strapless. As always, proper fit is everything—don’t let ungathered undergarments ruin a perfectly-sized maxi.


4. When a maxi won’t work. As versatile as maxis are, they aren’t always the appropriate fashion selection. Semi-formal and formal occasions call for a more polished look than a maxi can provide. I
know it may tempting to try to get away with a maxi due to the length, but trust me, the casual fabric of most maxi dresses make this impossible. The exception would be maxi dresses made in evening wear fabrics.

And that’s how you rock a maxi dress! Have a maxi dress you love? I know I have a couple I would live in, if I could. Send us a picture of you in your favorite maxi-centered ‘fit, and if we love it, we’ll
share it on Instagram. If we really love it, we may be in touch to feature you as a Gathered Fashionista.