OOTD 6: Polka Dots and Pleats

In fashion, I love the juxtaposition of sweet versus edgy. That’s why I pulled together this look, mixing sweet, girly classics like preppy collars, polka dots, and pink frills with edgy components.polka dots and pleats outfit of the day style trialsThe shirt is also a little sheer, and I played that up by pairing a black tank under the nude top to add to the edgy factor.

outfit of the day style trials polka dots and pleats  The pleated schoolgirl skirt breaks the rules because of the high hemline and “leatherette” material.

outfit of the day pleather skirt style trialsI’ve also been obsessed with mixing prints lately, and love pairing these pointy-toe snakeskin printed shoes from C. Wonder in unexpected ways. I think they add a style statement to the look making it less “safe” by mixing it with the polka dots and pleats, and the neutral color definitely helps. Together, it all works!

outfit of the day wiw c wonder snakeskin ballet flats

Polka dot blouse: Marshalls (old), similar 1, similar 2, similar 3 | Pleatherette or Vegan Leather Skirt: Forever 21 (old), similar 1, similar 2|  Shoes – Snakeskin Ballet Flats: C. Wonder (now only available with a heel) or ballet flats similar 1, similar 2, Headband: Candies from Kohl’s, similar 1similar 2, similar 3

What style combos or prints do you like to pair together?


Bench Makeover & How to Calculate Fabric Yardage

My friend just moved into her new home, and is having a lot of fun making it her own. She luckily received some hand-me-down furniture (we all know how expensive it can be to furnish a new space), and wanted help revamping this bench for her guestroom! It had a really sturdy base, but the upholstered top was dirty and outdated. This fix took LESS THAN 1 HOUR – including going to the store and buying fabric! Here’s how we did it, including how to calculate fabric yardage. 

Style Trials Bench makeover no-sew hgtv chevron fabric - How to Recover an Upholstered Bench

We proceeded to Jo-Ann Fabrics (which is 2 minutes from my house), and immediately started looking at their upholstery designer fabrics. I like to pair larger organic prints such as paisley or florals with hardlines such as stripes or a mini print. We fell in love with this grey HGTV chevron fabric which is part of the HGTV designer fabric collection. It offset her paisley bedspread and green walls quite nice, and is a trendy print that would immediately bring this bench back to life!

Grey chevron and printed paisley fabric Style Trials

Figuring out the yardage was pretty easy, so I’m going to quickly walk you through a little math lesson. Luckily I have an interior design degree and worked with custom fabric treatments (i.e. windows coverings, pillows, etc), but I know this can be the hardest part and potentially a costly mistake. Using these tips on how to calculate fabric yardage will hopefully help!

How to Calculate Fabric Yardage

First, we measured the area being recovered. This bench was only 45″ wide and the fabric bolt was 55″ wide, so we didn’t have to worry about seams or railroading (turning the bolt sideways) the fabric. 55 inches minus 45 inches = 10″ total of allowance (or 5″ per side) to wrap around the back of the bench and staple – perfect! Next I had to figure out the depth so I could determine how much fabric I needed cut from the bolt.

The bench was about 16″ deep, and I wanted to allow an extra 4″-5″ on either side for staple-gun allowance. 16 inches + 5 inches (allowance top) + 5 inches (allowance bottom) = 26″ total. That’s what I based my overall yardage on, since the 55″ width of the bolted fabric is a standard that stays the same as they simply unroll the bolt for how much fabric you need.

From here, you take the amount in inches (in this case 26″), and ALWAYS divide by 36 to convert inches into yardage of fabric needed. That gave me 0.72 yards of fabric needed. I typically round up to the nearest 1/4 yard because it doesn’t hurt to get just a little extra fabric in case your calculations are off. You can judge this yourself based on how much seam allowance you included and how far off from the next 1/4 yard you are. We ordered 0.75 or 3/4 of a yard.

How to Recover an Upholstered Bench No-Sew Technique

  1. We started by unscrewing the top of the upholstered bench from the base using a drill.
  2. We decided the new chevron fabric was thick enough that we could simply recover the bench over the existing fabric, that way we didn’t damage the padding or loose it’s shape. If you can do this, it makes the entire process SO much easier.
  3. We laid the face of the chevron fabric down so it was facing the ground. Then we put the board on top, front side down. Because this is a geometric print with a repeat, I wanted to measure to make sure it was evenly spaced out on the fabric. I measured the center of the board (where the purple pen is shown below) and lined it up with the center of a chevron point like this. I also eyeballed where I wanted it to hit on the sides. style trials Measuring fabric to recover seat - How to Calculate Fabric YardageIf you’re not sure, you can always wrap the fabric around the board with your hands and look at it real quick to make sure you like how it’s placed. It’s always better to double check!
  4. Next, we proceeded with stapling the fabric around all 4 sides before proceeding to the corners. Make sure to read my tutorial from when I recovered my kitchen chairs on exactly how to do this, and how to fold the corners which can be the trickiest part.Staple nosew recover fabric tutorial diy - How to Calculate Fabric Yardage
  5. From there, simply drill the seat back on the benchtop and you’re done!

Before & After Pics:

Before and After Bench Seat Recovered - How to Recover an Upholstered BenchStyle Trials Bench Recover Before And After - How to Recover an Upholstered Bench

Style Trials Bench Makeover After Grey Chevron Print

Not too shabby for less than an hours worth of work, huh? She plans to eventually stain the piece darker and add new hardware, but at least now it looks fresh and part of this century! 🙂

What do you think of the finished piece and have you tried doing anything like this before? If so, let me know below…I’d love to see your before and after pictures!

 


Spring Trend 2014: Mexico Inspiration

This post brought to you by Majestical Jewelry. All opinions are 100% mine.

Spring is finally here! And I’m loving the Mexican inspired looks that were all over the runway for Spring 2014. This ranges from prints/colors such as oranges, reds, and turquoise, to pretty embroidery, off-the-shoulder sleeves, and ruffles. Depending on how you wear this trend, it could range from cool and a little boho to soft and feminine like this.

mexican inspired outfit runway

Mara Hoffman’s Mara Mexicana
Photo Credit: honestlywtf.com

Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2014 Mexico Tee
Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2014 Mexico Tee
Photo Credit: http://www.stylecaster.com
christian siriano runway mexico inspiration

Christian Siriano runway Mexico inspiration.
Photo Credit: http://www.stylecaster.com

Here’s how I pulled off the look with items already in my closet.

Style Trials OOTD Spring 2014 Mexican inspired topLiving Doll top from Macy’s. This top says it all, but honestly it was hard to style. I went with high-waisted shorts from Urban Outfitters (theirs are THE BEST), and casual wedges that had a natural straw sole and fun wrap around ankle feature.

Also, my friends at Majestical Jewelry sent me these fun dangly earrings from their fashion jewelry collection. I like that you can dress them up or wear them with a casual outfit like this. I love pairing gold accessories with a Mexican inspired look, as well as natural stones.  On the Edge Cluster Earrings Majestical JewelryThese On the Edge Cluster earrings are actually really affordable at only $13.50, and Majestical Jewelry has a TON of other awesome accessories ranging from silver to pearls. If you feel like picking up a pair yourself, Style Trialers can use promo code: TWENTYOFFNOW to take 20% off any order or promo code: 15DOLLARSOFF to take $15.00 off any order of $55 or more. There’s also free returns, free exchanges, and free gift packaging with every order.

Style Trials Majestical Jewelry on the edge cluster earrings Style Trials OOTD Spring 2014 Mexican InspirationMaterial Girl dress from Macy’s. I like the flirty little cutouts in the dress and shoes, along with the bold print.

Style Trials Milo Longhaired Chihuahua

In his true chihuahua fashion, Milo fittingly decided to make an appearance during the photoshoot. 🙂

How will you wear this Mexican inspired Spring trend? What other Spring trends are you loving?


Outfit of the Day 4: Aztec, Arrows and Booties

The Aztec print is still going strong, especially during this cold season. I like it best when mixed in heavy knits, and fell in love with this aztec and arrow knitted long cardigan from my new favorite shopping site, Tobi. Aztec Print Cardigan Tobi and beyond the rack aztec bauble necklace

I love the mix of neon in the sweater, and it paired perfect with one of my favorite necklaces from Beyond the Rack. The triangle stones follow the same lines you find in aztec or arrow prints.

Style Trials Outift of the Day - Aztec Print Cardigan Tobi and CWonder Booties OOTD

Beauty blogger 101 – put makeup on BEFORE the pic! (oops)

I paired the look with a high top knot bun hairstyle, wrapped a cute gold hair tie around the base, and simple makeup (when I eventually put it on, lol). I kept the jewelry and rest of the outfit simple since the necklace is a statement piece, the cardigan has a bold print, and there are gold buckles on the shoes.

Style Trials OOTD CWonder Black Booties Shoes with WedgeSpeaking of shoes, these are my new favorite booties for Winter! And they are SOOO comfortable! They come in black and brown from C. Wonder.

*Style Trials Quick Tip* Signup for emails from Tobi and get a promo code emailed to you for 50% off sitewide! Their prices are really great when you use the discount (comparable to Forever 21), new styles are always 30% off for a period of time, and sometimes they have free shipping. Plus, they ALWAYS have free returns, so it makes shopping online really easy!

Have you embraced the aztec and arrow prints this season?


My Kitchen Table Makeover – Easily Recover Chairs

Moving into my first house, I realized how little furniture we really had and how expensive it can be to furnish. Right now I’m trying to focus on buying things we don’t already own, and refreshing the hand-me-downs we do have. On my agenda today, our kitchen table!

Our total kitchen can only be described as BEIGE. As in beige walls, countertops, floors, and even appliances (until we eventually upgrade). I’m trying to bring in some color and life through prints, fabrics, and plants until I can add a little depth with the permanent surfaces.

We have a kitchen table which is in pretty good condition. It’s a hand-me-down, but the fabric on the chairs has definitely seen better days. I’m sure it could be cleaned to look better, but the dinginess and color (yep, beige), was a makeover project I was willing to take on.

It’s actually quite easy to give an old chair, bench, or ottoman a completely new look by simply recovering them with new fabric…and this method doesn’t require sewing because it’s just the seat! I admit this was my first attempt at recovering a chair using a staple gun, but seriously it was super easy. Even if you don’t have a DIY bone in your body, I’m sure you could pull this off. Here’s how….

First, figure out how much yardage you need and where you want the pattern to fall on the seat. I think I accounted for 1 yard per seat (taking the pattern into account), but I also found this handy pattern yardage calculator you could use.

Next, the tools to do the job. You can find a staple gun at any home improvement store, and the fabric I picked out was an HGTV Home fabric called Turtle Shell found at Joann Fabric. It’s on sale too! I know it’s a little loud, but I knew it would definitely liven up the space.

Style Trials Kitchen Chair Makeover Tools HGTV fabricHere’s the table before:

Style Trials Kitchen Table Before

First, unscrew the seats from the base. I ended up using a power drill to unscrew because the screwdriver wasn’t strong enough.

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 1

Next, place the seat upside down on top of the fabric, taking into account where you want the pattern to be centered on the seat. You can leave the existing fabric on the seat and work around it. Leave at least a 4″ border around the seat and cut out your square.

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 2

Pull the fabric tight around the edges, leaving the corners lose. I found it was easiest to start at the top (stapling multiple times across the length of the seat), then pull from the opposite side (bottom). The repeat the other sides until it looks like this….

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 4

Next is the trickest part. The corners. You want to make sure you pull these really tight to get a finished look. Start by pulling the fabric in closer from the edges towards the corner, and stapling in place. Then take the remaining fabric and fold like the picture below, and pull extremely tight. Then staple in place as well.

*Note, you may need to cut off some excess fabric to make this easier. If you have too much fabric, it will be bulky, harder to pull tight, and harder to staple.*

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 5

The finished back should look like this…

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 6

And the front like this!

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 7Next, screw the seats back on, and voilà! Checkout the before and afters!

Style Trials Recovering Chairs 8 before and after

Style Trials Recovering Chairs finished with hgtv fabric

What do you think of the finished results? Have you ever recovered anything using a staple gun?


Candy Colors, Pastel, and Snakeskin Print

Spring is here, and that means pastels and candy colors are sweetening up the stores! Try mixing candy colors/pastels with a snakeskin print accessory (or piece of clothing) to balance out the sweetness a bit. Limit it to one snakeskin printed item per outfit so you don’t overkill it.

I especially like this look mixed with coral, mint green, pale blues, lavender, or even lace texture! Here’s the Style Trials inspiration board:

Snakeskin, Pastels, and Candy Combos

Astr lace cocktail dress / Metropolis mint dress / Joie sweater / Blue jacket / Rare London sequin bodycon skirt, $51 / Tulle skirt, $26 / American Eagle Outfitters / Pour La Victoire pumps / Rachel Zoe / Blink platform shoes, $76 / Dolce & Gabbana colorful handbag, $1,445 / Clutch / UNEARTHED imitation jewelry / GUESS bracelet / Coach bracelet jewelry / Mint earrings / Tory Burch stud earrings / Essie nail polish, $12 / Mint Green Stripe Short Paper Milkshake Straws | Milkshake Straws |… / Maxi colar ovais candy colors / Essie Camera, $15
You may have noticed me posting on instagram a few key pieces I picked up myself!

style trials mint, coral, snakeskin, and lace

Style Trials Kate Spade Round Black and Coral Sunglasses

Recent shopping and browsing only further backed up how on-trend this look is.
Mint Pastel and Snakeskin Shoes
snakeskin and pastel outfit glamour magazine
(Photo Credit: Glamour Magazine, April 2013 pg 92 “The Month in Outfits”)
Pastel nails of course are still really popular too, and tend to look great on all skin tones.
This style combo is a fresh take for Spring, and especially for upcoming Easter. But remember, you don’t want to look like an Easter egg, so limit yourself to a few key pieces, mix in some neutrals (nude, white, black, and/or metallics), and toughen it up with a print like snakeskin.

Outfit of the Day 3: Printed Pants

Hello Style Trialers! As I’m sure you can imagine, I have been busy, busy catching up and unpacking at the new house. Not to mention the holidays! But that hasn’t stopped me. I have been Style Trialing along the way, and have a lot of great posts ready for you! Including a lot more OOTDs meant for inspiration.

This OOTD is all about prints and pattern. I have always loved  prints in fashion and interior design, especially mixing patterns. Some great complimentary patterns include a free flowing type of design (i.e. floral, damask, etc) with a geometric uniform pattern (i.e. stripes, polka dots, chevron, etc), or pairing a large print with a similar mini print. While I admit mixing print on print can be a little more difficult in fashion, you can still achieve a fashion forward look by mixing a bold printed bottom with a solid or textured top.

Printed pants or patterned leggings are really trendy right now. Because I love trying new things and taking fashion risks, I wanted to find a pair that wouldn’t break the bank. I found a cool pair of patterned jeans at Forever 21, where they had a slew of printed pants under $25!

Here’s my Printed Pants OOTD:

Style Trials Instagram Printed Pants OOTD

Style Trials Printed Jeans

  • Oversized, black knit sweater – Express
  • Printed Jeans – Forever XXI
  • Layered Statement Necklace – Yard Sale find and only cost $0.50, that’s right! Score! 🙂
  • Black motorcycle boots – Target

Here’s a few other inexpensive, cool options I found for you:

The only annoying thing about printed pants/leggings is that because it’s so eye-catching, you can’t wear them on a regular basis like a normal pair of jeans. I’ve learned sometimes you just have to give in – fashion can’t always be practical (and often isn’t)! Find an inexpensive pair of patterned pants, and make the outfit different by pairing with various tops. This could be a different shirt color, texture, or even (*gasp*) attempting the print on print look.

For example, you can see I gave my outfit more of a funky vibe by pairing it with an over-sized sweater and motorcycle boots. However, I could easily make this a dressier outfit if I paired it with heels (maybe even bright colored heels, hmmmm) and a different top. The styling with these bottoms really is endless, so you can definitely wear them multiple times making the outfit look different.

Do you have a pair of printed pants or leggings? Would you try this look?


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