I Love Outfit Photos (Blogger Confessions Part Two)

Hair in Pony Tail | ThoseGraces.com

A few months ago I shared my hatred for outfit photos. However, as I’ve moved into working for myself full-time, I’ve started to wear more interesting outfits that I wanted to document. Because, you know, I’m kind of obsessed with documentation. Yet, I was still hesitant to take photos of myself because I didn’t want to go outside and I didn’t want to rely on someone else to take them.

Plum Lip | ThoseGraces.com

Last night I hit Pinterest to search for outfits of the day photos. Taking outfit photos inside is much different than shooting them outside because there’s less options for backdrops and less to interact with. I wasn’t comfortable with head to toe shots–they’re hard to do myself and I never know how to hold my body. All I can hear is Tyra Banks in my head, and to be honest, I don’t really like Tyra Banks.

Calvin Klein Wrap Coat | ThoseGraces.com

Through my Pinterest search, I noticed the photos that drew me in were detailed shots that showed elements of the outfit. Happy with my discovery, I realized I was finally coming around to the idea of doing outfit photos by myself in my home. Since struggled with feeling comfortable doing outfit photos for the past three years, you can imagine my relief.

Sequined Skirt | ThoseGraces.com

I could have easily thrown up my hands and said, “This is not for me!” I would have if not for my husband, who pushed me to find a way to make outfit photos work for me. It took me some time, thinking and playing with camera angles, but I’m so relieved I finally figured it out.

Purple Lip | ThoseGraces.com

I was inspired by Holly’s outfit at the Boston Bloggers Holiday Meet Up. Holly paired an over-sized sweater with a gold sequined skirt, and I loved it! I put on my purple sequined dress and threw on a white cable knit sweater over it. I wore this outfit to Blog and Tweet Boston’s Tasting Event at Cocoanuts. I’ll be sharing photos from this event here on Saturday!

A side note, I’m working on establishing a better posting routine for here and Beauty Shy. My goal for both blogs is to eventually be posting at least 5 times a day. Right now I’m juggling a few side gigs and trying to find a way to keep track of everything I need to be doing for blogging. Thank you all for your patience!


Sweater: Izod – Thrifted (similar) | Dress: Express (similar) | Coat: Calvin Klein (similar) | Earrings: Gift from my sister (similar) | Necklace: Dress Barn – Gifted (similar)

My Best Thrift Finds: Retro and Vintage Dresses

Through my thrifting adventures at my local Goodwill, I’ve learned that the best vintage items in often won’t have a designer label. Many look odd on the hanger so they’re the overlooked in favor of popular brand names. I’m always on the hunt for the most unique items that can’t be found anywhere. Today I want to share three of my recent finds!

Vintage Yellow Shift Dress

Thrifted Vintage Dress | ThoseGraces.com

When I first spotted this shift dress on the racks in the Davis Square Goodwill, my fingers started tingling. This dress has no label and was obviously handmade for the original owner. Its fabric is quilted yet it’s light and perfect for spring since it’s not lined. My favorite part of this dress is the detailing that runs in the middle of the dress and around the waist.

Vintage-Inspired Garden Party Dress

Vintage Inspired Garden Dress | ThoseGraces.com

My mom made me try this on when we went thrifting together. It’s your typical vintage-inspired, Betty Draper-esque garden party dress. I was surprised I liked this dress so much because I don’t have anything like this in my closet and rarely wear green or yellow. This dress is from the 1990s and was made by B. Smart, which was a popular department store brand. Funny enough, I remember wearing B. Smart in middle school!

Retro Terry Cloth Maxi Dress

Retro Maxi Dress | ThoseGraces.com

This is the crown jewel of my recent finds: A terry cloth maxi dress from the 1970s with tags still on. I don’t know how thrifting gets any better than this. Initially I thought the dress looked so weird on the hanger that I had to try it on as a joke. Once I got in the fitting room, however, I fell in love. Modern maxi dresses are often too long for me, but this one is the perfect length in heels. From far away, it’s not noticeable that the dress is made from terry cloth.

My only regret about all of these dresses is that I’ll have to wait until spring to wear them!

My Style Icon: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

My Style Icon: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis | ThoseGraces.com

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is frozen in our consciousness as First Lady of the United States with her pillbox hats and Chanel gowns. Her hair was 1960s perfection and pearls hung from her neck.  Despite her high glamour during the White House years, I’m far more interested in her style in the decades following the White House. During this time, Jackie was the epitome of glamour and simplicity in everyday life. From shift dresses to plain turtlenecks, Jackie’s style was all her own.

My Style Icon: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis | ThoseGraces.com

Jackie’s style in the late ’60s and ’70s is timeless with plain tops mixed with classic white pants and over-sized sunglasses. Despite the seeming casualness of her outfits, I highly doubt Jackie just threw on clothes. Casual doesn’t mean just putting on whatever’s clean and matches, but making sure the outfit is a winning look even it’s just being worn to grab coffee or go to work. Achieving a look that looks casual yet not contrived is an art in and of itself.

My Style Icon: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis | ThoseGraces.com

As first lady, she wore highly fashionable pieces from some of the world’s leading designers from Cassini to Givenchy to Dior. I don’t doubt that she continued to wear these designers in the years following the White House, but her style definitely took a turn, and in my opinion, a turn for the better and more relatable. She may have had an image in her mind of how a First Lady should dress. Later it seemed like she wore what she wanted to wear, regardless of popular opinion.

My Style Icon: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis | ThoseGraces.com

Jackie was famously mute following her White House years and refused to give interviews. When she did speak, it usually wasn’t about her style. Even so, it’s clear that she was a woman who wanted clothing with a certain functionality without compromising elegance. It’s absolutely timeless, just like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

My $10 Makeup Lighting Solution

Makeup Lighting Solution | BeautyShy.com

I recently realized that I needed to update my makeup lighting system. In an ideal world, I would always apply makeup in natural lighting. However, in the real world where the sun goes down at four o’clock in New England, this is simply not realistic. I went on the hunt for a new lighting system and came up with an easy $10 solution!

My old lighting method for makeup application was to sit in front of a floor lamp placed directly in front of me. However, this always cast shadows on one side of my face, making it impossible to evenly light my face. I also tried to light my face from both sides with clamp spotlights but experienced the same issues with shadows.

The quick and expensive route would be to buy a lit vanity or lit makeup mirror. However, living in a one bedroom apartment on a budget led me to rule out both of these options. Then one day I remembered I had a few white round hanging paper lamp shades from Ikea that were sitting unused under one of my dressers. These were left over from my wedding and I initially repurposed them for video lighting before moving onto a studio lighting kit.

I dug out the paper shade and hung it over my desk from an unused curtain hook. The great thing is this setup takes up zero desk space and can be adjusted up and down, which means I can use the shade as a desk lamp or for makeup lighting. When I use it to apply makeup, I position it directly behind my mirror so it casts a natural soft light that mimics sunlight. I’ve had zero issues with shadows and my makeup always turns out nice, soft and well blended.

If you’re like me and have limited space and budget, a simple hanging paper lantern from Ikea might do the trick!

My Long Skirt Phobia and Other Stupid Rules I Learned in Middle School

My Long Skirt Phobia | ThoseGraces.com

Whenever I go shopping, I recall seemingly pointless rules that got ingrained into as a child. Somewhere around middle school, I latched onto what people said I should or shouldn’t wear, and while I’ve broken most fashion rules, there are some rules that still have a hold on me. One of my pointless rules is avoiding long skirts and dresses because I’m “short.”

I realize the ridiculousness of avoiding a certain length of clothing because of something someone said to me when I was 13-years-old. However, for whatever reason, I have been unable to shake this rule so much so that this summer was the first time I bought a floor length maxi dress. I grabbed it off the rack at a thrift store in Aspen, Colorado and bought it without even trying it on. And guess what? I loved it. It didn’t make me look shorter than my five feet, four inches. If anything, the long dress made me look taller.

Despite getting over my fear of maxi dresses, I’ve been unable to purchase a long skirt. I try them on, even take them to the cash register but end up chickening out at the last moment every time. It shouldn’t be a hard thing, buying a skirt, but there’s something I can’t get past in my mind about how I shouldn’t be wearing them.

I’m sure whoever taught me this rule didn’t intend for it to stick me for over a decade. I’m sure they were sharing what they thought was a fashion rule without ever the caveat, “But you can wear long skirts because this is just what I think.” If anything, my long skirt phobia made me realize that most fashion rules are entirely bogus. This is something I inherently know but have to be reminded of every now and again.

Do you have any fashion rules left over from your childhood? What are they? Also, how can I overcome my long skirt phobia?