29 March 2012

My Dashiki Dress

vintage dress from Cream Vintage, Banana Republic wedges, Forever 21 earrings
I wore these wedges on Wednesday for about 20 minutes, 10 of which were spent outside taking these photos. It started raining while I was posing and it became awfully hard to walk on the wet ground. I didn't slip, but it sure felt like I was going to fall flat on my face. I switched to flat sandals when I got back inside my apartment, but didn't want to stand outside in the rain again to re-take pictures. The dress is the most important part of my outfit anyway. It's one of my favorite vintage purchases because it's comfortable, easy to throw on, and perfect for summer.

I did a random search for dashiki while I was writing this post and stumbled upon this pattern on Etsy:

vintage pattern from Jeanie's Shop on Etsy
How awesome is this? It's my dress! The pattern is from 1972 and although my dress has a tag, it looks eerily similar to the dress pictured here. Seeing this makes me love my dress even more!

Thirsty Thursday

Old Navy pants and chambray shirt, Gap wedges, Forever 21 earrings
Along with the latest changes in my life (new job, new computer, etc.), I've been craving a new go-to drink. Obviously, I need something to look forward to after a long day of work. Fortunately, I've found my new favorite -- an old-fashioned. I'm not sure what prompted my decision to try one, but ever since I did, it's the only drink I've been craving. It was the perfect drink to have last night while catching up on the Madmen premiere from Sunday. There are many variations to the old-fashioned recipe, so I'm still working on perfecting it. As soon as I figure out the perfect proportions, I'll post the recipe.

27 March 2012

Old Dress, New Shoes

J. Crew dress, Gap wedges, Forever 21 earrings
I finally saw The Hunger Games! Even though I had to wait all weekend until I could see it with my best friend, Jackie, it was totally worth it. I loved the books because they were so intriguing that I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. The movie did a really good job of making me feel the same way. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, I still found myself anxious in all the right parts.

If you haven't read the books or if you don't know anything about the story, all you need to know is that it's AWESOME. In fact, my second post ever on this blog was about The Hunger Games trilogy. Read it here if you're interested in learning what it's all about.

Has anyone else seen the movie? What did you think?

22 March 2012

New Beginnings

Gap blouse, Forever 21 earrings, thrifted skirt,
belt from Wish (closed), Banana Republic wedges
This has been an amazing week. Aside from getting a new MacBook, I also got a new job! I received an email last week from Texas Monthly asking if I was still interested in a fact-checking job. A few months ago, I'd emailed my old boss from my TM internship, but they didn't have anything available. I'd kind of forgotten about it, so was super excited to hear back from them. Now that I actually have the job, I'm pumped!

In order to make time for the 20-30 hours per week at Texas Monthly, I'm leaving Gap. I'll be sad to let go of the awesome discount, but I think it's for the best. I've been spending way too much money at Gap and Banana Republic instead of thrifting. I justified each Gap Inc. purchase by saying it would be silly to not take advantage of my discount. I also didn't have much time to thrift because I'd work as late as 9 p.m sometimes. I'll definitely have more time now because I'll only be working office hours during weekdays.

I'm keeping my job at Alfred Angelo for the weekends. I've been making pretty good money and I'm not ready to let go of that just yet.

Even though I wasn't actively looking for a new job, I'm looking forward to a change.

Computers & Cotton Candy

jacket from Langford Market, Gap shirt, thrifted skirt,
Forever 21 earrings, Banana Republic wedges
I got a MacBook! I finally bit the bullet and spent a ridiculously large amount of money to own this beautiful machine. My new computer is so sleek and fast and I absolutely love it.

OK, I'll try to stop drooling.

I bought this jacket at Langford Market during the Texas Style Council. I don't usually go for jackets and cardigans at stores, but I've been really drawn to them lately. A third piece is the perfect way to finish off an outfit and make it look complete. Without this pink jacket, it would have been a pretty boring outfit. The end result looked like cotton candy to me. What do you think?

20 March 2012

Mint Green

Lulu*s dress from the TxSC clothing swap, Forever 21 earrings, Banana Republic flats
Today is my day off! I have so many errands that I've been avoiding, but I'm hoping to be super productive today. Even if I don't get everything done, at least I'll make a dent in my long list.

One of the things I need to do ASAP is buy a new computer. I'm currently using Matt's computer because my last three computers died. It all started in December when I dropped the HP laptop I'd had for over three years and completely broke the screen. I borrowed Matt's mini laptop for about a month, but then one day, the operating system was gone. I have no idea what I did wrong. Matt was nice enough to let me borrow his old laptop from a couple of years ago, but it's on the brink of death. It's no wonder he's freaking out that I've been using his computer lately.

At first, I was just planning to buy a low-cost PC laptop, but the more I think about it, I really want a MacBook. Unfortunately, that's about twice as much as I can really afford. I guess that's what credit cards are for, right?

19 March 2012

The End of SXSW

Langford Market dress, thrifted denim vest,
Forever 21 earrings, Banana Republic wedges
SXSW has finally ended, which means everyone in Austin needs a new reason to party. I only went downtown twice last week and the first time was because I'd actually been invited to an event. I took Sarah's SXSW style advice and put this outfit together for the maurices Rock 'n' Shop at Terrace59.

Every Avenue played a free show. They aren't my cup of tea, but they were pretty good.
A screwdriver is always an excellent choice for breakfast. Drinking two is even better.
maurices had drinks, snacks, swag bags and music. It was everything you could ask for at SXSW. Thanks again for the invite, maurices.

Monica from maurices was super nice and showed me the way to the free swag!

18 March 2012

Latest Thrift Score

thrifted Anthropologie dress, Gap denim jacket, Banana Republic wedges
Here's a super quick outfit post before I run out the door to work. I found this dress at Goodwill a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to see it still had it's Anthropologie tag attached. Even better, it's from the Anna Sui collection and only cost $9! I should've taken a picture with the jacket off because it has a really great neckline. A big thanks goes out to Loni, a good friend of mine, for taking these pictures for me!

14 March 2012

Guest Post: Sarah's SWSW Style Advice

I'm doing something a little different today, y'all. Sarah, a fellow Austinite blogger contacted me last week asking if she could do a guest post here on my blog about SXSW style. I'd never read her blog before, but after visiting Mason Jar Living, I'm hooked. This gal has a serious eye for style and I'm hoping to meet her soon to pick her brain. I'm invited to the maurices SXSW artist event tomorrow and I was really stressing about what to wear. I'm definitely taking some of Sarah's advice! Here's what she has to say about dressing for this awesome event:

SXSW has arrived in my hometown of Austin, Tx and every fahionable twenty-something is flocking to the city in droves. As someone who grew up in the ATX, it's always fun to meet all the different kinds of people from across the world that come to the festival. It's also fun to pick out out-of-towners from a crowd just by the way they dress. Unlike most other metropolitan cities, you can literally get in anywhere wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and flip-flops are a year-round thing. The key to Austin style is finding the perfect balance of chic and effortless. You have to obviously not care, but look good doing it. So, in honor of South By Southwest and all y'all out of towners, here are my top four favorite spring trends, all with a little Austin flare.

Sheer Audacity

There might be no greater trend than the rise of the see-through blouse/ maxi skirt. Sure, I'm not going to wear it to the next family Sunday brunch, but it's Texas, it's humid, and it's 90 degrees: the less fabric the better. Invest in cute undergarments, throw on your highest heels, and rock some serious see-through fashion like the audacious fashionista you are.

Lady Boots
[via masikawa]

There's some famous saying that says you aren't really a true Texan until you have your first pair of boots. I think there's some truth to that. I wear mine with almost every outfit I can get away with. That's why I was so excited to see this new trend of ankle high-booties. They're like rugged boots meets penny-loafers and I love them. They're like cowboy boots, but with less commitment.

Denim Vests, They're Coming

I'm gonna go ahead and call it: Denim Vests are the last and final trend of the nineties revival. Get yourself over to a thrift shop (Texas Thrift, is the best in Austin, if you ask me) pronto before they all get bought up and you're stuck going to urban or anthro. Pair it with anything, evening gown, sundress, sequin mini, dress pants, the more inappropriate the better. Nothing says, Austin-chic quite like "Oh this beat up blue jean vest? Yah, I just picked it up from a garage sale off North Loop, not like I care though."

Floral Infinite Remix
[via Tula]

Saying floral patterns are going to be popular during spring time is a little like saying flannel is going to be popular this fall, however, if you're gonna go flower power, you gotta go all the way. This year print on print is all the rage. Seriously, you can pretty much get away with anything. And in Austin, the louder and kitschier the better. Sure, most of the prints look like artifacts from my mom's vintage furniture shop, but you'll stand out at the next music showcase. And let's be honest, that's really all that matters.

So when you're stressing over your closet and what you should be wearing to your next sxsw event, remember, it's Austin, we'll love you regardless & when in doubt, dress like Kurt Cobain. Happy South by South Westing!

Don't forget to visit Sarah over at her blog, Mason Jar Living. You'll be glad you did!

13 March 2012

Modern Dorothy

Forever 21 earrings, thrifted blouse from Goodwill, thrifted pants and shoes from Savers
I didn't actually wear these red heels with this outfit. Instead, I was wearing a pair of red leather flats that I bought on Saturday during the Texas Style Council thrifting session at Savers. I've been wearing them for the last two days because they're so comfortable and hello, they're RED! Here's an Instagram of what they look like...followed by the reason why they aren't in my outfit photos.
I was at work when I realized the bottom part of the heel was breaking off. It didn't affect my walking that much, but I was very aware that one of my legs was about a half-inch shorter than the other. I'm really in love with these flats, so I decided to take them to the Austin Shoe Hospital. I had a pair of vintage boots from Ebay fixed up there about a year ago and they came back looking brand-spanking-new. In the end, I'll be paying $30 to improve these flats that only cost me $4. It might sound silly, but I think it's going to be worth it. Once the whole bottom part of the show is reinforced, they'll be as good as new.

By the way, I've been getting really into Instagram lately. Follow me @nataliebgarza to stay up-to-date on the not-so-exciting things that happen in my life. You never know when another one of my shoes might break down on me.

12 March 2012

Camera Tricks

Forever 21 dress and earrings, jacket from Langford Market,
bracelet courtesy of InPink, Banana Republic heels

Do you like that close-up of my rosy face? I just got these earrings last week, so I really wanted to show them off. It's times like these that make me wish I had a good DSLR to capture all the details of my outfit. I've been getting so frustrated with my basic point-and-shoot camera lately. As most of you probably already know, I take my pictures using a tripod and the self-timer on my camera.  You think it would be relatively easy, but it can be pretty difficult trying to get the same focus and lighting in each shot.

I've found that taking photos in front of a wall is better because there isn't much for the camera to focus on other than me. If I take a picture with multiple things behind me, the camera focuses on all that other stuff because I'm out of the shot pressing the self-timer button. When I get in front of the camera as the timer is counting down, I'm unsure of where it's focused and there are only about three seconds between each shot. Sometimes, I'll take a series of eight pictures and delete them all because they're all out of focus.

I know this problem could be solved by getting Matt to take my photos, but we have completely different schedules. Getting a DSLR would be the ultimate solution but unfortunately, I should buy a new laptop before I even consider a new camera. I'll save the "how I killed three laptops in three months" story for next time. It's a good one.

08 March 2012

Join the Party!

Gap dress, Forever 21 cardigan, Banana Republic wedges,
vintage necklace from the City-Wide Garage Sale

Y'all already know how much I love recycling clothing through thrifting and shopping secondhand. I'm always looking for new eco-friendly ways to shop, so I was really excited to learn about this cool new app called Poshmark. It allows you to attend a virtual shopping party where you can buy and sell clothes and accessories with other party attendees. Each party has a theme, for example, this Saturday's theme is Party Dresses and I'll be selling an amazing gold sequined dress. I bought at Zara a few years ago and have only worn it twice, so it's in excellent condition. It's the perfect dress for New Year's Eve or any other event that needs a "wow!" dress. Download the Poshmark app (it's free!) and join the party Saturday evening to check out all the amazing dresses that will be for sale. Here's the dress I'll have posted:

If you're interested in this dress, don't forget to download the Poshmark app before 7 pm on Saturday. It's going to be so much fun!