{DIY} Heavy Metal

Like everyone else and their brother, I have fallen hard for grommets. Grommets on bags, grommets on jackets, you name it–give me ALL THE GROMMETS.

My obsession reached its zenith in Paris when I saw (yet another) striped shirt, this one punched with grommets.

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However, room in my suitcase was nearing an end (as was my shopping budget), so I decided to try my hand at recreating the look on a shirt I already owned.

I think it turned out pretty well!

Finished Grommeted Shirt

DO try this at home, folks! All you’ll need is a grommet puncher (found at your local craft store) and the corresponding size grommets (I used 3/4″). Then punch away!

Grommeted Shirt at Airshow

What do you think about my creation? Would you try this on something you own?

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Ode to Pockets

If you’re a man, pockets are such an innocuous commodity that it may surprise you to learn just how strongly women feel about them.

I’ve heard designers malign them as the great ruiner of the lines of women’s garments, and when I dropped into the tailor’s before a recent trip overseas and asked her to create an internal pocket in a coat I had just purchased (a luxury that comes standard on men’s coats but seems conspicuously missing from women’s coats), she looked at me a bit askance. Indeed, sewn-in pockets seem to have long been the sole proprietorship of men, with women resorting to exterior bags tied to their petticoats, which eventually morphed into the modern day handbag, according to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

So when my friend Jessica recently took to Facebook with an appreciative post about pockets, I was barely surprised at the flurry of comments that ensued. Complaints about  faux pockets (“fockets,” as one friend dubbed them) and musings on their mysterious purpose mingled with invectives against the desperate among us who have resorted to storing life’s ephemera in our bosoms, along with teary exclamations of the joy experienced upon discovering that a garment had the type of hidden pockets men take for granted in their clothing. It was finally determined that women are so pocket-starved that we’ll buy any garment with pockets regardless of how well it fits (a sentiment echoed in multiple friends’ messages over the next several days), and I can’t say I disagree.

Years ago, I read about an exceptionally elegant woman who had a series of pockets sewn into all her coat linings so that she could forego carrying a bag (brilliant!). That started me on a quest, snatching up garments with what I had been terming “bonus” pockets (a naming practice which shall cease immediately; equal pay for equal work and equal pocketing practices, I say). When the pockets I wanted didn’t come standard in a garment (almost always), I whisked them away to the tailor’s to be retrofitted (often much to their chagrin–see above lament about ruining of garment lines).

With the tenuous hope that useful pockets continue to resurface in women’s clothing, here are a few current examples of my love affair with pockets.

Elie Tahari blazer pocket

Barely discernible in tweed, I love having pockets on a blazer when I meet new people. My business cards go in the left pocket, so that I can discreetly slip theirs into my right pocket.

blue trench with hand lotion

Outer pockets on a trench allow me to go for a walk in cooler weather while still keeping my phone and lotion handy.

trench with passport

Often overlooked in women’s outerwear, an inner pocket is perfect for preventing wallets and other valuables from being easily stolen. I was so excited when I found them in this and the blue trench above–I usually have to take my jackets and coats to the tailor to have them added.

catepillar in pants pocket

All pants have pockets, right? Nope. I need more pants pockets for important things like dancing caterpillars.

camel leather pockets

To me, it’s not a real moto jacket unless it has pockets. The more, the better. and bonus if they’re zippered.

 

black moto pockets

Exhibit B: Even the more polished version I wear to the office has zippered pockets (REAL pockets, not “fockets”). Of all the clothing items I wish had pockets, moto jackets are the ones I’m most particular about.

 

black skirt pockets

Seriously–I get texts from the dressing room all the time about skirts and dresses  exclaiming, “It has pockets!” Designers, please take note.

chambray pockets

I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I love pockets for no other reason besides looks. I rarely keep anything in shirt pockets, but I still want them to be functional, just in case (I know, I’m so demanding!). I love the look, and am always searching for great camp shirts and tees with pockets.

 

Unpacked (in order of appearance):

Tweed blazer, Elie Tahari, similar style here.

Trench Coat, Samuel Dong via Ooh! Ooh! Shoes!

Trench Coat, Gallery, purchased at a shop in the Nashville airport.

Wide-leg cropped pants, Banana Republic, similar style in white here.

Camel moto jacket, Michael Kors.

Black moto jacket, Ann Taylor.

Bubble skirt, Bitte Kai Rand.

Chambray camp shirt, Girl Krazy via TJ Maxx.

 

Make the Scene at Polk Museum’s Art + Music, Rockabilly Style

It’s about time for a little rock n’ roll around here, which is why I’m really excited about the Polk Museum of Art’s next Art + Music event. To celebrate their exhibit “Rebels With a Cause,” PMoA is hosting a rockabilly-themed party on April 15th (get tickets here). Never wanting to miss out on celebrating renegades of any sort (but especially those of the creative variety), I have already marked my calendar to attend. If you live in the Tampa Bay area, I hope you’ll join me!

One of my favorite aspects of themed parties is getting into the spirit of the theme with my outfit, and rockabilly style is especially fun to try your hand at. A smash-up of rock n’ roll and “hillbilly” style, rockabilly clothing was the official attire of 1950s rebels. It combines several elements of classic Americana with the rock edge of skulls and tattoos, and is loaded with optimism and rowdiness.

Ladies, the easiest way to go Rockabilly is with a dress. My all-time favorite modern Rockabilly dresses are made by L.A.-based Stop Staring. Their style is impeccable, and I adore that most of their dresses are available in a wide range of sizes—from XS to 3XL. It was absolutely painful to select only five from their phenomenal collection, but I chose these because you can take them full Rockabilly and then style them more sweetly throughout the upcoming summer months.

Fitted Strawberry Dress, $139.

Fitted Strawberry Dress

 

 

Jennifer Blue Cherry, $179.

Jennifer Blue Cherry

 

Arebela (available in turquoise or red), $175.

Arebela red

 

Vega Dress, $175.

Vega black

 

Marisol, $185.

Marisol blue floral

Bonus: Stop Staring offers 10% off your first order when you sign up for their mailing list!

A little short on bread?

You can pull together a cherry rockabilly look in minutes from items you probably already have in your closet.

This simple look photographed by CJ Bartis encapsulates classic rockabilly style. Throw on a plaid shirt, dark-rinse jeans with wide cuffs, peep-toe shoes, and a bandana, and voila–you’re ready to rock around the clock.

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Don’t forget these essential elements of rockabilly style!

  • A flower behind your ear
  • Bangs or pin curls
  • Serious makeup (I’m talking about breaking out the liquid liner AND a bright lip)
  • Pigtails
  • Classic-themed tattoo or a half sleeve
  • Polka dots
  • Black and White Stripes
  • Mary Janes or peep-toe heels

 

Cool Cats

Guys, I haven’t forgotten you. To cook classic rockabilly threads, keep it simple! Start with a pair of dark-rinse jeans with a wide cuff, a black belt with metal studs or a skull buckle, a vintage western shirt (the one pictured is from Fifi’s Alternative on Etsy) or a classic white tee, and of course, tattoos. Throw on a pair of wingtips or creepers, slick back your hair in a high pompadour, and you’ve got it made in the shade.

fifis alternative mens western shirt

 

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wingtip creepers

Now that you’ve got your look down, you’re ready to dance the night away with me at Rebels With a Cause!