Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hair: The Sock Bun

A couple of days ago, I discovered how to use a sock to create the perfect bun. This technique gives your hair look much more volume than the average topknot, and best of all--it is super simple and easy. All you'll need are two hair elastics, one sock (preferably a thicker / longer one), hairspray, and day-old hair--I find that this style works better with slightly grunge-y hair because it results in a more deliciously textured and fuller bun. Wait, was that kind of gross? Whatever. Of course if you want to recreate a perfect ballerina bun, then by all means--brush all that hair out beforehand!

First of all, we're gonna make a donut out of your sock. I recommend using a sock that comes close to your hair color --unless you're into that peek-of-color which is totally cool, girl. Just snip off the toe-end and begin to tightly roll the sock (outwards), until everything has been tucked into the cuff. Now you have lovely a sock donut to work with!

Tie your hair into a very tight ponytail using one of the hair elastics. You can technically place this ponytail anywhere, but I personally like to create a higher bun that sits atop of my head.

Next, take your sock donut, slip it through, and bring it to the end of your ponytail. Begin to tuck all the hair into the donut as you roll it down to the base of the ponytail.This step might feel a bit awkward at first and you might question yourself and wonder: "Am I doing this right?" but trust me, just keep moving forward (or downwards). Don't worry about dispersing the hair equally around the donut, because it will happen as you move further along and you'll soon see how the hair nicely gets sucked up into this gradually fuller bun.

After you've rolled the sock donut all the way down to the base of your ponytail, make sure you get all the hair in (or as much as you can) and it's totally okay if there are a couple of strands sticking out because hair spray and the next step will take care of those flyaways!

Now, don't let go yet! Using your free hand, quickly set the bun with the second elastic (I usually wrap my bun around twice--but for some of you who have more hair to begin with, once will probably suffice... just make sure the bun relatively secure and isn't flopping all over the place!) Generously spritz on some hair spray and voila, you're done!

I think this hair style is simply great for when you want to pull all the hair out of your face (or are in dire need for a haircut) and maybe want to try something other than the go-to pony tail or bun. This technique is also extremely forgiving and perfect for beginners! I'm not really too big on hair, but this was a lot of fun so I think I'll try some new things in the coming weeks! Hope you all enjoy :)


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Subversive Kawaii

I discovered EGL fashion and lolita subculture my sophomore year and immediately fell in love with the way these girls fashioned their hair with lustrous curls and dainty little bows, sporting elegantly crafted dresses fit for a china doll. There was something just so surreal and enchanting about the way they present themselves to the world. I never actively dressed like them myself, but oh how I would vicariously live through these blogs and websites. It was a secret identity--my alter ego you could say, and nobody at school really knew about it. By day, I would walk through the mundane; but by night, I would learn all the techniques to achieving perfectly coiffed hair complete with Zooey D. bangs or princess perfect nails bedazzled with sparkles and glitter-- all the while, attempting to fulfill my passion for living in a dream world. And just so you know, all this was before tumblr had been around.

Lolita fashion was probably one of the first instances when I really, whole-heartedly embraced fashion and understood that this subculture was not merely a means of self-expression--but more deeply, a way of life. My hunger for porcelain skin and an Angelic Pretty wardrobe died down after a year or so, sadly putting these cake-sweet fantasies to an end. However, I did choose to paint my entire room a shade of bubblegum pink though--which was probably the greatest effort I've made to incorporate an element of the loli subculture into my life outside the online world.

I recently stumbled upon subversive kawaii when I revisited a blog I used to frequent all the time in high school for old times' sake. I think my best attempt to describe this new phenomenon is: ultra badass-ness hidden beneath a generous layer of pink sprinkles and buttercream frosting. However, what intrigued me most was the seemingly all frills and pink facade enshrouding a darker message. At first glance, you might completely miss the strikingly obvious nuances--but that's what I love about it: the subtle juxtaposition between the two contrasting entities is refreshing because it gets you thinking. Subversive kawaii is weird and new and exciting all the the same time--and as a result, far more challenging to immediately understand and label. Has girl power and new-wave feminism reached a new platform? As she presents herself in total deception, she still remains true to self, uncompromising her values for nobody.  

yours truly,

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thrifted Finds: The Grandpa Sweater

Today, I'd like to feature an article of clothing I thrifted a couple of weekends ago. I know at first glance, it appears to only be a lumpy old sweater--but I'd like to call this specific piece: the grandpa sweater. You know, the old same old sweater your gramps wears in layers and layers, reeking a strangely familiar stench of mothballs and herbal tea. Incorporating bold prints and crafted with care using scratchy acrylic wool (or if you're lucky--plush cashmere)--these guys are guaranteed a regular at our local thrift store.

This particular specimen shown above sports a very neutral color scheme accented with a nice robin's egg blue slightly past expiration. Endowed with worn-down, cross-hatched knobby buttons completes the entire ensemble, giving a very medieval peasant-like feel to the entire garment.

I found the grunge-y camel-colored knit sandwiched between two other like-colored cousins in the five dollars or less aisle. After several moments of careful inspection, a sniff test (no signs of decay or old people smell!), and one last careful consideration, I gave into my delusions actually wearing this piece in real life.

Envisioning myself at a bonfire beach party, I think this grandpa sweater would go very nicely with some denim cutoffs and maybe a delicate sheer crop top of some sort. The sandy brown shade and slightly grey-blue pattern would perfectly compliment my surroundings--and for practical use, the roughness of this fabric would provide warmth after sunset. Sadly, there are neither bonfires nor beaches nearby where I live--As of right now, only snow. But who says a girl can't dream of Californian weather all year round?

Jenny a.k.a goodwillgrrl

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring 2013 Trends: Overalls

I'm loving this spring trend: the classic overall. Some might say they're a bit too childish, but I digress. I think overalls are a fresh take on all this denim/chambray madness that has been going on in the past couple of years. Throw on a checkered button down and some tan leather boots, and you've instantly got a farm girl look to your outfit. Or, perhaps if you're wanting to go for a more refined version, pair these bad boys with them up with a boatneck 3/4 sleeves and tights. You can play up the colors to your liking as well--opt for darker colors if you want to have more contrast for a night time outfit, and lighter colors as the weather gets warmer.  Even a plain white tee can look stunning with these overalls--however if you want to avoid looking like you've just stepped out from a playground, I'd suggest you to avoid wearing sneakers or canvas shoes--try something with a heel or platform. I think this trend with transition over nicely to summer and even fall, what do you think? 

Jenny a.k.a. goodwillgrrl

P.S. If you love food (who doesn't?), feel free to check out my cooking / food blog, mdfrmscrtch! I promise there will be tons of lovely, mouthwateringly delectable recipes on it :9

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Outfit Dissection No. 1: Natalie

Since I'm trying to liven up my very stark-looking blog with more fancy images and things, I've provided you all with an outfit dissection today. I drew this from my imagination, so excuse the limited color range--I tend to wear only a couple shades of grey and black in real life (it's far more practical / I'm going for that minimalist chic look) but perhaps by experimenting with color through my silly drawings on this blog, I'll someday venture into the technicolor world of bold color blocking and pastel denim. Sigh. 

Let's call this girl Lucille, or maybe Madeline. I don't know, I guess she's French because both those names are pretty fancy-sounding in my book. So, Lucille is sporting a nice down puffer vest in the shade of tangerines slightly past their prime. Quick DIY: Hack the sleeves off your lightweight uniqlo / patagonia nano puff jacket and voilà, there you have it. Beneath her sleeveless grody orange puffer jacket vest, she layers a very breezy and washed out grungy lilac flannel button down (throwback to the nineties!). Natalie (whoops, sorry I changed her name again) also dons a pair of cut-off high-waisted denim shorts embellished with tiny daisies. She adorns her right wrists with a stack of chunky gold and silver bracelets and bangles--striking a purposefully imbalance with a lone yellow golden band on her other wrist. Whoever said to never mix gold and silver jewelry together was clearly wrong--if French Natalie can do it, so can you

Natalie has fashioned her thick, soot black hair into a nice lumpy braid which delicately slouches over her right shoulder. She wears some OTK (over the knee, or more like over the thigh) socks made out of some natural textile... wool, perhaps? The socks have intricate cable-knit patterns on them, but that was too time consuming to illustrate so bear with me and use your imagination here. Natalie finishes off her look with an elegant black belt (presumably thrifted from a Goodwill) and some plain, yet classic suade suede Mary Janes. I apologize once again, for the misspelling in the illustration--it's S-U-E-D-E, not S-U-A-D-E. She tops off her entire ensemble with a mustard knit beanie, and there you have it, outfit dissection no. 1.

Jenny a.k.a. goodwillgrrl 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shoes I'm Currently Digging: Wedges

I'm sure we're all somewhat familiar with the presence of these notoriously chunk-soled shoes. The lace-up appears to be a follow up from the victorian/combat boot wave, however I'm personally digging the cut-out heel... Imagine the kinds of patterns you could carve into them! Measuring up to only a mere 5 feet and 1 inch myself (barefoot), I couldn't agree more with the fact that these lovlies are a quintessential staple to any petite girl (or guy)'s closet.  A great way to elongate your legs is to pair a couple of black wedges with dark tights/ stockings, or slip on a pleated maxi skirt and magically appear a foot taller! Just make sure you avoid tangling your shoes with the billowy fabric. I've definitely had my fair share of stumbling walking in heels, so my advice for you can be summarized in these four simple steps:

1.) Start small: This applies on every level--feel free to ease your way into these platforms by practicing with smaller heels--like kitten heels or flatforms, and don't be afraid to take baby steps!

2.) Don't be careless: You're most likely to trip when you aren't cautious--so even after you've mastered step one, still keep an eye out for those puddles and ditches.

3.) Keep practicing: practice makes perfect, 'nuff said.

4.) Take breaks: I've found that my feet have begun to hurt if I've been wearing my heels for too long, so I like slipping off my shoes and giving my feet a break when I sit down. If sitting is not an option (and you still would like to appear taller), then choose a pair of wedges with a thick sole but low heel... that way, they wil add height without discomfort.

 ...or embrace your small stature! Everyone, no matter what shape or size, is beautiful.

Jenny a.k.a. goodwillgrrl

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The New Girl

Hey, Everyone! My name is Jenny, but you can call me goodwillgrrl if you'd like. Since, we're going to be friends, I figure that I'd ought to share with you some things about myself in the form of a running list of likes and dislikes:

Another fact I'd like to share with you is the current situation I've found myself in. You see, I've recently taken a leave of absence from my first year of college and moved upstate to spend these several months with my dad on his "farm". The reason why I put that last word in quotations is because it is not quite a farm yet. We have a small (dead) garden and we're planning to grow kale in the spring time.

We do, however, live with a motley crue of creatures. An abandoned guinea pig known as "Sox" resides with our four chickens and 9.75 ducks-- I purpose chose not to use a whole number to measure the amount of ducks we own because one duck had tragically suffered a mysterious wild animal attack this past summer and lost one of its legs. We've had a shrew and a vole visit Fifi's dog food bowl and in the evenings, flies and ladybugs desperately attempt to escape the darkness, wholeheartedly buzzing into the lights while little mice live in the walls of this house leaving poop trails everywhere.

Today the sky is a gnarly, sad shade of grey and I'll admit, sometimes it's lonely and cold here, but I'm looking forward to spring rearing her lovely, flourishing head in the coming weeks. This past weekend, we drove to a goodwill store and I think I've rediscovered an old and burning passion... I've only been thrifting a handful of times in my life, but I'm eager to develop this new past time! So join me on this adventure of hunting for grandpa sweaters and sweet, funky-smelling garments.

Jenny a.k.a. goodwillgrrl

P.S. I'm new to blogging, so please be kind.