Top 5 Tips For Bra Buying

I recently attended a sneak peek of Elle Macpherson’s new JCPenney intimates line, The Body by Elle Macpherson where I got life lessons in bra shopping. After killing it with her Elle Macpherson Intimates line for the past 25 years, Macpherson is stepping out with this new collection dubbed as an ode to her supermodel nickname as not only the face and creative director, but also as the model for the print campaign. By the way, she is 50. Pause for wine sip.

JCPenney Launches THE BODY By Elle Macpherson Intimates

The new line is priced an average of 70% lower than her her namesake intimates line, and I am pleased to report that it is every bit as gorgeous, and it feels as good as it looks. I volunteered my ta-ta’s for a fitting with an expert, all in the name of research. According to Helen Jennett, JCPenney fit specialist, I, like the majority of women in America, have been wearing the wrong bra my entire adult life. To ensure that this shame does not happen to you, I present to you Jennett’s top five tips for bra shopping. You’re welcome!

1. Look at the tops and dresses in your closet. Do you wear t-shirts? Blouses? Solids? Dark colors? Light colors? Patterns? V-necks? Scoop necks? Each shape of bra is designed for a specific type of shirt. (e.g. Full coverage bra with horizontal seam is best worn with a button down shirt or dress.) Wearing a bra that complements your shirt or dress can instantly take 10 lbs off your figure! 

 2. Your bra band should be parallel to the ground. Over 80% of the support in a bra comes from the band, so if your band rides up when you move, it will not lift you enough in front. It should feel snug, but doesn’t need to be tight. Since the band is the first part of the bra that stretches out, make sure you fit the bra on the loosest hook. (This way you can tighten it as the band stretches out.)

 3. When trying on a bra, make sure the wire goes back far enough so it’s not cutting into breast tissue. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but often this makes the bra feel tight so instead of going up one size in the cup, you go up one band size which minimizes the support you need from the band. If you’ve ever felt like you have some room in the cup, make sure you’ve pulled all the tissue on the side forward. This ensures a perfectly fitting bra and will also loosen up the band.

 4. Seams equal support. A bra with seams and multiple panels will offer a minimized and supported look. Also remember prints and dark colored shirts hide seams so this is an easy way to wear that beautiful lace bra that’s been sitting in your drawer.

 5. Care properly care for your bra. Even less expensive bras will last a long time if you take care of them. This means washing them after every wear. Yes, every single wear. The reason is that bras are made of synthetic fabric which stretches out from the natural oils in our skin. When you wash your bra after every wear it keeps the band snug. As always, wash with natural detergent like Forever New. Nylon does not hold up well when washed with most detergents.

JCPenney Launches THE BODY By Elle Macpherson Intimates

My personal favorite is the fit bra (in the above stripe) which just so happens to be Elle’s as well. Basically, my girls have supermodel taste.

Shop the collection here.

Do you have any bra buying tips? Please share in the comments below!

xo BB

 

DIY Fringe Armlet

The season is upon us, so rather than scrambling to find Festival accessories, let’s keep making our own! Now that we have our flower crown, we’ll need another eye catching accessory for day two (or three). Give your head a break from heavy lifting and beautify your biceps with a super easy three step DIY fringe arm bracelet. Also known as the armlet, this boho luxe look is the perfect addition to nearly any spring or summer ensemble and this version is super easy. Plus, making your own ensures that not only will it be one of a kind, you’ll also end up with a perfect flattering custom fit that store bought elastic band upper arm decor simply cannot  match.

Wanna make one?

You’ll need:

1 Pair of fabric scissors
1 half yard of 4” or 6” long chainette fringe (I got the ombre fringe at M&J Trimming)
1 pair of size 3/0 sew on snaps
12″ thread
1 sewing needle
1 pen

Diy Fringe Arm Bracelet

1. Wrap your fringe around your upper bicep area, wherever you’d like your armlet to sit, and  make a mark where the end of the length it should be to fit snugly but not too tight. Cut the fringe about 1/4″ away from the mark.

DIY Ombre Fringe Bracelet

2. Fold the end of the top edge of the fringe trim on the far right corner inward about 1/4 of an inch away from the mark. Begin sewing the larger (female) half of the snap button on the outer side on the opposite side of the fold. Stitch all four of the openings and tie the thread shut on the inner side opposite to where the snap button sits.

DIY Fringe Bracelet

3. Fold the upper outer left side corner at the top of the fringe inward about 1/4″ from the end. Sew the smaller (male) piece on the inner side of the upper band, stitching all openings and tying the thread with a double knot once again when you’re finished.

DIY Fringe Armlet

That’s it! You’re done.

DIY Fringe Arm Bracelet

Enjoy your new upper arm candy!

Will you be adorning your upper arms this festival season?

xo BB

 

Chain Jeans and Feather Clutch

Loeffler Randall Mabel DIY YSL Chain Jeans Funktional Trench CoatLoeffler Randall Strappy

Trench: Funktional. Jeans: DIY. Shirt: Monrow. Shoes: Loeffler Randall. Bag: Kate Spade (nearly identical one here). Earrings: Vintage. Lip: Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi. Nails: Essie Lilacism (hands) & Essie In the Cab-Ana.

I could not wait to wear the YSL Chain Jeans from last week’s DIY. I started with the jeans and a plain white tee and added classic pieces that each have a edge and topped things off with white feathers to soften the look.

What would you pair with this wild pair?

xo
BB

 

DIY Flower Crown

Spring is the time of year to let you inner flower child out. What better way to set her free than with a custom reusable flower crown headband handcrafted by you? This kind of flower crown will last past your easter best through festival season.

Want to make a flower crown?

You’ll need:

24″ long thick floral wire
82″ long thin floral wire
Faux flowers of your choosing
1 bottle of superglue
1 Roll of flower tape (optional)
A pair of strong scissors or wire cutters

How to make a flower crown

1.  Wrap your thicker floral wire around your head, from the top of your forehead to close to the nape of your neck. This wire will be the base of your crown, and you will want to have at least 4″ of extra wire to adjust and wrap the ends to secure them.

Flower Crown DIY

2. Secure the ends of the base wire around your head, leaving two fingertips worth of room between your dome and the wire.

How to make a flower crown tutorial

3. Select the “blooms” you want to use, and detach them from the “stems” by pulling them off. They should pop off, leaving a clean hole at the base of the bud.

transparent flower crown

4. Arrange your buds around your base wire to experiment with different placements and patterns working in one type of flower at a time. This will give you a good idea of how the finished crown will look. Smaller buds will give you a subtle finish, while larger blooms will result in more of a statement piece. If you’re mixing both, a good rule of thumb is to put larger blooms next to smaller buds for balance.

DIY Flower Crown

Flower Crown Headband DIY

How to make a transparent flower crown

Flower Crown DIY

5. Cut about 4″ of the thinner floral wire. For some larger blooms, you will be able to thread through the middle. When this is the case, simply bend the end twice after threading through to keep it from slipping through.

How to make a flower crownFlower Crown DIY

6. For smaller buds, squeeze a small amount of superglue on the ends and insert  the ends into the base of buds on both ends.

DIY Flower Crown

7. Wrap the flower tipped smaller floral wires around the base crown, staying as close to your planned pattern as possible. If you stray, no biggie, it’s supposed to look free spirited. Repeat steps 5-7 until you’ve covered as much of the base crown as you’d like. If you don’t like the way the base looks, cover the wires with the floral tape.

Flower Crown DIY

I left mine vine covered and wild because that’s how I roll.

DIY Flower Crown Easy 

You’re done! Let your flower child run free.

DIY Flower Crown Easy

Now you know how to make a flower crown. Where will you be wearing yours?

xo

BB

Spiked Denim and Lace Socks

Studded Shoulder Denim Jacket Gigi K Lace Socks Yumi Kim Midi Skirt Spiked Denim Jacket

Jacket: LF (similar here). Sweater: J.Crew. Skirt: Yumi Kim (love this one). Sunglasses: Juicy Couture (love these). Shoes: Christian Louboutin. Socks: Gigi K. Earrings: Chanel. Bracelets: David Yurman, Bash & Bow. Lip: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Favorite. Nails: Essie Lilacism.

Spring is here in the literal sense that it is warm and sunny. I was so excited I threw on this spiked denim jacket and frilly lace socks without realizing I was dressed for an 80′s party. If you’ve never been to Gigi K on University, you must make the trip this weekend. Your sock wardrobe will thank you.

xo BB

The 45 Best Backpacks For Spring and Summer

The it bag silhouette for spring and summer is the number one schoolyard staple: the backpack. It’s the perfect satchel for festival season, weekend trips, and summer adventures. What’s not to love about this practical sack? Check out these new too cool for school backpacks:

Will you be picking up a new backpack, rocking an old school style, or does this trend take you right back to detention?

xo BB

DIY YSL Chain Jeans

When I saw these $1,500 Saint Laurent Chain Embellished Jeans, I knew I would make them mine. Well, I knew that I would one day make my own, so filed them into my DIY queue and kept them in the forefront of my thoughts when denim sale shopping.  That day has come.YSL Chain Jean DIYI bought a pair of Rag & Bone jeans on sale for $60 at Saks.com that were in need of a little something, and this DIY is a lot of something. I love the look of these paired with classic simple pieces. Then again, they would also be perfection with a vintage tee concert tee and boots. Check out how Nicole Richie, Miranda Kerr, and Kim Kardashian rocked their pairs.

nicole-richie-miranda-kerr-kim-kardashian-ysl-chain-jeans

Wanna take a pair of drab jeans up a few notches?

You’ll need:

1 Pair of jeans
About 96″ of flat curb style chains*
1 Needle that is thin enough to fit through the chain links
1 Pair of fabric scissors
1 Spool of thread in a color that will blend in with your denim (I used navy)
1 6″ square of medium grit sandpaper
1 Pen or pencil

*You can get chains like these by the foot at most hardware and craft stores. I found the perfect necklaces at Forever21, and since they were multi-layered and on sale, buying two turned out to be cheaper than the hardware store chains. This one would be an ideal money saving match as well. YSL Chains Jean DIY

1. Once you’ve selected the pair you want to update, put them on and while wearing them, mark where you want your holes and rips to be lightly with your pen or marker. Take them off, and lay them flat on the ground to assess whether you should add or subtract from the map you’ve made.

DIY-YSL-Chain-Jean

2. Begin making your cuts. They shouldn’t be too clean, so if the cuts are too straight, snip the edges of the openings with the tips of your scissors. This will help give them a more authentic distressed look. Put the jeans back on, and adjusts your cuts as necessary with extreme caution, cutting away from your body. Please don’t snip your skin!

3. Put the jeans back on, and begin rubbing the thigh and knee areas as well as the holes with the gritty side of the sandpaper for about ten minutes. This will help not only to give them that worn in look, but it is also a great way to soften any denim.

DIY Distressed Denim

Again, be careful. If you sand your skin, you’ll get a mean rug burn (trust me, I know). To get the edges of the holes, just lift the denim away from your leg before sanding.

4. Take them off and lay them flat on the ground and look them over to ensure that you’re happy with the level of distressing. If not, repeat step 3.

Distressed Denim DIY

5. Cut your first pieces of chain using your scissors or a wire cutter. A good rule of thumb used by YSL for this design is the larger the hole, the more chains. Lay the chain on the area you are about to fill, and cut once there is about a 1/2″- 1″ extra chain on each side of the opening. Remember to vary your chain lengths as pictured below to get the draped look.

YSL Chain Embellished Denim DIY

6. Pull your thread through the needle and make a double or triple knot at the end of it. You won’t need more than 4″ per hole, as you are going to close the stitch each time. Pull the needle and thread through the end of all of the chains  so that it looks like this:

YSL Chain Jean DIY Tutorial

7. Sew the needle with the chains at the end of the thread through the upper corner area of the hole at least 1/2″ away from the opening, pulling first through the inside of the jeans, and then threading once back through the front so that the needle is now back inside the jeans. Cut the thread and tie a double or triple knot on the inside of the denim. Repeat this threading pattern on the other side to attach the chains, and continue this step on all of the holes and rips.

YSL Chain Denim DIY Tutorial

DSC01999

8. Once you’ve finished sewing the chains across all of the holes and rips, hang them on a hanger so you can assess whether or not you need to add or take away. Do this step before adding any of the free hanging single chains.

DIY YSL Chain Jeans

9. Add any straight dangling chains sewing them on one at a time using the technique from step 6.

DSC02008

You’re done! You can now enjoy your cool edgy chain embellished jeans and spend the $1,440 savings on some wardrobe classics to go with them.

DIY YSL Chain Jeans After

Are you dying to try this DIY or is it too wild for you?

See how I styled them here.

xo BB

Vintage Plaid Wrap Coat

Vintage Plaid Wrap CoatJoie Sweater Dress Zara Over the knee bootsFree People Leg Warmers

Coat: Vintage (also love this one). Dress: Joie. Boots: Zara. Faux Fur Collar: H&M (similar here). Sunglasses: Proenza Schouler (love these, too). Bag: Vintage Chanel. Legwarmers: Free People. Tights: Wolford. Hat: All Saints. Necklace: Forever21. Lip: Nars Schiap. Nails:  OPI Alpine Snow.

Since I’ve been in search of scarf alternatives and different ways of dressing for this cold, this faux fur collar has been in heavy rotation. It is truly the perfect addition to any fall / winter accessory wardrobe. There are many sweet options on sale for under $20 since the season is ending, and its a truly timeless item that goes with everything. You can also make your own using this easy Faux Fur Collar DIY tutorial from A Beautiful Mess.

xo BB

 

 

Does Oil Pulling Work?

In short, yes. I tried this ancient Indian homeopathic method myself over the past month and I am already experiencing the benefits of oil pulling. I had my first cavity when I was 22 years old, and after having some very painful surgery to correct a bad filling, I was left with chronic jaw pain, extreme sensitivity on my right side of my mouth, and had developed a night clenching habit that caused me to wake up with a massive headache every morning. My dentist’s solution was to sell me a $500 custom mouth guard to wear at night. Now I know I can pass on that torture device and spend that cash on a new pair of shoes (or boatloads of coconut oil).

Dr. Bronner's Organic Coconut Oil

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is the practice of swishing about 2 teaspoons of organic sesame or coconut oil in the mouth first thing in the morning for 20 minutes to extract toxins, bacteria, and parasites to improve oral and overall health. While some say 5-10 minutes is all you need, experts including Dr. Bruce Fife, author of Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing, say 20 minutes is best. Your saliva activates enzymes in the oil that stick to toxins and bacteria and pull them to the surface, which is how the practice of oil pulling gets its moniker.

Oil Pulling Benefits:

  • Natural whitening of teeth
  • Reduction of gum inflammation and bleeding
  • Prevention of tooth and gum disease
  • Bad breath reduction
  • Treatment of TMJ, headaches, and acne
  • Hangover and allergy symptom relief
  • Treatment of eczema, arthritis, and stomach discomfort
  • Relief of tooth and jaw sensitivity and pain

…and countless others.

After a month of adding this practice to my morning routine, I no longer wake up with a headache from night clenching, and my teeth are whiter and feel cleaner and smoother. Before I started oil pulling, the right side of my mouth was so sensitive from the surgeries, I could not eat or drink on that side whatsoever and I had a swollen lymph node on that side of my jaw. The node has dramatically reduced in size, and I can now use that area of my mouth with no pain or discomfort. In addition, my allergy symptoms have reduced dramatically. There are some seriously tall claims floating around, but these four benefits are enough to make me a lifetime member of the oil pulling cult.

Oil Pulling Tips:

  • If the oil is too cold or grainy at first, let it warm up and melt in your mouth for about 20 seconds before you begin swishing.
  • If the amount of oil becomes overwhelming, spit a bit out. Do not swallow the oil; it contains the gross stuff you’re trying to get rid of.
  • Never spit the oil into your toilet, sink, or shower drain as it can congeal in there and clog your plumbing. Simply spit the oil into a garbage can when you’re done with your 20 minutes.
  • 20 minutes can seem like a long time, so keep busy while you oil pull. Take a shower, check your emails, do the dishes, anything to take your mind off the clock.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water afterward and then brush your teeth to flush out any remaining toxins.

Have you tried oil pulling? Share your experience below!

xo BB

DIY No Sew Turban Headband

I’ve made it no secret that I am a lover of the urban turban, not only for bad hair days, but as a hat sub in these freezing temps. After experimenting with a few methods, I present to you the easiest, most perfect DIY turban headband that requires no sewing whatsoever. Oh, and it re-purposes old garments!

Wanna make own urban turban?

You’ll need:

1 Old top, skirt, or dress with some stretch (cotton jersey will do)
1 pair of scissors
THAT’S IT!

1. Lay the garment you’ve selected to use flat and smooth it out, then pick it up and measure it folded flat by wrapping it around the crown of your head. It should be snug, but not loose or too tight.

DIY Turban Headband Tutorial

2. Once you’ve established that it fits, lay it down on a flat surface and smooth it out again. Measure about 4-6″ from the bottom of the hem, depending on the thickness you’re looking for – the example shown is 6″- and mark the spot. Cut straight across, using a ruler if you need it.

DIY Urban Turban

3. Using both hands stretch your band of fabric a bit until the raw edges curl. Holding it tight with your fingers spread out at both sides, twist it in the middle twice so that the fabric strip forms a figure eight.

DIY Turban HeadwrapDIY Turban Headband Tutorial

4. With the twisted middle facing forward, fold the figure eight in half so that the loops are stacked on top of one another. Put on your head and adjust as needed.

No Sew DIY Turban Headband

DIY No Sew Turban Headwrap

You now have a your very own custom turban headband without a single stitch! You also may have a newish crop top, which I would recommend sewing at the hemline. Bam! Two trends in one.

DIY No Sew Turban Headband

DIY Turban Headband

Have you DIY’ed a turban headband? Tell me your tricks!