AYDAH Foundation

Advancing Health and Improving Youth self development

African Youth Development and Health Foundation,

a non-profit group, organized to

Establish, Prevent and Maintain a comprehensive and efficient healthcare delivery to the youth and underserved communities

Provide opportunities and inspire the Youth through Education, Employment and Empowerment 

Adventures in Styling

Yesterday my mom presented me with a rather unique challenge. She offered me this top which she no longer wanted and asked me if there was any way I’d wear it. I instantly delighted at the prospect of styling it. It’s a Liz Claiborne from back when Liz Claiborne was the ultimate. It’s vintage – although it’s probably younger than me – and it’s floral. In short, it’s the stuff a blogger’s dreams are made of…isn’t it?

As I looked at it hanging there in all its old-fashioned (read: late-eighties) glory I started to doubt my abilities. It’s big; very big. It looks oversized on my Size 12 figure. And it’s not exactly the height of thrift store chic. But I refused to be intimidated by a garment. I refused also the urge to grab my laptop and browse some of my favorite vintage-inspired blogs for ideas. I was going to do this cold turkey. Good, bad or ugly! So I put on some indie music and set to work indulging my inner stylista.

I decided to pair it with this burnt-orange skirt I’ve had for ages – I think that was also a hand-me-down from my mother. It needed something so I grabbed this belt I just recently got with a new dress from Dorothy Perkins. It gave me more of an hourglass silhouette and the belt added a fun retro element, making me feel very Mad Men secretary meets bohemian cowgirl. The B. Makowsky pumps add a little more of a mix. I didn’t think it would work, pairing this particular pattern with black accessories, but I rather like the way they pop.

It’s quite a long top so I then decided to try it as a tunic dress with leggings. This denim jacket has some cute brown and gold embellishments on the front, but of course it’s on the side you can’t see. It was all very matchy and quite comfortable. I added my little brown Rocketdog flats to add a bit of femininity, a la Audrey Hepburn.

And lastly, I wanted to try something a little more form-fitting so I rolled up the sleeves and tied it across the front! This would be a nice way to wear it in the spring with the lighter layers. The sleeves are very loose-fitting so it wasn’t constricting; you can really play around with it that way. I wish I’d paired it with a more interesting belt – that would add a lot more character to the look. But now I know, right?

One thing I learned: if the tails of your button-down stick out haphazardly when you tie it across your mid-drift just secure them with a brooch!

So how did I do on my first attempt to style an old, slightly monstrous floral blouse? How do you judge the potential of a hand-me-down or thrift store find?

P.S. I'm sorry if the pictures are a bit grainy. I did this all yesterday evening and my lighting tends to be cozy rather than, you know, functional.