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5 on Fridays: Tips for Vintage Shopping

Fashion, How To, Lifestyle, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent most of my time on introspection but tonight’s evening walk inspired me to talk about a light hearted subject and passion of my own - vintage shopping! First, of all vintage shopping is just fun! I love scouring hidden gems like the Blue Hanger in Austin or Feather’s Boutique on South Congress. The thing with vintage shopping is to not judge a book by its cover. You really never know what sort of treasures you’ll come across if you pop into a place. Today I thought it would be fun to share five tips for vintage shopping.

Shop for Seasons

Make a note of when a vintage store carries certain items you may be interested. For instance, if you are looking for a formal or costume piece the holiday season is perfect because many shop owners save their best inventory for peak seasons. Early Fall is a great time to shop for Halloween pieces. This is where I find skirts, robes, coats and embellished items. If you are looking for something specific then just ask the store owner or an associate. They oftentimes have the inside scoop on what other shops may carry!

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Don’t Pay Attention to Sizing

The sizing in older garments is often MUCH smaller than today’s standards. You may see waistband sizing instead of number sizing. Also, fifty years ago clothing was made smaller because as a country we were smaller. So also keep in mind that just because a garment says a Large or a Medium it may very well fit for a smaller frame. My advice is to look for pieces similar in shape and size to what you wear. Another trick is to bring a shirt, dress or skirt that is in your closet that you love so you can hold it up for size comparison. If you are in doubt, use the dressing room!

Check The Item Thoroughly

If possible check an item near a window for tears, stains or other defects. It’s so disappointing if you arrive home with a beloved piece only to find a yellow stain right in the center not seen under dim lighting or in a dressing room. Make sure you check lining if it has any, pockets, seams and embellishments. Also check in areas someone may sweat for additional stains. No matter what the price is, invest your money into something with quality.

Bring Cash and an Open Mind

Vintage shopping is a way to incorporate unique garments or classic pieces into your closet. I’ve found everything from winter white long wool coats to beaded flapper dresses. I always come shopping with an open mind and a wad of cash. Many stores give cash discounts if you bargain with them so it’s key to bring actual cash. Also, take your time and try things you love or a new item you may want to add to your closet!

What are your tips for vintage shopping?

The outfit pictured in today’s post was from Hawaii early 1980’s. My mom recently passed it down to me and is now one of my most treasured two piece sets. I plan on mixing the pieces up and wearing the top with a pair of skinny jeans and boots for the Fall season.

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Developing Your Morning Habit Routine

Fashion, DIY, How To, Healthy, Petite Style, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately, I’ve begin growing into the discipline of developing habit routines. After reading a few incredibly inspiring books like Thrive and The Power of Habit I’ve learned to begin my day the way I need to so that I set up a foundation to be kinder, gentler, more compassionate and most of all loving. There was a time in my corporate work career where I moved from one activity to the next without giving any thought to how it might affect my body, mind and soul. After a decade of living like that and burning the entire candle not just both ends, I’ve made a conscious and deliberate effort to change a life of chaos and develop a life of purpose, discernment and intention.

While hardwork and diligence is a discipline, I was far exceeding discipline and I turned it to a full obsession. I was a corporate supervisor’s dream… always ready to tackle more. Always willing to say yes. Never realizing that the more times I said, “yes” without hesitation or intention I was slowly become less of me and more of something I did not want to become. Late nights at work spilled over to not being able to sit still and enjoy time at home. I literally lived in chaos for a decade. Although I appreciate every single experience from that time, I now realize I can achieve a better life by implementing discipline into my morning habit routines that will allow my mind to have the space it needs to flourish. At the beginning of May I set out on a new journey. A journey to redefine my purpose - you can read more about that in last week’s post.

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After exptensive research and trial and error I begin to develop new routines. I start my day with a glass of water beside my bedstand. Before I even move or stretch I get this first glass down to fill my body with the hydration it needs. I spend a few minutes making my bed and stretching. I slowly let my body come alive instead of being my previous pop tart of a self. Then, I read a small meditation or excerpt from something inspiration and journal about thoughts. From there, I make a list of three categories:

  • One Big Thing I’m Going to Accomplish Today

  • Three Important Tasks

  • A Timeline for My Day

I begin with the end in mind which is how I am going to accomplish one big thing. That way if nothing else goes my way, then at least I knocked off one thing. Sometimes the one big thing is a long workout. Sometimes it’s a project or chore. My one big thing has become the center of the day. From there I list three other important tasks - pick up dry cleaning, coffee with a friend, or maybe write a blog post. I base my entire day’s timeline on these four items. I allow plenty of time to accomplish things and keep my schedule simple. I’ll be sharing my daily schedule with you guys over the course of the next few weeks on Instagram Stories.

If I could rewind the clock I would have been kinder to my twenty something self. I would have taken more breaks. Turned off work and slept more. Turned off the phone, the emails and late texts for work. I became consumed with being a slave to deadlines and projects. I literally could not go on a Sunday drive through the city without thinking as I passed by an industrial building that maybe I could help them become a client. While I do believe that many work inspirations can bloom out of the office, I was not being inspired… I had conditioned my mind to think only about work… about the next meeting, the next sale, the next goal I needed to reach to support my family financially. Now my days are different. My morning routine sets me up with intention. I realize what’s important and urgent and what can wait. At the conclusion of my day I reflect upon the things I put on plate and decide if it’s too much or too little. Whatever your current routine is I challenge you to start with just five minutes. Take five minutes to think about your purpose in life. Build your day around that purpose.

How do you prepare for your day? Anything especially helpful? Leave a comment or send me a tweet!

All photographs courtesy of the talented Andrew Sherard.

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How to Wear the Hottest Hair Accessories

Fashion, DIY, How To, Houston, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Photography, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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One of the best parts of being a fashion and lifestyle blogger for my job is getting to share new ideas with you guys! I’ve always been drawn to a feminine, modern and timeless style but I like adding touches of whimsy from older eras like hats, silk scarves, vintage bags and hairpieces. Mixing old ideas with new pieces is one of the most fun parts for putting together a new fresh look.

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You may notice that lately I’ve been playing more and more with scarves. You can see an entire group of posts where I use scarves in different ways on the blog and on Pinterest. Today I’m sharing how to incorporate some of the best accessories for your hair right now! For today’s look I added a simple floral crown to tie in the blush rose printed dress and mules. I love how this changes the entire dress taking it from an otherwise conservative approach to something more whimsical.

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Adding a new style or accessory in your wardrobe can be a little bit of an adjustment. I remember when I first started adding hats into every day outfits I felt like they were a little over the top. But as I wore them more and more, I began to grow comfortable with this new apparatus being on my head. Same with headbands, hairclips and floral crowns. Sometimes, our minds and bodies have to adjust to something new. Think about it like a new piece of furniture you just purchased to fill an empty space. At first, the piece of furniture may feel like it’s taking up so much room in your home… but after a few weeks your mind adjusts and you can’t imagine the room looking any different!

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This can be said with anything you add in your life. Maybe it’s a new routine like I talked about last week on the blog. Maybe it’s a new decor item or fashion trend. Life is about experimenting and expressing creativity. When we do the same things over and over expecting different results it increases frustrations and feelings of inadequacy or low self worth. As humans, I believe we were meant to be exposed to new places, experiences and ways of self expression to deepen and define exactly who we are. I challenge you this Monday morning to try something you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe it’s a floral crown like I did here in today’s post. Or maybe you decide to take a walk to relax at the end of your day today. Maybe you finally pick up a pen and write words that have been lingering in your mind. Whatever you choose, challenge yourself to try something new. Write down how you felt afterwards. Reflect on your purpose and choices.

What is one thing you plan to add to your life today that’s new?

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How to Utilize Habit Routines to Make Getting Ready Easier

Fashion, How To, Inspiration, Lifestyle, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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I’ve been spending much of this past month studying habit routines. As I’ve been learning and implementing habit routines, I’ve been amazed at how much less stress I endure on a daily or even hourly basis. I began creating habit routines both morning and evening every day for two weeks. After I managed to complete these, I’ve added in weekly and afternoon habit routines. Today I’m sharing two strategies to make getting ready each day effortless and automatic. One of the reasons habit routines are so important in life is that it fufills the needs of our bodies, minds and souls allowing more mental space.

Think about it, when you reverse your car out of a parking lot you do so many of the actions automatically. You don’t have to think about the seat belt, putting your keys into the ignition or looking to see if you are clear. After driving for years, these actions become automated. Just like mastering driving skills you can master organization and routine. Just like anything, it takes discipline and repetitive behaviors over time for habits to become automated.

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If you find that you are constantly in a hurry to get ready each morning and picking out an outfit seems to be an overwhelming event then this post is for you! Let’s begin by discussing how to prepare your week for a successful morning each day.

Every Sunday block an hour or two of uninterrupted time off your calendar. If you have a big family, you may want to get up early so you can get things accomplished or set a timer for your family and notify them you are busy until the timer goes off. Grab the following items:

  • Cell phone or camera

  • Full length Mirror

  • 5-7 hangers

Pull out five work or everyday outfits. Try each outfit on with full accessories and your shoes. Once the outfits are on, take a selfie in the mirror so you can easily reference outfit options during the week without having to really make a big choice. By using timeblocking techniques like this, you can use your brain all at once instead of every day. Create an album or folder on your phone where you can keep all outfits in one place. You are beginning to develop a catalog of outfits you can later reference. If something looks good, you can now incorporate that style into your routine.

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Once you have put together your entire outfit, you can steam, press or iron the fabric. You want to hang up the garments and drape accessories around the neck of the hanger. It creates a simple system where in the mornings you grab a hanger and go. I also like to set aside a workout outfit and pj’s for each day so I’m not scouring for a matching set throughout the week.

Once all outfits are laid out, then you can pack your work bag, diaper bag, mom bag or school bag for the week. Choose one bag for all of your items and then add a smaller purse for your cell, makeup, and wallet. I like to keep my workbag consistent so I’m not constantly switching then add variance by adding a smaller purse. I’ve tried many different techniques, but it’s nice to go to lunch without carrying a suitcase of paperwork on my shoulder.

Lastly, take a nice long bath on Sundays. I’ll discuss more about developing a Sunday evening routine in a future post, but pamper yourself on your day of rest. I also like to go ahead and wash my hair since I do this about every 5-7 days. Sunday provides a day for me to connect spiritually with God, get organized to clear my mind and time to exercise to work on my physical health. I cherish each Sunday and find a little time devoted to making things simpler all week, creates a clear mental space and less chaos. If I wake up a few minutes late, oh well! I know I can throw a protein shake in my bag and then grab my outfit. I have a few go to hairstyles that take less than 5 minutes and an easy everyday makeup routine. I can get ready in 15 minutes if necessary. However, to do all of this in a short amount of time I spend an hour or two on Sundays making sure I am prepared.

This dress was gifted by Land’s End and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! It’s made out of cotton and the print is so vibrant. Head over to Land’s End to shop more of their beautiful dresses on sale right now!

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Trend to Watch: The Chambray Jumpsuit

Fashion, How To, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Summer is creeping in and chambray is one of the best materials for this season! Since it’s light weight it’s so comfortable in the warmer months but still retains a more casual feel. This season, more than ever there are a ton of options for you to wear! I love my chambray jumpsuit that I picked up at Old Navy last year when I was in Maine. It’s proved to be a go to when I want to look casual but still chic. I swapped out the chambray belt for a linen one from this dress. That’s always an easy option for getting more wear out of a garment. Simply change out or remove the belt for a completely different look from the same jumpsuit.

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Jumpsuits are practical. They have the ease of grabbing a single garment for your outfit but allow movement when you walk, sit or play on a Summer day. With a jumpsuit you don’t have to worry about flashing someone and it makes a great option when you pack for summer vacation. The combination of chambray and a jumpsuit…well that puts itself in a category all together.

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To style this jumpsuit, I added a pair of casual wedges I picked up last summer and are still in stock here. The feminine bow adds a girly touch and the fabric material makes it less likely to rub blisters. You can opt for a pair of closed toed espadrilles like I wore in a previous post here or a pair of flats if you prefer. Espadrilles are great for walking outdoors when you still want a little heel. Just be careful with water. The delicate jute can come undone if they get wet. I bought these from Amazon and I just added a list where you can find many of the garments and shoes I’ve bought on Amazon.

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