There are very few things that I dislike more than shopping for swimwear. It seems like all the cards are stacked against us as we walk into badly lit dressing rooms with funhouse mirrors that seem designed to accentuate only the negative. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a better way? A way that didn’t involve dressing rooms in department stores? You’ll be glad to know that there is a better way! Welcome to the wonderful world of handmade swimwear. Not only are there wonderful handmade options, but many designers use your measurements in order to create a swimsuit for you, so that the swimwear is made to fit your body rather than your body being forced to conform to the swimsuit. [Read more…]
Concealer is not one of those glittery makeup products that draw me in, like colored lip balms. Instead it is necessarily near to flesh color, but not really, and is best when invisible on the skin. It’s that item that you really need when you need it. And the rest of the time don’t give it very much thought.
I haven’t had much luck with concealers in the past. I have found the creams and sticks to be heavy and appear bright against the skin, the liquids to be ineffective, and the powders to cake. And the last thing I want when I haven’t slept is to call attention to the circles under my eyes. It’s hardly a lifter of the spirit.
Derringer Friday is a duo of transplanted southern gentlemen who like to wear nice things. Like so many independent designers I know, Scott Permar and Lukas Smith got started because they couldn’t find anything in stores that satisfied both their style and quality requirements.
Derringer Friday is about neckties, because that’s what Scott and Lukas like to wear. Although neither of them come from a design background, they know what they like, and they know what looks good. “At the end of the day, it comes down to taste rather than any specific skill,” says Scott, and he’s right. After all, many of the most successful menswear designers never set foot in fashion school.
I first noticed Derringer Friday ties at the Temporium, where their unusual colors and interesting shape caught my eye. As always, I noticed the fabric first: high quality wool, linen and seersucker in bold plaids and florals. The combination of texture, color, and pattern was really interesting, and a far cry from the boring “power ties” on the collars of most men in DC.
The most interesting feature, however, is the guillotine tip, a design detail that really sets Derringer Friday ties apart. They are constructed using an unlined, four-fold technique that Scott and Lukas devised themselves, after some research and trial and error. Their goal was to create a tie that would drape nicely and hold up well over time, all while looking stylish, and of course, not like everybody else.
The company came about as sort of a happy accident. Scott and Lukas have been friends for years, and have always been interested in clothes and style. After talking about starting something together for a while, they took the plunge by experimenting with necktie designs, and Derringer Friday was born. Their first collection debuted in April 2010.
All the ties are handcrafted in Washington, DC by Derringer Friday’s talented local production team. The most popular ties, not surprisingly, have been the brighter, more colorful designs, which also happen to be the ones that Scott and Lukas enjoy designing the most.
There are plans to add cufflinks and tiebars to the collection in 2011, but for now you can find handmade Derringer Friday neckties at their online shop, and at Alter Brooklyn in New York City.
It’s Spring Fashion time here at the Seasonal Handmade column and I am here to help you buy a piece or two that will inject a little freshness into your wardrobe.
Let’s start with the basics. How about a tee? Just because we often run around town in tees and jeans doesn’t mean we have to look sloppy. This tee from Limey T’s features a great mum print in lovely shades of blue. Just right for spring and just right for looking sassy while you run your errands.
Another great tee is this lovely circle print shirt from Eliza + Axel. The hand appliqued circles elevate this tee into something that would look great with a skirt and some ballet flats for a casual dinner out or lunch with your girlfriends.
If you want to “spring” for something even dressier try this lovely and romantic tank from Armour sans Anguish. Not only will this top look sophisticated this spring, but the rich blackberry color will take you into fall with the addition of a jacket or cardigan.
Speaking of cardigans, is there any item of clothing more versatile than a lightweight cardigan? This darling specimen, from Good Egg would look great over anything from tees to tanks to summer dresses. Not just that, but it would make a gorgeous layering piece for the fall and winter.
What if you’re a skirt and dress kind of girl? This lovely purple skirt from Zoe Chen would make a great, fun addition to your spring wardrobe and would be easy and breezy in the summer too!
What could be easier and breezier than this perfect dress from Treehouse 28? Universally flattering, this style will look great at the beach and walking down the street in a big city.
And if your closet is full, but you’d still like to add some springtime to your wardrobe, why not accessorize? These fabulous earrings from WillOaks Studio add both color and whimsy to your jewelry drawer.
A new handbag is always a fun way to celebrate a new season. This one from Deyitta is adorable and has some darling spring birds chirping their way across your accessories.
Finally, put some skip in your step with these lovely vegan shoes from Hydra Heart. Cute and planet-friendly, what more could a girl ask for?
Now that you have some ideas for decking yourself out this spring, go forth and buy handmade! Next week we will be looking forward to memorial day and finding some fun handmade goodies to make your long weekend even better.
Easter is fast approaching, and while I am sure many of you are thinking about filling baskets for the kiddos, have you thought about what you are getting yourself for Easter? No? I’d like to encourage you to think about Easter as an invitation to bring spring into your home this year! Here are some great, grown-up options to help make your home Easter inspired and fresh as spring.
What would Easter be without the traditional bunny? Bunnies aren’t just for the kids though, you can easily incorporate a bunny or two into your home without it turning too childish. For example, try this graphic and fun bunny dish from Vessels and Wares. A clever nod to Easter, this dish will bring a smile to your face year round.
Celebrating spring has never been easier than with this gorgeous print from Ice Kubi. The spring-time colors and fluttering butterflies are sure to remind you of warm days and spring renewal even once we move into fall.
Spring often brings with it new outdoor activities and a resurgence of lunches, playdates, lessons and meetings. Keep track of all of your assorted activities using these adorable push pins from Paper Pumpkin. You will be organized in style!
At our house, spring was ushered in by the sound of birds tweeting outside our window. Bring these harbingers of breezy, sun-filled days indoors with this chickadee cup by Kristen K Swanson. Like the bunny dish, this cup takes an Easter emblem, sweet little birdies, and elevates them to adult sophistication.
Grown-ups may not get Easter baskets, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need a way to hold our stuff! These wonderful mini baskets from Cornerstone Designs would be useful and stylish on your desk, your dresser or anywhere in your home that you need to collect little odds and ends.
Another great storage option for spring is this wonderful trinket box by Fun Wall Art. This trinket box feels like a child’s box of treasures, but with a new sophistication! I love the combination of colors, flowers, and a little dash of sparkle.
Wall decals are hot, hot, hot this spring and I can’t think of any better way to bring nature into your home than with this cherry blossom decal by Off the Wall Expressions. Available in a myriad of color combos, this decal will suit any room and blows an instant breath of fresh air into your space.
Occasionally I come across something so fabulous, so fun, and so unique that I almost don’t want to share it with y’all for fear someone will buy it before I get the chance. This upcycled lamp from Bird Wing Productions is one of those items. I love the concept of creating something new out of something old and the colors and patterns feel fresh and perfect for spring. Plus, if you are a music lover, the whimsical nod to horns feels clever indeed.
This last item, a lovely bedside dresser from Semper Nova is another recycled item, and a bit of a tease since you would need to be local in order to pick it up. But I think the daring yellow color and the cool redesign is well worth showcasing, even if you don’t live close enough to buy it. Semper Nova is full of other fun redesigns and maybe this dresser will inspire you to do a little spring-time redesign of your own!
I hope that this week’s items have given you some ideas about ways to fill your own Easter basket, and your home, with spring inspired items! Next week we will be looking at special selections for Earth Day!