Wednesday, 25 May 2016


DIY - Open Back floaty top with polka dots
Before I really decide to get rid of any item in my closet, I give it a once-over to see if it can magically become something new. I’m not a hoarder really, I just don’t like waste. In fact, the closet in the Reading Room is full of clothes that “have potential” to become something else, though, they’ve been there for nearly 3 years now, basically collecting dust… wait, maybe I am a bit of a clothes hoarder?
This dress was in my main closet though… and also collecting dust, but that’s beyond the point. The point is, I wanted a top with a completely open back and since I couldn’t find what I was looking for to buy, I decided to just make it… and this dress had the perfect proportions to become the floaty, open back top I wanted. I love how it fits loosely in the front and is completely open in the back. Normally I don’t go without a bra, but lately I’ve been feeling rather free without one on, lol, so I went with it, and the style works well braless. However, there are so many cute strappy bra options now to wear as a layering top beneath this, you can really get away with anything these days. So let’s get to it…

But First, Here’s what it looked like before…

* Remember the early outfit post days, where I’d pull over in the canyons or along Mulholland, on my way to and from the art gallery, and set my little digital camera on my car, set the timer, and run into place? The photo quality was not great, but there was an inherent spontaneity to and in those old shots that I just loved. Awe, sometimes I miss those days.
90s polka dot dress  90s polka dot dress with Louis Vuitton speedy bag
I found this dress at a thrift shop ages and ages ago and it has only made one appearance on the blog, back in January 2010… and I haven’t worn it since. Actually, it’s always been a little too big, even when I was a little bigger -it was too big, but it was the perfect silhouette for this refashion top diy.

What You’ll Need…

DIY refashion no-sew dress to open back top-1
* If you have a similarly shaped dress, that’s great, but you can also use a loose-fitting top too. Look for jersey knits or poly-blends or any fabric that won’t fray or unravel without a hem.
* Scissors.
That’s it!


DIY refashion no-sew dress to open back top- 2
If you’re working from a dress, try it on and decide how long you want your new top to be.
* I generally start along the hips and then shorten from there. If you’re unsure, start with it a little longer and then cut back gradually. If you’re into baring your stomach though, this would be a cute crop top too, provided you wear something under it.
Mark it with a dress pin.
DIY refashion no-sew dress to open back top-3
Fold your dress perfectly in half and beginning from the edge, carefully cut away the skirt.
I cut in a rounded shape so that my top would dip down in the front and back instead of straight across. It’s a bit more flattering and a little cuter as well.
DIY refashion no-sew dress to open back top-4
Lay your new top face down, find your center and cut a straight slit from the bottom to the top, leaving about an inch at the neckline.
If you’re using a jersey, like I am, you WILL NOT NEED TO HEM YOUR EDGES. However, most other fabrics, you’ll have to hem unless you want a raw edge with a little fraying.

And… Voila!

diy open back top_no-sew shirt with slit up the back
diy open back top
DIY open back top
Easy no-sew diy open back top with tiny dots
diy open back shirt and jeans
diy no sew open back shirt
diy top with jeans_casual style

Have Fun!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

How To Dress Up The White Tee Like Kristen Stewart

It’s only the first day and Cannes Film Festival has already proved why it’s the most fashionable film festival every year. Hollywood stars from Blake Lively to Kirsten Dunst jetted off to the South of France and put their best fashion forward on the red carpet with the most stunning gowns. But it was Kristen Stewart that turned heads in a cool but equally chic ensemble at the photocall of her movie Café Society.
Along with her major hair transformation, K-Stew rocked a white cropped top and styled it in a way that anyone can easily copy. To get her look, just pair your white tee with a pencil skirt and printed pumps, then accessorize it by layering a few necklaces.
Photo via
Photo via
Kristen Stewart Cannes Film Festival 2016
Photo via
Finish it off with smokey eyes and nude lips, and you’re set for the rest of your night out!
Kristen Stewart Cannes Film Festival 2016 2
Photo via

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner

It seems Kendall Jenner can do no wrong when it comes to putting an outfit together. Her airport style is no exception, and she’s got one staple that elevates each of her outfits to perfection: a duster-length cover-up. Whether it’s a lightweight jacket or a cozy winter coat, Kendall always dons floor-sweeping outerwear that boosts her every stride.
There won’t be a herd of paparazzi waiting for your arrival, but it surely won’t hurt to exude cool girl vibes wherever you may land. If your destination has cooler temperatures, this essential is perfect for your travel wardrobe. Otherwise, a vest or a sheer kimono is your best option if you’re taking off to somewhere warm and tropical.
Check out how Kendall owns this look below:
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner
The Only Travel Essential You Need to Look as Cool as Kendall Jenner

Thursday, 12 May 2016


Gladiator Sandals and Lace-up Leather Sandals are everywhere right now and not only are they wildly expensive, they’re selling out fast.
My favorite DIYs spawn from necessity, or rather come from a desire to have something to wear in that very moment that I don’t own and thus have to make to get the feel or look I’m going for… which is what happened here. I wanted the look of leather lace up gladiator sandals, but I didn’t have a pair.
And then I remembered I had these Ribbon Sandals from SSeko that are simply a leather base lined with 5 loops so that you can thread any ribbon or shoelace through them and achieve a similar look with ribbons, etc. And since I had leather lacing in matching hues, I thought I’d try it out, and it worked swimmingly, giving me the clean gladiator look and the feel I wanted for my outfit.
I’ve scoured the interned for another version of these customizable leather bases but found nothing besides the Sseko version, which is not only solid, but made by women in Uganda as way to generate income to continue on to university. So even though they’re a bit pricey at$80 + your choice of ribbons, they’re worth it on so many levels.
But as I was looking through my inspiration photos {below with shopping links} I realized that a few of these popular gladiators looked similar to capri sandals with leather lacing attached near the top and continuing up the leg. So I grabbed my leather capri sandals, {which actually also happen to be by Sseko -but any will work} and simply ran my leather lacing through the t-srap loop, CROSSED IT so it would stay put, and laced it up my leg. See below…
1 diy lace up leather gladiator sandals with capris
ALSO NOTE: You can create a similar look with my DIY Barefoot Sandal and a pair of leather flip flops.
Either way, these DIY leather lace-up options are easy and perfect for music festivals so you don’t have to worry about getting your expensive fabulous sandals ruined 🙂


Leather lace up gladiator sandals
Top Row…
Middle Row…
Bottom Row…

Here’s What You’ll Need…

DIY easy knee high gladiator sandals

Easy Step…

Simply run your leather lacing through the loops on your sandal base and then up your legs. Measure your leather on your leg before cutting… you need more than you think. Allow for extra if you want to create a tassel-effect.
DIY easy knee high gladiator sandals

Lace em up however you like!

TIP: Apply lotion to your legs {and let dry} before lacing/wrapping your leather up your legs helps your laces stay put a little better.
easy diy shoes _lace up gladiator sandals
Two different color laces shown above and in the first photo at the top to demonstrate a thicker lace look, which also was a bit sturdier as well. I chose the two colors just for demonstration purposes, but two of the same or two contrasting would be cute.

And… Voila!

diy gladiators
diy easy leather lace-up gladiator sandals
easy diy lace up gladiator sandals
diy leather lace up sandals
Wearing the laces low around the ankle proves to be just as cute, though doesn’t distract from my fugly toes 😉

Have Fun!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

5 Trendy Pieces To Keep You Cool In This Hot, Hot Summer

As Manila is ablaze this summer, we have rounded up 5 trendy pieces to keep you fashionably cool. From the off-shoulder top to the knotted tee, see how our favorite fashion girls wear summer’s biggest trends:
Off-Shoulder TopA loose and breathable off-shoulder top is indeed an urgent need for a street-to-beach look. While Nicole Andersson opts for a lace off-shoulder top, Jess Wilson likes to keep it classic in stripes.
Nicole Anderson on trend pieces
Jess Diaz Wilson on trend pieces
Split ShirtJust a little slice on your t-shirt is the key for a minimal yet desirable look. Whether it’s on the front or on the side, sashaying in this piece looks effortlessly cool.
Jess Diaz Wilson on trend pieces
Kryz Uy on trend pieces
Knotted TopBreaking the form of the basic tee, Chienna Filomena adds a twist by tying the hem on one side. Mari Jasmine on the other hand knots her button-down top for a dash of personality.
Chiena Filomena on trend pieces
Mari Jasmine
Low BackThe hotter the temperature, the lower the back. Kryz Uy keeps it cool by pairing a low-back onesie with distressed jeans while Kim Jones matched her denim culottes with a low-back denim top.
Kryz Uy 2
Kim Jones
Ruffled Sleeve TopFor a fun, carefree look, add a ruffled sleeve top to your overall ensemble. Its ample space allows free movement and just enough breeze to battle the heat.
Camille Co on trend pieces
Mari Jasmine 1
Featured image via @itscamilleco.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Celebrity-Approved Way of Wearing Chokers This Summer

Chokers are all the rage this season when it comes to accessorizing. Case in point: every single it-girl who attended the Coachella festivities wore this neck piece. (Taylor Swift even called it – chokers are the new flower crowns.) And if you know better, you’d agree that Coachella has the tendency to influence everyone’s summer style.
But aside from trend-spotting at the world’s most popular music fest, we’ve noticed that these celebs are wearing chokers almost anywhere these days. Their favorite way of wearing this trend? Layered with delicate necklaces, giving this ’90s piece a bohemian touch that’s perfect for the summer.
Check out how stylish stars like Vanessa Hudgens, Gigi Hadid, and Rihanna do the trick below:
Vanessa Hudgens
Hailey Baldwin
Kendall Jenner
Gigi Hadid
Alessandra Ambrosio
Bella Hadid
Suki Waterhouse
Featured image via'