forever 21

Outfit Chronicles: Feelin' Like a Rebel in Leopard

Thought I'd mix up my Outfit Chronicles a bit.

You know, like sitting on the street..

.. in front of the neighbor's house

... swinging my hair around

It's those heels I tell you. Those lovely, twenty-five dollar, leopard heels.

But seriously -- if you're taking pictures of yourself or someone, try really random things. Use the curb on the street, hop on top of something, or try balancing on something (that makes for quite the interesting poses).

Don't you love the necklace?! I actually based the outfit on that necklace. Thought it needed something a little spunky, so I went with all black.

top: little shop in Honduras, skinny jeans: Charolette Russe, all accessories: F21, shoes: F21

Another neighbor, who we have chatted with on many occasions, was walking his dog right by Jose and I, and I literally kept telling myself "pretend he isn't there, pretend he isn't there." Especially when I could see from the corner of my eye his brisk walk come to a sudden slow pace as he watched us with his dog trying to pull him along.

I used to stop everything when people walked by, too embarrassed to have them watch me model and feel silly about posing on the street while people are clearly watching. But one day I took a deep breath and told Jose to keep shooting. I was afraid I would show the discomfort I wore on my face in the photos, but even if I felt it -- I wanted to push past it so that I would eventually not care at all when people walked by. I'm constantly scared of what people might think or say -- seeing this random photoshoot (and probably recognizing us every week!) -- but I thought this would be a great exercise to stop worrying so much. To think about the artists who push SO far past their comfort zone, careless and free as they create art without self-conscious barriers.

So this is for them. To the neighbors who watch me every week in my crazy poses and random outfits. To the people with the moving truck 15 feet in front of me. Yeah, I'll still blush and feel slightly retarded -- but I'll be back every week. This risk is so tiny compared to everything else I want to do in life, it's quite laughable. And that's what it takes sometimes... putting yourself out there in hopes that it'll be something interesting. Then you try and try again. Plus, you have to make a fool of yourself sometimes. Don't people do that when they're in love? ;)

And it's absolutely worth it :)

Working the Leopard

I'm guessing some (or many?) people's initial reaction to leopard is something like this:

It must be my husband's because he finds NO appeal what-so-ever in animal prints. When he came home today and asked what I was working on, I said "look over there." I pointed to the pair of shoes I had just bought and taken off when I got home from shopping with my Atlanta visitor. He rolled his eyes (we do this quite often!) and said "Oh no... what did you kill to get these?!" Okay, maybe he didn't ask that -- but he certainly wanted to know what was up.

I knew this summer that one of the biggest Fall trends was going to be leopard. It wasn't until I started seeing some images online (and a few people in person) that I realized how good this could actually look. I've never been much of an animal-print person, and even when my interest peaked, Jose quickly shot those feelings down! But guess what? A man can be convinced of his ways. Until you give them a better image of this "idea" -- they'll always picture Peggy Bundy. Or they'll just roll their eyes again and trust your taste.

Point is: Leopard is in this Fall and I want to show you ways you can incorporate it in SMALL ways :)

(Credit here & here)

Cheap Chicas: "The key to wearing Leopard print right, is not over doing it! Use it as a detail, not as the main focus. Pick one item with the print: skirt, dress, top, belt, shoes, or scarf. Match the printed item with complimenting neutral colors, choose from the hottest colors of Fall 2010: olive green, camel, espresso, cloudy gray, wine and black."

Try some flats!

I walked into Forever 21 and I saw them: leopard mini-heels. I glanced at my friend Kim and just grinned. "I have to try these on." Lo and behold! My shoe size was actually available! I was wearing my jeggings, so I popped my sandals off and put them on. Somebody cue "Love & Marriage" because I am loving these heels!

And best part? Only 20 bucks! Here they are:

I decided to pair them up with the jeggings and a neutral, simple and classy button-up top. I might get risky and try it out with a gray sometime -- but let's take baby steps for now. Or for Jose that is ;) You can see that these aren't stilettos so they're actually the perfect accessory to spice up your casual outfit. ACCESSORIZE people!!! You don't need a new wardrobe! I've had that button up for years.

My review:
Pros -> 1) perfect heel size and wedge for all day comfort and walking 2) very affordable 3) honestly, they make your outfit completely feel just a little more dressy & feminine
Cons -> my left foot must be slightly smaller because ONLY on my left ankle, the shoe was rubbing a thin line on my skin raw. Solution? Place clear tape on that spot next time or try out an outfit with tights. Not bad enough to make me return the shoes.

I know not everyone will agree and YES, there are plenty of ugly leopard versions out there. However, to me (personally) I love throwing in small doses of something "risky." Something about the leopard print just makes it feel sexier, without being trashy or over the top. Hopefully this has opened your perspective to trying out some of the trends this fall. Plus, the lady at Forever 21 told me they JUST got these shoes in and guaranteed they would be out this weekend. If you're interested -- check it out SOON!! And if you want to start with baby steps -- pick up a leopard print scarf. See how you feel :)

What's your experience with leopard? All over it, considering it, or not your thing?