do-it-yourself acid wash

Unfortunately I don’t have endless amounts of money to spend on my home or wardrobe…the Potterybarn and J. Crew coffers weep for me I’m sure.

So adjustments must be made.

This past week, after leafing through several magazines I decided I would try to acid wash/tie dye my own jeans.

Cue the ominous music.

I had the perfect pair of dark skinnies that were no longer in my regular rotation. And my sister-in-law, Brittney, had a pair of old “boyfriend” style jeans tucked away into some forgotten corner as well. We figured if we ruined them, they would be no worse for wear. After looking up a how-to guide on the internet we tried to follow it as best we could.

Um, problem.

The guide was fairly vague and didn’t explain every step, so I took liberties. I dunked the jeans in a bucket of hot water and added about two cups of bleach. When I returned to look at them several minutes later, the water was the dark color of coke and the jeans looked absolutely no different.

So, “emergency” measures were taken and the game plan changed completely. Here is a loose guide on what we found worked best – follow at your own risk…or rather, at the risk of your jeans 🙂

-Wear old clothes and latex gloves!

-Lay the jeans out flat on concrete. Place cardboard underneath if you don’t want the bleach to go through.
I was going for the splotched look, but if you have other ideas, wad up towels or newspaper inside of the legs so the bleach doesn’t go through to the other side.

-Using an old paintbrush, or drinking straw (dependent upon the effect you want) drip/brush on the bleach. I used both to create my effect.

-The bleach may not look like it’s taking effect right away. Don’t worry, it is. Let the jeans stand alone for 30-60 minutes, dependent upon how you want it to look.

-Place immediately into the washer on the cold water setting. The true look will be apparent once the wash cycle is over.

-Repeat steps as necessary.

(For the distressed look: snip cuts into the fabric where you’ve used the bleach. Pull at the threads to begin the distress. Take a piece of sandpaper and rubbed it down for several minutes. After it goes through the washer, the effect will be even greater.)

Here’s the final product…until I decide to distress them even more 😉

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italian beauty…

We got back from Italy Monday night and still haven’t fully adjusted to all the time jumping, hence the reason I’m up drinking coffee and writing before 6 a.m. It will all even out soon, but I’m trying to make the most of these spare awake hours while I have them.
Before I post anything about the trip, or post our own pictures I have to get into the Italian fashion trends that were most prominent. I’m not sure you could even call them trends. Actually, I was looking for more of the “fashion average” so to speak. Not necessarily what the most daring among them was wearing, but the feature or fashion that most Italian women seemed to have in common.
I picked up on a few.
1) Well-tended eyebrows
Let’s face it, pretty much everyone looks better with eyebrows that are in check. Most Italian women must subscribe to that theory as well since almost all of them – young and old from all different areas of society – have perfectly tweezed eyebrows. I pointed this fact out to Michael and he mentioned that he had noticed it wasn’t just the women who tended to their eyebrows, many of the men also kept a tweezed brow in a way that didn’t necessarily look over done or even very noticeable, just well tended.


2) Boots
Boots are probably “in” anywhere the temperature falls below 50 degrees, but let’s face it…when you live in a country known for your fashion houses and leather production, you are probably a step beyond the average American town with a Payless or a Target. The boots these women wore were beautiful, in variations much further along than what the average Atlantan wears. There were over-the-knee (which I’ve wanted since I first saw them last spring, as many of you can attest!), ankle boots, strappy boots, heeled and flat in a range of colors that would be very at home inside of a rainbow.
Oh, how I wanted to splurge and buy the most beautiful pair of boots strolling along Via Condotti! But “champagne taste on a beer budget” just doesn’t work for us, unfortunately. I pointed out so many boots to Michael, he told me I should buy some…what a good husband. Although, I didn’t take his advise and our bank account is the better for it, even if my closet isn’t.


3)Wool leggings
Most leggings here in the south are made of nylon or cotton, which may have more to do with the mild winter (even though it doesn’t feel mild to me!) than any kind of fashion sense. But in Rome the leggings were so intricate and made of a heavier wool or cotton blend. I think this look is easily translateable since the Roman climate mirrors our own quite a bit.

4)Skinny or straight-leg jeans only!
I literally didn’t see one jeans-wearing person who wore anything other than these two slim-leg options. I’m not quite sure I’m ready to give up my bootcut during the summer months when a t-shirt, flip flops and a pair of great bootleg jeans make me feel very free and ruggedly American for some reason. But for the winter I’m pretty much with the Italians.


5)Dark eyes
Last but not least, the make-up….We’ve stared in wide eyed wonder at the easy sensuality of Italian women since film starlets like Sophia Loren graced our silver screens. But the thing I noticed is that most of the Italian women I saw – from the metro to Via Condotti and Via Cavour – kept a clean, bare-looking face, only highlighted with a swipe of smudgy eyeliner and mascara. Oh, there were exceptions to the rule and definitely other makeup trends, but pretty much across the board women didn’t leave home without their eyes lined. I’m not talking all smoky and glamorous, just a simple deeping of their eyes. It’s a sensual and mysterious look that dates back to Cleopatra, which is probably where the Romans got the idea in the first place. Because, let’s face it, who couldn’t benefit from feeling a tiny bit mysterious 😉