>No New Year’s Resolutions Here…

>

1-3-11(1)
1-3-11(2)1-3-11(3)
1-3-11(4)1-3-11(5)
1-3-11(6)

… just cute outfits, because Mondays are less terrible when you’re wearing something cute and resolutions make me all anxious and itchy. I feel like daunting tasks such as resolving are better saved for a friendlier day of the week… like Thursday. 
Maybe next Thursday. 
Or the one after that. 
You know what else makes Mondays brighter? Entering giveaways, like this one
And this one
This one, too. 
Wearing: ReStyled DIY necklace ($0), “One A” cocoon sweater (scored on major sale at Macy’s last week for 80% off [pats self on back] and I haven’t taken it off since), INC dark grey skinnies ($17, same Macy’s sale), Route 66 tank ($3 on clearance at Kmart) and Target boots (2009)  

>Project ReStyle: Easy No-Sew T-Shirt Necklace

>

BeforeAfter
I’m kind of ridiculously excited about this Project ReStyle challenge, and I’m really looking forward to learning some new crafting skills throughout the year. For my first ReStyle, I started with something really simple. I love the color of this boyfriend tee from Target, but it has a small stain on the front which renders it unwearable. Using this video tutorial from Threadbanger as inspiration, I transformed it into a necklace. 
Read more after the jump to find out how to make your own! 

Step1

All you need is an unwanted cotton t-shirt, a pair of sharp scissors, and about half an hour. 

Lay the shirt on a flat surface and smooth it out with your hands. Start by cutting off and discarding the hem.

Step2

Beginning at the bottom of the shirt and working your way up, cut 1-inch strips to make loops. Vary the width of your strips based on your desired necklace thickness. I wanted a lot of tubes, so I kept my strips small. You can also cut a variety of sizes for one necklace if you want a less-uniform texture.

Step3

Stretch out the loops you just made so the cotton curls in on itself and forms long tubes.
Double up each tube, matching up the seams at one end.

Step4

If you break a loop at the seam while you’re stretching it out, just tie it back together with a simple knot and trim the excess. {This really is a fool-proof project}

Step5

Group all of your tubes by size, keeping the seams together at one end.

I used a women’s tee, so the tapered fit resulted in a great variation of tube sizes. If you’re using a men’s tee, you can cut the tubes into various sizes and tie them back together as shown above.

Gather them all together, with the longest tubes on the bottom and the shortest on the top, but save one!

Step6

Cut the tube you saved in half to make it a long string. Tie the string in a knot near one end of the section of seams. Tightly wrap the string around all of the seams to cover them. Be careful not to get the tubes twisted or tangled as you’re wrapping.

When everything is smooth and covered, tie off the other end of the string in a knot (using one of the necklace loops if you need to).

That’s it!

1 down, 51 to go… 

>Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway!

>

What better way to ring in 2011 than with a giveaway?!
I’m so excited to partner with Shabby Apple to offer one lucky APP reader this adorable San Gabriel dress! I love everything about this grey poplin frock, from the military-inspired buttons and ruffle detailing to the sweet sashed waist. This would be a perfect little number to kick off Spring 2011 {I secretly wish I could enter myself}.
Shabby Apple designs beautiful dresses with real women (and modesty) in mind — “A return to what dresses were always meant to be — a one-piece outfit. No need to add anything…no tank tops, no cardigans, nothing (except accessories, of course!).”
Entering is easy peasy. Just leave a comment with your email address or URL and tell me how you would style the San Gabriel… with tights and pumps for the office, neutral flats and a roomy tote for a shopping day, etc. 
And in the spirit of the holidays, everyone’s a winner with a special Shabby Apple discount for all APP readers. Order before 2/1/11 and use discount code aprettypenny10off to get 10% off! Cruise on over now and start shopping {well, enter here first, then cruise over}.
All giveaway entries must be received before Friday 1/07/10 at 8:00pm EST. I’ll announce the winner the following Monday.
Good luck!

>Every girl needs a great leather jacket.

>

leather
leather5
leather3
Photo Credit: KAJonesPHOTOGRAPHY 
A great leather jacket is right up there at the top of my list of closet staples, along with perfect-butt-skinny-jeans and the LBD. I talk a lot about steals and splurges on this little blog, and I think it’s important to know the difference between worthwhile investment pieces and trendy things you should scrimp on. A great leather jacket is definitely worth the splurge, and it can live in your closet for years and years. 
It really doesn’t matter what color or style it is (or whether it’s real leather or an animal-friendly faux version) as long as it fits like a glove and matches your personal style. If your aesthetic is classic and polished, opt for a sleek bomber or blazer. Edgy and innovative, look for something with interesting details like zippers or asymmetric lines. Super girly, add a little ruffle
I love this moto version from m.marie for its cool detailing and zip-up hoodie. It’s perfect to throw over a girly dress to tone down the sugary-sweetness, or over a tee shirt and jeans for a super quick outfit that’s super chic.  
What about nine to five? Give your blazers a break and pull your leather jacket over a simple blouse and a pencil skirt or tailored trouser, or a sheath dress. The trick to pulling this off is keeping your shoes and jewelry simple, and maybe opting for a softer brown or caramel version instead of black. 
Watch this video from Stacy and Clinton to see how to rock the leather trend at any age
Wearing: Jacket, tiered blouse, jeans & earrings available at m.marie, Jessica Simpson pumps (Macy’s sale, last season)