21 gallery walls to get you inspired

Image via Design Addict Mom

My favorite time to get my hands on a trend is right when it's fading. Just after all the It-Girls and Design Bloggers have finished up with it - when it's old news, but still interesting to the people who were always into the essence instead of the trendiness. Gallery walls were everywhere I looked 3 years ago, as I was trying to decorate my first California apartment. Of course after I moved into said apartment, I had no wall space to speak of for a gallery...but it's still been fun to imagine how I would put one together in a future home. 

Here are a few distinct design tricks for putting together a beautiful gallery wall, all sourced from Pinterest - come find me there!

Image via Anthology Mag

Image via Anthology Mag


Vertically oriented gallery walls lift your eye & add lightness. 



Repeated motifs create unity.



Stack objects on top of each other to create the illusion of one large artwork.



Use a large portrait (animal or human!) to anchor.

Image via A Cup of Jo

Image via A Cup of Jo


Different sizes & shapes make your eye travel.


50 Ways to Wear Denim: the Wasp Waist (+ a Giveaway!)

Denim: Madewell | Crop top: Zara | Necklace: Jan Michaels Jewelry | Shoes: H&M | Rings: Banana Republic, street fair finds, Old Yak Bazaar in Berkeley, Tender Loving Empire in Portland

Denim: Madewell | Crop top: Zara | Necklace: Jan Michaels Jewelry | Shoes: H&M | Rings: Banana Republic, street fair finds, Old Yak Bazaar in Berkeley, Tender Loving Empire in Portland

Picture that girl you know - the one you've had a FAT style-crush on since you first saw her walk across the room in a vintage t-shirt and straight leg jeans, carrying a yellow tote with a green silk scarf jauntily peeking out of the top, huge smile on her face. Even from afar you instantly knew she was cool, smart, and crazy talented - exactly the kind of girl you wanna be BFFs with! For me, that girl is Lauren Friedman of My Closet In Sketches and 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf fame, and since we first met (in high school in Michigan!! wow...) she has always been a major style inspiration for me. 

Lauren's newest book is an ode to everyone's favorite fabric: DENIM! 50 Ways to Wear Denim is a complete breath of fresh air & new ideas for everybody who loves denim in any shape or form they can get it. I devoured the book at lightning speed, so excited to see so many styling tips & tricks illustrated out. As I flipped every page I ran over to my closet to pull out a denim love I'd neglected, and tried to find a new way to wear it. In short, I LOVED this book, and if you're down to breathe some new life into your denim I promise you will too. 

I am so thrilled to partner with both Lauren and Chronicle Books to be a part of the 50 Ways to Wear blog tour! In celebration of the book's launch, me and five other amazing bloggers are sharing our takes on an outfit from the book - and you, dear reader, have a chance to win a copy of 50 Ways to Wear Denim and a $25 Madewell gift card! (More details below on that...!)



One of my favorite looks in the book was page 42 - the Wasp Waist. To all the other curvy ladies who took a minute to come around to high-waisted jeans, but who have finally learned their secret-weapon potential...I see you. 

The Wasp Waist look is all about the high rise of the denim. There are a few great styling suggestions for high-waisted jeans in 50 Ways, and I did a meld of two of them: 1) wear a long necklace to draw the eye down toward your waist, and 2) try a crop top to show off juuuuuuust a sliver of skin. The Zara crop I'm wearing here is boxy and oversized, so it balances well with skinny denim. The end goal is to accentuate what's already there.

Make sure you check out the other amazing blogs in the 50 Ways Blog Tour - Lauren herself on the Chronicle Books Blog, Style of Sam, See Jane Marie, Shopping is my Cardio, and Web Haute Jas - for more denim styling inspiration from the book.

And now for the exciting part....a GIVEAWAY!

Chronicle Books and I are giving away a copy of 50 Ways to Wear Denim along with a $25 Madewell gift card! I will be picking one lucky winner on September 19th. For a chance to win, all you have to do is pop on over to my Instagram page (I'm @melliott930), and leave me a comment telling me your favorite denim piece in your closet! Plus, if you follow along with the whole blog tour, you will have multiple chances to win! Visit the other participating blogs above to check out more denim-inspired outfits - - and each blog post will offer a chance for you to win a copy of the book and the gift card!

(And for the giftcard winner, may I suggest this ooh-la-la inducing vintage pair of jeans? Or this lovely denim jacket remix?)

Head over to Amazon, Indiebound, or Chronicle Books to grab your copy of 50 Ways to Wear Denim, and prepare to be INSPIRED. And come find me on Instagram to enter the book & Madewell Giftcard giveaway!



Yes you CAN re-wear that bridesmaids dress. Here's how.

The bridesmaids & our beautiful bride. Photo by Danielle Motif Photography. 

The bridesmaids & our beautiful bride. Photo by Danielle Motif Photography

I've only been a bridesmaid twice now, but both times I tried to be conscious about picking a bridesmaid dress I could wear again. I hate, hate, HATE the idea of women feeling pressured to spend $150 on some poly-blend, unflattering dress in a weird color every time they get picked to be a maid. It's a waste of money, it's a huge bummer on the wedding day when you don't feel like yourself, and you know those things are going straight in the trash as soon as the wedding is over. So, waste + waste + waste. Not great.

That being said, If you follow me on instagram, you've probably been seeing me post + post + post some more about my best friend's wedding a couple of weeks back. It was an incredible day, and I got to wear the coolest outfit - the Cleo top and Louise skirt from BHLDN. I was obsessed with it the minute I ordered it, and I've already worn both the top and the skirt again. You CAN re-wear your maids dresses, I swear!! It can be done!! Even if you get stuck with one you don't adore, there is a fool-proof trick to wearing a long-skirted dresses again in real life - here it is!

Optional (but highly recommended) Step One:
Have the chillest, loveliest family and friends, so when they get married they are cool AF and will let you choose whatever you want to wear in their weddings. 

Step Two: 
After the wedding, find a snuggly oversized sweater in the depths of your closet, preferably in navy, grey, ivory, or black. 

Step Three:
Grab a beloved necklace, of any length or style. It's best if it's something with meaning or sentiment - something that makes you smile every time you look at it. 

Step Four:
A tiny bit of eyeliner, a small blot of blush. 

Step Five:
A sweet flat or impeccable pair of sandals on your feet. 

Step Six:
Throw it all on, and channel your best Ballerina-Off-Duty (a term coined by the ever-cool Lauren of 50 Ways To Wear fame). 


Jacket: Piperlime | Sweater: Banana Republic (other colors available here) | Skirt: BHLDN (available here)  Necklace: Banana Republic | Flats: Gap (available here) | Tote: Cuyana (available here)

Jacket: Piperlime | Sweater: Banana Republic (other colors available here) | Skirt: BHLDN (available here
Necklace: Banana Republic | Flats: Gap (available here) | Tote: Cuyana (available here)

The secret to this sauce is the oversized sweater - if it's big enough, it'll cover any poofy sleeve, odd bodice, or ill-fitting waistband you can imagine. And if the dress is too long? You can pin it up and hide the pins under the sweater! (I rolled this skirt up 3 or 4 times since I was wearing flats with it, and it had been originally hemmed with a heel.)

Go forth & re-wear that dress! You can do it!!