A Hawaii Style Blog

Category: DIY

Shoe Tips: Adding Buckle Holes

Hey Everyone,

After several conversations with friends, I decided do a feature on my blog about how to take care of your shoes and sandals. It is actually inspired by my friends Melissa and Balbino while we were doing the photoshoot back in March.  The conversation was about shoes and shoe care and with their encouragement, I’ve been in the process of developing this new feature on my blog.

Let’s start with something simple like adding buckle holes to sandals, belts, and bags. Being petite, sometimes regular sizing does not work with my measurements.  As a kid, I would get my dad to punch holes into my sandals, shoes, and belts so that they would fit. My dad usually used a awl but the finish was never as clean as the rest of the holes on my sandals or belts. In college, while walking around the craft store I found a leather hole punch.

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It was a godsend. One, it made punching extra holes in leather so much more easier. Two, the finish was much more neater than an awl.

Below is a tutorial on how to add buckle holes. I purchased these sandals from Asos about a month ago. I really loved their single strap construction but when I tried it on, the ankle strap was a little loose. It needed a simple fix, so I’m using them to show you up to add buckle holes on belts and straps.

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.:Supply List:.

SANDALS asos finlay or a belt
a leather hole punch
Pencil
Measuring Tape

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First measure the space between two holes on your sandal strap or your belt. For this sandal the space between holes is half a centimeter.

Place the measuring tape on the last existing hole and measure out the space for the next hole using the measurement taken earlier.

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Mark the measurement with a pencil.

adjustSet the leather punch to the size of the hole needed to make the hole.

leatherpunchPlace the leather punch on the pencil mark on the strap. Make sure that  it is aligned with the rest of the holes on the strap.

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And Voila! Extra buckle holes with a nice finish.

Hope this was helpful. Let me know what you think.

XOXO,

Elle

My 10 Essential Pieces Part 1: The Cake

This year, I’ve been more deliberate in my choosing of pieces to add to my wardrobe. It was a calculated decision on my part to be more conscious of what I add and take away from my existing wardrobe.

In honesty, I’ve been in a bit of a lull, a fashion writer’s block, if you want to call it that. Don’t get me wrong. I know what works for me and what cuts fit me better than most, what colors are complimentary, what pairings to put together but I’ve been stuck, like we all are sometimes. I’ve stared at my closet full of clothes and thought to myself, I have nothing to wear. I’ve looked at my pairs of shoes but feel like I don’t have the right type of shoes to go with this outfit or that.

For the past month or so, I’ve been soul searching in the fashion sense. Trying to figure out how to work with my wardrobe, trying to find the science and math behind outfit pairings so that I could maximize my wardrobe without forfeiting my translation of current trends, styles, my fashion perspective and more importantly, me. The most important part of the equation in fashion is the individual. It is ultimately the person and not the clothes that make the outfit not the other way around. Fashion is surprisingly very autobiographical, like our lives, it is distinct to us and our needs.

With that in mind, I can not help but revisit the Ten Most Essential Pieces. Everyone has their own version of the list, why not, we all have our absolute go to pieces. Nevertheless, what you chose is definitely a reflection of your personal style, profession, lifestyle, and geographic location.

This post and the next will talk about the ten items that are the most essential in building my outfits. Much like a cake, outfits work with a great base. Once the base is set then its time accessorize.

THE BASE-IC PIECES

1. T-Shirts

They come in all shapes, sizes, prices, cuts and prints and out of the many pieces in my closet it is the most versatile. It is great for layering and great by itself. It can be dressed up or down and definitely goes with everything and it is the most reasonable to obtain. They come as inexpensive at $4 or as expensive at $100. I personally like the inexpensive ones, they work just the same and sometimes their quality is much better. I select my tees by their texture and feel. I personally like softer knit fabrics. On top of finding t-shirts that are softer, I also like t-shirts that have details that add personality to an outfit like pleats, drape, or combined with other fabrics. Another thing you need to about t-shirts, they are very easy to modify according to your needs.

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Allison Izu grecian draped tee. One of my personal favorites to pair and accessorize.

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

2. A Great Pair of Jeans

A great pair of jeans is a definite closet staple.  Through the years, I have tried on different styles, cuts, fabrics, and brands.  Finding a great pair is sometimes a challenge but when you do find the one and it fits just right, it’s like love, it’s meant to be. While denim cuts are trendy, I’ve come to rely on the one cut that flatters my body the most. When I find a pair of jeans that fits really well, I do what most people do in that situation, I buy several pairs of the same cut and brand of jeans, sometimes in different washes. I also make sure to have one pair in a darker wash for dressier outfits.

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Printed Trousers from Zara

Photo credit: Km2Creative 

3. The Pencil Skirt

So classic and goes with anything, it is my absolute favorite type of skirt. It’s slimming and sometimes curve hugging. It can be dressed down for an easy breezy day of errands, dressed up for a fancy dinner or a night out with the girls and still work for high powered business meetings. They come in different fabrics, prints, textures, lengths and sometimes heights.  The basic black pencil skirt is a must for your wardrobe. When looking for a basic black pencil skirt, look for quality fabrics and stitching as well as light lining. Because the shape is so classic, I find pencil skirts in season appropriate prints and fabrics to add to my existing wardrobe.

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Zara Floral Pencil Skirt paired with an Old Navy Sleeveless Button Down Shirt

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

4. The Button down

My ultimate blouse of choice, is the button down shirt. It is a closet staple that has never gone out of style and it is definitely a wardrobe workhorse. While a white button done  is a wardrobe must, through the years, I’ve added different colors, prints, and sleeve lengths to the collection that I rotate throughout the year.  The button down is an easy pairing piece. It can be layered under or over another piece. It can top a pair of shorts, a skirt, a pair of jeans, slacks, and even a pair of overalls or a jumpsuit. Longer ones can be worn as a short dress or a cover up for a day at the beach.

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J Crew Polka Dot Button Down paired with a Floral Pencil Skirt from Ann Taylor. One of my favorite mixed print pairings. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

5. Shift Dress

Another great basic is the shift dress. The slimming cut is flattering for many body types. I love that can be dressed up in so many different ways. A simple floppy hat can make it lunch date appropriate, a blazer can make it seriously business, a little bit of sparkle and pearls can make a great outfit for dinner dates. A shift dress in basic black is perfect for that go to Little Black Dress.
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J Crew Shift Dress in Polka Dot Print accessorized with a bow belt from Ann Taylor. 

Photo credit: Taryn Reid Photography

These basics have been  my absolute go to items for years. They are reliable, timeless, and lasting. I hope you enjoyed this post. I know I have enjoyed writing it. Let me know what you think. Take care and thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

Sunday DIY: Propagating Succulents

Hello All,

As promised, I am back with my adventures of being a succulent gardener. I have managed to be somewhat successful in propagating them. It helps that a friend’s mom gave me major pointers about growing them and the good old world wide web has manage to help me keep them alive and healthy. Whew! For a minute there, I thought I was going to completely give up on this gardening idea if my succulents did not survive.

Two months ago, I decided to venture into propagating them. Everything I have read so far says this is suppose to be easy. So there are three ways to propagate succulents:

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1. leaves — This is by far the easiest and the least obtrusive to the plant. Simply twist a leave off, preferably the older ones at the bottom of the plant that are still healthy and not shriveling up. Let them callus over a couple of days then lay them on soil and viola, in a week or two you’ll see roots or new leaves depending on the kind of succulent you are trying to propagate. So far this has been the most successful for me.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERALeaf propagation method: above shows different leaves growing into new succulent plants.

2. cuttings — Sometimes the parent plant will grow little plants right on the main stem. Simply cut them off with gardening sheers. Let the cutting callus over and replant into new soil. The baby plant should start to establish roots in about one or two weeks.

imageAbove is a succulent cutting growing out roots.

3. dividing — By far, this propagation method is extremely bold and quiet dangerous for the parent plant. Cut the parent plant in half. Let both parts callus over. In this method, the top half can be replanted and will take root in about one to two weeks. The bottom half of the plant will regrow the top of the plant. I have not really had much luck with having both parts survive this process.

imageAbove is a succulent plant divided into three parts. So far, only the top portion has rotted. The bottom, has not yet grown leaves and the middle portion, is still in the process of rooting. Also pictured, are leaves from the plant rooting and growing small leaves.

Some tips to keep in mind when propagating succulents:

  • Rooting hormone is not necessary but it helps a little.
  • To prevent leaves from rotting it is important you allow the plant to callus over before placing them in soil.
  • Cactus soil is the most ideal type of soil for succulents. I like the one from Miracle Grow. It may be more expensive than other brands but the plants flourish in it.
  • Don’t over water your plant. Water once a week  and make sure it gets lots of sun. Succulents love the sun. Do not skimp on the Vitamin D.
  • Do not hover. Allow the plant to grow on its own.
  • Do not be discouraged when the baby plants do not survive. Propagating plants takes practice.

I am by no means a expert. I’m just sharing methods that has helped me survive as a gardener. Let me know what you think.

XOXO,

Elle

imageA couple of plants were successfully propagated from leaves. The first pot shows a plant that rooted from a leave and grew small leaves then the parent leaf dried and broke off. The second pot, shows this process.

imageDifferent succulent leaves in the process of rooting.

Anniversaries, Bows, Pearls, and Audrey

bows and pearls

Hello Everyone,

This past weekend marked the 3rd year anniversary of A Pair of Shoes For Everyday. This blog has taught me so much in the past couple of years about myself, my personal style as well as blogging. I am truly grateful for all the support that all of you have given me. I want to say THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to share with you my dreams. This blog would not be possible without all of you.

bows and pearlsTo the all the individuals who have helped me along the way (my friends, my family, my readers, my followers, the people who have sponsored this blog, my photographer and guest photographers, and the blogging community) thank you for your constant support and love. I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to work with all of you and be inspired by you. I do not know where this blog will take me in the coming year, all I know is that I cannot wait for this blogging year to be AMAZING.

bows and pearlsI wanted to celebrate the blog’s anniversary with an inspired look by one of my favorite style icons, Audrey Hepburn.  A classic a-line dress, a simple but elegant strand of pearls and a simple pair of red pumps that speaks to the timelessness of great style.

I hope your week will be amazing.

With thankfulness and love,

Elle

 

.:Outfit:.

DRESS kate spade
SHOES bcbg generation
NECKLACES tj maxx find

PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Levine

Tulle and Tee Shirts

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Hey All,

There is something completely whimsical about tulle skirts. I love the airiness and flow of the fabric. I adore the fact that they can be worn casual or formal depending on the pairing. The tulle skirt I am wearing in this picture took me a year to make. It’s not because it was hard to make. It took a year because I put it off while I made different styles of tulle skirts in between. This was the first tulle skirt I attempted to make but I made it a little little different from the others. I took it apart several times before I settled on hand pleating each layer and then finishing it.

Today, I decided to wear my tulle skirt with my favorite simple fitted tee, it reminds me of a ballerina’s outfit, simple and romantic.  I decided to pull it all together with an obi belt and a pair of nude pumps to lengthen my frame.

Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

 

 

.:Outfit:.

SHIRT j crew factory
SKIRT diy tulle skirt
SHOES michael kors
BELT ada collection

PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Levine

White Shirts are Easy

 

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Hello Everyone,

White shirts make the world go round. I have a ton of them in my closet, in different fabrics, cuts, and fits. I found this easy pullover from Rumi Murikami’s Summer Collection last month at the Made in Hawaii festival and I’ve already worn in several times. It’s an easy piece that goes with everything. I can dress it up or dress it down and the cut is perfect for those extra warm Hawaiian afternoons. I paired this shirt with a set of DIY necklaces and a pair of patented red ballet flats to give it a polished tribal look. How do you wear your white shirts? Let me know.

XOXO,

Elle

P.S. The Cut Collective is having a trunk show this weekend, Saturday, September 27, 2014, 11 AM-4PM. Check out the amazing collections of Allison Izu, Rumi Murakami, and Ten Tomorrow.

 

.:Outfit:.

SHIRT rumi murikami
PANTS gap(old)
SHOES zara
NECKLACES diy

PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Levine

Review: Mohop Sandals/Shoes “Bespoke”

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Hi All,

Hope you are having a great holiday season. I have not done a shoe review in a while so I decided to revisit a couple of pairs of shoes that I have owned for a while.

For the past three and half years, I have been the proud owner of 2 pairs of “Bespoke” Mohop Sandals. I came across the company accidentally several years ago while perusing Etsy.com. I was initially attracted to the look of the shoe and was interested in its construction.  I searched for their website and read more about the company before deciding to purchase.  I really liked the company’s mission and vision and social consciousness. I like their focus on using sustainable and recycle-able materials as well as materials that are fair trade.

One of my reservations about buying the shoes at first was the fit and comfort of the shoe, I read several reviews and many of the reviews spoke about the wear-ability and comfort of the shoe. After taking some time, I emailed Annie Mohaupt, the owner of the company and asked all the questions I needed before ordering. I was really happy to know she answered all my questions and made me feel comfortable about my first customized  pair.

The smallest size they offered on the website was a size 5 and being a size 4.5, I was afraid the size 5 may be overwhelming on my foot. I was glad to know that they customized shoes based off a drawn outline of your feet. Sizing for Mohops are petite friendly. I say this because not every size 5 is a true size 5. Sizes range depending on the cut of the shoe. I was glad Mohops sandals are literally cut to your size.

When I first received the shoes, they came via priority mail. Annie emailed after they were done and told me it was on its way. It took about three weeks for the Mohop team to create. I could not wait to receive the shoes. When they arrived they were in a plastic foldable shoe box, packaged in an organza bag, tying instructions, 7 pairs of ribbons, and wooden rings in several sizes for styling purposes.

The first thing I examined was the craftsmanship of the shoes. The wood is sanded, polished, and finished with care. Because the Mohop team put great attention to detail, the shoes were clean and free of defects.

 

I tried the many ways of tying the shoes that were provided on the cards as well a perused online for other tying ideas. I liked some more than others but it is really based on personal preferences. I noticed that I favored cleaner finishes to ending the sandals, so I played with different ribbons, buckles, rings, and even added snaps and hook and eye closures to different ribbons to get the look that I wanted. The possibilities for tying and ending the ties for the shoe are limitless. I find new ways each time I play with mine. Honestly, it is really a shoe for every day if you are the creative type. It can be worn with many different outfits and you can definitely style the shoes according to the outfit and the occasion. Some drawbacks to the sandals, although they are easy to put on, I do not recommend using them if you need to remove your shoes frequently, they take some time to put back on.

I have been wearing mine for years now, these shoes are extremely comfortable to walk in. The platform and the pitch of the sandals balance each other so that it does not put pressure on your arches. The sandals comes in different heights. Both pairs that I own are about 3.5 to 4 inches in height but they never hurt my feet when I am in them for long periods of time.

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When I purchased my sandals, each of them were $150+ in 2010. The current price for the Bespoke Style runs about $500+. It may be a bit pricey for the style but the sandal can be styled in so many different ways, that you could literally have 500 different pairs of sandals for the price of one. And if you calculate price per wear, you can own a hundred pairs of shoes for a dollar each pair.  In addition, the company does offer other styles that are reasonably priced like their new Mokobo line which I have been eye-ing for the past couple of months.

At the moment Mohop is currently expanding to keep up with the demand for eco-friendly and vegan sandals. These shoes are completely manufactured in the United States and they are currently campaigning on Kickstarter.com. Here’s a link to their campaign as well as to purchase mohop shoes. The campaign ends on January 25.

Mohop Infinely Interchangeable Shoes

I hope this helps you decide if this is the sandal or shoe for you. I’m glad that I purchased them. They are really the only two pairs of sandals that I own and frequently use.

Hope you are having an amazing New Year’s Week. Take care.

XOXO,

Elle

Midi Skirts Make a Come Back

 

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Hello All,

I hope you are having a great week. Recently, I have been loving midi skirts. I love its classic cut and worry free length. For petite women like myself, sometimes it is harder to wear a midi skirt without feeling a little overwhelmed. I like to find skirts that I can wear high waisted. I also like wearing nude heels with them because it helps to give the illusion of being taller.

How do you wear your midi skirts? Let me know and share your tips.

.:Outfit:.
CARDIGAN unbranded
TOP topshop
SKIRT vintage find from barrio vintage
SHOES sam edelman
BELT forever21
ACCESSORIES stella and dot, gorjana, homecoming honolulu, 7 for all mankind, leslie danzis

Tweed, Pearls, and Channeling Coco

Hello All,
Just stopping in to say hello. I hope you started your weekend with something amazing. One of my favorite fashion icons is Coco Chanel. Her style and taste is timeless. One iconic piece that reminds me of her is the Tweed Blazer. I love to wear tweed on cooler days in Hawaii. I like to layer it over button down shirts and multiple strands of pearls. It is definitely a piece that is worth investing in because it’s not only timeless but also a great way to pull together an outfit and make it dressier. How do you wear tweed? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you again for reading. Please like, comment, or follow my blog. Take care.

XOXO,
Elle

:: Outfit ::

Top: Forever21
Tweed Blazer: Thrifted
Shirt: Forever21
Bottom: Gap
Shoes: Christian Louboutin (Old)
Rings: Tiffany & Co., Cinnamon Girl, and 7 For All Mankind
Necklaces: Forever21

Photo Credit: Taryn Reid Photography

Pinteresting!

Hello Everyone!

I hope your week is going well. I’ve recently got into my pinning on Pinterest. I have to say, it’s such a great resource of ideas and inspirations for DIYs, recipes, outfits, and anything you could possibly think of.  I’ve been inspired to work on a couple of DIY accessories that I want to incorporate into my wardrobe. I can’t wait to make them and pair them with outfits for my outfit of the days posts.

Speaking of accessories, a good friend of mine approached me about doing a blog post about accessories and accessories tips. I’m putting that post for you guys and hopefully, I will have it up at the end of the week. On that note, a guy friend of mine inspired me to do a blog post about my style and color inspirations for outfits. I definitely can’t wait to share those things with all of you. If you guys have any comments and ideas for future post, let me know and I can try my best to share my perspective with you. Hope you guys have a great week.

XOXO,

Elle

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