Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Belt It!

Belt It Out

Today's tip is simple simple (which I love)! Here goes...
Move your belts to higher ground (say a couple inches above your belly button or a little lower/higher depending on your shape & the look you're trying to achieve) for a chic alternative to those oh-so-typical belt loops. This look is all over fall runways, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Oscar de la Renta, Louis Vuitton, & Fendi. Yes, it's an easy & cheap fix to mirror the fancy pants!


Well, with one day left to vote it looks like you gals want the Tuesday Tutorial/Tip back! I aim to please, so consider it back up & running! Currently I've got some tutorials up my sleeve/in production. Can't wait to share with ya!


P.S.: Using belts I already own to update my style makes me so frugally happy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Modest Fall Fashion Runway...Rundown

Modest Fall Fashion

If you’ve read Bess’ Bag before, you may recall my confession. Yes, I am a recovering teen magazine reader. When I was in middle & high school I would pour over issues of Seventeen, CosmoGirl, Teen Vogue, & all that… I truly hate to admit that to you. It’s true, I love fashion & style & that whole bag, & that was the main reason I looked at those mags…but, even if you could find some decent clothing inspiration in those glossy printings you had to wade through unhealthy advertisements, trashy articles, worldly opinions, & unrealistic photo-shopped models to get there. Talk about not worth it! But, at the time, I thought it was. These volumes were “cool” & “in,” but were they God-pleasing?

In high school I mostly read Teen Vogue. I loved to see what the current fashion trends were direct from the runway, but the advertisements alone in that thing were so sexually charged, unhealthy, &…sinful. I knew the ads were inappropriate, but I justified the situation (to myself): “ I skip over them quickly & just look at the magazine for the “good stuff”…it’s okay. I knew deep down it wasn’t okay for me. Finally, one day I heard a voice inside telling me to chuck ‘em to the curb & I listened. The next recycling day I loaded them into plastic bags & wheeled them out to the curb (yes, sad, I had to use a wheelbarrow to get rid of my teen magazine collection). I left them there, waiting for the truck. I was done with all that. It wasn’t easy, but it was empowering letting go & listening to my heavenly Father. That experience is one of the reasons I started Bess’ Bag – to create a place where girls could find style info that is both God-pleasing & current. I am pleased to present to you, dear sis in Christ, a modest fall 2010 fashion rundown… No matter your shape, size, or fashion sense you are beautiful to God. Remember that & act accordingly!

P.S.: More to come!

Sweet slacks, ballet flats, & simple sweaters!
Fall Fashion: Stella McCartney

Chunky sweaters tied with a bow, head wraps, pointy shoes, shiny coats, & graphic 50s style dresses!
Fall Fashion: Prada

Roomy coats, metallic shimmer, giraffe print, & crisscross!
Fall Fashion: 3.1 Phillip Lim

Furry coats, khakis, chocolates, caramels, knits, & leather!
Fall Fashion: Chloe`

Musical musings, crazy carryalls, carrying on, & leopard print!
Fall Fashion: Moschino Cheap & Chic

Victorian lace, bold stripes, hats, & poufy pants!
Fall Fashion: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Dark boho florals, long length, tassel hats, & sherpa-lined vests!
Fall Fashion: Ralph Lauren

Military coats, fuzzy sweaters, bold colors, & faux-fur!
Fall Fashion: Oscar de la Renta

Ladylike frocks, pumps with bows on the toes, super long belts, & 50s chic!
Fall Fashion: Louis Vuitton

Longer skirts, furry vests, & bursts of lemony yellow!
Fall Fashion: Fendi

Sleek wide-brimmed chapeaux, baggy trousers, thick neck warmers, & fur!
Fall Fashion: Carolina Herrera

Decedent grunge, draped fabrics, mismatch, & textures!
Fall Fashion: Rodarte

Tans, grays, furry bags, & sweaters!
Fall Fashion: Michael Kors

Black is the new black, trousers, & suits!
Fall Fashion: Elie Tahari

Belts, blues, frocks, & pops of red!
Fall Fashion: Tommy Hilfiger

Cropped pants, beanies with a pouf, & metallic shimmer!
Fall Fashion: Diane von Furstenberg

Major pouf, striped sweaters, & suspender pants!
Fall Fashion: Sonia Rykiel

Fall Fashion Rundown

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Falling For Fall

Falling For Fall

I love autumn! Yep, I’ve fallen for fall. (I couldn’t help myself on that one!=) Anyways, here are a few of the reasons why…
Why I Love Autumn...

This beautiful, little known Nichole Nordeman song is all about the wonder of the seasons God has created, & it's one of my new favs. Enjoy + enjoy all the fall-ish tunes now playing on Bess' Bag - turn up your speakers! =)

I have to say I'm a brand new Adie Camp fan! I hadn't really heard her music until the other day, but I must say I'm loving it! She's the wife of Christian music artist Jeremy Camp by the way! Here's an appropriately seasonal song...

Genesis 8:22

Psalm 65:12

Love to All,

P.S.: Don't forget God's gifts to you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy 1st Day of Autumn + Freebies

Happy Fall!

Here's some fun giveaways to start fall off on the right foot!
*Click here to print off a coupon for a free root beer float at A&W! 
Coupon printable today only.
*Score a free chocolate chip cookie at Great American Cookies on Oct. 1st from 10am - 2pm + throughout Oct. trade in a gently read book to their book drive & receive a free cookie of your choice!  Click here for more info.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial: The Gabby Floretta Headband (Anthro-Inspired)

Anthropologie Headband Tutorial

So, I fashioned this ages ago “in the good ole’ summer time,” but have yet to share. Yep, a bad case of procrastination on my part, but hey now I can fit this into my previous “Summer to Fall” post – cause this summery accessory would look great any season!

I was browsing through an Anthropologie catalogue one day (love) when my eyes fell onto these pretty outrageous headbands. The funny thing was, I kinda liked ‘em – big puffy flower & all – thus, my Gabby Floretta headband was born. Here’s how to do it…

-1 headband (I get mine at the Dollar Tree (6 for $1!))
-strips of fabric or ribbon
-hot glue gun
-small beads
-needle & thread (any color)

-First off, wrap your headband with either long skinny strips of fabric or ribbon (I used fabric I got from a vintage upholstery sample card I had). I typically start at one end on the headband & sorta fold the end of the ribbon (over the headband tip) so it completely covers the tip & then begin to wrap the fabric/ribbon tightly around the headband. If you need to use more than one piece of fabric/ribbon, just add a drop of hot glue & wrap it slightly over the edge where you stopped (so as to ensure the headband will be completely covered). Add hot glue to each end of the headband when done to ensure stability.
-Cut skinny pieces of fabric or ribbon for your 2 flowers (I made 1 of my flowers have slightly larger petals than the other). Crisscross the pieces until they resemble a flower, then sew through all the strips (in the middle) with a few hand stitches. Do this for both flowers.
-Sew beads onto the middle of each flower to make its’ center.
-Try on the headband & decide where you want to hot glue the flowers…then glue. Ta da! Behold the headband I’ve coined ‘The Gabby Floretta’! Perfect for autumn…or summer…or spring.


P.S.: Thanks for all the votes on my poll! If you haven't, vote & let me know if you want the Tuesday Tutorial back. =)
It's funny, I never used to wear headbands, but when I got my hair cut short I now wear 'em lots! 

-Some Anthro-Inspired Fall Polyvore Fun-

Anthropologie II

Summer to Fall: Making Your Wardrobe Work

Tomorrow just happens to be the official 1st day of fall on this side of the planet, & that means cooler weather is on its way (though today, where I am, it’s hot). Are you beginning to stash your “seasonal” clothes in storage as the weather turns? Stop right there, put down the short sleeved blouse & capris & step away from the Rubbermaid tub – slowly! You might just be committing a major crime – a total injustice on your wardrobe & pocketbook. Who says summer clothes have no role to play in autumn? Here’s some tips to make your wardrobe really work for ya…

*NOTE: I’m not promising every piece of summer paraphernalia has a place in cooler weather – such as I don’t think I can winterize flip flops (wearing them with socks isn’t very practical=), but hopefully you can take a few warm weather pieces into the new season.
Summer to Autumn

Hot to Cold

Warm to Cool

Layering is the starting key...  Oh, & don't forget accessories; many can easily be moved from season to season with little tweaking.  Just use a little imagination & know-how.  Feel free to share your ideas, too!
Tips For Making Your Wardrobe Work


P.S.: More fall fashion fun is headed your way this week!  Stay tuned-in!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Belle Means Beauty: Some of My Favorite Things From the Movie + More

These lyrics give me goose bumps & are my favorite from the film… “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell - & for once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they’ve got planned.” I feel such a connection with those words Belle sings from her heart. They’re things I want too…so much.


Belle is a bookish girl (who doesn't judge a book by its cover) with a smart head on her shoulders & a heart full of dreams.  I love who she is & wish to be more like her.  Oh, I love her name, too!  One of my favorites!

There's this sweet modern movie version of the fairy tale titled "Belle & the Beast: A Christian Romance."  Set in present day with a repairman's daughter named Belle & a beastly man with a hardened heart, it's a great faith-based romance.  Can Belle break through Eric's tough exterior & help reignite his faith in God?  This is one of my favorite romantic flicks. 

Romancing a Beast -or- Looking at the Heart

Beauty & the Beast

Be honest, do you think you could love a beast? The story of Beauty & the Beast is an intriguing one. You’ve got the character of Belle, whose very name means beauty, & Beast, who, well, is one. In a nutshell, the stunningly lovely Belle finds it in her heart to look past all the…hmmm, what’s the word…Claws? Fur? Fearsome grotesque fa├žade let’s say – to love him for who he is inside…& more importantly, for who he becomes when a kind & caring beauty melts his hardened heart. Ah, I love happy endings paired with enchanting romances! Now, fairy tale aside, how much does appearance truly count in a relationship today? Could you fall in love with a guy with scars, a skin disease, missing limbs, some handicap or deformity? Could you if you found you loved the man inside, no matter the outer shell he came packaged in? Or would his looks stop you from getting close enough to even find out? Let’s take it down a notch from there: What if the male simply didn’t fit the world’s idea of beauty?

When us girls think of our future husbands it’s normal to think handsome (i.e.: physically attractive) among other qualities we hope to find in our mate. Some even go so far as to have a list with items desperately seeking future checkmarks, such as these specifics: dark hair, tall, ruggedly handsome, etc., etc. But, are those qualities vital or even valuable? Do those types of physical qualities mean quality? Think of Gaston, he had all the above, but his inner self was pompous & I’d say truly beastly. Belle saw through his good looks & refused his affection because what she saw in him wasn’t attractive. Smart girl. But, today are we so smart or, perhaps the better word is wise? I love this verse from the Bible & I think it fits the story of Beauty & the Beast perfectly:
“God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the LORD looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7
You know, as we strive to become more & more like Christ (even though we’ll never reach that level doesn’t mean we aren’t supposed to try), seek to see people’s hearts & not get caught up in the wrapping they’re in; you never know, the heartbeat behind it could be a match for your own. Look for the inner qualities that truly show quality in a person/mate, such as…
Christian Leadership

Click Here For More
Looking at the Heart

Lots of Love,

Don’t judge a book by its cover. -Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Belle-Inspired Fashion

Beauty & the Beast ~ what pops into your head when you hear that fairy tale title?  Do you start inwardly humming a Disney tune, or think of a glass-encased enchanted rose, or perhaps ponder household objects with larger-than-life-like behaviors?  Yep, Disney's movie adaptation of the old French tale has likely colored your perceptions quite a bit.  Strangely enough, I've found that today, I love the film more so than when I was little.  I can remember adamantly declining the invitation to watch the movie at a friend's house & how it nearly ruined my visit.  If memory serves right, I think she burst into tears at my childhood refusal.  Now, I'm brushing away teardrops at the end of the story myself.  Life's funny, huh?  When I discovered Lady Hannah at "Beauty From the Inside"was hosting a "Belle's Wardrobe Fashion Event" I knew I had to enter...

Modern Belle Style
Bookish Belle
Blue Belle
Beautiful Belle

Tuesday Tutorial: Organizational Message Boards

The word “school” (especially in the upper grades & college) always coincided with the word “organization” for me. Yes, you had to be organized. You had to organize homework assignments, notes, your schedule, appointments, club meetings, church activities, etc., etc. So, what’s a girl to do? Well, I’ve got one solution for ya! Implement some sort of message board system!

You can use a message board system to display your calendar, special phone numbers, dates, &/or important slips of paper, etc. Having all your important info in one place can be a great way to organize your hectic schedule. I recommend investing in a pocket-size or personal datebook or calendar, too, for added protection & for use on the go.

I found this adorable mini corkboard at my local Dollar Tree. Using various buttons, stickers, silk flowers, pompoms, scrapbook embellishments, & pretty much whatever small items you have in your stash - you can create snazzy pushpins to tack up all your important stuff. Simply hot glue (or regular glue depending on your item’s weight) the embellishment onto a plain thumbtack. Ta da! Another idea is to buy more than one of these affordable corkboards & designate each for one particular purpose…for instance: one for homework & class projects; one for afterschool practices, appointments, & activities; & one for important family & friends’ phone numbers, photos, & addresses. Using the hot glue gun again, you could easily attach ribbon to the back of these so that you can hang them on the wall.

You know those old metal trays you’ve seen at thrift stores, yard sales, & the attic? Those make great message boards, too! Do exactly as listed above, except this time, substitute magnets for thumbtacks! Lean these vintage chic organizational devices against a wall or desk shelf. Ta da! I LOVE these! They look great paired with those magnetic words you can buy, too! Just pen a cute verse with the magnet words on your tray & display in your room for a cute wordy addition!

Blessings & Love From,

P.S.: Vote in my sidebar poll on whether you want the Tuesday Tutorial/Tip back!  Thanks!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bess' Back to School Lookbook (Volume 3)

Miss Matchy

Miss Matchy
Everything's in its place & every color coordinates for this girl.
College Rule[s]

College Rule[s]
Welcome to the wonderful world of college life!
You're a Natural

You're a Natural
Hippie tree-hugger approved.
Miss Sporty

Miss Sporty
Whoever first created feminine inspired athletic shoes was genius!
Southern Belle

Southern Belle
I love a short dress paired over jeans or slacks.

Math Minded
Math Minded
Sadly, mathematics is a gray area for me; my gray matter just can't seem to get a handle on it.  I'm working on it!

Okay, so maybe you'd never don this to class, but I think it deserves a style A.  Look at the adorable matching backpack & leggings!  Yes, embroidered leather.