All posts filed under: FASHION

I don’t want to be a snowman

When the temperature drops below 75 degrees, I start to freeze a little, and before long, as the winter progresses, kids start giving me silk hats, corn cob pipes, buttons and coal. So to prevent myself from becoming a snowman, I bring out the tights. About five years ago, I blogged about how tights had become the new winter staple, quickly followed by leggings – a return likely sparked by the revival of  retro mini and shift dresses from the 1960s. If color or design is your thing, you have plenty to choose from at sites like, where you can find a variety of styles. But I have two words for you this season – fleece lined. You can find durable fleece-lined tights at affordable stores like Rainbow for $7.99 each. I bought four black pair there this past week because I intend to stay warm this winter! Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Advertisements

Life-size torsos invade craft stores

I like creating things, so I make frequent trips to craft and fabric stores to buy materials for various projects I start (and often don’t finish, truth be told.) The last couple of times, I’ve noticed several substantial shipments of an item I tried to purchase at an affordable price about a year ago. Luckily, while searching for an antique dining table at The Flowood Flea market, I spotted one and got it for a reasonable price – about a third of what they typically cost in stores and online. What I’m talking about is a dress form. The man who sold it to me didn’t know the term, which might explain why it was a bargain. Dress forms, models of the torso used to help fit clothing that is being designed or sewed, seem to be becoming more popular. Maybe more people have become interested in sewing because of the economy, because they have been creatively inspired by shows like Project Runway, or because they are bored with what the fashion industry is producing. …

‘Mad Men’ Madness

Jackson residents Michael Busbin and Brian Kendrick have gone mad for “Mad Men.”Tonight is the season finale of AMC’s hit show about love, life and business at a Manhattan advertising firm. Currently set in the 1960s, “Mad Men” premiered in 2007 and is in its fifth season. It has become a pop culture sensation, influencing everything from hairstyles and fashion to cooking, decor and entertaining. Because of “Mad Men,” Busbin and Kendrick bought a retro home in northeast Jackson. “It has the grass cloth wall paper and all the cool retro vibes of the ’60s when it was built, kind of like Don Draper’s new apartment now,” Busbin said. “We have updated some of the features of the house that make it more fashionable, but we still have some of the features that are ’60s-inspired, such as the rock garden in the living room. We love Eames molded chairs, scoop chairs, Panton chairs, and anything with that ‘Mad Men’ vibe. That is how we like to live in our home – cool and relaxed with …

Will they become more famous than Honey Boo Boo Child?

Raymond resident Hope Campbell and Vicksburg native Michelle Cole have been involved in pageants many years. Cole began competing when she was 3, and Campbell, when she was 16. Today, both are Mrs. Mississippis in different pageant circuits. Campbell is the reining Mrs. Mississippi United States of America 2012, and Cole won the Mrs. Mississippi America title in 2011. On Wednesday at 9 p.m., you can watch their daughters compete on the TLC documentary series Toddlers & Tiaras. “It’s not new for us,” Cole said. “McKenzie has been in a lot of pageants, and I used to own a pageant store in Vicksburg. My little girl just loved to perform for all the girls coming in and out of the store.” Cole submitted a video of McKenzie, 5, and TLC contacted her a few weeks later. They came to her home Feb. 15 and filmed a segment for Toddlers & Tiaras, a show not without controversy, that sometimes features stage moms intent on making their child a star, and children who seem less interested in …

Cuckoo for tutus

Raymond resident, Hope Campbell, is the reigning Mrs. Mississippi United States of America. Her 3-year-old daughter Emma Addison also digs the glitz and glam of the pageant circuit. The little beauty queen will appear on the TLC show Toddlers & Tiaras at 9 p.m. May 30. Winning a sparkly, rhinestone crown isn’t Emma’s only motivation. She loves fancy, frilly costumes, whether she’s competing or not. “Emma is a fan of wearing tutus around the house,” said Campbell, a mother of three and Mississippi College graduate student. While the classic ballet tutu has been around since the 1800s, it’s lately become a mainstream fashion must for little girls who want to emulate fairies, ballerinas and princesses. A quick Internet search reveals many companies that specialize in tutu sales, such as Sunny Girl Tutus, Miss Priss Tutus, Little Diva Tutus and Cutie Pa Tutus. Etsy craft sellers are also touting the trend by sewing layers of tulle to make an extra buck. Tutus have also become a favorite for photographers who use them as props. “It’s just …


At the moment, I’m really into monogrammed jewelry. I recently saw this advertised by Lee Michaels jewelers and thought it was a good deal starting at $18. I’m adding it to my wish list. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Things you can find for $1

I have been a thrift shopper all of my life. I love finding discarded treasures, saving things with a story and upcycling because it’s a good way to be economically conservative and green. I was tickled to find a few things this weekend for a cool dollar. That’s right 1 buck. My first score was this pair of black Moda boots. At this point, I have become a boot collector, so I was excited to find this pair in my size that look as well or better than some I recently thought of ordering at full price, which would have cost at least 99 more bucks than I paid. I also collect vintage aprons and spotted this one with a pretty little umbrella design. It needs a little love, but lucky for me, I sew, so stitching a tie sash at the waist won’t take long to repair. I keep wishing that someone would discover a trendy way to wear vintage aprons. I have about 10 of them so far, and some are so beautiful, …

My $3 Mad Men Dress

I recently became addicted to the AMC show “Mad Men,” partially because I love the retrospective of ’50s and ’60s fashion. A couple of weeks ago, I found this “Mad Men” dress. Luckily, I recently purchased a tulle slip that makes dresses stand out when worn underneath, and it was a perfect match for my dress. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Granny boots latest fashion find

Granny boots were popular this fall, and I’m hoping they stick around for a while. I picked up this pair of leather Steve Madden boots called “Graanie.” They remind me of Little House on the Prairie, so I refer to them as my “Laura Ingalls” boots. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Mississippi fashion designer sews for Jennifer Hudson, Tyler Perry, Cee Lo

She was No. 19 in a blended family that included 25 siblings. Stuck between nine older brothers and six younger ones, Maria Harper often found herself fighting to be a girl. “It could have been fun being in a large family if I had sisters right in there with me,” she laughed. “But I was in the middle of all those boys, and they tortured me.” Her father also failed to recognize Harper as a young lady. At Christmas, he bought her cap guns and Army men. “I would cry every Christmas and say, ‘But, Daddy, I’m a girl.’ He would say, ‘Be grateful. Kids in Africa don’t have anything,’ and I would be like, ‘Really?’ My mother was like, ‘Baby, we’ll make you some clothes.’” Sewing is how the former Mississippi girl stopped being one of the boys and, in the process, made a name for herself with the Atlanta fashion business Maria Harper Designs. The 53-year-old has worked with celebrity clients like Tyler Perry, Cee Lo Green, Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia. Harper and …

Vintage fashion on the rise

At 16, Libby Story McRight began working at a ladies boutique in Greenville called Gail’s. It was her job through high school and college at Mississippi State University. She later transferred to Delta State in Cleveland to complete her marketing degree so she could manage and be a buyer for the store. “I knew, by this time, that I would own my own store one day, so I planned to learn as much as I possibly could about how to make it work,” she said. When Gail’s closed in 2004, the 26-year-old new mom opened her own business in the same location a few months later. “I carried clothing geared to a slightly younger crowd, as well as my own jewelry line and vintage goods,” she said. “It all just seemed to work. ” McRight now owns LibbyStory stores in Greenville, Starkville and Ridgeland that sell both new and vintage clothing. The store outgrew its original location in Ridgeland on Jackson Street and is now part of the city’s Renaissance shopping center. “I got to …

Modern vintage

Found these two-tone NaturalSoul by Naturalizer Vakle Mary Janes for $27.99 at Kohl’s. They were originally $70. I like their vintage leather look, and they have padding that’s great if you have foot problems like I do. The heel is also under 3 inches, something I always have to look for to avoid foot pain. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Just pin it

Chances are you Facebook, you Tweet, but do you Pin? As, a visual bookmarking site that launched in March of 2010, continues to grow, an increasing number of Mississippians are describing it with the words “addictive” and “obsession.” Users pin images that are linked to other websites, sharing everything from craft and décor ideas to wisdom, travel and food pins on boards they create. “As long as you see an image on a page, you can pin it,” said Shawn Rossi. “Users can pin anything, from family photos to business presentations.” Rossi collects her future Pinterest projects on a “To-Do List” board. “We just bought a 1983 Prowler travel trailer from the ’80s, and we’re going to renovate it,” she said, recalling one of the ideas she found on the site. Natchez resident Shannon Jex compares the site to a SkyMall flight catalog “There are a million products in that little magazine,” she said. “Few of them have anything to do with one another, but you find yourself wanting one of each. I draw …

Miss Mississippi Trunk Show

Miss America classic, Hollywood glam and a little bit of “funky.” That’s how Miss Mississippi Sarah Beth James describes the wardrobe she’ll be taking to Las Vegas to wear while competing in the Miss America Pageant Jan. 11-13 and 15. “We’ve been trying to tailor it to the Miss America look and still keep my style,” she said during the annual trunk show last week. “I have kind of a funky style. I really like colors. I like to mix textures and layers. It’s kind of a Grace Kelly/Audrey Hepburn look with a new edge.” According to her Miss America bio, accessible at, the Madison Central High graduate and Mississippi State University communications major is also intellectually competitive. James, a member of the Shackouls Honors College, is an MSU President’s Scholar with a 4.0 GPA who ranked first out of 2,924 students, and she won an MSU Academic Excellence Scholarship. James, who won the Miss Metro Jackson preliminary, will play the piano during the talent portion of the contest. Her platform is promoting organ …

Pup hats from Horn Lake

Want to turn your pup into an adorable red fox or monkey? Buy him a knit hat from Horn Lake Etsy seller talk2thetrees. Mixed-media Artist Rachael Thomas also has a blog showcasing her work. She describes herself as a “random girl, inspired by nature, trees, fairy tales, mushrooms, cemeteries, dreams, antique bottles, tarot cards and palm reading,” among other things. Pup hats sell for $14 each. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Hooker clown shoes?

I have thought for a while now that the fashion industry hates women. Perpetuating a beauty ideal that all women must be 5’10 and 100 pounds, so that they look like they’ve just recovered from a long, painful, debilitating illness or worked as a body double for Christian Bale in The Machinist is one thing. Convincing them that they should wear these ridiculous shoes is another. I do not understand why women are buying into the idea that they should wear hooker clown shoes. I am sure Lady Gaga’s influence has something to do with it, but has everyone added a meat dress to their wardrobe? I think not. The shoes that I have highlighted in this graphic (click it to enlarge) look like sophisticated torture devices that Henry VIII would have inflicted upon one of his wives if they existed then. Can you imagine walking anywhere in them without either tripping, breaking an ankle or experiencing excruciating pain? And some of these look like things many of you will see in hell worn by …

Dr. Seuss kicks

In Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss writes, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” Converse has debuted a line of Dr. Seuss sneakers featuring characters from his popular books. Some feature the Grinch’s face.They range in price from $35-$55. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Wearable art

Looking through photographs of Vogue’s Spring 2011 runway collections, it’s evident that layers, ruffles and feathers continue to be used in Xtreme design sculptures to mold dresses that become wearable art pieces defying traditional ideas of shape. A couple of examples are from Marchesa’s spring line above. (And check out the violet dress on the front of the company’s website that looks like a floral bouquet.) This colorful ruffled fabric dress, left, by Jason Wu also appears to have been crafted using flower petals or leaves. Designer Mary Katrantzou’s collection that incorporates bold paintings and graphics also stood out. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save