artists incognito :: kacey jane

I’m so excited to introduce my friend, Kacey Jane!   I may be the only one that calls her that, but as long as she lets me, I will.  I met Kacey through our church.  She came up to me one Sunday with a big smile and said something like, “Hey, I’m Kacey!  I’m trying to meet all the new people…what’s your name?”  I liked her from that moment on.  We live in the same neighborhood, right around the corner from each other actually, and I love it.  As long as I’ve known Kacey, she’s always looked as cute as a button.  I asked her if she would let us in on some of her tricks…and boy are you in for a treat!  Meet my beautiful friend…

Thanks for joining our series, Kacey Jane!  Can you tell us your life story up till now in a nutshell?

Born and bred Oklahoman:) Small town girl transplanted in the city. I have two wonderful parents and a little sister I consider to be my best friend.  Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that my sister and I were raised as daddy’s little boys, trap-sing all over Northwestern Oklahoma, fishing, hunting, playing sports, and for a number of years, being dirty, bona-fide ragamuffins (sorry mom, but it’s true). I was an athlete and a book worm in high school.  Weird, I know.  Went to college at Oklahoma State University and dabbled in Public Relations and Interior Design before sticking with Education.  While at OSU I met my husband, Taylor who is a CPA.  We have been married for 4 1/2 years.  We moved to Tulsa right after we were married and I taught 6th grade reading and English for a brief two years before staying at home with our daughter, Avery.  I am currently blessed to stay at home and have a part time “fun” job at a women’s specialty shoe store.  A few things about me that have never changed (and probably never will) are my obsession with books and the people/places in them, the frazzled, forgetful way I live life while struggling to appear like I “have it all together”, and my desire to be constantly changing/improving/creating things.

That was a large nutshell…

Do you remember the first time your mom let you dress yourself?  What were your favorite combos as a kid?

 I don’t remember it because from what I’ve been told, it’s been happening since before I have memories:) My mom says that I used to raid the laundry baskets and pile on as many things as I could.  I have a very vivid memory, though, of my fifth birthday:  My mom woke me up that morning and took me into the living room where my present was waiting.  It was a large red, plastic trunk with a bow on it.  I opened it up and was a very happy girl! It was filled to the brim with dresses, gloves, purses, jewelry, and aprons that she had either made or thrifted. It was something that my sister and I played with for many years afterward.  I also got some play make- up that day, but that is a different story with a very bad ending…

What would you say defines your style now as a grownup?

My yoga pants and my budget.  Seriously.  And the idea that you don’t have to have a lot to have a “look”.  I don’t think that fashion or being trendy is important, but I do think it’s fun.  Fashion is always changing, always evolving, and it’s a creative outlet that I really enjoy.

What advice would you give someone who hasn’t yet figured out their sense of style, but wants to know what direction to head when shopping?

Sometimes it is hard to shop because you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, or how to put it all together.  You need to have goals before you go shopping other than buying things that you think are cute.  In my experience, having a Pinterest account or latching onto a friend that is stylish (or both) can give you lots of direction when figuring out your sense of style.  Sometimes you just need someone to come over and lovingly help you purge your closet to get a fresh start.  I personally find Pinterest so helpful.  I utilize it to figure out what it is that I like and what is currently fashionable. 

Name your favorite clothing brands to date.

J. Crew (duh), Gap (surprise), H & M (I always find something essential), and Zara.

 What tips can you give us stay-at-home moms who want to look and dress attractively, but need a budget/kid-friendly wardrobe?

Let me preface this with the fact that I’m not an expert and that I’m just as guilty as the next gal about getting stuck in ruts.  I mean,  I have a “uniform”, as Taylor calls it that typically involves an OSU t-shirt and some work out pants.  Girl, it’s hard to think about what to wear when you are tired and trying to get yourself and your kid ready, get out the door and accomplish all you need to.  However, as much as I love the no make-up, house shoes, and pj days, I’ve found it’s not a sustainable way of life, nor the most pleasant way for your husband to view you 24/7.  As a mom, it’s easy to revert to the same thing everyday, to not experiment, and to not “stay abreast” of the latest fashions (Steele Magnolias reference, anyone?).  

 So, that being said, my advice would be to start with what you already have.  Live in your yoga pants? Work it into your wardrobe.  Don’t have much?  Figure out how to maximize your wardrobe by dragging it all out and coming up with as many different outfits as you can.  Don’t know what’s “in”?  Find a friend that you trust with a sense of style, invite her over to go through your closet, and come up with a game plan for getting back on track.  Not comfortable with that option?  Latch onto a few online fashion bloggers that you relate to and copy them.  Absolutely everything I do with my wardrobe is an idea I’ve incorporated from someone else.   I’m not a completely original person and I need help, as most of us do.  Find someone accessible to your own personal taste and budget to emulate.  For me its a few bloggers that I really admire.

Kacey takes the previous comfy look shown above on the stairs {yoga pants, chambray shirt & boots} and spiffs it up for a night out with her hubby by putting on some red lipstick and statement jewelry with a fun fir vest.

Can you list the staples that should be in every woman’s wardrobe to look effortlessly stylish?

 Staples? Coming up with staples is like packing for vacation.  I’m going to overpack, but here’s my best shot.  Remember, I’m no expert…

- Stripes or graphic (aztec?) sweater or tee

- Black “riding” pants or really thick yoga pants you can wear with boots

- Chambray, gingham, or flannel button up

- booties

- leg warmers

- knit or faux fur scarf for accessorizing (or both)

- statement necklace

- blazer

- army or quilted vest

- slouchy or oversized sweater

- dark skinnies

- sheer white blouse with collar

-jean jacket (always)

What would you say are the tricks of your trade?

:: The yoga pant trick.  During the fall/winter, I wear them a lot with my boots.  They are way more comfortable than jeans.

:: I throw on a scarf with what I’ve been wearing all day when I run to the store to look more “stylized”.

 :: I never buy at full price- I’m a lot prouder of myself that way.  And who doesn’t like a good bargain brag?

 :: I’ve learned the hard way not to buy something just because I like it- I’ve made the mistake many times of buying something that is really cute, but never really wearing it. As a result, I always have a particular overall look in mind so that the things I buy can be more utilized in my wardrobe as a whole.

 :: Layering is the best way to utilize what you have- you get a lot more outfits/combos this way.  Just by changing one or two things around, you can have a completely different look.

  :: Emulate someone else’s style that you love.

:: Don’t be afraid to mix patterns/prints. 

Kacey takes the same exact outfit above and completely changes the look by switching out a striped blazer for a cable knit sweater.

 What’s your favorite accessory right now in your closet?

 :: A thick, cable knit wool scarf I bought at the store where I work part-time.  Its weave and texture are so pretty, and it completely transforms even the most simple outfit.

 :: Where do you go for inspiration?

 The J. Crew Catalog and these bloggers:

 Emily @ Mainstreet Chic 

Sydney @ The Daybook Blog  

Molly @ Urban Nester  

Michelle @Second Street East 

Kacey’s Sunday best.  A silk blouse, velvet blazer, skinnies with booties and a statement necklace to pull it all together.

Who is your style icon?

Is it okay to not really have one???  I think Gwyneth Paltrow and Olivia Palermo are fab, but I don’t really look at fashion magazines or spend much time looking at what celebs wear.  I’m more concerned with how I can look nice and be trendy at a level that works for me.  It’s kind of like fashion needs to start with celebs and designers, then trickle down through a few fashionable people before it gets to me.  That’s why I so often refer to my favorite bloggers. 

Someone who has been very influential in the way I think about fashion and how I shop is my BFF, Emily @ Mainstreet Chic.  It’s from her I learned that you don’t have to have a huge closet to have style.  She is inspiring because she knows how to pull a look together in a budget friendly way and she always knows how to hold out for what she’s really looking for.  She’s like the little angel (or devil) on my shoulder when I shop that says things like, “Don’t spend that,” and, “try this”.   She inspires me with the way she is willing to think outside of the box and how she is still utilizing pieces in her closet that she’s had for a long time!

Is there a piece out there you are hoping will end up in your stocking this year?

 YES.  There may be a few, actually, but mainly some black riding pants from J. Crew.  I completely wore out the last pair I had because they were the perfect fit and I wore them five out of seven days of the week.

Isn’t she lovely?  Kacey also has a fabulous new blog: The New Haven Home.  She shares cute photos of her family and their new house they are renovating.  She sprinkles in recipes and interior design inspiration.  Go check it out.  You’ll become a huge fan, I know it!