Tied, Zipped, and Styled

Today brings 2 unusual ways to work common fashion elements.

1) I was studying at a coffee shop over the weekend when a customer drew my notice. The all-over tattoo tends to get attention, but what I was really staring at was the strap of her camisole top. One strap is an ordinary spaghetti strap that you'd see everywhere, but the other was replaced or sewn over by a zipper. I thought it was a really cool, simple, and inexpensive way to put a transform a top. Of course, the punkish look isn't for everyone, but it's a good concept nonetheless. If you're not into zippers, you can achieve that asymmetric look with lace trim, ribbon, shoelaces, or whatever suits your fancy.

2) I've always wanted a wide obi belt, but I've yet to find a really cheap one that I like. I was reaching into my closet for an ordinary brown to put around my newly thrifted oversized top when a lightbulb went off--the tie! I bought the tie a long time ago for a costume and have always wondered how I can put it to practical daily use. As much as I like the menswear look, I am not into the idea of wearing the tie around my neck. While I stewed for ideas, the tie was hung alongside the belts.

I seriously don't know how these ideas spontaneously pop into my head...maybe it was a combination of knowing that I need a belt and remembering to wear the tie in different ways. In either case, here's what came out of that feverish mental cauldron:

I put the widest part of the tie on me first, then wrapped it all the way around, letting the thin end drape over. To keep all the layers in place, I used a clip-on button earring I made a while ago. In some geographical locales, vintage clip-on earrings are easy to come by at a very low price. If you don't want to take that option, safety pins should work. You can also try using bobby pins, but it's also not very secure. However, using both the clip-on and a bobby pin kept things in place fairly well. While the clip-on/bobby pin method requires periodic adjustments, it's a good way of keeping the tie hole-free (you know, so that your husband/boyfriend/dad/brother/roommate/guy friend won't find out you've violated the sanctity of his wardrobe).

If you feel weird about people finding out it's a tie, keep the ends on the side. Or cover it up with a sweater, like I'll ultimately have to do in class not because of embarrassment, but because the classroom is always frigid: