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OUTFIT | K I M O N O Time | Part II

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It’s safe to say that Em + I pride ourselves on creating outfits that look fancy, but are uber comfy.  A common question I ask myself before leaving the house is “can this extremely comfortable (almost sweatpants) outfit be considered cool IRL (in real life)”.  If the answer is a yes, then I am the happiest gal in town.

Ever since Em posted her Kimono outfit from Bali this summer, I have been on the hunt for the perfect one and let me tell you it has been quite the venture.

We recently stumbled upon this great online boutique called Morning Lavender, and after spending more than an hour on their site, wanting one of everything I found this awesome kimono!

A kimono a.k.a. a glorified robe is a piece that I typically think of as very casual, so my challenge to myself was to create a look that felt sassy and glamorous.  After sending Em about 20 different pictures of outfits, we came up with this one, and I love it.

(I mean my new Leather Pants are pretty stellar…right?)

Full disclosure…I wore this outfit on a date last week, and we’ll just say the date went very well :)

Ladies hop on over to Morning Lavender + check out their rad collection + grab yourself this sassy + comfy kimono!

XO,

Kat

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Monochromatic Mondays | Plaid

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Lovin’ plaid everything this winter. 

Madewell has some amazing plaid flannel shirts right now (And they are having a 30% off sale!) that are making me want to layer up with a full grey skirt and tights or some black skinny jeans and a hat. 

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xo, Em

The Refined Legacy | The Olsen Twins

I think I can speak for us all when I say that we fell in love with the Olsen twins from day one on Full House. Their cute-ness and sassy attitudes captured our hearts, however they have now taken the fashion industry by storm with their signature boho-chic style and can been seen sitting front row, or standing behind the curtain at fashion week!

Ashley and Mary Kate have truly mastered the perfectly messy beach wave hair, and pioneered the baggy-layered aesthetic, a.k.a “bohemian-bourgeois.” Personally, I think it’s comfort + glam done right. Flow-y skirts topped with a baggy sweater and a coat? Count me in. 

These two are not just recognized for their personal looks, but have become their own designers trailblazing through the fashion industry. The girls channeled their signature style into their couture line, The Row, and Elizabeth & James, a contemporary collection inspired by their personal style + love for vintage finds. Their aesthetic stays timeless with classic silhouettes and neutral color palettes which we of course love.

They clearly aren’t afraid of critics dubbing their style the “homeless” look, but have embraced their style and love for fashion, making them a Refined Legacy Women! Mary Kate and Ashley’s looks exude timelessness with fashion staples such as the blazer, button down, fur coat, + large sunnies, and also know how to rework pieces to fit their fun + care-free aesthetic.   These ladies have long since surpassed the tween craze, and are respected trailblazers in the Fashion Industry.  We applaud you ladies!

XO,

The Refined Woman.

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect Play…

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My old tennis coach used to say, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect play”.

As a 14 year old it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to hear, but hindsight is always 20/20 right?  I can go out and take a thousand photos, yet if they are not grounded in excellence, vision, well-crafted composition, beautiful lighting, etc. then I’ll either stay the same or actually get worse.  (Ummm…no thank you).

One of the best ways I have come to grow as an artist is to copy some of my favorite photographers.  They say (whoever they may be) that copying is the ultimate form of flattery, and I truly believe that.  

A while back a few of my photographer friends, Fred and Sara, and I rented some lighting and were intent on recreating Yu Tsai’s famous 16 expression series.  At a first glance these images just look like shots taken at a photo booth, anyone can take those right?  No…wrong.  Each image is precise, with specific emotion, and takes time to capture.

So what did we do?  Well, we set up the lighting against a white wall in Sara’s apartment, and studied the heck out of Yu Tsai’s images.  What were we looking for:

  • Where the light source was coming from
  • What was the exposure
  • The amount of different poses
  • The composition (how much head space, do we cut off the elbows)…
  • Where were the shadows in the shot
  • How was he evoking his subject to give him what he wanted?

Then we blasted Taylor Swift + Beyonce (because ummm…that’s what you do when you are with your friends), and danced, and sang, and shot for about 4 hours each taking turns until we felt we had the lighting set-up down, and got shots of each other that we were happy with.

The cool thing about replication is that once you learn how to replicate you can learn how to make it your own.  Don’t merely stop once you’ve gotten the copied shot, figure out ways that you can make it Y-O-U.  The best thing any of us have going for us is that no one else can be Kat Harris.  I offer something that no one else in the universe can offer, and so do you.  Your eye, your style, your attention to detail, while it may be similar to others, is altogether separately yours.  Own that, and have fun with it!

I’m grateful to be surrounded by some amazing artists who want to challenge and evoke me to become the best I can be, and also that just want to rent a bunch of lights, blast Beyonce, and take a whole bunch of pictures.

Here are some of my favorites that I shot, and I have Fred + Sara to thank for capturing these of me!

Moral of the story: don’t just practice just to practice.  Surround yourself with excellence.  Fill your vision and creativity with excellence, with art that inspires you, allow yourself to be molded by impeccable work, train your eye to see beautiful composition. 

Be purposeful, intentional, precise, and have LOTS of fun while doing so!

XO,
Kat

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Photos by:  F.E. Castleberry + Tutti del Monte Photography

Black + Tan : Mix it like a Pro

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Beauty Is Her Strength

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My sweet friend Dianna texted me one day “You HAVE to photograph Heidi for Beauty Is!”.  

A few weeks later Heidi, Dianna, and I met on a busy street corner in Hollywood on an extremely hot summer day in Los Angeles.  pranced through the streets taking photos, stopping to chat, taking more photos, chatting some more, and I didn’t want to leave.

Heidi is an excellent make-up artist, and has a heart for people to know their identity and value and strength.  Her life is such an example of one that is outward focused.  Dianna thanks so much for the intro + Heidi thank you for sharing your beautiful soul with us!

XO,

Kat

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Beauty is Her Strength

This very phrase has been tattooed on my foot for the past eight years. Most people misinterpret this to mean something vain, and I had trouble fully explaining the depth of its meaning until I read the book “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldredge. To be honest, back when I was 18 at the tattoo shop, I don’t even think my young naive mind knew what it meant. It wasn’t until I entered into my mid-twenties that I finally had a fuller understanding of the depth of this phrase. “Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth. Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty nourishes. Beauty comforts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent. Beauty draws us to God” (Eldredge 133). We hear over and over that true beauty has nothing to do with our outside, and everything to do with our inside, almost to the point that we have become numb and have lost all ability to see its truth. Haven’t you ever seen a woman who, instead of catching your eye, she catches your heart? She may not be beautiful according to our society/Hollywood/social media standards, but the spirit that radiates through her very bones and leaks out through her smile is so strong that it imprints itself in your memory and you find yourself wanting to be around this woman, yet you don’t know why.

These strong and beautiful women don’t get their confidence through trying. Most of them don’t even know how to put makeup on! They don’t compare themselves to other women and wish they were like them. Instead, their biggest comparison is the simple reflection and evaluation of their own life. Every so often I’ve found myself guilty of comparing myself to others, or find others drowning in unhappiness because they are doing the same. All too often we look at other people’s lives and wish our own were different. We compare ourselves to every other woman and play the “If only” game in our minds, so much so that we miss the greatest beauty that lies within our own selves. 

If only I was as pretty as her, then I would be {fill on the blank}

If only I was as good as she is at {fill on the blank}

If only I had as many followers on {insert social media here}

If only I had a different job or was making more money I’d be able to {fill on the blank}

If only I my body wasn’t so {blank} I’d be {fill on the blank}

If only I hadn’t done {blank} in my past, I wouldn’t be {blank}

There are so many more scenarios that could continue on this list, but you get my drift. Each one of us has played that mind game too many times to admit and unfortunately, if not kept in check, we find ourselves in misery because we obsess over everyone else’s “strengths.”

What’s so interesting to me is I’ve spent a lot of time in the last year or more reflecting on my past and some of the choices I’ve made. I realized that I spent so much time using my outward beauty to control a man. I thought that’s what it was for. But then at the same time, needed a man to make me feel beautiful. Wait, WHAT?!

It wasn’t until I surrendered to God everything within me that I felt like I had become a woman. My beauty was no longer my strength. My inner strength, because of God, had become my beauty. I realized that the things that make us unique both in our personality traits and our appearance, are some of the most beautiful characteristics that can’t be bought from a store or a surgeon, or stolen from someone else’s life. “Beauty is mysterious. And that should not surprise us. Women are creatures of great mystery; not problems to be solved but mysteries to be enjoyed. And that, too, is part of her glory” (Eldredge 134). Our womanly beauty and strength comes from the contentment within our heart. Look in the mirror daily and tell yourself you’re beautiful. One day you might actually believe it. 

XO,

Heidi

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Photos by:  Kat Harris

Wardrobe:  Most of Heidi’s wardrobe was custom made in Cambodia where she does human trafficking work (rad right).  Not to fret because Nordstrom has some great options!  Here’s my favorite denim dress that have right now!  

See below for more wardrobe pieces!

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OUTFIT : The NEW Basics

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New seasons call for new basics, and for me, it’s not just the change from summer to fall, it’s the shift from being me to being mom-me … slightly more lazy relaxed with my wardrobe, and just maybe being forced to invest in more practical fashion choices. 

This Cuyana Tote is a new favorite staple - and it’s both functional and beautiful. I’m always finding that I have to carry 3x the amount of stuff with me these days - and everything fits in here while still looking sleek. 

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This sweater from StyleSaint is another new favorite. I want it in every color. And I love that it can be worn as both a crew neck or a v-neck. It drapes so beautifully and is so comfortable. 

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I had really wanted these distressed black skinnies but I was also hesitant to make the purchase since my pant size is still fluctuating a little since having the baby. I happened to find some Levi’s at the local thrift store and all it took was a little distressing with a cheese grater and voilá. My new favorite skinnies. 

And it’s okay if they get a lil spit up on them since they were only $3.

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Love the option to monogram that Cuyana has!

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Recently I had one of those nights where it had been a LONG day with the babe and I just needed to get out. I’m so thankful for a husband who is willing to watch the baby whenever I need him too. And I made my way to Nordstrom to pick out a fresh shade of Red lipstick for Fall.

It was the best investment both for my mental health at that time and for my everyday life too - it feels so good to have a fresh shade throw on when I need a little pick me up. 

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xo, Em

I’ll be the One who brings you coffee…

Photo by:  Kat Harris + Lindsey Shea

I’ll be the one who brings you coffee when you can’t get up 
I’ll be the one who turns the light out when you go to sleep
I’ll be the one who turns your stomach into something else 
and you say shut up, shut up, every time I say

I’ll be the one who takes your coat off, one to take the blame
I’ll be the one you call your lover, every now and then
You’ll be the one who keeps me sober, one to keep me sane 
and you say shut up, shut up, every time I say it

And I’d cut my fingers to the bone,
And I’d split my sides in for you 

Tonight, we throw ourselves away
We make it every time
I thought I was ok
You said I was alright
As the night comes crashing down
We catch ourselves align
Yeah we’re only makin’ out
We’re makin’ out alright

I’ll be the one who stands beside you in the photograph
I’ll be the one who’s in your water when you want me there
I’ll be the one you’re falling over every time you laugh 
and you say shut up, shut up, every time I say

I’ll be the one who keeps you guessing, who swears a lot
I’ll be the one who left your color in the white wash
You’ll be the one who knocks the man out I was beating up 
and you say shut up, shut up, every time I say it

And you cut my face, I told you so
I’d tear my eyes out for you

Tonight, we throw ourselves away
We make it every time
I thought I was ok
You said I was alright
As the night comes crashing down
We catch ourselves align
We’re only makin’ out
We’re makin’ out alright

Cover by Pomplamoose

Making Dreams a Reality | F.E. Castleberry

It’s one thing to talk about your dreams, and another thing altogether to actually make them into a reality.

It takes determination, focus, commitment, patience, and persistence to see a dream so far off in the distance and do whatever it takes to get there and beyond. 

Fred is a longtime friend, and one of the things that stands out to me most about who he is, is his ferocious commitment to creating.  And not just creating for the sake of creating, but everything that has his thumbprint is precise, intentional, and with purpose. 

I’ve said this to Fred a 1,000 times, but he truly is one of the hardest workers I have ever met; it is inspiring.

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Book Launch to his very first coffee table book on Rowing Blazers.  This personal passion project led him all over the United States, and the world to photograph world class athletes alongside their rowing communities prized possession:  the rowing blazer.

In true Rowing Blazer + F.E.Castleberry style the event was held at the flagship Ralph Lauren store on Madison Avenue; it was a wonderful event, but even moreso than the event were those moments when I just looked around this 2 story space that was completely packed at capacity and be reminded that this is what Fred created.  These people were there to see his work.

Fred you inspire me constantly to keep creating with excellence in every area of my life.  I’m so proud of you!  Look at what you created friend!  Your ceiling is your new floor.

XO,

Kat

P.S.  You should definitely get the Rowing Blazer Book to add to your coffee table collection; it’s beautiful!

Photos by me:  Kat Harris