Shabby Apple Dress Review and Giveaway – Win the Guinea a Minute Dress in Your Favorite Color!

shabbyappledress_5Hello lovely readers! Today I am partnering with the Vintage Clothing boutique Shabby Apple to bring you a great giveaway: for this super-cute Guinea a Minute Dress!

shabbyapplecolorsIt comes in three colors: Black & White Striped Top with Teal Skirt, Black & White Striped Top with Mustard Skirt [the one I’m wearing!], and Black & Green Striped Top with Black Skirt. shabbyappledress_1 Made of a stretchy medium-weight cotton, it really enhances your curves and is super-cute! (I plan to wear under a longer, poufier skirt too when I just want the striped top showing, or under a swingy sweater to play off the mustard skirt). shabbyappledress_3This dress has two functional pockets in the skirt waist adorned with two little buttons on each side – and there are 2 buttons on each of the sleeves near the cuffs. I love the longer length of this dress – it’s totally appropriate for work, but can be dressed up for some nautical-inspired style or a vintage pinup look. One thing to keep in mind with this dress is that the skirt is much more clingy than the top – so if you’d rather keep everything under wraps I’d advise shapewear underneath!;-) Based on the reviews of the dress I sized 1 size up from my usual size 6…and upon wearing it without shapewear underneath I wished I had gone yet another size larger! If you are pear-shaped, hippy, or have full thighs definitely size for your bottom half:-)shabbyappledress_2

So, who would like to win her choice of color of the Guinea a Minute Dress? Complete the steps below!!

Edit 11/23: Giveaway is now closed and winner has been chosen. Thanks for entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

shabbyappledress_4Good luck!!

And come back tomorrow for full outfit details and more photos! 😉



One Dress, Three Girls with Mabel & Zora Boutique

0.1piece3girls_tiffanybeanintroWelcome to the first installment of my brand-new series, called “One Piece, Three Girls!” and Happy Memorial Day!

In this series I feature a single article of clothing, jewelry, or an accessory, styled into 3 different looks for 3 different ladies.

1piece3girls_mabelandzoraoutside  For the first post in the series, I’ve partnered up with the amazing Portland boutique Mabel & Zora, to feature a dress from owner Tiffany Bean‘s Spring 2013 collection.

1piece3girls_mabelandzoraoutside2Mabel and Zora opened in June of 2006, headed by husband and wife team Corey and Tiffany Bean. 1piece3girls_mabelandzorainside1The vision for the store was inspired by Doris Day movies and Tiffany’s grandmother’s boutique from the 1950’s. Known for amazing customer service and a personalized shopping experience, the boutique offers dressy lines such as Lilly Pulitzer, Michael Stars, Three Dots, V. Fish, and Butter by Nadia.1piece3girls_mabelandzorainside21piece3girls_ownertiffanybeanTiffany started designing her own clothing line Tiffany Bean Designs in 2010, also inspired by 1960s movies and fashions. “I love mid-century styling; it is a perfect mix of functionality and design. I romanticize about the jet-set lifestyle of movie stars from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and have designed our home, the shop, and line around this love affair of mine!” The line features a number of easy-to-wear, flattering dresses and skirts that can be dressed up for the office or worn on one’s day off- including colorblocking, fun prints, and signature wrap-style dresses.

1piece3girls_tiffanybeanfrancesdressFor this feature, we have chose the Tiffany Bean Frances dress, a gorgeous contrast black-and-white stripe tube top dress. It’s made of stretchy, medium-weight material so it smooths over the body, and is a flattering knee-length (which happens to be a great length on anyone, no matter their body type). Due to its inherent versatility, this dress is the perfect dress for One Piece, Three Girls – and an on-trend must-have for your Summer wardrobe.

1piece3girls_brooke1First up, we have Brooke. You might know her as Brooke Morse, the wonderful photographer who takes my outfit photos from time to time. Besides being a photographer, she is also a talented makeup artist, currently expanding her online portfolio. For Brooke, we went with a bohemian casual look, covering up the skirt portion of the Frances dress with a sheer lace DIY maxi-skirt, and pairing it with earthy brown leather accessories and gold jewelry.

1piece3girls_brooke2Brooke is wearing: Tiffany Bean Frances Dress, Target Merona straw fedora, her own gold hoop leaf earrings, Target Merona scarf, DIY Gold Double-Ended Spike-End Bangle, Gold-Dipped Quartz Ring (from HauteLook), DIY Pamela Love Arrowhead Ring, her own vintage bag, her own wedge-heel sandals.1piece3girls_brooke3

1piece3girls_kristin1 Next we have Kristin. Kristin Rosario has been assisting part-time with the marketing of Chic Steals since the Fall, and is a marketing guru with a great eye for business opportunities and ideas. Given that she’s often in meetings or an office environment, she needs to look polished and professional every day – hence, a structured blazer grounding the jersey dress. To play up Kristin’s femininity, we layered a couple colorful necklaces and added a ladylike touch with a ruffled bag and a pretty polka dot scarf.

1piece3girls_kristin2Kristin is wearing: Tiffany Bean Frances Dress, her own milky quartz stud earrings, her own leather-sleeve black blazer, Ann Taylor rose quartz pyramid necklace, Kendra Scott Rayne Long Necklace in Black, her own rings, Steve Madden Ruffle Bag, V. FRAAS Taupe Polka Dot Scarf, her own beige patent pumps. 

1piece3girls_kristin31piece3girls_carly1Finally it’s my turn. For me, I decided to go with a vintage eclectic look, utilizing a thrifted vintage belt and a chiffon overlay for a softer feel. By belting the top it gives it a little more coverage and dresses it up for an evening out, or for a barbecue with friends from work.

1piece3girls_carly2Carly is wearing: Tiffany Bean Frances Dress, urban sweetpea Double Initial Necklace (c/o Max & Chloe), Feather-print Chiffon Top (Japan), vintage shell-detail belt, H&M rings, Wildfox bone ring (from HauteLook), gold crown rings (Japan), R&E Gold Square-Heel pumps (Japan), Lilly Pulitzer Spring Fling Clutch. 1piece3girls_carly3(I also brought macarons from Pearl Bakery to nosh on while we shot photos – they were enormous and oh-so-tasty:-)


And as an added bonus, Tiffany is offering the Frances dress featured above for an exclusive STEAL – at an amazing 30% off for my readers!

Purchase the Tiffany Bean Frances Dress for $99 (marked down from $140)

(Enter code CHICSTEALS at checkout in the Mabel & Zora online shop to take advantage of this offer – expires 6/21/13.)

1piece3girls_brookeandkristin21piece3girls_shoppingPlus, right now Mabel & Zora is having an enormous Memorial Day Sale in-store, with sale pieces marked down from 30-75% off (including Yosi Samra ballet flats, pieces from the Tiffany Bean Spring Line, Ms. Wood) 1piece3girls_mabelandzorainside3If you are local to Portland, definitely drop by the shop today take advantage!

Thank you so much to Tiffany and the Mabel & Zora team for their hospitality, and to Brooke and Kristin for being my willing models!;-)

0.1piece3girls_tiffanybeanintroLet me know what you think – whose look do you like the best? And how would YOU style the Frances dress?


P.S. If any of my readers are local to Portland, OR, and between the ages of 25-40, I’d love to feature you in the “One Piece, Three Girls” series. Drop me a line and let’s collaborate!

High-Fashion DIY’s: Quick, Quick!

So Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week Fall 2011/12 has commenced and the shows are now well underway…and I’m following the coverage as it breaks.  I’m a little sorry I can’t make it out there this time around, but there’s so much going on here I just can’t tear myself away.  For now, following from a distance will just have to do…and I’m beginning to formulate some ideas for DIY’s straight off the runways for the upcoming Fall season.

However, as Spring is just around the corner here are some luxury-label pieces that have caught my eye…and that you could totally D.I.Y. Here’s the five-second rundown:

Marc Jacobs Tape Sweater

Quick How-To: Attach pieces of white sweatshirt fabric onto the front and back of a loose-knit beige sweater.  Use black Duck Tape to disguise the edges of the sweatshirt pieces (and tape another piece on the inside so it won’t stick to your skin through the loose-knit).  Never wash this sweater again!

Miu Miu Tiered Lace Dress

Quick How-To: Take any mini sleeveless LBD sheath and stitch tiers of lace trim around it.  (I believe this type of lace is called “Venise/Venice Lace” or “Guipure Lace.”)   Sure, it’s fiddly, but it will get you exactly the same look for a whole lot less!

Coach Tangle Ball-Chain Framed Small Bag

Quick How-To: Use a small clutch purse frame that has holes in it for sewing onto your bag, and attach different types of ball chain, colored chains, oxidized chains, and rhinestone chains to the holes as you sew the bag body onto it.  Alternatively, just use a clutch purse that has the style of frame you like, and attach the chains near the frame using jump rings or threading jewelry wire into the purse body to hold them on.

Haus of Price Jackson Shell Stillettos

Quick How-To: Pick a pair of neutral pumps and add a thick layer of hot glue [gluesticks for general purpose, or for fabric/vinyl crafts if you can find it], pressing tiny shells like these and these into it before it dries.  Do a single small area at a time since the hot glue dries super-fast!  (Yes, this is one of the few times I will actually advocate using hot-glue in a wearable DIY!  Also allowed in hair accessories and brooches.;-)

Coco & Breezy Spiky Studs Sunglasses

Quick How-To: Attach stick-on pyramid nailhead trim around a pair of old-school visor-style sunglasses.  Poke holes with an awl into the sides and add cone spikes through the holes.

Alexander Wang Plastic Necklace

Quick How-To: Two pieces of Crystal Clear shrink plastic, colored with a thin coat of green acrylic paint, cut into a collar-shape and attached with jump rings and chains.  Easy-peasy!

Christian Dior Haute Couture Flocked Dress

Quick How-To: Take a vintage, long-sleeved dress (that’s already stiff) and add colored Craft Flock Fibers to one side of it to get this lovely textural feel.  Trial and error is the name of the game!

See any brand-name items that you’re wondering how to DIY?  Hit me up at carlyjcais at chic-steals dot com and lmk!  I’ll include them in the next round of High-Fashion DIY’s!



photo credits:,,,, thefashionspot, wireimage.
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DIY: Men’s Shirt to Bow Tunic Dress

Once I saw this bow tunic dress in Vivi Magazine, it was all over.  I’m such a sucker for bows and anything really girly – especially when it’s multifunctional!  This sweet little piece you can wear with the bows running down your back or down your front depending on your mood.  Fashioned from an oversized man’s long-sleeved shirt, with a couple fixes it becomes a cute A-line batwing tunic dress – paired with pretty tights if you like your dresses super-short, or perfect over a miniskirt or leggings.

You Need: (more…)

DIY Forever 21 Dress? Question

HI! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! You are so amazing! I just discovered it a couple of weeks ago and passed it on to all my best friends. Do you think you could do a DIY on this dress?
Hi there and thanks for your question!
Could you post the full URL in the comments to this post? Unfortunately formspring cut it off and I’m not sure which dress you’re referring to…
P.S. And thanks so much for passing on my blog to your friends, too! That was so sweet of you 🙂 Question: How to DIY a Tiered Floral Dress

hey carly! any advice on how to diy this dress?  Thanks!

Hi there!
I’m having a lot of trouble seeing the dress up close from the photo. It looks like a simple tube dress – but could it be constructed from multiple tiers of fabric? If you are wanting to create those tiers (i.e., likely a single piece of fabric with horizontal pleats) this is an extremely time-consuming piece. You could do this one of three ways:

1) [USING A BASE DRESS] Take a similar, well-fitting, cheap woven tube dress, like something from Forever 21, (like this plaid dress, above) and use it as the basis for your pattern. Rub off the shape for the front piece and the shape for the back piece onto a piece of paper. Then cut your paper horizontally in to 1″ increments. Add 1″ in-between, taping in more paper. Add the proper shape of the seam allowance to the edges to allow for the under/overlap of the pleats. Do the same for front and back pieces. Trace onto floral fabric, marking the bottom of each of your original 1″ cuts. Then pleat at those marks, pressing with an iron to set the pleats. Sew fabric pieces onto your Forever 21 dress.

2) [FROM SCRATCH] Alter a store-bought pattern in the same way as above to the outer pieces, cutting horizontally, adding paper, fixing the seam allowances, tracing onto your outer fabric, cutting, pleating, and pressing. You would make the inner (if there is one) exactly as in the pattern, and join the outer to the inner.

3) [NO PLEATING] Or, alternatively to not use a single piece of fabric, you could take a piece of that floral print, and cut it into 3″ horizontal strips (you’d need at least 28 strips, judging by the photo, and you’d have to adjust accordingly to how long you want your dress). Then you’d have to fold each strip in half vertically, and press that crease flat. Then you’d have to sew each piece onto your cheap Forever 21 base dress, starting at the bottom, going all the way around, and overlapping the strips vertically by 1/2″. Where they meet in the center back you’d have to leave about 1/2″ unsewn to either side of CB, trim and fold the sides of your strips under themselves, and then topstitch to the CB, and to either side of the zipper once you get to that point.

However you do it, you’re looking at hours of tedious precision work. The best fit will be accomplished by option 3).

If you just want a floral tube dress and don’t care about the tiers, you can just cut up a similar store-bought floral dress and anchor the top with elastic to keep it up. Or you could make one from scratch with a store-bought pattern.

Hope that helps!

Ask me anything

cutting mat img from; Neumode 23259 pattern from; img from user Chiara F.