Places that Inspire my Style

Melissa, Uncategorized

Bloggers, designers, advertisements, and fashion icons are all huge contributors to what people wear. Oftentimes I also happen to find style inspiration in everything from architecture to art to food. But this post in specifically is a love note to the places that have captured my heart, and sparked some sartorial ideas in my head.


New York City is a dream. The amount of doers, thinkers, and movers across the city is beautiful to me. It’s practically a living, breathing mood board, and it captured my heart from the day I set foot there. It has inspired the street style I usually throw on when I’m doing a late-night pizza run or quick jaunt to the store.


Seattle is the mini metropolis that feels like home no matter how big it is. It’s a friendly city that’s bustling with art, food, and music. Being from the west coast, Seattle (and Portland too) have given me a laidback, city-dweller feel to my outfits. I’ll throw on a beanie while wearing heels or use a flannel as a jacket.


The part I’ve been fortunate enough to visit weren’t typical cities like Vancouver and Toronto, but smaller places like Strathmore, Cranbrook, Banff, and Edmonton. Much of it was blanketed white with snow and dotted with black trees. It was essentially a minimalist’s dream come true. Canada taught me how to dress warmly and stylishly while fueling my all-black-everything addiction.


Kauai always knows how to bring out my love affair with boho styles. I love everything from boyfriend jeans with crocheted tops to long, flouncy dresses. It’s hard not to to dress like a boho queen when you’re surrounded by paradise. Everything from the ocean to the deep canyons makes me want to roam and travel for the rest of my life.


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I dream of visiting Iceland and Scandinavian countries like Norway and Denmark. I love minimalism and essentialism in architecture, art, lifestyle, and fashion. This type of lifestyle is wholly encompassed in many parts of these countries, and the landscape itself is whimsical.


back in black (+ white)


Today I’m channeling my inner AC/DC for a blog post inspired by black, white + a little bit of brown. Lately I’ve been about noticing the little things, practicing gratitude for them and allowing them to influence a new approach to my sense style – an approach that has a distinct organic feel.

Items that fall under the umbrella of “the little things”:

  • An old inspiration notebook comprised of magazine cutouts, pictures + quotes
  • Polaroids and vintage cameras
  • Records that bring back the sweetest of childhood memories
  • The anthem of my upbringing posted on a mini greeting card


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anna sophia robb pt. I / teen vogue

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“life is full of beauty. notice it. notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. smell the rain, and feel the wind. live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams” -ashley smith

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polaroids from behind the scenes of our recent shoot with emma gaty photography

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inspired by sseko designs / “brave is always in style.”


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billy joel’s piano man, vintage postcard + anthropologie coffee mug

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“you’re supposed to be changing the world…”

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grandpa’s vintage minolta camera

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collage scraps

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white to black clothing rack

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anna sophia robb pt. II / teen vogue

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the song my dad used to play for me / “you are my sunshine”


How to: Styling the long Blazer


perhaps one of my favorite pieces in my closet, and an oh so chic/badass/elegant way to dress up an outfit and give you that head-turn effect when you walk into a room. and….

thank you again to Emma Gaty Photography for all the images you are seeing here. she is an absolute goddess and a true “girl boss.”


blazer: h&m // necklace: urban outfitters

first off, fit is important. finding the perfect long blazer should feel like finding the perfect running shoe. comfort, structure and size are all important. make sure you can wrap your arms around your body without feeling like the back is going to rip. the shoulders should level up just barely over the edge of the end of your shoulder. it should feel like a puzzle piece when you slip it on, not a moo-moo!


blazer: h&m // necklace: urban outfitters // sunglasses: ashbury eyewear

as for me, I’m paranoid about matching metals. so whatever flavor metal the zipper is (if there is one) I would suggest just a long necklace in that parallel metal. nothing too gaudy, but perhaps something with a little statement.


blazer: h&m // necklace: urban outfitters

different material textures are fun to mix with an oversized blazer. I paired mine with leather pants to give it really excellent depth, an edge and an overall visual appeal.


blazer: h&m // necklace: urban outfitters // leather skinnies: citizens of humanity // booties: h&m

I really admire the more masculine styles in fashion. I draw much of my wardrobe inspiration from style instagrammers like Brittenelle and Madison Paige. they combine elegant feminine pieces with a more masculine approach, giving their look unique simplicity.


blazer: h&m // booties: h&m

you can also pair it with a dress. simple. easy. you will never go wrong with a classy long blazer and a dress with some fine jewelry pieces or an oversized clutch.


blazer: h&m // skirt: saks fifth avenue // shirt: gypsy warrior // booties: h&m

conversely, I also handle this piece through a more feminine sense. pairing it with a graphic tee and a skirt makes it a very delightful look that can easily be worn out to lunch, out shopping, or to a night out.

blazer: h&m // skirt: saks fifth avenue // shirt: gypsy warrior // booties: h&m


blazer: h&m // skirt: saks fifth avenue // shirt: gypsy warrior // booties: h&m

this piece is very versitle, and with the right shoes (booties or dainty heels *steve madden has excellent options*) you can go anywhere with your oversized blazer.

Lacy Things to Make you Feel Bomb

Melissa, Uncategorized

It’s officially spring fashion season and it’s time to channel your inner-babe. Lace is one of my go-to pieces for spring because whether it’s a sweet bralette, a comfy sweater or a sundress, lace is a surefire way to feel and look like a bombshell. Furthermore, lace pieces are a subtle way to add a pop of bright color. It’s a fun and classy way to spruce up the hues in your closet without straying from your neutral palette.

My love of black hasn’t wavered, so it works that all my go-to, layerable lace items are in color. These pretty bralettes complement my free people bodysuit to create a sexy, chic look.

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As pictured above, I am forever loyal to the my peach and pink bralettes from Victoria’s Secret. Soft cup bras can be so comfy, especially during the seasons where you literally never want to put one on, in which case I’d say “free the nipple(s), ladies!”

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This peach bralette in particular is perfect for layering with dark dresses. It gives your skin a pretty, sunkissed glow and contrasts beautifully with the dark color of the dress. Don’t feel ashamed in wanting to show off your pretty intimates! You’re a babe, OWN IT.

This lace blouse is another one of my favorites. I found this madewell top at nordstrom rack and it is a dream come true. It’s light enough for spring, a lacy staple for my closet, and the back has a see-through feel so you can show off even more lacy accessories!

This is my last and favorite lacy piece. I took this from my mom’s closet and she graciously let me keep it (THANK YOU!). It gives off a bohemian, ’70s vibe and it’s so fun to throw overtop a dress, some fun bell bottoms, or a pretty bra.

Have fun with your lace and see how you can incorporate it in trendy new ways this spring. Let us know your favorite way of styling it! #vvbeautifulgirls

a state of bloom magazine


Recently, I contributed to A State of Bloom magazine– a blog that has pursued a new endeavor in the world of print. The blog is maintained by a dear friend of mine, Stevie Smith, whom I befriended at a slumber party during a middle school birthday celebration.

I drew inspiration for my piece from my relationship with Stevie, as we have bonded through social media over our love of writing and creating despite the thousands of miles that remain between us.

I see many similarities between these two blogs: community, women empowerment, encouragement and an authentic space for women. Our vision for Velvet + Vinyl is to create connections with our readers / followers through our love of fashion and music. We want to work with you. Check out our contact page above and send us a message – we would love to meet you and learn more about your passions, dreams, favorite things and your primary source of inspiration.

The nature of the conversations that we hope to share with you is the reason why my friendship with Stevie has persisted all these years.

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picture by: stevie smith

When I asked Stevie what inspired her to start a blog, she shared with me that “florescence” is the heartbeat of A State of Bloom.

“Living in a state of bloom doesn’t mean everything must be beautiful all the time, it means that I choose to live artfully through every moment, even the challenges. I find it beautiful that even when life is sterile— challenging, heart-breaking and maybe even falling apart—we still can find ourselves in a state of bloom, of growing, of learning and of discovering who we are. Applying florescence to my life means recognizing how I am blooming, or growing, in every moment.”

The same theme exists among the magazine.

“All the pieces featured in [the magazine] represent the different facets of our lives that make up who we are and how we live. A few of the pieces are more contemplative and a few of them are just fun! But both of these sides represent our lives and the artfulness of living in a state of bloom.”

For those of you who thrive on the “women build women” kind of community that we promote here at V+V, this magazine is a must read. To order your copy of a state of bloom ($5), contact Stevie here.

Hair Chair Chronicles – Color Confessions


to add on to my lovely counterparts point, I want to elaborate on the importance of feeling comfortable with yourself and beautiful. the most attractive thing a woman can wear these days is her confidence, but in a media-clad world with unrealistic expectations on physical appearance and presentation, feeling good doesn’t always come so easy. confidence can sprout from many places, and for me, its…. my hair. let me explain.


hair by kerry sisk at picasso artistic salon and laser spa // jacket: forever 21   

about 5 years ago, I began my journey into crazy colourdum and started experimenting with funky hair color. it started with bleached out white, and has gone as far as purple, blue, grey, red and navy. for me, I feel my best fresh out of the chair because in that moment I am completely in control of how my appearance is, and I never feel stagnant.

I’ve reached a point where I simply don’t care what people think of me anymore. and in that acceptance has come liberation. many people have fears regarding color change, but in my opinion, its a healthy, positive and fun way to mix it up. and, for those that feel they need a little pizazz to really give themselves some “umph” (thats me!) here are a few tips and ideas to consider before, and after the hair chair.


hair by @atl_georgia at tiger tiger salon in portland // dress and necklace: forever 21 

  1. Stop saying “you couldn’t pull it off.” women too often put themselves into a box. they think they “have to wear this,” “do their makeup like that” or “have their hair like this” in order to fit into some imaginary category they’ve placed themeselves into. in my opinion, once you change your hair, you’re pulling it off. you’ll get used to the way it looks, and it will become the new normal. just leap! you’ll feel brave and unstoppable once you do.


    hair by kerry sick at picasso artist salon and laser spa // shirt: h&m, necklace: sloan boutique

  2. avoid box dyes. I can not stress that enough. if you are feeling the need for a little spruce up, just splurge on a nice hair job. they will take care of your hair and ensure it turns out the way you want. removing horrid box dye color will end up costing twice as much as it would have been to do it in the first place, so just treat ya self and take a haircation at the salon!


    hair by kerry sisk at picasso artist salon and laser spa // shirt from h&m

  3. be careful with blonde! I made the mistake of asking my loyal hair dresser of ten years to make me blonde after having (box dyed… yikes) my hair black. he caved to my persistence on becoming blonde THAT day and he bleached it out three times in a row. although i did like the way it came out, my hair feels tired and dry and ultimately, it wasn’t worth the rush (and completely all my fault!). just be patient. it’ll look way better in the end if you are.


    hair by kerry sick at picasso artistic salon and laser spa // shirt: h&m

  4. Don’t be afraid of bright funky colors. sometimes, a little boldness is just what you need. for me, my first funky color helped me reclaim my appearance after a nasty spout of uncomfort in my body. it was kind of a “hey, I can do anything!” moment and it restored a good amount of confidence I had lost. even if its just a piece of your hair, be bold!


    hair by celia brennan at 7 hair studio in long beach // shirt: exit skate shop

  5. don’t listen to anyone that says, “oh you looked so much better natural!” there is nothing wrong with playing with your hair, and nobody needs that kind of negatively in their life! girl, if you need a buzzcut and a bright red tint, you buzz the crap out of your hair and dye it fire-engine red! at the end of the day, you are the one who needs to feel good about yourself.


    hair by @atl_georgia at tiger tiger salon in portland

  6. don’t be afraid to make friends with your stylist. you will find that after you leave a 2 hour appointment full of venting, laughing, good conversation AND a new do, you’ll be ready to take on the world and even more excited for your next time in the chair.


    hair by @atl_georgia at tiger tiger salon in portland // shirt: urban outfitters

  7. and lastly, don’t be afraid (as melissa stated) to Instagram your new hair. although the number of likes shouldn’t dictate how beautiful you are, don’t ever feel ashamed of posting a sweet picture of yourself to just really show you off. once again, it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks. your confidence is the priority!


6 Ways to Stay Confident

Melissa, Uncategorized

I want to continue my babe’s streak on the importance of confidence! Confidence is hard to get and even harder to keep. But here at velvet + vinyl we want to empower ourselves and every other woman. So here are a few things to remember and do when you feel your self-esteem needs some loving. 

1. Give back
Sometimes the best thing you can do to feel good is give back to someone or some cause. Whether you make time to volunteer at a place you care for or plan to send your friends some empowering texts for the week, you’ll feel wonderful after!

2. Find something you feel good in
While looks aren’t everything, sometimes the perfect outfit can give you that boost you need. I enjoy stealing one in a million pieces from my mom’s closet or going on a shopping trip with my loves.

3. Take time for yourself
We live in a world that’s so fast-paced, where it’s “cool” to be overwhelmingly busy. We often forget to take time to relax and work on self-care. Take a day to read your favorite books and drink some tea, or take a half-hour to use a bath bomb and soak in the tub!

4. Bombshell hair
It’s spring (and let’s be honest summer is on its way too!) So it’s important to take care of you and rock those locks. I live for organix hair products and the way they help my hair stay healthy. Not many things help you feel better then when your hair is on point.

5. Selfies and photos
We live in a generation that loves social media and loves taking photos. I think snapping some photos that you love of yourself can be such a good way to fill up with confidence. Doing weekly photo shoots with my babes has helped me feel awesome!

6. Remember that you’re fabulous
Find a motivational, loving mantra you can repeat about yourself each day. Also remember to focus on loving and accepting yourself. It can be frustrating when you’re surrounded with negative ideas and images, but remember all the amazing things that beautiful mind and body of yours can do!

You’ve got this, babe! Tag your lovely photos with #VVbeautifulgirls on instagram!

beauty is in the eye of the photographer


For today’s post, I want to take a short pause from the fashion / styling and music talk to touch on a component of Velvet + Vinyl that is one of the driving forces of our mission.

While this blog focuses heavily on fashion icons, rising rockstars and an array of girlbosses, at the core, this blog is intended to empower women. And this week, I had an epiphany about empowerment.

Once a week, our V+V girl gang gets together for an informal photoshoot. This week, when coordinating photos for my Ode to Coachella post, I got together with Melissa and the photos for this piece exceeded all expectations I initially had.


Among the 100+ photos we took during this shoot, this one is admittedly my favorite. It’s made an appearance on almost all of my social media accounts for one primary reason: it makes me feel beautiful.

In a world that hushes the waves of confidence we experience as women, I think it’s important to honor the moments and images that highlight the things we love about ourselves. So, for today’s blog post, I asked Kristin and Melissa to send me the pictures they feel most beautiful in.

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At V+V, we want to start a conversation that empowers women to feel beautiful and to be proud of that in a humbly unabashed way. For Melissa, Kristin and me, we all are inspired by fashion and our favorite music, and that’s where we draw inspiration that influences our expression of style.

To cultivate this kind of a community, we want to see the photos that make you feel beautiful. Please share your photos with us on Instagram by tagging @velvetnvinyl and using the following hashtag: #VVbeautifulgirls. We can’t wait to see your posts!

V+V spotlight: LENACHKA.


we are so pleased to announce our first lady musician in the V+V spotlight, Lenachka. we will be doing a series of interviews with leading ladies in their respective industries discussing their talent, style, ambitions, plans, hurdles, favorites, least favorites, etc.

we want to ignite the conversation about the caliber of sheer talent among lady musicians in the music industry and give them the attention they deserve. while we love hearing and raving about style, we want to focus on the accomplishments of these women first, and further inspire others from there.

an absolute honor it is to chat with indie/alternative-pop queen Lenachka. based out of los angeles, Lenachka has 105,274 monthly listeners on spotify and released a stellar self titled album. she has filled out our V+V questionnaire and opened us up to her life as a female in the music industry, what style means to her and what is next for her unique sound. we are excited to share this with you!


V+V: Give us your full name, and your profession

L: Lenachka, singer/songwriter, full time receptionist at a hair salon in west los angeles, and a part time uber & lyft driver.


photo by Robert Morley ( // tank: urban outfitters

V+V: what story have you been telling? give us a synopsis of who you are, what you believe in, what you love, your background, anything. how did you get into music? whatever you feel is important.

L: music has been in my life for as long as I could remember, my dad is a musician and my mom grew up in the choir. both humble and have hearts of gold. I thank them for bringing music in my life and for encouraging me and steering me down the right path, still till this day. the people closest to my heart have to be the most important thing to me. I cherish them and would do anything for them.


photo by Robert Morley ( // sweater: american apparel

V+V: tell us a little about your self titled album. any funny moments you had while working on it? what was the hardest song to write? did you ever have any doubt while writing it? what do you think this album says about you?

L: the album to me is more of a time capsule, listening back to it it will forever hold memories to me that are to long and random to share. I am so happy to have released it and gain the fans that I did from it. this was my first release and putting out something that you have poured your soul into for three years will definitely bring doubt to the surface. but I think thats what makes a good artist. you need to be your own critic.


V+V: what does your creative process look like? how do you start working on a new creative endeavor, song, album, piece of art etc.?

L: I don’t really say I have a process per say, I need to be inspired by a thought, an emotion, a story, etc. if thats there I can sit get lost in it for hours. sometimes I come out of it with a great song, sometimes three great songs, and sometimes I may even come out of it with nothing cool enough to share with anyone. but it makes me so happy to be in that place of creating.

V+V: how has your career in music helped shape you image and how you present yourself to others?

that is still something I am working on an trying to figure out. I am sure to a certain degree I will always be working on it and evolving. I started with an image in which I was wearing a lot of dark colors, dark lip colors, minimal eye makeup, light hair, etc. now I find myself being drawn more towards pieces that are comfortable, soft, cozy, timeless. is that my image? maybe? I am not sure I’ll truly ever commit to one trend.


photo by Robert Morley ( // sweater: american apparel

V+V: what food do you eat most when you’re working? why?

L: I try to eat as clean as I can. I love a good salmon salad, soups, and cobb salads ( though I am pretty sure they are terrible for you ). oh and I need my OJ, always. Some vocalist say its bad for your vocal chords, but I have never noticed anything so until the day I see that its affecting my vocal abilities, I will continue with my sick habit.

V+V: any plans to tour? any shows coming up?

L: no plans for tour right now, I have been writing a ton and getting things together to hopefully start for a second release. to go on the road would be nice though!


photo by Robert Morley ( // tank: urban outfitters

V+V: what do you do when you have writers block? or creative block?

L: honestly, I am stubborn and I can easily give up on something if it just isn’t clicking. I noticed sometimes I benefit from walking away from something and coming back to it with a fresh pair of ears days or months later.

V+V: where do you draw inspiration from when you dress yourself? what does what you wear say about you? do you believe style plays a part in shaping your personal brand as an artist?

L: style has so much to do with your brand. we live in a visual society. I am still figuring out the style part. but I love artists styles like Lorde, Sia, some Taylor Swift outfits are pretty darn great too. I don’t hate. if someone dressed me up in her looks, I wouldn’t think twice!


photo by Robert Morley ( // black skinnies: topshop, tee: gap

V+V: what are some obstacles you have had to overcome, and how have you overcome them?

L: I am trying to figure out how to be in a place where I am doing music and only music. supporting myself living in a big city like LA isn’t easy. I am working out the kinks and am hoping to be doing nothing but music in the next year. nothing would make me more happy, but hey the bills got to get paid. am I right? 🙂

V+V is so inspired by Lenachka’s drive, style and talent. she isn’t letting anything stop her as she moves up in the industry, and we are ecstatic to see where she goes from here.

follow her on social media to stay up to date with whats next for her, and follow her on spotify for summer vibes and dreamy tunes. you can ALSO buy her album on iTunes for only $4.99 HERE

Lenachka instagram

Lenachka twitter

Lenachka spotify


instacrush: @happilygrey


It’s no secret that the ladies of V+V have a particular taste for neutrals, and minimal styles. You can only imagine my surprise (and absolute delight) when I stumbled onto mary seng’s instagram:@happilygrey. This instagrammer’s feed is clad with drool-worthy grey tones, stylish neutrals, killer aesthetic and clean design. Its gasp worthy, really. Here are some of our favorite photos from her page.

If you are in need of some in(sta)spiration, check her out at @happilygrey. You can bet on seeing many @happilygrey inspired outfits from me!

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