I thought it would be fun to do something a little different with some of these outfit posts, and bring in some fresh blood! Maybe see things from another perspective, see what it's like to get dressed collaboratively (?), compare notes a bit, maybe enjoy how differently or similarly we all style a related item. Like a little duet! Yeah?

And so, my dearest Ratties (ew, no), allow me to introduce unto you Cassaundra, of The Blue Closet. Together we're each tackling a one-piece, which makes this a two-for-one, two one-piece outfits, outfit post. By that I mean, overalls and kaftans! Here we go!

I've always loved my overalls. (See here and here and here.) I wore them in the third grade with slap bracelets (back when that was cool), and I wore them in the eleventh grade with a mouth full of braces (back when back when that was definitely not cool). But the past few years have been just the loveliest for me as all these stylish ladies have embraced the church of overalls with me, so I no longer feel (quite as) silly. Praise be to the overall gods!

Cassaundra is a lover of kaftans. (See here and here and here.) (She has a killer style section on her blog, too.) She's the Commander in Chief of a tiny army of surfers and beach bums, so she's got that whole "Relaxed Earth Mother" vibe down pat. She makes kaftans look as natural and easy as the freckles on your nose, I'm so taken by her laid-back, eclectic style. So we decided to swap our one-piece favorites for a bit. What a great excuse to expand our one-piece repertoires, as well as our souls. You know, grow as human beings or whatever.

Cassaundra first!

At the age of four my fashion memories begin. That is when I got acid-washed, tapered jeans with fourteen pockets. Fourteen pockets. Can you imagine my bliss? This is when I knew. I knew the act of getting dressed would make me happy for the rest of my life... because I had fourteen acid-washed pockets and what could make you happier than that? Nothing. 

These kids of mine (Myes, 8; Ruby, 6; Ello, 4), they got the bug too. The Blue Closet is a place to find our style--my style, my kids' style--as well as real down to earth beauty tips with bits of my life sprinkled throughout.

Our family is a wild one; always moving, always going, always creating. We live in beautiful Southern California right next to the beach. We spend lots of time there as a family because that is the place my kids feel the most peaceful. We are run by boys and their hobbies: surfing, skateboarding, and camping. This year we traveled across the world to Fiji so the family could surf some of the best waves in the world, and it changed our lives. Now we can't go a day without talking about where our next surf trip will be. 

When Natalie and I decided to exchange some fashion inspiration I knew right away it had to be overalls, because who wears overalls better than Natalie? Nobody. [Editor's note: awww!] So I found this pair at H&M and paired it with my go-to shirt from Madewell. It was a match made in heaven. They're now a staple for farmer's markets, teaching art in the classroom, and lazy Sunday afternoons at the beach. If I am not in a kaftan or some kind of muumuu, you'll find me in my overalls. Thank you, Natalie, for helping me embrace the overalls, all over again.


Cassaundra is clearly a natural.

And now, my attempt at a kaftan. Starting ...NOW!

Before this collaboration, kaftans, to me, felt like something only luxurious ladies wore while waltzing about in their enormous houses being all fabulous and things. My typical at-home wear is much more humble; a slouchy white tee and maybe a pair of black leggings if it's cold, but surely we all deserve to wear something a little more regal? 

I can't really explain this next part without sounding like a bit of a whack job, but when my kaftan came in the mail and I slipped it out of its packaging, I had this combination memory/dream flash before my eyes, of my mother in the kitchen in her threadbare white floral night dress when I was about seven years old. I remember the light outside the window--that magical deep purple blue with just a few stars hanging on--it must have been early early morning--and watching her reach for the medicine cabinet to find me something to help me get back to sleep. (I had a sore throat and was already angling for my get-out-of-school-free card.) The dim orange light above the oven was the only light on in the house. It created hundreds of shadows, and a beautiful halo effect around my mother. Through my sleep-soaked eyes and scratchy throat I remember thinking that she must be the most heavenly creature in the world; an early morning angel in flowing fabrics, administering love and care to us smaller beings whom she'd sworn to protect. I hadn't thought of it in a long time, but I remember feeling so safe that night, and thinking that this must have been the whole point of motherhood; those intimate moments at home together in the dark of the night, quietly bringing the heavens to the earth by caring for each other. I thought of that memory as I held this silly kaftan, while simultaneously picturing that memory as Huck's memory, sometime in the future, of an early, early morning yet to come, when he needed comfort and I was there, of watching that orange light filter throughout the room from the oven behind me as I set about the task of providing care, gentle and quiet and calm. And not to be ridiculous or anything, but the thought gave me so much pleasure that the kaftan immediately became my life-long favorite, and I hadn't even tried it on yet. 

So, was this fun? It was for me! I'm such a fan of Cassaundra and her blog and her overall approach to life (har har, overall approach), and it's been such a pleasure to introduce you all, and maybe make a little blog match in the process ;). Thank you Cassaundra! 

On Cassaundra: H&M overalls, Madewell shirt 
On me: Kaftan c/o Far & Wide Collective 

Oh, and a side note: it's quite a bit sheer, my kaftan. We have a pretty open policy about our bodies at our house, we purposefully try to normalize all our body parts as much as we feel is appropriate for Huck's age, so it's not something we're concerned about, but in case you were concerned (which I completely understand and respect), I do appreciate it, but we're still okay with it. :)


  1. What a cute idea! I loved your thoughts and memories on motherhood, so sweet I think I got a cavity! ;)

  2. So, to style it to wear out in public...a tank/tee on top and what??? on the bottom? It's really cute, would shorts or jeans look weird underneath? Maybe leggings? Another skirt like maybe a mini? Ideas please. :)

    1. I think outside it'd be beach/cover up and vacation wear exclusively. maybe I haven't found the right one yet, but I don't think I'd do an outdoor kaftan... but never say never, right?

    2. actually I take it back. over a tatty pair of daisy dukes and a tank! clunky clogs. maybe I'll have to try this!

  3. I'm pretty sure I've had a similar memory. What is it about mothers and their threadbare lounge wear? So cozy, always.

  4. Yeah! I love finding bloggers with a similar aesthetic, so keep it coming with these collabs! And your writing is dreamy, as always.

  5. I think this would work so well with a short slip underneath (maybe even in black?) for out in public--especially when it's so hot in the summer that you don't want anything to touch you. (Also, is it weird that I appreciate y'all trying to normalize bodies for Huck? I just think it could do some good for the world if we shifted a few little mindsets.)

  6. I love the kaftan. Love it. So much. I'm trying this new thing where I create the lifestyle I want and part of that is looking my best at home, even if it is in loungewear (i.e. nice PJs, cool leggings, whatever). I think I need to invest in a kaftan...

    The What's In Between

  7. Wait. Hold on, is that your bedroom????

  8. What a lovely post! The kaftan was part of a collaboration between my company, House of Wandering Silk, and the Far & Wide Collective and I'm so pleased you like it. The memories you described it as evoking make me want to give my mum a call!

  9. What a lovely blog post idea!

    Both of y'all look great.

  10. As a new jewelry designer who turn its love for jewelry for something more I know how hard it can be to be noticed or just appreciated.

    charm bracelet

  11. Lovin your disclaimer! I'm very open about my body at home and I often wonder how we will raise my son when he is of age to recogniZe body parts. I love that you try to keep it real and normalize each part of the body. U have such a lovely spirit Natalie!

  12. Oh gosh thank you for your disclaimer, we've always taken that approach in our apartment (my son is two), and my family was just one of those hippie families who's rule was "no naked kids - in the front yard". That's taking it further than I plan to (especially because I don't live in the country anymore), but lately I got a weird comment from someone I respect and started to feel ashamed. But our bodies are great and normal and there are some places where we wear clothes, and other places where we can relax a bit, and I just think I'll follow his lead for now. I mean he is a tiny little human, he isn't even quite clear what comes out where! <3

  13. that piece about your diaphanous mother might be my most favorite thing you've ever written. you've got a way with words, natalie. it's a delight to read your tales of motherhood. xox


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