Dabbling With Stylish Fashion

Happy first day of the “Summer of 2023”.

I have a different type of post for you today that I have been wanting to share with you. It is not about home decorating.

I bet you don’t know something about me. Although, if you are a long-time reader you may know. When I first started blogging, my first post was about women’s fashion, not home decor.

My first post an illustrated flat lay of an outfit idea for women.
My first blog post.

At the time I started my blog back in 2009, I was a new empty-nester and had time on my hands. I began dabbling in illustrating the objects around my house and also flat lay outfit ideas. My career background was as a visual merchandiser for department stores.

One of my weekly tasks was to change the mannequins in the store with the new arrival of clothes. I could dress and accessorize them in my own style. I enjoyed it and missed being able to do it when I became a stay at home mom. Back around 2005, I began drawing my outfit ideas on paper.

Tortise-Shell-sunglass-illustration

I had many. Some I framed, others stayed in notebooks. Over time I found I wanted a place to share my colorful illustrations and other creative ideas so I started the blog.

how to hang plates on a wall with paper clips

One of the creative ideas I shared early on was how to hang plates on a wall with paper clips. It went as they say … viral! I was shocked by the response and found that what people and new readers got excited about was budget ideas for around the house. So I posted more of this type of post and my blog took off, leaving my initial idea for the blog to be forgotten.

Fast forward to today. Now that it is summer (today marks the official first day of summer) and I have finished the cable railing project on the front porch, I want to take a break on the “DIY home improvement front” over the summer.

Not to worry though, I am actively working on 3 smaller decor projects and will post them as I get them completed, but no big projects that require trips to Home Depot and Lowes or that require power tools over the summer. :-)

I want to enjoy drawing again as I find the process very relaxing. I don’t strive to be a fine artist, but like to draw realistic objects using colorful markers. I was inspired to do this many years ago when I was a pre-teen and loved the colorful illustrations of the Hallmark artist, Betsey Clark back in the early 1970’s.

2 colorfully illustrated cards of women's fashions. One says Night at the Opera, the other Dinner for Two

As I got older I studied every page of Susan Branch’s books where she illustrated and penned the written sections about cooking and life on Martha’s Vineyard. The fashion stylist, Kim Johnson Gross was also a huge inspiration to me.

Over time I found what I liked to draw the most was women’s fashion. I did a series of fashion illustrations that I made into greeting cards way before blogging was a thing. For each card, I was inspired to draw an outfit worn in movies starring Doris Day and Audrey Hepburn, as well as my vintage Barbie doll dresses from the 1960’s.

The black dress above with the palette sequin trim is what Audrey Hepburn’s character, Regina Lambert wore in the PalaisRoyal scene near the end of the movie Charade with Cary Grant.

The yellow dress with the pearl top, Doris Day’s character, Carole Tempelton wore in the movie, Lover Come Back in the scene where Rock Hudson’s character, Jerry Webster comes to her apartment for dinner, but with another agenda on his mind.

2 colorfully illustrated cards of women's fashions. One says Ladies That Lunch, the other Paris Bound.

The red boucle suit in the Ladies Who Lunch illustration was from a Barbie outfit. The belted leopard coat was another Barbie outfit that one of my friend’s had for their Barbie.

2 colorfully illustrated cards of women's fashions. One says Prom Night, the other Just Browsing.

Same with this Prom Night dress. The pink day dress in Just Browsing is one that Jackie Kennedy wore on a trip to India when she was the first lady.

2 colorfully illustrated cards of women's fashions. One says Invitation to the White House, the other Strolling the Promenade.

The green gown with sparkly top and mink stole was another Jackie Kennedy outfit. The brown and white polka dot dress For Strolling the Promenade was inspired by a dress that Julia Robert’s character, Vivian Ward wore in the polo watching seen in the movie Pretty Woman.

I created these images for print, not for a computer’s resolution, but would like to try to make free printables of them for anyone who would like them.

When I first started drawing these illustrations, fashion flat lays done with a phone app were not invented yet. Now it is a thing and so easy to do with images taken from retailer’s sites.

Last week I got an email from Walmart asking me if I would like to do a post sharing fashion or beauty finds with my readers. At first I thought, no, but then I realized why not. I love fashion and want to be myself on my blog so I took them up on the challenge and searched Walmart.com to come up with a few fun outfits that I would wear this summer.

Out and About with Walmart fashions

Dress | Sunglasses | Bracelet Set | Handbag | Sandals

The fun part of fashion for me is coming up with an event you need an outfit for and then creating a coordinated look all the way down to jewelry to wear. It is just like I did when dressing mannequins, but only virtually.

Morning Pickleball attire from Walmart

Sleeveless Shirts | Visor | White Skort or Flouncy Skort | Sneaker Socks | Pickleball Racquet | Totebag | Tennis Sneakers

When I was in high school and college, tennis was my life. Friends always ask me if I play Pickleball now. I don’t because of my hip, but I sure think the outfits you can wear to play are pretty cute, especially flirty tennis skorts.

Diane in at El Dorado Royale on the Yucatan coast in Mexico

I love tennis and golf skorts that flair out like the one I am wearing in the photo above (hard to tell though in the photo) or that have a flouncy ruffle along the bottom. I think they look so much nicer than a pair of shorts.

what to wear when going out to a Dinner and a movie.

Dress | Denim Jacket | Handbag | Bracelet | Shoes

In the summer I like to wear simple dresses, usually above the knee, but when going to the movies in the summer, a longer dress and jacket are needed because I always find the theaters freezing.

Do you love your clothes, finding deals and items that you love so much, you buy more than one in case one gets stained or damaged? That is the way I feel about tennis skorts. I have quite a few.

What item of clothing do you love and reach for in your closet without thinking or a need to look in a mirror to make sure it looks OK?

I hope you enjoyed this post and seeing a different side of me that you may not have known about. XO.

Here’s to a Stylish Summer!

DIY Posts I Have Illustrated

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47 Comments

  1. I love your picks, especially Out and About with Walmart! One favor: please find clothing in petite or size xs? Thanks for your inspiration!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lu – Thanks. I do enjoy finding stylish finds that are affordable. I will try my best to look for petites. Another reader asked for plus sizes. The nice thing with Walmart – many of their clothing comes in all sizes. All you need to do is put the name of the piece of clothing in the search bar on Walmart and add petite and see if what you like comes in a petite size. Same with plus-sizes. Thanks for reading my posts. :-)

  2. Oh, I love this. Please keep it up! I would love to see the photo and then a drawing of it. Doris Day is my favorite. So many darling outfits.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nanc – Doris Day is my favorite, she brings a smile to my face every time I see a photo of her or hear her voice… and then the clothes…. all dreamy. When I see one I like that she is wearing, I stop the video so I can get a longer and closer look at the details :-)

      I will gather all my illustrations and see if I can get them professionally scanned for the best resolution. If they come out OK, I will start sharing them.

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nanc – I plan on taking my drawings to Staples to see if they can make them web ready. Keeping my fingers crossed. If they can then I will share them.

  3. Happy Birthday to you and your twin!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Nancy. XO

  4. I remembered that you used to dress mannequins, but I do not recall you sharing your drawings Diane. They are exceptional, I’m a huge fan of vintage designs. I’m looking forward to seeing more of them.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cara – I am going to gather all my illustrations and see if I can get them professionally scanned for the best online resolution. If they come out, I will start sharing them.

  5. This post is really interesting, you’re quite talented in the fashion assembly process and the items you picked from Walmart look exponentially more alluring when grouped together the way you have done!

  6. What a fun and inspiring post. I thought of items in my closet to put together. Thanks!

  7. I absolutely love your fashion drawings!! Really cool 💜
    I still love all your decorating posts but am also looking g forward to more fashion posts too!! Congratulations!!!

  8. Can’t say I am not excited to see you do this! I was especially pleased to see that the Walmart site allows you to pick a model your height and size, or download your pix to see how it would look. SO very helpful

  9. Off to buy that black and white striped dress! Love it!

  10. Michele M. says:

    Now this was def something I didn’t know about you, since I am a new reader to your wonderful blog. I loooooove your fashion illustrations!

    You are very multi-talented, and it is always a pleasure visiting you.

    Have a happy and healthy summer.

  11. A whole new (old) side of you! And I do like your outfits for Walmart.

  12. I enjoyed this post from your wonderful illustrations to your Walmart collection. I worked at a Paul Harris store in the mall in my early 20’s, and I remember creating “looks” to sell. Help the customer see the total outfit with shoes and accessories and in the process, it would increase your sales!

  13. A woman of many talents! I enjoyed reading about another creative side of you. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Great post Diane! Love learning about this side of you.
    I too am all about the skort for Summer. And theaters are freezing. And worked in retail (Admin) out of college. And love to travel.

  15. Erin Prohaska says:

    This post was fabulous in many ways! Loved seeing this side of you and your wonderful drawings. Such talent! ❤️

  16. I enjoyed seeing your fashion talents in this post! I always have a look at the clothes you mention and have bought a few of them – the leggings and a Tek Gear turtleneck come to mind. It’s great to see the entire outfits sketched out as you visualize them. Really fun to see this side!

  17. Diane, I love everything about this new post! Thank you for sharing more examples of your many talents. And kudos to WalMart for “finding” you and successfully pitching an idea that makes use of your gifts.

  18. You never fail to amaze me! You’re so talented! It seems we have a lot in common. I use to work as a visual merchandiser at a department store too! It was my favorite job and I got to do a lot of interesting and fun things. But anyway, I’m not as much of a fashionista as you, but I do enjoy drawing out travel wardrobe ideas as a sort of visual packing list. I find it very helpful.

    I tried to “paste” a picture of one of my drawings, to share with you, but alas it wouldn’t work.

  19. I love this post! Thanks, Diane. Your drawings are absolutely wonderful!

  20. You are certainly one very talented lady with a heap of creativity!
    Just wondering what you used to make the Walmart wardrobe outfits please?

  21. Diane… you are amazing! Congrats what a great opportunity🎉I love all the drawings. As an owner of one of the first Barbie dolls, I could not wait to get a new outfit so I could dream over all the little outfit magazines. Your drawings brought back so many memories.
    Excited to see where this opportunity leads you😊

  22. Loved this post. I hope you do more putting together great looks. I hate shopping but this makes it so much easier.

  23. How exciting! Always fun to try new things and you really have a great eye for fashion and design! Enjoy your summer and all it has to offer!

  24. I love this!!! You are so talented! You excel at everything you do! Yes! I would love printables of your fashion illustrations. They are just gorgeous. I also love your outfit selections from Walmart. Walmart has really upped their game in the last few years. While budget friendly, their casual wear rivals some of the slightly more expensive brands. Walmart.com carries very nice name brand items that are also budget friendly. While some of the clothes may not last as long as more expensive brands, if you are like me and love to change up your wardrobe (a lot), it is ok to replace them after one or two seasons.
    So, happy summer solstice! I can’t wait to see what else you have to show us!!

  25. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    You are a woman of many talents.
    Looking forward to these post. Don’t overlook the plus size gals.

    Please continue giving us some home deco and diy.

  26. I really enjoyed this peek at more of your talent. I loved looking at all your stylish ensembles.

  27. Bonnie White says:

    High Five for following your passion.

  28. Jen from Ottawa says:

    Your creative talents know no bounds!!! These drawings are amazing and your outfits are perfection! I would wear any of these!

  29. A+++ Loved the post. Purchased a jean jacket and tiny straw purse! Very refreshing.

  30. Oh my gosh, those drawings were spot on! I used to follow a post called “What I Wore Today” she had watercolor type pictures of her unique outfits. I am sorry I missed to have missed your earlier style blogs. But I do love your current ones, thank you!

  31. Really fun post! I knew immediately that that was Julia Roberts’ dress from Pretty Woman without even reading your note. Your talent knows no bounds! Looking forward to your summer posts.

  32. Oh I just love this post!!! I love your drawings. My major in college was fashion merchandising with a concentration for displays. Back in the day, JC Penney was the store to work for to do displays (in Texas), but I would have had to move to Dallas and I didn’t want to move to Dallas. Somehow I ended up in high-tech!!! My design classes and color theory classes really helped when I started doing web design at a Fortune 500 company.

    I still love fashion (I’m very picky about my clothes) and buy most of my tops from a friend who goes to market every season. But… I now work from home, so my daily wear now consists of yoga pants and a tee. I am always on the search for a cute top that will go with my yoga pants!!

    I can’t wait to see more! Hope you have a great summer.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Edith. XO

  33. I want to play Barbie or paper dolls

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I know, me too with Doreen and Cheryl. XO

  34. Barbara Pilcher says:

    Well, this should be a fun ride. You are full of surprises!

    Whenever I see polka dots, I think of that brown and white Julia Roberts dress!

    Have a wonderful summer, Diane.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – I will never forget that brown dress with the white polka dots. A classic and whenever I see one similar, like you my mind goes right to the scene in the movie where she is wearing it. I have never had a dress like it, but do have a brown scarf with white polka dots. :-)

  35. Love your drawings! So colorful & happy. Fun finding out where you get the ideas for them. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Jeanne – After writing the descriptions of the outfits and the movies, I now want to watch all of them.

      1. I am so happy for you to have this amazing opportunity from Walmart! What a way to up your game and increase your viewership. I notice you wear a great deal of black. With your new figure you can wear any color ( my hair is also white). Loved your selections from Walmart. Congratulations and best wishes on this opportunity.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Nancy – Thanks for the nice comment. I had to smile when you mentioned that I wear a lot of black. I do and have since my college years in NYC where black was a classic staple. Did you ever watch the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere movie, The Runaway Bride? She is from the country and he from NYC. When they get married at a church in the country all his friends are seated on one side of the church – all in black. On the other side are her family and friends in all colors. I laughed out loud when I first saw this scene as I got it. :-). I wear it not because black makes one look thinner, it is more about classic simplicity. I look much better in solid colors – black, blue, pink, chartreuse and white. These are my go-to colors. XO