How To Own It: Branching Out

Hello beautiful, and welcome to How To Own It, where store-bought fashion meets DIY crafts. Each week I’ll be exploring an aesthetic theme, showing you some of the best ways to wear it and how to make it for yourself.

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Header by Rory Midhani


I’m a sucker for fashion that reflects the natural world. Floral print? Yes please. Earth tones? Lay ’em on me. Outer space? You shouldn’t have to ask that. Though now that December is wrapping its cold, bony fingers around what was left of Autumn, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find inspiration by looking out my window. I could keep wearing gray and black and navy blue until March, but that’s just depressing, and I’m already feeling the downward pull of seasonal affective disorder. The internet keeps trying to tell me that I’m supposed to wear a lot of sequins since the holidays are coming up, but who even made that rule?

And then it hit me: the leaves are gone, but bare trees really don’t get enough credit for being beautiful. I mean when was the last time you took a good hard look at a naked tree? Without the leaves, you can really see the intricate patterns in the branches, the way they extend into the sky. Now that’s a look I can get behind. Let’s figure out how to find clothes and accessories that are inspired by winter trees, and then I’m going to teach you how to make something fancy out of a twig. Yes, you read that correctly. Literally a twig.

via xjill_97 on weheartit

Patterns in the Branches

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who thinks winter trees would look awesome on clothes. I found all sorts of attire covered in bare branches and I’m officially in love with all of it. Some of it is a little gloomy, but I bet your cute face would be enough to brighten it up. Or, you know, you could wear some bright colors or shiny fabrics with your new branch-wear. Check it out:

Woodland Jewelry

via glamkills on weheartit

This look is much easier to find in jewelry, though, because as it turns out, tiny gold and silver branches look amazing on chains and wrapped around fingers and wrists. There are a lot of really gorgeous hand made things on Etsy that I highly recommend looking at. This might not surprise some of you but nice jewelry is really expensive sometimes, so I rounded up some reasonably priced versions of this look:

DIY Collar Twig Pin

There was an amazing DIY tutorial a while back on a pair & a spare about how to make a twig bracelet by simply spray painting a twig gold and glueing it into a circle, and it got me thinking. I don’t regularly wear bracelets, and I especially don’t wear them in the winter when my wrists are covered up anyway. But I do wear a lot of collared shirts, and I’m newly obsessed with all the variations of collar accessories that are happening. Some of my favorite collar accessories involve taking something super functional and wearing it just for the look, like collar pins. Collar pins are supposed to be worn underneath a tie in order to lift the tie knot, but I love the way they look worn without a tie. So I decided to make one out a twig! That’s a logical jump, right?

You will need:

A straight-ish twig, 2.5″ long, the knobbier the better
Gold or silver acrylic paint
Two 3/4″ pin backs (I found mine in a pack of 8 at the crafts store for $.99)
Krazy Glue

1. Find the perfect twig. It was unfortunately raining when I decided to do this, so I grabbed what looked like a good assortment and ran back inside like a crazy person. Then I let them dry, trimmed them down and measured them out, and spent probably way too long decided which was The One.

2. Paint your twig the color of your choice. I opted for silver because it felt snazzy and matched my pin backs. You might have to do a few coats, but make sure the paint doesn’t get clumpy, and that the natural details of the twig can still be seen. While I did this, there were plumbers in my house because we have a horrendous shower leak, but luckily they acted like it was totally normal that I was meticulously painting a tiny twig silver.

3. When the paint is completely dry, glue a pin back to each end. Make sure the pin backs are as concealed as possible by the twig.

krazy glue is amazing

4. To wear your new collar pin, you should fasten it about a quarter of the way up your collar, and make sure you attach it in the same place on both sides (unlike what I did, oops!). Now go have fun being fancy!

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Gabrielle Korn

Gabrielle Korn is a writer living in Los Angeles with her wife and dog.

Gabrielle has written 95 articles for us.


  1. I literally just read about a company that makes jewelry like this and was busy being upset about how expensive it is, Autostraddle HOW are you so far into my brain.

  2. I’m a little bit in love with this column. Super gorgeous and inspiring.
    It’s a pity you have the opposite seasons to us Aussies. Oh wait, it’s fine, it’ll probably take me six months I get my act together.

  3. So the main reason why I click on these “How to Own It” posts is to see pictures of Gabrielle in her latest creation. Because adorable.

  4. I have some silver leaf left over from another craft project and I’ve been waiting for something to do with it. I think this would be perfect!

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