Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bright pleats

Activity: Meeting for worship

Blazer: Ann Taylor (similar - on sale!)
Dress: Banana Republic, thrifted (similar)
Shoes: BCBG "Parade", via ebay (exact style in current colors, similar color)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Watch: Apple, gift (exact - on sale right now!)
Earrings: Renegade Craft Fair, Chicago (similar)

After a few neutral posts, here's a bright one!  We had a week or more of gray weather here in San Francisco, so it was time to pull out the bright dress.  It's amazing how color can cheer you up!  (It also doesn't hurt when said dress is as comfortable as a nightgown, but looks better...)

Here are some similar options, if you like this look:  
(If you like anything, act fast, as many things are only available in limited sizes now due to the change of season sales, I had to search to find these items!)





Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer simple

Activity: Meeting for worship

Top: Merona, thrifted (similar)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Mossimo, thrifted (similar, similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Necklace: sterling silver collar, thrifted (similar) chunky beaded necklace (I made it) (similar)
Bracelet: gift (similar)
Watch: Apple, gift (exact)
Lip: ColourPop ultra matte lip, Mars (exact)

I was recently looking over some of my old blog posts, and I'm amazed how much less color I'm using lately.  But, somehow it just seems right.  In any case, I've always liked the idea of basic summer items (like a simple crewneck top and eyelet skirt) in neutrals.  It's such a classic look that never looks dated.  Adding the bright lip added just enough interest to this neutral look.

Don't worry, though, I haven't gotten rid of all my bright clothing, it's just waiting for the right day...  Maybe tomorrow!

How do you feel about color these days?  All neutral or all color, or some of each?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

My friend said I should blog this outfit... ;)


Occasion (worn as shown in first photo): Volunteer ministry work (involving walking, hence the flats and cross-body bag)

Dress: via eBay (similar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar)
Belt: Gap (similar)
Sandals: Tod's, thrifted (similar)
Flats: Crown Vintage via DSW (similar)
Basket bag: thrifted (similar)
Crossbody bag: Linea Pelle, thrifted (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors via ebay (similar)
Earrings: Ann Taylor (exact in red, similar in black)
Lipstick: NYX soft matte lip cream in Milan (exact)

Some of my California friends have recently discovered that I have a blog via my blog Instagram account (@joannasdesign - I haven't figured out how to link it directly from my blog home page yet...).  I find this slightly embarrassing, because I always feel a little vain taking and posting photos of myself, something I have always avoided in my personal social media accounts - and, being honest, since I'm way older than social media, something I've avoided since well, forever.  I just never took pictures of myself, or at least, very rarely.  I was famous for complaining about people who always had to stand in front of the famous tourist attractions and take a photo.  To me, the photo should be about the attraction, not about me.  My artistic integrity was offended.  (Yes, I was super fun to be around in my late teens). 

I once went on a 3000 mile road trip with 3 other girls across at least 5 states, and I was the main photographer.  We passed through all kinds of picturesque sights, things that none of us had ever seen before, and in some cases, haven't seen again. We took enough pictures that it took $60 each to develop and print each person's set of photos (yes, again, I am older than dinosaurs).  I suppose it was about 6 rolls of film? maybe more? I only remember the amount we paid, not the number of rolls we developed - but guess how many pictures had people in them? Maybe 10.  Out of like 200 prints.  I'm pretty sure my friends were a little miffed that they paid all that money for prints of mostly scenery (not that I forced them too, they wanted them - remember this was back in the day when you couldn't see your photos until they were printed, so they had no idea what pictures I had taken).  But not me.  I was thrilled that I had so many scenic shots, shots not ruined by people standing in front of them.  

More than twenty years later, the pictures from that trip that I enjoy looking at most are primarily those few shots with people in them.  Live and learn, right? (I am also much more fun to be around now, I promise you.)  Although I don't think a world of only selfies is a good one, it's all about the balance.

So a reeeeeally long story later, here's the point.  My friend has discovered my blog, and this morning told me I should blog the outfit I was wearing.  (I love you, Evy!) I had considered it, but since I blogged a similar outfit using this dress in the past (here), I was going to skip it this time.  But, although I don't blog every outfit I wear in life here (mostly because I just don't get a chance to take photos), I do like the idea of being more true to life with OOTD-type photos, versus planned outfits taken only for blog photos, which so many fashion blogs seem to be becoming.  They are still beautiful (far more so than my blog will ever be), but really seem fake to me.  It's also really not useful to me in my daily struggle to get dressed, which was the initial reason I even started reading fashion blogs in the first place.  So, if you like this outfit post, thank my friend Evy.  

By the way, since most of you probably don't live in a place where you need a coat layer in August, I added the additional photos of the dress unlayered, with sandals, as would be appropriate for the season.  I was also thinking that the differences in these outfits show 2 possibilities: 1) how to transition this dress to fall, and 2) how versatile a dress like this can be when traveling.  Change out the flats and cross-body bag after sightseeing all day and you're ready for an evening out!

Out of curiosity, why do you read fashion blogs?  I'd love to hear!

Here are some similar outfit options for you:






Sunday, August 6, 2017

Combining old and new

Activity: Worn all day for errands, swim lesson dropoff, working at home (in fact, this was taken after all of that, hence the shirt wrinkles... #reallife)

Top: Forever 21 (similar)
Jeans: LOFT, DIY cropped and frayed hem (similar in sizes 1-12, similar in sizes above 12)
Sandals: Dolce Vita, thrifted (similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Earrings: ebay (similar)
Watch: Apple, gift (exact)

This isn't the type of outfit I usually feel is "worthy" of photographing, but then I decided it was a good representation of a real life outfit that was comfortable and versatile, but also one where I tried (at least a little).  You know what I mean, right?  It's so easy to save tops like this for a somewhat special occasion - going to lunch, a summer day in the city, a weekend away - but then cute, on-trend items like this only get worn once or twice before their time in the sun has passed.  

So, I decided to try wearing this top on a "regular" summer weekday, where I had to grocery shop, take my kid to swimming lessons, run errands, do my regular crapload of dishes and cook 3 meals.  My only complaint?  I don't have a strapless bra that I can wear for more than a couple of hours, so having to check and pull my bra straps back under the elastic of the shoulder was annoying, to say the least. But, it wasn't as bad as I expected, and I'm happy to start using the "good china", fashion wise (see this blogger's post on why you should just wear your "nice" clothes daily instead of saving them for a special occasion.  Since most of my clothes, especially tops, cost under $30 (heck, most of them are under $10, since they almost all come from Goodwill), it's silly for me to save them for some opportunity which may never materialize.  Plus, in reality, most of my clothes are purged from my closet, not for wear, but because I've moved on, style-wise.  I hardly ever wear out my clothes- and I'll bet you don't either!  (None of us are 6-year-old boys, who somehow manage to rip every single pair of pants almost instantaneously.)  So why am I guarding these thrifted items as if it'll be the end of the world if they get stained or worn out?  If I don't wear them out, they're just going to get donated in a while anyway.  I still have to remind myself of this regularly, as I get usually get home and instantly change into my "house clothes" so I don't ruin my "good clothes", but I'm trying!

Here are some more options you can try, as you wear the "good stuff":






Friday, August 4, 2017

Trying a kimono robe layer...

Activity: Meeting for worship

Kimono: Josie by Natori via ebay (similar)
Tank: Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Merona, thrifted (similar)
Bracelet: gift (similar)
Earrings: similar sterling silver hoops
Bag: Ann Taylor, thrifted (similar)

Hair: On its own cycle of craziness - I tried to rein it in and failed...

Here's my shameful secret: I got this robe to use as a robe.  But, with the long kimono sleeves (which I didn't realize it possessed, based on the limited listing photos), it's pretty impractical, at least for someone like me who drags even small robe sleeves in the gas stovetop flame while making eggs in the morning. Flaming sleeves, regardless how cute, really don't appeal to me, so I thought I might be brave enough to try to wear it as a summer layer.  It seems like the "robe layer" styles being worn now are primary florals, and mostly longer, but this seemed to have potential, since it does have some flowers, and seeing as how at my height, I will probably never wear a long robe length layer.  Shorter length would have to do.

It took a while to get up the nerve.  I had initially seen myself wearing it with jeans and sandals, as a fun, casual going-out outfit, but well, I don't go out that much, and it just sat in the closet.  (Large sleeves aren't really practical playing at the park with a six year old, nor partaking in most other small-child- friendly activities.)  So, one Sunday, I decided to see if I could make it appropriate for a dressier, decidedly non-sexy occasion.  

As I attempted this outfit (which I still haven't yet decided is a pass or fail - it's definitely not my favorite outfit ever), I learned several things.  First, with a layer this bold, everything else has to be really simple.  So I went with really minimalist, simple silver jewelry and a sleek satchel bag.  And kept the skirt and top just basic black and white and more fitted to offset the crazy large robe and sleeves.  I thought of wearing my emerald green skirt, but it was just too much color, at least for that occasion.  I also stayed away from stiletto heels, as possibly adding too much sensuality for the occasion.  I thought these wedges toned that element down (plus they're so much more comfortable than stilettos!).  When you are literally wearing a bedtime item for a dressy, daytime event, you don't want anything else in your outfit to reflect the bedroom.

So there you have it.  My big, bold (ha - only for me!) foray into the fashion world of trying a robe as a top layer.  

I'd love to see if you've tried it!  Leave a photo or blog post link below!

Here are some similar outfit items you can try for summer:

And here are a few interesting options for fall:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Put a sash on it....

Blazer: Gap via ebay (similar)
Tee: H&M (similar)
Sash: Refashioned by me using two thrifted men's neckties (one sash option - there isn't anything similar unless you refashion your own...)
Skirt: Merona, thrifted (similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Franco Sarto via DSW (similar)
Watch: MVMT (exact in current band color)
Earrings: craft fair in Chicago (similar)

This is a good example of one of my favorite types of outfits - it's not really on trend, but since every component is pretty much a classic item, it can't really ever be called out-of-date either.  So many of my outfits recently have involved a recently purchased thrifted item, and it can be fun having that "new item feeling", it's obviously not sustainable, nor would I want it to be.  This was an example of shopping my own closet, remembering this sash I made several years ago, and figuring out which proportions worked well with it.  If I remember right (I created this outfit several weeks ago, but wasn't able to photograph it, so I took a photo when I happily rewore the outfit last week), it took a couple of blazers to get the look right, and I think I had a belt with this skirt before I remembered the sash.  It's an outfit I would have never gotten to without the last-minute inspiration and substitutions, which is another of my favorite kinds of outfits!  I really admire those individuals who can plan out every detail of their outfit ahead of time, but I tend to be one who finds my most original outfit ideas with an under-the-wire brain fashion flash.

What's your fashion modus operandi? Preplanned greatness or last minute inspiration?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Nineties style

Activity: Volunteer teaching session, errands

Dress: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Top: H&M (similar)
Earrings: Ann Taylor, 40% clearance price this week in store (exact)
Watch: Apple, gift (exact)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Steve Madden via DSW (similar)

I've been planning this outfit for a while.  As soon as I saw this dress at Goodwill, I knew it was destined to be paired, nineties-style, with a white tee.  (Technically I need a crewneck tee with this dress, rather than a scoopneck, but I worked with what I had- here's a better tee for layering with a slip dress, if you want to try the look - size down for a close fit under the dress.)

Consider this a throwback Thursday post, since I wore this last Thursday - this week I've been needing many more layers, so I'm enjoying the look back myself....

Here are some alternative options if you're feeling the slip dress vibe...: