Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ballet feels

I photographed the outfit with the scarf, as I wore it, but also without the scarf, as I kind of preferred when I put the outfit together.  Looking at the pictures, I think the scarf was perhaps the better outfit, though I do love a really minimal outfit....

Activity: Meeting for worship

Coat: Linda Allard Ellen Tracy, thrifted (similar)
Top: Gap (similar)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Earrings: white topaz rose gold studs (similar)
Scarf: H&M (similar)
Shoes: BCBGeneration via DSW recently - the Ellah pump (exact - currently in taupe only, similar in black, similar, also in black)
Bag: Ann Taylor, thrifted (similar)

I have this theory that some of the best outfits come together at the last minute (of course, sometimes for every outfit that does come together, there are 5 that didn't, sometimes left all over the bedroom, other times the outfit still doesn't come together and you still have 5 outfits to clean up after).  This particular outfit wasn't planned, and was very rushed, but amazingly was created on the first try!  Outfit kismet.  It does happen once in a while. 

I think my favorite part is the ballerina feel of the ankle tie heels with the pink skirt.  Brings me back to my age 4 ballet days - someday I'll scan and post a picture.  Until then, I'll have this outfit to give me that graceful feeling.

What's your theory on putting outfits together?  Are you an advance planner or last minute creator? 


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Winter minimal with a 90's throwback

Coat: Linda Allard Ellen Tracy, thrifted (similar)
Top: Gap (similar)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Tights: A New Day, Target (exact) (MINI REVIEW: This is my first pair of this brand of tights from Target.  I previously loved their Merona tights which have been discontinued.  These are the same price at $8 per pair, and they are actually even better: more opaque and a nice deep black.  I'm using the "super opaque" "80d" pair, there is a less opaque "50d" and an even more opaque version "120d".)
Shoes: Crown Vintage via DSW (similar - on sale!)
Bag: Ann Taylor, thrifted (similar)
Earrings: Kohl's, old (similar)

Those of you old enough to remember the 90s as a relatively grown-up person will remember this type of blazer/coat.  I had several in this style, although none this long.  I was quite thrilled to find this gorgeous coat (with a matching skirt, which I was silly enough to think it was somehow a cape to wear atop the coat, because it was draped on the outside of the coat on the hanger at the store), for several reasons.  First, it is my all-time favorite color, taupe (ok, my favorite neutral, if you're being particular) and second, because it has such a classic, simple, minimalist style. I can even add a bonus third reason, the style hearkens back to my 90's fashion days. 

This unstructured coat/long blazer (doesn't that make you think of the 2001 Cake song "Short skirt/Long jacket"? another reference that shows my age...) fits a particular hole in my closet, which I wouldn't have wanted living in a cooler climate, but does make a practical layer in my current moderate climate.  I had my eye on a gorgeous minimalist coat from Gap (this one, in gray, though the camel is pretty sweet, too) that was also in unlined wool, but I liked the price tag on this one much better, not to mention I almost always buy items in this color whenever I happen to come across them. It's so versatile! It looks great with literally every. single. color.  I've never had a taupe item I haven't worn out from wearing it so much.  Try it!  It does have to be the right taupe, though.  For me, that's a mushroomy, grayish taupe - "greige" was a color name for a while that kind of described this, though it's a hideous word.  It's not khaki, tan or light brown.  You'll know it when you see it, that's all I can say!

Here are some similar layering pieces, if you're also looking to fill that particular hole in your closet:

And here are some taupe items, in case you'd like to test its versatility:

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lilac in winter

Activity: Meeting for worship

Trench coat: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Scarf: thrifted (similar)
Top: Ann Taylor (similar)
Skirt: J. Crew (exact)
Hosiery: (exact)
Shoes: BCBG via DSW (exact)
Bag: Ann Taylor, thrifted (similar)
Earrings: vacation in Spain (similar)

I was so happy when I thrifted this trench coat last year.  I had been looking for a non-structured outer layer to change up my wardrobe, but the gorgeous gray-lilac color was a total bonus.  I wore it several times last year (blogged here), then I was excited this year to have various shades of lilac be declared "on-trend". I would still be wearing this jacket whether it was on-trend or not, but I won't lie and pretend it isn't cool to have something you thrifted for less than $20 be considered a hot color for the season.  I was extra happy to have found this scarf during another random thrifting excursion, which perfectly coordinates....

Here are some shopping options for you, if you're in the market for a similar look:

Trench coat:



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Trench flowers

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Trench: Forever 21, years ago (similar)
Shirt: Mossimo (similar)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Earrings: not very visible, but they are thrifted antiqued sterling silver knot studs (similar)
Scarf: Ann Taylor, on clearance in store earlier in December (similar, similar)
Necklace: Ann Taylor, also on clearance in store in December (similar in green, in red)
Tights: Merona, Target - discontinued (boo!)  (new Target brand, I haven't tried yet)
Shoes: Nine West via ebay (similar)
Bag: Ann Taylor, thrifted (similar)

My patience was rewarded for this outfit.  I had been stalking this necklace for several weeks, but $49 is just too much for costume jewelry, in my opinion.  So, when it was 1/2 off the sale price of $20, I leaped upon my prey.  This gorgeous scarf was also on sale, and 50% off the sale price, and when I used my credit card reward certificate, both items set me back a whopping total of $2.  I paired it with classic items so the accessories would really stand out.  

Share one of your great deal stories!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Minimal classic (plus, styling a white bag!)

Activity: Volunteering at Gavin's classroom

Coat: Lands' End, thrifted (similar)
Top: LOFT (similar)
Pants: LOFT (similar in this color, same cut in velvet, in corduroy)
Shoes: David Tate via ebay (similar) (Brief review: These shoes run $90-200+ new, but can be often found new on eBay for less than $50, including shipping.  Mine are very comfortable, well-made, have arch support and can be worn all day.  For NWT $38 on ebay, I was pleasantly surprised!)
Bag: Kate Spade, gift (similar - on sale!)
Earrings: Ann Taylor (similar - these are the most similar I've seen, if you like mine, check these out!)

The starting point for this outfit was this beautiful new bag, gifted to me by a generous tall friend (the cross-body strap was too short for her).  The clean lines and white color needed a simple, minimal outfit.  To be honest, I was a little scared by the white color - it's not anything I would ever buy myself, because I'm  nervous about staining it - but also excited, since it was a way to try a current trend - the "white bag" - without real risk.  I thought that if I paired the "scary" item with classic favorites, I wouldn't feel too much out of my comfort zone.  

It worked!  Of course, it helps that this bag has such great lines, but pairing one new trend with some trusted favorites, whatever yours might be, is a safe way to test the waters.

Also, can't stop, won't stop wearing these earrings, purchased on clearance during the summer.  I thought they'd only work for summer, with the raffia fringe, but I feel like they a great finishing touch to fall outfits too!  I call them my one-stop accessory item.  Add them, and you're done.  Here are some similar options for you below:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

How to layer bell sleeves

Activity: Meeting for worship

Coat: Kensie, thrifted (similar)
Top: LOFT (similar)
Skirt: J. Crew (exact)
Shoes: Mossimo via eBay (similar)
Bag: Burberry, gift (exact)
Earrings: Robin Undira (similar)

I mostly like bell sleeves, though I have a couple of challenges.  First, it's hard to wear them in (my) regular at-home life, since I'm forever getting my sleeves caught in dishwater. Second, it can be a challenge to layer them, so it gets harder to wear bell sleeves as the temperature dips...  

My solutions? For the first issue, I usually wear my bell sleeve tops only for my "out-of-the-house life" anyway, I often change into my comfortable "house clothes" when I get home, whatever top I'm wearing (I'm just messy at... life).  Secondly, I've realized that shorter sleeved jackets and sweaters make good layering options for bell sleeves.  This jacket has cropped enough sleeves that both layers of the ruffled sleeve show, so I often combine them in cooler weather.  An elbow length sleeved cardigan like this one could also work as a top layer with a bell sleeve top, or an open sleeve kimono similar to this.

And you know what I just thought of?  A cape would totally work over a "statement sleeve" top (check out this super versatile one, or this lighter trench coat style one).  The pattern on my cape wouldn't work with this top, so I hadn't thought to pair it together, but depending on your top/cape color combination, it could totally work for you!  I was eyeing this cape in store the other day, but did restrain myself....

Any other layering ideas for bell sleeves? Do share!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Millennial pink corduroy pants, statement earrings and statement sleeves...

Activity: Volunteering in Gavin's classroom

Top: LOFT (exact)
Pants: LOFT, in nostalgia rose color (exact)
Earrings: LOFT (exact)
All LOFT items were at least 50% in store last week and this week, check if the sale is still on!
Shoes: Franco Sarto, thifted (similar)
Bag: Burberry, gift (exact)
Watch: Apple, gift (similar)

I think this may be the first time I bought an entire outfit all at the same time!  I went into LOFT one day, looking for a relaxed black long-sleeved top, something I had recently realized was missing from my closet.  I left the store wearing the top (it looked better with my outfit than what I was currently wearing), and ended up also buying these gorgeous earrings and pants - at least they were all at least 50%.  It is pretty unusual for me to wear one store head-to-toe, so it felt worthy of comment.

LOFT is one of the few retail stores I shop regularly, since most of my clothing is thrifted.  But they are really killing it in their recent offerings!  That, along with some great recent in-store specials made for some shopping easy decisions.  Plus, these modern skinny pants from LOFT work really well for me (I have them in gray denim, too), so it's my go-to store when I'm looking for pants.

This gorgeous bag is also worthy of mention.  I do love my bags, but this is definitely a step up (or two) up from my usual.  While I do love the bag for itself (what's not to love?), it means especially much since it was a gift from my mother-in-law while she herself is going through health issues.  For her to think of me during that time is really meaningful, and I'll remember it every time I use this bag. 

This is totally not sponsored, just my current favorites from one of my favorite stores!  Here's some cute things I saw in store, in case you're interested: