Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Festival wear... or not (Summer outfit ideas)


1 Kimono jacket: thrifted (super similar, only $8!)
1 Black top: Uniqlo (exact - a really nice basic camisole with a washable, yet dressy poly crepe fabric.  I highly recommend as a wardrobe basic.  The straps are spaghetti straps, super pretty if you can wear a strapless bra, but looks fine with a regular matching color bra strap.  I'm wearing a medium.)
2 Pattern top: thrifted (similar, similar)
1 & 2 Pants: Gap (exact - on sale, similar)
1 & 2 Earrings: vintage shop (similar)
1 & 2 Necklaces: gifts and vacations (similar top necklace, similar middle chain, similar longest pendant, similar 3 in one layered necklace)
1 Black sunglasses: LOFT (close to exact, restocked)
2 Tortoiseshell sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar)
1 Black slide sandals: Zara, thrifted (similar)
2 Gray metallic sandals: Fly London, thrifted (similar)
1 Basket backpack: thrifted (similar)
2 Crossbody bag: thrifted (similar)

These are the outfits I considered for wearing to BottleRock 2018, a music festival in Napa.  I actually ended up wearing something similar to the first option, but with gray jeans (the white ones kept getting stained - twice! - before I even wore them) and a thrifted denim jacket that I spruced up by removing the collar and hem and leaving the frayed edges, and cropping the sleeves and fraying them.  It ended up being much colder than I had anticipated, which is why I decided not to go with the chiffon kimono layer - not very helpful in cold weather!

Here's what I learned about this planned outfit once I actually went to this event.  

1) Wrong shoes.  I mean, I wore them, and they were fine, I didn't get blisters or anything, but open-toed, slide shoes are not ideal for grassy, potentially muddy fields, nor are they the best option for walking in crowds.  Since it ended up being much cooler weather, I would have been better off with short ankle boots, or maybe a chunky brogue "Doc Marten" style shoe.  I've been to other music festivals in the Midwest that are hosted in fairground locations, so everything is paved.  My feet would have stayed much cleaner...  Now I know this event (and probably many other, smaller music festivals on the West Coast) is different! 

2) The adorable basket backpack would not have been the best bet.  I ended up not choosing it anyway, and I'm so glad I didn't.  In a large crowd, a delicate bag that sticks out behind you can be difficult to manage anyway, but you would certainly want one that closes, for security.  I ended up using the basket bag for small winery wine tasting the next day.  Much more appropriate.

3) I didn't bring a water bottle - me, the person who always carries some kind of liquid - to the one event that had a whole tent for water bottle refill.  We ended up just buying one bottle of water and refilling it all day, but I should have known better.

4) I needed a hat - thankfully it was mostly cloudy so I was okay, but under normal circumstances, in this area being outside all day at this time of the year, I would definitely require a sun hat, not just sunglasses. I own lots, I just should have carried one!

5) I didn't bring a blanket.  Not that we would have used it for the big concert that evening, but earlier in the day, there was always space to put a blanket down and sit on the grass.  We just used Mike's jacket, but we own several packable blankets for picnicking that we never have an opportunity to use.

6) Bringing more layers would have been good, it did get chillier at night.  I did use the hat, gloves and the raincoat Mike graciously loaned me (getting himself wet when it drizzled) on and off all day, but especially in the evening.  Like a dummy, I forgot about this packable jacket I bought that would have been perfect to carry with me in my bag.  Somehow I forget I own this, but it's so useful!

However, these are still cute outfits for other summer activities.  Just thought I'd share them, as well as my thoughts.

Here are some buying options if you're looking for similar items:





Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mod mood

Activity: Meeting for worship

Coat: Talbots, thrifted (similar)
Dress: Boden, thrifted (similar)
Earrings: From Brazil (similar)
Bracelet: ebay (similar)
Bag: Kate Spade, gift (similar budget, similar)
Shoes: Franco Sarto via DSW (similar)

Outfit inspiration?  Completely these earrings that I had just purchased from a friend who brought jewelry from Brazil to sell.  I wasn't sure I'd have the items to match this mod feel, but with a basic shift dress (definitely a wardrobe basic, in my opinion), and this fun bright minimalist coat, the outfit came together.

I'm starting to realize what my closet goals are - versatility.  Not necessarily trendy, although I enjoy incorporating a popular trend if it fits my personal aesthetic (especially if I can thrift that item).  Within a range of looks I enjoy, I like being able to morph basic pieces into completely different feeling outfits.  I've had some hiccups along the way, choosing looks that weren't really my style because they were trendy, but thankfully outfit photographs often have kept me from wearing those items more than once (someday I'll share some of those photos, but ugh... not today).  

What are the outfit moods in my range - currently, anyway? Modern minimalist, like this outfit, slightly bohemian minimalist (like this outfit), classic (seen here and here), a bit preppy (here), a bit romantic (here).  

What are your favorite outfit moods?

Here are some shopping options, if you're in the market:






Sunday, May 13, 2018

She wore a ... red beret

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Hat: Parkhurst new on ebay (exact in cotton, similar on sale)
Trench: J. Crew, thrifted via ebay (similar - on sale!)
Tee: H&M (exact - 2 for $10 in store)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Cole Haan Air, thrifted via ebay (similar - on sale!)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Sunglasses: surf shop in SF (similar)
Necklaces: various trips (similar black bead, similar chain, similar pendant)
Earrings: vintage shop in SF (similar)

That's a really bad, title.  I know.  I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist.  Anyway, the outfit is still cute, in my humble opinion.  It's another outfit that will work just as well in 5 or 10 years, because it is made up of classic wardrobe staples: cropped trench coat, white tee, black pencil skirt, cognac mules, gold jewelry, and the fun addition of the red beret and basket backpack, which are both trendy and classic at the same time.  It could also easily be adapted for different seasons by adding a scarf and tights, or a warmer trench coat or a hidden layer underneath this one (like this awesome roll-up coat - now on sale - that is perfect for traveling with when you never know what the weather may turn out to be).  

I was also thinking this outfit would be great for traveling with, because adding a different hat and shoes or bag could completely change the look without adding much weight to your suitcase.  Think I'll keep this look in rotation for a while!

Here are some buying options, if you're in the market:

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Preppy for spring

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Jacket: J. Crew schoolboy jacket, thrifted (similar)
Top: LOFT (similar)
Skirt: DKNY (similar up to size 12, similar in more inclusive size range)
Shoes: Madewell (similar - 70% off in sizes 37-41)
Bag: unbranded, thrifted (similar)
Sunglasses: SF surf shop (similar)
Earrings: Renegade craft fair, Chicago (similar)

I love outfits that feel timeless and classic enough to be worn in any decade.  I feel like this outfit is a look I'll be able to turn to, even 10 years in the future, and it will still look just as classic. I could choose to add a trendy detail to make it more "of the moment", or leave it as it is, and it will work either way.  In this case, I feel like the key is the classic schoolboy blazer.  It's been one of those "bucket list" wardrobe items I'm always on the lookout for while thrifting, and when I stumbled across this one, I was thrilled.  (So thrilled, apparently that I didn't notice 3 sleeve buttons were missing - I'm usually better at noting the details that that.  However, either way, I would have bought this - buttons are easy to fix, as opposed to a fit or stain issue.)  I previously had a navy blue version by Gap, but it just wasn't the right color - and a really dark navy just doesn't combine as easily with black as gray does.  So, that version went out of the closet and this version came in.  

The other components of this outfit are also quite timeless - a light blue chambray shirt, black maxi skirt and cognac oxfords.  These are also all items I mix and remix again and again and would never be without in my wardrobe.

What are your wardrobe basics? Do share! (And would you like a wardrobe basics post someday? Let me know!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Flame orange for spring

Top: Harlowe & Graham, thrifted (similar full-length sleeve, similar 3/4 sleeve)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Earrings: ebay (similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Bracelet: street seller in SF (similar)
Shoes: Pour la Victoire via DSW (similar)

I have always liked this color.  As I mentioned in this post, it combines with almost everything well - all shades of blue, all shades of brown or khaki, and I wear it with black often, as well, though some may feel that's too Halloweeny (Halloweenish?).  Although this top was recently thrifted, I've spotted this color often in spring releases - Everlane has several items, including an adorable lightweight full-zip anorak/raincoat in this color (they call it "poppy red", don't be fooled, I've seen it in person), Athleta offers the tulip back top (that I reviewed in this post) in this color ("on fire") in all sleeve lengths, and I saw several things in this color during a recent foray into a LOFT store, like this and this (called lava red and deep red on their  website - though I've seen them in person and they are this flame orange/red color, not straight red).  So, the good news is, if you're interested in this look, or just this color, you will be able to find it, as opposed to some of my looks.  (One of the side effects of blogging while thrifting...)

On a side note, I'm starting to be done with bell sleeves.  What about you?  Since I loved the color and the price was right, I figured I could always turn this into an elbow length sleeve top by removing the bell sleeves.  We'll see.  Any recommendations?

Here are few flame orange options for you - all of which I've seen in person and can vouch for the color:

Monday, April 30, 2018

Basket backpack

Activity: Acupuncture appointment, errands

Coat: Zara, thrifted (similar)
Top: Merona (similar)
Jeans: LOFT (similar)
Sunglasses: Surf shop in SF (similar)
Earrings: Robin Indira boutique (similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Cole Haan via ebay (similar - on sale)

A casual look!  I do wear these regularly, I just don't photograph them that much...  The focal point of this outfit was this awesome woven backpack I recently thrifted.  I had it in mind for a music festival we'll be attending in late May, but thought I'd see how it works as a hands-free bag on a regular city day.  It seemed too delicate to be useful, but in reality, it worked great!  Some options you can purchase are below.

I kept the rest of the outfit classic and neutral, making the outfit timeless - and versatile! Change it for a black heel and black top handle bag, you're ready for evening.

Here are some similar lightweight statement-making backpacks for you:

Friday, April 27, 2018

Neutrals with a new skirt...

Sweater: LOFT, thrifted (similar)
Top: Who What Wear (similar)
Skirt: Forever 21, thrifted (similar color and length, similar with buttons, though shorter -$8!)
Shoes: Pour la Victoire via DSW (similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Earrings: Chicago Renegade craft fair (similar)
Necklace: LOFT (similar)
Watch: Apple, gift (current model)
Nail polish: Essie Gel Couture nail polish (no light needed) "Style In Excess"  (exact)
Lip: Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker lipstick in "Wine Not" (exact)

Is this springy (spring-like?)? It felt like it, whether it appears like it on film - or in person.  That's good enough for me!  What's your criteria for a spring outfit?  I'm all about how it feels.  And sandals help, right?

This was another look that came together at the last minute, mostly thanks to this awesome peplum top which I would rebuy again and again if I could - it gives every look a little extra something (perhaps even more in person).  The driving force was this skirt, a faux suede, faux snap front pencil skirt - this type of skirt has always been on my bucket list, but this one was even better than I thought - faux snaps are the answer, people!  No gapping when you're walking or sitting, or worrying your skirt will pop open.  Sadly, I couldn't find any close dupes right now (other than a couple of really expensive designer options), but I feel like this type of skirt is a classic that pops up every so often.  If you see it, grab it!