Monday, September 29, 2014

OUTFIT: Citron and paisley

Saved the best for last...

Activity: Meeting for worship

Sweater: J. Crew, thrifted (similar)
Top: thrifted  (similar)
Skirt: J. Crew Factory, thrifted (similar print)
Shoes: BCBG via ebay (similar)
Earrings: craft fair (similar)
Bracelets: vintage (similar, similar)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)

This outfit represents one of the things I love most about fashion:  making new outfits from items you already have in your closet.  I wore this exact top and sweater before (in this post), but it's completely remade with different accessories and a different style of skirt.  Score!  Less brain work, more outfits.  I'm in.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

OUTFIT: Fall neutrals

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Jacket: MNG by Mango via ebay (similar)
Turtleneck: Lands' End Canvas (similar)
Skirt: Athleta (similar)
Boots: Costume International via ebay (similar)
Bag: Cole Haan via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Earrings: via ebay (similar)
Sunglasses: Rayban via ebay (similar)

I've been waiting to meet these boots again.    Everybody's got a season that's their favorite for clothing, and mine is definitely fall.  Isn't it nice to see your fall wardrobe again?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

OUTFIT: Citrus orange and yellow tamed by navy

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Sweater: thrifted (similar)
Shirt: Boden (exact)
Skirt: Relativity, old (similar)
Shoes: Steve Madden via ebay (similar)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)
Earrings: small gold hoops (similar)

Bright yellow and orange, worn together?  I wouldn't have imagined it either, but adding the neutral navy tones helped calm everything down and kept the outfit from looking like a citrus farm...  Wouldn't this be cheery in the winter?  (Sorry to mention the W-word)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

OUTFIT: Cargo vest, striped tee and jeans

Activity: Story time with Gavin, errands

Top: Loft (similar)
Vest: Old Navy (sold out - similar)
Jeans: (Old Navy) (exact)
Shoes: Sperry Top-sider via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)
Earrings: Sterling silver ball studs (similar)
Watch: Lucien Piccard (similar)

This is the type of outfit I feel has been helped the most by following the few fashion blogs I look at (especially J's, Audrey's and Franziska's).  It's so easy to overlook casual, everyday outfits (at least for me, since I tend to put my emphasis on my dressier volunteer ministry and meeting for worship outfits).  But, there is  a lot to be said for feeling put together even when you're "off duty", and finding a quick and easy formula for getting dressed in the morning on every day, even casual ones.  Adding this vest has helped a lot, as has identifying what elements in an outfit make me feel stylish.  For me, at least these days, that usually involves stripes and a hint of leopard (and my trusty neon bag).  That formula may evolve over time, but I'm glad to have stumbled upon it.  What's your secret formula for getting dressed every day?

Monday, September 22, 2014

OUTFIT: Floral, pink, burgundy with cream moto

Activity: Volunteer work

Cream moto: MNG by Mango via ebay (similar)
Tee: Lands' End (similar color)
Skirt: Athleta (similar)
Scarf: Vanity (similar, similar)
Shoes: Jeffery Campbell via Nordstrom rack (almost exact style on sale!, save)
I'm not sure how I feel about this outfit.  Maybe you can give me your opinion?  On the one hand, I like the contrast of the sweet floral scarf with the moto jacket.  On the other, I'm not sure the shoes were the best choice - but what would have been better?  

Also, you can see from the photo below that I planned this with a brown top, but it was too warm for a turtleneck, so I had to rethink my choice in the morning, and I feel like the pink was maybe a bit too sweet?  Anyway, don't think I'll repeat this outfit exactly as pictured, but liked some elements of it.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

OUTFIT: Cozy fall sweater and pencil skirt

Activity: Meeting for worship

Sweater: thrifted (similar)
Top: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Skirt: J. Crew Factory (floral, floral)
Shoes: J. Crew Factory (similar color, similar style)
Bag: vintage Coach via ebay (similar)
Earrings: craft fair (similar)
Necklace: ?? really old (similar)

Sometimes all you need is a cozy sweater to update an outfit and make it fall-ready.  This one is my new favorite - I'm so glad I took the plunge and bought it at the thrift shop, even though it was off season and I wasn't sure how much I could use it.  Now that I feel how cozy and soft it is, I'm planning to use it instead of a sweatshirt all winter to cuddle at home.  

OUTFIT: Mixology - cobalt, navy, citron and brown

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Sweater: J. Crew, thrifted (similar)
Tee: Boden (exact)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar)
Scarf: Old Navy (similar)
Boots: Calvin Klein via ebay (similar)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban via ebay (similar)
Watch: vintage Citizen via ebay (similar)
Earrings: sterling silver ball studs (similar)

I really thought I was giving a small smile for these photos, but apparently a small smile is major scowl for me.  Guess I better be careful when I'm really scowling!

Fall is around the corner around here, so, while I was not expecting to actually need tights and tall suede boots in early September, we had some early cold weather, and I got to try out a cool weather look.  I hadn't tried this skirt paired with this scarf or sweater before.  I was pleasantly surprised!  The colors of the cobalt skirt and citron/dark mustard sweater really enhance one another.  Don't you love it when a plan comes together? 

(Does anyone else get the A-team reference?  Guess I'm showing my age...)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

OUTFIT: Casual light blue and olive (and a bit on color bravery)

Activity: Children's storytime and visit with Bita (grandpa)

Jacket: Old Navy (similar)
Lace top: thrifted (similar)
Blue tee: Lands' End (similar)
Pants: Old Navy, refashioned to take in calf area (exact)
Flats: Nine West, thrifted (similar)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)
Earrings: Renegade Craft Fair, Chicago (similar)

If you had told me you could pair olive and light blue, I might have looked at you strangely.  Yet I like this combination in this outfit.  And I especially liked being brave enough to try new color combinations, something at which I haven't always excelled.  What about you?  Tried any new color or style combinations that worked out?  Share, please!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

OUTFIT: Creating fall outfits with booties (white blazer, maroon skirt)

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Blazer: ebay (similar)
Top: Ralph Lauren, thrifted (similar)
Skirt: Athleta (similar)
Bag: Brooks brothers, thrifted (similar)
Booties: Carlos Santana (exact in limited sizes, similar)
Watch: Lucien Piccard (similar)
Earrings: sterling silver stud balls (similar)
Necklace: ebay (similar)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (similar)

As summer weather quickly turns to fall here, it's always a challenge remembering how to dress for a new season.  This year I'm finding my booties to be the perfect transitional piece, low enough to not be boiling hot for warmer fall days, plus they work with bare legs now or tights later.  Add booties and a light blazer to your summer outfit - voila, instant fall style!

Monday, September 15, 2014

OUTFIT: Dressed up sporty pants (plus an Everlane The Cotton V tee review)

Activity: Guerrilla shopping at a "first look" children's clothing consignment sale (worn with track shoes -  the heels, denim and necklace were added later to test out future outfit ideas)

Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Tee: Everlane (exact)
Pants: Athleta (exact) - reviewed in this post
Shoes: Rachel Roy via ebay (similar)
Bag: Coach (similar)
Scarf: from a vacation to Nepal (similar)
Necklace: Urban Outfitters (similar)

As you can see, I don't think I've perfected the "sporty tee and stiletto" look (plus these pictures are pretty meh).  But, it was fun to try to take a casual daytime look (which I wore with the shoes from this post), and dial it up a notch for a more glam look.  I'm practicing for my anniversary trip to Chicago in a few weeks.  I'll be needing some day to evening looks for the fun surprises my hubby has planned for us.  Do you ever play dress up?  Sometimes the most unexpected combinations can come from testing items from your closet you've never paired before.  Give it a try!

And, here's the review I promised in the title.  The top is shown in the looks above.

EVERLANE "The Cotton V" TEE REVIEW (Not sponsored, I bought this on my own):
Size: True to size - I wore my regular size.  I was concerned this might run a bit small, since even tiny Audrey mentioned she sized up to a medium to get a looser fit, but the fit was fine.
Fit:  It is semi-fitted, not super tight. 
Fabric:  Very nice feeling cotton fabric.  I can't speak to whether the white tee is opaque or not, but the navy color is a nice bright navy that looks intentional, not like a faded black.
Length: This ends very low hip on me, a tiny bit longer than I like, but probably perfect for those who are taller than 5'2" and not short-waisted like me.
Quality:  Feels very nice, as expected from Everlane based on reviews.
Overall:  I really like this tee, but the v is just too low for me to wear in public without a scarf (you can kind of tell in the third photo), which is a shame since I love the color.  It will be great for layering, though, and I will try out a crew neck next time.  The price and quality are definitely right!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

OUTFIT: Fall colors

Activity: Meeting for worship

Blazer: Gap (similar)
Top: Madewell (similar color, similar tribal pattern, similar pattern and color)
Skirt: J. Crew (exact in current colors, similar color)
Shoes: Rachel Roy via ebay (similar)
Bag: Cole Haan via ebay (similar)
Earrings: Renegade Craft Fair, Chicago (similar)

I'm feeling really inspired by maroon and mustard color combinations right now. It is such a classic pairing in the Eastern world (think of Buddhist monk robes and long chains made of marigolds) and now that I have this top, I immediately thought of wearing it with my mustard skirt.  The orange bag was a last minute idea that really made the pairing pop (helped out by the orangey peach color in the top).  What color combinations are you really feeling right now?

Friday, September 12, 2014

OUTFIT: 7 ways to wear a black pencil skirt

Everyone needs some go-to items in their wardrobe.  Those items that take you through all seasons and practically all occasions.  This time, it's the black pencil skirt.  This one was from Athleta several seasons ago, but unfortunately is now no longer carried.  Here are some similar options for you to try (here, here and here), and some ideas on how to wear it. A link to the original blog post with outfit details follows each photo.

With a white blazer and striped peplum top:


With space dye tee and cargo vest:


With 60's inspired top and minimal sandals:


With graphic tee, chambray shirt and track shoes:


With eyelet blouse, leopard scarf and tall boots:


With neon top and purse and silver sandals:


With cargo vest, leopard scarf and booties:


BONUS 8th way!
With seersucker blazer and leopard scarf:


Thursday, September 11, 2014

OUTFIT: Casual graphic tee and sporty pants (plus fashion according to men)

Activity: Casual day shopping and traveling

TOP: Old Navy (exact)
Pants: Athleta (exact)
Boots: Carlos Santana (similar, similar, exact in limited sizes)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)
Earrings: sterling silver ball studs (similar)
Watch: Lucien Piccard (similar)
Scarf: ebay (similar)

Lately I've been running into the male "look" from my husband as I've been experimenting with some different types of outfits. Know the one I mean?  There's a fashion blog called "Man Repeller", and 'repellent to men' does describe much of women's fashion, at least according to many regular guys I know.  My husband in particular despises the current bootie look, as well as the sandal with very boot like straps and other suchlike fashion forward footwear.  And he HATES my new sporty pants (yeah, the ones I just bought two pairs of).  So this outfit, which incorporates both, was not a favorite. (Understatement.)

On another front, I tried to get his viewpoint on some oxford shoes I've been scoping out, and he did have an opinion, but it was the opposite of mine, and he really disliked the pair I preferred.  Dilemma.  Obviously he doesn't tell me what to wear (although I appreciate his opinions on modesty and good taste), but it's frustrating at times to try to rock a certain look when it's definitely doesn't have the husband stamp of approval.  Fortunately this doesn't happen often, but it definitely makes me think twice about investing in certain trends.  Any stories on particularly "man repellent" style you've encountered?  I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

OUTFIT: Cargo vest and spacedye tee

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Top: J. Crew Factory (similar)
Vest: Old Navy (exact)
Skirt: Athleta (similar)
Shoes: thrifted (similar)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)
Watch: Lucien Piccard (similar)
Earrings: sterling silver ball studs (similar)

I've been waiting all summer for it to cool down enough to start wearing my cargo vest again.  So happy to pull this piece out after its summer hiatus.  Now if it would just not get too cold too fast so I can enjoy a beautiful Midwest fall!

Do you have any pieces you've been anxious to wear again?