Tuesday, December 23, 2014

WARDROBE RECAP: Striped peplum top, 6 ways

Looking back, I found another item of clothing I reach for again and again.  This sold-out top originally came from J. Crew Factory, but here is a similar one that is still available.   You can click on the description for the photos below to link to the original post with outfit details.

I don't have any photos of the ways I've worn this top with jeans, but it looks great that way, too! Happy mixing!

Mixed with another stripe and leopard flats:

With linen shorts and platform sandals (and a bright lip!):

Mixed with a floral print:

Monday, December 22, 2014

OUTFIT: Navy and black

Activity: Meeting for worship

Jacket: LOFT via ebay
Tank: Caslon via Nordstrom Rack 
Skirt: thrifted 
Heels: Steve Madden via DSW
Bag: Steve Madden via ebay 
Necklaces: gifts and vacation

I love this blazer!  Sometimes the item you buy happens to fill the missing piece in your closet that you don't realize you had.  This blazer is that missing piece for me.  I never knew I needed a taupe blazer, but I did!  Now I can't stop wearing it!  I wore it at least twice last week with completely different outfits than this one (unfortunately not photographed), and have more ideas to come.  Have you ever found out that really useful piece you didn't realize you needed?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WARDROBE RECAP: Striped skirt, 7 ways

Do you like this feature on the blog? (Past examples here, herehere and here) I hope so.  In any case, I enjoy it.  Not that I love looking back at pictures of myself.  But, I can see which items in my closet are most versatile, and, although I wouldn't have guessed it, seeing ways I've already paired an item helps me think of ways I haven't tried yet.  I love getting new wardrobe items as much as anyone.  Yet, I really crave more options with less clothing.  I think evaluating items this way helps me see which pieces I really reach for over and over again and which ones I want to like, but don't seem to use.  Maybe that will leave room for new purchases? 

This skirt turned out to be one of the most reached for over the last 9 months.  Here are some of the ways I wore it.  Links above each picture lead to the original blog post with outfit details.  And here's a similar style still available to purchase!

With a graphic tee and blazer (not seen on the blog):

With a bright cozy sweater:

With a floral scarf and bright tights:

With a chambray shirt:

With a leather moto jacket:

With a white button-down, platforms and blazer:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

OUTFIT: Cozy stripes

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Sweater: thrifted (similar)
Tank: from Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar)
Tights: Merona (similar)
Boots: Calvin Klein via ebay (similar)
Earrings: craft fair (similar)
Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren (similar)
Watch: vintage Citizen via ebay (similar)

What can be better than a soft and cozy wool sweater in the fall?  Add some toasty chocolate suede boots and you're set.  Although we often steer clear of bright colors this time of year - when would we need them more?  Short cool days, long cold nights - sounds like a case for bright colors if I ever heard it!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

OUTFIT: Patterned sweater and jeans

Activity: Casual errand day

Sweater: via Ragstock (looks like the exact one)
Shirt: Go Silk (similar)
Jeans: LOFT (exact) (See my review of these jeans)
Boots: Bussola (exact)
Bag: Ashley Brooke via DSW (similar)
Hat: J. Crew, thrifted (similar)

Every time I find a casual outfit that is comfortable, yet has an element of style to it, I feel like I've achieved a small victory.  This may not be runway-ready, but for me, it's just a reminder that with a little more effort, an everyday outfit can still be cute, comfortable and stylish.  What's a fashion victory for you?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

OUTFIT: Leather and lace

Activity: Volunteer ministry and meeting for worship

Sweater: thrifted (similar)
Top: Go Silk (similar)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Tights: Merona (exact)
Boots: Bussola (exact)
Bag: Ashley Brooke via DSW (similar)
Earrings: Sterling silver ball studs via ebay (similar)

No, not THAT kind of leather and lace, silly.... That's for a different blog.  And technically, I guess I mean suede and lace, but let's not get stuck on semantics for the sake of a good title, shall we?  

As I mentioned in this post, you see a lot of pencil skirts around here.  And, will continue to - it's the most flattering skirt silhouette for me.  But, that doesn't mean there isn't room for experimentation.  I've been trying a maxi skirt occasionally (here, here and here), and I had been looking for a full skirt that wasn't a mini skirt for quite a while.  I found this one at a thrift shop last week.  While it's a bit big, it had the length I wanted, and gives me a chance to break out of my pencil skirt rut.  I especially love the bright navy color, which allows it to look deliberate when paired with black (I don't like a super dark navy where you can't tell if it's black or navy - what's the point?).  And, it's SO comfortable!  Score.

What's your most recent resale shop score? 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WHAT TO WEAR: To a ladies-only event (casual baby or wedding shower, wine party, etc.)

Not the best shot but wanted to show the hi-low hem of the top - daring, right? (No, but it is a stretch for me, and the first time I wore this top with pants):

Activity Details: Scentsy party

Blazer: LOFT via ebay (similar)
Top: Nordstrom Rack (similar)  (TOP SEEN IN THIS POST STYLED WITH A SKIRT)
Jeans: LOFT (exact)
Shoes: J. Crew Factory (similar)
Bag: Coach (similarexact)
Hat: Stetson - Belfast model (similar)
Bracelet: Guatemalan market (similar)
Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren (exact)

Sometimes you want to look a little bit fancier than your normal look.  For me, that's 1) wearing a silky top instead of a knit tee-shirt; 2) adding a blazer and 3) rocking some heels.  
And, certain fashion details like a a high-low hem top or a bow blouse in a silky fabric are usually best appreciated by ladies.  But, if you feel like wearing it with your guy, go for it.  You should dress for you!  Just know that the ladies will appreciate the extra effort you made, and you'll feel a little extra special knowing you made that effort.

Do you have a fashion secret that makes your outfit a step above everyday?  Share, please!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

REVIEW: LOFT legging jeans

I had been really needing some new jeans.  My old ones were not only worn out, but were too low-rise and would stretch out within an hour or two, requiring lots of pants-hitching all day.  Fun times.  I tried on tons of jeans at Gap, but just didn't find what I was looking for.

Enter LOFT jeans.  I saw some great online sales during Black Friday, and decided to brave the crowds to check out the store in person, since there's one just a couple of miles away.  Score!  Sales in store were even better than online, and I tried a different style than I would have tried online.  In case you've been wondering, here's my review.  

The regular price jeans aren't on sale right now, but I get the impression they go on sale regularly.  And, there is an extra 40% sale jeans going on now (no code needed), so you could check those out and see if anything works for you.

REVIEW: LOFT Legging Jean
Sizing:  I would say this runs ever so slightly big.  I usually run between two sizes, and I was able to comfortably wear the smaller of my two sizes.  So if you're exactly one size, you might want to check out both that size and the one below it.
Rise:  This waistband hits at a finger width below my belly button.  Below Mom jean territory, but no worries about butt crack showing if I lean over.  Just right, in my opinion.  Also, the waistband is stretchy enough, or well-placed enough that it doesn't cause muffin top (cue the heavenly chorus).  Yay!
Length: I bought these in the regular length, not petite, and they are just right as legging jeans, with a tiny bit of bunching at the bottom (in a good way).  They look good with jeans or heels alike.  My guess is that they would be on the shorter side if you are taller, so you might want to consider the tall length if you have long legs (just a guess, since I'm short and the regular length was only a tiny bit long on me).
Fabric:  Nice and stretchy and comfortable, yet it doesn't bag out after wearing it all day.  I actually don't rip these jeans off first thing after getting home like I usually do.
Quality:  So far, I'm very happy.  These look nice, are holding up well, and have high quality details.
Color: I bought this jean in both the center blue wash and the smoky black wash.  The blue is a nice comfortable, slightly faded, classic blue, with a tiny bit of whiskering.  Perfect for your basic skinny jean, or as a departure from a really dark rinse or a true faded wash.  The black is great, too.  Still black, but this one is a bit faded in a cool way, with some whiskering along the hips that add to the look, in my opinion.
Comments: I'm so happy I gave these a try.  These are definitely my new go-to jeans, especially for wearing with ankle boots or tucking into tall boots (no more folding extra fabric out of the way to get them zipped!).  I wasn't expecting to buy a legging jean, but sometimes the skinny jean ends up a bit loose on my calves, which wasn't what I was looking for in this jean.  I like the pocket placement, too - flattering.  t can't wait to try the ankle-zip distressed jeans, but think I'll probably need petite sizing in those to get the zippers at the right spot.  I didn't find that style in store in petite sizing to try on, so I'll have to order online.  In short - give LOFT jeans a try!

Friday, December 5, 2014

OUTFIT: A touch of wine

Activity: Volunteer ministry

Top: DIY (see tutorial here) (similar for sale)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar)
Scarf: really old, sewn into an infinity scarf (similar)
Bag: Coach (similar)
Boots: Bussola (exact - see review here)
Tights Merona (exact)
Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren (exact)

Burgundy feels so right this season!  I've noticed I've been really drawn to more neutral colors lately: black, white, gray, navy, and so on.  Adding a touch of burgundy (especially nice with that touch of blue from the shirt) makes a neutral outfit really pop.  What colors are you loving this fall?

PS  I just saw that Pantone's color of the year for 2015 is "marsala" - burgundy/wine-red.  Hmmm...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

OUTFIT: Striped peplum and maxi

Activity: Meeting for worship

Sweater: Banana Republic Factory (similar)
Peplum top: J. Crew Factory (similar)
Skirt: DKNY (similar)
Heels: Rachel Roy via ebay (similar)
Bag: Ashley Brooke via DSW (similar)
Earrings: craft fair (similar)
Necklace and pendant: ebay (similar)

You see a lot of knee-length pencil skirts around here on my blog.  Hopefully that's your thing.  It's definitely one of mine.  However, I have been trying to expand my horizons a bit.  It's not easy with my body type (curvy all over, short and busty), which tends to look best in minimalist, body-skimming silhouettes.  If I was to wear a flowy midi-lenth skirt with pleats, I would look 30 pounds heavier.  Obviously not cool.  There is room for some variety within that flattering range, however, and I'm working on finding those pieces, in my proportions.  A drapy maxi-skirt is one of those items - provided it is hemmed to my maxi-length, not the length for a 5'9" inch person with long legs.  I've had this one for years, but had to roll the waistline around the top so it didn't brush the ground.  Then, when I finally got it hemmed to the correct length, the hemstitch came undone and it sat in my sewing pile forever.  Now, it is back in business and better than ever, baby!  The drapy fabric helps to make the look flattering, as opposed to a long, full cotton maxi-skirt, for example, which wouldn't be attractive on someone of my size and height.  Coming soon - a pleated skirt, and a full knee-length skirt.  Tune back in for some new looks!