Monday, May 8, 2017

Casualizing your outfit


Activity: Volunteer ministry in the morning with a different jacket, school pickup run/errands in the afternoon with the denim jacket

Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Tee: Pendleton via ebay (similar)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Crown Vintage via DSW (similar - on sale)
Bag: Linea Pelle, thrifted (similar)

Yes, I did just make up that word.  Spellcheck informs me, via its pesky little underline of red dotted lines that it is not considered a real word.  And yes, as a matter of fact, I have posted quite a few outfits with this denim jacket lately (here, here, here).  It's such a great layering piece, though...  While I'm sure many have been layering with denim jackets forever, somehow I'm just now figuring out how to make it work for my style.  I'm on my own time frame, I guess.  And making up my own vocabulary to go along with it, apparently!

For me it's great to tone down a dressy look I might have worn in my volunteer ministry in the morning so I'm more school pickup ready.  I feel like it's versatile for travel, as well, since it can completely change the look of an outfit (see this long-ago post for another example of that).  Find some options you can still buy below.

What's one of your go-to outfit changing pieces?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Intermediate level bell sleeves


Activity: School concert and mom-son museum after school date

Top: LOFT, purchased in store last week (exact in limited sizing, similar)
Skirt: thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Crown Vintage via DSW (similar)
Bag: thrifted (similar)
Earrings: gift (similar)
Lip: NYX soft matte lip cream in Sao Paulo (exact)

This bell sleeve trend is a brave new world for me.  I recently "dipped my toes" in with a less voluminous, more drapy chiffon version (see this post), but when I spotted this top in the clearance rack at LOFT  - the only one and 40% off the sale price (okay, not that rare of an occurrence at LOFT...) - I thought I'd at least give it a try.  I also liked that it included the lace-up trend, but at the back of the shirt (sorry, my picture attempts of the back detail didn't turn out), since I've never liked lace-up front shirts.  I've worn it twice so far, and gotten so many compliments each time.  My husband even commented positively on it, which surprised me, since I categorized bell sleeves as one of those fashion items only women understand.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I seem to have managed to pass the exam for beginner level bell sleeves and have moved up to an intermediate level.  Or, as my six-year-old son says, "I'm on the next lebel, Mom".  I'm not sure I'll ever advance to an expert level, as I have found that cooking, writing and other life tasks are somewhat more difficult with voluminous sleeves....  But for a bang for your fashion buck, go ahead and jump in!

If you're ready to advance to the next level, here are some adorable options for you:

Friday, May 5, 2017

REVIEW: Vans classic slip on sneakers

I haven't taken the time to do a good review around here for a while, so here's my contribution to the digital world.  You're welcome ;) These shoes are a classic, so they will be around, albeit in different color options, for a long time to come, as opposed to my usual clearance, closeout (or thrifted!) shoe purchases, so hopefully this will help you to make a good choice.  

Size:  Vans uses unisex sizing, meaning my 8.5 women's size (or 39 european size) is a size 7, which is essentially a men's size converted to women's sizing (subtract 1.5 sizes from your regular American women's shoe size).  Personally, I like that sizing method, because the men's 7 seems to consistently fit me, and men's shoes tend to be a bit wider, which is good for me (more on that next).  I would say this shoe is true to size, once you convert to your size.  Vans website size charts and shoe boxes do a good job of showing all the size conversions, although I noticed that certain retailers linked to different size charts than what Vans said, especially as far as the European size conversion goes.  My shoebox said 7.0 mens, 8.5 women and mentioned size 39 for good measure.  All of those sizes are what I normally wear, so I feel their sizing is consistent.

Width:  These fit me great, which means they are on the wider side.  If your feet run really narrow, you may want to find a similar version by a different company.  Vans doesn't offer narrow or wide widths, just medium.  For me, the width is very comfortable and doesn't put pressure on the widest part of my foot.

Color:  I ordered this gorgeous blush/light pink suede in a woven pattern.  I'm completely in love with it.  Sadly, this version is virtually sold out everywhere, but there are so many other gorgeous options!  There's a perforated suede blush version currently available, as well as a pink fabric version, a silver leather version, a rose gold leather version, a canvas espadrille option...  The list goes on.  You can see many of the buying options listed below.

Sole: The bottom is rubber, and it's very grippy and practical for everyday wear.

Arch support: The insole liner doesn't have a specific arch support, but my arch felt quite supported as the rest of my foot settled into the cushy liner around it.  It looked to me that this insole would come out with a little effort and you could put in your own orthotic if you wanted. The only thing I did notice was that my toes felt a little close to the ground, so perhaps there isn't a ton of padding there?  I wasn't uncomfortable exactly, I just noticed I could feel the ground.   I'll keep track of how that feels the longer I wear them and update this post.  I don't know that I need to adjust the insole at this point, I just noticed it felt different than my other slip on sneakers from another brand. 

Quality:  My other pair of slip-on sneakers from the brand Dolce Vita retails at over $200 (I bought them new on eBay for $25), so you'd think this $60 Vans pair would feel much lesser in quality.  However, I don't feel that way.  These are lighter weight, but not in a cheap feeling way, actually in a more comfortable way.  I think I will enjoy wearing these more than those other expensive, heavier slip-on sneakers.  All the details are very good on the Vans shoe, and I like how the rubber sole wraps up around the upper of the shoe so it should protect the light colored suede from stains and wear.  (It's much easier to clean rubber than suede, right?)  These feel like a reasonable quality, especially for the reasonable price.

Style:  I love this classic, casual style, especially updated with this sweet color and texture.  This pair also comes up further on my foot than some other slip-on sneakers, almost to my ankle, which adds to the style (and comfort, actually).  That also allows you to wear a sock liner that covers more of the foot without it showing, which is more stylish, in my opinion.  The style looks great with cropped pants, and cute summer dresses.  

Comfort:   As mentioned, these are a lighter weight, which seems to be more comfortable on my foot.  The extra bit of width helps the comfort factor as well (at least for those of us with wider feet), and the insole does have some padding to it to add to the comfort level.  I wore these without sock liners the first time (I know, I need to get some of those), and didn't get blisters anywhere, although I wasn't walking long distances that day.  I will definitely add sock liners and think I could wear these for a long day of walking on a vacation.

Comments:  I talked about my other pair of slip-on sneakers earlier, they are designer and I got a great deal on them, and I've worn them a ton, but after trying these classic Vans slip-on sneakers, I think I will just always buy this same style by Vans again and again. Vans has so many style and color options, and they fit my foot so well, I'll just stick with this shoe.

Here are some more options for this popular style:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Updating a winter outfit for spring

Weird hair shadow, anyone?

Another odd hair shadow...


Activity: Running errands

Jacket: Theory via ebay (similar)
Tee: Purchased on WI vacation (similar)
Jeans: Kut From the Kloth, thrifted (similar)
Sandals: Lands' End, thrifted (similar)
Bag: Ann Taylor, thrifted (similar)
Earrings: Robin Undira boutique in Sonoma CA (similar)

A blazer and graphic tee are a classic combination for any time of year, but in spring you sometimes want a little change to mark the season, even if the weather isn't as cooperative as you'd like.  Changing out your full length denim for cropped and swapping sandals for boots is an easy way to feel like spring without freezing to death.

Happy Monday! 

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