Beautiful Blogger Bests - Thinking Fall with a Cable Knit Sweater Vest

This week I am featuring a beautiful blogger from down south. Tania Stephens was born in Tennessee and currently lives with her hubby in Southwest Virginia. Tania is a fireball. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She works at a lumber yard, is an active member in her women's club, has deep faith, and has an enormous following for her blog, 50 is Not Old, which she started in 2015. It is easy to see why Tania is so popular. She is a real, actual woman and she tells the best stories. She has a classic style and loves jewelry and handbags! Who doesn't? Ha, ha. You can read more about Tania on her About page. 

The look I was inspired by just shouted fall to me. As the weather starts to get chilly we can break out our cozy sweaters and reach for our jackets. This post was from September 26, 2016 and is titled, Cable Knit Sweater VestYou can see Tania's original post by clicking on the link or by clicking on the picture. 

I love simplicity and that is what this outfit says to me. What is more comfortable and simplistic than a pair of jeans, long sleeve button up and a cozy vest? Add a great pair of boots, a colorful bag and some fun jewelry and you are ready to go. I love how Tania's vest, boots and jewelry all tended toward a more neutral color against the dark wash of her jeans. Her white blouse and bright blue bag make the outfit shine. 

Here is my version.

Beautiful blogger bests - fall sweater vest outfit
Beautiful blogger bests - cable knit sweater vest

You can see here my sweater vest is orange, so I have a bit more color. I also tucked my jeans into my boots, where as Tania rolled hers up. A different style of boot calls for a little different handling of the individual pieces. 

Beautiful blogger bests - cable knit sweater vest

Since I wore orange, I decided to accessorize with orange jewelry too. This is the only white button up I own and while I like the casual style of the blue chambray stripe, I think I need a plain white one. I probably should have tucked it in as well. I was feeling rather sloppy! Ha, ha.

beautiful blogger bests - cable knit sweater vest

Here you can get a better look at my boots and my green thrifted bag. I thought green would be the perfect pop of color against the dark wash jeans and the orange sweater and accessories. 

Beautiful blogger bests - cable knit sweater vest

As always, I am thankful for the many other bloggers that continue to inspire and motivate me dress in a style that is all my own, but that can learn from others. Be sure to stop by Tania's blog and give her some love.

Have a great weekend. If you follow my faith blog, be sure to check back tomorrow for my Mulling it Over post on Ephesians 6:16. 

I appreciate each one of you and all the support you give me. If you have a chance leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you. 

Photo credit (mine) Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

 Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

Pantone Fall 2017 - An Intro to Two Color Palettes

This fall, the color institute known as Pantone published their usual ten color New York palette. However, this year they also published the ten color London palette. So what is a fashion blogger to do? Why, feature all twenty of these colors. Don't worry, I won't be featuring one color a week for the next twenty weeks. That would take me into January. Ha, ha. 

For this series on the Pantone colors, I will be combining two colors a week. There are a few colors that overlap on both the London and the New York palettes, and many of the colors while having different names are very similar hues. 

New York Palette

Pantone Fall 2017 - New York Palette

I decided to start the series with the London colors. The graphic above and below was put together by Rebecca, my photographer, web helper and daughter, using Pantone's color coding. The way you see the graphic will be the way I pair the colors. For example, Flame Scarlet will be paired with Otter, Primrose Pink with Navy Peony and so on.

London Palette

London Pantone color palette

You might wonder what got me interested in the Pantone color palettes in the first place. I love color. I love flowers in the summer, changing leaves in the fall, orange pumpkins at Halloween, Christmas lights at Christmas and the soothing colors of nature such as a blue sky, green trees and red cardinals. With my propensity toward color it was only natural when I became interested in fashion that an interest in fashion color choices followed. 

Pantone is the fashion and design industry's go to for color choice. I am not sure what the whole process looks like, as far as how they come up with the colors for each season and how those translate to fabric versus paint or graphic design, but if you start paying attention to the Pantone colors, all of a sudden you will begin to see those colors in the new season's line of clothing, home furnishings, graphics and even architectural designs for offices. 

Here are some sneak peeks at what I have coming up, starting next week, with the Pantone Fall 2017 London color palette.

Pantone Fall 2017 - London - Otter
Pantone Fall 2017 - Primrose pink and Navy Peony
Pantone Fall 2017 - London - Toast and Copper Tan
Pantone Fall 2017 - London - Blue Bell and Lemon Curry
Pantone Fall 2017 - London - Royal Lilac and Golden Olive

You can probably tell from looking at the graphic that this was not the easiest grouping of colors to work with. There are lots of pale colors as well as yellows which many people cannot wear. This palette was definitely a challenge, but I find that even more fun. Besides, it is helping my brain stay active to try to figure out how to combine pieces and colors in a ways that will be pleasing to the eye. 

I hope you will join me the next five Tuesday's for my Pantone Fall 2017 London series on the blog. Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check back on Thursday to see who my Beautiful Blogger Bests choice will be. Until then have a great Tuesday. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. 

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, and Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Wednesday linking up with Hannah and Sara of The Perfect Storm

 

Awesome Accessories - Arm Candy

This month's focus in my Awesome Accessories column is on bracelets, or what I like to call arm candy. I love to wear jewelry of all sorts. I do not have pierced ears and due to problems with wearing certain types of metals I can't wear clip ons either as they bother my ears. So many times, I will wear a necklace and bracelets. There are so many types, styles and colors of bracelets that if you are not typically a bracelet wearer just follow along and maybe by the end of this post you will be.

I thought I would arrange this post, by categories or types of bracelets. Bracelets seem to come in a variety of styles and are made out of every material imaginable from gold and silver, to plastic and fabric. Bracelets can be stiff and rigid or flexible and stretchy. As with anything fashion related, trying on different styles can help you decide what you like to wear best. 

1. The Tennis Bracelet 

The tennis bracelet is made up of a single row of small diamonds or gemstones. It originally got its name in 1987 during the U.S. Open. During a match, tennis star, Chris Evert asked the officials to stop the game because she had lost her diamond bracelet on the court. She was allowed time to search and ever since bracelets of this type are called tennis bracelets.

I do not own a real tennis bracelet, but here are a few choices:

2. The Simple Chain Bracelet

I am calling these simple chain because they are a single strand with some sort of clasp. Most of mine have a claw clasp that hooks into a link on the opposite end of the chain. These can be gold, silver or some variation of mixed non precious metals.

silver chain bracelets
gold chain bracelets

As you can see, these come in various styles. The thing I like about these is their simplicity. I'll often where one or two of these by themselves or pair them with a bangle in the same color. 

The only complaint I have about these is that it is hard to get them clasped by your self. Some clasps are easier to maneuver with one hand than others, so if you are trying these on at a store be sure to try the clasp. Another good reason to always try bracelets on, is that not everyone has the same size wrists. Better to try an item on and be sure it fits, than to purchase it, get it home and find out it doesn't.

3. Bangles

Bangles are simple bracelets made from metal, wood, plastic or other more rigid materials. These bracelets are typically without a clasp and just slip on or off over the hand to the wrist. 

bangles
bangles

4. Hinged Bangles

In addition to the regular bangles there are bracelets called hinged bangles. These are easier to put on and take off because one side of it has a hinge. When closed the bracelet looks like any other bangle. Hinged bangles come in a wide variety of styles, metals and colors.

hinged bangles
hinged bangle
hinged bangle
hinged bangles

5. Wrap Bracelets

Another type of bracelet that offers a different look and a different way to put on is the wrap bracelet. I have two types of these. The first is formed by putting beads on a wound metal wire. The wire has some amount of flexibility while still maintaining its original shape.

wire wrap bracelet
wire wrap braclet

The second type is made from various materials. It winds around your wrist then clasps with a magnet type clasp.

wrap bracelet
wrap bracelet

That is all I have time for in this post, but I will do another post in the future on more arm candy.

Have a great weekend!

 

Small Business Spotlight - Kaylee Barfell and LuLaRoe

I first heard about LuLaRoe from fellow blogger Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge. You can see her posts here and here. I have heard the name thrown around for a number of months now. As you well know I am a thrift and clearance sale shopper. Having always had to adhere to a limited budget my spouse and I have been able to travel and have what we need by being frugal, so spending lots of money on clothes has never been an option. However, as a fashion blogger, I also realize I need to be open to new things. The first time I ever shopped at Nordstrom Rack was after I had won $100.00 in gift cards from Jodie at Jodie's Touch of Style

My photographer and daughter, Rebecca of Rebecca Trumbull Photography is all about networking. She has made many area contacts and gotten to know a number of small business entrepreneurs in the Toledo, Bowling Green and Findlay area. I had started musing over the idea of using my blog as a way to encourage women, especially those who are trying to do the best they can by their families and their businesses. Hopefully, this will be the first in a long series of posts on area small businesses.

Rebecca and Kaylee first met at a networking event put on by a Mary Kay consultant. They clicked on many levels and now, not only encourage each other in their businesses and "barter" services, but have also become friends.

When you first meet Kaylee you are instantly put at ease. She is friendly, humble and real. She's also full of energy and sass. She welcomed Rebecca and I into her home and into the inner sanctum of her LuLaRoe business.

Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe

She has a whole room dedicated to her business, complete with hanging racks and bins full of LuLaRoe product, as well as a mirror and mannequin donning a very cute combination.

Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe

I came with a list of questions for Kaylee and she answered all of them, even the ones she wasn't sure of the answers to, by pulling out her tablet to look things up. She gave me a brief history of the LuLaRoe company and how it works. Founder DeAnne Stidham developed her business at a crucial time in her life as a single mother with seven children to provide and care for. You can read more of her story here. LuLaRoe is basically a clothing retailer that offers quality clothing sold through independent consultants.

When I asked Kaylee what drew her to the LuLaRoe business she said it was that she wanted to be home with her children, but still be able to bring in an income. Kaylee has her LPN and is working on finishing her RN, but felt that at this point in their lives, her blended family needed her more than just before or after work. LuLaRoe provided the flexibility and income she desired.

After we got through my list of questions Kaylee gave us freedom to peruse, feel and try on as many pieces as we desired. Here are some of the pictures that Rebecca took, when she wasn't busy trying things on.

Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe
Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe
Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe
Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe
Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe

One of the fun facts about LuLaRoe product is that every style has a name. Dresses have names like Nicole, Ana, Julia and Carly. Skirts are labeled Cassie, Lucy and Jill, to name a few. You can also get tops named Perfect, Classic and Irma. The pieces are generally soft, fluid and easily wash and wear. Many of the items look like they would be great for travel as they would fit easily in your suitcase and come out wrinkle free. 

Here are a few pics of me trying things on.

Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe

Here I am wearing a Perfect tee and a Maxi.

Kaylee Barfell - LuLaRoe

Here I am showing off a pair of leggings and another Perfect tee. I like the Perfect tee as it had a swing fit through the trouble areas, but a closer fit through the bodice and arms.

I wish I would have thought to take more pics of all the different products, but as it was time flew by and it was getting late. However, you can see all the different pieces available by looking on the LuLaRoe website. Each consultant carries different pieces, so your particular consultant may not carry what you are looking for, but they will be able to put you in touch with someone who does or get it for you.

At the end of our fun evening together, Kaylee graciously gifted me a Maxi. The following are pictures of how I designed an outfit around this pretty patterned maxi skirt.

LuLaRoe - Maxi
LuLaRoe - Maxi skirt

i had this green top that went perfectly with the green in the skirt. I opted to leave it out and add a belt. To bring it all together I added the reddish necklaces. Here are some other ways you can wear the maxi.

Folded waist:

LuLaRoe - Maxi

High waist:

LuLaRoe - Maxi

As a dress:

LuLaRoe - Maxi

I have heard good and bad things about LuLaRoe, but as with anything I think we need to examine the product ourselves and make our own decisions. I give Kaylee a lot of credit for wanting to spend more time with her family and LuLaRoe has made that possible for her.

If you are in the Toledo, Bowling Green or Findlay area and are interested in learning more about LuLaRoe you can contact Kaylee here on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lularoekayleebarfell/  or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lularoekayleebarfell/

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it will inspire you to look around at your local small businesses. They need your patronage and your support. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Have a great day.

While I was gifted the skirt, all opinion are my own.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Amy's make up Rachel Christensen.

Piece Perfect - Summer Sweaters

Since I just finished my series on wearing vests in the summer, I thought it would be a good idea to write a post on wearing sweaters in the summer. Everyone has had that experience where it is hot outside, but the moment you walk into that overly air conditioned restaurant your teeth start to chatter. While our bulky winter sweaters wouldn't be appropriate for this warm summer weather, it is good to have a few light weight options for when we know we are going to be in the air conditioning. 

For these pictures I decided to wear two key pieces, a pair of dark wash skinny jeans and a navy shell. By doing this I am emphasizing the sweaters and the accessories, showing you how you can easily change a simple, monochrome look by switching sweaters, and adding different shoes, bags, jewelry and scarves. 

These are four of my favorite warm weather sweaters.

1. Navy cardi with bling.

Summer sweaters - navy cardigan with bling

Before you say my picture was off center I was trying to get creative with my photography. Ha, ha. For this outfit, I kept the entire outfit monochrome navy and added my blush SO flats and my blush bag. 

Summer sweaters - navy cardigan

Talk about silly faces. I do notice when I am doing my own pictures, I am not always attentive to what I am doing with my face. Ha, ha. Oh well, it is entertaining. 

Summer sweaters - navy cardigan

This 3/4 length sleeve cardi I found some years ago at a thrift store is very light weight and it has a spattering of sparkly sequins that embellish the neck area. 

2. Tan open front cardi.

Summer sweaters - tan open front cardi

I decided to pair this light weight cardi with a pretty scarf. The scarf has a tiny print on it with light yellow, blue and pink flowers. I added a long pendant necklace and a bracelet that pull out the blue in the scarf.

Wearing sweaters in the summer - tan open front cardi

I matched up my black clutch with a new pair of Clarks peep toe heeled booties. I got these at an outlet mall on a recent trip back to Wisconsin. The store was having a buy one get one for ten dollars on all their clearance shoes. If you are familiar with Clarks brand you know these are not cheap shoes. They are well made, comfortable and have gotten more stylish every year. I was pleased to find these and another more casual pair that I'll show in another post.

Wearing sweaters in the summer - tan open front cardi

3. Cream waterfall cardi.

This next sweater is a cream waterfall cardi with 3/4 length sleeves. That sleeve length is perfect for summer. It provides enough coverage for an air conditioned environment, but not so much that you forget what season it is. 

Wearing sweaters in the summer - cream waterfall cardi

For this casual look I wore my flat black espadrilles, carried a black canvas tote and added a few pops of color with my turquoise pendant necklace and turquoise bracelets.

Wearing sweaters in the summer - cream waterfall cardi
Wearing sweaters in the summer - cream waterfall cardi

You can probably tell in this picture that I am seriously thinking about letting my gray grow out. The last time I went to my beautician I discussed the idea with her. She suggested I try a few highlights to make the contrast between the gray and my natural hair color less noticeable. I haven't decided if I like it or not. I like the highlighting, I'm just not sure I am ready for gray. What do you think? Do you color your hair? Are you letting yourself go gray?

4. Bright pink open weave cardi.

This last sweater I am sharing with you was a thrift store find. I have had it for a while and never seem to reach for it, so I decided I needed to pull it out and play with it, to see if I really want to keep it. 

I do find the handmade look of a piece rather appealing. I don't know if it is because I grew up with a mother who made many of my clothes when I was young and also crocheted beautiful afghans, or if I was inspired by one of her sisters who made all sorts of creations with yarn, or if it is just some of my bohemian gypsy blood, but I love pieces with this sort of texture and charm.

Wearing sweaters in the summer - open weave knit

I was having a hard time figuring out how to style this, until I came across this sea foam green infinity scarf. I suddenly remembered this lovely tote that I found when I shopped a friend's closet.

Wearing sweaters in the summer - open weave knit

See how the bag has both the green and the pink? I love when that happens. Never say never to a bright colorful bag. You might be surprised how many outfits you can design around it. You can read my posts on creating an outfit around a bag here and here

Wearing sweaters in the summer - open weave knit

I wore my wedge espadrilles for this outfit. These are another very comfy pair of shoes and they look cute! Cute and comfy? The perfect combo!

I hope you enjoyed this post. My goal as a fashion blogger is not to get you to buy certain clothes, but to challenge you to look in your own closet for pieces that are underused. Do you have any of these types of sweaters that you neglect to reach for. How about taking them out and rethinking how you could wear them?

If you need some added inspiration, I've included a few affiliate links. These are possible shopping options for you. Maybe you don't have a light weight sweater like these and would like to purchase one. These affiliate links can give you ideas. If you click on a link I get a few cents. If you buy something through the link, I get a small commission.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Have a great weekend.

InVESTments: Wearing Vests in the Summer - Short Knit

For the final installment in this series on wearing vests in the summer I wanted to show how to style two different shorter knit vests. While knits can be great for keeping us warm in the cooler months, we don't have to leave them in our closets over the summer. By choosing lighter weight pieces to style them with, we can still have fun wearing our cozy vests. Both of the following looks are more casual.

Look 1 - With Shorts

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

This light pink, zip up vest is another of my Christopher and Banks finds. I went for a subdued look with the khaki Bermuda shorts (Christopher and Banks), and taupe ankle boots, bringing in a pop of bright pink in my short sleeve sweater and bag. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

The vest has a subtle textural pattern over its entirety. The short sleeve sweater (thrifted, Ralph Lauren) also provides texture. Different textures allow pattern mixing without having to worry about clashing colors. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

I kept the jewelry simple with my gray pendant necklace and a few gray bracelets. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

A friend gave me this Vera Bradley bag for my birthday a couple years ago. It's the perfect companion for this outfit. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

I could have worn sandals, which would be expected for a summer outfit, but in keeping with thinking outside the box I opted for my SO brand ankle boots. 

Look 2 - With Capris

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

This knit vest by Chaps, I got at Kohl's at the end of the winter season. Isn't it a great summer piece? I styled it with a navy tee (Christopher and Banks) and white capris (Coldwater Creek)for a crisp warm weather look.

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

You can see the vest detail in this picture. The different weave, the cardigan feel, and the shawl type collar make a cozy statement, no matter when it is worn.

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

I chose to only add this light yellow flower pendant necklace for jewelry.

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

I've used this bag numerous times on the blog. It just adds a touch of class to so many different outfits. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

This time I went with sandals. They seem to dress up this outfit just enough.

Here are the two looks side by side. 

Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments section below. I always love to read your feedback. It helps me know what you like, as well as gives me a boost! Ha, ha. 

Be sure to check back Thursday for my look at a few summer sweaters on the Piece Perfect column. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Below are some shopping links. These are affiliate links which means if you click on them, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through a link, I get a little commission. I appreciate all your support in this manner. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thoughts on Thrifting - Part 2 - How To

Last week, in the first part of my two part series on thrifting, I talked about essential things to look for in a good thrift store environment. Things like location, organization, lighting and cleanliness are all factors that can make thrift shopping more pleasant and easier to maneuver. 

This week I want to focus on the science of thrift shopping. It has taken me a number of years to really pare back on over buying when I go into a thrift store. With the relatively low prices and the abundance of product, it is very easy to walk out with a whole bag full of fun clothes. Blogging has certainly helped me to discover my own style, as well as learn what the better brands are and how to put an outfit together. The following are just a few of the things I have learned over the years as a thrifter.

1. Know the store you are shopping in. It is always good to check out a few stores before you decide which ones you actually want to spend more time at. Know how things are laid out, how the clothing is arranged, where the bathroom is (if they have one) and where the dressing rooms are. 

2. Know your purpose for thrifting. What are you looking for? Clothing? Home goods? House wares? Kids toys and games? Tools? Know what you want to look for and what stores will most likely carry the items you want. Maybe make it a thrift store day and go to several stores. Knowing what your needs are before you start out, will make your trip more efficient and help you to not over buy or over spend.

3. Make a list. You might think this is the same as number 2, but I think making a list is a great way to keep you focused on what it is you are going to the store for. How many times have you gone to the grocery store for one item and end up grabbing several things and forget the one thing you went in for? Guilty! For thrifting, I have a running list. This means that I have a little note pad where I write things down as I think of them. Right now I have a list that includes a couple of olive colored pieces. I have grown to love that color and know I want a sweater of some sort for the colder months. Rather than going into the store with no idea what to look for, the list keeps me on task. Not that I don't get easily distracted by other things, but I have a better chance of leaving the store with less stuff. Ha, ha. 

4. Don't impulse buy. Are you the woman of steel? Are you never tempted by those end caps at the store that have items you don't need? How about those clearance racks? I really cannot go into a store without looking over the clearance. However, I am better now than I used to be. I used to buy a top because I thought it was cute, or pretty. Now I may try on dozens of cute and pretty things, but only buy those that look and fit perfectly and that I know will accent my style. Compulsive buying will only lead to a closet full of clothes that you don't know how to wear.

5. Don't be afraid to try on lots of things. My advice is don't go thrifting when you are in a hurry. Be prepared to spend time looking through the racks for your list items and trying things on. I usually get a cart full before I go to the dressing room. When I have a lot of time I might go through and pick tops I want to try on, then go to the dressing room. Then I will look through skirts and pants, then try them on. Once you try stuff on sort them into piles. The absolute no's go back on the rack. The maybe's I hang on the outside of my cart and the for sure's I take off the hanger, fold and put in the cart. The clothes in the maybe pile, I look through very carefully and try to imagine how I would use each piece. I also check for stains and tears. Anything that is not in perfect condition goes back on the rack.

Another piece of advice under this category is to try things on that look a little different or strange on the hanger. Once in a while I pick up a piece and think, "That is so not me," but maybe I love the color or the pattern, so I throw it in the cart to try on. Amazingly, I have found some fun stuff that I would have simply passed over, if I hadn't tried it on. This helps me as a fashion blogger, because it pushes me outside my box. 

6. Don't be disappointed if you don't find what you are looking for. Thrift stores are constantly getting in new items. It is good to go back every so often, list in hand and keep searching for that treasure you are looking for. 

These are a few of my favorite finds:

Navy Ralph Lauren blazer:

navy ralph lauren blazer

Loft striped tee and navy Vera Wang bag:

loft striped tee

J.Jill velvet lined jacket:

j.jill velvet jacket

Distressed cropped jeans:

denim distressed crop pants

And don't forget shoes:

navy loafer heels
ankle boots
combat boots

In addition to regular thrift stores in your neighborhood there are some awesome online thrift store options as well. Two of the bigger ones are Thread Up and Poshmark. if you are more of an on line shopper, be sure to check out these sites!

I hope you enjoyed these posts on thrifting. Thrift shopping is a great way to save money, find unique pieces to fit your own personal style and have fun. 

Next month I'll be back to my regular schedule for my monthly columns. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Feel free to share this with others you think might like to learn about fashion for women over 50. I appreciate all of your support. 

Have a great weekend. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style.

InVESTments: Wearing Vests in the Summer - Denim

I've been taking you on a tour of my vest collection and showing you ways to style these fun pieces for warmer weather. Today I am styling two denim vests to show you how these can be used with various pieces, including capris and a skirt.

Look 1 - Medium Wash

For this first look I wore a medium wash vest from Christopher and Banks. Here is an embroidered option here and a dark wash version here

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

To keep the look casual I paired the vest with my olive colored capris. I really like the look of blue denim with olive. Olive has become one of my faves for a different color to turn to for a neutral. When you think about it, olive really pairs well with many other colors. These thrifted capris are Sonoma brand with a modern fit, which simply means they sit a little lower on the waist and have a roomier fit through the hips and legs. Here is a utility style from Kohl's.

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

The top I wore was a sleeveless Izod popover, with a fun tropical floral design in pinks and purples. Here is a possible version from JC Penney. I thought the sleeveless top worked with this sleeveless vest. It gives the outfit an edgier vibe. 

I kept the accessories simple with a stretchy cuff bracelet from Chicos and a silver necklace. Here is another pretty option for the bracelet. 

My tote is from Charming Charlie and is a very light sage green, which I thought went well with the whole outfit. They don't have this version any more, but here is another pretty one. 

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

I finished off this casual look with my bright blue Keds. Keds are a great sneaker for summer. They are comfortable, cute and reasonably priced. These I found thrifting, but I've brought a few pairs at Kohl's. They don't have anything this bright, but here is a cute striped version. 

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

Look 2 - White

For the other denim look, I went with a white St. John's Bay vest that I got at a thrift store. This time I paired the vest with a blue striped tee and a navy and white maxi skirt.

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

You can see I was doing a little print mixing for this outfit. I thought the colors went well together and the narrow stripes on the tee, didn't overwhelm the geometric pattern on the skirt. This skirt was from Christopher and Banks also. 

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

For my bag I chose this fun little straw number. Straw handbags were on trend this summer and I came upon this little treasure when my husband and I were on a weekend away, while I was perusing a second hand shop.

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

For my accessories I went with my "stained glass" necklace and two bracelets. I like the contrast of the gold with the blue and white. 

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

Keeping the look casual I wore my navy Candies canvas sneakers. My husband reminded me the other day that I have numerous pairs of navy or blue sneakers! Ha, ha. I think I counted four pairs, but no two pairs are the same! 

Here are the two looks side by side. 

Do you have a denim vest in your closet that you have neglected to wear? These are versatile pieces that you can wear all year long through all four seasons. 

Have a great week. Be sure to check back Thursday for another post on thrifting. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge

Thoughts on Thrifting - Part 1 - The Stores

Since I am a bit behind and unorganized during the summer, at least this summer anyway, I am foregoing my Beautiful Blogger Best column this week. Believe it or not, watching a six year old every day does not leave me a lot of time for working on the blog. Usually, by the time he goes home in the evening, I do not have any brain cells left to put together dinner, let alone a blog post for the next day. In lieu of that, today I am writing a post on one of my favorite fashion activities, thrifting.

Stocksnap - Matthew Henry

Stocksnap - Matthew Henry

My husband is a detectorist. He owns a metal detector and loves to hunt for treasures buried beneath the ground. His favorite finds are rings, especially gold or silver, but he loves to find any type of ring, even a child's adjustable one. I guess you could call me a "thriftorist". Ha, ha. I made a new word. Just like my husband loves to find treasure, I love to hunt for treasure of the fashionable type in thrift stores.

In my town there are several thrift stores. Savers is the largest and the one I go to every few weeks. I have found they have a large selection of gently used items and their prices are fairly reasonable. They also have frequent sales and rewards programs that motivate a treasure shopper like me to stop in more often. We also have Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a number of others like Plato's Closet, Clothes Mentor and The American Cancer Society thrift shop. There are also a number that I haven't yet checked out. As far as treasure hunting goes, I have plenty to choose from.

When looking for the best stores to treasure hunt in you might want to consider a few thoughts. 

1. Location. Since thrift stores are dependent on their own finds and on donations, finding stores in high trafficked locations will usually yield better used goods. Most of the thrift stores that I shop in are nestled with other retail stores. That being said, you can occasionally find uniques treasures in second hand retailers in out of the way places. 

2. Size. I won't be so bold as to say that the bigger the thrift store the better, but the same reasoning I used for location holds true for size as well. Many of the larger thrift stores give you more options. Savers has everything from furniture and electronics to bedding and shoes. My grandson loves to peruse the toys when we go in there, knowing he will be able to find some little treasure that grandma will buy for him. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing and unique small thrift stores. My Shop on Rugby Dr., is an example of a small boutique that features used upscale women's clothing and accessories here in Toledo.

3. Organization. This is a huge thing for me....not that I am so organized, but that I like my shopping environment to be. Clothing should be organized by type. For instance, groupings such as long sleeve blouses, skirts, and cardigans, are all helpful as I hunt for treasure. If the store is organized by a broader category, such as long sleeve tops, it will take longer to look through all the tops to find that one button up that I am searching for. It is also helpful when a store organizes their clothing by size, at least by small, medium, large, and so on. 

Another way various stores organize their racks of clothes is by color. I really like this, especially if I go in with a specific color item in mind. That way, I only shop those sections with the colors I am looking for, instead of combing through racks and racks of clothes. While it is true, you have to look for your size in the color you want, it does make shopping for the Pantone series that I do, much easier. 

4. Lighting. I don't know about you, but when I am shopping I like to have a bright environment. I want to be able to see the colors I am looking at, as well as be able to read the tags to check out sizing, materials and washing instructions. I also want to be able to check the item over for tears, stains or deformities. 

On a weekend trip earlier this summer my hubby and I checked out a few thrift stores in the area we went to. The one store was beautifully organized, but the lighting was very dim. While I did find a few things that I bought, I kept wanting to ask a staff person if they could turn on the lights. 

5. Cleanliness. While every thrift store has a bit of a second hand air to it, it doesn't have to look and feel like a dump. Floors should be fairly clean. I've been in thrift stores where I wanted to wash my shoes after I left. Changing rooms should be well attended, meaning the staff is removing clothing left behind and picking up things that were left on the floor. Believe me, people can be very rude when it comes to changing rooms...even at regular, full priced retailers!

Clothing should be clean. That doesn't mean it has been washed. Stores do not have the capacity to wash every item that comes in their donation doors. However, they can be particular about what gets put out on the floor. Find stores that take pride in the pieces of clothing they put out.

It is also helpful if the thrift store has a bathroom. I drink a ton of water and having a bathroom on site means they will get to keep my business. 

Thrifting is a great way to save money, find unique pieces that are just right for you and have fun. I love to thrift with my daughters and my best girlfriend back in New York. Of course it always involves lunch! You can find jewelry, purses, shoes and, of course, clothing for a fraction of the price you will pay at a regular retailer. 

Next week I'll be back with another post on thrifting where I'll talk about how to turn compulsive buying into shopping science. 

Did you like this post? Did you find it helpful? Are you a thrifter? I'd love to have your feedback in the comments section below. 

Have a great weekend!

 

InVESTments: Wearing Vests in the Summer - Long Knit

An open weave vest is perfect for summer because it allows air movement. Whether the fabric of your vest is yarn, lace or some other material, having perforations, or open weave will keep you cooler than a vest of the same material without the holes. 

This week's look was based around a long, open weave vest that I featured last fall in my Pantone series. You can see that look here in the post Potter's Clay. For this week's outfit I decided to pair the vest with a pair of crop pants, a button up short sleeve top and accessories. 

Wearing vests in the summer

Everything in this outfit except the sandals and the jewelry was thrifted. These plaid Sonoma ankle pants are a combination of colors we usually think of for fall: brown, tan, orange and black. However, the light weight of this chino type fabric makes me think summer. To keep the look summery under the clay brown knit of the vest I chose a bright orange New York & Co. top that suggests more peaches and cream than pumpkin. This orange perfectly compliments the orange in the pants.

Wearing vests in the summer
Wearing vests in the summer

The above two photos show you more detail of the open weave of the vest. I love the fringe on this vest. It adds length, but also adds a fun bohemian vibe to the outfit. 

Wearing vests in the summer

I added a gold stretch bracelet and a simple pendant necklace that I picked up at Meijer on clearance. I wanted the focal point of the outfit to be the vest, so I kept the accessories minimal. 

The cute black clutch and St. John's Bay block heel sandals complete the look. 

Wearing vests in the summer
Wearing vests in the summer
Wearing vests in the summer

I know it might seem silly or at least not very practical to layer on a long vest in the summer. However, there are times and places for everything. For example, this would be a great outfit for work. Let's face it, most work places are overly air conditioned and usually you have no control over where the temperature is set. Wearing these layers will give you extra warmth without giving you extra weight. Also, this vest and others like it can easily take an outfit from day to night just by switching out a few things like shoes, your bag and jewelry. Exchange those black block heels for a pair of nude  or blush heels, add a blingy clutch or cross body and layer on a few long gold chains and you are ready for dinner and the dance floor. Ha, ha.

I hope you like this post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. I know you are very busy, but your comments help my blog to grow. Also, check out my Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Once in a while there will be different things featured on those. As always thank you for your support.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge and Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

Is it a Piece or an Accessory? The Kimono.

This month I am combining my Piece Perfect and Awesome Accessory columns to feature something that can be worn both as a clothing piece, but also as an accessory. The kimono was originally a traditional Japanese garment. The word kimono means thing to wear. Most traditional kimonos were floor length. While some Japanese wore kimonos on a daily basis, most were worn on special occasions. Today the kimono has wide following in the fashion industry, particularly this summer. You will see these lovely, drapes in most stores. They vary in length, cut, style and pattern, but most feature light weight sheer material, square sleeves and a more square or rectangular body.

The kimono I have on today, I have worn before on the blog. You can see that post here. What inspired me to do this particular post, was that I was seeing numerous other bloggers wearing their pretty kimonos with shorts and jeans for a more casual, summery look. 

kimonos in the summer

I apologize again for my terrible photography. I am not sure why these turned out so foggy. It was a very warm, humid day, so I am not sure if that had anything to do with it. My daughter said, my lens may have fogged up. Never thought about that! Live and learn.

This pretty kimono I found at a thrift store, along with the clutch and tee shirt. When I decided on doing this post, I shopped my closet and found all the pieces. If you are a clothes horse like me, you will always find outfits in your closet as long as you use a little creativity and thought. 

The shape of my kimono is a little different in that, it has a high-low hem. Mine is also a little longer than many of the versions in the stores right now. However, I am sure you can find one that will suit your style needs.

styling a kimono in the summer

I was babysitting my grand puppy again so I had to let her get in a pic!

styling a kimono for summer
styling a kimono for summer
styling a kimono for summer
Styling a kimono for summer

I kept my accessories simply with a few silver bangles and my small black clutch. 

What makes a kimono a clothing piece versus an accessory? I think it all depends on how you wear it. My outfit is complete without the kimono. A pair of jeans, tee shirt and tennis shoes is a great casual summer outfit. I added the kimono as an accessory. It brings color and fun to the outfit and adds a light weight layer of warmth for air conditioning. 

I could change this look and make the kimono an actual part of the my outfit by putting on black leggings and a black tank or tee, then I could layer the kimono over top and add a belt. This would make the kimono almost look like a dress and would be the focal point of the outfit. Add black heels or wedges and a silver layering of necklaces and voila a great look for a date night with the hubby. I would have put that outfit in this post too, but my time has been very limited lately, so I didn't get a chance to get my act together. Ha, ha.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you own a kimono? How do you like to wear it? I'd love to hear from you. I always appreciate when people comment and I always respond to your comments. You can always check back a day or two later to see what I've written.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. 

InVESTments: Wearing Vests in the Summer - Asymmetrical Hem

I have always liked to wear vests. I know for some women, vests just aren't a piece of clothing they consider wearing. Today, however there are so many more options. Rather than the structured denim and stiff cotton fabrics of my childhood, vests come in all manner of materials, lengths and styles. In this series I would like to show you a variety of vest types and ways to style each of them for the summer months.

This week I am featuring a vest with an asymmetrical hem line. Asymmetrical means that the hem is not the same all the way around. This vest is shorter in the front and longer in the back. This vest is Say What? brand which can be found a numerous retailers including Target, Macy's and Kohl's. I know I found this on clearance, but I actually can't remember where. Ha, ha. My brain just isn't what it used to be! 

Summer vest series

The looks in this series will revolve around a more casual style. This outfit would be perfect for work.

Summer vest series

For this look I wore a pair of checked ankle pants that are New York & Co brand. Here is a cute polka dot pair. 

Summer vest series
Summer vest series

I wanted to keep the palette a soft neutral so I chose an off white Faded Glory tee that I've had for a few years. Here is a cute lace front one from Walmart. 

For accessories I just threw on a couple of beaded necklaces that drew in the soft pinks, grays and tans of the vest.

Summer vest series

I found this bag at one of my favorite thrift stores called Savers. The brand is New Directions which is found at the retailer Belk. Here is a similar one currently in stock. I bought the bag because I loved the soft hobo bag styling and the buttery rum color. I'm sure I'll be using this in the fall. 

Summer vest series.

You've seen these cute SO flats before that I got at Kohl's. I loved them so much that I ordered two more pairs, a light blue and a floral. They will probably show up on the blog sooner or later! Click here to see these and many other colors. 

The open weave of this vest makes it a perfect addition to a summer outfit, but I can see styling it with long sleeves, skinny jeans and boots for fall. Do you like vests? How do you like to wear yours?

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a shopping link below, I will get a few cents. I appreciate all the support you give to me. I wouldn't have a blog without subscribers and readers like you. Thank you!

All opinions expressed are my own.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee in the Spread the Kindness link up. Wednesday linking up with Sara and Hannah of The Perfect Storm. Linking up with Jo-Lynne Shane in the Fashion Friday link up. 

 

What's Trending for Summer 2017

Before I became a fashion blogger I never even thought about trends. I didn't pay much attention to how I was dressed, for that matter. I pulled on my mom jeans and a tee shirt or sweatshirt and I was good to go. I still find myself reaching for things that are comfy and easy, but I do give more thought to what I am wearing and yes, now I pay attention to the trends. I don't necessarily like all that is trendy during any given season, but it is worth taking a look at. We have the right to pick and choose the ones that we like and what works for us, while disregarding the ones that don't. That is the beauty of learning to dress in a way that you love and are comfortable with. What you put on should be an extension of who you are and make you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.

Here are a few of the Summer 2017 fashion trends. These are not in any particular order.

1. Khakis or chinos.

At times fashion terminology can be confusing, especially if you are not familiar with the types of fabrics used in making particular pieces. I thought I would enlighten us by explaining the difference between khakis and chinos. Khakis are typically made of a heavier weight cotton, much like a regular denim, while chinos are a lighter weight cotton. The other difference is in the stitching. Khakis have stitching that is visible, while chino stitching is not. Khakis will give a more relaxed look, and are usually a little wider through the leg. Chinos on the other hand will appear dressier and typically fit closer to the leg. 

As far as color, we typically find khakis in colors from tan and beige, to olive and gray. Khakis are usually neutral. Chinos, on the other hand can be found in just about any color.

2. Seaside stripes.

Stripes seem to come and go, but they are definitely in right now. You can choose horizontal or vertical!

Maybe you already have something striped in your closet. Now you can pull it out and wear it and you'll be perfectly stylish!

3. Gingham

Much like stripes, gingham seems to come and go. Right now it is showing up on more than just summer table cloths. Check out fellow blogger Nancy Baten of Nancy's Fashion Style, looking absolutely lovely in her gingham dress. 

Isn't she adorable? I love how she paired the dress with the bright green bag and sandals. She looks ready for a number of summer activities! Here are a few other possibilities. 

4. Off the shoulder/cold shoulder.

This trend is really hot right now. I have never been all that comfortable with baring my shoulders. I'm not sure why. I have pretty shoulders and my hubby always tells me I have pretty collar bones. Ha, ha. This year was the first year I invested in a cold shoulder tee. I got the berry colored one below at Nordstrom Rack using the gift cards I had won from Jodie at Jodies Touch of Style. 

colder shoulder top

Do you like off the shoulder styles? How about cold shoulder styles? 

5. Retro swim wear.

I like that they are bringing a more modest swim wear back. These provide so much more coverage. Don't you just love the red with white polka dots? Too cute!

6. Wrap dresses.

There are loads and loads of pretty dresses in the stores right now. The wrap version can be extremely figure flattering on any figure. 

7. Slides.

I am not referring to the kind the kids have fun on at the park. These slides are a style of shoe.

I was wondering myself what the difference is between a slide and a mule. Talk about confusing. My husband always says, the English language is a really stupid way to communicate, due to the variety of meanings for the same word! For this post I am strictly talking fashion.

What I found when I looked it up, was that there is no real difference. I personally think of slides as being more casual with a low or no heel. Mules seem to be meant for more dressy occasions and while many come without heels, more often they come with a low or mid sized heel. 

8. Basket bags.

I talked a little bit about straw bags in my Awesome Accessories post on Summer Bags. These are so fun and while I wouldn't use them for all sorts of occasions, they would be perfect for a trip to the summer market or the beach! 

There are loads of other summer trends out there including white shirt dresses, micro florals, cowboy boots (yes, you heard me right) and bold drop earrings. 

I hope you enjoyed this look at the summer trends. If you found any of the pieces interesting you can click on it and it will take you to the retailer where you can read more about it or order it. 

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Thanks for all of your support and have a great weekend!

Friday linking up with Jo-Lynne Shane in the Fashion Friday link up, and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge. 

Marvelous Maxis - A+ A-lines

This is the final installment in my Marvelous Maxis series. An A-line skirt is basically a skirt that is narrow at the waist then subtly flares out toward the bottom, thus the "A" look. I have always been a fan of the A-line skirt because it is figure flattering, but still allows for room through the hips and thighs. It is also a great skirt to wear if you want some flare, but don't want a lot of excess material. 

Today's skirt is from Dressbarn. If you are not familiar with Dressbarn they are a women's clothing retailer selling sizes 4-24. I hadn't been in a Dressbarn in ages, but then visited one with my girlfriend while I was back in NY a few months ago. I was glad I did. They have a fun and whimsical style with a variety of prints, colors and cuts in pants, skirts, dresses and tops. They also sell accessories like shoes, bags and jewelry. It took everything in my power to not spend more than I did! 

Look 1 - Casual

Marvelous maxis - A - line skirt

I fell in love with the print on this skirt, knowing that I will be able to use it for spring, summer and fall. The skirt is a somewhat sheer material, but is fully lined so you don't have to worry about finding a slip to wear underneath. 

Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt

The lining has knee high slits on both sides, making it easy to walk and sit without feeling bound in. Here is a pretty fuschia floral print. 

Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt

I paired the skirt with a simple embellished orange tank top. This is a St. John's Bay brand which is found at JC Penney. My tank was thrifted. I tucked the top in, to keep a more figure flattering silhouette. Notice after I tucked it in, I pulled it out a touch, to allow the material to bag out to camouflage my bulges. We have to have a trick or two to hide our baggage!

Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt

Since the tank has all this bling, I decided to not wear a necklace. For accessories I just wore a multi-strand beaded bracelet, carried a small macrame bag and wore my lace up sandals. I bought these sandals at Meijer. Meijer is a grocery and clothing retailer here in the midwest. I was surprised to find out that their Massini clothing line is now backed by Stacy London of What Not to Wear fame. Meijer is trying to create a style for every body. 

Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt
Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt

Look 2 - Dressy

For a more dressy look, I swapped the casual tank for my glitzy taupe short sleeved pullover blouse. This piece was thrifted and is The Limited brand. The Limited is no longer available as they closed their stores back in January. You can see how I styled this blouse in last fall's Pantone series here

Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt
Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt

I also added a gold clutch and gold Covington wedge sandals, Sears carries Covington brand shoes. I also added a fun pendant necklace. 

Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt
Marvelous maxis - A-line skirt
Marvelous maxis - A-line

Here are the two looks side by side.

I hope you enjoyed this series on maxi skirts. These skirts are a great option when you want to have your legs covered, but don't want to wear pant or hose. Do you have maxi skirts in your closet? How do you like to wear them? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Have a great week! 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a shopping link below, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through my site, I get a small commission. All opinions are my own. 

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee in the Spread the Kindness link up and Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style. 

Color Crash Course - On the Bright Side

I love color, as some of you already know. However, there are times when I can be a little fearful of putting certain colors together, or of wearing too much dark or too much bright. I decided to challenge myself for today's post and put together a combination of bright colors to see if it is not only pleasing to the eye, but able to get me past my fear of brights. 

Color crash course - wearing brights

For this outfit, I combined two bright blues, a royal blue for the top and an aqua blue for the skirt. Once again I am styling a maxi skirt. These are a great way to keep your legs covered, but still look summery. See my Marvelous Maxi series, by clicking on the links: Pleasantly Pleated, Playing it Straight,  and Wearable White. There will be one more post in that series, next week. 

Color crash course - bright colors

To add a touch more bright, but also add some pizzazz to the outfit I added this colorful zip up top that I found at thrift store. My royal blue embellished short sleeved tee is from Christopher and Banks. 

Color crash course - wearing bright colors

To keep the look from getting too colorful, I added black accessories, which drew from the black in the zip up top. I found my black velvet choker at Kohl's, the bracelet was something my daughter had and the little black clutch with heart appliques was another thrift store find. It is really more the size of a large wallet, but it is big enough for a phone, some cash or a credit card and keys. What more do you need?

color crash course - wearing brights

Here is a closer look at my choker. I love the vintage style of this piece. For my shoes, I opted for a pair of patent leather slip on sandals with silver trim.

color crash course - wearing brights

What do you think of this outfit? It was really windy when we were taking pictures, so I look a bit wind blown. Ha, ha. Do you like to wear bright colors like this? What is your favorite color combination?

Color crash course - wearing bright colors

I had to add a silly picture too! I get pretty silly

I hope you enjoyed this post. I appreciate all of your support. Be sure to check out my Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest. I am still a work in progress, but I keep trying! 

Have a great weekend!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Sunday linking up with Rena of It's All Fine. Whatever.... Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. 

Marvelous Maxis - Wearable White

White has long been a summer staple for many women. I can remember when I was a girl, going shopping with my mom before Easter to get a new pair of white church shoes. Back then, we didn't wear white until after Memorial Day, with the exception of Easter Sunday. White is now a year long embraceable color. Spring, summer, winter and fall are all appropriate seasons for wearing white. In the warmer months our white clothing will usually gravitate to capris, shorts and lighter weight tanks and sleeveless tops. I have also found white skirts are a fun item to have in your wardrobe. 

Today's skirt is St. John's Bay brand from JC Penney. They currently do not have a white maxi version, but they do have a knee length version here

Look 1 - Casual

Marvelous maxis - white skirt

I topped the white skirt with a simple orange and white striped tee that I found at a thrift store. I like the bright color of this tee. 

Marvelous maxis - white skirt

I added my antler and bead necklace from Cabelas and a bracelet that matched. It's funny how sometimes you can buy two separate pieces of jewelry, at two different places, at two different times and end up having them look great together. 

Marvelous maxis - white skirt

To keep the look ultra casual I wore my black flat espadrilles. These are Easy Spirit brand and have a nice cushy insole. Here is a very cute low wedge version. Espadrilles are a great shoe for summer as they are usually made of canvas, which keeps your feet from getting too hot. They also look cute with just about everything.

Marvelous maxis - white skirt

Look 2 - Dressier

I didn't dress this outfit up as, much because I wanted to show you that making only a few little changes can make a casual outfit look a bit more dressy. 

I kept the same tee, but topped it with a Joe Fresh navy eyelet jacket from JC Penney. Penneys no longer carries Joe Fresh, but they have their own website. Here is a cute version from Old Pueblo Traders. 

Marvelous maxis - white skirt

You can see I also kept the same bag. This roomy top handle bag is from shopping a friend's closet. It is an Aldo brand bag and is well constructed with a burlap looking body and tan leather trim and handles. 

Marvelous maxis - white skirt

I swapped out my antler and bead jewelry for a few orange beaded bracelets and a bird pendant, with a gold chain and pretty faux rhinestones. 

marvelous maxis - white skirt

I also swapped out my flat espadrilles for my Croft and Barrow Ortholite sandals. These are very comfortable, look stylish and come in two other colors. You can see them here

Marvelous maxis - white skirt

Here are the two outfits side by side.

Do you own a white maxi skirt? How do you style it? Do you wear it all year round or just in the summer? I actually could see wearing this skirt with a heavy sweater and boots in the colder weather, so I may just have to try that. I'd love to hear your input in the comments section below. 

Check back Thursday for a colorful outfit on my Color Crash Course column.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinion are my own. 

Linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb, Nicole of High Latitude Style

Beautiful Blogger Bests - Cute Top, White Jeans, Skinny Scarf, Heels!

This month I am featuring a lovely lady who has been blogging for over ten years. Starting with a blog that was geared toward The Musings of a Housewife (her original blog name), Jo-Lynne Shane has narrowed her focus to style and fashion. Her blog, Jo-Lynne Shane: My Life and Style, is widely visited and subscribed to by thousands of women looking to learn about fashion. Jo-Lynne is sweet, intelligent and giving. A woman of faith she shares her life with her husband (also her photographer), three children and a dog.

Jo-Lynne terms her style as "casual chic". I love her casual, comfortable, yet totally put together looks. The post I chose to reinvent was from March 15, 2017 and is titled, Bell Sleeve Top and White Jeans with Floral Skinny Scarf

You can either click on the title of the Jo-Lynne's blog post above, or click on her picture and it will take you to the original post, where you can read it in full and leave her some love! What I love about this look is the comfort aspect. The top is not tight and binding, yet Jo-Lynne did a fabulous job of looking so chic and put together. The pop of pink of her heels and the cute neck scarf are the perfect accessories. The outfit is balanced, not being over or under done.

For my outfit, I didn't have a bell sleeved tee so I opted for a  Sonoma brand peplum tee instead. I found this tee on the clearance rack at Kohl's. Here, here and here (plus size) are some very cute versions.  My white crop pants are an older version from Christopher and Banks. Here is a similar pair, but in an off white. They are having a pretty good sale right now too, so take a look. 

Beautiful Blogger Bests - Peplum tee, white jeans outfit

I have a bit more going on in my outfit with the stripes on the tee, but I tried to tone down my accessories, so it didn't seem too busy or out of balance. 

Beautiful Blogger Bests - Peplum top and white jeans

Instead of tying the scarf short around my neck, I let the oblong pieces hang which allows for some print mixing. While the colors do not match, the yellows and browns in the scarf go well with the oxford gray of the top.

Beautiful Blogger Bests - peplum tee and white jeans

Jo-Lynne's blush bag looks so good with her bright pink shoes and the pinks in the scarf. I decided to carry this goldenrod yellow Elle bag which draws out the yellows in the scarf. As far as I can tell, Elle does not make handbags anymore, or at least not for regular retail. You can find a number of Elle bags on Poshmark, an online thrift store. 

Beautiful Blogger Bests - peplum top and white jeans

Like Jo-Lynne, I kept my jewelry minimal, since the scarf adds visual interest around the neck. I wore a simple beaded cuff bracelet that picks up the browns in the scarf.  

Beautiful Blogger Bests - peplum tee and white jeans

This outfit would have been fun with bright yellow heels, but I don't have a pair in my closet. Ha, ha. These gray ones work just as well. DSW has a great selection of pumps. Here is a cute pair of Clarks, My shoes are a Payless brand called Comfort Plus. You can check those out by clicking on the link.

Beautiful Blogger Bests - peplum tee and white jeans

Be sure to hop on over to Jo-Lynne's great blog. She has her own board on my Pinterest account, because I love so many of her outfits. 

There are two reasons I started this Beautiful Blogger column on my blog. The first is to exposed my readers to some other really awesome fashion bloggers. The second is for purely selfish reasons, their sense of style gives me more inspiration to look great and feel confident. 

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. Have a great weekend. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, Jo-Lynne Shane in the Fashion Friday link up

Marvelous Maxis - Playing it Straight

When I decided to do this series on maxi skirts I wanted to be able to show you, not only ways to style them, but variations on maxi skirt shapes. Skirts come in various shapes from A-line, and pleated, to circular and pencil. Just Google skirt shapes, and you'll see a number of images that explain the different silhouettes. Last week I featured a pleated skirt. This week my muse is a straight, or what can also be called, columnar, skirt.

If you are not a fan of maxi skirts, because of the amount of material involved, I would suggest trying a straight maxi. This shape is fairly figure flattering for most women and allows for some amount of camouflage for those areas we often consider problems, such as tummies and hips. The straight skirt, also does not overwhelm with loads of material.

Once again, I styled the skirt two ways. 

Look 1 - Casual

marvelous maxis - the straight skirt

I found this pretty printed skirt at a thrift store. I love the summery blues and greens of the pattern. For my casual look I paired it with my fringe hem tee. 

Marvelous maxis - the straight skirt

To not make the look too busy, I kept my accessories simple. The lariat choker, was a new accessory I decided to try after seeing it on a few of my blogger friends. It's basically one long chord that you wrap around the neck to form a choker, then tie at the front. 

Marvelous maxis - straight skirt
Marvelous Maxis - the straight skirt

My other accessories included a simple charm bracelet and a canvas off white clutch. To keep the look casual I chose a pair of gold thongs with tassels. 

Marvelous Maxis - straight skirt

Look 2 - Dressy

For my second look, I swapped out the fringe tee for a simple pull over top with ruffles around the arm holes. I did the front tuck to make the outfit a bit more figure flattering. 

Marvelous maxis - straight skirt

This cutie pie is my grand puppy Beatrice. She's being coy in this photo. Ha, ha. For my accessories, I wore a multilayer royal blue necklace, which picks up the blues in the skirt. I also wore royal blue heels. Instead of the casual off white clutch I chose my green tote that I got for Mother's Day from Charming Charlie. I also grabbed an aqua sweater for those overly air conditioned places. 

Marvelous maxis - straight skirt
Marvelous maxis - straight skirt
marvelous maxis - straight skirt

Here's another shot with Miss Beatrice. You can see how I did the front tuck on the blouse. 

Marvelous maxis - the straight skirt

Here are the two looks side by side. Which one do you like better?

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you have been inspired to pull out that maxi skirt and wear it. I've gathered a few printed straight maxi skirts below. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge. Wednesday linking up with Sara and Hannah of The Perfect Storm Blog. Thursday linking up with Ada of Elegance and Mommyhood

Awesome Accessories - Summer Bags

Summer is a wonderful time, fashion wise. We can get rid of all the layers and start wearing clothing that is light weight, sheer and fun. Everything from our shoes and jewelry to our skirts, jeans and tops take on a more flirty and free vibe. We love to go outside without socks or boots and without jackets or sweaters. In addition to our clothes, our accessories take on a more summery feel, with woven bags, open toed shoes and jewelry in a rainbow of colors. 

For today's post, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the fun summer trends for bags. 

Perforations

These perforated bags are so fun. Who would have thought adding a few strategically placed holes would make a bag look so chic and different. The three bags above are all reasonably priced. You can click on the picture to find out more about each bag. 

This was my perforated bag purchase. I found this at a thrift store. 

perforated bag

Macrame Bags

Macrame bags have been pulled out every summer for many years. I think they are fun bags that add an element of texture to any of your outfits.. Here are some fun choices. I love the tasseled tote from Kohl's and the denim and leather mix from DSW. 

These are my oldies, but goodies. They are each made of different yarn. The cream one is more of a rope material and the drawstring has a more nylon type material. 

Straw Bags 

Straw bags are back! This is a blast from the past, but with new style and flair. Here are a few to whet your appetite. Isn't that tote with the pom, poms too cute? The floral one is from JC Penney and very reasonable. Just click on the picture for more info.

I tend to look for trending items at thrift stores first, because that is where I like to shop. I never know when a trend comes along, if I will really like it or not. I never thought much of straw bags, so this is the one I picked up. However, after seeing some of the other ones out there, I think I may have to change my mind. 

The reason, I'm showing you the second picture is for the lining. You might want to consider this when purchasing a straw bag. If you are just using it to carry towels and sunscreen to the beach an unlined bag would be fine. However, if you are going to use it as a regular purse, you might want to consider a lined bag, so all those little things we tend to throw in our bags, like pens, pins and so on, won't work their way through the weaving of the straw. 

Colorful Tote Bags

Tote bags seem to make more of an appearance in the summer than in the winter. I think that may be due to their versatility. A tote bag can carry sunscreen, a book, sunglasses, and a light weight sweater along with the usual wallet, and keys. You can also use a tote bag to carry a smaller purse along with a few of the aforementioned items if you are going on a quick day trip or short weekend get away.

There are tons of adorable tote bags out there and you will find them at almost any store. The black floral version below is from Target and the multi colored woven one is from Bauble Bar. 

Here are a couple of my fun tote bags. The green one, I bought myself for Mother's Day from Charming Charlie and the multi print bag is a Vera Bradley, that a friend got on clearance and gave to me for my birthday!

Unique Clutches

A clutch is always a great go to, if you are going out and don't want to be encumbered with a large bag. If all you want to carry is a small id holder, for your credit card and id, your phone and your keys, a clutch is the perfect choice. Why not make it a unique clutch that will tell everyone you are on top of your fashion game. Here are some fun ones to think about. 

These are just a few of the many, many cute versions around. Check at your favorite retailers. You'll probably find just what you are looking for to upgrade the outfit you are wearing to that wedding, graduation party or back yard picnic. 

This is the cute one I found while thrifting when the hubs and I got away for a few days last month. I was surprised when I grabbed it knowing I wanted it, that it turned out to be a Relic brand. 

relic brand clutch
relic brand clutch

I hope you enjoyed this peek at summer bags. There are so many fun options out there. I hope you have been inspired to find that perfect summer bag. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. What is your favorite summer bag? Do you use the same one all summer, or do you switch it up from one event to the next? 

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on an item link, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through my blog, I get a little commission. All opinions expressed are my own. I really appreciate your support. 

Have a great weekend. 

Linking up with JoLynne Shane in the Fashion Friday link up. 

Marvelous Maxis - Pleasantly Pleated

This is the first week in a series that centers around the marvelous maxi skirt. For me, a maxi skirt is a perfect option for summer dressing. As I have probably mentioned before, I have bad varicose veins. These began after my second daughter was born and then I started gaining weight. They are ugly, bulgy and cause my legs to be discolored a rather purply blue. While these can be somewhat treated, insurance companies can be rather persnickety about paying for a procedure that isn't an absolute necessity. Believe me, my veins are more of a pride issue than a health issue. Eventually, I will look into having something done, but they really don't bother me that much...I've had a kidney stone, so I do know pain. Ha, ha.

Back to the maxi skirt. These are great for running around town, hanging out at home, or going out with the hubs for a date night. They are comfortable and affordable. A maxi skirt extends all the way to the ankle and below. I prefer them to skim the tops of my feet so I am not tripping over the material.

Today's outfit is a pleated maxi. I love this piece and have featured it on the blog before, here

Look 1 - Casual

marvelous maxi - pleated skirt

I wanted to show you two ways to style each of the skirts I will feature in this series. This first look is more casual. I topped the skirt with a gray slub tee. I love the drape and feel of this fabric. 

marvelous maxis - pleated skirt

I opted for my macrame drawstring bag with wooden beads. It give the outfit a bit of a hippie look and the taupe color goes well with my shoes. 

marvelous maxis - pleated skirt

I kept the jewelry very simple. I found this bead at a a little shop down near Mohican State Park called Creative Outlet Indian Store. They don't have a website, but you can click here to see some reviews. They have all manner of Native American jewelry, moccasins and CD's, as well as the usual touristy type stuff. I simply bought the bead, then looped a piece of leather through to make it into a necklace. Easy. 

marvelous maxis - pleated skirt

Look 2 - More Dressy

For the second look, I swapped out the slub tee for a sheer top with a fancy crocheted area around the neck and down the front. 

marvelous maxis - pleated skirt
marvelous maxis - pleated skirt

I tucked the top in and wore a wide brown belt, to give the outfit a more polished feel. I carried my multi colored clutch and added a necklace and bracelet with a coppery tone.

Marvelous maxis - pleated skirt

For shoes, I swapped out the ankle boots for a pair of dark brown heeled cage sandals. 

Marvelous maxis - pleated skirt

Here's a look at the two outfit side by side.

A long pleated maxi skirt is a great addition to your wardrobe. I know for some petite women, finding a maxi that doesn't drag on the ground can be hard. There is always the option of having a seamstress hem it up for you. Also, check out the petites section of your favorite stores. Maxi's a pretty popular right now and they may have something just right for you. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. Be sure to check out Thursday's Awesome Accessory column, where I will be looking at summer bags. 

Below are a few pleated maxi's that I thought were pretty. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb, and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots in the Ageless Style Link up.   Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Sunday linking up with Rena of It's All Fine. Whatever....