Outfit Inspiration - Gingham and Olive

This week’s Outfit Inspiration comes from a Christopher & Banks add that I received in the mail. I love to try to copy the outfits that many retailers put in their advertisements and catalogues, because it gives me a source for a well thought out outfit, without me having to come up with the idea. I still have to shop my closet and try to find similar enough pieces to create the look, but the inspiration was provided by someone else.

When I saw the classic combination of a gingham button up with olive pants I knew it was an outfit I could easily replicate from pieces in my closet. This is what I came up with.

Outfit Inspiration - Gingham and Olive

Since olive is treated as a neutral these days you can wear it with any other color and it works. Case in point, for this outfit I am pairing these olive trousers with a black and white gingham blouse, a white tank underneath to add interest and a gray casual cardigan.

This is an outfit I would easily wear to work. While the outfit is fairly neutral you can easily jazz it up by adding color in your accessories. I chose to keep my look more neutral all over. I have on black loafer heels, which I have worn on the blog before, and decided to carry my thrifted snakeskin clutch, since animal prints are trending right now. I opted for a few silver bangles and no other jewelry. I felt there was enough going on with the gingham check and the layers, although you could easily add a necklace or a pretty colored scarf to wake the outfit up a bit.

Outfit inspiration - gingham and olive

This gingham blouse was thrifted and is Old Navy brand. The white sweater tank that I have on underneath was also thrifted and is George brand. The original photo that I took the inspiration from showed the model with her top tucked in and no belt, even though the pants had belt loops. I wanted to stick to the original outfit as much as possible, but next time I will add a belt. I just think it makes an outfit look more polished. I have an olive colored one that would have worked perfectly with these pants.

Outfit Inspiration - gingham and Olive

My gray sweater is from H&M. I had a gray sweater, very similar to this, but it was showing wear, so I was glad to find this as a replacement.

Here is a picture of the shoes taken on a different occasion. They are a sturdy, practical heel, but still look stylish while being fairly comfortable. These were thrifted and are ANA brand.

Here are a few more photos I thought I’d share just for fun:

Outfit Inspiration - gingham and olive
Outfit inspiration - gingham and olive
Outfit Inspiration - gingham and Olive
Outfit inspiration - gingham and olive

I was having fun with this red bud tree. Unfortunately, the poor thing is half dead.

That’s all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this post. I’d love the hear your feedback. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 6

This is my final installment in this series on kimonos and ruanas. If you have been following along you know there is a difference between these two pieces, but often the way a piece is put together, makes it more of a hybrid, or something I call a "kiana". A piece like this has both the longer front drape of a ruana, but also the more formed sleeves of a kimono. Today's piece is a kimono and this one is a heavier piece that will take me well into fall. I found this cute little number at a Bealls store in Florida last December, when our whole family spent a few days together in the St. Petersburg area. It was cold, so shopping was a fun alternative to the beach for my daughters and I. 

fashionblogkimonostyle-57.jpg

I decided to pull my outfit colors from the flower embroidered on the front left of the kimono, thus the red and olive green. Here is a picture of the outfit without the kimono.

fashionblogkimonostyle-73.jpg

This olive top is thrifted and Chico's brand. The crop pants are from the Meijer clearance racks and is a brand called Stitch Star. 

Once in a while things get rather interesting when my daughter is taking my pictures. I think she gets bored so she was making rather suggestive comments about the flower on my chest, which elicited this response from me. Of course she had to get it all on camera!

Anyway, you can see the floral embellishment includes the deeper red like my pants and a lighter pink. I just got a pair of distressed pink jeans from H&M and I think they will look nice with this kimono. There is also just a hint of green in the leaves, thus my olive green top. The marled black knit of the kimono is a nice alternative to an all black look. 

kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono

i went for brassy gold in my accessories and grabbed my small heart embellished black clutch and black strap block heeled sandals to complete the look. 

kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono
kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono

Aren't the snaps on these pants a fun addition. I am looking forward to styling these pants more different ways this fall. 

Here is a back view, showing you the hi-low hem line of the kimono. 

kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono
kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono

What do you think of this outfit? Do you think the red pants are too bold? Would you where bright colored pants? Do you own a kimono? How do you like to where yours? I'd love to hear you thoughts, so leave me some love in the comments section below. If you are not sure how to comment, just read the instructions below. 

Thanks again for following the blog. If you haven't subscribed, please add your email in the subscription box and I'll add you to my email list. I only email once a week. 

Have a great day!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 5

I have two installments left in this series on kimonos and ruanas. I have found that adding a couple of these pieces to your closet will give you miles of extra wear on things that you might consider more plain or mundane. The kimono or ruana is a piece that can stand alone, meaning it doesn't need much help to make an outfit look fabulous. For most of these I have worn the kimono/ruana over an outfit built from simple pieces like a skirt and a tank, pants and a tank, etc. The over piece is what takes center stage, which it should. 

Today's look is a different sort of kimono/ruana. Once again, I am going to call this one a "kiana" because it takes the long drape of the ruana, but makes it more kimono like by sewing the sides together to create a sleeve of sorts. When I first got this open weave piece, it was only sewn at the sides by a few stitches. I liked the way it stayed in place, but soon the stitching came undone and I noticed it was harder to keep the piece from slipping off, so I sewed the sides back together. 

kimono or ruana - open weave navy "kiana"

I decided with this open weave look, I could focus more on the entire outfit standing out, thus the tropical print pants and graphic tee. I got these fun pants at H&M on the clearance rack. I don't wear this loud of a print too often, but I loved the fit and thought it was time, once again, to climb out of my comfort box. 

At first, I tried this on with a number of tank tops, including white and a light blue, but nothing seemed right. It was then I remembered, I had this thrifted tee and the greens matched perfectly. 

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "Kiana"

I chose the pink accessories to pull out the little bit of pink in the pants. Yes, my necklace is wrapped over my boob! Sometimes, I forget to make sure everything is positioned just perfectly. Ha, ha. Oh well, just keeping it real!

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

Just a few words about this shirt. If you follow my Instagram feed, then you have seen this before and I said a similar thing then that I am going to say now. It is often hard to see beauty in tragedy. How do we see beauty in school shootings, wild fires, volcanoes, mud slides and things like disease and addictions? The point is not that those things themselves contain the beauty, but that there can be beauty, even amid those difficulties. Communities coming together to help families of victims, amazing fire fighters who risk their lives saving others, and people who come out stronger than ever going through loss and heartache are all beautiful. 

There is a verse in the Bible, which says,

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
— Romans 8:28 (NASB)

I'm not going to preach to you, because this is a fashion post, but I truly believe this. Gratitude plays a huge part in seeing beauty and in bringing healing when we have gone through difficulties. Finding, even the smallest things to be thankful for, is the first step to realizing exactly what this tee represents. I'll step off my soap box now. Ha, ha.

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"
kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

Here is a back view of the "kiana".

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

Besides the open weave allowing your outfit to take center stage, rather than the kimono, it also allows air to get through. I have found many kimonos are make of polyester, poly blends, viscose or silk and actually can make you feel more hot and sticky. That's perfect when you are in an overly air conditioned building, but not if you are walking at the fair or an outdoor summer festival. An open weave outer piece is a great option for the waning days of summer. 

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

I hope you enjoyed this post. What do you think of this outfit? I'd love to hear your comments on how you style a kimono or a ruana in the comments sections below. 

I've included a few shopping links for you to look over. These are affiliate links which means if you click on a link I get a few pennies. If you purchase something through my site, I might get a little commission. I appreciate all the clicks you can give, but even more I appreciate hearing from you. 

Have a great day everyone!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Outside the Box - Wearing a Crop Top - With a Tee

I'm sure many of you have seen crop tops. You might even own a few. I have never been a crop top kind of gal. I like my shirts to cover my middle with no skin exposed. We hear much these days about being less inhibited, wearing what we want to wear regardless of our age and equality of the genders. I want you to know, I'm okay with being more inhibited. I'm alright with not wearing the same things a thirteen year old might wear. I believe in equal pay for equal work, but I also believe that men and women were created differently and that is okay.

For today's post, I am featuring a crop top that I found a few years ago thrifting. This is Express brand. What really drew me to this little piece was the bling. I love my bling, as many of you know, so even though I knew this was shorter than I would normally wear, I thought I might be able to pop it over top of another shirt for a two in one type of look and still be able to have my fun bling. 

Outside the Box - crop top

I wore a Christopher and Banks navy tee for my under layer, which went perfectly with the navy stripes on the crop top. 

This next picture shows you the separation of the two shirts. 

Outside the Box - crop top

These Apt. 9, white, crop pants I just found at a Goodwill store near by. The combination of navy and white is always classic in the summer time and no matter how you wear it, I think it looks chic and fresh. I decided to pair this look with my red Ked peep toe wedges, a red clutch and a red bracelet. 

OUtside the box - crop top
Outside the box - crop top
Outside the box - crop top

In this pic you can see all the pretty bling. It also makes me look well endowed, which I am not, but here is a trick for those of you who are smaller in the bust line. Wearing horizontal stripes on the top can make you look bustier. Also, with the way this crop top stops at my waist it gives my waist a more cinched in look, another optical illusion. Isn't that part of what dressing is all about? Finding ways to hide what we don't like and accentuate what we do all helps build our confidence. 

Outside the box - crop top
Outside the box - crop top

I really like these Ked wedge heel peep toes, but they do have a tendency to slide off my heel. I need to get some of those gel pads to put in the back that help keep you heel in the shoe. Other than that these are quite comfortable and have a cute retro vibe. The wedges even have red polka dots on them. Here are a few options from DSW including a canvas stripe, a black textured, and a denim blue

fashionblogcroptopstyle-2.jpg

What do you think of wearing a cropped shirt like this? Finding different ways to wear styles we may not usually reach for is a way to expand your wardrobe and wear something totally different. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Leave me some love and have a great weekend!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Outfit Inspiration - Chambray Shirt with White Pants

I can't think of a an outfit that more epitomizes summer than a chambray shirt with white pants. The combination of blue and white just seems to say picnics, sunshine and longer hours of daylight. Adding a summer hat, bag and a pair of comfy sneakers and you have the outfit in today's post. The inspiration for this outfit came from an old advertisement for Chico's. Their adds always seem to have the prettiest outfit combinations; a great marketing idea, of course. They want you to buy their products and they do have wonderful clothing. However, if you are like me, then you like to find pieces in your own closet to make use of the clothing I already have and occasionally add a piece or two from thrift stores and regular retailers. While my pieces are not exact duplicates of the original add, they do mimic the outfit well. 

Outfit inspiration - chambray top and white pants

I didn't realize until after I took these photos that I should have smoothed the top out in the front by pulling it down. Ha, ha. The joys of being in a hurry when you are taking photos. 

Both of these pieces are from Christopher and Banks and I bought them in the store. You've seen these white ankle pants on the blog before. You can see those posts here, here, here and here. For this post I rolled the pants up to create more of a cropped pant look, which is what the original outfit had. 

I've styled this light chambray popover top on the blog before as well. You can see that post here. You can see in the next three photos more details on the shirt, including the hi-low hem, front pocket, three button closure, v-neck, no collar and roll tab sleeves. 

Outfit inspiration - chambray shirt with white pants
Outfit inspiration - chambray shirt and white pants
Outfit inspiration - chambray shirt with white pants

This is such an easy outfit to put together. I kept it completely casual and didn't even add any jewelry, although you could easily throw on some pretty colored bangles or bead to add a pop of color. You could also wear sandals or flip flops and carry a bright colored bag to add color in a different way. 

I've had my cream macrame bag for years and it is a cute little number for shopping when I want to carry something light and less bulky. I've also had these white Keds for years as well and they are starting to show some wear. 

Outfit Inspiration - chambray shirt and white pants
Outfit Inspiration - chambray shirt and white pants
Outfit Inspiration - white pants and chambray shirt

What kind of outfit do you envision when you think of summer? I love to hear your feedback. I appreciate those of you who subscribe to my blog. If you like my blog, share it with your friends and family. 

Have a great day.

 

Spring Transition - Striped Jacket

This last outfit in my Spring Transition series features a striped jacket that I got from Christopher & Banks. This jacket was one of the first purchases I made from Christopher & Banks after I became familiar with the retailer. The material is a heavy weight cotton, almost like a denim or canvas. This jacket makes me think of an old time train conductor's suit or hat. Actually, I think I used to have a hat that looked very similar to this pattern. 

Spring Transition - Striped Jacket

The jacket has long sleeves that can be rolled up and kept in place with a snap tab. It has a full zipper and a thick collar that can be stood up and kept in place with drawstrings. This makes the jacket a great piece for a cool summer evening outing as you can lengthen the sleeves and zip it up all the way, to keep yourself a bit cozier. 

Spring Transition - Striped jacket

i am not sure why these jeans are so wrinkly. These are ANA brand. A dark wash skinny ankle jean is a great piece to transition to the warmer weather. In fact, when the heat goes up, I just turn up a pair of pants like these to form a cuff and have a pair of crop pants. 

Spring Transition - Striped jacket

This red tee has 3/4 length sleeves and a lace up v-neck. The lacing makes for a fun added detail. I found this Chaps tee on the clearance rack at Kohl's

For shoes I chose my SO floral flats. Yes, I have three pairs of these fun and comfy shoes. They are great to wear with jeans, skirts and would probably be cute with shorts. Here is a link for the same flats, but in different colors. I have fairly narrow feet and they fit me perfectly. 

Spring Transition - Striped jacket

I chose my green Style & Co. bag, just because the shoes have a little bit of green in them. I added the blue fringe dangle to add a little bit of fun to an otherwise plain bag. 

Spring Transition - Striped Jacket

To add a little bit of jewelry, I threw on a couple bracelets. 

Spring Transition - Striped jacket

This is a very casual outfit and you could easily put your own version of this together with your own jeans, tee, jacket and shoes. You could even use a pair of fun sneakers like Keds, Converse or Vans, if you don't like the ballerina flat option. If you like a little more color, you could use a hand bag that has a bright, fun pattern or a jacket with a floral pattern. This is easily an outfit that you can put together from things you already have in your closet. 

Let me know what you think. What would your version of this outfit include? I love hearing your thoughts.

This is a late post today. My hubby and I just got back from our vacation late last night and I spent most of the day trying to restock the fridge, unpack and, of course, I had to pick up my Grandson from school. It was his last day, so summer officially has begun.

I hope this post finds you well. Until next time, thanks for stopping by the blog. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - Recap

Now that my series is over, I thought I would show you all of the outfits together for a fun review. Just a refresher, the Pantone Color Institute puts out a palette of colors twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. These colors are the basis from which designers, both fashion and interior, draw their inspiration for fabrics, clothing, paint and furnishings. I always consider it a challenge to draw outfit inspiration from these colors, even the ones I may personally not like. Let's face it, not all colors are necessarily pretty in everyone's eyes. However, I think it can be good for our brains to think outside the box and try new things. 

These were the two palettes. Many of the colors overlapped and I made reference to that in the posts. I personally think these two palettes were perfect for spring. Most of the colors were bright or light, with a few more earthy tones, which combined rendered great spring outfits. 

Here were my outfits. If you click on the picture it will take you to the original post.

I was glad that Pantone added the four classic colors of Sailor Blue, Harbor Mist, Warm Sand and Coconut Milk. These colors are perfect for grounding an outfit and keeping it from getting too over the top with color. Is there such a thing? Ha, ha. 

I think out of all of the colors from both palettes my favorites are Ultra Violet, (no surprise there, since I love purple), Arcadia, Pink Lavender and Ash Rose. All but Arcadia fall into the purple range. What can I say, I love purple! If I ever had a sports car it would be dark sparkly purple. Ha, ha. 

I hope you enjoyed this series. Let me know in the comments what your favorite colors were from this spring's two palettes. I always love to hear what you are thinking. 

Join me on Thursday for my Outside the Box column. You never know what I'll be showing off there. If you follow my Faith page, check back tomorrow for more on my Mulling It Over series as we delve further into 2 Timothy 2. 

Have a great Tuesday!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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

Ordinary Amy - Casual take on Eva Trends Kimono

Last Thursday I introduced you to this gray lace body kimono from Eva Trends. I showed you two ways to wear the kimono, with a dress and with a long maxi skirt. You can see that post here. This week I wanted to show you two more ways to wear this fun piece by styling it over a pair of skinny jeans. 

I opted to put this on my Ordinary Amy column, because these two outfits are more what I would wear. I just feel more comfortable and confident in a pair of jeans, than I do in a dress. I'm sure that goes back to my tomboy days as a child chasing after my two older brothers. 

Look 1 - Jeans with Heels

This first look is a fun way to get dressed up for a date night.

Eva Trends - lace body button up sleeve cardi

For both of the looks in this post I used my dark wash Apt.9 skinny ankle jeans. I use these often in the warmer weather rolling up the hems to make them into crop pants. 

Eva Trends - Lace body button up sleeve cardi

This black velvet top was given to me at Christmas. This City Streets brand, has short sleeves and a simple round neckline. Here is a similar one from Last Call by Neiman Marcus. Here is a cute tie-sleeved one from Nordstrom. 

Eva Trends - lace body button up sleeve cardi

This necklace I ordered from Christopher and Banks. The one problem with it, is that the chord is very stiff so it has a tendency to want to twist around. I make take it off that chord and put it on something different. It is really a unique piece. Here is a pretty fern one from Etsy. 

Eva Trends - lace body button up sleeve cardi

I grabbed my silver clutch and a silver bracelet. I finished off the look with my Comfort Plus gray heels. 

Eva Trends - Lace body button up sleeve cardi

Look 2 - Jeans with sneakers.

For my second look, I really brought it down to completely casual. Using the same pair of jeans with the lace body kimono, I swapped out the velvet tee for my Wonder Woman tee. 

Eva Trends - Lace Body button up sleeve cardi

I did the front tuck with the tee. I think it would be even better with cuter belt. This black leather one is my go too and I wear it with everything, but usually it is functional, and doesn't show. 

I rolled my pant hems and my sleeves up for a more casual vibe. The only complaint I have about this lovely kimono is that the sleeves are narrow. It was hard for me to roll the sleeves up far enough to use the button on each side and my arms are not overly heavy. Someone with a larger diameter arm, would probably not be able to wear this. 

Here are two pictures that show you how the kimono is shaped. The truth is, it was a very cold day and the static was making the kimono stick to my clothes and itself, so I opened it up to let the wind blow away the static. 

Eva Trends - lace body button up sleeve cardi
Eva Trends - lace body button up sleeve cardi

I decided on a red clutch with silver handles and a few silver bangles. A couple of these have red on them too. 

Eva Trends - lace body button up sleeve cardi

You've seen these Keds before. They are like old friends. I told my daughter, don't get too close, because they are dirty. Ha, ha. 

Eva Trends - Lace Body button up sleeve cardi

Here are the two outfits side by side. 

The lace body button-up sleeve cardigan is a fun piece to add a different dimension to many of your outfits. You could probably belt is as well, though I didn't think of that for this post. 

What do you think of these outfits? Do you like these or the ones last week with the dress and skirt better? 

Don't forget Eva Trends is offering a 15% discount if you order using the code AC15

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. 

The items from Eva Trends were gifted to me. This post also contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Friday linking up with Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Nicole of High Latitude Style

Old Becomes New (or Not)

Last month, I introduced this column with a look at a suit wear jacket that I had thrifted a few years ago. It is nothing outstanding and I didn't really like how it looked in my original post. You can see that post here. While I was nearly ready to get rid of the piece then, I had a few people, bloggers and other, comment that they would like to see the piece styled with a shift dress, pencil skirt or skinny jeans. I thought, why not! For today's post, I am styling this long blazer two different ways. The first with a shift dress and the second with a pair of skinny jeans. 

Look 1 - Over a shift dress.

I first introduced you to this navy shift dress March of last year in my Piece Perfect column. You can see that post here. A shift dress is a, streamlined dress that can be dressed up or down and accessorized in a variety of ways because of its simplicity. 

Old Becomes New (or not) - Longer blazer

I have had it with trying to take pictures in the frozen tundra! Ha, ha. I know, I am a wimp. In my defense it was about 37 degrees. What kept me inside, however, was the wind chill. Hello, spring! I also have to make a comment about my hair. It is not looking its best and that may have to do with not having a trim since before Christmas. It gets pretty frizzy on the ends. I need to schedule an appointment soon! Okay, I am done complaining!

Old Becomes New (or Not)

In the first post I did on this long blazer, I mentioned that it is a brand called Braeten. My shift dress is Land's End. This dress is made out of a heavy Ponte knit, which gives it some structure and hides things like panty lines and bulges quite well. Land's End has a similar one here.  

To bring a little spring color to the outfit, I added the green chiffon scarf and my bright green Imoshion satchel. This was thrifted bag, but I learned when I looked it up that this is a vegan bag retailer, that has become quite popular in Hollywood. Here are a few cute options from other vegan retailers here, here and here

Old Becomes New (or Not)

Here is the dress without the jacket and me with more silly faces. I look like I am falling asleep. Ha, ha. 

Old Becomes New (or Not)

I decided on navy hose, and navy heels. I think it gives me a more trim, elongated look. 

Old Becomes New (or Not)

Look 2 - Over skinny jeans

This second look features a pair of Apt. 9 skinny jeans. For this look I decided to wear a bright yellow top to create a different look. The top really pops under the more sedate blazer. 

Old Becomes New (or not)

The yellow sweater is an old brand called East 5th. When I pulled the top out, I also thought of my Relic clutch, which led to grabbing a necklace with purple beads and a silver chain. The clutch also made me think of my brown Life Stride ankle boots. See how one piece leads to another and another? I love when that happens!

Old Becomes New (or Not)

Here is a picture of the outfit without the jacket. 

Old Becomes New (or Not)
DSC_0045 (3).jpg

Here are the three outfits side by side. 

What do you think? Should I keep this piece or get rid of it? What would you do? I really like the look with the skinny jeans. I think the darker color and the bright sweater make the outfit so much more interesting and appealing. The long blazer by itself is rather bland, but pairing it with other bolder colors can make the piece a perfect jacket for transitioning into spring. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on whether you think I should keep this piece or not. Let me know in the comments sections below. You opinions and comments really help my blog to grow. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane, and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. Linking up with Jodie in the Ageless Style lInkup

Another Outfit Inspired by Eva Trends - Spell Color Cape Sweater

A few weeks ago, I styled an outfit with a piece I had received from Eva Trends. Eva Trends is an online retailer that features trendy pieces that are infused with bold colors, touchable textures and styles that defy what society classifies as the norm. Most of their pieces are made of materials like linen, silk and cotton and have a relaxed, oversized silhouette. 

When Eva Trends contacted me to see if I would want to work with them, I wasn't sure about whether the styles were well suited to the fifty and above crowd. In all reality, we are often consumed with making ourselves appear stylish without added bulk. However, when I received the three pieces they let me pick from their website, I quickly realized that it isn't about the size of the piece you put on, but what you do with it, that makes it work. 

In my first post for Eva Trends I styled a tasseled knit sweater. You can see that post and how I styled it here. Today's post is centered around a piece they call a Spell Color Split Cape Sweater. What drew me to this piece was that is was something outside my norm. See last week's post .  I have never had cape tops or poncho tops before, so when I saw this bright red, brown and tan number, I thought it would be a great way to break out of my box. 

I am going to be showing you a combination of indoor and outdoor pictures, because I added a few more detailed pics inside that I forgot to add outside. 

Eva Trends - Spell color split cape sweater

The cape sweater has 3/4 length sleeves. I wore a red, long sleeved tee underneath, which matched the color on the sweater perfectly. As you can see it is a cape, poncho, sweater and turtleneck all wrapped into a weighty wool and polyester blend. It did not feel itchy at all and I loved the thickness of the fabric. I felt like I was wearing a blanket! 

Eva Trends - Spell Colored Split Cape Sweater

In this pic, you can see the split sides. The beauty of a style like this is two fold. First, movement. There is no way this piece is going to constrict my movement, unless I clumsily get it stuck in a door, and believe me, I am possible of that feat! Second, layering. You know how I love my layers. This fun piece could be layered over a simple tee as, I did here, or over something much more bulky like a sweater and even over a tunic or dress. 

Eva Trends - Spell colored split cape sweater

In this photo you can see how wide this piece is. This is typical for Eva Trends. I think I would like this a tad bit more if it were about six inches longer. The next two photos are from a few different angles. 

Eva Trends - spell colored split cape sweater
Eva Trends - spell colored split cape sweater

As you can see from these photos, I styled this piece with my Rock & Republic skinny jeans and a pair of Clarks low heeled boots. I think this works because, it helps to trim down the bulk. While Eva Trends caters to a more relaxed baggy look, I like to have balance. I feel that if I have bulk on the top, I need to trim down the bottom and vice versa. The same would be true if I wore a bulkier skirt or pants, then I would want to have a more fitted look up top. A heel also helps to elongate the leg, thus making the legs have a sleeker look. 

If you think something like this would be to overwhelming for you, there is also the idea of adding a belt. This piece is a little heavy to belt, but I made it work. 

Eva Trend - spell colored split cape sweater

I changed my boots for this look, just to go a little more casual. 

Eva Trends - spell colored split cape sweater

Here is a closer look at my jewelry. I liked the silver tones against this bright topper. 

Eva Trends - spell colored split cape sweater

I am completely sold on this fun split cape sweater. With spring coming I won't be wearing this much until fall, but I will be looking forward to pulling it out again, when the weather cools.

Eva Trends is extending a a 15% discount if you visit their site and use the code AC15. Give their site a visit. You might just find something you want to try. 

The cape sweater in this post was gifted to me by Eva Trends. All opinions are my own. 

Ordinary Amy - Denim Love

If you follow fashion bloggers at all, then you see loads of cute outfits and put together looks, that sometimes leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. I know I feel that way. There are many bloggers who show lovely outfits and gorgeous photos. For me they are a source of inspiration, but they can also be a source of dissatisfaction.

There are times I come away from looking at another blog feeling like I want to crawl under a rock! Unfortunately, I feel that way more often than I would like in the long winter months. I want to hide and become invisible, yet, at the same time, I want to be noticed and recognized for something, not sure what, but for something. This is a dichotomy I have struggled with most of my life. Being an introvert often leaves me being misunderstood as aloof or stuck up. It also puts an added burden on my shoulders to push myself outside my comfort zone. That alone, is not a bad thing. It forces me to grow and learn as an individual. It has helped me to overcome fear and be able to reach out to others who have similar feelings. 

Unfortunately, it also weighs on me most of the time. I never really feel free to express myself or my opinions. Yes, I am one of those individuals who has had my opinions shot down, laughed at and even ignored. Obviously, that makes it harder to be confident and bold, not only when it comes to my writing, but to my fashion as well. I often reach for what is comfortable.

Ordinary Amy - washing day

When I was growing up, my mom always hung the laundry out on the clothes line when the weather was nice. I remember when I was really young, we still had a ringer washer. I always thought washing day was so much fun, because my mom would let me help her feed the clothes through the ringer, which squeezed the excess water out. I loved to put my hands in the cold rinse water, especially on hot summer days. When I was tall enough, my mother would let me help her hang clothes on the lines outside that ran from our house to a large maple tree.

I used to play amongst the flapping clothes, imagining they were the curtains to a stage where I would be a singer. There weren't many kids in our neighborhood, as we lived out in the country, so I learned to play by myself using my imagination. Sometimes I would sing a story and other times I would imagine I was lost in the jungle and dinosaurs were after me. To this day, I still love to imagine and I also love to do laundry. Hey, everyone should have at least one household chore they like to do! 

When I took these pictures a few weeks ago, the temps had gotten up into the mid fifties. I had a set of sheets and a few smaller throw blankets to wash, so I decided to hang them outside. Ever since those early years, I have loved how things hung outside, smell! 

Ordinary Amy - washing day

This is me. Denim, cozy knit vest, sneakers and a little bit of jewelry. I am wearing my Christopher and Bank jeans. The knit vest I have worn on the blog before here. It is Chaps brand. Chaps is a brand found at Kohl's. It has a little higher price point than some of their other brands, but the quality is good. Sizing seems to run a little small, so I usually size up. I found this vest on clearance.

Ordinary Amy - denim and knit vest

In the above picture you can see some of my pearl jewelry and details on the shirt and vest. The polka dot chambray shirt is SO brand and was thrifted. And looky there, I did some print mixing! Ha, ha. 

Ordinary Amy

Once again, my satchel, from Walmart is making another appearance on the blog. I love the neutral colors and the firm structure. Many of the bags I use are more a hobo bag and slouch when put down. This one is a tote and stands up well. Here is the same one.

I'm also wearing my Keds sneakers that I have had for a while. Here is another cute navy pair, or there is this slip on

Ordinary Amy - Denim and knit vest

What is your go to outfit, when you want something comfortable, but don't want to just hang out in your sweats or pjs? Let me know by leaving a comment below. I love hearing from you!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you'll have a wonderful weekend! 

I've included a few shopping links for similar items. These are affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through my blog, I get a little commission. I appreciate all you do. All opinions are my own. 

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

Pantone Spring 2018 - Ultra Violet, Cherry Tomato and Meadowlark

Welcome to the second installment in my Pantone Spring 2018 series. Since last fall the Pantone Color Institute has been featuring two color palettes for both the fall and spring seasons. With two palettes to choose from there are so many more color combinations to create fun outfits. 

For today's outfit I combined three more colors. All three of these colors are found on both the New York and London palettes. This week my classic grounding color is Warm Sand. I am glad that the four classic colors were added this year to the palette. Sailor Blue, Harbor Mist, Warm Sand and Coconut Milk are the perfect colors to either use as a foundation for an outfit or to accent a more colorful outfit with accessories. Last week I wore Coconut Milk (white) jeans as the grounding color for my three more colorful pieces. You can see that post here

Pantone Spring 2018 - Ultra Violet, Cherry Tomato and Meadowlark

Ultra violet is a lively medium purple. These jeans, which are Not Your Daughter's Jeans, are not truly Ultra Violet, but these colors serve as guidelines for putting an outfit together, not rules. If you don't have the exact shade in your wardrobe, then try a different shade. The outcome will still be a stylish, colorful outfit.

The Cherry Tomato striped tee is has 3/4 length sleeves and a small line of ruffles around the button area at the top. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - Ultra violet, cherry tomato and meadowlark

For Meadowlark yellow, I added my bright yellow bracelets and necklace. I love how adding just a touch of color can really make a statement. I don't wear a lot of yellow, but using it as an accent in my accessories is a great way to still incorporate the color into my outfit. 

Everything in this outfit is thrifted except the jewelry, purse and shoes. When I bought this sweater it had toggle closures. I'm not a big fan of toggles, so I took them off and simply use the sweater as an open front cardi, or in this case, I added a belt. I thought this worked quite well, as pairing purple and red can be a little bit overwhelming. The sweater really helps to break up the two more bold colors. 

Pantone Spring 2018 -

My suede Sonoma ankle boots are old, but I thought they were perfect for this outfit. The pants are very long, so the heel on the boot helps and they are that sandy color, like the sweater, belt and bag. The bag was a recent purchase from Walmart

Pantone Spring 2018 - ultra violet, cherry tomato and meadowlark
Pantone Spring 2018
Pantone Spring 2018 -

Do I look like I'm running for the house in this last pic? Ha, ha. It was a cold day when we took these photos as you can no doubt tell by the snow.

I hope you enjoyed this look at more of the Pantone Spring 2018 colors. Dig around in your closet and see if you have any of these colors. I bet you would be surprised at how many you do have!

I've shared a few shopping links below. These are 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 and Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish

Outside the Box - Styling PJ Pants

This new monthly column on my blog is going to deal with fashion ideas and trends that I don't really buy into. Most of the time, it will involve me trying a different trend that I would have never tried before. It will also, occasionally include posts about color, print and texture pairings that we wouldn't usually think about putting together. Once in a while, I might use this monthly column to discuss ideas in the fashion world that I find hard to swallow. I hope you will enjoy this new column and I would love to hear from you. If you have an idea of a trend or fashion style you would like me to feature as something you are not used to wearing or don't have any idea how to style, this will be a good platform for that as well. You can leave me your ideas in a comment here on the blog or send me a Facebook message.

This week, I decided to try a trend that I have seen come and go on the runways: wearing pajama pants as part of an outfit. I'm sure we are all used to the idea of pajama pants as something we put on before we go to bed, or something we put on when we want to lounge around the house, but wearing a pair of pj pants out in public...uh, no! Okay, so I get it. I see more and more people running to Walmart and the grocery store with their fuzzy pajama pants on, but that is hardly stylish, let alone, something a stylish 50 something year old would wear to work or out to dinner. Remember, we are doing a fashion blog to help ourselves and you look and feel better, not end up imitating a walking pile of laundry. 

Pajama pants outfit

I found these striped pajama pants at a thrift store. They are Sonoma brand and a size large. If I do this again, I think I will try to go down a size and see if I like that look better. Sizing really depends on what you want to do with them and what look you are going for. If the only thing you are going to do with the pants is watch tv and get cozy, then by all means size up. The roomier the better. But for a sleeker, more stylish look it might be better to have the pants fit a little tighter. Let me know what you think.

Look 1 & 2 - Casual

Pajama pants outfit

For this first look, I paired the pants with my Paris graphic tee, a Loft green cardigan, Keds gray sneakers and an olive American Eagle bag. Here is another option on the Loft cardigan.  I also added my pearl, velvet and silver choker as well as a pearl bracelet.

pajama pant outfit

For the next casual look, I swapped out the graphic tee for a long sleeve Mossimo tee from Target. Here is a bell sleeve one.  I did the front tuck to give a little more definition to my waist. Over the top I have on a heavy weight Liz Claiborne button up, that works great as a light weight jacket. I am wearing my SO taupe ankle boots and carrying a Nine & Co. bright blue tote. 

DSC_0079 (1).jpg
pajama pant outfit
pajama pant outfit

I also added a silver and blue chain necklace as well as a green cocktail ring. 

Look 3 & 4 - Dressy

The next two outfits I dressed up a little bit more. These would be good for work or even for a date night, if your hubby doesn't mind being seen in public with you wearing a pair of pajama pants. Ha, ha. 

In the first look I am wearing a navy crocheted top that I bought a few years ago at Christopher and Banks. It is more of a tunic, but I decided to tuck the top in and add a belt to give me a more defined waistline. I think this is a good idea when your pants are more bulky or billowy. 

DSC_0083 (1).jpg

The belt is a simple crocheted number that is stretchy. For jewelry I just added a neutral beaded necklace to pull in the colors of the shoes, belt and bag. The bag was a recent find on the Kohl's clearance rack. It is Madden brand. Here is the same one from Nordstrom on sale. I got a better deal at Kohl's, but clearance is what it is. When it is gone, it is gone. 

Pajama pant outfit

These SO peep toe heels are another recent find from Kohl's clearance. Here is another pair from Kohl's that is very similar. I am looking forward to warmer temps (and painting my toenails, of course), so I can wear these more. 

Pajama pant outfit

Even though my top is navy and matches the navy in my bottoms, I've got some print mixing going on. See how I did that? Print mixing is not always about color. It can also happen with textures and the weave of fabrics. 

This second dressy look is, perhaps my favorite. This outfit uses a button up top from JC Penney and a thrifted suiting piece, that I'll just call a vest. It is more like a blazer vest. You'll get what I mean if you know what a coat vest is. If not, don't worry about it. For the purpose of this post it is a vest. 

Pajama pant outfit

I think this is one classy outfit and yes, I am wearing pajama pants. Ha, ha. In addition to the button up, which has fish on it (more print mixing), and the vest, I added a beaded necklace and bracelets with an olive hue. I also grabbed my velvet clearance find from Meijer. This is Wallflower brand. Such a cute bag, and I don't care that it is velvet, I'll be using it in the spring! My loafer heels were the last touch. 

Pajama pant outfit

Here are all four of the outfits:

What do you think? Would you wear pajama pants as part of an outfit? I think this is a great idea, especially for summer, when you need something cool and light. I think part of the process in figuring out if a pair of pj bottoms are good for style wear is to see how they fit and what sort of outfit you can make out of them. I personally would not wear my Eeyore pajama pants, but this striped pair or maybe a plaid, why not! 

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gave you a new perspective on those cozy duds we wear to bed!

Here are a few fun options. How would you style these into an outfit? This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. Saturday linking up with Rena of It's All Fine. Whatever Tickles the Fancy. 

Ordinary Amy - Tomboy Memories

I am using the word ordinary as a term to mean usual, not plain. I don't want any of you thinking I only think of myself as ordinary...okay, so once in a while I do struggle with the old self image, but that is not what I am intending to address with this new monthly column on the blog. 

Ordinary Amy is going to be a monthly column emphasizing outfits that are my go to's. These will be pieces that I frequently reach for, because I find them, comfortable, easy to wear and pair other pieces with, yet still stylish. 

DSC_0008 (4).jpg

A v-neck sweater, red in honor of Valentine's Day, a pair of skinny jeans and a pair of combat boots. Casual, comfy, warm and a masculine edge. 

I grew up in a home with two older brothers. Being the only girl and the baby, it was my goal to try to keep up with the boys, as annoying as that was to them. Ha ha. From playing in the creek behind the house, to making trails in the field down the road for their dirt bikes, I tried to follow them everywhere. As far as I was concerned I was a boy, just like them. I had a short hair cut and wore pants as often as I could. I can still remember my mother and I fighting about the fact that she thought I should wear dresses to school. She gave that fight up before too long. When we went swimming in our pool, I would wear a pair of shorts and that was it...no top. I was a boy. why should I have to wear a top? (This was before I began to blossom and hit puberty, so flat chested, was flat chested.)

I can still remember when I got my first period. I explained to my mother what was happening and when she told me what it was, I ran from the house angry and crying. I didn't want to be a girl. Gradually, hormones did their job. I started to change in shape and I also began to notice boys! I became extremely private and modest, even around my brothers, and I became interested in clothing, hair styles and eventually make up. 

However, I still prefer pants over dresses and I like looks that have an edgy, military or masculine vibe. 

Ordinary Amy - red sweater, skinny jeans, combat boots

This type of look is something I turn to again and again. I love boots. I also like skinny jeans. I used to never wear them, so when I finally tried them, I fell in love. The thing I like about skinnies is that I can wear them all year round. In fall and winter I tuck them into boots and in spring and summer, I roll them up and pair them with ankle boots, sneakers, flats or flip flops. 

A chunky, cable knit sweater is stylish, but forgiving enough that I don't have to worry about my bulges. This particular sweater is Chaps brand from the Kohl's clearance rack. I am wearing a short sleeve lace tee underneath which provided an extra layer of warmth and a touch of ivory around the neck line. 

Ordinary Amy - red sweater, skinny jeans, combat boots, bomber jacket

When I started putting this outfit together, I chose the sweater and jeans first, but then I thought of adding this fun bomber jacket which I introduced on the blog earlier in my travel post from last March. This little number is actually quite warm. It was a JC Penney clearance rack find and is Arizona brand. I think I paid about $5.00 for it. 

With the bomber jacket I knew I had to wear my thrifted combat boots, giving the whole look a WWII feel. With that in mind, it made me think of my dad. 

My dad, who grew up in a pacifist Mennonite family, was a hard working farm boy with a fascination with airplanes. When he was old enough he left home and went to work for the Curtiss-Wright airplane factory in Buffalo, NY. making wings for the P-47 for WWII. My dad, however was not content to make wings, he wanted to enlist. When he went to sign up, they asked if he was employed. When he told them where he worked they rejected him, saying his work was more important to the war effort than being in the service. Being the man he was, he waited a little longer, quit his job and went back to enlist. They let him right in. His enlistment came late in the war and he ended up serving in Air Sea Rescue on a B-17

Ordinary Amy - airplane necklace

I found this little pendant necklace somewhere along the way, possibly at Charming Charlie. What originally drew me to it was the bling, but it suddenly occurred to me that it would be a good piece to remind me of my dad. My dad passed away eleven years ago, but obviously I still think of him often. 

Ordinary Amy - bomber jacket outfit

There you have it...ordinary me, on an ordinary day. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you have an extraordinary weekend! 

(With the awful tragedy that occurred yesterday morning in Parkland, Florida I thought to add a note to this post. I pray for the families, friends and school staff left behind after the mass shooting. My heart is heavy as you deal with the aftermath and I pray that time will bring healing for the loss you are feeling.)

Friday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots

Layering Love - Wearing a Vest over a Cardigan - Another Look

After last week's post on layering a longer vest over a longer cardigan, I got curious to see how a shorter vest would look over a shorter cardigan. Finding different ways to use the pieces we already own, not only gives us more choices, but it helps our brain to stay active and learning. In the same way we benefit from learning a musical instrument, solving puzzles or taking on a new activity, figuring out how to put outfits together, helps keep our brains healthy. Check out this older post from Jodie of Jodie's Touch of Style, about how restyling our clothing can help our brains. 

I decided to give you two outfits for today's post. The Rock and Republic jeans are the same for both outfits.  I just bought these for my birthday in January. Kohl's was having a buy one get one 50% off, which doesn't happen too often, so I took advantage of it. 

Look 1: Monochrome

Just like last week's post, I decided to do a matching sweater and matching vest. For this look, I chose black. I chose this shorter A.M.I. cardigan with the big buttons and bell type, 3/4 length sleeves as something different from the usual standard cardigan. Since this was thrifted I had a hard time tracking down the original brand. There is an AMI out of Paris featuring Alexandre Mattuissi designs which are mainly for men, although he is launching a menswear for women this year. There is also an AMI Clubwear, which features more sexy and cute styles for going out, dancing and parties. If you click over there, just be prepared for a bit of skin. All that being said, I am not sure where this sweater originally came from. Ahh, the beauty of thrifting. Ha, ha. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardi - short

I used my Selene Sport (older brand-thrifted) quilted faux leather vest and added my Ralph Lauren leather ankle boots and my sparkly clutch to go with the bling on my necklace and pants. 

Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi

Look 2: Not Matching

For this outfit, I switched out the black cardi for a leopard print version by Karen Scott. Karen Scott brand is sold at Macy's. Once again it has 3/4 length sleeves, but a more traditional cardigan shape. The vest is Christopher and Banks that I got a few years ago. I thought the burgundy denim was a perfect compliment to the print of the sweater. 

Layering love - wearing a shorter vest over a cardi

I swapped out my black ankle boots for my knee high Unisa shearling ones. I thought these pulled out the brown in the cardi quite well. You can see how I styled these boots in another post from fall, here. I grabbed a simple burgundy clutch and threw on a few silver pieces of jewelry to go with the silver buttons on the vest. 

Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi

Here are the two outfits side by side.

I think this is a fun way to get more wear out of both your vests and your cardigans. It is also a perfect way to add an extra layer of warmth around your core. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Leave me some love in the comments section. I love to hear your thoughts. If you ever have a suggestion for something you'd like to see me feature on the blog, please let me know. 

Have a great weekend!

Here are a few shopping links. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

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

Layering Love - Wearing a Vest over a Cardigan

When it comes to layering there are so many possibilities. I have learned so much from other bloggers about adding layers and how to make my outfits more fun and interesting. I noticed a few bloggers a number of months ago layering with longer layers and I thought I'd give it a go. 

Today's outfit involves layering a long vest over a long cardigan. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

The color of these two pieces are a perfect match, so it is barely noticeable that they actually are two separate pieces. The duster cardigan is Chaps brand from Kohl's and the vest, also Kohl's. is Wall Flower brand from the Junior's department. Both pieces were clearance. I don't usually shop in the Junior's department for obvious reasons, most of their stuff doesn't fit me, but once in a while it pays to look. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

The knee length cardigan is light weight and will be a good transitional piece going into spring. It has pockets on each side in the front. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

For a fun casual look I paired the sweater and vest combo with a graphic tee. This particular one is Wonder Woman. I like the words. These are words I want to epitomize. 

Layering Love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

Because it is cold, I thought my OTK boots would be appropriate. I also chose my burgundy cross body bag and bracelets to got with the red "W" below the words on the tee. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan
Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

I think this vest and sweater combo would look cute over a dress or a top and skirt. This would work well even if the sweater and vest were different colors. It adds a layer of interest and warmth to an outfit, which is a plus in this chilly weather. 

Layering love

What about you? Have you ever tried to wear a vest over a cardigan? What do you think of this loo?. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a few words in the comments section.

Here are a few shopping links. If you click on a link I get a few cents. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I might get a small commission. I don't get paid to blog, so any help you can give in that regard is much appreciated. All opinions are my own.

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. 

Layering Love - A Leopard Print Jacket

Every now and then I come across a piece in a store I just love. Sometimes I don't know I'm in love until I try it on, other times I can tell as soon as I see or feel it. When I saw this leopard print jacket on the clearance rack at JC Penney, I had to touch it. When I felt its soft velvety texture, I had to try it on. When I tried it on, I said, "This is coming home with me."

Layering love - leopard print jacket

I tried to take pictures outside, but it was only 11 degrees. Which would have been doable, if the camera hadn't decided it was too cold to be outside. I kept trying to use the remote and it wasn't having it! Ha, ha. I did take a few photos right next to the house, but when I looked at them I realized I had an electric meter coming out of my head, and green mold decorating the aluminum siding. I want to be real, but maybe not that real! Instead you get indoor pictures with bits of clutter and Christmas decorations here and there. I probably should take down the Christmas decor pretty soon. What do you think? How many of you still have Christmas up at your house? Please tell me, I am not the only one.

Layering love - leopard print jacket

I wore this outfit to work and I was so glad. The heat was off on one side of the store. Did I mention it was only 11 degrees? Of course it was the side with the cash registers, so anytime we had a customer we had to leave our toasty back office and go to the cold side...sort of like the dark side, but you don't get a light saber. This Libby Edelman jacket and Croft and Barrow turtleneck kept me warm and cozy all day. Here is the link to the jacket online. I'm not sure why, but the it is still full price, unless you buy more than one thing, and they only have small sizes left.

Layering love - leopard print jacket

For this casual work look, I paired the jacket with my Rock & Republic skinny jeans, and my Rialto black riding boots. 

Layering love - leopard print jacket

I chose my Butterum hobo bag and added a simple beaded pendant necklace that I just found at Penney's on clearance. I thought it linked well with the colors in the jacket. 

Layering love - leopard print jacket

I think this jacket would look fantastic with a red or burgundy dress or skirt, as well as navy or even cobalt blue pants. A leopard print jacket like this can be worn with many other pieces for both dressy and casual occasions. What do you think? Would you wear a jacket like this?

Be sure to leave me some love in the comments section. I appreciate your input.

Here are a few shopping options. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Friday linking up with Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane. 

Layering Love - Styling a Summer Skirt

One issue with living where the seasons change is the need to change our wardrobes from cooler weather to warmer and back again. Due to my clothes horse tendencies and the small amount of closet space in our home, I have to actually put my change of season clothing in bins when not in use. Since I became a blogger, I have been trying to use more of my wardrobe all year round. 

This particular Jones Wear skirt I have styled on the blog earlier this fall when I was doing the Pantone Fall 2017 series. You can see that post here. It was intended for summer use with a light weight whimsical print layered over a full length sateen lining, thus no need for a slip. However, I thought the colors in this skirt would transfer easily to fall, which I think I showed in the Pantone post. 

I started thinking that if I could use it for fall, why not try a winter outfit as well. What you see below is what I came up with. 

Bonus holiday outfit

 I first came up with this idea before the holidays, so it does have a little bit of Christmas vibe to it, but you could easily swap out the maroon scarf for something drawing on other colors in the skirt. The skirt has a purply blue, golden yellow.and various shades of green. It would also look pretty with a cream or ivory scarf as well. 

The sweater is thrifted and Old Navy brand. A simple cardigan, I really like the bright, Kelly green color. The biggest problem I have found with these types of sweaters is pilling. Do any of you have special ways you deal with pills?  I have tried razors, sweater shavers and just plain old, pulling off the pills with my fingers. Let me know what you do. I'd love to know. 

Bonus holiday outfit

The scarf is a oblong rectangle, made of light weight material and trimmed with gold threads and fringe. I also chose bracelets with the same burgundy/maroon colors to go with the scarf and red colors in the skirt.

Bonus holiday outfit

I chose my brown corduroy hobo bag and brown corduroy quilted ballet flats, although this outfit would also work with my mid calf brown suede boots. 

Brown corduroy ballet flats

Of course, because these Thursday posts are all about layering, I have a cami under the sweater. Another way to wear the sweater would be to skip the scarf, add a tee or long sleeve top under the sweater drawing on one of the other colors in the skirt and add layers of necklaces. 

Layering Love - styling a summer skirt

I hope you all are doing well, and that if you made any New Year's resolutions you are sticking to them. Ha, ha. It is always an uphill battle isn't it? Don't give up.

Have a great weekend. 

Holiday Outfit - Casual - Skirt

In this series on holiday outfits I wanted to give you options that you can use for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Although, by the time this series is done, Thanksgiving will be over. I can't believe it is on Thursday. I just took out my turkey this morning to start thawing. How many of you are cooking on Thursday? I really don't mind the work. When I have a special occasion I like to cook. When life is busy my spouse and I will eat out a couple times a week, so when I get the chance to cook, I do enjoy it. The clean up, not so much! Ha, ha

For this week's post I took a leopard print skirt and designed a casual and comfortable outfit that still looks chic and festive. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

Like I did last week, I'll organize this in a way that will help you build a holiday outfit from pieces that you already own. 

1. Pick a casual skirt that you like to wear. I doesn't have to have a print, but prints are fun. In keeping with the time of year, maybe choose a piece that has darker colors or more fall-like tones. Length is up to you. Mini's, maxi's or something in between all work as the foundation for a festive holiday outfit. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

The thing that makes this Jones, NY leopard print, pencil skirt more casual is its texture. It is made of narrow wale corduroy. Corduroy is very close to a ridged velvet. The fabric has the same soft feel, so it is comfortable and movable. Another thing that makes this skirt more casual is the belt loops and front zipper. I have another leopard print skirt that I styled on the blog here, but I feel it is more dressy. It is a smooth chino type fabric with a structured waist that buttons on the side. i'll admit they look pretty similar and I will probably get rid of one of them at some point, but for now, I am guilty of owning two leopard print skirts. Ha, ha. 

Another great casual skirt that you could easily dress up for the holidays is a denim one. Denim is the perfect back drop for all sorts of pretty combinations that stay casual, but still say holidays.

2. Pick a festive companion piece. For my outfit I chose two companion pieces, an open weave pullover sweater with gold threads, and a denim vest with silver bling on the yoke. This sweater is Covington and the vest is Christopher & Banks

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

The bling gives the outfit a holiday feel without being a top that has the actual holiday on it. If you don't have a top with bling choose a vest or sweater in the season's color. A rich burgundy or maroon will work great for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Even a deep purple or rusty orange will give an outfit a holiday vibe. 

3. Pick your jewelry. If you have a more blingy top you might want to forgo the jewelry, lest you feel like a Christmas decoration, but if you think the more the better, then welcome to my world. The goal is overstatement versus understatement

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I chose a brassy necklace that had a few beads that matched the Butterum color in the skirt. The brassy chain also goes with the brass buckle on my belt. Sometimes mixing metals can clash, but I think in this outfit it works because no one metal takes center stage. They all compliment and work together with other colors in the outfit.

If your outfit pieces have no bling, then you can layer on the jewelry. Try multiple layers of gold or silver necklaces, or mix them up. Gold and silver can look gorgeous on a backdrop of burgundy, dark purple or deep navy. Think about what you own and try different pieces until you find something that makes you say, "I really like how that looks." Chances are, other people will think so too.

4. Add a bag. To pull together the browns in the skirt and the necklace I reached for my Butterum hobo bag. It is roomy enough to fill with additional items for a trip to see the family for dinner or even to tuck a light weight shawl for someone else's cooler home. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

5. Don't forget your shoes. Once again I reached for my Impo gray suede ankle boots. You can see I also went for a dark brown pair of tights, for full coverage of my legs. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I chose these as they are dressy, but not too dressy. They are warm and I thought the gray color went well with the gray sweater. You could also wear knee hight boots, over the knee boots or even a pair of Keds or Converse sneakers for an even more casual look. The classier your shoes are the more dressed up the outfit will look. Heels, to me always make a dressy statement. You'll see more of that in the next four posts as we get into dressier looks. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I hope you enjoyed seeing this outfit in my holiday series and I hope it provided some inspiration for you to create a holiday look from your own closet. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

Here are a few cute skirts and boots to shop for. This post contains affiliate links. All opinion are my own.

Holiday Outfit - Casual - Jeans

Welcome to my series on holiday style. I hope that these next few weeks will take you from Thanksgiving through the New Year in creative and inspirational ways. I grew up in a family that rarely dressed up, except for church on Sundays. Holidays were typically ultra casual, in fact sometimes on Christmas we stayed in our pjs or most comfortable sweats all day long. When I got married and we had children our holidays were always spent traveling so that we could spend time with our extended families. Living out of a suitcase for a week was always a challenge, not because I couldn't fit everything in, but because I had to plan ahead! What was I going to wear on each and every day of our time away? And how was I going to look presentable, but still be warm and comfortable?

Now that I am a fashion blogger, I want to dress in a more festive way, but still stay true to my comfortable, relaxed roots. For this series I decided to take a look at three different approaches to holiday dressing, (No! I do not mean stuffing.) The first two weeks will look at a casual approach, the second two weeks a dressy casual approach and the last two weeks will be devoted to a dressy approach. I will follow that with a post on a New Years eve look. So let's begin.

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

Certainly all of you own a pair of jeans. Some of you may even own a pair of cropped jeans, and/or a pair of distressed jeans. Jeans are a part of my style routine. I wear them all the time, for work, play, dressing up or down and everything in between. Maybe you are not a jeans kind of girl. but whether you are or aren't you can create a casual style using the following simple guidelines.

1. Pick a pair of jeans or casual pants that you enjoy wearing. For this outfit I chose my Vera Wang cropped distressed jeans. Here is a cute pair from Lord & Taylor. You could just as easily choose a pair of mom jeans or a pair of skinnies and just roll up the bottoms for a similar, fun look. 

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

2. Pick a fun sweater. It doesn't have to be a holiday sweater. I think it is fun to wear something with a holiday motif after Thanksgiving, but until then, any warm cozy sweater will do and over sized is even better. Here is one from Old Navy, Nautica and Target

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

I found this fair isle sweater on the clearance rack at Kohls. It is amazing the treasures you can find on the clearance rack for just about any season. This is Chaps brand, which is on the higher end of what I like to spend, so finding it on clearance with a good coupon was a win. I tucked it away knowing I would be able to use it this winter. 

If you are not familiar with fair isle, it is a knitting technique that uses multiple colors to create patterns. This sweater also has some silver threads knitted in, so it gives the fair isle pattern some subtle bling. My fave and perfect for a holiday gathering.

As you can see I had a tank top underneath, but it works because the pinky red of the tank matches the pinky red in the sweater. I am always cold in the winter, unless I am moving around, so I like to have an extra layer or two, but more on that Thursday in my Layering Love series. Ha!

3. Add a few statement jewelry pieces. Jewelry can be such a wonderful outfit booster. A fun piece of jewelry can take an outfit from dowdy to divine.

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

This pendant was another Kohl's clearance find. The bracelet I found on my first visit to Chico's. The two matched perfectly to one another and to the light blue in this sweater. Plus the silver trim goes well with the silver threads in the sweater. 

This brings me to another style question that seems to often come up...to match or not to match? This really is a matter of personal taste. I personally love to have at least a little bit of matching going on in an outfit. I feel that it makes the outfit look polished and gives it a classic, pulled together feel, BUT that is just my personal taste. There are many fashion bloggers who take pride in not being matchy and do a fabulous job at it! Do what is best for you. After all that is what this blogging thing is all about, helping you find your own style!

4. Grab a great bag. Since red is big this fall, I couldn't resist pulling out this Arizona Jeans brand Buffalo plaid tote. A Penney's clearance purchase last year, I got this as a possible Christmas gift, but decided to keep it for myself. Ha, ha. Here is an adorable one from dressbarn

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

A tote bag is a great way to transport things, especially if you are going to visit family at the holidays. Whether you are going just for dinner, for the day or for an extended weekend, a large roomy tote will give your room for all your essentials, a few little gifts and that book you are planning to read in the car while someone else drives. Oh, and don't forget that water bottle! The holidays can be a hard time to keep hydrated because there are so many goodies and fun drinks occupying our hands 

5. Don't forget the shoes. Just because you are going casual doesn't mean you have to wear sneakers, although a cute pair of hi-top Converse would be perfect with this outfit. I chose my wedge heel ankle boots from Impo. Here is a very similar pair from Macy's

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

I love these gray suede boots. They are super comfy, but also stylish. I wear these over and over during the cold weather. 

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

This is a look that I will most likely be wearing over the next few weeks as the holidays begin. It would be a great casual look for a holiday gathering, movie night or a day out Christmas shopping. I hope the tips I gave you will help you come up with your own casual holiday outfit. 

I would love to hear about what outfits you came up with. Leave me a note about them in the comments section, or leave me a picture on my Facebook page. I'd love to see your looks.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

Below are a few shopping options. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link, I get a few cents. If you buy an item through a link I get a small commission. All opinions are my own.