20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

Many of you know that I worked with Eva Trends earlier this year on a collaboration where I featured three of their clothing pieces over the course of three posts. I was recently contacted by Eva Trends again and they gifted me three more items to feature on my blog.

Today’s post revolves around the Tori A-Line dress, a light weight piece that really would be perfect for spring and summer. Made of a light weight cotton, this piece will see additional wear in the warmer months. However, since I like to expand my thinking and my wardrobe, I thought it would be fun to layer this dress up for a festive, warm Christmas outfit.

20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

I love the fun pattern on this dress. In keeping with many of Eva Trends silhouettes the dress is an a-line with plenty of room. As the material has no stretch, it is helpful that it has a more voluminous outline. I usually don’t like things this long that don’t have a zipper or buttons, but I had no problem pulling this on and off.

20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

Here are a few pictures without the plaid shawl/vest.

For this particular outfit, I layered a long sleeve lace tee under the top and leggings at the bottom. Layering is the perfect way to make those summer weight pieces usable in the colder months.

Accessories included a navy blue fringe necklace, a burgundy cross body bag and my burgundy ankle boots.

20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress
20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

You can see in the above picture the dress has a bit of a high-low hem line. I will say, that when you go to the Eva Trends website the proportions on their models compared to our own bodies might be a little skewed. This is a Chinese company and many of their models are smaller than many of us. This dress in the picture I looked at on line, goes down to the model’s ankles. Ha, ha. As you can see that is not the case with me. However, I love it and can’t wait to do more things with it with belts and vests, jackets and jeans.

20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

To complete my look I added a plaid shawl/vest for extra warmth and some fun pattern mixing. I think this dress is a perfect, festive piece for the Holiday season even if it is light weight. That just means more layers, which I love. I love to get creative in my layering, so I think this worked.

Eva Trends is offering my followers a 15% discount if you go through my website. Just use the code AC15 at check out. Be sure to go to their website. They have some unique, fun pieces that you won’t find any where else. Many of my blogger friends are featuring their pieces. From warm sweaters to interesting trousers to lovely lace dresses and oversized coats, Eva Trends has many different styles to choose from.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you’ll take some time to shop Eva Trends.

Have a great weekend.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.


20 Days of Christmas - Plaid Pants

Every now and then I have to get outside my comfort box. I have never really liked wearing things that draw attention to my lower half. Especially tight fitting, brightly colored pieces. I prefer a-line dresses to body con styles. If you don’t know, body con is more of a form fitting dress. I prefer dark wash jeans to lighter washes and feel most comfortable in jeans rather than leggings. I don’t wear leggings as pants, or if I do, I have my bum covered. Anyway, when I saw these crazy, red, plaid pants at Target on the clearance rack, I immediately thought of my Christmas challenge.

Those of you who regularly follow me, know I have been doing a monthly column called Outside the Box. These have been posts that I have done to try to challenge myself to get out of my typical fashion mentality. Let’s face it, we all like to be comfortable. Some women are comfortable in heels and dresses. While I can do that, it is not what I turn to when I want to feel secure. My go to, as you know are jeans and cozy sweaters or flannel shirts. But I also know that part of getting older is the urge to get stuck in a rut and not be willing to learn or try new things, thus the idea of getting outside the box.

20 Days of Christmas - Plaid pants

These plaid pants do not have any green in them, so they will be easily styled with other colors, but I thought they were perfect when paired with a newer Croft & Barrow v-neck cable knit sweater and a thrifted blazer.

20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants

This blazer is actually meant to have a double breasted look, but I am too big to button it in that manner. However, when I saw it, it was the buttons on each side that made me want to buy it, that and the color. I think wearing it open, using the buttons for a decoration, works just as well. Since it is more of a forest green, I felt that it keeps the outfit from being too over the top with color.

I decided on silver for my accessories and was excited to remember this large silver pendant necklace that closely resembles a snowflake. That and my SO silver flats and a small silver clutch complete the ensemble.

20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants
20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants
20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants
20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants

I think this outfit is festive and fun and would work well for a Christmas office party, or a lunch date with your girlfriends. Would you wear a pair of pants like this? How do you like to dress up for a Christmas party?

I’ve included a few shopping links for more fun plaid prints. These are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Have a great weekend everyone.


20 Days of Christmas - Fairisle Sweater

Nothing says winter better than a Fair Isle Sweater. Fair Isle is one of the Shetland islands and it is from this area that the familiar pattern of knitting, using multiple colors came into play in the fashion world. The patterns became popular in 1921 when the Prince of Wales wore Fair Isle sweaters in public. You can see examples of true Fair Isle pieces by visiting this website, Mati Ventrillon. Her story is interesting and the pieces she creates unique and beautiful. It is is worth taking time to peruse her site. If you have the resources and are able to wear wool, one of these sweaters would be a once in a life time investment.

Obviously, my sweater was made on a machine at a factory and is strictly man made materials, but finding this Chap’s brand sweater at Kohl’s on the clearance rack last year was a win for me. I cannot wear wool, as it makes me itch and the price for one of Mati’s beautiful hand made pieces tops off at about $250. Since I don’t live on a chilly island north of Scotland, I think I’ll stick with my cheap fake. Ha, ha.

20 Days of Christmas - Fair Isle Sweater

I was a bit at a loss this morning with taking pictures. My weekend was so busy and then I didn’t feel the greatest yesterday, so I didn’t get my pictures taken after work as I had planned. Frankly, I forgot. My brain has turned to its usual SAD slush! Ugg. Weeks of clouds takes it’s toll and while we had one sunny day on Sunday, one day is not enough to bring me completely out of the seasonal funk.

Anyway, it was so overcast this morning, I knew it was going to take more time than I had to get my camera to a setting that would take a decent picture outside, so I opted for my phone. Lots of these turned out fuzzy, so I apologize for the not so great photos.

20 Days of Christmas - Fair Isle sweater

Here is a close up of the pretty red, white and blue pattern. While typically that color combination is patriotic, on this sweater it seems more festive and Christmas ready rather than Fourth of July. I love the dark navy with the lighter more silvery blue and the red almost borders on pink.

20 Days of Christmas - Fair Isle Sweater

This fun silver fringe necklace is one of my favorites and I like the way it pulls out the silvery threads in the sweater pattern. The other reason I like this necklace is if you get nervous or bored it is fun to fiddle with the fringe! Ha, ha.

20 Days of Christmas - Fair Isle Sweater

Since I wanted to keep the outfit casual I chose to pair it with my silver sneakers which are a new addition to my shoe pile. I found these at a local department store on clearance. Today was the first time I wore them for a long period of time. They weren’t too uncomfortable, although by the time I was done shopping with my daughter at the mall, I was starting to feel a few spots that were rubbing. Oh well, I am sure they will still get plenty of use at my part time job and other occasions where I don’t have to do a ton of walking.

20 Days of Christmas - Fair Isle sweater

I think this works for a very casual Christmas outfit and the sweater could easily be dressed up with a cute pencil skirt or even a pleated skirt with heels. You could also go for gold, instead of silver for your accessories to change it up a bit.

One last picture just for laughs and of course this one turned out perfect! Ha, ha. Isn’t that the way of things?

20 Days of Christmas - Fair Isle sweater

I was looking out the window and saw a huge flat bed truck with a full load of wooden palettes doing a U-turn in the middle of our street. It was one of those, “All righty then,” moments. Ha, ha.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you own a Fair Isle sweater? Is this the type of sweater you would wear? I’ve included a few shopping links for a few that are more budget friendly. Remember, these are affiliate links. If you click on a link I get a few pennies. All opinions are my own. I appreciate your support, but even more than clicks, I appreciate your comments. I love to hear how I have inspired you or how you have taken a fashion trend or idea and made it your own. That is so inspiring to me.

Have a great evening.



Hanging Out with the Happiness Boutique

I was contacted by a German company called Happiness Boutique wanting to do a collaboration with me. The Happiness Boutique describes its style as being “…modern classic with a charming vintage touch.” They offered I pick out two of their jewelry pieces in exchange for featuring them on a blog post. When you check out their website you will see a collection of youthful, whimsical pieces that will add an element of bling or pizzazz to any outfit.

I pulled this outfit together just before I flew out the door to go to take pictures at my daughter’s house. I wanted to put together a look that was both warm and fun and that could be worn for a Thanksgiving day get together. I also wanted to think outside the box, since I wanted the jewelry to take center stage.

Happiness Boutique

The two pieces I chose were a necklace and a bracelet. The necklace has more of a traditional gold finish and the bracelet is more of a rose gold.

Happiness Boutique - vintage feather necklace
Happiness Boutique

I chose this double leaf pendant because I like that it acts like both a pendant and a fringe necklace. The leaves are very cute and add a unique textural element to the outfit. There is also a small dark colored jewel at the point from which the two leaf chains hang. This vintage feather necklace is a wonderfully delicate piece that makes a statement all on its own.

I chose to wear my new sweater from Eden Fashion Boutique as a solid backdrop for the necklace. Wanting the necklace to make a statement, I was afraid it would get lost in a print blouse, but any solid back ground really makes this pop.

Happiness Boutique - Vintage feather necklace

The wavy bracelet in rose gold, is another statement piece. I love the wavy design, but also the added texture on the one loop. This shimmery, shiny piece is going to be making regular appearances throughout the holidays.

Happiness Boutique - wavy rose gold bra
Happiness Boutique - wavy rose gold bracelet
Happiness Boutique - wavy rose gold bracelet

Happiness Boutique is currently offering my readers a 10% discount on your total order over $21.00. Just enter stylingrannymama at checkout. Act soon on that, because the extra 10% is a special for the Christmas season from November 20th to December 20th. In addition Happiness Boutique offers free shipping and a customer reward program.

I hope you enjoyed this look at Happiness Boutique. These items were gifted to me. I received no money for this post. All opinions are my own.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

Here are a few other fun pieces from Happiness Boutique.



Pantone Fall 2018 Recap

After a series like the Pantone color one, I usually like to do a recap post, to show you all the colors and the outfits I styled using those colors into one post. These colors this season were not what I would call common fall colors. I usually think of fall colors as being richer and darker hues like deep burgundies, earthy browns and garden oranges that make us think of pumpkins and fall leaves. While the Pantone Fall 2018 had a few colors that fit into my typical fall color box they had numerous ones that clearly stepped outside that box. Colors like Limelight, Mellow Rose and Crocus Petal provided a pastel palette choice for those who like to think brighter and lighter when the seasons change.

Enjoy this review of my Pantone Fall 2018 outfits.

Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018

What did you think of this color palette this year? Do you like lighter, pastel colors or go for richer, darker colors when fall rolls around? Do you like to think outside the seasonal color rules, or are you like me and look forward to the seasons bringing you back to those colors you are familiar with and enjoy at that time of year? It really doesn’t matter any more. The joy of fashion today is that you can decide what you like to wear at any time of year.

I like that Pantone had added the classic colors to the color palette for each season. It allows me to add a more toned down color to each outfit keeping the outfit colorful, but no overly so. it would be easy to add a touch of any of these colors to a more neutral outfit. For instance, if you wanted to go for a monochrome look using a navy like Sargasso Sea, you could add a little color by throwing on a bright Russet Orange scarf or some Limelight colored beads. If you normally dress in more neutral tones try adding just a touch of color in your accessories to make your outfits more interesting and visible.

I hope you enjoyed this series. Check back on Thursday for more fashion fun.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

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!

Pantone Fall 2018 - Russet Orange, Ultra Violet and Quiet Gray

This week’s Pantone Fall 2018 colors are a bright pumpkin orange and a deep purple we met last spring, that won Color of the Year. Russet Orange is an easy color on the eye and reminds us of those beautiful Maple trees that boast red, yellow and orange leaves. Ultra Violet might be part of your Halloween decorating. Since the combination of orange and purple has become a less dark and more party friendly Halloween pairing, I thought it would be fun to put these two colors together.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Russet Orange, Ultra Violet and Quiet Gray

These pants I’ve worn on the blog before, here, here and here. They are Worthington brand from JC Penney. These have a side zipper and sit higher on the waist, so help to create a more smooth silhouette.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Russet Orange, Ultra Violet and Quiet Gray

My top is an older tee from Christopher & Banks. I love the color of this top. To keep the bright colors from being too overwhelming, I chose the Pantone color Quiet Gray as a topper to polish off the look. This fun piece is from the Kohl’s clearance rack and is a brand called About A Girl. I really like the double breasted look and the feminine detailed ruffles.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Russet Orange, Ultra Violet and Quiet Gray

I kept my accessories fairly simple. This lovely leaf necklace I found at a shop in Grayling, MI called The Main Branch Gallery. Boasting art work and crafts from local artisans it is a great place to visit if you are ever up that way.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Russet Orange, Ultra Violet and Quiet Gray

I then finished off the look with my silver clutch and silver SO flats that I recently added to my SO shoe collection from Kohl’s. Here is a link if you are interested in other colors. They are on sale right now for only $21.99, which is a good deal for a fairly comfortable shoe that makes any outfit look a little more dressed up. I normally wear an 8.5 or a 9 and I get these in a 9.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Russet Orange, Ultra Violet and Quiet Gray
Pantone Fall 2018 - Russet Orange, Ultra Violet and Quiet Gray

What do you think of these two colors? Would you wear Russet Orange and Ultra Violet together? I’ve included a few shopping links below. These are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Outside the Box - Floral Dress with Combat Boots

I have never been especially adventurous with fashion. My style is somewhat classic with a tomboy edge and a dash of boho meets warrior princess, or at least that is what I would like to think. I am not overtly feminine, though I do like pink and especially love lace. As I revealed in last week’s Ordinary Amy post, I like motorcycle jackets, blue jeans and boots or tennis shoes. The premise for having a column called Outside the Box, is exactly that, to get me thinking outside my own fashion box.

This week’s outfit is what I would call motorcycle mayhem meets feminine flirt. Let me know if you agree.

Outside the Box - floral dress with combat boots

I often see bloggers who put together outfits that I would have never dreamed of doing. Not because they are so bold or daring, but because my mind would just never think to combine combat boots, fishnet stockings and a floral dress.

I began this outfit journey with the floral dress. I picked this up at Gabes this past spring with the thought in mind that it would be a great fall piece. Bright florals on a dark background make me think more of cooler weather and sipping hot cocoa. It’s not that you couldn’t wear these colors in the spring and summer, but there is something seasonal about certain color combinations.

I know fashion is not contained neatly in one box and many in the fashion world are strongly pushing against the stereotypes of weight and age, which is awesome, and I fully support. However, there is also a push against traditional fashion ideas, such as not wearing white before or after the summer months, or allowing seasonal color changes to affect what we wear. I’m fine with many of these ideas, but fashion is also about wearing what we want to wear. I like darker colors in the fall and winter and brighter colors in the spring and summer. That is just me!

What really drew me to this little floral number besides the print were the bell sleeves. You can’t see them really well in these photos, but they add a fun element to the piece.

fallfashion-13.jpg

During the summer, when my hubby and I were on vacation in Wisconsin, I went with my mother-in-law to a department store that was going out of business. They were just getting started with their sales and we spent our time looking at shoes. It was then, I came across these boots.

Outside the Box - floral dress with combat boots

Just like motorcycle jackets, I love combat boots. This is now my third pair and I love the embellishments on these. I’ve included a few shopping links at the end of similar pairs. These zip on the inner ankle so are easy to get on and off. I thought the contrast of the floral dress with the combat boots was a look that was outside my norm.

To give the outfit another more feminine edge I added the fishnet tights. These are a heavier weight than true fishnet stockings. I didn’t even remember I had these until I started looking through my hose bin! I saw these and said, “Yes, this is it!” The outfit would be just as fun with a pair of sweater tights in a dark or a bright color like red or cream. I do like darker on the bottom for the thinning factor.

Outside the Box - floral dress with combat boots

Because the dress is so busy, I kept my accessories minimal. I put on my yellow pendant necklace and added a faux leather cross body bag for a last touch of tough girl.


Outside the box - floral dress with combat boots
Outside the box - floral dress with combat boots

This bag makes me think of a motorcycle saddle bag. I’m a little preoccupied! My hubby had a Harley before we ever met, and I keep trying to convince him we need to get one in our old age. Ha, ha.

What do you think? Would you wear combat boots with fishnet stockings and a dress? It even sounds odd, but I actually think it works. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Have a great weekend!


Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

I will confess, these colors are not my favorites. It might be due to the fact that I decided to combine them into one outfit.

Pantone Fall 2018 - martini olive, ceylon yellow and tofu

Martini Olive is more of a gray or brown based olive. I honestly like an olive that is more green. However, for the sake of being open minded this would be a good neutral that could go with many different colors including navy, black or even a rich deep red. Maybe I should have paired Martini Olive with Red Pear. What do you think? These jeans are thrifted and Gloria Vanderbilt brand.

Ceylon Yellow has a bit of a bite. It is not really a mustard, but has a bit of spice underlying it. I have fallen in love with yellow, but my personal tastes tend more towards the yellows that are sunflower or goldenrod. The top is thrifted and Merona brand.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

I opted for orange, as the pop of color I felt this outfit needed. Orange bag, orange necklace and bracelet: I feel like it epitomizes the mix of colors in the fall that we so often see in the trees.

This jacket I found at H&M on the clearance rack. Once again, it is a moto type jacket, but tends more towards a tweedy look, which gives it an entirely different vibe from last week’s metallic blush moto jacket. The color is in line with the Pantone classic color labeled Tofu. Not a true white, but not a true cream, it seems to fall somewhere in between. I love the texture details, including the frayed sleeves and bottom hem.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and tofu
Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

Once again, I am wearing my olive SO ankle boots. Just like my SO ballet flats these boots are very comfortable and look nice. I love the rich texture of the faux suede.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

I am not completely satisfied with this look. I don’t like what I did with my hair, even though that is something I do from time to time and this outfit doesn’t have enough color contrast for me. I like bright, rich colors and this palette just leaves me looking washed out. But hey, not every outfit can be a winner. I’m still learning and growing.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

I do think these colors would be better paired with another color. The yellow would look pretty with a blue shade or even a rich chocolate brown and like I said earlier, the Martini Olive would pair well with a navy, burgundy or even a purple.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, both good and bad! I’ve included a few shopping links for you to look over. These are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Ordinary Amy: Blush Moto Jacket

I have gotten away from my monthly columns for a while, but now feel like I can get back at it. For today’s Ordinary Amy post, I chose to build my outfit around a blush moto jacket that I found at Nordstrom Rack back in May. I had been looking for a lighter colored moto jacket and this one fit the bill perfectly.

I know I am not the only gal that has a love affair with motorcycle jackets. They have always been a favorite of mine, for as long as I can remember. When I was young, my brothers used to race dirt bikes (motocross) and I loved the thrill, the noise and the dirt of going to watch them ride. I always thought that would have been so much fun. Needless to say, growing up with the two wheeled noise makers around gave me an earthy, edgy perspective on life.

Another factor that solidified my love for moto jackets, motorcycles and writing, was a book that I had to read in my 8th grade English class. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton was a coming of age story about a group of boys from the poor side of town and how they dealt with the difficulties of broken homes, strained relationships and maneuvering adolescence in the midst of night time rumbles with the rich kids and running away from home. Some of the first stories I wrote followed a very similar thread to S.E. Hinton, as I struggled with my own acceptance of adolescence, my place in the socioeconomic strata and who I was becoming as a young woman.

Just as my fashion sense has grown and changed, so has my writing ability and interest. I still love to revisit those early stories and remember the feelings associated with them. I’m now trying to learn new genres of writing, in the hopes that one day, I might actually make publishing a reality. In the mean time, here is an outfit for you to peruse.

Ordinary Amy - blush moto jacket

My daughter quickly took these pictures on my camera while she was over with her pups to help me rake my yard. Cottonwood trees are big and give plenty of shade, but they shed terribly and the leaves they drop in the fall are exactly as you see here, brown and crunchy. This was after my spouse and I had already raked a good portion of the yard into huge piles.

This jacket is a crop length and has a beautiful metallic sheen. I am excited to see how many different ways this can be styled, both casual and dressy. Since this is about my regular way of dressing I paired it with a blush and camo knit top, a pair of Rock & Republic jeans and my SO olive booties.

Ordinary Amy - Blush moto jacket
Ordinary Amy - blush moto jacket
Ordinary Amy - Blush moto jacket

Do you like moto jackets? Do you have any in your closet? I think everyone, should have at least one. They can be a very versatile piece and are perfect for the cooler weather of fall.

Ordinary Amy - blush moto jacket

I hope you enjoyed this post and reading more about extraordinary me. Ha, ha.

I’ve included a few shopping links for you to look over. These are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Saturday linking up with Rena of It’s All Fine. Whatever…

Pantone Fall 2018 - Red Pear, Nebulas Blue and Sargasso Sea

Last week, I introduced you to this fall’s Pantone color palette. Now that I am just getting started with my series, I noticed their website already has the color palettes up for Spring 2019. I understand that in the fashion and interior design industries they always need to be one step ahead, or all of a sudden things have gone out of trend and disappeared. That reminds me of a verse from the book of Ecclesiastes which was written by King Solomon.

That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
— Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NASB)

Even a man as wise as Solomon, knew there was nothing new under the sun. Look at the movies and books that are currently out. It is pretty much the same story, just written with different characters and a different setting. Heck, how many times have they revisited Spider Man and Predator? Ha, ha. That being said, the color palettes that come out are really nothing new. They call them by different names, make one a little more blue based or yellow based and say they are fresh and new.

However, I do enjoy color and I like to create outfits using color in combinations that may be new or different, at least for me. Following the color palettes that Pantone puts out each season allows me to do just that.

Here are the first of this fall’s palette.

Pantone Fall 2018 - red pear and nebulas blue

Red Pear and Nebulas Blue are on both the London and New York palettes. Sargasso Sea is one of the classic colors or what I like to refer to as a grounding color. Red Pear borders on a maroon and my pants are really too red, while my version of Nebulas Blue appears spot on. Sargasso Sea is navy by any other name, but even there you can see all the different shades of navy. My Ralph Lauren thrifted blazer is almost too blue, while Sargasso Sea seems to have more gray in it. I think my loafer heels and bag are a little bit closer to the Pantone color.

pantone fall 2018 - red pear and nebulas blue
pantone fall  2018 - red pear and nebulas blue

I added this colorful bandana for a scarf as a way to bring together the red and blue and add a pop of yellow.

pantone fall 2018 - red pear, and nebulas blue
pantone fall 2018 - red pear and nebulas blue

The blazer, shoes and bag were all thrifted. The bag is Simply Vera Wang; the blazer is Ralph Lauren and the loafer heels are Relativity. Everything you see in this outfit with the exception of the scarf I have styled on the blog before. It just goes to show that our closets are a great place to look for new color combinations and outfits.

Pantone fall 2018 - Red pear and Nebulas blue

What do you think of these colors? Do you think these colors represent the fall season? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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I’ve included a few shopping links. These are affiliate links, which means I get a few cents if you click on it. All opinions are my own.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Introduction to the Color Palette

Once again, I am visiting the Pantone fall color palette. If you are unfamiliar with the Pantone Institute of Color, they are considered to be the leaders in color technology. Here is a quote from the About Us portion of their website.

Pantone provides a universal language of color that enables color-critical decisions through every stage of the workflow for brands and manufacturers. More than 10 million designers and producers around the world rely on Pantone products and services to help define, communicate and control color from inspiration to realization – leveraging advanced X-Rite technology to achieve color consistency across various materials and finishes for graphics, fashion and product design. Pantone Standards feature digital and physical color specification and workflow tools. The Pantone Color Institute™ provides customized color standards, brand identity and product color consulting as well as trend forecasting inclusive of Pantone Color of the Year, Fashion Runway Color Trend Reports, color psychology and more. Pantone B2B Licensing incorporates the Pantone Color System into different products and services, enabling licensees to communicate and reproduce approved Pantone values and improve efficiencies for their users. Pantone Lifestyle brings color and design together across apparel, home, and accessories
— Pantone website

There are two major cities in the fashion industry that put out their corresponding color palettes for each season. The graphic below shows a combination of the New York and London Fall palettes.

1 (5).jpg

This year’s fall palette is a blend of traditional seasonal hues, soft pastels and pops of bright color making for an interesting color mix. You could pick one color from this palette or all of the colors and when combined with other seasonal trends such as animal prints, plaid and camo make amazing outfits that go beyond our normal expectations for fall.

In addition to the twelve colors above, last spring Pantone also began putting out a classic color palette. While these colors remain more neutral and unchanged, thus the classic descriptor, they present an option for what I call a “grounding” color for our outfits. While some people like to wear color on color, others like to have small pops of color with a more classic foundation to keep their outfits grounded and impeccable.

classic color palette - Pantone


Next week, I will begin showing you how I put these colors together to form outfits that are both classic and colorful. For now, here are few sneak peeks. I hope you’ll join me then.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

Texture Talk - Part 2 - Embellishments and Fabrics

Last week I took a look at how adding texture to our outfits can change and elevate our same old, same old looks, to a new level. Texture is all around us in nature and in the homes we live in. Take a look at your living room or bedroom. There is texture on the couch in the form of upholstery, pillows, and throw blankets. Your bed probably has a thick cushy comforter or mattress pad that adds comfort for a better night's sleep. We fill our homes with pictures, decorations and nick nacks to add depth and interest to the environment we live in. Why would we not do the same thing to our outfits?

Last week I looked specifically at adding texture in the form of our accessories, such as bags, shoes, jewelry and scarves. You can see that post here. This week I want to look at fabrics and embellishments and what choices there are to add texture in this regard. 

Embellishments:

This would include anything added to a clothing piece that gives it texture that is not specifically fabric related. Fabrics like lace could be an embellishment, but I am going to leave that for the fabrics section. 

Embellishments
Embellishment
embroidered skirt
Embellishment
Embellishments - buttons

Things like beads, jewels, sequins, fringe and special buttons, are all embellishments. Certain types of stitching, like the embroidery above, as well as things like gathering or ruching also add texture to an outfit. 

Fabrics:

Lace

I love lace and I think it can add an element of elegance to any outfit. It obviously adds beautiful texture when it is worn. Combining lace with leather or lace with some other embellishment makes for an even more interesting outfit. 

Lace top
Lace sleeve
Lace trim
Lace trimmed tee

Knits

My pictures all revolve around open weave knits. Things like crochet or knitted pieces are great for boosting the texture factor. However, even regular knits made in a factory add dimension to a look, especially if they are ribbed or manufactured in a way that builds texture. You'll see an example of ribbed knits a little further below. 

sweater
knit vest
knit poncho

Fabrics made with special textures:

Pleats

pleated sweater
pleated skirt

Quilting

quilted vest
quilted jacket

Ribbing

ribbing
ribbing

Texture is a wonderful thing to add to our outfits. As you begin thinking about fall in particular you will be naturally reaching for things like cozy knit sweaters and fun boots. Coats and jackets will also add an element of texture to your outfit. 

I am going to stretch this into one more post, because I think there is one more area of texture we need to discuss. Look for another post next Thursday. Until then, have a great weekend!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

 

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. 

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Have a great day!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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Texture Talk - Part 1 - Accessories

I am going to veer away from my usual monthly column for a few weeks to talk about texture. We all know that our clothes are made of various fabrics. These fabrics are woven together from many different materials including plant based items like cotton and linen, to man made items like rayon and nylon. Every fabric has its own feel, swing (or lack thereof) and texture. Many materials might appear to have no texture at all, but even something smooth has texture. Silk for example is smooth to the touch, but a silk blouse feels beautiful because of its smooth, silky texture. Why, then, even worry about whether an outfit has textural elements, when all fabric has texture of some sort? The reason is quite simple. Texture adds interest.

Let's look at a few examples of texture in nature. 

Try to imagine our world without texture? Texture has the ability to tell us something about the thing we are looking at. The bark looks rough. The feather looks soft. The trees have depth. The grass looks wispy. Leaves and flowers speak of life and provide a texture all their own. In the same way, our clothes speak volumes about who we are and what is important to us. 

As I mentioned before all fabric has texture, whether it be smooth, rough, bumpy, itchy, or anything in between, but what sorts of elements can add texture to our outfits to make them more interesting? Think of elements such as ruching, ruffles, buckles, zippers, weaving, fringe and lacing. All of these elements create interest in the palette of an outfit. 

This week I want to give you a few examples of how accessories can easily add texture to your outfits. These are all items you've seen on the blog before and came from my closet. Many of them came from thrift stores or end of season clearance racks. You certainly don't have to spend tons of money to add interesting elements to your every day outfits. Take a look.

Bags

A bag is the perfect way to add texture to an outfit without adding a bulky extra layer. We often think of adding texture by putting on a chunky sweater or a fury scarf, but a bag with ruching, weaving or other textural components is a great way to take your texture IQ up a notch. 

textured bag
textured bag
textured bags
maxidressblackscarffashionblog-7.jpg

Shoes

You might wonder how a pair of shoes can add texture to an outfit, but think about perforations, laces, shearling or fur, buckles, straps, and bling.

perforated shoes
lace up boots
 Photo by me

Photo by me

buckle boots
strappy sandals

Jewelry

Jewelry is another way to add texture to your outfits without adding a lot of bulk. There are so many choices when it comes to jewelry with just about every material imaginable. Here are some of my pieces.

jewelry
jewelry
jewelry
texture in jewelry

Scarves

I love scarves and have way too many of them, but scarves are another way to add texture to an outfit. With summer coming to an end and fall on its way, now is a great time to pull out those scarves and think about how you can add them to your outfits. 

 Photo by me

Photo by me

wearing scarves for texture
 Photo by me

Photo by me

wearing scarves for texture

 

Accessories are an easy way to add texture to all of your outfits without having to buy new items. You already have purses and bags and jewelry. Think about how you can combine these for more interesting and undated looks. 

Next week I'll continue this little side series by taking a look fabrics and embellisments that also add texture to our outfits. I hope you enjoyed this post. Leave me some love in the comments section and have a great weekend!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull, unless otherwise specified. 

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.

Is It a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 4

Here I am, once again, taking a look at kimonos versus ruanas. Both of these over pieces are excellent additions to your wardrobe. They help spruce up a more plain outfit and add a lovely, interesting, layer to a work outfit or a date night look. The lighter layers not only add interest, but a little extra warmth for those overly air conditioned offices and restaurants. If you didn't see my previous three posts you can look at those by clicking on the link. Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3. Week 2 gives a good overview of the difference between the kimono and the ruana, if you were wondering.

This week's post centers around a hybrid piece that I am going to call a "kiana", as I feel it has both the cut and fit of a ruana, but the essence of the kimono. This is another online purchase from Christopher and Banks that I got for a good deal. 

Kimono or ruana - green and blue striped "Kiana"

For this outfit, I wore a pair of Sonoma olive trousers, a cream colored St. John's Bay tank, and my blue SO flats. 

Kimono or ruana - green and blue striped "kiana"

I am calling this a "kiana" because it is shaped like a ruana, but is sewn on the sides, creating the illusion of sleeves, thus the kimono. Once again, you can see that the outfit by itself is rather plain, but adding this sheer over piece makes the outfit really pop.

kimono versus ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"
Kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"
kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "Kiana"

I received this fun textured clutch for Christmas from my younger daughter a few years ago. I love the color and the texture. Texture is another way to add interest to an outfit. Think about adding texture in the form of a jacket, a scarf or a bag like this one. Jewelry can also be a way to add more texture. Think pendant necklaces with fringe or even a beaded bracelet like this one I am wearing that I found in a clearance basket at Chicos

kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"
kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"
kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "kiana"

Here is another look at the entire outfit. 

kimono or ruana - blue and green striped "Kiana"

What do you think of this piece? Do you think calling it a "kiana" is a good name? What are some ways you style your kimonos or ruanas? What are some ways you add texture to your outfits? I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. 

I've included a few shopping links below for you to peruse. These are affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Have a wonderful day. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Old Becomes New - High Waisted Skirt

This week I am styling a pretty skirt that I have had in my closet for ages. I refuse to get rid of it, because I love the flowy feel of it. I'm sure it has more versatility than I think, so I pulled it out. Since I was already on the crop top band wagon, I thought I would try pairing the same blue and white crop from last Thursday's post (see here) for some fun print mixing with this high waisted skirt. 

Old Becomes New - High Waisted skirt

This skirt is George brand and I got it at JC Penney, many moons ago. It has a full lining and the fabric is very light weight and flowy. It also has a high, stretchy waistline, which is very comfortable and worked perfectly with the crop top.

Old Becomes New - High waisted skirt

I loved the pop of red in last week's outfit with the crop top, so I kept them exactly the same: red patent leather clutch, red bangle and red canvas peep toe Keds. 

Old Becomes New -
fashionblogcroptopstyle-21.jpg

I added the cropped denim jacket as a solid piece to tie together the two patterns. When print mixing it is usually best to pick a smaller pattern with a larger pattern and then use a complimentary piece to pull the two patterns together. Here is a photo of  the outfit without the jacket and beside it one with the jacket. Do you think it looks better with or without the jacket?

I hope you liked this outfit. Do you have something in your closet that you are not sure how to wear? Depending on the piece think in terms of balance. Try pairing a fuller, bulkier skirt with a stream lined tee or a belted blouse. Pair skinny jeans with longer tunic tops or even dresses with the jeans rolled up. When the weather cools pair those same skinnies with bulky sweaters or sweat shirts. Wider leg pants look perfect when paired with a tighter fitting top to show off your curves. 

I always love to hear from you, so be sure to leave me a comment or two. I have learned so much from fellow bloggers and others, who leave ideas in my comments box, so please feel free. 

Have a great weekend everyone.

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

Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 1

There are numerous over layers that we can wear including sweaters, blazers and jackets, but what about kimonos, and ruanas? I'll admit, I had to look up ruana, because I wasn't sure exactly what that was. I am familiar with kimonos and have been seeing lots of bloggers showing off these stylish pieces over their summer tanks and shorts. I bought a few pieces from Christopher and Banks recently and realized that one was more like a kimono and one was more like a ruana. Needless to say, I now have acquired a number of these and thought it would be fun to do another series, before we have to start thinking about the reality that fall is coming. 

Kimono or ruana - yellow short kimono

This first pretty piece is a short kimono I recently found at Meijer on the clearance rack. For each of these posts I'm going to show you a picture of the outfit before I added the kimono. For this week I chose my Sonoma (Kohl's) Bermuda shorts, a Sonoma tank (Kohl's) and my light blue Keds (thrifted). 

kimono or ruana - yellow short kimono

For some reason, tank tops seem to be the perfect under piece for a kimono. I think what I like about it, is that the kimono really takes center stage and there is no bulk or extra fabric to deal with when wearing a tank top. I won't normally wear just a tank top, unless it is really hot and I am doing yard work. However, a tank top under a kimono, shawl, ruana or other light weight piece is perfect. 

Here are a few other pics of the kimono. I love the color, the pretty blue flowers and the lace edging. I kept my accessories simple with a teal fringe pendant necklace. 

kimono or ruana - yellow short kimono
kimono or ruana - yellow short kimono
kimono or ruana - short yellow kimono

I'm carrying my navy Simply Vera Wang bag (thrifted), as I thought it went well with the colors in the kimono. 

kimono or ruana - short yellow kimono

Of course, the footwear had to be ultra casual as well, thus my bright blue Keds (thrifted).

kimono or ruana - short yellow kimono

Do you have any kimonos? How do you like to wear them? I have become more fond of them over the last couple of years and seeing how other bloggers style them really helps. They are a great piece to add pizzazz to any outfit whether dressy or casual like this one.

kimono or ruana - short yellow kimono

I love to hear your feedback. Did you like this outfit? Do you like this kimono? I usually think of kimonos as being longer, but I think this short one works and I'll be looking at more ways to style this in the future. 

I've included a few shopping links for shorter kimonos, Bermuda denim shorts and Keds, just for fun. These are affiliate links which means I get a few cents if you click on a shopping link. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I get a small commission. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.