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.

I have received a few messages that people are having problems commenting on my blog posts. If you an issue, please let me know. I contacted the help team for the platform that I use when I had a problem in the past and they said they couldn’t see any problem on their end. If you have an issue, please shoot me an email, so I can see how widespread the problem is.


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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 3

You might be thinking I covered everything I could when it came to texture and fashion in the last two posts I did on this quick texture series, however, there are two other areas I wanted to address. They both have to do with adding texture to outfits, but in completely different ways. The first deals with adding texture by using patterns. The second will look at taking a monochrome outfit and making it visually interesting by adding texture. 

Adding Texture by Using Patterns

We talk a lot about patterns on our clothing. Everything from stripes and flowers, to plaid and polka dots are part of the clothing we choose to wear. I personally love prints and since I have been blogging, I love to mix prints. When I started thinking about this series on texture, I suddenly realized that prints and patterns do add dimension and depth to our outfits, so therefore, must be a component of a series on texture.

The following pictures all are examples of patterns that add an interesting dimension to each outfit.

These first two are in black and white, because I thought that it makes the point even more dramatically. Not only does the pattern of my clothing add texture to the outfit, but you can see all the texture in the back ground from the trees and landscape. 

Texture from patterns
bohemiandressfashionblog-3 (1).jpg

These next two are jackets. The first is a sleek bomber jacket, but it gives the illusion of texture by placing bold colored flowers on a black back ground. 

Texture from pattern

In my opinion patterns like houndstooth. herringbone, sharkskin and others are the perfect textural patterns. We see these a lot in suits for men and women. I found this houndstooth jacket at a nearby thrift store 

Texture from pattern

An all over pattern gives the illusion of texture while hiding some of my more prominent bulges. 

Texture from pattern

The sweater by itself provides texture, but the pattern across the top and shoulder area, as well as the buffalo plaid bag add interest and depth. 

Texture from pattern

This outfit has many textural components, but they all play so well together, what's not to love? The sweater has ribbing, the vest is embellished at the top, the belt, jewelry and bag provide other interesting elements and the patterned skirt is also made of corduroy, thus more texture. This type of outfit, with all of it's textures still looks chic and classy, but is warm and comfortable. 

Texture from pattern

The same goes for this outfit as well. The striped dress is knit, the jacket has polka dots and the bag is not only made of suede, but has fringe. Texture upon texture, upon texture. Going back to my initial post about texture, I showed some photos of textural elements in nature. If you go for a walk in a park or even in the city, you will see layer, upon layer, upon layer of texture. It is perfectly okay to wear lots of texture in your outfits, as long as you think about how you are putting things together. You can see my original post here

Texture from pattern

Adding Texture to a Monochrome Outfit

This first outfit from my Spring 2017 Pantone series featuring a color called Pale Dogwood. This pale pink is a great backdrop for adding pattern and texture. Other than the laces on my shoes, the knit fabric of the sweater and the necklace it is the addition of the bold pattern on the scarf that gives the outfit a texturized look. If you wanted to go for a complete monochrome look you could have added a fuzzy pink boa or a wide pink belt with some sort of texture. 

monocrhome outfit

Even though this outfit has a patterned dress the look is still monochromatic because the entire look is basically a conglomeration of earthy browns. The pattern and the open weave knit are the texture winners in this look.

monochrome outfit

Just to give you an idea of what an actual monochrome outfit looks like, I threw these next two in from last years holiday outfit series. The black top adds texture with its draping neckline. The over piece adds texture with shear sleeves. Isn't it funny that something sheer can actually add texture, but think about things like neglige and wedding dresses.

monocrhome outfit

This gray outfit is, perhaps, one of my favorites for a monochromatic look with loads of texture. The sheer drape, the pleated neckline of the sweater, the pleats on the skirt as well as my heels which have almost an alligator pattern on them are all textural components in this outfit.

Holiday+outfit+-+dressy+-+skirt.jpeg

Now that you have seen a few examples I hope you will give more thought as to how to add more texture to your outfits. With the onset of fall it will be much easier to add texture through fun pieces like scarves, hats and boots. 

Let me know if you liked this series on texture. If there are other fashion ideas you are interested in having me do a series on, let me know and I'll give it some thought. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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

Instagram Review

I am going to be out of town visiting my mom for her 92nd birthday, so for today's post, I thought I would forego my usual Outfit Inspiration post and just show you some of the outfits from my Instagram feed. Now that I have a smart phone, and have been taught how to post pics and so on, I am enjoying the ease of throwing on an outfit and quickly posting it to IG. The thing I like about Insta is that it allows you to see a more realistic view of how I dress. 

The outfits I post on my blog, are ones that I would wear, given the opportunity, but often real life gets in the way and I find it easier to just throw on a pair of skinny jeans and a pretty top in order to chase my grandson around, go grocery shopping, do laundry and so on. The following are just a few of those everyday outfits that I frequently reach for. 

Plaid Dress with Skinnies

Striped Tee with Embroidered Chinos

Yellow Ankle Pants with Multi-print Tee

Eyelet Top with Skinnies

White Ankle Pants with Floral Kimono

Distressed Crop Jeans with Multi-print Top

These are just a few of the outfits you'll see in my Instagram feed. Do you like this post? Do you follow me on Instagram? I'm still a work in progress and I appreciate all of you who have subscribed to my blog. If you read my posts, but haven't subscribed just fill in the info in the subsciption box and I'll put you on my email list. I only email once a week, because I know how full our in boxes can get. You can follow me on Instagram and I am also working on putting more things on my Pinterest boards so check those out as well. 

Have a great weekend!

Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 3

If you are new to my blog or to this series, I am looking at the difference between a kimono and a ruana. You can see the definition of each as I explained it here in last week's post. This week's outfit revolves around a more traditional kimono. The first post in this series featured an outfit with a short kimono. You can see that post here. Front and center this week is a longer kimono, which to me, seems more traditional to what I think a kimono is supposed to look like as far as shape and length. 

Kimono or ruana - floral kimono in berry and black

This kimono is thrifted Massini brand. Since the kimono has a lot going on with its vivid floral print, I decided to go with a more monochrome outfit underneath. 

kimono or ruana - berry and black floral kimono

This gray, embellished tank is Croft and Barrow and was thrifted. The pants are Falls Creek and a recent clearance purchase from Meijer. Once again, I like the idea of print mixing stripes and floral. This time the stripes are vertical rather than horizontal and worn on the bottom rather than the top. 

kimono or ruana - black and berry kimono

No outfit is complete without a few accessories. I added a silver necklace and a couple of unique bracelets. Since the tank has the beaded embellishment I went for a simple, understated necklace. 

kimono or ruana - berry and black kimono

I have also fallen in love with the color yellow and I couldn't resist adding the bright sunflower feel of this thrifted Elle bag to the berry and gray mix. Do you think it works?

kimono or ruana - black and berry kimono

I decided on my gray oxfords instead of sandals, which makes this a work approved outfit. We can't wear open toed shoes at the bookstore. Although, I'll tell you even a shoe like this will not keep your foot from getting injured when you drop a 1st Semester Nursing package on it. Ha, ha. 

Here is a back view of the kimono. The hem line is higher in the front and lower in the back. 

kimono or ruana - black and berry kimono
kimono or ruana - black and berry kimono

What do you think of this outfit? Do you have a kimono hanging in your closet? If not, I'm sharing a few pretty ones that I found in my shopping section. I also shared how you might put them together with pants and a top. These are just suggestions. These are affiliate links. If you click on a link I get a few pennies. If you purchase something through my links, I might get a small commission. All opinions are my own. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post. I'd love to hear from you. You can also see what I am wearing on a daily basis by checking out my Instagram account. I try to post on there at least three or four days a week. 

Have a great week everyone. 

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.

Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 2

Last week I styled a short kimono. You can see that post here.  This week I am styling a ruana. What exactly is the difference between these two outer layer pieces? A kimono is more of a jacket. It has sleeves that can be narrow or wide, long or short. It is usually open in the front, but can come with or without a belt or tie to keep it closed. A bathrobe is really a heavy weight kimono. A ruana is one large piece of cloth that falls down the back, over the shoulders and down the front. It has no sleeve closures, rather just drapes over the shoulders and is kept in place with your arms, although I have seen and heard of people using a pin or a pretty brooch to keep them in place. A ruana is usually worn open, although the fashion police won't put you away if you wear it with a belt for a more cinched in look. 

Is it a kimono or ruana - striped ruana

This tasseled ruana was a spring purchase from Christopher and Banks. To make the look more streamline, I went with a tank top and a dark gray pencil skirt. Here is the outfit before adding the ruana.

Is is a kimono or a ruana? - Striped ruana

You've seen this blush tank with bling before on my blog. I am an avid proponent of shopping and re-shopping my closet. The tank is Relativity brand and the pencil skirt is Liz Claiborne. Both of these pieces were thrifted. The black heels are Comfort Plus brand and the straw bag was thrifted as well. I opted for minimal jewelry with the beaded choker and a few beaded bracelets. 

Kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana

The next two pictures show you the width of the ruana, which is typically a wider silhouette than a kimono.

kimono or ruanan
kimono or ruana - striped ruana

Do you own a ruana? How do you like to wear it? Is it more of a summer weight or a fall weight? I am seeing fall styles beginning to fill the racks at most retailers. Kohl's was having some good sales on kimonos and ruanas and right now, you might find deals on the lighter weight ones that you could use for the rest of the summer and next season. 

kimonos or ruanas - striped ruana

I'd love to hear your feedback on this outfit. Would you wear something like this? I think this outfit is a great office look and the ruana would add a light layer for those overly air conditioned buildings. 

I've included a few shopping links for you to peruse. These are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog and be sure to check back on Thursday to see what I am featuring on my Old Becomes New column. 

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

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.

Ordinary Amy - White Denim Jacket

I have always loved denim. Traditional blue denim is still my favorite, but I also love colored. Today there are so many wonderful colors of denim to choose from. What is it about denim that I love so much? 

When I was growing up, I lived in the country. We had a good sized yard and fields all around, as well as a creek behind the house that my brothers and I used to traverse, fish, catch turtles and frogs in and ice skate on in the winter time. Being that I was a tomboy, my clothing pieces of choice were jeans and tees, or sweatshirts in the cooler weather. When I got my first denim jacket I thought I was the coolest thing around. Even now, slipping into a denim jacket always makes me feel like a girl who can take on the world. Denim is tough, and durable and that is how I feel when I wear it. It helps that denim today has spandex and other stretchy fabrics in it, to make it comfortable as well. 

Ordinary Amy - white denim jacket

My jeans are my new loves! They are Rock & Republic brand from Kohl's. My favorite part are the zippers. Ha, ha. I know! It's the simple things. In addition they are extremely comfortable. Everything in this outfit is thrifted and obscure brands except the gray Keds, the jeans and the jewelry. 

Ordinary Amy - white denim jacket

The jacket is Live - Life by Sanctuary, which seemed to be available at Sears and K-Mart stores in the past. Sanctuary does have its own website, which you can visit by clicking on the name and they also have pieces at NordstromMacy's, and Anthropologie.  

Ordinary Amy - white denim jacket

This no name tee, is a bit big, but it is comfy and casual and sometimes that is just what I need. You can see that I am not overly done with my make up. I always put make up on, but sometimes in a more simplistic and minimal way. 

I added this Cold Water Creek woven bag for a pop of color. I love the texture of it. Here is a fuzzy close up. I wasn't on my photography game when I took these. 

Ordinary Amy - White denim jacket
Ordinary Amy - White Denim Jacket

My good old Keds! 

Jeans and denim are great for those days you just want to be comfortable, but still want to look put together. 

Ordinary Amy - White Denim Jacket

How about you, friends? Do you like denim? Is a denim jacket one of your go to items, or you more of a sweater kind of gal? As always I love to hear you thoughts. 

I've included a few shopping links for other Sanctuary jackets. None of these are the traditional denim jacket like I have on, but they are cute! 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Marvelous Maxis - The Dress Edition - Week 5

This is the last week of my marvelous maxi dress series. It has been fun, and good for me to pull these beauties out of my closet, and think about how to wear them. Let's face it, most of us will reach for the same pieces over and over, because we want things to be easy. I am finding that growth as a person does not happen by doing everything the same way. Sometimes you need to do something differently for your brain's sake, even if it is something as simple as starting your washing routine on the opposite side of your body. With these maxi dresses the easy way is to just throw them on, after all most maxi dresses can pretty much stand alone, but taking the time to think about adding a fun belt, fancy jewelry, the right shoes or a statement bag can take the outfit from boring to bold. 

This last dress is one of the very first maxi dresses I bought years ago. It is Sonoma brand. As I have mentioned before, I don't wear dresses very much, as I am more a jeans kind of girl, but I do like to have options and when I saw this particular dress, I thought the pattern and color combo perfect for summer and the empire waist hides many a bulge. I am showing you two ways to style this piece. 

Look 1 - Casual

Marvelous maxis - black and white dress

For the first look, I simply threw on my  black Mossimo shrug, a pair of beaded MIx-It thongs, a gold and silver necklace, charm bracelet, and carried my woven bag. 

Marvelous maxis - black and white dress

I know what they say about horizontal stripes that hit at the hips, but you know what? I don't really care. Ha!

Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous Maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress

Look 2 - Dressy

For the second look, I decided to do a bit of print mixing by removing the black shrug and adding an elegant, floral, rectangular scarf that serves as a wrap. I swapped out the casual thongs for a pair of Kenneth Cole - Reaction, patent leather wedge heeled sandals and exchanged the jewelry and bag for something a bit fancier. 

Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous Maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress

Just a few simple changes can take your look from every day to date night. Here are the outfits side by side 

I hope you enjoyed this series on the maxi dress. It might be fun to revisit these in the fall and see how I can style them for colder weather. What do you think? Is that something you would like to see? I love hearing from you.

Be sure to leave some love in the comments box. My comments box disappeared last week for some reason, but the next day it was back, so if you ever have an issue and want to leave a comment, just wait 24 hours and try again. Technology!

I've included a few shopping links just for fun. These are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. 

Have a great day.

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.

 

Marvelous Maxis - The Dress Edition - Week 4

If you are just joining me on the blog, this is week four of my Marvelous Maxis series, where I am looking at various maxi dresses and how to style them. The first week I styled a dress with a fun fluttery bohemian vibe (Week 1), the second week revolved around a comfortable blue and red number (Week 2), and last week I wore my Christopher and Banks dress with a columnar skirt (Week 3). You can click on each of the weeks to view the other posts. 

This week's post returns to a simpler maxi dress with a tank top bodice and straight skirt. This is a tee shirt type knit which pulls on and off just as easily. The waist is gathered elastic. This dress has no bells or whistles and most often I would not pull this out if I wanted to get dressed up. This simple black number says beach and lounge wear all over it. Of course that made me curious to see if I could actually dress it up.

Marvelous Maxis - black knit maxi

I really have no idea what I am doing with my face. Just being goofy, I guess. Now that I am looking at this, I wish I would have tied the gray shrug higher up on my waist. The dress is more baggy by nature, so leaving the shrug more baggy, just makes the whole outfit look frumpy. There's that word again! Ha, ha.

Marvelous Maxis - black tee dress

Yes, my little photo bomber was still around for these photos, since these were all shot on the same day. To dress this up, I put on the gray, sheer shrug. I added some jewelry with bling, a sparkly clutch and my flat, thong sandals with sparkles. 

Marvelous maxis - black tee dress
Marvelous maxis - black tee dress
Marvelous maxis - black tee dress
Marvelous maxis - black tee dress

A simple black maxi like this could be a versatile piece to have in your wardrobe, but as I talked about last week finding a dress that fits well and looks good on you is worth paying a little extra for. I may try to make a few adjustments on this dress to make it more wearable. I feel that it is too long and I had some issues with the top being to loose and bulging in a few places. 

Marvelous maxis - black tee dress

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this outfit. Leave me your ideas on how to style a maxi dress like this.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Have a great day!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Old Becomes New - Knee Length Print Dress

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. We spent Tuesday evening with some of the family and friends watching the fireworks and yesterday, I took my younger daughter out birthday shopping. My in-laws are coming into town this evening. It will be fun to see them. I am so very blessed to have married into a wonderful, caring family. 

Today's Old Becomes New column, revolves around a thrifted, knee length, print dress. When I saw this dress a while back (Note: that is another reference that I have no remembrance of when I got this - ha, ha), I thought it would be a great piece to dress up or down. I like the fun print and the colors are not conducive to a specific season, so it can be worn all year round. However, as usual, I bought it and have never worn it. Once again, I pulled it out thinking either use it or lose it. I am not one to regularly dress up, yet I have this desire to have dresses in my closet, just in case. While my hubby does occasionally get us tickets for something fancier, most events these days are not formal occasions, thus the need or the desire to figure out how to wear something I would normally consider more dressed up in a more casual way. 

Look 1 - Casual

KNEELENGTHPATTERNEDDRESSFASHIONBLOG-3.jpg

My daughter was able to take these pics for me. Don't you love the color contrast between the green of the background and the colors of the dress? The dress is George brand, which seems to be sold both by Target and Walmart, although, as I said, I bought this at a thrift shop. This sleeveless, v-neck has a side zipper for easy on and off. 

I did a little research on dress styles so I could give you better information. This is not truly an empire waist, which rests just below the breasts, but it is also not hitting at the natural waist, plus it is more fitted due to the cinch piece that the skirt attaches too. It is also, not an a-line skirt, so I am going to term this dress a princess dress with an empire waist. Ha, ha. It is fully lined, so no worries on see through issues. This also makes it perfect for year round wear. The lining helps if you work in office air conditioning and makes it great for wearing in the fall. 

For this casual look I added my antler and bead necklace from Cabela's, a wooden bracelet, a thrifted straw bag, my MixIt hat and my Easy Spirit flat espadrilles. 

KNEELENGTHPATTERNEDDRESSFASHIONBLOG-5.jpg
Old Becomes New - Knee Length Print Dress
Old Becomes New - Knee Length Print Dress
Old Becomes New - Knee Length Print Dress

Look 2 - Work Wear

This second look adds a bit of polish and structure, making the outfit perfect for the office. This gray jacket I got from my younger daughter because she had lost some weight and it is too big for her. The jacket is a simple knit, something like a heavier sweatshirt material. It is Laundry brand. I added the black beads, a large black tote and my black loafer heels. 

Old Becomes New - knee length print dress
Old Becomes New - knee length print dress
Old Becomes New - knee length print dress
old Becomes New - Knee Length Print dress
Old Becomes New - Knee length print dress

Here are the two looks side by side. 

What do you think, my faithful followers? Would you keep this dress? Would you style it a similar way, or do you have some other fun ideas. I love hearing from you all and I have gotten some very good advice and ideas, so I appreciate your input. 

Hope you all have a great weekend! See you next week. 

Be sure to check out my Instagram. Since I've gotten a smart phone, I am posting on there, more often. I also have some Pinterest boards as well, that I occasionally add pins to, so you can check that out as well. Always check back on your comments, because I love to respond to your great input.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull