Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 6

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

fashionblogkimonostyle-57.jpg

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

fashionblogkimonostyle-73.jpg

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

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

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

kimono or ruana - black floral embellished kimono

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 5

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

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

kimono or ruana - open weave navy "kiana"

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

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

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "Kiana"

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

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

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

There is a verse in the Bible, which says,

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

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

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

Here is a back view of the "kiana".

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

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

kimono or ruana - navy open weave "kiana"

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

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

Have a great day everyone!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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. 

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

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

Marvelous Maxis - The Dress Edition - Week 2

I wasn't intending to take last week off from the blog, but that is the way things turned out. On Monday we left for Indiana to meet my husband's Aunt and Uncle from Wisconsin. We have been trying to meet up for several years now and it finally worked out. We met in a small Amish town called Shipshewana. This little town is known for its flea market which runs through the summer and into October. During the warm weeks of summer this peaceful Amish community turns into a busy metropolis with mobs of people, cars and the familiar black buggies. 

We spent two nights in our pop up and discovered that it leaks. Ha, ha. Of course our luck continues as it rained every day we were gone! What is it with the rain lately? Is it rainy in your part of the country? This spring and now summer we seem to be having more days of rain and clouds than days of sun. However, even with the rain, we had a great time. Our days were spent shopping and eating and our evenings spent in our relatives' lovely motor home playing cards. 

This week's outfit features a  maxi dress that I bought a few season's ago at Kohl's. I have never worn it! I love the colors, the empire waist and the easy, comfort that this dress allows, but for some reason, I just don't seem to reach for it. Once again, I decided to feature it on the blog as a way to style it and give me ideas as to how to wear it. 

Marvelous maxis - red and blue dress

The weather has been unusually indecisive this summer so I knew the sleeveless top may not be warm enough for certain situations, whether, just the cooler temps or air conditioning, so I added a dark wash chambray button up.

Marvelous Maxis - blue and red dress

I tied the shirt to give it a casual flavor. You can also see I chose a blue metal and bead cross, and a red bracelet for my jewelry. 

Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress

I wore my Comfort Plus wedge slip on sandals. I've had these for a long time and got them at a thrift store. They are easy to get on and off and very comfortable. 

Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress

I also thought it would be fun to add my MixIt straw hat and my oversized Sonoma tote bag for a casual, summer, beach vibe. This is an outfit I would wear to the beach. It would be easy to slip my sandals off so I could get my feet in the water. The large tote offers plenty of room for a book, sun screen, keys, sunglasses and a towel, while the hat offers additional sun protection.

Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress

The day we took these photos I had come to help my daughter with her packing. She, her hubby and their dog are officially in their new home. On this day I had my grandson with me, so here are a few of his photo bombing shots. Beatrice was happy to photobomb as well. 

Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress

He's such a ham!!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have  maxi dresses in your closet? How do you like to wear them? As always I love to hear from you. Remember to check back on your comments, because I always try to respond to your input. 

I've included a few shopping links, just to give you ideas of what is out there. If you click on a link, I get a few cents because these links are through an affiliate program. Believe me, I have not made enough to warrant them even sending me a check, so I won't be quitting my day job, but every click does help. Ha, ha. All opinions are my own. 

Have a good week. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

InVESTments: Wearing Vests in the Summer - Long Knit

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

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

Wearing vests in the summer

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

Wearing vests in the summer
Wearing vests in the summer

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

Wearing vests in the summer

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

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

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

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

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

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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

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

Piece Perfect - White Pants

White used to be a color only worn during the summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but now white has become a wardrobe staple for all seasons. When I thought about featuring white pants for this post, I didn't know I would be able to come up with three different length white pants. I even surprised myself by realizing, I really did like white as a way to brighten up an outfit. 

When I was growing up I never wore white. I have always loved color and thought of white as a non-color. Truth be told, however, I am quite clumsy, and knew if I wore white I would end up soiling it with, either tomato sauce in some form, or grease of the automotive variety. My father was an airplane mechanic who also loved to work on cars. It seemed there was always a car sitting in our driveway with the tires off or the hood up. Being the only girl in my family did not deter me from following Dad around as he rolled himself under the car fixing a break line or doing a rigged up muffler repair. There was no way, my mother was going to put white on this girl!

While both of my brothers followed my dad in the family business of airplane repair, the best I could do was change a flat tire. In thirty years of marriage I don't think I have ever had to change my own flat. My hubby has always been there to do the job. Still, it is reassuring that if I had to do it, I probably could. I just hope I'm not wearing white when it happens!

For this post, I decided to show you three different outfits using three different length pants. Unfortunately, all these photos were done indoors, as when I had the time to take the photos the wind chill was in the forties and it was raining. Spring in Toledo!

You might be wondering what the difference is between capris, peddle pushers, crop pants or ankle pants. JoLynne Shane did a great job of explaining this conundrum in a post from April of 2015 titled Capri Pants: In or Out?

Outfit 1 - Capri Pants 

My version of capris actually is rather taboo by the standard that JoLynne explains in her post. She says that the pants should not end at the widest point on your calf and these pants I have on pretty much sit right there or maybe a tad below. Tell me what you think.

white capri pants

The only thing in this outfit that is not a thrift store find are the sandals. I consider these capri pants as they end on the calf between the knee and the ankle. I think I got away with these in this outfit because I am wearing sandals that are neutral color which elongates the part of my leg that is showing. If I would have worn my Keds or other tennies, I think it would make my legs look stubby.

white capri pants

The top has a fun shark bite hemline edged with lace. I love the way the lace is inserted into the body of the tee adding more texture to an otherwise plain top. 

white capri pants

Since I kept the outfit simple I thought a printed bag would work well and the sandals which provide a cagey textured look. 

white capri pants

For my jewelry I went with silver tones. I had this necklace and thought it pulled some of the yellow in the bag, giving continuity to the whole outfit.

Outfit 2 - Ankle Pants

In this next outfit I am wearing my ankle pants. I define ankle pants as those that end at or just above the ankle.

white ankle pants

For this outfit I paired the pants with a recent purchase from Kohl's. This Dana Buchman top also has an asymmetrical hem line, although this one only drops on one side. The fun ombre pattern is abstract geometric that reminds me of zebra stripes, so in keeping with the wild animal theme I carried my snakeskin bag. 

white ankle pants

Here's another view of the top.

white ankle pants

I wore my black wedge espadrilles to tie in the black in the blouse and my bag. 

white ankle pants

Silver seemed to be my go to for jewelry with these outfits. A couple of silver bracelets and my silver cross necklace with a turquoise center work well with the blueish green of the top. I also added a beaded choker just for a delicate line of black. 

Outfit 3 - Full Length Pants

I own two pairs of full length white pants now, one heavier weight denim and then the pair I style here. This pair was another thrift store find and is J.Jill brand. Lighter weight material can be a problem in pants as it allows your underwear to show through. I don't know quite when women got obsessed with their underwear. Whether it is the question of wearing underwear or not, or the question of thong, hipsters, briefs, boy cuts or bikinis, we certainly have much to think about when it comes to our intimates. My solution is simple, white pants, shorts or skirt, wear white or nude underwear. Yes, I still might have panty lines, but the white will simply become part of your outfit, where as a darker or brighter color will become an accessory....an accessory to others noticing your panties! Ha, ha.

When looking for white pants, look for heavier weight with more structure. There are many good choices on the market right now as the push for white began a month or two ago. I'll list some options at the end of this post. I would suggest actually going to the store to shop for white pants. That way you can try them on and see if you are comfortable with the weight of the material and the amount your underwear can be seen.

For this final outfit I decided to go for a monochrome look. I feel it speaks of a fun summer get away to the French Riviera or some other magical destination.

long white pants

The outfit formula is very simple: white short sleeve sweater top, white wide leg pants, copper and orange accessories. Done. If you missed my Mad About Monochrome post from last week's Color Crash Course column, be sure to check it out by clicking on the link. Going monochrome can really make getting dressed even simpler.

long white pants

My wonderfully comfortable Sonoma brand sandals from Kohl's and a cross body bag. I think this outfit would have worked even better with a straw shopping bag and floppy sun hat.

long white pants

Here's another look at the sandals. They actually zip up the back so are pretty easy to get on and they have a very cushy footbed, making walking a dream! A wedge heel always looks classy.

long white pants

Cute neck scarves are in right now, so I thought this brown, white and orange version was the perfect accompaniment to the outfit. The orange bracelets add an additional pop of color.

Here are all three outfits next to each other so you can see the varied pant lengths. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you now have added inspiration for styling those white pants. Maybe you, like me, are very hesitant to wear white. I say give it a try. Find a pair on sale or at a thrift store, if you really don't like them you can always donate them!

Here are some shopping options. I provide these options as a way to show you what is out there and if you click on a link I get a little bit of a kick back. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

I cannot guarantee these options are see through. As I said before it is best to go and try them on before you purchase, so you can see how they will look.

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

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots.  Friday linking up with JoLynne Shane in the Fashion Friday Link Up

Chasing Away the Winter Blues - Week 4

In this series I have been sharing with you, some of the ways I try to beat the winter blues. January, February and even into March can be a long, cold and dark time for many people. As a fashion blogger, I wanted to come up with a few outfit ideas that might help to lift our spirits. I also posted about getting out for a day, just to have some fun and a change of scenery. This week, I thought, why not create an outfit using a summer item. 

The focus behind picking a summer piece to wear in the winter, is to see and handle and remember a warmer, lovelier time when you might have worn the piece and to wrap yourself in that memory, to help you get through the long winter days.

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

This maxi is actually a dress. I threw a crew neck pullover sweater over the top, to give me a layer of warmth.

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

My daughter kindly pointed out, that next time, I may want to use a dress that didn't have a horizontal line right around the hips and butt. She's right! Now that I have that out of the way, I do like the color of this dress. Since it is more of a fair weather palette I decided to add a touch of maroon, to bring us back to the reality that it is still January.

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

I also added a black jacket that has tiny white polka dots on it. You can better see the dots on the jacket below. I didn't even realize until we were taking pictures that the black flowers on the dress also have tiny white polka dots on them. Go figure! 

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

I really like the maroon color with this outfit. 

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

Due to the thin fabric of the dress, I decided to wear a pair of black leggings underneath. I also wore my black ankle boots. It is still winter after all, even if we don't have snow. 

I'm wondering if you have a summer maxi dress in your closet. Would you style it for winter? How would you add layers of warmth to that summer clothing piece to make it wearable in the colder weather? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. 

If you haven't already subscribed to my blog and would like to receive weekly emails when I post new things, just go to the subscribe box and click.

Check back on Thursday to see what colors I am combining in my Color Crash Course column. Have a great day.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, and Shelbee in the Spread the Kindness link up. Wednesday linking up with The Perfect Storm. Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, JoLynne Shane in the Fashion Friday Link Up, and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge