20 Days of Christmas - Plaid Pants

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

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

20 Days of Christmas - Plaid pants

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

20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend everyone.


Layering Love - Christmas Outfit Two Ways

Since Christmas is just a few days away I thought I would show an outfit with a Christmas sweater. The Ugly Christmas Sweater movement has given way to a whole Christmas trend. You can find Christmas sweaters that  are bright, colorful, stylish and absolutely gaudy. Ha, ha. This one I am wearing I got at Christopher and Banks a few years ago. 

Layering love - Christmas outfit

I like the simplicity of it, yet with its bright red color, reindeer and snowflakes, it still says Christmas. I added a pair of creamy white corduroys to keep the outfit warm and cozy. 

I decided on silver or gray accessories. My small hobo bag is just right for a wallet, keys and a few things like lip gloss and tissues. I also decided to go simple with my pendant necklace and silver bracelet.

I thought my gray high top Converse would also be the perfect shoe to wear with this outfit. 

For a more dressed up look I added a gray vest with bling, Swapped out the jewelry for items with a bit more shine and changed the bag to a patent leather red clutch. I also exchanged the Converse for my gray heels. 

Layering love - Christmas outfit
Layering love - Christmas outfit

Here are the looks side by side.

One outfit, two ways, just by making a few small changes. It's that easy. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. We will be doing some traveling, so I will be out of my regular posting schedule, but I will try to post a few things about our trip. 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by the blog. 

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

Layering Love - Using a Scarf for Added Interest

There is no end to how you can layer an outfit. While I spent the last few weeks looking at how you can add warmth in a functional way, there is also the idea of adding warmth, while adding a textural element to the outfit. A great way to add texture is to throw on a scarf. 

Layering Love - adding a scarf

I wore this outfit to church on Sunday. I love to get dressed up, but it is also nice to be more casual. I like that more churches do both. The scarf I am wearing is a large oblong one made of a medium weight material. To tie it, I wrapped the scarf from front to back, then crossed both ends over and brought them back to the front. I tied the front ends together. You can do all sorts of things to tie a scarf. Check out this link that shows a video tutorial for 15 Chic and Creative Ways to Tie a Scarf. 

Layering Love - wearing a scarf

This dark purple Loft pullover sweater is soft and comfortable. In addition to the ribbing on on the sleeve cuffs and band on the bottom, there is a type of shirring across the yoke and shoulders. Here is a different one, but very cute. 

Layering love - wearing a scarf

You can see that I kept the colors of the outfit simple by matching pieces up with those in the scarf. This dark purple sweater goes perfectly with the purple in the scarf as does the light pink or blush color of the waterfall cardi. This thrifted cardi is Jennifer Lopez brand. Here is a current one with fur trim at Kohl's.

Layering love - wearing a scarf

While I used a different bag when I went to church, I thought this burgundy Massini saddle bag goes well with the casual look of the outfit and the colors in the scarf. You can see more about Meijer's Massini brand on Stacy London's blog

Layering love - wearing a scarf
Layering love

These are one of my favorite pair of knee high black books. They have a slight heel and the detailing of the buckle and shape of the boot give it a more dressed up feel. I would wear these with a skirt or dress. These are Croft and Barrow brand. These are very similar and not a bad price. 

My skinny jeans are also a brand called Angel that I recently found at Kohl's. They are very soft and hold their shape pretty well. These must have been some sort of a trial brand, because I do not see them any more on their website. However, here is a Lee pair and a Rock and Republic pair. As with most clothing, I recommend going to the store and trying things on. Every pair of jeans fits a little bit different. 

Layering love - wearing a scarf

I hope you enjoyed this post. 

For those of you who follow my faith posts, I am a little behind this week. I am hoping to get my faith post up tomorrow. Sorry about that. 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Fun Fall Look - Shearling

For this Fun Fall Look today, I am wearing a pair of boots I recently thrifted, that combine the earthy tone of brown suede with the fun texture of creamy shearling. Shearling is basically the wool from a sheep after it is shorn. Most of the shearling you see in the stores this season is fake, but it is a fun texture that is widely popular right now and appears on coats, vests, hats, scarves and yes, boots. Most often the fuzzy texture is left a creamy white color and can be made of various man made fibers.

Shearling outfit

Because I wanted to show off the boots, I kept the rest of my outfit rather casual and simple. 

DSC_0053 (3).jpg

This berry colored tunic I bought a few years ago at Christopher and Banks. Here is a cute cowl neck version at Nordstrom

The  Apt. 9 vest I found on the clearance rack at Kohls. This is a light weight faux suede. I like the waterfall open front and this brown will go with many other colors. Do you like it paired with the berry? I think it works to keep the outfit more earthy. Here is a back view of the vest and the boots.

Shearling boots outfit

I chose these dark wash Rock and Republic skinny jeans for a look that slimming and in keeping with the darker colors of fall. I got these on clearance at Kohl's. I lost about 7 pounds over the summer, so they fit a little better now than when I first got them. It's amazing how just a few pounds can make a difference. 

I decided to mix jewelry just to keep the look more interesting. To go with the suede look of the vest and boots I chose the lariat choker. To go with the berry tunic I also added this fun fringe gold and bead pendant necklace.

Shearling boot outfit

I also added a number of bracelets that I recently brought home. They are just simple stretchy beaded ones, but even these can make an outfit look more fun and interesting. I love these layers of burgundy, berry and gold.

Shearling boot outfit

These Unisa brand boots were a great find. I love that they have a higher wedge heel and the gold zipper and buckle detailing on the outer leg gives them a cool vibe that can be dressed up or down. They seem pretty comfortable, so I expect these will get some wear this winter. Just remember if you are going to wear suede boots they should be treated for waterproofing and I would avoid wearing them when the salt trucks are out. Salt does nasty things to suede and leather. To keep your boots looking great wear your snow boots, rain boots or a boot that can be easily cleaned when the weather gets really messy. 

Shearling boot outfit
shearling boot outfit

Do you have any shearling pieces in your closet? How do you wear your shearling? I hope you enjoyed this post. Below are a few affiliate shopping links that can give you other ideas for how to wear shearling. All opinions are my own.

I hope you have a great weekend. 

Color Crash Course - Christmas Colors

For as long as I can remember we have associated red and green with Christmas. It probably has something to do with holly, poinsettias, and other traditions passed down through the years. Here is a good website to learn about Christmas traditions, whychristmas.com. Of course I had to take the challenge of coming up with an outfit or two that uses these wonderful colors without looking like a walking version of an ugly Christmas sweater. Here we go.

In the first outfit, I chose to use more green with just a hint of red and a large splash of gold.

color crash course - red and green

For this outfit I wore a green turtleneck sweater. To tone down the "too Christmassy" look, I only used red for my jewelry. I wore gray leggings with my gray ankle boots to elongate my legs, then topped the whole outfit with this gold fringed cape that I got from Chico's. 

color crash course - red and green

Here you can see the necklace and bracelet I chose to bring red into the outfit. The jewelry is not overwhelmingly red, just a few beads here and there mixed in with gold and tan.

color crash course - red and green

Here is a great shot of the fringe on this fun cape. I look a little crazy in this picture. Ha, ha. 

color crash course -

For my next outfit, I decided to use the red for the brighter color and tone down the green.

color crash course - red and green

Again, I wore leggings, this time a blue pair. I kept this outfit even more casual figuring it would be perfect for a Christmas day spent at home. I left the blue and red flannel shirt untucked to give the outfit a very laid back vibe. Instead of a bright Christmas green I opted for an olive colored sweater and an olive necklace.

color crash course - red and green

Can't have casual without a fun pair of sneakers, so it was the navy Keds for this outfit.

Here you have the two outfits side by side.

And just for the sake of being a proud mama, I am including three more pics that I thought were very cool, that my daughter took. 

color crash course - red and green
color crash course - red and green
color crash course - red and green

Let me know what you think of these casual Christmas Day outfits. I always love your feedback.

Next week I will be celebrating with family and will not be posting on Monday and Tuesday. I will finish up this Winter Wonderland series on Thursday the 29th. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. 

Thanks for following my blog!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. 

Shopping Options:

Chicos no longer has this cape, but here is a cute poncho option - Chico's - $59.40

Green Turtleneck - Macy's - $14.99

Red Plaid Shirt - LLBean - $59.00

Olive Duster - Maurice's - $26.40

Winter Wonderland - Week 3

Here we are less than a week away from Christmas! What????? I cannot believe how fast time flies by. When I was playing with my grandson today, I spent a few moments just looking at his cute little face (something we grandmas like to do) and I wondered what happened to that little tiny burrito that I held in my arms six years ago! Time keeps its own pace and doesn't ask how we feel about it, even if we would like it to slow down a little.

This week's day to night outfit revolves around a faux leather pencil skirt. Once again, I reached for the burgundy color to pair with my grays. I just love how these two colors work with one another, almost like a lovely dance with the burgundy confidently taking the lead and the gray coming along for the ride.

winter outfit - burgundy skirt day look

For my day look, I chose to style an outfit for work. The look is still casual, but more professional. This would also be a great look for a lunch get together with the hubby or the girlfriends.

Wearing a light gray tunic sweater I wanted to add a little more color by my face so I chose this oblong, multi colored scarf. I love the way the scarf draws in the burgundy of the skirt.

Here is a closer look at the scarf. Try to imagine the look without the scarf and I feel I would be a bit washed out, but adding the scarf and my Mary Kay Mystic Plum lip color adds a wow factor. This close up of the scarf shows you the lovely purple and burgundy tones. I added a brooch to hold the scarf together. A shout out to Jodie of Jodie's Touch of Style for motivating me to get reacquainted with pins and brooches. Another way to add some bling to our outfits.

I added a dark gray clutch that can be used as shoulder bag. It has a chain for a strap so I wouldn't put anything real heavy in it. To keep the look more casual, I wore my gray suede wedge heel ankle boots. 

To transform the look into more of a night time go out on a date look I swapped out the scarf for a chiffon kimono and gold layered necklace. 

winter outfit - faux leather skirt night time

Instead of the gray clutch I carried a gold woven one to go with the gold necklace. I also swapped out my casual gray ankle boots for a low heeled black pump.

winter outfit - low heeled black pumps

Here is a back view of the kimono. It has a bit of a hi lo hemline and while for this outfit I wore it more as a jacket, I could see pairing with a belt and leggings for more of a tunic look.....oooo good idea for another post. I really need to write these ideas down when I get inspired or I will forget! 

winter outfit - burgundy skirt night time

After my daughter had loaded these pics onto her computer she said she wasn't real happy with our back drop because of the busyness. Now I see what she meant. Too many leaves and branches and lights. Ha, ha. But she's the professional. I still think it looks pretty. 

So here are my two outfits side by side. 

Let me know what you this of these outfits. Do you think the look transitions from day to night? What would you have done differently? I love to hear your comments, because I don't know everything and fashion has so many aspects to it that I don't even think of. So don't be afraid to leave a comment. I appreciate the input. I do respond to all comments and you can just check back on the post later to see what I've said.

Shopping the look:

Faux leather skirt (black - other choices in burgundy available on ebay, etsy, etc.) - Macy's - $59.50

Gray tunic sweater (many sizes in light gray sold out - this is another option) - Macy's - $41.99

Kimono - Essential Apparel - $28.80

Ankle Boots - DSW - $49.95

Clutch - Charming Charlie - $29.00

Necklace - Charming Charlie - $18.00

 

Monday linking up with Michelle of Michelle's Pa(i)ge and Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb.

Winter Wonderland - Week 1

As I begin writing this post, it is 9:30 at night. I usually get started a tiny bit sooner, but my younger daughter had an emergency, so my husband and I, after finishing our dinner out, drove over to her apartment to see if we could help. The cold water supply pipe to her water heater burst! By the time we got there, maintenance was on site vacuuming up gallons of water that had sprayed out in Niagara Falls type form in my daughter's bedroom closet. Obviously, in apartment living these sorts of disasters not only affect you, but your neighbors as well. While maintenance was doing their job of fixing and cleaning, I held the chinchilla who had been doused with cold water. I wrapped the fat little guy up in a blanket and he soon stopped shivering. After the two men left with their huge shop vac, I helped my daughter go through dresser drawers, bags and boxes that had become soaked in the flood. I cannot imagine what people who go through actual flooding feel. This was overwhelming enough!

All that said, it is time for the start of my Winter Wonderland series. When I stared thinking about this, I was envisioning snow as my backdrop, but all I got was gray and drab. A typical midwest winter! Ha, ha. So we did what we could for our photos.

The idea behind this series was to show some of the textures and styles that we often see in the winter months. This being December I also wanted to choose outfits that could be taken from day to night or work to celebrations with just a few minor changes. 

winter outfit - jeans with Beatles shirt and jacket

This day time look is all about casual and warm. Rock and Republic skinny jeans, black knee high boots and a black double breasted jacket look sharp and classic. 

winter outfit - black blazer, jeans, Beatles shirt

To add some fun to my casual outfit, I wore a short sleeve gray tee with a light weight Beatles sweatshirt over top. I added a scarf with some silver threads and my maroon fringe bag. Voila!

winter outfit - casual day look - scarf

Details of scarf.

winter outfit - casual day look

Details of the bag. You are going to see this color come up again and again in this series. Whatever color you want to call it, burgundy, wine, maroon, it doesn't matter. I think is is a beautiful winter color, so I'll be working it!

winter outfit - casual day look

In the above photo you get a better look at the jacket buttoned. This is not a jacket I would wear to be warm. It is more like a blazer than an actual coat. However when you layer pieces you can get away with wearing this for a coat. Especially if you are not going to be spending hours outside.

winter outfit - casual day - boots

And here is a closer look at the boots. I wore a pair of leg warmers with them as well, just for extra warmth and texture.

winter outfit - night time look

For the night version of this casual outfit I swapped out the heavy dark jacket and threw on my faux velvet one. I changed from knee hight boots to maroon heeled booties and changed the fringe bag for one with a bit more shimmer. I was having problems with the heels on these shoes, not only sinking into the ground, but getting attached to leaves. Ha, ha.

winter outfit - casual day - maroon suede booties
winter outfit - night time faux velvet jacket

Instead of the scarf I wore three silver necklaces, just to add some bling. It is amazing to me how just a little bling or shimmer can take an outfit from casual to dressy.

winter outfit - night time version with faux velvet jacket

I was having a hard time standing with these shoes on this ground.....

winter outfit - night time longer jacket version

I had this other longer jacket, so I threw in a picture of that as well. I just wanted to show you different ways you could style the same outfit.

Can you guess which of these three was my favorite? I'd love to hear your favorites in the comments section below.

Thanks for following along. Be sure to check back on Thursday when my Awesome Accessories column will take a look at boots.

Have a great Tuesday.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

Shopping the looks:

Rock & Republic Jeans - Kohl's - $59.99 (on sale)

Double Breasted Blazer - Macy's - $64.99 (this one is velvet)

Beatles shirt - Fab Four Store - $34.99

Black Knee High Boots - DSW - $69.95

Scarf - Charming Charlie - $19.00

Velvet Jacket - ModCloth - $79.99

Suede Heeled Booties - DSW - $49.95

Longer Jacket - Nordstrom - $89.00 (also velvet)

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Wednesday linking up with Allison of Sydney Fashion Hunter, Tania of 50 is not Old, and the Ageless Style Link Up. Friday linking up with JoLynn Shane in the Fashion Friday Link Up Party, Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots,  Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, 

Layers of Fun: The Outer Limits - Week 2

Here is the conclusion of my first photo shoot. Remember, I am not normally a photogenic person, so it took some gentle direction from my photographer daughter to help me know when to smile, when to walk, how to tilt my head and so on. I am a work in progress, a living, breathing testament to Philippians 1:6 - "...He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

This is one of my favorite outfits. It was classy, but comfortable. A perfect outfit for my job as an assistant manager at local university bookstore. I paired the tunic and narrow leg trousers, both from Christopher and Banks (see similar pants here). The tunic is no longer available. The vest and shoes were thrift store finds. The vest gives the outfit an edgy vibe and the shoes shout menswear oxfords. The necklace was probably clearance at Kohl's (bought a few years ago).

I like this outfit too. I am most comfortable in jeans and these skinnies are easy to slip into my taller boots. As I said from last week's post, I am not real fond of the vest worn by itself as the pattern tends to widen my already wide middle. But putting it under the fitted jacket works. The raspberry shirt adds a pop of color. Now if I could just find my horse!

Thanks for checking out this week's fashion post. Next week (and month) we'll be looking at Pantone's Spring colors and I'll be searching my closet for outfits that work the color scheme. We will also be doing a "closet clean out" with tips for slimming down our bulging closets. I hope you will join me.

Layers of Fun: the Outer Limits - Week 1

We finally got to the outer layers. Outer layers can include jackets, sweaters, vests, and coats. Follow those with other accessories such as jewelry, scarves, bags and shoes. The pictures below show you some of my final outfits. I did not focus on coats, other outer wear, or bags as we will focus on those in a different post at a later time.

 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

 Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

You can see with the above outfit I added a sweater, skinny belt to give me a waist and a scarf. Even though it is print on print the scarf pulls together the black in the shirt and pants as well as the raspberry color of the sweater. The ensemble is completed with a pair of heels.


 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

All the pieces in this outfit except the necklace were thrift store finds. The fun necklace was from H & M a few years ago. As my blog evolves, I hope to be more tech savvy and give you links to possible similar outfit pieces. Right now I am still learning. Thanks for being patient.

Tomorrow I will post Outer Limits: Week 2, as we will be starting a Spring theme next week. Be sure to check out my last two outfits from our first photo shoot tomorrow, then put next Tuesday on your calendar for Spring colors and tips for weeding out your closet. Until next time, keep stylin'!

Layers of Fun: Bedrock

Since it is still winter in the midwest, I thought it would be beneficial to start our fashion walk with layers. I am a layer fanatic and I will give my daughters Rebecca and Rachel the credit for teaching me about layering and all things fashion. What is more fun that being able to wear as many of your clothes as you can at one time, and still look fashionable?

In today's post we'll start with the under layer or what I call the bedrock. This is your foundational layer. This layer should lay close to your skin. This will include your underwear. Now what sort of underwear you wear is entirely up to you. This blog is meant to help you feel comfortable and fashionable in things you are already used to wearing. If you wear cotton panties, by all means keep wearing them. If you wear a thong, you go girl! There are so many options out there and you are in charge of you. In addition to your underwear you can also consider hose, tights or leggings as well as slips and shape wear part of the bedrock. 

 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

After we have all our under layers on, we can think about actual clothing. I usually wear a tank top, but any type of cami or even a thin tee shirt will do. What you wear, might be determined by how you wear it. If you are layering a button up blouse over a long sleeve tee and want to coordinate the pattern on the blouse with the color of your tee then you might be wearing a crew neck. Maybe you are looking for simple practicality and just want to be warm, then a cami or tank top that doesn't show is appropriate.

 Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

The real trick to the bedrock is layers without bulk. If your under layer is too thick or covered in buttons or embroidery, etc. the over layers may look wrinkly, or, God forbid, make you look heavier. So always think layers without lumps. Think of layer cake. A beautiful cake will have frosting free of crumbs or blobs of unnecessary decoration. As we dress, we want to appear smooth, light and beautiful.

Obviously layering is not for everyone. I am a post menopausal woman and while I still have micro hot flashes I was one of the fortunate women who flew through the change easily; that's not true for everyone. My mother-in-law was thrown into menopause after having a hysterectomy and likens her hot flashes to panic attacks with your skin on fire. During that stage of her life she would not be found in the amount of layers I am used to wearing in the winter. If you are in the throes of the change then layering can be as simple as a short sleeve blouse under a cardigan. That way, when you are flashing you can take the cardi off and still look polished. No sweat! (Pardon my unforgivable pun!)

Next week we'll explore Middle Earth!