Ordinary Amy - Bootcut Jeans and Leopard Print

Those of you who follow me on a regular basis know I am a jeans kind of gal. Jean are what I live in and I love to be able to dress up a pair of jeans for a lunch date, work or a night out with my hubby. I don’t care what wash they are or what cut, jeans are just my favorite, go to pants.

For today’s post I decided to move away from my frequent choice of dark wash skinny jeans and chose my lighter wash, thrifted, bootcut jeans. I like the shape of a good pair of boot cut jeans. These are actually a little bigger, which I like because they are so comfortable. These are a thicker denim, so hopefully, will last for a while. This is an older brand called Kikit, which are only available through Etsy, Poshmark and other thrift retailers.

Ordinary Amy - Boot cut jeans a leopard print

The choice to wear this leopard print blazer that I found on the JC Penney clearance rack last year was a no brainer! Animal prints are trending now, especially the classic leopard print.

I can remember when I was a young girl thinking of leopard print as something only the rich and famous wore. Pictures of celebrities with their fur stoles and jackets were from before my time, but even in the late 60’s and early 70’s animal print patterns were not something the average woman wore. Maybe that is part of the reason these prints are so popular now and continue to be. Also, I think we are more evolved in the fashion arena as far as fabrics and pieces that can mimic the patterns in nature.

Ordinary Amy - Boot cut jeans and leopard print
Ordinary Amy - Boot cut jeans and leopard print

For my top, I chose my black velvet tee. This was a Christmas gift from my hubby last Christmas. I thought it went very nicely under the velvet, leopard jacket.

Along with leopard print comes the look of burgundy or red accessories. Red shoes and boots are big this fall. I opted for the more subdued burgundy color, rather than a bright red, but the combination works to make a much more interesting outfit. Even if you don’t have leopard print you could combine burgundy with brown, tan and black and get a sharp looking outfit.

My cute fringe bag is thrifted and my ankle boots are a recent purchase from Meijer. I will be the first to admit I have a shoe problem, but only in spurts. Meijer was having a Buy One Get One for a Dollar, so I had to take a look. Of course I found these boot and they went right into my cart. Then I tried on some Keds and a pair of those jumped in the cart. Well, there was a clearance area as well and I found the cutest blush sneakers…so yes, I came home with three pairs of shoes. Shhhhh! Don’t tell.

Ordinary Amy - Boot cut jeans and leopard print
Ordinary Amy - boot cut jeans and leopard print

I decided to wear my burgundy wood and metal and a coppery gold belt as my finishing pieces, adding a front tuck to give definition to my waist.

Ordinary Amy - Bootcut jeans and leopard print
Ordinary Amy - boot cut jeans and leopard print

While we were taking pictures, I met this very nice man. He was so understanding and quite a good listener. Ha, ha. We couldn’t pass up a great picture opportunity.

Ordinary Amy - boot cut jeans and leopard print
Ordinary Amy - boot cut jeans and leopard print

Are you a jeans girl too? What is your favorite brand of jeans? Do you buy your jeans at thrift stores or do you have a particular retailer that you like to buy from? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me some love in the comments section.

I’ve included a few shopping links. These are affiliate links, which means if you click on a link I get a few pennies. If you purchase something through one of my links, I get a little bit more. All opinions are my own.

Have a great weekend.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Outfit Inspiration - Gingham and Olive

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

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

Outfit Inspiration - Gingham and Olive

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

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

Outfit inspiration - gingham and olive

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

Outfit Inspiration - gingham and Olive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a wonderful weekend!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Becomes New - Multi-print Blazer

For this month’s Old Becomes New column, I am featuring a short, 3/4 sleeve blazer that I found at a thrift store a few years back. What drew me to it was the amazing, eclectic color palette. My first thought was that I could wear it with so many things. After I tried it on and loved its’ stretchy feel, I had to take it home. Unfortunately, I’ve only worn it less than a handful of times. I decided to revisit it and make the tough choice as to whether I should keep it our not.

Old Becomes New - Multi print blazer

I honestly believe this jacket is meant for a smaller person than me. I am 5’ 5” and hover around 163 pounds. While it tends, on me, as more of a crop jacket, I’m just not sure. I am asking for your help friends. What do you all think? Does my outfit look disproportionate?

I chose my dressbarn W62 jeans. I bought this pair last year and they no longer carry this color. I love that they are so comfortable and stretchy, however, I feel like they are almost too big. I lost a few pounds this past spring, so I don’t know if that is what made the difference, but they seem to have a lot more wrinkles. Do you ever buy something, put it on and think, “It just doesn’t have the magic, I thought it had?”

Old Becomes New - Multi-print blazer

I went with this thrifted brown tee and a necklace that was in some of my daughter’s stuff to be gotten rid of. Hey, I’m not afraid to find treasure in the strangest of places. I like the brown and yellow cord, the beads, ribbon and the charms, which you can’t see much of in this picture. It seemed a prefect fall accessory.

Old Becomes New - Multi-print Blazer

My bag is another thrift find. I felt the brown tee and the brown bag pulled in more of a fall feel with this blazer that could be worn in any season.

Old Becomes New - Multi-print blazer

Once again, I chose my SO olive ankle boots. These are perfect for the cool temps of fall when you are not quite ready for mid-calf or knee high boots. You can see more fun colors here. The price point on these is not bad at all and they are very comfortable. I typically wear an 8.5 or a 9 and went with a 9 in these so I have more room for heavier socks as the days get cooler.

Old Becomes New - Multi-print blazer
Old Becomes New - Multi-print blazer

What is your verdict? Is this a jacket I should keep or should I let it go free? Ha, ha. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I have to work Friday and Saturday and try to play catch up with all the other stuff that I don’t get done during the week. Ha, ha. Take care and always choose to be kind.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Poppy and Almond Buff

Welcome back to outfit number three in this fall’s Pantone color series. Today I am featuring two colors which the Pantone site describes as a “bright and bold dramatic pink” and a “brave and outgoing red.” I didn’t go into this series thinking I would pair these two colors, but when I started looking for the pink and decided on this multi-print tunic, it was only natural to choose another color in the tunic to pair with it, which obviously turned out to be red. I have always thought of pairing red and pink as a Valentine’s Day idea, but when I began putting this outfit together, I saw a subtle shift from cupids and hearts to fall apples and fuzzy pink slippers.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Poppy and Almond Buff

This tunic is a brand called East Fifth and while I can’t remember, I think I got it at JC Penney. Although, when I checked on their website, it looks like they currently only carry East Fifth shoes. and a few bags. I have styled this tunic on the blog before. You can see that post here.

When I realized I had this thrifted Merona cardigan, I knew that would add the perfect pop of red, in addition to my red clutch.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Red and Almond Buff

To keep the outfit grounded I picked the Pantone color Almond Buff from the classic palette. These pants are a little on the light side to truly mimic the color, but my swede ankle boots are a closer match. Yes, I am doing the Robot.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Poppy and Almond Buff
Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Poppy and Almond Buff

The pants are Croft and Barrow brand. The boots are Sonoma. Both items were from Kohl’s.

I chose my bright red clutch to add to the Valiant Poppy vibe. Because the tunic is so busy the only jewelry I added was a gold bangle bracelet and the pink and red tassel necklace, which as you can see, blends in with the top, but still adds a little textural detail.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Poppy and Almond Buff
Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Poppy and Almond Buff

Isn’t it funny that I bought this necklace a while back, never realizing that Pink Peacock and Valiant Poppy would be a thing, or that I would end up pairing these two colors on the blog? This next picture is just me at my silliest! Ha, ha.

Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Poppy and Almond Buff
Pantone Fall 2018 - Pink Peacock, Valiant Poppy and Almond Buff

Would you combine these two colors? Do you think they are what we would classify as fall colors? I’d love to hear you thoughts. It means a great deal to me when you take the time to stop by, read my posts and comment (when technology is cooperating). I have learned a lot from your comments, especially when you share, how you would have done it differently or what you like about a particular post, so keep it up.

Be sure to check back Thursday for a new Old Becomes New post, where I’ll be sharing a colorful blazer styled in a fall outfit. I need your help to decide whether I should keep it or not. Until then, have a great day.

I’ve included a few shopping links for pink tops and red bags, just for fun. These are affiliate links which means I get a penny or two when you click on a link. If you purchase something through my site, I get a little commission.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.


Outside the Box - Floral Dress with Combat Boots

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

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

Outside the Box - floral dress with combat boots

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

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

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

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

fallfashion-13.jpg

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

Outside the Box - floral dress with combat boots

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

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

Outside the Box - floral dress with combat boots

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


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

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

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

I have been having some issues with people commenting on my blog. For some reason it lets some people comment and not others. I have contacted my platform support team to see if the issues are on my end. Sometimes it can be the browser you are using. Squarespace tries to keep current with changes and updates in multiple browsers so it can take time. If you can’t comment right away, please try again later. I do apologize for the problems. You can also give me feedback on Facebook as well. I appreciate your thoughts and support.

Have a great weekend!


Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

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

Pantone Fall 2018 - martini olive, ceylon yellow and tofu

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

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

Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

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

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

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

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

Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

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

Pantone Fall 2018 - Martini Olive, Ceylon Yellow and Tofu

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

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

Ordinary Amy: Blush Moto Jacket

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

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

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

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

Ordinary Amy - blush moto jacket

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

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

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

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

Ordinary Amy - blush moto jacket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the first of this fall’s palette.

Pantone Fall 2018 - red pear and nebulas blue

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

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

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

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

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

Pantone fall 2018 - Red pear and Nebulas blue

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

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.


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

Fall Collaboration with Ethyl Clothing

I was recently contacted by a clothing retailer named Ethyl Clothing. Ethyl Clothing has been around for over 30 years. Based out of Seattle, Washington, founders and designers, Alan and Kathy Schulz, continue to be actively involved in bringing their quality products to over 3000 boutiques across the country. They now have an online store, which makes shopping their classic clothing pieces even easier.

When I went to their website, I was pleased to see models that look like average sized women. In other words, these women look like me. That alone, intrigued me. While I was informed that Ethyl clothing originally was geared to the younger woman, their clothing line has developed over the years to encompass and cater to the “baby-boomer” generation. These are women like me, who are busy and enjoy clothing that looks nice, but feels soft and comfortable with some amount of stretch and give.

When I received my pieces, I was not disappointed. Because these are vanity sized, I was told to size down from what I would normally wear. Sizes run from XS to XXXL on most. For both the tunic sweater and the jacket I chose a medium. For the jeans I went with a size 10, where I normally wear a size 12. Everything fit exactly as it should.

Ehtyl clothing

Each of the following pieces was gifted to me. No money was exchanged and all opinions are my own. After a short description of each piece, I will give it a review by listing positive and/or negative points, along with suggestions for wearing.

Like many smaller clothing retailers today, Ethyl Clothing names each of their pieces. Let me introduce you.

1. The Anne 2 - Kenzi

The Kenzi boasts a long, gracious tunic silhouette, a comfortable cowl neckline and roomy, pleated front pockets that add interest and texture.

Ethyl clothing
Ethyl clothing
Ethyl Clothing
Ethyl Clothing

Positive Points - flattering silhouette, silky material drapes well and holds its shape, roomy - doesn’t bind or pinch.

Negative Points - sleeves are a bit long. For me this is not an issue, but if you have short arms you may need to have them altered or roll them up.

Style suggestions: Wear with skinny jeans or leggings; pair with various jackets either long or short; wear with a skirt, either tucked, belted or just left long; slip on over a dress that will show a little at the bottom.

2. The Jaqueline Flair Jean - Abigail

These boot cut, dark wash jeans are made of a medium weight denim woven from a poly-cotton blend with a dash of rayon and spandex for stretch, comfort and ease of wear.

Ethyl clothing
Ethyl clothing
Ethyl clothing

Positive points - good stretch, not too heavy, hold their shape, dark wash, figure flattering.

Negative points - very long, narrow through the thighs. If you have heavier legs or short legs I would suggest trying their pants with the shorter inseam. The Abigail only comes in the longer (31”to 34”) inseam.

Style Suggestions: Boot cut jeans always look good with heeled boots, but these would also dress up well with a pair of heels. They fall just below the natural waist so could be easily paired with shorter tops and sweaters.

3. The Margot - Blake

The Blake is meant to be a style piece not an actual jacket. A medium weight cotton-poly blend with spandex this black denim jacket is the perfect add on piece to take any outfit up a notch. The bling detail on the lapels and the frayed hems, give it a vibe that says both edgy and party ready. The non-closure, open front allows you to show off, not only the jacket, but a statement piece underneath.

Ethyl clothing
Ethyl clothing
Ethyl clothing

Positive points - easy on and off, no buttons or zippers to snag sweaters or scarves, plenty of stretch, longer length for better back side coverage.

Negative points - this is less a negative than it is a personal opinion. When I first received this jacket I did not like the way it fit and after working with the rep from the company was sent a large to try on. The piece is designed to not come together in the front, which to me seemed odd, but this is the way the designers intended the jacket to be. It was created this way to allow exposure of the top you are wearing underneath. After having the two sizes to try on I ended up sending the large back. It really was too big. Now that I’ve seen the two sizes and have a better understanding of what the piece is intended to do, I like it. I am looking forward to wearing it with other outfits to see its full potential as a fun add on piece, almost more like an accessory.

Style suggestions: This would look great with a shift dress, pencil skirt or skinny pants. It will also allow for many different top choices including tunics and vests. The Blake will also allow your fun scarves and statement necklaces to still take center stage while providing a backdrop of bling, warmth and fun.

Ethyl Clothing

My overall opinion of Ethyl Clothing is that it is a woman friendly retailer with a strong classic, casual line structured for comfort and ease of wear. While they are not offering a discount through my site, if you spend over $100 you get free shipping. The pieces you order also come with free return labels, so that if you are not completely satisfied you can return your purchases for a full refund.

I hope you enjoyed this look at Ethyl Clothing. Head on over to their site and take a few minutes to shop. Just click on the link, Ethyl Clothing.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

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. 

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. 

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