Layering Love - Add a Vest

Continuing my series on layering, I wanted to look at several different ways of adding layers without adding bulk. A vest is a perfect choice for adding warmth around your core, but still allowing you to show off those fancy sleeves. 

Fancy sleeves are all the rage right now. Bell sleeves, laced sleeves and sleeves with layers of ruffles can be found in many of our frequented retailers. By wearing a vest, you give yourself an extra layer of warmth, and let your pretty sleeves show off. 

Layering Love - Wearing a Vest

Since velvet is very trendy right now, I wanted to show off this top that I have worn on the blog before. You can see that post here. This pretty bell sleeve top is Notations brand, which is sold at various retailers including Target. Mine was thrifted. 

This picture shows the sleeve up close. Isn't the pattern pretty? I love the black background with the pink flowers. It is a true winter floral. This pic also shows my green clutch. I decided on green for the clutch and jewelry to pull in the little bit of green in the leaves on the top.

Layering love - adding a vest

The faux leather skirt is Worthington brand which is sold at JC Penney. Mine was thrifted. I never really had an interest in getting a leather or faux leather skirt until I saw Jodie from Jodie's Touch of Style do a post showing off hers. I'm glad I made this purchase. You can see a couple of Jodie's posts on styling leather skirts here and here

Layering love - adding a vest

Instead of tights I wore heavier leggings. Once again, another way to keep warm. 

The long black vest I got at TJ Maxx and it is brand called harve bernard. Kohl's sells this brand also. As you can see the vest is knee length and has a slight open weave. This will be a good add on piece for fall, winter and spring.

Layering love - add a vest

I didn't even realize until I looked at the inside of this boot for the brand that these were Ralph Lauren. No wonder I like them! They are leather, look nice and are comfortable. Win!

Layering love - add a vest

Do you like to wear a vest for added warmth in the winter? How would you style your vest? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments. section. I always appreciate your feed back and support. 

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

Holiday Outfit - Dressy Casual - Jeans

There are times during the holidays that an event calls for a look that is more than casual but not overly dressy. This is what I call dressy casual. This is often the perfect choice for a holiday office party, a dinner and shopping date with your significant other, or a party in someone's home.

Here are some tips for putting together a dressy casual outfit for the holidays using pieces already in your closet. 

1. Pick a pair of nice dark wash jeans.

For this look I chose my Rock & Republic boot cut jeans. What makes these jeans a more dressy choice has to do with the cut and wash of the fabric. A boot cut jean is figure flattering on just about anyone, as is a dark wash. A dark wash also looks more polished than a lighter wash. I also feel a jean without tears or holes is more dressy than a distressed look. As you can see these are more fitted as well. A baggier jean gives a look a more casual vibe. Another option for this outfit would be a denim trouser. Here is a version of what I am thinking. Here is a pair from Target

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans
Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans
Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

2. Select a blouse appropriate for the holidays.

My shiny cream colored blouse is Jaclyn Smith brand and I found it at a thrift store. A blouse like this can be worn out or tucked in. I chose to wear mine out to keep my look casual, but flirty. 

What exactly makes a blouse holiday worthy? I think the blouse needs to fit you well and serve as a back drop for fun jewelry or scarves. If you want to go with a holiday color like red, green or gold that's fine, but I would keep it a single color. If you don't have a blouse like this, a crisp white cotton blend would work as well. A longer tunic type blouse would also work. A button up or a blouse made from a shiny polyester blend gives a more dressy look. 

3. Choose a few awesome accessories. 

I decided to use burgundy for my accessory color and I chose to stay with that color for my necklace, bag and shoes. I feel that in this case, less is more. This would also work with a few layers of gold chains, a sparkly clutch and heels. I have styled this burgundy necklace from Charming Charlie before on the blog. You can see those posts here, here and here

holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

This is a unique piece of wood and metal and makes the perfect statement against the creamy background of the top. You can see I also added my burgundy bracelet with the magnetic closure. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

This burgundy clutch was a recent thrift store find and I find myself reaching for it again and again. I think burgundy and maroon are a great color to add to many outfits for fall and winter. Especially in the form of accessories. 

4. Grab your heels.

There is just something about a great pair of heels that takes any outfit up a notch. High heels tend to make us walk with better posture and stand up straighter. I don't wear heels very often, but when I do, I feel like I am dressed up. Heels are no brainers with skirts, dresses and dress pants, but they look fabulous with jeans and just look how much classier this outfit looks with them. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

These berry colored shooties are Bandolino brand. Here is something with a lower block heel by Franco Sarto. Here is another pair with higher heels from Macy's.

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

This is an easy outfit to put together as it only has two pieces plus accessories. Once in a while a minimalist approach is the best approach, especially when the holidays can be hectic and fast paced. 

I hope you are enjoying this series on dressing for the holidays. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Be sure to check back on Thursday for an easy way to layer for a day at the mall. 

This post contains affiliate links. Some links provide shopping opportunities. If you click on a link I get a few cents. If you make a purchase through my blog, I get a little commission. All opinions are my own.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

Fun Fall Look - Blanket Scarf

Until this last spring I had never owned a blanket scarf. Last fall and winter when I saw all sorts of my favorite bloggers showing off their warm, fuzzy scarves I kept thinking I need to get one of these. It wasn't until my hubby and I visited The British Tea Garden in Tecumseh, Michigan that I found the exact one I wanted. Our fun lunch date included delicious food and our choice of tea. They also had a cute little gift shop which I had to peruse while we were waiting to be seated. This is the blanket scarf I bought on clearance. 

Blanket scarf

What makes a blanket scarf different from other scarves. There are two main characteristics. The first is that the scarf is a large square. I believe this one is five feet by five feet. The second is that the material is heavier, but soft enough to wrap around our necks or shoulders. 

For this post I styled my blanket scarf for a casual look that could be worn on a date with my hubby or shopping with a friend. 

DSC_0003 (2).jpg

I've been seeing cropped pants everywhere, especially distressed denim with frayed hems. I guess I'm right on trend in that department. These Vera Wang pants are thrifted. I wasn't too keen on the whole distressed pants trend, but I have come over to the dark side. Ha, ha. Personally, this is as much distressing as I need. No holes revealing pasty flesh for this girl. Although small holes and a cute pair of tights would be okay. That's just me!

I thought it would be fun to pair the jeans with a dressier jacket/blazer that is also thrifted. I had been wondering how exactly to style this jacket, but when I saw the scarf next to it, I knew it would be the perfect pairing.

Blanket scarf outfit

This jacket is not meant to be worn as outerwear as it is very light and unlined. It may have been part of a pant suit or went with a skirt. I like wearing jackets like this. They provide an added layer of warmth, especially when I work. Our office is chilly all year round. 

Under the jacket I wore one of my winter sweaters tunics. It has more of an open weave, so isn't too heavy. If I wore it alone, I would have added a cami or tank underneath. 

Blanket scarf outfit

The following pictures show another way to style this scarf. 

Blanket scarf outfit
Blanket scarf outfit
Blanket scarf outfit

For shoes I chose my black heeled ankle boots. 

Blanket scarf outfit

I didn't go wild with my accessories as I wanted the scarf to be the focal point. A fun ring with fall colors and a gold bracelet were my only jewelry. 

Blanket scarf outfit

I thought adding this red/berry colored bag would be a great pop of color against this otherwise subdued outfit. Another thrift store find, I love the color of this purse. It has the roominess of a tote, but also has organizational compartments for all the extras. Thrift stores are great places to find purses, even pricer name brands like Coach. Just be sure you know your brand before you buy. 

Blanket scarf outfit
Blanket scarf outfit

So that is a look at my blanket scarf outfit. I can't wait until it gets a little chillier so I can wear this cozy piece more often. Do you have a blanket scarf? How do you like to wear yours?

Here are a few shopping links for blanket scarves. If you purchase an item through my site I get a little bit of a kick back. While my blog is just a hobby right now, it would be awesome if it made a little bit of money too. Ha, ha. 

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

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! 

InVESTments: Wearing Vests in the Summer - Denim

I've been taking you on a tour of my vest collection and showing you ways to style these fun pieces for warmer weather. Today I am styling two denim vests to show you how these can be used with various pieces, including capris and a skirt.

Look 1 - Medium Wash

For this first look I wore a medium wash vest from Christopher and Banks. Here is an embroidered option here and a dark wash version here

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

To keep the look casual I paired the vest with my olive colored capris. I really like the look of blue denim with olive. Olive has become one of my faves for a different color to turn to for a neutral. When you think about it, olive really pairs well with many other colors. These thrifted capris are Sonoma brand with a modern fit, which simply means they sit a little lower on the waist and have a roomier fit through the hips and legs. Here is a utility style from Kohl's.

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

The top I wore was a sleeveless Izod popover, with a fun tropical floral design in pinks and purples. Here is a possible version from JC Penney. I thought the sleeveless top worked with this sleeveless vest. It gives the outfit an edgier vibe. 

I kept the accessories simple with a stretchy cuff bracelet from Chicos and a silver necklace. Here is another pretty option for the bracelet. 

My tote is from Charming Charlie and is a very light sage green, which I thought went well with the whole outfit. They don't have this version any more, but here is another pretty one. 

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

I finished off this casual look with my bright blue Keds. Keds are a great sneaker for summer. They are comfortable, cute and reasonably priced. These I found thrifting, but I've brought a few pairs at Kohl's. They don't have anything this bright, but here is a cute striped version. 

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

Look 2 - White

For the other denim look, I went with a white St. John's Bay vest that I got at a thrift store. This time I paired the vest with a blue striped tee and a navy and white maxi skirt.

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

You can see I was doing a little print mixing for this outfit. I thought the colors went well together and the narrow stripes on the tee, didn't overwhelm the geometric pattern on the skirt. This skirt was from Christopher and Banks also. 

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

For my bag I chose this fun little straw number. Straw handbags were on trend this summer and I came upon this little treasure when my husband and I were on a weekend away, while I was perusing a second hand shop.

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

For my accessories I went with my "stained glass" necklace and two bracelets. I like the contrast of the gold with the blue and white. 

Wearing vests in the summer - denim

Keeping the look casual I wore my navy Candies canvas sneakers. My husband reminded me the other day that I have numerous pairs of navy or blue sneakers! Ha, ha. I think I counted four pairs, but no two pairs are the same! 

Here are the two looks side by side. 

Do you have a denim vest in your closet that you have neglected to wear? These are versatile pieces that you can wear all year long through all four seasons. 

Have a great week. Be sure to check back Thursday for another post on thrifting. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge

Is it a Piece or an Accessory? The Kimono.

This month I am combining my Piece Perfect and Awesome Accessory columns to feature something that can be worn both as a clothing piece, but also as an accessory. The kimono was originally a traditional Japanese garment. The word kimono means thing to wear. Most traditional kimonos were floor length. While some Japanese wore kimonos on a daily basis, most were worn on special occasions. Today the kimono has wide following in the fashion industry, particularly this summer. You will see these lovely, drapes in most stores. They vary in length, cut, style and pattern, but most feature light weight sheer material, square sleeves and a more square or rectangular body.

The kimono I have on today, I have worn before on the blog. You can see that post here. What inspired me to do this particular post, was that I was seeing numerous other bloggers wearing their pretty kimonos with shorts and jeans for a more casual, summery look. 

kimonos in the summer

I apologize again for my terrible photography. I am not sure why these turned out so foggy. It was a very warm, humid day, so I am not sure if that had anything to do with it. My daughter said, my lens may have fogged up. Never thought about that! Live and learn.

This pretty kimono I found at a thrift store, along with the clutch and tee shirt. When I decided on doing this post, I shopped my closet and found all the pieces. If you are a clothes horse like me, you will always find outfits in your closet as long as you use a little creativity and thought. 

The shape of my kimono is a little different in that, it has a high-low hem. Mine is also a little longer than many of the versions in the stores right now. However, I am sure you can find one that will suit your style needs.

styling a kimono in the summer

I was babysitting my grand puppy again so I had to let her get in a pic!

styling a kimono for summer
styling a kimono for summer
styling a kimono for summer
Styling a kimono for summer

I kept my accessories simply with a few silver bangles and my small black clutch. 

What makes a kimono a clothing piece versus an accessory? I think it all depends on how you wear it. My outfit is complete without the kimono. A pair of jeans, tee shirt and tennis shoes is a great casual summer outfit. I added the kimono as an accessory. It brings color and fun to the outfit and adds a light weight layer of warmth for air conditioning. 

I could change this look and make the kimono an actual part of the my outfit by putting on black leggings and a black tank or tee, then I could layer the kimono over top and add a belt. This would make the kimono almost look like a dress and would be the focal point of the outfit. Add black heels or wedges and a silver layering of necklaces and voila a great look for a date night with the hubby. I would have put that outfit in this post too, but my time has been very limited lately, so I didn't get a chance to get my act together. Ha, ha.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you own a kimono? How do you like to wear it? I'd love to hear from you. I always appreciate when people comment and I always respond to your comments. You can always check back a day or two later to see what I've written.

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

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots.