Ordinary Amy - Tomboy Memories

I am using the word ordinary as a term to mean usual, not plain. I don't want any of you thinking I only think of myself as ordinary...okay, so once in a while I do struggle with the old self image, but that is not what I am intending to address with this new monthly column on the blog. 

Ordinary Amy is going to be a monthly column emphasizing outfits that are my go to's. These will be pieces that I frequently reach for, because I find them, comfortable, easy to wear and pair other pieces with, yet still stylish. 

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A v-neck sweater, red in honor of Valentine's Day, a pair of skinny jeans and a pair of combat boots. Casual, comfy, warm and a masculine edge. 

I grew up in a home with two older brothers. Being the only girl and the baby, it was my goal to try to keep up with the boys, as annoying as that was to them. Ha ha. From playing in the creek behind the house, to making trails in the field down the road for their dirt bikes, I tried to follow them everywhere. As far as I was concerned I was a boy, just like them. I had a short hair cut and wore pants as often as I could. I can still remember my mother and I fighting about the fact that she thought I should wear dresses to school. She gave that fight up before too long. When we went swimming in our pool, I would wear a pair of shorts and that was it...no top. I was a boy. why should I have to wear a top? (This was before I began to blossom and hit puberty, so flat chested, was flat chested.)

I can still remember when I got my first period. I explained to my mother what was happening and when she told me what it was, I ran from the house angry and crying. I didn't want to be a girl. Gradually, hormones did their job. I started to change in shape and I also began to notice boys! I became extremely private and modest, even around my brothers, and I became interested in clothing, hair styles and eventually make up. 

However, I still prefer pants over dresses and I like looks that have an edgy, military or masculine vibe. 

Ordinary Amy - red sweater, skinny jeans, combat boots

This type of look is something I turn to again and again. I love boots. I also like skinny jeans. I used to never wear them, so when I finally tried them, I fell in love. The thing I like about skinnies is that I can wear them all year round. In fall and winter I tuck them into boots and in spring and summer, I roll them up and pair them with ankle boots, sneakers, flats or flip flops. 

A chunky, cable knit sweater is stylish, but forgiving enough that I don't have to worry about my bulges. This particular sweater is Chaps brand from the Kohl's clearance rack. I am wearing a short sleeve lace tee underneath which provided an extra layer of warmth and a touch of ivory around the neck line. 

Ordinary Amy - red sweater, skinny jeans, combat boots, bomber jacket

When I started putting this outfit together, I chose the sweater and jeans first, but then I thought of adding this fun bomber jacket which I introduced on the blog earlier in my travel post from last March. This little number is actually quite warm. It was a JC Penney clearance rack find and is Arizona brand. I think I paid about $5.00 for it. 

With the bomber jacket I knew I had to wear my thrifted combat boots, giving the whole look a WWII feel. With that in mind, it made me think of my dad. 

My dad, who grew up in a pacifist Mennonite family, was a hard working farm boy with a fascination with airplanes. When he was old enough he left home and went to work for the Curtiss-Wright airplane factory in Buffalo, NY. making wings for the P-47 for WWII. My dad, however was not content to make wings, he wanted to enlist. When he went to sign up, they asked if he was employed. When he told them where he worked they rejected him, saying his work was more important to the war effort than being in the service. Being the man he was, he waited a little longer, quit his job and went back to enlist. They let him right in. His enlistment came late in the war and he ended up serving in Air Sea Rescue on a B-17

Ordinary Amy - airplane necklace

I found this little pendant necklace somewhere along the way, possibly at Charming Charlie. What originally drew me to it was the bling, but it suddenly occurred to me that it would be a good piece to remind me of my dad. My dad passed away eleven years ago, but obviously I still think of him often. 

Ordinary Amy - bomber jacket outfit

There you have it...ordinary me, on an ordinary day. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you have an extraordinary weekend! 

(With the awful tragedy that occurred yesterday morning in Parkland, Florida I thought to add a note to this post. I pray for the families, friends and school staff left behind after the mass shooting. My heart is heavy as you deal with the aftermath and I pray that time will bring healing for the loss you are feeling.)

Friday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots

Layering Love - Wearing a Vest over a Cardigan - Another Look

After last week's post on layering a longer vest over a longer cardigan, I got curious to see how a shorter vest would look over a shorter cardigan. Finding different ways to use the pieces we already own, not only gives us more choices, but it helps our brain to stay active and learning. In the same way we benefit from learning a musical instrument, solving puzzles or taking on a new activity, figuring out how to put outfits together, helps keep our brains healthy. Check out this older post from Jodie of Jodie's Touch of Style, about how restyling our clothing can help our brains. 

I decided to give you two outfits for today's post. The Rock and Republic jeans are the same for both outfits.  I just bought these for my birthday in January. Kohl's was having a buy one get one 50% off, which doesn't happen too often, so I took advantage of it. 

Look 1: Monochrome

Just like last week's post, I decided to do a matching sweater and matching vest. For this look, I chose black. I chose this shorter A.M.I. cardigan with the big buttons and bell type, 3/4 length sleeves as something different from the usual standard cardigan. Since this was thrifted I had a hard time tracking down the original brand. There is an AMI out of Paris featuring Alexandre Mattuissi designs which are mainly for men, although he is launching a menswear for women this year. There is also an AMI Clubwear, which features more sexy and cute styles for going out, dancing and parties. If you click over there, just be prepared for a bit of skin. All that being said, I am not sure where this sweater originally came from. Ahh, the beauty of thrifting. Ha, ha. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardi - short

I used my Selene Sport (older brand-thrifted) quilted faux leather vest and added my Ralph Lauren leather ankle boots and my sparkly clutch to go with the bling on my necklace and pants. 

Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi

Look 2: Not Matching

For this outfit, I switched out the black cardi for a leopard print version by Karen Scott. Karen Scott brand is sold at Macy's. Once again it has 3/4 length sleeves, but a more traditional cardigan shape. The vest is Christopher and Banks that I got a few years ago. I thought the burgundy denim was a perfect compliment to the print of the sweater. 

Layering love - wearing a shorter vest over a cardi

I swapped out my black ankle boots for my knee high Unisa shearling ones. I thought these pulled out the brown in the cardi quite well. You can see how I styled these boots in another post from fall, here. I grabbed a simple burgundy clutch and threw on a few silver pieces of jewelry to go with the silver buttons on the vest. 

Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi

Here are the two outfits side by side.

I think this is a fun way to get more wear out of both your vests and your cardigans. It is also a perfect way to add an extra layer of warmth around your core. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Leave me some love in the comments section. I love to hear your thoughts. If you ever have a suggestion for something you'd like to see me feature on the blog, please let me know. 

Have a great weekend!

Here are a few shopping links. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

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

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 - Casual - Skirt

In this series on holiday outfits I wanted to give you options that you can use for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Although, by the time this series is done, Thanksgiving will be over. I can't believe it is on Thursday. I just took out my turkey this morning to start thawing. How many of you are cooking on Thursday? I really don't mind the work. When I have a special occasion I like to cook. When life is busy my spouse and I will eat out a couple times a week, so when I get the chance to cook, I do enjoy it. The clean up, not so much! Ha, ha

For this week's post I took a leopard print skirt and designed a casual and comfortable outfit that still looks chic and festive. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

Like I did last week, I'll organize this in a way that will help you build a holiday outfit from pieces that you already own. 

1. Pick a casual skirt that you like to wear. I doesn't have to have a print, but prints are fun. In keeping with the time of year, maybe choose a piece that has darker colors or more fall-like tones. Length is up to you. Mini's, maxi's or something in between all work as the foundation for a festive holiday outfit. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

The thing that makes this Jones, NY leopard print, pencil skirt more casual is its texture. It is made of narrow wale corduroy. Corduroy is very close to a ridged velvet. The fabric has the same soft feel, so it is comfortable and movable. Another thing that makes this skirt more casual is the belt loops and front zipper. I have another leopard print skirt that I styled on the blog here, but I feel it is more dressy. It is a smooth chino type fabric with a structured waist that buttons on the side. i'll admit they look pretty similar and I will probably get rid of one of them at some point, but for now, I am guilty of owning two leopard print skirts. Ha, ha. 

Another great casual skirt that you could easily dress up for the holidays is a denim one. Denim is the perfect back drop for all sorts of pretty combinations that stay casual, but still say holidays.

2. Pick a festive companion piece. For my outfit I chose two companion pieces, an open weave pullover sweater with gold threads, and a denim vest with silver bling on the yoke. This sweater is Covington and the vest is Christopher & Banks

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

The bling gives the outfit a holiday feel without being a top that has the actual holiday on it. If you don't have a top with bling choose a vest or sweater in the season's color. A rich burgundy or maroon will work great for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Even a deep purple or rusty orange will give an outfit a holiday vibe. 

3. Pick your jewelry. If you have a more blingy top you might want to forgo the jewelry, lest you feel like a Christmas decoration, but if you think the more the better, then welcome to my world. The goal is overstatement versus understatement

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I chose a brassy necklace that had a few beads that matched the Butterum color in the skirt. The brassy chain also goes with the brass buckle on my belt. Sometimes mixing metals can clash, but I think in this outfit it works because no one metal takes center stage. They all compliment and work together with other colors in the outfit.

If your outfit pieces have no bling, then you can layer on the jewelry. Try multiple layers of gold or silver necklaces, or mix them up. Gold and silver can look gorgeous on a backdrop of burgundy, dark purple or deep navy. Think about what you own and try different pieces until you find something that makes you say, "I really like how that looks." Chances are, other people will think so too.

4. Add a bag. To pull together the browns in the skirt and the necklace I reached for my Butterum hobo bag. It is roomy enough to fill with additional items for a trip to see the family for dinner or even to tuck a light weight shawl for someone else's cooler home. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

5. Don't forget your shoes. Once again I reached for my Impo gray suede ankle boots. You can see I also went for a dark brown pair of tights, for full coverage of my legs. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I chose these as they are dressy, but not too dressy. They are warm and I thought the gray color went well with the gray sweater. You could also wear knee hight boots, over the knee boots or even a pair of Keds or Converse sneakers for an even more casual look. The classier your shoes are the more dressed up the outfit will look. Heels, to me always make a dressy statement. You'll see more of that in the next four posts as we get into dressier looks. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I hope you enjoyed seeing this outfit in my holiday series and I hope it provided some inspiration for you to create a holiday look from your own closet. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

Here are a few cute skirts and boots to shop for. This post contains affiliate links. All opinion are my own.

Beautiful Blogger Bests - Thinking Fall with a Cable Knit Sweater Vest

This week I am featuring a beautiful blogger from down south. Tania Stephens was born in Tennessee and currently lives with her hubby in Southwest Virginia. Tania is a fireball. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She works at a lumber yard, is an active member in her women's club, has deep faith, and has an enormous following for her blog, 50 is Not Old, which she started in 2015. It is easy to see why Tania is so popular. She is a real, actual woman and she tells the best stories. She has a classic style and loves jewelry and handbags! Who doesn't? Ha, ha. You can read more about Tania on her About page. 

The look I was inspired by just shouted fall to me. As the weather starts to get chilly we can break out our cozy sweaters and reach for our jackets. This post was from September 26, 2016 and is titled, Cable Knit Sweater VestYou can see Tania's original post by clicking on the link or by clicking on the picture. 

I love simplicity and that is what this outfit says to me. What is more comfortable and simplistic than a pair of jeans, long sleeve button up and a cozy vest? Add a great pair of boots, a colorful bag and some fun jewelry and you are ready to go. I love how Tania's vest, boots and jewelry all tended toward a more neutral color against the dark wash of her jeans. Her white blouse and bright blue bag make the outfit shine. 

Here is my version.

Beautiful blogger bests - fall sweater vest outfit
Beautiful blogger bests - cable knit sweater vest

You can see here my sweater vest is orange, so I have a bit more color. I also tucked my jeans into my boots, where as Tania rolled hers up. A different style of boot calls for a little different handling of the individual pieces. 

Beautiful blogger bests - cable knit sweater vest

Since I wore orange, I decided to accessorize with orange jewelry too. This is the only white button up I own and while I like the casual style of the blue chambray stripe, I think I need a plain white one. I probably should have tucked it in as well. I was feeling rather sloppy! Ha, ha.

beautiful blogger bests - cable knit sweater vest

Here you can get a better look at my boots and my green thrifted bag. I thought green would be the perfect pop of color against the dark wash jeans and the orange sweater and accessories. 

Beautiful blogger bests - cable knit sweater vest

As always, I am thankful for the many other bloggers that continue to inspire and motivate me dress in a style that is all my own, but that can learn from others. Be sure to stop by Tania's blog and give her some love.

Have a great weekend. If you follow my faith blog, be sure to check back tomorrow for my Mulling it Over post on Ephesians 6:16. 

I appreciate each one of you and all the support you give me. If you have a chance leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you. 

Photo credit (mine) Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

 Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

Piece Perfect - The Cropped Denim Jacket

I don't know about you, but I am thankful, January is over. It means we are a little bit closer to spring and the days are starting to get just a smidge longer! Yay! When thinking spring I start to think about outfits that can transition me out of winter. I still want to layer pieces because it is still very cold, but I want to get away from some of my heavier sweaters, jackets and boots and start thinking about lighter layers and brighter colors. 

Today's Piece Perfect post centers around a cropped denim jacket. 

Piece perfect - cropped denim jacket

I have worn this jacket in a number of posts and I will be including pics from each of those. I found this cute jacket at a thrift store, but they are very popular right now and you can find them just about any where. This particular jacket is a medium wash, has a good amount of stretch and has just a little bit of distressing. 

It has taken me a little while to warm up to the idea of clothing with rips in them, but when I found this jacket I knew it was perfect for me. The distressing is minimal and the "wounds" are showing threads, not skin. That is just my personal preference and has nothing to do with whether the clothing is appropriate or not.

Piece Perfect - cropped denim jacket

For this post, I styled the denim jacket with my leopard print skirt, a gold button up blouse, black hose and black boots. I kept the accessories minimal with my gold woven clutch and my chunky pendant necklace. 

Piece perfect - cropped denim jacket

Now that I am looking at this picture, I am wondering if a black turtleneck would have been better. what do you think? I think the necklace would have popped more and black would have hidden my bulges. Ha, ha.

A medium or dark wash denim jacket is quite versatile. You can style it casually or dress it up. Here are a few of the other outfits I styled this jacket with in the past. 

Click  here  to see this post. 

Click here to see this post. 

See the full post for the above two looks  here.

See the full post for the above two looks here.

As you can see I styled this jacket in a number of different ways. Which one is your favorite? Here are all four looks side by side. 

Each piece that I have selected over the last few months in these Piece Perfect posts is meant to serve as a source of inspiration. The reason I like the cropped denim jacket as opposed to a normal length denim jacket is that it gives the wearer a plethora of ways to style it. If you prefer a light wash or a darker wash you can still style it in many unique and fun ways. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Tell me in the comments section which outfit you liked the best, or tell me how you like to wear a denim jacket. I appreciate all of your comments. I currently don't have a way of letting you know that I responded to your comments, but I do try to respond to everyone, just check back on the original post to see my reply. 

Be sure to check back next Tuesday for the start of my Romance is in the Air series. I'll be styling lace and velvet and other pretty things. Have a great weekend.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Shopping Options:

Cropped Denim Jackets

Macy's - $49.99 (on sale now)

JC Penney - $34.99 (on sale now)

Forever 21 - $29.90

 

 

Awesome Accessories - Boots

Do you ever have one of those days? Or weeks? Or months? Or years? Ha, ha. Where you just feel like, "i'm tired!" Or maybe even like giving up? You feel like you really aren't making a difference and all the work is not worth it! That is how I am feeling this week. Between my daughter's plumbing problems (which turned into two nights of water streaming into her closet), extra running back and forth, working extra hours and various other annoyances that I won't go into, like the fact that I typed this whole post once already and then it all disappeared! Don't you love technology? Ha, ha.

Oh well. Enough of my rant. Just being real here folks. Now onto my blog post.

Let's talk boots! Whether we are talking work boots, rain boots or fashion boots, boots have long had a place in our wardrobes. From farmers to construction workers, to officers in the military to fashionista's and fashion bloggers we all need or want to wear boots at some time or other. Winter is  prime boot season and today I just wanted to share a few of my favorite styles with you.  

These berry colored suede booties are one of my new favorites. Another thrift store find, I love the color, the texture, the height of the heel and added platform under the ball of the foot. They are very easy to walk in and versatile enough to wear with jeans, skirts, dresses, dress pants and leggings. 

This style and the ones following are what we would refer to as ankle boots. They fall just above the ankle and again are versatile enough to wear with many different clothing pieces. Ankle boots come in a variety of fabrics, patterns, and heel heights. They also zip, lace up or just pull on. They are a great staple for any wardrobe, especially for seasonal transition times like fall to winter.

I really like the wedge on this gray suede pair. It is just talk enough to say I have a heel, but super comfortable. I wear these to work and even out for a day of shopping.

This brown pair of boots is what I would call a mid-calf height. I like this height as I can still tuck my pants into them, but then I can also wear leg warmers which can add warmth, color and texture to the outfit. These are super comfy and I love the motorcycle vibe they give off.

The knee-high black boot is one I find myself wearing again and again. I actually have two pairs right now. These which are a typical riding boot and then I have a pair that have a low heel, for a little dressier look. Again, these are very comfy and can be worn in many different ways. 

The only other boot, I have yet to attain is an over-the-knee boot. Maybe for Christmas! If I do get a pair you will be sure to see them in January! 

I hope you enjoyed this post on boots. What height boot is your fave? Be sure to leave me some love in the comments section below or on Facebook. I appreciate your input and support.

Photo credits Rebecca Trumbull.

Shopping for Boots:

Dress Bootie - Payless - $22.00 (also this - $25.00)

Wedge heel - Tom's - $69.90

Ankle boot - Steve Madden - $75.00

Mid-calf boot - Rogan's Shoes - $56.24

Riding boots - DSW - $69.95