Ordinary Amy - Denim Love

If you follow fashion bloggers at all, then you see loads of cute outfits and put together looks, that sometimes leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. I know I feel that way. There are many bloggers who show lovely outfits and gorgeous photos. For me they are a source of inspiration, but they can also be a source of dissatisfaction.

There are times I come away from looking at another blog feeling like I want to crawl under a rock! Unfortunately, I feel that way more often than I would like in the long winter months. I want to hide and become invisible, yet, at the same time, I want to be noticed and recognized for something, not sure what, but for something. This is a dichotomy I have struggled with most of my life. Being an introvert often leaves me being misunderstood as aloof or stuck up. It also puts an added burden on my shoulders to push myself outside my comfort zone. That alone, is not a bad thing. It forces me to grow and learn as an individual. It has helped me to overcome fear and be able to reach out to others who have similar feelings. 

Unfortunately, it also weighs on me most of the time. I never really feel free to express myself or my opinions. Yes, I am one of those individuals who has had my opinions shot down, laughed at and even ignored. Obviously, that makes it harder to be confident and bold, not only when it comes to my writing, but to my fashion as well. I often reach for what is comfortable.

Ordinary Amy - washing day

When I was growing up, my mom always hung the laundry out on the clothes line when the weather was nice. I remember when I was really young, we still had a ringer washer. I always thought washing day was so much fun, because my mom would let me help her feed the clothes through the ringer, which squeezed the excess water out. I loved to put my hands in the cold rinse water, especially on hot summer days. When I was tall enough, my mother would let me help her hang clothes on the lines outside that ran from our house to a large maple tree.

I used to play amongst the flapping clothes, imagining they were the curtains to a stage where I would be a singer. There weren't many kids in our neighborhood, as we lived out in the country, so I learned to play by myself using my imagination. Sometimes I would sing a story and other times I would imagine I was lost in the jungle and dinosaurs were after me. To this day, I still love to imagine and I also love to do laundry. Hey, everyone should have at least one household chore they like to do! 

When I took these pictures a few weeks ago, the temps had gotten up into the mid fifties. I had a set of sheets and a few smaller throw blankets to wash, so I decided to hang them outside. Ever since those early years, I have loved how things hung outside, smell! 

Ordinary Amy - washing day

This is me. Denim, cozy knit vest, sneakers and a little bit of jewelry. I am wearing my Christopher and Bank jeans. The knit vest I have worn on the blog before here. It is Chaps brand. Chaps is a brand found at Kohl's. It has a little higher price point than some of their other brands, but the quality is good. Sizing seems to run a little small, so I usually size up. I found this vest on clearance.

Ordinary Amy - denim and knit vest

In the above picture you can see some of my pearl jewelry and details on the shirt and vest. The polka dot chambray shirt is SO brand and was thrifted. And looky there, I did some print mixing! Ha, ha. 

Ordinary Amy

Once again, my satchel, from Walmart is making another appearance on the blog. I love the neutral colors and the firm structure. Many of the bags I use are more a hobo bag and slouch when put down. This one is a tote and stands up well. Here is the same one.

I'm also wearing my Keds sneakers that I have had for a while. Here is another cute navy pair, or there is this slip on

Ordinary Amy - Denim and knit vest

What is your go to outfit, when you want something comfortable, but don't want to just hang out in your sweats or pjs? Let me know by leaving a comment below. I love hearing from you!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you'll have a wonderful weekend! 

I've included a few shopping links for similar items. These are affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through my blog, I get a little commission. I appreciate all you do. All opinions are my own. 

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

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

When it comes to layering there are so many possibilities. I have learned so much from other bloggers about adding layers and how to make my outfits more fun and interesting. I noticed a few bloggers a number of months ago layering with longer layers and I thought I'd give it a go. 

Today's outfit involves layering a long vest over a long cardigan. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

The color of these two pieces are a perfect match, so it is barely noticeable that they actually are two separate pieces. The duster cardigan is Chaps brand from Kohl's and the vest, also Kohl's. is Wall Flower brand from the Junior's department. Both pieces were clearance. I don't usually shop in the Junior's department for obvious reasons, most of their stuff doesn't fit me, but once in a while it pays to look. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

The knee length cardigan is light weight and will be a good transitional piece going into spring. It has pockets on each side in the front. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

For a fun casual look I paired the sweater and vest combo with a graphic tee. This particular one is Wonder Woman. I like the words. These are words I want to epitomize. 

Layering Love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

Because it is cold, I thought my OTK boots would be appropriate. I also chose my burgundy cross body bag and bracelets to got with the red "W" below the words on the tee. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan
Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

I think this vest and sweater combo would look cute over a dress or a top and skirt. This would work well even if the sweater and vest were different colors. It adds a layer of interest and warmth to an outfit, which is a plus in this chilly weather. 

Layering love

What about you? Have you ever tried to wear a vest over a cardigan? What do you think of this loo?. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a few words in the comments section.

Here are a few shopping links. If you click on a link I get a few cents. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I might get a small commission. I don't get paid to blog, so any help you can give in that regard is much appreciated. All opinions are my own.

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. 

Holiday Outfit - Casual - Jeans

Welcome to my series on holiday style. I hope that these next few weeks will take you from Thanksgiving through the New Year in creative and inspirational ways. I grew up in a family that rarely dressed up, except for church on Sundays. Holidays were typically ultra casual, in fact sometimes on Christmas we stayed in our pjs or most comfortable sweats all day long. When I got married and we had children our holidays were always spent traveling so that we could spend time with our extended families. Living out of a suitcase for a week was always a challenge, not because I couldn't fit everything in, but because I had to plan ahead! What was I going to wear on each and every day of our time away? And how was I going to look presentable, but still be warm and comfortable?

Now that I am a fashion blogger, I want to dress in a more festive way, but still stay true to my comfortable, relaxed roots. For this series I decided to take a look at three different approaches to holiday dressing, (No! I do not mean stuffing.) The first two weeks will look at a casual approach, the second two weeks a dressy casual approach and the last two weeks will be devoted to a dressy approach. I will follow that with a post on a New Years eve look. So let's begin.

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

Certainly all of you own a pair of jeans. Some of you may even own a pair of cropped jeans, and/or a pair of distressed jeans. Jeans are a part of my style routine. I wear them all the time, for work, play, dressing up or down and everything in between. Maybe you are not a jeans kind of girl. but whether you are or aren't you can create a casual style using the following simple guidelines.

1. Pick a pair of jeans or casual pants that you enjoy wearing. For this outfit I chose my Vera Wang cropped distressed jeans. Here is a cute pair from Lord & Taylor. You could just as easily choose a pair of mom jeans or a pair of skinnies and just roll up the bottoms for a similar, fun look. 

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

2. Pick a fun sweater. It doesn't have to be a holiday sweater. I think it is fun to wear something with a holiday motif after Thanksgiving, but until then, any warm cozy sweater will do and over sized is even better. Here is one from Old Navy, Nautica and Target

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

I found this fair isle sweater on the clearance rack at Kohls. It is amazing the treasures you can find on the clearance rack for just about any season. This is Chaps brand, which is on the higher end of what I like to spend, so finding it on clearance with a good coupon was a win. I tucked it away knowing I would be able to use it this winter. 

If you are not familiar with fair isle, it is a knitting technique that uses multiple colors to create patterns. This sweater also has some silver threads knitted in, so it gives the fair isle pattern some subtle bling. My fave and perfect for a holiday gathering.

As you can see I had a tank top underneath, but it works because the pinky red of the tank matches the pinky red in the sweater. I am always cold in the winter, unless I am moving around, so I like to have an extra layer or two, but more on that Thursday in my Layering Love series. Ha!

3. Add a few statement jewelry pieces. Jewelry can be such a wonderful outfit booster. A fun piece of jewelry can take an outfit from dowdy to divine.

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

This pendant was another Kohl's clearance find. The bracelet I found on my first visit to Chico's. The two matched perfectly to one another and to the light blue in this sweater. Plus the silver trim goes well with the silver threads in the sweater. 

This brings me to another style question that seems to often come up...to match or not to match? This really is a matter of personal taste. I personally love to have at least a little bit of matching going on in an outfit. I feel that it makes the outfit look polished and gives it a classic, pulled together feel, BUT that is just my personal taste. There are many fashion bloggers who take pride in not being matchy and do a fabulous job at it! Do what is best for you. After all that is what this blogging thing is all about, helping you find your own style!

4. Grab a great bag. Since red is big this fall, I couldn't resist pulling out this Arizona Jeans brand Buffalo plaid tote. A Penney's clearance purchase last year, I got this as a possible Christmas gift, but decided to keep it for myself. Ha, ha. Here is an adorable one from dressbarn

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

A tote bag is a great way to transport things, especially if you are going to visit family at the holidays. Whether you are going just for dinner, for the day or for an extended weekend, a large roomy tote will give your room for all your essentials, a few little gifts and that book you are planning to read in the car while someone else drives. Oh, and don't forget that water bottle! The holidays can be a hard time to keep hydrated because there are so many goodies and fun drinks occupying our hands 

5. Don't forget the shoes. Just because you are going casual doesn't mean you have to wear sneakers, although a cute pair of hi-top Converse would be perfect with this outfit. I chose my wedge heel ankle boots from Impo. Here is a very similar pair from Macy's

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

I love these gray suede boots. They are super comfy, but also stylish. I wear these over and over during the cold weather. 

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

This is a look that I will most likely be wearing over the next few weeks as the holidays begin. It would be a great casual look for a holiday gathering, movie night or a day out Christmas shopping. I hope the tips I gave you will help you come up with your own casual holiday outfit. 

I would love to hear about what outfits you came up with. Leave me a note about them in the comments section, or leave me a picture on my Facebook page. I'd love to see your looks.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

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