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.

Pantone Fall 2017 - The New York Palette - Tawny Port and Golden Lime

This week's color combination is a blend of a dark maroon and a more subtle green. Tawny Port is described on the Pantone site as "Taking the red family to new depths..." I think of it as more of purple than a red, but then purple is made up of red and blue. Golden Lime takes on a more tropical hue, so I though pairing these two colors would make for an interesting outfit. 

These pictures were taken at Wildwood Metropark here in Toledo. This is an amazing park and so close to home. It used to be the estate of Champion Spark Plug magnate Robert Stranahan. The park boasts the original Manor house and outbuildings, as well as acres of trails, a covered bridge and boardwalk. It is used for everything from family picnics to all manner of photo opportunities. In December the Manor house will be decorated for Christmas and thousands of people will come to take a tour. 

For today's pics we just found a piece of trail to take pictures on.

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Tawny Port and Golden Olive

I've had this skirt, which is Jones Wear Brand, for a while. Honestly, I don't even remember where I got it. Ha, ha. However, it is a fun skirt with it's whimsical pattern and colors. It is fully lined and would be considered either midi or tea length, depending on what chart you look at. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Tawny Port and Golden Lime

This open waterfall cardi is ANA brand. It probably leans more towards purple than what Tawny Port actually is, but I think It works well. The Tawny Port splotches in the skirt actually are more red. It is amazing how you can pair something with a color that has both red and blue in it's undertones and it will lean toward the color of the piece you have on.

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Tawny Port and Golden Lime

This faux lace top from Croft and Barrow appears more green in person, but you get the idea. I like these types of tops as they give the appearance of lace, but you don't have to wear a cami underneath. This one is a silky, stretchy material, so very easy to wear and wash. 

You can also see I added a gold belt to bring out that color in the skirt as well, plus it adds a point of interest and texture as well as defining my shape. I chose this bluish purple agate necklace as the skirt has just a little bit of this color in it too. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Tawny Port and Golden Lime

My bag is thrifted and you can see I've used it before in this post. This dark olive bag from Talbots has two handles. One allows you to use it as a top handle hobo bag and the other as a cross body bag. It is nice to have options. 

I was really stumped when it came to what shoes to wear. My casual side won out in the end and I went for the combat boots. These are thrifted and are Falls Creek brand. Falls Creek is a brand sold at Meijer

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Tawny Port and Golden Lime

I thought this was a fun outfit for fall. It is comfy, cozy and for cooler weather could be made wearable by swapping out the short sleeve stretchy tee for a long sleeve top and adding heavier tights under the skirt. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Tawny Port and Golden Olive

I hope you enjoyed this post. I've included a few shopping links for Tawny Port and Golden Lime. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Have a great week and don't forget to stop back on Thursday for another Fun Fall Look.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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

Pantone Fall 2017 - The New York Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

This week's color combo is a blend of soft shades of pink and gray. When I first saw the Pantone Fall 2017 color line up for both London and New York, I was surprised to see light pink featured on both palettes. Looking back I now realize that blush, which is all the rage right now, really is a very light version of pink. Light pink seems to be another neutral that can be paired with just about any color. For this look I chose to pair Ballet Slipper with Neutral Gray.

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

I really am in love with this neutral combination. There are so many shades of gray out there, think names like oxford, charcoal, heather and steel. The beauty of this gray is in its ability to go with any other color. It really is a neutral. I personally don't wear oxford gray very often. I feel it is too light. Steel gray is sometimes too blue and charcoal can be too dark for some people. Neutral gray seems like a perfect go-to choice when looking for a gray to pair with any color.

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

I put this outfit together thinking it would be a prefect choice for a work day. The Neutral Gray crop pants from New York & Co. are fairly light weight and work well for these still warm days that we are having here in the mid-west. I've styled these before here and here

To capture the Ballet Slipper pink I found this Neiman Marcus silk sweater set at a thrift store a few months ago. This is one reason I shop thrift stores so often. I would have never shopped Neiman Marcus as they are way above my pay grade, however I was able to find this beautiful set in a trending color for only a few dollars and it is in great shape. I have never had a sweater set before, For some reason they never appealed to me, or maybe I thought they weren't my style. However, when I saw this and then felt its smooth softness, I knew it would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

To give the outfit more of a fall feel, I decided to add a bag and necklaces that herald a coppery orange color. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray
Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

Once again, I chose my SO ballet flats. For work I almost always wear a flat shoe. Heels just aren't as practical for moving heavy textbooks. Here is the same style and it comes in a variety of colors at Kohl's.

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray
Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

What do you think of these colors? Do you think they are too summery or do you feel they work well for a transitional outfit?

While we tend to move toward darker colors for fall, I think it is important to remain open to new ways of looking at our wardrobes and the colors we are used to wearing for each season. Either one of these colors would pair well with the rusty oranges, deep wines or dark pines that we are used to seeing in the fall. Be creative and try pairing your pink top with those burgundy skinny jeans. Or pull out that chunky neutral gray sweater and wear it over a dark green pair of leggings. You'll suddenly find you have even more outfits than you thought. 

I always appreciate your comments. Be sure to leave me some love below. Also check out my Instagram and Pinterest pages too. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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

Color Crash Course - Red and Burgundy - A Thanksgiving Outfit

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This morning as I type this post, I am thankful for a dry home and a furnace to heat it. I am also thankful for family and their safety as they travel. I am thankful for my physical health and my relationship with the God of the universe. What are you thankful for today?

Another thing that I am thankful for is the community of bloggers out there that have taught me so many things about faith and fashion. One thing that I particularly admire is the attitude of throwing the fashion "rules" out the window and dressing how we want to dress. That doesn't mean I dress like a slob or that I dress in barely nothing at all. For me throwing out the rules allows me to experiment with colors, textures and styles of clothing that I formerly might have scoffed at. The very reason I decided to start this Color Crash Course column was to challenge myself to think outside the box when it comes to color combining. 

In the first attempt at color combining I paired orange and red (here). Next I combined the colors of Halloween, orange, black, green and purple (here). Today I am trying my hand at burgundy and red. My first thought was, "There is no way I can make this work, without looking like some sort of clown!" But that caused me to be all the more motivated.

red and burgundy outfit

I chose a red turtleneck sweater, burgundy dress pants and my burgundy suede booties, which I just styled on Tuesday's post here. Sorry about my muffin top! Ha, ha. And I haven't even eaten Thanksgiving dinner yet!

red and burgundy outfit

Then I threw on a thrift store find, a open front chiffon and knit cardi with a water color type pattern. What drew me to this piece were the variety of colors combined on its surface. Here is a closer look at the actual pattern from the back.

red and burgundy outfit

Just to make things even more interesting I added a gold necklace that has some burnt orange in it.

red and burgundy outfit

I feel that the open cardi adds dimension and texture to the outfit as well as pulling the whole look together. 

red and burgundy

Add a simple gold clutch and gold bracelet and the outfit is complete! I found this gold woven bag at H&M when I was Christmas shopping for other family. At less that five dollars, I thought this little gem filled my need for a gold bag.

gold bag
red and burgundy outfit
red and burgundy outfit
red and burgundy outfit

So how are you celebrating Thanksgiving today? My husband is out hunting this morning and we will be having a small turkey later for the two of us and one of his students from the university who couldn't make it home to be with family. Our girls have their own celebrations with their significant others and families. However, we will all be together over the weekend. I'm looking forward to that.

I pray God blesses each of you who are following my blog with a happy and fun filled day! Don't eat too much!

Pantone Fall 2016 - Warm Taupe

When I think of the color taupe I think of it more as a paint color, not necessarily a color I would wear. However, over the years I have realized that taupe is another one of those colors that can be paired with many other colors. For this post, I decided to keep the look clean and classic, by pairing Pantone's Fall 2016 color Warm Taupe with black.

warm taupe outfit

Here I am checking out what is left in our little grape arbor. Unfortunately, this year, we hardly ate any of the grapes. The squirrels were much quicker at harvesting them, than we were.

warm taupe outfit

To keep my look classic, as I said, I paired my shimmery taupe top with my patterned black ankle pants. I kept the bag similar to the top and the shoes black to go with the pants. However, I could see this outfit taken up a notch with the pop of a red sweater or a teal colored bag or pair of shoes. The warm taupe would easily harmonize with many bright colors.

These two pictures show you more detail. The top is basically a tee shirt, having the tee material in the back and the shimmery material in the front. The other picture shows you the detail of the lace pattern on the black crop pants and the added dimension on the multicolored taupe bag.

warm taupe outfit

The only other colors I added to the outfit was in a single strand of fall colored beads and the blush color of the bracelets. Here you can better see the sparkly detail on the top.

warm taupe outfit

What do you think of my take on Warm Taupe? Is this a color you have in your closet? If not, would you wear it? I'd love to have your input.

Help me out. If you follow me, but haven't subscribed to my blog, do so today. If you are a subscriber leave me a comment either in the comments section below or on Facebook. You can also like and follow me on Instagram. I'm also starting to used Pinterest too. Any of my pics can be pinned to your Pinterest boards by clicking on the little red P button in the top left corner of the picture. Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and have a great day.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Shopping Options:

Taupe top - Chico's - $79.98, Chico's - $34.99

Black patterned crop pants - Nordstrom Rack - $42.97

Taupe bag - Target - $34.99

Black block heels - Macy's - $80.00

Fall beads - Chico's - $45.00

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Wednesday linking up with Tania of 50 is Not Old and Allison of Sydney Fashion Hunter. Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style , Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots and JoLynne Shane on the Fashion Friday Link Up

The Season of Fall

Today's post centers on the season of Fall. Autumn officially started a week ago to the day on the calendar and the weather has changed to reflect the beginning of this glorious season. My husband and I spent this past Saturday raking the leaves that had already fallen and enjoying a fire in our fire pit in the evening, while sipping on mugs of tea. It was cool enough that I threw on a hoodie. 

Fall

As the temperatures begins to fall our thoughts turn to changes in our wardrobes. As you can see from my Tuesday posts, the Pantone Fall color report included rich reddish brown and jewel tone green, as well as yellow and red reminiscent of the leaves that we will be raking out of our yards. But the colors are not the only thing that changes with the seasons. Our choice of clothing pieces change as well.

In the past we have usually put our whites and pastels away and opted for darker colors. Now anything goes. I have seen a number of articles and bloggers feature ways to wear white well into the season. Deborah of Fabulous After 40 shares three distinct outfits for wearing white into the fall in her article Can You Wear White After Labor Day?  JoLynn Shane, one of the many wonderful bloggers I follow, shared her take on wearing white jeans in the fall. Her White Jeans Outfit for Fall post is worth reading. You'll see me styling a pair of white jeans in an upcoming post in a few weeks. 

Since we are going to keep our whites out, we might as well rethink those pastels. Here is a good article from the site Bustle called 7 Ways to Wear Pastels in the Fall written by Emily McClure. While this article is from a year ago, her tips are just as applicable today. The one statement that really stands out to me is:

When it comes to styling pastels, it’s all about adding in different textures. Personally, I love pairing pastel pieces with suede or leather in the fall, as it’s such a lovely juxtaposition of sweet and edgy staples. However, if you’re into bold prints and colors you may want to add bits of pastels as well. Bold cranberry pieces mix great with mint and cool blues. Basically, pastels are for everyone, all the time.
— Emily McClure

I love that she talks about adding textures. That is something I am just learning how to do. I also like that she says, "...pastels are for everyone, all the time." Now, does every pastel look good on every complexion or skin tone, maybe not, but you can find the pastels that work for you, or as she says, mix textures. Choose a light pink top under a edgy wine colored moto jacket and maybe throw on a scarf that complements your skin tone. 

Liz of With Wonder and Whimsy, another beautiful blogger I follow, does a perfect job of pairing pastels with fall pieces in this post titled, Color Palettes featuring Pantone's Sharkskin GrayYou can see how she combines light blue and light pink with the darker, edgier Pantone Sharkskin Gray.

In addition to colors, we also think about patterns and how they change in the fall as well. This year in the stores and on the runways we are seeing animal prints like leopard, snakeskin, zebra stripes and tiger stripes. Leopard seems to be the rage right now. Here area a few of my own photos of pieces in my wardrobe.

As you can see in the above pics, I have a few things that have the snakeskin pattern. It is a fun pattern and can go with many different colors, depending on if you want to dress it up or dress it down. 

And just like on the fashion runways and in the stores, leopard print has turned up a few places in my closet. In addition to this fun skirt, I have a button up short sleeve blouse and a pair of flats which turn up occasionally in a blog post. 

Besides the animal prints I have mentioned, florals are also trending, but whereas in the summer the florals were light and backed by whites and pastels, the fall florals are darker shades backed by navy, wine and black. Check out Gemma's take on florals on her blog post The Cherry Blossom Midi Dress. This is the perfect floral look for transitioning to fall. 

Besides colors and patterns the other thing that significantly changes as we move into fall are the textures. Summer fabrics are usually light weight, breathable and moveable. The whole point is to keep you cool. As our weather changes, especially in the northern part of the country, our fabrics become heavier, bulkier and warmer. As women we still appreciate breathability and movement in our clothes, especially if you are menopausal, but we like textures that are soft to the touch and make us feel cozy. Cozy, after all, drums up images of roaring fires, hot cocoa and good books. 

One of the trending textures for fall is velvet. This jacket (which will be featured in a future post) is not real velvet, but it is so soft. Real velvet can be somewhat stiff, so I like this "faux velvet" if you will. It is moveable and fairly light weight.

There are so many other things we can talk about as the season of fall takes center stage. Our shoes transition into boots; our light weight sweaters transition into light weight jackets which transition into trench coats and we pull out scarves to accessorize and add warmth to our necks. Our sweaters become longer and eventually heavier and we begin adding hose or tights to our once bare and sun tanned legs. As I write this, I feel a little sad, but also excited because as you know I am a woman of layers and as the cool weather closes in, I get to create new and interesting outfits full of layers of texture, color and depth. And that will be fun!

Color Crash Course - Orange and Red

Since I have started blogging, I find myself thinking more and more, how do I do something outside the box. I'm not talking about wearing a sheer dress with little or next to nothing underneath like some glitzy stars might. I'm referring to wearing colors that we don't normally think of putting together or mixing prints. 

I decided on today's color combination because I was thinking about fall. It occurred to me that my favorite maple trees often blush orange and red as they are changing from their summer to autumn wardrobes. I love the look of these two colors on trees, but how would it look on me? That was enough to inspire today's post.

When I told my daughter/photographer the colors I was intending to pair up, she said something like, "Wow! You are really going bold aren't you?" Ha, ha. 

orange and red outfit

As you can see part of mixing bold colors without looking like some sort of walking torch or neon sign, is to combine differing shades, textures and fabrics into a cohesive and complimentary unit.

I decided to go with the coral jeans for a more muted orange color and a softer texture. The sleeveless blouse contains orange, red, black and even some pinkish, orangish something or other. You can tell I am not an interior designer or a fashion designer. 

orange and red outfit

Since there is so much going on in the top I decided I needed an accessory that was elegant, simple and a completely different color. I really like this gold and cream three strand necklace. The shortest layer is a simple beaded chain, the middle layer holds a pendant that looks to be made of shell and the longest layer ends in a long cream colored tassel with a gold filagree leaf. The nice part is they are all connected at the clasp point, meaning I can't wear them separately, but I wouldn't really want to.

Of course, I had to get a silly picture in there. But these photos show off the red jacket. This jacket is one of the ones you might have seen in my post on faux leather jackets which you can see here. It is a rich, vibrant red and has a bit of a sheen to it, so dresses up or down. I used the same burnt orange bag that I styled for Tuesday's Pantone Potter's Clay post (see that here).

orange and red outfit

Since ankle boots are so on trend right now, I wore my suede tan and brown booties. These are comfy with a low heel and easy to get on and off with an inside zipper.

orange and red outfit

One more look at the whole outfit. So what do you think? Would you wear this color combination? What do you think I could have done differently? Let me know in the comments section below. I love to hear from all of you and want your ideas and input. 

Have a great weekend and Happy First Day of Fall.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Shopping Options:

Red Faux Leather Jacket - Macy's - $104.99

Printed Blouse - 6pm - $24.99

Coral Jeans - NYDJ - $59.98

Tan Suede Ankle Boots. - DSW - $79.94

Triple Strand Gold Necklace - BaubleBar - $42.00