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!

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.

Pantone Spring 2018 - Spring Crocus, Almost Mauve and Little Boy Blue

This is already week four of my Pantone Spring 2018 series. You can check out the previous weeks' posts by clicking on the links: Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. This week I am featuring the colors: Spring Crocus, Almost Mauve and Little Boy Blue.

Pantone Spring 2018 - spring crocus, almost mauve and little boy blue

Since my daughter and I have to arrange time to get together for photos, we often shoot as many outfits as we can fit in at a time. If you follow me regularly you already know these pictures were all shot on a wintery day. Not very spring like, but then spring is taking its sweet time to make an appearance this year, so I guess this is appropriate. 

I found this Chaps maxi skirt on the clearance rack at Kohl's back in January. When I began looking for pieces for this Pantone series, I thought the flowers on the skirt were a good representation of both Spring Crocus and Almost Mauve. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - spring crocus, almost mauve and little boy blue

My NY & Co tee is also Almost Mauve. I tucked the tee in to give more definition to my waist and topped it with an H & M Harbor Mist cardigan. Pantone has included four classic foundational colors with their palette this year, which serve as a great way to keep an outfit from getting too overwhelmed with color.

I decided to add the Little Boy Blue color as a bright pop against the floral back ground. It makes me think of a sunny blue spring sky. The crossbody bag is Rosetti brand. My SO flats are also blue and probably a tad bit closer to the actual Little Boy Blue color. 

Pantone Spring 2017 - spring crocus, almost mauve and little boy blue

For jewelry I wore a necklace and bracelet with light blue colored beads and silver embellishments. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - spring crocus, almost mauve and little boy blue

Here are a couple of pictures of me being cold! Ha, ha. Don't I make the goofiest faces? I have always thought I could mimic Lucille Ball and some of her funniest looks. Sound like a future blog post.

Pantone Spring 2017 - spring crocus, almost mauve and little boy blue
Pantone Spring 2018 - spring crocus, almost mauve and little boy blue

The things we do for the blog! Ha, ha. This was the last picture we took outside that day, so the next three weeks you'll see indoor pictures. We had had enough. 

I hope you enjoyed this look at three more of the Pantone Spring 2018 colors. Which one do you like the most? I really love Spring Crocus, but Almost Mauve makes a great neutral that can be paired with almost any color. Little Boy Blue will be great color for the transition from spring into summer. 

I've included a few shopping links. These are affiliate links, which means I get a few cents if you click on a link. I really don't make any money on this blog, but your clicks will add up, so that maybe in the future I will. I appreciate all your support. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up by Rachel Christensen

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