When Summer Doesn't Feel Like Summer

Since the beginning of January, Toledo, OH has gotten more days of rain than Seattle, WA. I have a feeling many other mid-west areas could make the same claim. Obviously, the rainy days do their own thing to make me want to feel comfortable, but in addition, the temps have been much cooler than normal. I can remember a number of years ago, when the girls were very small going camping in May at a campground that is only about 45 minutes away. That year, the average temperature in May was in the mid to upper 80’s. I don’t know that we have broken the 80 degree mark yet this year and it is now the middle of June.

The thought came to me this morning that it might be good to share a post on how to dress when summer isn’t exactly acting like summer. We all want to wear our lighter colors and lighter weight clothes, along with short sleeves, shorts and sandals. I see many people doing just that, rebelling against the weather, but I like to be warm or at least comfortable, so I still find myself wearing long pants and cardigans over my short sleeves. Today’s layered looks revolves around three key pieces: a pair of thrifted jeans, a bell sleeve top and a knit ruana.

Layered look for summer

When I saw these Banana Republic jeans at a Goodwill store, I tried them on. I almost wasn’t going to buy them, but they were 50% off, so I think I paid $2.50 for them. I like the wide legs, the applied pockets, the subtle distressing, and the lighter wash, but the right leg has a wonky seam. You know how it is, when the leg seam doesn’t stay lined up with the other leg seam. It isn’t too noticeable and for the price, I decided it was worth it.

Summer layering

This knit ruana was a clearance find at Kohl’s. If you learn nothing else from me, then I, at least, hope you have learned to shop clearance, or second hand. Ha, ha. The texture and feel of this piece drew me to it. I love hand crafted pieces and really wish I had the time to learn to knit or at least pick crochet back up, as I learned it from my mom as a child. This ruana is made of a very soft, almost silky yarn. It is light weight, so the perfect topper for a cool summer day or an air conditioned office. It gave me just the right amount of coverage, so I wasn’t uncomfortable in the cooler temps today. This one has a small seam at each side, which I think helps keep it in place, and runs a little shorter in front than the back. Here is a couple of back views.

Summer layers
Summer layering

I got this Liz Claiborne bell sleeve top last year at Kohl’s and today was the first opportunity I had to wear it. I like the design and colors and the bell sleeve is at just the right spot so I am not dragging them through my food. Yes, I am that clumsy! I liked the way the bell peeked out from the bottom the the ruana sleeve. I did the front tuck and wore a gold belt for a fun statement.

Summer layering
Summer layering

Since, I chose the gold belt, I thought to accent the rest of my outfit with gold as well, so grabbed this three layered necklace, and a few rose/gold bead bracelets.

Summer layering

The outfit was decidedly boho, so I went for my burgundy fringe bag, which I thought lifted the burgundy color in the blouse.

Summer layering

I had to think about shoes for a bit before I decided on my SO booties. It was cool enough today, that this wasn’t a bad choice. My little toes were happy to be warm and cozy in these light weight faux suede booties. I’m serious. It really felt more like a late September or early October day today. So sad! The other reason I chose these was that they have a little bit of a heel. These pants are long and as you can see were already hem worn by the previous owner. I don’t mind pants dragging a little bit, but I don’t want to be walking on them.

Summer layering

What do you think of this outfit? Do you own pants with wonky leg seems? Do you like bell sleeve tops? Do you like to knit or crochet and do you wear your own creations? I’d love to hear from you.

Summer layering

I’m including a few shopping links. These are affiliate links, which gives me a few pennies when you click and a few more when you buy. All opinions are my own. Have fun shopping.

Remember to check back on Wednesdays for my Faith post and Thursdays for my second weekly Fashion post.

Until next time, have a great day.










Outfit Inspiration - Plaid Trousers with Green

This outfit is another product of perusing a Christopher & Banks add that I had gotten in the mail. The add contained an outfit consisting of a pair of plaid pants, a cardigan, a short sleeve tee and a button up blouse with a collar. Since I am such a layering fanatic in the winter, due to living in a drafty old house and living in the mid west, I thought this would be a fun and different way to add multiple light layers. This layering not only adds warmth, but creates visual interest and additional texture, for an outfit that is clearly work appropriate, and also date night ready.

Plaid trousers with green

Plaid is in again and seems to be a recurring pattern in the fashion realm. Whether it is the light and bright plaids of spring and summer checks or the more expected flannel and buffalo plaids of fall, plaid is a pattern everyone can wear. With plaid shirts, pants, skirts and jackets there are plenty of choices for your closet.

I found this pair of Mossimo brand trousers at a thrift store. I like the wider legs, but it was the plaid pattern and the bright green stripes that had me throwing them in my cart. The picture below was to show off my dark brown Life Stride boots, but it also gives you a close up of the plaid colors.

Plaid trousers with green

Seeing as the pants have both a light green and a dark green stripe I was able to draw from several different greens in my closet. The Sonoma tee shirt is fairly old and is often worn during the warmer months as it is relatively light weight. The long sleeve gingham that I am wearing underneath is Jaclyn Smith and was thrifted. The cardigan was also thrifted and is Old Navy.

Plaid trousers with green

Because the tee had that touch of purple I added the purple bead and metal necklace for a contrasting splash of color.

Plaid trousers with green

I really like these greens with the purple. Even though I typically would associate these colors more with spring or summer I think they work well for fall and brighten things up, which really helps on a dreary day.

This shoulder bag is another thrift store find and is Liz Claiborne brand.

Plaid trousers with green

I like when the strap on a bag is long enough that I can use it either as a shoulder bag or a crossbody bag. It’s okay to occasionally have it both ways! Ha, ha.

Plaid trousers with green

I hope you enjoyed seeing this outfit. Do you like to wear plaid? What sorts of plaid items do you have in your closet. In addition to my plaid pants I have a few tops that are plaid, including a few flannel ones. How about you? Not all patterns are liked by everyone, but there are other ways to embrace a trend like florals or plaid, just think less is more. Carry a plaid bag, wear a plaid scarf or even a pair of plaid socks and then roll your pant cuffs so the socks are just peeking out.Everyone will think you are so on trend and you didn’t have to make a big investment.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Until next time.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.




Is it a Kimono or a Ruana? Week 2

Last week I styled a short kimono. You can see that post here.  This week I am styling a ruana. What exactly is the difference between these two outer layer pieces? A kimono is more of a jacket. It has sleeves that can be narrow or wide, long or short. It is usually open in the front, but can come with or without a belt or tie to keep it closed. A bathrobe is really a heavy weight kimono. A ruana is one large piece of cloth that falls down the back, over the shoulders and down the front. It has no sleeve closures, rather just drapes over the shoulders and is kept in place with your arms, although I have seen and heard of people using a pin or a pretty brooch to keep them in place. A ruana is usually worn open, although the fashion police won't put you away if you wear it with a belt for a more cinched in look. 

Is it a kimono or ruana - striped ruana

This tasseled ruana was a spring purchase from Christopher and Banks. To make the look more streamline, I went with a tank top and a dark gray pencil skirt. Here is the outfit before adding the ruana.

Is is a kimono or a ruana? - Striped ruana

You've seen this blush tank with bling before on my blog. I am an avid proponent of shopping and re-shopping my closet. The tank is Relativity brand and the pencil skirt is Liz Claiborne. Both of these pieces were thrifted. The black heels are Comfort Plus brand and the straw bag was thrifted as well. I opted for minimal jewelry with the beaded choker and a few beaded bracelets. 

Kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana
kimono or ruana - striped ruana

The next two pictures show you the width of the ruana, which is typically a wider silhouette than a kimono.

kimono or ruanan
kimono or ruana - striped ruana

Do you own a ruana? How do you like to wear it? Is it more of a summer weight or a fall weight? I am seeing fall styles beginning to fill the racks at most retailers. Kohl's was having some good sales on kimonos and ruanas and right now, you might find deals on the lighter weight ones that you could use for the rest of the summer and next season. 

kimonos or ruanas - striped ruana

I'd love to hear your feedback on this outfit. Would you wear something like this? I think this outfit is a great office look and the ruana would add a light layer for those overly air conditioned buildings. 

I've included a few shopping links for you to peruse. These are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog and be sure to check back on Thursday to see what I am featuring on my Old Becomes New column. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Outfit Inspiration - Bold & Bright

My outfit inspiration comes from many places. Sometimes it is a picture in a magazine or catalogue. Once in a while it comes from something I see in a book, but many times it comes from other fashion bloggers. This month my inspiration is coming from Liz of With Wonder and Whimsy. Liz has been a fashion blogger for a number of years now and specializes in outfits and styles for plus size women. She is sweet, fun and very knowledgable about clothes, styles, fabrics and working with retailers. I had the honor of doing a collaboration with Liz in the spring of 2017 on the Pantone Color palette for that year. You can see that post here

Liz has a whimsical, colorful approach to not only her outfits, but her life in general. This is a gal who is not afraid to wear pale pinks, purples and yellows, but she also knows when to take the color palette up a notch to make a statement. The post that inspired me for this month's Outfit Inspiration column is from June 1st and is called, Packing A Capsule Wardrobe for Summer Getaways.  You can see her original post by clicking on the link. 

I have never been a big fan of a capsule wardrobe, because I am a clothes horse and like to have options when I travel. However, I think it is an idea worth visiting so I thought I would give it a try for this post. I did not give too much thought ahead of time as to how I would put this together, but I chose four key pieces for my capsule wardrobe. At the end I will give you list of the extras I would throw in to make this a weekend worthy wardrobe. 

Outfit 1 - Casual But Cute

Outfit Inspiration - Bold and Bright

White pants whether cropped at the ankles, capris or longer are always a must have travel piece in the summer. They are versatile, going from casual to dressy and can be worn with anything solid or print. I have styled these Christopher and Banks ankle pants on the blog before.  Like Liz did in her post, I styled mine with a Simply Vera  - Vera Wang floral top. 

For this look, which would work well for perusing the shops in a cute little village and then having lunch or dinner with my husband, I chose simple accessories that draw on the colors in the blouse; blue heels, light pink clutch, silver bracelets and my new Marina Griffin necklace that I won in a drawing on Jodie's Touch of Style

Outfit Inspiration - Bold and Bright

I couldn't believe how perfectly the necklace goes with the colors in the blouse. Unfortunately, the necklace does get a little lost in the print of the blouse, so I'll be choosing a solid top next time to show off the necklace. This is a very pretty piece that is well made. Be sure to check out Marina's Facebook page by clicking on the link above.

Outfit Inspiration - Bold and Bright
Outfit Inspiration - Bold and Bright

Outfit 2 - Dressy But Comfy

Outfit Inspiration - Bold and Bright

When packing for a getaway it is nice to include pieces that will not wrinkle easily, especially if you want to get more dressed up. I chose my LuLaRoe maxi skirt for the bottom piece. these maxis are made out of a silky, stretchy medium weight knit. They pack well and you don't need to wear a slip as the material is thick enough to keep light from showing through. Any skirt that has some give and is made from material that won't easily wrinkle will be a good choice for your get away wardrobe.

For the top I chose another comfortable piece made from a similar material as the skirt. This knit peplum top is Liz Claiborne from JC Penney. 

Outfit Inspiration - Bold and Bright

This is such an easy top to wear. You just pull it on and go. there are no clasps or zippers or buttons. It's like wearing a tee shirt, but more dressy. As you can see I threw on a string of olive colored beads to go with the olive print in the skirt. 

I was also doing a fair bit of print mixing in this outfit. This works well, because the print of the top is smaller than the print in the skirt and it coordinates with the black in the skirt. 

Outfit Inspiration - bold and Bright

Once again I kept my accessories simple with a little black clutch and a new pair of shoes I found on the DSW clearance rack. These may be my favorite black heels ever. I love the retro vibe and they are so easy to get on, as well as incredibly comfortable. Win, win! These are Aerosoles brand. They still have these in a number of sizes here

Outfit Inspiration - Bold and Bright
printmixingfashionblog-1.jpg

Here are my two outfits side by side. 

Now what would I add to these four pieces to make it the perfect weekend wardrobe?

1. One other shirt like a tank top that could be worn with either the pants or skirt.

2. A pair of flip flops or more casual sneakers.

3. A jacket or sweater that would go with either the pants or skirt. I think my dark wash, distressed cropped jean jacket would be perfect. 

Add to those three things a swim suit, sunglasses and a good book to read and you'll have just what you need for a fun weekend away. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. As always, I love to hear from you. What is something you can't live without when you travel? Leave me some love in the comments. 

Have a great day and a perfect weekend!

Fun Fall Look - Floral Bomber Jacket

For the next few Thursdays, I thought it would be fun to show off some of my own fall fashion ideas, using some of the current trends. For each featured piece, I'll include a few shopping links for you to look at as well. That way if you are inspired by the looks I show you, you can find a similar piece for yourself. I try to keep the links connected to stores that offer clothing choices at a little lower price point and places, I feel, have trustworthy brands.

This week's look was one that I wore to my 35th high school reunion which was this past weekend. I graduated in 1982 from Alden High School in Alden, NY. I had never gone to any of my other reunions, as I was not all that popular in school and didn't think it was any big deal. This year, I decided to go and asked two of my closest high school buddies if they would go too. We had a great time and it was fun to give hugs and talk to people I had not thought about in a long time. Let's face it at this point in our lives we no longer care about the things that separated us when we were 16 or 17 years old. We are just glad to see each other and happy to have a similar connection in our history.

I opted to wear an outfit that wasn't real dressy. I was the girl in high school that always wore jeans and tees or flannel shirts.. I wanted to look put together and look my brand, without being fake. This is what I came up with.

Floral bomber outfit

I got this floral bomber from JC Penney. This is the exact one and it comes in a bunch of fun prints and colors and right now is on sale for $12.99. This is not lined and is not heavy. It really is a simple piece to throw over a tee or pullover sweater to add a trendy pop of color. The background is black and the flowers contain pink, green, blue and white. The cuff and waist are knit and it has a zip front closure. 

Floral bomber outfit

I chose my olive skinny cargo pants (Gloria Vanderbilt - Kohl's) and my Primrose Pink tee (Liz Claiborne - thrifted) as the basics with which to style the bomber. 

Floral bomber outfit

The only jewelry I wore was this layered beaded necklace in a shimmery dark navy.

For a bag, I decided on my medium blue, envelope clutch. I love the texture on this piece and while it doesn't exactly match the blue in the jacket, I think it complimented the outfit without being a distraction. 

Floral bomber outfit

And once again, my feet are wearing my SO flats. I bet you are getting sick of seeing these shoes, but I really can't say enough about their comfort and wearability for so many occasions and outfits. From casual to dressy to everything in between this little pair of shoes is a perfect choice. If you every are tempted to buy anything through my blog, this would be the item. 

I have a medium width foot, so if you are very narrow or have a wider foot, these may not work for you. The best thing is to go to Kohl's and try them on. 

Floral bomber outfit

I felt confident and comfortable in this outfit for my reunion. Some people were dressed up and some wore jeans, the point is to be yourself and wear an outfit that looks neat, clean and put together. 

Floral bomber outfit

How about you? Have you gone to your high school reunion? What did you wear? 

Have a great weekend!

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

Pantone Fall 2017 - The London Palette - Navy Peony and Primrose Pink

For this week's post I am looking at the Pantone London color palette combination of Navy Peony and Primrose Pink. The Pantone site describes Primrose Pink as a gentle shade and Navy Peony as a strong and dependable color that takes some of the burden off black for a fashion mainstay. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - London Palette - navy peony and primrose pink

Navy has long been touted as a neutral, pairing well will just about any other color, even black. Navy worn on the bottom can make us look long and lean, while navy worn on the top can hide a world of flaws. One of my favorite clothing pieces is my Ralph Lauren navy blazer. You can read my post on that here

For today's outfit I shopped my closet and came up with this navy skirt that seems to show off the Navy Peony color perfectly. This embellished skirt I got a while back from dressbarn. It is an a-line shape and falls just at the knee. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - The London Palette - Navy peony and primrose pink

For the top I am wearing a Liz Claiborne tee that I got at a thrift store. Primrose pink is a light pastel pink. It is a little unusual to see a color this light on the fall Pantone palette, but I think this soft pink can be a great color to help us transition from summer to fall. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - London Palette - navy peony and primrose pink

I thought the outfit looked a little bland with just the navy and pink, so I added a scarf with a variety of colors including blue and pink, to pull the outfit together and add interest. I styled this wide oblong scarf as a shawl. 

Here is a photo of what the scarf looks like open.

Pantone Fall 2017 - London Palette - navy peony and primrose pink

Because the scarf had just a touch of green in it I decided to carry my green clutch. Green is another color that will show up later when I do the New York colors. Be sure to check back for that. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - London Palette - navy peony and primrose pink

I chose navy for my shoes, and jewelry and I also wore navy hose. 

What do you think of these two colors? Do you have some of these larger scarves that you like to wear as a shawl?

Pantone Fall 2017 - London Palette - navy peony and primrose pink

I hope you enjoyed this look at two more of the Pantone Fall 2017 London color palette. Check back next week for two more colors. 

Be sure to check back Thursday for a look at a new retailer that I'll be featuring.

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