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.










Ordinary Amy - Lace Hoodie

It is time for another Ordinary Amy post. When I started thinking about this column, I thought it would be fun to let you see a little bit more of who the regular, normal, Amy is. Sometimes, bloggers look as though they have it all together and life seems like a continuous stream of happy thoughts, great outfits, travel, meet ups and food. However, I am an actual woman and I live real life. I like clothes that are easy and comfortable, have always been a jeans sort of girl and don't usually take pictures of my food. If I had done so this morning, you would have seen a small bowl of dry Cheerios! Ha, ha. This virus, has my appetite a bit wonky as well. Oh well, this too shall pass!

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I found this lace hoodie a while back at a thrift store and fell in love. After all, what is better than the comfort of zip up hoodie made with a soft lace fabric that makes it look elegant and classy. I've styled this lace hoodie on the blog before. Check out that original post here

When I was growing up my mom and a number of her sisters used to crochet doilies, and other lace decorative items like toppers for dressers and lovely table clothes. Maybe it was those pretty pieces that fueled my fascination with lace, but for some reason I have always loved lace. Maybe it is my inner romantic or my writer's mind that associates lace with epic tales of love, magic and danger. I have always liked the look of a wedding gown that has lace, at least in some form or other on it, as well as curtains or shears made with lace designs. While we have long associate lace with women's underwear and bridal veils, I like that lace is now taking front and center stage on the fashion scene as a functional, wearable clothing piece. 

You can see the all over lace design on this piece has a floral pattern. While lace can come in many patterns and be made today from many different materials, all of them have the quality of being woven or sewn in an open web-like fashion. That is part of what makes lace so beautiful. To me, lace is like art work for the body. Here is a Wikipedia article that gives a bit more information on the different ways of making lace and its early origins. 

Ordinary Amy - Lace Hoodie

For this look, I wore the jacket over my Greenery Merona popover blouse. Remember, Greenery was the Pantone 2017 color of the year. I like this green color as it is more of a true green rather than a yellow green or a blue green. I also wore my Rock & Republic jeans from Kohl's

Ordinary Amy - Lace Hoodie

This particular day from a number of weeks ago, we were just running some errands. I still like to try to look put together, so I threw on the silver and bead necklace and the green bracelet.

Since I was going for ultra casual I chose my SO ankle boots and my green velvet bag. Even though the weather is warming up, I think this pretty green bag with its blue flowers is perfect for spring. If I can wear lace as clothing, more than just underwear, then I can also carry a velvet bag all year round!

Ordinary Amy - Lace Hoodie

Do you have any lace pieces like that, that you love to wear? I'd love to hear your comments. 

I've included a few shopping links below to pretty lace items that would be perfect for spring or summer. Take time to click on a few. Each of your clicks earns me a few pennies. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Have a great weekend!

Outside the Box - A Poncho Top

I started this column to force me to try new things. Most of us love to be comfortable, but it easy to get into a routine with our style. We automatically go for that same sweater, or that same pair of jeans because they fit well and we feel comfy in them. How, then, are we supposed to try new things when we are so consumed with remaining in our same comfortable rut? 

Last month I took a pair of pajama pants and showed you four ways you could style them for wearing outside the bedroom. You can see that post here. Today, I am wearing a piece that I recently found at a thrift store while visiting my mom. A poncho is a large piece of fabric with a hole in the center for the head to go through. I call mine a poncho sweater, because the sides are closed. Most ponchos are open on the sides, making getting into and out of them easier. 

Outside the box - poncho sweater

This picture was taken at Mohican State Park. We love to stay in their little cabins! 

I have seen other people wear these types of ponchos and I have also looked at various styles on the racks in the stores, but this was the first one I saw and thought, "Wow! I like that." Since it is not something I have ever had before and I have never styled before, I thought this would be the perfect place to feature it. 

I like the neutral color and the black stripe adds just enough interest so that it is not too plain. In the above picture you can see a little bit how the sleeves hang down to almost the elbow and then the entire piece is sewn along the body on both sides under the arm. 

Since it is lighter weight I decided to wear it over my black and white gingham blouse. I liked how the blouse tied in with the black strip on the poncho. I also worn my dark wash, straight leg jeans. I went for my suede SO ankle boots, as they matched the poncho. My bag is the bright pop of color and is Vera Wang. The final touch is the black and gold fringe necklace on red leather. 

Outside the box - sweater poncho

Here is a side view to show you the sleeve length, and the way the side fabric hangs. That was also the view of the river, right out our back door. 

Outside the box - sweater poncho

I got this necklace on the clearance rack at Christopher and Banks. I love it! 

Outside the box - poncho sweater

My conclusion on this piece is that I really like it. I am sure I will be wearing it again, and it will be a nice piece for transitioning to spring....just in case spring happens to come around again. Ha, ha.

What do you think of the poncho top? Would you wear this? How would you style it? Maybe you already have one. What is your favorite way to wear it?

Below are a few shopping links for ponchos. These are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. 

Have a great weekend!

Outside the Box - Styling PJ Pants

This new monthly column on my blog is going to deal with fashion ideas and trends that I don't really buy into. Most of the time, it will involve me trying a different trend that I would have never tried before. It will also, occasionally include posts about color, print and texture pairings that we wouldn't usually think about putting together. Once in a while, I might use this monthly column to discuss ideas in the fashion world that I find hard to swallow. I hope you will enjoy this new column and I would love to hear from you. If you have an idea of a trend or fashion style you would like me to feature as something you are not used to wearing or don't have any idea how to style, this will be a good platform for that as well. You can leave me your ideas in a comment here on the blog or send me a Facebook message.

This week, I decided to try a trend that I have seen come and go on the runways: wearing pajama pants as part of an outfit. I'm sure we are all used to the idea of pajama pants as something we put on before we go to bed, or something we put on when we want to lounge around the house, but wearing a pair of pj pants out in public...uh, no! Okay, so I get it. I see more and more people running to Walmart and the grocery store with their fuzzy pajama pants on, but that is hardly stylish, let alone, something a stylish 50 something year old would wear to work or out to dinner. Remember, we are doing a fashion blog to help ourselves and you look and feel better, not end up imitating a walking pile of laundry. 

Pajama pants outfit

I found these striped pajama pants at a thrift store. They are Sonoma brand and a size large. If I do this again, I think I will try to go down a size and see if I like that look better. Sizing really depends on what you want to do with them and what look you are going for. If the only thing you are going to do with the pants is watch tv and get cozy, then by all means size up. The roomier the better. But for a sleeker, more stylish look it might be better to have the pants fit a little tighter. Let me know what you think.

Look 1 & 2 - Casual

Pajama pants outfit

For this first look, I paired the pants with my Paris graphic tee, a Loft green cardigan, Keds gray sneakers and an olive American Eagle bag. Here is another option on the Loft cardigan.  I also added my pearl, velvet and silver choker as well as a pearl bracelet.

pajama pant outfit

For the next casual look, I swapped out the graphic tee for a long sleeve Mossimo tee from Target. Here is a bell sleeve one.  I did the front tuck to give a little more definition to my waist. Over the top I have on a heavy weight Liz Claiborne button up, that works great as a light weight jacket. I am wearing my SO taupe ankle boots and carrying a Nine & Co. bright blue tote. 

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pajama pant outfit
pajama pant outfit

I also added a silver and blue chain necklace as well as a green cocktail ring. 

Look 3 & 4 - Dressy

The next two outfits I dressed up a little bit more. These would be good for work or even for a date night, if your hubby doesn't mind being seen in public with you wearing a pair of pajama pants. Ha, ha. 

In the first look I am wearing a navy crocheted top that I bought a few years ago at Christopher and Banks. It is more of a tunic, but I decided to tuck the top in and add a belt to give me a more defined waistline. I think this is a good idea when your pants are more bulky or billowy. 

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The belt is a simple crocheted number that is stretchy. For jewelry I just added a neutral beaded necklace to pull in the colors of the shoes, belt and bag. The bag was a recent find on the Kohl's clearance rack. It is Madden brand. Here is the same one from Nordstrom on sale. I got a better deal at Kohl's, but clearance is what it is. When it is gone, it is gone. 

Pajama pant outfit

These SO peep toe heels are another recent find from Kohl's clearance. Here is another pair from Kohl's that is very similar. I am looking forward to warmer temps (and painting my toenails, of course), so I can wear these more. 

Pajama pant outfit

Even though my top is navy and matches the navy in my bottoms, I've got some print mixing going on. See how I did that? Print mixing is not always about color. It can also happen with textures and the weave of fabrics. 

This second dressy look is, perhaps my favorite. This outfit uses a button up top from JC Penney and a thrifted suiting piece, that I'll just call a vest. It is more like a blazer vest. You'll get what I mean if you know what a coat vest is. If not, don't worry about it. For the purpose of this post it is a vest. 

Pajama pant outfit

I think this is one classy outfit and yes, I am wearing pajama pants. Ha, ha. In addition to the button up, which has fish on it (more print mixing), and the vest, I added a beaded necklace and bracelets with an olive hue. I also grabbed my velvet clearance find from Meijer. This is Wallflower brand. Such a cute bag, and I don't care that it is velvet, I'll be using it in the spring! My loafer heels were the last touch. 

Pajama pant outfit

Here are all four of the outfits:

What do you think? Would you wear pajama pants as part of an outfit? I think this is a great idea, especially for summer, when you need something cool and light. I think part of the process in figuring out if a pair of pj bottoms are good for style wear is to see how they fit and what sort of outfit you can make out of them. I personally would not wear my Eeyore pajama pants, but this striped pair or maybe a plaid, why not! 

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gave you a new perspective on those cozy duds we wear to bed!

Here are a few fun options. How would you style these into an outfit? This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. Saturday linking up with Rena of It's All Fine. Whatever Tickles the Fancy. 

InVESTments: Wearing Vests in the Summer - Short Knit

For the final installment in this series on wearing vests in the summer I wanted to show how to style two different shorter knit vests. While knits can be great for keeping us warm in the cooler months, we don't have to leave them in our closets over the summer. By choosing lighter weight pieces to style them with, we can still have fun wearing our cozy vests. Both of the following looks are more casual.

Look 1 - With Shorts

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

This light pink, zip up vest is another of my Christopher and Banks finds. I went for a subdued look with the khaki Bermuda shorts (Christopher and Banks), and taupe ankle boots, bringing in a pop of bright pink in my short sleeve sweater and bag. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

The vest has a subtle textural pattern over its entirety. The short sleeve sweater (thrifted, Ralph Lauren) also provides texture. Different textures allow pattern mixing without having to worry about clashing colors. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

I kept the jewelry simple with my gray pendant necklace and a few gray bracelets. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

A friend gave me this Vera Bradley bag for my birthday a couple years ago. It's the perfect companion for this outfit. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

I could have worn sandals, which would be expected for a summer outfit, but in keeping with thinking outside the box I opted for my SO brand ankle boots. 

Look 2 - With Capris

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

This knit vest by Chaps, I got at Kohl's at the end of the winter season. Isn't it a great summer piece? I styled it with a navy tee (Christopher and Banks) and white capris (Coldwater Creek)for a crisp warm weather look.

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

You can see the vest detail in this picture. The different weave, the cardigan feel, and the shawl type collar make a cozy statement, no matter when it is worn.

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

I chose to only add this light yellow flower pendant necklace for jewelry.

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

I've used this bag numerous times on the blog. It just adds a touch of class to so many different outfits. 

Wearing vests in the summer - short knit

This time I went with sandals. They seem to dress up this outfit just enough.

Here are the two looks side by side. 

Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments section below. I always love to read your feedback. It helps me know what you like, as well as gives me a boost! Ha, ha. 

Be sure to check back Thursday for my look at a few summer sweaters on the Piece Perfect column. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Below are some shopping links. These are affiliate links which means if you click on them, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through a link, I get a little commission. I appreciate all your support in this manner. All opinions expressed are my own.