Spring Trend - Utility Dressing

Today I am looking at another spring trend, utility dressing. Typically we think of utility dressing as something a mechanic, painter or other utility worker might wear. Often the uniform will have large pockets, snaps and zippers for ease of wear and storage. These same details have translated into women’s fashion with utility jackets, pants, vests and tops. This spring the trend is bigger than ever and includes jumpsuits in sleek, fun styles.

I am not a fan of jumpsuits. I spend way to much time in the bathroom, so i need things to be as quick as possible, especially when I am at work. However, since I decided to do this little series, I thought I would try to come up with an outfit that mimics a jumpsuit, but still has the ease of a two piece outfit.

Spring trends - utility dressing

This outfit is actually made up of three pieces, but you get the idea. The way to mimic the jumpsuit look is to go back to a monochrome color scheme. I chose olive for my outfit, because that is the color I had utility type pieces in. Large pockets, snaps and zippers all make this outfit fit into the utility vibe.

Spring Trend - utility dressing

My button up top is Worthington brand and I’ve had it for a while. I love to shop JC Penney’s clearance racks and I’m sure that is where I found this. I am fond of Worthington pieces as they are usually made for average women like me, who need a little stretch, but still want some structure in a blouse or a pair of pants. I’ve gotten a number of dress pants in this brand too. The other thing I like about this blouse is that is doesn’t gape in the front. The buttons are in the right spots. There is nothing worse than gapage (yes, I did use that as a word) if you are trying to look put together for work or other activities.

My cargo skinnies are another JC Penney purchase from a few years ago. These are Gloria Vanderbilt. I like her brand for the same reason I like Worthington, ease of wear and fit. I used to get Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, but my taste in jeans has grown to include brands that have an edgier and perhaps more youthful vibe to them. I think Gloria Vanderbilt is great for dress pants or, like these, something different than jeans.

The utility vest is a more recent purchase from last season at Kohl’s. This olive utility vest is Mudd brand and was another clearance find. There are very few things that I buy, that aren’t from clearance racks or thrift stores. I could have used my olive utility jacket, because yes, I have one of those as well, but it was a completely different shade of olive. Isn’t it funny how colors that are supposed to be the same, can be so different, but that’s a topic for a different post.

Spring Trend - Utility Dressing

Here is a more detailed look at the pockets on both the pants and the vest. As you can see the vest also has toggles so you can adjust the fit to make it tighter or looser. It has both a full zipper and snaps, giving it added metallic details. I like the brassy look of the metals as well.

My accessories are fairly simple. A black velvet choker with a cross, a few faux leather bracelets, a straw bag with black trim and my black heeled Ralph Lauren boots. The bag and boots were thrifted.

Spring Trend - utility dressing
Spring trend - utility dressing
Spring trends - utility dressing

I cuffed the pants for another fun element. If you didn’t want to cuff them, you could also tuck them in. Doing that allows the buckles on the boots to shine, adding that metallic utility detail to the entire outfit.

I’m adding this picture, just because I really liked my modelesque hair and smile. And I didn’t even need to have a fan! Ha, ha.

Spring Trend - utility dressing

What do you think of utility dressing? Do you own any utility pieces? Do you own a jumpsuit. Remember, you don’t have to jump on the jumpsuit wagon to get the same effect. Following trends is not so much to mimic a look as it is to make it completely our own. I think that is exactly what I did with this outfit.

Spring Trend - utility dressing

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know your thoughts. I am so thankful for some of my subscribers who regularly offer their encouragement. I’d love to hear from even more of you. If you have a thought you’d like to share, just put it in the comments. You can also enjoy more outfits and ideas by following my Instagram posts and my Pinterest boards. If there is anything different you would like to see me feature on the blog, shoot me your ideas either in the comments below, on my Facebook page or if you subscribe you can shoot me an email. This isn’t just about fashion, but about making friends and traveling life together.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

I’ve included a few shopping links for you to peruse. I hope they give you ideas. These are affiliate links. If you click on a link, I get a few pennies. If you purchase something through my blog, I get a small commission. All opinions are my own.







First Dates After 50

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Now before you start worrying that my hubby and I are going to get a divorce let me reassure you there is nothing further from our minds. I was contacted by 2Seniors, a free dating website for people over 50, to write a post featuring tips for dressing for a first date as a senior. There is no guarantee that the one you marry when you are 24 will be the one you enter your later years with. Divorce and death happen, unfortunately at an alarming rate. While many of us could think, I will never date again, when we are suddenly faced with being single, our perspectives might change. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Dating again after having a partner for many years can be a little intimidating. I want to offer a few tips and outfit ideas that might help you decide how to dress in a way that makes you feel, not only comfortable, but confident as you enter back into the dating arena. This post is specifically for women, but the tips themselves could apply to men as well. 

1. Accept your age. Let's face reality. We are not in our 20's any more. Most of us are middle aged or older. I stopped wearing short shorts and tube tops a long, long time ago. You are not going to do yourself any favors trying to look like the younger generation if that is not how you currently dress. Let me make a point. As fashion bloggers we are about encouraging others to wear what they want to wear and feel good about it. However, that being said, there are ways to look chic, fashionable and attractive without trying to squeeze our 50 year old bodies back into the jeans we wore in high school. In fact, that picture just makes me shudder. Ha, ha.

2. Know your style. Everyone has some sense of style. You might disagree with me, but even the people who don't look like they have any style are, in fact, promoting a certain style. Here is a great blog post from StyleWe - Ten Types of Fashion Styles. This article gives good descriptions of what each style is and also provides pictures. I personally draw from several different styles, including, Chic, Casual, Tomboy, and Preppy while pulling a little bit from Bohemian, and Rocker. Knowing your style can help you to dress for that date, whether you are single and looking for new love, or in a relationship and wanting to make an impression on your significant other. 

3. Be yourself, but add some change. As an older person who might be thinking about dating again you might think you need to reinvent yourself, but that can be an overwhelming task. It is better to remain true to who you are and your original style, but try adding something new or different to your look. Maybe you don't accessorize much. Try adding a statement necklace or a scarf to the outfit you are planning to wear. Go out and buy a great pair of heeled booties or a new bag. Not only will it bring your outfit up a notch it will give you a much needed boost. You may be recovering from a messy divorce or the death of your spouse. Treat yourself to something new that will flatter you and make you feel beautiful. Charming Charlie is a great retail place to look for a statement piece and not break your bank account.

4. Know where you are going on your date. Knowing where you will be going and what you will be doing is very important on a first date. Keeping your first date public is a good idea. Unless you are meeting someone that you have already gotten to know through work, church or other social gatherings, I think it is just wise to be out and about where other people are when you first meet someone, both for safety reasons and for your own well being. 

Knowing where you are going will give you the confidence to better choose the right outfit for that first date. If you are going out for dinner and to the theater, make sure you know what that means. Are you going to McDonalds and catching a movie? Then you probably don't need to reach for that black dress and heels. Are you going to a park to do some hiking? Better think about jeans and hiking shoes. All of these choices will be affected by what time of year it is as well. Winter will mean more layers and summer will warrant light, flowy fabrics so you are not embarrassed by sweat and body odor. 

5. Dress comfortably. When I say the word comfort I am looking at it from two different angles. First of all, you want what you wear to not be too small, too large, too hot, too cold, etc. The worst feeling is that you are going to melt because you are having another hot flash, or that you can hardly sit down after dinner because your Spanx are too tight. For the men out there, a button up shirt that is ready to pop is not attractive, and neither is your open fly. Have the courtesy to check yourself over, so you don't embarrass yourself or your date. 

The second meaning for the word comfort has to do with how you feel about yourself, the person you are meeting and the whole dating situation. If you normally don't wear low cut tops, then don't start now. If you hardly ever don a dress, then reach for those stunning black trousers that make your behind look fabulous. The point is you want to be confident in yourself and comfortable in your own skin. If you are not there yet, then maybe you are not ready for this jump back into the dating arena. 

The following pictures are from my blog and are just a few suggestions for outfits to wear on a first date. I've included a few shopping options for you to peruse as well. Just click on the picture and it will take you to the store site. These are affiliate links so I get a few cents if you click and a few cents more if you purchase an item through my site. Hopefully these will give you ideas of what might be in your closet and help you pull an outfit together that will not only make you look and feel fabulous, but make your date want to take you out again.

Dinner and the Theater (not McD's and a movie):

Winter outfit for dinner and the theater

Meeting for Lunch and Small Town Shopping:

winter outfit for lunch and small town shopping

Meeting for Coffee then a Walk

spring outfit for coffee and a walk

Going to a Ball Game

Summer outfit for a ball game

Outdoor Summer Concert

Summer outfit for outdoor concert

Christmas Concert

Winter outfit for a Christmas concert

These are just a few ideas. The key is to wear something that fits well, compliments your figure, skin tone and hair, and to wear a confident smile on your face. Be real. Be yourself. Plan and primp and you will be fabulous!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

 

Piece Perfect - The Utility Jacket

When I began thinking about this month's Piece Perfect column, I was thinking about showing a traditional jean jacket. I have shown a dark wash crop style denim jacket in a previous Piece Perfect column, which you can see here. I thought it would be fun to show a post with a more traditional cut and wash of denim jacket, but for lack of picture taking time, I will save that for another day. Today I am going to focus on the utility jacket. 

Looking for some definition for the utility jacket I was able to derive that our modern day utility jacket was modeled mainly after the Vietnam era military jacket. The color is most often olive green, but now can be seen in gray, black and even orange (see my Pantone Spring 2017 post on Flame.) These jackets are typically light weight with both buttons or snaps and a zipper, as well as multiple pockets. Most of them have elastic or a draw string to gather the waist more tightly against the body.

Today, utility jackets are all the rage. I like mine because it is roomy, which allows for a few layers underneath if it is cooler, but can also be worn as a light weight jacket over a tee or tank top. This is the look I came up with for my jacket.

Piece perfect column - utility jacket

If you follow my blog, you might remember this outfit from a post called Spring Trends 2017. I used these pieces for a flat lay. A flat lay is simply a picture of the clothing laying flat on the floor, folded, rather than on a person. See below.

Piece Perfect - Spring Trends 2017 - flat lay

I had another blogger tell me she would like to see the outfits from my flat lays on me, to get a better idea of proportions and fit. I liked the way this looked in the flat lay and I like it even better on me! 

Piece Perfect column - Utility jacket

As you can see I started with a pair of distress crop jeans, and a breton type tee.

Piece perfect column - utility jacket

Here's a closer look at the detail, both on the tee and the jacket. 

I thought the blush accessories looked perfect with this outfit. It keeps the outfit summery and fun. I also like the raw hem on the jeans. I kept the jewelry simple and gold to go with the gold sequins on my tee. 

If you've never considered a utility jacket you might want to invest in one. It gives an outfit a fun casual look and can be worn with so many colors. Do you like this outfit? Would you wear frayed hem jeans? I didn't used to think I ever would, but then here I am! Never say never!

Below I've provided some shopping options. This post contains affiliate links. If you do a little looking and/or buying through my blog, I make a little bit of money. I appreciate all of your support, especially your feedback. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog and have a great weekend! 

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge