InVESTments: Wearing Vests in the Summer - Long Knit

An open weave vest is perfect for summer because it allows air movement. Whether the fabric of your vest is yarn, lace or some other material, having perforations, or open weave will keep you cooler than a vest of the same material without the holes. 

This week's look was based around a long, open weave vest that I featured last fall in my Pantone series. You can see that look here in the post Potter's Clay. For this week's outfit I decided to pair the vest with a pair of crop pants, a button up short sleeve top and accessories. 

Wearing vests in the summer

Everything in this outfit except the sandals and the jewelry was thrifted. These plaid Sonoma ankle pants are a combination of colors we usually think of for fall: brown, tan, orange and black. However, the light weight of this chino type fabric makes me think summer. To keep the look summery under the clay brown knit of the vest I chose a bright orange New York & Co. top that suggests more peaches and cream than pumpkin. This orange perfectly compliments the orange in the pants.

Wearing vests in the summer
Wearing vests in the summer

The above two photos show you more detail of the open weave of the vest. I love the fringe on this vest. It adds length, but also adds a fun bohemian vibe to the outfit. 

Wearing vests in the summer

I added a gold stretch bracelet and a simple pendant necklace that I picked up at Meijer on clearance. I wanted the focal point of the outfit to be the vest, so I kept the accessories minimal. 

The cute black clutch and St. John's Bay block heel sandals complete the look. 

Wearing vests in the summer
Wearing vests in the summer
Wearing vests in the summer

I know it might seem silly or at least not very practical to layer on a long vest in the summer. However, there are times and places for everything. For example, this would be a great outfit for work. Let's face it, most work places are overly air conditioned and usually you have no control over where the temperature is set. Wearing these layers will give you extra warmth without giving you extra weight. Also, this vest and others like it can easily take an outfit from day to night just by switching out a few things like shoes, your bag and jewelry. Exchange those black block heels for a pair of nude  or blush heels, add a blingy clutch or cross body and layer on a few long gold chains and you are ready for dinner and the dance floor. Ha, ha.

I hope you like this post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. I know you are very busy, but your comments help my blog to grow. Also, check out my Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Once in a while there will be different things featured on those. As always thank you for your support.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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

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

Spring Colors: Lilac Gray and Peach Echo

This is the final installment in my Spring Color series using the Pantone 2016 Spring color palette. I decided to get brave and do a bit of pattern mixing with this outfit. The open front cardigan is black with a lilac gray pattern. Seeing as I got this at a thrift store, I was excited that it had that color and matched the Pantone Lilac Gray perfectly.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull, Makeup by Rachel Christensen

The sleeveless blouse I got two years ago at J.C. Penney. The peach echo elephants are outlined with a lilac gray, bringing the two pieces together. The lilac gray bag, also from Penney's shines with gold chain on the handles, which also matches the gold buttons on the blouse.

I added a pair of black leggings, an orange/peach long necklace which I looped twice to make it shorter, and a pair of gray swede booties from the clearance rack at DSW.

The outfit is comfy, casual but dressy and the layers are light, making it a great combination for a spring day or a summer evening. It also might look great with a belt around the cardi and the blouse accentuating the waist for a different look.

Shop the Look (similar pieces):

Printed Open Front Cardi - Kohl's -$49.00; Macy's - $44.99

 Blouse - Kohl's - $24.99; Chico's - $65.00

Black Leggings - Kohl's - $38.00

Gray Booties - DSW - $119.95; $49.95

Bag - J.C.Penney - $59.40; Kohl's - $39.99

Necklace - Impressions Online Boutique - $24.00; Chico's - $49.00

Seeing as I am still new to this blogging game, I want to apologize if my selections do not do justice to the original outfit. Many of my clothes are bought from thrift stores and I try to find pieces that will give you the same look even though they are different. Also, I encourage you to find inspiration in my outfits, rather than copying a specific look. If you have certain stores you like to shop at, peruse their racks and online sights for similar items. Instead of a printed open front cardi, maybe you find a solid steel gray button up cardi that you love. The point is to find your fashion "real" look. That look that makes you feel confident and special. I am here to give you ideas, to inspire you to be beautiful and unique, not make you a carbon copy of me. Please don't do that, one of me is enough! Ha, ha.

Next week will be little different as my photographer/daughter is not always available to take my pics, so you might be getting a little lower quality photos, but my goal is the same, to encourage you to feel and dress like the actual woman you are. Until next time!

Today I am linking up with Jess at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish for Turning Heads Tuesday.

All Photos by Rebecca Trumbull, Makeup by Rachel Christensen

Spring Colors: Lilac Gray and Buttercup


Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull , Makeup by  Rachel Christensen

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull, Makeup by Rachel Christensen

Today you'll see the second outfit in my Spring color series. The color emphasis is on Pantone's Lilac Gray and Buttercup. I found the button up at a thrift store. We had a hard time finding a similar color, but here is a possibility. The bag I found on clearance at JC Penney and I really like it. This purse is roomy, but not overwhelming. I have a tendency to put everything in my bag. The muted color enables it to be carried with many other outfits, and the gold chain gives it a classy look without making it heavier. We found a similar bag at Kohl's.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull, Makeup by Rachel Christensen

The buttercup tee (another thrift store find) has an embellished neckline which goes well with the gold on my bag and shoes. We found a similar embellished tank top at Macy's. The skirt, simple black leggings, shoes, and yellow bangle are all second hand store finds but we were able to find you some inspiration from some other stores. Here is a skirt from Kohl's, black shoes from DSW, and a bracelet option on Etsy. As you can tell, I love to thrift shop. If I had been born in an earlier century, I would have been a pirate! Arrrrrrrrrggggg! I was excited to see that the low chunky heel is making a come back!

Obviously, the outfit could be retrofitted for summer simply by getting rid of the leggings and wearing a cute pair of sandals or espadrilles. Carry the button up as a covering for overly air conditioned shops or restaurants and you are all set.

Since, this blog is all about inspiration, I would like you ladies to start digging for treasure in your own closets. See if you have any of Pantone's Spring color line up. Throw an outfit together and have someone take a picture. Then send it to me via a Facebook message or you can email it to me. If you take a pic on your phone you can just text it to my email at guineapigtrekie@yahoo.com. I would love to see how I have inspired your fashion sensibilities and you might even get your pic posted!

Now it's time for our next Closet Clean Out Tip.

Closet Clean Clean Out - Tip 3 - Skirts and Dresses

I really do not know why I have so many skirts and dresses. I think it stems from my upbringing. Being raised in the church we always dressed up for Sunday service. As far as that goes, my mother used to make me wear dresses when I was in elementary school. Being a tomboy I grew to loathe skirts and dresses, although, I never stopped wearing them to church...until recently. However, I still do wear a skirt for work once in a while and if my husband and I splurge on a show I dress up.

Once again, I would say, start by organizing. You can arrange by color, length or type of skirt, or seasonal. The same goes for dresses. If you have room you might want to hang from shortest to longest. Organization is for your benefit, so figure out what is going to work for you. As you begin to organize take a hard look at what skirts and dresses you have. Do you love it? Does it fit? Is it in style?

Actually that is not a valid question any more. What isn't in style? Mini vs. maxi, plain vs. print, plaid vs. floral, a-line vs. pencil, pleather vs. leather.....anything goes! Style is what you make it. A dress you wore in the 80's may no longer be in style, but if you throw a chunky sweater over it, or add a black moto jacket and a pair of over the knee boots you can make it work. That's not something I have to worry about, since I can't fit into any dresses that I owned in the 80's. Ha, ha.

I have found that if I am unsure about a particular item, I put it in a pile, then when I have a significant number of items I try them all on. The item has to answer several questions: Does it have a slimming or smoothing effect? Is the pattern or color complimentary? Could I pair it with other items I have to make it work for me, like wearing a dress with a jacket or sweater over the top, or wearing a skirt with a wide belt and a tee shirt or tank top. How can I update my look if it is something I really love? I am getting better at putting things in the donation box if I am not absolutely convinced it works for me.

I hope as you reorganize your skirts and dresses you will be thinking about some of the things you have read here on my fashion blog. As you saw today, I paired a skirt with leggings, something I have never done before. Think outside the box, after all, you are women and we are more like spaghetti than waffles.

Be sure to come back next week. We'll have another Spring outfit and more tips on cleaning out our closets. 

All photos by Rebecca Trumbull, Makeup by Rachel Christensen

Layers of Fun: Middle Earth

We talked about our foundational layers in last week's post which you can see by scrolling down to the bottom of the page. This week we'll look at a few images of clothing that can be worn over the bedrock or under layers. A lighter weight option is a simple button up shirt. The gingham choice is a looser fit, whereas the other is fitted.

Another option is a lighter weight turtleneck sweater. This black, thrift store find is made of silk. Wearing this with black leggings makes me look sleek, but I would not be caught dead in a pair of leggings without a tunic or dress that covers my behind, so I top the turtleneck and leggings with another thrift store find, the leopard print dress.

Other middle earth layers can include tunics and vests as seen below. I do not like the way the vest makes me look heavier, but when you see it under the jacket I chose for next week's post you'll see why it works.

Finally, we need to have a few bottoms. Slacks, leggings (as seen above) or narrow leg trousers are just a few of the options available to cover our lower selves when the weather is cold. I love to dress in skirts as well, and we'll talk more about those in a future post.

Thanks for peeking in as I learn more about how to dress myself for a stylin' granny mama look. 

Next week, the Outer Limits!

 

*All Photos By Rebecca Trumbull, Makeup By Rachel Christensen

Layers of Fun: Bedrock

Since it is still winter in the midwest, I thought it would be beneficial to start our fashion walk with layers. I am a layer fanatic and I will give my daughters Rebecca and Rachel the credit for teaching me about layering and all things fashion. What is more fun that being able to wear as many of your clothes as you can at one time, and still look fashionable?

In today's post we'll start with the under layer or what I call the bedrock. This is your foundational layer. This layer should lay close to your skin. This will include your underwear. Now what sort of underwear you wear is entirely up to you. This blog is meant to help you feel comfortable and fashionable in things you are already used to wearing. If you wear cotton panties, by all means keep wearing them. If you wear a thong, you go girl! There are so many options out there and you are in charge of you. In addition to your underwear you can also consider hose, tights or leggings as well as slips and shape wear part of the bedrock. 

Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

After we have all our under layers on, we can think about actual clothing. I usually wear a tank top, but any type of cami or even a thin tee shirt will do. What you wear, might be determined by how you wear it. If you are layering a button up blouse over a long sleeve tee and want to coordinate the pattern on the blouse with the color of your tee then you might be wearing a crew neck. Maybe you are looking for simple practicality and just want to be warm, then a cami or tank top that doesn't show is appropriate.

Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

The real trick to the bedrock is layers without bulk. If your under layer is too thick or covered in buttons or embroidery, etc. the over layers may look wrinkly, or, God forbid, make you look heavier. So always think layers without lumps. Think of layer cake. A beautiful cake will have frosting free of crumbs or blobs of unnecessary decoration. As we dress, we want to appear smooth, light and beautiful.

Obviously layering is not for everyone. I am a post menopausal woman and while I still have micro hot flashes I was one of the fortunate women who flew through the change easily; that's not true for everyone. My mother-in-law was thrown into menopause after having a hysterectomy and likens her hot flashes to panic attacks with your skin on fire. During that stage of her life she would not be found in the amount of layers I am used to wearing in the winter. If you are in the throes of the change then layering can be as simple as a short sleeve blouse under a cardigan. That way, when you are flashing you can take the cardi off and still look polished. No sweat! (Pardon my unforgivable pun!)

Next week we'll explore Middle Earth!