Print Mixing Mash Up - All the Outfits

After doing a longer series, like the one I just finished, I like to do a post that shows you all the outfits in one place, side by side. When I started this series, I let all of you know that I was a newcomer to print mixing when I started fashion blogging. The question could be asked, why even bother? Many people enjoy more solid colors, monochrome looks and outfits that incorporate prints in a more conservative manner, so why the push to print mix?

There are several rationales I have for learning how to mix prints and I’d like to take a moment to share these with you, before I do the recap of the past few weeks’ outfits.

1 - Print mixing challenges our brains.

I have a history of dementia in my family and understand that there is a very real possibility that I or one of my brothers, or all three of us, could end up with dementia later in life. The reality is I am much closer to that now, than I was 20 years ago. All the research has shown that there are factors that can help delay this unfortunate inevitability for many of us. Diet, exercise and using our brains by learning new things like taking a class, learning an instrument or a language can all prolong our brain health. Even the practice of putting outfits together helps our brains. Every time you challenge yourself to think outside the normal box you are helping your brain health. Print mixing is a great way to challenge your neural net to grow and expand.

2 - Print mixing is good for the environment.

There is a lot of focus these days on waste management. With the need for plastics and metals decreasing in other countries, we are now looking at a garbage and recycling dilemma in our own neighborhoods. Buying used clothing and being a consumer who makes better choices is a way to help our growing garbage problem. I’ve heard many people say, “Well, my not using a straw isn’t really going to make that big of a difference.” That may be true, but each individual who makes that choice, adds up to a great number. The same is true for clothing. Thrift stores are popping up all over, and with online retailers, like Poshmark, Thread Up and more, you can buy and sell used clothing with ease (something that is on my list to learn how to do).

What does that have to do with print mixing? Think about your closet. What percent of your clothing are solids and what percent are prints? If you are like me, I have a plethora of prints. To only wear these fun pieces with solids, really does the piece a disservice. Think about how many more outfits you could have if you started mixing in prints with prints. And the best part is, you didn’t have to go out and buy anything. Your new outfit came entirely from your own closet.

3 - Print mixing is fun.

There is something about putting prints together that really appeals to my inner artist. Just like a interior decorator, a painter or a photographer like to create spaces and pictures that have a message or are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, putting outfits together can be a very satisfying activity. I’m sure you are all familiar with those adult coloring books that flooded the market a few years back. Probably a few of you got one or two for Christmas, or a birthday. I did. What is it that makes coloring so much fun? We might think of it as a rather mindless activity, but in reality, coloring is another way to exercise our brains. I love to put different colors together to see how they are going to look. I especially love putting colors side by side that I normally would not have thought to put together. like pink and orange, purple and red or black and navy.

I do hope that this series has prodded, inspired and encouraged you to look at your wardrobe in a whole new way. Here are all the outfits side by side.

Yellow striped tee.

Multiprint skirt.

Plaid bomber jacket.

Checked trousers.

Printed dress.

I hope you enjoyed this look back at all of the outfits. Have a great Tuesday and be sure to check back on Thursday for the intro to this years Spring/Summer Pantone color series.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.





Print Mixing Mash Up - Printed Skirt - Outfit 1

This week, I’ll be styling a printed skirt two different ways. Remember, the goal of this series is to show you how you can take a printed piece in your closet and combine it with another printed piece for a print mixing mash up that will make all your girlfriends and colleagues envious of your print mixing panache.

Today’s outfit centers around a thrifted Gianni skirt I have had in my closet for a while. I love purple, so when I found this purple, blue mix, I thought it would be fun to work with. I like the a-line style. It is light weight, but fully lined, so easily wearable for at least three of our four seasons. You could probably extend its season into winter if you wore leggings or a heavy pair of tights. Since we are talking about and looking forward to spring, I wanted to make both of these outfits more transitional looks.

Print mixing - spring 2019

What I love about this skirt, is its ability to change hues. When you look at the skirt by itself, the purples look more purple and the blues look more like a denim blue. When I started looking for a piece to pair this with, I saw this Knox Rose top that I found at Bass Pro Shop a while back on the clearance rack. I thought, even though the colors weren’t exact, at least they were similar enough that it might work. Once I put the SO sweater, from Kohl’s, with it, I knew I had a winner.

Technically this print mixing, isn’t so much mixed, because the print on the top is not next to the print on the skirt. However, the whole point of trying to print mix is to think outside the box. I would have never put these two pieces together, had I not been thinking about mixing prints and colors. The top, which is more of a greenish blue, looks as though it pairs perfectly with the blue of the skirt, just as the more reddish burgundy color on the top and the sweater, look as though they combine perfectly with the purple. Isn’t color wonderful? Ha, ha.

It was so cold when we were taking these pictures. My daughter was running back into the house after each outfit was finished, and she had on a hat, coat, gloves and boots. Ha, ha. My face is set in defiance of the blustery cold! That is definitely not my most flattering face.

Print mixing - spring 2019

I decided to draw on the little bits of yellow in the top for my necklace and purse. Once again, I would have never thought to pair yellow with this color combination, but once I put it together, I loved it.

By the way, those are little fleck of snow on my sweater, not dandruff or lint. Ha, ha . Just thought I had better clarify.

Print mixing - Spring 2019
Print mixing - spring 2019

I think this thrifted yellow Elle tote is a great number for spring. I love the shirring on the front, the sunflower yellow color and the metal rivets, rings and Elle charm. This just goes to show, you don’t have to spend lots of money to have a nice bag.

I have a tendency to get into a rut with my bags. Right now I am using my yellow thrifted cross body. It is so convenient for shopping. Often, if I am carrying a large tote like this one, which already has some weight to it, I overfill it and then wonder why my shoulder and back is bothering me. What kind of purse do you like to use?

Print mixing - spring 2019

These burgundy Naturalizer loafers were another thrift find. When I put the outfit together, I knew these would be the perfect casual finishing touch.

One of the things I like about thrift shopping is the ability to try different brands without spending a ton of money. I normally don’t buy high end. My hubby and I just don’t have the income, to support a shopping habit of that nature. Ever since I was a young girl, I have always been somewhat conscious of getting more for my money. My mom used coupons, made our clothes and made the most of what we had. Things were not always easy for our family, but I grew to appreciate the ability to save money by looking for cheaper options. Now when I thrift I am drawn to higher end name brands, because often they are a better fit and are well made. I still like my Kohl’s, Penney’s and Target clearance finds, but thrifting is always my first muse.

Print Mixing - Spring 2019

I hope you are enjoying this print mixing series. Let me know your thoughts. Have you done any print mixing in the last few weeks? Tell me about what you mixed. I love hearing from you and you are what keeps this blog going, so thank you.

I’ve included a few printed skirts to look over. These are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.


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.




Pantone Fall 2018 Recap

After a series like the Pantone color one, I usually like to do a recap post, to show you all the colors and the outfits I styled using those colors into one post. These colors this season were not what I would call common fall colors. I usually think of fall colors as being richer and darker hues like deep burgundies, earthy browns and garden oranges that make us think of pumpkins and fall leaves. While the Pantone Fall 2018 had a few colors that fit into my typical fall color box they had numerous ones that clearly stepped outside that box. Colors like Limelight, Mellow Rose and Crocus Petal provided a pastel palette choice for those who like to think brighter and lighter when the seasons change.

Enjoy this review of my Pantone Fall 2018 outfits.

Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018
Pantone Fall 2018

What did you think of this color palette this year? Do you like lighter, pastel colors or go for richer, darker colors when fall rolls around? Do you like to think outside the seasonal color rules, or are you like me and look forward to the seasons bringing you back to those colors you are familiar with and enjoy at that time of year? It really doesn’t matter any more. The joy of fashion today is that you can decide what you like to wear at any time of year.

I like that Pantone had added the classic colors to the color palette for each season. It allows me to add a more toned down color to each outfit keeping the outfit colorful, but no overly so. it would be easy to add a touch of any of these colors to a more neutral outfit. For instance, if you wanted to go for a monochrome look using a navy like Sargasso Sea, you could add a little color by throwing on a bright Russet Orange scarf or some Limelight colored beads. If you normally dress in more neutral tones try adding just a touch of color in your accessories to make your outfits more interesting and visible.

I hope you enjoyed this series. Check back on Thursday for more fashion fun.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

Pantone Fall 2017 - The New York Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

This week's color combo is a blend of soft shades of pink and gray. When I first saw the Pantone Fall 2017 color line up for both London and New York, I was surprised to see light pink featured on both palettes. Looking back I now realize that blush, which is all the rage right now, really is a very light version of pink. Light pink seems to be another neutral that can be paired with just about any color. For this look I chose to pair Ballet Slipper with Neutral Gray.

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

I really am in love with this neutral combination. There are so many shades of gray out there, think names like oxford, charcoal, heather and steel. The beauty of this gray is in its ability to go with any other color. It really is a neutral. I personally don't wear oxford gray very often. I feel it is too light. Steel gray is sometimes too blue and charcoal can be too dark for some people. Neutral gray seems like a perfect go-to choice when looking for a gray to pair with any color.

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

I put this outfit together thinking it would be a prefect choice for a work day. The Neutral Gray crop pants from New York & Co. are fairly light weight and work well for these still warm days that we are having here in the mid-west. I've styled these before here and here

To capture the Ballet Slipper pink I found this Neiman Marcus silk sweater set at a thrift store a few months ago. This is one reason I shop thrift stores so often. I would have never shopped Neiman Marcus as they are way above my pay grade, however I was able to find this beautiful set in a trending color for only a few dollars and it is in great shape. I have never had a sweater set before, For some reason they never appealed to me, or maybe I thought they weren't my style. However, when I saw this and then felt its smooth softness, I knew it would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

To give the outfit more of a fall feel, I decided to add a bag and necklaces that herald a coppery orange color. 

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray
Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

Once again, I chose my SO ballet flats. For work I almost always wear a flat shoe. Heels just aren't as practical for moving heavy textbooks. Here is the same style and it comes in a variety of colors at Kohl's.

Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray
Pantone Fall 2017 - NY Palette - Ballet Slipper and Neutral Gray

What do you think of these colors? Do you think they are too summery or do you feel they work well for a transitional outfit?

While we tend to move toward darker colors for fall, I think it is important to remain open to new ways of looking at our wardrobes and the colors we are used to wearing for each season. Either one of these colors would pair well with the rusty oranges, deep wines or dark pines that we are used to seeing in the fall. Be creative and try pairing your pink top with those burgundy skinny jeans. Or pull out that chunky neutral gray sweater and wear it over a dark green pair of leggings. You'll suddenly find you have even more outfits than you thought. 

I always appreciate your comments. Be sure to leave me some love below. Also check out my Instagram and Pinterest pages too. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

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

Thoughts on Thrifting - Part 1 - The Stores

Since I am a bit behind and unorganized during the summer, at least this summer anyway, I am foregoing my Beautiful Blogger Best column this week. Believe it or not, watching a six year old every day does not leave me a lot of time for working on the blog. Usually, by the time he goes home in the evening, I do not have any brain cells left to put together dinner, let alone a blog post for the next day. In lieu of that, today I am writing a post on one of my favorite fashion activities, thrifting.

Stocksnap - Matthew Henry

Stocksnap - Matthew Henry

My husband is a detectorist. He owns a metal detector and loves to hunt for treasures buried beneath the ground. His favorite finds are rings, especially gold or silver, but he loves to find any type of ring, even a child's adjustable one. I guess you could call me a "thriftorist". Ha, ha. I made a new word. Just like my husband loves to find treasure, I love to hunt for treasure of the fashionable type in thrift stores.

In my town there are several thrift stores. Savers is the largest and the one I go to every few weeks. I have found they have a large selection of gently used items and their prices are fairly reasonable. They also have frequent sales and rewards programs that motivate a treasure shopper like me to stop in more often. We also have Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a number of others like Plato's Closet, Clothes Mentor and The American Cancer Society thrift shop. There are also a number that I haven't yet checked out. As far as treasure hunting goes, I have plenty to choose from.

When looking for the best stores to treasure hunt in you might want to consider a few thoughts. 

1. Location. Since thrift stores are dependent on their own finds and on donations, finding stores in high trafficked locations will usually yield better used goods. Most of the thrift stores that I shop in are nestled with other retail stores. That being said, you can occasionally find uniques treasures in second hand retailers in out of the way places. 

2. Size. I won't be so bold as to say that the bigger the thrift store the better, but the same reasoning I used for location holds true for size as well. Many of the larger thrift stores give you more options. Savers has everything from furniture and electronics to bedding and shoes. My grandson loves to peruse the toys when we go in there, knowing he will be able to find some little treasure that grandma will buy for him. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing and unique small thrift stores. My Shop on Rugby Dr., is an example of a small boutique that features used upscale women's clothing and accessories here in Toledo.

3. Organization. This is a huge thing for me....not that I am so organized, but that I like my shopping environment to be. Clothing should be organized by type. For instance, groupings such as long sleeve blouses, skirts, and cardigans, are all helpful as I hunt for treasure. If the store is organized by a broader category, such as long sleeve tops, it will take longer to look through all the tops to find that one button up that I am searching for. It is also helpful when a store organizes their clothing by size, at least by small, medium, large, and so on. 

Another way various stores organize their racks of clothes is by color. I really like this, especially if I go in with a specific color item in mind. That way, I only shop those sections with the colors I am looking for, instead of combing through racks and racks of clothes. While it is true, you have to look for your size in the color you want, it does make shopping for the Pantone series that I do, much easier. 

4. Lighting. I don't know about you, but when I am shopping I like to have a bright environment. I want to be able to see the colors I am looking at, as well as be able to read the tags to check out sizing, materials and washing instructions. I also want to be able to check the item over for tears, stains or deformities. 

On a weekend trip earlier this summer my hubby and I checked out a few thrift stores in the area we went to. The one store was beautifully organized, but the lighting was very dim. While I did find a few things that I bought, I kept wanting to ask a staff person if they could turn on the lights. 

5. Cleanliness. While every thrift store has a bit of a second hand air to it, it doesn't have to look and feel like a dump. Floors should be fairly clean. I've been in thrift stores where I wanted to wash my shoes after I left. Changing rooms should be well attended, meaning the staff is removing clothing left behind and picking up things that were left on the floor. Believe me, people can be very rude when it comes to changing rooms...even at regular, full priced retailers!

Clothing should be clean. That doesn't mean it has been washed. Stores do not have the capacity to wash every item that comes in their donation doors. However, they can be particular about what gets put out on the floor. Find stores that take pride in the pieces of clothing they put out.

It is also helpful if the thrift store has a bathroom. I drink a ton of water and having a bathroom on site means they will get to keep my business. 

Thrifting is a great way to save money, find unique pieces that are just right for you and have fun. I love to thrift with my daughters and my best girlfriend back in New York. Of course it always involves lunch! You can find jewelry, purses, shoes and, of course, clothing for a fraction of the price you will pay at a regular retailer. 

Next week I'll be back with another post on thrifting where I'll talk about how to turn compulsive buying into shopping science. 

Did you like this post? Did you find it helpful? Are you a thrifter? I'd love to have your feedback in the comments section below. 

Have a great weekend!