WIW: Cropped flare jeans

As I read Angie's post this morning, Team Cropped or Team Full-Length Pants, I had to chuckle, because I'm wearing cropped flare jeans today, as a break from my cropped straight high-waisted jeans. I wear cropped pants a lot more than full-length ones these days. They are an easy style to wear in Seattle, as Angie pointed out, because you don't have to worry about soggy hems.

Today's outfit is more about the new tunic, rather than the jeans. I would have worn it with white jeans, but I'm going to be bicycling to piano lesson, and I feel less anxious about wearing darker blue jeans when bicycling.
The outfit: blue and white striped-floral tunic-length blouse (Sewing Workshop Berwick St. Tunic, made by me), cropped flare jeans (Mother, Insider Crop Flare); white sneakers (Cole Haan); floral watch (Olivia Burton).

Thanks for looking! I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

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WIW: when the stars of 2 trends align

Angie posted last spring about the Mom Jeans trend, and I am fully on board. My three pairs of Levi's Wedgie jeans--in cream, black, and medium blue denim-- have become my favorites. And last summer, the wrap top came back in style in many versions, as Angie noted. It has been a difficult style for me to wear, as I am not crazy about deep v-necks on me, and the wrap style is hard to keep in place without much bust to fill it out. I do have a sewing pattern for a wrap blouse that I like, however, which features more coverage across the front and a higher neckline. A few years ago, I made it twice , and I loved how the blouses came out, but I rarely wore them. Now I think I know why: I didn't have the right pants to go with them. At the time I made the blouses, I was trying to pair them with mid-rise boyfriend chinos, trousers, and jeans, which felt and looked a bit awkward. As Angie pointed out in her post about the wrap-top trend: "The tops work well with the high-rise bottoms trend because the waist tie and waistband are in the same position on the body."
Today I found I really like my wrap blouse with my high-rise Levi's. My wrap blouses need not be orphans any longer.

The outfit, worn for a day off and a walk to a local coffee shop:

Medium blue high-rise straight leg jeans (Levi's, Wedgie); Liberty print abstract floral wrap blouse in mauve, blue, gray, brown, and orange (made by me); blush slip-on sneakers (Mephisto, Korie); blush rain coat (Sosken); blush cross-body bag (Nordstrom); rose gold earrings and necklace (Kendra Scott).

Thanks for looking, and I welcome your thoughts!

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WIW: Neutral spring outfit

Angie's post with neutral spring picks happened to appear on a day I was feeling in the mood for spring neutrals. Today I wore a new jacket that I finished a couple of days ago, and the new blush coat that I decided to keep. I'm very happy with both; they felt great to wear, for a day off and lunch with a friend.

The outfit: Taupe floral denim jacket (made by me); stone-white cotton long-sleeve tee (OSKA); dark maroon-brown herringbone-weave cotton lantern-leg trousers (OSKA); white sneakers (Cole Haan); blush coat (Sosken); blush cross-body bag (Nordstrom).

These are my favorite neutrals, muted, cool-toned, combined in a low-contrast outfit.
Thanks for looking. I welcome your thoughts!

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Found? Spring raincoat

I posted here about whether to look for a replacement for my torn blush trench coat. Taking in the wise comments you all offered, I thought about what I really need and want. I decided I could forego a new coat and get along just fine. But I also am in the mood for something new, if the right one came along. And the right one would be a pretty shade of blush again--I still really like that color and want to continue wearing it this spring and summer. Or another color that strikes my fancy--I'm not opposed to something different, if I'm really drawn to it. And I would like something that is sporty, rather than classic--so not another trench.

I think the Sosken Honor rain jacket may be the winner. It was love at first try-on when it arrived. I love the color, the updated, oversized fit, the fabric (which is like a tech fabric, but really nice quality).

I waited to try the Zella Cinch Me parka, which arrived today. I tried it despite the color, which didn't thrill me in the online photos. I thought it might look chic in person. But it's too silver for me, and the fabric is more like a typical rubberized slicker. It's a great value, just not quite what I wanted.

In case it's of any use to others, I was disappointed by fit of the Kristen Blake Tech hooded trench coat that I ordered; the color was lovely, and the coat is beautifully made. But while the coat fit across the shoulders, it was too narrow at the hip for me. I didn't take photos.

So I thought I'd share photos of the Sosken and Zella coats, just fyi. And in case you want to try to talk me off the ledge with the Sosken, which is a big investment for a lightweight coat. I do tend to hang on to these things for a long time, so I think I can justify it. Plus, I wanted to show you my most recent (and final, for this season!!) addition to my sneaker capsule, and a new bag I made.

Photos 1-3: Blush rain coat (Sosken Honor rain jacket), new blush-silver slip-on sneakers (Mephisto Korie); pastel Pendleton stripe bag with blush snake print pleather (made by me).

Photos 4-6: Silver rain coat (Zella Cinch Me parka), same shoes and bag as above.

Thanks for looking, and I welcome your thoughts!

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WIW: A Very "Me" Week--Day 5

Day 5 of Angie's challenge to present a week of "very you" outfits. . .

Today I took a quick trip south of Seattle to Puyallup for the Sewing and Stitchery Expo. Usually I go for a couple of days, but this year, I didn't make plans to go. At the last minute, yesterday, a friend and I decided to go and check it out.

The event presents a challenge for dressing. The expo is set up at the state fairgrounds, in tents. Indoor climate is a bit unpredictable, and there is nowhere inside the tents to sit down and relax between classes or shopping, except in the food court areas. (We didn't have classes this time, since we didn't sign up ahead of time.) So you have to plan to be on your feet, on concrete, the whole time, carrying your bags, coat, and any purchases you make along the way.

On top of those considerations, I always want to wear certain things I have made, to show them to the pattern designers or to friends whom I will inevitably run into, both of whom are always excited to see our creations!

Here's the outfit I came up with, which served me quite well for my half-day run through the vendors' tents:

Greenish-gray lightweight tweedy wool trousers, with tabs at the hems (made by me, from Cutting Line Designs One-Seam Pants pattern); sage green cotton-cashmere long-sleeved tee (Majestic) under a cream wool-blend distressed chunky-knit pullover (Gro A Live); blush trench coat (London Fog); brown lace-up booties (Jo Ghost); native print Pendleton wool cross-body bag (made by me, from Paradiso Designs free bag pattern). Also carried, but not shown: blush vegan reversible tote (Joy Susan).

The pants are a test--my first attempt with the pattern--and I wanted to show them to Louise Cutting, owner of the pattern company, and get her advice on alterations to the pattern for the next pair that I make. I also visited Cheryl Kuzak at Paradiso Designs, to get some more bag supplies for my next handbag creation using a different pattern of hers.

I guess this outfit is pretty "me." It was hard to find just the right top to wear with the pants, which would go with the shoes and bag I wanted to  use. What a puzzle! I liked the way the distressed sweater really takes the pants into RATE (rough around the edges) territory.

What do you think? Does this outfit look like my style to you?

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WIW: A Very "Me" Week, Day 4

Day 4 of Angie's challenge to present a week of "very you" outfits. . .

Okay, today, no constraints: it's a day off, and I can dress as I wish. This is an outfit that is very much my day-off style. Or perhaps I should say was. . . . Lately, I've been wearing this formula of tee+cardigan+jeans less often, reaching instead for a simpler one of pullover+jeans. Part of that change has to do with the jeans I prefer wearing lately, which are high-waisted straights. I like those with shorter tops. I used to wear my trusted long cardis with skinny jeans, and I'm rarely wearing skinnies days. Today I put on a long cardigan with my mid-rise boyfriend jeans, which have also taken a back seat to the high-waisted straights lately. I always wear these with a belt, and usually the one I'm wearing today, my very favorite. I don't like the belt with my high-waisted straight jeans (I don't like the look on me, plus the belt is too long for them), and I miss wearing it!

What makes it me: Diffuse, low-to-medium contrast patterns; old stand-by formula of fun tee+cardi+jeans; a little bit of sparkle; a little bit of toughness; muted metals (rather than shiny); and olive!

Many of these are favorites, and pieces that I searched hard for: the jeans--I don't know how many boyfriends I tried on or bought before I landed on these, which are the perfect rise, fit, feel, length; the Chelsea boots are another Goldilocks find, just the right combo of refined and casual; the olive puffer and bag--this dark olive is my favorite neutral--it's a real treasure to find the color in styles that work for me.

The outfit: Mid-rise boyfriend jeans in a medium wash (Citizens of Humanity, Emerson); black, gray, sage, and cream blurry-starry-floral-like print tee (made by me); gray and cream animal print fuzzy cardigan (Free People, Out of Africa); studded brown and black belt with square burnished silver buckle (Suzi Roher); black Chelsea boots (Dune London, Peppie); olive puffer coat (Lauren Ralph Lauren); olive bag (AllSaints, Mast); muted silver half-moon earrings (J.Crew); studded narrow brown leather bracelet; cateye glasses (Entourage of 7); black aviator sunglasses (Prada).

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WIW: A Very "Me" Week, Day 3

Day 3 of Angie's challenge to present a week of "very you" outfits. . .

Again, a work day, so my constraint is to wear OSKA from head to toe, except shoes. And, because we are in the spring/summer season with our merchandise, I need to dress in spring/summer pieces, even though it is still very much winter outside.

Today's outfit feels more like "pretty much me," rather than "very me." I love the color, and I love the drapiness of these pants and top. The base outfit here has a dressier feel than I usually wear, but it does work for me because the style of the pieces have such a casual vibe. I tried the outfit with different toppers, but the denim jacket felt the most comfortable to me; it is part of the outfit that really makes this my style. I guess the only reason that I can come up with for why this outfit might not be totally me, is that it's not literally a jeans outfit.

The pieces: Purple viscose pants and top (OSKA, Eilea trousers and Aitira blouse, in iris); boxy lightweight denim jacket (OSKA, jacket Manami); silk chiffon print scarf in many shades of blue, with a hidden picture of a paraglider on it (Unbreakable Evolution, from OSKA), black half-d'Orsay flats (Free People, Royale); gray tweed-print puffer coat (OSKA); purple lightweight knit gloves (Jeanne Simmons); gray leather cross-body satchel (Olbrish, Mona); silver bicycle-chain bracelet, silver rounded-triangle hoop earrings.
P.S. I added a hat before I left the house, shown in pic 4 at the bus stop.

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WIW: A very "me" week, day 2

Today was a work day, so I dressed head-to-toe in clothing from the store where I work, OSKA Seattle (except footwear--we don't sell footwear).
So this outfit might not be entirely "me," as I might wear these items differently outside of work. I bought the jeans a while back, and I really bought them just to add to my jeans capsule. So I have worn them a lot with tops that I've made, or tops from other brands I like. My boss encouraged me to wear them to work, and I'm glad to be able to do so, since jeans are perhaps my favorite thing to wear.

Why this outfit is me: jeans!; booties with a tomboy vibe--I like shoes with some borrowed-from-the-guys elements; comfort

Why it might be a little not-me: I gravitate toward more subdued colors, and the bright plaid scarf is a departure from the more diffuse patterns I favor as well.

The outfit:
Tapered, side-zip, high-waist jeans (ISCHIKO, Wista); cotton pullover long-sleeved sweater with lower front pocket, in soft orange (ISCHIKO, Munica pullover, in kimchi); purple, orange, blue, green, turquoise, and off-white plaid slubby scarf (ISCHIKO); brown lace-up booties (Jo Ghost); gray tweed-print uffer coat (OSKA), brown and gray croc print satchel (Brahmin); purple lightweight knit gloves (Jeanne Simmons).

I'm hoping this challenge will help me recapture sense of my style. I feel I have a well-developed personal style, but it's all intuitive. I'm not good at describing it or identifying what it encompasses.

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WIW: A Very "Me" Week, Day 1

Taking up Angie's challenge to document a "Very YOU Week" of dressing, here's Day 1 for me.

On my days off, I generally wear jeans, for comfort, and a sweater, for warmth. I have a lot of t-shirts that I've made, in fun print fabrics, which I used to wear a lot with cardigans. Recently, I've gravitated toward pullover sweaters, though, and my signature self-made tees have languished. Today I really wanted to wear one of my t-shirts, and I discovered that the cardigans I like best and the t-shirts I like best do NOT go together. I couldn't come up with a combo I wanted to wear! (Dysfunctional wardrobe discovery #1!)

So I decided to wear a signature self-made tee with a pullover. I tried to expose the neck of the t-shirt a little bit, and I turned up the sleeves of the pullover to expose a few inches of the tee sleeves. Problem solved!

The outfit:
Black jeans (Levis Wedgie High Waist Straight), taupe, burgundy and black abstract rose-print long-sleeved tee (made by me); rose wool high-low hem boxy pullover (Eileen Fisher); charcoal snake-embossed sparkly oxfords (Mephisto); black trouser socks. For outdoors, added gray print puffer coat (OSKA); gray and brown croc-print bag (Brahmin); black knit gloves; and my black aviator sunglasses.

It's always a good day when the sun comes out and I can wear my sunglasses; they make me feel so cool!


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thinking of spring: my work wardrobe

I read Angie's post about Spring and Summer Trends with an eye toward the outfits I just selected for this spring/summer season at work. I work part-time at OSKA Seattle, where I am a sales associate and what OSKA calls a style coach. Each season, we are provided with some help in building a wardrobe out of the current collection; we get to choose a couple of outfits, and we can use our employee discount to round out the capsule.
The pieces I selected are the first several shown below in Finds. They are unusual colors for me, and the pants are a style I haven't embraced before--the track-pant look.
I tried them on today, combining them in some outfits with other OSKA pieces in my wardrobe.

The outfits:
1. Iris viscose top and pants together, top semi-tucked. Worn with metallic oxfords.
2. Same outfit, with lightweight denim jacket added, and worn with floral loafers.
3. The top and pants, with pearl hemp-knit asymmetric double-breasted jacket and metallic slip-on sneakers.
4. The top and pants, with long light gray open-front asymmetric cardigan, and black, white, and gray snake-print sneakers.
5-6. Same outfit as 4, but with the cardigan worn short (turned upside-down).
7. Top and pants, with blush and gray mini-stripe cardigan, worn with blush sneakers.
8. Iris viscose pants with moss asymmetrical variegated-rib knit top, worn with blush sneakers.
9. Same pants and top as 8, with lightweight denim jacket, worn with metallic slip-on sneakers.
10. Iris viscose pants, kimchi (soft orange) pullover sweater, plaid scarf, worn with metallic slip-on sneakers.
11. Pants with hems pinned up. (My left leg is pinned shorter than the right.)

I think my new work capsule is pretty firmly in the Sporty Luxe trend,
and the outfits I'm creating are perhaps just-flattering-enough, rather
than conventionally flattering. I'm thinking of shortening the pants, probably to the shorter length pinned in photo 11. What do you think?

I welcome your thoughts on the outfits I've created here, including any suggestions for other styling or footwear ideas. Thanks for looking!

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