WIW: dark red inspiration

Just visited Tanya's post on the dark red with pink & orange ensemble. It's fun to read that Tanya looks forward to Angie's Friday ensembles and duplicates them right away. I have been trying to do that more often lately, too, though sometimes I just can't quite work it out, so I move on. The ensembles are often just the nudge I need to focus my morning's outfit creation. I'm not one to plan ahead, even though I'd like to be that person. More often, I have a few possibilities floating around in my head and then try to cobble together an outfit in the morning from those ideas.

Yesterday I got as far as dark red shoes with Angie's post, but didn't pair any pink or orange with them. Today I did the full-on ensemble.

Here are the outfits:
1 (worn Saturday to a morning meeting and haircut appointment): bright pink cap-sleeve scoop-neck tee (Caslon); boyfriend jeans (Fidelity, Rocco); tan cotton jacket (Caslon); floral metallic belt (Fossil); taupe croc-embossed cross-body bag (Brahmin); dark red patent leather loafers (Munro), silver and brass necklace and earrings (Marjorie Baer), berry red lipstick (Chanel Rouge Coco, rouge orage).

It started raining, and I wanted to wear a coat. So I changed after the haircut appointment. I think I like this next version better. . . .

2-3 (worn for day off, at home and shopping): same bright pink tee, boyfriend jeans, metallic floral belt, taupe cross-body bag, and dark red loafers. Replaced the tan jacket with dark red 3/4-sleeved cardigan (Halogen), added bright coral trench coat (Eddie Bauer), removed necklace.

 4-6 (worn to work Friday): red floral lace tunic (made by me); black knit wide-leg pants (J.Jill, Wearever collection); dark red lace-up Mary Jane pumps (Naya); olive jacket (Laundry by Shelli Segal); taupe hobo bag (Aunts & Uncles); brushed silver twisted hoops.

Thanks for the inspiration, Angie! Dark red perked up my mood. The haircut helped a lot, too. :)

Thanks for looking! Thoughts and suggestions are always welcome.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: a few outfits, less than inspired

Here are some outfits from this week. None are making me super happy. I'm in kind of a style funk this week. Not to be confused with a funky style. It's about time to get my hair trimmed, and that may be why I'm feeling less inspired lately.

Monday's work outfit (1-3): gray-blue linen asymmetrical faux-wrap skirt (made by me); chambray blue ribbed tank (Eddie Bauer); gray-blue 3/4-sleeved cardigan (J.Jill); metallic cap-toe ballet flats (AGL); taupe hobo bag (Aunts & Uncles). This skirt was my tryout of a pattern; I do like it enough to make it again, in a fabric that I like better. I like the linen; I'm just not crazy about the color, which I find hard to style. I'm wearing it here with an old J.Jill cardi.

Tuesday's outfit for day off and piano lesson (4-6): taupe tee (Caslon); rolled cutoff shorts (Lucky); khaki web belt (Eddie Bauer); fuchsia-navy-olive on cream falling vines cardigan (Nic & Zoe); cream multi-strap cork-soled sandals (Haflinger); leather wrap bracelet with silver and brass beads (Lucky); brown stone necklace (gift). This outfit felt comfortable but lackluster. I wore it out shopping and thought I might look a little too effortless (i.e., without the chic part--LOL).

Wednesday's outfit for morning off and breakfast out (7-8): gray chino shorts (Eddie Bauer); black and aqua wallpaper print tee (made by me); silvery belt with rhinestones and studs (Calvin Klein); denim jacket (AG, Robyn); hobo bag (Aunts & Uncles); black ankle strap sandals (Dansko). These sandals are ancient and not in style, but I keep them because I love them. They seem a little less out of style lately than in the last few years, so I dragged them out for part of a day.

Wednesday's outfit for teaching sewing in the afternoon (9-10): green swing tank top with contrast yoke (made by me); denim skirt with layered front (Tribal); gray platform sandals (DV by Dolce Vita).

Thursday's outfit for a day off (11-13): gray chino shorts (Eddie Bauer); gray, blue, and white block print tee (Nally & Millie); light gray long cardigan (Halogen); footwear indecision: cream multi-strap cork-soled sandals (Haflinger); cream platform sandals (Naot); taupe lace-up sandals (P. Monjo); metallic suede high-top sneakers (Paul Green); gray low-top leather sneakers (Josef Seibel, Caspian).

Anyone else in a style funk lately? Is it an end of season thing? Or does my hair theory make sense--in need of a hair trim, so I can't get enthused about dressing either? In any case, I'm not exactly worried. I managed to get clothes on myself and I'm pretty sure my style spark will return.

Thanks for looking! I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: semi-tuck again, simple neutrals

It occurred to me to semi-tuck this top that I made, which I previously have only worn untucked. It seemed to work best that way, and yet it was an awkward length for me to wear like that. Semi-tuck to the rescue.

The outfit (worn to work): pieced top in stone linen knit and cotton knit (made by me); gray linen blend slouchy pants (made by me); stone and cream belt (Annette Goertz); metallic cutout peep-toe booties (Paul Green, Tacy); taupe hobo bag (Aunts & Uncles); darkened silver disc earrings with etched circular detail (gift).

This outfit felt great to me. It is rather subdued for me--no print in sight. I've been dressing a little more minimally lately; guess it's my summer mode.

Thanks for looking! Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: side semi-tuck, preppy boho

I jumped on the semi-tuck bandwagon late, but now I can't remember how I got dressed without it much of the time. This trick just opens a lot of possibilities--allowing me to wear tops that I wouldn't like completely tucked or completely untucked.
This outfit seems a departure for me, in that it involves fuchsia (not one of my usual colors), and the design on the tee strays into an arts-and-crafts look that I'm not too comfortable with. I think it's just this side of not-me, though, so I was fine with it today. Especially since I was teaching a couple of sewing classes, and the tee illustrated some relevant techniques. The outfit strikes me as a little preppy, a little boho, and not really anything of the MAD Glam (Moody, Arty, Draped Glam) that Angie used to describe my style recently. She was referring to a particular outfit, but it does seem to be a kind of aspirational descriptor for me.
The outfit, worn to teach sewing classes:
Fuchsia tee with reverse applique and print trim (an old Benetton tee, remade by me); navy chinos (Caslon); denim ballet flats with navy patent cap toe (AGL); cognac belt with floral cutout design (Fossil); navy and tan satchel (Dooney & Bourke); brushed silver twisted hoop earrings.

Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome! Thanks for looking.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: sneakers and a dress

Well, I did it--I ventured out of the house in my high-top sneakers and a dress today, and went to work in the getup! I had some reservations about it, but I enjoyed wearing them together. One of my coworkers said, "It's different. . .," and another said, "I'd totally wear that!"

I kept the look pretty tame, except for the dress-sneakers juxtaposition. I don't think this combination looks sophisticated or polished (doesn't strike me as sporty luxe), but I thought it could pass for arty or funky. Maybe I'm deluding myself, though.

The outfit, worn to work (1-3): sage knit sleeveless high-low hem empire-waist dress (Eileen Fisher); sage linen knit drape-front cardi (made by me); pewter leather & suede high top sneakers with hidden wedge (Paul Green); nude fishnet stockings (Commando); silver and brown stone pendant (gift); silver dangle hoop earrings (Marjorie Baer); taupe hobo bag (Aunts & Uncles)

And here are two white jeans outfits worn on preceding days this week, for days off.
(4-6): mauve floral cap-sleeve ballet-neck tee (made by me); taupe and cream chunky hand-knit sweater (Totally Brill by Amy Brill); white bootcut jeans (Lucky, Lolita); pewter cutout belt (Fossil); taupe lace-up sandals (P. Monjo).

(7-9): gray-taupe ruched v-neck tee (Caslon); white bootcut jeans (Lucky, Lolita); bright coral 3/4 sleeved cardigan (Halogen); pewter cutout belt (Fossil); print scarf (Asian Eye); pewter and taupe sling-back Mary Janes (Fidji); taupe hobo bag (Aunts & Uncles).

What do you think of the sneakers and dress? Does it look stylish or like I maybe getting a little, I don't know, maybe forgetful, like I forgot to change my shoes before leaving the house?
I welcome your thoughts and suggestions on any of these outfits!


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: sweater & contrasting tank and other outfits

One of my recent work outfits this week was inspired by Angie's ensemble: "sweater & contrasting tank." My version (second outfit below) is fairly low contrast, perhaps more tonal in effect. Does it work? I thought my bright coral cami would be interesting to try, but it was in the wash.

Then I was going to go for a similar effect today (third outfit below), but I didn't like any of the contrast options I had (again, I thought maybe the bright coral cami, but I haven't gotten to the laundry yet!). So I ended up with a kind of matching tank under my open-weave shrug.

The first outfit admittedly has nothing to do with open stitch sweaters and contrasting tanks; just catching up on some outfit posts.

The outfits:
1-3 (worn to work): dark ink with tiny white pinstripe stretch cotton slouchy pants (made by me); cream linen angled-hem top with contrast decorative stitching (made by me); tan belt (Trafalgar); mixed neutrals heeled oxfords (Fidji); navy and tan satchel (Dooney & Bourke).

 4 (worn to work): same pants as above; gray cami (Shimera); ink open-knit high-low hem sweater (RD Style); metallic peep-toe booties (Paul Green, Tacey).

5-7 (worn to work): black denim angled wrap skirt (made by me); stone long tank, worn ruched up (Emily Blu); silver and gray lace knit shrug (made by me); black sling-back Mary Janes (Think! Aida); black satchel (Elliott Lucca, Olvera).

Thanks for looking! I always appreciate your comments and suggestions.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: on vacation to visit family

I've just gotten back from a trip to visit my parents in the Midwest. While there I managed to take a few outfit photos. A highlight of the trip was a chance encounter with Parsley at the mall!

A couple of the outfits feature a new pair of sandals I bought while I was away: cream multi-strap flat sandals with a cork footbed, by Haflinger. I bought them as my entry into the Birkalike trend. They are super comfy. I'm not sure they look all that much like the trend; what do you think?

The travel outfits:
1-2: black tie-hem shorts (Lulu-B); white tank (Semantiks); blue hand-knit open-weave sweater vest (made by a friend); cream Birk-alike flat cork-bed sandals (Haflinger); black and animal-print cross-body bag (Aimee Kestenberg).
3 (worn to the mall, where I ran into Parsley!): same black shorts (Lulu-B); silver linen tank (Eileen Fisher); black and gray print mesh knit cardi (made by me); cream Birkalike sandals (Haflinger).
4-5 (worn to dinner, to celebrate Mom's birthday): 8-panel linen skirt with interior ties (made by me, inspired by Eileen Fisher find below); white cami; white lacy knit v-neck cardigan (Nic & Zoe); cream platform sandals (Naot); black and animal print cross-body bag (Aimee Kestenberg).
6-7: khaki shorts (Caslon); white cami (Shimera); white lacy knit v-neck cardigan (Nic & Zoe); cream Birkalike sandals (Haflinger); black and animal print cross-body bag (Aimee Kestenberg).
8 (worn for flight home): white boyfriend jeans (Kut from the Kloth, Catherine); white cami; taupe cowl-neck sweater (AllSaints, Elgar); black, gray & silver narrow belt; black sling-back Mary Janes (Think!); taupe hobo bag (Aunts & Uncles).
Outfits I didn't get photos of included ones with my black harem pants (Eileen Fisher), which I wore on the plane with another cardigan not shown here, and out to dinner with the tops in outfit 3.

Thanks for looking! Any suggestions and comments are welcome.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Shorts options & today's outfit

On my cutoff outfit post earlier this week, CocoLion suggested I try shorter shorts. I dug around in my shorts drawer and found a couple of pairs I had hung onto. They are both pull-on styles, in linen or linen/cotton blend, with wider legs. I wondered if they could pass for the current short culotte styles we're seeing.
They are not pressed, so try to look beyond the fold marks from being stashed in the drawer.

I tried them on with the rest of my outfit today, shown here as well.

1-3: stone linen pull-on shorts (J.Jill); tiered tank in butter cream (CAbi); olive 3/4-sleeved cardigan (Halogen); brass and silver bead wrap bracelet (Lucky); arty dangle earrings with ceramic bead and silver disk; ivory platform sandals with ring detail (Naot)
4-6: black linen/cotton pull-on shorts with drawstring (made by me), with same as above.
7-9: as worn today, with DIY cutoffs (Lucky); cream belt; and taupe-gray hobo bag (Aunts & Uncles).

Should I revive either of these linen shorts, and wear them out of the house? If so, I could put together outfits that go better than these tops with them. Don't worry about offending me on the ones I made, either--they got plenty of wear, back when they were in style. I was a little heavier then, too, and filled them out a bit more.

Thanks for looking and sharing your thoughts.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


A treatise on the oxford hunt

The backstory
My oxford hunt continues, even though I am ostensibly participating in Aesthetic, Ascetic August. I ordered metallic oxfords from Banana Republic and, after helpful forum guidance, returned them. Ultimately I didn't like the synthetic lining or the shape of the shoe on my foot.

Then I bought the Stuart Weitzman brogues on the last day of NAS, figuring that since the sale started in July, my purchase could be considered a continuation of July's sale purchases. They didn't work out, though, so I returned them. (I swear they fit in the store! They felt clearly too small at home.)

My impulse for oxfords is to have a pair that goes with things that my  well-loved caramel Born Arlettas don't go with. And that I like better than my current second pair of oxfords--black Josef Seibels. I have worn the Seibels quite a lot, though I find them a little hard to style without having them feel too, I don't know, unflattering? I was thinking a different style in black could work as my not-brown oxford, but I was also wanting metallic--and then you all opened my eyes to the possibility of metallic instead of black. Then there is the question of vibe, or oxford genre. What I like about my Seibels, besides the #1 consideration of comfort, is that they are kind of funky while also being, well, a traditional, or classic shoe (an oxford, after all). What I don't like about them is that they are on that razor's edge between funk and frump, and admittedly some might not actually see the funky or arty possibility in them.

The latest attempt
Yesterday, I came home with a very different, quirky pair of oxfords. Not metallic and not black, but a blend of colors that works well with a lot of my wardrobe. They are a style called Fox, in the Cliff Dweller line from Cydwok, and they are a "painted" leather in shades of green, deep teal, brown, taupe, and a little tan.

The photos
Here they are:
1: a photo I found on the web. The colors in mine look deeper and less light-green.
2-4: The shoes on me, with the outfit I wore yesterday. I have not taken any other styling photos yet--sorry--but I will do so when I get a chance.

The last photos are of my outfit yesterday:
5-6: Dark brown shorts (Eddie Bauer); turquoise v-neck tee (Caslon); tan belt (Trafalgar); jean jacket (AG, Robyn); caramel oxfords (Born, Arletta); navy and tan satchel (Dooney & Bourke).

More thoughts--pro and con
A little more info on the oxfords: They are very comfortable. You've probably heard me go on about my Think! sling-back Mary Janes (the Aida style below) and how great the arch support is in them. They are a no-fail shoe when I need comfort all day. I imagine these oxfords to be similar, because they are made with a steel shank and molded arch support. Unlike the Think! shoes, these have a negative heel, like the old Earth shoes (not sure if Earth still does that). I never got on that bandwagon, but I do find these comfy. I really like the idea of an oxford that I could count on for great support, for my increasingly fussy feet (recent plantar fasciitis).

On the other hand, I have been aiming for more sophistication in my style: more tapered-toe shoes, more jackets or stylish pullovers. Pre-YLF, I lived in closed-back clogs by Ariat--they were stylish, but still clogs--with my jeans, tees, and cardigans. I have an arty streak and a little bit of boho, but artsy-craftsy is not my style.

I did try on these shoes with a few things but didn't get photos. I liked them with chino pants, especially rolled up, and I can see them with skinny or narrow jeans (what footwear does not go with those? Okay, maybe clogs. . . ). I thought I might wear them with narrow skirts that hit at or just below the knee. I might even wear them with my Eileen Fisher harem pants.

What say you? Am I fooling myself with these shoes, looking at them through comfort goggles? Or are they an arty style that could work for me?

If you've stayed with me this far, thank you. And thanks in advance for your thoughts!

eta: new photos of the shoes. . .

7: on my feet

8: with what I'm wearing today 

9: with harem pants and tops I'm wearing today

10: with harem pants, denim shirt and wine hi-lo sweater

11: with wine corduroy skinnies and sweater

The shoes are an easy match for my browns and greens, but I wanted to see how they would go with black and wine, and of course, the harem pants, which I mentioned. Not sure about oxfords and harem pants, but that kind of potential pairing is one thing that makes me hesitate about another brogue style like my Borns.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


WIW: cutoffs & a favorite apron

Today I finished the task I procrastinated on yesterday: cleaning out my sewing room to prepare for the delivery of new sewing furniture tomorrow. I worked hard, my husband and I cleared out the old furniture, and I still had time to visit the mall to return the gorgeous Stuart Weitzman oxfords that didn't fit at home the way they did in the store (shown below in Finds). (Which I never quite understand, but it happens!)

Then we got a call during dinner to notify me that my sewing furniture will not be delivered tomorrow, due to a driver's family emergency. (I gotta wonder why a delivery company doesn't have backup drivers!) So, since I'll be out of town next week, I won't get it till two weeks from now. At least I'm prepared.

Oh, and I cooked dinner. In the interest of "keeping it real," I thought you might like to see my favorite apron. Okay, it's also my only apron. But with an apron like this, who needs another one?

The outfit (worn for a day off):
1-2: DIY cutoffs (Lucky); mauve floral print cap-sleeved tee (made by me); tan belt (Trafalgar); denim ballet flats with tan belt detail (AGL); beige cotton jacket (Caslon); navy and tan satchel (Dooney & Bourke). I wore the jacket to the mall, since I knew it would be cool inside.

3-4: the at-home version, to cook dinner. Indoor shoes are old pink double-strap sandals (Mephisto, Mobils); dog-print apron (made by me). The apron makes me happy. I just love it. It doesn't have to match a thread of what I'm wearing under it.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →