WIW: adding interest to an outfit

I read Angie's post today before I got dressed for work, so I had her concepts in mind as I put the outfit together. I planned to wear this olive dress today, but I wasn't sure what accessories or footwear I would add. The dress can be kind of a blank slate for me, as I have lots of warm- and cooler-weather pieces to add to it. (Which is a good thing, because I will be wearing it often through December, as it is part of my work "uniform" this season.)

Today I was wearing my white sports watch, and when I put on the dress, I liked the crisp white watch with it. So I decided to try my stone colored knit double-breasted jacket, and then added cream-and-taupe sandals that also echoed the light tones of the watch and jacket. The jacket and sandals are bookends, and I would say the sandals also bookend my hair--thus, I used idea #4, bookending, from Angie's list. The chunky sports watch with a dress and jacket is a nod to  #2, irregular juxtaposition, and I would say the jacket itself incorporates this idea, as it is a double-breasted blazer made out of a very casual fabric, linen-cotton knit, with raw edges. To go further with #2, I might have worn my white sneakers, but I felt there was enough sporty-casual going on already here.
On the dressy or more feminine side, I added brass-toned earrings, a statement-y bolo necklace with a stone that echoes the light tones of the jacket, and a brassy bracelet. I like to wear brass jewelry with the color olive; I prefer brass to gold, because it's more casual and muted. Perhaps this would be considered shine, as in #1, color, pattern, texture, and shine, but it is shine on my terms, i.e., not too shiny! I defnitely thought of #1 when I added the bag with a burnished pewter faux leather and mixed denim-based prints. I feel like this bag really adds something to this otherwise pretty quiet, subtle outfit.

The pieces: Dress Jove in olive and jacket Bony, in pearl (OSKA); cream and taupe sandals (P.Monjo); bolo necklace (Madewell); brass earrings (Marjorie Baer); brass bracelet (Jenny Bird); white sports watch (Casio, Baby G); mixed print bag with pewter faux leather base and handles (made by me).

It was fun to invent and analyze an outfit using Angie's tried-and-true tips for creating interest. Thanks for looking, and I welcome any comments or ideas you'd like to share.

1

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

20 comments

WIW: birthday dinner outfit

Here's what I wore for my birthday dinner this evening. It's a dress I bought in Paris several years ago and wore on my birthday during that trip. So it has sentimental value to me, even though I don't wear it often. I like to use dinner out for an occasion as a reason to dress a little more than usual, even if I could just go to the restaurant in jeans.

The outfit:
Gray silk layered low-waisted dress; nude pumps (AGL); blush bag (Nordstrom); blush and rose-gold watch (Olivia Burton); fresh-water pearl bracelet (Lucky); rose gold necklace and rose gold with abalone earrings (Kendra Scott); bone linen sweater (Nic & Zoe).

Thanks for looking!
I appreciate any thoughts you wish to share.

1

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

47 comments

WIW: casual summer palazzo pants

I decided to try Angie's Outfit Formula: Casual Summer Palazzo Pants today, for a dinner party with family. I used formula 1: palazzo pants with a sleeveless shell and flat sandals.

The outfit: Black split-leg cropped palazzo pants (can't recall the brand, but they are several years old); boxy linen shell in olive, turquoise, silver-grey and black (made by me); flat ankle-strap standals (Eileen Fisher).

How did I do? Do you think these are palazzo pants? They don't seem quite like the current trend.

Thanks for looking!

26 comments

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.

1

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

18 comments

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!

1

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

36 comments

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!

1

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

29 comments

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?

1

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

27 comments

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).

1

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

12 comments

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.

1

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

19 comments

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.

1

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

11 comments