WIW 11.24-26 [three work outfits for a short week]

A more-casual-than-usual week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, and being extra busy for the short work week. The first two outfits didn't pass my feel test and I consider them "Feel Fails", outfits that may look alright, objectively, but made me feel off while wearing. The first outfit was simply not warm enough for the day (I was expecting it to be much warmer than it turned out), though I'd have been perfectly happy wearing it if the temps were 60F+; I also had tried very hard, unsuccessfully, to make that outfit work with black accents (including footwear) and I think I had some residual annoyance towards that throughout the day. For the second outfit, I'd gotten up a lot earlier than normal so wasn't quite fully functional when getting dressed; the style mix didn't feel right there. On the flip side, today's outfit makes me feel super happy! In fact I think I'll wear it again this Saturday for hosting our annual Friendsgiving dinner.

#2 - I started from this outfit on Pinterest, with the idea to wear all light blue with black accents. Initially there was a black belt and black booties, but ultimately I wasn't happy with the look so after much hemming and hawing and trying more black things, I simply tossed that idea and swapped the black for silver (belt) and gray (boots). Felt much better, if a bit too cold. Otherwise accessorized with soft hair (really good hair day! yeah!!) to offset some of the boyish lower half, silver circly earrings, and plum gloss for a touch of darkness. Trench to handle the gloomy weather and watercolor purse because I find it a cheerful (and fitting) option for wet weather. Were I to do this over for that particular day, I'd swap this silk blouse for my aqua sweater and swap the trench for a heavier coat.
  Newer: blouse, jeans, belt, boots, clutch
  Older: trench, earrings

#3 - This one started with the glittery rain boots, as it was pouring pouring pouring all day. The top half is a favorite weekend pairing, and the bottom was one my sleep-addled brain recalled wearing not long ago. As I said above, the mix of styles threw me -- I'd have been happier by swapping to either tall boots (for an overall rugged-cozy vibe) or a soft drapey tee (for an overall urban vibe). The outerwear is what made me realize what was off, since it looks more fully urban; for work I'd go the urban route,for weekend I'd go with the rugged-cozy (and maybe swap the hair up for a slouchy knit hat). Hair up because it's good for rain, then accessorized with dainty jewelry (spike earrings, key necklace) and rusty red-orange lip gloss for a touch of color. Trench for the rain, giraffe scarf for some extra warmth, and black lined clutch for a touch of chaos + fun print mixing. I will say that the feeling in this got better as the day wore on, so perhaps this should only be a partial feel fail ;)
  Newer: pants, boots, earrings, trench
  Older: shirt, cardigan, necklace, scarf, clutch
 
#4 - After the past two days "feel fails", today I relied on favorites: the boots/pants pairing, olive/navy color combo, and of course my favorite plaid shirt. It's surprisingly warm today (61F!), but I decided I wanted a jacket just the same. My sis gave me this knit blazer a little while back and I thought the BIG stripe would be a fun mix with the busy plaid. Accessorized with some glitz (giant crystal studs, sequin clutch) and finished with a swipe of cherry-pink lip gloss. This is definitely a happy way for me to wear brown ^^
  Newer: earrings
  Older: shirt, jacket, pants, boots, clutch

#5 - Put all the earring/lippie/ring detail photos together so they'd take less room.

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome!

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WIW 11.21 [ensemble: the dramatic maxi cardigan]

After seeing Angie's fun ensemble post with the maxi cardigans this morning, I took one look at the gloomy wet weather outside and was all-in for the casual version. I've had this sweater for years and years, though it's not gotten much wear this decade; it's vintage (early 70s?) and is one of the few pieces I've just never been able to let go of. I have been thinking all season about how to update the collar of this sweater to make it feel more current, and today realized that I could just fold it underneath. Easy peasy! Of course today I popped a giant scarf over the top so that's moot. Styled with the scarf/tee/jeans/booties ensemble combo.

Now I do realize that this is just about Volume To The Max and that it won't be everyone's cuppa. Being careful about the structure locations is really key here; this combo could easily swamp me, and probably does to some eyes. I was perfectly happy in it but certainly understand if others wouldn't be. So! Structure: I chose my shorter BF jeans because I knew that by rolling them up higher and exposing a little ankle it would add some structure; I added black knee-high dress socks to draw particular attention to that (plus for all the bookending lovers, along with the heathered charcoal tee which you can barely see, it adds a little bookending flair). Very refined, pointy, heeled booties also adds some, and the higher contrast brings even more attention to that structure point. Putting my hair up adds some more, choosing a scarf that's somewhat stiff actually adds a little as well, and the stiffer angular clutch adds the last bit of structure.

The scarf is tied in the "Split Muffler" method but folded asymmetrically to start with and left much longer; I also pushed the ends underneath to help keep everything from moving around. Accessorized simply because, well, it kind of makes enough of a statement already: just oversized crystal studs for a little sparkle, rusty red-orange lipstick to add a little extra color pop, and my biggest sunnies to keep with the scale of the rest of the outfit. No coat necessary today as it warmed up considerably, plus this is super duper cozy.

  Newer: scarf, earrings, clutch
  Older: tee, cardigan (vintage), jeans, booties

FWIW I'm 5'3", so this look is certainly wearable by petites. You just have to find a cardigan that works on your frame. Of course, it needn't be as crazy-dramatic as this one, high drama is just part of my style ;) EDIT: This outfit also draws the eye vertically particularly strongly. The light bits (scarf, booties) sandwiched between the dark bits (hair, tee, socks) coupled with the scarf left loooong and the cardigan being loooong all go a long way (hah!) to help with optical length.

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome!

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WIW 11.05,20 [two with the 'other' black booties]

Ok ladies, here they are. The 'other' black booties, which were actually the first black booties, in two outfits that I wore to work. As I mentioned the other day, this pair is throwing me a bit. While I generally avoid masculine footwear these were very refined so I thought they'd work for me. I actually bought them in spring but didn't wear them all spring/summer, finally pulling them out for their first wear just earlier this month.

#2, 11.05 - Probably too ambitious for the first outing with them, but my thought here was to pair with things that make me particularly happy (the culottes and the faux fur); it would have been well within my comfort zone to pair with tall heeled sleek boots, so flat masculine booties ended up feeling like a real stretch. Rich autumnal color palette of navy, rust, and black. Hair up to keep the neckline open for the turtleneck and furry vest, and cherry-pink lip gloss for a softer-stronger lip color. Doesn't show well in the photo but that little leo clutch is ponyhair so I've got lots of furriness going on there.

  Newer: culottes, booties, clutch
  Older: tissue turtleneck, faux fur vest, tights, earrings, sunnies

#3, 11.20 - Today I thought I'd be a bit less adventurous with the rest of the outfit. I enjoyed wearing olive with loads of white and bits of black this past spring/summer, and am also enjoying extending that concept over to fall/winter as well. This time I wanted to really minimize the black to help me get over the booties, so up went my hair; buttoned the shirt all the way up and pulled the collar out for a little preppy 70s touch. I rarely wear long earrings when my hair is up, but today I felt it needed a little something extra there. Finished with a deep rusty red-orange lipstick. I liked the idea of having the outerwear be black-and-white so I pulled out this faux fur trimmed black coat my MIL gave me over summer and paired with my little striped clutch.

  Newer: sweater, booties
  Older: silk shirt, jeans, earrings, coat, clutch, sunnies

#4/5 - Detail photos.

Objectively I like both outfits, particularly the second, but certainly felt much more out of sorts in the first. I'm not sure if that's due to me adjusting already or if it really was the outfit. More importantly though, I did find the shared components -- hair up, faux fur, retro sunnies, strong lipstick -- particularly interesting because they're all rather glam. I think that'll be the key for these booties for me, not that I'll need to pair with something necessarily girly but that I'll need to ramp up the glam. You won't hear me complain about that! What do you gals think?

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.

PS: I got these at Forever 21, and am sure they are based on some designer shoes. Anyone know? (Denise?) I'm curious!

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WIW 11.19 [dark print mixing]

As most of you know, I generally dislike wearing a lot of dark clothing at once. Wearing head-to-toe dark patterned clothing, on the other hand, perks me right up! Especially if there is a lot of lightness in the prints, as is the case with this marled black-and-white sweater and slouchy floral pants. I thought about cream booties for contrast but decided to let the pattern play shine so opted for charcoal peep-toe booties since it's (miraculously) still dry out; doesn't show well in the photo, but I've got on navy socks which peek out at the toes and from the cutouts on the sides.

Accessorized with candy pink lipstick for an extra girly touch, and for some glam chose giant crystal studs, double-coated mascara, and hair up. I don't know that I'd feel very happy in this sweater with my hair down; it's an overall darker lower-contrast look than shows in the photos so I'll likely be reserving it for hair up days. For outerwear I added to the print mix with my charcoal plaid coat and graphic striped clutch. Maybe it's a bit much but I'm highly amused to see all four prints at once ^^

I could easily don variations of this simply by swapping the pants out for another printed pair, and plan to do just that. Should work well with both of my windowpane pants, navy/black/white checked pants, red plaid pants, blackwatch plaid pants.... (I have a lot of checked pants, and these are just the dark ones!)

  Newer: sweater, coat, earrings
  Older: pants, booties, clutch

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome!

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WIW 11.18 [slouchy hat and winter shorts]

Quick post of today's outfit to help me get back into the swing of things! Worn to work, a few errands, then out for tacos later tonight.

Started with my beloved charcoal wool shorts and the slouchy plummy-burgundy hat, and decided it'd be fun \to wear with my cranberry turtleneck. Went for the easy pairing of black tights + black booties; I do rather wish I'd worn black ribbed sweater tights with this though, for both the added textural interest and the added warmth! It all felt a little dark so I popped my boxy cropped white-ish denim moto over the top, and pulled the sweater's long sleeves down for a cozier vibe. Finished the look off with some glam/rock elements: cranberry lipstick, leather-sleeved burgundy moto coat, faux-fur leo print clutch, and my biggest sunnies.

  Newer: moto, hat, booties, clutch
  Older: sweater, shorts, tights, coat, watch

As an aside, I'm happy to report that I'm getting more used to the sight and feeling of wearing these black booties; my other black pair, which are far more masculine (haven't shown you gals yet) is another story ><

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.

24 comments

WIW 11.10-14 [a full week of dry weather]

Hi all! Sorry I've been MIA, life has gotten super busy as it always does from Oct-Dec for me. I have been diligently taking my daily outfit photos, but not sure when/if I'll have time to post them all. At the very least, I wanted to pop in and share this week's outfits since it was magically dry and sunny the entire week, although it's been very windy (and still several more days of sun ahead; those of you in the PNW will appreciate how rare that is for this time of year). Of course that meant I had to take the opportunity to don things I typically have to save for dry days: floor sweeping hems (#2,3,5), velvet boots (#4), and leather-soled shoes (#6).

#2 - In honor of Angie's post that morning I thought it'd be fun to wear full-on fluid (jacket) and oversized (sequin tee, pants) fits. Structure comes from pointy shoes, the rigid denim of the jacket, exposed forearms/neck and my hair being up (with extra big pomp!). I think the lower contrast helps a little, too. Finished with a high contrast purse, aqua studs for additional slight color variation, and my trusty autumny plum gloss. This is a variation of an older favorite combo, swapping a faded turquoise tee and cream booties. And also probably the last day in a good long while where I won't need to wear a big coat outside *sigh*
  Newer: pumps
  Older: tee, jacket, pants, earrings, clutch

#3 - Loosely based on Angie's recent outfit and the Urban Equestrian ensemble... but subbing in big ol' 70s flares. I chose a long shirt because I liked how it highlighted the hi-low integrity of the jacket. Mixing some black (shoes) and brown (jacket) along with hair up to keep from looking too earthy, slightly-at-odds accessorizing with simple hoops (sporty) along with a pile of rings (glam?), and plum gloss to keep with the moodier color scheme. It doesn't show too well in the photo, but this jacket has blocky, square shaped shoulder pads which makes for a fun extra-pronounced shoulder line.
  Newer: jeans, coat
  Older: shirt, jacket, pumps, earrings, clutch   
 
#4 - For my anniversary, I decided to go with a simpler dress look since that's what hubby likes. He doesn't like the pomp-pony, but hey I was running late for work and that's what I had time for ;) Quite pleased with the gradient effect (one of my favorite things to do), and having the hair up highlights it further so that worked out nicely. Accessorized with pearl earrings that hubby bought me in Maui as an anniversary gift years ago along with a swipe of plum gloss. It got significantly colder this day so I piled on an extra chunky knit scarf on top of the coat knowing I'd be outside running some errands, and chose my leo clutch to keep with the black and white thing; very fond of the hectic print mixing happening with full-on outerwear here! We cooked up a delicious multi-course dinner (cheese and honey with toasted french bread, caprese salad, spicy tuna ceviche, roasted winter root veggies, and slow-cooked apple beef) and then cuddled in front of a space heater to watch some tv because our furnace went out earlier that day. Hubby also surprised me with a math book from the 1930s that I've been eying ^^
  Newer: jacket, scarf, coat, clutch
  Older: dress, boots, earrings
 
#5 - Still quite cold, especially with the furnace out (happily fixed later that day), so I felt that piles of clothing were in order. Wide leg hems aren't often the warmest option so I popped a pair of tights under the jeans. Paired with one of my warmest jackets and a big cozy scarf. On the surface a linen-blend sweater may seem like an odd choice, but I knew I'd be keeping the jacket on all day and didn't want to roast toooo much; since this dark brown jacket is faux leather (and fully lined) I knew I'd also need the extra breathability. Hair down for additional warmth, small nut earrings/triple-skull ring for bits of shine, and cherry-pink gloss for a little girly touch.
  Newer: sweater, jeans, jacket, sweater, scarf, coat
  Older: booties, earrings, clutch

#6 - Double moto action! Also a favorite blend of neutrals (white, cream, tan, gray, and black) with a pop of cranberry for both inner- and outer-wear. While these boots are primarily summer shoes in my climate because of the leather soles, I'm sure they are just as happy as I am with the sunny, dry (albeit cold) weather which makes it possible for me to wear them right now. I particularly enjoyed pairing them with white for a low contrast but not fully tonal look over summer, so adapted a more wintery version today with turtleneck and faux leather vest. Big gold hoops, fluffy curls, and pink lipstick to offset the slightly boyish feel, and spiked white purse to complete the full metal mix. As an aside, I really need to get the belt loops on this coat lowered a couple inches!
  Newer: boots, clutch
  Older: sweater, vest, belt, jeans, coat, earrings

#7 - Put all the earring/lippie/ring detail photos together so they'd take less room.

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome!

Hope you gals are all doing well! I'm expecting my schedule to calm down a bit shortly, so I should get at least a wee bit of time to pop in soon. Fingers crossed. *hugs!*

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WIW 10.21-24 [layering shirts under knitwear]

While I'd been off this type of layering for a while now, Angie's recent post on layering shirts under knitwear made me realize that for some reason it never occurred to me to try this with both pieces as fluid or oversized. Crazy but true. Now this layering feels so much more appealing! After seeing the post, I had all kinds of ideas floating around in my head. So I just decided to make a week of it. Feel free to skip ahead to the photos :)

#1 - Fluid BF shirt + oversized sweater. A more boyish variation with subtle print mix (windowpane pants, kitty print shirt). Appeals to my desire to pair pastels with black, have at least a little white/light in each outfit, and of course my love of light footwear. Bright orange lipstick for a little shock of color, and hair down to combat the more masculine vibe.
  Newer: pants, boots, coat
  Older: sweater, shirt, earrings, watch, clutch

#2 - VERY oversized shirt + cropped boxy sweater. It was pouring cats and dogs this day, so I pulled out my sparkly jelly Chelsea boots (yup!) and layered up. I had actually thought of wearing a variation of this for SSIF but shelved the idea due to not having a white tunic shirt but then remembered that I had this, one of hubby's that was too big even for him. I plan to wear it as a Fashionably And Hectically Large tunic this season ^^ Soft pink lipstick, and knit hat for brief outdoor periods. Had to take indoor photos because of the rain, so I lightened one of them to show the tuxedo stripe detail on the ponte pants. Ultimately I liked the outfit but not the look; I'd have been immensely happier if I'd put my hair up to make it less top heavy. Next time!
  Newer: sweater, pants, boots, earrings, hat
  Older: shirt, watch, clutch
 
#3 - Fluid-bordering-oversized shirt + loose semi-boxy sweater. I wanted to try at least one with a non-welted sweater, but my options there are limited. Enter this mint sweater, which usually gets worn in spring/summer, paired with denim and black to bring it more into fall. Debut of new booties from NAS, which uhhhh are my first pair of black booties (yeah...). They felt heavy, which I'm assuming is a mix of the chunkier heel and the fact that I just don't wear dark footwear much any more. I'm sure my eye will adjust, I do love the boots! Plum gloss for extra autumn and speaking of extra, extra crazy hair this day for some reason.
  Newer: boots
  Older: sweater, shirt, jeans, earrings, watch, clutch
 
#4/5 - Oversized shirt + fluid sweater. I loved all the white-on-white layering examples in the post, and while that's more up my alley, today I thought it'd be fun to do a navy-on-navy version. It's been dry in my neck of the woods for two days (!!) so of course I just had to pull out my flares! Hair up to minimize the darkness, and accessorized with glam elements (giant crystal earrings, leo pony clutch, and a pile of dainty rings). Plum gloss to add an extra grounding darker element. And by total coincidence, accidental outfit twin with Una :D
  Newer: sweater, jeans, earrings, clutch, some rings
  Older: shirt, watch, pumps, some rings

#6 - Put all the earring detail photos together so they'd take less room.

I found that I much preferred this type of layering with the two softer shirts in #3/4, and am very happy with how not-so-preppy these turned out.

And to my surprise, I still have many more ideas to try! I'd been thinking that I didn't have enough fluid/oversized pieces to use, as I've been on a slow mission to upgrade my sweaters and button-up shirts and didn't feel like I'd gotten very far with it. But these were all fully closet shopped, and, really, I don't need to have a dozen in each style or anything; there are plenty more combinations, fab ones at that, which I could put together with what I have. Should be fun to continue experimenting with this throughout the season.

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome!

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WIW 10.10 [ensemble: cardigan, jeans, & booties]

I was quite happy to see Angie's post this morning with an update on this ensemble with the newer cardigan shapes, especially since this is a formula I wear particularly often on the weekends once the weather turns cold. One of my goals for the season (currently unmet) is to update my few cardigans to the current silhouettes; over the past few years I've already passed on nearly all of my cardigans except the long BF styles, although some of the others have been moved solely to button-up sweater duty. Ideally I'd get one or two in the cocoon shape like the second in Angie's post on this ensemble. Today I pulled out a long gray cardigan that usually gets worn buttoned up as a tunic. Inspired by the middle example, but a lighter overall palette.

For the top, I pulled out a several-years-old previously-favorite graphic tee that hasn't been worn in a good long while; it's got some little silver glittery bits which, of course, the magpie in me loves. The white jeans and gray booties are straight from the ensemble post, swapping the black booties out for light gray to keep with the cardigan/boots tonal matching thing. I decided to tuck the side of the tee for some angular interest and optic leg length (though I think maybe I should've tucked the other side, the brand name is really bugging me!!); I also turned up just the insides of the jean hems, my "bootie semi-tuck" as Una called it ^^

The whole thing had a more boho vibe than expected, so I went with hair up to tone it down and chunky necklace to play it up. Because I've got more than enough statements in the outfit already, I kept the rest of the jewelry simple opting for a dainty silver spiked bracelet and small gold spike earrings. This also has me covered for metals: silver (bracelet, tee, jean/boot zipper), gold (necklace, earrings, boot metal mesh), and rose gold (watch). Finished the look off with my leo pony-fur clutch (that I can't seem to stop wearing), my most biggest sunnies (for an extra touch of glam), and a swipe of plum lip gloss (to add some autumnal moodiness).

  Newer: jeans, booties, clutch, earrings, bracelet
  Older: tee, cardigan, necklace, sunnies

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.

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Scarf how-to: Jumbled Knot

Here's another (extra crazy) scarf tie, which I'm calling a "Jumbled Knot". As seen in action here.

1- Final look.

2- Start with a long rectangle scarf. It doesn't have to be quite as big as the one I've got here, but the bigger the scarf the more dramatic the end result.

3- Hold up one corner and let the scarf drape down. This nets you some extra length, as well as pointed ends versus flat ends if the scarf is just folded.

4- Loosely grab the scarf across the middle and hold horizontally.

5- Now we're just going to do a simple loop. So start by lengthening one side...

6- ...And loop the other around the neck. You can either adjust the ends to be the same length, or leave uneven for a different effect. Changing the size of the looped part will also change the final effect.

7- Take one dangled end and loosely pull about half of it through the scarf going underneath the loop;...

8- ...; the other half should be visible beneath the loop. Take the other dangled end and to the same...

9- ...Taking about half...

10- ...But this time loosely pull it through the scarf going over the loop; again, the other half should be visible beneath the loop.

11- You'll likely need to fiddle and adjust all the different loop points just how you want them. In step 10, that's without any adjusting; in step 11 I've pulled the top halves of the ends flat so they fill more space, as well as twisted the tucked ends to show more of the fringe.

I do realize that plaid-on-plaid was perhaps not the best choice (that's just what I was wearing this morning), so hopefully it's not too difficult to understand.

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome!

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Scarf how-to: Split Muffler

I recently wore an outfit that featured an interesting looking scarf tie, which I'm calling a "Split Muffler" because it's based on the Muffler tie technique. Here's the how-to to do it :)

1- Final look.  

2- Start with a long rectangle scarf. It doesn't have to be quite as big as the one I've got here, but the bigger the scarf the more dramatic the end result.

3- Fold in half lengthwise.

4- Take one top corner in one hand and the opposing corner in the other, and let the scarf fold itself in half (which would be along the dotted line in the photo).

5- You should end up with a notched triangle. The ends I'm holding would still be pointy, my hallway just wasn't wide enough for me to stretch the scarf all the way out.

6- Roughly center the front and pull the ends around the neck...

7- ...And back to the front.

8- Center and adjust each half as you like it. From here you can either tuck the ends underneath if the scarf isn't too slippery, or tie the ends in a small knot and then tuck that underneath.

I do realize that plaid-on-plaid was perhaps not the best choice (that's just what I was wearing this morning), so hopefully it's not too difficult to understand.

Comments and questions welcome!

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