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!


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


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.


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


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!


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


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!


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


WIW 10.09 [shorts, boots, and plaid-on-plaid (on plaid)]

Since today is probably our last day that'll get up near 70F for a good looong while (sad), I wanted to get one last bare-legged shorts + tall boots look in. I hadn't done one with plaid this season yet (!) so out came my favorite plaid shirt. I've actually got a silver layering tank underneath, which would only be
visible if I'm stretched out and reaching for something. These silky shorts are also just about done for the season; I'll wear a couple more times with tights before it's too cold for them, and they'll go into hibernation as well.

Initially I pulled on tall black boots but it felt too heavy. The next option was brown which didn't excite me... until I thought about adding even more plaid to the mix! Enter my new double-plaid scarf that I bought during SSIF. I had reservations since I haven't been wearing my scarves as much in recent years, but the double plaid print was too fun to pass up -- the large plaid runs down the center lengthwise for about half the width, and the smaller plaid flanks it on either side for a quarter width apiece. Plus it's gigantic (plus) and wool (more plus) yet lightweight (total plus!). As for the crazy "tie" uhhhh well I just made that up this morning -- I'm calling it the "Jumbled Knot", and have also posted a How-To for it.

With the crazy scarf in place, I chose my slouchy brown boots and went with minimal jewelry (copper pyramid stud studs and my trusty rose gold watch). I was going to use my black foldover clutch but caught a glimpse of this one with the outfit in the mirror when I went to swap contents and decided I liked it more; more cheerful and, well, clearly there's not enough print already ;) Hair up to stay out of the scarf's way and add a little structure, and shirt left untucked to add to the easy-going feel. And finished off with a swipe of plum lip gloss, which certainly "goes" but doesn't at all "match".

  Newer: tank, scarf, clutch
  Older: shirt, shorts, boots

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.


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


WIW 10.08 [ensemble: toffee, tomato, white & burgundy]

I loved this twist on a more classic color combo (red/white/camel) when Angie posted it, but have little-to-none in the way of burgundy or toffee. The image on the blog caught my eye this morning yet again and this line in the post stood out: "Animal print can be used as the toffee component of the outfit."

Duh, me!

So here is my rendition, substituting in an orange-based cheetah print (booties), cracked gold foil (tee), and light tan (clutch) in place of the toffee.

I bought this slouchy hat while out with Ann this past weekend, and it seems to be photographing a bit more plum than burgundy. The color is somewhere between the two, I think. Ann and I also chatted a bit about how sometimes we over-engineer our outfits and that, really, sometimes it's OKAY to just grab a tee and jeans then throw a jacket over the top. This is why we have such fabulous jackets in our wardrobes after all! Today I'm taking my own advice and hopefully, even though I've been off my jackets for the last two years, it helps breathe some life back into them for me. Now to dig up all my cool graphic tees...

  Newer: tee, necklace, hat, clutch

  Older: blazer, jeans, booties

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.


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


WIW 10.04-06 [to meet Laura, shop w/Ann, & a day off]

I had an action-packed weekend full of mini-meetups and shopping, along with plenty of down time at home to rest for the upcoming work week. I ended up with a mix of my usual very casual weekend wear (Monday), smart casual (Saturday), and more urban smart (Sunday). Also managed all the looks to be rather color coordinated, though it was unintentional. It is also very obvious here that light footwear is my favorite. Feel free to skip ahead to the photos ^^

#2/3 (10.04, Saturday) - As I posted earlier, I met up with forum member Laura (rhubarbgirl) for dinner this past Saturday. Keeping the outfit relaxed and casual felt best, so I went with a tonal and subtly print mixed look. No repeated colors here, and in particular the belt color is echoed only by my skin. I think it works, and rather like the "nothing matches exactly" effect. I also grabbed my new SSIF coat; if I had worn this outfit out during the day I'd have skipped the coat. Hubby isn't a big fan of the boxiness but I still love it. I'll just wear it less on weekends.
  Newer: sweater, jeans, coat
  Older: belt, booties, clutch, earrings 

#4/5 (10.05, Sunday) - On Sunday I met Ann (Dashielle) downtown and we romped around doing returns, trying things on, looking at more things, and gabbing over lunch. We bought matching silver layering tanks, I got a burgundy knit hat, and Ann also picked up a purple buffalo plaid shirt and some great belts. Lots of fun! Instead of my usual more casual weekend style, I opted for an outfit that's more my more urban workday style. The weather was a lot nicer than expected so I was a little warm, but that was fine. Debuting one of the two new clutches I bought for fall, a pony-hair leo print with a very light sandy base (better color in #6-8). Very much like the black/brown/white/gray combo here.
  Newer: jacket, pumps, clutch
  Older: pants, tee, earrings

#6-8 (10.06, Monday) - Had Monday off and hung out at home mostly, with hubby working upstairs with the cat. My sis and her lil dog came over to catch up on some recorded TV, then we all watched Monday Night Football. Such a casual day called for some denim-on-denim; oversized shirt + stretchy skinnies is always a comfy weekend option. We ran out briefly for snacks and burgers for the game but, full disclosure, I mostly spent the day sans shoes a la #8 ;)
  Newer: jeans, flats, clutch
  Older: shirt, earrings (YLF secret santa '12, from BJ1111)

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.


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


Mini meetup with Laura (rhubarbgirl)

Laura (rhubarbgirl) is in town for a writing conference this weekend, and I was able to meet up with her for some yummy food and great conversation. We hit up a favorite little north sound sushi place and chatted about everything from fashion to weather to travel to hockey. I should've taken a photo of our food, it was just as pretty as it was yummy! We made sure to have at least one roll with some salmon and cream cheese, which is apparently a PNW thing.

Shortly before leaving I remembered to ask our server to snap a photo and of course had to request that he get us head-to-toe ;) Laura was wearing a cream blazer over a teal top (a really flattering shade on her), lovely fluid wide leg trousers, brown leather accents, and a pretty print scarf that picked up on all the shades in the outfit. I wore a gray patterned sweater, flared jeans, zebra belt and cream booties. Will post a proper WIW later, but for now I wanted to share our cute restaurant snap.

It was wonderful to get to meet Laura and chat over sushi and tea! I'm really filling out my YLF forum member checklist, I've been lucky in meeting so many wonderful women over the last few months.


WIW 10.03 [transitional Suz copycat]

Yesterday Suz posted a fab transitional outfit in two incarnations and I was immediately inspired to wear some version of the second, more heavily layered, iteration.

I decided to go more literal with my version, sporting a periwinkle pencil skirt in place of the cool quilted denim pencil skirt. Kept the white top although mine is a lightweight sweater. And instead of the navy topper/booties I chose charcoal, and went with a moto instead of a cardigan because that's more me. For my scarf I stuck with the idea of animal print but a very different kind -- fish! I couldn't get it to stay with the method that Suz used, so I made up my own which I'm calling a Split Muffler (I can post about how to do that later if anyone's interested). Cherry pink lipgloss to add a little sweetness, and giant crystal studs for an extra dose of glam. The striped clutch felt fun with all the other stripes and lines in the outfit (sweater, skirt, jacket). Lastly, hair up in honor of Suz's impish pixie ^^
   Newer: jacket, sweater, scarf (S/S), earrings
   Older: skirt, booties, clutch

Didn't feel too happy with the outfit sans topper, although I did include a photo of that because it was quite warm at work and I had to spend part of the day without the jacket. Not sure if it was me feeling uncomfortable with dark footwear on bare legs, or if it just felt a little too hard (though it was perfectly find with the jacket on), or something else entirely. The colors here make me very happy though. One of the tends I've been into this year is pairing pastels when wearing black. Today the dark was charcoal, which makes for a softer overall look anyway, but I quite like how the more typically springy mint and periwinkle look with the fall-weighted dark charcoals.

Thanks for the great inspiration, Suz! :D Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.

UPDATE: Split Muffler how-to can be found here!


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


SSIF purchases! [UPDATED]

Well I'm still recovering from this weekend's festivities, but for now I thought I'd share my purchases.

I started in on the shopping on day 2 (Saturday). First off, I have to say that shopping with a group as large as ours was Quite The Experience. I really enjoyed watching and helping others shop, as crazy as it was! I stuck with Angie's group (20+ of us?) after lunch for the Nordstrom run (great for the big group, as we could sort of split and re-meet as needed). Ann and I scoured the entire handbag department and had fun looking at all the pretty bags (and I managed to only knock over one display ;) ). After that, it was back to shoes to see what others were trying on. Once the group moved on from shoes, I popped over to Topshop and found myself a cozy black and white plaid coat (finally!!). I also ordered cream cropped pants, which Sveta also bought, as my size wasn't at the store. They look proper culotte length on Sveta, and I've got fingers crossed that they work out for me as well -- although I will be chopping off quite a lot of length.

After lunch we hit up several more stores (Ann Taylor, Loft, Club Monaco, Express, Nordstrom Rack, Zara... probably others that I'm forgetting). For the first time I didn't buy anything at Zara (!), although there was a cream quilted jacket that came very close to following me home. At Ann Taylor, several of us tried the marled short sleeve sweater which also comes in cream. Two sizes fit with different vibes, but in the end I chose to buy the shorter length specifically so I could wear it with my flares and skirts since I have less options there. Of course, I just had to wear the sweater immediately the following day for oysters. Mary and I also both bought a sandy tweed moto, though it's not really a need so I'm thinking it over.

Managed to be quite reserved on day 3 (Sunday) and not purchase anything, although the taupe booties that Mary bought were very tempting. Ultimately I decided that the toe shape just wasn't quite pointed enough for me so I left them. Also found BJ1111 a pair of navy booties, which was something she was looking for (I was tickled to have spotted them ^^).

On day 4 (Monday) we went to a different shopping area to start off, University Village, which included a stop at JCrew where I picked up a mixed-plaid scarf. At another store I also tried on the white/navy plaid shirt Angie recently featured, but unfortunately they didn't have my size there. Then we headed back to downtown where we stopped by Macy's; there I got some much needed sock liners, along with a taupe gold-studded belt (couldn't get a Find for it, but it was a total steal).

All-in-all, I'm very pleased with my purchases! Except for the tweedy jacket, everything else was on my f/w shopping list and fill various holes, plus they all make me very happy. Overall a bit darker than I normally go for, but they should all work quite nicely with the f/w pieces already in my wardrobe, particularly the lighter colored pieces. Looking forward to playing around with some new combinations!


  • Tweedy Jacket - After wearing it around the house all
    morning, I've decided that I will take it back. It saddens me not to be
    twinnies with Mary, but I tried it with many of my tops and the body/arm
    lengths just weren't working quite  right.
  • Culottes - Arrived this morning and fit very nicely! I ordered a size up from my usual. Super duper long though, to my ankles, so they'll need to be massively hemmed before I can wear them. Now to figure out what length I want them.....