WIW 06.04 [fishing for brights]

I felt like it had been a while since I pulled out my brights, although with all the white I wear one could argue that I never stopped. Either way, this outfit popped into mind perusing my Pinterest inspiration board and coming across this pin while looking for something else entirely. When I pinned it last year I'd noted that I was inspired by the color palette (mint + coral/orange + mid-blue + white), and I'm finding it just as delightful this year. Swapped the white for a blushy-tan, which makes the look a bit less graphic, but I rather like the softness it adds to the brights.

This outfit is full of things I haven't worn in a while. First the shoes: I'm definitely happier in light and almost-nude footwear these days, but these cobalt pumps are soooo comfy that they will remain in my wardrobe until they fall apart. Second the pants: probably haven't been worn since last summer, and I'm happy we've finally got the weather to start pulling them out again. And third the scarf: while this particular scarf is new, I have been off my scarves for a couple of years but do still enjoying wearing them from time to time; as a result, I've been making sure I don't purchase more than one or two a season (if at all). This particular scarf completely catches my heart as I have a soft spot for fishies, the print is beautifully soft, it's full of colors I love (mint, aqua, orange), and it's both super gauzy and huge in size. Pretty perfect for me.

Accented those three things with my brightest sweater in one of my favorite colors (go Team Orange), mixed metals (copper studs, rose-gold watch, gold sequin clutch), and soft pink lipstick. This is slouchy/soft/oversized to the max, with only the pumps and little bits of exposed skin providing the little bit of structure in the look. A little more old-school-Aida perhaps, but still a beloved silhouette.

Available items collected below. Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.


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WIW 06.03 [plaid and white]

After some nice sunny weather, we've got some clouds passing through for a couple of days. This is a favorite pairing for this plaid shirt -- with white jeans and light shoes. I've worn the combo previously with my gold smoking slippers, white pointy pumps, and cream booties. This iteration makes me equally happy; I really like how the light gray suede adds a little extra texture and color dimension, plus with the open heel it feels a bit more summery (even when the weather doesn't look it). With the ankle interest (cropped pants with zippers + shoe straps) I kept the rest of the outfit simple, opting to leave the oversized plaid shirt untucked to play further into the cropped proportions. Added giant gold hoops and sequined clutch for a touch of sass-and-glam, and orange lip gloss for a little extra color differentiation.

These new white jeans (and their faded blue sibling I also bought) are the first pair of properly fitting skinnies I've worn in years (!!) as me shrinking had caused all of my previously properly fitting skinny jeans to become baggy/slouchy skinny jeans over the past few years. Which actually worked out nicely with those fits trending. However, I've been wanting to update a couple of them to relaxed skinnies for a more streamlined fluid look, especially in white since I wear white often; plus this slimmer white pair will work much better in fall/winter tucked into tall boots than my other slouchy straight leg pair does. A very welcome addition to my denim wardrobe! Now I can wear 2x as many white jean outfits ^^

Available items collected below. Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.


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WIW 05.31-06.02 [casual weekend wear]

Following the idea behind my looooong post about extra-casual-bordering-gear clothing, this past weekend was a good test run that span the gamut. Saturday was normal casual weekend wear, Sunday was rompin' ready, and Monday was a slightly dressier casual. Feel free to skip on down to the photos :)

#1/2 -- Saturday hubby and I had breakfast at a favorite nearby coffee shop that has a lovely patio; we were delighted to be able to sit outside in the sun and enjoy a gorgeous view of Puget Sound. After that I went out to run some errands, including a Home Depot stop, then my sis came over and we spent the rest of the day out in the yard. Although I didn't get a photo of the yardwork "outfit", in the interest of keeping it real I'll describe it: loose gray ribbed tank, light blue basketball shorts, and light blue cloth flip-flops (pretty standard summertime just hangin' around the house attire).  

#3-6 -- Sunday, as is typical, we hadn't yet decided what we were doing; it was going to be a hike or a 2-up motorcycle ride or both or neither. So I stuck with my basic plan for sneakers with weather-appropriate bottoms and a lightweight breathable casual top. These chambray Vans had arrived just a couple days prior, and as my only current sneaker option, I worked the outfit around them: long cotton shorts (because it was warm and whatever we ended up doing would be outside) and lightweight cotton/rayon blend boxy striped tee (because the long sleeves could be pushed up or be good sun protection if needed, and the soft knit would work well under riding gear). Plus being in all light clothing makes me happiest. Laced the Vans up the way I used to back in my practicing-punk days ^^

What we ended up doing was taking the bike over to Whidbey Island (just a short ferry ride away), had breakfast at a fave restaurant then walked the little town and took a stroll on the beach, and then we rode across the island to Fort Casey and wandered around the grounds. I am happy to report that the outfit worked perfectly for all of these things! My riding gear fit over the top nicely, the sneakers were good for concrete/sand/grass, and the breathable fabrics kept me both cool and covered from the sun. The one thing I wasn't too thrilled with was what to do with helmet hair; I ended up wearing a plain black headband after taking the photos with the white, but even that felt too sporty. So I think I'm going to pick up a couple more decorative headbands to try with the pony, which is a must after long stints with a helmet on ;)

#7 -- Monday I went through a big pile of online purchases that had been waiting two weeks to be tried and sorted (work has been busy), then it was off to the post office and mall for the returns. I was also able to exchange this linen shirt (in the blush) for the right size and picked up some fun lightweight cotton summer pants I'd been eyeing for a while. These little snakey ankle strap flats were among the online purchases (*waves to Shevia*) and I just couldn't wait to wear them, so I did! Kept the outfit simple (no tucking, no belts) with rolled BF jeans to highlight the shoes. The silk-back sweater also kept the look simpler from the front; I didn't mind if the back had a little extra fun to it ^^

Available items collected below. Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.


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As threatened/promised: thoughts and plans for Extra Casual Weekend Wear (XXL)

Over the past few summers, I've been fretting my weekend wear. Not because it's hot -- we have very mild and pleasant summers -- but because I was struggling with wearing appropriately casual outfits. I'd previously been attributing it to feeling rushed while getting dressed, so last summer I pared waaaay down on my summer style and dressed much more simply (and quickly). While it did help a little, I was still struggling. Coincidentally, I was also on a shopping break during that time which helped/forced me to really hunker down and figure out exactly what was going on.

What I realized was that, like many people, I had a totally incorrect perception of how my time was spent. I found that my normal clothes (what I call my "work" clothes, even though they're rather casual) generally get me through only 3-4 days a week, not 4-6 as I'd been thinking. The other 2-3 are weekend casual days; some of the work stuff crosses over, getting dressed down with BF jeans and flats, which is what made me think I was getting more wear out of the work stuff. But much more of that time was spent in far more casual settings than I'd thought, particularly "in the summer" where I needed things I could go romp outside in which still looked presentable. I put that in quotes because when I actually looked at it, I was surprised to find that it's actually the time period from March through October! That is a ridiculously large amount of time to be missing clothing for!

Now, I'm specifically referring to extra casual activities that require casual-bordering-gear clothing, for our typical weekend activities such as: hiking, short 2-up motorcycle rides, dirt biking, various casual meals, visiting farms, day trips in the car or on the bike, impromptu visits with friends, picnics, beach strolls, camping, BBQs/fire pit hangouts, baseball games, hitting the driving range, city sightseeing, shopping, etc. We might do one of these things or several of these things, and often we haven't decided ahead of time what it is we're doing. This, you see, is my dilemma with these weekend outfits! And the motorcycle activities present extra challenges, particularly dirt biking, but I won't go into those here.

Day-to-day, my husband usually wears nice jeans, high quality leather boots, and a perfectly fitting button-up shirt (his are all bespoke). He could wear his formula to all of the above activities, along with work and even dressier activities, and be perfectly appropriate. I feel like there is no such single outfit that can achieve such a wide range of activities/dressiness levels for me as it does my husband, which is a whole other topic of discussion. But I thought perhaps I could manage my husband's approach for the weekend, because at the very least, on weekends the activity range is more limited. What I want most is for whatever I'm wearing to NOT hinder whatever it is we decide to do, while still feeling fab and me (tall order).

So I decided the first step was that I needed to allow/force myself to purchase these missing, less fashion-fun clothing items. Then to come to terms with actually, you know, dressing truly casually. I definitely bat for Team Dressy even in my casual clothing, but particularly in shoes. My style has almost no sportiness and I'm inherently drawn to pretty, refined footwear which makes shoes the toughest part for me. Plus I've never really liked sneakers, even when I used to actually do athletic things which required them. However, the more I looked at this capsule and the activities it needed to accommodate, the more it made sense that sneakers would be an integral part. It also made sense to seek out breathable fabrications because some of the activities would be somewhat athletic, and the motorcycle activities would require adding gear over the top. My basic outfit formula idea is to wear sneakers of some sort with weather-appropriate bottoms and a lightweight casual top with breathable fabrication.

With those ideas in mind, I came up with the following capsule:

- rubber boots (for farms, muddy stuff)
- short boho boots (for non-muddy rompin')
- lace-up sneaks/slip-on sneaks (for misc casual things)
- flats (for city stuff)
- flat waterproof sandals (for beachy stuff)

- several cotton breezy tees
- a few elbow/LS tees
- a few breezy tanks
- a couple summer sweaters (for cooler days)
- a couple button-up shirts

- boyfriend jeans/pants (for heavy duty stuff)
- faded skinny jeans (for city stuff)
- baggy shorts (for hot days, beachy stuff)
- long walk shorts/cropped pants (for warm days outside)
- breezy long skirt (beach ok)

- casual day dress

- hoodie
- denim jacket
- a couple long soft cardigans
- anorak/utility jacket
- leather jacket

- a few colorful/printed scarves (for extra polish)
- slouchy hats/pretty headbands (after bike outings)
- medium cross body bag

I was surprised to find that I actually did have a lot of the components already... and then less surprised to find that the shoes were primarily what was missing. Some missing pieces I've added in the past couple weeks, some existing less-than-fab pieces have been upgraded, and a few others I'm still working on finding. It may seem like a lot but as I said at the start, this capsule spans 8 months! I also made a supplemental list of "Good Alternates", items that fit the categories which are part of my dressier work wear, for days that are less than ultra-casual.

So now I've just got to start putting it into practice! I had a test run this past weekend which worked pretty well, and I'm feeling encouraged to continue moving forward with this. I may not stick to the capsule 100% (probably won't) but it was incredibly useful in figuring out exactly what the holes were. Of course, in practice the capsule elements are subject to change since this is all still speculation. Educated speculation, but speculation nonetheless. Also, it'll be interesting to see which things feel fab enough and which don't.

Whew! If you've made it all the way though, thanks for reading! As always I'd love to hear any of your thoughts or experiences :)