Sequins with Jeans

sequin top and jeanssequin top outfit 2sequin top outfit 1sequin top closeup(Outfit Notes: Sequin top-2$ on clearance at JC Penney // Black long-sleeved tee-clearance, old // Jeans-$8 Kohl’s clearance // Shoes-Target, old)

It has been a rainy, rainy Spring/early Summer around here, and I therefore haven’t been photographing my outfits as much. I just don’t like taking the pics indoors. pPlus, when it is so cloudy out I take less care getting dressed, and tend to throw in jeans and a tee or sweatshirt and stick my hair in a messy bun.

Here is what I wore on a date night recently though. Jeramy and I dropped Simon off for a sleepover and went out for fancy pizza, beer/wine, and gelato for dessert. We did a lot of walking, so I dressed for comfort, but this sequin top made me feel extra festive.

Double Plaid

I recently wore my thrifted plaid tunic in two different casual ensembles:

casual plaid 1casual plaid 2Outfit Notes: Cardigan Sweater-Gift // Plaid Tunic-Thrifted // Necklace-Gift // Jeans-Old Navy // Shoes-Monnetonka, at TJ Maxx // Bag-Mexicali Blues

casual plaid 3casual plaid 4Outfit Notes: Plaid tunic-Thrifted // Denim Skirt-Target, old // Leggings-Target // Shoes-Minnetonka, from TJ Maxx // Bag-Mexicali Blues

The first outfit was for a weekend day, and the second one was actually worn to work at the library. I love this tunic because it is super comfortable. I sometimes worry that it looks a bit like a maternity shirt, because it is so loose and flowy in the waist, but that same “flowy-ness” is also why I like it.

Even though the tunic is plaid, it is black and white so it acts like a neutral to my outfits. I like to add a pop of color with it, as I did with the shoes and necklace here.

See other ways I have remixed this tunic here and here.

(Linked up at The Pleated Poppy)

Casual Brights

neon sweater 2new mocsneon sweater 3neon sweaterSweater and Shoes-TJ Maxx
Jeans-Kohls, old

I’m not really a neon person, even though it is a big trend right now; but this bright, happy, candy-colored sweater caught my eye on the clearance rack the other day. Even though it is a sweater, I can see it being paired with jeans, skirts, and even shorts all through the Maine Spring and Summer. (It gets cool here at night!)

I’m also so excited about my new Minnetonkas. I found them at quite a marked down price, and in aqua, which is one of my favorite colors. They just might be the most comfortable shoes ever! While I was asking myself whether or not I should really buy them, even if they were marked down, I remembered this post over at Feathers and Freckles about three different ways she styled her Minnetonkas. Versatile shoes that can be worn with anything–from casual to dressed up, from jeans to dresses–are exactly right for someone like me.

In case you are wondering, I am at my husband’s Grandmother’s house in the above pictures. I have always loved that floral chaise lounge! Her nice, BIG, kitty is named Fritz and he is quite happy to bask in the sunlight there.

(Linked up at The Pleated Poppy)

Pops Of Coral

purple dress as a skirtcoral necklace closeup
(Outfit Notes: Necklace-a gift // Shirt-Kohl’s, old // Dress-Kohl’s, last year // Tights-Target // Shoes-Target, a couple years old)

I posted the other day, three ways to wear this dress. One way was under a top, as a skirt. That is what I decided to do again today for Easter dinner with family. I knew I wanted to wear floral print, as an homage to the return of Spring. The dress has some orange in it, so I thought adding the orange tights would be fun and unexpected. That led me to adding this coral colored necklace, which was a recent gift from an aunt who shares my love of chunky, bold jewelry.

If you love the color coral, check out this post over at Juggling Chic and see her awesome outfit incorporating the color.

(I didn’t get around to taking pictures until late, so the lighting here kind of stinks.)

No Socks!

spring skirt 2 spring skirt
(Outfit Notes: Cardigan-Target // Tank-Old Navy, on sale for $2 // Skirt-Thrifted, H$M brand // Leggings-Sears, when my local store went out of business // Flats-Target, old // Scarf-too old to remember)

Today was the first time all year that it was warm enough outside to wear flats with no socks. I also did not need a coat or jacket, my cardigan and scarf were sufficient. This was very fitting, since this weekend as a family we celebrate the return of Spring.

We spent a bit of our time in the outdoors at my parent’s house, and I was soaking in as much vitamin D from the sun as I could. The warmth and sunshine really brighten up my mood and make me feel optimistic.

Pillin’ Like A Villain

Toddler escape attempt.

(Outfit Notes: Earrings-Gift/Tank-TJ Maxx/Jeans-TJ Maxx/Shoes-Target)

Every so often, you buy something that doesn’t work out. I found these pink jeans at TJ Maxx last week for $16, and I bought them because I thought colored jeans would be fun, and they were so incredibly comfortable. However, after only wearing them twice they are pilling like crazy, and I started leaving little balls of pink fluff everywhere I sat.

So, I am disappointed in the quality and intend to try returning them to the store. This might not be possible, since I no longer have the receipt, and I paid in cash. I am hoping they will see the mad pilling and take pity on me for store credit.

It is too bad, because I really liked this outfit and felt so comfy all day.

Embracing Belting

(Outfit Notes: Necklace-A gift/Sweater-Target/Floral Tank-Sears/Skirt-Target/Belt-Target/Wallet-Target/Peep Toe Brown Flats-Mudd Brand)

I have come to realize that I love belting! I love the silhouette it creates, and the way it accentuates my curves. Belting also helps define the waist, and since my middle section is often the part of me that I have to work the hardest to feel confident about, belting gives me a confidence boost.

I also love this little grey sweater. I have worn it over long-sleeved tees in the winter, over plain t-shirts, and over tanks like I did here. Until this outfit though, I had not thought to wear a belt over it, and I am glad I did. When I bought the sweater I knew I thought it was pretty, but I never realized how a short-sleeved sweater can be an incredibly versatile staple in a wardrobe.

I felt really confident on this day, and some of that was definitely thanks to what I was wearing. Not that I believe self-esteem should be tied to clothes, because it shouldn’t. However, being a person who likes to express herself creatively, putting together clothes in a fun way gives me a feeling of satisfaction, and allows me to show a bit of my personality to others.

Do The Twist

(Outfit Notes: Necklace-JC Penney/Tee-GAP/Dress-Kohl’s/Brown Peep Toes-Mudd Brand)

For the first half of my day yesterday, I wore jeans and a tee-shirt. I basically rolled out of bed, flat-ironed the cowlicks out of my hair and threw clothes on, because Simon slept in later than usual and I had less time for getting ready. However, I had an evening shift at the library where I work, and we are not allowed to wear jeans there so I had to change.

I decided to wear a casual, purple floral dress that I bought for summer as though it were a skirt, by throwing a basic cotton tee over it. When I layered the tee over the dress though, which has a slight empire waist, there were odd vertical linear bumps going down my belly from the way the dress bunched under the shirt. I was about to go try to find a different top, when I remembered this post, written by Kayley of the blog Sidewalk Ready, and the way she tied her basic tee. I tried it, and I liked it. (I tied mine off to the side instead of centered like she did.) It raised the waistline and added enough texture to make the tee work over the dress.

I had never tried tying a tee like this before, and my husband thought I was a bit odd until I showed him both Kayley’s outfit and another one online.

The point of this post is that I like perusing style blogs for inspiration, because they can give me ideas for ways to mix up items that I already own in new and more interesting ways. Seeing someone else do it first sometimes gives me greater confidence to try something new on my own. Since I no longer purchase women’s magazines (and haven’t for years), I find that reading blogs written by real women out there who enjoy experimenting with style is my new source for ideas. Almost everyone owns at least one basic tee shirt…next time you wear one, maybe you should try it in a different way?

*Note-For an interesting take on not buying women’s magazines and why, read this.

In Praise Of Bangs And Tights

(Outfit Notes: Earrings-handmade by me/Beaded Tee-Target/Denim Skirt-Target/Red Tights-Kohl’s/Black Flats-Target)

I have two style-related things that I feel are worth mentioning today.

First, is that I got a haircut, and my bangs are back! I always like my hair with bangs, and even though I did have fun with the side swept look for a while, I missed them. Admittedly, the side bangs are a lot easier then full ones when you don’t have time. I had taken to pushing them back with a barrette and calling my hair done in the morning. Bangs take a little more time in the getting ready department, but I like them a lot and am willing to fire up the straightener in the morning to have them.

There is nothing quite like walking out of the salon after having my hair professionally cut and styled to make me feel a little more pep. It just gives you a little boost, you know? Although, I do tend to prefer my hair the second day after a cut, when it has calmed down a bit and I can fiddle with it just the way I like. But my very fine textured hair never has as much body and life in it as it does when my hairstylist has had her hands on it. She defies gravity.

Second, I want to sing the praises of tights again. Not only did my red tights add pizzazz to an otherwise plain outfit today, but I went for a walk, pushing Simon in the stroller and was able to wear a skirt for this without getting that horrible chafe between the legs that can come with skirt wearing. I love skirts. They might not always be the most practical choice, but this simple addition of tights today kept my skirt practical for me, even when physically exerting myself. I wore my comfy black flats with them and my feet stayed happy too.

Now, I would not advocate tights for a hike, or a speed-walk, or even laps around the track. They won’t be great anymore when the summer heat fully arrives. And if we went to the playground I would definitely prefer shorts or pants. But for a stroll with a friend, it was my perfect solution. And yes, I played with Legos down on the floor with Simon in them too. I chased him across the house to put his pajamas on for bedtime in them. I even picked up the house in them and I was never once uncomfortable. In fact, the only impact the daily occurrences of motherhood had on my outfit choice today was when Simon wiped toothpaste all over my black shirt.

Tights as practical motherhood wear? I say yes.

Shorted Out

(Outfit Notes: Earrings-gift from a friend/Blouse-Kohl’s altered/Tank-H&M/Shorts-Old Navy/Brown peep toe flats-Mudd Brand)

Oh, shorts! I have had a lifelong issue with them. For some reason, I feel less confident when I wear them than I do in skirts. However, summer is here and as a Mom, a skirt is not always the most practical choice. Ever gone down the slide on the playground in a skirt? Not the best idea.

So, I recently purchased this pair of khaki shorts at Old Navy, and I am trying to learn to love them. And the way my knees look. And the way my calves look. I remind myself that no one else is going to scrutinize my legs, and if they did that would point to a lack in their self-esteem, rather than a flaw with me. Though my legs may not be the longest and the leanest in the bunch, they have always been very strong, and without them I wouldn’t even be able to contemplate taking Simon on that playground slide.

I have learned over the years that I prefer the feeling of bermuda length shorts. They give me more coverage, don’t ride up as readily, and provide a buffer between the full length of my thighs in the sweat-inducing summer heat. I also feel a bit better about running/jumping/climbing in them without worry of what might show in various positions. Some fashion rules dictate that you have to be a tall woman to wear bermuda shorts, lest you risk appearing stubby. To me, a touch of perceived “stubbiness” is a small price to pay for all of the benefits to this length that I listed above.

In an attempt to embrace these shorts, I decided to pair them with one of my most feminine and delicate tops. I don’t often wear this lacy tunic, but since our plans this day were for shopping, errands, and time spent at home rather than in the great outdoors, I thought it would make a nice foil for the practical khaki shorts.

A couple of things I should mention here:

1-My shirt was on inside out for most of the day! No one noticed, not me, not Jeramy, and not my best friend. It wasn’t until hours later, when I was sitting in the car and glanced over at my shoulder, and the seam caught my eye. “Gosh, I don’t remember the seaming being that big on this blouse.” I thought to myself. Then it dawned on me and I quickly flipped my top the right side out. I ended up re-photographing the detail shot of the waistline later, inside the house. So, if you notice a difference from the full outfit shot to the detail that is why. Sheesh.

Also, The shirt had a different tank sewn onto it when I bought it, that was a tad too see-through for my liking so I cut it out. Now I layer the blouse over whatever tank I want.

2-The khaki color of the shorts makes me look like I am not wearing pants at a distance. This might become a problem for me. Perhaps I should have gone with the black pair?

3-I am pale, especially on my legs, but I do not care. I have never cared for the look of tans beyond sun-kissed, and that is just as well since I cannot tan anyway. In the summer, I slather the sunscreen on daily, lest I burn up. I do, however, gain freckles, which I love.