Hidden Inspiration

I like to look at various sources for fashion inspiration.  Unfortunately, for the print and publishing world, I very rarely thumb through a magazine (however, this is probably because I’m behind on my pop culture reading, and I’m probably too engrossed in my search for The Hunger Games trilogy or the sequels to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when I’m in a bookstore).  I tend to spend most of my Internet time visually digesting style blogs and articles devoted to fashion.  Somewhere along the way, I absorb ideas for certain outfits.  And at random times, the thoughts for these outfits just spring out and demand to be heard.  This was probably one of those desperate-to-be-seen outfits.

It seems that lately, I’ve been wanting to wear my button-down shirts.  I like the print on this particular shirt–the flowers and the neutrality of the top appear to pair well with my denim jeggings.  The beige cover up also helps add an extra layer for warmth and for texture (it’s a fun exercise to mix and match clothes of different textures as long as the materials don’t create such a jarring or uncomfortable image or feel).

The latent inspiration that I had came in the form of choosing to wear my socks rolled up over the ends of my jeggings and wearing a pair of summer sandals to top it all off (what can I say–I just can’t let go of my summer wear).  As usual, I thought about taking the safer route (tucking my socks under my pants), but with a daring flourish, I pulled my socks over my pants, and thought, “let’s see what the world thinks of this” (or some other nonsense that made it seem like I was rebelling against what my inner fashion critic would say).

And there you have it.  I’m wearing an outfit in a way that brings back memories of when I used to feel embarrassed shopping with my mom as a teenager because she used to wear her socks over her pants too (I also wore my socks over my cuffed pants when I was very young–but I chalked that up to being a young child in the early ’90s).  It’s funny that what was once embarrassing is now worthy of emulating.  Fortunately, I have learned to be appreciative of my mom’s style as I’ve gotten older.  So, thank you Mom, for being fashion-forward, particularly when it came to keeping your ankles warm–practical inspiration for a chilly day.

P.S.  I’m not mad in these pictures.  I just don’t know how to have a relaxed, pleasant-looking face.  I’m working on it.

P.P.S.  Sorry for the lack of full length pictures.  This was probably one of our quickest photo shoots yet (unfortunately, Chris is very busy with projects of his own).  Stay tuned for my next post featuring images from a very special guest photographer!

Outfit (Designer/Purchased from):

Top:  Liz Claiborne/donated

Cover up:  Girl Talk/TJ Maxx

Jeggings:  Domaine Brand Jeans/Marshalls

Socks:  Charter Club/Macy’s

Shoes:  Merona/Target

Necklace:  gift

Bracelets:  vintage

Plug and Play

What do I love more than great clothes?  Great music (note:  these loves are different from the love that I have for the people in my life in case you were wondering where my priorities were).  I’m currently playing in my car Little Anchor’s CD, Sunland.  It’s a great CD to listen to as you’re driving on a sunny, fall day (full disclosure:  the lead singer is an in-law, but I am really digging their music).

I wanted to have fun with my outfit by matching my clothes to the colors on the tote bag.  Usually, I’ll match my bags to my clothes, but the logo on the bag inspired me to come up with an outfit that I wouldn’t have originally worn.  I chose a navy-blue striped blouse with a sweater vest and decided to wear my favorite pants for the flowy comfort.  I added a pair of vintage of boots to top off the look.

This outfit was perfect for playing around and taking pictures:

A fun way to spend a beautiful afternoon!

Outfit (Designer/Purchased from):

Top:  Max Studio/Marshalls

Sweater:  Kaisley/Marshalls

Pants:  Patrick Robinson for Target/Target

Boots:  Enzo Angiolini/vintage

Bag:  Little Anchor show

Necklace:  Fossil/loaned

Bracelet:  loaned

Appropriately Dressed

Around the age of eight, I stopped wearing dresses except for Christmas and Easter. After that, it was mainly shorts, jeans, and the occasional skirt and blouse. For a long time, a dress to me was something you wore for a special occasion. As a teenager, I would only go dress shopping for a school dance, a wedding, or a graduation. To wear a dress outside of these contexts was a rare or nonexistent occurrence.

As I got older, I began to see dresses, especially the casual ones that are made from cotton or a cotton blend, as versatile pieces. You can layer over or under them; wear them with or without some kind of legwear. I welcome wearing dresses for any event now (as long as I don’t have to do jumping jacks or lunges).

I actually wanted to wear this blouse as a shirt dress because it was big and loose. Unfortunately, it has two slits up the sides that would be devastatingly inappropriate should I choose to sit or walk with long strides. So, I took my next best option and decided to wear the blouse but under a sweater dress (or at least a long sweater-type top that I decided to wear as a dress).

I like how the colors of the blouse liven up a rather bland combination of gray and black. I added colorful, gold jewelry to the mix and a pair of black boots and–ta da!–I had an outfit that was ready for partying during the day and partying at night. Okay, I didn’t really party during the day or night hours, but I was able to comfortably walk around the city and attend an intimate concert all in an eight-hour period. No party, but I still had fun–that counts for something, right?

Outfit (Designer/Purchased from):

Blouse: Liz Claiborne/donated

Sweater: Derek Heart/Marshalls

Boots: vintage

Necklaces: loaned

Bracelets: vintage

Sunglasses: Franco Sarto/Marshalls

See and Be Seen

It was a beautiful day for taking pictures.  The hubby and I decided to do an impromptu photo shoot in the city, because it beats having just trees and shrubs in the background, and we wanted to wander outside in the gorgeous weather.

I wore a modified version of an outfit that I was planning on wearing in the summer, but I never got around to it (knowing me, it took forever for me to do my laundry).  In hot weather, I would have just worn the sleeveless blouse and skirt with my strappy gold shoes to dress it up.  The fall version of this look has the same overall effect, but it’s more seasonally appropriate.

Unfortunately, the shoes I ended up wearing, although comfortable at the beginning of the day, gradually started to hurt the balls of my feet.

So, here I am kicking back after a long day of walking.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Outfit (Designer/Purchased from):

Top:  Derek Heart/Marshalls

Skirt:  Esprit/Army Base Exchange (bought when I was in high school)

Coverup:  imaginary voyage/Marshalls

Shoes:  Merona/Target

Purse:  Olivia + Joy/Marshalls

Bracelet:  gift

Not-So-Secret Admirer

I’m a big fan of people-watching (similar to bird-watching, but preferably without the use of binoculars; otherwise, I’d seem like a first-class creep).  I like to see how people interact with and relate to one another.  And, of course, I like to observe what others are wearing.

Much like birds and their plumes of feathers, humans have their own way of standing out.  Generally, the most accessible and convenient way we all differentiate ourselves is through the clothes we wear.  When I gaze into a crowd, the ones who make a lasting impression are the ones who have on an outfit that either 1) I would like to wear for myself or 2) I would like to admire like a page in a magazine.

Now, random strangers are not the only ones whom I admire from afar.  I also appreciate the styles of friends and family members.  So, consider this a warning to all those I know–you may be stalked and hunted down for a picture for my blog!

Case in point, over the weekend, I convinced a friend to let me post her outfit:

I love the combination of teal and mustard yellow.  Both colors are perfect for this transition from warmer to cooler temperatures.   And how fabulous is it that the clasp of her clutch matches her shoes (sorry, this is me going gaga over people’s outfits)? Also, a neat little tidbit–she’s wearing a cami and a matching skirt (not a dress–but who would have known?).  The skirt has a flirty fullness to it without being too heavy on fabric.

Also, her bracelets and gold jewelry are such a charming addition to her outfit (note:  I’m having a “gold” moment–I’m loving the way certain colors match with gold, and I’m looking for ways that I can incorporate more gold jewelry with what I wear).

So, does anyone else like taking (or wish they could take) pictures of what people are wearing too?  Don’t worry–my feelings won’t be (too) hurt if I find out I’m the only one.

Cold Front

Brr–it was a cold day for taking pictures!  I wanted to take my coverup off, but then I would have to change my name to Looks So Grumpy (more on grumpiness later).

This was the outfit I wore to a lovely wedding.  As mentioned before, I lack a supply of accessories and handbags.  I thought the dressiest purse that could somewhat go with this outfit was this faux-snakeskin piece:  not too big, but spacious enough to hold my camera, the wedding invitation, and the all-important check for the newlywed couple.

I originally wanted to take pictures that included the back of this dress, but, as noted above, 1) it was way too cold at this point to take my coverup off, 2) we thought we were running late, so we couldn’t take our time to snap pictures, and 3) due to my shyness of having pictures taken of me, I didn’t want to make a fuss over taking pictures when we were catching up with an old friend.  Unfortunately, my husband, Chris, got the receiving end of my initial grumpiness when I became upset at not having the necessary time to take our shots, but eventually, rational thinking got the best of me, and I apologized (note:  husband trumps style blogs).

So, this is the front of my outfit, but there will be another opportunity to wear this dress so I can show you the back.

As you can see, the belt was not originally part of the dress, but I love how the bow-ties fit right into the space of the belt buckle.

To show how forgiving Chris is, here is a picture of us at the end of the night:

Who’s a good-looking couple?

Outfit (Designer/Purchased from):

Dress:  Petticoat Junction/Marshalls

Coverup:  Max Studio/Marshalls

Shoes:  Steve Madden/Marshalls

Necklace:  Target

Belt:  vintage

Bracelets:  vintage

Purse:  Carlos Falchi for Target/Target

Seasonal Effects

I’m one of those people who can be drawn into a movie just by a certain song.  You know, the kind of song that helps you understand a character’s emotions or helps you remember what it was like to be “coming-of-age” (whatever that means to you)?  Well, for some reason, fall makes me feel like I’m living in my own indie movie and that I need a soundtrack of my own to get me through the rest of the year.  Now I know I’m making fall sound like a really depressing season, but that’s not what I mean to say (now winter on the other hand…that’s a depressing season).  In a way, I feel like this time of year marks the start of new things:  new school year, new TV shows, new wardrobe, etc.  With this “newness,” however, comes the idea that I’m leaving old things behind.  So, I think, that in a way, songs from previous falls (the season, not my episodes of clumsiness) help me to remember the times that have passed and help me to remain hopeful for the future.

To me, fashion, like music, can be an expression of ourselves and our moods.  And on an overcast, autumn day, I can’t help but feel like I need to wear something that represents these feelings of nostalgia.

This outfit makes me think of the times I went to school in the fall because, interestingly enough, I wore this skirt when I was in high school!  Actually, the skirt really belonged to my sister, but we borrowed each other’s clothes all the time (and lo and behold, it eventually found a permanent spot in my dresser drawer).  The plaid shirt is one of the many pieces of clothing that I’ve gotten from my mom.  The shirt is probably from the ’70s or early ’80s but it’s still in good condition.

I think both the shirt and the skirt are still fashionable because they’re classic in style.  The belt (also “donated” by my mom at my request), although old, helps to bring the whole outfit together.  Actually, the newest part of my outfit are my shoes.  I love pairing new and old clothes together because of the unique ensembles that can be created.  So, fashion, and the future, offer us limitless possibilities–now doesn’t that just make you want to make your own mixtape (or whatever the young kids are doing these days)?

Outfit (Designer/Purchased from):

Top:  Sears JR Bazaar/vintage

Skirt:  Unionbay/Army Base Exchange

Belt:  vintage

Shoes:  Mossimo Supply Co./Target

Bracelet:  gift

Earrings:  gift