Thursday, October 17, 2019

inVESTed in velvet

My Mom and Dad gave me this pretty peacock vest for my birthday last month, and I've already come up with two fun ways to wear it! It is definitely a unique wearable art piece in velvet with bead accents.
First up I wore it over this cute black swing dress from Old Navy. I wanted to find a dress that was long sleeved and the same length as the vest, and for $20 it was a no brainer. I can easily add tights to this look when the snow flies, and change out the booties to flat or heels depending on where I am going. The vest has a single button so it can be worn open or closed.
Aris A. Peacock Beaded Velvet Vest : Steinmart (my Mom's fav store)
Maris Booties : Sole Society (old)

A more common look for these flowy toppers, kimonos, or long cardigans is skinny jeans and a top. I went all black but you could easily experiment with blue jeans and colored tops. I have flats on here but they can be changed out too!
Aris A. Peacock Beaded Velvet Vest : Steinmart (my Mom's fav store)
Apt 9 Top, Rock & Republic High Roller Jeans : Kohl's (old)
Black Flats : Walmart

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

How the Midwest does Paris

This luxurious velvet skirt is by a Parisian designer - Mes Demoiselles - that I had not been acquainted with yet. When I saw it at Anthropologie, I predicted it would sell out fast (I was right). It was a splurge that I used my birthday discount and birthday money on. 
Is it a bit dressy and out of place for someone who lives in a small town in Michigan? Yes. Are the colors a bit garish? Yes. Then it's right up my alley! LOL!
With colors of mustard, hot pink, electric blue and deep green I was already putting ideas together in my head. Anytime I want to dress down a fancy piece, I think of a denim jacket, t-shirt, chambray shirt, etc.... I kept it pretty low key here with an olive shell that would match my olive booties. 
Mes Demoiselles Skirt : Anthropologie
Sonoma Shell and Booties : Kohl's (old)
Jean Jacket : TJ Maxx (old)
I love coming up with several ways to wear something, but realize it's too hard to photograph every instance I wear it and only change out one or two pieces. So I think I'll try to keep up with these flat lay options. I am a firm believer in having a good base of layering pieces - for instance these Sonoma shells I bought in every color a few years ago....... chenille cardigans and long dusters bought in multiple colors. It may seem like a lot, but I'm telling you your mix and match options are going to be endless. I know many people are into neutrals so they can always match, so I hope this proves you can love COLOR and have lots of options too! First up I'm going with a hot pink shell and then olive topper. The cropped jacket will give it very much the same silhouette as I am wearing above.
Same hot pink shell but a teal sweater.
Electric blue shell with mustard sweater (the blue is a much closer match to the skirt in person - hard to photograph).

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Pumpkin Print

I'm not really one to gravitate toward a season or holiday specific piece of clothing, because I like to have the majority of my clothing be considered "year round". I have very few items that fall into hardcore categories, and if you've followed me for any amount of time you know I love the challenge of putting outfits together for all kinds of weather. But when I saw this cute pumpkin top (actually, they are more like small gourds) from Modcloth, I couldn't resist! The watercolor like print is so pretty, and as the stereotype goes for my gender/age, I LOVE Fall. So, I set out to come up with several ways to get the most out of this blouse over the next few weeks.
I've been trying to be more creative with my skirts, by way of graphic tees or pattern mixing. This ombre velvet skirt is from Modcloth too, and last year I played it safe with basic black. The colors are a perfect pairing for this top though and I am liking the addition of a belt to hide the elastic waist and make things look more put together.
Velvet Skirt : Modcloth
Sonoma Belt : Kohl's
Booties : Target
The top is a flowy style, which I love, and here I paired it with some dark wash straight leg jeans. In an effort to get away from my usual brown or black footwear, I pulled out these purple heels I've had for a while. With so many colors in the top, I had several sweater options for layering, but I choose a purple duster (which unfortunately looks more pink in the photos). We've been having those days where you need a layer in the morning but by afternoon it is gorgeous!
Sofft Heels : old
Bongo Duster : Sears (budget option to the LuLaRoe Sarah or Free People one)

As much as I love a flowy top, I often try belting as an option to create a peplum silhouette. I went with a lighter wash skinny jean here, and brown flats to match the belt.
Belt : Took off an old dress
Universal Thread "Wenda" Flats : Target (Free People dupe)
Here's a few more ideas...... it would go with either my burgundy (AE) or olive (Talbots) jeans. If I were to pair it with colored pants, I would then top it with a denim jacket.

 Besides the duster shown above, I think any of the chenille cardigans I posted about last year would top it off nicely! Chenille is so perfect for Fall!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Moods & Mojo

 Last week I was really frustrated with blogging/instagramming, because I had tried to photograph 3 different outfits on 3 different days and I did not like any of the pictures. There are so many factors, to me at least, that go into this whole process and as we enter the Fall/Winter season it gets even harder with weather and lighting conditions. It's down times like this when I think, "Why am I even doing this?" and "Who cares?". But then I think about the things that have fallen to the wayside as I am in this mid-life Mom-mode and I tell myself, "NO! I am not giving up one more thing that is just for me and my creative outlet!"
 I also remind myself that these moods, or blogging mojo, are always up and down. And sure enough, this week has started out great and I am back to loving the results. I hope it keeps up for the rest of the week!
 This is that $368 Anthropologie dress that I found at Marshalls for $19.99. It is seriously ranking up there as one of the best finds of my lifetime and it finally felt like the right time to wear it. It felt natural to accessorize it with a brown belt and booties. It has pockets and was so light and comfy today!
 Essentiel Antwerp Dress : Anthropologie via Marshalls
Belt : Kohl's
dv "Jameson" Booties : Target

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

No In Between

What do we think of this pattern mixing? I love it when random pieces come together unplanned, which is how most of my pattern mixing tends to happen anyway. And I like it when I don't have to try too hard. This is the $12 skirt from TJ Maxx this Summer and a Loft blouse from a few years ago. 
Have you ever seen those memes where they compare two extreme things, and then state "there is no in between"? I totally feel like that describes my life perfectly, and here's why this outfit made me think of that theme. Here are my "no in betweens".............
1. I am either dressed up and accessorized with intention, or I am wearing cruddy leggings with a mismatched tee. This includes hair/makeup versus unwashed hair/no makeup.
2. I am a foodie who wants to try the most crazy combo at a new restaurant, or I want a burger with just ketchup.
3. I am in bed early reading, bitching about "what the kids these days are doing" (old and responsible), or else I am driving down the highway, eating an ice cream cone, singing along to Lizzo, with my gas light on (young and irresponsible).
There is no in between!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

September Reads

I felt like I was in a reading slump for September. I only read 3 books and they were all sort of "meh" to me. A lot of my free time was also taken up by binge watching all 5 seasons of Schitt's Creek. OMG I am so in love with those people!!! That's usually me though..... I don't get into a show right away and then after hearing people rave about it I get caught up and see what all the fuss was about. BUT, let's get on to the books.
My Dark Vanessa by: Kate Elizabeth Russell
Thank you Harper Collins for this advance reader copy (January 28, 2020 release). When you see a quote from Stephen King on the cover of a book, you can't help be intrigued. Unfortunately, this fell flat for me. This is the story of 15 year old Vanessa who gets involved in a romantic relationship with her teacher. It affects her quality of life as she grows into her 20's and 30's. As formal allegations come out against this man, Vanessa has to also come to terms that she wasn't his only interest. She grapples with going back and forth between being a victim or willing participant.
Three Women by: Lisa Taddeo
This book received a lot of hype this Summer, so I picked it up at the library. After years of reporting, Lisa decides to tell the true stories of the sex lives of 3 women. Since our society is so focused on it being taboo for women to express what they want, I was interested to understand what this book was about. One woman was in a student/teacher relationship similar to the book I just read. One woman was married with kids and her husband no longer had interest in her so she looked up an old flame. One woman was in all the right social circles in an affluent area, but her husband wanted to bring other people into their relationship. I guess I expected this to be empowering to women, but it all just ended the way it is expected to end...... the teacher is never brought to justice for his crimes and the student is afflicted for life. The woman with the old flame has strong feelings for him which he does not return (however will participate in the physical portion). The affluent woman sort of enjoys the additional partners but truly seems to only be doing it to please her husband. I felt this book was hyped as the women being able to vocalize and get what they wanted but it ended up being all about conforming to the opposite sex yet again.
This Tender Land by: William Kent Krueger
This book was just released, but thank you Atria Books for sending me a copy. This book has been compared to "Where the Crawdads Sing" (which I loved) and similar to a recent read of mine "Before We Were Yours". Based on mistreated orphans during the Great Depression, Odie escapes the Lincoln School with his brother and two other friends in tow. They travel downriver in hopes of reaching St. Louis where Odie remembers an Aunt they might be able to live with. The trip is full of good and bad characters they meet along the way, all the while their previous captors in hot pursuit. The story was a bit slow for me at times, and then the end had a lot going on (some twists) and wrapped everything up pretty quickly. This was good, but just not as good as other books in this genre. But then again, I think I am just having an off month and I can't wait to break this slump in October!