Author Archives: Jen

About Jen

Librarian, blogger, movie lover

Monthly budget adventures (April 2017)

It’s time to see what my monthly clothing budget adventures were for this month! This month was a mix, and here’s a sneak peek at a few of my purchases:

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (April 2017) collage

white lace dress {sold out but very similar dress here}  //  grey leopard print infinity scarf {sold out but similar scarf here}  //  exact geometric-print canvas flats  //  exact espadrille flats

Local deals

Sam and I recently enjoyed a local “Wine Walk” around the Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma, where we sampled different wines at different local businesses. It was a great way to get to know the neighborhood!

I picked up two items from two different shops, including this pair of earrings from a local artist line, “Ajmer by Jodi.” These earrings are made from a natural shell called shiva shell, or “Pacific Cat’s Eye.”

Librarian for Life + Style | Shiva shell earrings

  • Shiva shell earrings, Ajmer by Jodi:  paid $20 (original price $28, 30% off)

I also couldn’t resist this velvet (or velveteen?) fedora at a local men’s store known as “Mr. Mac’s” (I’ve also heard it referred to as “Mac Daddy’s”), which has hats, socks, suits, and shoes in every color of the rainbow. This store is old-school and AMAZING.

Librarian for Life + Style | Hat shopping, April 2017

You’ll be seeing me wear this snazzy fedora soon!

Poshmark shopping experience

I have discovered Poshmark. Or how I stated it on my Facebook page in early April:  “OMG, I have discovered and fallen into Poshmark, and I may never come back up.”

I have been looking for ages for a white lace or eyelet dress — I’ve even created a “White Lace Dress Ideas” board on my Pinterest — but I was finding it hard to find one that was (a) long enough, (b) had sleeves, but (c) didn’t have bell sleeves. (Too trendy for me.) Then I saw this one on Poshmark. Check, check, check. 🙂 This dress — one of last year’s styles from Joe Fresh — was also featured on two of my favorite bloggers, Corilynn and Merrick’s Art, so that helped to see the dress in action.

I added the leopard print infinity scarf to save money on bundling, plus to add more animal print accessories to my wardrobe. Animal print accessories are really versatile!

I will definitely keep browsing Poshmark — particularly for brands that are sold out online — and the search filters are great, as are the professional communications from Poshmark. It did take longer than I expected for this particular seller to actually send the items, but they arrived in good condition and as advertised.

Librarian for Life + Style | New lace dress Poshmark purchase, April 2017

Librarian for Life + Style | New animal print Poshmark purchase, April 2017

Details:

  • Lace dress, Joe Fresh {sold out but very similar dress here}:  paid $34 (original price $49, on sale for $40, 15% off with seller bundle)
  • Leopard print infinity scarf, Express {sold out but exact scarf available here}:  paid $12.75 (original price $21, on sale for $15, 15% off with seller bundle)

Canvas flats at Target

I wasn’t planning on buying more canvas flats and sneakers… but dang that Target for having really cute options! This shoe style has become one of my favorites to wear throughout spring, summer, and early fall — they’re so comfortable, and a really easy and casual way to add pattern and texture to an outfit.

I have already worn the canvas sneakers with the geometric design, so you’ll be seeing those soon. And those DV espadrille flats? Amazingly cushy! (I’m saving those for actual summer, when it finally stops raining for a bit.)

Sizing notes:  I had to size down a half-size on the canvas sneakers, but I had to size up a half-size on the espadrille flats.

Librarian for Life + Style | New shoes from Target, April 2017

Details:

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $128.50
Total savings for this month:  $51.49

Total spent for this year:  $529.48
Total savings for this year:  $401.73

What I didn’t buy:  Victoria Beckham collection at Target

I also tried on what few pieces of the Victoria Beckham boutique collection were left at our local Target. There wasn’t much left, and what I did try on… I can’t say I was that impressed. I think Victoria Beckham is legit talented as a designer and has earned her high fashion design cred. But her collection at Target was disappointing to me, especially with its odd sizing (the tops ran big while the bottoms ran small, and all the dresses were TOO short!). Just not for me.

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying on Victoria Beckham for Target collection

Giveaways and gifts

I was the lucky winner of a recent giveaway on the Doused in Pink blog! The prize was my choice of a pair of foldable flats by Fit in Clouds. Their flats fold up in a little bag, which you can put in a purse and take with you, switching out from heels to flats.

I chose the bronze pair, because they were so different and fun. I’m inbetween shoe sizes, and these flats only come in whole sizes. I sized up, just in case, but I could have sized down and been just fine. I think these will also be a super cute option to wear when you’re hosting a party or dinner at home with friends — something sparkly but also comfy.

Librarian for Life + Style | Fit in Clouds foldable flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Fit in Clouds foldable flats collage

My husband picked up this embroidered ribbon this past month in Portland — and I’ve already worn it as a belt, as seen in this post. I plan to use the ribbon to make a regular belt plus a headband… projects for the summer!

Librarian for Life + Style | Red floral ribbon closeup

Last but not least, my mom surprised me this past month by sending me a care package — which included a Pride & Prejudice-themed tote bag and clutch from the Out of Print Clothing site! So sweet! I have the P&P-themed tee, which is more of a true purple color. The color of the two bags is more of a midnight blue.

You can browse all of the Out of Print P&P collection here.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pride and Prejudice tote bag and pouch from Out of Print clothing

I’ve admittedly been spending more than I’m comfortable with these last few months, so I definitely need to slow it down. I don’t feel as bad about this past month because most of it went to either local businesses or toward local sellers via Poshmark.

(And I still have my eye on one particular item on Poshmark… so you’ll probably see that next month!)


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Today’s work outfit was really all about remixing my pink- and purple-print dress for a work-appropriate combo. The first time I wore this print dress was for a special anniversary night out in the summer. This time I wore it for work in chilly spring temps.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing a pink print dress

2015 post: Feeling special in my new print dress

A blazer can work magic, instantly making any dress — even a sleeveless dress like this one –more work-appropriate simply by layering it on top. That’s exactly why blazers are “completer pieces,” because they really do serve to finish off, or complete, an outfit.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink dress + bronze heels closeup

I also made the look more work-appropriate by adding brownish-burgundy opaque tights and bronze heels. These tights are AMAZING, by the way. They can look more brown or more reddish depending on what it’s paired with. With this dress, the opaque tights help “tone down” the print, at least in my head.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

And there is ALWAYS time for twirling! 😉

Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Pink + bronze + purple velvet

I did wear the blazer buttoned up most of the day, mainly because the top of the dress is a bit lower-cut than most of my dresses. It worked, although I think next time I will add a white cami or sports bra underneath the dress so there’s another visible layer there.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Weather:  Chilly and rainy spring day

Where:  Work day

What:

  • Velvet blazer:  Gap, over a decade old
  • Print dress:  Maggy London, thrifted, old
  • Tights:  American Apparel, old
  • Heels:  Franco Sarto, thrifted, old

Shop my outfit

very similar purple velvet blazer  //  similar print dress  //  Mary Jane heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + print dress outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

SIA round-up: Patchwork jogakbo

It’s time for the Style Imitating Art (SIA) round-up! I chose an artwork image that the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently released into the public domain, a striking patchwork wrapping cloth from Korea, called a “jogakbo,” that was made by an unidentified artist, ca. 1950–80.

"Patchwork wrapping cloth (jogakbo)" by Unidentified Artist Korean, 20th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art, is licensed in the public domain.

“Patchwork wrapping cloth (jogakbo)” by Unidentified Artist Korean, 20th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art, is licensed in the public domain.

I was drawn to the cloth’s combination of the texture, the graphic print of the patchwork, and the colors. What were y’all inspired by?

Jodie from Jodie’s Touch of Style is back with a look from her mother, Charlotte, who is the 70’s model on her blog. Jodie thought Charlotte’s color block dress was a great match for the patchwork cloth — and I agree! I particularly like the coiled necklace.

Charlotte's SIA otufit

Next up is longtime SIA participant Mike from Post Card Purposes, who immediately thought of his striped sweater, which has a lot of the colors in the patchwork cloth. Also, check out this post on his blog that features a previous time he wore this sweater — with a backdrop right up this challenge’s alley! 🙂

Mike's SIA outfit

More stripes! Next is Kezzie from KezzieAG, who wore a lovely striped dress and glittery footwear. LOVE. (She also matches her backdrop. LOVE x 2.)

Kezzie's SIA outfit

SIA co-host Erin @ Loop Looks remixed a top and color combo she wore years ago. The pattern on this top really is perfect for this inspiration challenge, and it’s fun to see how Erin’s has changed with her job change. Be sure to visit her post to see the original outfit!

Erin's SIA outfit

SIA co-founder Salazar @ 14 Shades of Grey went a totally different way, and it totally works! She went for colorblocking white and navy with pops of red and pink. And her bow brooch is BRILLIANT, echoing the little bow in the middle of the wrapping cloth.

Salazar's SIA outfit

Speaking of brilliant bows, “A Dog” is back! YESSSSSSSSSSS. (A Dog first graced SIA back in December.) I literally yelled out in delight and clapped my hands when this submission came through. Those leg warmers are so awesome. Here’s the inspiration straight from A Dog’s mouth:

Hello I wear leg warmer for the latest Style Imitating Art selection the bows are blue just like the bow in the middle of the piece thank you.

A Dog's SIA outfit

Not that there is ANY possible way to top that… but I’ll do my best in rounding out this challenge. I took the opportunity to pattern-mix once again, layering gingham and stripes. More details and closeups on yesterday’s post.

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

This round-up was so good, y’all. So many interesting touches and colors and patterns, not to mention dog leg warmers. This round-up had it ALL. (Happy sigh.)


Next Monday, Erin @ Loop Looks will be curating the Style Imitating Art challenge. Stay tuned! 🙂

SIA interpretation: Patchwork jogakbo

It’s time for my Style Imitating Art (SIA) interpretation! And there’s still time to participate in the challenge! Everyone — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! — is welcome to participate. Just send a pic of an outfit — selfies and flat lays are also just fine — inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to this week’s curator (me!), at librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com. Deadline is tonight by 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), and I will then post the SIA round-up on my blog tomorrow. Also, be sure to check out my SIA co-hosts Salazar @ 14 Shades of Grey and Erin @ Loop Looks.

Inspiration:

I chose an artwork image that the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently released into the public domain, a striking patchwork wrapping cloth from Korea, called a “jogakbo,” that was made by an unidentified artist, ca. 1950–80. The cloth is in the upper right of the collage below.

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA stripes + gingham inspiration outfit collage

Interpretation:

When I saw the graphic design of the wrapping cloth, I immediately thought of my new Lands’ End striped dress. That was my starting point. I could have stopped there, but since the cloth incorporates different shapes, I thought pattern-mixing was in order. (Any excuse to pattern-mix, y’all! 😉 ) I could have paired this dress with almost any of my gingham shirts, but in the end, I went with my old orange gingham shirt from Old Navy. And my yellow tote bag finished off this ready-for-spring casual outfit.

And y’all know I’m not one to shy away from wearing color. Bring it on, spring! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

I went with my champagne-colored flats because they’re a neutral color, plus I thought the wrapping of the satin ribbon on the front of the flats fit in with the inspiration wrapping cloth.

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + flats SIA outfit closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

It was such a gorgeous and sunny day last weekend — the first day of spring that it felt warm enough to go out with bare legs! (And yes, I am really am this pale, all year round.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit closeup

And last but not least, do y’all remember when I mentioned the last time we took pics along East 34th Street Bridge that I wanted to take pics there each season as a fun way to capture the seasons here in Tacoma? So here you go, springtime and budding trees along East 34th Street Bridge in east Tacoma!

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + gingham SIA outfit

Weather:  Sunny and glorious

Where:  Errand-running on a Saturday morning

What:

  • Striped dress:  Lands’ End, new {exact dress still available!}
  • Gingham shirt:  Old Navy, old
  • Flats:  Payless, old
  • Tote bag:  Gift from my mom, old
  • Drop earrings:  Local boutique in Portland, old

Shop my outfit:

similar orange gingham shirt  //  exact striped dress  //  similar colorblock tote bag  //  similar flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Orange gingham + striped dress outfit collage


Can’t wait to see the round-up!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Sam’s style | Olive + black + grey

I didn’t realize until last week’s giveaway winners post that I had totally forgotten to post pics I took of another one of Sam’s outfits this past spring. I didn’t meant to deprive y’all, dear readers! This outfit’s a couple of months old — an oldie but goodie! 😉

So last week you got to enjoy the outtake, this week you get to enjoy the entire outfit of olive + black + grey + tweed.

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam's style, olive + black + grey

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam's style, olive + black + grey

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam's style, olive + black + grey

Another of Sam’s trademark hats! This one is in a black and white tweed that he picked up during our 2009 trip to Vienna. I love how the hat connects to his tweed canvas shoes. PLUS more pattern-mixing with his olive button-front shirt, which has a subtle diamond print when you look up close. (The cat hairs on his black waistcoat are NOT an intentional pattern. 😉 )

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam's style, olive + black + grey

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam's style, olive + black + grey

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam's style, olive + black + grey

Details of Sam’s outfit:

Shop Sam’s outfit:

similar olive button-front  //  exact black vest  //  exact jeans  //  similar tweed hat

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam's style, olive + black + tweed