Category Archives: behind the blog

Early birthday present | Audrey Hepburn hoop earrings

The poll is open to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from June — thanks in advance!

My birthday’s in August, but my mom recently gifted me an early birthday present:  Smithsonian Museum Store’s reproductions of the classic ’50s hoop earrings in Audrey Hepburn’s personal collection. Audrey Hepburn wore these earrings in the classic 1954 film Sabrina — and frequently in real life, too.

And if you follow me via Pinterest, then this will explain my new Pinterest board filled with style inspiration for this classic style of hoop earrings. This was a popular style in the 1950s, worn by not only Hepburn but also by Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Brigitte Bardot, among others. The first Barbie dolls also had this same style of hoop earrings!

Librarian for Life + Style | Audrey Hepburn earrings, Smithsonian collection

And how beautiful is this pink leatherette gift box?! It also comes with an additional card explaining the Smithsonian’s collection of reproducing classic pieces of Audrey Hepburn’s jewelry, as well as a little card, seen below, with an inspirational Audrey Hepburn quote. They made these earring replications with the help of Hepburn’s two sons. Amazing!

Librarian for Life + Style | Audrey Hepburn earrings, Smithsonian collection

Librarian for Life + Style | Audrey Hepburn earrings, Smithsonian collection

The pierced versions of these earrings were sold out, so my mom went ahead and got the clip-on versions. The gold pair is lighter than the silver pair, even though it’s slightly larger in size. I will most likely get the clip-on earrings converted to pierced versions, but for the meantime, I’m trying them out as is.

Librarian for Life + Style | Audrey Hepburn earrings, Smithsonian collection

So beautiful! And I think you will be seeing more Audrey Hepburn-inspired outfits this summer… stay tuned! 😀

You can also revisit an Audrey Hepburn-inspired casual summer outfit here and also here. Her style — both clothes AND jewelry — is so timeless and classic!

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 FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Thoughts on my style after one year at my new workplace

Longtime readers of this blog (thank you!) will know that a year ago, I changed jobs and workplaces and moved from Oregon to Washington state. I love my current and now not-so-new job and library and campus, and it’s been fun to witness how my new colleagues (who are all awesome and have their own distinctive styles, by the way!) have reacted to and gotten used to my personal work style over this past year.

I’ve been thinking for a while that it might be interesting to capture thoughts — both my own and my colleagues! — on my work style after one year at my new workplace. And as I wrap up the end of my first academic year at my new college — this is the final day of spring quarter! — I thought it would be perfect timing to finally put this post together.

Librarian for Life + Style | Style thoughts after one year at my new workplace

Style inspiration:

Over this past year, I think I have become quietly known as “stylish” amongst my colleagues, or at least known to care about style. Some of my colleagues have shared with me that they look forward to seeing what I will be wearing and have been inspired by my style, which always feels great:

I always look forward to what you will be wearing. You mix it up.

I wish I could live in your closet.

I want to dress like you when I grow up.
(This was a recent comment from a library worker who’s applying to library school! So sweet!)

Conversations and questions about style

And it might surprise my readers, but I usually don’t initiate conversations about fashion and style at work. The exception to this is that I do often compliment a colleague on what he/she is wearing… which does often then lead to conversations about fashion and style. And of course, I’m happy to join in style-related conversations if others start them or ask me questions, which has happened (and more frequently) at work. That’s why I have this blog, so I have an outlet to talk about fashion and personal style! 🙂

A colleague, as I shared in this prior post about my love of pockets, once asked me how did I find so many dresses and skirts with pockets in them. And more than one colleague has asked me for advice on where to find comfortable work shoes, as well as about shoe inserts. I’ve also mentioned my love of thrifting more than once, so I’ve also answered questions about my favorite thrifting stores, both in town and online.

Amusing colleagues with prints, bold colors + attention to detail

I have also often surprised, or perhaps just amused?, a few of my colleagues by my love of prints and bold colors!

These moments remind me of a time at my previous library when I first wore my red ankle pants, and a colleague walked into my office, stopped short, and stammered, “Those are… RED pants.” My response? “Yep!” Paired with a wide smile, of course. 😉

Here are some of the work outfits I remember that made some of my colleagues’ eyebrows go up:

Librarian for Life + Style | Kitty cats + books | Pairing a novelty print skirt with statement heels

I can still remember the double-take and the incredulous tone, “Are those… cats?!”

Original post:  Classic + quirky | Pairing a novelty print skirt with statement heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Original post:  Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Original post:  Raspberry velvet, if you please

When colleagues have asked me about how I put together an outfit, they’re often surprised at the level of thought and detail I put into it. I think some of my readers also marvel at this, hah! (Hey, Erin, what’s up? 😉 )

Yes, I really do think through everything I wear, even down to the jewelry, and I’ve written about my thought process behind putting outfits together in more detail here in this post. Putting together outfits and remixing clothing combinations in my head is like my version of crosswords — keeps my brain active and fresh! 😉

Looking professional

My focus on always wanting to look professional at work has been noted, even in recent evaluations from members of my tenure committee (!):

She was dressed professionally, yet casually, and offered a welcoming attitude

She was dressed professionally and seemed prepared to take on whatever the morning had to offer

I appreciate those two comments above because they demonstrate my personal style’s focus on comfort and practicality, and how one’s style and one’s work often intersect. Style can, indeed, impact how you interact with others. If you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing, then others can feel that, too, and perhaps feel more comfortable and confident themselves.

Another colleague remarked once in person,
You always look impeccably professional.

Enjoying style + remixing clothing

Other colleagues have noted that I do enjoy style, and that joy comes through in what I wear:

You can tell you enjoy clothes and thinking about clothes.

Colleagues have also noted the variety of items I wear and that I like to remix clothing:

Colleague:  “I don’t think I’ve seen you wear the same thing twice.
Me: “You’ve seen me wear the same piece more than once, just in different ways. I like to remix items. Like this skirt, which I’ve worn several times to work.
Colleague:  “Huh. You’re right!

This was the outfit that inspired the above conversation:

Librarian for Life + Style | Wearing a tunic dress as a top | Bold red + black

How big IS your closet?

[It’s not actually that large, it’s just well-organized. And I share half of the closet with my husband. See here for a tour of our current closet.]

Librarian for Life + Style | A tour of our new closet

You have the best shoe collection!

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of high heels in new closet

Has my work style changed over this past year?

Hmmm… that’s interesting to think about. I think overall my style has become a little more simplified over the past year. It does rain a LOT up here in Tacoma — even more so than in Portland! — so I haven’t gotten to wear as many “fun” shoes to work as I used to be able to. Also, my job here is even more active than my job was in Oregon — more meetings outside the library, so a lot of walking across campus — so again, that’s impacted my footwear choices.

I’ve also noticed that I’ve been rewearing a lot of my older outfits, especially since I finished updating all my Gallery pages. And I have had an entirely new set of colleagues, this means they’ve never seen me wear those older outfit combos — it’s all new to them! 😉 So on days when I just don’t want to think about putting an outfit together, or when I’m running late or feeling sluggish in the morning, I just look at my Gallery archives and choose an outfit I’ve worn before. Easy!

Sharing the joy of style

I’ve also noticed how a couple of co-workers now seek me out to show me their shoes or clothing items, items both new and new-to-me. That’s always fun, to share in the joy of style by proxy. And I am always appreciative of my colleagues’ style — I really enjoy that we all have distinctive personal styles — especially when it requires fawning over a colleague’s pair of blue suede ankle booties! I’m up for that any day. 😉

And if you’re wondering, dear readers, if I share my style blog with my colleagues, the answer is no, I don’t choose to volunteer that information. A couple of colleagues have accidentally found out themselves about my style blog, by searching for librarians or library style online or through social media. [A couple more colleagues have since found out about the blog, after I wrote the first draft of this post… so… hi there!] I have been style blogging for 5+ years, so I can imagine that this blog pops up high on search result lists when you search for specific keywords like librarian style or librarian fashion. 😀 It’s just kind of weird to talk about the very specific arena of style blogging to those who don’t blog (hence my post about “Why I’m a style blogger, not a fashion blogger“), so I just choose to not make a big deal out of my style blog at work.

Note:  Talking about style in general is different to me than talking about my style blog. I will talk about style with anyone, any time. But outside the circle of basically my husband, my mom, and my good friend Stephanie, when anyone else I know in real life brings up my style blog, I basically stammer and try to change the subject as soon as possible. (And yes, my husband thinks this is a VERY WEIRD tendency of mine.)

Moving on from personal awkwardness… writing this post has also made me realize that I really do need to write some follow-up posts, like revisiting my current shoe collection (I had memorialized my entire shoe collection back in 2012 in this “Just me and my shoes” post), as well as going more in-depth about how I “trick out” my shoes with a variety of shoe inserts.


How do you feel your personal work style is viewed by your co-workers? Do you talk about style at your workplace? Please leave a comment and share!


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 FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Retro inspiration | Sailor-style trousers

A few years ago, I did a collage of me and my maternal grandmother, the side of my family that I most resemble, and that post remains one of my very favorite posts. (And y’all recently enjoyed a collage of me and my mom for Mother’s Day!).

Back when I did the post of my grandmother, I mentioned that I had a few different candid photos of her with the idea that I would do more posts of me wearing outfits inspired by her. I didn’t immediately follow up on that idea (sorry!), but I’ve never forgotten that idea. So when I was recently going back over those old photos of my grandmother, I realized that I now had another piece in my wardrobe, a pair of sailor-style pants I picked up this past fall, that I could wear for another retro- and family-inspired look.

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspirations

I basically recreated my grandma’s look with modern versions, starting with my wide-legged, sailor-style trousers. I then thought of my black wedge sandals, which looked a little similar to the bit of her black shoes visible in her photograph. I echoed her polka-dotted button-front blouse with my own diamond-print button-front blouse (the print looks like tiny polka dots from afar). And my new black tote bag is structured enough to play off the hard case she’s carrying in the photo.

I then carried my black rain coat when we took photos, to more closely mimic the inspiration photograph.

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration closeup

And y’all know me and details! I filled in my eyebrows a little more heavily and went red on the lips for a more ’40s makeup look. (The matte finish on my laps is due to just using red lip liner on my lips, instead of red lipstick.)

I think one of the main reasons I didn’t immediately do more of these retro inspiration looks of my grandma’s is because I cut my hair all off later that year into a ’20s-inspired bob. Since my grandmother’s look in these photographs is so clearly from the ’40s, I didn’t feel I could really channel her in the same way that I had in that first post.

I still have short hair, so what made this time different? First, I no longer have the blunt, ’20s-style bangs I used to have, and my bangs are long enough now to play with. My recent hair experiments with the Kenra hairsprays have also given me more confidence in playing with my short hair! Therefore, I decided that I could do a slight nod to the ’40s hairstyles with a little pin curl of my bangs. So I rolled my bangs over and into a slight curl at the end, and then pinned and sprayed the bangs. It’s subtle, but it was enough for me. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Weather:  Cooler but dry

Where:  Work day that included meetings

What:

Shop my outfit:

very similar polka dot button-front shirt  //  similar wide-leg black trousers  //  very similar black strappy wedges  //  exact black tote bag

Librarian for Life + Style | Print button-front and wide-leg trousers outfit collage


Did you enjoy this post and another outfit inspired by my grandmother? Do you have a favorite era for retro style inspiration? Please leave a comment and share!


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 FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Everyday faves | Nail polish tray

Everyday faves series

It’s time for a new entry in my now-monthly series about “Everyday faves,” to highlight everyday, or commonplace, things — or practices or habits — that make a difference in my life. For me, these posts are an exercise in self-reflection and appreciation.

Posts in the series have included:

Tray for nail polishes

This time for the “everyday faves” series, I’m highlighting the silver tray I use to store my nail polishes.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, nail polish tray

Where I got the tray

I first highlighted this tray back in 2014, in my “Pretty, practical, pretty:  A view of my dresser” post, when we lived in Portland. As I said back then:

The silver-worked tray is another item I picked up in the UAE, and I used it then for the same purpose I use it for now:  to store perfume and nail polish. It also ensures that I keep those two collections small enough to fit in this tray!

I found this tray in Abu Dhabi, at Lulu’s, one of their chains that’s akin to our Target. It’s one of the few non-jewelry items we took back with us from the UAE. We didn’t want to bother shipping furniture or anything big or heavy back to the U.S., so we focused on taking back whatever would fit into our suitcases when we moved back.
Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, nail polish tray

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, nail polish tray closeup

I still use the tray to store my collection of nail polishes, which is larger than my collection of perfumes. (I only have 3 perfumes at the moment:  Chanel No. 5, a gift form my mom; Burberry London, which is almost out, and a couple of musky vanilla scent freebies from Aveda). I currently have 15+ nail polishes, which all fit into my little silver tray.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, nail polish trayLibrarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, nail polish tray closeup

The tray, which is most likely tin or aluminum, is not that ornate or attention-getting in its design, but it’s sweet and pretty to my eyes, and it brings a smile to my face. Most importantly, the tray reminds me daily of our time in the UAE and our happiest memories spent there, every morning when I get ready for the day. And that feeling is priceless. ♥


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

Walking in my first fashion show

I have exciting news to share… I recently had the opportunity to walk in my first fashion show! 😀 😀 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

How did it come about? Local Tacoma designer Annie Moe, of MOE Gallery, invited me to be one of the models for her new line of Indonesian batik styles. Annie Moe is from Indonesia and is doing her bit to both preserve and spread the beauty of batik. (And batik has a fascinating history as a cultural art form. For example, Indonesian batik was designated in 2009 by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.) She recently held her spring fashion show at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma.

And how did Annie come to invite me? I have actually taught her in class a few times, and after the most recent time, she asked me to model in her spring fashion show. It was a very sweet moment, as she started with saying, “I have noticed you love fashion…” Of course, I took no convincing to say YES! 😀

(And by the way, Annie did NOT know about my style blog beforehand — I shared my style blog with her afterwards, before publishing this post, to make sure she was cool with it.)

Behind the scenes

This was a wonderful event with loads of inspiring designs and cultural displays. I was in the back area with the other models, so I didn’t get to enjoy the show itself. But my husband took pics of me during the show, and I took a few pics behind the scenes.

The best part for me about the whole experience was the feeling of positivity and camaraderie of the models. All of us were amateurs — many, like me, walking in a fashion show for the first time — and we cheered and clapped for each other in the hallway after each round. (I haven’t posted any close-up pics of the other models out of respect for their privacy.)

Annie had all the outfits lined up on rolling rods and tagged with each model’s name and outfit number.

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

I had a fitting session in the week before the show, where Annie talked through what she wanted for each round of outfits, including what kind of emotion or vibe she wanted for each walk. Annie also went through the music for each round to help illustrate the vibe she was going for. We were all expected to do our own hair and makeup, and provide our own shoes and accessories, by the way, so I took lots of notes during my fitting session. It was fun to flip roles, for me to become Annie’s student! 🙂

(By the way, a shout-out to my mom:  I showed up for my fitting in my mom’s vintage sunglasses, which Annie loved! So I got to wear my sunglasses during the first two of the three outfit rounds. 😀 )

I was super impressed by how Annie had thought through everything, including the plan for the walk and where to hit our poses (where the stars are marked on the map below).

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery, walk route

As you can see below, now you know why I needed a quick-dry manicure!

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

First outfit

I was the 5th out of the 17-model line-up, which included women, men, and younger girls. The first round of outfits was a cheerful mix of casual prints and styles. My outfit was a beach-ready maxi dress with box pleats, and I carried a teal-and-yellow print tote bag.

Yep, Annie had me pattern-mixing! 😀 The vibe was fun and confident.

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Second outfit

I was one of the taller models, so Annie wanted me in a shorter dress for the second round, to show off my legs. BAM! Mission accomplished. 😉 This dress fit LIKE A GLOVE. I loved the mix of the high neckline with the high-lo hem. All of the outfits in this round had this batik print of pinks and yellow-greens.

Annie wanted a more casual, sassy walking vibe for this round. And Sam managed to capture (and edit) a brief video clip of me walking in this outfit. Enjoy!

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Third outfit

This final round of outfits all featured this beautiful batik print of blues and blacks with subtle bits of orange mixed in. Annie designed all the batik prints as well as the garments. The long jacket I wore is open with no closures, so that’s my own black knit dress underneath, most recently seen here.

Annie wanted a more formal, strong vibe for this walk and round of outfits. I did attempt “smizing” (“smiling with your eyes,” as defined by Tyra via America’s Next Top Model). 😉 I felt great in this look!

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Encore

And here we are all lined up for the final encore, clapping for the designer Annie Moe! As you can see, it’s a wonderful mix of diversity, designs and models alike. I was very proud to walk in the show, and to do my bit to support a local designer!

Librarian for Life + Style | Final encore at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Final thoughts

After the fashion show, which garnered a lot of local attention, several people asked me if I was nervous to walk in the show. I actually didn’t feel very nervous, mainly because I kept reminding myself that it wasn’t about me. It was about Annie and her designs and her business. My job was to showcase her vision to the best of my ability.

Plus, she articulated her vision so clearly — and gave lots of personal tips! For example, Annie recommended while walking toward the audience, to look just slightly above their heads so as to avoid getting nervous or distracted. It totally worked! (Plus, it helped that I got to wear sunglasses the first two rounds, so in a way, no one could “see” me.) We also had time to rehearse walking before the show began, which I think was very smart in helping calm any nerves the models had).

Like I said, Annie had really thought through everything, and it was such an awesome experience!

MOE Gallery

And finally, yes, MOE Gallery has a Facebook page PLUS an online shop! You can also visit Annie Moe’s personal Facebook page. Check out the batik for yourself! 😀


Note:  This post is NOT sponsored nor compensated by MOE Gallery. I actually debated about whether or not to publish such a personal post, but in the end, I thought my readers would find it interesting! 


Did you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at a local fashion show? Which of the outfits is your fave? Please leave a comment and share!


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 FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp