Category Archives: casual outfits

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

Seattle staycation + travel casual

During Spring Break a couple of weeks ago, Sam and I enjoyed a bit of a staycation. We took the train up to Seattle and explored some of the typical “tourist-y” sights in town — and enjoyed every minute of it! It was quite drizzly, which was PERFECT for Seattle (and meant less tourists). Win-win!

First stop was the Pike Place Public Market downtown, with its collection of cobblestone streets and alleyways and fish-throwing workers.

Librarian for Life + Stye | Seattle Public Market sign

Next stop was the gum wall alley, located along Post Alley under Pike Place Market. It’s become a local landmark since the early ’90s. It’s… pretty gross. So OF COURSE we had to take pics there. All for y’all, dear readers. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Seattle gum wall + travel casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Seattle gum wall + travel casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Seattle gum wall

It was also a good spot to take pics of my casual travelling outfit. I love wearing cargo vests for travel, so this time I wore my new burgundy cargo vest (which is still available, wow!). It was rainy and cold, so my long-sleeved black tee, comfy jeans, and new black sneakers rounded out the practical parts of my outfit. My chevron knit scarf was practical while also adding a bit of pizzazz to my casual, comfy travel ensemble.

Librarian for Life + Style | Seattle gum wall + travel casual outfit closeup

Librarian for Life + Stye | Seattle gum wall selfie

Librarian for Life + Style | Seattle gum wall + Sam's travel casual outfit

So grosssssssssss! But these pics of us in front of the gum walls crack me up! (And yes, I totally had hand sanitizer gel in my bag!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Seattle gum wall outtake

Librarian for Life + Style | Seattle gum wall outtake

Librarian for Life + Style | Seattle gum wall + travel casual outfit

Weather:  Rainy and overcast, stereotypically perfect Seattle weather!

Where:  Typical tourist travels around Seattle downtown

What:

While we were in the vicinity, of course I had to pose with the famous bronze Rachel the Piggy Bank, the “mascot” of the Pike Place Market!

Librarian for Life + Stye | Seattle Public Market pig statue collage

Seattle waterfront and overcast vista near the Public Market:

Librarian for Life + Stye | Seattle vista

And of course, a stop just down the street to the first Starbucks store!

Librarian for Life + Stye | Visiting the Seattle Starbucks flagship store

Next, we took the monorail up to the Seattle Center, which is the location for the Space Needle and loads of museums, including the Pacific Science Center, Museum of Pop Culture, and The Children’s Museum. And there is public art EVERYWHERE — even to shield the view of parking lots! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Stye | Seattle public artwork collage

Librarian for Life + Stye | Seattle Space Needle and fountain

We didn’t go up the Space Needle as the wait was a bit too long. (Plus it was a super cloudy day, and with the steep ticket prices, we figured it would be better to visit again on a clear day.)

And when we visited the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library, I lit up with glee when I spied a miniature of the Space Needle in its collection!

Librarian for Life + Stye | Space Needle miniature in the Seattle Public Library

And OF COURSE we had to visit the Seattle Public Library, to see up close the iconic and award-winning glass-filled design of its Central Branch, which opened in 2004. It has 10 levels, with tons of views and built-in way-finding by incorporating Dewey Decimal call numbers into the floor tiles. Brilliant!

Librarian for Life + Stye | Seattle Public Library collage

Librarian for Life + Stye | Built-in wayfinding in the Seattle Public Library

Librarian for Life + Stye | Views from the Seattle Public Library

And finally, as you can see below, I had some fun playing around with the library’s copy of Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library! 😀 😀 😀

By the way, I’m documenting on Instagram my current reading goal of reading, or re-reading, all the Agatha Christie books in the order they were published. I’m currently up to Peril at End House, published in 1932. (For reference, her first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920, and The Body in the Library wasn’t published until 1942.)

#LibrarianNerd #AgathaChristieFan

Librarian for Life + Stye | Having fun with Agatha Christie's 'The Body in the Library' at Seattle Public Library

Even though Seattle was ranked low in a recent national tourism poll — which had me cracking up! — that’s just fine with us! There’s plenty more for us to see and explore and enjoy.

Have y’all ever visited Seattle or the Pacific Northwest? 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 FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Navy + pink stripes for springtime

Two quick reminders:


I have worn my new navy- and pink-striped tee a few times already, but it hasn’t yet made it to the blog… until now! The pink and navy color combo feels so fresh for spring, and we’re finally seeing some blooms around here. Of course, it’s still off-and-on rainy (more “on” than “off”), so the rain boots are still a necessity.

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes for spring

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes for spring

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes for spring

I wore this on the weekend running errands, and it’s a good casual example of my personal style:

  • Comfy = Yep! Skinny jeans and a tee are always comfortable in my book
  • Classic = You can’t get more classic than a striped tee and a trench coat!
  • Touch of whimsy = The bits of whimsy for me come down to the pops of pink, especially in the unexpected pink trim on the rain boots, and in the daisy floral trim in the trench coat.

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes for spring

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy trench coat close-up

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes for spring

We took a break while running errands around town to enjoy a stroll around Wright Park, which is one of the oldest, and loveliest, parks in the city. They have trees of all different kinds, and placards on each so I always learn something new each time we visit. And OF COURSE I got excited when we came across an old cherry blossom tree, this one blooming with buds of white.

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes + cherry blossom trees

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes + cherry blossom trees

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes + cherry blossom trees

And at the end of our quick photo shoot, Sam spied a brightly painted rock around one of the trees. It turns out there’s a community art project called “Tacoma Rocks,” in which locals paint rocks and place them all around the city. Why? In order to spread happiness. The founder of the Tacoma Rocks group stated in a local interview that, “We spread smiles one rock at a time.” How awesome is that?!

The rock that Sam found spreads a great message, that “Different is cool!” ♥ ♥ ♥ I had to share this sweet story and awesome message!

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma Rocks find!

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes + cherry blossom trees

Weather:  Off and on rain and sunshine with a chilly breeze

Where:  Errand-running on the weekend

What:

  • Striped tee:  J.Crew Factory, new (available in different colors)
  • Trench coat:  Jason Wu for Target, old
  • Skinny jeans:  Target, old
  • Rain boots:  Hunter, old
  • Silver circle earrings:  Local boutique in Tacoma, Christmas gift from my husband

Shop my outfit

similar navy trench coat  //  similar pink-and-navy striped tee  //  very similar skinny jeans  //  very similar rain boots by same brand

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + pink stripes 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, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print | How I mentally put together outfits

If you’re a longtime reader (thank you!), then you know I’m super practical, and I also enjoy thoroughly thinking through each outfit that I wear. It’s a creative outlet for me, and also a way to merge my creative and practical sides together. Everything I wear has a purpose and a reason for why I’m wearing it, depending on the weather and the activities set for that specific day. And sharing those reasons with others is a major reason why I still enjoy blogging. Not just posting pics of what I wear on Facebook or Instagram — but having the space to reflect and write down my thoughts and reasons for what I wear, to give voice to this style journey that I am documenting.

Reflecting on how I “build” outfits

In my head, when I’m “building” outfits, it is akin to those books in my childhood that you could flip the top, bottom, and middle sections to mix-and-match different looks. (Do they still make those?) I have the ability to visualize outfits in my head; I don’t have to physically “see” the clothes to put things together. (Same thing goes for mentally rearranging furniture in a room.) I just flip through possibilities in my head, mentally switching up tops or bottoms or accessories until I get to an outfit combination that makes sense.

How do I know when that moment comes? It’s hard to describe, but it’s like my brain is all active doing that mental flipping, flip flip flip like a lightbulb blinking. When it gets to a good outfit combination, my brain pauses and calms down, the glow from the lightbulb strong and true. A good outfit combo literally and mentally just feels right to me. Maybe that’s simply called instinct. I guess what it comes down to is that I’ve learned to trust my sartorial instincts.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print closeup

Building an outfit, step by step

So how did this outfit come about? I’ll go through my mental outfit-building, step by step:

  • It first started with the shoes, which are patent leather. It was off-and-on rainy that morning, and patent leather is a good choice for rainy days. This was on the weekend, and we were running errands in the morning, so these patent leather flats would also be practical for doing that.
  • I had worn these grey jeans earlier in the week, so they were still on the floor in the laundry basket, so they came next. These jeans also aren’t too long, so they would be a good length with the flats.
  • Then I mentally flipped through a few possibilities for tops that would tie in with the red flats, and I came to my red striped tee. So far so good.
  • It was chilly, so I wanted an extra layer for warmth, and I first thought about a solid-colored cardigan, like my grey or black cardigan. And then, the final lightbulb — another opportunity to pattern-mix! My grey leopard-print cardigan would coordinate color-wise with my grey jeans but would also provide a bit more visual excitement to the top half with the pattern-mixing.
  • And when I pictured my leopard-print cardigan with the rest of the outfit I had put together in my mind, everything clicked. I could see it in my mind, and it just felt right.
  • Last step, accessories. I didn’t want a necklace to clutter up the pattern-mixing or the boat neckline of the striped tee. I didn’t want heavy earrings because we were running errands. So I went with simple earrings, black and silver earring studs. Done! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print closeup

One of our errands took us across the Sound into Gig Harbor. And I like to the take photos while we’re out and about, as a way to also document where we live, so it was a perfect opportunity to highlight the marina waterfront along the smaller town of Gig Harbor. This location was at the Austin Estuary Park, which helps protect wetland and stream buffer areas with native grasses, shrubs, and trees. A great place to take photos, and a great place to appreciate our natural habitat!

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing stripes + leopard print

Finally, another shoe portrait of me and Sam! Tomorrow, I’ll be highlighting another outfit of Sam’s, so stay tuned!

Librarian for Life + Style | Shoes selfie

Weather:  Off-and-on rainy and sunny

Where:  Errand-running in Tacoma and Gig Harbor

What:

  • Cardigan:  c/o giveaway, old
  • Striped tee:  J.Crew Factory, last winter
  • Jeans:  Macy’s, old
  • Flats:  DSW, old

Shop my outfit

similar grey leopard print cardigan  //  similar striped tee  //  similar grey jeans  //  similar patent leather flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing stripes and leopard print 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, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

SIA interpretation: Garden Center roses

SIA inspiration pick:

It’s time for my interpretation for this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge, this time chosen by Erin @ Loop Looks. She has posted before on her blog about her friend Annabelle’s job at Garden Center Services, an organization that provides services and job training for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. One of their programs is called GrowArts, and its goal is to have the adults they serve create art that they then sell. For SIA this week Erin chose one of the pieces they have for sale, a striking painting of roses.

My interpretation:

Librarian for Life + Style | Garden center SIA collage

My very first idea was to wear my green, rose-print scarf. I wanted the focus to be more on the rose print, so I went the green-and-tan color scheme route, rather than pulling focus with a bright red clothing item. (But I did add in a touch of red with the ladybug on my brooch.)

The SIA painting is part of the Garden Center Services project, so I wanted to stick with that theme by taking photos in a local community garden. We took photos in the Dometop Community Garden, which is right beside the Rogers children’s park and overlooks a restored 1907 school building.

Can you tell I was ready for spring?! You might say I was so ready, I was jumping for joy… 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

I mixed in more florals with my rose earring studs and my floral clutch. More pattern-mixing with multiple kinds of roses! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral scarf and jewelry closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

By the way, this clutch is pretty roomy! I can fit in my wallet, sunglasses case, tissues, chapstick, and my cell phone, with room to spare. PLUS this clutch is pattern-mixing all on its own, with an interior of striped fabric! I also love that the external fabric is a scuba-like material.

Librarian for Life + Style | What's in my clutch?

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

Weather:  Early spring day with off-and-on sunshine and drizzly rain

Where:  Running errands on the weekend

What:

  • Floral scarf:  Lands’ End, old
  • Denim jacket:  Tommy Hilfiger for Macy’s, old
  • Ankle pants:  Macy’s, old
  • Canvas flats:  Grasshoppers via DSW, old
  • Floral clutch:  Lulu’s, c/o giveaway, old

Shop my outfit:

rose print scarf //  very similar beige ankle pants  //  rose stud earrings //  similar beige canvas flats  //  very similar dark denim jacket

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral-mixing outfit collage

How you can participate in this SIA challenge:

There’s still time to participate!

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, Erin, at looplooks@gmail.com. Erin will post the SIA round-up on her blog, Loop Looks, this Wednesday, so get those photos in to her before then!

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