Category Archives: fancy outfits

What we wore to the Oscars | Viewing party + style recap

My friend Christina has the best ideas! She’s the one who invited me to the “cars & couture” local fashion show last summer, and it was her idea to get tickets to the annual local Oscars viewing party, hosted by The Grand Cinema. I am a lifelong Oscars nerd fan, so she did not have to twist my arm to say yes — and then it turned out to be a really fun and unique “double date” when our significant others agreed to come along.

Festive attire dress code

The dress code, as explained on the event’s website, suggested “festive attire.” I had no idea what that meant, so y’all know I looked that up, right? Librarian skillz. ūüėČ Turns out, “festive attire” is basically like “cocktail attire” but with more sparkle and sequins.

This was a great opportunity for Sam to bust out his formal kilt attire, because YES. And he went full formal, with his tux shirt and buttons and bow tie and fancy, faux-fur sporran. I love love love when Sam gets to wear his formal kilt, because (a) he looks so handsome, (b) the Fraser red tartan is very striking, and (c) he looks so handsome.

And because Sam would be wearing the Fraser red tartan, I knew I would need to incorporate that into my own ensemble. I had two options in my closet that would coordinate with the red tartan:¬† my navy satin-and-chiffon halter dress, seen here, and my purple retro-style dress with the sweetheart neckline, first seen here. Either dress would have been fine, but I decided on my purple cocktail dress as it provided a bit more coverage, and it’s still winter. Practicality, y’all.

Here we are, in our festive finest:

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to the Oscars viewing party

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to the Oscars viewing party

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to the Oscars viewing party

The day before the Oscars viewing party, my friend Christina scored a black velvet wrap dress, seen below. A great find, so classic and flattering! I also loved that she added fun patterns with her clutch and heels. She also convinced her sweetie, Bismark, to incorporate patterns, through his checked button-front and socks. (Sadly, I forgot to get a picture of his socks!).

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to the Oscars viewing party

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to the Oscars viewing party

Don’t they look so dapper? ‚ô• And if Bismark’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the tattoo artist who painted the inspiration artwork that I chose for the first Style Imitating Art challenge of the year!

For fun, as well as to honor Bismark, I added his pin to my clutch. (You can also see a closeup of this pin on my Instagram.) I also added a Jamie Fraser Outlander pin to my clutch, to honor my own Fraser. This pin — which some of you may also have seen earlier this year on my Instagram! — was a Christmas gift from friends in Portland. I also added a Wonder Woman pin, because the movie should have been nominated for multiple Academy Awards this year but was shut out. (Other than Wonder Woman not getting nominated, I was pretty happy with the rest of the nominations. And I was pretty pleased with the eventual winners, too.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of clutch and pins

Below is a photo of my other accessories and jewelry. I first added the circular brooch that my husband’s Scottish great-aunt gifted me when we visited her and Sam’s cousins years ago during our trip to Scotland (see this post for more pics during that trip). To coordinate with the black pearls in that brooch, I added two bracelets with black pearls, as well as my headband that looks like it’s made of miniature black pearls. I added more sparkle with my crystal drop earrings, as well as the vintage, Art Deco-inspired brooch from my paternal grandmother.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of jewelry

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of scarf rosette and brooch

I used the circular brooch to secure one end of the sash, as you can see above, and I used the Art Deco brooch to secure the top part of the sash on my shoulder, as you can see below.

When I was double-checking to see which shoulder to drape the sash over — wearing it over the right shoulder signifies you are married to a clansman, whereas wearing it over the left shoulder signifies you are married to the clan chieftain — I saw a tutorial for an easy way to do a rosette at the end of the sash. I ended up doing a half-rosette, and I really loved how it finished off one end of the sash. The other end I left hanging down the back.

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to the Oscars viewing party

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to the Oscars viewing party

The viewing party was really well-organized! Everyone got awards booklets, as well as a special, complimentary cookie. There was a private viewing room for VIPs, but we opted for the general admission seats — and I am glad to report that the theatre seats were very cushy and comfortable! When you know the telecast will last 4+ hours, that’s a very important detail! ūüėČ

During the commercial breaks, the emcees held raffle drawings and even a costume contest! I forgot to get photos of the costume contest, but you can see more photos from the event here and here on the Grand Cinema’s Facebook site.

Librarian for Life + Style | Oscars viewing party 2018, program and cookie

Librarian for Life + Style | Oscars viewing party 2018

Librarian for Life + Style | Oscars viewing party 2018

They also had a fun photo booth downstairs, which was open during the entire telecast. They had all sorts of props to play with, including a miniature Oscar statuette, feather boas, masks, and more. Sam and I opted for black-and-white photos for our turn — we had fun with the Oscars statuette, because OF COURSE — and we went for full color for a group photo booth souvenir. I loved how these turned out!

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of photo booth souvenirs

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of photo booth souvenirs

Finally, some selfies to wrap up the night!

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to the Oscars viewing party

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to the Oscars viewing party

I really enjoyed reliving this fun night while putting this post together — I hope you also enjoyed this Oscars viewing party recap! What did you do for the Academy Awards this year? Please leave a comment and share. ūüėÄ

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Visible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilike, Shoe and Tell, Confident Twosdays, Turning Heads, Style With a Smile, Who’s Wearing What Wednesdays, Trendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup, Top of the World, Thursday Moda, Fashion Friday, Passion for Fashion, Fun Fashion Friday, Fabulous Friday, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever Linkup, Weekend Wear Link Up, #SaturdayShareLinkUp

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What I wore to a local fashion show

A friend of mine had two VIP tickets to the 2017 Tacoma Cars & Couture Fashion Show, and I was able to tag along as her “plus one.” ūüėÄ The show took place at LeMay – America’s Car Museum and¬†showcased five couture designers from around the Pacific Northwest:

It was a fantastic show, and last week on my Facebook page, I put together a “Cars and Couture Fashion Show 2017” album of photos from the event, including my favorite designs from the show. So definitely browse that album, screenshot below, if you’d like to see some really cool looks from local designers — whose styles were all so different!

Librarian for Life + Style | Facebook album screenshot of Cars and Couture Fashion Show 2017

Below is a peek at the program from the show — plus my awesome yellow-and-black heels (4 inches!) and my peekaboo vintage book cover purse. My friend and I decided to put in an effort and bust out the heels for the show. We fit right in! ūüėČ

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show, closeup of program

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show, closeup of killer heels

Below is a look at the whole outfit that I wore to the fashion show. I’ve worn my yellow-and-black heels with a cocktail dress, as seen here; with ankle pants, as seen here; and with black jeans, as seen here. This time, I decided to be a little bit different and pair them with my wide-leg black trousers. I knew we had front-row seats, so that when I sat down, my whole shoe would be visible. ūüėČ

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show

And if that top looks vaguely familiar, but also a little different, that’s because I decided to take the attached front ties on the blouse, as you can see here, and wrap them around my neck to let the ends hang down the back.

But of course, when I took a photo on the balcony off the museum’s main level — a view overlooking downtown Tacoma and the harbor — the scarf ends decided to photo-bomb me! ūüėÄ

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show and close-up of my photo-bombing neck scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show

We took these pics during the intermission — thanks, Christina, for taking photos! — when most of the crowd had retreated to either end, the lobby or the balcony, of the museum’s main level. But there were quite a few style bloggers and Instagrammers there, taking photos of their outfits in front of the cars. I was no exception! So instead of cropping this photo below, I decided to keep it wide so you could see some more of the photo-taking action. (I also looooooved the green-and-black hi-lo top the lady to my left is wearing. I would pair that top with skinny pants or jeans and use every excuse to walk around so the back hem would flare out.) The people-watching at the fashion show was almost as good as the couture itself!

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show

Also, a funny story to share with y’all: ¬†I had a nice chat with one of the show’s sponsors, who happened to be seated next to us. He was very nice (and very stylish), and remarked at one time that it was obvious that I was interested in fashion. He gestured toward my heels as proof, and I grinned in agreement. Toward the end of our chat, he asked what I did for a living. His face fell into TOTAL SHOCK when I revealed to him that I was a librarian. After he picked his jaw up off the floor, he was then delighted to learn that I had a style blog. I definitely felt like I was helping represent my profession in a positive way in that moment — and perhaps expand expectations of a librarian’s sense of style and love of fashion? ūüėÄ


Can’t get enough of fashion shows? You can also read about my first experience walking in a fashion show earlier this spring

Have you attended a fashion show before? What would, or did, you wear to a fashion show? Please leave a comment and share!


Linkups:  Hello Monday, Visible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilike, Shoe and Tell, Confident Twosdays, Turning Heads, Style With a Smile, Who’s Wearing What Wednesdays, Trendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, Top of the World, Thursdays Fashion Files, Thursday Moda, Celebrating Style, Fashion Friday, Passion for Fashion, Fun Fashion Friday, Fabulous Friday, Friday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever Linkup, Weekend Wear Link Up, #SaturdayShareLinkUp

Choosing the right bra for different holiday party outfits

I have written before about thinking through the practicalities of bras (like here in my post about wearing sports bras as tank tops, and here in my post here reviewing¬†a fancy floral maxidress and detailing what bra to wear with it). Even though I’m on the smaller cup size, I am firmly in the camp of always wearing a bra. It’s just uncomfortable not to, at least in my experience. And I don’t understand women’s clothing that is seemingly designed without that consideration in mind, i.e.¬†what kind of bra to wear with it.

I am a very practical person, and this extends to underwear! When we go shopping, and I see something I like, three main questions pop into my head:  (1) How much does it cost?, (2) Can I think of at least three outfits with this item?, and (3) What kind of bra can I wear with it?

ThirdLove logo

Therefore, when ThirdLove — a company founded by women who make bras for women, focusing on affordability, fit, shape, and comfort for real women — inspired¬†me to talk about finding the perfect bra, I was intrigued. They have a very diverse range of shapes in their bra Fit Finder, and¬†they have a “Try Before You Buy” program. Also, when I read their mission statement, I literally cheered:

Our mission is to empower all women to feel comfortable and confident every day, which is why we’ve donated over $1 million worth of bras to women in need across the country since we began in 2013.

For us, it‚Äôs not just about the bra ‚ÄĒ it‚Äôs about how you feel in it.

Please note that although this post idea¬†was in collaboration with ThirdLove, I personally received no products or compensation in exchange for my opinions. Instead, the gift is for y’all, dear readers, with an exclusive promo code for 15% off all ThirdLove orders:

TL15BRABLEMSDEC

I had the idea of going back through my own holiday party outfits and what kind of bra was best for those different holiday looks. So I put together collages for three of my various holiday party outfits, going in chronological order by oldest to most recent. Enjoy!

Fancy dress for a cocktail party + convertible strapless bra

For a fancy cocktail party for New Year’s Eve in 2012, I wore a purple eShakti dress with a 1950s-style sweetheart neckline, with¬†the straps set¬†far apart. I layered the dress under a sparkly cardigan.

The neckline is a bit tricky on this dress, and there is a lot of fabric with the criss-crossing design. So you need either a padded bra with thin, wide-set straps, or a padded strapless bra that will stay put. The padding is important, at least for us smaller-chested ladies, to help fill out all that extra fabric on that kind of bodice. I ended up wearing a padded strapless bra with this dress. The ThirdLove convertible strapless bra sounds perfect for this kind of outfit, as the bra has removable and adjustable convertible straps that are clear. Plus, it has padded underwire cups with a silicone stay-put grip lining if you need to take off the straps.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage for what bra to wear with a fancy cocktail party dress

Sequined tank for an informal holiday party + t-shirt bra

For an informal holiday party back in 2014, I wore a silver sequined tank top and red ankle pants. This was a super comfortable yet sparkly holiday combo!

Because the sequined top is pretty thin (and delicate), I wore a t-shirt kind of bra, to stay smooth and sturdy under it. For this kind of top, the ThirdLove 24/7 underwire t-shirt bra would be a great choice for a smooth finish.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage for what bra to wear with a sequined tank top for an informal holiday party

Ugly Christmas sweater party + breathable fabric bra

For a recent “Ugly Christmas sweater” holiday party, I wore an ugly Christmas sweater vest, layered over an all-black foundation of turtleneck, skinny jeans, and tall, flat-heeled boots. Again, a comfy but festive combo!

A regular coverage bra — but one with breathable, moisture-wicking fabric — is the right kind of bra for this kind of holiday outfit with heavy layers. The ThirdLove strappy bra¬†would be a good choice, as it is made of lightweight fabric, a nylon and spandex mix that¬†is soft and breathable.

Librarian for Life + Style | What bra to wear for a layered holiday outfit

Fun Quiz to Find Your Perfect Holiday Bra

ThirdLove has also produced a fun infographic about how to “Find Your Perfect Holiday Bra,” as seen below. (If the font is hard to read, then click on the graphic, which should open in a new tab/window, and then you can zoom in. That’s what I had to do!)

ThirdLove holiday bra quiz infographic

I took the quiz, and it turns out that the 24/7 Strappy T-Shirt Bra is the one for me! “Deep down you secretly love everything about the holidays — you just don’t want people to know it.” Yep, that’s pretty accurate.¬†ūüėČ

Which bra did you end up with when you took the quiz? Do you also think about what kind of bra is the right one for the occasion or the right fit for each outfit you wear? Please leave a comment and share!

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday Mingle, Visible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilike, Shoe and Tell, Confident Twosdays, Turning Heads, Who’s Wearing What Wednesdays, Trendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer Style, Thursdays Fashion Files, Thursday Moda, Fashion Friday, Passion for Fashion, Fun Fashion Friday, Charming Friday, Friday Favorites, Fancy Friday

Day to date night

My husband and I planned a date night recently, and I knew I would need to wear something that I could easily adapt after¬†work before setting off for our date. Then the light bulb went off — why not also document this for the blog? ūüôā

Librarian for Life + Style | Day to date night collage

I started by checking¬†the weather — no rain! — and then I knew that I wanted to wear my yellow-and-black high heels for nighttime. I worked backward from there. The common elements between my casual work day outfit and my date night outfit were¬†my polka-dotted top and my black skinny jeans. That meant that all I had to do to get ready for our date was to switch out the shoes and the “completer piece,” from cardigan to blazer. I also switched out my bag, from tote bag to clutch.

It also turned out that pattern-mixing emerged as a theme, but I didn’t think about that at the beginning. That was just a nice by-product! ūüėČ

Warning:  This post is particularly photo-heavy.

Day:

I’ve had this sleeveless polka-dotted top for a few years now. Because of¬†the ruffles, it can look a bit dressier on its own (perfect or a day-to-night outfit!), but adding a cardigan makes it totally appropriate for a casual work look. I added my striped canvas flats for comfort — the pattern-mixing was just icing on the cake! ūüėČ

Librarian for Life + Style | Day look

Librarian for Life + Style | Day look

By the way, the backdrop here of painted bricks? It’s our chimney! It’s located more toward the west side of our¬†house, so it’s a good place for photos in the morning.

Librarian for Life + Style | Day look

Librarian for Life + Style | Day look

What I wore:

  • Top: ¬†eShakti, old
  • Cardigan: ¬†August Silk via Macy’s, old — my favorite line of cardigans!
  • Skinny jeans: ¬†Banana Republic, last year
  • Canvas flats: ¬†Payless, last winter
  • Earrings: ¬†UAE, gift from my husband

similar polka-dotted, ruffled top // similar black cardigan // exact black skinny jeans //  similar silver-and-pearl hoop earrings //  similar striped canvas flats

Librarian for Life + Style | black + white casual pattern-mixing collage

Date night:

Sam and I had made reservations at a nice dinner out downtown (at the Pacific Grill, which is excellent!), so I wanted to look a bit more dressy — but not¬†too dressy. Remixing the black skinny jeans accomplished that sartorial goal, and my pattern-mixing heels just looked¬†so cool with these jeans. I felt that the black cardigan would have been too casual, which is why I switched it out for my trusty black blazer, but I turned up the cuffs on the blazer.

My clutch has the print of an old library card, so¬†my outfit still showcases¬†my “librarian” side!

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

The backdrop is the front of a local church, by the way — and no worries, they weren’t having¬†services while we took these photos!

During our quick photo shoots, Sam likes to call out things or jokes to elicit reactions from me. Like for the photo below, he called out, “Be fierce!” The result:

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

And… then I immediately cracked up!

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

What IS fierce, however, are these heels. I don’t wear these striped and polka-dotted¬†four-inch heels very often, but when I do, I feel like a million dollars. I’ve worn these heels with dresses, as seen here, and with cropped ankle pants, as seen here. I did a slight cuff on¬†my black skinny jeans this time to help show off the heels and the striped ankle straps.

It’s time for some close-ups!

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of high heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of high heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

You can also see that I also amped up my makeup for date night, and tomorrow I’ll get into how I layered lip stains. I also switched out my¬†accessories, going from small silver hoops for day to black teardrop earrings for night. At the last minute, right before we headed out the door, I asked Sam if he thought I should add my rope brooch to my blazer. He agreed, and I think it’s a nice finishing touch, to tie in the circular shapes from head to heels.

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Weather:  Dry and clear late summer night, temperature in the 60s

What for:  Fancy dinner downtown for date night

What I wore:

  • Top: ¬†eShakti, old
  • Skinny jeans: ¬†Banana Republic, last year
  • High heels: ¬†Unisa via DSW, old
  • Blazer: ¬†The Limited, over a decade old
  • Earrings: ¬†InPink, c/o giveaway, old
  • Clutch: ¬†Library card pouch, Out of Print Clothing, gift from my mom
  • Brooch: ¬†Vintage, thrifted in Portland, old

similar polka-dotted, ruffled top // exact black skinny jeans //  very similar black blazer from same brand  //  yellow high heels  //  black woven high heels  //  yellow geometric clutch

Librarian for Life + Style | black + yellow date night outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday Mingle, Visible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilike, Shoe and Tell, Confident Twosdays, Turning Heads, A Good HUES-Day, Who’s Wearing What Wednesdays, Trendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer Style, Thursdays Fashion Files, Thursday Moda, On the Edge of the Week, Fashion Friday, Passion for Fashion, Fun Fashion Friday, Charming Friday, Friday Favorites

The sparkly girl

Today’s blog post title comes from my husband. I wore this ensemble to a house concert of live music and poetry, and there were breaks¬†for mingling and socializing. My husband pointed me out to others as¬†“the sparkly girl,” since I was wearing a sequined tank top. ūüėÄ

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

I went for a “casual yet dressy” vibe because there was no dress code circulated prior to the house concert event. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a carpeted or a hardwood floor, or if it was going to be held outside or inside. Therefore, I didn’t want to wear high heels, so I knew I would be wearing flats instead. I wore my sequined tank top because it was comfortable but also dressy because of the sequins. I finished it off with basic black ankle pants.

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

Librarian for Life + Style | Vintage book cover purse + bracelets

I added a bit more quirk with my vintage book cover clutch and a bit more sparkle with my Greg Michaels crystal earrings, which I chose to echo the circular shape of the sequins. The chrome layer of my chevron self-manicure also echoed the metallic shine of the sequins.

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl selfie

Librarian for Life + Style | Chevrons + sequins

I had fun with my makeup! I rarely wear a lot of makeup, but I decided to make more of an effort that night. I went with purple tones on my eyes, blending lighter and darker shadows on my lids, and lining with a dark purple liquid eyeliner. I also layered two lip stains, starting with a dark purple shade and then topping with a pinky burgundy stain.

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl makeup

Finally, I added a little sparkle to my hair, as well, clipping one side of my bob back with a sparkly bobby pin. I then slightly curled my longer bangs with a large-barreled curling iron, in order to get a bit of a swoop to the side.

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob with sparkly bobby pin

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

The evening was fantastic — good music, good poetry, good conversation — and I’m glad I felt comfortable so I could just focus on the evening’s entertainment. I really liked how this¬†“sparkly girl” outfit turned out — what about you?

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday Mingle, Sophisticated Style, Visible Monday,#iwillwearwhatilike, Confident Twosdays, Turning Heads, Who’s Wearing What Wednesdays,Trendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer Style,Fashion Friday, Passion for Fashion, Fun Fashion Friday, Charming Friday, Friday Favorites