Category Archives: holiday outfits

Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan

🍀 🍀 🍀 I’m wearing green on my blog for St. Patrick’s Day! 🍀 🍀 🍀

I knew I wanted to pair this colorblock-trim cardigan with my navy dress, a riff off when I wore this cardigan over my navy dotted skirt. That morning as I was getting dressed, I happened to look over at my scarf bins in our closet… and realized that one of the vintage scarves I thrifted in the fall had the EXACT colors of this cardigan. EXACT. (I can neither confirm nor deny a happy dance commencing after that revelation.)

The front of my cardigan is distinctive with a row of navy trim down the front with brass buttons as well as navy-trimmed pockets, so I didn’t want to detract from those details with my scarf. I could have doubled up the scarf to wear it more like a neckerchief, but then another light bulb… I could wear my scarf with the ends hanging down the back!

I am a fashion rebel, y’all. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan, closeup

The mint-and-navy scarf I thrifted last fall is a Vera Neumann scarf, and it is so pretttttttty. I was looking at posts, like here and here, about how you could date the scarf, and most of the clues go back to the signature. The signature on my scarf with its taller and more curved “V” looks like the signature that began in the late 60s and in the 80s. Based on the more streamlined, preppy-type pattern, I’m going to guess the early ’80s, rather than the ’60s, when her scarves had more graphic and geometric prints.

Below is a closeup of my scarf’s signature, plus how well it matches the trim of my cardigan. Y’all know how I love color-coordinating, so this discovery had me over the moon!

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of thrifted Vera Neumann scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan

Looking over these pics, I really should have used either my steamer or my wrinkle releaser spray on my outfit… on the plus side, these wrinkles serve to highlight everyday use. Just another example of how I really do wear these outfits in real life! 😉

Also, it was super fun and sweet when a student worker in our library that day stopped short, all wide-eyed, and asked, “Did that scarf come with that cardigan? How does it attach?” And then she was amazed that I had bought each piece separately, even years apart! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy | Color-coordinating a scarf + cardigan

Weather: Chilly and a bit drizzly

Where:  Work day with meetings (what else is new?!)

What:

  • Cardigan:  Target, years ago
  • Dress (worn as skirt):  Macy’s, old
  • Scarf:  Vera Neumann, thrifted, vintage
  • Tights:  American Apparel, old
  • Wedges:  Anne Klein via Macy’s, old
  • Hoop earrings:  Birthday gift, old

Shop my outfit:

mint trim cardigan  //  very similar navy fit-and-flare dress  //  mint scarf  //  almost exact navy wedges by same brand

Librarian for Life + Style | Mint + navy outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday

Burgundy + brown | What I wore for Valentine’s Day 2017

This is what I wore last week on Valentine’s Day. It was a work day, of course, a day that included a presentation at a department meeting. So I wanted to be both professional and comfortable — and acknowledge the holiday without looking cheesy.

Therefore, I paired my “Follow Your Heart” sweater — featured in my heart sweater round-up on Valentine’s Day last week! — with the wide-legged burgundy tweed trousers I bought in the fall.

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown | What I wore for Valentine's Day 2017

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown | What I wore for Valentine's Day 2017

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown | What I wore for Valentine's Day 2017

If you’re a longtime reader (as always, thank you), then you know I love color-coordinating. So OF COURSE I rounded out my outfit with my burgundy ankle booties. ♥ My wood beaded earrings also tie into the brown tones of my trousers. Aaaaaaaand my wine-colored lipstick matches my sweater. PRO.

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown | What I wore for Valentine's Day 2017

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of burgundy ankle boots + brown trousers

It’s a low-key outfit, but I really enjoyed wearing it. Totally fits my style outlook of classic (tweed trousers) and comfy (sweater + trousers combo) with a bit of quirk (the novelty print of the sweater).

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown | What I wore for Valentine's Day 2017

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown | What I wore for Valentine's Day 2017

Librarian for Life + Style | Burgundy + brown | What I wore for Valentine's Day 2017

Weather:  Dry and chilly

Where:  Typical work day

What:

  • Sweater:  Old Navy, old
  • Trousers:  White House Black Market, this fall
  • Ankle boots:  Naturalizer, this fall
  • Earrings:  Made by my grandmother, vintage
  • Lipstick:  Milani “Cabaret Blend” lipstick

Shop my outfit:

burgundy heart sweater  //   light brown tweed trousers  //  similar burgundy ankle booties  //  exact lipstick

Librarian for Life + Style | Heart sweater + trousers outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday

Going subtle with holiday accessories for work | Black plaid + beige + camellias

Tomorrow is the last day to enter my holiday GIVEAWAY for a chance to win your own teeth whitening kit. Thanks in advance! (You can read more details and my own review of the teeth whitening kit here in this post.)


Except for when we’re going to an “Ugly Christmas Sweater“-themed holiday party, I prefer to tone down the typical red-and-green Christmas color combo when it comes to wearing work outfits during the month of December. I either wear darker or lighter tones, as seen in last week’s burgundy-and-olive outfit, or I focus on holiday-themed accessories. Today’s post is an example of the latter.

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + camellias

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + camellias

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + holiday brooch closeup

For this work look, I went subtle by accessorizing with a holiday-themed accessory — in this case, a wood antler brooch. I got this brooch as a free gift at my first (and so far, only) style blogger party, and I always get compliments on it whenever I wear it.

Here are some photos below that show the detailing on this dress and how the plaids are pieced together to show off the shape of this sheath dress. (You can also see here in this post how I had to alter this dress by taking off the sleeves.) I ended up just removing the sleeves entirely to make the dress sleeveless, so I could also layer things over and under the dress, like I did here.

And, yes, it’s an eShakti dress, which means it has pockets! I love how the pockets on this dress blend seamlessly into the design.

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + camellias

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + camellias

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + camellias

The backdrop is our own backyard, against a flowering shrub of winter-blooming camellias. We were totally surprised one late fall morning to walk out and see these bursts of bright pink-and-white-striped blooms against our back fence. Gorgeous! And after asking around to find out what they were, it turns out that these are amongst the hardiest shrubs out there, and super easy to take care of! Basically, we just leave them alone, and they will take care of themselves. LOVE. ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + camellias

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + burgundy overcoat

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + burgundy overcoat

I didn’t plan on the color of my overcoat playing off the color of the flowers. Really, I didn’t — I’m not that color-coordinated! (Erin, I can feel you shaking your head right now, LOL!) I simply chose this overcoat to add a pop of color against my black and tan neutrals.

And while I was double-checking photos — which I usually do in the middle of our photo shoots, to make sure we’re getting enough photos I could potentially use — Sam draped my coat over my shoulders. ‘Cause it was FREEZING. (Literally.) I immediately assumed a haughty expression, which led to a series of funny outtakes! 😉 I only see this kind of thing, coats draped over shoulders, on celebrities and in high-fashion blogs, but does anyone wear their coat like this in real life?! It’s so impractical!

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + burgundy overcoat outtake

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + burgundy overcoat

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + beige + burgundy overcoat

Weather:  Literally freezing

Where:  Work during the last week of the fall quarter

What:

  • Dress:  eShakti, last winter
  • Turtleneck:  Walmart?, old
  • Leggings (worn as tights):  Spanx, new
  • Boots:  Rampage via Nordstrom, old
  • Brooch:  free gift at PNW blogger party, old

very similar tan turtleneck  //  similar plaid sheath dress, option 1  //  similar plaid sheath dress, option 2  //  very similar tall black boots  //  similar topaz drop earrings  //  similar burgundy overcoat

Librarian for Life + Style | Black plaid + tan + burgundy collage

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday MingleVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday

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’s not just about the bra — it’s 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. 😉

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 MingleVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday