Category Archives: pattern mixing

SIA interpretation: Bold portrait

It’s time for my Style Imitating Art (SIA) interpretation! For the first SIA challenge of March, which also happens to be Women’s History Month, I knew I wanted to choose a piece of art of a woman created by a woman. I chose a modern painted portrait by the South African artist Juanita Mulder (who uploads her artwork to Pixabay under the username of “Agnali”). There is a brief bio and more of her artwork here on this site. I was struck by the bold colors and brush strokes of this painting, as well as by the bold expression on the woman’s face.

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.

Librarian for Life + Style | Style Imitating Art collage

My starting point was actually the background. I knew I wanted a red wall and a red lip. And if I found a red wall to take pictures in front of, that meant I didn’t have to have any red in my actual outfit. So then I focused on mixing the lighter (creamy yellow) and darker (black) tones of the painting, hence my yellow cardigan and black skirt.

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit

I didn’t actually set out to pattern-mix, but it just seems to naturally happen! My yellow cardigan has a starburst pattern up close, but from further away, it looks more like a solid color, a soft, pale yellow. I hadn’t worn my black dotted skirt in awhile, so that I thought that would be a more fun choice than my solid black skirt. And of course, my red lipstick finished off the look!

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit

This was a day that included snow, rain, and wintry mix. That explains my umbrella, and you can actually see in these photos the wintry mix raining down. It’s hard to capture rain or precipitation of any kind in photos, so for it to be this visible in photos, you know it was really coming down that day!

And of course, there was time for twirling and outtakes!

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + yellow + black inspiration outfit outtake

Weather: Snow, rain, wintry mix, and sunshine all mixed into one slushy mess

Where:  Work day and then eating out for a campus fundraiser

What:

Shop my outfit:

similar yellow cardigan  //  very similar black dotted skirt  //  similar black waist belt  //  very similar black heeled boots  //  similar black and gold teardrop earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Yellow + black outfit collage


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Stripes and nautical with pops of red

Today’s outfit is one I wore out on the weekend (coffee date with the hubby!), and it was inspired by multiple similar combos pinned on my “Casual inspiration” Pinterest board, including this pin, this pin, and this pin. Pattern-mixing along with a red, white + blue color scheme? Right up my alley!

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes and nautical with pops of red

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes and nautical with pops of red

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes and nautical with pops of red

We enjoyed one of those chilly but bright winter days — a rarity to enjoy actual sunshine during February up here in the Pacific Northwest! We made the most of it. 🙂

Also, the picture below with my scarf enjoying the breeze just cracked me up!

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes and nautical with pops of red

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes and nautical with pops of red

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of stripes and nautical with pops of red

There are subtle bits of a nautical theme in my outfit, including my rope knot earrings, the chain on the crossbody purse, as well as my vintage scarf featuring Dutch tiles (some of the tiles include ships).

I chose my grey overcoat to tie in with my grey-striped tee and grey ankle booties, but after-the-fact, I also thought it fun that the coat has military touches with the button details. Also ties in with the nautical elements!

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes and nautical with pops of red

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing grey and blue with pops of red

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing grey and blue with pops of red

If you’re a longtime reader (thank you), then you’ll now I love these leather-and-suede grey booties. But I think this is the first time I’ve featured them with wider-leg bottoms. I’ve always worn them with skinny jeans or pants before, to show off more of the boots themselves. But they’re comfortable to wear — and super practical with their rubber soles — so it’s good to use more opportunities to wear them.

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey booties + boot-cut jeans

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking with my coffee + crossbody bag

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking with my coffee + crossbody bag

The backdrop, by the way, is the imaginatively named “East 34th Street Bridge,” located — you guessed it! — along East 34th Street in Tacoma. There are two halves to the bridge, one newer half and one older half. This is the older half, from when the bridge was originally built in 1937, and it has those special kinds of details like the picturesque ledges and carved-out arches. Because the bridge overlooks a lot of trees in a gulch, I want to take outfit photos on this bridge in every season, to showcase how the seasons change here in Tacoma. What do y’all think?

Weather:  Sunny and chilly

Where:  Going for coffee on the weekend + work the next week

What:

  • Striped tee:  J. Crew, old
  • Boot-cut jeans:  Old Navy, old
  • Scarf:  Thrifted, vintage
  • Overcoat:  Mango in Abu Dhabi, old
  • Ankle boots:  Naturalizer, old
  • Earrings:  From my mom?, old
  • Crossbody bag:  c/o Greg Michaels, old
  • Red lipstick:  L’Oreal 10-Hour Color Riche in “Refined Ruby

Shop my outfit:

similar grey-striped tee from same brand  //  similar scarf  //  exact boot-cut jeans  // very similar grey ankle booties  // similar red crossbody bag

Librarian for Life + Style | Striped + pops of red 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

Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

Before we get to my outfit of the day, please consider:

  1. Entering my giveaway for a $100 JORD wood watch e-gift code! All entrants receive a $25 e-gift code. Deadline to enter is Feb. 19th. Read more details about the giveaway here.
  2. Voting for your favorite outfit of mine for January.

Thanks in advance!

Remixing blue + chevron

I recently remixed my black-and-white chevron skirt with a blue top, a formula I first tried out a little over a year ago, as seen in my “Chevron skirt debut” post from November 2015.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my chevron skirt with blue

The tops are different but very similar in color. In 2015, I wore my royal blue button-front camp shirt, and tucked it into the skirt. This time, I wore my royal blue sweater and left it untucked. I also switched from black flats to black high-heeled boots.

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

I didn’t initially plan on mixing chevron prints together. I had an early morning shift at the Reference Desk that day, so right before I walked out the door, I grabbed this knit infinity scarf in a chevron print, to help keep me warm. (The sweater is quite thin, and it has a wide, curved neckline.) I ended up needing the scarf all day, and I ended up quite liking the effect of mixing the two chevron prints together. I think it works because the colors in the scarf are neutrals and kind of play off the colors in the skirt.

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

Awkward…

Midway through our quick photo-shoot, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that directly across the street, a group of guys gathered around a truck were openly staring at us. It felt… uh, awkward, to say the least. They weren’t challenging us or calling out anything — which has happened before when we lived in Portland — but rather just staring, very openly and obviously, in confusion. They had left by the time we finished.

Later, going through the photos, I realized that Sam had captured the transition of my facial expressions, as I went from realization straight on through to awkwardness. It’s all in my facial expressions and arm movements! Left to right, I go from “Wait, are those guys staring at us?” to “Oh crap, they ARE staring at us!” to “Eeeeeek, this is awwwwwwkward” to “Oh, well, let’s finish what we started!” LOL!

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

Backdrop mural

The backdrop behind me is a 2004 set of murals entitled “Welcome to McKinley” by artist Bob Henry. The mural, fittingly, is located in the McKinley neighborhood of Tacoma. As described on Bob Henry’s site, which has more pics and closeup details of his public art:

“This mural was design[ed] to welcome visitors to the neighborhood. Using the past and progressing to the modern, faces of the owner and friends, Mt. Rainer [sic] and the 34th Street bridge which bridges two canvases 8′ x 20′ into this welcoming, warm mural”

I took photos of the two halves of the mural, and merged them together as best I could into the following collage, so you can get a sense of the contrasting time periods. Click on the photo to enlarge the details.

'Welcome to McKinley' mural collage, 2004, Bob Henry

‘Welcome to McKinley’ mural collage, 2004, Bob Henry

Bob Henry also included a sweet painting above the mural, depicting children of different ethnicities. This reflects the ethnic diversity in this particular neighborhood of Tacoma.

Detail of 'Welcome to McKinley' mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing chevron prints together | Royal blue + black + white

Weather:  Cold and icy

Where:  Work day, which included a faculty meeting

What:

  • Skirt:  eShakti, last year
  • Sweater:  Mango?, old
  • Scarf:  Gift from Stephanie, old
  • Boots:  Rampage via Nordstrom, over a decade old

Shop my outfit

very similar blue ribbed sweater //  very similar chevron skirt  //  similar chevron infinity scarf  //  similar black heeled boots

Librarian for Life + Style | Royal blue + chevron 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

Jewelry review of Pearl & Clasp earrings | Wearing pearls with a casual outfit

If you’re a longtime reader (thank you!), then you will know that my favorite gemstone is the pearl. Both of my grandmothers loved pearl jewelry, so that’s probably where I was first learned to love pearls. I also love that pearls are gemstones that come from organic, living organisms — mostly mollusks and oysters — which makes them very special. (The vast majority of gemstones come from minerals.) Pearls come in such a variety of shapes and colors and textures, it’s no wonder they’ve been highly valued for centuries.

I’ve worn pearls for years — including at my wedding! — and you can see previous outfits that I’ve worn with pearl jewelry here.

Librarian for Life + Style | Jewelry review of Pearl + Clasp earrings

So it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Pearl & Clasp, an online company that provides pearl restringing services as well as quality pearl jewelry at a variety of price points. Plus, the company was co-founded by two women, Tara and Sari, and y’all know that I love to support strong women leaders and entrepreneurs! The selection at Pearl & Clasp includes bracelets, necklaces, earrings, along with a variety of clasp options.


Full disclosure: This is a post done in collaboration with Pearl & Clasp, and I received a pair of earrings of my choice in exchange for a review. As always, I am 100% honest about sharing my personal thoughts and experiences with you.


I chose a simple and classic pair of black pearl earrings, the 9mm button black freshwater earrings. The $34 price is a totally fair price, in my opinion, and reflects the more affordable variety of freshwater pearls. They also have Tahitian black pearl earrings, which are more expensive, of course.

Here are closeups of the earrings I selected. I love that the black of the pearl is more of an iridescent black, which reflects surrounding colors. It gives the black pearl earrings a warmer, richer look.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Pearl & Clasp earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Pearl & Clasp earrings

Here’s a closeup of these earrings in my hand, so you can get a better sense of their size.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Pearl & Clasp earrings

Pearls are so classic and timeless, yet I have often have heard other women say they don’t wear pearls because they see them as too formal or stuffy. I do not share this sentiment; on the contrary, I believe there’s a pearl for everyone!

So for my first time out wearing these pearls, I wanted to wear a more casual outfit, in order to demonstrate that you can wear pearls with all kinds of looks, including casual ones.

Librarian for Life + Style | Jewelry review of Pearl + Clasp earrings | Wearing pearls with a casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Jewelry review of Pearl + Clasp earrings | Wearing pearls with a casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Pearl & Clasp earrings

I am super pleased with my new earrings from Pearl & Clasp. They’re a lovely, warm color, plus I like the weight and feel of the earrings when I am wearing them. They are lightweight but also feel sturdy and secure when they’re in my ears. Highly recommended! This particular style of earring also comes in other colors, including soft pink and classic white.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Pearl & Clasp earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Pearl & Clasp earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Jewelry review of Pearl + Clasp earrings | Wearing pearls with a casual outfit

I wore this more casual combo — black skinny jeans with my grey Pride & Prejudice sweatshirt and knit chevron infinity scarf — on a day off from work, a day in which I also had lunch with a friend. So I wanted to be comfortable around the house but also nice enough to go out to eat. These pearl earrings were a perfect addition to help me feel a bit more polished and put-together.

Librarian for Life + Style | Jewelry review of Pearl + Clasp earrings | Wearing pearls with a casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Jewelry review of Pearl + Clasp earrings | Wearing pearls with a casual outfit

Weather:  A bit warmer, in the low 50s — but definitely still winter!

Where:  Around the house and a lunch out with a friend

What:


Do you like these new earrings from Pearl & Clasp? Do you also love pearl jewelry? Please leave a comment and share!


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

 

Mod casual | Leopard + tattersall

Today’s outfit is a casual one I wore during the winter break. Sam dubbed this look “mod casual,” as once again, I wore an all-black foundation of a black turtleneck and skinny jeans. The flats and swing shape of the coat also fit in with a slightly mod vibe.

Librarian for Life + Style | Mod casual in black + tan

Librarian for Life + Style | Mod casual in black + tan

Librarian for Life + Style | Mod casual in black + tan

I’ve been wanting to take pics by Stadium High School for awhile now, and it seemed like a perfect opportunity during the winter break to do so, when school was out of session. Stadium High School was the filming location for the high school in the 10 Things I Hate About You movie, and it’s  both a public high school and an historic landmark. The French Chateau-style building was first designed to be a luxury hotel, but it burned in 1898, and in 1906, it was reconstructed as a school. It’s a pretty amazing sight to see in real life.

Librarian for Life + Style | Stadium High School in Tacoma, WA

Librarian for Life + Style | Mod casual in black + tan, Stadium High School

Librarian for Life + Style | Mod casual in black + tan

And last but not least, I’m pattern-mixing (again), with my leopard print flats and tattersall plaid swing coat. The mixing of patterns works because they’re in the same color family.

I had never been sure of the actual pattern on this swing coat, as it looks like both a plaid and a little bit like houndstooth to me. Then I came across a piece about different kinds of tweed, and tattersall was on the list — and the light bulb went off! It’s tattersall! Tattersall is a “a check or plaid pattern woven into cloth,” and is known for being a favorite pattern of equestrians. Little wonder, then, since the word “tattersall” is named after Tattersall’s horse market in London.

Librarian for Life + Style | Mod casual in black + tan closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Mod casual in black + tan

Librarian for Life + Style | Mod casual in black + tan, Stadium High School

Weather:  Cold and dry

Where:  Weekday brunch

What:

  • Swing coat:  Façonnable, thrifted
  • Skinny jeans:  Banana Republic, last year
  • Turtleneck:  ?, old
  • Leopard flats:  Macy’s, old
  • Necklace:  Christmas gift, new
  • Earrings:  Local boutique in Portland, old

similar plaid cape  //  very similar black ribbed turtleneck  //  exact black skinny jeans  //  similar leopard print flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Black + plaid + leopard print outfit collage

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