Category Archives: spring outfits

Red jeans + black gingham | Weekend casual

This look is similar to the last outfit I wore with this black gingham button-front shirt, but with red jeans this time instead of a red bag. What can I say… red and black gingham just work so well together!

And this combo — skinny or straight-leg jeans with a button-front shirt, either unbuttoned or layered over a tank top — is such an easy and comfortable combo to wear. It doesn’t take much thought at all. Just as easy as a tee + jeans, just a little bit more put-together. And that’s why it’s important to have basics like these in one’s closet, as outfits are then easy to mix and match!

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

The backdrop is of a nearby church that I’ve long admired, the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Tacoma. Its architecture is stunning! And the front entrance and stairs are so wide and deep, I figured it would be a good backdrop for photos. 🙂

Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Tacoma, WA

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

This is a VERY basic outfit, but for me, it’s the details that make this variation fresh, like the gold double straps on the flip flops and the red, white & black pattern on the clutch that ties the whole outfit together.

And when we’re running around town doing errands, I love throwing just a few essentials (e.g. chapstick, cell phone, sunglasses case) in a clutch, and and not having to lug around a big tote bag. It also helps motivate me that I have a growing collection of cute clutches! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

And i just liked the photos below for their more casual view of the outfit — and of me! 😉 And I liked how the deeper red of my manicure and pedicure played off the red jeans and added a bit more depth to the red in the outfit.

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

Librarian for Life + Style | Red jeans + black gingham button-front

Weather:  Slightly cool and sunny, perfect spring weather

Where:  Running errands on the weekend

What:

  • Gingham button-front:  Lands’ End, this winter
  • Tank top:  Target?, old
  • Red jeans:  Style&Co. for Macy’s, old
  • Flip flops:  Rhea, c/o giveaway last spring
  • Clutch:  Out of Print Clothing, old

Shop my outfit:

similar black gingham button-front shirt  //  exact Banned Books print in a tote bag  // very similar red jeans  //  similar gold-and-black flip flops

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + red denim 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 FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

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Casual Friday formula | Purple + navy

Yep, another entry in my “Casual Friday” outfit formula of a blazer paired with skinny jeans! (I still have some past outfits from the spring quarter to show, and then I’ll continue with casual work outfits throughout the upcoming summer quarter.) When I saw this combo on Adina’s excellent Blue Collar Red Lipstick style blog (scroll down for the final pic), my eyes and brain lit up. Here’s how my thinking went when I pinned this look on my “Casual Friday ideas” board:

  • Structured blazer in a neutral color? Check.
  • Wine-colored top underneath? Check.
  • Skinny jeans? Check.
  • Animal print flats? Check.
  • Long pendant necklace? Check.

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual

I wore this on a Friday — OF COURSE — a day which included a morning meet-and-greet coffee date with another local librarian, a meeting, another event on campus, and project work behind-the-scenes. Lots of variety on this Friday workday — and this comfy, classic outfit was good to go for all the myriad tasks on my to-do list. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual

We took these photos after work, and I thought you’d enjoy seeing the outfit “on the move,” so to speak, hence the photos of me jumping, above, and walking, below. The backdrop is a nearby church.

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple tank + navy blazer Friday casual

Weather:  Sunny and dry

Where:  Casual Friday at work

What:

  • Blazer:  Macy’s, old
  • Tank top:  Old Navy, old
  • Skinny jeans:  Target, old
  • Flats:  Karen Scott via Macy’s, old
  • Pendant necklace:  Christmas gift this year from my in-laws
  • Silver earrings:  Christmas gift this year from my husband
  • Purple lip stain:  Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Stain in “Shameless”

Shop my outfit:

very similar blazer from same brand  //  similar berry tank top  //  very similar skinny jeans  //  similar silver circle pendant necklace  //  similar animal print flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual Friday outfit collage, purple & navy

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

Style inspiration | Blue stripes + black belt

I recently came across this article featuring Michelle Obama’s stylish combo of a high-lo striped button-front tunic, black skinny trousers, and wide black corset belt. I have long been a fan of Michelle Obama’s personal style, which has always felt so accessible even when she chooses edgy, fashion-forward pieces.

When I saw Obama’s outfit, I immediately thought, “Oh, I have an idea of what to wear!” So I immediately pinned her outfit for inspiration. I paired my thin-striped blue button-front shirt with black ankle pants and black patent leather heels. My wide black stretchy belt mimicked the corset belt of Obama’s inspiration outfit.

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front + black belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front + black belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front + black belt

It’s so hard to photograph the thin stripes of this button-front shirt! The stripes are more obvious in person.

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front + black belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front + black belt

I felt a little mod in this outfit, with the ankle pants and wide belt. It was a very comfortable outfit to wear for work!

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front + black belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front + black belt

Librarian for Life + Style | Blue button-front + black belt

Weather:  Sunny and warm

Where:  Work day

What:

  • Button-front:  H&M, old
  • Ankle pants:  Banana Republic “Sloan Fit” pants, thrifted
  • Wide belt:  Kohl’s, old
  • Patent leather pumps:  Payless, old
  • Tote bag:  Target, new this winter
  • Hoop earrings:  Made in Oregon, old birthday gift

Shop my outfit:

very similar thin-striped button-front  //  exact style ankle pants by same brand  //  similar wide black belt  //  exact tote bag  //  very similar black patent leather pumps

Librarian for Life + Style | Striped button-front + black ankle pants 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 FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

New eShakti skirt | Teal + brown + white

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by eShakti to select a new clothing item from their site. I have worked with eShakti quite a few times over the years, as seen here and here, for starters. I ultimately selected a floaty midi skirt with a palm leaf-print design.

For the sake of full disclosure, I must point out that that this was my second selection for an eShakti item this spring; I will detail my failed first attempt in my monthly budget adventures post later this month. This post is also not sponsored by eShakti; although I was contacted by them to select a complimentary clothing item of my own choosing, there was no obligation to provide a review. I am doing so because I want to share my experience and photos with my readers.

I went the custom sizing route for the skirt, as you can see by the label and pics below. I’m very glad to report the skirt does fit. (Whew.)

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Fair warning, this is a photo-heavy post!

I like the wide and high-waist design of the skirt, and this design looks a bit retro to me. It is floaty and flippy, and I lost no time in twirling in my new skirt! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

The skirt is also lined, thank goodness, as the fabric is quite thin and lightweight. The fabric for both the skirt and lining is polyester crepe, which means I did have to use my static guard spray on the skirt, to make sure it didn’t cling throughout the day. (You can also read about my love of the static spray here in this “Everyday faves” post.)

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

As the skirt design feels both fresh and retro to me, I stuck with simple pieces to pair with it. I wanted the vibe to be soft and simple. Brown and turquoise remain one of my favorite color combinations, so I layered my brown cardigan over a simple white tank top. My tortoiseshell peep-toe wedges tied into the brown color tones, as did my vintage sunglasses.

My white tank top provided a nice backdrop for my gold bar pendant necklace. And my finishing accessories were my thin gold-and-pearl hoop earrings and my turquoise stud earrings. Ultimately, I felt pretty and feminine and comfortable in my new skirt and outfit today!

Librarian for Life + Style | Gold jewelry closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Weather:  Sunny and warm

Where:  Work day that included meetings

What:

  • Skirt:  c/o eShakti, new
  • Cardigan:  Gap, old
  • Tank top:  Target?, old
  • Wedges:  Payless, old
  • Gold necklace:  Lulu’s, c/o giveaway, old

Shop my outfit:

exact skirt  //  very similar v-neck brown cardigan  //  very similar white tank top  //  similar peep-toe pumps  //  very similar gold bar pendant necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise midi skirt 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 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