Category Archives: what to wear

SIA interpretation: Floral textile (with bonus Sam)

It’s time for my interpretation of this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge! This week, Daenel @ Living Outside the Stacks chose this 18th century Spanish textile.


"Silk Fabric Fragment" via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is in the public domain

“Silk Fabric Fragment” via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is in the public domain


I mentioned in the SIA challenge post last week that I already had an idea for what I was going to wear. I was inspired by all the bright florals and brought out my orange floral dress again. You saw this dress for another SIA challenge last month, but I wore the dress then as a skirt, layered under a black gingham shirt. This time, I wore the dress as is, to showcase it in all its floral loveliness.

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest outfit, orange floral + straw hat

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest outfit, orange floral + straw hat

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest outfit, orange floral + straw hat

But I didn’t stop there, of course! The other star of the show is this vintage hat, which I recently bought at a fabulous local vintage store, Glenna’s Clothing. For the first time these past 6 months, I broke my no-shopping rule in order to buy a hat for an upcoming wedding. (I will not deny also being inspired by the recent royal wedding and all the hats. And I feel like I’m kind of channeling what Gina Torres wore to the royal wedding; Gina’s look was my personal fave at the wedding.) I bought this hat before Daenel sent out her SIA inspiration artwork, so it’s sartorial serendipity that my hat totally goes with the floral textile inspiration, with the edging on the ribbon and the straw color.

I really love the shape of this hat. It’s got an “I. Magnin” label, which was a luxury women’s department store on the West Coast. The hat has a cloche-type feel to it, but the left side opposite the bow lifts up at an angle, which is kind of subtle and unexpected. It just feels very me, doesn’t it?

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest outfit, orange floral + straw hat

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest outfit, orange floral + straw hat

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest outfit, orange floral + straw hat

I wore my cognac strappy wedges and carried my vintage wicker purse with the orange Bakelite handles to coordinate with the orange tones of the dress. But I brought out another floral in my cloisonn√© earrings, and the black background of the earrings coordinates with the black edging of my hat’s ribbon. ūüėÄ

Librarian for Life + Style | Vintage hat and cloisonné earrings closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest outfit, orange floral + straw hat

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest outfit, orange floral + straw hat

Weather:  Sunny and hot

Where:  To an afternoon wedding


Please note that I get commission for clicks made through affiliate links in this post. This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

There’s still time to participate in SIA:

Everyone is welcome to participate ‚ÄĒ bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! Just send a pic of an outfit ‚ÄĒ selfies and flat lays are also welcome ‚ÄĒ¬†inspired by this week‚Äôs SIA artwork to this week‚Äôs curator, Daenel,¬†at by Tuesday, July 3rd. Daenel will then post the SIA round-up on her¬†blog, Living Outside the Stacks, this Wednesday, July 4th.

Also be sure to check out SIA co-founder Salazar @ 14 Shades of Grey.

Bonus Sam!

And if you were wondering what Sam wore to the wedding, I haven’t let you down. Yes, Sam wore a kilt to the wedding. Because that’s what he does. This one’s a lighter-weight wool, in the Fraser hunting tartan.

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding guest selfie

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam in his "day kilt" for a wedding

Linkups:  Visible Monday | #iwillwearwhatilike | Shoe and Tell | Weekly Fashion Link up | Mix It Mondays | Start the Week Stylish | #HowISummer | Confident Twosdays | Turning Heads | Style With a Smile | The Style File | Style Swap Tuesdays | Style Sessions | Trend Spin| Who’s Wearing What Wednesdays | I Feel Pretty Wednesdays | Style Perspectives | Fashion Linkup | Weekly Wednesday Fashion linkup | Style on the Daily | Oh, Hey Girl! | Thursday Fashion Files | Top of the World | Thursday Moda | Fashion Friday | Fun Fashion Friday | Fabulous Friday | Fancy Friday | Friday Favorites | Weekend Wear Link Up | #SaturdayShareLinkUp


Five different ways to wear ankle pants in colder weather

A reader left a comment on an outfit post this past December — an outfit in which I wore an overcoat, ankle pants, and ballet flats, seen here — about wearing ankle pants in cold weather and asking for tips and strategies:

Reader question about ankle pants and cold weather

Thank you, teatimechic, for asking the question! I’ve been mulling it over for quite some time. It doesn’t get too cold here in the PNW (rainy, yes, but not that cold), so I’m generally ok wearing ankle pants with flats and/or with trouser socks. Bu I took a look back through my outfit archives to compile different ways I’ve styled ankle pants in cold weather — plus a couple of bonus ways I’ve seen other style bloggers style ankle pants in colder climes.

#1, with tall boots

This was the first way I thought of wearing ankle pants when it’s cold outside. This is also the warmest way to wear ankle pants in cold weather, to layer the pants under tall boots or tall rain boots. This works best with ankle pants that have slim or skinny cuts.

And my trick when tucking ankle pants into tall boots is to first secure the pant legs under longer socks. Even thin socks will do, as long as they’re long enough to cover the tops of the ankle pants. This will ensure that the ankle pants stay down and don’t balloon out too much around the knees, plus it ensures that your tall boots go on smoothly over the ankle pants.

Here are a few examples of how I’ve worn ankle pants with tall boots:

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of ankle pants with tall boots

left (burgundy ankle pants)  //  middle (black ankle pants)  //  right (navy ankle pants)

#2, with ankle boots

Ankle pants with ankle boots — a match made in alliteration, yes? ūüėČ Ankle boots cover most of the foot and ankle, so it’s another decently warm alternative if you dare to wear ankle pants in colder weather.

Both examples below are with my olive ankle pants paired with my grey ankle boots.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remix collage with ankle pants and ankle boots

left  //  right

#3, with menswear-style shoes

Of course, if it’s not too cold out, you can always wear ankle pants with flats or wedges — but I’ve found menswear-style shoes, like Oxford or brogues, to be a more modern alternative. Plus, this shoe style provides more coverage (and thus, warmth) for the foot and ankle. I wear low-cut ankle socks when I wear my brogues, so my toes are still toasty.

Librarian for Life + Style | Eyeglasses print tee + burgundy brogues

original post

#4, with patterned socks

My blogger friend and SIA co-host Salazar @ 14 Shades of Grey has been rocking patterned socks with ankle pants/jeans and flat shoes this winter, as seen here, here, and here, for starters. This style looks good with either menswear-style shoes or ankle boots, and it definitely helps showcase your personality while also keeping your ankles warmer in the winter. Win-win!

Salazar @ 14 Shades of Grey, patterned socks with ankle pants

Photo used with permission from Salazar @ 14 Shades of Grey

#5, with snow boots

For those of you in legit snowy climates — or those who have been suffering in unseasonably frozen temps in parts of the U.S. this past winter — looking at pics of bloggers wearing ankle pants and shoes with no socks looks kind of laughable. I get it. I know I’m lucky to live in a relatively seasonably mild (albeit rainy) region. So I appreciated reading style blogger Cori Lynn’s recent post about “things that actually work, when getting dressed in the winter.” Cori Lynn used to live in Seattle but has since moved to Connecticut, and she recommends snow boots with slim-cut pants or jeans! Visit her blog, Dress Cori Lynn, for more pics and tips for dressing for legit snowy weather.

Have you worn ankle pants in colder weather? If so, have you worn them these ways pictured here in this post — or another way altogether? 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, 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

Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

The poll is still open to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from May — thanks in advance!

If you’re a longtime reader of this style blog (thank you!), then it is no surprise that I often feature variations of go-to outfit formulas. Some of my favorite outfit formulas include:

This last outfit formula is one that I often wore when I worked overseas in the UAE, and I’ve kept it up since moving back to the U.S. 6+ years ago. Tunics are dressier than tees — and often more colorful! — and they’re meant to be untucked, which makes them extremely comfortable. Pairing tunics with trousers, particularly wide-legged trousers, makes the look¬†more work-appropriate.

And for hotter climates or for when working in the summer, pairing trousers with sandals is another way to keep comfortable while also looking professional — as long as your workplace allows open-toed shoes or sandals, of course. My workplace, and the Pacific Northwest in general, is generally super casual, so I can get away with wearing more¬†casual clothing at work.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

I haven’t worn my bronze hoop earrings in awhile, but I thought they worked well with this brown-and-pink paisley tunic. The elongated hoop shape also played off the circular U-shape of the tunic neckline.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + bronze hoop earrings closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

And judging by the deep creases in these wide-legged trousers, it’s pretty obvious that we took these outfit photos at the END of the work day. That’s why I prefer to take outfit photos at the beginning of the work day, if possible — but I really don’t mind that much, as this just goes to show that I really do wear my outfits in real life!

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

Weather:  Sunny spring day

Where:  Teaching day at work


  • Tunic: ¬†Thrifted at local resale shop, last fall
  • Trousers: ¬†Worthington’s, UAE, old
  • Sandals: ¬†Target, old
  • Hoop earrings: ¬†Kohl’s?, old

Shop my outfit:

similar paisley tunic  //  similar wide-legged trousers  //  very similar T-strap sandals  //  bronze hoop earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Paisley tunic + tan trousers outfit collage

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:


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

6 ways to look professional wearing an untucked shirt

I was going through my archives recently and noted how often I leave shirts untucked. Why? Mostly for reasons of comfort. (After all, being comfy is¬†the first part of my personal style equation = comfy + classic + a bit of quirk). I tuck in my shirt sometimes, of course, but when I do, I’m always a bit worried¬†that the shirt¬†will come untucked, or look bunchy, and therefore end up looking sloppy. So that got me thinking about putting together a post featuring different ways to wear an untucked shirt at work.

Below are six ways, and links to past work looks, to illustrate how to look professional while wearing a shirt untucked.

Librarian for Life + Style | 6 ways to look professional untucking your shirt

1. Wear a top with special detailing

I prefer longer tops — so I don’t have to worry about my backside while bending down or over — and I have found myself gravitating toward tops with special detailing, like seaming, ruffles, rounded hems, or cut-outs along the hem. These kinds of tops are perfect for leaving untucked, as then you get to appreciate the special details!

Librarian for Life + Style | Untucked tops with special detailing

Left to right:
Structured button-down with seaming + cuffed sleeves + curved hem {original post} // Sleeveless top with front ruffles {original post}  //  Glasses print tee with rounded hem {original post}  //  Boatneck tee with cut-outs at hem {original post}

2. Wear a peplum top

Peplum tops are made for wearing untucked! In fact, the peplum part would look bulky tucked in. Perfect for layering over tees or under cardigans or blazers.

Librarian for Life + Style | Peplum collage

Left to right:
Floral peplum top {original post}  //  Polka dot peplum top {original post}

3. Layer under a vest

I especially like to layer button-front shirts under vests, including sweater vests or lightweight shells, for a preppy and professional vibe.

Librarian for Life + Style | Untucked tops under vests collage

Left to right:
Button-front layered purple sweater vest {original post} //  Button-front layered under brown shell {original post} //  Button-front layered over dress + under brown shell {original post} //  Button-front layered under menswear-style vest {original post}

4. Layer under a sweater

Another one of my favorite combos! I love the look of a top peeking out from underneath a sweater — or a buttoned-up cardigan that mimics a sweater. This is also IDEAL for subtle pattern-mixing!

Librarian for Life + Style | Untucked tops under a sweater collage

Left to right:
Striped button-front under an argyle sweater {original post}  //  Gingham button-front under a striped sweater {original post}  //  Striped button-front under an argyle cardigan {original post}

5. Layer under a blazer or jacket

I often leave t-shirts or blouses untucked under a blazer, because it is both comfortable and professional. The blazer or cardigan do all the work for you in looking professional!

Librarian for Life + Style | Untucked tops under blazers collage

Left to right:
Striped tee under striped blazer {original post}  //  Tank top under tan blazer {original post} //  Tank top under belted denim jacket {original post}  //  Chambray button-front under grey blazer {original post}

6. Belt it

If the top is long enough, then adding a belt will add¬†definition to your waist — and makes untucking your shirt look more intentional. This also works with tops that are a bit oversized.

Librarian for Life + Style | Belting untucked tops collage

Left to right:
Wide stretchy belt over a floral popover top {original post} //  Bow belt over a button-front top {original post}

Do you prefer to wear your tops tucked or untucked? Please leave a comment and share!

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