Category Archives: work outfits

Tobi Review | Oversized sweater + blanket scarf

I was recently contacted by online clothing retailer Tobi with an opportunity to choose a few items from their site to review and style. It was fun to browse through their extensive site and look at different pieces and visualize potential outfits. (Putting together outfits in my head is like my way of doing crosswords — it keeps my brain active!)

Full disclosure:  Although I was provided clothing items of my choice free-of-charge to style and review, all my opinions are my own words, thoughts, and experiences.

What’s Tobi?

Tobi is definitely focused on trendy, “fast fashion” pieces and a self-described L.A. style. Their size range is admittedly limited, only extending to size Large (equivalent to 8-10, although a generously sized 8-10); my body lands on the uppermost end of their sizing scale, so I purposely chose items that were NOT form-fitting. I also admit that I am not particularly trendy, and my style is… more “color-coordinated” than “L.A. cool.” But I viewed that as an interesting challenge, to see if I could “see myself” in any of their items. And I did! There are a lot of items on their site that are admittedly NOT my style — rompers may be fine for others but decidedly not for me! — and there looks to be a range of quality and styles with a range of price ranges to match. Tobi is known for their low prices and final sales, but I found a number of moderate-to-higher-priced items that also seemed to be higher quality. I focused on choosing more substantial and looser-fitting pieces — and it’s autumn, so that meant I had a lot of options with sweaters and knitwear! Hooray for me! The shipping was also super-fast, but there’s the caveat that I live on the West Coast, so the items didn’t have far to go.

I also have to admit that I was impressed with their openness on the Tobi website about their processes and policies. I was also impressed that they fund a scholarship program for young women, and they have a page showcasing the local non-profit organizations the company donates to. It’s fast fashion, yes, but Tobi also seems like a company that gives back for the long-term.

Two Tobi items I paired together:

In this outfit, I am wearing two of the three items I chose:  a long, oversized, v-neck navy sweater (the “School Boy Ribbed Sweater,” priced $78 but currently on sale for $19) and a black blanket scarf with white stripes (the “Mel Pinstripe Scarf,” priced $32 but currently on sale for $16).

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf

I primarily paired these two items together because I wanted to showcase again how you CAN wear navy + black together. My rule of thumb in combining navy + black is to be intentional about it. I am wearing one main navy piece — this simple yet bold navy sweater, which really is a standout — that I’ve paired with black leggings, tall boots, and my black pinstriped scarf. The “star” of this outfit is the sweater, and everything else is supporting it.

The sweater is purposely oversized — very ’80s, isn’t it, with its sloped shoulders and boxy shape? — and it’s the kind of sweater that honestly looks pretty shapeless on its own or on a hanger. I took it out of the box, and my husband Sam was NOT impressed and said it looked huge and wouldn’t fit me. I put it on, and guess what? He looooooved it! So did I! The sweater felt substantial enough in its ribbed weave and thickness, and felt very cozy and warm — not scratchy at all.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of asymmetrical hem of Tobi navy sweater

My favorite detail of the sweater is how it’s longer in the back, which you can really tell in the photos above. That means there is extra coverage for one’s bottom, which I really appreciate, especially since I’m a pear-shaped lady. And the sweater is still long enough in the front to wear the sweater over leggings and not have to worry about anything showing. I would also wear this sweater with skinny jeans or ankle pants. The key with an oversized item of clothing is to pair it out with other pieces that fit closer to the body — this provides visual balance.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blanket scarf. It is so warm and soft. I love it so much that I have already worn this scarf twice! (If you’re an Instagram follower, you will have already spotted this scarf!) And the scarf’s pattern with its black background and thin white pinstripe is neutral enough to go with lots of other pieces in my wardrobe.

When pairing this navy sweater with the black scarf, leggings, and boots, I also replicated the navy + black color-coordinating with my earrings. I combined larger blue lapis lazuli earring studs with my smaller black studs. Just one more detail to make it clear that I intentionally mixed navy + black together! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi navy sweater + black striped scarf

Weather:  Cold and windy

Where:  Reference night shift at work

What:

I will be back on Friday with how I styled my third and final Tobi item!

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

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Stripes + leopard with a cargo vest | Grey + burgundy

A quick note that the poll is about to close to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from last month, so please vote if you haven’t already — thanks in advance!

We’re starting to enter the rainy phase of fall, and that’s just fine by me. Especially when it means I get to layer items of clothing, like this striped tee, cargo vest, and leopard print infinity scarf.

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + leopard print, grey + burgundy

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + leopard print, grey + burgundy

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + leopard print, grey + burgundy

This leopard print scarf, which I bundled via a Poshmark purchase and seen in a monthly budget adventures post this past April, is long enough to wrap around my neck twice, and even a third time. For most of the pics in this post, as seen above, I wrapped the scarf around three times; for the final two pics below, I unwound it so you can see how it looks when it’s only looped around twice. I like the option of wearing this infinity scarf a little looser or more bundled up, depending on the weather.

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + leopard print closeup, grey + burgundy

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + leopard print, grey + burgundy

Weather:  A fall chill in the chair and scattered rain

Where:  Faculty retreat and professional development day

What:

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!

Shop my outfit:

similar grey striped tee  //  similar burgundy cargo vest  //  grey leopard infinity scarf  //  exact black skinny jeans  //  similar flat-heeled boots

Librarian for Life + Style | Grey + black + burgundy outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

White + navy + mint work casual

Another casual work outfit while I was working this summer — ankle pants and cardigans is such a go-to combo for me! Add in some fun shoes, and you’re set. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint + white work casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint + white work casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint + white work casual

Earlier this spring, I realized that my mint-and-navy scarf matched my white cardigan trimmed in mint and navy, which you can see here in this post. And then I realized that this same scarf matched my navy-and-green espadrille sandals, and an idea was born… I love the mint-and-navy color combination. Navy is always a nice neutral, and mint just freshens everything up.

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint + white head scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint + white scarf + espadrilles

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint espadrilles close-up

We visited this little Japanese rock garden again, which is quite lovely. Sam caught me peeking into the stone lantern below. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint + white work casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint + white work casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + mint + white work casual

Weather:  Cooler but clear

Where:  Casual work day

What:

  • Cardigan:  Brooks Brothers, thrifted, old
  • Ankle pants:  Alfani via Macy’s, old
  • Espadrilles:  Old Navy, old
  • Scarf:  Vera Neumann, thrifted last fall
  • Pearl earrings:  Parting gift from Abu Dhabi colleagues, old

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!

Shop my outfit:

white short-sleeved cardigan  //  similar scarf  //  similar navy ankle pants  //  similar striped espadrille wedges

Librarian for Life + Style | White + navy + mint outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Easy pattern-mixing | Pink stripes + denim trousers + geometric-print flats

I felt so good in this outfit, as it just felt so easy and light and simple — yet I’m still sneaking in some pattern-mixing. Because WHY NOT.

We took photos after work at these interesting stained-glass windows at a local church (which wasn’t holding services when we took pics, just FYI).

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink stripes + denim trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink stripes + denim trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink stripes + denim trousers

Sam cracked me up when I came downstairs for coffee that morning, and he saw the top half with my pink-striped tee and denim trousers. He went, “Oh, you look cute!” — and THEN he looked down and spied my pink geometric-print canvas flats. He then exclaimed, “Oh, and that was BEFORE I saw your shoes! Look at you pattern-mixing!” 😀 😀 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Geometric-print canvas flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink stripes + denim trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Rope braid for short bangs

I did another rope-braid for my pixie bangs, as an easy way to get my hair off my face — and a little rope braid is more interesting than just a bobby pin. And if you’re not sure what a “rope braid” is or how to do one, here’s a “rope braid for pixie cut” hair video tutorial.

I wanted to get in a selfie after I realized that we (accidentally) were color-coordinating. Sam’s grey chambray shirt coordinates with my denim trousers, and I love how the pink sides of his sunglasses echo my pink-striped shirt.

The couple that color-coordinates together… 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Couples selfie, grey + pink

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink stripes + denim trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink stripes + denim trousers

Weather:  Cool and clear

Where:  Work day

What:

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!

Shop my outfit:

pink striped long-sleeved tee  //  dark grey trousers  //  silver hoop earrings  //  patterned slip-on sneakers

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + trousers + slip-on sneakers outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

Just a quick note to remind everyone that the reader poll is open to vote for your favorite outfit from last month — thanks in advance!

And now for another super-easy casual work outfit! That’s been my sweet spot while working behind-the-scenes this summer in the library. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

I almost always pair this purple-y floral popover top with my purple flower bead earrings — the two just go so well together! — and today was no exception. This time, I also added the lilac beaded necklace my husband recently came across, as explained in last month’s budget adventures post, and I ended up really liking the combination!

Also, these NYDJ jeans that I lucky to have fashion-swapped a couple of years ago? They have become my FAVORITE pair of jeans, as they are stretchy and comfortable and cover everything that needs to be covered. LOVE. I am letting y’all know that I am a total NYDJ convert. When I need new jeans, I will be saving up for NYJD jeans, because they are worth it.

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

The backdrop is one you’ve seen before in our backyard, by our back fence, with one of our pine trees (with tons of sap streaming down it), our winter-blooming camellia shrub, and one of our laurel trees. Settled in-between the trees are two little stone statues, one seated Buddha and one little Jizo Bodhisattva that’s in a more abstract style. We have future plans to turn this bit of the backyard into a little Japanese-themed rock garden, but in the meantime, these stone statues bring a bit of peace to the area.

Librarian for Life + Style | Buddhas in the garden collage

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral top + lilac beaded necklace

Weather:  Clear and cooler

Where:  Work day

What:

  • Floral top:  Kohls, old
  • Jeans:  NYDJ, fashion-swapped in Portland, old (but this style still available!)
  • Flats:  Payless, old
  • Tote bag:  Out of Print Clothing, recent gift from my mom, new
  • Bead earrings:  Made by a friend in Wisconsin, old
  • Bead necklace:  Recently found by my husband

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!

Shop my outfit:

similar floral popover top in blue and purple  //  similar purple beaded necklace  //  floral popover top in mulberry //  beaded long tassel necklace    //  exact style jeans by same brand  //  tote bag in same print by same brand //  similar flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral popover + beaded necklace outfit collage


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp