Category Archives: work outfits

Stripes + pleats + cherry blossoms

In a recent People Style Watch issue, I noted these two outfits featuring pleated skirts, as you can see in the pic below. I thought about how to combine what I liked about the two different looks. So I took the idea of the black striped top from the first outfit and the idea of the coral pleated skirt and animal print flats from the second outfit from GirlWithCurves.com — and created a similarly inspired outfit from pieces I already had in my own closet! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | People Style Watch inspiration

I had not originally wanted to wear tights, but it’s still quite chilly here, especially in the mornings. I wore this outfit to present at a state conference hosted right here in Tacoma, and I knew I would be presenting in a large room. Therefore, I wanted to wear something that was eye-catching enough so you could see me even from the back of the room, but still professional looking enough for a conference.

I could have tucked in my shirt, but I kinda liked the more easygoing feel it gave to the outfit when I left it untucked. This striped tee looks more professional than regular tees, due its square-neck detailing and elbow-length sleeves. Plus, it’s more comfortable leaving the top untucked, and it’s important to feel comfortable when you’re presenting! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Stye | Coral pleats + black stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Stye | Coral pleats + black stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Stye | Coral pleats + leopard print closeup

And this new tote bag I got from Target is great! It’s just the right size, and it feels sturdy and looks professional and chic at the same time. LOVE!

Librarian for Life + Style | Cherry blossoms + new black tote bag

Librarian for Life + Stye | Coral pleats + black stripes + leopard print

And with pleated skirts, there are always opportunities for twirling!

Librarian for Life + Stye | Coral pleats + black stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Stye | Coral pleats + black stripes + leopard print

Librarian for Life + Stye | Coral pleats + black stripes + leopard print

We took these photos a couple of weeks ago when the cherry blossoms around town were just starting to come alive. And there are so many different varieties of colors! The pics above were taken in the morning, before my presentation. I found a pink tree with a white variety blooming at its base. I thought the effect was cool.

Below are pics we took in the afternoon after the conference, along “Museum Row” in downtown Tacoma. These beautiful light pink cherry tree blossoms look like nature’s cotton candy, and the pic below is a gorgeous representation of Tacoma in the springtime. You’ve got a view of downtown, the Tacoma Dome, and a bit of Mount Rainier peeking up, and all framed with cherry blossoms. Simply stunning!

Librarian for Life + Stye | Downtown Tacoma in the springtime

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + pleats + cherry blossom collage

Librarian for Life + Stye | Stripes + pleats + cherry blossoms

Weather:  Sunny but still cold enough for tights

Where:  Conference day that included a presentation

What:

  • Striped tee:  Kohl’s, old
  • Pleated skirt:  c/o giveaway, Florence Adams, old
  • Flats:  Karen Scott via Macy’s, old
  • Tote bag:  Target, new
  • Black metal hoops:  Made in Oregon shop, Christmas gift from in-laws, old

Shop my outfit:

similar black striped tee  //  similar coral pleated skirt  //  similar animal print flats  //  similar black metal hoops  //  exact tote bag from same brand

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + pleats + animal print 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 FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Pairing orange floral with black

My outfit today was inspired by two outfits I saw via Instagram, this one from @iamterrib and this one from @suzannecarillo. Both outfits paired an orange floral dress or skirt with black… and thus, a style idea was born! 😀

It also was a practical choice to pair a heavier jacket and tall boots with this dress, as our transition to spring up here in Tacoma has been a decidedly cold (and rainy) one.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

I last paired this orange floral dress with a white cardigan; this time, it was fun to play off the vibrant floral print with all-black pieces and accessories, including a moto-style jacket, tall black heeled boots, and black metal hoop earrings.

I also thought it made for a nice contrast to pair the heavy canvas of this jacket with the floaty fabric of the dress.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black boots closeup

Although I think the look would be sharper with a slightly shorter jacket, I really liked wearing this outfit. It felt fun and fresh and unexpected, just right as we are still transitioning into spring up here in the PNW. So many colleagues and students commented on the orange floral print, that it cheered them up! Me, too. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Weather:  50s, damp and chilly

Where:  Work day with meetings and Reference Desk duty

What:

  • Jacket:  St. John Sport, thrifted at Portland resale shop, old
  • Dress:  Loco Lindo, thrifted at another Portland resale shop, old
  • Boots:  Rampage via Nordstrom, old
  • Hoop earrings:  Made in Oregon, Christmas gift from in-laws, old
  • Leggings (worn as tights):  Spanx via Macy’s, this past fall

Shop my outfit

very similar canvas moto-style jacket  //  similar orange floral dress  //  similar high-heeled black boots  //  similar black metal hoop earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Orange floral + black 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 FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Equestrian-style remix

To celebrate my 5th blog anniversary, I’m personally hosting a giveaway for 5 lucky winners. There are two days left to enter the giveaway, so visit this post for all the details on how to enter.

Remixing the details

This outfit came about because I happened upon one of my earrrrrrrrrly outfits from the blog — as in third outfit EVER (!!!) on the blog — and thought about how I would rewear the equestrian vibe behind this 2012 outfit.

What stayed the same? The scarf, the cognac bow belt, and a grey cardigan (although I replaced my older grey cardigan a couple of years ago with the same cardigan in the same color from the same brand).

What changed? I switched out the boot-cut jeans for a dress (worn as a skirt) and leggings. And I switched out my brown loafer heels for cognac flat-heeled boots. Finally, the equestrian vibe makes more sense with riding boots!

Librarian for Life + Style | Equestrian vibe outfit remix

2012 outfit:  Equestrian vibe

Also different? My haircut and glasses. My photos are also better now — and the camera angles more flattering! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Equestrian-style remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Equestrian-style remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Equestrian-style remix

I tied this equestrian-print scarf a different way this time. I modified my “scarf necklace” trick, seen here and here, as a way to tuck in the ends of the scarf, but I left the scarf loose in the front so you could see more of the print. A couple of colleagues did notice the scarf trick and asked how I did it! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Scarf necklace trick

Librarian for Life + Style | Scarf necklace trick

I felt the current remix worked better than the older combo because I now have cognac boots, which make more sense with the cognac belt and better overall with the equestrian theme. It also helped to bring in a bright color, like this blue dress, to liven things up a bit. It was a super comfortable outfit to wear to work, and I liked the challenge of remixing an outfit I wore early on at the start of this style blog.

Librarian for Life + Style | Equestrian-style remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Equestrian-style remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Equestrian-style remix

Weather:  Sunny and chilly

Where:  Work day at the library

What:

  • Cardigan:  August Silk via Macy’s, old
  • Dress (worn as skirt):  Old Navy, old
  • Scarf:  Brought back from UAE, old
  • Boots:  Marc fisher via Macy’s, old
  • Leggings (worn as tights):  Spanx via Kohl’s, old

Shop my outfit:

similar grey cardigan  //  very similar equestrian-print scarf  //  very similar blue knit dress  //  similar brown leggings by same brand  //  cognac double-buckle belt  //  similar cognac riding boots

Librarian for Life + Style | Equestrian-style remix outfit collage

Do you like the equestrian-style remix? Would you try out this variation on the “scarf necklace” trick? 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 FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

SIA interpretation: Monmon Cats

Two quick reminders:

SIA inspiration:

Now it’s time for my interpretation for this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge, and this round curated by SIA co-founder Salazar @ 14 Shades of Grey.

Salazar picked the “weird and wonderful” Monmon Cats (Tattooed Cats) by California-based Japanese artist Kazuaki Horitomo. As a cat lady, she couldn’t pass this up! 😀 As a fellow cat lady, I approve. 😉

Below is a detail from the print. Click the image below to view the full print, or see this print and more from the artist on the Bored Panda site here or on the artist’s site here.

Detail of 'Monmon Cats' by Kazuaki Horitomo

Detail of ‘Monmon Cats’ by Kazuaki Horitomo

My interpretation:

I went for a combination of greys and blacks with pops of red and a bit of blue, to match the tones of the inspiration artwork. My grey dress and grey-and-black houndstooth tights came first. And then my new black gingham shirt came in the mail just in time, and the final piece clicked into place in my mind… 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

The belt is actually a piece of embroidered ribbon my husband recently thrifted for me, thinking I could make something out of it. I haven’t had time to make it into a belt — and I think I have enough left over for a headband! — but I thought it was perfect for this week’s SIA challenge, because it brought in the bits of red flowers and blue colors from the inspiration artwork into my outfit. So I just wrapped the ribbon around me and pinned it on the side for a makeshift belt!
I revealed this wardrobe secret to a student worker at my library — the same student worker who was agog at my recent mint-and-navy cardigan and scarf outfit combo — and her reaction was so sweet. (She said she loved how creative I was with what I wore and that she always looked forward to what I would be wearing!) It’s so rare in real life that I have the chance to reveal just how detailed (and nerdy and thought-out) my style choices are. That’s what’s so great about having a style blogging outlet! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral ribbon belt closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

I *did* manage to get a cat in my pics, just in a different way with the “Meow” tote bag my mom gifted me this past Christmas. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Meow tote bag collage

Librarian for Life + Style | Meow tote bag and houndstooth tights closeup

And now time for your daily recommended allowance of twirling…

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit

Weather:  Sunny but still cold enough for tights

Where:  Typical work day

What:

  • Gingham button-front:  Lands’ End, new
  • Dress:  eShakti, old
  • Ribbon (worn as belt):  Recently thrifted
  • Houndstooth tights:  Kohl’s, old
  • Flats:  Payless, old
  • Lapis lazuli stud earrings:  Gift from my mom?, old
  • Tote bag:  ModCloth, recent Christmas gift

Shop my outfit

exact black gingham top from same brand  //  exact tote bag from same brand  //  similar grey dress  //  very similar houndstooth tights  //  similar red floral belt  //  very similar black flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Black gingham + grey dress + red belt inspiration outfit collage

Still time to participate in SIA!

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, Salazar, at 14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com by tonight, Monday, April 10th. Salazar will post the SIA round-up on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey, tomorrow.

Can’t wait to see the round-up!

And I’ll be back next Monday to curate the next SIA challenge… stay tuned 🙂


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 FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf

A quick note that the poll is open to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from March — thanks in advance!

With my pale skin and dark hair, I’ve always looked best in more saturated colors and jewel tones. Today’s outfit is an example of that, with my teal green cardigan and navy tee. But the real “jewel” of the outfit — har har — is my silk scarf with a plaid print of jewel tones.

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf

I love this scarf! It’s one of the three scarves I thrifted back in the fall, and it’s an Anne Klein scarf. I love its jewel-tone colors of purple mixed in with stripes of teal green, white, and red. The bronze-y trim finishes everything off — and makes it quite a versatile piece to wear with other colors! I debated about whether to keep the scarf longer and looser or tied more like a neckerchief. Obviously, I went with the latter, to keep the color and interest up top.

I also wore my topaz drop earrings to tie in — another pun! — with the scarf trim. The same reasoning went into wearing my bronze brogue heels. Color-coordinating for the win! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf

A couple of weeks ago, a colleague was talking about how she never wore scarves, that they were “too much” for her. I understand that reticence to wear scarves, because I used to feel that way, too. There was a time that I never wore scarves. I didn’t understand them or how to wear them; I always felt awkward even trying to wear them. But while I lived overseas in the UAE, where scarves and shawls are so common, I was inspired to start wearing them — and loved them! I appreciate now how scarves are an instant pick-me-up for any outfit.

The trick to wearing scarves? It really comes down to confidence. It’s that simple but also that scary. Yes, scarves command attention, and you have to be okay with that. I am now okay with that, because I want to wear things that I love — and that includes pretty patterns and jewel tones! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones together with a silk scarf

Weather:  Chilly

Where:  Casual work day

What:

  • Scarf:  Anne Klein, thrifted
  • Cardigan:  August Silk via Macy’s, old
  • Tee:  Nordstrom Rack, old
  • Boot-cut jeans:  Old Navy, old {but still available!}
  • Heels:  Franco Sarto, thrifted
  • Earrings:  Local boutique in Portland, old

Shop my outfit:

very similar teal green cardigan  //  very similar navy scoop-neck tee  // exact dark-wash jeans from same brand  //  similar jewel-tone silk scarf  //  similar bronze heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing jewel tones and a scarf 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 FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp