Tag Archives: black

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

Colorful + casual cotton tunic with leggings

Last month in my budget adventures post, I shared that I had bought a colorful tunic from a local vendor during our local street fair. I wore it the next weekend to a visit a local farmer’s market, followed by a friend’s BBQ.

I kept things simple and bold, layering the tunic over leggings and my criss-cross black sandals.

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

This cotton tunic is known as a dashiki, which is a garment with roots in West Africa. This dashiki has such a simple, classic design, the colorful printed cotton folded over and stitched down the sides (leaving room for armholes), with elastic stitched along the middle to give it shape. (I’ve seen other dashikis with ties along the middle to cinch in the waist.)

The dashiki became popular in the U.S. during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as a symbol of black pride and culture. It then also transitioned into part of the hippie counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. You can read more about the dashiki and its political and cultural significance here and here.

To be open and transparent, I have to admit some reservations that, as a white woman purchasing and wearing a sartorial symbol of African culture, it would be interpreted as cultural misappropriation. But please know that is not my intent. My intent is to celebrate and honor culture and diversity — and all different kinds of style. Everywhere I have lived, including overseas in the Middle East, it has felt natural to incorporate bits of local style — perhaps even as a way to remember people and places I have lived and loved.

I bought this gorgeous garment because:

  • I was drawn to the vibrant and colorful print, and y’all know I’m not afraid to wear color!
  • I had a lovely conversation with the vendor, who is herself an immigrant from west Africa. She seemed thrilled and supportive of me buying the dashiki — and actually wanted me to wear it right then and there, to promote it at the fair! I felt like I had her blessing to wear it.
  • I seek ways to support local artisans and small businesses.
  • It is an external expression of my support of ethnic, cultural, and sartorial diversity.

You can see the shape of the dashiki better in the twirling pics below:

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

We visited the farmer’s market at Point Ruston, and we’ve taken pics along this waterfront view before, as seen recently here and here. It’s just a stunning backdrop of the Sound, so I hope you don’t mind yet another series of pictures along the Ruston waterfront.

Oh, and I spiked up my pixie even more so today, which was fun for me! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic, closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic, closeup of print, leggings, and sandals

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Weather:  Sunny and breezy

Where:  Weekend BBQ at friend’s house

What:

  • Cotton tunic:  Local street fair, new
  • Leggings:  Spanx via Macy’s — exact pair still available!
  • Sandals:  Lands’ End, old (and sold out)

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:

brightly colored tunic  //  exact leggings  //  similar black sandals

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful tunic + leggings 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

SIA interpretation: A cup of coffee + a GIVEAWAY

It’s time again for my interpretation of this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge, this time curated by Erin @ Loop Looks. And Erin is hosting a GIVEAWAY for all SIA participants, and there is still time to participate!

How to participate in SIA and enter the GIVEAWAY:

Everyone who participates in this week’s challenge will get their name entered into a drawing to win either this painting or a notecard made from the image! You just need to email your SIA-inspired photo to Erin at looplooks@gmail.com by 7PM Central time tomorrow, Tuesday, September 12th. Selfies, flat lays, etc. are all okay — OR if you’re on Instagram, you can post on Instagram and tag Erin (@looplooks) and use the hashtag #SIAChallenge.

Erin personally purchased the painting below and notecard with her own money and will ship it at no extra cost to the winners. Erin will post the SIA round-up and winners on her blog, Loop Looks, next Wednesday, so stay tuned for the round-up, and for the prize winners!

Inspiration to Interpretation:

Erin chose another piece of art, seen in the collage below, which was painted by one of the GrowARTS participants, Kelly Jo. GrowARTS is a program at Garden Center Services, an organization that provides services and job training for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. The goal of GrowARTS is to have the adults they serve create art that they then sell.

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA coffee collage

I have a few different turquoise and teal-colored items, and I decided on my turquoise tunic with black, brown, and white embroidered trim. I kept the vibe casual with my black denim shorts and my black-and-gold flip flops.

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee

I went with my black beaded earrings as they reminded me of coffee beans all stacked up. And my second earrings are my turquoise studs.

And of course, I had to enjoy a cup of coffee while taking photos! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee

As I wanted to take photos while I enjoyed my morning coffee, I decided it would be good timing to take photos in our kitchen and dining rooms, so you could get a glimpse of some additional spaces in our house.

Our house, including the kitchen, had just been renovated when we bought the house, and Sam immediately fell in love with the kitchen, seen above. The cabinets are white with grey countertops (which have embedded metallic bits close-up), with oil-rubbed bronze knobs. Our dining room, seen below, has light grey walls with dark refinished wood floors. We added a dark grey patterned rug and two-tone brown curtains to play off the room’s color scheme. And the picture window in our dining room mirrors the picture window in our living room, as seen in this prior post.

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee closeup

Weather:  Hot and smoky because of the forest fires in Washington and Oregon (so we stayed in the house as much as we could)

Where:  At home

What:

  • Tunic:  Dana Buchman for Kohl’s, old
  • Denim shorts:  Kohl’s, old
  • Flip flops:  c/o Rhea via giveaway, last year
  • Beaded earrings:  Handmade by my grandmother, vintage

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:

blue embroidered tunic  //  very similar black denim shorts  //  similar black-and-gold flip flops

Librarian for Life + Style | Embroidered tunic + denim shorts 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

Star Wars casual

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!

Every year during the McKinley Street Fair in Tacoma, “Graffiti Alley” gets repainted with a new mural, to showcase live art during the fair. This results in a mural for everyone to enjoy for the next year. Sam and I knew we needed to take pics of last year’s McKinley Street Fair mural before it was painted over for a new mural. (And we’ll be back to take pics of the new mural!)

Below is the “angel wings” part of the mural, complete with halo.

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + angel wings mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + angel wings mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + angel wings mural

It’s so much fun to pose in front of wings! Basically any pose you do looks striking against the backdrop of the wings. (And we just spotted some additional wing murals in the area, so you’ll be seeing more wing backdrops!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + angel wings mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + angel wings mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + angel wings mural

I wore this outfit on a recent weekend, on our way downtown to visit the Washington State History Museum. I borrowed my husband’s Star Wars long-sleeved tee. I rolled the sleeves up a bit on the tee, as it’s a little bit big on me, and I also rolled up the ends of my skinny black jeans. My striped canvas flats fit in with the color scheme of my outfit plus provided a bit more visual interest.

I usually layer this purple-y lip stain under other lip stains, as seen here, but this time, I decided just to wear the lip stain as is.

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + angel wings mural closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + angel wings mural

Here is the full mural on McKinley’s “Graffiti Alley,” from angel wings on the left through to Pokemon-like figures.

Librarian for Life + Style | McKinley Street Fair 2016 mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + Pokemon mural

I liked this cheeky fellow, with his hands on his hips. I also like that someone else went in later (it wasn’t me, I promise!) to correct the fellow’s grammar. If you look closely or enlarge the photos below, you’ll see someone wrote in an “s” at the end of the word “last,” so that it then read:  “Take a picture – it lasts longer!” 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + Pokemon mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + Pokemon mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual + Pokemon mural

Weather:  Cool and overcast

Where:  Weekend outing to Washington State History Museum

What:

  • Star Wars tee:  Borrowed from my husband
  • Black skinny jeans:  Banana Republic, old
  • Canvas flats:  Payless, old
  • Black hoop earrings:  Gift, old
  • Lip stain: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Stain in “Shameless”

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:

short-sleeved Star Wars tee  //  long-sleeved Star Wars tee  //  exact black skinny jeans by same brand  //  similar striped slip-on sneakers

Librarian for Life + Style | Star Wars casual 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