Tag Archives: blazers

Casually professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Today’s outfit I actually wore twice within the span of a week:  once to work, and then to brunch on the weekend with a friend visiting the area.

When I wore this outfit to work, a librarian colleague was dressed in a similar outfit, which we both noticed and laughed about. For a casually professional look — one that doesn’t take a lot of thought or preparation — we both return to the same outfit formula of:

  • pairing tall boots with skinny jeans
  • pairing a print blouse or tank with a solid-colored blazer

This outfit formula just works every time. It’s comfortable to wear, the print provides some visual interest, and the blazer adds a professional vibe.

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Because of the geometric print of my blouse, I added geometric earrings. These bronze-and-bead earrings were a gift from my friend and former co-worker Stephanie. ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of print blouse + bronze earrings + velvet blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

We took pics after the weekend brunch, at a nearby skate park. It was a treat to be active and run around the park, which was deserted on a Saturday morning. Sam was there to capture all the fun! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

So. Many. Outtakes. The sun at late morning provided shadows and therefore opportunities for interesting photos.

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes from the skate park

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake from the skate park

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Weather:  Cold and dry

Where:  Work day, then a weekend brunch

What:

  • Blazer:  Gap, old
  • Blouse:  Banana Republic, thrifted, old
  • Skinny jeans:  Target, old
  • Boots:  Marc Fisher via Macy’s, old
  • Earrings:  Oru, gift from Stephanie, old

very similar purple velvet blazer  //  very similar geo-print sleeveless blouse  //  very similar skinny jeans  //  similar cognac tall boots  //  very similar bronze-and-bead earrings from same brand

Librarian for Life + Style | Blazer + print blouse outfit collage

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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!


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Jeans + blazer combo with statement heels

Last month, I purchased these awesome colorblock patent leather heels at a local resale shop, and OF COURSE I wore them as soon as possible to work. I wore them to dress up a more casual work outfit of skinny jeans + Washington state home tee + tan blazer with the cuffs rolled up.

Librarian for Life + Style | Jeans + blazer combo with statement heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Jeans + blazer combo with statement heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Jeans + blazer combo with statement heels

I got lots of compliments on these patent leather heels! They’re so prettttttttty 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorblock heels closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Jeans + blazer combo with statement heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Blazer + tee closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Jeans + blazer combo with statement heels

Weather:  Clear and crisp fall day

Where:  Work

What:

  • Blazer:  The Limited, over a decade old
  • Tee:  The Home T, new gift from my mom
  • Skinny jeans:  Target, old
  • Heels:  Franco Sarto, newly thrifted
  • Earrings:  Zoe Comings, new birthday gift
  • Tote bag:  Christian Siriano for Payless, old

very similar tan blazer  //  grey Washington tee  //  very similar dark skinny jeans  //  colorblock ankle-wrap d’orsay pump //  grey-and-black colorblock tote bag

tee + blazer + heels collage

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Day to date night

My husband and I planned a date night recently, and I knew I would need to wear something that I could easily adapt after work before setting off for our date. Then the light bulb went off — why not also document this for the blog? 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Day to date night collage

I started by checking the weather — no rain! — and then I knew that I wanted to wear my yellow-and-black high heels for nighttime. I worked backward from there. The common elements between my casual work day outfit and my date night outfit were my polka-dotted top and my black skinny jeans. That meant that all I had to do to get ready for our date was to switch out the shoes and the “completer piece,” from cardigan to blazer. I also switched out my bag, from tote bag to clutch.

It also turned out that pattern-mixing emerged as a theme, but I didn’t think about that at the beginning. That was just a nice by-product! 😉

Warning:  This post is particularly photo-heavy.

Day:

I’ve had this sleeveless polka-dotted top for a few years now. Because of the ruffles, it can look a bit dressier on its own (perfect or a day-to-night outfit!), but adding a cardigan makes it totally appropriate for a casual work look. I added my striped canvas flats for comfort — the pattern-mixing was just icing on the cake! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Day look

Librarian for Life + Style | Day look

By the way, the backdrop here of painted bricks? It’s our chimney! It’s located more toward the west side of our house, so it’s a good place for photos in the morning.

Librarian for Life + Style | Day look

Librarian for Life + Style | Day look

What I wore:

  • Top:  eShakti, old
  • Cardigan:  August Silk via Macy’s, old — my favorite line of cardigans!
  • Skinny jeans:  Banana Republic, last year
  • Canvas flats:  Payless, last winter
  • Earrings:  UAE, gift from my husband

similar polka-dotted, ruffled top // similar black cardigan // exact black skinny jeans //  similar silver-and-pearl hoop earrings //  similar striped canvas flats

black + white casual pattern-mixing collage

Date night:

Sam and I had made reservations at a nice dinner out downtown (at the Pacific Grill, which is excellent!), so I wanted to look a bit more dressy — but not too dressy. Remixing the black skinny jeans accomplished that sartorial goal, and my pattern-mixing heels just looked so cool with these jeans. I felt that the black cardigan would have been too casual, which is why I switched it out for my trusty black blazer, but I turned up the cuffs on the blazer.

My clutch has the print of an old library card, so my outfit still showcases my “librarian” side!

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

The backdrop is the front of a local church, by the way — and no worries, they weren’t having services while we took these photos!

During our quick photo shoots, Sam likes to call out things or jokes to elicit reactions from me. Like for the photo below, he called out, “Be fierce!” The result:

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

And… then I immediately cracked up!

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

What IS fierce, however, are these heels. I don’t wear these striped and polka-dotted four-inch heels very often, but when I do, I feel like a million dollars. I’ve worn these heels with dresses, as seen here, and with cropped ankle pants, as seen here. I did a slight cuff on my black skinny jeans this time to help show off the heels and the striped ankle straps.

It’s time for some close-ups!

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of high heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of high heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

You can also see that I also amped up my makeup for date night, and tomorrow I’ll get into how I layered lip stains. I also switched out my accessories, going from small silver hoops for day to black teardrop earrings for night. At the last minute, right before we headed out the door, I asked Sam if he thought I should add my rope brooch to my blazer. He agreed, and I think it’s a nice finishing touch, to tie in the circular shapes from head to heels.

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Librarian for Life + Style | Date night look

Weather:  Dry and clear late summer night, temperature in the 60s

What for:  Fancy dinner downtown for date night

What I wore:

  • Top:  eShakti, old
  • Skinny jeans:  Banana Republic, last year
  • High heels:  Unisa via DSW, old
  • Blazer:  The Limited, over a decade old
  • Earrings:  InPink, c/o giveaway, old
  • Clutch:  Library card pouch, Out of Print Clothing, gift from my mom
  • Brooch:  Vintage, thrifted in Portland, old

similar polka-dotted, ruffled top // exact black skinny jeans //  very similar black blazer from same brand  //  yellow high heels  //  black woven high heels  //  yellow geometric clutch

black + yellow date night outfit

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Tacoma casual

During Spring Break, Sam and I enjoyed a day trip to Tacoma, Washington, which is a city just a couple of hours north of Portland. Sam has relatives living in Tacoma, and we enjoyed a midday break and lunch with a friend and librarian colleague who works at the University of Puget Sound.

The weather forecast called for on-and-off showers all day, but the showers didn’t show up until early evening, so we enjoyed unexpected sunshine most of the day! But Sam and I were glad we layered, since there was a definite chill in the early spring air.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing beneath one of the Crystal Towers, along the Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Posing beneath one of the Crystal Towers, along the Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing beneath one of the Crystal Towers, along the Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a pedestrian overpass

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in front of the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma

Tacoma is the third largest city in Washington, and there is a revitalized downtown area, with the UW-Tacoma campus and a row of museums, including the Museum of Glass, featuring the amazing glass artworks by Tacoma-born artist Dale Chihuly. There is a “Bridge of Glass” on the pedestrian walkway, from the Washington State History Museum on one side and over to the Museum of Glass on the other side.

We ate lunch in the Shake Shake Shake diner and burger cafe in the Stadium District, which is located a couple of blocks across from the Stadium High School, which was the school featured in the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You.

Librarian for Life + Style | The famous sign in the Shake Shake Shake diner

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of my new burgundy brogues

We did quite a bit of walking around the city, so the brogues were a good idea. (I dressed up a little bit more than I might have otherwise, since I was meeting a librarian colleague during our visit.) I would also definitely wear this outfit on a more casual day at work!

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