Tag Archives: navy

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

Advertisements

SIA interpretation: Whistler watercolor

A note about my posting schedule

I wanted to let my readers know that I will be going back to a posting schedule of 3 posts a week, on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. This fall quarter is shaping up to be very busy — I will be teaching a credit course, and Sam has a new teaching schedule — and we need time to adjust to our new real-life daily schedule (not least of which for finding time to take photos during the work week).

I plan on continuing on co-hosting Style Imitating Art challenges, as well as my monthly clothing budget post and my outfit round-up post and reader poll. I will be discontinuing my monthly “everyday faves” series.

SIA inspiration:

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

Salazar has been scouting out a watercolor painting for awhile, and finally came across a watercolor sketch by James McNeill Whistler via the open content on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website and digital collections. This will be the third time we’ve featured a Whistler painting for SIA, but the first time with a watercolor. And the crowded street scene, all in neutrals, feels like an unusual subject for a watercolor — and perfect for the autumn season!

Librarian for Life + Style | Whistler watercolor SIA collage

It took me awhile to come up with my outfit, but finally, I remembered my tan cotton skirt with a soft, watercolor-esque print in shades of neutrals. That was the starting point. And because the watercolor has more of tan & blue tones to me — rather than the lavender & grey tones of the title — I went with navy blue accents with my  navy cardigan and navy tights. My burgundy brogues were a practical choice, as well as a color choice that still fit the inspiration piece.

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + tan + burgundy brogues

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + tan + burgundy brogues

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + tan + burgundy brogues

My tote bag — doctor’s bag? — was the final piece I added to the outfit. It FINALLY feels like fall around here, in all its drizzly and cool PNW glory — so I can use this gorgeous bag with its wool fabric sides. It fit in with the color scheme of my outfit (and the inspiration watercolor) but added its own cool texture and shape to the overall look.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of printed skirt + tote bag

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + tan + burgundy brogues

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of tote bag

I felt my outfit looked a little retro-inspired, with the combination of the full skirt + tights + brogues. It was a professional development day on campus — also known as in-service — and I got lots of compliments on my outfit from colleagues. 😀

And because it was cold and rainy, I got to wear my navy trench coat again!

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + tan + burgundy brogues

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + tan + burgundy brogues

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + tan + burgundy brogues

Weather:  Drizzly and cold

Where:  Professional development day at my college

What:

  • Cardigan:  LOFT, old
  • Skirt:  Walmart, over a decade old
  • Trench coat:  Jason Wu for Target, old
  • Tights:  Kohl’s, new
  • Brogues:  Clarks, last year
  • Purse:  MOE Gallery, giveaway this past spring

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 navy cardigan  //  floral midi skirt  //  similar burgundy brogues

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy + floral skirt + burgundy brogues 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. Salazar will then post the SIA round-up on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey, the next day.

Can’t wait to see what y’all are inspired to wear!

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

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

SIA interpretation: Synesthetic art

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

SIA inspiration pick:

Salazar chose a beautiful painting by Kansas City artist Melissa McCracken as the inspiration. McCracken has synesthesia and can see colors in music, which she then translates into paintings. AMAZING! You can read about her process here in this interview. One of her paintings is for one of Salazar’s favorite songs — Iron and Wine’s “Boy with a Coin” — which explains why Salazar chose this particular piece.

In the collage below is a detail from the painting, which you can see in full here on her website.

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA synesthetic art collage

What inspired me the most was the sense of movement in the painting, and I tried to capture that in what I wore as well as through the setting and style of the photos. All the various colors — shades of blue, white, pink, yellow, etc. — are in the floral print of my maxidress, and I brought out colors in the two scarves I wrapped around my sun hat, as well as in my bronze shawl and yellow colorblock tote bag.

Interpretation:

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point lighthouse + maxidress casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point lighthouse + maxidress casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + maxidress casual

I wore this casual outfit on my birthday this past weekend, and part of my day included going out to Browns Point in north Tacoma, to visit the lighthouse there, tour the old lighthouse keeper’s cottage, and walk along the beach. The weather was perfect — finally! We’ve been under a literal haze of smoke the past two weeks, due to forest fires in British Columbia and east side of Washington state.

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + maxidress casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + maxidress casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + maxidress casual

Below are closeups of my olive sun hat (I’ve had this hat for a loooong time, although this might be the first time it’s made the blog?), and I was inspired to wrap a couple of thin scarves around it, to bring out more of the colors both in my maxidress and in the inspiration painting. I also wore my turquoise-and-bronze beaded earrings I got during our 2010 Thailand trip — and my teal toes also fit right into my inspiration outfit!

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + sun hat + scarves

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + metallic sandals + maxidress floral print

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + maxidress casual

For these pics, I just walked along the beach, enjoying the breeze off the Puget Sound and the sunshine, while Sam walked alongside me, taking photos. I like the more natural feel of the photos, and you just can’t beat a gorgeous, wraparound water view for a backdrop!

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + maxidress casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + maxidress casual

Librarian for Life + Style | Browns Point beach + maxidress casual

Weather:  Sunny with cool breezes

Where:  My birthday weekend

What:

  • Maxidress:  c/o Pink Blush via giveaway, old
  • Sun hat:  Wooden Ships, gift?, old
  • Sandals:  Naturalizer via DSW, old
  • Earrings:  Boutique in Phuket Town, Thailand, from 2010 trip
  • Coral scarf (around hat):  Came with another dress, old
  • Turquoise scarf (around hat):  Gift, old
  • Tote bag:  Freebie from my mom, old
  • Scarf:  Kmart?, old

Shop my outfit:

similar navy floral maxidress  //  similar olive sun hat  //  similar bronze beaded earrings  //  similar metallic sandals by same brand

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral maxidress + metallic accessories 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, August 14. Salazar will then post the SIA round-up on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey.

Can’t wait for this week’s round-up!


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