Tag Archives: paisley

Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

The poll is still open to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from May — thanks in advance!

If you’re a longtime reader of this style blog (thank you!), then it is no surprise that I often feature variations of go-to outfit formulas. Some of my favorite outfit formulas include:

This last outfit formula is one that I often wore when I worked overseas in the UAE, and I’ve kept it up since moving back to the U.S. 6+ years ago. Tunics are dressier than tees — and often more colorful! — and they’re meant to be untucked, which makes them extremely comfortable. Pairing tunics with trousers, particularly wide-legged trousers, makes the look more work-appropriate.

And for hotter climates or for when working in the summer, pairing trousers with sandals is another way to keep comfortable while also looking professional — as long as your workplace allows open-toed shoes or sandals, of course. My workplace, and the Pacific Northwest in general, is generally super casual, so I can get away with wearing more casual clothing at work.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

I haven’t worn my bronze hoop earrings in awhile, but I thought they worked well with this brown-and-pink paisley tunic. The elongated hoop shape also played off the circular U-shape of the tunic neckline.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + bronze hoop earrings closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

And judging by the deep creases in these wide-legged trousers, it’s pretty obvious that we took these outfit photos at the END of the work day. That’s why I prefer to take outfit photos at the beginning of the work day, if possible — but I really don’t mind that much, as this just goes to show that I really do wear my outfits in real life!

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Tunic + trousers outfit formula for work

Weather:  Sunny spring day

Where:  Teaching day at work

What:

  • Tunic:  Thrifted at local resale shop, last fall
  • Trousers:  Worthington’s, UAE, old
  • Sandals:  Target, old
  • Hoop earrings:  Kohl’s?, old

Shop my outfit:

similar paisley tunic  //  similar wide-legged trousers  //  very similar T-strap sandals  //  bronze hoop earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Paisley tunic + tan trousers outfit collage

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SIA interpretation: Lace designs by Isabella Catanea Parasole

It’s time for my interpretation of this Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge! This go-round, it was my time to curate, and I came across the lace designs of Isabella Catanea Parasole (1565-1625), an Italian lace designer and wood carver. She was the first lace designer to create a lace instruction manual for women, a manual called Il Teatro delle nobili et virtuose donne. There’s a brief bio and samples of her work here, plus many more pics of her lace instruction manual here at the Met website.

From inspiration to interpretation:

At first, I focused on the round lace designs, as they had first caught my eye when I came across Isabella Catanea Parasole’s artwork.

Lace design sheet, Isabella Catanea Parasole, ca. 1620

Lace design sheet, Isabella Catanea Parasole, ca. 1620

But then I spied my black-and-white paisley tunic in my closet, and the lightbulb went off! Here’s a collage of one of Parasole’s more ornate designs (top) and my paisley tunic (bottom):

Librarian for Life + Style | Style Imitating Art challenge, Isabella Catanea Parasole's lace designs, ca. 1620

Since my tunic was doing most of the work, the rest of my outfit came together very quickly. Again — and I’ve been saying this a lot! — I kept it simple with black skinny jeans tucked into my black high-heeled boots.

Librarian for Life + Style | Black paisley tunic + black jeans

Librarian for Life + Style | Black paisley tunic + black jeans

Librarian for Life + Style | Black paisley tunic + black jeans

I’m trying out my new lipstick color, a deep wine color called “Cabaret Blend” by Milani. The lipstick smells really good — like grapefruit?– and I loooooooove the color. However, the staying power of the lipstick is admittedly not as good as my long-lasting lipsticks and lip stains from Revlon and L’Oreal.

I wore pearl earrings and a pearl pendant necklace — white pearls this time — in order to keep with the subtle ombre effect of the tunic. I also chose a delicate silver bracelet with black beads, as seen below, for the way it echoed the scroll design that separates the two different paisley prints in the tunic.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of silver-and-black bracelets

Librarian for Life + Style | Black paisley tunic + black jeans

Librarian for Life + Style | Black paisley tunic + black jeans

I liked this outfit for its striking simplicity. Plus, it’s pattern-mixing all on its own! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Black paisley tunic + black jeans

Librarian for Life + Style | Black paisley tunic + black jeans

Librarian for Life + Style | Black paisley tunic + black jeans

Weather:  Warmer (50s) and dry

Where:  Behind-the-scene day at work

What:

  • Tunic:  White House Black Market, old
  • Skinny jeans:  Banana Republic, last winter
  • Tall boots:  Rampage via Nordstrom, old
  • Pearl earrings:  Gift from colleagues in UAE, old
  • Pearl necklace:  Wedding gift from Sam, old
  • Bracelets:  Gifts from Sam, old

similar paisley tunic  //  exact black skinny jeans  //  very similar black tall boots  //  similar silver bracelet with black beads

Librarian for Life + Style | Paisley tunic collage

Still time to participate in SIA!

There’s still time to participate in this week’s challenge! Everyone — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! — is welcome. Just send a pic of an outfit inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to me at librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by 10 p.m. PST tonight, Jan. 30th. I will then post the SIA round-up on my blog tomorrow.


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Remixing my paisley tunic for work

I recently remixed my newly thrifted paisley tunic, this time for a work outfit on my first teaching day of the term! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing a paisley tunic

The first time I wore this top, it was for a casual dinner at home with friends, and the shorts and sandals reflected the late summer weather. For work, I switched up the look of the tunic by tucking it into a full, belted skirt. The tights also reflect the current fall weather.

I also made the U-shape of this top more work-appropriate by layering it over a black sports bra. (You can read more here about how I use sports bras as tank tops.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my paisley tunic for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my paisley tunic for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my paisley tunic for work

The backdrop is along the gravel driveway to the side of our house, and this stretch is framed by blackberry bushes (which are pernicious and thorny!). They make for a nice green backdrop, though, but my black metal hoop earrings kind of get lost amidst the leaves and thorns! You can see them better in the closeup below.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my paisley tunic for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my paisley tunic for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my paisley tunic for work

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my paisley tunic for work

Weather:  Perfectly fall

Where:  Teaching day at work

What:

  • Tunic:  INC International Concepts, thrifted at local resale shop
  • Skirt with matching fabric belt:  eShakti, old
  • Tights:  DKNY via Macy’s
  • Ballet flats:  Payless, old
  • Hoop earrings:  Made in Oregon store, Christmas gift from in-laws, old

similar paisley top from same brand  //  very similar full skirt  //  exact tights  //  very similar ballet flats  //  very similar black hoop earrings

paisley + black

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What I wore for a casual dinner at home with friends

Although I just posted about starting my new job, I’ve still got some casual summer outfits scheduled on the blog! And a quick note that the poll is open to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from August — thanks in advance!

This outfit I wore on a late summer evening, while hosting a casual dinner at home with friends. I definitely wanted comfort first — but that’s a given with me! — but, as always, to put a little effort in. (For me, putting a little effort into how I look shows that I care about the people, the event, or the occasion. I wrote more about that here.)

My new paisley tunic top, which I featured in my most recent budget adventures post, fit that sartorial need perfectly for me. And, in general, a print tends to elevate a look.

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for a hosting a casual dinner with friends

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for a hosting a casual dinner with friends

Librarian for Life + Style | Paisley tunic + statement earrings

The horseshoe neckline of this top stands out, so I didn’t want to detract from that. So rather than wearing a necklace, I went for statement earrings instead. My coral bubble earrings tied into both the colors and circular shapes in the fun paisley floral print of the tunic.

By the way, Sam noticed that you can see the back of our new home reflected in my sunglasses! 😎

Librarian for Life + Style | Paisley tunic + statement earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for a hosting a casual dinner with friends

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for a hosting a casual dinner with friends

And, of course, it was perfect that we posed in our new backyard for these photos, since I wore this outfit for a casual evening at home with friends!

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for a hosting a casual dinner with friends

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for a hosting a casual dinner with friends

Weather:  Sunny and warm

Where:  Casual dinner at home with friends

What:

similar top from same brand // similar black denim shorts // similar strappy sandals // coral chandelier earrings // exact lip stain

black + pink casual

What do you like to wear when having dinner at home with friends? Does it make a difference depending on how formal (or informal) the occasion is, or the season? Please leave a comment and share your own thoughts and experiences!

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SIA interpretation: Turkish tulip embroidery

Before we get to my SIA interpretation, two quick things:

Back to our regularly scheduled programming… it was my turn to curate the next Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge, and I chose a gorgeous red-and-turquoise floral embroidery detail from a 16th century Turkish caftan from the Ottoman period.

And there’s still time to participate in SIA! All are welcome, whether you have a blog or not. Just send a pic of something you wear inspired by this week’s artwork — and your pic can be a selfie or a flat lay! — and email me with your submission by tonight, April 4, by 10 p.m. PST. I will post the SIA round-up tomorrow morning.

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA collage for Turkish tulips embroidery

My starting point — as usual — was the color combination. Y’all know I’m a fan of saturated colors, which is probably the main reason I was drawn to this piece of embroidery. I have added a lot of red to my closet over the past couple of years, and I thought about my new red pencil skirt, my darker red fit-and-flare dress, and my red cardigan. In the end, I chose my red ankle pants (for comfort), and then paired them with my new turquoise cardigan. When I button cardigans all the way up, it’s like I’m getting extra use out of them because they then become like sweaters — especially when you can find a style, like this August Silk line, that has buttons the same color as the cardigan.

(By the way, I have paired red and turquoise together before, seen here, for a totally different look!)

The finishing touch was my scarf. And I didn’t go floral — instead, I went paisley! I think it captures the essence of the inspiration piece, even if it’s a different kind of pattern. It’s a pretty full scarf, as seen here, but I managed to turn it into an infinity scarf. (How? I first knotted the ends of the scarf together, folded the ends back into the knot so there weren’t any straggly bits, looped the scarf twice around my neck, and then hid the knot underneath the top layer. I made sure to arrange the top part of the scarf so that more of the paisley pattern showed.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + turquoise + paisley scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + turquoise + paisley scarf closeup

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + turquoise + paisley scarf closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Red + turquoise + paisley scarf

It was really nice — and surprising! — to get a few compliments from students on the day I wore this outfit, which was during the first week of our spring term. One student exclaimed, “You look like spring!” That made my day! 😀

I’ll see y’all tomorrow for the SIA round-up, and next Monday, SIA co-host Erin @ Loop Looks will be back with her next pick for SIA!


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