Tag Archives: pencil skirts

DIY Halloween costume | Dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

As I mentioned earlier this week, this is my fifth (!) year to dress up for Halloween by putting together a costume from items already in my closet. Five years of no-cost costumes!

Here’s a quick trip down Halloween costume memory lane:

Like I said, I had two costume ideas this year, both for strong women action heroes in recent pop culture movie hits. So I decided to do them both! First up was me dressing up as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince after she tried on costumes to “blend in” in 1918 London.

Next up is a totally different brand of a strong woman action hero… the Atomic Blonde! Yep, I went blonde (gasp!) for this next Halloween costume (which I plan to wear for a Halloween party this weekend). For my birthday this year, we saw the Atomic Blonde film in the theater, and I was IN LOVE with Charlize Thereon’s look and wardrobe and total badass attitude throughout. The film is based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City.

First, take a look at the film’s trailer to get a feel for the look and vibe that I was going for:

Isn’t Charlize Theron’s wardrobe in this film drool-worthy?! I was actually inspired while I was watching the film to put together my own DIY Halloween costume as the Atomic Blonde. I realized that I had pieces already in my closet that would echo the look and style of the title role.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Putting together the outfit for the Atomic Blonde:

The outfit I put together once again included pieces from my closet as well as pieces from my husband’s closet:

  • I started with this sweater with a grid print in black and white, along with panels of pink down the side. The pattern is so ’80s!
  • Next came my black pencil skirt and ribbed black tights and high-heeled boots (she wears a lot of boots in this film!)
  • Next I knew I would need a long coat (the coat wardrobe ALONE in this film is amazing!). I thought first of my long grey Vienna coat, seen here — but then I remembered my husband’s long, charcoal Vienna coat, seen here, and I knew that would be perfect. The lines of this coat are sharp and tailored, and it being slightly oversized on me would fit the ’80s time period well.
  • My husband’s freebie sunglasses with the hot pink sides was the perfect finishing touch!

One caveat — I did have to buy the blonde pageboy wig, as I am obviously not a natural blonde. (And nor should I be! It actually freaked me out to see what I looked like as a blonde. And I immediately felt like everyone was staring at me because of the bright blonde hair!) So it wasn’t completely a no-cost costume, but the wig only cost a few dollars, so it was still extremely low-cost.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Photo backdrops and filters:

OF COURSE it was unusually bright and sunny the day we had available to take these photos. But since the Atomic Blonde film itself has such fun with different colors and filters, I did, too!

I wanted an industrial or cityscape backdrop for the photos, to tie in with the gritty Berlin landscape of the film, and we finally realized that the top level of the parking garage by the Tacoma Dome station served that purpose very well — complete with a backdrop of downtown Tacoma and its industrial east side. On the way up to the top level of the parking garage, Sam realized it was perfect lighting to snap a few impromptu pics. (Note: I went in afterward and added a turquoise tint to the elevator photos above.)

The remainder of the photos below are overlooking the Tacoma industrial and downtown areas. I did a faded tint on the following photos, as I wanted the photos to feel a bit washed-out and gritty. I had to channel my inner badass — and my best bitchface! — for these photos, and I loved how they turned out!

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

These walking shots below are my personal faves of the bunch!

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde DIY makeup:

Even though I knew I would be wearing my husband’s pink-and-black sunglasses, I did do a full face of makeup. (I am nothing if not dedicated!) I found this video tutorial from BeautyChemCam about how to do an Atomic Blonde-inspired makeup look. The focus is all on the eyes, with heavy black eyeliner and eyeshadow, but with a neutral lip color.

And it’s the first time I’ve tried all-over black shadow on my lids — and the first time I’ve lined all the way around my eyes myself! It was a little disconcerting at first to see myself in such heavy eye makeup. I have never done eye makeup like this before, because, well, I have large eyes (and eyelids), and it always felt like I would be “gilding the lily,” if that makes any sense. But I actually kinda liked the look, and it surprised me to learn that I could actually carry off such an intense makeup look!

Also, do you like how you can see the bandaid on my finger in the pic below? I think it actually adds to the costume, as the director purposely showed in the film how the Atomic Blonde has to physically recover from violent encounters.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as the Atomic Blonde

Did you enjoy this DIY Halloween outfit and a second — and very different! — female action hero? What are you dressing up for Halloween this year? Please leave a comment and share!

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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Tobi review | One sweater cardigan, two outfits

Another day, another Tobi clothing item to style and enjoy! You can read my first Tobi review here in this post, where I go into more detail about Tobi and its site and styles, and how I paired two Tobi clothing items together, a navy “Schoolboy Ribbed Sweater” and a black “Mel Pinstriped Scarf.”

This time around, I styled this Carly Draped Cardigan, which is my favorite of the three items I selected from Tobi. (It was originally priced $82 but is currently on sale for $31.) Sam was again VERY doubtful of this cardigan since I usually wear more structured pieces — but once I put it on, we both loved it!

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan

In fact, I loved this sweater cardigan so much that I wanted to feature TWO different ways I wore it. Y’all know how much I love remixing!

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing a draped cardigan collage

Look #1 (casual remix):

The first outfit with this Carly Draped Cardigan (this style of cardigan is also called a “waterfall cardigan” or an “open cardigan”) is a casual look — but honestly, I would also wear this to work because my work place is pretty casual. I paired this cardigan over olive ankle pants, grey leather-and-suede ankle boots, and a grey tank top. You could also make this look a lot more casual by wearing sneakers or flats.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

This sweater is soooooo comfy and cozy, y’all. And the quality seems pretty high to me, as the material is soft (not scratchy!) and pretty substantial for knitwear. The ribbed detailing along the drape-y bits, cuffs, and hem speaks to the overall quality of this Carly Draped Cardigan.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Tobi grey sweater cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, closeup

I had a lot of fun playing with the front drape-y bits, as you can see in the photos below! I wanted to show y’all a few different ways you could style a draped cardigan like this.

First, I pinned one of the ends over to the other side, letting the ends cascade down.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

Next, I draped one of the ends across and over my opposite shoulder, letting the other end hang down to create another cool, asymmetrical look. (This was actually my favorite way to wear this cardigan.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

Finally, I took the end hanging down from the previous method and pinned it on the other side, so that the cardigan hems lined up a bit more.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, casual remix

Details:

  • Carly Draped Cardigan:  c/o Tobi, new
  • Olive ankle pants: Tommy Hilfiger via Macy’s, old
  • Leather-and-suede ankle boots:  Naturalizer, old
  • Earrings:  Gift from my friend Stephanie, a few years old

Look #2 (work remix):

For this second look, I kept the grey cardigan and the ankle booties but switched out the ankle pants for tights and a black pencil skirt. I really liked the juxtaposition of the body-conscious foundation of the pencil skirt and tights with the unstructured and looser sweater cardigan on top.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, work remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, work remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, work remix

I also think wearing black ankle boots would be a good choice with this outfit, as it would streamline the legs more. I will probably wear it that way next time!

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, work remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, work remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Tobi grey sweater cardigan, work remix

Details:

  • Carly Draped Cardigan:  c/o Tobi, new
  • Black pencil skirt:  ModCloth, old
  • Ribbed tights:  Walmart?, old
  • Tall high-heeled boots:  Rampage via Nordstrom, over a decade old

Which way did you like this cardigan best? Do you have a draped cardigan in your wardrobe? Which of my three Tobi items did you like best?

Please leave a comment and share!


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

Pencil skirt work casual

If you haven’t already voted, a quick reminder that the poll is still open to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from last month! 😀

This outfit is quite similar to this outfit that I wore last month:  same color palette of red + grey + black; a grey library-themed tee; the same red cotton jacket + black striped canvas flats. But there’s one major difference — this time, instead of black ankle pants, I wore my stretchy black pencil skirt. This simple swap really changes the whole look for me!

Also, as I frequently like to say, remixing = real life!

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work casual, with a tee + pencil skirt + slip-on sneakers

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work casual, with a tee + pencil skirt + slip-on sneakers

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work casual closeup, with a bold red lip

Pairing a pencil skirt with sneakers feels so cool and sporty! I loved wearing this combo! And OF COURSE, I felt compelled to wear red lipstick with my red cotton jacket!

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work casual, with a tee + pencil skirt + slip-on sneakers

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work casual, with a tee + pencil skirt + slip-on sneakers

It was a bit cooler this summer work day, so the cotton jacket worked as a light layer, for outside breezes and for inside air-conditioning. But the outfit worked without the jacket, too, for a casual work combo.

Also, there’s a bonus outtake below, enjoy!

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work casual, with a tee + pencil skirt + slip-on sneakers

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work casual outtake

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer work casual, with a tee + pencil skirt + slip-on sneakers

Weather:  Clear and cool

Where:  Work

What:

  • Tee:  Out of Print Clothing, old {still in stock!}
  • Pencil skirt:  ModCloth, old {still in stock!}
  • Jacket:  Style&Co for Macy’s, old
  • Canvas flats:  Payless, old
  • Cat tote bag:  ModCloth, Christmas gift this year from my mom
  • Earrings:  Local boutique, Christmas gift this year from my husband

Shop my outfit:

similar red jacket  //  exact tee  //  exact black pencil skirt  //  similar black striped canvas flats  //  similar cat “meow” tote

Librarian for Life + Style | Pencil skirt + tee work casual in red + grey + black

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: Detroit pop art mural

It’s time for my interpretation for this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge! Erin from Loop Looks was inspired to chose a mural titled “Brummel” by artist POSE (Jordan Nickel), created the interactive mural on behalf of Library Street Collective (gotta love that name!), a local gallery in Detroit. You can read more about the mural project here, see more of the artist’s work here on his website, and read a review of this work here that also highlights  other must-see street art in Detroit.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

My first thought? To find a colored wall backdrop that included colors from the mural so that I didn’t necessarily have to include those colors in my outfit.

My next thought was to wear my polka-dotted peplum top, as it felt reflective of the “pop art” vibe of the mural. I could have worn my red cardigan + black pencil skirt, but I decided instead on my red pencil skirt + black cardigan combo in order to:

  1. Get more mileage out of my red pencil skirt, last seen here, and
  2. Carry the red visually throughout the outfit, from top (red lips) to middle (skinny belt) to bottom (pencil skirt)

I chose my large pearl stud earrings because they echoed the large polka dots on this mod-style peplum top.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

And here’s a closer look at the cool detailing and cut-out on the back of this peplum top. Sam picked out this top a few years ago, and it was during the height of the Mad Men-inspired style influence.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

Outtakes alert! I couldn’t resist sharing these goofy outtakes with y’all. I feel like one could write a short story incorporating my facial expressions of the three pictures below, LOL! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

Librarian for Life + Style | Pop art inspired

Weather:  Perfect, crisp fall day

Where:  Work day that included a meeting

What:

similar peplum top (the print combines polka dots + stripes!)  //  very similar cardigan  //  very similar pencil skirt  //  exact skinny belt  //  similar ballet flats  // exact lip color

Librarian for Life + Style | red + black polka dots + pencil skirts collage

There’s still time to participate in this SIA challenge! How? Bloggers and non-bloggers both are welcome to participate — just send a pic of an outfit inspired by this week’s challenge to this week’s curator, Erin, at looplooks@gmail.com, by tonight, Oct. 3. Erin will post the round-up tomorrow on her blog, Loop Looks.

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday MingleVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, A Good HUES-DayWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore WednesdayThrowback Thursday, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday Moda, On the Edge of the WeekFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming Friday,Friday Favorites

Floral + geometric pattern-mixing redux

A couple of weeks ago, I featured the pattern-mixing combo of my floral popover blouse + geometric scarf — only I had to resort to a “flat lay” due to all the rain lately. I asked the question at the end of that post if y’all wanted to see the combo again in real life when I had the chance.

Here it is!

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral + geometric mixing with burgundy skirt

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral blouse + geometric scarf pattern-mixing

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral + geometric mixing with burgundy skirt

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral + geometric mixing with burgundy skirt

I paired this floral + geometric combo with a burgundy pencil skirt this time around, as well as grey tights and Mary Jane heels.

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral + geometric mixing with burgundy skirt

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral + geometric mixing with burgundy skirt

Sam and I managed to get pics inbetween rainy spells — and just as the cherry trees have started blooming! We took pics beside a tree with bright pink blossoms, as well as a tree across the road with white blossoms. Sam even thought to take a pic whose perspective merged the two trees and shades of cherry blossoms together, as seen below.

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral + geometric mixing with burgundy skirt

I’m glad we were able to get ‘real life’ pics of this combo. These turned out to be quite cheery photos, especially to document the transitioning seasons.

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday Mingle, Sophisticated Style, Visible Monday#iwillwearwhatilike, A Lovely Little a La Mode, Shoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore WednesdayThrowback Thursday, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming Friday, Friday Favorites, The Weekly Edit