Tag Archives: tall boots

SIA interpretation: Black Cat

A quick note that the poll is open for you to vote for your favorite outfit from last month — thanks in advance!

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

The inspiration:

Salazar chose “Kuroki Neko” — aka “Black Cat” — a painting by Japanese artist Hishida Shunso (1874-1911).

Collage of "The Black Cat" and my inspiration outfit. "Kuroki Neko" ("Black Cat") by Hishida Shunsō, 1910, is in the Public Domain.

Collage of “The Black Cat” and my inspiration outfit. “Kuroki Neko” (“Black Cat”) by Hishida Shunsō, 1910, is in the Public Domain.

My interpretation:

I have several cat-print items in my wardrobe, including this adorable cat-print tee, so my main task was to narrow down which cat-print item in my wardrobe to choose from… and that’s when I realized that I hadn’t featured my cat-print dress on the blog for a few years. I have consistently worn this dress — it’s a staple during the fall season, and those on Instagram have seen me wear this dress already this fall (along with this same blanket scarf, although worn in a slightly different way) — but I just hadn’t bothered photographing it recently.

The colors in this dress are just so perfect for the inspiration artwork, as well as the kitty cats in the pattern!

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf

And just how perfect is this background?! I knew this little Japanese garden would be a good starting point, as the artist for this week’s SIA inspiration artwork, Hishida Shunso, is Japanese. In the garden, I then spied this Japanese maple tree in this gorgeous shade of yellow, which matched the inspiration painting so well! It was meant to be. (Happy sigh.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf

I forgot to get detail shots of my pumpkin earrings, but you can sorta see them in the pic above. I wore this outfit last Monday, the day before Halloween, so they still fit thematically. And in real life, the orange of those earrings popped against the black blanket scarf. One could argue that the pinstripes in this scarf also echoed the veins in the leaves in the inspiration painting? Right? That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 😉

My tights also have a ribbed texture, so I’m mixing three different patterns together! Hello, my name is Jen, and I like to find new ways to pattern-mix.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf closeup with boots and ribbed tights

Librarian for Life + Style | Pattern-mixing a cat-print dress and a pinstriped blanket scarf

Weather:  Dry and sunny, a perfect fall day

Where:  Work day at the library

What:

Please note that I may get commission for clicks made through affiliate links in this post (I only get commission for browsing, not for any purchases made). This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

Remixing this dress:

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I hadn’t featured this cat-print dress on the blog for awhile, so I thought I’d make a collage of the previous ways that I have worn this cat-print dress. You’ll notice in the middle pic below that the back of this dress is actually a V-neck — but this time around, I switched the dress around to wear the rounder neckline in the back!

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my cat-print dress

Links to original posts:
left (2012)  //  middle (2013)  // right (2014)

There is 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 tomorrow, Tuesday, November 7th. Salazar will then post the SIA round-up on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey, this Wednesday.

Can’t wait to see the SIA 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 LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

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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

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

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

Black floral tunic remix

Another day, another remix… this time, I am remixing my black floral tunic that I thrifted years ago. Here are different ways I’ve worn this tunic:

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing a black floral tunic collage

left, “Tunic + leggings”  //  middle, “Rosebuds in bloom

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

This tunic is one I keep out year-round, as it works for every season. Its fabric is light enough to wear in spring and summer, along with its floral motif. And its darker colors make it appropriate for fall and winter seasons. I thrifted this tunic years ago at my favorite local resale boutique in Portland, Here We Go Again.

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

Comfort is the first rule of my personal style, and this outfit is super comfortable. After all, it’s a tunic, leggings, and flat boots! It’s like a work version of pyjamas, as far as I’m concerned. Yet it still looks appropriate enough for work — at least, appropriate for where I work.

And of course I enjoyed color-coordinating my accessories by going for burgundy statement earrings and my darker red leather tote bag.

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic remix

Weather:  A cool spring day

Where:  Work day

What:

  • Tunic:  White House Black Market, thrifted, old
  • Leggings:  Spanx via Macy’s, this past fall
  • Boots:  Marc Fisher via Macy’s, old
  • Earrings:  MOSS Handmade, Christmas gift from Sam, old
  • Tote bag:  Kohl’s, old

Shop my outfit:

similar black floral tunic  //  exact leggings  //  similar black riding boots  //  crochet earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Black floral tunic outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp