Tag Archives: tunics

Colorful + casual cotton tunic with leggings

Last month in my budget adventures post, I shared that I had bought a colorful tunic from a local vendor during our local street fair. I wore it the next weekend to a visit a local farmer’s market, followed by a friend’s BBQ.

I kept things simple and bold, layering the tunic over leggings and my criss-cross black sandals.

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

This cotton tunic is known as a dashiki, which is a garment with roots in West Africa. This dashiki has such a simple, classic design, the colorful printed cotton folded over and stitched down the sides (leaving room for armholes), with elastic stitched along the middle to give it shape. (I’ve seen other dashikis with ties along the middle to cinch in the waist.)

The dashiki became popular in the U.S. during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as a symbol of black pride and culture. It then also transitioned into part of the hippie counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. You can read more about the dashiki and its political and cultural significance here and here.

To be open and transparent, I have to admit some reservations that, as a white woman purchasing and wearing a sartorial symbol of African culture, it would be interpreted as cultural misappropriation. But please know that is not my intent. My intent is to celebrate and honor culture and diversity — and all different kinds of style. Everywhere I have lived, including overseas in the Middle East, it has felt natural to incorporate bits of local style — perhaps even as a way to remember people and places I have lived and loved.

I bought this gorgeous garment because:

  • I was drawn to the vibrant and colorful print, and y’all know I’m not afraid to wear color!
  • I had a lovely conversation with the vendor, who is herself an immigrant from west Africa. She seemed thrilled and supportive of me buying the dashiki — and actually wanted me to wear it right then and there, to promote it at the fair! I felt like I had her blessing to wear it.
  • I seek ways to support local artisans and small businesses.
  • It is an external expression of my support of ethnic, cultural, and sartorial diversity.

You can see the shape of the dashiki better in the twirling pics below:

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

We visited the farmer’s market at Point Ruston, and we’ve taken pics along this waterfront view before, as seen recently here and here. It’s just a stunning backdrop of the Sound, so I hope you don’t mind yet another series of pictures along the Ruston waterfront.

Oh, and I spiked up my pixie even more so today, which was fun for me! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic, closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic, closeup of print, leggings, and sandals

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Weather:  Sunny and breezy

Where:  Weekend BBQ at friend’s house

What:

  • Cotton tunic:  Local street fair, new
  • Leggings:  Spanx via Macy’s — exact pair still available!
  • Sandals:  Lands’ End, old (and sold out)

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:

brightly colored tunic  //  exact leggings  //  similar black sandals

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful tunic + leggings 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

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SIA interpretation: A cup of coffee + a GIVEAWAY

It’s time again for my interpretation of this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge, this time curated by Erin @ Loop Looks. And Erin is hosting a GIVEAWAY for all SIA participants, and there is still time to participate!

How to participate in SIA and enter the GIVEAWAY:

Everyone who participates in this week’s challenge will get their name entered into a drawing to win either this painting or a notecard made from the image! You just need to email your SIA-inspired photo to Erin at looplooks@gmail.com by 7PM Central time tomorrow, Tuesday, September 12th. Selfies, flat lays, etc. are all okay — OR if you’re on Instagram, you can post on Instagram and tag Erin (@looplooks) and use the hashtag #SIAChallenge.

Erin personally purchased the painting below and notecard with her own money and will ship it at no extra cost to the winners. Erin will post the SIA round-up and winners on her blog, Loop Looks, next Wednesday, so stay tuned for the round-up, and for the prize winners!

Inspiration to Interpretation:

Erin chose another piece of art, seen in the collage below, which was painted by one of the GrowARTS participants, Kelly Jo. GrowARTS is a program at Garden Center Services, an organization that provides services and job training for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. The goal of GrowARTS is to have the adults they serve create art that they then sell.

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA coffee collage

I have a few different turquoise and teal-colored items, and I decided on my turquoise tunic with black, brown, and white embroidered trim. I kept the vibe casual with my black denim shorts and my black-and-gold flip flops.

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee

I went with my black beaded earrings as they reminded me of coffee beans all stacked up. And my second earrings are my turquoise studs.

And of course, I had to enjoy a cup of coffee while taking photos! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee

As I wanted to take photos while I enjoyed my morning coffee, I decided it would be good timing to take photos in our kitchen and dining rooms, so you could get a glimpse of some additional spaces in our house.

Our house, including the kitchen, had just been renovated when we bought the house, and Sam immediately fell in love with the kitchen, seen above. The cabinets are white with grey countertops (which have embedded metallic bits close-up), with oil-rubbed bronze knobs. Our dining room, seen below, has light grey walls with dark refinished wood floors. We added a dark grey patterned rug and two-tone brown curtains to play off the room’s color scheme. And the picture window in our dining room mirrors the picture window in our living room, as seen in this prior post.

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise + black casual combo with coffee closeup

Weather:  Hot and smoky because of the forest fires in Washington and Oregon (so we stayed in the house as much as we could)

Where:  At home

What:

  • Tunic:  Dana Buchman for Kohl’s, old
  • Denim shorts:  Kohl’s, old
  • Flip flops:  c/o Rhea via giveaway, last year
  • Beaded earrings:  Handmade by my grandmother, vintage

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:

blue embroidered tunic  //  very similar black denim shorts  //  similar black-and-gold flip flops

Librarian for Life + Style | Embroidered tunic + denim shorts 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: On the road

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.

Inspiration to interpretation:

Salazar chose an animated GIF inspired by a flower seller in Vietnam from a series of illustrated, animated GIFs called “On the Road” by Chinese artist and illustrator Oamul.

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA 'On the Road' inspiration collage

I thought my new-to-me floral shirtdress from the 2013 Phillip Lim for Target collection, as detailed in my monthly budget adventures post from last week, totally fit the inspiration bill! And there are lots of flowers, both in the print of my shirtdress, plus in the bright red rhododendron flower bush behind me. (There’s a clump of orangey-red flowers in the illustration.) And there are bits of black in the flower seller’s outfit, who is also wearing strappy flat sandals. 😀

It also felt fitting that the inspiration artist, Oamul, is Chinese, and my shirtdress was designed by Phillip Lim, an Asian-American artist of Chinese and Cambodian descent born in Thailand. Cheers to awesome Asian designers and artists!

Librarian for Life + Style | Old favorites in new guises | New-to-me floral shirtdress + leggings

Librarian for Life + Style | Old favorites in new guises | New-to-me floral shirtdress + leggings

Librarian for Life + Style | Old favorites in new guises | New-to-me floral shirtdress + leggings

It’s called a “shirtdress” but it is WAY too short for me to wear it as a dress. It also has an interesting and different cut on the back, which you can glimpse in the pics just above and below. So I just treated the dress as a tunic, layering it over black leggings. And HELLO perfect match with my tan-and-black colorblock tote!

This pattern is SO interesting, as is the cut of this dress/tunic, that I kept getting compliments on this outfit, both when I first wore it on the weekend and when I rewore it the next day to work. I felt cool and comfortable in this combo.

Librarian for Life + Style | Old favorites in new guises | New-to-me floral shirtdress + leggings

Librarian for Life + Style | Old favorites in new guises | New-to-me floral shirtdress + leggings

Librarian for Life + Style | Old favorites in new guises | New-to-me floral shirtdress + leggings

The backdrop for all the photos is the Fireman’s Park, located in downtown Tacoma across the old City Hall building. It’s this very sweet little park tucked away on the side; its location on the Metro Parks website is described as “carved into a hillside.” Downtown Tacoma is full of interesting public art and buildings and tiny little niches.

Librarian for Life + Style | Old favorites in new guises | New-to-me floral shirtdress + leggings

Librarian for Life + Style | Old favorites in new guises | New-to-me floral shirtdress + leggings

Weather:  Sunny with a chilly breeze

Where:  To a farmer’s market and literary reading on the weekend; To work during the week

What:

  • Shirtdress:  Phillip Lim for Target, old, via Poshmark
  • Leggings:  Spanx for Macy’s, this fall
  • Strappy sandals:  Lands’ End, old
  • Hoop earrings:  Made in Oregon, Christmas gift, old
  • Colorblock tote bag:  Christian Siriano for Payless, old

Shop my outfit:

similar floral shirtdress  //  exact black leggings  //  very similar black flat sandals

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral shirtdress + leggings 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. Salazar will post the SIA round-up on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey, on Wednesday, July 5.

Can’t wait to see what all y’all are inspired to wear — let’s all get on the road! 😀


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, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

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

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, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Silk tunic + vintage earrings

I mentioned in last week’s budget post that my good friend and fellow librarian Stephanie had gifted me these vintage Native American earrings… I did not hesitate to wear them immediately! As in, the day after she gave them to me, and to a brunch outing during our recent girls’ weekend.

I also wore this outfit to work the next week, for a more casual “behind the scenes” day (i.e. no teaching). So instead of a “work to weekend” outfit, this is a “weekend to work” outfit. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Silk tunic + vintage earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Silk tunic + vintage earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Silk tunic + vintage earrings vlodrup

I started with the earrings, and then pulled out this printed silk Anthropologie tunic that I fashion-swapped a few years ago, because I thought the turquoise of the earrings paired well with the teal color in the tunic. I also paired my brown cardigan and brown leggings with the tunic to echo the wood bits in the earrings.

This was a perfect outfit for a brunch, as the looser tunic style and leggings, which have a wide stretchy waistband, meant comfort for eating. I do not sacrifice practicality and comfort for the sake of style!

Librarian for Life + Style | Silk tunic + vintage earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Silk tunic + vintage earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Silk tunic + vintage earrings

The backdrop is of a water collection tank outside the Tacoma Dome station, which includes free parking as well as access to the free light rail system that goes into downtown Tacoma. I thought it would make for a fun backdrop, and another way to highlight our city. Y’all know I really like to get outfit photos while we’re out and about, if at all possible, to show how I wear my outfits in real life.

Librarian for Life + Style | Silk tunic + vintage earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Water collection station outside the Tacoma Dome station

Librarian for Life + Style | Silk tunic + vintage earrings

Weather:  60s, sunny and cool — perfect spring weather!

Where:  Brunch downtown

What:

  • Silk tunic:  Anthropologie, fashion-swapped
  • Cardigan:  Gap, over a decade old
  • Leggings:  Spanx via Kohl’s, old
  • Flats:  Payless, old
  • Clutch:  JavoEdge, c/o giveaway years ago
  • Earrings:  vintage, gift from my friend Stephanie

Shop my outfit:

similar teal print tunic  //  similar brown leggings by same brand  //  similar yellow faux leather clutch  //  similar taupe flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Print tunic + leggings 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, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp