Tag Archives: velvet

Monthly budget adventures (November 2017)

A quick reminder to please vote for your favorite outfit of mine from last month — thanks in advance!

And now it’s time for my monthly budget adventures! I spent a grand total of $12 this month, all on new-to-me items that I picked up at an estate sale in Portland over the Veterans’ Day holiday weekend. We had gone down to Portland to stay with some friends, who happen to be experts at estate sales. (Tips they gave us:  Be polite; Dress well but not fancy; bring cash; and be prepared to walk away if the seller won’t agree on a lower price.)

We went on the final Sunday for an estate sale in the very nice Laurelhurst neighborhood of Portland, where I found these lovely items for half-off the original price:

  • Patent leather pumps with velvet bows, Franco Sarto {similar}:  Priced at $12, paid $6
  • Snakeskin and patent leather cap-toe flats, Bandolini {very similar!}:  Priced at $8, paid $4
  • Small square silk scarf {similar}:  Priced at $4, paid $2

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!

Librarian for Life + Style | Brown patent leather bow heels, estate sale find

Librarian for Life + Style | Snakeskin and patent leather flats, estate sale find

Librarian for Life + Style | Olive + burgundy silk square scarf, estate sale find

Librarian for Life + Style | Olive + burgundy silk square scarf, estate sale find

Librarian for Life + Style | Olive + burgundy silk square scarf, estate sale find

Budget recap:

Total spent for this month: $12
Total savings for this month:  $125 estimate

Total spent for this year:  $832
Total savings for this year:  $720


I have a few gift cards for Lands’ End that I’ve saved up, so I’m planning on some Christmas shopping for myself!

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Raspberry velvet, if you please

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

Like I mentioned in my most recent clothing budget post, I snagged this AWESOME velvet fedora at the iconic local men’s clothing store, Mr. Mac’s. When I got the hat home, I realized that it exactly matched my self-made obi-style belt made out of vintage ties. And that my new raspberry gingham shirt fit the color story coming together in my head… 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

I will most likely rewear this combo in the fall, but it’s been a very cold and rainy spring thus far. And it was a VERY comfortable outfit to wear, with my burgundy brogues.

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

This velvet (or velveteen?) fedora really does catch the light, doesn’t it? And yes, it was pouring down rain when we took these photos. (That explains the random spots all over the button-front shirt!) I also got quite a few compliments and questions about my tie belt during the day — it is a statement piece, isn’t it? 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Weather: Raaaaaaaaainy and cool

Where:  Work day with meetings

What:

  • Fedora:  New, local men’s store
  • Gingham button-front shirt:  Lands’ End, new
  • Tie belt:  Made from two of my dad’s vintage ties, old
  • Wide-leg trousers:  White House Black Market, last fall
  • Brogues:  Clarks, last spring
  • Bead earrings:  Made by my paternal grandmother, vintage
  • Wood watch:  c/o JORD, couple of years ago

Shop my outfit:

very similar gingham button-front shirt  //  very similar velvet hat  //  similar tweed wide-leg trousers  //  similar obi-style belt  //  very similar wood watch  //  very similar burgundy brogues

Librarian for Life + Style | Gingham + velvet outfit collage

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Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Today’s work outfit was really all about remixing my pink- and purple-print dress for a work-appropriate combo. The first time I wore this print dress was for a special anniversary night out in the summer. This time I wore it for work in chilly spring temps.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing a pink print dress

2015 post: Feeling special in my new print dress

A blazer can work magic, instantly making any dress — even a sleeveless dress like this one –more work-appropriate simply by layering it on top. That’s exactly why blazers are “completer pieces,” because they really do serve to finish off, or complete, an outfit.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink dress + bronze heels closeup

I also made the look more work-appropriate by adding brownish-burgundy opaque tights and bronze heels. These tights are AMAZING, by the way. They can look more brown or more reddish depending on what it’s paired with. With this dress, the opaque tights help “tone down” the print, at least in my head.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

And there is ALWAYS time for twirling! 😉

Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Pink + bronze + purple velvet

I did wear the blazer buttoned up most of the day, mainly because the top of the dress is a bit lower-cut than most of my dresses. It worked, although I think next time I will add a white cami or sports bra underneath the dress so there’s another visible layer there.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Librarian for Life + Style | Pink + bronze + purple velvet

Weather:  Chilly and rainy spring day

Where:  Work day

What:

  • Velvet blazer:  Gap, over a decade old
  • Print dress:  Maggy London, thrifted, old
  • Tights:  American Apparel, old
  • Heels:  Franco Sarto, thrifted, old

Shop my outfit

very similar purple velvet blazer  //  similar print dress  //  Mary Jane heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + print dress outfit collage

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Casually professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Today’s outfit I actually wore twice within the span of a week:  once to work, and then to brunch on the weekend with a friend visiting the area.

When I wore this outfit to work, a librarian colleague was dressed in a similar outfit, which we both noticed and laughed about. For a casually professional look — one that doesn’t take a lot of thought or preparation — we both return to the same outfit formula of:

  • pairing tall boots with skinny jeans
  • pairing a print blouse or tank with a solid-colored blazer

This outfit formula just works every time. It’s comfortable to wear, the print provides some visual interest, and the blazer adds a professional vibe.

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Because of the geometric print of my blouse, I added geometric earrings. These bronze-and-bead earrings were a gift from my friend and former co-worker Stephanie. ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of print blouse + bronze earrings + velvet blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

We took pics after the weekend brunch, at a nearby skate park. It was a treat to be active and run around the park, which was deserted on a Saturday morning. Sam was there to capture all the fun! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

So. Many. Outtakes. The sun at late morning provided shadows and therefore opportunities for interesting photos.

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes from the skate park

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake from the skate park

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual professional outfit formula | Print blouse + solid-colored blazer

Weather:  Cold and dry

Where:  Work day, then a weekend brunch

What:

  • Blazer:  Gap, old
  • Blouse:  Banana Republic, thrifted, old
  • Skinny jeans:  Target, old
  • Boots:  Marc Fisher via Macy’s, old
  • Earrings:  Oru, gift from Stephanie, old

very similar purple velvet blazer  //  very similar geo-print sleeveless blouse  //  very similar skinny jeans  //  similar cognac tall boots  //  very similar bronze-and-bead earrings from same brand

Librarian for Life + Style | Blazer + print blouse outfit collage

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Purple velvet + polka dots

One last reminder to please vote for your favorite outfit of mine from last month, if you haven’t already. Thanks in advance!

I hadn’t worn my purple velvet blazer in awhile — at least not “on the blog” — so I waited for a rare non-rainy day to wear it. I don’t wear suede or velvet when it’s rainy, so that cuts down on the possible days I can wear the few remaining suede or velvet items in my wardrobe up here in the Pacific Northwest. But a velvet blazer is a classic piece, so it will remain in my closet, whatever the weather!

I layered the blazer over a polka-dotted dress I’ve worn many times before.

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple velvet + polka dots

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple velvet + polka dots closeup

Details:

Thanks to Stephanie, who took these pics for me after work!

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple velvet + polka dots

Librarian for Life + Style | Purple velvet + polka dots

Here are three ways I’ve worn this polka-dotted dress, which I bought when we lived overseas in the UAE. It’s quite short, so I think of this dress more as a tunic, so I always make sure to layer it over something else, like tights or leggings.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing a polka-dotted dress

left  //  middle  //  right (this post)

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