Tag Archives: vintage inspired

Retro inspiration | Sailor-style trousers

A few years ago, I did a collage of me and my maternal grandmother, the side of my family that I most resemble, and that post remains one of my very favorite posts. (And y’all recently enjoyed a collage of me and my mom for Mother’s Day!).

Back when I did the post of my grandmother, I mentioned that I had a few different candid photos of her with the idea that I would do more posts of me wearing outfits inspired by her. I didn’t immediately follow up on that idea (sorry!), but I’ve never forgotten that idea. So when I was recently going back over those old photos of my grandmother, I realized that I now had another piece in my wardrobe, a pair of sailor-style pants I picked up this past fall, that I could wear for another retro- and family-inspired look.

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspirations

I basically recreated my grandma’s look with modern versions, starting with my wide-legged, sailor-style trousers. I then thought of my black wedge sandals, which looked a little similar to the bit of her black shoes visible in her photograph. I echoed her polka-dotted button-front blouse with my own diamond-print button-front blouse (the print looks like tiny polka dots from afar). And my new black tote bag is structured enough to play off the hard case she’s carrying in the photo.

I then carried my black rain coat when we took photos, to more closely mimic the inspiration photograph.

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration closeup

And y’all know me and details! I filled in my eyebrows a little more heavily and went red on the lips for a more ’40s makeup look. (The matte finish on my laps is due to just using red lip liner on my lips, instead of red lipstick.)

I think one of the main reasons I didn’t immediately do more of these retro inspiration looks of my grandma’s is because I cut my hair all off later that year into a ’20s-inspired bob. Since my grandmother’s look in these photographs is so clearly from the ’40s, I didn’t feel I could really channel her in the same way that I had in that first post.

I still have short hair, so what made this time different? First, I no longer have the blunt, ’20s-style bangs I used to have, and my bangs are long enough now to play with. My recent hair experiments with the Kenra hairsprays have also given me more confidence in playing with my short hair! Therefore, I decided that I could do a slight nod to the ’40s hairstyles with a little pin curl of my bangs. So I rolled my bangs over and into a slight curl at the end, and then pinned and sprayed the bangs. It’s subtle, but it was enough for me. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Librarian for Life + Style | Retro inspiration, sailor-style trousers

Weather:  Cooler but dry

Where:  Work day that included meetings

What:

Shop my outfit:

very similar polka dot button-front shirt  //  similar wide-leg black trousers  //  very similar black strappy wedges  //  exact black tote bag

Librarian for Life + Style | Print button-front and wide-leg trousers outfit collage


Did you enjoy this post and another outfit inspired by my grandmother? Do you have a favorite era for retro style inspiration? Please leave a comment and share!


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Pairing orange floral with black

My outfit today was inspired by two outfits I saw via Instagram, this one from @iamterrib and this one from @suzannecarillo. Both outfits paired an orange floral dress or skirt with black… and thus, a style idea was born! 😀

It also was a practical choice to pair a heavier jacket and tall boots with this dress, as our transition to spring up here in Tacoma has been a decidedly cold (and rainy) one.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

I last paired this orange floral dress with a white cardigan; this time, it was fun to play off the vibrant floral print with all-black pieces and accessories, including a moto-style jacket, tall black heeled boots, and black metal hoop earrings.

I also thought it made for a nice contrast to pair the heavy canvas of this jacket with the floaty fabric of the dress.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black boots closeup

Although I think the look would be sharper with a slightly shorter jacket, I really liked wearing this outfit. It felt fun and fresh and unexpected, just right as we are still transitioning into spring up here in the PNW. So many colleagues and students commented on the orange floral print, that it cheered them up! Me, too. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Weather:  50s, damp and chilly

Where:  Work day with meetings and Reference Desk duty

What:

  • Jacket:  St. John Sport, thrifted at Portland resale shop, old
  • Dress:  Loco Lindo, thrifted at another Portland resale shop, old
  • Boots:  Rampage via Nordstrom, old
  • Hoop earrings:  Made in Oregon, Christmas gift from in-laws, old
  • Leggings (worn as tights):  Spanx via Macy’s, this past fall

Shop my outfit

very similar canvas moto-style jacket  //  similar orange floral dress  //  similar high-heeled black boots  //  similar black metal hoop earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Orange floral + black 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 FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

SIA interpretation: Railroad sunset

A quick note to please enter my holiday GIVEAWAY for a chance to win your own teeth whitening kit!

It’s time for my interpretation of this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge! Remember, this is the final SIA challenge for 2016, and there is STILL TIME to participate! Participating is easy, and all are welcome, bloggers and non-bloggers. Just send a photo of an outfit inspired by this week’s inspiration artwork — selfies, flat lays, and collages also just fine — to me by tonight, 10 p.m. PST. I’ll post the round-up on my blog tomorrow.

I chose Edward Hopper’s 1929 painting, Railroad Sunset, and when I saw this painting, I thought of the Murray Morgan Bridge in Tacoma. It’s not a railroad, obviously, but there is a little building atop the bridge construction that reminded me of the little building tower in silhouette in Hopper’s painting.

Railroad Sunset by Edward Hopper, 1929

Railroad Sunset by Edward Hopper, 1929

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“Murray Morgan Bridge, Thea Foss Waterway” by Kendrick Hang, 2012, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

See what I mean? So I was determined to take pictures down by the Murray Morgan Bridge. And even though it was heavily raining by the time we *did* get to take photos, by golly, we succeeded! (Thank goodness my new phone, the Samsung Galaxy S7, is water-resistant.)

And it wasn’t quite sunset when we were able to take photos, but my striped dress took care of that. Yep, that’s right, I’m once again doing my trick of wearing a dress as a skirt! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + navy + retro inspirations

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + navy + retro inspirations

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + navy + retro inspirations

My first thought was to wear this striped dress, which has stripes in every color of the inspiration painting. My next thought was to go a bit retro-inspired, as Hopper’s paintings always evoke the late ’20s and early ’30s time period to me. So I turned my fit-and-flare dress into more of a drop-waist skirt by layering my long navy sweater over it. My brown cloche, bronze Mary Jane heels, and long necklaces completed the retro-inspired look.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of layering long necklaces

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + navy + retro inspirations

Librarian for Life + Style | Murray Morgan Bridge collage

I had to spotlight some pics of the quite striking Murray Morgan Bridge, which was built in 1913. The bridge is the work of the inventor of the modern lift bridge, John A. L. Waddell (1856-1934). It was rehabilitated in 2011-2013, just in time for its 100th birthday!

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + navy + retro inspirations

Librarian for Life + Style | Stripes + navy + retro inspirations

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in front of the Murray Morgan Bridge in Tacoma

Weather:  Cold and raining

Where:  Work day

What:

  • Sweater:  Fashion-swapped, old
  • Dress:  Lands’ End, old
  • Tights:  American Apparel opaque tights, old
  • Heels:  Franco Sarto, thrifted, old
  • Cloche:  LOFT, over a decade old
  • Necklaces:  ModCloth, gift from husband (the longer one); my mom’s, vintage (the shorter one)

very similar navy sweater  //  similar dress with striped bottom  //  similar striped dress  //  suede Mary Jane heels  //  long gold necklace  //  similar brown cloche hat

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy sweater + stripes collage

I also did a fun vintage filter on this, to make my retro-inspired inspiration outfit look more retro! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Vintage filter

And BONUS, last but not least… I mimicked the Charleston dance while we took pics, as it was a popular dance during the 1920s. OF COURSE Sam captured these outtakes, which I strung together for an animated video! Enjoy!

Librarian for Life + Style | Animated outtakes doing the Charleston

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Dressing up as Mary Poppins

This is my fourth year to dress up for Halloween by putting together a costume from items already in my closet. Four years of no-cost costumes!

This year, I had a couple of ideas for costumes, and I eventually settled on Mary Poppins. (Salazar suggested this after my casual outfit post and umbrella mural backdrop. Thanks, Salazar, for the inspiration!) I’ve seen the 1964 movie adaptation dozens of times, and I’ve read (and have) all of the classic books by P.L. Travers. Mary Poppins and I are kindred spirits, of course, both being “practically perfect in every way.” Hah! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins collage

My costume is not “practically perfect,” but it does get the idea of the Mary Poppins character across. For the look, I put together:

  • Navy trench coat with daisy trim and belt (very appropriate, as the print echoes the daisies in her hat!)
  • Long grey skirt (left over from my UAE days)
  • Oxford pumps with sculpted heels
  • Wooly red scarf
  • White gloves
  • Long umbrella
  • Carpet bag
  • Red lipstick
  • Vintage hat with the brim popped up (I added daisy cut-outs left over from a prior craft project, seen in the collage below)

Librarian for Life + Style | Putting daisies on vintage hat for Mary Poppins costume

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

We took these photos early, but I will be wearing this costume on Monday, I promise! We took photos in downtown Tacoma, overlooking the industrial part of the city — and yes, I was humming the “Chim Chim Cher-ee” song during our quick photo-shoot. On the rooftops of Tacoma… 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

And what’s inside my carpet bag? Let me show you! Copies of the Mary Poppins book series (OF COURSE), a small hand mirror, an extra coat and gloves, and a measuring tape. (Check out the carpet bag scene from the movie here.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins, carpet bag

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Then we went to the “Umbrella Mural” in the Tacoma Dome neighborhood to take some extra photos, as this is what inspired Salazar to suggest me dressing up as Mary Poppins in the first place! And how serendipitous that one of the umbrellas has a cherry print — for Cherry Tree Lane! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

The weather was supposed to be overcast and drizzly the day we took photos, but instead it was super sunny. For the pic above, I feel like I’m saying, “Where’s the rain?!”

But the shadows that the sunshine created did inspire Sam to take a photo of my silhouette on the mural wall. This echoes the chalk sidewalk scene in the Mary Poppins movie, in which Bert recognizes Mary Poppins by the silhouette of her hat, with the daisies sticking up.

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins, silhouette

And one last look of dressing up as Mary Poppins:

Librarian for Life + Style | Dressing up as Mary Poppins

Are you planning on wearing a costume for Halloween? Please leave a comment and share! 🙂


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Keeping it simple with a retro-inspired print dress

I’ve worn this retro-inspired print dress a couple of times before on the blog, as seen here and here, and each time I’ve kept it simple. This dress, which I thrifted a few years ago, has such a fun print and so many interesting details that it doesn’t need much of anything else to let it shine.

I recently wore this dress to a farewell open house my colleagues held on campus, so friends and colleagues had the opportunity to come and go and share stories. It was a more informal event, with people stopping by to chat. One colleague took the opportunity to ask me about where I developed my sense of style, and that she would miss getting to see what I was wearing every day. So sweet!

This is also the final work outfit I will showcase for this academic year. That means three months of casual outfits coming up!

Librarian for Life + Style | Keeping it simple with a retro-inspired print dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Keeping it simple with a retro-inspired print dress

I paired the dress this time with a teal tank top (you can barely see it in these pics, but it’s there), topaz drop earrings, and metallic sandals. The retro-inspired details on the dress include the cut-outs and fabric knots on the sleeves, as seen in the closeup above.

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | Keeping it simple with a retro-inspired print dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Keeping it simple with a retro-inspired print dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Keeping it simple with a retro-inspired print dress

It’s also a dress made for twirling! (Although this was an accidental shot, from when a gust of wind had its fun with my cotton dress.)

And if you’re wondering what this backdrop is below, it’s the pod we loaded most of our furniture and boxes in, to clear out the house in preparation for selling it. Why not use it for a photo opportunity? 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Keeping it simple with a retro-inspired print dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Keeping it simple with a retro-inspired print dress

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday MingleVisible Monday, 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