Tag Archives: lots of layers

Styling to Take Center Stage Once Again

I’m embarrassed to admit that it has been for-ev-ER since I’ve published a new post! It wasn’t my intention to put my blog on the back burner & I know taking such a long break from the blogosphere is a big no-no; but, what can I say, it’s easy to lose track of time and before I realized it, months have gone by since I’ve pressed the publish button.

My extended hiatus has to do with a number of things, those being 1) struggling with a bit of writers block (happens to us all), 2) spending little time at home (transcribing your thoughts is one thing, taking pictures to support what you’re saying another, then editing the images, and finally sitting down at a computer to combine all of the parts. Then there’s proofreading, making the necessary changes, rereading it again…you get the idea), 3) my introduction to Photoshop (learning how to use the program is a feat in & of itself; but once you know how to use all of the functions it’s hard to stop playing around with all of the features – leading to hours spent of altering photos!) And 4) yet another exciting new endeavor that I’ve been working on – which I’ll be sharing with you shortly :)

But enough with all that! Even though I haven’t shared any new stuff with you lately that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped styling! I have a back log of looks that I’m excited to show you!

So on that note, here’s a “casual comeback” outfit I came up with a couple weeks ago. Here I paired my Free People plaid corduroy skinnys (a fabric which also makes a comeback during the Fall/Winter season), with my ivory “rockin’ the stage” graphic tank from Urban Outfitters layered underneath an Anthropologie fine-knit cardigan. When I wore this outfit originally I was able to opt out of outerwear entirely (a nice option to have at the end of October), but now that it’s December that’s no longer the case. Depending on the chill factor I add on the necessary layers. In early fall, I got away with just wearing my dark brown moto jacket, but now that it’s gotten a lot colder, I throw on my Arden B brown faux fur vest for a little extra insulation.

Plaid Paints, Rock Band Tee, Olive Cardi

The rich burgundy hue from within the primary plaid bottoms really brings out the tonal shades of red from within the rock band cotton top. Although it would’ve coordinated seamlessly, I thought the gold grandpa cardigan that I have would’ve been a little too matchy-matchy; so I went with a muted, earthy olive one instead.

Plaid Paints, Rock Band Tee, Gold Cardi

For accessories, I stick with my usual suspects (my pocket knife pendant, forearm cuff & fist full of rings) and add on my ivory leather & gold metal mismatched earrings when I’m not wearing the fur vest (it gets to be too much going on if I wear them both). For footwear, like my layers, in the fall I went with my tonal tan Sperry’s and with winter – my brown buckle boots from Free People.

Rock Band Combo Compare
Which combo do you prefer – the matchy-matchy gold cardi that coordinates perfectly with the plaid pants or the alternative autumnal shade of olive that slightly off-sets the color scheme?


Outfit Ten: A Tribal-Inspired Take on the Embroidered Bottoms

I simply paired my Navajo-print wrap sweater from Arden B. with the Free People leather pants for this effortless tribal-inspired outfit.

Navajo-print Wrap Sweater & Free People Embroidered Bottoms

Navajo-print Wrap Sweater & Free People Embroidered Bottoms

Navajo-print fringe sweater & embroidered leather pants

The ivory & bronze bottoms coincide with the neutrals hues within the top, while the threaded fringe trim that borders the cozy knit plays up the meticulously-stitched embroidery embellishment along the front of the leg. To continue with the earth tone color palette, a pair of olive suede lace-up boots from Aldo completes the look.

Another play on patterns, more mixing of materials, some subdued hues, in a relaxed, comfortable silhouette = yet another way to wear my new statement pants! (and to think – when I first bought them I didn’t know what I was going to wear them with) :)

I’m already up to 10!…How many more outfits do you think I have to go before I “wear out” what to wear these pants with?

Clashing Separates Combine to Create these Creative, Quirky Outfits!

So, I took a short break from showing you all the different ways I styled my Free People bronze embroidered leather pants; but if you were keeping track, I’m up to 7 different outfits so far. I still have many more ways to show you and I’ll start out again with 2 outfits that, at first glance, might seem completely out-of-whack, but actually come together to make quite creative outfits!

These bold looks boast saturated hues, tailored silhouettes, and tons of texture! Both of these outfits are built from clashing separates that infuse a youthful attitude to an otherwise classic style. Check them out…

Outfit #1:

Anthropologie Plaid Shirt, Free People Lace Blazer & Bronze Embroidered Pants Plaid Shirt, Lace Blazer & Bronze Vegan Leather Bottoms

A Quirky Combo: Saturated Hues, Playful Print, Tailored Silhouette & Tons of Texture

Here I’ve paired my classic plaid button-down shirt from Anthropologie with the contemporary slim-cut embroidered cropped pants. To amp-up the ensemble another notch, I layered a fitted Free People lace blazer over the cotton top. The primary-colored plaid faintly peaks through the forest green lace in this colorful cloth collage of true hues, while the metallic bronze bottoms emit a slight iridescent sheen.

As the plaid pattern takes your eye on a maze, the burnout lace blazer and intricately embroidered vegan leather bottoms are tempting to touch – stimulating the senses in so many ways!

Outfit #2:

Free People Velvet Blazer, Chambray Shirt & Bronze Embroidered Bottoms

Chambray Shirt, Velvet Blazer & Bronze Vegan Leather Bottoms

A Quirky Combo: Spicy Hues, Tailored Silhouette & Tons of Texture

The elements of this second ensemble are similar to the first; but while this outfit may have a little less color, it makes up for in texture. Here I’ve layered my rust-colored velvet Free People blazer over a Free People chambray button-down shirt to go along with the bronze bottoms. The sumptuously soft velvet of this unstructured jacket falls loose for a relaxed fit, but the stiff vegan leather pants stay true to their structured slim-fit. The spicy autumnal hue and heavy-weight fabrics make this an ideal outfit for fall.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you that these outfits were a little whacky!

These quirky combinations definitely aren’t dull – but even with everything going on in the clothing; the most important component in pulling off these looks is confidence! Knowing you’re going to stand-out while walking down the street and being secure with that is the ultimate accessory in achieving exceptional personal style.

Do you have the confidence to pull off these audacious outfits, or are you more comfortable blending in with the crowd?

Record-Setting Forecast Perfect for my Red Vest

Ironically, right after Saturday’s post about Chicago’s first snowfall after going a record-setting amount of days without any, today I’m following it up with a post about yesterday’s record-setting warm-up! Even before the sun rose on Tuesday, Chicago broke another winter weather record; slightly before 7:00 a.m. the city surpassed the previous warmest day on record. The mercury rose past the 59° mark set back in 1914 to 63°, making yesterday the new warmest January 29th in Chicago history.

But the warm weather won’t stay long – in fact, we’re on track to break even yet another record! Meteorologist forecast for temps to drop from the record 63° on Tuesday to -2° early Friday morning; that’s an extreme 65 degree drop in temperature! Yikes! It’s dramatic changes in weather like this that makes dressing appropriately during the winter difficult sometimes. Yesterday’s little warm-up had some people out & about in nothing but a sweatshirt (and even shorts)! I ran out to do some errands in the bright red ‘Cord Puffer Vest’ I bought from Anthropologie earlier this fall.

Anthropologie - Cord Puffer Vest

Personally, I find vests to be an awkward article of clothing to wear – it has to be cool enough to need an additional layer, but not too cold because your arms are still exposed. Yesterday’s warm temp was perfect for my puffy vest; check out a couple ways I style my causal corduroy topper…

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Light Yellow Cotton Top

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Light Yellow Cotton Top

I simply paired the bright cord vest with a basic cotton top to create this perfectly put-together look. Light yellow, bright red and navy is a color combo I love, and the subtly patterned pants & riding boots add a touch of style to the effortless ensemble.

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Chambray Shirt & Black Leggings

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Chambray Shirt & Black Leggings

The bright red vest adds a pop of color to the Free People chambray shirt and black leggings. Black leather lace-up buckle boots add an edgy element to this somewhat sporty ensemble.

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Ivory Silk/Cotton Top & Denim

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Ivory Silk/Cotton Top & Denim

Talk about texture! I topped my ivory silk & cotton top from Anthropologie with the corduroy puffy vest and paired it with dark denim. A couple layered necklaces add a bit of brass while ivory lace-ups bring the neutral color back down to the boot.

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Olive Cardigan & Ivory Lace Maxi Skirt

Anthropologie Cord Puffer Vest  worn with Olive Cardigan & Ivory Lace Maxi Skirt

I absolutely love this look! The bold red vest is an unexpected add-on to the bohemian-styled olive cardigan from Anthropologie and Free People ivory lace maxi skirt. A large agate stone & layered gold necklaces accessorize the look while olive suede boots peak out from under the lace to finish it off.

Which look is you favorite? And how does your fashion change when the weather fluctuates?

Grecian Goddess, Global Traveler & Glam Rock – the Many Looks of my New Maxi…

Speaking of $30.00 steals…I came across another fabulous find for $30 last month during my employee appreciation bonus time! During a trip to the Free People boutique in the Watertower Place I came across a single ‘True Romance Maxi Dress’ hanging in the sale section. And even though it was a size 10, I decided to try it on. (I’m not intimidated by what’s on the tag. I know my body type & what silhouettes work for me; I buy anything from a size 25 to an XL – fit is what’s most important, not the number that’s hidden inside the hem.) And when I did, I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw!

Free People True Romance Maxi Dress

The two-toned gold chiffon maxi dress has an intricately braided, bead embellished keyhole front & back. An elastic waistband gives shape to the flowy drape of the crinkled chiffon dress and a pleated two-tiered hem adds yet another textural element. I gotta say…I kinda felt like a Grecian goddess in this dress! The friendly girls at FP liked it too – they even put my photo on their Instagram feed.

Me on Free People Instagram Feed

It’s a little big in the waist, but simply tightening up the interior elastic band is a quick & easy fix. Even with the added cost of alterations, I still saved tons on this feminine floor-length frock. Originally $228.00, I only spent about $35  after my additional discount on sale stuff.  The generous discount I receive for working at Anthropologie in general is well worth my time on the sales floor, but when I get an additional percentage off already marked-down merchandise it’s an even better perk!

Check out some of the ways I’ve styled my brand-new boho gown…

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Floral Print Cardigan

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Floral Print Cardigan

This is the outfit I tried on in the store – the Free People floral print cardigan layered over the chiffon maxi and Anthropologie olive beaded beanie keep me cozy while my Steve Madden riding boots complete the look.

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Wanderer Belt

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Wanderer Belt

If I don’t get the chance to cinch the elastic waist in the dress I can just belt it for a quick fix. My Free People belt worn backwards let’s everyone know what this prairie princess is – a wanderer. And the Aldo olive green suede boots will let her do just that!

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Chambray Shirt & Moto Jacket

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Chambray Shirt & Moto Jacket

This layered look has tones of texture to it! Here I’ve layered a Free People chambray shirt over the chiffon maxi and topped it with an Arden B. leather moto jacket. Burgundy leather boots from Urban Outfitters peak out on the bottom and complete a color combination I love – goldenrod, denim & deep red.

Free People Chiffon Maxi and Chiffon Slip

Free People Chiffon Maxi and Chiffon Slip

I don’t quite know how I feel about this outfit – it’s a lot of chiffon!! But, the golden hues of the dress coordinate perfectly with the colors in the Urban Outfitters antique-motif chiffon fringe topper. The braided leather belt breaks up the head-to-toe chiffon ensemble and gives shape to the flowy silhouette.  What’s your take on the outfit? Sheer madness!! Or have I just gone mad?

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Black Studded Belt & Boots

Free People Chiffon Maxi with Black Studded Belt & Boots

I love adding edgy elements to ultra-feminine ensembles; and here, goddess goes glam rock! The black leather belt is a bold contrast against the sheer material of the dress and the gold studs around the waist match those that are sewn in along the neck. My hard-core Free People black leather lace-up buckle boots have this goddess going to a rock concert, rather than the opera.

Free People Chiffon Maxi, Velvet Blazer & Patchwork Booties

Free People Chiffon Maxi, Velvet Blazer & Patchwork Booties

My Jeffery Campbell ‘Lita’ booties act like (and look like!) a kaleidoscope that this spectrum of style reflects upon. The colorful patchwork leather boots compile the shades that are throughout the rest of the ensemble. I’ve belted the two-toned gold dress with a peacock feather belt and topped it with my Free People burgundy velvet blazer. The collection of colors and rich texture is refined; add-in the funky booties, and you’ve got a fashion renegade!

Now that you’ve seen my new maxi dress styled a couple different ways, which look do you like best? Send me a comment with your #1. I can’t wait to see which one pick!