Simple Black Dress with a Statement Necklace

I love my UNA dress. It’s not new, but a black dress is always a great wardrobe staple–something to wear year after year. And UNA is a local Seattle designer. I love shopping local! I have a striped skirt and a purple skirt from this company too.

Una dress

Dress: UNA
Shoes: Thrifted
Necklace: DIY

What makes this outfit unique is the necklace I made.

shoe neckalce

It’s about 40 tiny doll shoes strung up onto a chain. I think of it as a modern take on chunky coral. I saw this idea online and really liked it. I didn’t want to buy a necklace so I made this. Well, I’ll admit that it was a time-consuming project! It took over an hour to hook all those tiny shoes onto jump rings and affix the rings onto the chain. If you see one ready-made, it’s probably worth the dough.

Summer dress

I wanted the necklace to standout so my all-black ensemble was a good backdrop for the candy-colored shoes.

summer blacks

Are you a DIYer or do you prefer to buy things other people have made?

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A Dress with Special Memories

I don’t think of myself as an overly sentimental person–but I can’t let go of this dress.

paisley dress

Dress: Target
Jacket: Swapped
Bracelet: Shop in Honolulu
Boots: Urban Outfitters

I bought it about 12 years ago. It’s hardly new. And there’s nothing special about it–except that 10 years ago I wore it on my first date with my now-husband.

sentimental dress

I don’t wear it often, but it has such good memories. It used to have sleeves, but I cut them off. Now, if it’s cool, I throw on a cardigan or jacket.

jacket and dress

These days, in the Seattle heat wave, that’s not an issue.

I recently wore this dress again when hubby and I went back to the place for our first lunch date: Araya’s Vegetarian Place. Araya’s has moved three times and added three more locations, but they’re still going strong. Just like Mr. Jean of all Trades and me!

earthtones

If you’re in the Seattle area (or LA!) check out Araya’s.

I’ve joined Visible Monday for a blogger linkup. See what all the others are wearing!

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Double Denim

I’ve been told jean-on-jean is not a good look. Even if your name is Jean–and I agree (usually). If denim on top and on bottom looks very “Jay Leno on the weekend” (it’s also a look referred to as a Canadian tuxedo).

To look more fashionista and less farmer (not that I have anything against farmers), wear different shades of denim.

jean on jean

Dress as top: Roberta Oaks
Shorts: Banana Republic
Shoes: Aerosoles
Purse: Shiraleah

I paired a light chambray dress over shorts with a darker wash. You can try a dark denim jacket with faded jeans, a medium wash with colorful skinnies, or my favorite: blue with white denim.

light and dark denim

I got this dress in Hawaii–where baring a lot was common. When I threw it on in Seattle, I felt underdressed. As summer progresses, I’ll get over that feeling. But for now, the dress is a tunic and the shorts are a good transition into skimpy summer looks.

dress as a top

I like remixing my clothes and layering is a great way to change up the look of certain pieces. Short dresses look great over skinny jeans, leggings, and even long, slim-cut shorts.

Do you have other tricks for re-wearing items?

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Remixing my clothes

My mom just wrote about how she hangs onto her clothes for a long time and keeps things in rotation. I have to admit: I do the same thing. I’ve had some clothes for 10 or 15 years.

Unlike mom though, I do have a steady stream of clothes that leave my place too. I buy/trade clothing on a regular basis, but I also donate pieces I don’t wear to clothing exchanges so others can enjoy them.

stripes and wedges

Jacket: Guess via swapped
Top: Swapped
Sunglasses: Old Navy
Pants: Macy’s
Shoes: Payless
Bag: Alchemy Goods

This look reuses my asymmetrical striped top and red wedges. I wore both pieces with a different pair of khaki capris last year.

denim and stripes

These cuffed pants have been on the blog since I started it. I just keep coming back to them. Today, I added a denim jacket (cool breezes be damned!). I’m also carrying my recycled tire bag from Alchemy Goods. And, my newest tattoo is peeking out!

red wedges and denim

It makes sense that wardrobe staples like khaki pants, a striped shirt, or a denim jacket stay in rotation. Those types of items are worth splurging on (even though, in this case, I got them free or cheap). A crazy trend, like my red shoes, I wouldn’t spend a lot on–I might tire of them sooner than the “classic” pieces.

What pieces to you keep turning to and wearing again and again?

same pieces, different look

I’m joining Visible Monday and Monday Bloom for a link up today. See what all the others are wearing!

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Cropped Jeans and Heels

A few weeks ago I saw a fashion spread in a magazine. It featured a model wearing a black and white blazer, black tank top, faded boyfriend jeans, and hot pink stilettos.

I replicated the look–same colors on different pieces for a fraction of the cost.

black, pink and white

Jacket: Swapped
Tank: Old Navy
Jeans: Goodwill
Vegan belt: Couch
Shoes: Swapped
Bag: Susan Nicole
Jewelry: Gifted (thanks mom!)

I picked up this jacket at a clothing exchange. I performed a bit of surgery on it–a shoulder-pad-ectomy to be precise–and brought it into the new millennium.

swapped jacket

I already had the tank, and you’ve probably seen these jeans by now.

jeans and heels

Instead of bright pink shoes (which I do have, incidentally), I wore a pair of black pumps from the same clothing exchange. I love my pink heels, but one stand-out piece was enough for this look.

thrifty look

Have you ever copied a magazine look? What personal touches do you give your outfits?

I’m joining Style Elixir for a link-up today. See what all the others are wearing!

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Blazer and Handkerchief Top

Here’s a thrifty look that’s polished enough for work: A blazer and top with black skinny jeans and boots.

blazer and black pants

Blazer: Express via swapped
Top: Swapped
Jeans: Gap
Necklace: Gifted
Boots: Diba (from DSW)
Bag: Susan Nicole

I picked up the top and blazer at a clothing swap and paired them with my black skinny jeans and a pair of faux leather booties I recently bought.

handkerchief top with black pants

The icing on the cake: This fantastic vegan leather bag by Susan Nicole. Can you believe I won it in a raffle? I wrote about the event (Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals) and blogged about the bag in a previous post, but I still can’t believe I won this! It’s very luxurious.

Susan Nicole bag

Blazers really pull an outfit together. They’re great with pants and skirts, and perfect for cool, air conditioned offices. I love them and I promise to wear them more often!

the top, revealed

The top, which reminds me of a pattern you might see on a fancy scarf, matched really well with my crow necklace. My friend Cheryl (not Cheryl Crow–ha!) gave this to me and it’s a perfect piece for this outfit. Plus, I have two special crow friends who stop by for treats. They know I’m a fan!

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Return of the Maxi Dress

My maxi dress is making another appearance. Some things, despite not costing a lot, really stand the test of time. I’ve worn this in cooler temps with a blazer, and in the heat of summer. This time, it’s the Goldilocks phenomenon: Not too hot or too cold. It’s just right. So I wore my dress with a light, cotton cardigan.

maxi and cardi

Dress: Forever 21
Cardigan: Best Kept Secret
Sandals: Swapped
Ring: Best Kept Secret

green and blue

I’m glad the weather is nice enough for maxi dresses and sandals again. In fact, we’ve had a pretty dry June in Seattle–a rare thing! They say summer starts on July 5th around here.

simple summer dress

My favorite part about wearing simple pieces is that I can pull out all the stops with accessories. This oversize ring caught my eye when I was in the store where I bought the cardi. I had to have it (it was only $10). The petals match my cardigan and the cloth center matches my dress. Perfect!

details

What are your favorite summer pieces?

I’ve joined Monday Bloom and Visible Monday today. See what all the others are wearing!

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Embroidered Tunic and Patterned Pants

I’m finally wearing the patterned pants and embroidered top I bought at Bébénoir, together, as an outfit. I’ve worn the pants and I’ve worn the top, but this is the first time I paired them. I put them together at the request of my mom, who has the same pieces. She wanted a picture of me wearing this outfit for a blog post she recently published.

patterned pants

I love both pieces and I was happy to oblige. especially happy, since I’ve confirmed my summer trip to NYC. I’ll be meeting my parents there again this year! See, I bought both pieces in New York, and these items remind me of our wonderful 2013 trip to the Big Apple.

embroidered top

For the 2014 trip, you can bet we’ll be back at Bébénoir. We had fun shopping there–and it was just around the corner from our apartment. How convenient! Don’t tell anyone, but we may have made more than a few trips to the boutique. The sales associates were wonderful, and I can now say I’ve shopped where supermodels shop.

cutout back

I love the open back of the top, and the comfort both pieces offer. In the past, I wore these pants with flats, but I think they work well with wedge heels too,

casual look

I’ve joined Monday Bloom and Style Sessions today. See what all the others are wearing!

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Embracing Mom Jeans

For years, I steered clear of light-wash, high-waisted, tapered jeans (also known as Mom jeans). In fact, I helped my mom ditch that style for a more modern, dark-wash, bootcut version.

I still don’t want pleated jeans, and a tapered ankle with extra fabric in the hip isn’t the most flattering cut; however, I’m digging the light wash for summer–and the bit of lycra in this pair is comfortable, as is the higher waist.

mom jeans

Top: Swapped
Jeans: Thrifted
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: Macy’s

I bought these at Goodwill–intentionally! I was reading a fellow Seattle blogger’s post about the benefits of mom jeans and thought I’d look for something with the butt-lifting properties she wrote about.

faded denim

The key here, I think, is that I am not wearing a quilted cat-themed vest. Ha! No, the key is cuffing the pants, throwing on some heels, and making the look carefree and fun.

tall blue shoes

I chose sky-high platform wedges in a fun blue faux-suede.

jeans and a T

Would you try mom jeans, version II: The remix?

I’m linking up with Visible monday today. Check out what the others are wearing.

 

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Eggplant Cowl Neck T

Is this eggplant? Plum? Wine? I’m not really sure how to describe the color of my shirt, but I do like it.

eggplant top

Top: Best Kept Secret sample store
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity
Boots: Urban Outfitters
Cuff: Trailer Park Gypsy (on Etsy)

It’s super soft and has a nice, drapey, cowl neckline. It goes with so much, but today I wore it with a dark-rinse denim.

wine and denim

I cannot believe how my garden exploded! One day, it’s all bare earth; the next, I’m in a jungle. Unfortunately the weeds are also out of control. And since my dog hangs out here–and we have crow and rabbit visitors–I refuse to use herbicides. So I pull weeds out one at a time. It’s a good workout though. Doing squats in the garden is better than hanging out in a stuffy gym.

t-shirt and jeans

Do you garden at all? I once thought I was a brown thumb, but with the right mix of hearty plants, even I can help things grow! So far, bleeding hearts, columbines, hostas, and day lilies are coming back with a vengeance!

casual outfit in the garden

I’m linking up to Passion for Fashion and for the first time ever, Fashion Idea Friday and Favorite Fashion Friday!

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