Still Rockin’ My Missoni Shift

Some items in my closet have staying power. This Missoni for Target shirt is one such item. I’ve worn this with tights and booties and I’ve worn it with skinny jeans and boots. This time, I’ve chosen denim leggings (yeah, yeah–jeggings) and nude ballet flats.

shift and cardigan

Cardigan: Target
Shift: Missoni for Target
Leggings: JC Penney
Flats: H&M
Necklace: Handmade by Dad

Yes, you read that right. My dad mad my turquoise necklace. Isn’t that sweet? He’s a fan of stones and gems so it made sense that he’d incorporate turquoise stones and silver beads into a neat piece.

turquoise necklace

The matching cardi was great for the office–it’s always chilly at my desk.

shift and jeggings

Stripes (zigzags) and flats are always in style, making this outfit have staying power. Next time I’ll pair it with my mustard jeans and pick up the yellow stripes in the top.

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Geometric Patterned Dress

I had a clothing exchange a while ago and this dress was one of the gems I acquired. It was more than luck though. My friend Kristin bypassed the stacks of clothing and hand-delivered the dress to me. She knew I’d love it.

geo dress

Dress: Gifted/swapped
Pleather boots: DSW
Vegan suede purse: Matt & Nat
Jacket (below): Swapped

I like the earth tones, geometric pattern, and faux-wrap style. I’ve worn it with tights before and it works great with bare legs too. This time, I wore boots, but it’s going to be great with sandals too. It’s a true all-season dress.

dress and boots

Because indoor (AC) and evenings are cool around Seattle, this green jacket came in handy. It’s another swapped find from a clothing exchange I went to a few years ago.

jacket and dress

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Women Artists at the SAM

Last year the Seattle Art Museum had an exhibit of women artists. People like Frieda Kahlo and Tamara de Lempicka. Of course photos weren’t allowed in the travelling exhibit. Fortunately SAM also curated a collection of women artists’ work from their permanent collection–and I took photos of those.

I wait for the day when artists are artists, regardless of gender and we don’t need a special event just to give women the opportunity to have their art seen. However, male artists still seem to dominate galleries and I was grateful for the chance to see so many talented women’s creations who would otherwise be in the shadow of their male peers.

Suzy Frelinghuysen

Suzy Frelinghuysen

Maude Irving Kerns

Maude Irving Kerns

Maude Irving Kerns

Another Maude Irving Kerns

Lee Krasner

Lee Krasner

Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell

Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler

Ghada Amer

Ghada Amer

Charmiond von Wiegand

Charmiond von Wiegand

Alice Trumbull Mason

Alice Trumbull Mason

Abie Loy Kamerre

Abie Loy Kamerre

To say that these artists are similar to Rothko, Klee, Kandinsky, Picasso, Gris, or others doesn’t serve these women. They are all amazing artists in their own right, regardless of their male counterparts.

Some, like Abie Loy Kamerra and Ghada Amer are working today. Others, like Suzy Frelinghuysen and Joan Mitchell, painted in the mid- to latter part of the 20th Century. They hail from France, America, Egypt, Australia and beyond. If some of these jump out at you, I encourage you to look up the artists online and learn more about them. There’s a treasure trove of great artists to discover!

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Striped Dress with Bell Sleeves

I picked up this dress when I was in Portland a couple of months ago. It has a neat, retro vibe. I got it at a used clothing store, so maybe it is vintage. Who knows?

striped dress

Dress: Crossroads Trading Co.
Earrings: DIY
Shoes: Arden Wohl x  Cri de Coeur

This will make a great go-to summer dress, although tights will make it a year-round item. In the heat of August, I’ll probably wear sandals. But for spring, a variety of shoe styles will work.

red shoes

I immediately thought of my Arden Wohl x  Cri de Coeur vegan suede shoes. The red shoes highlight the bold red stripes.

mismatched stripes

When clothes are made hastily and patterns don’t line up, it drives me crazy! I’ve walked away from purchased because of sloppy sewing. This dress, however is deliberately mismatched. In fact, there’s no seam down the center. It’s printed that way! This I can live with.

I wore this out to dinner with hubby and a couple we know. We went to a delicious vegan restaurant, Sutra. The menu is local, seasonal, and organic, and changes every two weeks! All the more reason to go back.

Oh, I’ve joined High Latitude Style, Penniless Socialite, Rachel the Hat, and Happiness at Midlife for linkups. See what all the others are wearing!

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Getting Ready for Summer with Pure Barre

All the cute outfits in the world aren’t worth it if you don’t feel good.

For me, feeling good starts on the inside, with a healthy vegan diet and plenty of sleep. Physical activity is crucial too. I’ve always enjoyed being active. The gym is a chore, but hiking, biking and roller derby have held my interest. Recently, I discovered Pure Barre. It’s a fantastic antidote to my desk job.

Jean and Hannah

Here I am with Hanna, one of the inspiring Pure Barre instructors, at a recent open house.

Pure Barre is a challenging workout that uses a ballet barre, stretching, strengthening, and isometric poses. I went when a friend invited me to a class and I thought, “how hard can it be?” Was I in for a surprise!

It’s a workout great for all ages, body types and skill levels, but it isn’t easy! I worked muscles that hadn’t had a lot of use, and I felt it! Classes focus on working abs, seat, and thigh, and there are upper body weight components too. The goal is a strong, lean body.

The first class left me sore (in a good way) for days. I knew this workout would change me so I signed up for more. Now, a few months in, I see results! I have obliques. My abs are flatter. I have more defined quads. I can do “real” push-ups, and a 90-second plank. I love that class is still challenging and that I will always be able to improve and grow.

If you haven’t heard of Pure Barre, here’s an intro from their site. There are over 300 studios in 42 states. Your first class is free, so why not try?

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Fashion Revolution: Who Made My Clothes?

Today is Fashion Revolution Day. This day marks the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed over eleven hundred people and injured thousands more.

I’m joining others as we ask, “Who made my clothes?” Check out Instagram hashtags for #fashrev, #whomademyclothes, #fashionrevolutionday, and #whomadeyourclothes for lots of inspiring photos. You might see photos of people wearing their clothes inside out to show the labels–transparency in fashion!

who made my clothes?

I know who made my clothes!

Lois Eastlund label

Lois Eastlund made my dress. It looks fantastic (even inside out) because it’s handmade and she paid a lot of attention to detail. She’s a NY-based fashion designer and one of the founders of La Fashionista Compassionista–an awesome (and free) online magazine that you should get your hands on!

Lois Eastlund dress

Moses made my boots. They’re handmade in a factory in LA. The company, Nicora Johns, is helping to keep the US shoemaking industry alive. When I bought my boots, I got a photo of Moses in the shop where he made these. They’re also vegan–no animals or humans harmed!

Nicora Johns boots

Crystalyn Kae made my purse. It’s glazed fabric. Another great leather alternative. I met Crystalyn when she was located in Seattle. She’s based in NYC now, but you can find her amazing bags in stores nationwide and on her website.

Crystalyn Kae purse

Roque from Get Hell Bent made my cuff. It’s made from recycled bicycle tires. I have three of her cuffs. They’re so edgy and tough!

accessories

I made my earrings! It’s fun to create. My simple drop-chain earrings were easy to make and have become my go-to pair. They match everything!

I don’t know who made my tights. So it’s not a perfect outfit. But thinking about where my clothing comes from has opened my eyes. I heard 1 in 6 people is employed in fashion. But who are they? What are their working conditions like? How environmentally friendly is the factory? Animal skins require so many chemicals to turn them into leather and not decompose.

Fashion isn’t perfect, but I love knowing where my clothes came from and who made them. My goal is to buy exclusively from sustainable ethical companies. Sometimes that means things cost more. But do I really need thirty $8 tank tops? What if I had eight $30 tanks? They’d last longer, and I’d be putting my dollars where my values are.

Let’s start a revolution!

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Style Challenge: Fringed Blanket Top

When my mom came for a visit recently, she came bearing gifts. This top was one of her presents. I like that it has a Native American-inspired design, and looks more like a woven pattern than a knit. The fringes add a neat western flare. fringed top, two ways I paired my top with faded, bootcut jeans and a low-heeled bootie. top with light, bootcut jeans

Top: Ralph Lauren Jeans: Jessica Simpson via swapped Vegan suede shoes: Novacas Cuff: Lauren Harkness

My mom wore darker denim leggings and my knee-high boots (that’s the secret to how she packs light–she just raids my closet when she gets here!). top with darker leggings

Top: Ralph Lauren Leggings: Hue Faux leather boots: Kelly & Katie Bracelets: Cost Plus World Market

There’s no winner in our style challenge. We just wanted to show a couple of ways to change up a look and make an outfit look different. It’s always nice to have a few ways to wear an item so you know you’ll get lots of use out of it. I’m joining Sydney Fashion Hunter, Fashion Should be Fun, Happiness at Midlife and Style Sessions for linkups. See what all the others are wearing!

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Skater Skirt and flats

I started putting this outfit together, scarf-first. I wanted to wear this patterned scarf. So I grabbed some solids and let the scarf take the spotlight.

gray and olive

Cardigan: Swapped
Tank: Target
Scarf: Boutique in Portland
Skirt: Swapped
Tights: Target
Shoes: Beyond Skin

Gray and olive aren’t colors I usually mix together, but I really like they way it looks. I usually stick with warmer tones (khaki, tan, brown) when I wear olive. But the grey is fresh–plus, the colors in the scarf pulls it all together.

tights and flats

My Beyond Skin bowtie flats worked well with the short, flirty style of the skirt. These shoes were my “reward” for my contribution to a Kickstarter. They fit perfectly and go with practically everything. Score! Beyond Skin is a UK-based ethical shoe company. They’re animal-free (no leather) and work closely with factories in Spain to make sure people aren’t exploited in the making of these shoes either.

patterned scarf

I’m joining the Visible Monday, Style to Inspire, and How I Spring link-ups today. See what everyone else is wearing!

 

 

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Misprint Skirt and Mustard Jacket

I love my Misprint Skirt! It’s on sale now, if you love it too.

 misprint skirt
Top: Old Navy
Jacket: eBay
Necklace: Herbivore Clothing
Skirt: Betabrand
Faux leather boots: Mia

This skirt is a terrific idea. Betabrand needed a way to use up the ends of colorful fabric. Their screen printer used to test ink on t-shirts but was asked to use the roll ends instead. Each panel is printed with ink “tests.” It’s a mashup of colors and patterns and I adore it! I can wear this with any panel on the front, and I can fold the waist over if I want a shorter look.

fleece and cotton

This is a great travel skirt. It packs well, looks different each time I wear it, and goes with everything. I’m a fan of Betabrand. Between this and the Perfect Dress I have, I’m going to be all set for my upcoming trip to Austin.

boots and skirt

I paired my skirt with a bright fleece jacket. Fleece is very Pacific Northwest. Everyone has a fleece jacket. I find most aren’t very fashion-forward, but in a moto style cut, I approve!

I’m joining Sydney Fashion HunterRachel the hat and Pink Sole for link-ups. See what all the others are wearing!

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Do You Wear a Uniform?

I recently read an article about an art director who ditched her creative wardrobe in lieu of a “uniform.” Not a uniform like a flight attendant or bus driver, but a go-to outfit. This woman worked in a creative field and was allowed to wear whatever she liked, but the time hit of finding the perfect thing to wear every day was too much. She simplified.

Her look: black trousers and a white blouse. She bought 15 white blouses and a few pair of pants and that was that.

There’s something appealing about skipping the morning panic of “what do I wear?” and changing seven times before heading out the door. But such a simple look would get boring. I have a better idea.

I would pick a few pair of pants in neutrals: black, gray, tan, denim. I’d gets tops in a few different colors, and add to them a couple of blazers and a cardigan. I’d still be able to get dressed quickly (in the dark even) because all the tops and bottoms would go together. I’d have endless combinations and never get bored.

Or, I would gather up 20 work-appropriate dresses–one for each workday in a month. Dresses are simple, one-piece, and polished. I’d wear them with tights in winter and bare-legged in summer. They’d work with boots and flats and sandals or whatever my mood dictated.

There are a lot of options, depending on the work climate and dress codes, that are more interesting than plain black and white. Still, the article gave me food for thought.

Do you have a uniform or go-to outfit. Could you (or would you) wear the same thing to work all the time?

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