Tag Archives: blazer

Thrifty Thursday: Teal and Denim Swapped Look

I love a bargain, and I like reducing my environmental footprint. That’s why I enjoy thrifting and swapping: They’re great ways to keep clothing out of the landfills and reduce commercial waste (manufacturing clothing uses a lot of resources). Here’s an outfit that I recently got for free at a clothing exchange.

swapped outfit

teal and gray

Jacket: swapped
Jeans: Gap via swapped
T-shirt: Target
Boots: Dr. Martens
Necklace: Reconstructed Clothing Co.

The teal, cotton jacket was a Brooklyn NY find but didn’t get enough wear so its owner brought it to a clothing exchange I recently went to. The gray jeans were too snug for their original recipient so I grabbed them. I already owned the t-shirt, boots, and necklace. The necklace, however, is made from a recycled ticket, so it counts as part of the ethical portion of this outfit.

upcycled necklace

I recently joined the Ethical Fashion Bloggers, run by Ceri over at Style Eyes, so I can share my ideas and get lots of new ones. Check out what’s going on over there for neat ideas you can use too.

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Playing with Texture: Metallic and Velvet

Talk about rule-breaking! I’ve gone out on a limb with this fun get-up and I don’t regret it. I saw these silver boots online and thought, “why not?” They’re comfortable and futuristic. I threw on my purple velvet shorts again. (I have to prove that the purchase wasn’t a bad idea, and it isn’t. I just want to wear these often enough to get the cost-per-wear low enough to justify the impulse.)

velvet shorts

turquoise tank

Blazer: Smart Set via Goodwill
Tank: Gifted
Shorts: Lulu’s
Belt: Target
Tights: Target
Socks: Sock Dreams
Boots: Dirty Laundry

The blazer pulls the outfit together. It’s still crazy, but I feel really cutting-edge wearing this. I love the color of the shorts and find the shades of gray tones things down a bit.

I grabbed this tank out of my tank drawer and thought it added the right pop of light-and-bright. I wore this out with my crafting friends, but I’d wear it almost anywhere: shopping, the movies, sightseeing. It’s versatile and relaxed but more interesting than jeans and a T.

silver boots

Do you wear unorthodox outfits? What’s a fashion risk you’ve taken lately?


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Dress Up, Dress Down: A Change of Pants

I recently wore wide-legged pants to work with a corduroy blazer. Later, when going out to meet friends, I wanted to look a bit more casual, so I switched pants. It’s amazing how one simple change can alter the whole look of an outfit.

Here’s the dressed-for-work version:

work outfit

orange and brown

Blazer: Thrifted
Tank: Papaya
Scarf: DIY
Belt: Forever 21
Pants: People Love Frank via thrifted
Shoes: Payless

And here’s what I wore out with friends:

jeans dress it down

orange and blue

Blazer: Thrifted
Tank: Papaya
Belt: Forever 21
Jeans: GLO via swapped
Shoes: Payless
Clutch: Shiraleah

I added the scarf for work because the tank was a bit low-cut. I also carried a Shiraleah clutch so I could stash away my keys and phone. I like how the slingbacks look like boots with long, bootcut pants (as long as I’m standing up).

So before buying new boots, have a look at your shoes. Can you wear a dress shoe with casual pants? Perhaps wearing socks with a slingback is unorthodox, but it was my little secret. I’ve doubled my shoe wardrobe, in one fell swoop!


Filed under Dress Up Dress Down, Fashion, Thrifty

The Necklace with Two Crows

Today I got dressed necklace first. My friend, Cheryl, who knows I love crows, picked up this necklace for me at her favorite place to buy art, jewelry and gifts, Sasquatch Studios. Sadly, Cheryl can’t shop there anymore because Sasquatch Seattle is closed. However, the owner is looking for a new location at Martha’s Vineyard. So the Sasquatch, commonly thought to be from the Pacific Northwest, is headed east.

necklace detail

two crows

To my necklace, I added a yellow t-shirt (there are hints of yellow in the necklace) and layered over a gray blazer (the necklace has a gray background). I don’t have to be that mindful of matching, but I figured, why not? It’s a casual office day (in my mind anyhow), so I threw on jeans and boots.

jeans and blazer

Blazer: Smart Set via thrifted
T-shirt: Swapped
Necklace: Gifted
Jeans: Bluenotes
Boots: Dr. Martens

If it weren’t for the boots, this would be a $15 outfit. But I bought the boots new (and full price) so I’m over the $100 mark, which disqualifies this as a thrifty look. It’s still fun and comfy. Yes, it’s jeans-and-a-t-shirt, but with the necklace, it’s so much more.


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Dress Up, Dress Down: Maxi Dress

Getting bang for my buck is important, and so is packing light. I took a look at a maxi dress in my closet and decided to dress it up and down to see how many looks I could create. By adding different pieces with this dress, I stretch my fashion dollar but I also lighten my suitcase. If you’re going away for a long weekend, a dress like this could keep you going for days. Throw in a pair of jeans, some white capris, and you’ll be mixing and matching like a pro.

I’ll start with the dress. It’s light cotton, was under $30, and is a great poolside dress or beach coverup.

beach look

Dress: Fred Meyer’s
Clutch: Crystalyn Kae
Sunglasses: Target
Sandals: Naturalizer

For an afternoon of sightseeing or shopping, pick one of the colors in the dress and find a T-shirt in that shade. I tucked the top of the dress into the waistband, which gave me less bulk under my top and added length to my now-skirt.

shopping and sightseeing

T-shirt: H&M
Bag: Shiraleah
Earrings: Claire’s
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Time for lunch? Find another color in the dress and pick a tank top and blazer to match. The light cotton blazer is great for summer. It’s cool in air-conditioned restaurants. Eating on a patio? Ditch the blazer and rock the tank.

lunch date

Blazer: Forever 21
Tank: Charlotte Ruche
Necklace: Santa Fe street vendor
Belt: Roxy
Shoes: Payless

Fancy dinner in a dress from Freddy’s? You bet! I added a wrap for a more elegant look. Choose your shoes and accessories to fit the venue.

dinner and drinks

Wrap: Michael Stars
Earrings: Claire’s
Purse: Shiraleah
Shoes: Payless

Most of the items I used to change the look of the maxi dress are very affordable. The lunchtime heels were on sale for $3 at Payless. The blazer was $20. The T-shirt was $5. With all of these pieces (and jeans and a pair of capris), you’d have loads of mixable options for travel. How would you style a maxi?


Filed under Dress Up Dress Down, Fashion, Thrifty

Khaki and Yellow

I really do wear a lot of blazers. When I wear jeans and a t-shirt, I feel horribly underdressed, especially for work. Throw on a blazer, and presto! Instant style. Today I wore a tried-and-true blazer over a yellow t-shirt and my go-to jeans. I felt I needed more color so I grabbed one of my vegan bags from my trip to Endless Knot a month or so ago. It wasn’t totally practical for work, but it held my essentials. My laptop was already at the office.


orange clutch

Blazer: Forever 21
T-shirt: Thrifted
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity
Clutch: Shiraleah
Shoes: Timberland
Necklace: Fremont Sunday Market

The only thing missing is lipstick. It’s funny how photos reveal things that a mirror doesn’t. So far, thanks to the self-portraits for this blog, I’ve noticed a few gaffes. I need to wear a camisole under my thin burgundy top (too transparent); I don’t look good in empire-waist dresses (too maternity-ish); I need to wear lipstick more often (pop of color).


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Latté as Accessory

I’m not sure why more of my photos don’t feature me holding a latté. I drink one every day. I can recall at least one other post where I have a coffee in hand. Here’s another.

Today is a jeans-and-T day. My version includes a blazer, accessories, and sometimes, funky shoes.


green T

Blazer: Smart Set via Goodwill
Top: Old Navy
Jeans: Salt Works Jeans
Necklace: Imani
Shoes: Aerosoles
Latté: Starbucks

Even though I’m wearing a green T, I’m drinking a soy latté. As nice as it is to support small, local coffee shops (and I do), I am also a fan of Starbucks. I can get great drinks consistently, no matter where I go. Being a Seattle transplant has turned me into a coffee snob. It’s hard to get good bagels out here, but in New York City, I had trouble finding good coffee. On my last trip there I walked several blocks, past other shops, to get my Starbucks. I tried the others, and couldn’t finish them.

One more thing: If you get a Starbucks card and register it online, you can get your soy and flavors for free! Starbucks will also give you a free beverage after 15 purchases. It took me only ten years of drinking lattés to learn this. It’s not well promoted in the stores. Don’t wait a decade to start cashing in.


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Circles and Sun

I’ve been posing around this red Rhododendron bush a lot lately. It’s because the flowers are so beautiful and they’ll soon be gone. I’m taking advantage of the color while I can. Plus, the Rhoddie is the state flower of Washington.

Today, I pulled an oldie but a goodie out of my closet. This circle-patterned skirt is comfortable and fun, but two other women at my office have the same one. Fortunately, in the past year of so, I haven’t seen them wearing theirs. So I’ve started wearing mine more often. For a while, I saved it for the weekends to avoid that awkward moment when three people walk into a meeting wearing the same skirt. I’m sure they would have seen the humor in it, but nevertheless, I saved everyone the trouble. I can’t help it that we all have great taste and like a deal from H&M.

circle skirt


Blazer: Smart Set via thrifted
T-shirt: H&M
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Street Feet
Sunglasses: Target
Necklace: Fremont Sunday Market

Smart Set is a women’s clothing store in Canada, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw this Smart Set blazer at Goodwill in Bellevue, WA. I snapped it up partly out of nostalgia and partly because I can always use a dove-gray blazer to pull an outfit together. It’s going to be close to 80 degrees today, so I’ll shed the blazer and show off the pink T later.

I got to test drive the shoes I bought in Santa Fe to replace a pair of Aerosoles I’ve had for years and have literally worn out. It’s rare that my shoes fall apart (there’s a lot in rotation) but the 3″ wedges from Aerosoles were so comfortable I wore them all summer long for the past four summers. I hope these prove to be a solid replacement. So far so good.

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Red Florals from Madrid

Madrid, New Mexico, that is.

On my way home from NM, I took the Turquoise Trail, as it’s known, from Santa Fe to Albuquerque. The scenic byway cuts through a 15,000 square mile area in the heart of central New Mexico. Madrid was booming during the height of the coal mining era in the 1800s, but became practically a ghost town when the industry fizzled.

Fortunately, artists and craftspeople took up residence in the Victorian homes and clapboard storefronts and now the tiny town boasts a thriving arts community. I had lunch at Mama Lisa’s Ghost Town kitchen and ate a scrumptious butternut squash and pumpkin seed taco platter.


Then I found, among the galleries, a funky consignment shop called Redbone. I shopped the rows of vintage clothing and jewelry while listening to 80s new wave music. Redbone has a fabulous selection of perfectly broken-in vintage cowboy boots. I couldn’t find a red pair in my size though. Too bad—they would have looked great with the floral skirt I bought.

floral skirt

red t

T-shirt: Victoria’s Secret
Skirt: Thrifted (at Redbone)
Stone pendant: Street artist in Santa Fe
Sandals: Payless
Cross-body bag: Shiraleah

Later in the day, it got cooler so I thought I’d see how to make this summery southwestern look work in a Seattle spring evening. I added my Joe’s blazer and off I went, into the sunset. Is it weird that I kept humming “Blinded by the Light” as I drove to dinner?


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Thrifty Thursdays: Earthtones and Cranberry

I’m wearing another thrifty outfit today. I define that as a head-to-toe look for under $100.

I started getting dressed from the bottom up today. I got these Aldo boots at Goodwill for $8. Footwear has to be practically new for me to buy it “used.” And these passed the test: No wear-and-tear on the soles, no scuffs, and no signs of wear inside. I’m not sure anyone ever wore these. If I had bought these new, I would have passed the $100 thrifty mark.

blazer and skirt

Blazer: Forever 21 ($19)
Tank top: Thrifted ($2)
Skirt: Newport News ($29)
Boots: Aldo (via Goodwill) ($8)
Necklace: Imani ($24)
Unbrella: Swag giveaway ($0)

The best part of this outfit is my Imani necklace. I learned about the organization from the Compassion Fashion Project. Women in Uganda who are victims of rape are often rejected by their husbands. They often have no other options but to turn to prostitution (or are forced into the sex trade). The Zion Project helps them learn to read, and learn skills. In this case, creating beads, and beaded necklaces, from discarded magazines and newspapers. They earn as much making necklaces as they would on the streets. Their history is tragic, but their future is hopeful. That, to me, is priceless.

And because it’s National Poetry Month, here’s an excerpt of a poem by Maya Angelou:

from Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women

It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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