Tag Archives: plaid

Punked out Plaid

I buy clothing only if I can wear it with pieces I already own. I also want to make sure I can make it look different with my choice of accessories. This plaid dress is an example of how I like to change things up.

plaid dress and boots

Dress: Kara NY
Boots: Hot Topic
Necklace: DIY
Cuff: Boutique in NY

I wore it with bare legs and big boots for a punky look. These are my dancing boots. They’re very comfortable and if anyone steps on my toes (literally), I’m protected. I made the mistake of wearing sandals to a club once and had someone careless fool’s stiletto heel dig into my foot. Ouch!

I made my necklace from a simple chain, jump loop, and fabric store tassel.

tassle necklace

Then I switched things up by adding weather-appropriate tights and a jacket. Totally different vibe! I’m also sporting my Nicora boots. I love Nicora! They’re all vegan, made in LA, and are doing their part to keep the US manufacturing industry alive. We spend billions on footwear in the USA every year but 98% of our shoes are imported. Nicora enables local craftsmen and women to practice their trade. Love that!

dress with jacket and tights

Jacket: Swapped
Tights: Target
Boots: Nicora

I got this jacket at a clothing exchange years ago and I still wear it.

Nicora John boots

Stay warm everyone and have a great Thanksgiving to my US readers! I’ll be sharing a delicious vegan feast with friends and giving thanks that places like Pasado’s rescue turkeys like these two:

turkeys at Pasado's



Filed under Dress Up Dress Down, Ethical, Fashion

It’s Plaidurday Again!

In my first year of blogging, I discovered Plaidurday. I had fun with my first post about all things plaid, but sort of forgot about the event until Citizen Rosebud reminded me.

Luckily I just got a new pair of plaid pants.

plaid pants

Blouse: Bebenoir
Pants: Joe’s Jeans
Vegan boots: Cri de Coeur
Cuff: Express

I was innocently returning a skirt at Nordstrom Rack when I spotted these jeans. Normally $180. On sale for $30. How could I resist?

tartan pants

I love their punk rock vibe. I realize a white blouse isn’t very punk, but I can wear these with a black t-shirt too.

white blouse and tartan pants

I like that the plaid has gray in it, so this will look great with gray or red as well.


Citizen Rosebud is having a Plaidurday link-up, so check out all the tartan lovers over there.

detail of Joe's Jeans


Filed under Fashion

Style Challenge: Tartan Top Two Ways

You might be aware that my mom loves it when we dress alike. I happen to not like wearing the same thing as someone else. She started the habit when I was too young to know better. Now, I do it only occasionally–just to indulge her. Personally, I like having my own style and take on things.

Thankfully, during her recent visit we came to a compromise. A style challenge!

tartan and denim


Blouses: Bliss Seattle
Pants: Lucky and Hue
Boots: Cri de Coeur and MIA
Necklaces: Thrifted and Fremont Sunday Market

This shirt caught our eyes because it’s such a unique cut. My mom focused on the blue in the top and paired it with dark denim leggings. The flowy top balances the skinny pants nicely.

mom in tartan


The wrap-style front and shirt-tails added a feminine flair to what might otherwise be a regular plaid shirt. The white running through it inspired me to pair it with my wide, white jeans. To keep from looking sloppy, I half-tucked the top into my pants.

my take on the top

We do have similar tastes and we tend to like a lot of the same things. (During my mom’s visit we did a bit of shopping and bought the same leggings, necklaces, sweaters, tights, jackets, tunics, blouses.) But now, instead of twinsies (AKA Thing One and Thing Two), we can show our own take on an item of clothing.

I’m linking up with Fashion Should be Fun, Passion for Fashion, and Happiness at Midlife. See what all the others are wearing!


Filed under Fashion

Plaid and Stars

On our recent visit to New York, my parents and I visited Beacon’s Closet, a trendy, second-hand shop with a few locations around town. My dad got a great Hawaiian shirt, my mom bought a velvet top, and she found me this Yves Saint Laurent star appliqué t-shirt.

star-themed shirt

Top: YSL via Beacon’s Closet
Pants: LEI
Pleather boots: Coconuts via swapped
Scarf: Fred Meyer

The stars on the t-shirt are tone-on-tone so it didn’t seem too busy to mix patterns. I took a chance by adding a scarf with elephant motif. The reason it’s not too overpowering is because the color palette is minimal. Sand, wine and black.

plaid pants

After a dry summer with dormant grass (I had to mow only the weeds), my grass finally turned green and started to grow. Now that it’s cooler, the grass isn’t growing, but it’s still green. Perfect! I’m waiting for the last of the leaves to fall off this tree so I can add a single, red Christmas ornament–an homage to the Charlie Brown Christmas tree!


I’m linking up with Miss PapelicosPassion for Fashion, Favorite Fashion Friday, and Happiness at Midlife. See what all the others are wearing!


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

On the Town with Hubby

A few weeks ago, Mr Jean of all Trades and I took advantage of the last of the warm weather and strolled through Cal Anderson Park in the heart of Capitol Hill. The Hill is a vibrant neighborhood, and is the place where we both lived when we started dating. Our first shared apartment was here. I still miss having nightlife and restaurants in my backyard, but we traded it in for an actual backyard. Fortunately we’re only 15 minutes away.

Hubby in the park

Shirt: Goodwill
Jeans and shoes: Plato’s Closet
Earrings: Gifted
Sunglasses: Street vendor

I liked how cool and casual my husband was on this sunny afternoon. He wears a lot of suits so seeing him in jeans is unusual. He seems comfortable in them. I especially like his choice of shirt: pink plaid.

shirt details

Usually he’s decked out in black and I’m colorful. Today, I was in deep purple and black. But true to my style, I added a pop of color. My apple green purse.

black and purple

Top: Swapped
Skirt: UNA
Purse: JC Penney
Sunglasses: Convenience store
Bangles: Sears
Necklace: Vendor at SOWA Market
Shoes: Aerosoles

I love supporting local. My skirt is a design by UNA, which is a Seattle-based company. I’ve worn this before, on a cooler day. I also have a striped skirt by UNA and a black dress.

I’ve joined Visible Monday today. Don’t forget to check out all the other entries at Not Dead Yet!

Apple green bag


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

Thrifty Thursday: Plaid Jeans

I hit the Goodwill jackpot a few months ago and brought home several great pieces, including these gray and black plaid jeans.

plaid skinnies

They were $5 and fit perfectly. They’re YMI brand. I’d never heard of the label so I don’t know if they’re originally $20 or $200 (I suspect closer to the former), but I liked them.

I recently wore them car shopping with hubby. We weren’t in the market for a car, but window shopping for vehicles is one of his favorite pastimes. Here, I found neat, old Chevy station wagon.

Jean and the Chevy

Top: Swapped
Pants: Goodwill
Purse: Target
Sunglasses: Old Navy
Necklace: eBay
Shoes (not shown): Payless

I dressed up an otherwise simple outfit with this neat star necklace I found on eBay. There’s a lot of fun costume jewelry to be found it you have the time and patience. All in all, not bad for a $45 outfit, including shoes and accessories).

star necklace


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

Plaid and Denim with Red Accents

I wore my Gunnar’s home again so I’m wearing them back to work. I didn’t buy a case and the best way to keep them safe is to wear them.


Jacket: Macy’s
Top: Trina Turk via thrifted
Jeans: Saltworks
Shoes: Seyshelles
Glasses: Gunnar
Watch: Florida street market
Bag: Furla via gifted

red blue and plaid

I really liked the $5 snap/slap watch I found at a street market in Florida. So much so that I bought one in black too. The only problem is that I haven’t figured out how to set the time. For now this isn’t functional. It’s basically a bracelet. Do you wear a watch? Is it functional or just for looks?

saltworks jeans


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

Street Style: Winter White and Plaid

Dont you just love this coat? I saw Caryn wearing it and ran over to compliment her on it. When she buttoned up the lapel to create a stylish funnel-neck collar, I was sold. I asked her to pose for my street style post and she kindly obliged.

plaid coat

Caryn has always had a great fashion sense (and the best accessory ever: strawberry blonde hair) but I think the coolest part of this story is that she’s had this coat in her closet—unworn—for two years. See, Caryn recently lost 100 pounds and this coat was part of what motivated her to get into single-digit sizes.

Talk about a major accomplishment! I’m so proud of Caryn for being dedicated to her health and following through on her goals. In her case, good old-fashioned exercise and a healthy, moderate diet got her here. She loves having more energy and having so many more sartorial choices.

outfit details

Now back to the coat: I love winter white and plaid so when I saw them together I swooned. It’s a great fall look but it’s light and bright. I like cheery coats and this one fits the bill. I really like how Caryn kept her silhouette lean with skinny jeans and nude ballet flats.


Filed under Fashion, Street Style

Replacing My Long-lost Black Maxi Dress

Years ago, when maxi dresses were simply called “long dresses,” I had a short-sleeved, long, black dress. It was a cotton jersey knit (t-shirt material) and it was so comfy. Yet it made me look pulled together and stylish. I wore it with statement necklaces, cardis, blazers, scarves (not all at the same time). This one dress was so versatile. And then I gave it away.

I’ve regretted it ever since. I’m sure if I still had it, I’d see that it’s not the right fit or length or something. But in my mind, it was perfect. It was surprisingly hard to find a replacement. I’d looked high and low for a (reasonably priced) substitute, to no avail. Finally, I saw one at Lulu’s (and I wasn’t even looking).

Lulu’s also had the dress in burnt orange. So tempting. I thought I’d start with the neutral though.

black dress

tartan and leopard accessories

Dress: Lulu’s
Jacket: Macy’s
Belt: Forever 21
Purse: Thrifted
Boots: Prada

Yes, you read that right. The boots are Prada. But I didn’t pay $600 for them. I found them a few years ago on eBay for $50. I’d really wanted a pair of Prada’s microfiber ankle boots and I was thrilled to find a nearly new pair for less than 10% of the original price.

Also, you might not see it, but the belt is leopard and my jacket is plaid, which means I’ve successfully mixed patterns again! I have trouble taking the pattern-mixing plunge and I’m happy with baby steps.


Filed under Fashion

Plaidurday: Mad for Plaid

October 7th, 2011 is Plaidurday. I first found out about it on Facebook. Then I visited the Plaidurday site, a site dedicated to plaid.  I love plaid, so I jumped on the bandwagon, and donned some checks myself.

all plaid

Just kidding. I didn’t actually wear all of my plaid items at once. I thought I’d go for a subtler approach and test drive a new pair of tartan tights.

tartan tights

Top: Old Navy
Skirt: Dress Barn
Belt: Forever 21
Tights: Fuego
Shoes: Seychelles

tartan tights

Plaid is woven pattern of crossed horizontal and vertical bands in two or more colors. It’s an umbrella term that includes tartan, gingham, Tattersall, Border tartan, check, and even houndstooth. How exciting! I could wear plaid every day. My father’s side of the family hails from Scotland and we even have our own tartan. My first kilt was made of genuine Cockburn tartan. Here’s a photo of my dog wearing his Cockburn tartan coat, custom-made by The Heelan Hound.

frank in tartan

I do own a lot of plaid. In addition to the clothes in the first photo, I have two plaid coats and a kilt. Plaid is a wonderful pattern. It’s classic and timeless, and even though its roots are Scottish, anyone can wear plaid.

And plaid is versatile. It reminds me of prim and proper prep school uniforms but it also reminds me of disillusioned grunge musicians and punk rockers. I think back to the hosers of my youth in Canada with their plaid lumberjack shirts and 24-packs of beer. And I’m also reminded of the Scottish drum and military bands and of fearless Highland warriors.

Plaid isn’t limited to clothing though. My grandma had an entire room in her home wallpapered in earthtone plaid. My friend Tatsuo has a Volkswagen GTI with plaid seats. The Porsche Targa from the late 70s also had plaid seat inlays. I’ve seen tartan tablecloths and checkered chairs.

GTI interior

For almost 40 years in the 18th century, tartan was banned in Scotland under the Dress Act, which attempted to squash any aspect of Gaelic culture. So show your rebellious side and wear some plaid today!


Filed under Fashion