Monday, October 31, 2016

Waffle and a Blazer

After seeing these patterns together, I couldn’t wait to pair this paisley velvet blazer with this fox-print waffle shirt. Halloween and pub trivia seemed to be the right occasion.

Blazer, BSB (thrifted). Shirt, Mossimo. Jeans, Old Navy. Boots, Lauren Ralph Lauren. Bag, Steve Madden. Earrings, Charming Charlie.

To make this the lamest nod at Halloween, ever, I added kitty ears and a bell collar.

My 365 photos are both about my morning runs with the dogs.

These three dogs live in a yard that borders an athletic field through which we run. I think there is a shed or a woodpile that they climb to peek over the 6 foot fence. Once, one of them jumped the fence and it was terrifying.

Jackson loves his runs, but hates the harness. He runs and hides when I pull it out. He isn’t a good hider.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Add Color to Your Wardrobe

When I lived in Cincinnati, Londyn and I got together once or twice a month. We inevitably ended up dishing on fashion – what we liked, what we wanted, what we bought, and what other people said to us about the clothes we wore. Oddly enough, we both heard a similar comment from our coworkers (and we worked at different companies): “You wear so much color!” One could interpret the comment a couple different ways. It could mean, “My God, are you color blind? My eyes are bleeding.” Or it could mean, “I wish I could introduce more color into my wardrobe.” I prefer the latter. There is nothing wrong with an all black wardrobe, but if you are interested in raising your color quotient, these are a few of my color mantras.

Black and white accented with hot pink

Punch It Up. The simplest way to add color to a neutral wardrobe is to add a single, bright accent color. Adding red shoes to a black and white outfit is probably the first example that comes to mind. Don’t feel limited to red though. Try hot pink, instead, with black and white. Add bright turquoise to browns. Carry a purple bag with your all gray outfit. If you find a color you love, buy many accessories in that color. Then, sprinkle them liberally through your neutral outfits.

Red and green are opposites, but choosing an olive green keeps the outfit from looking Christmas-y

Opposites Attract. The surest way to create a “get noticed” color combo is to wear opposing colors from the color wheel. However, I’d stay away from purely primary mixes (like red/green), and, instead, mix tomato and olive or persimmon and turquoise. Pairing opposites looks fresh, bold, and fun.

Pastel perfection

Watch Your Saturation. Nope, this isn’t an admonition against drunk dressing. (Heck, a little wine may be just what you need to get your inspiration on.) Saturation refers to the intensity of the color. Ever read about jewel tones or pastels being the season’s “look”? These are colloquial terms that refer to saturation. A pulled together look consists of color combinations that are matched in saturation. Hot pink looks great with leaf green (at least I think so), while pale pink looks better with light green or even soft gray. You can mix colors that may one may not normally think of as “going together” (like yellow and purple), if you keep the saturation the same (mustard and amethyst). While you can create a unique look by mixing saturation, it’s an advanced skill.

Pink shirt, pink dress, pink shoes!

Be Matchy-Matchy. Or not. If you’re wearing your hot pink dress, should you wear your hot pink shoes? I say, “Go for it!” (And I have.) It isn’t the most sophisticated look, but it’s fun and will garner you attention. But you don’t need to be overly color coordinated. If you pay any attention to the In Style spreads, you’ll notice that while the whole outfit goes together, it isn’t entirely color matched. For example, adding red pumps to an outfit mostly in shades of blue and neutrals is unexpected and sophisticated (check out this example from Londyn). If you don’t want to match, don’t, but try not to add more than one “unmatched” color into the mix and be sure to Watch Your Saturation.

Leopard print (and a patterned handbag) bridge black and brown

Black and Brown Go Together. And so do black and navy. I don’t recommend wearing just a navy dress and black shoes, but if you throw a matching black belt and perhaps a black purse into the mix, the look is chic. The key is to mix these colors as if you meant to do it, not as if you got dressed in the dark. I find this trick especially useful to incorporate navy items into my wardrobe. I already own black and brown footwear. Who wants to maintain navy as well? By incorporating black into my navy ensembles, I don’t need navy pumps. If you’re feeling gun-shy about combining black and brown, try using leopard print as a bridging piece, as pictured above.

Are you ready to add color to your wardrobe? I’ve recapped some of the above advice and grouped it by difficulty.

Beginner. The beginner has a wardrobe of mostly neutrals (black, brown, gray, white). Pick your favorite color and use that as your guide to purchasing colorful items. Add one colorful piece to a neutral outfit to Punch It Up. Be Matchy Matchy. People will think your style is sharp!

Intermediate. Pair opposite colors, but Watch Your Saturation. Try incorporating two colors (other than neutrals) into an outfit. Add an accessory in a third color to be not Matchy Matchy. You’ll hear the words “chic” and “sophisticated” used to describe you by folks at the water cooler.

Advanced. Mix black and brown or black and navy. Mix saturations. Wear an outfit composed of three or more colors (but don’t turn into Rainbow Brite). You’ll notice people giving you double and third takes as they struggle to digest your outfit. Some people won’t get it, but true fashionistas will.

Turquoise and mint and persimmon, oh my!

Most importantly have fun and wear your colors proudly. You can carry almost anything off with the right attitude. If you are truly happy with a wardrobe of neutrals, don’t change. But if you’re longing for more color in your life, don’t think it’s only for those “fashion-y” people. Wear what you love, and others will love it too.

This post is an updated version of Color Yourself Happy, originally published 9/9/2007 at

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pop of Purple

As I’ve transitioned to a more limited color palette, I removed the purple from my wardrobe. Buh-bye silky purple bomber jacket, purple mary janes, and purple peacock dress. Purple has never looked great with my coloring, so it’s absence is no loss. The only time I miss it is when I want to create another Red Hat Society outfit or go to a King’s game. I have a few purple accessories, still, so I wore the amethyst earrings and purplish lipstick to show my support for Sacramento’s basketball team. Next time, I’ll wear purple tights because I still have at least three pairs of those!

Jacket, BCBG Max Azria (consignment). Sweater, Joseph (thrifted). Skirt, London Jean. Belt, thrifted. Leggings, We Love Colors. Boots, Vince Camuto. Sunglasses, Coco Sunglasses. Earrings, Super Silver. Bag, Nordstrom Rack.

I actually find watching basketball to be very boring, but I enjoy the people watching, dance and other performances, beer, and RIDING THE LIGHTRAIL! I may have never mentioned that I love public transportation, but have fallen out of the habit in Sacramento, despite living one mile from a lightrail station. I rode it for the first time and was so giddy from the experience that, at the arena, I signed Beefy and I up for a timeshare presentation in Tahoe and convinced him to pose for a silly picture sponsored by a local credit union.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Lucky Cat

How do you make one outfit work for both a military promotion ceremony and a Halloween-themed speech competition? Black, leopard, and optional cat ears.

Jacket, Xhilaration (thrifted). Dress, Express. Shirt, FY2 (thrifted). Tights, Me Moi. Boots, Lauren Ralph Lauren. Necklace, thrifted. Bag, Nordstrom Rack.

The two events:

My friend’s promotion speech

Beefy won BOTH portions of the Toastmasters Division contest: Evaluation and Humorous Speech!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Put a Blazer on It

A blazer can be magic. It transforms jeans and hoodie into an Outfit (capital “O”)! Of course, a killer pair of heels doesn’t hurt, either.

Blazer, J Crew (consignment). Hoodie, So. Tee, Mossimo. Jeans, Old Navy. Boots, Lauren Ralph Lauren.

While a blazer is transformative, it probably doesn’t dress this outfit up enough for an office. But it was good enough for a visit to the California Military Department.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear I can sometimes over think an outfit. Today, I reminded myself to “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” and selected a fit and flare dress, denim vest, leggings, and my favorite western boots.

Vest, Tinseltown (cut from a consignment jacket). Dress, Shein. Leggings, Amour. Boots, Ariat. Sunglasses, Charming Charlie. Bag, Rebecca Minkoff.

In our photography class, on Sunday, our instructors encouraged us to shoot on Manual. (I have a habit of using the Aperture mode.) I used Manual for the jumping shot (above), but it really is much simpler to use Aperture, as I did below. Keepin’ it real. Keepin’ it simple.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nice Outfit

I felt really good about this outfit because an old man in the produce section of Raley’s said, “Nice outfit!” Granted, I was reaching overhead for a plastic bag at the time and my skirt was probably riding up a bit . . . but I’ll take the compliment.

Hat, Nine West. Vest, AC-3998 (cut from a thrifted jacket). Plaid shirt, Passport. Star Wars tee, Disney. Skirt, Mossimo. Tights, We Love Colors. Boots, Vince Camuto. Earrings, consignment. Bag, Rebecca Minkoff (are you sick of seeing it yet?).