Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: Casual (page 1 of 3)

Dressing to Impress: the Casual Edition

First of all, thank you, everyone, for all of your positive feedback on my post last week. I was honestly very nervous about publishing it, but you all were so kind and encouraging, it made me glad that I did. So, thank you.

The original purpose of my blog was to talk about fashion. There’s only so much I can say about my clothes, so I like veering off into other topics. But, today seemed like a good day to go back to my roots.

If you’re a newer reader, you may not know why I call my blog Tastefully Trendy. The long version is here (full disclosure, I changed the picture on that original post, because I have no idea why I thought the outfit I had posted there was a good look). But, the short version is that I believe true style comes from taking a trend and making it your own, rather than being  a cookie cutter copy of everyone else. It’s my fashion soap box.

I also believe you can look stylish no matter your lifestyle or time availability. Fashion doesn’t have to be this super complicated thing.

To that end, let’s talk about casual clothes. I’ve always been an advocate for looking put together, even when running errands or taking the kids to the park or a casual lunch with friends, etc.

Here’s what I mean.

I spent about 15 seconds picking out this outfit – I’m literally wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, and flats – and LOTS of dry shampoo. However, while my sweatshirt is no less comfortable than one without giant pearls on it, it looks like I put effort into choosing my clothes, more so than if i were wearing my oversized college hoodie. Likewise, my trendy hole-y jeans required no more time commitment than putting on a pair of leggings would have, but they give the impression that I invested time in getting ready. My shoes are just slide-on flats; they require even less effort than a pair of tennis shoes. Yet, the overall look says that I care.

Here’s another example.

Now, this outfit did take a little more effort than my sweatshirt and jeans. But, not much. At the end of the day, I’m still wearing a sweater, pants, and flats. As casual as it gets. But, by choosing trendy, well-fitting pants, and flats that tie the shirt into the whole outfit, I have a complete look, rather than one that says I just threw on whatever was clean.

To be fair, when I wore this outfit, I actually wore heels with it, so here’s that look, too.

*quick disclaimer – in this picture, my sweater is hanging weird where it’s tucked. I tried desperately to edit it to make it look less bunchy/more like it did in real life, but I was unsuccessful. Imagine that it’s perfectly bloused.

A couple additional thoughts about this look. First, to my earlier point about making trends your own: these pants are my version of the camo trend. I like camo – much better now than I did the last time it was in style. But, everyone is wearing military camo. Why not try this jungle take on it? Still the same basic look – greens on greens on greens. However, by putting a slightly different spin on the trend, I’ve made it my own and stand out a little more from the crowd. My personal aversion to looking like everyone else may also be why I find things on sale all the time – the demand is lower for unique things. I only paid $9 for these pants. Added bonus: I’m ready to go off the grid in the Amazon Rainforest, should the need arise.

Second, my leopard print shoes and camo pants. I’ve thought a lot about how to explain why this works. My mom would probably argue that it doesn’t. But, it does, I promise. Animal and camo prints both act as neutrals, much like a thin stripe would, because both patterns are made up of shades of the same colors – leopard with browns and blacks, camo with greens. Additionally, greens and browns pair well with each other, anyway, and the gold in my shirt matches the gold in the leopard and ties everything together.

The biggest reason these work, though, is confidence. If you’re going to rock an unexpected style or combination, you’ve got to own it. People will believe you know what you’re doing if you believe you do. And it’s totally okay to fake it til you make it, because the more you try, the more confident you’ll become. And, the more confident you are, the more people will affirm your decisions, helping to boost your confidence even further.

But, even if they don’t, though, at least you’ve stepped out, worn something brave, and flexed your creative muscles.

So, there’s my take on casual. Of course, when I’m sick I run to Walgreens in sweat pants and a hoodie like every other human being. But, otherwise, if for the same amount of effort I can look put together and classy, even when I’m running errands, I’m going to choose that option. I’ll feel better and be more confident, which will cause other people to respond to me better, and the whole experience will be better for everyone.

What’s your go-to casual look? Do you feel confident and good about yourself when you wear it? If so, great! If not, what are some ways that you can boost your confidence in your style, regardless of whether or not you incorporate my suggestions? I’d love to hear from you, and as always, thank you for reading.



Take Me out to the Ballgame

I was out of town last week which always puts me way behind in my blog writing. But, y’all, I was in Utah for work and it was GORGEOUS! I wouldn’t last living there: cold and outdoorsy. But, it was so pretty!


I wanted to cry every time I stepped outside, it was all so beautiful. Seriously.

Anyway, prior to that trip, I went on a date. It was the Saturday before Easter – you know, the Sunday where I needed to leave my house by 7:15 to be at church for 5 hours – so, I probably shouldn’t have gone out. But, how do you resist an invitation to a baseball game? It’s my favorite kind of date!

Except for the clothes…casual clothes are REALLY hard for me. Well, I should say, casual clothes when you want to impress someone are really hard for me. I don’t like wearing flats on dates; I’m short enough as it is. I also prefer to wear rompers or dresses for warm-weather dates. But, obviously, at a baseball game, I can’t look like I’m trying too hard (although, as I was soon to learn, at Nashville baseball games, no one watches the games. I could have worn a romper with wedges and been quite at home with many of the other girls who just walked around the stadium and hung out at the trendy bar past left field.)

So, I settled on this: casual shorts, a t-shirt (but at least a cute one with a ballet back), and floral flats because it’s too early for straight up sandals. Maybe not my best date outfit, but it worked and got me out the door (I was, naturally, running late. I blame it on the casual clothes).

What would you wear to a baseball game – either, normally, or on a date? I feel like my answers to that question would be different depending on the circumstances; maybe yours are, too. Give me some ideas for next time, please!!

Totally Turtleneck?

If you follow me on my new/additional Instagram account (Tastefully Trendy!), then you probably know I’m doing a style challenge again! I’ve done these in the past, and they’re a great way to stretch my creative muscles, as well as to meet other fashion lovers.

Today’s prompt is Totally Turtleneck, which was tricky for me, since I don’t a) wear turtlenecks, or b)have anything with turtles on it…  So, I’m choosing to focus on the “neck” part, and wear an outfit that has a lot happening around my neck.

dsc_0011I’ve talked a lot (probably ad nauseum, at this point) about my love for chokers. Well, one of my favorite things about the current version of the trend is layering. Whether I combine it with a longer necklace(s), or add a scarf as pictured here, my choker usually has a friend. I’ve never been what you might call a minimalist…so this trend works out great for me. 1-blanket-scarf-and-chokerHow do you feel about layering your chokers? Is too much of a good thing, a good thing, or are you of the less-is-more camp? Also, how would you interpret “Totally Turtleneck”? Am I the only short-necked person not wearing these??

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

After a weekend of perfect summer weather (sorry, Colorado friends!), there is some rain forecasted this week.  While I’m not super excited about that, I’d much rather the rain come when I have to go to work than when I want to be at the pool/lake/not work.

So, I’m choosing to focus on the positives, and what better way to do that than with this cheery yellow?  Honestly, is there any happier color than a bright, sunny yellow?  Wearing it reminds me of my Clinique Happy days in middle school.  I used to say I could not NOT be happy while wearing that perfume.  And then one day I woke up and my body chemistry had changed, and I’ve not liked it since.  I’m still a little sad about it.

1 - yellow blouse, green shoesIn the spirit of chasing away the Monday morning/rainy day/whatever-the-reason blues, I thought it would be fun to do as Julie Andrews taught us (you know, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens) and list a few things that always make us happy – no matter the circumstances.  I’ve found that thinking about happy things genuinely does improve my mood, so why not spend a few moments right now, doing just that?  I’ll start:

  • My “special occasion” perfume, Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme Intense – even if it’s not a special occasion
  • Fancy cupcakes
  • A margarita after a day in the sun
  • Clean sheets (even better if I didn’t have to put them on)
  • A full Hulu queue of my favorite shows
  • Psalm 37

Those are a few of mine – what about you?  I can’t wait to hear your favorite things!


Pretend Professional

This is one of those “really too casual for work but it was cold so I wore it anyway” outfits.  I kinda love it, even if I was underdressed (the sparkles help, right?)

What do I love about this outfit, besides the fact that these once tight pants are now almost too big for me?  I love the colors.  Blues are easy to match – these two are different shades, but as is usually the case with blues, they don’t clash, so I went with it.

I’m also obsessed with my earrings, which I seldom wear because they’re pretty dressy.  However, by combining them with the casual look I toned them down a bit (as well as dressed up the overall outfit  a little).

And, I left more of my head in this picture because I was having an awesome hair day.  That’s really just for my benefit.

Scarf: My boss, via a NYC street vendor
Jacket: Rue 21
Pants: Kohls
Shoes: TJ Maxx in Boston (which is obviously cooler than TJ Maxx anywhere else)

I Love My Church Sunday

My brother and I both forgot about Menswear Monday.  So, it seems fitting that I instead talk about I Love My Church Sunday!  Last Sunday, my church did a big promo to excite people about the church again – generally, as well as ours specifically.  As part of it, we got t-shirts.  Since I’m on the worship team, I had to wear my t-shirt on Sunday morning.

Now, I do love my church.  A lot.  I will miss it probably more than anything else when I move.  However, I do not love t-shirts (unless they have an Indianapolis Colts logo on them), so I tried to make this one as cute as possible.  Yellow and red is a fun color combo (even if it does make me think of Ronald McDonald), and the yellow made the black, red, and white a little more interesting.  I also cut a v into the neck of the t-shirt, although I neglected to show you that in the picture.  My neck is short, so if I have a round collar right around my neck, I look suffocated.

Daylight savings time has really messed up my already weak photog skills – I don’t know how to get rid of that bath of light at my feet.  I never used to have that problem.  But, at least you get the general idea.

How would you have dressed up the t-shirt?  Or would you be happy for an excuse to be bummy at church?

P.S.  My church is Freedom Fellowship of Virginia Beach, if you’re interested and in the area – it really is wonderful.

Time for Leggings!

One of my favorite things about fall is leggings.  In my opinion, they’re one of the greatest style inventions ever – a way to keep your legs warm, extend the life of your dresses, and be way more comfortable than if you were wearing tights.

Now, you know I do not support leggings as pants.  I’m sure before the season is over, I’ll get on that soap box again.  For now, thought, let’s focus on how cute this dress is.  I think it was intended to be a summer dress – it’s sleeveless and has a summery cut.  However, the forest green color and the bird pattern look Christmas-y to me, so I paired it with some more fall-appropriate pieces and it worked.

I did wear this to the office, which is probably not technically appropriate for my profession.  However, blazers and pumps give the impression of business, so I pushed the envelope a little and I think largely got away with it.

Dress: Target clearance rack – I was on a spree.  I think this was $7.
Blazer: H&M
Leggings: DSW, maybe?
Bracelets and earrings and bow ring: that same awesome Boston boutique
Shoes: Payless

Guess who’s back, back again

Remember back when I used to blog? I was so good at it – about four times a week, I faithfully chronicled my outfits, the good and the bad (okay, I edited  most of the bad), regaling you with witty or at least cheerful anecdotes of my money-saving shopping adventures.

And then I got sick for two weeks, during most of which I was out of town (which, by the way, largely means I was wearing unimaginative/easy-to-pack outfits, anyway).  I also broke up with my boyfriend (cue the violins) and have just largely been overwhelmed with life. 

But don’t worry – I’m home for the next week, and I’m finally starting to feel better (speaking only a little bit in faith), so at least for this week, Tastefully Trendy will be back in business! 

The good news, though, is that while I normally gain weight during my travel season – all those free warm cookies at the Doubletree! – I’ve actually lost weight this go-round.  Turns out I’m only an emotional eater if that emotion is boredom, and ain’t nobody got time for that!  (This is relevant because that means my clothes still fit.)

A couple disclaimers about this look.  1) I know my room is a disaster behind me.  I haven’t unpacked yet from either trip I’ve recently been on (re-read the first three paragraphs if you feel the need to judge me).  However, if I waited to clean my room before taking this picture, this cute outfit would have been lost forever.  2) The lighting isn’t perfect, I know.  But then again, when is the lighting in my pictures ever very good (someone help me!!!!)

Having said that, let’s talk about this outfit.  It’s October for goodness sake, but the weather is still beachy.  I know white after labor day is passe, but nevertheless, I can’t bring myself to wear neons in October.  So, I have to fall-up my summer clothes. 

I did that by wearing a 3/4 length chambray shirt – perfect for any season, really – that made my crochet shorts more casual and day time friendly.  The wide tan belt also helped accomplish that goal.  Although the colors in my necklace are a bit off in this picture, it’s very fall-y, combining yellow, blue, brown, and gold.  I added some gold accessories to keep the look feeling warm, (although, really, I wasn’t totally happy with my shoe choice.  I was just out of time to look further).  And voila –  I had a look that was both appropriate for the actual season and the temperature.

Do you have any tricks for bridging those awkward in-between-seasons days?

Roll Tide?

There are very few subjects in life on which I do not have an opinion.  Even on issues I don’t care about – say, the NBA or the latest season of Dancing with the Stars – I will find an opinion.

Now, I don’t think I’m obnoxious about it.  At least, I hope not.  But, I just can’t help it – I’m rarely truly neutral.

This past weekend’s Alabama/Texas A&M game was no different.  To be honest, I don’t really care about college football.  I support Clemson because that’s where my brother goes, and I’m an SEC girl because my family is.  But, otherwise, I hardly follow NCAAF.

However, this past weekend’s game was a big one, and being the pop-culturally relevant girl that I am, I had to watch it.  Which means, I had to have an opinion.  Judging by my outfit below, I’m guessing you can tell which team I supported.

Really, I don’t care much for Alabama.  Any team that wins all the time just gets to be annoying.  And, I used to really like Texas A&M – I even have a 12th Man t-shirt.  But, then they switched to the SEC and began to worship the boy that is Johnny Football, and I quickly fell out of love.  My NCAA loyalties are quite shallow.

So, I dug up my “crimson” and white (I don’t have any real crimson, so true red had to suffice), swallowed my pride, and irritatingly yelled “Roll Tide!” with the best of them.  And roll they did.

Who are you rooting for this football season?

A Maxi to Build a Dream On

I’ve written about maxi dresses before. They’re the perfect summer dress, minus the whole usually-unflattering thing.  I love them in spite of myself.

So when I saw this one at JCPenney during my recent shopping spree for a mere $17 (including belt!), I just couldn’t say no.  I bought it without trying it on (something I rarely do), but I fully intended to return it if it didn’t work.  Fortunately, it did.

Now, I will say this is not the MOST flattering dress ever on  me.  I had to be assured by at least two people that I didn’t look pregnant in it.  I would also rather the belt sit just a smidge lower on my hips.  But, it’s such a pretty combination of blues and greens and I feel a little Greek goddess in it.  Also, the back ties (I don’t know why I forgot to take a picture of that), and you know I’m a suck for anything with a bow.

The one drawback to this dress is it’s a little too long for mini 5’3″ me.  I could get it tailored, but that takes away the fun of buying a $17 dress.  It also is a fabric that snags easily, which means that the shoes I chose to wore – complete with prongs holding the rhinestones in place – did not work.  So, I had to buy a new pair of shoes.  Total bummer, right?

I want a gold cuff to wear with this dress – I think it’ll really add to the goddess effect.  But, until I find one I really like, the bangles will do.

Summer is drawing to a close (tear!) and so maxis will soon be retired.  Have you gotten enough wear out of yours yet?

Dress/belt: JCPenney
Sandals: JCPenney
Unpictured sandals I bought to replace these: Target

Older posts

© 2022 Tastefully Trendy

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑