Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: chambray (page 2 of 3)

Wednesday’s Woman: Ruth

Ever since I decided to start this new blog feature (so, like, 10 days ago), I’ve had Ruth on my mind.  Growing up in the church as a female, of course I was very familiar with one of the only two women in the Bible who has an entire book named after her – she and Esther get a disproportionate number of Bible studies and women’s meetings assigned to them.

Yet, it’s never really been one of my favorite stories.  There are a whole lot of cultural things going on here that I just do not understand (the mother-in-law/daughters-in-law relationship; the kinsman redeemer; sleeping on the floor at a man’s feet…), and although I obviously like the “romance” and happy ending, I’ve never focused much on the book.

For some reason, though, Ruth’s was the only name that kept coming to mind as I thought about who to discuss this week.  So, I decided to re-read her story and see what God had to show me.  And, of course, I found something I’ve never noticed before (I love that about the Bible).

If you’re unfamiliar or less inundated in Ruth’s story than me, take a minute to go check it out.  It’s a quick read.

As Ruth goes out to the fields to gather the scraps left behind by the harvesters so she and her mother in law Naomi wouldn’t starve (side note: I’ve been told if this type of gleaning were common practice, we could end world hunger.  Food for thought.  No pun intended.), she winds up in a field that belongs to a man named Boaz.  Here comes the cultural part I don’t quite understand, but the gist is that Boaz was a relative of Naomi’s and one of the only men who could restore to the family what had been lost through the death of Naomi’s husband and sons.  Ruth didn’t know any of this; she was just out trying to get some grain.

The NIV says that Ruth went to work, and “as it turned out”, found herself in Boaz’s field (Ru 2:3).  Other versions says, “she happened” to stop at his property.  I LOVE THAT!!!!  Here is Ruth, simply caring for her MIL, going about the daily business of being impoverished, and as if by sheer coincidence, she “happens” upon the field of the man who can completely turn things around for her.   Only, of course, it’s not coincidence at all.  God knew exactly where Ruth needed to glean, and He led her to that field, where Boaz would notice her and His whole perfect plan would be set in motion.

So often, I’ve found myself wondering how my life is going to work out – where I’ll meet that guy or what my 5 and 10 year plan will be, worrying about how all the pieces will fall into place. There is so much that I don’t know or see, but in that little “as it turned out” clause is a sweet reminder that God’s got things under control.  As I’m going about my daily business, He’s working behind the scenes, leading me each step of the way so that I am in position when the plan begins to unfold and I can finally see the fruit of what He’s been doing all along.  My responsibility is simply to remain close to Him so that He can lead me and show me all that He has in store.

A friend recently (and quite out of the blue, which made it even better) reminded me that God is always working, and that the answers to our prayers can come in a day, just like they did for Ruth. Her divine “meet-cute” set things in motion that would lead not only to food on the table, but an escape from poverty altogether, a marriage, a new family, and a place in the lineage of Jesus.  And as is always the case when God works in our lives, His plan wasn’t just a blessing for Ruth, but many other people benefited as well: Boaz, who gained a wife and soon after, a son; Naomi, who went from bitter to blessed; and God’s own Son who would be a direct descendant of Ruth.  It boggles my mind to try to comprehend God working so many different moving parts – and parts with free will at that – into a cohesive whole that blesses all of His children and also glorifies Him…but He’s amazingly big enough to do all of that.  It’s pretty spectacular to think about.

So, just as Hannah encouraged us to keep praying last week, let Ruth encourage us to have faith behind our prayers, because in one day, God can completely transform our lives, doing exceedingly above all that we could even ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20 – one of my favorites).  And that transformation can have an impact that will live on for millenia, if we will only trust Him to do His work in His time, while we simply walk in obedience to what we know to do right now.

Oh, and by the way, we’ll talk about Rahab soon, I’m sure, but she, the prostitute from Jericho, was Boaz’s mother.  Apparently, he came from good stock, and because his own mom was a non-Hebrew, perhaps that made him more willing to marry Ruth, a girl from Moab.  Just one more way that God is working even before we’re born to prepare us for His great plans.



Two-fer Tuesday: Pleated Skirt Edition

I bought a new skirt last week (for $14 at Dress Up), and I really love it.  Pleats are as feminine as it gets, and they’re very in right now, as is the midi-length.  Unfortunately, my legs and height are not ideally designed for that length – it makes my short frame seem even shorter.  Nevertheless, I soldiered on (remember, do as I say, not as I do; or do whatever you want, because what good is fashion if it’s not fun?!), and found two different ways to wear it.  One of them even prompted a guy to stop on the sidewalk and say, “You are dressed SO CUTE!”  (I’m pretty sure he was gay.  And also in high school.  So, no meet-cute there, but I appreciated the compliment, nevertheless).

And now without further ado, here are two different ways to wear a pleated skirt:

Look 1:

1 - pleated skirt and bowIn this outfit (the one that inspired such street-side admiration), I paired the skirt with a sweater. I don’t usually think to tuck in sweaters, but inspiration hit me on this particular morning, and the stars aligned.  I had to try a couple different options with the tights and shoes, as my first pairings looked more funeral than fun.  But, the wedges worked perfectly, and I plan to transition this skirt to spring, too, with some bright espadrilles.

Look 2:

1 - pleated skirt and chambrayAs I mentioned earlier, I really need height with this skirt to give the illusion of longer legs.  But, I wanted to pretend I was one of those cool tall girls who just wears flats with her pretty skirts, so I went for it anyway.  It’s OK…but not my most flattering look.  From the knee up, though, I really loved the styling.  I was grabbing coffee and then dinner with a friend on the day I wore this, and I was trying to go for effortless put-together casual.  Who knows if I achieved all of that, but it was a fun outfit, nevertheless.

What would you pair with this skirt?  Do you like my choices, or would you have taken a different route altogether?  Can’t wait to hear from you!


The times they are a’changing

One of my favorite songs is “Come Over” by Kenny Chesney – it has long held a special place in my heart, and that video is straight up sexy, y’all!  But, as I surveyed my apartment this weekend, I realized that if anyone actually were to come over, I would be so embarrassed.  I had let my carefree (read: messy) lifestyle get to the point of disaster, and it was high time to do something about it.

Often, cleaning makes me feel like I’m a little materialistic (that’s another post), but it also gives me new outfit ideas because I find things buried in my closet (or on the floor) that I’d forgotten about. That didn’t happen this time, though.  Instead, I’ve decided to purge my wardrobe, inspired in part by a book I’m reading called, I’ll Drink to That (the memoir of Betty Halbreich, the personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman), and by catching up on about 5 past issues of InStyle.  While there is nothing wrong with many of my clothes, a lot of them are a few seasons old, I rarely wear them, and/or they are too big on me, as I’ve gone down a couple sizes over the past year or two.  Ms. Halbreich’s book, while about designers and fashion I may never be able to afford (and may choose not to even if I can), has made me yearn for a more sophisticated look.  I’ve always preferred quantity over quality, and that’s probably not going to change – much.  But, maybe because I’m 30 and obviously more mature now, I’ve decided it’s time to wear only clothes that I love, not just ones I like.  And ones that fit me as if they’d been tailored, not as if they were off-the-rack hand-me-downs (which, they probably were, and which is totally fine – as long as no one can tell the difference).

So, you may be witness to a style evolution; I don’t know.  I think it’s important to keep growing and evolving as a person generally, and never get stuck in a rut of any kind (especially not a beauty/style one – here’s looking at you, bright blue eyeshadow and feathered hair!) We’ll see where this new perspective takes me.  But, you may benefit from this purging – after my mom and sister have had a chance to look through my give-away pile (see below; and sorry, family does get first dibs), I’ll showcase all of my good pieces (I’m not going to offer anything that is super worn or out of style; that’s just rude!) here, and for the cost of shipping, you guys are welcome to any you’d like.


In the meantime, it is, of course, business as usual at Tastefully Trendy.  And one thing I will NOT be purging are all of my boots.  After several years of working on it, I’ve finally got a pair for (almost) every occasion (I still need some tan/brown casual ankle boots – very specific, I know), and the pair below is one of my favorite recent additions – favorite because they’re cute and unique, yes, but also because they were only $10.  And they’re wedges, so they’re very comfortable.

1 - layered denimHave you gone through any style evolutions, or have you always stuck with a pretty consistent look?  How would you characterize your style?  Let’s chat!

30, Flirty, and Thriving

Here we are, mid-January, and I’m a little older, a little wiser, and a little bit more fashionable.

Actually, I’m not sure if any of that is true, except the first one. The first one is, unfortunately, definitely true. I’ve hit the big 3-0 and while I don’t feel different, surely I’ve become more mature or something, right?

Because I’m still in a bit of denial, here is a picture from when I was MUCH younger.  Like two weeks ago.
1 - chambray and leggingsI actually really, really love this outfit and I hope I remember to wear it again.  Let me break it down for you.

First, the leggings are fleece lined.  If you don’t have any of those yet, you need to buy them right now before they are replaced by all the spring clothing.  They will change your life.

Of course, I don’t think it’s generally considered acceptable to wear heavy socks with leggings and booties, but it was super cold, so whatever.

Next, you know I don’t believe in leggings as pants, even if they are super thick, fleece-lined wonders.  So, I looked in my closet for anything long enough to cover me and found this black tank dress.  I’d bought it and a hot pink one on Ebay for like $8 each to go under a sheer dress, and I think I’ll now buy one in every color – they really are the perfect accessory, and fit just like a really stretchy tank. (They are called “slips” on Ebay, but there is nothing slippery about them.)

Because they fit like a really stretchy tank, though, they’re not appropriate alone.  Plus, that would be boring.  So, I layered with my chambray shirt (which was ALMOST long enough on its own), and then added a cardigan – because it was REALLY cold two weeks ago, guys.  Finally, I finished off with these fun earrings my sister gave me for Christmas, and my go-to gold cuff.

How did you all stay warm in those frigid days last week and the week before? Let’s get some ideas, because none of us are so naive to think that these beautiful spring temperatures are already here to stay in January.

Rock the Vote

I don’t have a lot of time to write today, but I was afraid if I didn’t post something now, I would fall permanently off the blogging wagon…and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

Today’s outfit is almost a month old now, since I am such a slacker.  But, it’s still relevant, as people always need to be reminded to do their civic duty and vote.  I did, and accidentally even dressed patriotically for the occasion.  Good thing, too, since Georgia with it’s states-rights mentality just gives out these silly peach stickers to voting.  I want my American flag!

1 - voting outfitIt is rather nice to have bare legs in November – peach sticker notwithstanding, that is a perk of Georgia.  Oh, and it’s supposed to be 65 today.  Yes, that would be December 1.  Haters gonna hate, hate, hate…

High-Low, High-Low, It’ll Work for You, I Know

If there is one trend my mom just can’t understand, it’s mixing high and low styles.  Were she to see my chambray shirt and lace skirt, she was say something very mom-ish like, “Well, you look nice, but I just wouldn’t put those things together. That skirt is just so dressy.”

1 - lace skirt, chambrayShe’s not wrong; this skirt is dressy.  But, I love the high-low trend because without it, I’d never get to wear this skirt.  It would be relegated to holiday parties and afternoon bridal showers, and that would be a waste of a beautiful piece.

Also, can we talk about my hair again for a moment, please?  You all really need to try my headband trick.  It’s a miracle technique and I will swear by it til the day I die.

I’m going to a wedding this weekend, y’all, and I’ve got the best dress ever (except, you know, the one the bride will be wearing).  Can’t wait to show you!  Have a great weekend, friends – love you all!

80 Days of Summer: These Boots Were Made for Walking

I’m so far behind in blogging, y’all – I’m sorry!  I’ll give my excuses tomorrow.  For now, let’s wrap up the patriotism, since I’m sure you are getting tired of the same color palette.

While I was in Knoxville, I went to the “world famous” Cotton Eyed Joe to go line-dancing.  My first thought while there was, “OMG, I bet Peyton Manning has danced here!”  My second thought was, “Why am I getting so old – everyone here is like 12 years old.” But, ultimately, my outfit did help me feel a little better.  Because, red boots.
The next day, we ran errands and took things slow, so this was my simple, casual outfit, appropriate for the day’s events. Horseshoes and red, white, and blue.  All together now: Merica.

And thus concludes my marathon of 4th of July looks.  Hope you had a great one!  Until next year…God Bless the USA!

Outfit one:

  • Boots: gift from my mom – probably originally from a flea market
  • Chambray Shirt: Old Navy
  • Shorts: Charlotte Russe (but, I don’t recommend them – I got what I paid for)
  • Wrap bracelet: Francesca’s Boutique

Outfit two:

  • Blouse: Old Navy
  • My bad – I don’t remember any of the rest

Dressed-up dressed down

It’s super trendy right now to mix very casual with very dressy.  I’ve been a little slow to embrace this one, just because it doesn’t quite make sense to me, but I stepped out a little last week, and I was generally pleased with the results.
Maybe this outfit was enhanced by the fact that several of these parts are my favorites individually – if I could wear my chambray shirt every day, I would; my purple skirt is my go-to party/festive occasion bottom; and my statement necklace works with pretty much everything.

The overall feel is still fairly dressy, with my jewelry, tights, and patent leather shoes.  But, the shirt really tones it down and keeps me from looking too over-dressed for my casual workplace.

Maybe next I’ll try a tulle skirt…but let’s be honest.  That trend will likely be long gone by the time the skirts are on clearance.  Like my childhood GigaPet.

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?

Inspired Look: Me

I meant to post this yesterday, since Wednesdays are actually my Inspired Look days, but I had a heck of a time getting blogger to work.  So forgive the out-of-sequence post.

Anyway…today, I was inspired by my own lack of creativity. Or maybe motivated is a better word. I started looking back through my posts and I noticed a whole lot of cardigans and blazers and I wanted to fall asleep. Not that there’s anything wrong with cardigans or blazers. I think they should be essential components of every woman’s wardrobe.  And I do work in a professional environment which largely dictates the parameters of my fashion.  Nevertheless, I wanted you to know that I do have other clothes.

So, I’m showing you an outfit with a cardigan.  But look, it’s different!  At least this time, it’s a trendy, long sweater, with trendy stripes, and a trendy chambray shirt underneath!  And, I’m wearing skinny jeans.

Joking aside, this was a really fun casual look, and I got lots of compliments on it.  So, hopefully, rut avoided.  I’ll try to come up with some other non-cardigan/blazer looks again soon.

Not-stuffy cardigan: Old Navy (I think?)
Jeans: Kohl’s
Chambray shirt: TJ Maxx
Shoes: I’ve had them forever; I think Charlotte Russe

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