Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: India (page 1 of 2)

C’est La Vie

In college, I was a French major, something I think many people are surprised to learn about me. I have no typical-French major qualities. My home is not decorated with the Eiffel Tower (well, there are a couple, but you might not notice them next to my Reagan and George W. Bush coffee table books); I am not artsy at all; and my master’s degree is in American History, which probably fits my healthy patriotism a little better.

But, I was, and although I’m not a fan of their politics – or their fashion, for that matter (I know, that’s sacrilege, but I studied there and was not impressed) – France does and will always have a special place in my heart.

This Eiffel Tower belt my mom gave me was the basis for my outfit. I don’t have a lot I can wear with a pink canvas belt with landmarks on it, but I think the stripes lent themselves very well to the French theme. The shoes are just to match the pink, because you know that little strip of color would not be enough for me. And, I bought them in India, so I’m full-on international in this outfit.
1-stripes-and-towersWhat do you think people find most surprising about you? Is it intentionally a well-kept secret, or just a unique hobby/talent/interest no one saw coming? Let’s chat about things that make us, us, and have a great weekend, everyone!

Ruling the Empire

I so rarely go out these days that when I do, I make the most of the opportunity.  Even if that means overdressing for dinner with girlfriends.

One of my favorite things about summer is shorts and skirts.  Paired with a cute top, you can pretty much always look stylish, without really trying that hard.

I found this shirt buried in my closet.  I haven’t worn it in probably 2-3 years (I know, you’re supposed to get rid of stuff you haven’t worn in the past year, but if I still like it, I ignore that rule).  I’ve had it for at least 7, because there is a picture of me in it with my first boyfriend (yes, I was 23 by the time I locked someone down long enough for us to have titles).
1 - black lace shortsI was having lighting issues with my camera again, but the closeup of the shorts fabric is fairly accurate – a pretty black lace, with gold thread running through.  My shoes are from India and maybe a little more casual than the rest of the look, but I liked it.

I will say this about my top – it’s cute, but if you’re thinking about looking for one similar, just be careful.  Those empire waisted tops (where the seam is right under the chest) are really not generally flattering and can easily make even the thinnest person look preggo.  So, proceed with caution.  And men, if you ever see a girl wearing one of these types of tops, do NOT ask if she is pregnant.  She probably is not and there’s no way to recover from that faux pas. Ever.

Just Wanna Take Your Time

My friend pool is pretty small in Gainesville, so when one of them is out of town, I end up having a lot of me-time.  This used to depress me, but lately I’ve been trying to make the most of the situation.  That means some Netflix, of course, but I’ve also been doing some reading, and I’m on track for my 15 books in 2015 goal (I realize that’s not that ambitious, but it’s certainly an increase from the like 3 in 2014).  I’ve also spent a lot of time working on my hair and makeup.  I really enjoy doing it, even if I’m just going to go sit at Starbucks and write-up blog posts.  It makes me feel good about myself and it’s fun.

So, now that I’ve justified to all of you and myself the mostly unproductive use of my time, here’s the outfit I wore on Sunday to said Starbucks.  When you have hours to fill, you can get a little creative with your outfits, and I liked how this new one turned out.  This dress, an Indian purchase, is pretty unflattering without anything over it, and pretty short/flimsy without anything under it.  But add a jacket and leggings, and it looks great!

I’ve always been scared of navy with black, but gray kinda helps bridge the gap, and combining neutrals is usually pretty safe.  Still, when I tried it, I did it with the thought that I might hate it and have to start completely from scratch.  Fortunately, it worked on the first try.  No messy closet to put back together this time!
1 - navy polka dots and peach jacketAlso, for the record, those are curling iron curls!  I don’t know if my hair is finally damaged enough to hold a heat curl, if my headband curling has trained it to behave, or if the absolute lack of humidity (the only positive about this never-ending winter) has worked in my favor, but whatever the reason, I’m pretty pleased with this recent development.

How do you all feel about my color combos?  And how do you fill your time when all of your friends/family/acquaintances are unavailable?  I may need some more ideas soon…I can only curl my hair so many times.

IBTLALC, pt. 2

Yesterday’s trendy party was super fun, but for today’s Christmas party look, let’s turn toward the holiday dinner party or firm/hospital party (i.e., a swanky office party – my office parties are generally just sweater/jeans attire).  I have a lot of disclaimers about this outfit, actually, but first, let’s talk about why it works.

I’ve never quite understood the idea of getting plastered with your coworkers at the holidays – I think it would just make for a very awkward Monday the next week.  Wearing too-revealing clothing follows along those same lines.  This dress works – it is a modest length (really, too long on me, but we’re jumping ahead to the disclaimer section), has a flatteringly deep V neckline without showing too much, and offers just the right amount of sparkle and movement.  Plus, black is always appropriate, and the touches of red make for festive accents.

1 - black party dressI also love, love, love my hair and makeup here.  I don’t know how it happened, but while this is my least favorite of my three holiday clothing looks, it’s definitely my favorite hair/makeup combination.  I went for a bold eye, with shimmery gray/black shadows and a forest green eyeliner (I really love colored eye liners).  To avoid competing with my eyes, I then opted for a neutral lip, even putting foundation on my lips to tone down the color (I read that’s a thing).

DSC_1487Now, for my disclaimers.  I’ve lost a little weight since I bought this dress a few years ago, so, in addition to being really too long for me (I think just above the knee is more flattering generally, but especially on my short frame), it just doesn’t hang right anymore.  Also, I would have worn different shoes if this were real life – I love my suede red pumps, but they’re a little too practical for a Christmas party – something taller, strappier, and/or sparklier would have been better.  Alas, they were the best I had for a pretend outfit.

All that to say, stick with more traditional and conservative lines and colors for formal (in the sense of traditional, not in the sense of black tie) dinner and office parties.  And if  you’re a little taller than me and you’d like a size 6 (maybe fits more like an 8) black dress, please let me know.  I’ll send it to you (seriously).

80 Days of Shoes: Denim and Bows

Sometimes, the most basic pieces are the hardest to find.  Like a denim jacket, for example.  I’ve wanted one for a while, but I’m just not willing to pay $40+ for something I know I can find at a thrift store.  However, finding it at a thrift store in my size and a current style is not always the easiest task.  So, I over-think it, and wait, and regret not buying one, and then go back again – shampoo, rinse, repeat.

Finally, I decided on one a few weeks ago; and, I like it.  But, I don’t LOVE it.  It’s a Guess jacket, so it has that going for it, but it’s a little too big and not the exact wash I wanted.  Plus, it was $7 at the thrift store, and since I regularly pay $7 for brand new clothes (albeit, not Guess clothes), I felt like I was getting a little ripped off.

But, at least I now have a jacket to tide me over until/unless I find the perfect one.  And really, for all of my griping, it is pretty cute.

1 - denim jacket, green jeansThe shoes may be a repeat – I can’t remember.  But, I bought them in India, because bows!  And, I do really like them, even if they have an odd rubber sole.  At least I’m not going to slip and fall in them like I did on a date last week…but that’s a story for another day.
DSC_1220Do you have problems with basic pieces, too?  Do denim jackets and white shirts and black heels give you trouble, or is it just me?

Hashtag Sari Not Sorry

Although there are many things about big cities that I miss, sometimes small towns have their perks, like on Friday when the downtown gave way to hundreds of little Elsas and Avengers of all types. Our store is right on the downtown square, so we gave out candy and I got to dress up again!

As much as I loved my Cinderella costume, it wasn’t really appropriate for daytime with children (also, it didn’t exactly fit our store theme). So, instead, I got to wear this beautiful sari, which actually, I loved just as much.

I’m not sure how Indian women wear these everyday. For one thing, I don’t know how they get in them. It took a friend who has lived in India and a YouTube video to get me in mine, and I’m pretty sure even if I’d known how, I don’t have enough hands to do it all myself.  But for another, they’re really hard to move in.  Mine wasn’t wrapped quite tight enough so I was afraid if I moved too much, it would fall.  But, if they’re wrapped as tight as they’re supposed to be, you still can’t move because you legitimately can’t move – so tight.  So, hats off, Indian women!

imageIsn’t that pretty?  I wished for a minute I’d bought one in India, but then I remembered I would never actually wear it here, so it was probably better I saved my money.  But, if we could somehow Americanize these, I’d be grateful.  Beautiful fabric with a flattering/forgiving silhouette?  Yes, please.

imageI chose to wear my authentic Indian sandals (by authentic, I mean I bought them in India) to go with the sari, and then jewelry from our store.  If I really had wanted to be authentic, I would have worn matching bangles on both wrists (and a lot more of them), but this was close enough.  The under garments also made me think for a second I could pull off the cropped top look that’s in right now.  But, then I remembered I’m a self-respecting almost 30 year old and dismissed that idea.

What do you think?  Should we start a movement to bring saris to America?

When it rains, your pants get soaked

Today’s post is all about real life.  Because, sometimes it rains and you look like this:

1 - hobo sweater, wet jeansBedraggled hair: check.  Soaked jeans: check.  Makeup worn off because I didn’t take this picture at lunch like I usually do: check.  Slightly odd setting/angle because I don’t have a good place to take pictures inside my house: check.  (Side note: who is taking all those other fashion blogger’s pictures where they’re casually walking through the street?  Do they have personal photographers that follow them around?  Or husbands?  Or do they just set up a tripod in the middle of the street, tossing all cares to the wind?  And who is stopping traffic so they don’t get run over?  I feel like I’m missing out on all the industry secrets.)

I’m sure I’ll wear this sweater again soon and then do a cute blog post about it – because it’s a really amazing sweater.  In the meantime, let’s all have grace for ourselves, because, as my first boyfriend’s misspelled tattoo said, “C’este la vie.”

80 Days of Shoes: One and Done

I was pretty excited when I found these shoes again.  I’ve had them for many years, but I rarely wore them – I think I bought them either before the style had matured or before I had.  Either way, these shoes and I were now a perfect match…
DSC_0878And then this happened:
DSC_0879oddly, on both shoes. I suppose I could have taken them to a cobbler, but I didn’t think whatever I’d paid for shoddy Charlotte Russe construction justified it.  C’est la vie.

I know I’ve talked a lot about transition pieces, but really, I think dressing for those no-longer summer, not quite cool/fall/winter days/weeks/months (depending on which part of the country you’re from), is one of the hardest parts of fashion.

Which is why I’m glad these long sweaters are back in style.  They’re the perfect layer – keep it light underneath, as I did with one of my fave sequin tanks and silky India pants.  Or, bundle up with a long-sleeve tee, jeans, and boots.  Whatever the forecast, you’ll be cozy and seasonally appro. 1 - indian pants, long sweaterP.S. My necklace is a product of Eternal Threads, a great non-profit doing all kinds of different types of work throughout the world. My necklace is made by women in Mongolia who have been rescued from sex slavery and reads, “Free Her.” It’s a beautiful way to support the organization and raise awareness about human trafficking.

80 Days of Summer: Sparklers!

Today, I’m going to show you one of my favorite pairs of shoes.  You’ve seen them a couple times before, but not specifically in our 80 days of shoe exploration.  And that’s a shame.
DSC_0674Sparkles, bows, and I bought them in Boston.  Obviously, these are the world’s most perfect shoe.  I paired them with an almost-professional look (see: Monday’s post…I guess it was a theme this past week) – minus the leather shoulders, I suppose.  Oh, and I couldn’t get a picture that really showed the back of the shirt well, but you can tell a little bit, I think, that it’s longer in the back.  It’s like a mullet shirt – but cute.
1 - leather shoulders tee, gray skirt

  • Shirt: Target
  • Skirt: Limited
  • Shoes: TJMaxx
  • Colorful bangle: India
  • Necklace: Belk
  • Earrings: some cute Boston boutique

Sequins and Scarves

Today’s post features yesterday’s shoes; sorry I’m not always as original as I’d like to be.

But the shoes are hardly the star of today’s outfit, anyway.  There are a lot of individual pieces I really like here, but I think my favorite thing about this look is the color combination.  Peach and yellow are a little unexpected, but these shades work well together, especially because the scarf is embellished with a lot of different colors, including a peach/pink/whatever-you-put-next-to-it shade.

It’s a little hard to tell in this picture, but my tank has gold sequin stripes, so I pulled out the gold with my favorite lion cuff.  The look is very casual, yet put together and bling-y.  Just like I like it.
1- Coral jacket yellow scarfFashion tip: Unless you’re 21 or a movie star with washboard abs, skip the cropped top trend.  It’s perfectly acceptable to use layers under a shorter length (like I did with the jacket above) and look of-the-moment without being age-inappropriate.

  • Jacket: Hand-me-down
  • Jeans: Off Saks
  • Sandals: JCP
  • Cuff: Rue 21
  • Tank: Old Navy
  • Scarf: India


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