Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: jeans (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.

<3,

SB

Self-Care: Part 2 – Self-Love

Writing a blog only once a week makes me feel a lot of pressure to actually say something meaningful. Telling you about why I put a certain shirt with a certain pair of pants is fine when I’m producing content several times a week, but if I’m only saying something once every 7 days, shouldn’t it be something worth hearing? Aren’t all the other bloggers saying significant things on important topics, like faith and (successful) relationships and politics? Or even how to ship lap?

But, I suppose that’s the problem – bowing to pressure and comparison. I can only be me. I’ve always only been able to be me, and any attempt to do otherwise has failed miserably (cue awkward memories of high school and college). And you can only be you. Sure, we all want to be the best versions of ourselves, but I actually just read an article about how our culture’s obsession with self-improvement leads to even more depression and anxiety. We’ll never fully arrive – there will always be room to become an even better best, and it can be exhausting trying.

So, I guess that leads me to my second point on the topic of self-care. Self-love. I think you all know me well-enough to know that I’m not what you might call a hippy…. I have a pretty traditional view of Christianity that includes words like “sin” and “righteousness”. I think there are moral absolutes and definite rights and wrongs.

But, I also think there is a lot more room for grace than we give ourselves. I’m not just talking about faith matters – I mean, grace to eat a cupcake if we’ve had a really bad day and just need something to cheer us up. Or grace NOT to eat the cupcake, if we are in a season where prioritizing our health is important. Grace to say no to things that we genuinely don’t want to do, or to put ourselves (our families, our sleep, our health) first, instead of feeling obligated to do what we think society might expect of us.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on self-care, let’s be real. In fact, I’ve never been sick as often as I was the first year I moved to Nashville. I blamed the allergens, but honestly, part of it was learning how 30-something year old me needed to operate. And part of how I need to operate is just to say no. Sometimes, that means saying no to staying out just a little bit later, when I know I’ll be exhausted the next day and more susceptible to getting sick. Sometimes, it means saying no to eating fast food for the 4th time that week, because I know I’m not feeding my body well, for either the short or long-term. Sometimes, saying no is listening to that Still Small Voice who always knows what’s best for me – even when I can’t see what’s up ahead – and making my decisions accordingly.

Do I do this perfectly? Good lord, no. Do I do it well? Even that’s debatable. But I’m trying.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Well, there are a few practical things I regularly try to do to take care of myself. These include:

  • Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. And sometimes taking a nap in my car at lunch if I need a little extra boost. No shame in my game.
  • Eating healthy foods. I’ve learned what my body likes and what it doesn’t, and in 2018, I don’t think any of us are really confused about what’s healthy. I try to keep this in mind at least 75% of the time.
  • Friendships. I’m such an extrovert, if I’m not around people at some point during a 24 hour period, I start to go crazy. But, even for those who are less extremely extroverted than me, fellowship, laughter, and companionship is always good for the soul.
  • Down time. Because of my extroverted nature, it’s really easy for me to just go, go, go. I’ve learned, though, that a little time to decompress – read, binge TV, do chores, or otherwise just exist – is good for me and gives me the opportunity to be still with my thoughts.
  • Daily devotional time. Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible (as well as other inspirational books) keeps me centered and focused on the things that truly matter, and it’s the most surefire way to find peace in stressful times. Non-Christians can also benefit from a daily reflective practice, but for those who adhere to a faith, I think this step is crucial.

Those are some of the ways I stay healthy – physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. Yours may be different. You may be someone who needs time in nature on a regular basis. Or maybe you’re an introvert who needs to protect your alone time. Maybe a relaxing bath and a glass of wine is all you need.

But whatever it is, be sure you make time for those things. Self-love isn’t selfishness. Even the Bible compares Christ’s love to how we as humans nourish and cherish our bodies (Ephesians 5:29). By being sure that we stay healthy, we’re then much more equipped to do the things that we need to do, and to be a blessing to other people.

Another way that I take care of myself is by fostering my creative side through clothes, so with no further ado…

It’s already that time, y’all. My first sweater of the season, although I paired it with white jeans to help ease the transition from summer to fall – never an easy task for me.

The sweater is actually a sweater dress, I think, and at some point in the season, I may wear it with leggings or tights. But, for now, I just did a half tuck in the front to make it seem like it’s a normal length.

I’m also trying to work on my poses, and this not-looking-directly-at-the-camera thing seems to be the way to go. How am I doing?

What are some of the ways you stay healthy by taking care of yourself first? Let me know in the comments – maybe we’ll all get some other good ideas!

<3,

SB

Two-fer Tuesday: Jailhouse Stripes

It’s been a while since I’ve done a twofer Tuesday, but no time like the present!

I really like these jailhouse stripes (or maybe more accurately, train conductor – they’re probably too narrow for jailhouse). Regardless, I think these highwaisted, cropped striped jeans are the best.

However, I wasn’t sure about them when I bought them, because in the artificial light of the dressing room, they really played with your eyes. I mean, in general, I try to wear clothes that don’t make people want to look the other way.

In the natural light, though, they seem to be okay, so I think I’m good. Except the camera doesn’t love them, either…you might have to zoom in pretty close to get an accurate look. Oh well.

In this first look, I’m combining another one of my favorite spring trends – off-the-shoulder – with my cute pants and some flats that actually hurt my feet more than most of the heels I own, but they’re so cute and universally functional, that I keep them. I ran some errands on Saturday in this outfit, then popped on some black heels for dinner with a friend that night.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention my pink lipstick; as much as I enjoyed the dark berrys and browns this winter, I’m seriously so happy bright is back in season!

Next up is another casual outfit (I did wear it to work, but in hindsight, it might have been TOO casual). Anyway, a simple soft turquoise tee (you’ll have to take my word for it being that color, I guess), with a black scarf (I don’t have a cat; that’s all just my hair…) and some silver accents to complete the look. Easy, but still put together. Scarves are helpful in that way.
So there you have it – the return of Twofer Tuesday, thanks to my new favorite cropped jeans.

Which of these looks would you rather wear? And what’s the verdict on these stripes – delightful or dizzying? Let’s talk!

J’adore Paris

Happy Friday, y’all! Look at that – I made it through a full week with regular blogs! I consider this a significant accomplishment, and one that I hope I can maintain.

Pretty much all of my wardrobe these days is from Target and Old Navy. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling stifled – as cute as those two stores’ clothes can be, I might need to branch out a little.

Until then, here is an outfit brought to you by both of my favorites. My Target jeans are a familiar staple, but the shirt from Old Navy is new. I almost paid full price for it, too, which is a ridiculous thing to do at Old Navy where they have a new sale every two days. But, graphic tees tend to sell out so quickly, and I’m pretty picky about what my t-shirts say, so I felt I needed to snap it up.

Cute, right? I was a French major, so a pun on the Eiffel tower is right up my alley (if the middle print is too small to read, it says, “Eiffel in love with Paris.”) J’adore.

Fortunately for me, Old Navy was having a 40% off everything if you use your Old Navy card. Fortunately for Old Navy, that was enough incentive for me to open one. I figured I shop there enough it’d be worth it for the sales. And, I’ve already earned $30 in Old Navy points or whatever, just by using it outside of their brand one time…so, hopefully the potential negative to my credit score will pay off. Just don’t tell Dave Ramsey.

Here’s the full, casual outfit. Honestly, probably not the most flattering shirt I own, but sometimes, you have to go with what makes you happy (including a twisted choker that bugs me, but I obviously can’t do anything about it now).

Do you have any graphic tees that you really like? What do they say? And what are the stores that you just can’t stay away from – do they define your style like Target and Old Navy have begun to do for me, or are they your favorites for another reason?

Have a great weekend, friends!

The Polka Dot Detective

Since we’ve already done the no eye makeup look this week, we might as well continue.

I might have told you this story already; forgive me, if so. But, when I was an extra on Nashville, I was supposed to wear business attire, like a detective might. I signed up for it, promising I had the requisite clothing. But, when I started to look through my closet, I realized that while I do have gray and black suits, they have ruffles on them. Likewise, I do have button-downs in dark colors; they’re also polka-dotted. I’ve never seen Mariska Hargitay wear polka dots on the job. If I were actually a detective, I would for sure bring fun to the office with my wardrobe, but I assumed the costumers on Nashville would not agree with that decision. So, I bought some boring grey pants, wore a plain black blazer, and mostly satisfied their requirements.

But, I’m not going to lie, I really wanted to wear the shirt I’m wearing in this outfit today. Can’t you picture how cute that would have been with a black pantsuit? Oh well. If ever I’m a detective in real life, you’ll know what I’ll be wearing.

Unrelated, I pretty much live in my black jeans. I should probably have more than one pair, because I’m obsessed.  Thanks, Old Navy!

Do you have multiples of the same item because you wear them so much? I mean, of course everyone has more than one pair of jeans…but, two of the very same thing? I am definitely guilty of buying the same shirt in several colors; if it’s a good price and looks good, why not stock up?

Berry Kiss

One of my favorite trends right now is dark lipstick. I’m not bold enough to go REALLY dark (yet, anyway), and I might be too fair to pull it off without looking total vintage goth. But I’m really into a good berry – especially when it matches my shirt PERFECTLY.

dsc_0021

This outfit is a great example of how to take something really casual – a t-shirt (that I wear all the time, btw, because it is so comfortable!) and jeans – and spice it up a little with very minimal effort. All I did was add a scarf (tied at the ends to make it a faux infinity scarf) and a choker, some booties, and I was chic and on-trend, but comfortable enough to run errands or whatever else.

1-butterfly-scarf-choker-polka-dot-jeansAlso, not pictured are my earrings because, well, I forgot to take a picture of them.

Do you like to dress up your casual wear? What are some of your go-to outfit boosters?

(Oh, and total bonus points if you know what movie this post’s title is taken from!)

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??

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!

Goldenrod

Y’all I am having issues right now. My dating life is currently a bit of a hot mess; my camera seems to be on its last leg, so I don’t even know what’s going on with these pictures; and I’ve been so busy I haven’t even had time to blog. If there were one redeeming quality about the two years before I moved to Nashville, it was that I could be more consistent in my writing…

Anyway, I have great plans to write this weekend and catch you up on my life, my probably now-out-of-season outfits since the camera has been on the fritz for a while, and whatever else might come to mind. I’m a free-spirited blogger.

In the meantime, it’s Friday, so let’s celebrate! I can’t vouch for the rest of the country, but in Nashville, people pretty much wear black jeans exclusively now. So, I added a classy gold tank top, with matching gold accessories (and a green necklace for a little color, although of course you can’t really tell in the picture), and I was ready for a night on the town! (Aka, dinner with two girlfriends. But, at least I was prepared should anything more exciting have happened.)

1-gold-tank-black-jeansWhat’s the black jean trend like where you live? Are you doing anything gold-tank worthy this weekend – ideally more exciting than the dinner I deemed gold-tank worthy? Anything else on your mind? Let’s talk, and have a great weekend, friends!

Plain White T’s

I’m seldom accused of being simple, at least when it comes to my clothes. I just wouldn’t have any fun if I had a go-to uniform (no judgment if that’s you – it’s certainly easier! It’s just not me). But…every now and then I get the urge to just strip things down to a t-shirt and jeans. Of course, I pair that with bright red lipstick and shoes with cherries on them. It’s the best I can do.

And that’s about all I have to say about this look. So, maybe simple isn’t so bad!
1 - simple tee and jeans

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