Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: leather (page 1 of 3)

Closet A-Blaze

If you follow me on my Tastefully Trendy instagram account, you know I went through an unfortunate period in January where I had a bad cold that required me not to wear eye makeup for about a week. I felt very exposed. And very young – maybe that part wasn’t so bad.

This is one of the outfits from that period. As I talked about last week, I’ve really been lacking in creativity lately, so I can’t afford to not post a look because I’m a little vain about the #nomakeup thing. So, look through a soft filter…

Yesterday, I went through my closet, in hopes of a giant purge. While I did find some things to get rid of, I also rediscovered all of my cute blazers. When I worked at a law school, I wore blazers all the time. But, working for a non-profit and in music, I kinda fell out of the habit. Now that I’m in a more professional dress environment again, and since I’m in a fashion rut, anyway, I’m going to try to reincorporate these into my wardrobe – hopefully I can breathe new life into some of these old staples.

This camel blazer, though, has not been forgotten at all. As you might notice if you scroll back far enough, it’s been on major repeat this winter.

I’m kinda thinking that I might do more of the blazer with a t-shirt and jeans thing in this new phase of my life. Still on-trend and very Nashville, but incorporating the pieces I already own. We’ll see how the Spirit moves me.

Do you wear blazers often? What’s your favorite way to style them? I definitely need inspiration, so if you have ideas, please throw them my way!

Getting Choked Up

I debated mixing in some of my older good-camera outfits with these phone camera pictures, but I thought we’d just rip the band-aid off and get them all out of the way now. That way, whenever I do get my new good camera, we can just have all good outfits, not marred by this embarrassing photography.

My favorite trend right now is chokers, and its one that I was scared of trying when they first came back around. First of all, the last time these were in style, I was 13, and I really didn’t wear them much then. Second of all, my neck is kinda short and I was afraid they’d cut me off weird.

But, I was happy to discover that with an open neckline, and a choker of just a modest width, I could actually pull these off quite well. My middle-school self would be so proud.

Since I discovered I could wear them, I’ve fully embraced the trend and wear one several times a week. I especially like layering them with other necklaces, which, although not demonstrated in my outfit below, is the modern spin on the old trend. I think they look a little edgy, which might be part of the reason I like them. But, they also make me feel like Cinderella, let’s be honest.

cinderella-choker-necklaceSo, here’s to the choker, even if it makes me feel super old that styles I distinctly remember wearing are already back for their 2nd go-round.

1-pink-leather-trendWhat styles from your childhood have you seen come back around – that you’re either happy about, or wish had stayed in your childhood?

NYE and Chill(y)

So, new plan: next time I’m debating warmth vs. cuteness, I will choose warmth. 100 percent of the time, every time.

I ended up being pretty pleased with my outfit, although I bitterly missed my sequins. But, if it had not been for my friend’s wisdom in bringing hand warmers, which I put inside my boots, I would have been MISERABLE, and probably writing this short a few toes.  Seriously.

Fortunately, most of the other people there had also learned this lesson.  While we did see the occasional 21 year old girl in a short skirt with no tights, for the most part, everyone was very practical in their attire, and no one would have cared had I been bundled up like a snowman.

So, here’s what I chose:

1 - NYE leather and blanket scarf

Again, not as cute in the photo as in real life, in part because you can’t see the details on my jacket.  But, it’s a pretty lavender leather with an asymmetrical ruffle, and underneath I wore a short-sleeve gray sweatshirt.  All of it coordinated well with my new blanket scarf (okay, I learned that a true blanket scarf is a square, so this is actually just a giant, thick, fake-wool rectangle scarf), and my small-floral patterned jeans. Underneath, I wore knee-high socks, with my tall boots.  Oh, and gloves not pictured.  Yet, still I froze.

All in all, it was a fun evening – I always like concerts and being in downtown Nashville.  But, I think for the sake of my appendages and sequins, I’ll go to an indoor party next year.

I hope all of you had a lovely NYE, full of sequins or at least warm enough weather to keep all of your toes. Show me what you ended up wearing – I’ll take notes for next year!

Workin’ Hard for the Money

So, big news from Nashville…I got a job!  And, it might be the most exciting job ever, as I’ll be working at the Country Music Hall of Fame! Basically, this job is a dream come true: living in Music City, working in country music – what could be better? Also, I’ll be in the development office, and one of our responsibilities is VIP events, all of which I’ll be required to attend.  I mean, twist my arm.

Of course, after I accepted this job, I immediately felt convicted by all the worrying and doubting I did.  Maybe one day, I’ll learn to trust God before I see the end result, but as someone very wise pointed out to me, perhaps the greater lesson is that God is faithful even when we lack.

Anyway, I chose to celebrate this good news by wearing all black the day it became official.  I really don’t know why black said party to me – it rarely does. But, the sparkly tights said party for sure, and I built from there.  Also, these boots make me feel super Nashville.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is a “creative” environment, as you might expect, and full of trendy people…so, who knows how my style and therefore blog will evolve over the coming months. But I’m excited to find out, and glad you’re along for the ride with me.

Also, I’m excited to meet celebs, but that’s neither here nor there.
1 - celebratory black dress

Nashville Fashion

Even before I moved here, my best friend and I referred to Nashville as the perfect city.  Based on our experiences, it totally was, but I did have the slightest fear that when I actually lived here and wasn’t just on vacation, it might not live up to that moniker.  Fortunately, it has in every respect.

Between all the restaurants I’ve tried, TV shows I’ve been an extra in, and concerts I’ve attended, I feel like I’m really taking the Nashville bull by the horns. But there is one area in which I feel inadequate – fashion.

Maybe that’s ironic for someone who has a fashion blog, but Nashville is by far the trendiest/most fashionable place I have ever lived – and the style here is very specific. Whether it’s the floppy hat/wedge booties/black top look of the “it” girls, or the more bohemian/grunge/beanie (hats are really big in Nashville) stylings of the hipsters, I just haven’t quite mastered the Nashville look yet.  Because of that, I am a little self-conscious of my wardrobe, and all of my clothes now feel old fashioned. I mean, after all, I did spend the last two years building up the more preppy, traditional look of North Georgia and worked at a law school for years before that.

However, I’ve been inspired by something a musician told me when we were discussing the unbelievable amount of musical talent in this town. He said that instead of being intimidated by how good everyone else is, he’s motivated by those around him to become better. The “competition” pushes him to be the best version of himself. I like that – right now I’m stretching my fashion muscles, but in the end, I’ll be stronger for it.

In the meantime, here is an outfit I wore in Georgia that I probably wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear here, and that’s good enough for now.

1 - purple leather, floral jeans

 

Fringe and Leather

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ve definitely seen my beloved “vegan leather” skirt before. It really is one of my favorites – a flirty and girly cut, with a little edge from the studs.  I wear it all the time in the fall/winter/early spring, and while I wasn’t quite ready to pull it out for this season yet, the style challenge gurus dictated that I must. At least my accessories kept me from being too fall-ish too prematurely.  I’m just not ready!
1 - leather and fringeStill working on that arm party thing, but we’re getting there.  I do love how colorful this outfit is, and my peep toe, high heeled loafers are one of my favorite pairs of of pseudo-professional shoes.

Hope you’re having a good Tuesday!  Let me know what you think about this outfit – or anything else you’d care to discuss – in the comments. I love hearing from you!

Wednesday’s Woman: The Woman at the Well

Yesterday, I shared a story from Humans of New York on my facebook page.  Since I think probably all of you are my facebook friends, you may have seen it.  But, in case not, here it is:

“Seven years ago, I was sitting on the ledge of a thirteenth floor window. I’d tried to quit drinking so many times but I couldn’t do it, and I’d finally given up. My mind was racing through all the shameful things I’d done, and I kept hearing this voice saying: ‘Jump you piece of shit. Jump you piece of shit.’ So I put my hands over my ears and started rocking back and forth on the window ledge. Suddenly I heard this small, still voice: ‘Say a prayer,’ it said. And I didn’t want to hear it. It was kind of like your mother knocking on the door while you’re watching porn. But then I heard it again: ‘Say a prayer.’ So I started praying, and I totally surrendered, and I felt an evil presence leave me. And I just kept saying: ‘I can’t believe you still love me. I can’t believe you still love me.’ Then I cleaned up my room, threw away my baggies of coke, took a shower, and went to work.”

I’ve been wanting to talk about shame for a couple weeks now.  It’s something that I’ve struggled with, that many of my friends have struggled with, and based on this guy’s story, I’m thinking that people from all walks of life, backgrounds, and experiences struggle with.

I’m guessing that it’s also something that the woman at the well struggled with.  Take a minute to re-read the story in John 4.  Jesus is traveling along and stops at a well for water, where a Samaritan woman comes to draw water.  I’m not going to get into all the cultural things about Jews and Samaritans, but suffice it to say, the Samaritans were not a well-liked people group.  This woman probably carried shame simply because of the race she was born into.  And, the fact that she was drawing water in the middle of the day suggests that she was trying to avoid meeting other people at the well – perhaps because she was also ashamed of what we soon learn about her: that she has been married 5 times and was currently shacking up with a 6th man.

When Jesus met her, though, He engaged with her in a way that did not leave her feeling shamed or condemned.  Don’t get me wrong, He didn’t let her get away with her sin – He’s the one that introduces us to her past in the first place.  Yet, somehow, instead of running away and avoiding her pain as has been her pattern, when Jesus spoke to her, this woman heard something that drew her closer to the only One who can take away her disgrace, the only One who can help her once again love herself, despite her past.  This woman was so moved by her encounter with Jesus that she went and told her whole town about Him and as a result, many of them were also forever changed.

So often, our sin makes us run from God.  It makes us abandon our quiet times because we just feel too guilty.  It makes us try to bury the pain in food or busy-ness or, like the Samaritan woman, unfulfilling relationships.  It makes us doubt that God could still love us and makes us want to stop trying altogether, even if not in quite as drastic a fashion as the guy in our Humans of New York story.

Yet, that’s the exact opposite of what God’s plan is!  When we engage with Him as the Samaritan woman did, He doesn’t let us get away with our sin, brushing it under the rug, or pretending it doesn’t matter.  But, He points it out in such a kind, gentle way, that instead of making us feel terrible about how bad we are, it makes us want to change – and gives us the ability to do so, just like our coke-addicted friend above. And, this change makes us want to know Him more, and to tell everyone else about it. This ripple effect is a perfect example of His strength being made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).  He takes even our sins and uses them for His glory, working them for our benefit and for that of those around us (Rom. 8:28).

Are you carrying a burden of shame around with you?  Speaking from experience, I know it’s so draining and depressing and exhausting.  While I’ve never sat on the ledge of a 13th story, I can understand this guy’s sentiment of being so ashamed of what you’ve done that you just want to give up.  But, let’s not give up!  If God can heal a woman as broken as the woman at the well, lifting her shame and using her to bring many more people to freedom, He can – and will – do the same for us.  Let’s not run away anymore, but give our shame and disgrace and pain to God and see what He will do.

Samaritan Woman

 

A LBD and A French Braid

Finally home…I love traveling, I really do.  And this past week, I was in my favorite place in the world: Nashville, Tennessee.  But, it’s always good to get home and back into a routine.  I’m a creature of habit and glad to be back in the saddle.

A couple of weeks ago, I wore this look, and ended up really loving it, although it evolved almost by accident from a simple black dress. I was speaking for work again, so like the look I showed you last Tuesday, I started with something basic so I could add some Rahab’s Rope accessories.  All of the jewelry I’m wearing, plus the headband, are from my work (which, if you don’t know, is a nonprofit that works with women and children in India who are at risk or have been victims of human trafficking; you can order some pretty things here.)

I really love this for two reasons:

1) My red lipstick actually looks good.  Almost every time I wear red lipstick, I think I look like a clown or a 5 year old who got into her mom’s makeup bag.  But this time, it miraculously worked.

2) My hair.  I could not get this headband to work for me and not make me look like a complete flower child.  But, necessity (and pinterest) are the mother of invention, so in part inspired by some old pins I’d seen, in part just plain experimentation, I ended up with this awesome braided look.  If you can tell from these pictures (don’t mind the note on my mirror; it’s just a love note one of my besties left me recently, and I like it, so it stays), I wrapped the front of my hair around the headband twice on each side (like I do when I’m curling it), and then I French braided it from there, and voila.  It’s probably my new bad hair day go-to.

wpid-0422150934a.jpg
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1 - black dress, headbandHave you ever invented a new hair style?  Share your secrets in the comments; I’m always looking for new tips!

Two-fer Tuesdays: Pretty Pleather

For this week’s Two-fer Tuesday, I’m focused on another skirt: my favorite “vegan leather” blue beauty.  Of course, it’s a little tricky to make a light blue, studded leather skirt look too different – no matter what you do to it, it’s pretty noticeable.  But I do think I was able to achieve a new feel with the second outfit, and the overall impact of the two looks was very different.

In option 1, I was trying to go casual – as casual as you can be in a flouncy leather skirt.  So, I paired it with a gilded sweater/sweatshirt and some flat oxfords.  (And, of course, my favorite necklace from Rahab’s Rope.)

1 - blue leather skirt, gold sweaterI’m not sure why this picture turned out so dark; I even lightened it in my photo editor/collage app. Ugh, photography…  You get the point.

In option 2, I took my old lady floral Peter Pan collar blouse that I really love, added my over-the-knee boots, and took this picture at the end of the day so I would look as tired and disheveled as possible.  Every once in a while, I wear an outfit that looks much better in real life than on camera.  This is one of those times.  I promise it was cute – lots of people said so.  But despite how it photographed, I couldn’t skip posting the picture because then it would just be a one-fer Tuesday, and that is not nearly as catchy.  Focus on the earrings.

1 - blue leather, floral blouseWhat do you think?  Different looks, or basically the same thing, disguised as creativity?  What would you wear with this skirt?  Let’s talk!

Black and Tan

First of all, before everyone starts staging an intervention, I HAVE taken down my Christmas tree.  It is still sitting in my spare room, waiting to go in the closet, but it is down.  However, since I took such an inexplicably long break from blogging this month, some of these pictures are old.  So, sorry about that.

I’ve been taking a class online in web design and it’s got me all fired up to create my own template (or at least pick one that requires some more tinkering than the standard WordPress template), so be on the lookout for changes over the next few months!  (But don’t look too closely…this may take a while.)

Anyway, this outfit.  I bought this MASSIVE sweater dress from a rummage sale to benefit Beloved Atlanta, an anti-trafficking organization.  I think it’s originally from Anthropologie, and it was $10, so I bought it – even if it is a large, and I’m not.

Honestly, I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do with it.  I wanted to wear it as one of those cool, long, open cardigans I see everywhere, but it’s just too big for that.  And then there are buttons in weird places.  So, this belted look is the best I could do, but I think it works.  And y’all, this is the warmest thing I’ve EVER put on my body.  Honestly, I thought I wouldn’t be able to wear unless I traveled outside of Georgia, but I guess my blood has thinned, because I’ve worn it several times.

1 - blacksweaterdressI realize I’ve yet to show you these over-the-knee boots actually over the knee.  I really prefer them that way, but with the length of this skirt, they had to be folded over.  I did take two pictures for you of the detailing, though, so you could see the super cute zipper down the backs and the super fuzzy buckle on the sides.

Stay safe, friends in the snow!  And send some my way, if you think about it.  I asked my boss if we could have a sympathy snow day this week…he didn’t think that was as good an idea as I did.

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