Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: leopard

Peaches and Cream

That laundry I mentioned on Monday? I really do need to do it, as I think this is shirt is buried in there somewhere, and it’s one of my favorites.

Peach is such a friendly color – and much less obnoxious than most of the brights I usually wear (and of course, I say obnoxious very lovingly). I’m really into blouse-y things right now; so much so that I have to force myself not to buy more when I go shopping because my wardrobe is going to look like I have the exact same piece in every color of the rainbow. 

This one is a bit unique, however, because of the high-low hem – and I love how deep it dips in the back. Pair it with your favorite leopard print cropped pants (everyone has those, right?), some gold wedges, and you’re ready to go!

1 - peach, leopardWe talked a little about your favorite motif a few weeks ago (pineapples!!), but does anyone have  a trend they’re really stuck on – like blouses or cropped pants? I can’t get enough of either! Share your obsessions!

Even So, It is Well

I’ve been reflecting lately on entitlement in our spiritual lives. In recent sermons and readings, I’ve been impressed with the idea that we’re not guaranteed a perfect life – even as Americans, something pretty hard for my western, Millennial mind to grasp. Suffering is a part of life, and those verses that say, “in this world, you will have trouble”, actually  mean it.

I don’t mean this to be a depressing post, but maybe because I’m in my 30s now, I’ve just realized that life isn’t perfect. A lot of people go through a lot of hard things. And that doesn’t mean God isn’t good. It also doesn’t mean that I’m immune.

I’ve always imagined that I would fall in love; have a good marriage with well-behaved, smart children; and live the proverbial happily ever after. And maybe I will. But, God doesn’t owe me that. He doesn’t owe me anything. He gave me life and salvation, and if that’s all He ever did, it would still be an astounding grace.

Of course, that’s not all He’s done for me (see Wednesday’s somewhat silly post about jewelry and clothing). But, He doesn’t owe me anything. Just because I was born in America instead of an Indian slum, I have special privileges. But, they aren’t owed to me. Just because I was born middle-class white, I have a lot of opportunities. But, they aren’t owed to me. Just because I was born a woman who would like to be married and have children, I have a hope that one day, I’ll get what I’ve always wanted. But, it isn’t owed to me.

So, while I work on my attitude and expectations that a Holy God cater to my whims, I continue to pray that He will give me “the desires of my heart.” But, in case that’s not what that verse actually means…or, in case that desire remains unfulfilled until I’m 82, I’m also working on making the words of the old hymn true for me, as well:

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, EVEN SO, it is well with my soul.

Maybe you can relate to a hope deferred. Maybe you can relate to feeling entitled. Maybe you can’t, but you understand what it’s like to go through challenges and still see that God is good. Regardless, I hope that everyone will be able to come to a place where they too can say, “even so, it is well.”

And, I hope that you will wear sequins. Because as my shirt (which, ironically, has no sequins on it) says – life is short. And no matter what our circumstances, we all can look for a reason to celebrate. 1 - sequins and leopard

June Cleaver 2.0

I really love this dress.  I’ve blogged it before and don’t really have much new to say about it.  I call it my June Cleaver dress, and I think that’s fairly accurate (well, except for the length).  But, as I talked about last week with mixing and matching separates, dresses are a lot harder to keep fresh.  I don’t wear this one a ton, so I’m not sick of it yet.  However, I do still try to switch up my accessories and shoes so it looks a little different (even if the overall impression is still basically the same).

Pink and purple is not a normal combination for me, but the polka dots on this dress seem to have a bit of a pink tint to them, which inspired me to try.  The plum keeps me from looking too much like a kid’s Valentine card, and the leopard print belt adds a bit of edge – not only because it’s leopard, but because the print and polka dots are a bit unexpected.

Adding in a 3rd print is generally not advisable, but the floral earrings don’t compete with the polka dots and they’re far enough away from the belt (which is pretty subtle, anyway), to work.  And I finished with bow flats that complement the bow tie at the neck, and the feminine feel of the whole outfit.

1- polka dot dressWhat do you think? Are pink and purple too elementary, or just unexpected enough to be interesting?  Do you have any other good ideas on how to keep dresses fresh and new?  Give me some of your mix and match tips!

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.

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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!

Black and Brown all over

One of the worst things about working in an office in the spring and summer (warning – what I’m about to write is definitely a first world problem) is the air conditioning. It can be 90 degrees outside, but in my office, I still have to use my contraband space heater to avoid turning into an icicle.  Not only is this a poor use of electricity,  it also makes dressing difficult because I still have to wear layers in the middle of July.

It’s not yet July, though, so I suppose I should temper my complaints and be grateful that cardigans are cute, even if I am just sick of them.

For this look, I started with my shoes (as is often the case).  I’ve hated leopard print for years, but lately, I find myself being drawn to it in more subtle ways, like shoes or a scarf.  I even tried on a leopard print blouse yesterday.  An intervention may soon be necessary.

The shoes were one of my Payless steals ($10, I think, and super comfortable) and those capped toes are very in right now.  I will say these shoes would be slightly more stylish if the toes were pointy, but they still work.

My cardigan is from Gap Outlet, and the blouse is an OLDIE…but goodie from Old Navy (I’ve literally had this shirt since I was a junior in college which, sadly, was a long time ago).  The earrings add an unexpected contrast in color and the brown belt works with a black shirt because the shoes combine both shades.

Even If It Breaks Your Heart

My heart is heavy today.  It seems like every day now, something tragic happens, each incident just as bad, if not worse, than the day’s before.  Both of this week’s major crises have touched close to my heart.  Boston is my favorite city in the world – my adopted home.  I had friends both running and watching the marathon on Monday, as I do most every year.

West, Texas was the original home of my first boyfriend.  I stopped at a gas station there once long after we’d broken up, and the girl working the counter was his cousin – that’s how small of a community it is.

I don’t understand why these things keep happening.  Maybe it’s not really new; maybe I’m just now old enough to realize that life is hard.  But, it seems to me that life is getting harder; tragedies are becoming wider-reaching, and society is turning on itself.

Yet, in all of this, there remains hope.  America is still the greatest country on earth (at least in the hearts of those of us who live here).  Last night’s National Anthem at the Bruins game confirms that (if you missed it, it’s a must-watch, here). 

And, even in the midst of tragedy, life must go on.  We go to work, we carry on, we begin to heal and have fun again.   We get dressed. 

So, as flippant and shallow as fashion may seem in the light of such great sadness, it is a part of returning to normalcy, as much as possible.  I pray that our new normal would be one in which these tragedies no longer happen. 

* Shoes: Payless; Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft; Shell and skirt: hand-me-ups from my younger sister.

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