Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: loafers

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: 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.



I’m Single Because:

Have you seen that Elite Daily article floating around social media?  17 Reasons I’m Single, or something like that.  I’ve probably read it at some point, but I don’t really need an article to tell me why I’m single.  I know.  And in just a few minutes, you will, too.

I went on a lunch date earlier this week, and here are the things I liked about it:

1) Lunch is super non-committal and something to look forward to during the day.

2) We met online (it was kind of an accident; I’m in one of my online dating sabbaticals), but he didn’t ask for my last name or press for where I worked.  I could revel in my pretend anonymity.

3) He was very sweet and even prayed over our meal.

Here are the things I did not like about it:

1) It was boring.

I realized almost immediately that this guy and I were not going to work out. (In case he ever reads this, which I hope does not happen because he really was kind to me, let me clarify that there was nothing wrong with him.  It just wasn’t a good match.)

Unfortunately, Jon (not his real name, duh) didn’t realize the same thing.  He wanted a second date, and after much debate as to whether or not it’s kinder to go on a second date in the name of giving it the ol’ college try or to cut the losses from the beginning, I declined.  But, I’ve been reflecting on why our feelings were apparently so different, and I’ve come to this conclusion:

He liked me because I was myself with him. 

I was myself with him because I did not like him.

All you married people out there may not relate to this, but if you can think WAY back to those awkward dating years, maybe you’ll recall the nerves of meeting someone new and the stress of trying to think of things to say.  I rarely am at a loss for words, but put me around a guy that I’m interested in, and suddenly I can’t think of a single thing.  Usually, this leads to me rambling about myself and other inane topics, just to fill the silence.  I’ve even been known to start talking about past dates – not because I want to, but because I get nervous and like a runaway train, I cannot stop myself.  With one guy I really liked, I actually made a list of questions and pulled it out on our dates, since otherwise my mind went blank, leaving the runaway train to do what it does best – plow through all boundaries and good sense, taking my dignity with it.

If I’m not interested, though, the poor guy gets friend zoned automatically, and then there’s no pressure. I can talk all day to a friend about the weather, the NFL, why I don’t like professional basketball, my favorite places to travel and states I’ve lived in…you name it.  I can be charming and witty and friendly and inquisitive – all the things that I would LOVE to be, you know, when I actually like a guy.  It’s my tell – if I’m talking to you about interesting things, I’m not interested.  Poor Jon didn’t know how to read the signs.

So, that’s why I’m single, guys. I’ve wondered for 30 years, but one lunch date opened my eyes: I am still a 13 year old girl when it comes to talking to boys.  I want a nice bow to tie on this post – a moral to the story.  But, I do not have one.   I may quite possibly be doomed…but, at least I had a cute outfit!  (Another perk to a lunch date: you can wear whatever you want, dressed up or down, and blame it on coming straight from work.)

1 - lunch date striped dressWhat about you?  If you’re single, do you have a dead give-away that you’re not interested?  Those of you in relationships – were you awkward the first time you went out with your significant other, or am I the only one still trapped in middle school?  Also, do you have tips for not being awkward?  Because I could use some of those…

Let’s chat!

80 Days of Shoes: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

Y’all I’ve been super slacking lately.  I’m sorry.  I have been busy, but I think I’ve also just been a little uninspired.  That ends today.  (Mostly, because I’m really, REALLY excited to show you my Halloween costume, and I want to tease it before I do.)

So, consider that your teaser – my Halloween costume is coming next week.  For some reason, the party I’m going to is this Friday instead of Halloween night, so I get to wear it and you get to see it early.  If you’re my facebook/instagram friend (if you’re not, you should be), you probably already know who it is.  But, if not…get excited, because it’s CUTE!!

Ok, so with that out of the way, here’s another cute outfit I wore lately.  Not quite as exciting as my Halloween costume will be.  But, cute nevertheless.

First the shoes.  I love how they’re conservative on top, but still a mile high.  I’ll be office appro. when necessary, but don’t make me wear ugly shoes!

DSC_1216Then the blouse.  Peter Pan collars have been in for a couple of years, but this is my first foray.  My mom gave me this blouse – not sure where she found it, but she gave it to me with an acknowledgement that it look like an old lady’s tablecloth and maybe I could use it for a costume.

Because I liked the collar so much, I took it, anyway – and I’m so glad I did!  Old lady tablecloth, maybe, but floral patterns are also really in right now, and I actually think it’s quite cute on, especially with the sleeves rolled to give it a more modern feel.

What do you think?

1 - peter pan collar, green skirt Have a good weekend, everyone!  And if you’re dressing up for Halloween this year, please send me your costumes.  I can’t wait to see them!

What to Wear: Hob-Nob Edition

Y’all know I like hanging out with my Congressman.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity again when he was in town working on some anti-trafficking legislation.  Which means, I also had the opportunity to break out some of my old law-school profesh clothes.  They say you can’t go home again, but sometimes I like to pretend.

Yellow dress and loafers

Inspired Look: Autumn Leaves

Fall may be almost over (judging by my shivers this morning, it is), but there are still a few leaves left on the trees, and their colors will continue to inspire me until Thursday of next week.  After that, get ready for lots of reds and greens.

This outfit started with the bow in my hair – yes, that one you can barely see.  Surprisingly, I had a little trouble building an outfit around it, but I think I ultimately succeeded.  Most of this outfit is neutral (yes, technically, maroon is a color, but it’s functioning as a neutral).  The yellow belt adds a little pop of color, and the earrings (a gift from my sweet friend Bonnie) tie it together nicely. 

Obviously,since I’m wearing a sheer short sleeve shirt and bare legs, this photo was not taken today.  But, I’m remembering those warmer days with longing.

Skirt: American Eagle, via my sister’s closet
Shirt: the Body Shop
Belt: the Body Shop (this is obviously not my most mature outfit)
Hair Bow: the Dollar Store
Shoes: Payless

Menswear Mondays: Shoe edition

Welcome to the 2nd installment of Menswear Mondays…where my brother Silas again puts me to shame.  Seriously, he even poses better than me.

I’ll let him take it from here…

Today I want to talk about one aspect of the basics. Since it is the one aspect I lack, as well as the one aspect that can really drain your wallet, I want to get it out of the way. 

I’m talking about shoes, zapatos, schuhe, chaussures…whatever your language may be, the fact cannot be escaped that a nice shoes are not cheap. Some other items you can get away with skimping on cost (cue my eclectic list of various shirt brands), but shoes are not one of them if we want to do this right. 

There are a few generic styles of shoes every man should own: 

The Driving Moc – The driving [moccasin] is, in my humble opinion, the most casual shoe you can wear outside of a tennis shoe. “What about docksiders?” – Ok, those are pretty casual too however I think they are a bit over played. Pictured here is a Cole Haan Driving Moccasin

These happen to have laces but many of them are simply flat front or have a penny loafer type strip of leather over the mid foot. These shoes are great in the spring/summer sans socks and just as good in the fall with some fancy argyle socks. You can wear them with jeans, chinos, or casual dress pants.

The Penny Loafer –  The penny loafer is a step up in class from the driving moc however with some confidence you can still wear them pretty casually.

I personally don’t advocate wearing cuffed jeans with penny loafers in real life, but I liked the picture to display the versatility.  I would wear penny loafers with or without socks with chinos and dress pants. I would probably avoid black myself – not a big fan of black anything, except tuxedos.
The Fall Boot – Boots are a personal favorite of mine. There are too many great boot options out there: Redwing, LL Bean, Sebago, Wolverine, Clarks, Timberlands (not “tims” specifically) to name a few.

Pictured is a broken in Alden 405 Redwing boot. If you know your movie history, you may recognize these boots. They are the type of boot that Indiana Jones wore in his movies. I didn’t choose them because I want to be Indiana Jones (anymore), I chose them because they are top of the line quality and with the right care, will out last their owners. These would look great with a dark wash jean or chinos.
The ideas I have listed are pretty expensive. I would be lying if I said that I have or will have all of these anytime soon. But, my hope is that you have gained a few more ideas on what to wear besides tennis shoes. 

[Editor’s note – anything is better than tennis shoes. Except flip flops. Those are usually much worse.] 

Ralph Lauren Navy quarter-zip sweater
Chaps blue stripe OCBD [Oxford Cloth Button Down – I had to look that up]
Kohl’s Nantucket Red chinos
Good Will tassel loafers

Seersucker: Not Just for Southern Gentlemen

Seersucker. I have such a love-hate relationship with this material. On the one hand, I love it’s crisp, summery feel.  On the other, it’s often used to make such ugly clothes that I just can’t support it.

This jacket errs on the love side.  Since it’s not actually summer yet – despite my valiant efforts to wish it so – I paired the jacket with a cooler dress, drawing out the cream accents in an otherwise largely green and black piece.  The tan neutrals in the jacket allowed me to wear brown accessories, so I added one of my new pairs of shoes, and some gold to complete the look.

I really like this dress because it’s one-shouldered and has an interesting asymmetrical hemline.  But, since I often find myself wearing it to work, the one-shouldered detail is hidden.  One day, I will wear it as intended, but until then, it’s nice to get some professional use out of it, as well.

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