Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: mixed prints

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.



TBT: Pineapple Shorts

So, it snows alot more in Nashville than I expected.  And I like snow, so that’s a pleasant surprise.  But, it’s mid-February now, which means I’m ready for spring.  My seasonal time-line moves quicker than the calendar.

Today’s throwback is to days when I could wear shorts with pineapples on them, combined with shoes with flowers on them.  And yellow, but really, I wear yellow anytime I want to feel cheerful.  You should try it – works like a charm.
1 - pineapple shorts, yellow shirtI’m excited for these shorts and those shoes again…what summer fashion pieces are you most looking forward to wearing again?

Mix and Match: Paisley and Stripes

We’ll talk next week about what I decided (am still deciding) to wear for tonight’s party.  In the meantime, here’s an outfit I wore a couple months ago.  I really love mixing patterned scarves with different prints – I think they’re an easy way to incorporate the mixed-print trend if you’re a little uncomfortable with it and don’t want to look like you’re trying to hard. This paisley scarf has the same colors as my t-shirt and striped sweater, so everything blended well without “matching”. I added the polka dots in my jeans just for fun – they’re so neutral, it’s barely noticeable that I’m technically wearing a 3rd print.

1 - scarf, stripes, polka dotsHappy New Year, everyone! I hope you all have a great time tonight, wherever you may go, and please take pictures of your festive outfits – there’s no time like New Year’s Eve to bling.


I thought it might be a good idea to show you one of the reasons why blogging from the road is difficult for me – I have to wear boring things.

The outfit below is a typical look from a recruiting trip (although since the background of the picture is recognizable, you can tell I wasn’t actually on a trip when I wore this).  My suit is cute, but it’s still a suit – not a whole lot you can do with it.  I tried to spice it up with some cute patterened shoes – a subtle print-mixing is about all that is appropriate professionally – and some colored jewelry.  But, really, that’s all I could do.

Now, I don’t have to wear a suit to every event I attend when I’m away, but I do often wear them, and in the interest of space saving, I wear the same one multiple times.  I also have to plan every outfit in advance in order to pack, which really inhibits my creativity (my outfits usually come together very spontaneously).  So, my suitcase ends up being a rather jumbled bunch of boring professional clothes.

This week, my goal is to wear as many blog-worthy looks as possible so that I have a reservoir for when I’m on the road.  But, if the next two weeks end up looking like a lot of the same black dress with different scarves, at least you will understand.

Day Dates

So, the Backstreet Boys concert was exactly as you’d expect a Backstreet Boys concert to be…awesome.  There’s really nothing in the world quite like seeing a group of 40 year old men do choreographed dance as if it were completely normal to a crowd of screaming 20 and 30 somethings women.

Also – DJ Pauly D is the worst DJ ever.  Seriously.

Alas, I somehow failed to take pictures of my outfit for the show.  I’m not sure how Backstreet it was, but it was cute, and I was looking forward to showing you.

Maybe I’ll recreate it one day.  In the meantime, here is another cute outfit that I wore on a day date a few weeks ago.  Day dates are difficult – especially in the middle of a work day.  You want to look cute, but not like you’re trying too hard.  And, you have to still be work appropriate, which is seldom the same thing as date appropriate.

This is what I came up with.  A little print mixing, one of my go-to date dresses, and voila – a casual summer lunch date look.  Probably a little too casual for the office, really, but it was a Friday, so I pushed it.

What would you wear to a work-day lunch date?

Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: DSW

Floral Dress: the Remix-ish

I have some way more interesting outfits to post, but I haven’t yet had the chance to make the photo collages.  I’ll get on that.

In the meantime, here is a cute outfit, but one you’ve seen several times at least in some form.  That’s the problem with dresses.  I love them, but there’s a limit to how many different ways you can wear them.  I at least made this attempt a little intriguing by mixing stripes with floral.  I’m really on a mixed prints kick lately, and I’m getting bolder, so you may be seeing more and more of this in the posts ahead.  Feel free to tell me I look ridiculous, but I don’t think I do.

Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: Plato’s Closet
Earrings: my grannie’s closet
Blazer: no idea
Rings: H&M

What to Wear: When You’re Getting Sick

Remember the other day when I was sick but wore an awesome outfit anyway? Yeah, I was really sick. Shortly after writing that blog post, I went home to bed, from which I did not emerge (except to buy popsicles and mac & cheese) for the next 36 hours.  Needless to say, my fashion during that time left much to be desired.

I did promise you, however, that I would show you the outfit I wore while trying to ward off sickness.  It did not work, but I liked the outfit anyway.

This outfit is the spring version of one I wore a few months ago.  You may recall this top is one of my grandmother’s hand-me-downs.  I’ve told you before how much a fan I am – in theory – of mixing patterns.  But, it’s very hard to actually pull off.  I liked mixing the stripes in my blouse with the plaid/floral/fruit pattern in my shoes.  The red and white pull the two together, while the distance helps prevent eye-sore clashing. I finished off with my favorite red button earrings, a simple gold necklace, and my go-to white and gold Wal-Mart watch for an easy, professional spring/summer look.

Blouse: Granny’s closet (so a department store, I’m sure)
Skirt: hand-me-down from another friend
Shoes: Forever 21
Belt: Forever 21
Watch: Wal-Mart
The rest…I don’t remember

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