Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: neutrals (page 1 of 2)

You seem tall

A surprisingly common misconception about me on dating sites is that I’m tall. I finally asked someone why they thought that, and he said I was almost the same height as the Christmas tree in one of my pictures. Valid point, except my tree is short, and my heels are high. It usually gets awkward after they learn that. Oh well.

Obviously, this is not a current outfit, but I liked it and haven’t blogged it yet, so here we go. I bought these “slips” online a year or two ago to go under a sheer dress, and they’re basically just a super stretchy, long tank top. I really love them as a base layer with leggings – and in this case, boot socks. There are a lot of bottom half layers happening in this look, and I say the more the merrier.

That’s about all I have to say on this one: all neutrals, but enough going on with details to make it interesting. And a touch of pink in my jewelry – naturally.
1 - black and boot socksHappy Monday, everyone! Let me know if you think I look tall, or have any other comments at all. I love hearing from you!

What to be when I grow up

When I announced on Friday that I am moving to Nashville, I didn’t mention that one of the reasons for the move is that my position here in Georgia was eliminated.  While I obviously was not excited about that part, I am grateful that God answered my prayers in a very clear, direct way.  In reflecting on the situation, I’ve seen God’s hand in a lot of ways, and I’m going to talk some more about it coming up.  It’s hard to know what to say, though – I’ve never been accused of being an overly private person on this public blog, and I want to talk about what I’m going through in hopes that it might help other people in similar positions.  But, I also want to do it properly.  So, bear with me if things come out piece meal over the next few weeks.  I’m still “processing” (that word kinda annoys me, but it fits) everything myself.

While starting from scratch is a bit daunting, it’s also exciting, as it allows me to really dream!  (Also, to be fair, I’ve lived in 10 states, so starting over may not intimidate me as much as some people…I’m pretty used to it.)  I’ve got lots of time on my hands right now, and with it, I’ve been dreaming about the fun I’m going to have in Nashville, the celebs I’m going to hang out with (kidding…ish), the people I’m going to meet.  I’ve also been dreaming about my new job.

Honestly, I have no idea what I’m going to do.  I have often said that people my age are told our whole lives that we can do whatever we want, so we have no trouble believing that.  It’s figuring out what we actually do want to do that no one helps us with.  Plus, my job in Georgia was, I thought, my dream job.  When it turned out not to be, I found myself feeling like I was back at square one – only this time, I’m 30, not a bright-eyed 22 year old fresh out of college.

So, I’m open.  I apply to all kinds of jobs that I think I could enjoy doing, and trust that God will lead me to the right one.  I used to think I had to be involved in a very specific area of “ministry” in order to feel fulfilled and like I was serving God. I’m no longer trying to define what field that will be – education, corporate, non-profit, government… I’m willing to explore all options, as I’ve realized that God can use me anywhere He wants, and He needs people in all arenas who will live for Him.

But, still, I try to figure out what it will be – who I’ll work with, if I’ll get to travel, what the dress code will be…  Maybe I’ll teach and wear something like this look  (only probably a little longer hemline) – an outfit which reminds me of Jess Day, my favorite television character of all time.
1 - Cardigan, lace, paisleyOr maybe I’ll be back to the business suit/dress pants attire of my former life as a law school employee.  Maybe I’ll have a uniform…(just kidding.  I can’t imagine any scenario in which I take a job requiring a uniform).  Regardless, I think it’s going to be great!

What’s the dress code at your job?  Do you like it, or do you have very strict “work clothes” that never otherwise see the light of day?  How did you get into your current line of work – straight out of college, a chance interaction, or some natural series of promotions and career switches related or not to your degree?

Painting the Town Red

A couple weeks before Christmas, I took myself on a date to a Christmas concert.  I thought this would be fun – I love Christmas music, and no one judges you for going alone to an event at a church.

So, I got myself all dressed up, curled my hair around my headband (because I was going somewhere more interesting the next day, and needed time for the curls to set), sprayed on my new Dolce & Gabbana big girl perfume, and took myself out on the town.

Only the concert was actually really disappointing – so flat and emotionless.  So, then I thought about taking myself out for drinks but figured that was taking all of this a little too far, and decided instead to go put on pajamas and watch the Good Wife.  All’s well that ends well.

I did really like this outfit.  As we’ve talked about before, the monochromatic look is making a come-back and for some reason I can’t quite identify, I’m all about it.  With some red accents (including my beloved almost-ornaments necklace), some red lipstick, and eyeshadow that I included in this picture just because I thought it looked really cool, I was ready to go.

1 monochromatic ChristmasWhat do you think about the mono-chromatic look?  Are you all about the vanilla, or do you miss the neapolitan color blocking of a few years ago? Also, do you think I should always use ice cream metaphors in my writing, because I really like the direction this is heading.

  • Blouse: my granny’s closet
  • Shoes: Macy’s
  • Skirt: H&M
  • Belt: Wet Seal or somewhere like that
  • Headband: Rahab’s Rope

 

In my sweats (and studs)

I wrote last week about the mixing casual with dressy trend.  I’ve really been relying pretty heavily on this look, since I now work in a casual environment, but most of my clothes are business-y from working in a law school for 6 years.
image
For this outfit, I combined the dressier skirt (which, really, it’s not THAT dressy – it’s kinda short, leather, and studded) with conservative pumps, and an also very on-trend fancy sweatshirt (that’s the casual part, in case that needed explanation).  The sweatshirt is really a sweater, but the stitching gives the look of a sweatshirt without being quite so casual.

I really liked this look.  I’m slowly moving away from being so color-blocked as I have been in past years.  Don’t get me wrong – as you can see, I still had pink accents in my jewelry to complement the turquoise, but I was okay with wearing one statement color and the rest neutrals.  I’m still a far cry from the monochromatic, absolutely-everything-must-match days of my youth, but my tastes are becoming a bit more sedate these days.  Hopefully that doesn’t really mean I’m just old.

  • Skirt – Ocean City boutique (similar here)
  • Sweater – JCPenney (similar here)
  • Necklace – Charlotte Russe or somewhere similar

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

Statement Shoulders

Do you ever have those times where you think your life is returning to normal, only to discover it is decidedly not?  I’m in one of those phases right now.  Just when I think my travel season is over, I get another trip that keeps growing, and my poor little blog goes neglected.

Alas, I’m about to leave for an event right now, so I’ll be quick.  Mostly, I just want to talk about how happy I am that leather accents are doing their thing right now.  Due to the conservative nature of my office, I can’t really get away with much all-leather.  But I can certainly get away with leather shoulders – especially when tucked into a traditional pencil skirt.

Second, aren’t these envelope earrings the cutest things ever?  I got them in a boutique in Boston’s North End – right after I’d picked up my Mike’s Pastry treat.  Obviously, it was a perfect day.

This pencil skirt is a heavy jersey knit, so it’s super comfortable, but also very flattering and maintains its shape well.  The pockets are real, but I didn’t cut them open because I think it probably won’t lay as nicely if I do.  It kinda drives me crazy knowing I have pockets I can’t put my hands in, but it’s a small price.

Shirt: Target clearance rack ($6, I think?)
Earrings: some cute boutique in Boston
Skirt: the Limited
Shoes: Payless
Baby Ring: I don’t know if that’s really what they’re called, but I love them and call them that. From Love Culture. 

My Boss’s Mini-Me

Inspiration for my outfits really can come from anywhere.

Yesterday, my boss was wearing a blouse and cardigan very similar – in both color and style – to the ones I’m wearing below.  Her outfit made me think, “I haven’t worn a good all-over neutral look in a while.”  So, I told her I was going to copy her.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or something.

I did switch up her look a little bit, by wearing a white skirt (she had one that more matched the color of the cardigan) and adding tortoise shell pumps.  But overall, we could have been twinsies!

Also, while I decided to wear this yesterday, it’s raining again today.  Of course.  So, the black is appropriate.  (Maybe not the white so much.)

Shirt: Old Navy.  I literally bought this shirt in college – which was now a long time ago.  It’s been with me through thick and thin.  Also literally.
Skirt: H&M or something in France
Cardigan: also Old Navy.  The length kinda makes me feel like Mr. Rodgers.  But in a cute way?
Pumps: Charlotte Russe

Yesterday Revisited

You all know how much I love to mix and match. As if there were not enough clothes in my closet already, by wearing them in a totally re-invented way, I expand my wardrobe exponentially – an important skill, I think, for anyone on a budget.  Or who bores easily.

You may recognize this shirt from yesterday’s post.  It was one of my four dollar finds.  Since I’ve been on this red-lipstick kick, I wanted to wear a more neutral outfit that would really allow my makeup to shine.  I tucked the shirt in to a linen skirt I bought in France years ago (that makes me sound so fancy, but I’m pretty sure it was at H&M in Paris), added my cool new 80’s-throwback belt (also from Body Central for $2), some gold jewelry, and a couple splashes of red in my earrings and shoes to coordinate with the lipstick (which I didn’t show you, because one face selfie a week is more than enough).  The result: an outfit that I loved and felt so classy in, and a completely different look for my $4 blouse.

P.S.  I know I am blogging the same shirt two days in a row, but I promise I did not actually wear it two days in a row. 

Blouse: Body Central
Skirt: somewhere in France
Belt: Body Central
Jewelry: assorted cheap stores
Shoes: Macy’s

Just Another Day in the Life

I like to reserve Wednesday’s blog position for “inspired looks”.  Hope springs eternal that someone will have read something on my blog that prompted a new look or outfit and I can feature them (Cat’s Inspired Look remains my most popular post of all time).

In the absence of such a post, and since I took the holiday off on Monday, I thought I’d go ahead with my usual today.

Lately, I’d been very concerned that I’d lost my shopping mojo.  I’d buy a piece here and there, but I hadn’t had a good shopping trip in months, and I was worried my love was fading.

It wasn’t.  Last Wednesday, I went to the mall to kill some time before church.  I never made it to church.  Instead, I came away with quite a haul of new fun things, including this shirt.

You know I love my cheap stores for belts and other accessories.  But I rarely – if ever – buy clothes from those stores since the quality is so poor and the cuts made for pre-pubescent girls.  However, Body Central had a huge clearance, so I had to take a look.  I found this shirt (and another) for $4 each, and since both were blousy, I knew I could make them work, even if I am not 13 years old.

This shirt looks a little funny unbelted, but I love it with my sparkly belt (also from Body Central, BTW).  I kept the overall look neutral to accent the belt and not compete with the femininity of the blouse.  But, because I’m still me, I had to have a little color, so I added some turquoise earrings.  I don’t know why my hair is in this picture, except I guess because it looks cool.

Please send me pictures of YOU to feature so I don’t look so narcissistic all the time!  Or, don’t forget – if you have a piece you don’t know how to style, send me a picture of that, too, and I’ll come up with some options for you!   

 

The Art of Distraction

Every girl needs at least one good black blazer.  It’s a perfect go-to piece, whether you throw it over a blouse for insta-professional, or pair it with skinny jeans and a sparkly top for a classy night-out look.

I went the more professional route for work the other day, combining the blazer with a ruffly skirt so I didn’t look too stuffy. 

The thing about this blazer is it makes me look a little boxy.  I almost didn’t buy it for that reason.  But then I realized it was $7.50 at H&M, and I’d get at least $7.50’s use out of it.  To distract from the boxy-ness, I put a scarf behind the lapels and tied a knot at both ends so it wasn’t too long.  The scarf was a Christmas present from my mom, and it was the perfect color to add to this otherwise neutral outfit of black, off-white, olive, and gray. 

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