Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: pencil skirt (page 1 of 2)

She’s Alive

Hello, everyone. It’s me – Sarah Beth. It’s been a while, so you might not remember me. Fortunately, this blog is full of pictures of just me, so hopefully it’ll all come back soon.

I haven’t written in a while because, well, I just didn’t really have much to say. And, editing these pictures takes so much more time than you would think for as poor quality as they are.

But, I got some new clothes recently that I wanted to show off. And more significantly, I’m still paying $10.95/month to maintain this little website, so I thought I should at least do something with my money.

Also, like the powerful influencer that I am, people keep asking where I’ve been lately. And by people keep asking, I mean one person asked if I still had that blog. But that was all the encouragement I needed.

To that one person, thank you. And, please email me back.

To address what everyone actually cares about: I’m not dating anyone. Actually, I’m not even using the dating apps right now. I still go on dates occasionally – if they happen organically. But, the apps can be exhausting, physically and emotionally. And, I know what I’m looking for, so I’d rather be more selective with my time at this stage of my life.

I have been on some great dates in the past 6 months, though – and some not so great ones (once, my date made me cry at the table and then the waiter thought he was proposing. It was a roller coaster of an evening.). But overall, I’ve had some nice conversations, learned a lot more about the military (naturally), and worn some cute outfits.

Which brings me to my next point:

I recently went hunting for a very specific item – a casual pink skirt. I never found the skirt, but that search led me to buy a ton of stuff from ThredUp, the online consignment/thrift store.

As someone who is not a fan of online shopping anyway, ThredUp was a particularly terrible experience for me. There is just not enough information about the items to know if you’re making a wise purchase or not. Of the 12 things that I bought, I only kept 5 – and a couple of those 5 I would have not kept, but they were unreturnable. (ThredUp doesn’t have a very friendly return policy, either.)

With that said, if you’re looking for something VERY specific (like, you know the brand and size), or something where quality/fit doesn’t really matter, then go for it. The prices are great. But, buyer beware.

The skirt below was one of the 5 things that I kept from that bundle and it’s one that I wouldn’t have picked off the rack. However, once I put it on, I do really like it, so I’m not mad that I couldn’t return it.

This outfit reminded me of Meghan Markle’s character in Suits (my favorite show for fashion, btw). While she would have worn colors and patterns much more suited for a high-powered law office, the silhouette – crew neck sweater, pencil skirt – was a staple of her character’s wardrobe.

The trim down the back is my favorite part.

As opposed to feeling like a well-paid, well-dressed Manhattan attorney, this next outfit made me feel a little like Ronald McDonald. However…I’m obsessed with this skirt (easily my favorite purchase in the ThredUp group), and I’ll be wearing it a lot. I’ll also be wearing these rainbow shoes a lot – I mean, they go with literally everything and remind me of shoes my mom wore when I was a kid.

This next dress was not from ThredUp, but from Charming Charlie (which is going out of business – so, find one soon and buy all the things). Actually, most of this outfit is from CC: the earrings are, as is the barrette. I read somewhere that barrettes are very in right now, and I’m completely here for it.

The dress was $10, and honestly, I think you can tell it’s not a high quality dress. But, for $10, I didn’t really care. It’s a perfect summer date night dress (speaking from experience), and I can throw a sweater on and make it office appropriate.

Finally, here is an outfit I wore to work and probably shouldn’t have – I’m not sure off-the-shoulder is office-appropriate under any circumstances. But, I liked it so much, and my boss was out of the office, so YOLO.

The skirt is a very deep purple and originally from Express, but another ThredUp purchase. For some reason, I don’t usually wear pencil skirts, but thanks to these accidental purchases, I think I’m hooked.

It should be noted that I have other hairstyles than the 1.5 depicted here. But, I took all of these pictures on the same day to try to save time. It did not, in fact, save time.

Well, now you’re all caught up on my life and my wardrobe. I hope all of y’all are doing well, too. What fashion trends are you super into right now? How’s dating going for you? What major life changes have you recently experienced? I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for following along and for caring about my little life – it means the world.

<3,

SB

Endless Summer 2.0

I should have done a two-fer Tuesday with my skirt, since I basically highlighted this same outfit on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I’ve lately had to do my makeup in the car, which means I’m not getting many blog photos before I leave (both because of time, and because, let’s be honest, no one wants to see my #Iwokeuplikethis photos. I’m convinced everyone who looks good on No Makeup Monday is 15 or used an awful lot of filters).

Anyway, I wore this outfit on my first day of work at my new job, and my boss told me I didn’t have to dress up so much. I laughed because I had intentionally tried to find something toned-down but professional, and I thought a cardigan and flats accomplished that. Maybe I should have skipped the hot pink.

Regardless, I like this take on my floral skirt, too, and while I’m ABOUT ready to retire it for the season, I’ll get excited to wear it again next season. That’s the best thing about the changing seasons, really – finding the clothes you’d forgotten you owned and feeling like you have a whole new wardrobe!

1-pink-cardigan-floral-skirtI know I’m way behind the rest of the world in switching out my clothes. So, what pieces did you find in the seasonal transition that you’d forgotten about? What are you most excited about wearing this fall? Enjoy your scarves and PSL this weekend, y’all. And happy Halloween!

Endless Summer

Y’all, we’re having the never-ending summer here in Nashville, and it’s amazing. No humidity, warm temperatures, cool evenings – perfect. Last week, we were almost to 90 degrees but with the fall breeze, it was delightful.

All that to say, I’m still wearing sleeveless shirts, and you know I make florals go at least 3 seasons. So, this outfit was not worn as long ago as you might assume.

I’ve always struggled with this blouse; it just hangs oddly. But, it’s pretty, so I keep trying, and the half-tucked trend lends itself well. Caveat: I’m not sure why half-tucked is a trend, but I like it, so I won’t ask questions.

1-pink-and-floralThis is the time of year that I really like to brag about living in the South (I’ll do it again around March). So, what’s the weather like where you are? Still sleeveless and floral, or have you fully embraced the Uggs? (J/K, I would never advocate wearing Uggs.)

Man Fast 2.0?

Y’all, I think I’m going to go an unofficial Man Fast again. For those of you who don’t know me well or haven’t been following my blog long, a few years ago, I took a 10 month break from dating. At first, I thought it was going to be miserable, but as time went on, it really wasn’t that bad and was a great move for me spiritually.

Fast-forward to now, and I’m kinda over dating at the moment. There are aspects of it that are super fun, of course, and I really enjoy meeting new people, getting dressed up, etc. But, for the most part, it’s a little exhausting and full of varying degrees of disappointment.

So, I’m thinking I may take a break for a while until someone REALLY wows me. Having said that, though, I am willing and available to be a plus one for the CMA Awards…just in case anyone needs one.

But don’t worry, I’ve got enough stories in the bank to keep you entertained, even if I am on a break (and, let’s be realistic. A homeless man threw his lunch at me while I was minding my own business, so break or no break, I will probably have new material.)

One such story happened a few months ago. I’ve been saving this one because I thought maybe this guy and I were going somewhere. We didn’t, so now I can talk about it. I’ve left out his name, but the details are accurate.

Earlier this summer, one of my good friends was in town with her husband. She really wanted to get pancakes at a very popular Nashville tourist destination, and having never been there, I was glad to go. The plan was to go to church, then get lunch. Unfortunately, I had a flat tire that morning and couldn’t go to church, so my friends came to pick me up to eat earlier. However, on the way to my house, they witnessed an accident on the highway and had to stop to give a report to the police.

By the time it was all said and done, we ended up at the restaurant about an hour before we would have been there had the morning gone normally. As we waited in line, baking in the sun, my friend and I decided to leave her husband to hold our place while we shopped at a nearby boutique. We turned around, and two people behind me, looking directly at me, was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. He looked like Bradley Cooper – only better, because he was a real person.

Like the mature 30-somethings that we are, this guy and I made eye-contact about 15 more times that morning but never spoke, despite being 2 feet away from each other for 45 minutes. I chatted with my friends about mundane things, started to drip with sweat, got my heel stuck in a crack and had to take my shoe off to get it out – you know, the kinds of things that really impress a man.

Finally, we sat down, ate, and were ready to pay. My friend and I ran to the bathroom, and while I was in there, I got the brilliant idea to write Mr. Cooper a note (this is not unprecedented for me. But that’s a different story). I grabbed a paper towel and wrote:

“You look like Bradley Cooper. If you live in Nashville, here is my number: xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you don’t, you should move. <3, Sarah Beth.”

My plan was to drop it off at his table as we were walking out. Only, when I left the bathroom, he was walking in. He gave me this huge, heart-stopping smile, and went into the men’s room. I walked over to his table, dropped off the note, and literally ran away as his friend sat there staring at me like I was a crazy person.

It was only as I was running away that I realized his friend better have gotten a good look at me because I left no identifying information.

Fortunately, he did, or Mr. C was smart enough to figure it out on his own, because a few hours later, I got a text, “I hope this number belongs to the cute blonde in line in front of me for pancakes.”

Sigh.

Of course, he was exactly my type. Christian, conservative, smart, fun, military special forces (hence, his remarkable resemblance to American Sniper Bradley Cooper)… Of course, he did not live in Nashville. Nevertheless, we ended up talking for about 2 months before the distance just became too big of a factor. But, that was about 7 weeks longer than I expected to talk to him, so really, I count this as a success.

While I was disappointed it didn’t work out, I think my two-month texting relationship with Mr. C did accomplish something very valuable, which was to revive my hope in serendipity (aka, God’s sovereignty). If I hadn’t had a flat tire and my friends hadn’t witnessed an accident, we wouldn’t have been in line at the same time as this perfect human specimen, and I never would have even seen him, much less had an almost-relationship with him. Everyone always says you can meet “the One” anywhere, and if I can meet someone in line for pancakes, never even speak to him, and then talk regularly for 2 months, I suppose they might be right.

So, to bring this long post full-circle, I’m keeping my options open, but I want something special, like what could-have-been with Mr. C. If that means I’m on a break for a while, so be it. If that means I meet someone at the gas pump next to me tonight and we hit it off, great! But if that means I start hanging out at pancake restaurants regularly, please stage an intervention.

1-neon-shoes-navy-shirtThis is the outfit I was wearing on that blessed day. Mostly, I just love these shoes, even if they do get stuck in cracks.

Have you ever left a note on a napkin for someone? How did it go? For those of you in relationships, what are your “meet-cute” stories? I always enjoy learning what circumstances brought people together, and I’d love to hear yours!

First Day of Work

In yesterday’s mea culpa, I talked about how busy I am right now, blah, blah, blah.  Really, though – I’m teaching two online classes of about 45 total students, I have a part-time job on Saturdays, and then my full-time job which requires over 40 hours on a regular basis.  But, I’m not complaining.  I’m grateful for the extra funds to help me get back on track financially, post-unemployment. And I really love my full-time job, so the time goes by quickly and easily.

Working in the “music industry”, there’s obviously a lot of leeway in my fashion choices. We can get away with alot under the guise of being creative. But, on my first day, I wanted to err on the side of professional.

So, I pulled out the pencil skirt (at the not-as-flattering, but very on-trend below the knee length), a cute blouse, and to keep me from being too stiff, polka dot tights. I didn’t fit in at all, but I was comfortable with my first-day choice, and it is a cute professional outfit, should I ever need one again.
1 - burgundy blouse, high waist skirtI’m a little self-conscious about patterned tights, honestly.  I love them in the package, but then I buy them (or, in this case, am given them), and think they look funny.  Like I have the measles all over my legs or something.

How do you feel about patterned tights? Do you wear them or are you self-conscious like me?  Does anyone else think these look a little bit like a skin disorder???

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

 

How to Train Your Scarf

Hey guys, I have a surprise for you…I made a video today!

I hear so often that people don’t know how to wear scarves, so I thought I would do a lesson.  I taught college history for a while – this is almost the exact same thing.

(Warning: This video may cause vertigo. Sorry it’s a little disorienting – it was my first attempt at a video of any type.  I’ll try it on my actual camera next time and probably get a better picture that doesn’t blur every time I move my hands, but I was too lazy to do it all over again now.  Also, it’s a little long. Also, also, this is a ridiculous face that the video chose for a thumbnail, but I don’t know how to change it.  If you do, please tell me.)

As I mentioned in the video, the scarf below works well for the bow because it is just so long.  I tend to wear white for a little while after Labor Day, provided the weather is still warm and the rest of the outfit is anchored with more season-appropriate pieces.  The heavy scarf and boots did just that.

1 - bow scarf, ankle bootsWhat’s your favorite way to wear a scarf?

Back to Work

You can tell by the familiar messy background of these pictures that these last few outfits are not current. But, since I was on hiatus in December, and since my outfits so far in Georgia have been more practical than trendy (keeping warm in a warehouse isn’t pretty), I’m glad I had some older looks to draw from.

image

I LOVE this outfit. I don’t know why, really. I’ve worn each piece dozens of times. But together, this is one of my favorite professional looks I’ve ever put together. I think the black sheer pantyhose really help. There is something so subtly sophisticated and sexy about them.

I also really like the unexpected color pairing of the shoes and blouse. Normally, royal blue and crimson are not colors I’d wear together. But the shoes have some blue trim that inspired me to step outside of the box, and I was very pleased with the result.

Maybe one day the temperature will be above freezing and I can wear this look again. But, I’m not holding my breath.

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. 

X Marks the Spot

Today’s outfit is comprised of almost all new things! I love doing that.

Let’s play that memory game they always play at baby showers and list all the things you remember from yesterday’s post.  I’ll give you a hint – five of them are in today’s look.

When I bought this tank from H&M, I thought the pattern was crosses.  I clearly looked at it sideways.  When I put it on yesterday, I realized it was more like pirate X’s.  Which, you know, is not really me.  However, it does look cute on me, so I paired it with pink accents, and I loved the juxtaposition of tough and feminine.

Also, the pink made me not feel depressed when wearing black.  And it wasn’t even raining!

Finally, I took this blurry picture of my shoes because they’re just perfection.  Look how skinny that heel is!  And the color is the ideal pastel pink – not too pale, not too Bubble Yum.  Elle Woods would approve.

Shoes: JCPenney
Tank: H&M
Sweater: Loft
Skirt: Express, I think?  It was a hand me down
Belt: Charlotte Russe
Necklace: Charlotte Russe?
Earrings: Wet Seal (and they’re actually professional!)
Barrette: Wet Seal
Ring: Love Culture

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