Grey days

I matched the weather today in my new grey leopard-print cardigan and black jeans. I was inspired by Lilly @ Lilly Style (you can see my pin here) when I realized I had similar pieces in my own closet — chambray shirt, leopard print top, black jeans, and tall black boots. I love it when style bloggers inspire you to put pieces together in ways you hadn’t thought of before!

Librarian for LIfe + Style  |  Leopard print and black jeans inspiration

Click here to view Lilly’s original outfit post

My interpretation is slightly different in color palette. Which fits our retrospective weather, as Lilly wore her outfit on an obviously sunny day, while I wore mine on a drizzly, overcast, typical-Portland kind of day. Lilly’s leopard-print sweater has more earth tones, while mine is grey-based, and her chambray shirt is lighter while my button-down below is a grey chambray. The animal print provides a little something special to an otherwise “casual Friday” work look.

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Grey days

Details:  Leopard-print cardigan {similar}:  Our World Boutique, c/o giveaway, new  /  Grey chambray button-down {very similar}:  Old Navy, gift-carded two falls ago  /  Black skinny jeans {almost exact by same brand}:  Target, spring 2012  /  Black riding boots {almost exact style by same brand}:  Marc Fisher via Macy’s, last fall  /  Silver bar earrings {almost identical}:  Kohl’s, old

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Grey days

I kept the hair simple, clipping my bangs back with a silver clip. I also wore silver dangly bar earrings, which peeked below my hair line. :)

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Grey days

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Grey days

Link ups:  Spotlight Weekly  /  What I Wore to Work

Good + plenty

For teaching days — I teach information literacy and research skills across the curriculum — I try to look professional, but it’s ALWAYS important to feel comfortable. My platform cognac wedges are tried-and-true comfy, so I paired them with my thrifted wrap dress.

Servin’ up ’70s style, good + plenty. ;)

Librarian for LIfe + Style  |  Good + plenty

Details:  Wrap dress {similar}:  Jones New York, thrifted at local Goodwill last year /  Cognac wedges {sold out online but similar option with suede wedge}:  Born via Macy’s, this spring  /  Leather flower headband {similar style in black}:  ?, old  /  Smoky topaz drop earrings {very similar}:  local boutique, this summer  /  Nail polish {exact}:  Essie in ‘Penny Talk’

I laughed out loud when during the day, a colleague said that I reminded her of the Good & Plenty candy. I took that as a compliment!

Librarian for LIfe + Style  |  Good + plenty

Librarian for LIfe + Style | Good + plenty

My husband took pics after I got home from work, and a neighbor cat named Cambridge was determined to get in on the action.

Librarian for LIfe + Style  |  Good + plenty

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Good + plenty

I tend to wear more headbands when my hair is short — maybe because my hair has more body and volume when it’s shorter? Today, I donned my leather flower headband, but because the color is very close to my own hair color, it kind of looks like I’m wearing a giant flower pin in my hair. (Even more so when I pin back sides of my hair over the headband to help secure it.) Here’s proof it’s a headband:

Librarian for LIfe + Style  |  Good + plenty

Last but not least, here are some funny outtakes with Cambridge. I love that in the first one below, it’s like we’re mirroring each other. Two Leos! :D

Librarian for LIfe + Style  |  Good + plenty

Librarian for LIfe + Style  |  Good + plenty

Librarian for LIfe + Style  |  Good + plenty

Link ups:  I Feel Pretty  /  What I Wore Wednesdays

Classic basics redux

Over two years ago, I posted a “classic basics” outfit, pairing my black blazer with skinny jeans and a t-shirt. Comfy + classic + a bit of quirk = totally my style.

Today, I decided to go back to basics (same blazer, skinny jeans, and beribboned cat t-shirt), switching things up with different accessories.

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Classic basics redux

Details:  Black blazer:  The Limited, old {similar} {knit blazer option} /  Skinny jeans:  Target, spring 2012 {similar from Target}  /  Oxford-style heels:  John Fluevog, this spring {same brand, similar but not exact style} /  Cat t-shirt:  Jason Wu for Target, spring 2012 {cute cat tee option}  /  Silver earrings:  Kohl’s, old  {exact – they’re still making them!} /  Plaid scarf:  Came with black rain coat, Macy’s, gift-carded this spring {similar}  /  Tote bag:  Christian Siriano for Payless, two winters ago {very similar tote bag on sale!}

Librarian for Life + Style | Classic basics redux

What’s that you say? I think you’re right, a close-up of these awesome Fluevogs is in order. ;) I love that these shoes are a quirky take on a classic, as well. The first time I wore these Fluevogs, I dressed up a bit in a ’40s retro look; this time, I wanted to pair them with a more casual look.

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Classic basics redux

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Classic basics redux

If you’re a regular reader, then you’ve probably noticed that I’m tending to opt for longer, dangly earrings with my new short hairdo. I haven’t worn these double-sided danglies in awhile — one side is spiral-shaped while the back side is straight. It does feel a bit odd to put them on, as I have to literally thread them through my ear. But the effect is very cool, and you can see them close-up below.

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Classic basics redux

I also went to the well for the hair, utilizing my favorite rope braid for my bangs. A colleague — one who hadn’t seen my new hairdo yet — didn’t believe me at first that I had short bangs. (I had to show her a picture to prove it!) She was really interested in how I managed to braid the short bangs. But that’s the genius of the rope braid — it’s only two strands, so less fingers to get in the way, and the rope braid structure helps hold the strands in naturally. I also braided the bangs when they were wet, because my thin hair has more grip when it’s wet. Click here for a tutorial on how to do a rope braid for bangs — plus 12 more ideas for bangs!

It was a lovely warm, sunshine-filled fall day. Therefore, I did not bother with an overcoat, but instead layered a plaid scarf over my blazer for a bit of extra warmth. Although totally unplanned, I loved that my tote bag, with its cream-and-black colorblocking, echoed the color scheme of my Fluevogs!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Classic basics redux

A colleague asked about the comfort level of my heels. The heel of the shoe is well-centered below the heel of the foot, which makes these pretty comfy despite the 3-inch height, as I illustrated in this post about high heels. I also wore these on a non-teaching day, so I knew I wouldn’t be doing a ton of walking. ;)

Fluevogs are quite pricey — these are the most expensive shoes I have ever owned — but I’ve come across quite a few look-alike pairs in a variety of styles for much lower prices.

Oxford Shoe Styles

Counter-clockwise:  Strappy two-tone heels  /  Black low-heeled Oxfords  /  Cut-out Oxford heels  /  Oxford-style wedges  /  Oxford “shootie” style  /  Oxford lace-up block heels  /  Oxford-style flats

This week has already gotten off to a crazy start, so I hope y’all are having a better week than I am!

Link ups:  Inspiration Monday  /  More Pieces of Me  /  On the Daily Express  /  Monday Mingle  /  Style to Inspire  /  Fashionably Employed  /  #HowIFall  /  Mix It Mondays  /  Confident Twosday  /  Wardrobe Wednesday

SIA: Canyon

Awesome choice this week by Style Imitating Art (SIA) co-founder Jess @ Animated Cardigan! The work is called “Canyon,” by Helen Frankenthaler, an American abstract artist. Lots of strong colors and shapes here.

Here’s an excerpt of the painting, and you can view the full painting of “Canyon” here or by clicking the image below.

Excerpt of 'Canyon' by Helen Frankenthaler

How to participate in SIA? It’s easy, for both bloggers and non-bloggers. Just take a pic of something you’ve worn inspired by this week’s SIA choice and email it to this week’s curator. The deadline to participate in this week’s SIA challenge is next Monday, Nov. 3, and email Jess @ Animated Cardigan directly at She will post the round-up afterward.

What I got (October 2014)

What I Got (October 2014)

At the beginning of October, I was super-excited to explore Our World Boutique after winning a $25 gift coupon giveaway from AJ Wears Clothes. I selected a grey leopard-print cardigan (which I’ve already worn twice) and a pair of bubble earrings with my gift coupon, spending less than a dollar of my own money!

I had originally ordered the red-and-gold pair of earrings, as seen above in the collage, but was mistakenly sent the coral-and-silver pair, as seen below in the collage. It was too much trouble to ship the earrings back, so I just went with the coral pair (as seen here in this SIA post). I like the shape of the earrings, and they’re made of a pretty lightweight material. After leaving a review on the site and letting them know about the lack of communication about the earrings switch, they contacted me and let me know that they were sending the red-and-gold pair my way, to make up for the error. Thank you, Our World Boutique!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  What I got (October 2014)

  • Grey leopard print cardigan {similar}, Our World Boutique:  $0.95 (original price $39.95, on sale for $24, used 25% off coupon code + $25 gift coupon + free shipping)
  • Bubble earrings {similar}, Our World Boutique:  $0 (original price $12.90, bought for $4.99, used 25% off coupon code + $25 gift coupon + free shipping)

Mid-October, I was perusing ModCloth — one of my favorite clothing sites, as y’all know — and came across a gift idea for my husband. I needed $12 to save on shipping… so I could have paid the shipping OR I could have gotten this pair of chevron-patterned tights for just a couple of bucks more plus free shipping. It wasn’t a tough decision… ;)

Librarian for Life + Style  |  What I got (October 2014)

  • Fashionably Emulate Tights in Plum {exact}, ModCloth:  $14.99 (free shipping!)

The customer reviews on ModCloth say that the color of the tights was more burgundy than the “plum” in the product title, and I wanted tights in the burgundy/maroon color family anyway. Odd that the label on the tights themselves use the word “wine” to describe the color.

Next, another one of my favorite clothing sites, eShakti, sent me a $20 gift coupon. I needed a $40 minimum value to activate the coupon, and I noted that there weren’t any restrictions on using the coupon for sale or overstock items. So OF COURSE that’s where I went first. (This is a site about a librarian on a budget. I go for the deals first. ;) )

I have still been on a search for a versatile black dress. I found a basic black dress via Express two winters ago, but the dress is just a little too short for me and my regular work life. (But it’s super-cute layered over leggings.) Skirt length is NEVER a problem with eShakti clothing. And this fit-and-flare LBD is such a classic style, a silhouette that works on my body shape. I also thought it would be a good shape to layer things over or under the dress, so I’m excited to try out my new LBD! :)

Pinned image of eShakti black dress

And it turns out that I chose the VERY LAST dress available in this style! It totally disappeared from the site after I clicked to purchase. But eShakti tends to bring classic styles back, so I would keep checking if you like this dress and style!

  • Black fit-and-flare dress {similar}, eShakti:  $21.95 + $9.95 shipping (original price, $69.95, on sale for $41.95, used $20 gift coupon.)

TOTAL SPENT:  $37.89 (+$9.95 shipping)
TOTAL SAVED:  $137.69

Last but not least, the fall fashion swap that took place past weekend. Y’all already know the items I planned to donate, which I posted on Friday. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling well on the day of the swap. The best laid plans… bummer! I just found out about another local clothing swap scheduled for next weekend, so I’ll try to attend that, but if it doesn’t work out, I will still donate the items from my closet.

Link ups:  Budgeting Bloggers  /  Look What I Got