Cardigan collective

Hello. I’m a librarian. And I love cardigans.

Even if I weren’t a librarian, I’m sure I would love cardigans. They’re one of the most practical and useful “completer pieces” you can have in your wardrobe. (And for librarians, they’re extra practical. Libraries often have cooler inside temperatures because consistently cooler temps help books and other media collections last longer. Thus librarians just layer on a cardigan as an easy way to keep warm.) I have had many cardigans in my closet through the years, and currently, my cardigan count comes to twelve. (And yes, I have more colors on my cardigan shopping list. One can never have too many cardigans.)

Most of my current collection comes in solid colors:  dark teal, brown (3/4 sleeve), black, light blue, dark brown (cropped), grey, blue, and red. I also have a few patterned/embellished ones, as well:  black sparkles, argyle, colorblocked, and blue stripes.

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Cardigan collage

Top row:  1  /  2  /  3  /  4
Center row:    1  /  2  /  3  /  4
Bottom row:    1  /  2  /  3  /  4

Which cardigan is your favorite? (From previous comments, the one with the colorblocked trim seems to be a particular fave with readers.) And if you’d like more cardigan love, then check out my “5 ways to wear a cardigan” post.

How many cardigans are in your closet?

Mixing shades of brown

Today’s outfit incorporates different shades and textures of the color brown, and it’s a very simple, retro-inspired silhouette. I’ve noticed that I have been going for simpler outfits lately — I think it’s the start of spring and consequent rebellion of winter layering.

Librarian for Life & Style  |  MIxing shades of brown

Librarian for Life & Style  |  MIxing shades of brown

Heeee  – I even added more brown through a floral hair clip. I picked this one up during our Thailand trip in 2010. The shoes are patent leather in a tortoiseshell pattern, and I picked up this cotton shirtdress last fall for $3 (!) at a local resale shop. I fashion-swapped the wide belt at last year’s fall fashion swap.

Librarian for Life & Style  |  MIxing shades of brown

Details:  Brown shirtdress:  INC, fashion-swapped this fall  /  Tortoiseshell patent leather wedges:  Payless, gift-carded last summer  /  Orange floral necklace:  Vancouver, new  /  Petrified wood earrings:  Handmade by my paternal grandmother, vintage  /  Sunglasses:  My mom’s, vintage

Librarian for Life & Style  |  MIxing shades of brown

Librarian for Life & Style  |  MIxing shades of brown

My earrings were handmade by my paternal grandmother, and they’re made of petrified wood. Another shade of brown and texture to the mix! I also added my new orange necklace from Vancouver to break up all the brown.

Librarian for Life & Style  |  MIxing shades of brown

Have a retro-inspired Wednesday!

Link ups:  What I Wore Wednesday  /  I Feel Pretty  /  Look What I Got  /  What I Wore to Work  /  Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday  /  Three-fer Thursday

Casual foundation

Throughout most of the year, I tend to highlight work outfits. (My work contract is for 9 months, which is pretty standard for academic librarians. So that’s why you see mostly work outfits during the main academic year, and then a majority of casual outfits in the summer months.)

My casual outfits also tend to be quite similar, so I wanted to showcase a typical casual look today:

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Casual foundation

Last weekend, I wore this around the house (laundry, bills, cleaning, etc.) as well as for popping out to Fred Meyer for groceries. (And for maxidress shopping — which you can see on my Facebook page.) It’s a standard foundation of t-shirt + cargo trousers + denim jacket. In the winter months, I exchange the denim jacket for a hoodie or sweater, and wear socks instead of sandals.

(By the way, I like to wear cargo trousers on a chore-and-cleaning day because I can stuff little things that I pick up around the house, like bobby pins and coins, into the pockets as I move from one area to the next.)

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Casual foundation

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Casual foundation

Details:  Olive ankle pants:  Tommy Hilfiger via Macy’s, gift-carded this winter  /  Blue t-shirt:  The Home T, gift from my mom  /  Denim jacket: Old Navy, gift-carded fall 2012  /  Pewter t-strap sandals:  Target, last spring  /  Polka-dotted bag:  Fossil via Macy’s, this spring

This polka-dotted bag, bought recently for our Vancouver trip, easily converts from a crossbody to a shoulder bag! I also love how the mint green strap matches my mint green toenail polish. ;)

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Mint green toes + olive ankle pants

And was I worried that the mint green + olive tones clashed? Nope! That’s because I consider olive green a neutral.

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Casual foundation

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Casual foundation

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Casual foundation

Link ups:  Style Sessions  /  Wardrobe Wednesday  /  Spotlight Weekly

SIA inspirations + conversations

It was Salazar’s time to curate an SIA inspiration piece, a seasonally appropriate painting called “Spring Rain” by Russian-born French artist Erté. I loved this piece’s Art Deco stye, fresh colors and pattern-mixing of florals, dots, and horizontal stripes.

There is still time to participate in SIA. How? Just take a pic of an outfit inspired by this week’s SIA choice and email Salazar (14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com) by tonight. Then check back tomorrow for the SIA round-up on Salazar’s blog, 14 Shades of Grey.

Inspiration:

Spring Rain by Erte

“Spring Rain,” Erte, date unknown

Interpretation:

Almost immediately, I had the idea of pairing my green-and-purple striped button-down with my black dotted skirt. But when I put the two pieces together, I realized that I needed something else to tie it all together. Then I thought of my purple sweater vest, and it all made sense.

No umbrella for me on this sunny spring day, but I like to think the tree behind me is serving as a kind of canopy. ;)

Librarian for Life & Style  |  SIA inspirations + conversations

A couple of weeks ago, I repainted my toenails a mint color. I chose open-toed wedges when I realized how the nail color tied into the whole look. :)

Librarian for Life & Style  |  SIA inspirations + conversations

Librarian for Life & Style  |  SIA inspirations + conversations

Details:  Striped button-down:  The Limited, old  /  Black dotted skirt:  Lands’ End, this winter  /  Purple sweater vest:  JCPenney, old  /  Black strappy wedges:  Dillard’s, old  /  Black skinny belt:  JCPenney, gift-carded last spring  /  Purple flower beaded earrings:  Made by a friend in Wisconsin, old

Librarian for Life & Style  |  SIA inspirations + conversations

I wore this outfit to a librarian conference — and received a few nice comments from fellow librarians who said I always looked “so put together,” a compliment my mom will surely appreciate! — and this conference day was extra-special. That’s because I got to meet up afterwards with Gracey, a fellow smiley blogger, from Fashion for Giants. She also dressed that day in her SIA inspiration outfit — such style synergy! We both did a skirt + blouse + sweater combination, along with polka dots.

Librarian for Life & Style  |  SIA inspirations + conversations

We met up for tapas in downtown Salem and enjoyed non-stop conversation along with our patatas bravas. This is only the third time we’ve met up in person, but I already feel like we’re kindred spirits who just naturally fall into conversation whenever we see each other. Gracey is so lovely to be around — so genuine, smart, and funny. Her energy is infectious! And for more of her outfit, check out her Fashion for Giants blog.

We had a lot of fun taking photos of each other, as well! Gracey also took a few close-ups, and as you can see below, she kept cracking me up! The close-ups also reveal more of my purple flower earrings (pulling in those floral shapes in the inspiration illustration) as well as a bit more makeup than usual. Unlike the chic lady in the inspiration illustration, no black-lined lids for me; rather, I went for purple eyeliner along the top lids only. (Click the collage below for a bigger image.)

Librarian for Life & Style  |  SIA inspirations + conversations

Librarian for Life & Style  |  SIA inspirations + conversations

The first time I met Gracey in person, I also wore the same black accessories:  strappy black wedges and skinny black belt. Perfect for “Mix It Monday,” eh? :)

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Remixing black accessories

Happy Monday!

Link ups:  Mix It Monday  /  Monday Bloom  /   SIA  /  More Pieces of Me  /  On the Daily Express  /  Trend Spin Linkup  /  Monday Mingle  /  Fashionably Employed Linkup

Happy maxidressing

Last Friday, I used flex hours to take the day off (chiropractic visit, errands, etc.). Like I’ve been saying, the weather has been beyond gorgeous — sunny and breezy, the perfect combination — and I felt it was time to go maxidressing again.

This time around, I paired this berry-colored maxidress with my darker denim jacket and gold-bar strappy sandals. At the last minute, I added an orange, polka-dotted ribbon belt and — pattern-mixing alert! — a striped tote bag. This outfit felt very happy and cheerful to me! (And yes, I am now replaying Pharrell’s song “Happy” in my head — I LOVE that song, y’all!)

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Happy maxidressing

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Happy maxidressing

We took photos outside these brightly flowered bushes down the street. So colorful!

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Happy maxidressing

Details:  Maxidress:  Old Navy, gift-carded last summer  /  Denim jacket:  Old Navy, gift-carded fall 2012  /  Polka-dotted ribbon belt:  Thrifted, spring 2012  /  Striped tote bag:  Gift from my mom, last summer  /  Gold-bar t-strap sandals:  Target, two summers ago

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Happy maxidressing

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Happy maxidressing

And this final photo cracks me UP, y’all. Sam caught me about to jump, so the scroll-down looks very funny to me. The momentum has made its way through my hair and my belt — which looks like it’s making a “J” shape, hah! — but hasn’t reached my feet yet.

Librarian for Life & Style  |  Happy maxidressing

Happy Friday! And here is a Portland version of Pharrell’s “Happy” song. ;)

Link ups:  Passion for Fashion  /  Favorite Fashion Friday  /  Fab Favorites Friday