Be my guest: Nicole

Hope y’all enjoy the guest posts while I’m on vacation! Jen

Last, but certainly not least, is Nicole from High Latitude Style, here to showcase her expertise in layering. Thanks, Nicole! :)

Hi! Nope, you are not on the wrong blog. I am Nicole Mölders, and Jen gave me the great honor to guest blog here. I usually blog as High Latitude Style, a blog that features how to dress stylishly in cold climate without freezing to hypothermia.

I am blogging out of Alaska, a man’s country. The choice on fishing poles is larger than the choice of women shoes. Can you imagine that? Given this fact, I also once in a while write about odd Alaska facts/things like a transfer station or the haul way to the oil fields. Of course, never ever without the newest OOTD.

I love fashion, and I love style. My style is American classic with a twist to street style. When I moved to Alaska and saw the clothing in the stores — did I already mention that there isn’t any clothing store — I said to myself, “I don’t want to look like a leftover from an Arctic expedition.” Therefore, I started experimenting with layering to get the insulation I need to stay warm with the style I want.

On my blog an important category hence is the temperature range. Did you know that in Fairbanks the temperature range between summer and winter is more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit (70C)? This temperature range is a real challenge for any closet — space-wise and for every woman — style-wise! You need everything from a down coat to a strapless top to fit in the same closet space in which your sisters have their clothes in LA or wherever the climate is fashion-friendly. Is that a word?

My strategy is only to buy clothes that I somehow can use year-round, either alone or as part of my layering strategy. Let me illustrate this concept by the example of a pair of leather shorts.

High Latitude Style

Wearing leather shorts with a striped tee and a silk scarf in spring

High Latitude Style

Wearing the leather shorts in summer with a gingham shirt, Michael Kors plateau sandals and the same straw cap

High Latitude Style

Wearing the leather shorts with a gray tee, a short sleeve white linen blazer, ankle strap pumps, a Pippa bag and mirrored sunglasses on casual Friday on my way to work

High Latitude Style

Wearing the leather shorts in winter with two pairs of tights underneath, a plaid shirt and my hubby’s cable knit sweater. The belt serves to add some shape.

The following two photos illustrate how I dress on a winter day when temperatures are way in the negative double digits. The uppermost shows the “outer wear” and the lower one shows what I wore under the coat to stay warm. The low sun in the sky and snow require sunglasses in winter!

High Latitude Style

Wearing a Cole Haan motorcycle shearling coat with a cashmere zigzag scarf, lined gloves, a beret and sunglasses on a cold winter day

High Latitude Style

Wearing a cashmere sweater and cardigan with a tweed skirt two pairs of tights and socks (not visible) in the suede boots.

And yes, when temperatures reach the upper 80s (~32C), it is too hot for me. Stay in style and enjoy the rest of your summer, and swing by when you need inspiration when temperatures drop.

Photos: G. Kramm (2013, 2014)

Be my guest: Izzy

Hope y’all enjoy the guest posts while I’m on vacation! Jen

Today is the adorable Izzy from Adventures in HEL (short for Helsinki, the capital of Finland), a Finnish-American blogger who shares how her recent experiences in Finland have influenced her personal style. You might remember Izzy from my post here about winning a giveaway and personal letter she sent from Finland.  :)

Hello, Jen’s readers! My name is Isabella (or Izzy, if you like) and I’m thrilled to get to write to you while Jen is on vacation.

A little bit about me:  I’m an aspiring fiction writer and educator, currently stopped over in Boston as I make the transition between Helsinki and New York. My mom is Finnish, and my dad is American, and I grew up entirely in the United States. Last November, I moved to Helsinki for a nine-month stay. For this post, I thought it would be fun to share some of my Finnish style inspirations with you and reflect on how they transformed my style!

A Better Thrifter

Due to Finland’s high standard of living, many things are more expensive there than in the U.S., clothing included. A great result of this is a vibrant second-hand culture:  in Helsinki, thrift stores and flea markets abound, and I was able to find some amazing pieces for minuscule prices. Relying more on thrifting made me a savvier shopper and a bolder, more creative dresser.

I scored this matching set for 2€ at the Helsinki Recycling Center!

Embracing Finnish Design

I’ve always been a fan of Finnish design, and being surrounded by it for nine months definitely affected my style. I especially love Marimekko‘s bold, colorful, ’60s-inspired designs, and incorporating some of their items into my wardrobe has added lots of cheer and personality to my outfits.

Here I am in head-to-toe Marimekko.

The Courage to be Unique

Finland is quite ethnically and culturally homogenous, but people in Helsinki love to stand out. You can check out some of the more outrageous things that Helsinki-dwellers wear on my favorite street style blog, Hel Looks. Being surrounded by so much creative dressing gave me the freedom to experiment with my own style. I got the courage to dye my hair pink, mix patterns boldly, and leave the house in outfits I wasn’t totally sure about. Of all of the ways my style changed in Finland, this newfound confidence is the thing I’d like to hold on to most.

I hope you’ve enjoyed traveling to Finland with me for this post! Thank you all for reading, and thanks, Jen, for hosting me on your blog :)

~ Isabella of Adventures in HEL

Be my guest: Jen

Hope y’all enjoy the guest posts while I’m on vacation! Jen

Today, another Jen is taking over the blog for the day! Here is Jen from Fashionably Employed, whose blog I visit regularly. I also participate in Jen’s weekly “Sophisticated Style” link-up, which goes live on Mondays. Today, she provides a peek into how she creates balance in her daily attire.

So much in life depends on balance, right? We’re always trying to find the right mix of the good, the bad, the great, and the ugly (sometimes necessary in life) to land a happy and fulfilled existence. I won’t be getting all deep on you today, but this mantra applies to style as well. As I got dressed the day I wore this dress, the importance of this motto couldn’t have rung more true.

Thanks to Jen for having me today while she enjoys a nice vacation from life (keeping balance in her world!). For those of you who haven’t stopped by my blog before, what are you waiting for?! Ok, just kidding, though I’d love to have you. I’m a corporate mom living in downtown Chicago working in a relatively conservative office environment. Over in my little corner of the ginormous internet, I write predominantly about professional style — what the heck I’m wearing to work each day. I toss in a bit about general career trials and tribulations as well and even a few DIY projects when I’m feeling uber-inspired, but style remains my primary focus.

So what did I wear on this lovely summer morning? As you can see, I tossed on a light sweater dress (one that had been sitting in my closet with the tags on it for well over three years — WTF?! Shame on me, and not a regular mistake I make, but embarrassing nonetheless). For my office (and many others), this dress might be just a tad bit short. And adding the belt takes away another inch of length or so, which didn’t help my cause. Not to mention, I have enough “junk in the trunk” that I need to be careful about wearing bottoms that are too tight. No need for a tight squeeze to cause that “junk” to be spilling out. In short (no pun intended), the bottom half of this dress threatens to cross the line into inappropriate for work (at least mine).

So let’s return to my almost deep and introspective intro about the importance of balance.

As I stood in front of the mirror, my thought process went something like “Ok, the dress is a bit short, so I’m definitely wearing flats to prevent accentuating the appearance of bare legs. And a nice, long cardigan will not only give me conservative coverage up top (complemented by the very high boatneck cut of the dress), but also provide a bit of coverage for that pretty full “trunk.” Additionally, I’ll stick to a neutral color palette and minimal accessories, a simple pair of stud earrings in this case, to prevent drawing too much attention to my clothes.”

In other words, with one element of my outfit dancing the skimpy jig, I kept the entire outfit balanced and appropriate by significantly toning down everything else, color scheme and all.

How do you keep balance in your outfits? If you’re looking for ideas tomorrow morning, and the next morning, and the next and the next… be sure to stop by my blog, Fashionably Employed, and take a peek at Jen’s blog here (which already seems to be a staple in your routine) for some great ideas about what to throw on for a day at your desk!

Be my guest: Kezzie

Hope y’all enjoy the guest posts while I’m on vacation! Jen

Next up is Kezzie from the Kezzie AG blog, who is a longtime participant of Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenges, most recently seen here on my blog. This British blogger has a lovely spirit and whimsical style, and she loves HATS. Enjoy!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  Kezzie

Hi there! My name is Kezzie, and I am really happy to be here in lieu of Jen (and this is my first guest post EVER in 9 years of blogging, so please be gentle!). I like lots of clothing items, dresses, skirts, necklaces, tops, etc.! However, one thing I really love, that people notice about me in the real world is my love of hats!!! I have loved them since I was a little girl.

At the age of 7, I declared I wanted a beret and finally found a cornflower blue one in Laura Ashley (iconic UK shop of the ’70s and ’80s with a penchant for floral frocks), which I wore all the time at a jaunty angle! Alas, it has long been lost, but the love remained.

At the present time, though I do not know the exact number, I probably own over 60 hats/headwear items of various kinds. I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you that I have featured over at my blog (I run a very mixed bag over there — craft, outfits, guess the cloud, book reviews, random rants on a range of subjects, visits to beautiful places in the UK and the suchlike).

If you are scared of hats or not sure what to wear, I suggest you do what I love doing and just go out to the shops (either department stores or thrift shops and just try them on — get comfortable). I absolutely adore going to a shop with a friend and cackling lots as we try on an assortment of either wonderful or hideous hats!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieHere, I took my Canadian colleague to try some hideous ones.

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieI love this tweed cap. It has an interesting story behind it as it was worn by my husband in the Olympics 2012 opening ceremony as he played drums. He went to get rid of it, and I saved it! I quite liked it in this slightly bizarre, quirky look.

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieMy husband lost his Panama hat in Oxford, and so I bought him a spare until it turned up, which I then claimed. This is a great versatile hat to own as you can wear it with anything; it keeps the sun off your face and is a classic, never-will-date item. Plus, should a male acquaintance require a hat, you can always lend it!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieMy ultimate favourite is the 1970s-style floppy felt hat. I own my Mum’s navy blue original 1970s one but also have found good quality versions of these in quite cheap shops like Forever 21 or our UK, Primark. This turquoise one worn for my birthday came from Primark, and the dark green one was a sneaky extra when I bought bridesmaid dresses. At 70% off, it’d be rude not to!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieA classic hat to own is the cloche, a 1920s favourite. I find a good hat can give a vintage vibe to whatever you might wear. Both my husband and his brother have bought me brilliant cloches. The good thing about liking hats is that people buy them for you for Christmas, — people who might otherwise not buy you clothes, can’t really go that wrong with a chic hat!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  Kezzie

I wanted a boater style hat for ages, and I was really happy to find one at my Grandad’s house after he died- nice to think I own something that one of them owned. I also found a red ribboned boater in a thrift store!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  Kezzie

The beret is of course a hat you can get away with wearing inside. Many a music class have I taught at school, forgetting I am wearing a beret. My children seem oblivious to it now.

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieI’ve even won a unique handmade hat in a blog giveaway! No one else in the world has this hat! Ok, it’s a little eccentric, but it’s great fun!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieIf you’re still unconvinced, try a baker-boy hat — I’ve known scared-of-hats friends relent and buy a baker-boy hat like this one. They can be screwed up in a handbag as well.

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieOr why not try a simple feathered hair clip as a start? I found this one in a pound shop and wore it happily to a party!

Librarian for Life + Style  |  Be my guest:  KezzieFinally, my hats even took part at my wedding. Many people enjoy a photo booth at their wedding nowadays but I had DIY hat booth where you could try on an assortment of millinery! This wasn’t QUITE what I had in mind but ah well…

If you haven’t been totally hatted out, then pop over to my blog Kezzie AG to see many more. You might have to hunt through cloud pictures, book posts and other miscellania though! [Editor's note:  Here's a shortcut to Kezzie's posts tagged "hats" :) ]

Thank you for having me, Jen. It is a privilege to be here!


Be my guest: Salazar

Hope y’all enjoy the guest posts while I’m on vacation! Jen

Today, my fellow SIA co-host Salazar is here to share some traveling tips for footwear. Practical and stylish — my favorite combination! :)

Hello, readers of Librarian of Life and Style! I’m Salazar of 14 Shades of Grey, and I’m excited to be blog-sitting for Jen while she’s on vacation. Since Jen is traveling, and I just got back from summer vacation myself, I thought it’d be fun to show you guys some of my favorite traveling shoes. Shoes are, I think, one of the most important things in your suitcase, but also the most difficult thing to pick out, because they are heavy, bulky, and how do you pick just one or two pairs that go with everything? Anyway, here are the shoes I tend to reach for when I’m traveling, in this order (I tend to bring no more than two pairs, and most of the time, just one pair is enough for the whole trip):

1. Hiking boots:

blue jeans work boots by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt navy cardigan brown boots by 14 shades of grey

white dress navy cardigan brown boots by 14 shades of greyblack shirt embroidered skirt work boots by 14 shades of grey

I call them hiking boots, but they’re not actually sturdy enough for vigorous hiking. I don’t know what they are, actually. I got them dirt-cheap from Payless (they were on sale for like, $10 or $15!) about three years ago, and since then I have taken them with me whenever I go on a trip. I like traveling to mountain areas, and they are great for walking around in the dirt and rain. Even when I went to the beach, the beach is near a tropical forest, so I packed them with me as well! They’re neutral and basic enough to go well with jeans, but I’ve worn them with dresses and skirts too. I love them. I’m going to have to find a replacement pair before my next trip, because I have worn these absolutely to the ground.

2. Sneakers:

lam kinh by 14 shades of greyhanoi old quarter - the huc bridge - by 14 shades of grey

Well, this is a no-brainer. If you know that your trip is going to be mostly casual, you’re not going to the beach, and you’re not trekking around in the mud, then I think one pair of Converse would be enough for all your needs. They go with everything, and they’re comfy — what more can you ask, right? Just be careful in the rain though.

3. Tall boots:

balboa park - museumhuntington beach - outfit

These are great for cold weather, and you can dress them up or down. People always talk about how boots take up space, but my thinking is, if you’re wearing them on your feet, then you’re actually saving space, because one pair of boots is all you need. I did get blisters from walking around too much in boots though, and they’re not as hardy as hiking boots, so I would think twice about bringing them if I know I would be walking around in nature.

4. Flats:

temple of literature - gate - by 14 shades of grey

I have always packed flats with me when I travel, and I almost never wear them. They can work for a day’s walk in the city, but only if the weather is nice and dry. Still, they don’t take up much space, so having a pair with you just in case is always a good idea.

5. Sandals/Flip-flops:

ha long bay - beach - by 14 shades of greyha long bay - monkey island - by 14 shades of grey

I’d say bring them only if you’re going to the beach. Even if I’m just walking around in the city, I don’t want my feet exposed. Who knows where those sidewalks have been?

So those are the my choice for shoes when traveling. I don’t include heels or wedges because I almost never go on the type of trips that require those, and even then I would opt for a nice pair of flats or flat sandals or flat boots over anything with a heel. But hey, that’s just my preference. Depending on your destination and your plan, you can pick out the shoes that work best for you.

Thank you for reading, and thank you, Jen, for letting me guest post. I hope you’re enjoying your trip!