Adrienne Shubin (46) lives in California’s scenic Sonoma Valley and stands fabulously tall at 6’2″. She lives a predominantly casual life and is a full-time blogger who documents her outfits over at The Rich Life (on a budget). Adrienne likes to incorporate classic pieces, feminine touches and on trend items into her outfits. She also doesn’t shy away from a little hard edge, considers denim a wardrobe staple, and has quite the hat collection.
“Five years ago I had just quit night law school, mostly lived in yoga pants and tee shirts and had few occasions to dress my best. It was the first time in my life I didn’t care about clothes. While this may sound liberating, it wasn’t. It was puzzling as I had always had a passion for style. Four years ago, I began blogging and taking photos of myself in outfits. Suddenly I had a reason to care about my personal style because people were actually looking at me. Through blogging, I regained my interest in and love for fashion. It was like reconnecting with an old friend.
What I have realized since beginning my blog is that my personal style has everything to do with my lifestyle. As a full-time blogger, I have more freedom to dress the way I want. I don’t generally follow the over 40 style rules. I dress to be comfortable, to feel good about myself and I regularly buck all those useless over 40 rules with pride. I like to describe my current style as Sonoma Chic: Casual with a touch of edginess, comfortable and practical yet fashion-forward, and versatile.”
Adrienne is a master at remixing Modern Classic pieces so that they work for her mainly casual lifestyle. Here she combines three classic players — a two-button single-breasted blazer, a black and white striped top, and brown Louis Vuitton bag — with on trend slim-fitting boyfriend jeans. Turning up the jacket collar and rolling the sleeves adds pizzazz. The striped lining of the blazer echoes the bold graphic stripe of the top, a clever detail that helps pull together the look. The nude patent pumps are close to Adrienne’s skintone, thereby elongating the leg line. The colour also matches the jacket, which creates outfit balance. Two delicate necklaces, modern specs, watch and rings, and our blogger is ready to start her day.
A borrowed-from-the-boys look with a dash of feminine flair. I love the juxtaposition of the androgynous pinstripe blazer and fedora with Adrienne’s beautiful loose curls. The silk fabric and ivory colour of the shirt also add a soft, light touch, while the buttoned-up collar works well with the tailored vibe of the roomy blazer. Our blogger rocks a hat, and this burgundy number with black band and feather accent fits the menswear mood of this outfit splendidly. By pairing the dark topper with black slim-fit stretch twill pants, Adrienne creates a long, lean line. Sporting black booties with buckle straps continues that effect. Nonchalantly scrunching the jacket sleeves to bare forearms brings structure to the outfit.
Isn’t there something delightfully sassy about this casual pencil skirt look! The classic pencil skirt gets a playful makeover by sporting it with bare legs, a silky blouse, cheeky leather moto and buckle strap booties. Showing a bit more leg with the above-the-knee length helps to achieve balanced visual proportions with the high-contrast booties that fit snugly around the ankle. While the untucked cream blouse is also high-contrast against the skirt, the round hem breaks the strong horizontal line. The quilted shoulder detailing on the jacket, suede footwear and suede panelling on the black satchel add textural interest and outfit depth to this neutral look. A messy ponytail, black nail polish and the buckle straps give it some fun rock ‘n’ roll edge.
When asked about her take on continuing to dress stylishly as we get older, Adrienne replied:
“I never want to give up on dressing stylishly again. I think it’s an essential part of who I am and it gives me another way to express myself. Along with an innate desire to own cute clothes and accessories, I also stay motivated by the blogs I follow. Many of them inspire me to continue to try new looks and refine or redefine my personal style. I look particularly to Tamera Beardsley, Sheree Morrison of It’s Not That Deep, Catherine Summers of Not Dressed as Lamb and of course, Angie Cox for inspiration. I also love knowing when I have inspired someone to take a fashion chance. Whether it’s motivating someone to buy a pair of sneakers more for style instead than utility or convincing someone to wear boyfriend jeans with a sexy pair of heels on a date night, inspiring someone to take chances with their style is thrilling to me!”
The beautiful watercolour pinks and Adrienne’s infectious smile make this simple, attractive look for me. It’s also the perfect example of how you can create a visually interesting outfit without a topper or other third piece — something many of us struggle with as soon as the weather heats up. Pairing mid-blue skinny jeans with a draped blouse instantly creates an interesting silhouette. Going with a bold floral print adds tons of extra oomph. The loose drape of the blouse makes it a breezy, forgiving-over-the-midriff option for hot temps. It also adds unstructured integrity to structured bottoms, while the V-neckline has an elongating effect. All you need to finish of the look is a pair of pumps in a fun colour, like Adrienne’s pink suede peds that bring out the dark pinks in the top. A mini ink blue ostrich patterned clutch is the stylish cherry on top.
I’m featuring two similar sneaker chic outfits back to back to illustrate how easily this versatile gal-on-the-go formula can transition from Spring into Fall. Sassy sneakers work at any age, and I love them best sported with a touch of sophistication. For Spring, Adrienne picked a fab white and soft blue colour palette. She pairs destroyed boyfriend jeans with a crisp white button-down that provides structure and polish. The beige trench and tote with abstract snake-like pattern also add Modern Classic chic. For Autumn, she’s dialling up the irregular outfit juxtaposition factor by pairing a chic camel coat with haute baseball cap and sporty Nikes with fun neon orange laces. Adrienne’s cascading locks, the cable knit of the sweater and the sleeves peeking out from under the opera length coat sleeves add texture. The rolled cuffs on the skinnies a playful tomboy touch. Last but not least, the cognac bag is a great nod to the Autumnal vibe
Have a peek at the rest of Adrienne’s outfits on her blog, or browse her pinboards for loads of travel and style inspiration. But first let us know in the comments what you think of our statuesque blogger’s casual chic style.