Ensemble: Casual Pastel Pink & Blue

This ensemble was inspired by my own pastel pink and blue casual outfits that I’ve enjoyed wearing over the last few weeks. The palette is for those who like to wear pastels from head to toe, which is an acquired taste. The effect is soft and pretty, and extra crisp with white. No hard edge at all.

The exact items from my wardrobe are in the collection below. I mixed and matched these pieces to create lots of different outfits.

Create your own outfits by remixing light blue, blush pink and white. Note that faded denim is a great way to provide the pastel blue component of the look. And if you like the idea of pastels, but prefer wearing them in small doses, combine dark blue jeans with a white top, and pick up the pastels in accessories like a scarf and bag, like I have done in the ensemble on the right

Here are the components: 

Bottoms: Think light wash, white or regular blue jeans or skirt. Blush jeans are fab too. 

Tops: Think pastel blue, blush or white blouse, shirt, tee, knitted top or pullover. Create a contrast or column of colour with the bottoms. 

Toppers: This is an optional extra. We usually need some type of topper in Seattle because Spring is chilly, but by all means do without. Think light-coloured trench coat, moto, blazer, cardigan or another style of jacket that works with the palette. A metallic topper will also work, and so will a denim jacket in a different wash to the bottoms. 

Footwear: Keep the footwear LIGHT in colour. Add white, blush, nude, tan, pearl grey or metallic shoes to the outfit. 

Accessories: A Spring & Summer scarf in the colours of the palette is a great way to pull the look together, especially when you’re wearing pastel pink shoes. Choose a LIGHT-coloured handbag, like white, blush, nude, tan, dove grey or metallic. Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired. 

I’ve chosen light pink and blue because they’re my favourite pastels, but the formula works as well with pastels like mint and lilac.

Ensemble: Casual Pastel Pink & Blue

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Shorts and Your Style

In this post, by shorts, I mean lengths that have inseams of five inches and shorter.

In the Summertime casual shorts are extremely popular in my neck of the woods. Men, women, teens and children all wear short shorts in Seattle. Most of my clients in Seattle wear shorts, but to varying degrees. Some wear them all Summer long with tees, cotton blouses, knitted tops, open-weave pullovers, sneakers, sandals, or flip-flops. They wear shorts to do errands, shop, go out to dinner, camp, garden, walk the dogs, and for all sorts of casual settings that involve children. Some wear shorts at home to lounge and work in the garden but that’s it. Some haul them out on a hot day over the weekend. Others will wear them on beach, resort, camping, hiking, golfing and theme park vacations and leave it at that. 

Although I regularly shop for shorts with clients, I am in the minority and don’t wear them myself. I wore them a lot until my mid twenties, but not since then. Here are the reasons:

  • It’s seldom hot enough to do so since I live in Seattle and run cold. (Although our weather doesn’t seem to stop anyone else.) 
  • When it IS hot enough, I’d much rather wear a casual shirt or sack dress that’s just above the knee with flats. Casual dresses simply suit my style and sartorial preferences better than shorts. I LOVE wearing trousers, but don’t enjoy wearing shorts. 
  • I prefer the thigh coverage of a Summer dress, which makes me feel a little dressier and more elegant than when I wear shorts. 
  • I like the breezy yet covered feeling on my legs when I wear a roomy frock in hot weather. 
  • I have two pairs of denim cut-offs (old BF jeans), that are just above the knee so longer than typical shorts. I wear them when we take doggies swimming, and very occasionally on a walk with Sam. 
  • I don’t go on the types of vacations or do the types of sports that require shorts, and don’t do gardening or go camping. 
  • My Summer loungewear is soft, airy, covered and floppy. I grew up in a tropical climate and never feel overly warm in Seattle.

Over to you. Do shorts work for your style. When and how frequently do you wear them?

Weekly Roundup: Assorted Items

This week’s top picks list covers a range of items that worked on clients, on myself, or that simply caught my eye. Lots of well-made pieces, some on sale, at an assortment of price points, and in many colour options. Some of the items are available in petites. Happy browsing. 

  • Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC Leather Crossbody Bag: If you like mini cross-body bags, this one is sublime. Well made and unique with the rope strap. All the colour options are nice. Personally, I like the citron best. Maximal.
  • Frye Ivy Low Lace: I have these fashion sneakers in white and pink and can't rave enough about them. Instant wardrobe workhorses. Extremely comfortable, beautifully made, flattering on the foot, and well suited to low volume feet. If the Adidas Stan Smith and Ecco Soft 7 sneaker are too wide for you - try these. They're sublime and well worth the price.
  • Kate Spade New York 'emerson place - small phoebe' quilted leather shoulder bag: A dressy chain-handle bag for Team Polished & Dressy. The bag does not close entirely up top, so consider yourself warned. I preferred the white, but the black is nice too. There's a smaller size that's simply darling.
  • Loft Flamingo Tassel Scarf: Fun Flamingo Fabness. It's acrylic but feels quite nice against the skin. The tassels create a much more polished effect than fringe, to my eye. This one followed me home and I've worn it quite a bit.
  • Rebecca Minkoff Unlined Whipstitch Feed Bag: Lightweight crossbody bag that moulds to your body. Very well made and casually chic. Does not close completely up top though.
  • Hinge Gentle Floral Scarf: Super soft scarf that drapes like a dream despite its polyester-rich content. The tassels are lilac in person and add a fun textured touch. Works well for warm and cool-toned skin types. I bought this to match my pink sneaks.
  • Ann Taylor Lantern Sleeve Sweater: Crisp, trendy and pretty. VERY soft and a gorgeous bright white. Easy to launder. Great for a chilly Spring day. Sleeves are longer than shown. Streamlined fit on the upper torso and arms, and boxy at the waist. FAB drape. Too short for long waists unless you wear a high rise. Lantern sleeves are subtle and will not overwhelm a small frame. I love this top, and wear it with my wide cropped jeans.
  • Ann Taylor Shirred Peplum Sweater: An off-white peplum that works on a shorter and regular waist. Torso defining, but forgiving on the waist and belly. Peplum is subtle. Fab layer under jackets. PRETTY.
  • Halogen Rosina Laser Cut Wedge Sandal: Extremely comfortable dressier wedges IF you can manage the heel height. Not good on high volume feet. Flattering on the foot. Elegant.
  • Madewell Plaid Tie-Back Top: Fun plaid tie top for broader shoulders and a smaller bust. Too short for a long waist unless worn with a high rise.
  • Chino By Anthropologie | Anthropologie Relaxed Chino Pants: Fab chino for a curvier bottom half. Works as well on straighter body types, although you might need to size down.
  • Halogen Tie Front Skirt: Super cute skirt that suits a range of body types. Straighter figures should size down.
  • Halogen Fringe Tweed Vest: Great Summer vest for a long body or Team Tall. Might need to size down.
  • Halogen Soft Utility Jacket: A polished, and dressier utility jacket that can work as well for the office as it does in relaxed settings. Well suited to apple shapes, inverted triangles, and rectangles. Works well on a larger bust. Great on petites in the petite size.
  • Halogen Ruched Drape Front Tank: Best on a smaller bust, and works well on both straighter and curvier figures. Nice underarm coverage.
  • Halogen Tie Sleeve Sweatshirt: Maximal Sweatshirt Fabness. The sleeves are heavy and long so best on long arms.
  • Halogen Peplum Top: Super cute gingham top that's dressier in person. It has a little stretch and is quite fitted. Works surprisingly well on a petite apple with a large bust because the substantial fabric glides over the contour of the body.
  • Halogen Ruffle Sleeve Shift Dress: Fab dress or tunic for Team Tall. The sleeves are bold so you have to be okay with that. Runs big so size down at least one size.
  • Trouvé Tie Front Tank: Good tie top that suits a range of body types. The tie does not create a bulky effect on the midsection. Good length for longer torsos. All the colours are nice. Nice underarm coverage.
  • Michael Stars Smocked Yoke Peasant Top: A peasant top that works on most body types. Great look with bell-bottom jeans.
  • Michael Stars Stripe Crop Sweatshirt: A cropped striped top in a dainty fabric to wear with high-waisted jeans. Quite slouchy, but its cropped length adds structure.
  • Caslon Linen Shirtdress: These linen dresses look best in the stripes and in the blue. They might run a size big. Nice length, and can be worn as a dress, or over cropped straights. Perfectly breezy and covered for Summer if you are at peace with the crease.
  • Tory Burch Sawyer Needlepoint Shoulder Bag: GORGEOUS Polished Boho. Beautifully made, and as fab in the solid red and turquoise. Lies flat against the body when worn on the shoulder.
  • Persaman New York Iris Shoulder Bag Tote: A happy Summer tote with an organizational inner.
  • SAN DIEGO HAT Pineapple Scarf: A Summery scarf made of a perfectly crisp, crinkled cotton. The tassels are more grey in person. I didn't like how tassel-heavy the scarf was, so I hacked off every other tassel, and now it's more suited to my style. LOVE the citron, and complements a citron bag. It's bulky though, so consider yourself warned. Available in turquoise in stores.
  • Caslon Stripe Linen Blend Scarf: A slubby linen scarf that works well on cool-toned complexions. Drapes well and isn't bulky.
  • Zara Limited Edition Floral Necklace Details: A spectacular floral garden of bling.
  • Caslon Embroidered Trim Shift Dress: Super duper, very lightweight and pretty Summery dress. Good on an apple, inverted triangle and rectangular body type. Will work on a subtle hourglass too. Good on a larger bust. Read the rave reviews.
  • Michael Stars Lace Yoke Gauze Top: Boho Lite blouse that suits a long neck and smaller bust. Forgiving on the midsection.
  • Rebecca Minkoff 'Brooke' Ankle Strap Pump: A great pair of dark blue red shoes with a comfortable fit and stable heel. Soft suede that's kind to you feet. Elegant on the foot. Best on low and regular volume feet. On trend.

Visit the collection page to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Zappos
Frye Ivy Low Lace
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Top Pick
13
Loft
Flamingo Tassel Scarf
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Top Pick
15
Madewell
Plaid Tie-Back Top
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Top Pick
4
Nordstrom
Halogen Peplum Top
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Top Pick
6

Roundups

Assorted Items

Fun stuff to add to your wardrobe for Spring and Summer.

Read More

Casual Dresses

An assortment of easy casual dresses for Summer, some of which can be dressed up.

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Weekly Roundup: COS Picks

An arty and glam list of top picks from Scandinavian COS.

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Replenishing my Basics

I’ve been replenishing wardrobe basics recently, and these are the items that work well for me.

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Spring Jackets

Swap out your Winter coat for a jacket as we move into a lovely mild Spring.

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Affordable Tops

An assortment of tops that won’t break the bank.

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Team Polished or Team Naked Toenails

Let’s talk toenail grooming. You’re on Team Polished if you apply nail polish, and Team Naked if you don’t. Note that if you apply a clear nail strengthener but nothing else, you’re on Team Naked.

I recently shared how I carefully nursed my big toenails back to health after they tore. After four months they have completely recovered, looking strong and healthy.

I LOVE the look of groomed and varnished nails, but my toenail episode has made me wary of having regular pedicures and applying my much loved “Kyoto Pearl” nail polish. I’m not sure whether my nail problems were the result of regular nail polish application, but I want to err on the side of caution.

So I’ve decided to give my toenails a break from nail polish and professional pedicures for at least a year. Instead, I’m giving myself regular pedicures, meticulously applying foot moisturizer and nail strengthener. I now bat for Team Naked Toenails, with feet that look “just polished enough”.

Over to you. Do you bat for Team Polished or Team Naked Toenails? Remember that there is no right or wrong answer, and that you are merely stating a preference. You can also bat for both teams if you like. Let’s hear it. 

Six Reasons That Scarves Are Fab In Spring

A warm weather scarf is different to a cold weather scarf. It’s lightweight, and usually quite sheer and gauzy. It’s made of cotton, silk, linen, rayon, viscose, polyester, acrylic, or blends of these fabrics. Spring and Summer scarves come in a variety of shapes, from the usual large oblong shape, to square, long and skinny, and neckerchief shapes. 

Scarves have a high longevity factor, and everyone can wear them. You simply have to choose the sizes and colours that work with your style, and know how to tie and style them. Scarves can become part of your signature style, or you can move between scarf wearing phases. 

There are six reasons I think Spring and Summer scarves are fabulous. Some reasons more practical, and some more about aesthetics. 

1. Insulation on a Chilly Day

Spring weather can be cold and wet. A large oblong Spring scarf that’s wrapped around the neck a couple of times insulates the neck and chest very effectively. In the Netherlands, men and women wear Spring scarves daily to break the wind as they commute on foot or bike. I am never without a couple of scarves when I visit my Dad in the Netherlands. 

When it’s a mild Spring or Summer day, a large warm weather scarf is all the insulation you need over a blouse or tee to feel just right. The scarf takes the place of a topper, and can also be great insulation in air conditioning. 

2. Protection on a Sunny Day

In the hottest parts of the world, people cover their bodies in breezy fabrics to stay cool and prevent sun exposure. A scarf that is draped around the neck and shoulders protects you from the sun, especially when you’re wearing something sleeveless and low cut. Cotton and silk scarves can also be cooling and soothing against the skin. 

3. Adding Interest to an Outfit

A scarf can be an effective statement piece, colour vehicle, or a way to add pattern to your outfit. Scarves might be the only way you add non-neutrals, patterns, or boldness to your style. Scarves that are styled tonally in an outfit can provide fabulous texture and depth to a look. 

4. Pulling an Outfit Together  

A Spring and Summer scarf can be one component of an accessory complement that combines non-neutral footwear, scarf and bag. For example, if you are wearing a pair of non-neutral shoes, adding a scarf that picks up the colour of the shoes can be a flop-proof way to pull the outfit together. 

5. Creating a Maximal Effect 

Adding a scarf to an outfit is an easy way to add drama to your look, especially when you wear bold scarves, or pattern mix a patterned scarf with other patterns in an outfit. You can also wear bold scarves with bold necklaces, and layer scarves over jackets like wraps. 

6. Modern Classic or Modern Retro Appeal

Scarves have a timeless quality about them. Iconic scarf looks of the ’50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s look as stylish today as they did back then. Scarves transcend the trends, making them a magical accessory.

I used to love wearing Spring and Summer scarves, but went off wearing them when my look was much simpler. I slowly added them back into my style last year, and have been wearing them A LOT this Spring. I plan to wear gauzy, crisp scarves through the rest of Spring and Summer because I’ve fallen back in love with the accessory for all the reasons above. 

I’m very specific about the types of Spring and Summer scarves I like to wear, and how I like to wear them, which I’ll cover in another post. In the meantime, here are some Spring and Summer scarf outfits that I thought were fab. Perhaps they will inspire you to shop your closet for similar looks, or to start looking for a scarf or two to complement your wardrobe.

BALENCIAGA Souvenir De Paris Printed Modal and Silk-blend ScarfGUCCI Flora Snake Printed Silk-twill Scarf

BALENCIAGA Printed Silk-jacquard ScarfMISSONI Striped Crochet-knit Scarf

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