15 Warm Weather Bird Print Outfits To Inspire Your Summer Style
The theme for this month's Good Buy/Good-Bye Book is Birds & Feathers. Do I have bird prints? Oh do I have bird prints! I did an inventory and this is what I counted up:
3/4-sleeve tops - 3
Long sleeved tops - 3
Short sleeved tops - 3
Sleeveless tops - 2
Pullover sweaters - 1
Cardigans - 1
Scarves - 18 (!)
Necklaces - 6
Earrings - 2
Evening bags - 1
That's a total of 40 bird-themed items! But we're not going to look at all 40 of them today (which is a relief to you, I'm sure!). Instead I'm going to focus on 5 of these items and show you 15 spring/summer outfits featuring these pieces. Although you almost assuredly will not have the identical pieces to reproduce my OOTD, I hope you find some inspiration here! While these outfits feature bird prints, other prints can easily be substituted. Under each outfit, I'll list out the components of the combination for you to consider putting your own spin on this summer.
#1 Black and white bird print T
Purchased 11/2018 for $6.55 at Kohls (Apt 9)
Current CPW (cost per wear) = $0.60 [met 2nd tier target of <$0.65]
I say this birds-on-a-wire print is "black and white" but some of the birds are colored like stylized bluebirds in blush pink and periwinkle blue, so it's a bit more color limited than I was expecting when I ordered it online. But I love it with this light purple cardigan. The print mix with the scarf turned out really terrific, and I like how the skirt, captoe flats, and adjustable necklace (a gift from my mom) pick up on the black and white of the top.
Here is a rare black and white neutral look with the same skirt as the previous outfit. You may recognize this one from my recent 30 Wears post featuring this lightweight black vest.
Here I've flipped the black and white from the previous outfit, combining the bird T with a black skirt and white vest. A silk scarf is a great accessory in the heat, and of course there is a million ways to wear one. I like this draping method for a square scarf (fold along the bias into a triangle, tie the two ends together, and put it around your head). It's not obvious in this head-on photo, but the sides of the shoes are grey leopard calf hair that add yet more texture to the look.
This easy casual summer look is based on very simple base pieces that are jazzed up with fun accessories. And yes, it's that purple cardigan again! But even though I'm using the same T + cardigan combo, this weekend look is very different from the office outfit shown above.
#2 Burgundy/mint/wine birds blouse
Purchased 2/2017 for $25.00 at Loft
27 wears [honing in on the 30 wears target!]
Current CPW = $0.93 [met 1st tier target of $1.00]
This blouse is one of Loft's popular utility blouses in polyester with two pockets on the front and a collar. (I bought one with a jackrabbit print and loved it, then bought this one.) In many areas, it's already too warm to wear this kind of blouse, but keep it in mind for that late summer to fall transition season!
Here I've paired the blouse with a sweater vest that picks up one of the colors in the print - the mint of the leaves - and a bulky neutral necklace tucked into the collar.
Of course a boldly printed top like this can easily stand alone. (And now you can see the birds better, too!) Rolling up the sleeves is a nice way to wear a long-sleeved blouse/shirt in warm weather (and this shirt makes it easy because there's a built-in tab and button to hold your rolled sleeve in place).
This outfit is made up of very simple pieces...a print blouse, a skirt, a necklace, and ballet flats...but the color choices make it interesting. I selected a non-matching-but-coordinating semi-neutral olive for the skirt, and I picked up the orange from the print (which is there is small amounts) as the accent color for the necklace and shoes to give the look a fun, unexpected twist.
#3 Navy/red/pink/grey birds blouse
Purchased 2/2021 for $17.82 at CJ Banks
Current CPW = $2.23 [still significantly above target]
I felt quite cheeky in this WFH outfit consisting of a three way print mix of bird blouse + pinstriped pants + floral sneakers. It's a lot going on, sure, but between the very simple silhouettes and the tight color palette among the pieces, I think it worked quite well! I also kept the accessories (uncharacteristically) understated with dark red crystal stud earrings and a pearl necklace. I did add a bold red headband and red lipstick to bring attention to my face/portrait area so I didn't disappear behind the prints.
As the weather warms up, I start trading in my scarves for layered necklaces. This one is a real #neckmess, but I love it! The red seed bead, dark blue seed bead, white bead/tassel, silver paperclip chain, and gold paperclip chain necklaces are all DIY projects. The red ruby heart pendant is a very sentimental piece that my parents gave me when I graduated from my masters program. I just adore how the silver White Rabbit, enamel Alice, and ruby heart all work together in a Wonderland theme!
I enjoy wearing light neutrals in spring and summer...and that includes cardigans. Some people feel funny wearing a light-colored cardigan over a dark top, and I understand that. It can feel a bit unbalanced or just "off" at times. For this outfit, I experimented with the dark top + light cardigan combo by wearing a light color that appears in the print of the top and hence seems more balanced and cohesive. This pale grey is a nice alternative to white for a long cardigan...it has less of that "doctor coat" vibe that white can sometimes give you.
#4 White/black/blue/red bird scarf
Purchased 10/2019 for $10.99 at Amazon
Current CPW = $1.10 [still a bit above target]
As a lover of both birds and scarves, I have quite a few (yes, 18) bird print scarves in my collection. This lightweight one with the white background and the bird/tree print in primary colors is a fun one to wear with black, blue, or red in warm weather. The large scale print makes it easy to use in a print mix, such as this bright blue striped top + ankle pants outfit in which it functions as my third piece.
Summer is a great time to pull out the graphic Ts, which are a perfect ingredient in a fun print mix look. You can go a lot of ways with this, but I thought this one was really cute and unexpected. Not only did I mix three prints (if you include the Cheshire Cat, which you absolutely always should!), but I even mixed navy and black...which I so very rarely do! (The cat top has a black background, and the check shirt is red and navy.) Note that the scarf is layered under the collar of the shirt, so it isn't really adding much warmth to the outfit.
But if you live somewhere with hot summers, even that draped scarf might be too much for you to consider. I hear you. Scarves can make excellent headbands, of course, but I also will wear them tied onto my ponytail! This day was hot enough I didn't even wear a necklace, but a pair of bold earrings are a great alternative.
#5 Black/aqua/orange/purple birds scarf
Purchased 12/2019 for $7.00 at Amazon
Current CPW = $1.00 [almost met 1st tier target of <$1]
This is another lightweight scarf that I can wear year-round, and because it has a black background with a lot of different accent colors in the print, it's quite versatile. Once again I'm going with the long and loose styling for this scarf, where it provides a lot of drama against the muted based outfit.
Good-Bye: Black and white bird blouse
Purchased 11/2017 for $29.75 at Loft
Final CPW = $1.86 [did not meet target]
Since I'm coordinating with the Good Buy/Good-Bye Book, it seems appropriate to share an outfit with an item that I said good-bye to last winter, this Loft blouse with a darling black and white bird print. Doesn't it look great in this simple black and white outfit with magenta pants? I like that the stark black and white color scheme balances against the lovey-dovey bird print so it's not too cloyingly sweet for my style.
Despite how cute it is, it was never a very comfortable top...it's made from a polyester fabric with zero stretch, and I think it was cut narrower through the hips than other Loft blouses of the same size (XXL) that I purchased around the same time. I gained a few pounds, then found that I had to keep futzing with the hem of the blouse to get it to lay flat in front because it had a tendency to somehow both shift around and ride up on my pear shaped body. The other annoying thing is that in the back, it has a deep V and two long pieces of fabric you have to tie together in a bow to hold the blouse together at the top. That's just not my style at all, but since I only wore the blouse with a topper piece, nobody ever saw the bow. However, it was yet another thing to deal with when doing laundry (the bow always came untied in the wash) and when wearing it. I did make some really great outfits with this top, so I was able to part with it with no bad feelings or regrets...just some good memories and some lessons learned (i.e., don't let a cute print blind you to other wonky, not-right aspects of an item!).
Do you wear bird prints? Do you like wearing prints in the summer?
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