18 More Bird Print Outfits For Summer
When I posted my previous bird print outfit round-up in May, several commenters were (quite reasonably!) surprised that I have a total of 40 bird-themed items in my closet. This made me realize that though you have been introduced to my inner Crazy Rabbit Lady and have seen glimpses of my Crazy Cat Lady self, Crazy Bird Lady hasn't yet made it to the blog!
My form of Crazy Bird Lady doesn't have pet birds (never have, probably never will)...I'm a wild bird fan instead. Since I started my bird journal on 2/12/2000 in Austin, TX, I have identified 527 bird species in the lower 48 United States. This is not an extremely impressive number, but 500 for the ABA area (lower 48, Canada, Alaska) is generally considered a birding milestone, so I consider my 527 to be a quite respectable number!
For quite a while there, my and I were pretty avid birders, going out every weekend (sometimes both days) in search of birds and organizing all our vacations around birding possibilities. Texas is a wonderful state for birding, and I got quite spoiled there. Even when I was in my masters program in North Carolina, more often than not we would go out either Saturday or Sunday morning to one of our local birding locations.
We have done so much less of it since living in Minnesota...first because the demands of my PhD program took all of my time and energy (until I got smart and got out), and then because MN just flat doesn't offer quite the same level of birding that we were used to in Texas and NC. Don't get me wrong...MN has some great birds, but the density of birds here isn't what it is down south. It's also just become a lot harder to add new birds to our list as over time, we've seen almost all the easy ones, a good number of the moderately difficult ones, and some quite tough ones. (Our last new bird was the California Thrasher in Los Angeles, 12/23/2017.) But that's OK. The intensity of our hobbies can wax and wane over time. I have no doubt that I'll be back to birding more regularly again at some point!
But even during this lull in my birding activity, I am still a huge fan of bird prints. And now for the outfits...
#1 White floral/bird blouse
Purchased 7/2020 for $12.19 at CJ Banks
Current CPW (cost per wear) = $2.44 [8 more wears to meet <$1 target]
It only seems fair after writing about "wearing black pants with intention" recently that I should share one of my less successful black pants outfits. I like the print top with the olive utility jacket, olive flats, and gold necklaces, but I have no idea why I put on a pair of black pants other than (a) I'd had the thought that I hadn't worn black pants for a while, and (b) that old "black pants go with everything" myth. Not only is the black color not at all integrated into the outfit, I don't like the black with the light, muted, somewhat warm colors of the print blouse at all. I should have stuck with the jeans I'd otherwise have worn for this WFH outfit!
In this late summer outfit, I wore a pair of seafoam mint skimmers (not shown) that worked much better with the print. Without the jacket over it, you can more readily see the birds interspersed with the leaves and flowers on the blouse. I was very happy with how this layered necklace worked out!
#2 White tropical birds blouse
Purchased 8/2020 for $10.00 at CJ Banks
Current CPW = $1.43 [4 more wears to meet <$1 target]
This knit top has a "peasant top" silhouette that isn't one I normally gravitate towards, but I liked the parrot print so much that I had to give it a try. And I found that it works really well as a stand-alone top for warm weather due to the loose fit through the body. I like picking up one of the bright accent colors from the parrots in choosing a lightweight scarf to wear with it, such as this coral tie-dye one.
This time I picked up the azure blue from the print with another tie-dye scarf and the striped flats.
The top also layers just fine under a jacket even with the somewhat puffy 3/4 length sleeves (but I don't think I'd be as fond of layering it under a cardigan). I was a bit surprised at how well these black tweed flats worked with the top as a print mix; they do share the black color and both have a combination of bright accent colors, but the bright accent colors aren't really the same. But with the distance between the pieces, your eye doesn't take in that level of detail.
#3 Mint green hummingbird shirt
Purchased 7/2020 for $11.95 at CJ Banks
Current CPW = $2.39 [7 more wears to meet <$1 target]
I have mostly worn this button up shirt in fall/winter under a cardigan, but late last summer, I used it as a shirt-jacket over a black tank and a pair of dark warm green jeans. I didn't expect the jeans and shirt to work together well at all, but both pieces are so muted (the shirt with a lot of white and the jeans with a lot of black) that it coordinated pretty well. And when in doubt, distract with eye-catching accessories like this whimsical #neckmess.
#4 Navy/red/pink/grey bird cardigan
Purchased 2/2021 for $17.82 at CJ Banks
Current CPW = $5.94 [15 more wears to meet <$1 target]
I absolutely love this navy-based print cardigan that has both birds and flowers on it, but I haven't worn it much yet. The only OOTD I have photographed wearing it is this "inspired by Liz (of Closet Play) & Lesley (of Jodie's Touch of Style)" outfit that I blogged about last summer. Don't worry...I have plans for this cardigan! Even though it has a greater clarity of edge and contrast level (as analyzed here) than would be ideal for my appearance, I agree with Liz and Jodie that personality is the most important aspect...and on that front, I declare this cardigan on point!
#5 Bright pink bird/dot silk scarf
Purchased 12/2013 for $30.00 at Nordstrom
Current CPW = $1.30 [8 more wears to meet <$1 target]
I could not resist this fun mixed polka dot print scarf with the stylized sparrow motif! I probably wear it more often in summer than winter because silk is such a cool fabric to wear around the neck even when it's warm. I have worn it with a black inner column and bright pink cardigan...
And with a black outer column and a bright pink top...
And as part of a pattern mix with yet another dot print (this black and white knit top had more of a diamond shape dot than a true polka dot, but I still liked the resemblance between them). For me, the repetition of the bright pink accent color in the scarf and ballet flats really makes the outfit.
#6 Burgundy/lime/pink bird scarf
Purchased 12/2019 for $7.00 at Amazon
Current CPW = $0.88 [met <$1 target; 3 more wears to meet <$0.65 target]
Ever since I started going all-in with olive/aloe as an important neutral (or semi-neutral) in my wardrobe, I've kept my eye out for print scarves that coordinate well with it. I liked the lime green in this scarf as a potential bridge to combining olive with brown, pink, and/or burgundy. Here I put an olive twin set of T + cardigan with brown jeans and taupe-brown flats, and the scarf both pulled the colors together and added a welcome dose of color to the neutral base outfit. (Since olive is a dark Yellow-Green and burgundy is a dark Red-Violet, they are complementary colors that work so very well together...as I have talked about before. I know people think of complementary color schemes as very intense, but when the two colors are toned down versions, you still get a little frisson, just with less drama and overwhelm.)
#7 Navy/lime/pink bird scarf
Purchased 12/2019 for $7.00 at Amazon
Current CPW = $0.78 [met <$1 target; 2 more wears to meet <$0.65 target]
I liked that burgundy bird print so well that I bought the navy version also! As you probably know, I really prefer purchasing scarves second-hand, but I have bought some retail, including several of my bird print ones. In this outfit, the chambray blazer, olive pants, pink flats, and navy bird scarf worked just like I thought they would, but the boldly striped top was not the right pick. The stripes are too high contrast to look quite right with the softer bird print. If I were to try this outfit again, I'd substitute a solid olive T for the striped one and make it an inner column of olive.
Oddly enough, I do like the scarf with this (equally bold and high contrast) navy and white polka dot blazer though! Maybe it's the repeat of white in the top that makes it work? (The outfit above doesn't have any other white, so maybe the white stripe stands out oddly in contrast to the rest of the look.) I'm not sure. But this is a good example of the fact that no matter how much you analyze things, there are some combinations that will work or not work to your eye for reasons that are hard to pin down. This frustrates me a bit because analyzing is what I do, but the more we experiment, the more we both train our intuition and find serendipitous combinations that we love. So let's keep on experimenting!
I liked the white top + polka dot blazer + navy bird scarf + gold flats combo from the early summer outfit above so well that I wore it again a few months later in late summer, this time substituting a pair of aloe crops for the olive full-length chinos. I also styled the scarf differently, using one of my favorite tricks for wearing scarves in summer...by putting it under the lapels of the blazer, where it doesn't add any extra warmth to the outfit. I like the repeat of the gold in the chunky chain necklace.
#8 Red/pink/black peacock scarf
Received 12/2016 as a gift
Current CPW = n/a
This red peacock feather print scarf was a gift from my sister, and I'm wearing it with that same black and white diamond dot print top I showed above with the pink silk sparrow scarf. This outfit has 3 hallmarks of my style from my "More Me" list (in addition to the scarf):
1) A three-way print mix
2) Colorful pants
3) Leopard print shoes
#9 Light sky blue owl scarf
Purchased 12/2019 for $2.40 at ThredUp (thrifted)
Current CPW = $2.40 [2 more wears to meet <$1 target]
This scarf amuses me not only because it has such a cute owl print but because it was clearly sized for a child! (This is the kind of thing that can happen when you shop online.) Due to its small size, I haven't exactly reached for it again and again...this is in fact the only time I've worn it so far. But the nice thing about scarves is that they pretty much last and fit forever, so I have a long time horizon for working my way down to an under $1 cost per wear. (And if I decide that the sizing is an issue, I could easily DIY it into a really fun headband!) I did like how it looked in this outfit with the simple white top + dark wash jeans + matching cardigan & ballet flat formula.
#10 Pewter owl pendant
Purchased 5/2015 for $9.45 at Kohls
Current CPW = $0.73 [met <$1 target; 2 more wears to meet <$0.65 target]
A bird motif necklace maybe isn't a "print" per se, but I think it fits the spirit of this post. This articulated owl pendant has a groovy 70s vibe to it that makes it a fun addition to a simple, classic outfit like this one...just a print T, colorful pants, a black cardigan, and nude flats. I'm really not much of a boho style person in general, but a little touch of it can work for me.
#11 Silver/bright beads owl pendant
Purchased 5/2016 for $14.00 at Kohls
Current CPW = $1.08 [2 more wears to meet <$1 target]
This owl pendant has tiny, brightly colorful beads set in it with dangling feather charms down the front, so I like to coordinate it with bright solid colors. In this outfit I was experimenting with wearing two very different shades of aqua/teal together as a monochromatic-with-a-twist look...a dark teal blouse and an aquamarine pencil skirt. The top is more green and the skirt is more blue, but because they were such different value intensities (dark vs. light-medium), I think it looked pretty good! I used light neutrals for the jacket and shoes to keep things simple.
OK, that was a LOT of bird prints!
Do you like birds? Do you like to watch birds around your home? Do you have bird feeders? (I used to design surveys and analyze data about nature-based recreation, including birding, but I will spare you the questions on a 7-point scale and leave this as an open-ended response, haha.)
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