I knew that I like wearing softer alternatives like denim, chambray, and grey-blue colors in the spring and early summer, but apparently my fondness for these colors is greater than I realized!
My usual practice is to get my outfits ready for the coming week over the weekend. I pull up my list of pre-planned outfits for that month/season and chose ones that are appropriate for the weather, my activities, and my general mood. I update my spreadsheets, then I gather everything together (clothes on a garment rack and accessories etc. in shoe boxes) in my office so each morning I can just put on whatever I've planned and don't have to think about it.
When I was planning for last week, I was still not feeling very good after my recent medical misadventure so I chose my outfits from the list but didn't actually stage the clothes and accessories. Instead I had to gather everything from my closet etc. each morning (which was better than having to pick out, let alone create, outfits but not nearly as nice as when I prepare them in advance). And so it didn't occur to me until getting dressed on Thursday that I had chosen three outfits in a row featuring those soft, muted blue tones. Clearly my subconscious had a follow-up "softer alternatives to navy for spring and summer" post in mind!
My first outfit shows an outfit formula that I find extremely helpful: print skirt + chambray/denim shirt + optional topper in an accent color from the print. A lot of people are aware that a white T-shirt can be an easy pairing with a print skirt, but the denim/chambray neutral option seems less common even though I would argue that it's an even more fool-proof choice! White can look odd with a skirt that has a warmer, creamer light color in it, and it can be a rather boring choice, especially when the skirt is a neutral print. But blue chambray/denim is the ultimate neutral that works color-wise with just about anything, and it is surprisingly easy to wear it with a variety of different skirt styles. Pairing a denim/chambray shirt with a dressy skirt just dresses the skirt down and makes for a fun juxtaposition.
I also wore a favorite color formula of matching top and shoes, which is especially easy to do in warm weather when socks/tights are not an issue. You can do this in neutrals or accent colors, and it creates a nice harmonious look to have the color repeated in the top and bottom halves of the outfit. (Last year, I did two round ups of outfits with this color formula in warm colors and in cool colors.)
My bracelet stack is based on a new DIY paper bracelet set that I made to match this skirt, bringing in a range of green-to-teal and pink-to-purple colors plus white. I already had the teal and multi-colored bead bracelets but made the three paper bead bracelets and the bright purple glass bead bracelets for this set.
My world's easiest DIY hoop earrings is an older pair from summer 2021 (when I first started making my own jewelry) with a few shades of aqua glass pearls and gold spacer beads on pre-made gold hoops. Whenever I wear aqua (light, medium, or dark), I notice that it's a good color on me. And in this outfit, I definitely can see that the low contrast between the chambray shirt and dark aqua cardigan is also a nice choice for me. It helps that I love pretty much every color in the Blue-Green section of the color wheel!
These ballet flats are one of a million...well, 10 pairs of ballet flats I bought at Payless in summer 2015, all of which are holding up extremely well. These chambray ones are currently at 27 total wears and $0.63 cost per wear (CPW). The floral print A-line skirt + rounded toe ballet flats combo are lending a cute schoolgirl vibe to this outfit in the best way.
My second outfit utilizes another color formula, the "modern twin set" of matching top + topper (can be a jacket, cardigan, vest, shacket, whatever you want). This is one of my favorite renditions of the modern twin set in my wardrobe, pairing a faded indigo knit peplum top and chambray cotton blazer. This top has a flattering fit but skews a bit too boho for my style worn alone; however, pop on a classic/preppy chambray blazer and it's perfect! The eyelet overlay and peplum hem peeping out add texture and interest without dominating the look. (I did a set of three posts with examples of this color formula from my OOTD here, here, and here. For more inspiration, see how Kay at Dressed for My Day styles this color formula in her recent Spring Lookbook post, outfits #11-13.)
I chose a print scarf with a background in the same soft blue color family to keep to the low contrast theme. To temper its volume, I pulled it long on the diagonal and twisted it before looping the ends around and through using Method #5 from this post. I really like how the ends have a ruffled/fanned out look when using this technique. It also shortens the scarf so that some of the eyelet on the top still shows.
Another day, another bracelet stack...once again based on my DIY soft indigo/pink/silver paper bead set and featuring my DIY pink glass bead bracelet with silver rabbit charm that I made for Easter last month and will wear year-round.
My headband is my DIY oatmeal braided headband from a t-shirt that is my go-to option when I wear silver metal. My earrings are from CJ Banks that they sold as part of the "storied indigo" (aka "soft indigo" in my parlance) collection. They are silver teardrops with alternating open areas and sections with a wash of multiple soft blue colors blending together, which means they work well with pretty much any muted/grey-ed blue tone.
The parade of Payless ballet flats continues with this floral pair that creates a very low-key print mix with the bicycles-and-leaves print scarf. I absolutely LOVE that the darkest mauve pink in the floral print matches the dark dusky pink pants so well while the lighter pinks pick up the pink from the scarf. I've actually found these flats a bit odd to wear because that creamy background with a lot of yellow in it is not a great color on me and feels a bit clashing with my skin tone. They've always felt subtly off in color to me when I put them on. I think writing my "shoes that match your hair color" post helped me change my mind about these ballet flats because when I wore them this time, I interpreted the yellow/creamy color as a very pale warm yellow that coordinates with the lightest areas of my golden blonde hair. That works for me!
My third outfit is another "modern twin set" with a CJ Banks soft indigo 3/4 sleeve T and matching knit jacket (which I rolled up to be a just-below-the-elbow length that I really like to wear). My skirt is thrifted Lularoe with a very similar soft indigo background color and a nice low-key but colorful print in a variety of soft, muted tones. I did a loose front tuck on the T (as I did with the chambray shirt in OOTD #1 above) where I just barely tucked the middle front of the top into the skirt waistband and let the fabric of the top drape. I like this kind of tuck since it shortens the top in the front but retains a casual, relaxed vibe (I find a full tuck to be a bit more polished than my day-to-day style, though I will do it sometimes).
I wore another blue print scarf tied in the same way as OOTD #2. If something works for you, why not do it again? The top, skirt, and knit jacket are so coordinated with a very muted color scheme that having a bit of a pop from the lighter/brighter blue and white colors in the scarf was a very welcome addition to this look. It's still harmonious but a bit more interesting with the scarf print mix.
My daily bracelet stack is based on a new DIY paper bead bracelet set that I made to wear with this skirt. I know, I'll have a bracelet set (or multiple) to wear with every single print item I own before I'm done. For this one, I chose the dark blue/navy, lighter blue, and peach from the print as my color palette, adding in white for some contrast and pop. The scarf and bracelet set together give this muted, matchy-matchy base outfit a little more dimension and visual impact...which feels a bit more "me" than a strictly matching outfit would.
Wearing the same headband again with the other pair of earrings I bought from the CJ Banks "storied indigo" collection. These are ovals with stripes in silver, indigo, and a lighter blue (the latter are sparkly crystals).
I call these flats "metallic denim snakeskin"...and they are turning out to be a great purchase! I love a simple, classic pointy-toed flat with a little something extra, and the low-key snakeskin print really delivers. I like that this shade of blue can be treated as a blue accent color or a denim/chambray neutral. That silvery color makes these flats a slam dunk for pairing with silver metal jewelry.
No discussion of soft, muted blues can be complete without a photo of a rabbit with fur in this color! Blue is a rare color for rabbits, but it's a real one. The blue color is what happens when a rabbit that would otherwise have black fur has two recessive alleles on the dilution gene; the black fur areas "dilute" to a lovely dark smoky blue. This little lop's coat has some tan wash over it as well, which I think is just gorgeous.
I like a lot of variety in the colors I wear, but I was actually quite happy to wear these soft, muted blue tones three days in a row last week. I wouldn't want to wear them literally every day, but they are definitely among my favorites for this time of year.
Check out how Di at Di-along styled a column of denim blue with a dusty mauve pink plaid blazer last week for another great outfit option.
Do you wear denim/chambray shirts? Do you wear a variation of the "modern twin set" with top + topper in the same/similar colors? Does your personal style have a stronger element of classic/preppy or boho...or neither?
Blogs I link up with are listed here.