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Early Fall Rust Pants Outfits + DIY Paper Beads

Today I am taking a break from the 7 color wardrobe capsule to focus on fall color, in particular the color of fall foliage. October is the time when the trees in St Paul start turning the brilliant yellow, orange, red, rust, and burgundy colors of the season. But there's also plenty of green in a multitude of shades at this time of year.

Early fall foliage in Minnesota
St Paul, Minnesota - 10/7/2022

For my first outfit, I am revisiting a very specific combination that I evaluated in my Rust Color Combos: Blue & Green post from last fall: my rust pants and green marl cardigan (the last combo under the Rust & Dark Green section of that post). At the time I was unsure about whether these two pieces worked together due to the "somewhat faded" appearance of the cardigan due to the marl texture, and put together an outfit using a maroon-with-green print scarf to tie the colors together.

In this outfit, I am also using a print bridge piece, this time my woodland critters 3/4 sleeve top that has a variety of greens and just a hint of a rusty brown color. And best of all, it has autumnal rabbits peeking out from the leaves.

Woodland Critters Top

What's interesting is that even though the rusty brown in the top doesn't really show itself (so that it's more a bridge piece in my head than in reality), the outfit still works because all the colors in it share that "fall foliage" vibe. The cardigan is more muted than the pants, as I noted before, but that doesn't cause any issues in this outfit. I think "bright with bright and muted with muted" can serve well as a heuristic or rule of thumb, but it's not an iron-clad law that must be followed! After all, nature itself combines bright and muted in beautiful ways all the time. Colors can relate to each other in many different ways, and in this case, having a rich warm quality in both the green and the rust is enough.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 9/30/23

I was extremely pleased that my brown/rose gold sloth necklace hit my <$1 cost per wear (CPW) goal in this outfit (and had already hit my 30 wears goal). Purchased in June 2022, it has been worn over 40 times with a current CPW of $0.98; that's pretty good for under 16 months!

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I have advocated for warm-tone animal print as a great versatile alternative to solid neutrals and a wonderful way to get some low-key print mixing into an outfit. Here I used these tan leopard flats to create the third element of my animal print mix (critters top, sloth necklace, leopard flats). They were also a perfect choice for repeating the black and tan colors of the critter top in the bottom half of my outfit.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My daily bracelet stack is based on a paper bead bracelet set I made to coordinate with this critter top, concentrating on the dark green, lime, brown, and black colors in the print. I filled out the all-DIY stack with two lime green bracelets (the striped one is new, made from beads in my recent Amazon 6mm striped bead purchase), two black bracelets (that I wear all the time), and a rust carnelian stone bracelet.

DIY paper bead bracelet stack

The top bracelet with the green glass focal bead was made using this full-page illustration in an alumni magazine that has a wonderful range of autumnal colors. I used a black marker to cover the white paper core, which gave the rolled beads black striping, adding to the deep richness of color that was a good match to the woodland critter top with the black background. I love how the black marker bleeds into the paper with a bit of irregularity, really emphasizing the handmade, organic quality of the beads.

DIY Paper Beads

The bottom bracelet started from an image of a loon painting in a birding magazine (sorry, I didn't capture the original image). This one also had a terrific set of colors to coordinate with the critter top (and as a bonus, injects a hidden critter into the bracelet set). As this was thinner paper, I didn't need to use marker on the edges, and the beads turned out with a lot of green and some pops of sour yellow that complemented the darker beads above nicely.

DIY Paper Beads
Design a paper bead bracelet set

My second outfit harkens back to my original rust color combos post featuring black, cream, and olive. (I never did a rust + brown post, probably because that combination is so obvious.) I put together the rust pants with a brown short-sleeved T and an ivory cardigan and added a print scarf that blends these colors. If you don't like wearing a lighter cardigan over a darker top, these colors could readily be reversed with a brown cardigan over an ivory/cream/white top. I'm not sure that there's any way you could put rust, brown, and ivory together in the three pieces that wouldn't work; it's just a really pleasing combination of neutral to semi-neutral warm colors that is very in the fall spirit.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 10/4/23

The scarf adds a fourth color: a dark, muted teal that is an under-appreciated semi-neutral/colored neutral fall color. This shade of teal is also gorgeous with rust as I showed in my Rust Color Combos: Bright Teal & Muted Teal post. Red-Orange and Blue-Green are complementary colors on the color wheel, so they are a bold but very harmonious combination.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I added my MVP dark brown leather flats to create my beloved matching top & shoes color formula, which is an extremely easy way to repeat a color in both the top and bottom parts of an outfit.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

I wore the scarf using a variant on method #1: single overhand knot with other end pulled through as described on my 5 easy scarf ties post. Before putting the scarf around my neck, I twisted it along its length so that the volume was reduced; then when I wrapped it around and tied the knot, the scarf around my neck took up less space, allowing my necklace (teal-flecked brown beads, made by my friend RB over 25 years ago) to show. I added a pair of the world's easiest DIY hoop earrings that I made with small malachite stone beads and gold-tone spacers on pre-made hoops. The dark green of the malachite coordinated well with the dark, muted teal in the scarf...and of course my eyes have both green and teal in them for even more matchy goodness.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My all-DIY daily bracelet stack started with a paper bead bracelet set that was NOT inspired by this scarf! It was actually made to coordinate with my mint/peach/rust floral shirt (outfit #2 here) in a rust, green, mint, and gold color palette. I just got lucky that this color combo was a great fit for this outfit. My supplemental bracelets here are two magnesite stone bracelets, a new warm brown striped bead bracelet (from the same bead mix as the green striped one above), a dark green/gold paper tube bead bracelet, and the rust carnelian stone bracelet again.

DIY bracelet stack

The top bracelet with the gold flower focal bead was created from this richly colorful nature illustration in a birding magazine. I liked the prominence of the rust and the variety of greens as a match for my color palette, with some extra hints of teal, pink, and blue that I thought would add visual interest. I covered the white paper core with gold marker. I loved that the scale of the leaves in the image was small enough that the motif remains visible in the rolled beads!

DIY paper bead bracelet set

The bottom bracelet is an example of my paper-with-beaded-jewelry-made-into-beaded-jewelry creations. This boldly colored floral motif seed bead necklace image was in a catalog from Fire Mountain Gems. The mint, teal, rust/orange with tan colors worked well for me, though I didn't much care for the light grey-ish background for my vision. But that was no big deal; after I cut the strips, I simply covered over the grey sections with a dark green marker. The beads turned out really well with the extra green color, and I like the little pops of magenta that show up on some of the beads. The visual texture from the seed beads really comes across well on the finished beads, too; again, the small scale of the seed beads helps with that.

DIY paper beads
DIY paper beads page to bead examples

Has fall arrived where you live, in terms of weather, fall foliage, pumpkin spice lattes, or otherwise? (If you're in the southern hemisphere, congratulations on the arrival of the natural wonder of spring!) Do you like to wear or decorate with traditional autumn colors? Do you ever wear or decorate with rust? Do you have a favorite rust color combination?

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