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How to Style a Button Up Shirt For Summer Layers With the Thrifty Six

I have recently been welcomed into a wonderful group of fashion and lifestyle bloggers that focuses on styling preloved clothing and accessories in themed monthly posts (third Monday of the month). I hope that this showcase of secondhand items and outfits provides some shopping and style inspiration for anyone who is interested in creating great looks in a way that is sustainable for our planet and our pocketbooks.

The Thrifty Six

Today's topic is Summer Layers...which was my choice of theme because while layering is a style choice that brings so much visual interest to an outfit, many people who layer happily in other seasons feel stumped when it comes to summer layering. And as a previous resident of Oklahoma, Texas, and North Carolina, I get it that once the hot weather sets in, visual interest takes a back seat to comfort! We are showing some clothing layering options for warm, if not peak-of-summer-hot weather, but don't forget that summer layering can work extremely well for jewelry - try layering necklaces or bracelets for a fun summer look. My outfit has an example of necklace layering, as we will see.


My favorite outfit-topping summer layering piece is a lightweight cotton or linen button up shirt, worn open with the sleeves rolled up over a sleeveless top.  Something about the simplicity of it and the easy, relaxed, slightly rough-around-the-edges vibe feels perfect for a laid-back summer day.  I have about 7 secondhand shirts that I wear this way in summer, but I decided to feature my denim shirt from ThredUp that is the one I've worn the most often ($19, 4/2020, 29 wears, $0.65 cost per wear [CPW]).


I wore the denim shirt over a gorgeous cheetah print sleeveless blouse purchased at retail ($16.65, Kohls, 8/2019, 23 wears, $0.72 CPW) and another secondhand piece, one that I've had for a long time: black stretchy ankle pants from Eileen Fisher ($15, Goodwill, 5/2014, 35 wears, $0.43 CPW). I seriously don't understand how these pants have managed to fit me over a range of sizes but I guess these are my personal time-traveling pants. This blouse + pants combo is definitely a Pleasing Pairing that I wear over and over again with various topper layers.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 6/3/24

I went with my cheap Amazon gold flats I've complained about before as a "match my hair"/"warm metallic" summer shoe option ($17, 3/2019, 31 wears, $0.55 CPW).

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My necklaces constitute a layered necklace in two different ways:

(1) one of the necklaces has three strands, and

(2) I am wearing three necklaces together.

The top 3-strand rose gold necklace is one that I recently combined from 3 separate necklaces into one. My sister bought my the top one, a sweet little rabbit on a chain, and I noticed that I tended to wear it with two other delicate chains I'd bought at Fire Mountain Gems. So to make it simpler to wear, I put the three chains together, using extender chain as necessary so that each lower chain is 2" longer than the one above. The middle necklace (which is a bit difficult to see because it blends in with my blouse) is a leopard bead necklace made approx. 30 years ago by my friend RB. The bottom necklace is my gold tassel necklace that I wear all the time; I think it is the most-worn necklace in my collection ($20, Kohls, 12/2014, 92 wears, $0.22 CPW).

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40

My all-DIY bracelet stack was created around an upcycled paper bead bracelet set that I made using magazine and catalog paper to match the cheetah print blouse in a black, white, blue-grey, and salmon color scheme. To this I added 3 bracelets from my snowflake obsidian set, a black glass/mixed metal spacer bead bracelet I wear constantly, and a salmon glass pearl bracelet. {bicone paper bead tutorial} {stretch bracelet tutorial}

DIY beaded bracelet stack

The top paper bead bracelet started out as this cartoon-like drawing from The Economist that had a great color scheme for my chosen palette. Once the beads are rolled, they have an interesting "white and colors with black speckles" appearance. I liked having these beads with an overall light look to balance the much darker bottom bracelet...

DIY paper beads

...which I made from this deep-toned dramatic sunset photo from an alumni magazine. With an image like this, you always have to make a decision whether you want to have strips with all the colors but a shorter length by cutting up-and-down vs. longer strips that don't have all the colors by cutting sideways. I decided I wanted each strip to have all the colors so that I'd get a set of similarly striped beads with a gradation of color that mimicked the sunset, so I cut my strips up-and-down. I used black marker on the edges to cover the white paper core, and the resulting beads were just what I'd expected. It does happen that way sometimes!

DIY paper beads
DIY paper beads

I finished up my outfit with a pair of DIY bead soup earrings that I made to match this blouse and paper bead bracelet set. Instead of my go-to stacked bead design, I used another very easy method to make a two-bead dangle earring. I put the black glass bead on an eye pin and the salmon glass pearl on a headpin. I connected the simple loops together and put an ear wire on top. I used bright copper/rose gold-toned findings on these earrings to blend with the color of the salmon bead. Because the bottom bead dangles from the top bead, rather than having both beads stacked on a single straight piece of wire, this style of earring has more movement to it.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Design bead soup earrings

My outfit cost per wear that includes clothing, shoes, scarves, and necklaces (but not earrings or bracelets, which I do not track) was only $3.21!


Now let's review the summer layers that my thrifty friends have styled...


The Thrifty Six:



Emma of Style Splash


"This summer the weather has been very disappointing so far, so I'm rarely without a cardigan. I've bought a few on Vinted recently, including this long one by Forever Unique. As I have a lot of pink and orange clothes, it's a really useful addition to my wardrobe. I'm hoping I won't need it too much over the next couple of months though!" 

The Thrifty Six


"The T6 theme for June is ‘Summer Layering’…

…I’m layering two sheer pieces to create one elegant evening outfit.

The first layer is gossamer fine; for decency, it could never be worn “sans-slip”…

…the second layer is a negligee and on its own, that’s quite obvious.

Both are pure silk and together they’re just perfect for a summer evening soiree…" 

The Thrifty Six


"I was totally excited how I could layer this DIY denim midi skirt over this lilac tulle skirt. I've seen some similar pairing on Pinterest and I wanted to try it out. The denim skirt was originally a mini denim skirt and I thrifted a pair of jeans to add the length to it (that's why it's two different washes). Then the T-shirt, shoes, pearls and purse all preloved!" 

The Thrifty Six


"I think this is my favourite summer layer piece. Btw, the one season layers are all cardigans for me, and the next season it's jackets and blazers. For a year or two it's jackets and blazers. This lovely linen jacket is from Vinted and is from the brand I used to work for. We also had trousers and skirts to go with the blazer. This jacket has 2 very large buttons and a band to tie it with and a beautiful silvery trim along the edges. I love this jacket. A layer, but not a very warm one. But sometimes you just don't care!" 

The Thrifty Six


"Daenel of Living Outside the Stacks recently cleaned out her closet and she very generously sent me a big box of beautiful preloved pieces that she no longer wanted and knew I would love. When I opened the box, be still my heart, it was filled with Kantha Bae pieces that all mix and match in the most wonderful way...perfect for this thrifty challenge of summer layers. I am wearing a reversible skirt under a reversible dress under a cute little boxy poncho style top..all from Daenel's magical closet! I have styled five different outfits with these three pieces on my blog but there are many more ways I could wear them, too! I do love being the recipient of gorgeous hand-me-downs. Thanks so much, Daenel! I have been wearing these pieces every day since I received them two weeks ago. What a wonderful way to give new life to your old garments, don't you think?" 

The Thrifty Six
The Thrifty Six

Next month's topic is Dark Colors...which is a great theme for July because we often shy away from wearing deeper tones in the summer. But there are so many ways to style our favorite darker colors with an on-season vibe. I have a feeling about the dark color I'm going to feature, but who knows what I'll choose when the time comes.


In the meantime, visit these lovely bloggers for the details of their thrifted summer layer outfits and more style inspiration:



Do you ever wear a button up shirt as a topper layer over a T, tank, or sleeveless blouse in the summer? What is your favorite summer layering piece? Or do you avoid layers in the summer season?


Blogs I link up with are listed here.

13 Comments


Joanne
Joanne
Jun 18

I find I layer a lot in summer--- mostly for when I'm inside and need a layer to protect against the a/c and then remove to go outside in the hot sun. Your shirt is a fabulous thrifted layer.

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Jun 24
Replying to

Such a good point about indoor layering! Creating outfits that work with and without the outer layer can be a summer challenge for sure.

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Julie B.
Julie B.
Jun 18

What a super fun post, Sally... love those DIY beads! We'd love to have you join us at Tuesday Turn About each week, via My Wee Abode .com. Visiting via Inspire Me Tuesday. Pinned!

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Jun 24
Replying to

Thanks for letting me know about your link-up. That's strange about the images not being pinnable - I need to look into that and fix it! I'll reach out if I need some assistance.

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Doris Arthur
Doris Arthur
Jun 18

Your post about summer layering with preloved clothing is inspiring! I love how you combine comfort with style, especially highlighting the versatility of lightweight shirts and statement necklaces. Your commitment to sustainable fashion is commendable, and your outfit combinations show creativity and practicality. Keep sharing your unique fashion insights—they're delightful and informative!

Doris/ <a href="https://purelifegem.com">Pure Life Gem</a>

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Jun 18
Replying to

Thanks so much, Doris! I'm happy to sit in a spot where comfort meets style; it's always nice to remember it's not an either-or situation.

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Shelbee On The Edge
Shelbee On The Edge
Jun 18

I left a comment yesterday but I think maybe it didn't go through. Anyway, you are a creative genius, my friend! I never would have thought about layering necklaces and bracelets to suit the theme! Although I did wear some layered necklaces. Haha. I love this leopard top and the dark denim shirt really helps the colors and print pop. This really is the perfect summer outfit formula!


Shelbee

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Jun 18
Replying to

Your boho necklace layering is magnificent, and so of course you met the theme multiple ways as well!

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mlrbanks57
Jun 18

I love the way you interpret these challenges. I would never have thought of layering jewelry. I love the denim shirt over the leopard top (I had to look closely to see the leopard print). You look fabulous!


https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Jun 18
Replying to

Thanks, Marsha! I like to have a "robust" amount of jewelry, so layering more delicate pieces is a way to actually get them into my rotation.

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