Indigo Linen Top & Colorful Pants Outfits + DIY Paper Beads
Today's post is a bit of a swerve back into softer alternatives to navy territory as I introduce another of my Lands End winter sale linen top finds. This one is their "Linen Short Sleeve T-Shirt Top" in Indigo, but it's definitely not a T-shirt because it's woven linen with no stretch...but I guess it has a bit of T-shirt styling with the front pocket...?? In any case, I bought it for $13.19 last December (and they are having a major sale right now that is bringing down the prices of their linen tops to similar levels, if you are interested). My photo is terrible but you get the idea: it's a loose boxy pullover linen top in a wonderful light indigo color that functions like chambray as a muted neutral to wear with or in place of darker blue neutrals like navy.
For my first outfit, of course I had to pair it with my new dusky rose pants that I've been wearing on repeat. This could definitely be another addition to my slew of pink and blue summer outfits that fit with Shelbee's latest Style Imitating Art challenge. What can I say? These colors just go together so well!
To jazz up this muted outfit, I added a brighter scarf in various shades of pink, red, purple, yellow, green, and blue. Obviously none of these colors is a match for the dusty rose pants, but I thought that it coordinated well; the rose looks a bit like a de-saturated version of the purple in the scarf to me and the various pink shades go together just fine.
I don't have a pair of dusty rose shoes, but I thought these soft pink flats (that are nearly a nude-to-me color) looked nice with the rose. I bought these flats from Amazon for $15 in February 2020; I've worn them 24 times for a current cost per wear (CPW) of $0.62.
To match the vibrancy of the multi-color scarf, my daily bracelet stack is based on a new DIY paper bead bracelet set that I made to coordinate with a very colorful tropical floral print skirt (that you will see shortly). This stack brought in the saturated pink and red colors that are prominent in the scarf as well as several shades of blue.
The top/right paper bead bracelet was made from an irresistible image of a coral reef from The Economist magazine...one of their standard 7" wide images that I have grown very accustomed to using for paper beads. This page had the riot of color and the rich saturation I was looking for, inspired by the tropical print skirt. Because of the dimensions of the image, I had to cut my strips sideways rather than up and down, which means that some of the strips were mostly blue with hints of pink-red from the fish while other strips had a lot of green, pink-red, and navy/black. I rolled the strips as-is, resulting in beads with a lot of variety, which was a cool effect. I wouldn't have purposely designed the beads this way, but I liked how they turned out!
The bottom/left paper bead bracelet was made from this page of heart motif Valentine's Day clothing from a Coldwater Creek catalog. The color scheme on this one is much narrower, reinforcing the pink, red, navy, and white colors of the inspiration skirt. I admit that I wasn't 100% sold on this as an accompaniment to the previous coral reef bracelet, but it was what the crafting gods offered up to me at that moment so I went with it. As usual, the small scale of the prints on the catalog clothing images means that some of those stripes, hearts, etc., showed up in the final beads, which I enjoy.
In the end, I decided I did like the two bracelets together in the set. One reason is that the more colorful, chaotic coral reef bracelet is balanced by the more muted, regularly patterned (striped) Valentine's bracelet. Another reason is that the coral reef one has a brighter pink and the Valentine's one has a lighter, softer pink...which makes it easy to combine multiple shades of pink bead bracelets into a stack. Things worked out well despite my initial reservations!
My second outfit follows the same easy outfit formula: neutral linen top + accent color pants + print scarf + flats. Quite seriously, starting with this linen top, I could probably generate many hundreds of outfits following this outfit formula once I started mixing and matching my colorful pants and print scarves.
This outfit is also another good example of how you don't have to get too worked up about whether your scarf (or other print item) matches your accent color exactly. My pants are more of a true green while the leaves in the scarf are more of a yellow-green, but it's all good! As long as the colors "relate," "coordinate," "blend," or "go," they don't need to "match."
I am happy every time I pull out these world's easiest DIY hoop earrings with the three colors of warm green glass pearls on gold pre-made hoops. When I made my several pairs of earrings in this style, I often didn't have enough of a single color of pearls to make them so by necessity, I pulled pearls in similar coordinating colors until I had enough to create the earrings. But the multiple shades of pearls in a given hue have the advantage of (1) being more visually interesting and (2) more easily working with a range of colors. I'm not sure how to express that second point. It's like the multiple greens in these earrings say "this is an outfit with many shades of green," so when more different greens are added to the look (as in the pants and the scarf), it's like "oh, OK, this is an outfit with many shades of green so yet more green shades still makes sense." This effect is not limited to earrings of course! I think anything you wear that has that "multiple shades of a hue" thing can be a great way to support the blending of items in an outfit.
I could have added another shade of green in my shoes but decided this was a good use of my chambray ballet flats (from my infamous 2015 Payless ballet flat purchase) to match my top.
My bracelet stack is based on another new DIY paper bead bracelet set...I know, another one! My color palette for this set was green, pink, and yellow/gold, which coordinated well with my scarf. And you can see that I went with two shades of green (pure green and lime green) and two shades of pink (warm watermelon pink and bright candy pink) when completing the stack with bead bracelets. The multiple shades of those hues in both the paper bead bracelets and the scarf supported that well.
The top paper bead bracelet was made from a fun full-page drawing in an alumni magazine (which looks like it was created in the style of Keith Haring, whose Tree of Life painting was a Style Imitating Art selection last summer). The desired green, pink, and golden yellow was present, as well as small amounts of other colors that I figured would work nicely. I simply covered the white paper core with gold metallic marker and rolled them up. They turned out great.
For the bottom paper bead bracelet, I was drawn to this gorgeous photo of pink poppies from Birds & Blooms magazine. The background mauve color was not part of my plan, but I loved the pink and green with a hint of yellow in the flowers so I tried it. The resulting beads are really beautiful, and I don't think the soft dark mauve color detracts from the set. It's just a set with one brighter bracelet and one more muted bracelet, to which I can add whatever other color of bracelets makes sense with a given outfit. The nice thing about a bracelet stack is that you concern yourself with how the bracelets look together overall rather than focusing too much on the details of any one piece.
Is the linen top + accent color pants + print scarf + flats an outfit formula you would wear (for readers in hot climates, I recognize this may not work for you until October!)? If not, how would you tweak it for your style/comfort? Do you have an outfit formula you could create dozens (or hundreds) of versions with from your wardrobe? Do you try to match colors exactly or do you have a level of acceptance for colors that are in the general range or color family as another one?
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