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  • Writer's picturesallyinstpaul

OOTD x2: Brown Quilted Vest + Color

We have reached the bundled up part of Minnesota winter, when I start wearing quilted vests or puffy vests more often than not. This isn't a trendy look per se, but it's become part of my winter personal style in the last few years with no obvious end in sight. Work in the office, work at home, weekends...these are all good times for a quilted vest outfit in my view. I enjoyed Fonda's recent post at Savvy Southern Chic in which she showed a couple work outfits featuring vests that she wore the week of Christmas (to her professional office) and asked the very reasonable question: "The guys wear their fleece Columbia vests over their ties and button ups, so why can't I wear this?"

This inspired me to share a couple OOTD from last weekend wearing my brown quilted vest. Both of these looks are ones I would also feel appropriate wearing to my business casual office...though I tend to wear skirts + tights + boots rather than pants when I'm braving the elements. But these sweater + pants + vest + scarf outfits are just right for this work from home era.

My brown quilted vest is one of several identical vests I bought in multiple colors from Kohls in December 2019. I have them in black, brown, navy, rust, white, and wine. I think I bought the brown one first as a replacement piece, and I liked it so much that I bought it in a variety of colors (all for under $17 apiece). So far I've worn the brown vest 16 times for a cost per wear of $1.06.

The first outfit was created around the striped scarf and dark green-teal sweater. Because the sweater is a longer length, I added these slim-fitting Starfish knit pants that along with their olive-green counterparts constitute my one comfy clothing purchase of the pandemic (a two-thumbs up buy). From there it was easy to finish the outfit with more shades of brown, including the dark brown vest and medium brown ankle boots. This outfit has a somewhat autumnal color vibe, but the overall feel of it is wintry to me.

OOTD 1/15/2022

This scarf, which I purchased secondhand from ThredUp, deserves a closer look. I love the richness of the fabric weave and the colors. I held it in place with the world's easiest DIY scarf ring made from an elastic and a shank button, this one with a clock face. I have no idea where this button came from, but it works well as a scarf ring. (And naturally I associate clocks with my beloved Alice in Wonderland, which is always a plus.)

I was quite pleased with how the colors in these resin and gold tone hoop earrings matched the colors in the scarf, and my rose gold and brown glasses fit in quite well also.

Of course I had a bracelet stack going! This one has two DIY camel-gold stone bracelets, a DIY brown cat-eye bead bracelet, the green jade chip "bracelet" my husband gave me for my birthday (it wasn't sold as a bracelet but the way the beads were strung on the elastic it fit perfectly as a bracelet), and a DIY bracelet made from green magazine paper tube beads decorated with metallic gold acrylic paint.

The second OOTD is one I'd initially planned way back when I got this vest in December 2019 but hadn't gotten around to wearing. The scarf was not part of the original outfit, and I think the lack of scarf made me procrastinate about wearing it. But when the outfit popped up again as a possible fall/winter look, I saw the possibilities for greatness by adding this delightfully colorful scarf with it! The warm bright pink color in the scarf is an irresistibly perfect match with the sweater. I added a scarf ring and flats in a very similar shade to the vest and jeans to tie the look together. (For an in-office day, I would have added brown trouser socks, but staying at home, I don't usually need them.) I really like how a quilted vest and pants/jeans in the same color can work as a different kind of inner column of color!

OOTD 1/16/2022

I added two more touches of bright pink to the look by wearing bright pink lipstick and DIY seed bead hoop earrings. If you look for it, in this photo you can see that I also did wear the double-strand brown faux-tortoiseshell bead necklace that was part of the originally planned outfit. I continue to enjoy wearing various combinations of scarves and necklaces. It's clearly a goal of mine to wear as many accessories at once as I can. :D

In other news, I cut my hair last weekend! I know, it's still long, but if you look at the first pink sweater photo above, you can see my hair sort of draping on the arm of the sweater and it's not the crazy length that it was before. I cut off about 8 inches. I had my hair in two braids on the sides and just cut the ends of the braids off...using these scissors from Amazon, which are extremely sharp and work very well. I trimmed things up as well as I could, then got Robot to help get the back reasonably straight using these lefty scissors from Amazon, which are ALSO extremely sharp and work very well. (I didn't realize that using specialty hair-cutting scissors would make such a difference but man, it really does!)

It's not the greatest haircut in the world, but (1) my hair's less scraggly and less fuzzy than it was before, (2) I'm not going out for a haircut any time soon, and (3) I never get great haircuts even when I do go out for them. I actually hate getting a haircut, so doing it at home was a much nicer experience than usual...faster and less stressful for sure. The time spent washing and combing out my hair has decreased substantially with less hair to deal with, which is terrific. I expect that I'll go a bit shorter next time I cut it, but I wanted to leave plenty of room to work with in case I made a colossal screw-up of it on this first attempt, which happily I did not.

Do you have any go-to pieces, silhouettes, or outfit formulas you're relying on this winter? Are you still dressing at all differently from normal due to the pandemic?

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