OOTD x3: Bright January Outfits + DIY Paper Bracelet Page to Bead Examples
Can you guys believe it's almost February? This month flew by. Today I have 3 additional Bright January outfits to share as Jodie's style challenge wraps up. I hope you are enjoying seeing these cheerfully colored outfits as much as I am wearing them.
The photos of my first outfit have a shadowy mood because I needed to take my daily photos in a different spot from usual...luckily, this was only temporary. "Somewhat different" is also a good theme for this outfit as I tried a few things I haven't done before:
(1) Wore this colorful pleated skirt with a blush top. The skirt has a slight bit of light pink in the print, which is what gave me the idea. I liked the combination!
(2) Added a bright green-teal scarf that is lighter and more vividly colored than the dark teal in the skirt but that coordinates nicely.
(3) Wore the skirt with brown tights and taupe-brown ankle boots. This wasn't my favorite thing, but it was OK. I really like these ankle boots better with pants than skirts, but wanted to give them another try with a skirt. This outfit just helped confirm my preference. (It's good to check in with ourselves on these things now and again to see if our tastes have changed.)
My all-DIY bracelet stack is based on my Blush Pink/Tan/Brown/Gold paper bead bracelet set, to which I added the brown tiger-eye bead, gold square spacer bead, and rose-brown glass bead bracelets.
My earrings are a pair of irregular faux pearl drops purchased from Loft. I always enjoy wearing a scarf in a color that picks up one of the shades from my eyes, and I think this green-teal color is a flattering one for me overall.
Don't let the strange hairstyle in this second outfit discomfort you...I had just washed my hair and put it up to let it air dry (if I leave it long while it dries, the waviness totally frizzes out). This outfit was all about 3 pieces in the same azure blue color I purchased from Loft in May 2020 (before they stopped selling plus size clothing): a blouse, open weave pullover sweater, and floral print scarf. I am really glad that I bought all three of these matching pieces because they make for very easy outfit creation (and they were all on a great sale: $8 each for the sweater and blouse, $6 for the scarf).
I paired these items with full-length medium wash straight leg jeans and floral Keds...you know, what we Gen X people remember from our youth as "normal jeans" and "normal shoes." I do get a bit of a tickle when I see younger women who grew up in the skinnies era a little befuddled by these "new" jeans silhouettes and how to wear them, but I understand - all they know are skinny legs and ankle lengths. Gen X and Boomer friends who grew up in an era when jeans were not stretchy and therefore couldn't be skintight...when ankle length jeans were called "floods" or "high waters"...this is our time! I'm really enjoying wearing longer and looser jeans right now (though my skinnies are definitely still in rotation with my longer, higher volume tops).
For my daily bracelet stack, I used a set of 3 DIY paper bead bracelets and a DIY blue glass bead bracelet that I call my "cerulean blue" set. Because this set contains several different shades of blue, it blends well with the warm azure blue in my outfit. I added a gold-tone spacer bead bracelet from Amazon to complete the stack.
My third outfit was based on a new combination: my brown winter "modern twin set" (brown pullover sweater + brown quilted vest) and this salmon-pink knit skirt. I have worn the skirt frequently with navy, black, white, grey, and cream, but this is the first time I've worn it with brown. I added brown tights and boots as well to create a brown background against which the bright skirt could shine.
When choosing a scarf, my natural inclination is to select a bridge piece...a print that contains the main colors of my outfit. But as I was looking through my options, this beige scarf with a black/white bird print and varied bright pink flowers caught my eye. I liked how the beige worked tonally with the brown and that the flowers repeated the pink accent of the skirt (though the exact shades are different, they are visually separated enough that it didn't matter). I also put on a nice chunky gold pendant to add some verticality to the look.
Did you notice that the outfit is brown but the scarf contains black? It's really easy to overthink this and worry about whether the black and brown match/coordinate or not. But given how little black there is in the scarf, and how ready we are to accept black in outfits even if it doesn't match anything, it's really not a big deal at all! I love to fuss about the details and analyze everything to death, so I have to remind myself at times to take a step back and look at the outfit holistically. Viewed that way, I think the scarf looks great with the outfit and the black vs. brown is a non-issue.
Does my bracelet stack look familiar? It's almost exactly the same as in the first outfit...I just substituted a rose gold spacer bead bracelet from Amazon for the DIY gold spacer bead bracelet above. I chose this stack for its subtlety and its harmony with the beige of the scarf. I decided I didn't want to repeat the bright pink color again because...
I was wearing the world's easiest DIY hoop earrings with bright pink seed beads on gold-tone hoops. And that felt like enough bright pink for one outfit.
I definitely enjoyed the brown + salmon-pink color combination in this outfit. Brown is one of those underappreciated neutrals, I think in part because it feels more like a "color" than say black, grey, and white, and therefore it can feel harder to know what goes with it. But really, I think a dark brown like this probably works with any color, muted or bright!
I feel like finishing off Bright Color January with a Bright Color Rabbit...a red New Zealand! She rocks the vivid red-orange fur every day of the year and looks wonderful doing it.
Here is how the Blush Pink/Tan/Brown/Gold paper bead bracelet set came together. I started with this full-page image of blush pink bedding and light wood in a Lands End catalog. I removed the section at the bottom with the text and cut triangular strips to make bicone beads 1" long from the right area of the image that has the wood in it [tutorial]. (Using the leftover paper, I also cut some 0.5" triangular strips to use in another project.)
The beads rolled up beautifully into striped beads with a lot of visual interest from the varying textures in the image. I added 5mm golden brown glass pearls to the 7 1" bicones for a simple but lovely bracelet.
This floral tunic image from a Coldwater Creek catalog is small but has just the color palette I was looking for. To make 12 0.5" tube beads, I need 6" of the print [tutorial]. I can take an image like this and split it down the center to double the amount, so I need 3". The tunic image is over 3" long, so I was in business.
I glued the floral tunic images to the end of a page of magazine, cut the rectangular strips, and rolled them up into pretty, slightly varied tube beads. I finished the bracelet with round gold spacers. I love how small catalog images work for tube beads! The print of the item is often reduced in size just the right amount to show well on the finished beads.
I absolutely loved the check print of this polo shirt in a Lands End catalog, but I didn't get quite as lucky as I did with the floral tunic. Even with the image cut in half, I have only 5" of the print to work with instead of the full 6". But I decided that I would go ahead and make 10 0.5" tube beads from it, and they turned out great...even though I wasn't able to cut away the text from the image so words like "check" are visible on the beads, haha. (Note that I've never seen the words when I'm wearing the bracelet, so it worked out fine.) With only 10 paper beads, I used extra spacer beads and center focal bead to get the size of bracelet I needed. So if you have a wonderful paper you want to use but don't have quite enough to make the number of beads you usually do, think about how you can incorporate other beads into your design to make it work.
Other posts in this series:
Do you like wearing bright colors? How do you feel about brown as a neutral? Do you tend to focus on details like wearing small amount of black in a brown outfit or do you naturally look at the outfit overall instead?
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