OOTD x4: Colorful Summer Work Outfits
Welcome to another round-up of recent outfits, this time focusing on business casual work outfits for warm days. I am still in work from home mode but I do prefer to dress comparably to how I would working in my office because that helps keep me in the mental Work Zone.
My first outfit outfit started with this thrifted CJ Banks dark teal blouse...which as you can see isn't sleeveless exactly but has very short sleeves that are cut in one piece with the bodice and cover the shoulder but don't really cover the upper arm at all.
I paired the blouse with my textured white skirt and bright teal ballet flats. The shoes were a bit of an experiment in bringing a vibrant shade of teal in with the dark, muted one. I added a brightly colored necklace to help balance the intensity of the shoes, and I thought it worked well. I liked how the black and white chevron print cardigan looked, but good grief, it was crazy warm. Because it has 3/4 length sleeves, I mentally categorize it as a warm weather cardigan but that is wrong wrong wrong.
So time for a switch out! Instead of trying another cardigan, I decided to continue with the Extreme Color theme by draping this lightweight cotton scarf with an exuberant multi-color giant fish print instead. Don't forget the versatility of a large lightweight natural fiber (silk, cotton, linen) scarf as a "topper" alternative in the summer!
The colors in the scarf work wonderfully with the brightly colored "wild ball" necklace, and I always like how this green-teal color worn near the face repeats the color of my eyes.
Today's bracelet stack is a bit of a mash up of various DIY pieces: the two pink paper and the black bead bracelets are from one set, the teal/silver paper and the teal glass bead bracelets are from another, and the white glass bead bracelet was thrown in to repeat the color of my skirt (and coordinate with the pink/white bracelet).
My second outfit started with these cheerful thrifted Talbots pants...which definitely qualify as "colorful ankle pants" from my More Me list. I call this color "neon coral watermelon" on my wardrobe inventory to capture their stunning brightness.
This outfit also has an experimental aspect...the pairing of the bright coral pants and a muted rusty coral top for a tonal inner column of color. I have worn this pairing before with a bright coral/peach open weave pullover sweater over the tank (so you can't really see much of it), and that gave me the idea to try it this way (where you can see it). I recognize that this muted + bright tonal combo might not be for everyone, but I thought it looked just fine! And though a black top (for a twin set look) or white top (for a colorblock look) would be other options, I am glad that I have a reasonable-to-my-eye inner column that I can use in summer with these pants. Accessorizing the outfit was quite easy...the captoe flats are that perfect blend of nude-to-me + repeating black from the outfit; the scarf has several colors in the range of peach, pink, and coral; and the necklace has small crystals along the chain that repeat colors in the scarf. I think having a very tight color palette for the accessories added a lot of cohesion to this outfit despite the not-really-matching nature of the top and bottom combo.
For my bracelet stack, I decided to repeat colors from the scarf, so I put together 3 DIY cream wood bead bracelets with a DIY paper bead trio that I created to coordinate with my silk fish scarf (second set in this "how to design a bracelet set" post) and a silver tone Amazon bracelet (to bring in the silver from the necklace).
My third outfit is based on another green/teal piece, this thrifted CJ Banks jacket that I LOVE.
I used what Bridgette Raes calls "road map styling," in which you start with a print to guide the colors you select for the outfit. It really is the most straightforward way to pick colors. Here I put the jacket with this mint lace-front T to pull out that lightest accent shade from the jacket's print and a camel skirt that matches the tan/camel neutral in the print. Neither the mint nor the camel are primary colors of the print, so it's not an obviously ultra matchy-matchy outfit (though there is nothing wrong with matchy-matchy, of course!). I think drawing on those secondary colors from the print (ones that a person might not really even notice in the print from a distance) creates a combination is cohesive but also fresh and a bit modern.
I really like the texture mix in this outfit with the lace-front top, the slightly nubby silk skirt, and the smooth jacket. I opted for a metallic necklace that is large and high-impact but of a simple design, and I added beige wedges that coordinate well with the skirt (and keep the whole bottom half of the outfit rather plain to keep the attention on the fantastic jacket).
This jacket has a bit of a "let's take the colors of your hair and eyes and make it into a swirly colorful fuzzy-edged print" thing going, doesn't it?
My bracelet stack consists of pieces that are almost ridiculously well-matched to the colors of my outfit. I just put together a silver tone Amazon bracelet and two DIY bracelet sets (that I made to coordinate with a different item that has both mint and aqua in it) and bam, perfect! The aqua, mint, blue, and tan from the jacket are represented in these bracelets, and the silver matches back to the necklace.
Now for my last outfit, which started with this terrific thrifted geometric print knit skirt in shades of blue, aqua, orange, and purple with navy and white.
I've been wanting to do a summer print mix with this skirt, so I pulled out this lightweight cotton cardigan with bold navy and white stripes and put it over a navy sleeveless blouse (and rolled up the sleeves; I love rolling up the sleeves, as you've seen throughout this post). I think the skirt + cardigan combination works! I won't say it's a 100% fool proof print mix tip, but seriously, take a multi-colored print and pair it with a very simple print (stripes, dots, etc.) in two of the colors from the multi-colored print and you have a very good chance that the combo will work. If one of those colors is white, the odds of a successful print mix are even better.
I like the way the white tassels on this necklace stand out against this navy blouse, so it's a common pairing of mine. The necklace (a gift from my mom) is a long chain with tassels on either end so it can be worn many different ways. I decided to wrap it into a short two-layered necklace that fills in the V of the cardigan. I went with another blend-to-the-legs pair of wedges (I am working on reducing the cost per wear on both this light grey pair and the beige pair above) but my bright blue or orange ballet flats would also be very cute options. I really like navy (dark blue) + orange as a high energy complementary color scheme...
...as evidenced in my bracelet stack, which consists of all DIY pieces: lapis lazuli squares, navy/orange striped paper tubes, dull orange stone, navy/white starry sky paper bicones, white glass, and navy/orange-rust paper bicone beads.
I was VERY amused when I put this photo into PowerPoint to resize it (I know there are many ways to resize photos, but this is a method that I find simple to do using a template of a pre-established size). PowerPoint always automatically generates alt text based on the image, and it was completely correct about "person," "posing," and "striped," but "young" was a surprise! I choose to interpret this as "youthful" and not "dressed like a second grader on picture day."
Have you been experimenting with anything new or a bit outside your comfort zone in your outfits lately?
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