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What Makes You Feel More "You" When You Wear It? Part 2

Earlier this week, I started answering this style journal prompt from m gets dressed:

Is there an item or pairing that always makes you feel more "you" when you wear it? What do you like about these anchor pieces?

As a recap, I listed these 6 "More Me" items in the first post:

#1 Long Scarves (Especially Prints)

#2 Layered Necklaces

#3 Animal Print Shoes

#4 Colorful Ankle Pants

#5 Zoological Prints

#6 Quilted Vests

Today I will finish up with the last 6 items on my list...all of which are in play in my OOTD from last Friday!

#7 Button Up Shirt Worn as a Jacket (Esp. With Rolled Up Sleeves)

#8 Print Mixing

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with button up shirts. I really like the look of them, but they are often stiff and tailored in a way that isn't very comfortable. The "crisp button up shirt" is the worst. But one way that almost always works for me is wearing a button up shirt as a jacket (shacket)...whether it's currently trendy or not. This particularly navy gingham print shirt is great because it's 100% thin, "limp" cotton (I'm not sure what the opposite of a "crisp" shirt is) so it feels soft and is comfortable to wear. I have never tried wearing a button up shirt as a jacket over my sleeveless chambray shirt, but I like it! Lots of verticality going on here.

3 Way Print Mix - Summer Outfit Idea for Plus Size Woman Over 40
OOTD 5/27/22

As for print mixing...yeah, it's obvious from the most cursory glance at my blog that I'm all over it. Here I have three print pieces--the shirt, pants, and sneakers--that relate to each other by sharing the navy and white/cream colors. I prefer a tight color story when mixing prints, especially more than two prints!

#9 DIY Jewelry

I've shared quite a bit of DIY jewelry on the blog, though lately I've been semi-obsessed with making bracelet sets from paper beads supplemented by stone/glass beads. Today's bracelet stack is based on a DIY bracelet set that I designed specifically to coordinate with the navy/cream/maroon pinstriped pants I'm wearing. It has a rust agate/silver rabbit bracelet that was a gift from my husband (for Easter, I think), a DIY paper tube bead bracelet made from a floral hoodie image in a catalog, a DIY 6mm + 4mm silver bead bracelet, a navy/silver bracelet from CJ Banks, and a DIY paper bicone bead bracelet made from a Mars-and-night-sky ad in The Economist. Technically, this brings the outfit up to a 5 way print mix.

Print Blouse + Layered Necklace - Summer Outfit Idea for Plus Size Woman Over 40

#10 Alice Headbands

#11 Pearls Worn Casually

Surprise! I'm also wearing a silky striped scarf as a headband for print number 6 in this outfit. Ever since I started wearing my hair longer during the pandemic, I have relied heavily on headbands to keep my "lion's mane" under control. I have several dedicated headbands (most of which I made), but I supplement them with various scarves. I like how this one, which has a print reminiscent of a men's tie, works as a headband.

Print Blouse + Slim Pants + Long Light-Colored Cardigan + Flats - Summer Outfit Idea for Plus Size Woman Over 40

As for pearls, it definitely took my co-workers here in St Paul some time to get used to the fact that I will wear a pearl necklace with just about any outfit, regardless of its dressiness level. This seems like a pretty typical practice to me (Oklahoma-raised), but I guess it's not so common up here. You know that person who sees somebody in a dress that is fundamentally just a giant t-shirt and says, in complete seriousness, "oh, they're really dressed up today" because dress = dressy? This is how people reacted to my pearl necklaces. But as with many things you wear that are atypical, once you have trained people to expect you to wear it, it loses its novelty and noteworthiness and just becomes normal. Of course, with Vice President Kamala Harris wearing pearls as a personally meaningful style signature, and the general 80s/90s trend resurgence fueling pearlcore, there's never been a better time to wear pearls casually!

#12 Navy-Based Prints (Especially Navy Floral Prints)

I have left navy-based prints to last on my list, but that's not a reflection of relative unimportance as a "More Me" item! I don't know why, but I just LOVE navy-based prints. LOVE THEM. LOVE THEM. Especially navy-based prints with some white in them. Hence my losing my mind over these floral Keds x Rifle Paper Co. sneakers in summer 2020...which I almost didn't buy, as terrible a prospect as that seems to me now! (Luckily my husband talked me into it. He's a smart guy.) This is a good time to sing the praises of a pairing that is 100% me: these pinstriped pants + floral sneakers. Each of the pieces is a bit of a contradiction in itself (pants: menswear fabric and cuff with feminine cut and length; sneakers: relaxed/sporty shape and bold feminine print), and when paired, the juxtaposition in the combination is *chef's kiss*.

Striped Top + Print Scarf + Ankle Pants/Jeans - Summer Outfit Idea for Plus Size Woman Over 40

And yeah, this pants + sneakers combo is a popular basis for a 3 way print mix outfit. I quite happily wear it with this navy bird blouse (or the cardigan of an almost-but-not-quite-identical bird print), for example. Note the presence of the headband (a simple DIY from an old T) and a pearl necklace from my "More Me" list. (This haughty facial expression cracks me up...I have zero idea what I was thinking there. Feeling disdainful toward those who would dare question my print mix practices?)

Graphic T + Gingham + Bling - Summer Outfit Idea for Plus Size Woman Over 40

Four way print mix based on the pants + sneakers combo? You bet. The "More Me" summery nautical-themed scarf anchors (ahem) this outfit with a navy/white/red color scheme that is also picked up in the striped T. A classic navy/white Breton style striped top would be another great option, but I did like the color burst from this red one. (It's not evident in this photo, but the top has a trio of red-rimmed-in-white buttons on each "cuff" so the tie-in to the navy/white/red palette is complete.)

T or Tank + Lightweight Button Up Shirt + Print Scarf + Statement Earring- Summer Outfit Idea for Plus Size Woman Over 40

Now over to you...Do any of these items resonate with your personal style? Are any of them "Not Me" items for you? What would be on your "More Me" list?

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