Sometimes inspiration for an outfit comes from the oddest place. Take this outfit for instance: light-medium washed rolled jeans, black and white gingham blouse with ruffled sleeves, hot pink skinny belt, summer sandals, and a black summer raffia bag.
Did the outfit inspiration come from the shirt hanging in my closet looking lightweight and cool on a moderately warm day? Nope. Did it come from the platform sandals that give me height and cover up enough of the toes to so you might not notice I’m missing a summer pedicure? No.
What about the much-loved vintage raffia bag that hasn’t been worn yet this summer? No, I can’t say it was that either.
Inspiration came from a belt that’s not meant to be seen
See that sliver of a pink patent leather belt in my belt loops? That’s what inspired this outfit. What’s odd about this belt as an inspiration piece is that I only use it to keep my pants up and it never sees the light of day.
I bought that belt and a tan one just like it (they came as a 2-pack) from Macy’s at least a dozen years ago. All my jeans back then sat a little lower on my hip. (“Mom” jeans were still on the “out” list.) I felt pretty smart about buying inexpensive belts to hold my jeans up, belts that would never be seen.
The tan one is long gone. I wore it until it had cracks all along it. The pink one wasn’t worn as much and has survived.
Here’s how this belt gets worn and covered up. You see it on the left image where I’m wearing a black tee-shirt, but that’s not how I walk out the door. It always has something over it, like that loose tunic. I’m not one to bring attention to my belly.
I scrambled to put together a babysitting outfit
I wore those exact jeans and that pink belt recently with a loose top. I remember at the end of the day taking the jeans off, folding them into quarters, and stacking them on the jean shelf with the belt still in the loops.
That’s where I found them when I opened my closet door to choose an outfit to wear to babysit Vivienne for the first time since March 3rd. The jeans were there on top of the jean stack.
I’d checked the weather report. It was a chilly morning, but it was going to heat up before noon. These lightweight jeans are the closest thing I have to wearing shorts. They’d be perfect.
Letting the belt be seen
Okay, jeans and a pink belt. Hmm. I’m brainstorming here: What if I allowed the pink belt to be seen for a change? What if I tucked something loose into the jeans (not tight around my belly) and used the belt as an accent color? Whoa, shockeroo. I’ve never done that before!
So what top will I try?
When I look up from the shelving that holds my jeans and T-shirts, I see my tops hanging from light to dark. There was the black and white gingham blouse. Gingham, summer, they go together!
If I squint a little, this blouse is right in style
I haven’t worn this blouse this year. Curiously, the ruffled sleeve makes me think of the current spring puffy sleeve trend, which I haven’t embraced thus far. Puffy sleeves may be “in” the magazines and stores, but this ruffled one happens to be in my closet. Whether it’s a puff or a ruffle, they’re both sleeves with interest. That’s as “in” as I need to be. I feel stylish. I’m Grammafoxy. It’s my duty to be stylish for Viv.
This blouse has served me for a few years
I’ve written about this shirt before, here in 2018, and here when I used it as a work shirt, and before that when I teamed it with a black and white polka dot jacket.
Over time, I love taking an item and making it work across several categories. The first year I own it I wear it a certain way. The next year I may change it up. Where once it was a worktop, right now it can be a play-with-baby-Viv top.
Accessory decisions come easily
Because I was tucking the top into my jeans, adding a necklace seemed like it would be too much. But Viv is always admiring my accessories so with her in mind, I added sparkly Alexis Bittar dangly earrings to entertain her.
See what I mean about Viv and her appreciation for accessories? She makes me stay on my fashion toes!
All that’s left is lip color
Playing with the black and white checks, I was happy to pull out my black raffia bag and my Camper platform sandals. My outfit was complete, or maybe not.
I needed one more thing to pull this outfit together: lipstick. Well, lip stain. Because I’m wearing my mask in most places, lipstick rubs off on the inside of the mask. I’ve been searching for a lip stain in a summer shade and tracked down this Fuchsia colored lip stain at CVS. Suddenly the pink belt felt like it had company. My lips and my hips were in the pink.
I have no pictures of Vivienne from that day. I was way too busy chasing her around on her dozens of adventures. How do mothers do it?
Can you share an example of an item you wore one way and then woke up one day and decided to wear it in a new way? I await your wardrobe tales!