Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sweater and Jeans / Happy New Year!

   Happy New Year!
   After last week's Christmas post, I decided to take a short break from blogging. As it turns out, that was a good idea, since I found myself a bit busy! However, now I'm back on board and ready to share today's outfit with you! Yes, it's technically time for a topic post, but I neglected to plan in advance. ;)
   My last few outfits have been on the dressier side, so here's one of my more casual options. This afternoon I wore it when I went with my mom to clean house for an older lady friend that we work for; No, I'm not a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. ;)
  



    I usually prefer to sport loose tops when wearing pants, so today I put on this bright pink sweater. I like the cable detailing on the front as well as the folded shawl-collar (at least, that's what I'm calling it...let me know if there's another name for it). I accessorized with my silver chain and blue heart pendant. After adding my new brown boots, the outfit had a jaunty, ready-for-winter look. It served me well as I dusted furniture this afternoon, and looked cute to boot (pun not intended. ;)!

Sweater ~ Gift;  Tank top ~ Thrifted; Jeans ~ Thrifted;  Boots ~ On sale at Ross; 
Necklace chain and pendant ~ Gift


   By the way, I want to apologize for the bad picture quality. It was already dark outside by the time we took the pictures, so I changed some camera settings, which made the photos brighter, but fuzzier. I tried to salvage what I could on Photoshop, but they're still far from fabulous. On the bright side...I hope to buy a new camera soon! :D
   Depending on where you live, it's either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day right now. Wow! Where has the time gone? 2013 has been a year I'll never forget. I hope that 2014 will find me closer to the Lord, and hold many exciting new experiences. The following verse came to mind as an apropos end to this evening's post, and I hope that you and I will both find it to be true in our lives in this new year and all to come.
 
"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."
~Lamentations 2:22-23 NKJV (emphasis added)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

 

Paper bag luminaries on our front porch

   Wow, is Christmas already nearly over? Last night and this afternoon my parents and I spent time visiting both sides of the family and now we are preparing to have a cozy evening at home. In the midst all the visiting and food and gifts, I've been remembering the One whose birthday is honored this holiday. Without Him, there would be nothing to be joyful about. :)

 
   Though not on purpose, both my Christmas eve and Christmas day outfits ended up being teal with black. Perhaps teal is not a traditional Christmas color, but both outfits were festive. I've always thought shades of blue seemed appropriate for a winter holiday. :)
   Above is what I wore to my aunt's house for Christmas eve. The blouse, cardigan and skirt are all thrifted. The gold bracelet I'm wearing is one that my Grandma handed down to me just last night.
 
 
 
 
 
   Here is what I wore today and yes, you've seen this turtleneck before. It has been worn only four times so far, and three of those outfits have already been on Sunday Best. :P I had to wear it today though, because I got new tights for Christmas! My parents gave me a pair of teal and a pair of deep purple - Mom knows my taste well. ;) The leather flower pin I'm wearing in my hair was an accessory Mom made for me, and the necklace was a handmade gift from sweet friends.
   
I hope you all have had a wonderful day! Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whoever you are, I pray that the light of Jesus shines in your heart.
 
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." ~1 John 1:15
 
  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Seven Things That Inspire Me

   The main purpose of the blog is to inspire you, the reader, in your fashion endeavors. In order to do this, I, the writer need to have some material which will inspire you. This begs the question, where do I come up with my ideas for style? Stay tuned, because I’m about to tell you, in case you hadn’t guessed. ;)

 

1: Books
   I have read just about every book about clothing I can get my hands on (that is, if they fall in the spectrum of “books with lots of pictures”). This has been going on since long before I ever thought of writing a blog; it’s just something that has inexplicably fascinated me. It all began with books about historical costume, which I have always enjoyed drawing, especially in illustrating my stories. As I got older, I became more interesting in modern fashion and what different kinds of styles there were. Many authors of fashion have great information to offer about how to achieve different looks, try new styles and how dress for your shape and coloring. I just have to filter it all through the lenses of modesty and feasibility (I may never invest in a Prada handbag, thank you very much.)

 

 
2: Movies

   For several years now, I have enjoyed watching classic films. These are the movies that I mainly gain inspiration from. The women of bygone days seemed to have elegant femininity seldom seen today. I like to imitate looks from different eras, and watching the films and looking up pictures of classic actresses is helpful in this.

 

3: Friends
   Wow, do I know some ladies with great style! Not only do I see great style all around me, but also a sense of modesty and a talent for maneuvering through second hand stores. The photograph above is of several friends and I after wrapping gifts for the pregnancy care center I volunteer at. In case you ladies are looking at this, I want to let you know that I blurred out your faces for privacy. I promise I like your faces. ;) Whether I’m actually thinking about it or not, the people around me give me ideas of what to try wearing next. My mom and I definitely have different styles, yet she is always giving me new ideas and recommendations.



4: People Watching
   
    I live in an area that is, well, sort of artsy and eccentric. People can wear just about anything they want to and no one will be surprised. This can be a down-side, but it also can be a good thing because many ladies are free to be creative in their style and not fit into the mold of the current look. I've seen some adorable outfits and vintage garb around town that make me want to be more imaginative with my wardrobe.

 


5: The Occasional Trend
   I wouldn’t exactly say that I dress in a trendy manner. There are plenty of things out there right now that "everyone is wearing" which I’m not really interested in. At the same time, I think that we have many cute fashions available to us right now, and like to incorporate them into what I wear. The chambray shirt and tailored winter jacket are just two examples of clothes that have been "in" that I like. Modern fashion is not to be entirely discounted.

 

6: Blogs
  
   This is a more recent development. I never really read blogs before I wrote my own, except for the occasional hair tutorial or some such thing. After beginning Sunday Best, I started following blogs by several creative gals with the same interests. Not only has joining the blogosphere been fun, but I'm also getting great ideas from the fashion blogs I follow!



7: Necessity - The Mother of Invention

  My top inspiration for my outfits each day is ......*drumroll please*..... that I need to use whatever is clean, ironed, and appropriate for the day's activities and weather conditions! In other words, much of time I just slap together something that looks cute but doesn't have a lot of intellect behind it. These are the times when I use my "go-to" items.

   There you have it folks! These are the things that get my style juices flowing. What about you? Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
   If you have noticed that my blog looks different, it's because I was home with a cold the other day and had the grand idea of changing my blog template. Then I changed it back, but I realized that my buttons were gone and customized fonts were gone and I needed to redo things. So, hopefully that will be remedied soon. :) The customizing option isn't working right now, which I believe to be related to the problems I previously mentioned. In any case, I'm glad that I can post here at least! :D I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend.
 
"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
- Proverbs 24:3-4

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Special Occasions!!!


 (Birthday party décor)

   As I suspected, I only posted once last week. Time will tell if I can remedy that this week. Happily, my busy days have resulted in fun outfits to share with you!
  My personal style is not easy to define at this point. I have classic, retro, creative, and sometimes bohemian elements to what I wear. When dressing up for special occasions, my clothing choices are as varied as they are in day-to-day life. All the same, everything I wear has a "Paige" flavor to it. Following are a few outfits that I have worn recently that show my assorted expressions in the world of fashion. I may even present you with some inspiration in the process. :)

 
   Last week, I attended a Christmas party for the local pregnancy care center that Mom and I volunteer at. My outfit was definitely feminine, ruffles and lace and draping folds. My new boots made a sensible anchor for the frilly garments, and tied in to the warm color palette. This is about as boho as I get. :)
 
 
   Above is what that I wore for my birthday tea party. I was blessed to have my mum make me a new skirt out of lovely aqua fabric, which I wore with my teal cashmere turtleneck. My black Mary Jane heels and silver necklace were in keeping with the cool colors. This outfit is ladylike, with a subtle vintage feel.

 
 
   Our church choir performed a Christmas cantata this Sunday, and we agreed to wear seasonally appropriate colors. I borrowed my mom's black cardigan to wear with this adorable polka dotted mint skirt and black heels. The embroidered detailing on the skirt's hemline is delightfully feminine and delicate. Some sweet friends gave me an intricate silver and green necklace that went well with my clothes. With my hair in a bun to complete the look, I felt like a 1950's lady in this outfit!
 
 
 
 
 
   Lastly, I want to show you what I wore and did for my actual birthday! The outfit definitely shows my personality - a girl has to wear clothes that make her happy on her special day. :) The day was spent in fun and casual pursuits, including visiting the book store pictured above. I am thankful to have brown boots now, which went far better with my yellow skirt than my black ones ever could! In the evening, my best friend and I went with my parents to look at Christmas lights - we also ate a good deal of popcorn!
 
 
   My parents gifted me with this necklace that my mom made (I've admired cameos for a while now!) that I hope to show you soon with an outfit. They also gave me this Pacifica spray-on perfume! For a few years, I've been using Pacifica's solid scents. They smell lovely, but don't have the staying power of the spray perfume. :)
   In closing, I want to give you my fashion advice for you this season in a nutshell. 1) Don't be afraid to try something that you are unsure of. Just be sure ask someone (preferably a fellow female ;) ) if you look presentable before heading out the door. 2) Try using subtle retro elements in an outfit. 3) Remember to be mindful of the temperature of where you will be spending your time. The weather outside may be frightful, but if you dress too warmly, the fire will not be so delightful! 4) Enjoy yourself and don't fuss too much over your clothes! Family and friends will love you anyway. ;)
 
"I have set the Lord always before me: because he is my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also
shall rest in hope." ~Psalm 16:8-9
 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Casual Yet Classy Outfit / Blog Trouble?!

   In case you haven't noticed (which you probably didn't, since I often have trouble getting more than one post out per week ;) ), my weekly blogging goal is to do one outfit post and one topic post each week. This is my outfit post for the week, but it includes another topic as well. The latter is something that I wish didn't have to be here, but frankly, I'm desperate for some answers! Blogger has been acting rather peculiar lately, as well as the internet in general. That being said, let's start out with the fun stuff...


...such as this outfit! Monday was a day of running a couple of errands and relaxing at home. Even though I was wearing comfy jeans, Converse, and a long-sleeved knit t-shirt, the outfit was dressed up a little bit with the jacket I purchased during last month's thrift store expedition . I had my doubts about how the jacket would look with such casual pieces, but I think the effect was rewarding. The accessory of the day was my "P" pendant worn with a black ribbon.

 
 
   Truth be told, I wore my black coat over the outfit when I went out to run errands that day. The weather has been about as cold as it gets around here. The pond and bird bath (above) in our backyard have been covered with a layer of ice for several days. On Saturday, it even snowed for a few minutes, which is a rare sight on the coast!
    Now for the bad news. For that past week or so, I've been getting error messages about a problem with my module file every time I get onto Blogger. They don't actually prevent me from doing anything, but I know that something is wrong.  The buttons that are normally orange (such as the "publish" button) are only outlined in orange. Also, I only got a fraction of page views after my latest post than I normally do after publishing a new post. Therefore, I'm wondering if there are some visibility issues. A few people did see it, so it could have just been a coincidence, but I feel that there is some sort of problem. In addition to this, I created a Facebook page for Sunday Best, and put up my last post as a status on the page. Unfortunately, that didn't show up at all! Of course, that could just be a Facebook problem. Do any of you have suggestions? Have my fellow bloggers experienced these issues?
  Before closing, I have a bit of good news to share. I bought brown boots! Because of a defect, I got them at a discount (more on that later). They should coordinate well with outfits when the black ones don't quite make the cut. ;) Most likely, they will make an appearance here quite soon, what with all the Christmas festivities (and my birthday) that I will be dressing up for. Starting tomorrow, life is going to get extremely busy for me, but it will be full of fun! :)
 
"Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you
who hope in the Lord."
~Psalm 34:23-24

Friday, December 6, 2013

Take Your Summer Clothes Into Winter!

  Now that December has come, the temperature has definitely dropped, even in my home town's "temperate" climate. Some clothes make an easy transition into the cooler months. Your favorite maxi skirt and pair of jeans probably look just as cute with boots and a cardigan as they do with flats and a t-shirt. What about those less obvious pieces like sun dresses though? For the trickier items, I have a few tips that have helped me.

Layering

        
 
 


   Layering clothes is something that I do just about every day. For modesty reasons, I already layer my dresses (oh, and the fact that our summer days rarely get above the 70's, at best ;) ). The transition to the cooler months just requires putting long sleeves underneath instead of short sleeves. Some dresses also look cute with a sweater over them, such as the plaid dress in the photo.


   You might have to get creative with layering if you are going to be spending time outside on a chilly day. I often wear a cardigan over my outfit when I'm indoors, then leave it on under my jacket when going out.

Tights

   I don't know what I would do without tights! With tights, you can stretch the range of temperatures in which you can wear your shorter and/or thinner skirts and dresses. The ideal tights for winter are thick, opaque and well-fitting (if they don't bunch at the ankles, you can wear them with flats and sneakers!). However, it seems that most of what I'm seeing in stores this season are basically colored nylons. If you wear those with a cozy pair of knee-high socks under your boots, it helps the cold not to seep in so much.



   If you find tights uncomfortable, you might find footless tights or leggings easier to wear. If you are wearing boots, they can be easily layered with socks.

Scarves and Other Accessories


    Yes, I'm singing the virtues of scarves again! Wearing a big, cozy scarf (I'm not talking about a skinny silk scarf this time) over your summery dress can stave off the need to pull your favorite sweater out of the laundry in order to be warm. Other accessories such as handwarmers, legwarmers, and hats also go a long way in preserving body heat. Plus, you can always shed them if you get a little too warm sitting by the fire.


Coordinating Colors

   One of the problems I have in my wardrobe is that my warm weather clothes are in light colors, while my boots and winter coat are dark. I often just wear them together and deal with the contrast - after all, it can make an interesting statement. However, if you want to look more coordinated, you might try investing in various shades of tights and leggings, as well as accessories. For example, the dress I wore in the last post looked good with my boots and oatmeal tights. However, I also wore it with dark gray tights, which pulled out the darker colors of the dress and looked good with the boots.

  

  Depending on where you live, your circumstances might call for drastically different summer and winter wardrobes. I quite enjoy getting out the warm sweaters, myself.  ;) However, if your climate gives you the flexibility, experiment with using clothes that you normally wouldn't think of wearing in December and January.
   Speaking of December, the Christmas season seems to have fully launched. Forget about lazy weekends! I'm looking forward to styling outfits to wear to various events, and seeing what my friends and fellow bloggers wear. :) I don't know about you, but I like to have a different outfit to wear to each gathering I attend, so this makes dressing up more of a challenge. ;)  I hope that you all have peace during this hectic season, and take time to think about the miracle of Jesus coming to earth.

Do you have any tips to share for making the most of your clothes in all seasons?

How do you feel about wearing the same outfit twice in a row?
 
"The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter."
~Psalm 74:16-17


Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Outfit / Refashioned Sweater

   Greetings! It would appear that I am posting later than I meant to. Life has been rather busy lately, with times in in the midst of the hectic schedule where I've just been vegetating on the recliner watching movies. Sometimes one just needs to rest. :)
  Another reason for my delay is that I forgot to have anyone take pictures of my clothes on Thanksgiving. Oops! Hence, the photos you see here are from today rather than Thursday. Thanksgiving was a beautiful, sunny day, while today is a lovely rainy day.

 
 
  I wore the dress that was introduced here, a t-shirt and leggings for modesty and warmth, my boots, and a sweater that my mom had just refashioned for me a few days before. The color of the sweater really picked up on the red orange in the dress. One of the fun things about patterned clothing is that you can change the way it looks by wearing it with different contrasting or complementary colors.

 
 
  Above are before and after pictures of the sweater Mom upcycled. She says: "I first cut an unwanted pullover sweater down the middle front. It was a bit too big for Paige so I reshaped it under the arm area and cut off the extra fabric, then clipped the curves. Next, I used a close-together zig-zag stitch in a contrasting brown color. While stretching the sweater I zig-zagged all around the edges (including the sleeves which I shortened a bit). By stretching the fabric while sewing, a lovely ruffle effect is formed. Afterward, I created some fabric flowers and leaves and stitched them in place by hand. Finally, I  found a beautiful metal closure which I also stitched in place by hand."
  Because sewing is not my forte, I haven't refashioned any clothing myself. Having a mother who enjoys sewing is nice. ;) If you or someone you know enjoys experimenting with the sewing machine, upcycling clothing just might become a new hobby (if it isn't already)! Recreating garments is just another way to save money and look cute at the same time!
  Guess what? This is my 20th post! Compared to blogs that have been up for years, that doesn't sound like much, but this is still a small milestone for me. :) I hope to have much more fun and informative blogging to do!

"She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness."
~Proverbs 31: 24-26

Monday, November 25, 2013

1 Dress 5 Ways!

    In one of my first blog posts (here), I discussed my essential clothing items and what makes them so dynamic to my wardrobe. Today, I would like to expound upon my neutral colored dress. When my inspiration is running dry, this is the dress that I turn to. With little effort, it can fit many moods, occasions, and climates. Below, I have modeled five outfits to show you how to make a basic dress look fabulous.

 
   First, is my "spring" look. I spruced up the dress by adding one of my favorite elements, which is my red leather belt. The dress has short sleeves, so throwing a cardigan on over it gives it warmth and adds dimension. With my elegant flats and green clutch, I could be ready to head out the door for a birthday party or dinner at a friend's house.
 
 
    In the summer, I can wear my button-up dress with sneakers and tooled leather belt for a more casual look. The outfit is comfortable enough for some outdoor activity, but still has a classy element. It would be appropriate for a relaxing 4th of July barbeque.
 
 
   Yes, Copper is wearing a scarf. Mom thought it would be fun if he matched me for the photo! He endured it admirably. When the weather outside turns cold, the dress can stand up to a chilly walk around the neighborhood with the right elements added to it. I am wearing it with a feminine hoodie (which was a Free People thrift store find that would have been around $70 brand new, if their current prices are any indication), crocheted scarf, tights, and boots.
 
 
   This is the outfit that I actually have been wearing today. Another way that I like make my dress warmer is to layer a long-sleeved shirt under it. It's also fun to mix and match what tights and leggings I wear with it.
 
 
   My last example is a slightly dressy outfit. When the occasion calls for heels, the neutral dress is there for me. With a fitted cardigan, it has a ladylike, almost retro look that would work well for Sunday best church attire. If I put on a sparkly bracelet and grab a cute clutch, I'm ready to go out to dinner.
  I most likely won't be posting again until after Thanksgiving. In fact, I'm almost certain that I won't, unless I come up with a fantastic idea and some extra time. ;)  Perhaps I will post my outfit for said holiday if it turns out well. Oddly enough, I don't have it planned yet. I usually have my clothes for special occasions figured out in advance. Do any of you do that?
 All that being said, happy Thanksgiving! Remember to be truly grateful to the Lord for
 what He has done.
 
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." ~ Hebrews 13:15

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thrifting Expedition!

   How can a girl spend a November afternoon in a fun and rewarding way? Go thrift shopping! Today, my mom, grandma and I paid several of our home town's thrift stores a visit. Not only was it a lovely way to spend a girls' day out, but it also produced some cute purchases.
  Technically, not all of our shopping was at thrift shops. We also visited consignment stores. The difference has confused me for a while, so here are definitions from thefreedictionary.com and Bing dictionary to help you and I out:

* Thrift Shop - A shop that sells used articles, especially clothing, as to benefit a charitable organization.
* Consignment Store - special retail outlet: a retail outlet that stocks and sells goods on a sale-or-return basis, or as an agent selling on behalf of others and receiving a percentage

So, at a consignment store, the person who gave the items to be sold gets a profit. Typically, consignment stores stick with items that are in good shape, but that means they can be more expensive.
   Now, come with me on my shopping expedition! If you're not a fan of second-hand shopping yet, I hope that I will help you to be more willing to give it a try. If you already do like it, I know that you will relate to my experience!
 

 While looking for outerwear at our first stop, I saw this jacket that reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. Most second-hand stores have their clothing divided into categories and sizes, so it is a simple shopping experience. They also have dressing rooms, though not as many as you will find at a store in the mall.
 

 Here is part of the store at the third shop we visited. The owner gets quality brands of clothing. Sometimes, you can find top of the line garments at thrift stores that hardly look worn.

 
 
 
   In the above picture, I'm at my favorite shop, which sells vintage and modern clothes, as well as various knickknacks and locally made jewelry. Though I didn't find anything there to buy, there were a few cute jackets. I think a big reason for my being fond of this store is the cute décor.
 
 
   As we walked down the street, the clouds made magnificent formations! We stopped for hot drinks and a cookie at a local bakery and coffee shop. Then, we headed to a shop in another part of town before calling it a day.
 
 
   This was my outfit for the day. When I know that I'm going to be trying clothes on I try to dress in clothing that is easy to get on and off. I wore a button-up shirt (these are ideal if one wants to make changes without mussing their hair in the process) with a camisole under it, and favorite jeans. Since I knew that many tops need a cami underneath, I made sure to wear one to try them on with. Boots are also easy to get on and off, since they zip up - there are no laces to deal with! The scarf is there to add warmth and pizzaz. ;)
 
 
 
  Above are two tags on a dress at our last thrift store stop. The dress is from an expensive designer label. Of course, $50 is still pricy, but it's way better than $360! You never know what deals you'll find at the thrift store.
 
 
 
   These are my items of the day! The blouse in the top photo and skirt in the bottom photo were each between $3.00 and $4.00 . The short-sleeved jacket was about $7.00. One thing that I like about shopping second-hand is that I can find many adorable styles in more varieties than at the mall. All the while, I get to be frugal and not spend so much of my hard earned cash. ;)
 
 
Okay, I'm ready to kick back for the rest of the evening! I hope that you have enjoyed this post. The verses I leave you with tonight are about a wise woman who dressed well and was full of wisdom. :)
 
"She extends her hand to the poor, Yes she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple."
 ~Proverbs 31:20-22