Try This: Winter Kimono

Hello friend! With some cooler weather upon us, I have been playing with layers. One of the newest layering pieces I found is a winter kimono or ruana. What makes them “winter” is that they are made out of thicker fabrics than their summery counterparts. I have been wearing my winter ruana, the Anthropologie Mixed Stripes Kimono, non-stop. Let me show you how I am styling it.

Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers.

Ruana vs. Kimono vs. Poncho vs. Cape

First and foremost, let’s get some definitions out of the way. Because if you are a stickler for definitions like I am, you are confused and frustrated with these words being used interchangeably. That’s because they are not in fact interchangeable. Each one of those items is a different type of clothing. So let’s get the definitions down before we go any further.

Poncho: I’ll start with a poncho as I think it is the one we are most familiar with. A poncho is an outerwear garment that is essentially a large piece of fabric (either square or rectangular) with a hole in it. To wear it, one simply slips it over the head. It has no sleeves or other openings.

Cape: A cape is similar to a poncho but it has an opening down the front which is usually sealed with a button closure. A cape also has slits for the arms to come through but no formed sleeves.

Kimono: A kimono is a long, open front cardigan with true sleeves. The sleeves are usually lose, as is the overall fit.

Ruana: A ruana is a cross between a poncho and a kimono. It has an opening down the front like a kimono. However, it does not have full sleeves like a kimono does. It may just have a stich or button to give the appearance of sleeves.

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Mixed Stripes Kimono or Ruana?

If you’ve understood the definitions of a kimono and ruana, you will note that the mixed stripes kimono is actually a ruana! Gasp! It’s been named wrong! I will refrain from calling the fashion police on this grave error because whatever the name of this item, I simply adore it. I love the thick and nubby texture. It is so cozy and comforting on chilly days. But I especially love the bold stripes. It makes for a striking outfit every time!

Mixed Stripes Kimono for Play

The first time I wore the ruana was for my weekend getaway trip to San Francisco. With the weather there being cooler than in Los Angeles, I wanted a chic outer layer. The mixed stripes kimono was just the right item. I paired it with a black sweater and jeans. The result was exactly what I was looking for: chic, comfortable, and warm.

Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers.

To add another layer of warmth I wore my favorite quilted over the knee boots (get this year’s version on sale here) and of course cozy socks underneath.

Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers. Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers.

I then finished the look with my favorite necklace of the moment, the Brielle Statement Necklace. To top it all off I threw on a pair of sunnies. I thought the High Key in black fade added just the right amount of cool to the outfit.

Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers. Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers.

Mixed Stripes Kimono for Day

To change up the look for  day, I decided to wear the mixed stripes kimono with a skirt. I chose a pencil skirt because I feel they look best with longer cardigans. You can read more about what I pair with long cardigans in my duster cardigans post and cardigan sweater outfits post. For this particular look, I decided to be a little risque and pair the ruana with a leather pencil skirt.

Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers. Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers.

To keep it appropriate for day, I chose a light turtleneck for my top. However because I was ready to have some fun with patterns, I chose a striped turtleneck. I was excited to see how the two stripes paired together. I love a double stripe look, (remember this post?) Therefore I was looking forward to the result. Luckily, it did not disappoint. The stripes worked perfectly together. Check out my pattern mixing 101 post to learn more about that!

Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers. Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers.

For accessories I opted for a sharp looking high heeled bootie. With the length of the skirt and the ruana, I wanted to create some height for myself. As for the necklace, I chose the Brielle pendant. Because I wore these outfits on different days, I hadn’t noticed I had worn different versions of the same necklace. What can I say, I like filigree!

Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers. Two ways to style a kimono or ruana. Try a work appropriate day look as well as a casual fun look. Anthropologie mixed stripes kimono review | J Crew tissue turtleneck | leather leggings | leather skirt | pattern mixing outfit | work outfit | fall outfit | fall layers.

In conclusion, whether we are calling it a kimono or a ruana, the mixed stripes kimono is going to be a major player in my wardrobe this season. I love how versatile it is. How would you wear it?

One Item Four Ways: Leather Leggings II

Hello friend. I am usually not one to repeat a post. However, when an item is this versatile, I must do it. I think it also has to do with the fact that leather leggings are completely new to me, so I am thoroughly obsessed! I’ll give you a moment to review my first leather leggings post. Now let me show you four more ways of wearing them. The leggings are the same pair from Gray Monroe.

Casual Blush and Black

The leggings are a perfect companion for an oversized sweater. This time, I paired it with my new sweater obsession, also from Gray Monroe.

Polished whimsy in leather leggings and blush lace-up sweater Polished whimsy in leather leggings and blush lace-up sweater

To go with the more casual vibe of the outfit, I wore my new Skechers slip-ons with the look. The blush tone of the shoe complimented the sweater perfectly.

Polished whimsy in leather leggings and blush lace-up sweater Polished whimsy in leather leggings and blush lace-up sweater

The best part about this shoe is the rose gold stripe in the back, so lovely!

Polished whimsy in leather leggings and pink skechers slip on shoes

Graphic Tee and Cardi

Another outfit I was excited to try was pairing a long tee with a shorter cardigan. I have a great inspiration photo pinned on my leather leggings Pinterest board if you’d like to check it out. This was what I came up with.

Polished whimsy in leather leggings, graphic tee and cheetah print cardigan Polished whimsy in leather leggings, graphic tee and cheetah print cardigan

My shirt is from my favorite tee shirt company, Mama Bird and Co. Her tees are the softest and they are long so they cover the booty! I wanted to bring in a print here, so I paired the look with this cheetah print cardigan. As for shoes, I chose a pair of booties with spikes to go with the bada** feel of the shirt and cardigan.

Polished whimsy in leather leggings, graphic tee and cheetah print cardigan Polished whimsy in leather leggings, graphic tee and cheetah print cardigan

Leather Leggings for Work

Since it’s not always easy to wear them to work, I wanted another office look. I decided to layer with a long vest and a chambray shirt. The result is an office appropriate outfit that I like as much as the last, if not more!

Polished whimsy in leather leggings, chambray shirt, long vest and leopard print clutch Polished whimsy in leather leggings, chambray shirt, long vest and leopard print clutchWhile the look was very professional looking, I had to add a fun print with leopard print clutch.  Besides a watch, the only other accessory is a long pendant necklace.

Polished whimsy in leather leggings, chambray shirt, long vest and leopard print clutch Polished whimsy in leather leggings, chambray shirt, long vest and leopard print clutch

Boho Leather Leggings

Finally for my last look, I decided to try a casual bohemian look by wearing the leggings with a poncho. The poncho is from Zyania, an online store with affordable and cute accessories (seriously, the items can rival department store pieces)!

Polished whimsy in leather leggings, criss cross top, over the knee boots and poncho Polished whimsy in leather leggings, criss cross top, over the knee boots and poncho

This look came together quite simply with a pair of over the knee boots and a criss-cross top. I love the drape and flow of the poncho as I walk.

Polished whimsy in leather leggings, criss cross top, over the knee boots and poncho Polished whimsy in leather leggings, criss cross top, over the knee boots and poncho

Because there is so much visual interest in the outfit already, I kept my accessories minimal. Therefore I opted for just a pair of statement earrings.

Polished whimsy in leather leggings, criss cross top, over the knee boots and poncho Polished whimsy in leather leggings, criss cross top, over the knee boots and poncho Polished whimsy in leather leggings, criss cross top, over the knee boots and poncho

In conclusion, I think it is safe to say that I am loving leather leggings. If you’re loving them as much as I am, let me know!

 

Disclaimer: Skechers gifted me the shoes. As always, my opinions are my own.

Why I Participate in Style Challenges

Hello friend!

For this post I thought I’d do something a bit different and discuss why I participate in Instagram style challenges. My friend Mandy from Musings of a Shopaholic Mama did a similar post on her blog and I was inspired to do the same.

When I first joined Instagram, I was itching for a forum to express my love for fashion. While I truly wanted to start a blog, I could not find the time to do so. So instead, I started an Instagram account and went about posting my outfit photos.

At first, I really had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even use hashtags on my first posts (the horror)! But then I noticed what the other girls were doing and started to emulate them. I started using hashtags like #ootd and #wiw. But then I noticed some hashtags that did not make as much sense. After some investigation I found out these were style challenges. Well I couldn’t think of anything better than a bunch of ladies trying to dress creatively, so I quickly joined the group.

So now it’s been over 2 years that I have been on Instagram and I am still participating in many style challenges. I have even co-hosted a few. I still enjoy participating for multiple reasons.

First, style challenges have truly increased my sense of style. Because of style challenge prompts, I have pushed myself to try many new outfits. Sometimes it is simply a new item I was weary of trying. Other times, it is a particular color or pattern combination.

One of the style challenges I participated in years ago had a prompt of “mustard and mint.” I was shocked that this color combination could work. But I put my doubt aside and attempted the look. Surprisingly, it worked out very well. I have since used this combination multiple times and even have a post about it here.

Mustard and mint pattern mixing outfit

A recent style challenge used a color combination prompt of mustard and scarlet. That color combination was another one I had yet to try. In the end I loved the outfit I came up with so much that I am currently working on a blog post on it, so stay tuned!

Another reason that I enjoy style challenges is to push myself to try new items.  My two recent pushes are attempting to wear leggings (outside of the home) and ponchos.

When it comes to leggings, I have not worn a pair out as pants for decades. However, I saw many girls doing it and looking fabulous to boot! As it kept coming up as prompts in my style challenges, I decided to try a pair. I started out a bit safe and purchased a pair of moto leggings for a recent trip. They looked comfortable and stylish at the same time. I am now a legging fan. You can anticipate another blog post on that to come as well!

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Similarly, I just didn’t see myself wearing a poncho outside of a very casual setting. Then I saw my Insta-pals wearing beautiful ponchos for all sorts of occasions. I quickly set out to make my own attempt at a dressier poncho look and came up with this look and post.

poncho and lace for neutrals style challenges

Lastly, and most importantly, my participation in style challenges has led me to meet incredible people and make real true friends. It’s so exhilarating to be able to meet people across the country (and world) who have similar fashion sense and passion as you. I am so thankful for these girls. They are there daily to encourage and uplift me.

Because of all the reasons listed above, I will continue to participate in style challenges. If you have yet to try one, what are you waiting for? It’s time to join in the fun!

I have linked any of the items from this post that are available for purchase below, just in case you are interested!

Try This: Poncho for the Office

Hello friend! What do you think about the poncho? While it’s having a comeback into popular fashion again, I was skeptical about wearing it to work. Although I have worn ponchos for casual outfits, I just was not sure about it for the workplace. As a result of this doubt, I set out to determine how to wear a poncho for work.

Ideas on how to wear a poncho for work.

Because this was a new look for me, I decided to keep the colors neutral. As a result, it would help the outfit look more work appropriate. Since I chose a neutral color palette, I chose to play with texture. Hence, to the rougher texture of the wool poncho, I added the feminine texture of lace.

Ideas on how to wear a poncho for work.

For accessories, I wanted to maximize the feminine touches. Therefore, I went with high heeled booties and pretty tassel earrings.

poncho for work

poncho for work, with baublebar tassel earrings

For underneath the poncho, I layered a black sweater. The sweater also had some fun texture in the gold studs on the sleeves.

Ideas on how to wear a poncho for work.

I hope this outfit has convinced you that you can wear a poncho for work. Moreover, I hope you try your hand at this outfit.