June 2024, part two – Blue Collar Red Lipstick

Details: Icone shirt (swap), Danier skirt (thrifted), Ralph Lauren belt, turquoise necklace (both Poshmark)

Thoughts: Brown and blue is one of my favourite colour combos, and achieving it by pairing chambray and suede feels Ralph-coded to the max. Which I love, of course. This skirt was one of my best thrift find; similar ones of this quality would cost hundreds of dollars at current retail prices. I’m pretty sure Banana Republic sold something similar not too long ago; but, really, this style is about as timeless as clothing gets. Hard to tell how old this Danier skirt is, but probably early 2000s at the latest. It has such a wonderful romantic vibe, with a surprising amount of swish given the heavy material. I love this skirt silhouette so much; it lends drama to the simplest of outfits. Indeed, it looks best in a pared down outfit — wearing it with an oversized men’s shirt is my favourite version.

Details: Tahari shirt, Ralph Lauren jacket, vintage belt (all thrifted), bolo tie (Poshmark), Banana Republic pants (retail)

Thoughts: I’ve been on a chambray shirt kick lately, can you tell? I’ve been pretty steady in my love for white shirts (they’re so versatile, after all), but lately I’ve enjoyed experimenting with chambray as an alternative “neutral”. Also quite versatile, as it turns out! Perhaps that should not come as a surprise considering that chambray is, fundamentally, a kind of blue, and blue is one of my core wardrobe colours — not simply because I enjoy wearing it, but because it pairs well with most other colours in my closet. You know what else goes well with a chambray shirt? My new (to me) bolo tie! I have been searching for a turquoise bolo tie for well over a year now, and was thrilled to find this beauty on Poshmark for a fab price. I think Papa Ralph would approve!

Details: GWG vest, Donna Karan jacket, Kenzo x H&M skirt, Alexander McQueen shoes (all thrifted)

Thoughts: I couldn’t resist buying this vintage Donna Karan jacket when I found it at Value Village; I’m a sucker for a velvet lapel, not to mention 90s design — and this piece is early 90s all the way! Of course, given its long silhouette, it made sense to pair it with, what else, a short skirt. If you’re of a certain generation, that association is indelibly burned into your psyche thanks to the song by the same name by Cake. I never know, these days, whether I need to type out stuff like that, and it makes me feel old, lol! Anyway, back to the outfit. Instead of a plain tee, I decided to swap in a vest and chose this denim one as a way to introduce a bit of textural contrast, whilst keeping the colour palette relatively simple. In retrospect, I think I should have chosen different shoes — something with a small heel works best for me when I’m wearing short skirts — but I couldn’t resist matching the red piping on these flats with the similar lines in the skirt pattern.

Details: Vince top, Hemant & Nandita jacket, Twik skirt, Donna Karan belt, Tommy Hilfiger bag (all thrifted), Chloe shoes (secondhand)

Thoughts: I LOVE this outfit so, so much and I think what took it into capital-L love territory for me was the top. The black-and-olive stripes tie the jacket and the skirt so well together — much better than a solid-coloured top would have, imo. I am also happy I went with a light-coloured belt (and bag) as this created a nice bit of contrast with the black skirt. I’ve been having phenomenal luck lately finding belts at the thrift store, and this one was no exception: vintage, genuine snakeskin Donna Karan in mint condition. I can’t begin to guess how much something like this would retail for these days, but I paid $3 for mine which is wild. You can’t even buy a coffee for that price anymore! I always buy any cool, vintage, real leather belts I can thrift, because they are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to “finish” an outfit — or change it up completely.

Details: CK tee, Ralph Lauren jacket & skirt, Holt Renfrew belt, Naturalizer shoes, Coach bag (all secondhand)

Thoughts: I wanted to mix some Historian and some Trailblazer vibes to create a transitional spring/summer outfit, and I feel like these pieces pulled together nicely to achieve that effect. It’s all in the colour palette, helping to harmonize the patterns. With the weather finally warming up on a more consistent basis (fingers crossed!), this might be my last dance with a wool jacket … until fall. Luckily, I have plenty of other pieces with which to console myself 😉

Details: Ardene top (retail), Deborah Murray vest, vintage belt, tulle skirt, cowboy boots (all thrifted)

Thoughts: Speaking of such consolations, summer means … it’s vest season! I wore a very similar version of this outfit a while back with a denim jacket, and loved it so much that I wanted to recreate it in a more summery vein. This Deborah Murray vest was the perfect alternate topper; the horse pattern speaks the same language as the cowboy boots, and the blue colour palette is a perfect match to the skirt. I know summer is also sandals weather, but I am taking every opportunity I can to take my boots out for a spin. They’re so fun, and shockingly comfortable. I can see them playing a big role in my outfit-creating decisions this summer.

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