Stepping Back In Time With A Red Swing Coat

During my dad’s first military assignment on the island of Crete in Greece, we lived off base in a small apartment. It had no central hearing nor air conditioning. My parents had space heaters in some rooms, but they weren’t enough to keep us warm during the winter. Not that it gets super hot or cold there. The average temperature in January hovers around 52 degrees Fahrenheit with the hottest temps reaching about 79 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.

Still, I remember plenty of cold nights in our little apartment during the winter. My parents didn’t feel it was safe to leave the space heaters on all night, so we would wrap ourselves in coats, hats and gloves. Then we would crawl under our many layers of blankets. In a family of four kids, we didn’t have separate coats for separate occasions. The coat I crawled in bed with was the same coat I wore to school, to play outside, to go to church, etc.

Maybe that’s why today I have a decent collection of coats. Trenches, casual coats, jean jackets, leather jackets and anoraks are all in my closet. I enjoy wearing each of them throughout the year. Continue reading “Stepping Back In Time With A Red Swing Coat”

Adding Elegance To a Floral Pencil Skirt Outfit

My youngest son found out last night that he got his first job! I’m so excited for him! It’s only part-time at a fast-food restaurant, but he is still in high school so he can’t take on too many additional projects. This is a huge accomplishment for him. He applied on his own and didn’t tell me until after he sent his application in. I took him to the interview and he thought he didn’t get it because he didn’t hear back from them right away. But he received an email last night asking him to come to orientation.

First jobs are always exciting in my opinion. He’ll feel that little streak of independence with something that is completely outside our family world. And then once that first paycheck comes in…..I’m sure it will feel like a million bucks to him!

My first job was at a Roy Rogers restaurant. Remember those? Maybe I’m dating myself. I had to wear a red polyester short-sleeve shirt, a denim overall dress, nude-colored nylons and – this is the best part – a cowboy hat.

Continue reading “Adding Elegance To a Floral Pencil Skirt Outfit”

Poncho Sweater, Burgundy Booties and the Ageless Style Linkup

When I was little, my mom used to make pumpkin soup every Halloween. She would scrape out all the meat in a pumpkin and then boil it down until the meat was tender. She would then add some half and half, salt and pepper and heat it through. In the meantime, she would have egg noodles boiling on a back burner. When they were done, she would drain them and set a ladle full in each of our bowls. Over that, she would pour the pumpkin soup mixture. I’ll be honest, it may not have looked appetizing at the time, but it was still the best tasting soup I ever had.

I looked forward to eating that soup every Halloween. In my eyes, it heralded the official start of fall in our house. I knew that no matter how cool the autumn evenings would get, that pumpkin soup would warm me right through. Continue reading “Poncho Sweater, Burgundy Booties and the Ageless Style Linkup”

Putting a Thrifted Red Blazer To Work

I dig through my trashcan and I’m not afraid to admit it. Those plastic water bottles? They could become a throw rug in someone’s house. A cardboard cereal box? That could be the next great American novel (maybe even mine some day!). An aluminum can? That could be part of your kid’s next bike. I hate seeing recyclable items thrown into our trashcan and I will dig them out and stick them into our recycling bin.

I’ve tried to teach the rest of my family about the benefits of recycling and they are getting better about it. But I still find recyclable items in our trash that I dig out.

These materials can be recycled into things that we use every day. But if we throw them out, then they just sit in a landfill where they are buried and left to decompose. The landfill process is much more complicated than I’m describing here and there are systems in place to protect the environment. Still, that doesn’t take away the fact that landfills cover acres of our buried garbage.

This is one of the reasons I love secondhand items so much. Instead of throwing them out to decompose in a landfill, their previous owners donated them for someone else to love. I love searching for unique pieces in thrift stores and consignment shops. I look at my thrifted outings as little treasure hunts because you never know what you might find. Case in point: my mom and I were shopping at an antique/thrift store in North Carolina a few months ago when in the corner, on the bottom shelf of a bookcase, under a pile of books and magazines was a Kate Spade handbag, for $5! That’s right, $5! That bag will be coming to the blog soon.

That brings me to the other reason I love thrifting. You will never pay full price for a thrifted item because it is not hot off the fashion racks. Items may be used, although you may be lucky enough to find something with the original price tags still attached. The savings can be pretty amazing.

Thrifted items can update your wardrobe and showcase your personal style. I love to mix my thrifted finds with new pieces or things that I have  in my closet. In fact, this week, you’re going to see me doing just that. I’m trying something new and participating in the a thrifted challenge with some other bloggers. You can check it out on Instagram at #thriftedchicstylechallenge. I hope you will also follow me on Instagram via @cathyvstyle.

The group is showcasing a thrifted piece every day. The pieces can be home decor, accessories or clothing. I have several thrifted pieces of furniture that I love and I may try to incorporate them toward the end of the week, but today I’m showing you a great outfit for work with two pieces of thrifted items. Continue reading “Putting a Thrifted Red Blazer To Work”

A Holiday Outfit That Works From Day To Night

It’s November 1st and you know what that means. You should already be done with your Christmas shopping and started your planning for Valentine’s Day! Of course, I’m being facetious, but it sure seems like retailers hurry the holidays along and I can’t stand that. I enjoy the excitement leading up to the holiday, the actual day itself and then relaxing and reminiscing with family and friends afterwards. In our 24/7 instantaneous world, it’s so nice to sit back and spend some unplanned time with those you care about the most. Continue reading “A Holiday Outfit That Works From Day To Night”

A Good Belly Laugh Does The Body Good

This weekend I visited my parents in N.C. and on the ride down, I tuned in to a radio show during which the host was playing a recording of him ordering food from a restaurant. The bit from start to finish was about 10 minutes long, and I laughed uncontrollably during the whole piece. It was the funniest thing I had heard in a long time.

I was laughing so hard that tears were flowing down my face. I thought about pulling over because I almost could not see the road in front of me. I’m sure other drivers were wondering what was going on, but I didn’t care. Once the bit was done, I wiped away my tears and composed myself. But I know I kept smiling for at least the next half hour.

The funny thing was on my return trip, I tuned into the same radio station and they were playing the same piece again! And this was at a completely different time of the day. Yep, I belly laughed like before until I was crying. It was great.

I think we all need a laugh like this at least a few times a week in our lives. It feels so good to laugh at something with your body, heart and soul. Turns out, there are reasons why a belly laugh is good for you.

Continue reading “A Good Belly Laugh Does The Body Good”

Five Tips For Dressing For The Office

After working in the corporate world for 30 years, I’ve learned quite a few lessons about dressing for the office. In my last job overseeing a Human Resources Department, I was often asked to talk to other employees about their work attire. It isn’t easy telling people what they can and can’t wear to work, and I almost always met with some resistance. I tried to provide the best guidance I could while not squashing their individual style. I hope I can do the same thing today with these five tips for dressing for the office. Continue reading “Five Tips For Dressing For The Office”

It’s My Party and I’ll Mix Patterns If I Want To

My birthday was on Saturday and I thought it would be fun to show you an outfit that celebrates all the styles that I have loved throughout my life. No matter where I’ve been and when – high school punk rock lover, college retail worker, young journalist, midlife public servant – these are the styles that I’ve gravitated back to time and time again. Continue reading “It’s My Party and I’ll Mix Patterns If I Want To”

Today’s Headline: She Wore A Menswear Piece Like A Woman

Last week, three of my sons were in the newspaper. Hunter and Chase are members of their high school’s newspaper club and their first issue for the year came out. Hunter is a co-chief editor and Chase is a staff writer. Both wrote articles for the paper. It was pretty neat seeing their names in print and even cooler that they are the doing it together. Their journalism teacher says it’s the first time she’s had siblings work on the paper. I’m pretty proud of both of them because soon after I graduated from college, I wrote for a newspaper and then a magazine, so I’d like to think that the three of us share the writing gene.

My stepson, Jaekob, was also in our town’s newspaper. He is the captain of his school’s football team and was interviewed about a game the team won last week. His quote was quite good and reflected well on the team’s performance.

Like all parents, we have our ups and downs with our kids, but no matter what we go through, I am always proud to see them work hard and succeed at what they do.

Continue reading “Today’s Headline: She Wore A Menswear Piece Like A Woman”

Keeping Leopard Print and Leather Classic For Work

This weekend my husband started decorating for Halloween. We set up a “haunted front yard” every year, and I never really know what he’s going to do. One year he built a coffin with fake body pieces coming out of it. Another year, he built what looked like an underground cage with zombie heads and arms reaching out. On Saturday I came home from running errands and he built a queen size bed in the front yard. That’s right, a bed. It has sheets and a fake body on top of it. His decorating is a multi-day event and he’s not done yet. On Halloween night, we both dress up. He’s usually some kind of horrific host, and I dress up to look like I’m a statue of some sort and scare trick-or-treaters when I make a sudden movement as they walk by.

It’s all in good fun and we have visitors who return year after year to see what we’ve done. Although we have some pretty scary scenes, we keep everything G-rated because we still want kids to enjoy themselves. But when we see adults walk through the yard, well, we like to put a little extra efforts into our scare tactics. Continue reading “Keeping Leopard Print and Leather Classic For Work”