How to mix dressy and casual.

Chinese talk out order.

When I lived in China I went to university to become a teacher. My major was Education with a Minor in Political Science. After graduating, I worked for a time in as a teacher in my hometown. When I moved to Shanghai I left teaching for work in the corporate world. After I came to America I decided to give teaching another try. As you can imagine, learning PolySci in the People’s Republic of China was a very different experience than it would be at an American university. So I figured teaching government or history would be a big problem for me. What to do? Luckily it was starting to become more and more popular to offer Chinese in some of the local school districts. That sounded like the job for me! My first task was to get my teaching degree recognized here in Michigan. Lots of paperwork, money, contacting my college in China, money, official transcripts and translations, money, applications and money later and I got a decision. Yes, I could teach in Michigan. But ONLY Political Science! Even though I had been born and raised in China and grew up speaking, reading and writing Mandarin, the Department of Education decided I wasn’t qualified to teach Chinese! BUT, if I wanted to take some classes, take some tests and, you guessed it, paid some money I could become certified to teach my native language! The one thing I am sure I learned is that governments are pretty similar all over the world; they LOVE their paperwork!

How to mix dressy and casual
How to mix dressy and casual

As in my job, I’m challenging myself to go in a fashion direction that I don’t usually go. My outfit today is a bit out of character from my usual comfort zone. I don’t like to be locked into a single style or theme and try to mix it up a bit. This long flowy black skirt with gold sequined vertical stripes is very feminine and fancy. It’s a perfect party skirt but there’s only one problem with that. I don’t attend a lot of parties! Even though I don’t go out on the town often I didn’t want to leave such a beautiful piece wasting away in my closet. So I found a way to still wear it by using the rest of my look to dress it down. The first thing I did was get my leather and shearling bomber jacket back into action. This coat had been biding it’s time just waiting for the chance to answer the call of duty.

Bomber Jacket and dressy skirt
Bomber Jacket and dressy skirt

I could have gone with a safer black or gold coat but this time I wanted to climb a bit further out on the limb. This coat is very warm but also very casual. Most people would probably pair this type of outerwear with their favorite jeans. Swapping for the high style long skirt paid dividends though. This length of skirt can be more challenging for a petite (read short) person and emphasize their lack of size. To compensate I stepped into my high heel leather and leopard booties. This not only added height but by staying in a similar color palette, really anchored the outfit nicely. The next step was to add some colorful accessories to bring some playfulness to the whole outfit. My bright green leather cross-body bag really pops and rocks. Greens and blacks play well together so I topped everything off with my teal wool hat to keep the balance between casual and formal just right. Class dismissed!

Teal winter wool hat
Teal winter wool hat
Bomber Jacket
Bomber Jacket
Black long skirt
Black long skirt
Leopard booties
Leopard booties

Wool Hat @Lord & Taylor
Bomber Jacket @TJ Maxx
Green Leather Bag @Michael Kors
Skirt and Booties @Nordstrom Rack
Cheers!

Grace

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