Living in China through the first decade of my adulthood meant public transportation. I never drove a car until I moved to America! Most of my friends can’t believe it but I have only been behind the wheel for about 8 years now. My husband was my driving teacher. He only had a little car with a manual transmission at that time. So not only did I have to learn to drive a car in a country where the signs were all in a language I wasn’t fluent in, but I had to do it while shifting gears! I survived and so did our marriage but if anyone you know is in a similar situation, I suggest you find someone other than your significant other to teach you! I’ve gotten a lot better but still don’t like driving in the slush and snow of Michigan’s winter. I was on my way to work the other morning and when changing lanes on the freeway I got into a big pile of messy snow. My car slid back and forth until I got through it which woke me up better than any cup of coffee ever did! Needless to say, my first stop when I got to work was the bathroom to make sure my lane wasn’t the only thing needing changing!
Blue or black jeans are incredibly useful additions to anyone’s wardrobe. They can be worn the year round and never really go out of style. If you accessorize to fit the temperature you can even wear cutoff jean shorts in every season. Denim short shorts are very flattering for someone of my stature. I’m quite petit which is French, I think for short! They are the perfect piece for below the waist as they help to make my legs look longer and me look taller in the bargain. It would be silly to not acknowledge the fact that its darned cold around here this time of year. To make sure I can brave the weather I wear some flannel lined tights under the shorts and pair them with some high black suede boots for extra protection from the elements.
Depending on the rules of your office this look may be just a bit too casual even for casual Friday so check with your HR department before strolling in with it! I stayed in the blue family with a pretty and oh so toasty cashmere sweater. I wanted to bring the cutoffs up a bit on the class list and the sequins on the sweater bring a touch of sophisticated shine to this outfit. I have to admit that I’m not 18 anymore so try to look a bit more prim and proper than the denim shorts would usually suggest. By finishing with my short black floral jacket I add that just right dressy element. I love a good burgundy, color that is of course! It’s a bit more subtle and civilized than a brighter red tends to be and doesn’t jump out at you as much. I got that touch of rich elegance with my wool hat and oversized leather purse to add the grounded maturity I was looking for!
Cashmere Sweater @Nordstrom Rack
Boots and Jean Shorts @Free People @Lord & Taylor
Purse @Valentina @TJ Maxx
Wool hat @Forever 21
I’ve been seeing an advertisement on TV lately for the US Navy. The tag line is something like “To get to you, they have to go through us.” It’s pretty effective! I’m an American citizen now but wasn’t for most of my life and seeing that sent shivers through me. I’ve come to love and appreciate my adopted country. I’ll always be Chinese and am very proud of its culture, history and accomplishments. And I certainly don’t agree with America, Right or Wrong; if we do something stupid, I have no problem calling it stupid! But all in all, I love my life since I’ve moved here, especially during the summer. I’ve eaten a hotdog while watching the Detroit Tigers play on July 4th and celebrated with the crowd when they shot off the fireworks after the game. Of course China invented those fireworks but I didn’t make a big deal out of it! Anyway, this American girl likes to show off a little red, white and blue style once in a while!
You may have noticed that I have a bit of a thing about fur. The fur look seems to have magical powers when you add it to almost any outfit; it can instantly raise your fashion bar up a notch. And you don’t need to worry; most of my pieces are faux fur so no animals have to go naked to make me look good! I’ve featured this black and white fur vest in a few outfits. This time I went with the black & white palette pretty much full time by pairing it with a white irregular V hem blouse and my super trusty black leather skinny.
Hmmm, this blog is called ColorAndGrace so that must mean…that signature burst of color of course! It’s on the accessories and in your face this time. Bright red heels, a burgundy wool hat and bright red gloves virtually glow with movement as I walk the walk. Many women don’t fully appreciate the role of gloves in their wardrobe. These five fingered fashion machines do lots more than just keep your hands from freezing. Fashion is all about the details. Without my rich red leather gloves I would have missed the chance to tie in this look from head to toe. They help echo and unite the splashes of color. And when your base is mostly black & white you can feel safe and fearless with adding another color burst in addition to the red. I often suggest that a 3 color combination is just right for most outfits but here the black & white sort of don’t fully count which means you can take some chances. So my color total added up just right by grabbing my bright royal blue purse to pop against the red of the gloves. This combination of colors really breaks away from any serious feel you might get from the Black & White foundation. Red, White & Blue. It’s not just for flags anymore!
Wool hat @Forever 21
Fur vest @Neiman Marcus
Leather skinnies @Nordstrom Rack
Red heels @DSW
Red gloves @TJ Maxx
Blue Purse @Saks 5th Avenue