Versatile Style by Tracey

Archive for January 2013

 This  tan shirt dress has potential to serve as versatile workhorse.  I bet, if I was so inclined I could come up with at least a months worth of looks for that dress. I am not inclined to do such a venture as 30 looks… I am a new blogger, though and in time reserve the right to change my mind and revisit that idea….


I chose a classic, preppy coloring of pink and tan for the first go round with this dress. I have to confess that I purposely resisted my first three ideas of orange, brown and red. Those colors will all work well, but I have been wearing those colors lately as for me they are staples for cooler seasons.  I took advantage of the warm weather and took these photos before the temperature started the big drop.  Glad I did so as today I felt exhausted and like a good day to stay in pjs…Right now it is around 30 degrees…


I think this is a great, easy Mom on the Go look for any of us mothers who refuse to succumb to the t-shirt , jeans and tennis shoes… Funny, I only wear tennis shoes for working out…And with Fluidity I go barefoot!!!  So, I’ve taken a few warm weather looks and I see already what I mentioned before that my Spring and Summer style becomes less edgy…I like this side of me and do have to embrace my conservative side.


I did a replacement of ballet flats in early fall and just love these Aerosoles and have them in black as well. The pink or currently on clearance at $19.99.   I did not get any pointed flats when I made my purchase of new ones, so may have to add in a pair or two come Spring… Frustrating because I thought I did such a good job when I got 4 new pairs to replace worn out ones.

Dear Readers, do you change your style during different seasons?  What’s on your current wish list for Spring?  Any plans to get pointed flats? 

Gratitude: I am so grateful for the health of my children and family.  If you are grateful for the health of your family please join me today in sending out prayers to a fellow blogger @ thrifted or scripted as she fights breast cancer.      


Wednesday we had temperatures in the 70’s… It was sunny and wonderful , by late afternoon we were under a wind advisory and the wind was blowing hard when I got around to taking photos… The temps are dropping to the fifty’s Thursday!

IMG_1867Sunglasses come in handy when the wind is blowing to get your hair back and out of your eyes!  This top and the skirt are both items that I thrifted.  Buying them on half price day meant together they cost me a total of $5.00.  Thinking about that price made me realize that this outfit is very low budget.  The shoes are from yearly clearance at Off Broadway shoes and were just $10.  The navy tank underneath was part of a set purchased at Burlington so this one cost $2.50.   If you’ve done the math, a total of $17.50.

IMG_1872Excuse the hair here that was those strong winds at work! 

The Spring in my step today isn’t just over the weather… It has so much to do with homeschooling Connor.  My biggest fear for Connor was that instead of doing remedial work in phonetics that they were relying on his intelligence to get him through.  They mentioned his intelligence at every meeting… They taught him a strategy of guessing what words were coming up based on the words that came before.  He was great at this and they were ecstatic that he moved up a level in reading.  His guessing was so accurate and sometimes he used a synonym for the word and no one corrected that.  They also taught him to forget about names and just use a first initial.  Alarm bells for his mother!!!IMG_1876

That fear stemmed from feeling it was handicapping him.  This is a child who like his siblings believes college is in his future.  So with the guessing strategy how would he ever be able to read read Shakespeare?  I also knew that if he was reading new informational textbooks that the guessing strategy would never transfer to science or history,   let alone course work in his chosen major.  So why the Spring in my step?  I now have proof that our  hard work last year on phonetic work is really successful.  We are reading Tom Sawyer, no way he can guess what Mark Twain is going to say next in a sentence!  He has to sound out each word phonetically and he is doing so beautifully! Typing that brought me to tears as I realize that I have given this child the most amazing gift and brightened his future!

  Gratitude:  I am grateful that despite my husband’s reservations and my own fear that Connor would be stubborn and never allow me to teach him,  that I was brave and took the plunge to homeschool!  I am grateful that Connor is standing taller recognizing his progress.  I am grateful that I put out the exercise trampoline and that after jumping on it, Connor’s bad mood disappeared and he read making funny voices and having fun!   

I am also sad, that I didn’t get to share this part of the journey with my mother.  I miss the cards she always gave me telling me how proud she was of me as a  mother!  

Dear Readers thank you for letting me share  my joy!  If you are a mother please comment and share just one thing that you are proud of yourself for.  We mother’s have to love ourselves and give ourselves kudos and I would love to give you kudos as well.  I look forward to your  comments.  Remember it doesn’t have to be something huge or life altering, just something that you are proud of yourself for doing or saying.  It doesn’t matter if your kids or young or all grown up chime in!!  You never know a comment here could be read by another reader and make a difference!  

Tuesday’s high was 67 degrees!  For this skirt and dress lover it was  a great reprieve… It was nice enough to go bare legged!  Can you believe the high for today is expected to be 72?   Then by Friday snow again… CRAZY!!!

IMG_1782This skirt is one I had thrifted a while back and had yet to wear!  Thinking my legs need a little color!  

IMG_1787This outfit was what I planned to wear for my weigh in day, but since I was sick and running a fever last night, I didn’t go.  I did weigh myself and I lost one pound.. Wish it was more,  I am so ready to lose this last ten pounds. I have a question for those of you Dear Readers who are late forties or older.  I am experiencing PMS symptoms beginning a full ten days before my cycle begins.  That means bloating and painful , swollen,  tender breasts… This does not help my weight loss journey as I gain at least  two pounds each time this happens… This is a real change as prior to this my symptoms were milder and only 3 days before… Anyone experience anything like this?   

IMG_1794I am glad I chose this lighter shade bag rather than a black one.. I grew up watching my mother always match her shoes and bag and that training is still in the back of my mind… Today I resisted it even though that instinct was strong.   Fashion trends these days are so much more fun as the rules are much more relaxed and are more guidelines than the hard and fast. No white after Labor Day , that  women really adhered to strongly and look down on anyone not following the rule… I still remember my mother fighting with my sister when as a teenager she wanted to not wear a slip under her skirts and dresses… My mother who grew up with money and went to an all girls private school, was appalled and found it totally indecent… Then again in my early years we still wore white gloves to church.. Boy have things changed!

Linking up with What I Wore Wednesay and Get Your Pretty On and The Pleated Poppy so head on over and see what the lovey ladies are wearing!

Gratitude:  I am grateful for hugs from my 12 year old today… who when I complimented him on giving good hugs, promised to hug me forever!!!   Grateful to 17 year old Nicholas for humoring me and taking photos for three different outfits ( taking advantage of the weather!) I am grateful to my dear friend who after reading my blog, put the Dressing Your Truth book on hold for me at the library.  I am grateful that when I woke up my sinus troubles of the day before were, but a bad memory!   Most of all I want to thank God for answered prayers!  

Posting at 1 am as I am still awake and just in case Tuesday morning my sinuses are acting up like they were Monday Morning!!!! Love the rise in temperatures, but my sinuses don’t.. Suppose to be 65 today, but snow by Friday….

I am loving this no shopping thing as I am really exploring my closet and since beginning blogging I have been dipping my toes into the waters of Pattern Mixing.. Pardon me,  if I keep repeating myself about the no buying thing and really working my closet… For someone who is a weekly thrifter, this is such a new and marvelous opportunity to dig into my closet and create!  


I love this scarf and was inspired to try it with the green striped sweater since there is that color polk- a -dot in the scarf… This would definitely work as a spring outfit without the jacket and some pumps instead of boots…

IMG_1781I took these photos on Sunday with my 12 year old late in the afternoon as the sun was setting so it was pretty cold and we did it very quickly… So glad for the warm up in temperatures!!!!  I may even get to forgo my boots for a day and wear pumps!!!!

IMG_1777I am so glad I embraced the pattern mixing trend and feel much more comfortable with it than I did in the beginning.  Have you embraced this tend?  Did you find it strange at first?  Are you more comfortable after giving it a go?  Chime in Readers, I love hearing from you!

Gratitude:  I am grateful to my husband for getting me sinus medication yesterday when my head hurt so bad I couldn’t move (nice reaction to the 10 degree increase in temps, wonder what another 25  degree increase Tuesday will bring?)  I am grateful that the sinus medications worked and I made it out of bed by noon.. I am grateful that I took two sets of outfit photos on Sunday!  I am grateful for all the comments left yesterday by my dear readers!  

Thank you to Antoinette  for Nominating me for the Very Inspiring & Versatile Blogger Award

The requirements of acceptance of this award are:

Display the award logo on your blog


Don’t Forget to Link Back to Your Nominator

Next Requirement is to Tell Seven Things about Yourself

Seven Things About Myself

1. I am a mother of four, Three sons ages 26,17 & 12.  One daughter age 21. I home school my youngest.

2. I love building up people and wish I had money to be a philanthropist and change lives

3.  This month will mark the 22nd Anniversary of my Marriage

4. I use to own a Consignment Store called, ” A Lucky Find”

5. I am addicted to Thrifting and shopping in general, which recently replaced my addiction to sweets

6. I drink way to much diet soda and wish I can quit, do so quite often for weeks at a time, then start it up again.

7. I love sayings and started collecting them when I was a teenager.

And the final requirement is to Nominate 15 more awards (Contact Your Nominees) 

My 15 nominees are listed below in no particular order:

Fashion & Fun after Fifty


The Renegade Seamstress

H & K Style Journey

Chic On the Cheap

Mix & Match Fashion

Putting Me Together

Watch out for the Woestman’s 

Thrift & Shout

Walking in Grace & Beauty

Rubys and Purls

Melissa J Plum

Trusty Chucks

Dreams and Wishz

Sequined Patterns

I saw this look on Pinterest and thought, I have all the things in my closet to do a version of this..

Love the bright blazer with the black shirt underneath.

I  love using Pinterest for inspiration because I only pin things that work with items I already own.  This one was especially simple as I did a very literal interpretation of this look. Please Pardon the squinting in the photos… I broke my sunglasses and because my eyes are a very light brown they are sun sensitive…


Since it is cold right now I am going to adapt this by wearing a turtleneck for added warmth.  I love scoop necks and v-necks, but I am very practical and don’t like to freeze.  I wish I had put sweater tights on and layered more as it was freezing…


 Not all looks result in such a literal translation.  Sometimes it’s just colors that work well together.  This look was just too easy… I wish all Pinterest Inspirations were  this close to the original.  At least that is how I am feeling today…


If you know me everything is subject to change and there are days when I love being more creative.   But for today the only thing I had to figure out on my own was what to put on my feet, earrings and a purse…Still cold, so boots were necessary!  Wish I had chosen a different purse… This one is by Reverse a Purse and has reversible covers… It seems like this company may have gone under as the website has not been working for  awhile now and no one is answering questions on their Facebook page… A shame as I would have ordered more.  

Linking Up With Visible Monday, lots of other bloggers to explore...on Watch What I’m Wearing &  GlamaMom  as well.

Dear Readers, How many of you use Pinterest as inspirations for outfits?  If so do you like to pin things that will work with what you already own or do you prefer to use it as a visual for items you’d like in your closet?  Do you do literal translations, more creative ones maybe just using the color combos as a jumping off point? Love to hear from you , so chime in!  

Gratitude: I am grateful that I thought I was getting sick but it didn’t evolve into anything except a tiny bit of congestion… I am grateful that 12 year old Connor who hates the cold as much as I do, took my photos.  I am grateful that my husband made chili, perfect for a cold evening and leftovers so I won’t have to cook for a few days!!!!   

So, by the time I got myself together for photos, It was snowing!!!!  

IMG_1731This outfit was totally motivated by the snow, my first thought was  that at temps in the twenty’s I started with my fur lined Twiggy London boots.

IMG_1736Then my next thought was layering and I started with my thrifted cashmere turtle neck sweater in black.  Doing the scan of jackets and sweaters I decided to stick with black zip up that I had purchased at Steinmart, but had yet to wear… Loving this no shopping thing I’ve got going right now…

IMG_1743 I didn’t just layer the tops, I added leggings underneath my jeans. To accessorize I reached for a scarf for added warmth.  This scarf is extremely versatile and can be worn with so many colors, follow this link...I love hats and the warmth they provide so,  if taking photos in the snow, a must have for a woman who hates cold weather!

IMG_1739The last addition to this outfit was my Dooney & Bourke purse, a gift from a friend.  Who knew I would use this color so much?   The snow was really coming down here, but I feel warm and spunky…

Dear Readers, I hope you all are enjoying a fun weekend filled with laughter and joy!  I put the things that bring me joy in the form of gratitude daily on this blog… How about you, my Dear Readers, chime in… What is one thing you are grateful for today?  

Gratitude:  I am grateful for the snow day as it is pretty and the kids love it( I am a wimp in cold weather).   I am also grateful for the craziness of Virginia Beach weather that has temperatures in the twenty’s and within days expecting temperatures in the sixty’s.  I am grateful that my husband surprised me with the new mantle and that I have a fire today, nothing better than a fireplace going in the cold weather.  I am grateful for the fun the boys had chopping wood for the first time in their lives and the quality time with Nicholas not having school due to a staff day!0

With the cold and actually SNOWY DAY(remember not en every year occurrence here in Virginia Beach), and my MESSED UP SINUSES,  I opted not to do outfit photos.  Hope you enjoy this , though and come back tomorrow for another installment of my Red-Orange Skinny Jeans!  

I think as a woman you use to  either really like animal print or you steer completely away from it. That seems like it is changing and more women are getting braver o evn just dipping their toes into  it with accessories.   I didn’t like animal print so much when I was younger.  I had a leopard print sweater that my sister gave me and I wore it, but never really loved it.  I was given a beautiful silk blouse many years ago by my sister-in-law and although I didn’t wear it, I couldn’t  part ways with it either.  Glad now that I kept it as it is the one pictured below…

Then my forties hit and I guess you could say I got of f the fence and am now a full fledged animal print junkie… I am not a one trick pony either:   

Of Course there is The Big Cats Leopard and Cheetah


pinterest animal 3Pinterest- animal 1

get-attachment (96)Leopard coat

cheetah belt

Zebra Print:


IMG_0085get-attachment (33)IMG_0822



SnakeSkin and other Reptiles




Dear Readers, If I had to choose a favorite I would have to say that like everything in my world, it is subject to change.  If you had asked me last year my answer would have been leopard or cheetah.  Right now I have to say I am really partial to the zebra print.  I think it is the high contrast between the black and white that are so appealing to me right now.  Now time for you to chime in, do you like animal print and if so are you like me with a variety or is there one you really love and stick to?  Do you wear it in clothing or stick to using it for accessorizing?  

Gratitude:  I am grateful to my husband for surprising me yesterday afternoon with a new extended mantle he insisted we install before lighting a fire , after hanging the TV above the fireplace.  I am grateful for the added warmth of the fire  and the fun the boys had making s’mores.  I am grateful that after beginning Tom Sawyer today, that Connor seems interested enough to continue without me having to push too hard…I am grateful for the snow this morning(that didn’t stay,but left a light dusting for a little while) and the delight of Connor as he watched it falling and the text I received from Nicholas(17) while in study hall, as he was enjoying watching it as well.. I am grateful that the school allowed the phones this year as I enjoy getting texts from Nicholas when he is gone all day!  I am grateful for the teacher staff day and looking forward to spending the day with both younger boys…

Posting after midnight in hopes that I sleep in, as this weather is wreaking havoc on my sinuses and I am taking Nyquil!!!  Can’t be 60 one day and 30 the next without my having issues….

I think we all have our own unique process for putting together what we will wear for the day… I was thinking,” what is mine?”  and like everything with me,  there isn’t just one answer… It really is fitting that I named this blog Versatile Style (which would have been the entire name, but when googled brought up a tile store….so added my name).  

I will continue my processes in future blogs and begin with today’s process.  I will call this one Weather Motivated.  What that means is that some days I strictly focus on the weather and make my  choice based on that.  For instance today is one of the coldest days, in fact weather man is saying we haven’t had temps this cold in 2 years.


So first thoughts were : Layers , Pants and Boots.   With those in mind I headed to the closet in search of pants that would work well with boots. For me that means skinny’s or jeggings.   I discovered my new green ones that hadn’t been worn yet, Perfect!!!!

My next thought was Layers and instantly I thought of my faux fur vest that I haven’t worn in awhile... That instantly meant that I knew what boots I would wear,  Brown Vest means Brown Boots… I have two pairs with heels, one suede, one leather and  one flat boot… So my next thought was, ” going to be home today homeschooling and hibernating” (may run to grocery store), so the flat boots it is!  


So that means that I have to find a top to wear under the vest….I wanted a turtle neck for warmth… This is not something I own a lot of in fact I only have  a black sweater, a green sweater and a creme one… So I decided to raid my husband’s sweaters.  and came up with this one and I liked it!  He was home at the time and approved!


Then it was time for accessories and today that was a simple necklace in the greens to help bring together the outfit, a hat for added warmth while photographing , and of course a purse….After seeing the pictures, I laughed at my choice of snakeskin purse with fur vest. but I like it!!


Very casual and appropriate for a cold day hibernating or running to the grocery store… I finally wore my green jeggings.  by Diane Gilman of course!  A  Mom on the Go outfit for sure!   

So Dear Readers,  Do you have those days where weather is the first consideration when planning an outfit?  I bet a lot of us use this process!  Right now so many of us are experiencing colder weather and when I did make my run to the grocery store, there were so many women in the same silhouette of skinny’s tucked into boots and a lot of puffer coats, as well…

Gratitude:  I am grateful to my 17 year old Nicholas for taking these photos(he took such great shots, that I had a hard time narrowing them down)… I am grateful that I am homeschooling Connor and for the reconfirmation today that I am doing the right thing by him… (he missed something in the math lesson and went back and found just that part in the lesson and re-listened to it.  an unusual occurrence as he soars through math… He mentioned that he liked this because while in school he would watch once, get it then,  tune out the teacher as she was over explaining because it would mess with his head and confuse him….)  I am grateful for the phone call from my husband in the middle of his work day as he called to thank me for his lunch….

Crazy that it is near sixty one day and the very next day it is at freezing with temperatures at nightfall expected in the teens… To  Northerners this doesn’t sound cold ,but when it rarely reaches freezing and we end up with rain instead of snow, this is cold for us.  I think the shock from it being 60 the day before makes it feel even colder….

I changed my planned outfit of the swingy cotton skirt to this with heavy sweater tights!   I love the added warmth of my moto jacket and it doesn’t look too bad either!  As I have been discovering my style through blogging photos questions from Sylvia’s Style Challenge  and more recently by the Dressing Your Truth information,  I recognize I think my style is FEMINE & FLIRTY , with and EDGE.


My style is a perfect blend of the Ying and Yang that my Dressing the Truth  research revealed…That means both feminine and masculine, soft and hard…   There is nothing better to me than a skirt and boots in the winter and then adding the moto jacket for the edge.  I would wear this combination everyday if it was practical, but face it I am a homeschooling mother….And I love variety,


I so want to scream from the rooftops about how exciting the information was from the e-mails I received after signing up for them on Dressing Your Truth... I so resonated with one of the four personalities and was in awe of not only how much it defined me, but how much even the facial features lined up and each time she said,” If you are this type you may have heard people say this about you or you may feel that” … It was like my whole life was unfolding and came completely into focus.  There are too many details to get into here, but it also helped me to see personalities of my children and my husband.  I want to buy the book,  as  I firmly believe this understanding has the power to change how I view those close to me in my life.  I am on a total buying freeze right now, but this will be my first purchase!

IMG_1701Freezing temperatures and that wind…. This was my fastest photo shoot to date!

It feels fabulous to finally have words to describe my style.   It seems easy for me to add that edge with jackets like the moto or the black zippered one from yesterday….I think boots can help with that edge as well… I wonder though, what will I do over the Spring and Summer to create that same feeling?… I think in the past my style changes in those months to embrace a stronger feminine side…

So, my Dear Readers, anyone have any suggestions on how to create that slight edge for the warmer seasons?  Your comments are welcomed and greatly appreciated!  Have you defined your own style and what words have you found to describe it…. Would love to see what you’ve come up with… 

Linking Up Today with : Rolled up Pretty,  Get Your Pretty On and The Pleated Poppy

Gratitude:  I am grateful that I pushed past my tiredness this morning and desire to snuggle up and go back to sleep and made it to my WW meeting… I am grateful that my 12 year old Connor braved the cold with me to take these photos… I am grateful for the conversation with my daughter where we talked about psychology and what is coming next for her as she prepares to graduate and go on to graduate school.  I am grateful that for two days in a row my husband dropped by in the afternoon and we had just a few moments of face to face time(not texting or cell phones).  I am grateful that my husband had a small sale yesterday and even in this slump that his spirits are high.  I am grateful for finding the Dressing Your Truth website and that I invested the time in watching her videos.   

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