Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Polka Squares

Another day, another challenge, and I'm game. Can you guess by looking at me what the challenge was?

shirt -- Alfani (thrifted)
skirt -- axcess (thrifted)
belt -- (thrifted)
boots -- White Mt (thrifted)

I actually wore this outfit back in May -- May 2, to be exact (that was way back when the weather was a lot cooler, remember that?). I never got around to posting it, so I think it's still okay to use for this latest challenge hosted by the ladies over at Every Body Every Wear (EBEW). Need another hint of what the challenge was?

Michelle Obama could have posted this picture on the EBEW challenge wall with what she wore in this luncheon with Nancy Reagan, back in 2009.

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton
Give up? It was pattern mixing. Even though this trend has been around for a couple of years, it's hasn't been one that I've been entirely comfortable with. So instead of going for bold and bright or bright and daring in my choice of patterns, I went with a more conservative and safe mix -- the pattern in both my skirt and my shirt were both squares* and the shirt and the skirt were both neutral colors (black and white).

*polka squares, and not polka dots

I'm actually kind of disappointed that I didn't spend more time playing around in my closet and having more fun with the challenge. I remember that I was worried about what people would think if I wore what would look like a mismatched outfit to work -- they'd think that I got dressed in the dark or something. (Yeah, I worry too much sometimes about what people think.) So I chickened out and didn't stretch as much as I could have. But now, it just looks too conservative for me. In my defense, though, I wasn't really a fan of this trend until just recently.

Definitely a  should have, could have, would have  moment ...

I used to think the matchy matchy look was somewhat elegant and sophisticated. But now I look at the picture below, and I just say, "Wow! That's an awful lot of blue."

Tara Palmer Tomkinson Photo: REUTERS

Funny how your tastes change over the years, and even over a couple of months.

Conservative issues aside, I think that something else in my outfit was a little off. I'm not sure what it is though. I don't think the style of the skirt (is this a flare skirt?) is doing me any favors, and the boots were also definitely wrong for this look. How could I have jazzed this up a bit more?

Now check out all the other mixed print daredevils over at Every Body Every Wear.

Pattern Mixing | Everybody, Everywear


  1. I *love* that blouse!

    I think I would have worn shoes instead of boots, but then, I'm not a fan of boots with skirts. These make your legs look short.

    I might have worn big, brightly colored jewelry to counteract all that black. (That said, I'm in a black and white dress today with silver jewelry with small green stones.)

  2. Kari, I just wanted to encourage husband was laid off two years ago and has been on contract labor since is a scary way to live...but so far his contract is renewed at the end of each work period. We have been without insurance and struggling with insurance. I worked all summer for extra money for my college kids...and then in one evening last Saturday, it all went to an emergency room!! So, My encouragement is to just take life One Day at a Time...make the most each one day. I will pray for you...for me it is pray that gets me through. Thank you for your honesty with your blog comment...I would not have you be any other way..

  3. I like this! Different shoes, though, yes. And maybe a red or other brightly colored tank underneath the blouse, just peeking out.

    And wow, you had 2 kids graduate in the spring! You must be so proud!! And yes, we do go back early. It's ridiculous because it's still so hot here. And then we get out May 18. I wish we'd go back a couple of weeks later and get out first of June. They do this to get the CRCT done in April so they have the results by the time school is out. Imagine how much money our counties could save in a/c costs just going back a few weeks later!

  4. The two grey patterns look good together. I forgot to wear a patterned outfit for this challenge, but I am enjoying seeing everyone else's looks.

  5. I actually really like the pairing. I think some pumps would have changed the whole feel of the look. Creating less visual weight at your feet and letting the flare of the skirt keep the balance. I love the look of the top! I love me some matchy-matchy, but Ms. Blue needs to lose the gloves. I think that would have been a million times better.

    (Also sorry for the lack of detail shots today, the necklace I believe is for a theater play my MIL is costume-designing for. So it's already gone back to her!)

  6. The black and white patterns work really well together. Great job on this challenge!

  7. I actually really like this outfit on you. I think this is the smartest way to do pattern mixing, especially when the folks at work just don't understand. Neutral colors help to not freak out the co-workers for sure.

    You look really good to me - I understand what you mean about the conservatism of the outfit, but both pieces fit you wonderfully so it looks great.

  8. The patterns mix nicely. Their similar color may seem conservative, but they create a pleasing look.

    I agree the boots weren't the right choice. I'd go with Megan's idea of pumps which would likely make the flared skirt look better.

  9. I actually think the shape of the skirt is very flattering on you. Between the belt at the waist and the slight flare at the hem, you look perfectly curvy and feminine in this outfit. The pattern matching is spot on, too. Good mix!

  10. Hi Kari!

    I like the outfit a lot, and I agree maybe something dramatic like red peeking out at the top would enhance it. - Marguerite

  11. Love this skirt and I think you did a great job!

  12. Love these patterns together! And I think the skirt shape is great on you. Even though I love boots and wear them way too much, I think a pair of "lady shoes" might give you the extra oomph that you are looking for in this case.

  13. Thanks for all your comments! I think that a bright red cami (which I have) under my shirt and a bright red belt (which I don't have) would really improve this! I am not a pump kind of person, and in fact, I don't own one pair -- but I definitely agree that these boots were all wrong. They were yuck.

  14. @Redheaded Quilter -- the boots definitely make my legs look like stumps.
    @Joy -- what is the CRCT? it must be some kind of testing, which I am NOT a fan of ... I swear my kids spent more time preparing and taking tests than they did in actually learning! And I agree -- I should have had a brightly colored tank on.
    @Megan -- Ms Blue -- hahaha. I was surprised she wasn't a bridesmaid.
    @Rebecca -- I'm really bummed when I forget a good challenge too.
    @Shybiker and Gracey -- conservative yes. Funny how you get bummed about your outfits in retrospect.


Thanks for reading. Honest opinions and constructive criticism are always welcome.

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