Those Tricky Styling Pieces

Apr 22, 2014


DUSTER VEST: DIY, read this post
SKIRT: c/o New Old Fashion Vintage (similar: here
SWEATER: Forever 21 (similar: here, here and here)
JELLY SHOES: Urbanog (only $17!)
BELT: Calvin Klein, thrifted (similar: here and here)

I'm getting super antsy to break out my summer clothes, but the Midwest is notorious for tossing you a snowstorm after an 80 degree day, so the summer dresses are still left in hiding. But as an effort not to get depressed over my closet, I'm trying to force myself to wear some lighter sweaters that I'll soon be swapping out for sleeveless blouses. This polka dot knit  is one of my favorite pieces in my closet, but, interestingly enough, I only make basic outfits with it. So as a fun challenge, I tried to find a way to work it into a look that wasn't as lazy as sweater + jeans+ boots. And this is what I came up with! I paired it with an A-line maxi skirt and topped it off with my DIY duster vest, which added the perfect finishing touch. The extra layer gave it some interest, and I really like how the vest has a longer hem than the skirt; it gives the look some proportion interest. Then, to not give it too much of a vintage, girly vibe, I paired the outfit with my white jelly shoes. 

In all honesty, this look took some time to whip together, haha. I don't know what it is about this knit that stumps me, but I'm really pleased with the end result. Which, of course, means I'll now wear this outfit into the ground while you guys aren't looking ;)


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  1. Uggghhhhhh, that vest is AHmazing. I am totally making one asap.

  2. I really like this outfit, Marlen! Great colors!

    Love, Amy

  3. I adore this look! I've always envied that skirt of yours, and that knit is right up my alley. Muted green looks so great with true red - I'd wear this a lot if I were you :) 

  4. Haha I'm still waiting on the next snow storm, we've had a few nice days - its probably about time. I love the way you style this sweater, I have a few pieces like this too, that I just style in the simplest of ways despite the fact that they are so versatile
    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

  5. Wow, great pairing! I love the colour mix of this outfit! And I need that sweater!

    xo Sonja

  6. lovely colors, and i just adore that skirt! we have a giveaway on our blog, don't forget to check it out!! :)

    ChocolateFashionCoffee Facebook Page
    ChocolateFashionCoffee INSTAGRAM!!! 

  7. I love that winter jacket/vest thing you've got on! So impressed that you made it yourself. I totally do the same thing, if I find an outfit I like I will wear it over and over again (when no one is looking.)

  8. super!;) x

  9. As a Coloradoan, I can relate weather wise. We have had it pretty good, but yes the snow/rain/clouds do sneak in after a gorgeous 80 degree day. I love the way you light layered this look up! I like the colors together!

  10. That vest is just awesome! I've never seen anything like it. Also loving the polka dots, obviously. <3

  11. Ah I love that top, I feel like I've noticed so many people own it probably because its so wonderful. Also you are like the queen of layering.

  12. Love it, absolutely everything about it. Gorgeous polks dot and colors, and all the shapes combined together. I would wear it too. You surprised me with this duster! Would I dare to do something like it, scissors and everything? Hmm.. :)

  13. You look great as usual and I can see why
    this red polka dot jumper is your favorite!
    I love it too ^__^ Xx

  14. Great outfit! Love the skirt :)

    Tiffany Ima
    Style Honestly

  15. LOVE your duster vest...even better that you DIYed it! Also adore the polka dot top.


  16. THAT VEST!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, this is tricky maybe for others, but on you looks so easy and flawless. I love how you played around colors, textures and shapes.

  17. You look so beautiful, love the interesting mix of colours, it works fantastically. The skirt is amazing. Thanks for your support over at mine, hope you're having a great week so far!

  18. This is just about the coolest outfit ever. I am obscenely jealous of you for owning that duster! So cool!


  19. Woah girl! This outfit is amazing!
    I love how you pull off this look!
    I know what you mean, back here we had two days of straight sun and A WEEK OF HEAVY RAIN! It's horrible! I'm anxious to break out into shorts and tanks!
    By the way this outfit reminds me of a vintage minnie mouse look!
    It might be the polka-dots I don't know haha!

  20. I love that your jacket is longer than the skirt - it's all about proportions :-)
    It's heading into autumn here in NZ but I had to strip off my cardi in the sun - weather is hard!

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.

  21. This is a daring mix that I love! Unconventional and inspiring. Say I'm from the midwest too, Minneapolis. It's a tricky time of year for dressing.

    blue hue wonderland

  22. Marlen, you are definitely the vintage queen! The sweater, skirt, and overall color scheme is just so amazing and so you. I have a quick question since it seems like you belong in a different era: If you were to live in a different decade, which decade would it be? Just really curious because you have the most fabulous style!
    xo Olivia

  23. that duster vest is quite something!! such an interesting unique piece to style!

    Animated Confessions

  24. Loving the colors of this outfit! I have some cherished items of clothing that are super hard to style too and it's so annoying. I think the combination of these pieces with the knit works really well though. And I'm so glad you like the music that I share :) I wasn't sure if anyone actually listened to it haha.

  25. Super cute! I'm not sure if you did this on purpose, but this outfit totally makes me thing of the power up mushroom from Mario Brother. I think I'll call it "shroom-chic" :D

    ♥ Gita @

  26. It's funny how some pieces can be perplexing to style, huh? You certainly succeeded with this adorable knit though! I love the polka dot print :)
    Ugh, and I'm so sick of winter. It needs to end. Yesterday we were in the 70's, then today we had 30 mph winds, rain, and overall just gross weather.

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  27. you always put together the most amazing outfits!! really love your unique style

  28. I just pulled out my dresses and it started raining nonstop fro a whole week, so NO dresses! :(
    I love this olive skirt and the dotted short sleeves sweater. I'm having trouble wearing short sleeve sweaters, I keep thinking that either I'll freeze to death or die of heat with them :D

  29. Your polka dot knit is lovely - it seems great to have so many different ways to style it. Short sleeved jumpers are a must for spring; I might have to go on a bargain hunt.

  30. I love the colors of this outfit and of course, that vest. ^^
    The weather is playing tricks on us over here as well, one day it's sunny and warm and the next day it's cold, grey and rainy, so I usually end up dressed either too light or too warm...I wish it would finally make up its mind and turn into Spring already...:p

  31. I love the combination of colors and length! You're like a hardboiled detective who also makes a mean gingerbread :D

  32. Omg, that vest is absolutely amazing!

  33. You can honestly style anything! I really love how the sweater looks with the skirt. Also the jelly shoes are adorable! :-)


  34. i LOVE these colours together, but i especially love that top!

  35. You always know how to style interesting and unique pieces... I wouldn't even know what to do with this "duster vest"... but you pull it off with such ease! I'm always amazed by you!

  36. I would very much like you to dress me all the time! haha. Looks so good :) Xx

  37. OMG! you bought the jellies!!!! they look awesome, so glad you got them. also, i'm totally regretting getting rid of a very similar skirt i thrifted. it was the same color and length but the elastic waistband was a little busted and i was seriously too lazy to fix it. UGH wish i had kept it and fixed it!

    at this volume


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