The Fab 40s Attempt Preppy

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I knew what I was going to call for this month’s Fab 40s’ theme: preppy! It was during May when we were all dressed in boho style that the idea came to me. Jennie, who used to be our most preppy, and who has now become one of our most boho, asked me if it would be hard for me to dress preppy. I had to think about that…I am not every very preppy in my sartorial ways even though I love so many elements of preppy: plaid anything, white and pinstripe shirts, navy blazers, and rolled up pant legs. I definitely have all these elements in my closet, but I would never call my style preppy. I have to many other things to add to my looks: patterns like paisly, texture in favor of sequins, and frequent short hems. Plus I always end up adding some element from one of the places I’ve lived making my style way more boho than preppy. But it was funny; when I was required to dress in a bohemian way, I struggled, yet for this look, my preppy came out easily. Maybe it’s the librarian in me!

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RetroChicMama

preppy-look-from-rcmFor this month’s blogger collab, I invited someone I have admired for a long time: Michelle from RetroChicMama. I love Michelle’s style, but I love the story behind her blog even more. Wow! She has so many different experiences in her life–some of which I wanted way back from when I could daydream about what I would become when I grew up. Besides visiting her blog and becoming addicted to her beautiful style, do take a moment to read her story. It’s pretty awesome! As is her wide legged, casual blazer, preppy lewk!

Curlybyrdie Chirps

photo-23-10-2016-3-31-11-amWell isn’t Mary perfectly preppy! Look at this striped dress–yes, I do not believe Mary has featured anything other than a super stylish dress (maybe there’s been a skirt or two, but she is OUR dress wearer!). The thing about Mary is I do have a hard time believing she is a day over 30. We (The Fab 40s) need to request her beauty regiment, because that lady looks like a twenty-something in my honest opinion. And that youthful dress proves it!

Sheela Writes

dsc_0229Is this a Blair Woldorf double? I do see it as so. Oh, Queen She, I’ve been meaning to watch Gossip Girl all over again, and you have pushed me over the edge into the binge. You may be all sultry shy sitting there, but I know better: you are a true vixen!! As per usual dear Sheela.

Fashion on the 4th Floor

photo-1-1-2000-12-02-00-amOk, the preppy outfit is amazing. Diane has rocked the look. But, for just a second I want my readers to notice something else: look at all the perfect lines. The “V” of her vest, the perfect symmetry of the handbag, the cross section lines of her body as well as her feet. I get really into editing pictures, and my goodness Diane, yes the outfit is amazing, but the edit is equally spectacular. Call me geeky, but this pic and styling could be an advert in a magazine!

A Pocketful of Polka Dots

fab-40s-go-preppy-5030Jennie, my preppy friend! Of course you got the preppy look nailed with a mix of stripes and gingham, perfectly worn jeans and riding boots, the blazer and pearls. I am so anxious to read your post to see what you thought of styling preppy–especially since you have become so much more bohemian in your style since May. It’s funny isn’t it? We are chameleons–especially when we have such fun playing dress up with one another. Great look here Jennie! And now, I’m off to read your post…You’re post sounds similar to mine from Boho May!

Cid Style File

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When I look at Vero‘s styling it made me remember I missed something vital in my own interpretation of preppy: leopard! I love the shoes she’s got on here. Of course that bold yet subtle pattern makes the outfit–along with plaid, a vest, and some skinny maroon pants. Veronica even has the leopard accent with your handbag too. Yes! I love a hashtag (or two) for this: #leopardlove or #loveleopard. Take your pick!!

Fake Fabulous

photo-16-10-2016-9-42-57-amI love this modern preppy rendition from Samantha! Everything is typically preppy–BUT the cold shoulder adds such a marvellous modern take to the preppy look. It’s still gingham, with pegged pants and tobacco pairings with the brogues and handbag, but the cut out shoulders and ruffle add a real youthful, 2016 spin to preppy today. I love this outfit, and Sam, I love your hair! That side sweep part with your grown out pixie are super chic!

Kremb de la Kremb

kremb-de-la-kremb-preppy-7There are two proud pieces that I have been holding out for with this post: first my penny loafers! I am pretty darn excited to proudly wear these shoes again. I won’t go into the long story of the last time I wore this style of shoe, but I’ll leave a hint by saying that when I last wore penny loafers, I lost one during a very scandalous moment of my 16th year. (Please go ahead and ask if you’d like to know more…) The other proud piece of this outfit is my spectacular tee because, yes! Reading is sexy!! I’m a librarian by day, and of course, I wore this exact outfit to work, and these pictures were taken in my very own library. I’m so proud of being both a librarian and a reader. You’d think by definition I would definitely be preppy, but pretty much every librarian I’ve ever met also has a little spark of boho in her. Just check out a librarian’s jewellery–it’s usually always overly artsy! Which by the way, I scaled down my accessories for this post. I opted for heaps of sentimental gold, especially with the charm bracelet, and I even wore my glasses which I never ever wear. (They’re only for one eye, so I usually just let the other one see.) I guess there’s more to this outfit like plaid pants and a navy blazer that I added gold buttons to just to be a perfectly preppy as possible. Yep, it’s definitely in me!

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Sshhhh!

I couldn’t resist! It is my library afterall!

So, are you a preppy dresser? If you are, what’s the signature to your preppiness?

(This post has been linked to #iwillwearwhatilike.)

Collecting Brooches and What to Do with Them

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Chances are you already have some brooches in your jewellery box. Perhaps they’ve been passed down from your mom, aunts, or grandmother. You may have received these jewellery baubles for past birthdays or Christmases. Maybe you even have some pins from the 80s or 90s. It doesn’t really matter how many you have, where they’re from, or how old they are. What does matter is it’s time to pull them out and start wearing them. Wear one brooch or wear all of them at once, but this fall and into winter it’s time to start accessorizing with your brooches. Here I show you how just one looks to all of them. Oh, and don’t forget to use really cool looking earrings as brooches too!

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Find Brooches

  • In your own jewellery box, your mother’s, aunts’, or grandmothers’
  • Second-hand, charity, vintage, and craft shops
  • On your travels
  • In other items like earrings or necklace pendants that could work as a brooch
  • Add Brooches

  • To your outerwear–jean jackets, blazers, winter coats
  • To your hats and scarves even to the cuff of a pair of winter gloves
  • To the side of your waist, blouse closure, or back pocket
  • To the tongue of your shoes, cuff of your pant leg, or handbag

    Do you have a brooch collection? How do you wear your brooches?

  • I had to have these Embroidered Jeans!

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    Earrings, Forever 21 (old, but similar) | Cold Shoulder Top, ASOS | Embroidered Jeans,
    Zara (sold out, but this is their new–and even better–version!) | Glitter Bag, Zara Girls
    (old, but similar) | Glitter Boots, Zara (last year, but these are very close)

    I had to have these embroidered jeans. I mean I really had to have them. And, I was prepared to go to whatever lengths to find them! I first stumbled upon these embroidered jeans while I was resting in my Command Center post my hip surgery this fall. Check out how beautiful these Zara gems look on the stunning Maria Bernad. You can see why I had to have them!

    embroidered-jeans-6The first pair I got were a size 4–yes, that’s laughable because I have only once fit in a size 4. It was a brief and glorious–if even short lived–stint, but it hasn’t and most likely will not happen again. I’m ok with that. But the drugged out mom told her kids when they went to the movies to get me whatever pair they could. I didn’t care about size at that point. I wasn’t even able to pull them past my knees, but I held on to them just for the patches in case I weren’t to find my proper size.

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    It was time to head online, but there they were not an option in Hong Kong. Next I went to the Zara US site: I had my sister ready to receive them and ship them over, but to no avail they were sold out there too. It was at this time I turned north to China, and guess what? I found them!! But there was now a new hitch. China does not take Hong Kong credit cards, and I no longer have a Chinese bank account–once we left Beijing we closed our accounts.

    embroidered-jeans-4Oh the struggle was getting real. I felt desperate by now feeling that I must, I had to have these embroidered jeans. I had the very small pair sitting as standby–I planned to used the patches on another pair of jeans if need be. That’s when Andrew came in! I used to work with Andrew in Beijing, but he has since left the school and now runs a business purchasing items in China for expats. This was the perfect solution for my dilemma and so easy. Within a couple of days, I finally had the proper sized embroidered jeans thanks to the help of Andrew. (If you need Andrew’s contact information, just let me know.)

    embroidered-jeans-5Are you like me? Desperate when you become fixated on an item. When there is a will, there is a way–that’s way I say, and WEAR! Let me know if you need help finding an item. Chances are it will become my fashion fixation too, and I’ll be able to help you out. I mean it. Let me shop for you! All you have to do is ask….

    Green Shaggy Dress–Ping Pong Post 8 with 2 More Bloggers

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    This month’s Ping Pong Post has expanded. We have two guests joining Samantha, Anna, and me: Sheela, who you already know from The Fab 40s, and Greetje, the author of No Fear of Fashion. That means this green shaggy dress (yes, it’s a dress!) has traveled to four destinations until it was returned recently to its owner Anna. So, I did style this dress originally as a dress, but after taking a look at the pictures, I ended up blending into this backdrop as a big tree. The thing is I love, absolutely LOVE, the color of this dress/scarf. Also, the texture is honestly and utterly quite shagalicious! Basically, I wanted to get this dress as close to my eyes as I could in order for them to turn green–my eyes do that according to what I wear. Sometimes they’re more blue; other times they’re more green. Here, they are definitely green, and I like them! I usually don’t wear green opting instead for my favorite color blue, but thanks to Anna, I have seen that maybe it’s time to start incorporating more of this forest color into my wardrobe…. Keep scrolling down to see what everyone else did with this, eh hem, shaggy item:

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    Anna from Anna Island Style

    img_1620I am really, really beginning to admire how Anna just mixes anything. I would have never, ever thought of adding the elements of surprise that she has, but she showcases textures, prints, boldness, and colors expertly. It’s amazing how well put together everything looks. I’m learning a thing or two about mixing things up from Anna. She’s started such a great collaboration, and it has been really fun to have two more included this month. (Anna, can we do that again!?)

    Go visit Anna’s blog and make sure to follow her on Instagram.

    Greetje from No Fear of Fashion

    img_1619I’m always talking to Greetje about her legs; I have to remind her to add the hashtag #legsfordays. Seriously she has some amazing pins! And, luckily she always knows how to style them. See how tiny her thighs and calves are?! She treated the dress like a tunic, and it worked out perfectly. My original styling was similar to this except I had tried wearing the item as a dress. Like Anna up above, I’m taking note that not all dresses need to be worn in that way!

    Go visit Greetje’s blog and make sure to follow her on Instagram.

    Sheela of Sheela Writes

    img_1621I have to laugh–Sheela and I were texting each other back and forth. She would tell me she had no idea how to style this item–she was swimming in it for one. But, wow! Did she ever find a solution! I often nickname Sheela “Queen She,” and in this version of her styling you can see why. She’s all gladiator. She’s gonna take on the world. And she’s definitely gonna take it on in style! And now I need a leather top just like that one. Or hey, Anna, maybe we could convince Sheela to pass that one around the world….

    Go visit Sheela’s blog and make sure to follow her on Instagram.

    Samantha from Fake Fabulous

    img_1618Ok, this is how this green shaggy dress is supposed to be worn as a dress. Boom! Samantha totally nailed it in its appropriate intention, and she did it with mega glam. Again, I’m taking note because this was how I tried to wear it. But see, she used a cardigan to slim the silhouette of this shaggy item. Like Sheela she must have been swimming in this oversized item, but Samantha really knows how to dress her figure. And, I’m grinning because those beautiful red lips Samantha, they are the perfect bow to this stunning look on you! Wink wink. Can you believe you never used to wear that color? I can’t. It belongs to you!

    Go visit Samantha’s blog and make sure to follow her on Instagram.

    And Me, Kremb de la Kremb

    kremb-de-la-kremb-2After I had paired this dress with the same white blouse, some kitchy sneakers and a foxy bag, I wasn’t happy with the look. After taking a look at the first set of pictures, I knew I needed to take another shot at styling this item. Again, Sheela and I were texting back and forth when I jokingly sent her a picture of this green shaggy dress as a blanket. It really is that cozy. But, that’s when it came to me–why don’t I wear the item as a shrug. I grabbed the dress, draped it around me, and pesto–op! I mean presto. I knew what I had to do. Fall shorts with my fall booties and fun bling along with my jungle bag to bring it all together. I was much happier with the way this styling turned out. But, perhaps I’ve piqued your curiousity. Here’s the original styling:


    Which way do you like it better on me? As a dress or as a scarf? And out of all the stylings which version do you gravitate toward? It’s ok to say–we are all interested!

    Just What the Doctor Ordered

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    Oh wow! I can’t believe it’s already October 18, and I have only posted on Kremb de la Kremb one other time this month back on October 3rd. I guess I needed to take a break–just what the doctor ordered! There was a time with this blog that I was posting every single day, Monday through Friday by 6:30 am (look at my archives for 2014 and 2015 for proof!). I can’t believe how I did that! Then, after some time of doing that, I just couldn’t keep up. I switched to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, this time posting in the evenings; the kids did their homework while I blogged. Now, goodness, looks as if I’m lucky if I write a post once a week. But, you know what? I’m forgiving myself. I do have a full time day job and a family to care for. As much as I dream of the Kremb de la Kremb blog and brand being my job, the reality is it isn’t. And just recently, while away on a family vacation, I could have used the luxurious time to catch up, but again, I didn’t. Instead I watched the kids surf, I took long walks with my husband on the beach, and I read a book–because that’s what one should do on a vacation, right? Something has shifted in me since I’ve received Pinky, my artificial hip. I’m feeling more relaxed and less pressured. Oh, I’ll keep blogging for sure: I adore the creativity this blog allows me. But I need to apologize to you my reader because unfortunately I cannot promise a guaranteed schedule any longer. I want to write when inspired and not when forced; therefore I recommend signing up right here to the right in my sidebar for an email notification when you’d like to know if there’s a new post over here on Kremb de la Kremb. Oh, by the way, I can give you advance heads up that there will be one on Thursday! Wink wink. After some relaxation, my creative mind is working–just what the doctor ordered!

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    *These pictures were shot on a beautiful Phuket beach called Kata. We stayed at a lovely little hotel called The Boathouse, one I totally recommend. Visiting this beach during August, September, and October is perfect for surfers. Yes, we had some drizzles here and there along with plenty of sun, but rain on a beach is still quite lovely!

    Off the Shoulder at Work

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    The off the shoulder trend is still going strong–at least in my wardrobe. For someone with sloping shoulders, this style works really well for me; it also works well with my heftier topside. The thing is this style may not seem work appropriate, yet, when I wore this very outfit to work last week, I felt comfortably confident and rather cute. Here’s what I did so I can wear the off the shoulder at work: first, I simply wear the shoulders up. Next, if I want to wear the style in the sexy way it’s meant to be, I simply add a sleeveless jacket and turn the style into a cold shoulder. The sleeveless blazer helps provide a layer as the temps start to drop. I’d like to note that I always wear a regular bra with my off the shoulder tops or dresses. I never wear a strapless; rather, I simply slide the bra strap to the side. This is so much more comfortable than having to deal with a strapless bra that lacks in support for a 36D. Finally, there’s one other styling trick when wearing this off the shoulder at work: I added shorts. I kept coveting this dress at Zara, trying to sell it to my daughter for her Friday night dress ups. She had no interest. Then, I was finally like, Annie, just get it for yourself! Shorts underneath also makes this off the shoulder at work wearable–I seem to be doing a lot lately with all my short dresses.

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    I hope these styling tips and tricks help you to continue wearing your off the shoulder tops and dresses. It’s such a cute style and shouldn’t be limited to weekend wear and date nights! Would you wear an off the shoulder at work? If so, how do you make it work for you?

    Meet Pinky, My New (and very improved) Hip!

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    This Friday will mark 8 weeks with my new hip. I’m pretty much at a loss of words. I will be so bold as to say my new hip is miraculous. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to walk normally, that to be 8 weeks post a hip replacement and walking without crutches, without a limp, well it is astounding to me. How can this be? To say I am elated would be an understatement. Yes, I am young at 44 to have an artificial hip, but wow, this one already works so much better than the one I was struggling with for far too long. I still have a long way to go. I need to build up the muscles in my legs and around the hip to stabilize this new joint. But, I can walk again, like actually walk. I can take a stroll with my family, and I can even foresee maybe going on a hike with them at some point. That was one of the main goals for replacing the arthritic one–to just be able to walk normally again, and I can. I have even started to go on walks for exercise–as shown from these happy pictures here. Oh! It feels so good!! And this is only 8 weeks post op. Yes, I will remain the steady tortoise in this race–I mean recovery, but already I am so, so, so very happy with my new hip. Pinky (that’s how I lovingly refer to it), you’re a winner, and I’m pretty happy with you. You can stay!

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    It has been a really long time since I bought exercise gear–like forever. I still have the original–but perhaps now out of style–Lulu Lemon boot cut, yoga pant. I splurged on those pants and the black Lulu Lemon hoodie back in 2009. With Pinky causing a smile and a desire to get out and walk, I treated myself to some new workout clothes. Yes, these are not the ever-so-standard black version; rather I’m thinking of sunset days in San Diego where the palm trees streak all the promenades. Leggings, fun, overly bright ones, are having a moment, so I’m going to celebrate walking with the whimsical variety. Oh, I got this sports bra too, and it is surprisingly very supportive for my 36Ds! (Just get a size large.)

    *Thanks for capturing these pictures I’m a Norbyah–even though I’m in leggings!

    The Fab 40s in Hats

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    Oh September! You are a blur for all of us Fab 40s. Vero chose such a great and very different theme for us this month: hats. The Fab 40s always post on the last Monday of the month, yet I was definitely caught by surprise with the somewhat early September date. I picked up this turban hat over a month ago. I thought–ooh, this will be a nice switch from my usual winter beanie. Also, my hair, my very boofy hair, has become so out of control. Tying it down with a scarf also seems to help…. When Vero called the theme as hats this month, I thought, “Sweet! I can try out my turban.” Easier said than styled…I really wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I called for my inner, urban gypsy. I added a pin to the turban–obviously, and then I added lots of gold baubles. I attempted to wear my sleeveless (DIY) black blazer with nothing underneath; I think it worked buttoned up. Also, for some reason, post hip replacement surgery, I’ve put on a couple of lbs; therefore, I opted for my stand by, every day worn, Wrangler cutoffs. I swear: these shorts have exceeded their cost per wear which was like $10 USD! Since I was drenched in lots of gold, I chose my rose gold tennies–another item that is on constant repeat these days. I am not embarrassed to admit I have twenty pair (maybe over!) of sneakers. Personal style is forever evolving, and mine is definitely headed toward the sporty chic these days with my daily wear of tennis shoes. Some people can wear hats with such ease. I have to admit, for how OTT (over-the-top) I am with my style most days, I do feel loud in a hat–like they draw too much attention to me. Isn’t that funny considering some of the outlandish getups I come up with. How about you? Are you a hat person? Some people just are.

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    The Fab 40s in Hats

    Let’s see if the Fab 40s are hat ladies….I have a feeling they will be! We’ll start with Vero who called the theme and her guest this month, Janeane from Designing from My Closet.

    Veronica from Cid Style File

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    Blog: http://www.cidstylefile.com/
    Instagram: @cidstylefile
    Facebook: CID Style File

    Janeane Designing from My Closet

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    Blog: https://designingfrommycloset.com/
    Instagram: @designingfrommycloset
    Facebook: Designing from My Closet

    Mary from Curly Byrdiechirps

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    Blog: http://curlybyrdiechirps.blogspot.hk/
    Instagram: @curlybyrdie
    Facebook: Curly Byrdie’s Show and Tell

    Jennie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots

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    Blog: http://www.apocketfulofpolkadots.com/
    Instagram: @apocketfulofpolkadots

    Sheela Writes

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    Blog: https://sheelagoh.com/
    Instagram: @sheelagoh
    Facebook: Eccettica the Atelier

    Samantha of Fake Fabulous

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    Blog: http://www.fakefabulous.com/
    Instagram: @fakefabulous
    Facebook: Fake Fabulous

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    I think Sam might be hat wearers in real life. What do you think? Also, I gave her that skirt! Doesn’t it look great on her!?

    *I’ve linked up this post to #iwillwearwhatilike.

    Breton Stripe Shirt–Ping Pong Post No. 7

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    It was my turn this month for the Ping Pong Post collaboration running between me, Anna, and Samantha. I’ll be honest: I wanted to go with a simple classic. What’s more sure than a Breton strip shirt? The version I chose–a hand-me-down from my sister–has a bit of spunk to it; it’s boxy and cropped. I love when I’m able to sigh sartorially around my sister, and she instantly hands over the piece. I was interested to see how my friends would style something so simple, and of course, I was instantly impressed! For me, I simply pulled out my inner pirate. My hair is out of control these days, so often the best thing to do is tie a kerchief around it. I strung tons of gold upon myself with even a pearly thumb ring. I went for Johnny Depp coal eyes to increase my Caribbean seawater look. Of course, when it comes to shoes, I went with runners, but even those are rose gold!

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    Anna from Anna Island Style

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    I love this. I repeat. I. Love. This! Anna took my breton stripe shirt and turned it into a skirt. Isn’t it genius! Gosh, she’s so svelte and cool in this look. I want her arms and figure and everything! With a quick glance, even the tan belt cinching her waist with looks like a tan stomach. I really admire this ingenious look!

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    Samantha of Fake Fabulous

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    Now Samantha, she could pass as French here instead of Scottish! How flirty and cute she styled this basic breton stripe shirt. I swear I think this styling makes her look like she’s ready for Paris Fashion Week to begin momentarily. Also, she has the red skirt I’ve been wanting for a while now. But one quick question Samantha: is it really the season for tights again? Your cold weather happens so quickly!

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    Me, Kremb de la Kremb

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    What about you?

    I bet you have a Breton stripe shirt in your wardrobe or at least something close. I’m curious… How do you usually style it?

    Get connected with the Ping Pong Posters

  • Anna Island Style is @AnnaIslandStyle on Instagram and a Facebook page here.
  • Fake Fabulous is also @FakeFabulous over on Instagram as well as @FakeFabulous on Twitter, and a Facebook page under again the same name, Fake Fabulous!
  • And I’m @krembdelakremb pretty much everywhere! Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • *This post has been linked up to Sheela Writes.

    Influenced by Teens

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    I splurged on these tennies!

    I now have two teenagers. I work as a high school librarian with teenagers. It can’t be helped. I’m influenced by teens. What can I say? But, I love it. Working with kids, I like to think it helps keep me young. I don’t stop to think, “Oh, I’m 44. I shouldn’t probably wear mid-calf socks with lips all over them.” Rather, what happens to me, is I start noticing a trend happening around me, and then I attempt to embrace it. And the trend I’ve been noticing around the teens is to wear your socks midway up the calf. The quirkier the socks, the better. Socks are in–at least among the teens. I’ll tell you what: I felt great on this day wearing this outfit to work. I even received a few compliments from kids at the library–always a great thing! So yes, I am seriously influenced by teens, but I prefer it that way. I’d prefer to be the crazy, colorful librarian than the fuddy duddy one! I’d like to know: who influences the way you dress? For me, it’s totally the teenagers around me.

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    My dress and shorts are from Zara, and I picked up the socks at Forever 41–Op! I mean Forever 21!

    Just to be clear, I did wear a pair of shorts under this very short, t-shirt shift dress!

    *Norbyah, thanks for the pics Sweetie! You get them good each and every time. Free this week?!

    *Also, this post has been linked to the #iwillwearwhatilike and Sheela Writes link up.