A Turtleneck for the Spring

OOTD Style Fashion Turtleneck

As far as turtlenecks go, I’ve never been a huge fan. When I was young, my mom forced me to wear turtlenecks in hideous shades of pink and fuchsia. Maybe she believed they would prevent me from catching a cold. Or perhaps she was setting precedent for a modest way of dress that I came to embrace without question.

Urban Outfitters beret (similar) | vintage turtleneck (similar) | vintage Levis 501 (similar) | vintage Cameos pumps (similar) | vintage necklace (similar) | vintage bangle (similar) | vintage watch (similar) | vintage Coach crossbody (similar) | Urban Outfitters sunglasses (similar)

In my early 20s, I ventured down the turtleneck road again, and incorporated the high neckline into my working girl’s office wardrobe. I am willing to suffer a little discomfort in the name of fashion, but the turtleneck was in a class of its own. I gave it up after one season, as if its constricting nature was stifling my style.

But nowadays, turtlenecks aren’t as restrictive as they used to be, with looser necklines available in a variety of materials. Whether it’s cozy wool for the winter, lightweight drapey cotton knits for the spring, or even sleeveless ones in the summer, there’s a turtleneck for every season.

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OOTD Style Fashion Turtleneck

Like romantic relationships, you shouldn’t feel smothered by your turtleneck. I stole this vintage top from my momma’s closet, and while I can’t decide if it’s a turtleneck, funnel neck, mock, or maybe all of the above, alls I know is that my neck can breathe again like Toni Braxton. The loose fit and thinner material make it appropriate for this transitional weather, as we’re experiencing temperature swings left and right like hot flashes.

In keeping with the mom theme, I tucked my mom’s turtleneck into a classic pair of mom jeans, none other than the original Levi’s 501 button fly. A slim pair of pointy pumps helps streamline the otherwise dowdy mom look, while golden embellishments and a beret add a little flair to this turtleneck affair.

OOTD Style Fashion Turtleneck

Tonal Denim and Ornate Paisley

ootd chambray paisley

I’ve found a masterpiece in you, a work of art it’s true. And I treasure you, my OOTD.

Although the paintbrush and I have never been close pals, I guess I could still call myself an artist. A painter may mix paints on his palette to create masterpieces, but I also mix styles, patterns, and accessories to create the perfect OOTD in my chain reaction fashion series that even Bob Ross would be proud of. And in this case, an ornate splash of 1970s paisley over a denim color palette.

Chain Reaction Fashion: March | February | January | December

ootd chambray paisley

vintage paisley blouse (similar) | Old Navy chambray blouse (similar) | Levi’s jeans (similar) | vintage Dooney & Bourke (similar) | White Mountain booties (similar) | Calvin Klein beanie (similar) | Urban Outfitters necklace (similar)

OOTD chambray denim paisley

I picked up this blouse from an artist’s studio of sorts. It was a small neighborhood cornerstone that always appeared perpetually closed for business, the window displays dusty from neglect. One sunny spring day it was actually open, with boxes of goods placed outside as if for a sidewalk sale. The owner sold knick knacks from the ghost of decades past – old vinyls, collectible toys, faded posters, and my favorite of all – vintage clothes.

“You’re welcome to go into the back, there’s more through that door,” the friendly owner said to me.

vintage paisley blouse (similar) | Old Navy chambray blouse (similar) | Levi’s jeans (similar) | vintage Dooney & Bourke (similar) | White Mountain booties (similar) | Calvin Klein beanie (similar) | Urban Outfitters necklace (similar)

OOTD chambray paisley

I tepidly wandered towards the rear of the small store, through an open doorway. It led to a surprisingly larger room that was sparsely furnished and in need of a clean up. Probably used as a storage space for the store front, it also resembled an artists studio for building Burning Man sculptures. I thought I saw remnants of what looked like the cross section of a rocketship, complete with three fins and a circled window. It seemed like the kind of space where dreams are realized and art comes to life, and also where I might find a rat or two.

Along with cans of old paint brushes, on a table hidden under a pile of fabric and clothes, I saw the sleeve of this blouse dangling out.

A little bit oversized, with a slight trapeze silhouette, it is big enough to throw over my outfit as an artists smock shirt, complete with side pockets. Perhaps it had a hand in painting masterpieces in its former life, and fate had spared it from being accidentally marred by paint.

With an ornate paisley-esque print in a color palette that is so 1970s, I couldn’t think of anything more complementary to wear underneath it than a tonal denim look, featuring my chambray shirt from last month. The resulting outfit reads off duty artist who turned in her wooden color palette in exchange for a vintage Dooney purse in hand.

I recently passed by the corner where the studio once stood and it appears vacant now. A faded “for lease” sign by the window is patiently waiting for another business to see potential in its space. I suppose the previous owner has launched himself into another artistic venture. Or maybe, to outer space.

Textural Context

Look first, and then touch.

It’s finally been cold enough for me to wear my beloved woolens that have been in hibernation all season. Time to work my pattern play magic – winter edition.

All of the elements in this outfit are great stand-alone pieces that beg for individual attention. You would think they clash together, but instead they actually cozy up quite well. This is thanks to the color palette of blues, grays, browns, and creams – all of which are neutrals and will always be in each other’s good company. The plaid print of this 1980s pleated skirt and the blazer’s checkerboard weave are both classic patterns that work together in sophisticated harmony.

To lighten up this winter woolen look, I opted for a lovely chiffon blouse. It adds an effortless airy touch to the outfit, and the Swiss dot pattern takes the sheer factor from humdrum to noteworthy. As much as I love pattern and texture, sometimes there is a need for solids. My solid opaque tights and cream beret add some balance to the otherwise texture rich outfit. Baby it’s cold outside, so why not layer on the hosiery? I chose to wear a lacy pair of ankle socks over my tights cause I’ve got fancy feet.

The resulting look is one that is visually stimulating and makes the eyes travel from head to toe. Whether it is the pleated wool, the woven checkerboard, or the textured chiffon, I bet this is one outfit you can’t keep your hands off of. What can I say? I’m easy on the eyes and oh so tactile, not to mention lovable too.


Urban Outfitters beret (similar) / Orofino blazer (similar) / Daniel Rainn blouse (similar) / vintage skirt (similar here & here) / lace ankle socks (similar) / Guess platform pumps (similar)

Bonjour St. John

The blue dress. The mysterious stain. The French beret. Sound familiar?

Just a few things I have in common with Ms. Lewinsky, but it stops there.

If I had the choice, I would never wear pants. Allow me to rephrase that: If I had the choice, I would wear dresses everyday. But how to achieve this as the weather is getting colder and the daylight hours are shrinking? Three magic words: tights, knits, and knee-high boots.

I had never owned a knit dress in my closet, nor did I ever desire one, but that all changed when I found this vintage St. John dress at my favorite haunt, Mercy Vintage. They were having a sidewalk sale, and although it was a hot summer day, it did not deter me from trying this simple beauty on, sweat and all. It fit like a glove. There was a mysterious stain on it, but nothing a little elbow grease couldn’t get rid of.

St. John is world famous for their “Santana” knits, which is made from a yarn that is a mix of wool and rayon. This blend gives the knit a wrinkle resistant property. The founder, Marie St. John actually developed this technique as a way to stay fashionable without spending a fortune. Sound familiar?

I accessorized it with my souvenir scarf from Paris, and thought, why not make it a complete French look with a beret and a vintage flower broach? C’est parfait!

Now I’m craving some macaroons.