Up Down All-Around Chambray Vest & Link Up

Chambray vest, you complete me! A popular style formula that I usually adhere to says that every outfit should have a completer piece. As I understand it, the formula is “one basic piece + one interest piece + one (or more) completer piece(s)”. For me, my prime completer piece is typically a cardigan or a jacket but we’re into summer now and sometimes it’s just too dang hot for sleeves.

Which brings me to a chambray vest I recently purchased. I found it on-line in the midst of my search for a bared shoulder top that I needed for my Project Sister Act: Bared Shoulder post. The retailer was offering a discount for purchases over certain minimum so along with a potential option for the bared shoulder post, I ordered this vest to meet the minimum purchase amount for the discount. The top didn’t the cut but I kept the vest.

I have only one other vest in my wardrobe but it isn’t really suitable for summer SoCal weather since it’s knit and a longer length. I find that vests can be tricky when you’re on the busty side so I often overlook them. However, there was something about this chambray one that caught my eye so I went for it and was pleasantly surprised at how well it suited me. Then the wheels started to turn as to how I could wear it for Up Down All-Around.

Dressed Up For Work

For my office attire, I prefer to have my arms covered hence the usual cardigan or jacket.  To achieve this with a vest, I opted for a gingham long-sleeve lightweight blouse which I paired with gray slacks and my stacked heel sandals. This is decidedly a more casual look but still work appropriate.

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Chambray vest – Chico’s (exact, another option); Gingham blouse – Merona, thrifted; Slacks – MICHAEL (similar)

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Sandals – Crown Vintage (similar look); Tote – Merona, old (similar look)

Dressed Down For Play

Sometimes a completer piece is a bold accessory like a scarf or belt. One of the benefits of a cardigan or a vest as a completer piece is that it can provide cover for something you don’t want to expose. In my case, that would be bra straps. I have a lot of cute camisole type tops that unfortunately have skinny little straps so my solution is to layer. With this chambray vest, I get the benefit of coverage without sleeves which is fine for a play outfit.

Of course, one gal’s play is another gal’s shopping but that’s besides the point. In this look, I teamed up my chambray vest with a gray skirt and an orange top. Low heeled wedge sandals and a straw bag complete the outfit. Are you noticing a pattern yet?

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Top – Old Navy (exact); Skirt – Coldwater Creek, old

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Sandals – Clarks (similar, another option); Straw tote – old (similar look)

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Dressed For All-Around Fun

What could be more fun than a backyard party to celebrate our niece’s 21st birthday? And of course, I took advantage of the occasion to use my sister and brother-in-law’s backyard for a photo shoot location.

Have you caught onto my pattern? Orange on top, gray on the bottom, brown sandals, and eye-catching necklace. I didn’t start with a plan to stick with the same format for all three looks, it just evolved that way as I was deciding on a top to wear with the work look and a bottom piece to wear with the play look. Once I had a pattern going, I couldn’t stop and it made the fun look easier to put together. Fortunately I have three tops in a shade of orange.

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Top – Guess, old (multi-colored option, an option in blue); Pants – Sonoma, old (capris, cargo); Wedge sandals – Nine West (option, and another)

I’ve got a bonus picture this week. It appears that great minds think alike. As I was getting myself ready for the party, in an outfit I had planned out several days before, The Husband also got dressed. He didn’t know or see what my outfit looked like when he opted for a light blue shirt and gray cargo shorts. It wasn’t until we were on our way to the party that I realized we had twinned so I thought it would be cute to include a photo of the two of us. As The Husband is my usual photographer, photo creds for this picture go to our son.

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Let’s Wrap This Up

Now, onto the Up Down All-Around link up for this week. My featured contributor from last week’s link-up is Kim at Champagneista. Her self-proclaimed motto is “Start the day with a smile & end with champagne.” That sounds like good advice.

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What’s your go-to completer? Have you thought of how an item in your wardrobe could fit into all aspects of your life? How much of your style time is spent at work or at play or at having fun and does that reconcile with your clothing options?

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Let’s connect! Subscribe, tweet, follow, friend, love, pin, stumble … all options are available and waiting for you. I look forward to hearing from you. And don’t forget to add a post or two to the link-up.


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22 thoughts on “Up Down All-Around Chambray Vest & Link Up”

    1. I notice patterns so it seemed natural to me to follow one that seemed to be forming. I think that is part of the magic of your posts, too.

  1. I really love the third outfit! That tie dye shirt is so cute and it looks adorable with the vest over it. Great picture of you and the hubs as well! As a big busted woman myself, I have a hard time with vests, too. But I have found a few that work for me. I think my completer piece though is usually a scarf! Go figure!


    1. Thanks for the outfit love. I probably would never have come up with the third outfit if not for the color combo pattern that developed out of the first two looks. I also have a lot of scarves but I find them uncomfortable to wear in the hot weather.

    1. I’m glad you like my atypical looks for this vest. I went with gray pants/skirt because I want to use something other than denim or white with the vest and orange to add a pop of color to what would be an otherwise rather dull color palette. I’m definitely on the lookout for more vests to wear in warm weather.

  2. If there were any lingering doubts in my mind that a denim/chambray vest needs to be on the must-have (read: buy now) list, you’ve dispelled them all, Rena. That piece of yours looks amazing with the tie-dye orange top and cuffed pants (so flattering, incidentally).

A comment from you would be lovely