Cargo Vest: Up Down All-Around & Link Up

I’ve got a knock-knock joke for you (and if you saw it already in my Instagram post, please don’t give away the answer). Ok, ready? It goes like this …

Knock, knock?
(Go on, you need to say “who’s there?)
Cargo vest
(and now you say “cargo vest who?)
Cargo vest when filled with gas!

Bahahahahaha, did you get it? Car go best when filled with gas. I crack myself up sometimes. While I was driving home from work, I came up with this joke as I’d been thinking about a caption for my Instagram post on Saturday.  Ya, I know, don’t give up my day job.  Fine, whatever.

And now that that’s out of my system, let’s talk about this cargo vest and how versatile it is. Sometimes this style is called a utility vest (but then my knock-knock joke wouldn’t make sense, LOL) and you’ll never guess where I got it. I’ll give you a little hint … it’s a well-known international retailer (how many of those are there?).

So there I was, browsing through the aisles as one usually does in this store when I spied a table full of cargo vests (that was another hint). I’d seen the vests during a previous visit and was intrigued but not enough to purchase. This time around, there was a special price markdown on them so I scooped one up. It was also available in khaki and dark blue.  I chose to buy it in black because I think it looks a little less utilitarian, a little bit edgy, and an item that I could wear for almost any occasion.

Dressed Up For Work

In Up Down All-Around, I usually share my work look first so that’s what you see in this first set of photos. My ever favorite leopard print crops and a botanical print tunic (first seen here) are teamed up with the vest for an office worthy outfit. I chose a pair of d’Orsay low-heeled shoes because I’d wear this outfit on a day when I’d expect to be on my feet a lot.

Cargo vest – matty m, Costco (had you guessed correctly?) (similar look, another option)
Floral print tunic – Loft Factory Store, old (pretty option, another choice)
Leopard print crops – Old Navy Harper, old (same style in other colors, another option)
d’Orsay flats – indigo road (exact)

When it came to choosing my accessories, I had to consider the tunic’s bow and whether it would negate wearing a necklace. A long one would get lost in the extra fabric and I don’t have a shorter one that made the grade. As I was looking through other options, I came across this pair of pins that I’d recently bought at a thrift store (for a total of $3) so I thought that I’d give them a try.

Dressed For Play

The pieces in this next look just seem to jump towards each other as I was putting it together. When I first bought the vest, in my head I was already picturing it with these moto-style boots I had bought at a re-sell shop during the Arizona Blogger Meet Up I went to last February.  The crop flares were a thrifted find last year. Paying about $5 for a trending item that you’re not sure about takes the worry out of spending a lot of money on something you might wind up hating. Luckily, I don’t hate them and they still only cost me $5. The striped peplum top I bought about six months but the weather warmed up before I had a chance to share it in a post.

Peplum top – Old Navy (similar but only in solid colors, option with bolder stripes)
Crop flares – Loft, thrifted (similar, another option)
Moto-style boots – Steve Madden, thrifted (similar look, another option)

I haven’t mentioned it before but I got a haircut about a month ago. It was another “deva cut” and I told the stylist that wanted my hair to be shorter around my ears so that earrings would show if I wore them. I’d gotten out of the habit of wearing them because they were so hidden by my hair.  I’ve got a lot of earrings and it’s seemed a shame not to wear them. The ones I wearing in this look I’ve had for a long time but the necklace is a new acquisition (on sale plus an additional markdown on the day I bought it).

Necklace – Lucky Brand (exact, pretty option)
Earrings – old (similar open work detail, another option)

Dressed For Fun

When I envisioned an outfit for an evening out, I thought of ruffles, pearls, and my tuxedo style ankle pants. The pants made an appearance on the blog in a previous Up Down All-Around post when I was showing another black vest “dressed for fun”. Since they worked so well with that vest, I thought I’d give them a go with the cargo vest.  I bought the top during the big Nordstrom sale although it wasn’t on sale.

Peplum top – Nordstrom (exact)
Tuxedo ankle pants – Mossimo, old (similar look, another option)
Sandals – Me Too, thrifted (similar look, an edgier option)

Above is a close-up on my sandals which were a thrifted find and they’ve appeared on the blog before.  In the close-up photo below, you can see that I’ve paired up two necklaces.  One is an orb shaped pendant that is covered in tiny pearls and the other one is a heavier doubled over chain with pearl drops of varying sizes.

Pendant necklace – Banana Republic (exact)
Chain necklace with pearl drops – Banana Republic, old (similar look, another option)

Let’s Wrap This Up

Now, onto the Fine-Whatever link up for this week. My featured contributor from last week’s link up is Emma from Style Splash. In her blog, Emma shares that “age is a state of mind, not a number”, and that “becoming a mum or reaching a milestone birthday shouldn’t create fashion boundaries”.   I wholeheartedly agree.

These “3 looks” posts are my favorite to do because I rarely buy something without thinking about the variety of ways and occasions I will wear it. Whether it’s an investment piece or a fast-fashion item, I think that personal style is about how you mix an item into your current wardrobe and adapt it to your lifestyle. There are more ideas for my cargo vest swirling in the gray matter so don’t be surprised if you see it again sometime soon in another post.

One more piece of business before I sign off.  You may have noticed that each of my outfits has at least one thrifted item and in each case, an accessory is one of them. I hadn’t originally planned for that to happen.  However, now that I’ve realized it, I’m pointing it out as a segue-way into revealing the new link up themes that will be rolling out next week and the week after. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be revamping a couple of the recurring themes for my Fine-Whatever link up so without further ado, here goes. Next week will be the 3rd Saturday of the month and its new theme will be “accessories”.  The new theme for the 4th Saturday of the month will be “thrifted”.

Let’s connect! Subscribe, tweet, follow, friend, love, pin … 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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28 thoughts on “Cargo Vest: Up Down All-Around & Link Up”

  1. Rena, you have been totally nailing some amazing style lately! I am loving all three of these looks so much. And those D’Orsay flats in the first outfit have left me swooning! I have already clicked on the product link and seriously considering them! (Although I have no need for yet another pair of shoes!) And now I am hankering for a thrift shop adventure! Thanks for the link up and the inspiration. Have a fabulous weekend.


  2. I love vests in every way, shape and form!! This one is so perfect for every occasion!!
    I love the new haircut—I wouldn’t have noticed, but I love that you can see your earrings now!! I’ve found the same thing with darker earrings—I’ve been leaning towards the lighter ones lately!!

    1. Jodie, I sometimes find vests to be problematic because they can hid your shape in a way that’s not flattering. As in they make you look like a tree trunk. This cargo vest is great because of the hiddne adjusters at the waist (which I forgot to mention, duh).

  3. YEEGADS!!! There’s a lot to love here Rena!!!
    Your new vest is going to be a frequent player in your outfits this durung the cooler months. I’ve been a vest lover forever.
    My dad is the one who originally inspired my love of the whole “utility look”. As an avid outdoorsman he had many wonderful jackets, vests and pants that were high end catologue purchases. As a child of the depression he loved being able to buy each special piece. In his eighties he and I would hit Goodwill for shopping adventures and he’d often find classic, old, high end utility pieces. Funny, but the love of shopping was definitely a family (genetic?) trait.
    Every one of the outfits you’ve created here is a winner! My favorite is the one with the little striped top, jeans and boots. I stood in line with you at that Arizona consignment store where you bought those boots!! I like the sporty look that the boots and vest create.
    I feel like you’re having even more fun with fashion right now Rena! Theres an extra glint of fun in your eye and although your knock knock jokes are completely silly it’s hard not to love you and your enthusiasm for life.

    1. Jude, you are so right that the vest will be a frequent player as I’ve already worn it several times with no repeat of the other items. I like how a more masculine element can add extra dimension to a gal’s outfit.

  4. I never ,,get,, those knock knock jokes. I guess it s because I am Dutch….. I do like the rest of your humor hahaha! The for fun look is fantastic! It s really ….yeah fun!

  5. Beautiful looks Rena! I want your hair!!! Love your new cut and style! I have always wanted curls! I know – grass is always greener right?
    I am in love with that floral top! The Peplum top from Nordstrom! Gorgeous!

  6. Vests are a great third layer! And I laughed at your joke on IG and again just now! 🙂

    I always enjoy your all around posts. Like you, I buy new items with what’s already in my closet in mind. I like all three looks you created! And the vest is so versatile, I know you’ll create many more!

    Thanks for the link up & I hope you had a good weekend!

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