As with a great many of my outfits, the focal point of this one is the shoes, which I made out of a tired-out pair of old pumps and strips of denim from some tired-out pairs of old jeans. More on that later.
For now, let's talk about the clothes!
I decided a while ago that I needed denim shoes because blue jeans are the world's least boring neutral, and I felt like a pair of jean shoes would be able to be worn in a variety of situations as a more interesting replacement for plain old tan pumps. Of course, the first day that I wore them, I completely ignored their unique versatility, combining them with a bunch of other neutral pieces.
On top, a faux-chambray button-down, which has an interesting story of its own. Last summer, the weather turned unexpectedly cold while my boyfriend and I were on a beach vacation, leaving me shivering in my shorts. We made an emergency trip to a discount retailer (Ross or Marshall's or some such), where I supplemented my warm-weather clothes with 2 pairs of workout leggings and this top. Normally button-down shirts aren't much my style—too stuffy, too stiff, generally tailored all wrong for my shape—but this one was extra long (perfect for covering up the aforementioned leggings), soft and flowy, and, of course, one of the cheapest long-sleeve shirts in the store (still above my price range, but desperate times call for desperate measures!). Although I'm not usually a huge fan of the borrowed-from-the-boys aesthetic, this shirt has proved to be a real workhorse (appropriate, since it looks like a work shirt)!
Today, it seemed just the thing to wear with my new denim shoes.
I paired it with my light brown skinny jeans for an all-round casual workplace look. Another interesting thing I've noticed: when I first started working at the university, I used every day as an opportunity to dress to the nines in my prettiest skirts and frocks. Five years later, now that the novelty of dressing up for work has worn off, I equally enjoy pushing our casual dress code to the limits. I felt happier about slouching off to the office in this comfy top and jeans than I ever feel about my most lovely workplace dresses.
The brass buttons on my blouse inspired me to round out the look with brass-based jewelry: a new dried-flower necklace, and some dangle earrings in a coordinating shade of pink.