Top, J. Crew (via consignment); pants, BR (thrifted); shoes, J. Crew (thrifted); bag, Coach (via eBay); necklace, Cleo
Top, J. Crew (via consignment); pants, BR (thrifted); shoes, J. Crew (thrifted); bag, Coach (via eBay); necklace, Cleo

I forget the original retail name of this J. Crew print, so I`ve taken to calling it the “ivy top”. Hence, the terrible blog post title. If word association is any indication, my mind generally moves along very well-trodden paths. Back to the top, for a minute. I am somewhat torn about it. There are many, many things I like about it, but I am not crazy about the colour scheme and print. I like the ivy bits, but I could take or leave the stripe arrangement. And I am starting to think that navy, as a neutral, is not really my jam. It feels wrong to say that because navy is supposed to look great with my hair colour, but I just feel “meh” about it. In most cases, I end up thinking it would look much better if it was black … which defeats the purpose of it being navy and all.

On the other hand, I`m not sure I am quite ready to part with this top. I love the neckline (the delicate ruffle is the kind of detail I adore — pretty but subtle) and the semi-sheer sleeves. It seems wasteful to get rid of a perfectly lovely silk top.

On the other, other hand (anyone got a spare I could borrow for this exercise?) I struggle to mix and match this top; other than navy bottoms (pants or skirt), jeans, or its matching printΒ skirt, what else is there? Since navy is not one of my go-to neutrals, I rarely pull the top into rotation. Hmm.

covered in ivy
covered in ivy
green + navy
green + navy

Leaving that dilemma aside, let me add a quick word on these J. Crew sandals. I don`t typically wear high heeled sandals … or any sandals at all. I hate baring my feet as a general rule. I do have a pair of flat, strappy sandals I wear a lot during the summer, but that is exclusively reserved for weekends. I went ahead and thrifted these sandals because (a) they were navy (and, despite my lukewarmishness towards navy, I love a good navy shoe); and (b) they looked quite polished for sandals (it`s all relative). Also, they were brand new, which I figured would help with re-sale if I decided that the experiment of “bare toes at the office” did not go, erm, smoothly.

Well, as it happens, life had other plans for me, and these sandals, since I didn`t end up wearing this outfit to the office. I did wear them for a good 6 hours, though, so here is my mini review. The heel is relatively high, but not painfully so. In fact, despite all the straps, I did not experience any rubbing or digging. I will note that I spent most of those 6 hours sitting down, rather than standing, which probably helped. They are definitely not “walk a mile and dance a jig” kind of shoes, but workable for an office-dweller like me. I just have to work up the courage to actually, you know, wear them at the office.

hello summer, meet my bare toes
hello summer, meet my bare toes

27 Comments on An Ivy League Of My Own

  1. I’ve always liked the outfits with this top (and the top and skirt, same print, faux dress combo) as I’ve seen them on your blog over the years I’ve been following you!

    The silk top with a fun print and feminine details is a genre of item that I really like for myself too (though it’s not really featured in my current wardrobe… at all, maybe, I’ve not been getting much wear out of my printed tops and dresses lately).

  2. I do really like this top and think it goes quite well with your hair color. Have you tried mixing it with some of your bright colored bottoms? I shy away from buying heels now, because I have been burned so many times with a pair that felt comfortable in the morning, only to have me hobbling around by the end of the day!

  3. Navy is my neutral. Like, the only one. In terms of that top though. I think you could easily wear anything light on bottom – a cream skirt, white pants, pale pink/blush… I love it! It’s so pretty, but not overwhelming.

  4. I love this top! And I’ve loved it every time you’ve worn it! I’m actually wearing something very similar today (navy print silk top from J Crew and navy sloan BR pants). So I might be a bit biased πŸ˜‰

    I wear open toed shoes/sandals all the time to work, but my office seems like it’s bit more casual than yours. But whether you wear them to the office or not, those sandals are super cute πŸ™‚

    • Haha! Style twins. I’m actually wearing the same pants today too – purely coincidence but, ah, those good old Sloans.

  5. Do you know what style the shoes are and if they’re still selling them? Would love to own them!

  6. Have you tried this top with gray before? I think that might be a different way for you wear it while still giving you something neutral to pair it with.

    • No, but I can see that might work. I currently don’t have any grey trousers but I’ll keep that in mind. I wonder if burgundy might work instead …

      • Late to this conversation – but I’d love to see this paired with burgundy. I’m picturing a delightful explosion of jewel tones… totally my jam.

  7. I’ve been following this blog for awhile, and I’m commenting for the first time cause I am such a big fan of this shirt on you, and navy on you in general.

  8. Keep this pretty top please! She is such cutie, and looks so good on you. I loved it when you wore this with some blue checked pants (very small checks). Effortless chic.
    Let her stay, you’ll miss her if she goes…πŸ™€
    PS – I love this current outfit also.

  9. I think this top is so pretty on you and I don’t think there is a need to mix and match it. I think the way you have paired it in the past is great, so you shouldn’t pressure yourself to mix it up. As long as you feel good wearing it, who cares if you repeat the outfit pairings? I know you said you rarely pull it into rotation, but even if you wear it every few months, I think it’s worth keeping.

    • yeah, I almost purged it last week (and the matching skirt) then decided they were worth keeping even for a bi-annual outing or whatever, haha.

  10. I second Cat’s comment ….was thinking I like fancy tops like this with a broken in pair of jeans and a well-cut jacket (if the weather calls for one).

    • I’ve worn it with jeans as well … though, now that I think about it, maybe I should try it with white jeans. Hmm …

  11. I also love this top and think it looks great on you! (I’m a little biased though because I love navy, green, and ivy).