Risky Business

Do you ever have an outfit in mind that you hope works…and then it does? This is that outfit. I saw this skirt at Savers and it was my diamond in the rough. $3 was how much I paid for this beauty, like I said — diamond in the rough. I should say diamond in the stink because this skirt was hella stinky. I washed it once before I wore it, but after wearing it all day at work I’ve decided that it might need to go through a second or third time. Like they always say “You can take a skirt out of the thrift store, but you can’t take the thrift store out of the skirt.” Well they might not say that, but it should be added to their list of sayings.

My husband was confused by my choice of shoes on this outfit. They are brown, my belt is black — was this right?? Well I don’t know. But I do know that I don’t have black wedges, which would fit perfectly with this skirt, and I don’t have a problem mixing brown and black. Gasp! Bam! Sham-Wow! I think that I heard this philosophy on What Not to Wear but to me black and brown are both neutrals, so why not mix them? What’s stopping me, right? Besides an unruly husband that is. And I couldn’t decide if the stripes of my skirt were black or brown so I compromised. And let’s be honest here — the fashion police have been off duty since 1974 in my town, so it was a risk I was willing to take. So far zero fashion tickets this year. I can’t say the same about traffic tickets. However, I would love to teach a defensive dressing course in my town, if the fashion police ever come back around. Officer Chiffon: Call me, we’ve got lesson plans to discuss.

See? Astronaut just like I promised.
8.17.10fSpace Cadet might be a bit more accurate.

64 Notes

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  1. Oh my gosh what a bargain! And yes this outfit is sooo cute! Meanwhile, I know what you mean about thrift store stink – sometimes I have to wash things a ridiculous number of times to get that smell out… I mean what is that smell? decay? death? I don't know but sometimes my laundry skills aren't up to the challenge!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  2. Pallavi says:

    I love this combination ! πŸ™‚

    i enjoy reading your blog everyday πŸ™‚

    08.19.10 · Reply
  3. Mikaela says:

    brown=goes with nearly every color
    black=goes with everything

    therefore black goes with brown in my book!!!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  4. SPACETACULAR. I did black & brown today, too, but as a challenge for myself to broaden my color horizons. I had to keep telling myself that everything would be alright!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  5. I don't know if it's because I keep reading style blogs all the time, but I'm really starting to believe that there are no real fashion rules anymore. For once, fashion mags aren't dictating what's in — they're taking their cues from real women's styles. At least, a lot of mags seem to be.

    So black and brown is a-ok in my book. Your pictures are awesome, as always!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  6. i feel like the brown wedges are SUPPOSED to be there. like it was your first option on shoes, you wouldn't have it any other way. duh. love for life.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  7. Too cute. And really, all the rules re: brown and black are just absurd. As long as you do it right.

    And I'm loving your little drawings lately. Do you have a tablet or a very still hand?

    – Patricia

    08.19.10 · Reply
  8. Cynthia says:

    OK, I rarely say this, but "LOL". Also, that skirt is awesome. I'd say this is one of my favorite outfits of yours ever.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  9. I love that anthro skirt! I'm a fan of mixing neutrals, so I'm diggin' the brown wedges here.

    Your hair is getting so long!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  10. Paige says:

    such a cute outfit!! And i love the post all together!!



    08.19.10 · Reply
  11. kskeen27 says:

    Patricia — I have a tablet! No steady hands here. πŸ™‚

    La Historia — I know! i"m so excited. Although it looks a lot longer in this post than the one on Monday. Weird. That just means I need to quit looking at photos of myself. HA!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  12. Love this! I always mix black and brown and get strange looks but I still do it!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  13. Jodi says:

    Cute skirt.. I would never had known there was a black/brown difference.. guess us bloggers see differently than the guy at the gas station or the co-worker in the cubicle next door, however I am sure they would never know the diff either!!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  14. Perfect. I always mix brown and black too. Mind you I'll mix quince and aubergine so who knows if I'm right.

    I have to say, I came on board during your 30 for 30 just now and I was a little apprehensive about what it would be like after it was all said and done. I can happily report that I am loving it.

    Thanks heaps!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  15. nat says:

    Dude, your doodly posts are the best. Love.

    Also, I think black and brown are fine if it looks like you did it ON PURPOSE. Like, black with tan or mid-brown is cool, but if you wore black with a super-dark brown, people might just think you got confused as to what colour everything was, you know?
    Ditto with blue and black. I've heard people who are super-jumpy about fashion rules say you can't wear dark blue or black together, but I think you're cool unless you're wearing, say, a black jacket with navy suit pants, and then it would look off.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  16. buttonjar says:

    I have that very skirt in my closet! I bought it from Gap for my friend's wedding, back in '05. I love the unique cut of it. Funny, I could never decide if the stripes are brown or black either! I think that means that both work :). Love how you've put this together. Think I might need to put this skirt back in rotation for spring.
    Lydia x

    08.19.10 · Reply
  17. iilovecindy says:

    first time commenting on your blog =]. I been following you but I got to say…that outfit is adorable! I love it.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  18. Lauren says:

    I love this outfit – it is so pretty! I love mixing brown and black together – I do it often. Fashion laws are meant to be broken – and if the cops come after us, we can make like Thelma and Louise and just go off the cliff together! The proverbial cliff that is – not a real one…

    By the by, I failed to take your advice from a few months back and downloaded Usher's "OMG" – it is now permanently stuck in my head. I should have listened to you!

    Small Time Style

    08.19.10 · Reply
  19. love your writing. too funny.
    and the outfit is all kind of cute. πŸ™‚

    08.19.10 · Reply
  20. E says:

    I couldn't decide which part I liked the most and then I realized I just liked it all, brown and black included.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  21. Kendi, you look so pretty here! Great hair too

    08.19.10 · Reply
  22. Leah says:

    I mix brown and black, fashionably, all the time!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  23. anna says:

    i love this outfit! and i personally think black and brown are both neutrals and i prefer to mix them in very outfit. the unexpected is usually what makes the outfit WOW! anyway, i think stacie and clinton are now into mixing black and brown too…appropriately, that is.

    the skirt fits you like a glove! great find!!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  24. If you need to get major stink out of a garment, try vodka. Just get the cheapest bottle at the liquor store and pour it into a spray bottle. Saturate (and I mean saturate) the garment in the vodka, then hang it to dry. It takes the stink out and doesn't even leave behind the scent of alcoholism.

    I've used this at work when I ordered custom garments and they arrived stinking to the heavens of stale cigarette smoke. Clearly the "master tailor" who made them was also a "master chain smoker." Anyway, it took a couple of tries, but the vodka eventually took out all of the smell.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  25. jade says:

    very cute and must agree with you and everyone else- black and brown are definite dos. (and stacey and clinton definitely say that in almost every single episode of WNTW.) πŸ™‚

    08.19.10 · Reply
  26. Leigh says:

    I never feel like I find anything amazing at the thrift store… but then again I was gleeful over a beaded vintage clutch I found the other day.

    I just love this look.


    08.19.10 · Reply
  27. ag. says:

    kendi, you are gorgeous. and your husband takes gorgeous photographs. please tell him! you guys make a great team and i'm so glad you've shared it with all of us!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  28. Cindy says:

    Your last doodle made me laugh because I had just seen this:

    Yours is much better though! Adorable outfit as usual!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  29. I love the outfit! And not just because I have the same skirt in my closet (yup, bought from the Gap in '05)…

    08.19.10 · Reply
  30. Wow, that's quite the bargain! $3?!! Nice! I love that your husband picked up on the black and brown combo! I'm with ya, Kendi, I don't mind the combo either:) Also, loving ur museum curator outfit below:) So chic!


    08.19.10 · Reply
  31. rebeccable says:

    I have that skirt and I always wondered what color those stripes REALLY were…..I even pondered a dark eggplanty purple. I'm glad I'm not the only one struggling.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  32. ciupa says:

    Black, brown, whatever. Looks great! And what a bargain!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  33. Ven says:

    i think it's perfect!! n yeahhh!! u r ritee,, there is such a particular smell about clothes from thrift storee,, :))


    08.19.10 · Reply
  34. aprΓ¨s visite sur votre blog, je ne chose que vous Γͺtes totalement un blogueur super haute couture

    08.19.10 · Reply
  35. EFSTATHIA says:

    I mix black and brown all the time and I like very much. Although I don't wear brown on clothes, I have a lot of bags and shoes of brown leather and as I usually prefer black and white outfits (or grey, cream, beige etc) I wear this combination a lot. True fashion outlaw!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  36. Excellent skirt! Something about it really responds well to the mixing of brown and black. Maybe because white is a neutral too? Is it? I don't know.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  37. So this is officially my first blog comment to a stranger who I feel like I know – and stalk that doesnt have a reward/promise of a prize/contest attached to it….
    Just wanted to say I have that skirt…bought it yonks ago at Gap and on sale (not 3$ sale!) and its been hanging out in my 'to give-away or not' pile – you've inspired me to try it again – YAY YOU! And also? My stripes are brown…and I've only ever paired it with brown, now? I'm going out on a limb and trying it with some black action!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  38. eek says:

    Fantastic look – I agree that matching black and brown is okay. My hubs is like yours – black with black, brown with brown, matchy matchy. One day they may learn πŸ˜‰

    08.19.10 · Reply
  39. Ashley J says:

    I like mixing black and brown so it is A-okay in my fashion book! Your hair looks really good in these pics by the way!


    08.19.10 · Reply
  40. Great score on the skirt Kendi! I just bought 3 skirts at Anthro and your find makes me feel a wee bit guilty.

    On another note, I finally finished my Rmix Challenge! Check out my roundup:

    Oh – and that leopard Loft skirt I'm always saying I'm gonna steal from you? I finally tried it on, and I'm afraid it looks so much better on you and not so good on my short lil self.

    Sorry I wrote a book.hahah,

    xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

    08.19.10 · Reply
  41. Heather says:

    I love the thirft store saying! I also love black and brown together, especially because everyone thinks it's a fashion no-no.

    You're astronaut is so cute and creative πŸ™‚

    08.19.10 · Reply
  42. Bea says:

    Aw man, your doodles crack me up big time. And I am in complete agreement that this "You can take a skirt out of the thrift store, but you can't take the thrift store out of the skirt." -should be a saying. I have worn sweaters that still vaguely reeked of thrift shop. I try to cover it with copious amount of perfume!

    Bea from A plus B

    08.19.10 · Reply
  43. Tara says:

    Love the black and brown together!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  44. Hope says:

    I LOVE cheap skirts from thrift stores. There really are some great treasures to be found there. But, yes, sometimes you can't take the thrift store out of the skirt. πŸ˜€

    08.19.10 · Reply
  45. 1. your outfit is precious.
    2. i love that u made yourself an astronaut.
    3. i heart you.

    xo, Kim http://www.eatsleepwear.com

    08.19.10 · Reply
  46. Linda says:

    I love that you mix black and brown. It's something I've never done because I thought it was against the rules, but somehow I forgot that the rules are: There are NO Rules!
    You look beautiful in that skirt! Good find!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  47. Kate says:

    I love black and brown together. It gives me that feeling like I'm stickin' it to the man. It's the little things…

    08.19.10 · Reply
  48. Emily says:

    I'm so jealous of that skirt! I bought an awesome (and stinky) skirt off of ebay. I washed it three times by itself in the washer (you know, so the smell wouldn't transfer. . .) and threw in a bunch of baking soda. It totally helped.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  49. Jamie says:


    08.19.10 · Reply
  50. I love that skirt! I wish we had a Savers! You just gave me my first real laugh of the day!

    08.19.10 · Reply
  51. Melissa says:

    I looove Black and Brown together! this is an adorable outfit. It might be one of my favourites of yours. xo

    08.19.10 · Reply
  52. I love it when a plan comes together. Great look. And brown and black are totally allowed.

    08.19.10 · Reply
  53. hey! i have that exact Gap skirt too. i actually got mine at a clothing swap that i host every year. the stripes are brown in my skirt though. maybe it originally came in both brown and black. who knows. πŸ™‚
    you look adorable as always!


    08.20.10 · Reply
  54. Cute outfit and I totally agree. A few weeks ago this girl was wearing a really cute outfit and when I told her so she was like thanks, but I know you're not supposed to mix black and brown together. I wanted to tell her that's such a false assumption! I mix things all the time. I guess as long as you like it you should wear it!

    08.20.10 · Reply
  55. Yes! I love when outfits work out so perfectly. 1 because it's exciting and 2 because i'm lazy and it takes less work when it works the first time around!!
    i hate the black and brown rule, i mix them all the time AND i mix them with gray all the time too, it's one of my favorite color palette's to wear..maybe i'm a rebel? who knows.


    08.20.10 · Reply
  56. Breenah says:

    You are very adorable. I always enjoy looking at your pictures, but your writing is fab too.

    08.20.10 · Reply
  57. i am totally going to adopt that saying.

    08.20.10 · Reply
  58. Anonymous says:

    I agree with a previous poster. Baking soda in the wash does wonders.

    08.20.10 · Reply
  59. Ashley says:

    It's so true!! Black and brown do not clash! It's the same with navy and black, navy is a pseudo neutral – they totally work. I realllly like this skirt, it looks like it was made to ripple in the wind. I'm glad you were able to (eventually) wash the "used" smell from it. Personally, I like to douse things in febreeze (literally douse, unitl they are damp) if the wash doesn't do it.

    xoxo, Ashley

    08.20.10 · Reply
  60. I came across your blog on Google Reader. Cute outfit! And your husband's brown + black comment is something I wondered about recently. I came to the conclusion that the two colors DO work together, and brown shoes look especially good on people with brown hair (like you and me!). πŸ™‚

    I like your sense of style and the way you write. I think I'll add you to my subscriptions list. πŸ™‚

    08.20.10 · Reply
  61. I love this combo, neutrals alllways work together!

    08.20.10 · Reply
  62. I have that skirt and love it! It's so versatile. It can be lazy and casual, but so pretty dressed up too. Cute all over

    08.23.10 · Reply
  63. h.tea says:

    I love the little edits/doodles you've done at the end of this post and the last! They're so cuuute πŸ™‚

    Hehe, I love reading your blog posts cos you just have such an adorable personality!

    08.23.10 · Reply