Visible Monday #28: Menswear, a Thrift Score, and an Almost-Suit

Welcome to Visible Monday #28! If you want to participate, it’s so easy: just go to the bottom of this post for the simple how-to.

I don’t wear much menswear-inspired clothing. I usually lean toward a more feminine, flowy vibe. But I had to try an outfit built around my new/thrifted vest. Because it’s by Comme des Garcons! Yes, we faithful, slogging thrifters are occasionally rewarded with a fashion treat.

The vest is beautifully constructed and the wool fabric is divine. It’s a bit too large for me, but hey, for $3, was I going to leave it on the rack??? (that’s a rhetorical question  : >). So I paired it with a feminine cotton blouse by Ralph Lauren (also thrifted) and a simple wool skirt from Tahari (yes, thrifted).

To avoid a too-corporate look, I added blue tights, booties, and my husband’s tie as a belt. He has sworn off ties forever, so I have free rein of his collection. I like the resulting almost-suit — not too stiff, but doing justice to the finely tailored vest. I’ll wear the vest in the future with my jeans, and with more feminine, floral skirts in the spring.

A man’s tie makes a cool belt, I think.
Should one button or unbutton one’s vest?

I can’t wait to see what you are wearing today!

The guidelines to participate in the Visible Monday Link-Up are so simple!

  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:

In the “Next Step”, you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you’re done!


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  1. I love you in blue tights…every time! My favorite is buttoned up—although I do love your tie belt. You look so fit and fashionable. I also ended up trying a look that I thought was just a little too masculine for me–here I think you've got just the right balance:)

  2. Hi Patti, I will try to link up with Visible Mondays today
    I love your lilac blouse and blue tights
    One should unbutton the vest:)

    Ariane xx

  3. Thanks for hosting. I really like the long and lean effect created by buttoning the vest. (Well, you always look very lean actually.) I love the wonderful shape crated at the neckline when the vest is buttoned. In the photos the skirt and vest ensemble looks very much like a dress when the vest is buttoned. I'll bet you could create a smokin' date night outfit out of this combo.

  4. I'm not a menswear person either, but with colored tights and that gorgeous print blouse–and whala!  You have de-mensweared THIS outfit!  Kudos to you–it looks fab~

  5. What a great find! I like it buttoned because it picks up the collar detail more.  You are such a great thrifter; I have no patience for it and always give up before I find anything worthwhile.  

  6. Hi Patti, you look lovely in your floral shirt and blue tights! And what a great idea to use a tie as a belt!

    Hope it's okay to have uploaded two links… I felt pretty visible in both!!!

    Catherine x

  7. I love menswear inspired! still thrift shopping, trying to find that perfect vest for the look. I like yours unbuttoned and showing off your shirt. The blue tights are great. I've just gotten into colored tights.

  8. That vest is a great find, and I am going to swipe that tie idea, since my husband has a bunch of them he seldom wears. I love the colour palette a lot, too.

    Thanks for hosting — I really enjoy this a lot.

  9. Hi Patti, thanks for hosting visible Monday.  I am looking for a button to link my post back to your blog…but I can't seem to find it this week.  I was hoping you could tell me where I can find it.  Thank you….Tamera Beardsley

  10. I love how authoritative this look is without being the least bit "corporate" — the blue tights have much to do with that!

  11. Sad to admit: I just tied it in a knot – but I am sure there are better ways  : >

  12. I love the floral with the vest! I used to wear ties as belts all the time in high school, I don't think it's a look I could really pull off anymore 😉 But this is really cute.

  13. Comme des Garcons! Wow! It doesn't look too big on you at all – it looks great over the blouse.

  14. Very nice – not at all masculine, the blouse and tights and the colours make sure of that. I like a waistcoat, they are very versatile. The tie belt looks great too.

  15. very smart looking 3 piece skirt suit. The floral top breaks the monotony of the all black ensemble. The blue tights is a fun pop of color. Great way to start the week! Thanks for hosting Patti.


  16. I follow your blog all the time.  Thanks so much for contributing to the community.  For the first time I linked to Visible Monday.  Great going !Anita @

  17. What a find!! I just started wearing vests myself and I love the many looks you can create. 

    Smart tip about the men's tie as a belt. I'll have to take a look at my husband's collection. 

  18. I love the tights … I am still a pansy when it comes to wearing colored tights. I also like the idea of wearing a man's tie as a belt … I have my dad's tie from his work suit, and I am dying to incorporate it into an outfit.

  19. I like this look unbuttoned best, as it lets the femininity of the blouse balance the more tailored pieces.

  20. Looks like you have a new look!  I love the whole outfit.  I haven't had the nerve to try colored tights.   Thinking this post has inspired me to do so.

  21. Patti–the vest was a great find.  I have especially been drawn to vests this warm winter.   As for the ties, DH would kill me.  He has only a very small collection…
    Thanks as always for organizing this and getting your post up in time for the rest of us to link.

  22. Hi Patti! Great minds…I LOVE menswear-inspired look! I'm actually posting it for   this Monday's outfit. I love the vest…looks great both ways. What a cool way to use the tie for a belt. Very pretty!

  23. Well you just look absolutely LOVELY!  I like how you softened what could be a hard look.  I'm thinking I may need to send you my booties…(see pic).  I just CAN'T work them like you do!  Hugs to you!  ~Serene

  24. Patti, I love this whole look and the way you toned-down the corporate look…I am also so impressed that your husband's ties fit around your waist..I haven't ever tried it, but I am certain on me it would not work!!  But it is a great idea! 

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