Today’s lesson: A chic black vest dresses up any ensemble – even distressed boyfriend jeans and a simple tee! I admit that I was a little reluctant to wear these distressed jeans for casual Friday wear, but with the vest and a dressier pair of loafers, it worked! Well, maybe not when I sat down and my knees showed, but whatever!
I am also crazy about these shoes – a total splurge but I am crazy about loafers that remind me of menswear. Jeffrey Campbell often gets it right and this shoe is a good example.
Jeanne says: The winter uniform for me is definitely pants, sweater and some sort of shirt underneath. There are lots of ways to spin this look; this year I like a cropped sweater with a long shirt- tailed blouse. Kate is rocking the cardigan look which works equally as well and looks darling on her!
Kate says: This is certainly a uniform for me, and is one of the easiest outfits for me to pull together. Incorporating bright colors and printed pants keeps the combo looking sophisticated! Mom’s version is much more sassy, but I think the combo of printed blouse and cropped sweater is a great uniform too.
Jeanne says: It has been weird this year to stylishly dress up in distressed denim. I have two other VERY distressed versions with patches and holes, but these were my first distressed pair. Once I get over the fact that they are distressed, it is fun to dress them up with dressier shoes, tops and jewelry. These Gap 1969 skinnies are very flattering — if you haven’t, you should try them!
Kate looks more traditionally dressed up in dark skinny jeans. Once again, she combines several different colors on the top and pops on an interesting pump and voila! Kate, of course, in general wears jeans far more often than I do. She finds lots of ways to wear them in her business casual office; I, on the other hand, have to wait for Friday or the weekend!
Kate says: I do indeed wear jeans at least once a week to work, but I usually stick with these darker wash jeans or my black jeans — they feel a little more professional. It also helps to wear a blouse (versus a t-shirt or something more casual) and heels! I love these bright colors together, and I think brights also help make an outfit look more dressy.
Mom goes the other route for dressing up her jeans: popped collar, tucked in shirt, and gold jewelry. This works because she went with one of her less distressed pairs of boyfriend jeans — so they have the looser fit and messy cuff, but aren’t quite so casual. Her combination of pink and red is very chic, of course!
Jeanne says: I love the contrast of lace/crochet with distressed boyfriend jeans — it’s the delicacy of the lace versus beat up, faded denim. I am really into the distressed jean look — I just bought my second pair! I know it is a passing trend but at least it is one that women my age can actually style so I’ll stay with it for another season.
Kate is working the contrast of lace with skinny jeans and she has put together a great ensemble. She has worked this top and these skinnies many different ways but I think this is my favorite of them all. I find wearing skinnies in hot summer weather pretty uncomfortable but with a sleeveless airy top it wouldn’t be so bad.
Kate says: I love the simplicity of this outfit. A great lace top makes it easy to pull together an outfit with just a few simple pieces. This lace top was a great find from H&M — I love its high neck and unusual pattern. With moto pants and a statement necklace, it makes a perfect laid-back weekend outfit.
Mom’s lace top is also great — I love the unexpected orange layer underneath. She makes it very chic by pairing it with baggy, ripped up boyfriend jeans and those orange wedges that I want to steal. This is a perfect example of trends made age appropriate — she looks perfect for a casual weekend day.
Jeanne says: Ugh – this outfit looks uncomfortably hot for the weather right now. The marvel of this ensemble is actually the striped shirt which J.Crew intended to simply be a shirt, but I have learned to use it as a summer sweater with a pattern-mixing shirt. Then adding this wonderful navy necklace is a no brainer. Mixing these with dark boyfriend jeans is simply another no brainer!
Kate and I were together (sigh) when she purchased this little top – so, so cute. Truthfully, it would go with almost anything — it’s that cute. But she has paired it with her favorite jeans and mixed metallic flats and it is darling. This top would be a little too girly on me, but she wears it with aplomb. Good thing she works in air conditioning though, because any jeans could be too hot in D.C. summer weather.
Kate says: Black jeans are a go-to for my business casual work environment — many people wear jeans to work, but black jeans dress things up a just a bit. I LOVE this sale top — it’s one of those items i had to carry around for a bit in the store, and really think about whether I would wear it. But it has so much personality: an adorable mixed print (it’s lemons!), great silky feel, and interesting flutter sleeves.
Mom does indeed look hot, but keep in mind that finicky Bay Area summer weather — I’m sure for many summer days out there, this would be perfect. She’s showing a great summer strategy though: a shirt (whether long-sleeved or short-sleeved) is a great layering option when sweaters are too heavy. I love her rugby-striped shirt with the gingham underneath!
Shop black jeans (from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!):
Hey, it’s Jeanne. Some of you may remember a post we ran about a year ago where I was fooling around with ways to re-purpose a denim jacket. The thought behind this was that it is important for all good fashionistas to think creatively about how to use and wear their apparel. Even if the resulting ensemble looks a little silly, it will open your eyes to fresh ideas.
I had my moment this past weekend when I spotted a gray lacy skirt (similar) in my closet that I hadn’t worn in a while. The skirt had become BORING and I had no desire to wear it. Then I thought: how could I make the skirt interesting again? The results are below.
Would I really wear these two outfits out of the house? I don’t know, but I might for the right occasion. What I do know is that the exercise opened up my thinking about mixing and matching clothes and that’s a very good thing.
Jeans are an eternal fashion favorite and most of us fashionistas keep our eyes peeled for changes in jean style, right? So let’s discuss the growing trend to wear jeans full of rips and holes. And, by the way, not only is the trend growing, but the size of the rips and holes is also growing. Oh and also the price tag one must pay to own these ragged denims. For a while this was a trend we only saw on the Kim Kardashian fashion crowd, but now it is really in the mainstream. What do you think of this trend?
Jeanne says: I’ve been through the decades where people worn their jeans, patched, ripped and faded, as a sign of hippie or “cool” cred. You probably are not surprised that this was never my “thing”. But I must admit that I have moved to the dark side to some extent. I do like the small patches and worn spots on my baggy slightly faded boyfriend jeans. I guess the fashion world has finally worn me down. But I still would only wear these in the off hours, not for work. Also not just two big symmetrical rips at the knee. Below you’ll see some versions of ripped jeans I think are cool.
Kate says: This is one of those trends that exists in extremes — on the one end are my Old Navy boyfriend jeans, with almost imitation distressing; on the other are jeans that have giant holes in the knees and threads hanging off. I love the look of some distressing — it definitely adds a coolness factor to any outfit. But at a certain point I get that slightly stingy thought of “why am I paying for jeans that are falling apart?”
Another factor at play for me is the fact that I wouldn’t wear ripped jeans to work. Most of the jeans I own do double duty between weekend wear and work wear, and I like to be able to get more uses out of them. So spending money on a pair I can only wear on the weekends seems like a waste. In the end, I like a “nod” to the distressed and ripped look, but I won’t go all the way.
What do you think? Are you a “totally destroyed” jeans girl or a “pretend distressed” jeans girl?
Jeanne says: Not so sure it was a rainy day for me; Californians get wistful these days when rain is mentioned since we’ve had almost none. Anyway my outfit would have been perfect for a rainy day. I didn’t need this orange sweater but had to buy it because of the “carpe diem” written on the front. These corduroy “jeggings” are warm and comfortable; all in all, this was a great casual Friday ensemble.
For Kate, this was truly a rainy day and she proves it with her rain slicker and casual outfit. I still haven’t mastered the “boyfriend jeans with low boot and socks” look myself, but it looks casual and fun on Kate. I think it has something to do with the socks. Her pink sweater is a bright note for a rainy day. Her french braids are nice, and she looks casual and cute.
Kate says: This was an easy, casual Friday outfit. On rainy days, I prefer boots or booties and tucked in or rolled up jeans. When I bought these cute polka dot socks, I knew they’d be cute to show off a bit! And this striped raglan sweater wears almost like a sweatshirt, so you can bet I was comfy!
Whether or not it was actually raining when Mom wore this outfit, it’s a perfect example of an easy rainy day outfit. Booties, skinny pants, and nice bright colors! I love her patterned cords that almost look solid at first glance — they are a perfect way to add texture to an outfit without going too crazy.
Jeanne says: I bought these silky pants last January on deep sale and saved them until summer – what a relief to finally wear them! What is more natural than pairing a hot orange top with black and white? I felt chic and summery here.
Kate looks chic and summery too in her fabulous bejeweled jacket (which I would have passed by because of said jewels – big mistake) and indispensable boyfriend jeans. I loved that little red and white top, but it looks so much better on Kate than it ever did on me! BTW, her shoes have polka dots on them too. All in all she looks darling for a rainy summer day.
Kate says: I liked the mix of casual and crisp in this outfit, and it was a fun casual Friday work outfit. This white blazer has been one of favorite summer purchases (you’ve seen it multiple times!), although I surprised myself with the bejeweled collar! And I always love when old pieces (like this top) are suddenly totally on trend.
Mom’s outfit is such a perfect, flowy summer outfit – too bad her weather probably wasn’t as hot as here! On her small frame, a billowy silk top and silky pants look perfectly put together and chic. She pulls it together expertly for a dinner out with strappy heels and her go-to statement necklaces.
Kate says: It is hard to tell, but these chinos are actually a very light violet color – my one pastel purchase of the season! I like pairing them with this striped top and bright accessories. This is one of those outfits that is really quite casual, but looks pulled together due to the crispness of the pieces. I love this top I’ve had for many years – it’s one of the only short sleeved button ups I’ve seen that doesn’t look boyish or school girlish. Also don’t the stripes look crazy in these photos??
Mom is wearing such a classic outfit! I love that she added interesting spins to her classic pieces – a boxy tuxedo shirt, boyfriend jeans, neon heels… very cute. I love the juxtaposition of crisp white shirt and slouchier jeans. I would have been inclined to pair a slimmer jean silhouette with this top, or a less boxy shirt with the baggier jeans, but she pulls this off very nicely!
Jeanne says: Well, I don’t see myself as a J. Jill jeans kind of girl, but I bought these a few years ago when there weren’t many boyfriend jeans around. I always like a crisp white shirt especially with jeans and I added my neon sandals and voila. We were going out to dinner and the outfit seemed perfect for a casual dinner out on a cool summer evening. I’d never wear these jeans with flats because that is the point where they become dumpy-looking in my opinion.
I love the sweet outfit Kate has on. The contrast of the very feminine blouse with the rolled jeans and her hair up in a casual bun strikes the perfect note in my opinion. The bright flats and belt wrap up a fabulous look. If I wore this blouse, I would look silly, but on young Kate it is darling. I also like her creativity in taking crisp chinos and giving them a new look by adding a messy rolled cuff.