There are many mornings when I put on an outfit I selected the night before, take my pictures for the blog, and then change up outfit details before I go out the door. Somehow the process of photographing my outfit makes me re-think the “look” of the day.
With this ensemble, it was only once I got dressed that I remembered the problem with these culottes – fun pattern, great price when I bought them, BUT unflattering with a tucked-in top. Wearing a wide belt helped, but I was still dissatisfied. Just the same I left for work without making any changes. Around midday when the weather warmed up and I took off the jacket, I finally figured it out. I untucked the chambray shirt (long shirttail) and put the belt over the shirt – voila! No pictures of this change, but next time I’ll remember how to wear these culottes successfully!
I admit it. I am a sweater coat or maxi cardigan addict. I have ….a number of them – all purchased at some deep discount. But that is no excuse – I have too many! They have such richness and “sweep”. I just like a little drama in my wardrobe.
There are practical reasons to have sweaters like this in YOUR wardrobe: they turn any combination into an “OUTFIT” and they are great for cool days when a true coat would be too much. For me, they also serve to complete an ensemble – sort like a suit jacket or blazer did in the old days. Plus, did I mention? They are very cozy on cold days.
Jeanne says: First of all, I have to start off by telling you that Kate’s pants ARE a very cute black watch plaid…a little hard to tell here! My plaid pants really are one of a kind, but they go surprisingly well with black and white combinations! My outfit maybe somewhat wild, but Kate’s very cute – love the turquoise with her blue shirt and plaid pants!
Kate says: Although it’s hard to tell these pants are plaid, I think the subtleness of the pattern makes them much more versatile. Plaid pants can be very loud, so finding a pair that you can almost treat like a black pant gives you a lot more outfit options. Mom’s pants are on the other end of the spectrum — but we all need those patterned statement pants in our wardrobe too!
Kate says: Now that the temperatures are warming up, I’m thinking about my summer wardrobe — weeding things out, replacing beloved but worn items, looking for gaps.
One beloved item from last summer was my sleeveless chambray shirt. It got a LOT of wear, but has some discoloration so needs to be replaced. I love a summery twist on chambray, whether a sleeveless button down or a blousey tee.
So here are a few options I’m looking at. My fallback will be sticking with a replacement, but I might try one of this other tops to switch things up.
Jeanne says: I love the concept of What We Want Wednesday, but the process is not working well for me so far. I’ve given up on the hunt for the white shirtdress – nothing I tried has worked – too sheer, too short, too ugly. Then the hunt for the white shoes was also a bust – too clunky, too pointy, not white enough.
I’m starting over today looking for economical, flattering white flare jeans. Back in DC, Kate has dropped whatever she is carrying since she never thought I’d go for white flares. Here are three chic looks:
I really don’t want a high waist and I definitely don’t want to pay alot since I already did this fashion trend once many years ago. And they do need to look age-appropriate (no elaborate bellbottoms). Here are a few I’ve been looking at.
I’m going for the Kut From The Kloth version based on the reviews I’ve read. I’ll let you know how they work out.
Jeanne says: This was my New Year’s Eve outfit! I love these pants but I’m saving them for spring. They are a light synthetic crepe and perfect for California’s summer months. I am such a green/olive fan and I am always seeking out this color — often to no avail. Kate’s green pants are fabulous — the PERFECT green in my opinion. As usual, she sorta funks them up with a tee over her trusty chambray shirt. I really admire her style.
Kate says: These green pants really ARE the perfect green — bright and grassy! I have a few items in this color, but it is certainly hard to find. Green is the quintessential spring color, so I like to whip it out during winter to cheer myself up. And as Mom and I both show, different shades of green go perfectly together.
We’ve both been fans this trend for awhile now. It’s an easy look and certainly beats a bunched up shirttail inside the skirt or pants. It also goes well with short and midi length bottoms. We hope this looks remains popular for a long time!
Jeanne says: Oh, the versatility of denim/chambray. Kate is really the champion of chambray; she always finds a new way to wear her chambray shirt. My Old Navy shirt is a little heavier, making it ideal for transitional weather. I found this skirt on sale at Anthropologie and its gray/blue stripe really makes the denim shirt “pop”. Add in my cheap Forever 21 belt and my on-sale booties and I’m ready to go!
Kate scored this wonderful dress at Target; I even tracked it down for myself on eBay because I loved it so much. But, alas, by that point it was too expensive for my taste and I cannot copy Kate ALL the time. Anyway, the chambray with this little dress is “adorbs”, although she needs to try the “Jenna Lyons” style for rolling up her sleeves like I did!
Kate says: This dress has provided a fun challenge to my layering abilities. I actually think it looks better layered over a collared shirt or turtleneck than on its own, so I’m constantly looking for new ways to layer it! I particularly love how my chambray shirt picks up the blue in this dress — it makes it look like these pieces were made to be worn together!
I’ve been seeing more and more dark chambray shirts around, and they really are a completely different look from my lighter style. I love Mom’s version combined with rich brown accessories and a striped skirt that, let’s be honest, only she can wear! I probably would have looked for a punch of color — maybe bright earrings? — but I love this outfit.
Jeanne says: This dress is about four years old — back when Talbots (in my opinion) still had some great apparel items. I never saw it on anyone else and, with its fit and flare design, it is still stylish today! And it is certainly not a typical denim dress — most are styled as shirtdresses! The belt is a perfect match and I’ll wear it with with other navy items in my closet.
Kate’s little skirt is another great chambray item — versatile enough to wear in warm weather just as she has styled it, but also potentially darling with black tights and a turtleneck in winter. And I could go on about the picture of her below; doesn’t she look great? Fabulous haircut, stylin’ wardrobe, and great necklace.
Kate says: I’m excited to be sharing some of my items from mid-summer to early fall. This chambray skirt was one of the things at the Loft this summer that I had my eye one — and a great reminder to always try on couple different sizes. This is an XS (which I never wear), and I almost gave up in my hunt because they didn’t have my usual size! I love it paired with my new embroidered top from Golden Tote, a fun new subscription-box type service where you can pick a few items and they send you a few surprises as well.
I LOVE this dress on Mom. Such a classic, flattering shape, but the denim material adds some personality. But it’s also not like so many other denim dresses which are either shirtdresses (as Mom points out) or in a country-western style. And what a great belt! I would have loved to see some bright color worked in there — I’ll keep my eye out for that next time 😉
Jeanne says: Ah, yes my red lace skirt purchased for about $10 from Mango online. I was so desperate to get this that I sized up two sizes. Yes, its a little big and should probably be altered but I wear it anyway! I like the contrast of the very feminine lace skirt and the tailored shirt I am wearing with it.
Kate bought her skirt last year and has gotten lots of wear out of it. I like it with her little chambray shirt. She looks cool but business-like, an important combo during a D.C. summer. I know it is hot when I don’t even want to wear a statement necklace and it looks like Kate agrees since she has stuck with earrings here.
Kate says: It’s true, this eyelet skirt has been a great wardrobe addition for me. Isn’t it crazy to think about pieces like this that you actually felt unsure about buying? This outfit feels very Americana — red and blue, eyelet and chambray. In the heat, I do prefer to keep things simple. This is a thicker chambray shirt, so I’d rather wear earrings than a heavy statement necklace, for sure!
It’s amazing how a too-big skirt can really work well on Mom, but as she’s mentioned before, this tactic helps her get some additional length, and also keeps the skirt from being very tight. I like it paired here with her pajama-style Liberty print shirt — although I have to admit that a buttoned-up shirt feels very hot these days!
Here are some cute lace and crochet pencil skirts to check out:
Jeanne says: I was so proud of the outfit I put together with such inexpensive items. I had been wanting some white/ivory apparel and I never got around to finding the pieces until late winter. The sweatshirt has proven to be the most versatile of all the pieces and it was less than $25. And don’t you love how wearing white makes one look sunkissed in the middle of winter?
Kate’s outfit looks very casual; she is showing a great way to use her chambray shirt in colder weather — put a turtleneck under it! She really gets a tremendous amount of use out of her chambray shirt — she makes me feel like a fashion slacker. She is also wearing ankle pants that we have seen a lot of; they’d look cute with a variety of bright colors and even in a pattern-mixing scheme.
Kate says: I was trying to pull off a slightly retro look here with the turtleneck layered under a collared shirt (probably inspired by a J.Crew photo…). It was certainly warm, but I’m not sure I loved the end result. I do like this all blue outfit with the pop of red though!
Mom looks VERY chic in this all white outfit. It’s the perfect mix of an on-trend color and on-tried pieces. I love her full white skirt and her quilted sweatshirt with the gold side-zips. And her leopard print shirt and python pumps are so perfectly matched! She is a pro.