I promised to devote a separate post to each of the 10 casual Autumn formulas I blogged about last week. So I’m kicking off the series with flop proof Autumn outfit formula #1:

Jeans + embellished / graphic T + new look cardigan + ballet flats

Here are the components of this formula in more detail:

  • Jeans: Opt for boot cut, straight leg or skinny jeans in a wash or colour of your preference. Faded blue jeans are completely fine for a super casual look, and black and grey jeans are great options too. Black jeans look particularly good with blue tops, while grey jeans are fab with black, white, red and jewel tones.
  • Graphic or embellished T: This keeps the look extra casual, but is still a step up from a basic T. I’m not always a fan of T’s, but as fun layering items I’m all for it. Look for arty motifs, or pretty design features like rosettes, ruching, ribbons and ruffles. Tunics and banded style T’s will also work. If T’s are not your thing, opt for a more refined mesh or rayon knit top, woven blouse or button down shirt instead. It’s all good.
  • New look cardigan: This is the season for the long “new look” cardigan. Think cascading or flyaway, curved hem or boyfriend. These new look cardigans are voluminous when worn un-belted. Fabulous! Comfy, forgiving and super relaxed as long as there is significant structure along the shoulder line. Finer gauge knits are more slimming and look dressier, but chunkier knits can work too. Petites can absolutely wear tunic cardigans as long as the length is not too long. Belting the style to showcase your waistline is an option but not a necessity. If you insist on wearing a classic cropped cardigan then that’s okay too. But it would be fun to try something new.
  • Ballet flats: Flats are the best choice for practical reasons, but feel free to wear a casual, low heel or wedge if that’s your preference. If you don’t like ballet flats, think ankle boots, cowboy boots, loafers, fashion sneakers or Converse. A casual wedged pump will also work. With the exception of ballet flats and wedged pumps, which look best sans socks or with hose, you can wear all the other options with cozy socks. Be mindful of the hem width of jeans you pair with specific shoes. Converse and fashion sneakers tend to look best with boot cuts.

Notes on the accessories for this formula:

  • Handbag: Keep it healthy and make the size and shape work for you. A flat tote is the obvious choice, but if you need both hands free to attend to little ones, a cross body bag is the solution.
  • Accessories: If you wear specs, sort them out first because they are your most important accessory. If you wear a watch, that’s next. Choose between statement necklaces or earrings but don’t wear both at the same time. Casual pendants on leather cords are great, but scarves make a nice seasonal change. For those that like hats, newsboy caps, berets, slouchy beanies, riding caps and felt cloches are all adorable choices.

And now some examples. The first is an arty and fun interpretation, while the second is more refined and modern-classic. Remember that this is a formula, so you can substitute the items in the visuals for those that that are more to your taste.

Arty & Fun:

Mom on the Go - Fun

Refined & Modern Classic:


For more inspiration, check out forum member Tanya who isn’t a Mom on the go, but dresses casually for work. She effortlessly and beautifully wore this particular formula for most of last week. Wonderful budget babe Dianna recently recreated Autumn formula #1 using affordable items from the web. Both posts are well worth a look. I’m impressed.

Mums on the go, I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to improve this formula. Here are some examples from our readers:

If you post your interpretation of this formula on your own blog, link to my post and we will list you here when we see the trackback.