This post is brought to you by Nordstrom.

I was delighted when Nordstrom asked me to put together a series of Fall outfits using items from their Anniversary Sale – after all this is my favourite sale of the year. So I’m kicking off the series with an outfit formula that incorporates some of my own sale purchases. Later this week, you’ll see a few of my clients rock Fall outfit formulas their way. 

The unstructured trend is as big as the structured trend, which feels fashionably liberating don’t you think? I love tailored items but loosey-goosey looks are just as close to my heart because voluminous silhouettes scream playful fun. So it makes sense that the outfit combinations that I fancy most at the moment are the ones that pair structure with flowing volume. The effect feels MODERN. I like to call these types of outfits “Semi-Structured”.

You’ll need a structured pair of trousers with tapered or straight leg hems. A slight bootcut will also work. Nothing too  tight or flared. Add a voluminous top, like a big tee, soft boxy blouse, a high-low knitted top or pullover. The tapered trousers provide the structure for the unstructured top, creating a comfortable match made in heaven.

Only Mine’s Zip Back Wool & Cashmere Sweater (1) is my first high-low hemmed top and I’m smitten. It’s that dropped shoulder seam with a narrow sleeve that sealed the deal because I find it more flattering than a dolman sleeve. The back zipper, rich purple hue and non-itchy wool were further great selling points. The high-low hemline is a vitally important structure building tool because it exposes the structured trousers. Cover them up and the outfit is less polished and chic. The same can be achieved with straight hemmed voluminous tops by semi-tucking the fronts. 

Theory’s Yanette Copnehagen Pants (2) are structured and a tighter fit on the model then they are on me. That’s because I like a looser trouser fit, and longer hems that create a slouch in the leg line.  Although I personally prefer full length tapered trousers that scrunch at the hem, this is not a prerequisite for the look. By all means keep the silhouette more streamlined and shorter like in the photo. 

Leave the ensemble just like that, or add a scarf, necklace or other jewelry for more interest. I’ve added the grey Halogen Fitzgerald Challis Scarf (3) because I like purple matched with green. Add footwear like pumps, shooties, loafers, peep-toes or booties. I’ve chosen Sam Edelman’s Petty Python Bootie (4) because it bookends the colour of my blonde hair, adds outfit texture, and is my favourite heel height. I’m going to be wearing these little booties with an assortment of trouser and jeans styles this season.

As with all the formulas, I sow the seed of an idea. The next step is to substitute the items that are more to your taste. Perhaps you’ll wear patterned trousers with a semi-tucked boxy silk blouse. Or straight leg cigarette trousers with a high-low t-shirt. Or peep-toe booties and a bib necklace.

The semi–structured trouser look could work in an office environment when the items are fairly dressy, and on days when a structured jacket is not required. Or you could wear the look when you’ve had your fill of jeans, which is where I’ve been heading for a while.