This outfit was inspired by the less structured trouser looks that are on the runways for Fall 2013. You’ll get a good sense of these proportions and silhouettes if you browse my pinboard. Fashion has been heading into an era of what I call “unstructured structure”. Outfit proportions are BOTH structured and unstructured, which creates an overall effect of casual chic, easy elegance and relaxed polish. I am all over this “new” way of dressing because it feels fresh, modern and no-nonsense. I can get on with my day in the utmost comfort and still feel pulled together.
I usually wear the top part of this outfit with skinnies or black cigarette pants. But to create a more relaxed vibe, I switched to my favourite wool trousers of all time, which you’ve seen me wear here and here. I love their baggy-yet-fitted fit. I find them more flattering than skinnies and tailored bootcut trouser silhouettes because they are roomier on the thighs and skimming on the lower leg. Somehow, a looser cut looks best to my eye. And hands down they are more comfortable.
This black dolman sleeve pullover is four years old. I do not normally wear low wide necklines, but bought the pullover with the intention of layering it over a button down shirt in order to secure coverage. That way it also creates an interesting layered effect both in the front and back. It’s loosey-goosey, cozy, and easy to layer over a shirt because it’s roomy. The waist welt adds structure and allows me to “faux tuck” and showcase a belt. I’ve been after a simple wide white belt for ages, and finally found it at Macy’s for $20 when out shopping with dear friends last week.
Although you can only see the collar and cuffs, this is my favourite white button down shirt that you’ve also seen at Fashion Week and for a rehearsal dinner. I have to restrain myself from wearing it more often so that it stays special and looking as pristine. But it does come out to play when I shop with clients or go out at night. The exaggerated collar and cuffs tickle my toes, as does the workmanship and quality because it’s an Anne Fontaine. It’s a fun juxtaposition to mix up the strict structure of the shirt, which I button to the top, with the unstructured softness of the pullover.
Pointy toes are the trend in footwear for the next few years so rescue your pointy toe shoes if they’re in the donation pile. I’m an ’80s fashion gal so I love pointy toes and almond toes whether they are on trend or not. They’re a little severe, which is why I like how these oxfords contrast with the soft drape of the wool trousers.
I finished off the outfit with a brand new white clutch that was on my Fall shopping list last year. I couldn’t find one I loved back then so it slipped to a level 3 shopping priority. But Veteran forum member Annagybe spotted this Clare Vivier foldover clutch for me and it was love at first sight. I’ve had it for a week and it’s been out to play daily. It’s non-seasonal so it’s going to be a wardrobe workhorse.
It’s still cold in Seattle so Spring coats make a lot of sense. I opted for a classic citron peacoat that is a few seasons old but feels new each time I wear it. The dolman sleeve works fine under the coat because it isn’t bulky. No accessories other than my watch, wedding ring and specs. And a new punk do that I had trimmed into shape a few days ago. The spikes stay put all day with magic goo, but did get a bit bashed about on this windy day.
There is something about the graphic and stark integrity of a black and white outfit that appeals to me. The white brightens the black and adds a big dose of crisp. I couldn’t wear black and white outfit combinations daily because I would miss my colours. But whenever I colour block black with white, I think of my precious Mum and my happiness factor goes through the roof.