Ensemble: Printed Pants, Slogan Tee and Jacket

Banana RepublicThis ensemble was inspired by another Banana Republic outfit (they are looking GREAT this year thanks to a new design team). The outfit formula combines a pair of patterned pants with a graphic tee and topper. The jacket completes the outfit, making it look more structured and pulled together. 

I’ve chosen a black, white, denim and floral colour palette, but feel free to choose any colour spectrum. Here are the components:

Pants: Choose a pair of soft patterned pants in a jogger style. A pair of structured patterned jeans or twill pants are another way to go. Choose them cropped or full length. Feel free to substitute the pants with a printed skirt if pants aren’t your thing, or a pair of shorts for a breezier option. The patterns can be bold like I’ve shown here, or more subtle like a narrow stripe or two-toned small scale geometric. 

Tee: Choose a printed tee in black, grey or white with a slogan, or all-over pattern. The point of the outfit is to pattern mix the top and bottom, which creates the arty charm of the look. All-over patterns like stripes, dots and gingham work well as secondary patterns to combine with the dominant pattern of the pants or skirt. Semi tuck the front of the tee into the bottoms. 

Topper: The topper completes the look by adding structure, chic and a dressy factor. Choose a modern classic blazer, boxy cropped style, a vest, moto or denim jacket. You’ll cover most of the tee’s slogan with the jacket, which makes the combination of the print-on-print more subtle. 

Footwear: Add heeled or flat footwear that works with the bottoms like ankle strap sandals, slip-on sneakers, wedged sandals, caged sandals, peep-toe booties, pointy toe flats, sliders, flat oxfords, or gladiators. 

Accessories: Finish off the look with a bag that complements the colours of the outfit. Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired.

Ensemble: Printed Pants, Slogan Tee & Jacket

Link Love: The Return of the Graphic Tee

After a period of market oversaturation caused by the over-licensing of graphics and an abundance of logo T-shirts at teen retail stores, graphic tees are now back in our good graces.

BoF reports that “graphic T-shirts are among the hardest working items for cult brands and retailers. Retailers, distributors and brands at the trend-sensitive edge are seeing a resurgence of interest in T-shirts, specifically for smaller and hard-to-find labels.”

On the hunt for a fun graphic tee? Lord & Taylor, ASOS, and Uniqlo have some interesting options.

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to wear your graphic T-shirts, have a look at this roundup on WhoWhatWear, or on Pinterest. Not surprisingly, I myself am most drawn to the looks that have a dressy element to them, like this bold Sporty Luxe suit, or this Summer-y plaid skirt outfit.

Fab Links from Our Members

Here’s an interesting article on copycat shopping. While YLF forum members share their finds, and embrace being “clothing twins”, HiggsMistress wonders if you would find it creepy or flattering when family or close friends copy your clothes.

Angie directs us to Sally’s post in which she discusses your body through the lens of style. “Our body is naked sometimes, and naked is its natural state. But you go about most of your life clothed, so learning about your body through dressing it can be both enlightening and beneficial.” Conversing with your body through dressing and clothing can make you feel a lot happier with the image of it.

Roxanna lets us know that Jane Birkin is asking to have her name removed from her iconic Hermes bag because of animal treatment practices.

Deb wishes she could forward this article about four women bonding over the beauty in their baldness to a little girl she once knew who was dealing with the same condition and faced the same insecurities and fears.

Skylurker found the results of this survey investigating the evolving shopping habits of British consumers very interesting.

After seeing the trailer for the movie Trainwreck, Deborah nearly fell over when she discovered the tough magazine editor was actually Tilda Swinton. She felt she recognized the actress, but it was as though she was looking at “every woman”, and this article elaborates on why that is.

My 4 Week Travel Capsule in Action

In June we went on a 4 week trip to the Netherlands and England. The day we left I shared my travel capsule. The items that you see on the bed below are exactly what I packed, along with basics like undies, sleepwear and loungewear. Each item was carefully chosen to ensure that I had outfits for a variety of settings, occasions and temperatures on the trip. Many readers were worried that I might be cold, so just before leaving I popped my citron trench coat into our luggage. The two suitcases went into the hold of the plane, and still had plenty of room to bring back closet souvenirs, a painting, yummies for our snack cupboard, a few ornaments for our home, and gifts for friends.

No matter how well I think through a travel capsule beforehand, there always seem to be items that I wish I hadn’t brought, and others that I miss. I also often arrive home a little bored with the items I wore during the trip. But I’m pleased to report that this is the FIRST time that neither was true. Although this was one of the longer trips we’ve taken, this was definitely my best travel capsule so far. It was close to perfect. 

Some thoughts about the capsule: 

  • We had amazing weather for most of the trip with temperatures ranging from daytime highs of 17 to 32 degrees Celsius (62 to 90 Fahrenheit). Most days were around 20 to 24 degrees with cooler temperatures in the mornings and evenings. It rained twice and only for a few hours. I wore my trench coat once during the day and twice at night. It didn’t get much wear but I am SO glad I brought it, if only to be comfortable on that one chilly day. Many thanks to you for making me pack it last minute! 
  • We often walked between 10 and 17 kilometres in a day so the most important items in my capsule were the shoes. They worked out brilliantly and I had very happy feet. The white footwear was easy to clean with a damp cloth and nail polish remover when they got scuffed, and they don’t look the worse for wear. My white ankle boots came home a little more scuffed on the toes, but it was worth it because the booties are amazing walking shoes. 
  • I was happy with the range of outfits the capsule could support. The items were extremely versatile, which made putting combinations together a breeze. There was ample variety in garment silhouette, pattern and colour, which prevented me from becoming bored with my look. I was able to wear high-contrast outfits, columns of colour, and softer tonal looks. I loved that I had both pastels and brights in the mix, and lots of white. I felt fashionable, comfortable and practical every day. 
  • I wore ALL the pieces, most of them multiple times. The only items I didn’t wear more than once were ones I had packed for two specific occasions: an evening out in Amsterdam and High Tea in London. I knew I’d only wear those outfits once when I packed them, but it was worth taking them along.
  • The two pairs of white jeans were a great idea because they made me feel crisp and Summery. There were many people wearing white jeans and trousers in Velp and Arnhem where my Dad lives in the Netherlands. It was like a uniform and I felt right at home. Good thing I could launder my white jeans throughout our four week trip. 
  • I carried my turquoise satchel most of the time because it holds more than the clutch. I usually keep my handbags lightweight, but the content doubles when I travel because I plan for a few more emergencies. Next time, I’ll probably pack another satchel, like I did for our trip to Hong Kong in February, instead of a clutch. 
  • I didn’t think that I would wear my mixed media denim jacket with my jodhpur jeans because they are a similar colour blue. But I was inspired by the street style in Amsterdam where many women (and men) wore denim on denim and looked great. 

Greg took pictures of most of my outfits (including the ones I wore on the flights) and you can see them below. In some cases there is also an outfit for the evening, but he didn’t capture all of those. Note that some of the pictures link to my post about the outfit.



Swimsuits & Accessories

A selection of one and two-piece swimsuits, and swimwear accessories

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Boho-Lite Items

Update your casual wardrobe with a few boho pieces for Spring and Summer.

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Mint Items

A selection of mint tops, bottoms, bags and footwear.

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Soft White Tops

A selection of soft white tops that work well as layering pieces, or worn on their own.

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A selection of dresses for a range of body types.

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Black, White & Pink

A selection of soft and comfortable pieces for dressy and casual occasions.

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Anniversary Sale: 5 Top Picks from the Forum

Members are sharing their NAS purchases on the YLF forum, and I’ve enjoyed every thread. Most of all I enjoyed seeing “new-to-me” items that look stellar on our forum members, or were highly recommended by them. Here are five such pieces. 

Check the collection page to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Denim on Denim Lite

The denim on denim trend hasn’t gone mainstream for a reason: it’s hard to commit to that much denim in one outfit. For many, and this is generally the case with my clients, wearing a denim jacket with a pair of jeans can feel overly masculine, stiff, cowboy-esque, hard-edged or matchy-matchy. This is especially the case when the wash of the denim jacket and jeans are very similar.

Here are some super fashionable examples of the look:

That said, most of my clients will wear a version of what I call denim on denim lite. There are three main versions of the look. Combine a denim jacket with a pair of jeans in a different wash of blue denim (either lighter or darker). Pair blue denim with white, grey or black denim. Or wear a mixed media denim jacket with jeans. In all three cases, you’ll break up the expanse of blue denim, creating a less matchy-matchy combination. 

Blue Denim Jacket with Different Wash Blue Jeans

The collection shows a blue denim jacket combined with a pair of jeans in a different shade of blue. The pairing can be subtle or high contrast. Patterned denim and acid wash denim add a textural dimension to the outfit. Wearing a denim jacket in a non-classic silhouette — like a bomber, trapeze style or blazer — puts even more distance between the outfit and a hardcore denim on denim look. 

Blue Denim with White, Black or Grey Denim

Combining blue denim with white, grey or black denim is even less match-matchy and the most common with my clients. By all means wear a white or black denim jacket with pair of blue jeans. Create a low or high contrast between the two items of denim. The collection below contains many such combinations. 

Aidan Jacket
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Aidan Jacket
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1969 denim jacket
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Mixed Media Denim Jacket with Jeans

A mixed media denim jacket incorporates a second fabric like leather, tweed, waxed denim, faux fur, shearling, fringe or terry cloth. Again, the additional fabric breaks up the expanse of denim. Wear blue, black, white, grey or coloured jeans on the bottom. 

Layering a neutral top with denim on denim lite is a slam dunk because it creates a chic tonal effect, and draws attention away from the denim. Adding a top in colour or bold pattern tends to highlight the matchy-matchy top and bottom, which is not a bad thing if that’s your preference. 

Over the years my own preferences for the denim on denim look have changed. I used to wear black jeans with a blue denim jacket in the ‘90s. Then I went off the denim on denim trend completely for a while, feeling it was too masculine and stiff. But I changed my mind a few years ago and now enjoy wearing a blue mixed media denim jacket with a white top and white jeans. I’ve also developed a liking for combinations of the same wash blue denim in one outfit after I saw many people sporting this look in Amsterdam. My increased fondness for denim on denim lite was the catalyst to purchasing a fourth denim jacket while travelling last month.

The powder blue darling with white buttons has proved to be even more versatile than I thought. I wear it with white, medium blue and light blue denim. I’ve enjoyed wearing it in the outfit below most of all. A soft tonal combination of white and light blue.

Over to you. Do you wear denim on denim lite? If so, how do you like to combine your denim top and bottom? Or is the combination too much denim no matter how you slice it?