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Polished but not Precious.

Taller Ankle Booties with Boyfriend Jeans

by Angie

Wearing booties with boyfriend jeans and relaxed skinnies is a great look for Spring, Autumn, and a mild Winter. Rolling the hems to give the outfit structure and interest is part of the boyfriend jeans charm, but it also shortens the inseam. If you wear shorter booties with boyfriend jeans, you’ll showcase lower leg skin between the hem of the jeans and the tops of the booties. This is one way to wear the combination, but it’s not the only way. 

I’ve found that I prefer to wear booties that are slightly taller in the shaft with boyfriend jeans, as you can see here. That way I can wear the combination for longer without feeling cold. When sporting this combination I wear nude knee-highs for a faux bare-legged effect, or short invisible ankle socks (I don’t like my socks to be visible when I’m seated). 

Just to be crystal clear about what I mean by a shorter and taller shaft, here are visuals. The first two booties have a short shaft, while the second two have a taller shaft.

Unfortunately, booties that are a little taller in the shaft can be less comfortable than their shorter cousins because the front edge cuts into your shins as you stride. I’ve found that choosing styles made of soft leather with elasticated side inserts increases the comfort of the taller bootie. Also, I’ve occasionally popped a bit of moleskin on the inside of the tops of the vamps to prevent shin rubbing. 

If you like the look and comfort of an ankle bootie, don’t overlook this simple way of getting more mileage from your boyfriend jeans. 

Angie's latest top picks

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Weekly Roundup: Current Cardigans

by Angie

Cardigans are still very popular with my clients because they are softer, less dressy and structured, and more cozy than jackets. They are also a great item to wear at home, especially when you work from home. Layer them over a tee, shirt, blouse or thinner pullover. Or over a dress. 

Retail saturated the market with the classic, round neck, cropped cardigan, and I think we’re still bearing the brunt of the absolute overkill of that style. Plus, you have to be careful with the frump factor and that specific style of cardi because it can veer into dowdy territory before you know it. You’re better off with a more current style of cardigan that’s generally longer, looser, has more drape, and interesting design details. 

I don’t have a single cardigan in my closet because I prefer to wear pullovers with jackets and coats. That said, I love the look of these cardigans on others and I’m pleased that there is a large assortment for my cardigan-loving clientele.

Outstanding Outfit Bloggers

A Modern Classic with a Skillfully Curated Wardrobe

by Inge

Ashley (43) from Fancy Stuff and Pretty Things lives in the Detroit metropolitan area. She is a busy Mum of two, and a Human Resources Manager with a business casual dress code. Our blogger is a neutrals loving Modern Classic dresser who believes in quality over quantity. She is a pro at making her small, skillfully curated wardrobe work for her lifestyle, and uses statement jewellery and interesting footwear to switch things up. She has a very relatable polished casual style mixed with on trend accents. Ashley regularly sports flats, and loves tunic tops and bright red lipstick. She is also a fan of Coach bags, of which she has a few in constant rotation. 

“Over the past five years my core personal style, which I’d describe as classic with a bit of quirkiness, hasn’t really changed that much. I’ve always been drawn to classic shapes and cuts, although, I have honed my skills regarding knowing which of those work best with my body type. Additionally, I made a conscious decision to stop buying cheaply made “throw away” clothes. I would rather have one quality piece in my closet instead of 3 or 4 shoddily made pieces. The actual number of items in my closet is really quite small, but what I do have can be mixed and matched in multiple ways. I work full-time in a corporate environment, am a mother, wife, and friend, etc., so I’m really busy! I need clothes that can do everything. I love that I can start with a few basic core pieces and change up the look by adding different accessories, shoes and handbag. If anything, expanding my accessory arsenal has been the biggest area of change in my style. Sparkly necklaces are my friend!”

Ashley - 1

I am picking this relaxed Summer denim look as my first favourite. I love the blue colour palette, textural interest, and the easy polished vibe. Doesn’t our blogger look fab in blue? Ashley cut her hair into a short bob earlier this year, and it adds such spunk to everything she wears. The fluid fit short-sleeved sweatshirt tee is marled navy with black grosgrain ribbon trim. The open neckline and diagonal sleeve are very flattering for a broader shoulder line. The relaxed fit boyfriend jeans are rolled for structure, and showcase Ashley’s fantastic flat sandals with fringe detailing. She’s been sporting them often this Summer, and I can see why. They’re eye-catching, fun, versatile and look super comfy to boot. A chunky chain-link bracelet, gold bangle and pendant necklace from Ashley’s wonderful jewellery collection provide the finishing touches. 

Ashley - 2

I’m still really into wearing dark blue with black, there’s just something very chic about it. So I was immediately drawn to the easy minimalism of Ashley’s outfit: an ink blue sweater worn over black stretch skinnies. This stylish yet simple pairing allows the luxuriously dark colour palette to take centre stage. The sweater is a fluid fit, and a great length to wear with the skinny pants silhouette. Our blogger is 5’7″ and her legs seem to go on forever. The skinnies are tucked into shiny black boots, which adds textural depth. It also gives the look a relaxed equestrian vibe that is close to my heart. A big statement necklace with colourful stones provides a glam touch, arty interest, and some lightness near Ashley’s face.

Ashley - 3

Ashley is a fan of a small yet versatile wardrobe with quality pieces that can go the distance. Collecting interesting jewellery and changing out accessories are her go-to solution to create different looks with the “outfit building blocks” in her closet. Clever and fun! Here she is wearing a black pencil skirt with white button-down shirt. The mini dots on the shirt are a subtle way to add pattern. Ashley wears flats and low heels often, bless her heart. If you are worried about shortening your leg line: opt for a just-above-the-knee skirt, tuck in your shirt, and go for a flat with pointy toe. The denim jacket and playful baseball cap provide casual contrast against the dressy skirt and shirt. Our blogger’s arty necklace makes its second appearance, and works beautifully with the dark red cap and neutral colour scheme.

Ashley - 4

Ashley - 4

The happy retro kicks make this look for me. They give this casual trench with jeans outfit its on trend Sporty Luxe vibe. Beige and light grey isn’t the easiest colour combo to pull off, but Ashley’s bright red lip, blond hair, and the black piping and buttons on the trench make it work. Plus the bright blue and coral sneakers further liven up the outfit. The long-sleeved tee is semi-tucked into slim-fit straight leg jeans. The roll shows some ankle skin for extra structure. The brown leopard print belt adds subtle pattern. When our blogger takes off the trench, the stripes on the tee’s sleeves are revealed. A fun detail that introduces a second pattern into the outfit. A long gold pendant, statement rings and bracelet, and one of Ashley’s beloved Coach bags are the accessories of choice:

“Having quality handbags in neutral colors is absolutely key for me. I tend to match my bag to my shoes for a more put together look and I think every woman should own a great black, brown and nude colored bag.”

Ashley - 5

Look at Miss Legs rocking her “disco dress“. A glam look that is perfect for a party or special occasion. The black dress hits Ashley at a flattering just-above-the-knee length. It emphasizes our blogger’s waist, and the flutter sleeves are split to show subtle allure. The clever design up top turns a simple black dress into something truly special. The cowl neck dips down to show off some skin, while the soft fabric drapes artfully over the bust and shoulders. It has that ’70s glam integrity, but is timeless at the same time. Modern and simple black ankle strap sandals show a large part of the foot, which elongates the leg line. A chunky turquoise necklace, and daintier bracelet, ring and earrings bring just the right amount of colour to the look. The bright red lip and toenails make it extra festive.

Ashley - 6a

Ashley - 6b

Ashley loves tunic style tops, and I love them on her. She does the long tunic over slim pants look to perfection, and this on trend silhouette accentuates our blogger’s beautiful tall figure even more. Today, I’m showing you two variations on this theme. Ashley is new to high-low hem styles, but absolutely rocks this sleeveless blouse. Pairing the black with dark denim creates a long, lean line. The cropped jeans show ankle skin, which together with her bare arms adds structure and balances out the flowy silhouette up top. The black leather sandals bookend the tunic, and as always, Ashley has picked just the right jewellery to subtly jazz things up. The second iteration is a great look that I would wear in a heartbeat myself. The navy cropped trousers are a slim fit but not tight. Ashely has paired them with a long-sleeved white tunic shirt that has pockets. Love that! But it’s the footwear and accessories that make this look for me. The dark red sandals are stunning with the navy and white. Plus the darker colour helps to offset the horizontal line created by the ankle strap. The big gold buckle echoes the colour of Ashley’s jewellery and the hardware on her vintage Coach bag. Its rich brown colour complements the dark red beautifully without being matchy-matchy.

Let us know what you think of Ashley’s marvelous Modern Classic style. Be sure to check out the rest of her outfits over at Fancy Stuff and Pretty Things as well, or have a peek at her fun pinboards.


Current Cardigans

Opt for a current style rather than a classic cropped round neck.

Read More >

Transitional Pieces

Summer to Fall across an assortment of colours and styles.

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Low Heeled Refined Booties

Beautiful booties that might justify breaking the bank.

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Dark Red Booties

Shades of dark red across a range of styles and price points.

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Sleeved Dresses

Hard to find sleeved dresses are starting to filter through.

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My Casual Uniform for Early Fall

by Angie

We have been enormously lucky with the weather in Seattle. We had the highest Summer temperatures on record in July and August, and the start of September is as mild as can be. The crisp Fall air has arrived, and I need a topper in the mornings and evenings. I also need to keep my feet cozy with booties or flat oxfords. But the days are sunny and warm at the moment, which means that a long sleeved shirt layered with a camisole is a comfortable option for up top. It’s a novelty for me to leave off my topper so frequently, and I’m loving it. 

This outfit is an example of my casual late Summer and Early Autumn uniform. It combines a roomy long-sleeved shirt tucked into boyfriend jeans with belt, booties, and a satchel or clutch. In hotter weather I substituted the booties for ankle strap pumps or loafers. For cooler days I add a moto jacket or fluid one-button blazer. This type of outfit can take me almost anywhere. From working with casual clients, running errands, and going out with friends, to relaxed suppers out at night, and working from home. It’s a versatile and very comfortable combination with a very high happiness factor.

Button Downs - Slate Shirt

I wear white boyfriend jeans a lot more than blue boyfriend jeans because they look dressier and more crisp, and are light in colour, all of which is a better match for my style persona. My go-to white jeans for two years straight have been the Catherine’s by KUT from the Kloth, which I wear roomier than the model. Surprisingly, they fit and are better quality than the numerous pairs of premium white boyfriend jeans I’ve tried over the years. I love the thickness of the white denim, their length, and lack of rips and tears. I have three pairs of exactly the same pair of white boyfriend jeans which are in constant rotation. They have become my wardrobe essential that I wear year round. Few bottoms make me as happy as a great pair of white jeans. You can call me White Jeans Girl. 

Button Downs - Slate Shirt

Button Downs - Slate Shirt

Here are two fluid shirts styled with exactly the same support act so that you get a sense of the versatility. The first is a slate blue chambray button-down with white trim that was a birthday present from a friend earlier this year. A cool slate blue is normally a bit blah on me, but the white trim livens up the blue and makes it more flattering. The plaid shirt from BB Dakota is brand new and has already been worn three times. I wanted to add a second plaid shirt to my wardrobe because I believe the item has lots of styling potential. I was after a tartan pattern that was rich with white so that the visual effect wasn’t too dark. This one fit the bill, and I’m thrilled with the fit and cozy texture of the flannel. 

Button Downs - Slate Shirt

I have to wear a belt with boyfriend jeans so that they don’t fall down. That’s why I tuck my shirts, which also gives the outfits structure, adds polish to a casual look, and makes the belt more visible from the back, showcasing three closely spaced belt loops. In this case I’m wearing an old studded cognac belt that coincidentally matches my new cognac booties. Matching a belt with footwear is a classic pairing that does a great job of pulling together an outfit. Adding cognac accents to my wardrobe was the first thing on my Fall shopping list, so mission accomplished on that front.

Button Downs - Prada Booties@2x

Oh, where do I begin with my biggest splurge of the year, these Prada boots. They are the most beautifully made boots I’ve had the pleasure of wearing. They have an ultra refined equestrian vibe — a look close to my heart — and are a true Modern Classic. Simple, current and with a high longevity factor. The heel height is ideal for my fussy feet, and the shade of brown sufficiently warm and rich. I’ve already worn these booties quite a bit, and my heart goes pitter patter each time I fit them on. They go the distance in terms of style and comfort. I’ve rolled the jeans to showcase the booties. 

Button Downs - Plaid Shirt

Button Downs - Plaid Close

Button Downs - Plaid Shirt & Belt

Button Downs - Plaid Shirt

I love bags more than shoes, so my handbags normally make more of a statement than my footwear. But for these outfits I wanted the shirts and the booties to take centre stage. So I chose a simple, bone white clutch. My specs, watch and wedding ring are all I need in the jewellery department. 

Button Downs - Plaid Close

Button Downs - Plaid Shirt

The pieces in this outfit formula are quite masculine. The cuts emphasize the straightness of my body, and my haircut is boyish too. My lack of bling jewellery and nail polish are the non-girly cherry on top. Yet I feel very feminine in this combination, which I think has to do with the softness of the colours and the power of lipstick. White jeans are also prettier than faded blue jeans, and there isn’t a hard edge to my style. 

Button Downs - Plaid Shirt

I like both outfits equally. The blue is more striking and classic, while the plaid is a little more relaxed and fashionable. Both looks are ultra simple and easy to put together. I will wear the blue and white shirt version when we pick up Inge from the airport today, because she loves a cool slate blue. We are ridiculously excited to have Inge as our guest at the Cox Castle!

Rebel Chic

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The Truth About Style

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You Are What You Wear

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Fab Find: Star Wars T-Shirts at Target

by Angie

My in-house fashion stylist Greg alerted me to menswear Star Wars T-shirts that are available at Target for $12.99. Although he has a very strict wardrobe palette of black, grey and blue, he fancied the Star Wars Millennium Falcon Men’s T-Shirt in raspberry. So I ordered it, and it’s fabulous. It’s a cotton blend and runs true to size. It has a close fitting neckline and tailored sleeve shape. Greg does not like tees with wide necklines and sleeves that flap about, so the fit suits his preferences. He’ll wear it very casually as a layering piece under an open, striped, long-sleeved woven shirt with scrunched sleeves and jeans. 

There are many Star Wars T-shirts and colours to choose from, and a selection in boys sizes too. Greg wanted to be a Jedi Knight back in the ‘70s when he was little, so the movies hold a special place in his heart. These tees might make a fun and affordable gift for the Star Wars fans in your life.