Today we continue to work through the 10 casual Autumn formulas I blogged about last month, devoting a separate post to each outfit formula. With formula #1, formula #2 and formula #3 down, it’s on to formula #4. This formula is all about boot cut jeans so if that’s your favourite style of denim, this one is for you:

Jeans + tunic sweater + leather or pleather jacket + ankle boots

Here are the components of this formula in more detail:

  • Jeans: You’ll need boot cut jeans, but straighter legs and trouser cuts will work just as well. Choose any wash and remember that black-black and grey jeans are great options too.
  • Tunic sweater: Opt for knitwear that’s longer in length. Mid-thigh is best but you can go shorter if you’re petite. Form fitting tunics are lovely, but voluminous styles are more forgiving on the midriff area (think empire cuts and banded styles). If tunic sweaters are too warm, opt for tunic button down shirts, tunic T’s or tunic knit tops. Remember that you can belt a tunic to rein in some of the volume so don’t dismiss the idea yet! Of course, wearing a normal length top with pants is always an option if tunics aren’t your thing. But I’m encouraging banded 80’s style tunics because the look is “new”, forgiving and very comfortable.
  • Leather or pleather jacket: It’s the jacket that adds structure to this formula and there are countless styles of leather and pleather silhouettes this season. Think beyond black leather and try colours like cream, caramel, burgundy, teal and blue. If you don’t like biker jackets, opt for bomber styles, classic blazer and peplum looks, or groovy belted 70’s vibes. The jacket can be short to add a dramatic layering effect over the tunic, or longer for a more streamlined look. After dressing many women in this formula, I’ve found that empire cut tunics look best when matched with longer length jackets. A cropped jacket tends to look best over a streamlined tunic that tapers in at the hem when worn over jeans. If leather and pleather are not your preference, complete the outfit with a corduroy blazer, military jacket or retro trapeze jacket instead.
  • Ankle boots: Casual flat ankle boots are a no-brainer, but you might like to try cowboy boots too. Short Dr. Marten boots will also work and so will styles with a low heel or wedge. Once again, think beyond black and try footwear in colours like tan, blue, grey, red, eggplant and burgundy. We tend to wear lots of black, brown and grey tops in Autumn and Winter so adding an unexpected colour with footwear makes a refreshing change. Ankle boots are not your only option here. Swap them out for converse sneakers, flat oxfords and loafers if you want to wear cozy socks, but ballet flats are also great when it’s warm enough to go sockless.

Notes on the accessories for this formula:

  • Scarf: Scarves are not essential, but they’re always visually appealing. Versatile pashmina wrap-style scarves are my top pick because they look great both indoors and outdoors. Silky scarves are just as fab, but not as casual. I’m not particularly fond of neckerchiefs because they cut your long lean line, but they can work if you have a long neck. Scarves are best when tied vertically (like this, this and this).
  • Handbag: 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: You know the drill, attend to your specs first and your watch second, because they’re the most important accessories on your body. A statement necklace is a nice alternative to a scarf and earrings add a nice touch.

And now some examples. The first is an interpretation on the daring side of modern classic, the second is more trendy and urban, while the third is bohemian and earthy. Remember that this is a formula, so you can substitute the items in the visuals for those that that are more to your taste. Also, clicking on the pictures will take you to Polyvore where you can see the individual items, but take the specific items I chose with a grain of salt. I selected the items purely based on what was easily available and what made the right visual impact. So I am not suggesting that you need a $21,000 Cartier watch to make the modern classic look work.

Modern Classic

Modern Classic

Trendy & Urban

Trendy Urban

Bohemian & Earthy

Bohemian Earthy

I like to sport formula #4 with converse sneakers and loafers because I don’t own flat casual ankle boots. But I’ll sport a smart casual version of the formula with dressy heeled ankle boots or booties and a silky blouse instead. Mums on the go, I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to improve this formula.