I frequently layer cardigans and jackets over my dresses at this time of year because I want to extend them into Autumn. Some layered creations are arty and creative,  some are more retro and trendy, and others are modern classic. This outfit errs on the side of modern classic with a hint of retro glam.

Cardigans over dresses can look frumpy, so you need to get the combination just right in order to look and feel fab. Here I’m wearing a straight sleeveless patterned sheath dress with a retro 50’s collar that stands away from the neck. I layered with a high-necked frilly black short sleeved cardigan because the necklines are compatible. The chiffon frills on the cardigan also give the look a bit more of a vintage flavor, which I rather fancy.

The dress is form fitting but the cardigan is not fitted at all. It just hangs over the dress covering up my shape at the back and sides. I could have belted the cardigan over the dress to create a waistline and some curve, but I’ve done a lot of “waist cinching” over the last few years and I’m a bit bored with it. I feel more hip wearing my cardigan loose over a tight sheath like this right now. Who knows how I’ll feel in 6 months – I might be back to belts and waist cinching.

Adding a string of oversized pearls to the inside of this neckline is subtle, yet effective. The necklace might not be all that visible when you look at yourself head on in the mirror. But our outfits are three dimensional and other people will see the necklace peeking out from under the sides of the collar.

To add a modern touch to the look, making it feel less traditionally classic, I added polka dot hose, grey suede booties and an emerald green satchel. The oversized watch and specs add even more modern elements. I top it off with a coat. Classic, but not frumpy at all.