We’re having another week of stunning weather in Seattle (highs in the low 70s, or around 23 degrees Celsius). It’s been sunny and mild, but not quite warm enough to leave off the topper for the entire day. In these temperatures I’m comfortable wearing lighter layers on top with jeans and more open shoes. No need to wear socks, and the topper can come off later in the day.
This outfit combines old and new pieces, which I love to do, and is why I make sure that I can wear a new separate with several existing wardrobe items. The top and the jacket are new. The jeans, shoes and bag are last season. And my prescription sunnies are five years old.
I’ve added quite a few tops in new-to-me styles over the last year thanks to the bumper knitwear trend, the sporty trend, and the resurgence of fluid and oversized fits. This asymmetrical split hem top from Zara is one of them and I’m thoroughly enjoying its clean, straight lines. I was attracted to the neatly fitting crew neck, fluid fit, crunchy fabric, raglan sleeve, warm pastel tone, and cropped sleeves. It’s breezy because it’s a viscose blend.
The blush is a little more peach, which actually works better than a cool blush against my skin tone. The colour is warmed up even further by wearing it with bright shades of white and nude lipstick.
An asymmetrical split hem top creates interesting lines on the bottom half of an outfit. Even more interesting when you layer over a boxy cropped topper. The split hem restores some visual symmetry because the top of the split is the same length as the hem on the shorter side. And although this top accentuates the straightness of my shape, the diagonal lines of the top — along with the jacket — add architectural structure without fitting closely to the body.
I wear white jeans frequently — at least twice a week — and have several pairs across an assortment of styles and shades of white. The reason I’m such a White Jeans Gal is manyfold. They are dressier than blue jeans, bright, provide a crisp and modern touch to outfits, and intensify the polish I strive to create in my style. I also love how they freshen up a pastel. So I chose my straight leg AG Stilts, which are an optical white. I rolled the cuffs to showcase the ankle straps of the shoes. I am extremely particular about the length and hem width of ankle pants because the look can turn into my poison eye very quickly.
I like ankle pants best matched with ankle strap shoes because I like the way the strap fills the gap. The low contrast between my top and bottom further lengthens the leg line, as does the shorter side of the asymmetrical top. I could have worn my silver suede ankle strap pumps, but my in-house fashion stylist Greg preferred the punch of the pony.
The off-white Zara jacket was love at first sight because of its drape, colour, boxy cut, gold zippers, structured neckline, high-low hem, round shoulders and pointy front lapels. The style allows me to wear the round-shouldered trend in a subtle way that does not overwhelm my slight frame. I was thrilled at how well this jacket fitted my narrow shoulder line, while at the same time being brilliantly boxy and short. I love items that drape, but the drape must be straight, angular and strict, and not flowing, curved and soft. The jacket ticked all the boxes. I prefer wearing the jacket open to maximize the angular drape and boxy cut, but it looks nice closed too. I’m fine sporting bracelet length sleeves in Spring and Summer.
Although I bought a different white mixed media moto jacket earlier this year, I need white toppers in a variety of thicknesses and shades of white, so this one is not an unnecessary duplication. This one is cotton rich, lightweight and perfect for a mild Summer day. It might not be your cup of tea to mix shades of white in one outfit, but I like the effect. It adds depth to the look, works with my hair, and is less matchy-matchy.
I finished things off with a pastel turquoise clutch that was a gift from a dear friend, sunnies, gold watch and wedding ring. The clutch introduces another colour, but the overall effect is still soft and tonal. My apple green specs make the outfit look more cheerful, but I can’t squint in the sun. So it was back to Wayfarers for this photo shoot at the Shilshole Bay Marina near Ballard.
I’m deliberately lightening and softening my outfits even more for 2014 because that’s my style preference at the moment. I’m staying away from hard edge by wearing light and bright colours with shades of white. Some looks are tonal while others are high contrast. Of course, black and white outfits will always have a special place in my heart and I still wear them. But I’m using black as an accent colour instead of a statement colour, and piling on the white as well as wearing lots of ink blue. It will be interesting to see if I feel the same way about colour going into Autumn and Winter. Preselecting at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale next month will be telling, and the suspense of not knowing how I will choose is fun too.