I thought I wasn’t an upscale backpack gal, but that all changed when I saw my good mate Laurel sport Milly’s Riley backpack in white a few months ago when we met for tea. My appreciation of the backpack was so loud that soon all eyes in Starbucks were on that little darling on Laurel’s back. I couldn’t stop thinking about her beautiful white backpack, so I had to have one too. 

I’ve been off wearing black as a statement for some time now, but I will happily sport black as an accent with lots of white. At first I thought that this outfit was too black, and wanted to substitute the bottoms for white jeans. But I’m still very fond of my old and awfully comfortable black cigarette pants, which are great rolled at the hems with black ankle strap pumps. And the white asymmetrical split hem top is more dramatic over black bottoms because it creates a high contrast. So I stuck with the black pants and saved the white jeans for another day. 

Inside - Full

Inside - Back

This outfit is similar in concept to the one I posted last month, which showcases the exact same pullover in blush. There I wore low contrast white straight leg jeans with ankle strap pumps, boxy jacket and gold hardware. Here I’m wearing high contrast black ankle pants with ankle strap pumps, a bomber and silver hardware. The first rendition was soft and dressy, while this one is graphic, sporty and more casual. Although black paired with white is less soft than white paired with blush, I kept this rendition soft by adding lace, ladylike shoes, plenty of white, soft lipstick and green specs. Both outfits are a combination of old and new pieces. 

Full - Side

Full - Pockets

I duplicated the asymmetric pullover from Zara in white because I love the weight, fit, fabric, hemline and neckline. I enjoy its straight torso fit, snug crew neck, and tailored raglan sleeves. The neckline works particularly well under my lace bomber jacket — nice and neat. The jacket is also a perfect weight for Summer in Seattle. I wore a black camisole to avoid a visible difference where the pants meet the camisole under the white pullover. Removing the jacket works well because the top creates interesting lines on its own. 

Top - Full

Top - Close

The outfit is a little more luxe than sporty. The bomber jacket is sporty, but luxe in lace to start off with. The backpack is sporty but ultra refined. The pullover has sporty raglan sleeves, but is rather dressy. The cigarette pants are business casual, and the footwear quite formal. As soon as you incorporate a tailored fit, the vibe becomes more dressy. That’s why fluid fits and scrunched sleeves accentuate the relaxed vibe of this outfit. 

Back - Close

Full - Back

I’m on a casual errand day right now and wearing an even more relaxed version of this look that substitutes the ankle strap pumps with laceless flat silver oxfords. But the version with the pumps is what I would wear to work with non-business casual clients. 

Flowers - Close

Flowers - Shoes

It still surprises me how taken I am with the seemingly unstoppable Sporty Luxe trend. After the ‘90s, I didn’t think I’d ever wear a fashionable backpack again. All it took was the right backpack in white to completely turn my thinking around. Now I’m loving the hands free convenience and the comfort of this bag. One can truly never say never in fashion.