We’re enjoying a blissful mild and sunny Autumn in Seattle. My outfits have been all about lightweight layers, lots of neutrals, bold white accents, texture-rich separates, pattern, a little shine, and booties. Dresses and skirts have gone into hibernation, and so begins the awfully long stretch of wearing trousers and jeans daily.
I’ve fallen back in love with layering a knitted shell top over a shirt. I overdosed on the combination a decade ago, and thereafter stayed clear of it for a long time. But I was instantly drawn to Chelsea28’s Textured Mixed Knit Shell at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale earlier this year. Yes, it’s grey, which isn’t my happy colour. But the bright white stitched pattern and shiny lurex thread does make me happy, so I loved the piece. The preppy, boyish shirt and shell top combo that reminds me of a school uniform feels surprisingly fresh for my style.
I visualized the shell top over a white or plaid shirt, with patterned pants, white jeans, black cigarette pants or blue jeans. The layers are ideal for our current weather, and one way to add texture, pattern and shine to an outfit.
It was important to get the fit of the shirt and shell top right so that it looks current and feels comfortable. I’m wearing an old Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Tailored Fit Dress Shirt, which I wear boxy to create a fluid fit. The shell top is a little looser than tailored so that it hides the creases of the shirt that are created by the roomier silhouette. The welt of the shell top adds structure, and the length (to my hip bone) allows the tails of the shirt to peak out. I’m also wearing a white camisole underneath for extra insulation.
Modern dressing is partly about creating movement in your outfits with sufficient fluidity. I can move freely in this new version of the outfit formula, which was not the case the last time round. I’m enjoying being physically more comfortable, and not having to tug at my layers to keep them in place.
After sporting baggy and slouchy trousers and jeans almost exclusively for a couple of years, I’m back in the mood for some tailoring. I unexpectedly found a pair of Sloan-Fit Checkered Slim Ankle Pants that were long enough to wear with booties. They are fitted, but not body con, and I’m enjoying the change. It’s the small black and white blocked pattern that drew me to the pants in the first place, along with the good fit, and non-crease sturdy fabric. I could wear these on a long flight and feel comfortable and polished. The “false plain” effect of the pattern and tapered hem width make them versatile and well suited to my rainy climate.
I top off the layers with either a black moto jacket or a citron trench coat. Here, you see a black moto jacket I’ve had for eight years. It’s still going strong and I see no reason to replace the classic piece until it falls apart. Although it has silver hardware, I chose to wear my gold watch and wedding ring to add warmth to the look. My white Rosie satchel adds softness by amping up the white component of the colour palette. I do prefer the outfit with my apple green specs, but I was squinting in the sunlight so I switched to my Ray-Bans.
I’ve worn this exact same top combination with white jeans, and with my dark blue Boden Boyfriend jeans. The latter combination is shown below. I like the white piping on the rolled seams of these jeans because they pick up the white in the rest of the outfit. The dye of these dark blue jeans does not rub off onto your clothes, which is brilliant for pairing them with white footwear and tops. I bought flat white pointy toe booties at Zara last year and they have been absolute workhorses. They are amongst my most comfy shoes, and I wish I’d bought two pairs when they were still in stock. They are extremely versatile, and add a trendy integrity to my outfits. I will miss them when they are no longer wearable.
Surprisingly, after gravitating towards solids for a while, I’m back to wearing patterns. Most of the items I’ve bought to refresh my style for Autumn and Winter are patterned, which is a wildcard in itself.
Greg chose Seattle City Hall as the backdrop for these photos. Towering over us was Columbia Center, a completely coincidental reflection of the black and white checks on my new pants.