This is the last outfit in our series about Karen’s Summer style, and it is the dressiest of the four. Be sure to catch Karen’s first, second and third outfits if you missed them. Karen wore this dressy pants ensemble to a casual day wedding on a hot day back in July. She felt perfectly appropriate for the occasion and loved the outfit. It is quite a change from the more typical dress and skirt combinations that are worn to weddings. 

Karen loves to wear neutrals, and black is by far her favourite neutral. She is also aware that flat black can look harsh against her complexion, especially as she gets older. So she has effective strategies in place to soften the effect.

First up is lipstick. Karen and I joke about the power of pretty lipstick. In this case, the shade of magenta complements Karen’s beautiful glass green eyes and livens up the black. Second, the sheerness of the loose knit black sweater allows her skin to peak through, which breaks up the black. And third, the white pearl necklace, chunky silver earrings, and the grey streak in Karen’s hair further break up the expanse of black that is close to her face. 

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The trousers are silk, patterned, baggy and very comfortable. Karen bought them on sale at Banana Republic and surprised herself by liking them so much. We rolled the hems to create outfit structure, and to showcase the ankle straps of the black Okala pumps. The welted top is fluid and an on-trend pairing with the silk pants. The mock croc clutch provides textural tonal interest, and is an old piece that Karen pulls out for fancier occasions. 

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Karen needed a topper for this outfit because things cool down later in the day. The black Cole Haan leather jacket is amongst Karen’s favourite wardrobe items, so it was a top contender for the outfit. We bought it at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale three years ago, and it couldn’t be more perfect for her. Hard-edged, but with a beautiful refined integrity. It’s tailored, extremely well made, and quite minimal, with no zippers, moto styling or studs. This piece works with most things in Karen’s wardrobe and has a high longevity factor.

It’s important to Karen to be covered yet alluring, and this outfit is a very good example of that. The knit top exposes skin in a demure way, and the jacket has a slightly tough vibe. The silk pants move in a sensual manner, and ankle skin is alluring. The shoes are, as Karens said, “so sexy!”, that she had to have them. They are however reserved for sitting occasions because the heels are a little high to wear on a more regular basis. 

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I love that Karen continues to celebrate her sensual side and has fun with fashion at age 73. She is prepared to put in the effort of refreshing her wardrobe seasonally, styling her hair daily, and looking extra polished no matter what. Fashion and style are one of Karen’s passions, and I’m fortunate to participate in her ongoing style journey. Karen, thank you for being an inspiration, both as a fashionista and as a person. You are the epitome of elegance, poise, polish and grace. You know I adore you, and I treasure our time together.