This is my new casual cold weather uniform that I’ll be wearing regularly this Autumn and Winter. It came together after feeling that my casual style was in a bit of a rut, so I refreshed my jeans capsule and added some footwear to go along with it. The outfit also features a new colour for my style — rust — which has injected life back into the ink and black items in my wardrobe. I can wear this versatile and practical uniform when working with casual clients, out and about downtown, or to lunch and dinner with friends.
I bought the trendy cropped straight ankle jeans at this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary sale, and have been wearing them since July. As a reaction to wearing baggy boyfriend jeans for three years, I sized down to create a snugger fit than on the model. They’re year-round jeans because the length works just as well with ankle strap footwear in Summer as it does with high shaft booties in the Autumn and Winter.
Seattle Winters are wet, grey and chilly, but infrequently snowy and icy, so I shan’t be freezing my buns off in the jeans and bootie pairing that showcases a slither of faux bare skin. I’ve insulated my legs with a pair of nude-for-me knee-highs, so I’ll be adequately warm when temperatures stay above the freezing point. The cropped hems of the jeans are surprisingly practical for our climate because they won’t get soggy in the rain. And as long as I close the gap with the right footwear, I’m happy as a clam sporting the cropped length.
The pima cotton & silk turtleneck sweater is new and already a favourite. Black outerwear does not make me happy but black turtlenecks make me VERY happy, and I’ve accumulated a good assortment. I love everything about this pullover. The oversized collar is a good fit for my long neck. The more fitted silhouette is a breath of fresh air amidst a sea of slouch. The fabric is luxurious, the extra long tapered sleeves are on trend, the patch pocket placement is interesting, and the asymmetrical hemline sublime. I’m wearing belts less frequently at the moment and pleased that the short, diagonal hemline of the pullover creates sufficient structure for it to be worn untucked. The diagonal hemline also subtly lengthens the leg line upward from the thighs and breaks up the stronger horizontal line that would have been created with a straight hem against the contrasting jeans.
The Topshop Mary Chelsea Boots were love at first sight because of their sleek ankle fit, Mod ‘60s appeal, shiny texture, warm glow, and stable block heel. Their higher shaft makes them a good silhouette to wear with cropped jeans because they close the gap. I was worried that the heel would be too high, but the boots are ultra lightweight and comfortable which makes the height more manageable. I’m pleased to report that I’ve been shopping with clients in these boots and they pass the comfort test with flying colours.
Rust might seem like a wild card to add to my wardrobe when I have a strong preference for crisp sour brights and graphic neutrals. But this earthy orange tone is a not-too-distant cousin of the cognac and Dutch orange that I love, and it works well with the abundance of dark blue, black and white in my wardrobe. I particularly like rust worn with dark blue, because the warmth of the rust against the cool of the blue is such a rich juxtaposition.
I chose rust boots, a rust bag, and my old ink military coat to complete the outfit. Apple green specs, watch and wedding ring are all I need in the jewellery department.
The high contrast between the pullover, jeans and boots creates a lot of horizontal lines that stand to undermine the outfit’s ability to be conventionally flattering. But there are a few important factors that create some vertical integrity and structure: the heels and higher shaft of the booties, the tonal repetition of the pullover and coat, the shorter length and diagonal lines of the pullover, and the elongating turtleneck collar.
And finally, an interesting observation from my in-house fashion stylist. Greg says that I seldom talk about it in my posts, but that my items sometimes have design details that are inspired by 19th century military uniforms. In this case, the double-breasted coat. He said that perhaps it reflects the strict and ordered side of my personality. I’m sure it also has something to do with my love for equestrian style, which often has military roots.