Rather than another formal dress, I was determined to purchase versatile separates for my 2015 holiday look. My fancy ink blue lace frock and watermelon sheath have a high longevity factor because of their retro and classic integrities, but they’re special occasion items that don’t see much action. Versatile holiday separates on the other hand, can be dressed down when remixed with denim and a more casual support act. That way I can get more bang for my fashion buck.
Back in September I fell in love with an outfit that J.Crew showed at New York Fashion Week for Fall 2015. Non-traditonal, equal parts dressy and casual, and sufficiently festive. The vibrant colour combination made my heart go pitter patter. The modern pairing of chunky oversized pullover with dressy skirt is unique. The retro vibe of the skirt is in line with my love for Retro Futurism, and at a knee-covering length. The versatility of the pieces means that they can be dressed up or down. I pounced on the yellow Italian stretch turtleneck sweater and peach collection A-line Italian wool blend midi skirt as soon as I saw them online, hoping that the outfit would work out.
The pullover arrived and I was wowed by its impeccable quality, substantial weight, saturated colour, and fit. I also loved the angular cut of the exaggerated raglan sleeves. It’s the highest quality item of knitwear I’ve seen all year. I was keeping it even if I didn’t like it matched with the skirt because Greg loved the pullover even more than I did! He was especially enamoured by the sporty luxe exposed back zipper, which is gold (my metal of choice).
The skirt arrived and I was as impressed with the fit, colour and quality. I love the tie on the waist, sheen on the fabric, and the more interesting A-line silhouette. I was a little concerned that the front slit would expose too much skin and be drafty as I stride, but it’s fine. The length is perfect and the fit not overly tight.
I put the look together just like it was on the model, tying the bow in the same way and semi-tucking the pullover into the front of the skirt. On first look in the mirror I loved it. But when I looked again, I had doubts. I have neither the height nor the broad shoulder line of the model, and I was worried that it overwhelmed my slight frame. I was already in the smallest size of the oversized pullover, so I couldn’t size down.
I also tried the skirt with a much more fitted, fine gauge J.Crew citron pullover for comparison. The combination was lovely and probably more in proportion with my frame – but not nearly as special and I didn’t feel as fab. Greg was disappointed that the fitted citron pullover didn’t have the sporty exposed back zipper. So I put the oversized yellow pullover back on with the skirt and surprisingly, Greg and I liked that version best after all! I did a better job of scrunching the sleeves to add structure to the outfit, which made quite the difference. Sometimes you need to compare a few outfit combinations to be sure that the first option was best.
Instead of completing the outfit with floral footwear and bag like J.Crew showed at fashion week, I put my own spin on the look with rose gold pumps and clutch. I could have shopped my closet and opted for yellow gold party shoes and clutch, but the metallic wasn’t as nice with the peach and yellow. The orange-y shade of rose gold is a prettier complement. And since I’ve been wanting to add rose gold accents to my wardrobe for a while, I was lucky to find the Aquatalia Ophelia stappy pumps on deep discount, and an inexpensive clutch from ASOS that was a perfect match with the shoes. I love the dainty straps on the pumps, and like the angular simplicity of the clutch. Nude hose (a tad darker than my skin tone), apple green specs, watch and wedding ring are all I need in the accessory department.
I’ll be moving from heated house to heated car to heated venue when wearing this outfit, so I won’t need a coat to top things off. It’s going to be awfully fun wearing a Spring-coloured outfit in the middle of Winter, which is what attracted me to the pieces in the first place. Modern Ladylike Retro in vibrant colours makes me happy.