This ensemble was inspired by my own smart casual uniform that I’ve been wearing throughout the Fall and Winter as long as temperatures stay above freezing. Trendy jeans are one of my wardrobe essentials, and for this leg of my style journey I’m going with cropped versions as my go-to style. As long as I can close the gap on my ankle to lengthen the leg line with high-shaft booties in cold weather and ankle strap footwear in warm weather, I’m in line with my figure flattering priorities

The outfit formula can be interpreted both in smart casual and casual ways. Smart casual includes a dressier support act which is especially true of the shoes and bag. A casual version incorporates a casual support act. 

I’m using my own outfits to represent the formula. You might recognize the neutral outfit on the left from last year. I’ve worn the colourful outfit on the right four times since Christmas day. I got the Topshop check bomber for Christmas and love its ‘60s integrity. Here are the exact pieces of the outfits from my wardrobe. 

Outfit 1

Outfit 2

Here are the components of the outfit formula: 

Cropped Jeans: You’ll need a pair of cropped jeans in any wash. The width of the hems can be flared, straight or skinny. I’ve used cropped straight legs that flare out a little in both my outfits.  

You’ll probably find it easier to create a longer leg line with skinny and straight hems. Consider chopping a good few inches off an old pair of jeans to get this look right away. 

Asymmetrical Top: The asymmetrical hem of a top or pullover adds lots of visual interest. The diagonal line that is created across the hip magically smoothes out a curvy hip, AND adds curves to a straight hip (outfit #1).You can also create a diagonal line on the hip with a regular hem pullover by semi-tucking the front-side of it. In that case you might want to add a belt, which further lengthens the leg line from the hips upward (outfit #2). 

I’ve created a high contrast between the top and the jeans, but feel free to create a low contrast to further elongate the outfit. 

Booties: I like to wear higher shaft booties that close the gap, and nude knee-highs for warmth. Low-shaft booties can also work, but won’t be as vertically lengthening. Again, I’ve used high-contrast booties because they looked more punchy with the outfits, and I like a little pattern mixing. Their low heels offset the leg shortening effect. But feel free to use low-contrast booties for a sleeker look. 

Topper: I wore my long ink millitary coat for the neutral outfit, and a short checked bomber with the other. The long coat was elongating because it created a low contrast and “twinset” effect with the pullover. The high-contrast check bomber’s horizontally cutting effect is offset by its short length. I also wear it unzipped, which creates a vertical line down the centre front of the body.  

Accessories: I chose a rust satchel to match the booties, which pulled together the look. And a gold clutch to add a bit of dressy glam to the casual vibe of the other outfit. Finish off the look with jewellery, watch, eyewear, scarf and headgear as desired.

Ensemble: Cropped Jeans, Asymmetrical Top & Booties