This outfit is a combination of two recent Friday ensembles. One combined cropped jeans with an asymmetrical top, and the other was about casual pearls. The smart casual outfit formula has become both a fast fall back outfit and uniform for me in Winter when temperatures are above freezing. It’s practical for our rainy weather, and adequately warm with socks or knee-highs, and woolly layers.
This particular rendition of the uniform is representative of my evolving style in a few ways. First, there’s the trendy cropped straight leg jeans, which are both a wardrobe essential and workhorse. The soft girly blouse has taken over from my masculine button-down shirts. The ‘60s mod elements of the jacket and boots provide a retro touch. And the pearls are back with a vengeance after a five year hiatus.
Modern Retro is the trend that I’ve been most excited about since the Prada and Bally Ready-to-Wear collections last February. Exploring it further this year is a style goal. I’m enjoying current pieces that were inspired by the glam ’60s, ‘70s and ‘80s fashion eras and combining them with a trendy support act to create a Modern look. In a way, my style is coming full circle because I used to have a strong retro streak to my outfits and wore pearls almost every day.
After purchasing many, many solids for what feels like forever, my more recent wardrobe additions have been patterned pieces. I guess I needed the change. Topshop’s check bomber with faux fur collar caught my eye because of its strong late ‘60s vibe. So it ended up under our Christmas tree as a gift from my boys. I LOVE this jacket and wear it a lot, but only with the faux fur collar because that’s prettier to my eye. (It looks too masculine without it). I like the cropped length, blousoned back silhouette complete with yoke and pleat, check design and circular zipper trim. It’s a fun piece to look at and wear.
The checks of the jacket blend to look pink from a distance, but they’re actually cream and bright red. That’s why I chose to wear a poppy blouse — or good old tomato red as I call it — with it. But I also like pink worn with red, so it doesn’t matter that the checks play tricks with your eyes.
Ruffles, frills and flounces look fresh amidst a sea of flat, oversized slouch, so I’ve had the new ruffled blouse on my radar for a while. I snapped this one up in my colour from Banana Republic because I liked the round hem and interesting placement of the ruffle. The blouse looks best in motion when the ruffles flounce with playful delight.
The cropped straight leg jeans were a NAS purchase and my first of a trendy denim silhouette that I have come to adore. Their straight leg creates a subtle flare above the ankle, which is my favourite type of cropped bottoms style. Cropped flared legs seem a little wide and cropped skinnies aren’t as dramatic. I want these in white for Spring and Summer, and will be looking out for a pair.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I found the perfect white heeled high-shaft booties at Zara. Zara is not my go-to place for footwear, but every so often they make the perfect shoe. The leather of these boots is pearlized and super soft. The block heel is stable and manageable. The round square toe is Mod and trendy, and the higher shaft is a great fit for my narrow ankles, and closes the gap when worn with cropped pants. I wore them all day shopping with a client and they passed the comfort test right away. What a win.
There are many leg shortening horizontal lines in this outfit because of the high contrast between the boots, jeans, top and jacket. It’s the opposite of creating a lengthening column of colour from head to toe. Yet, small details like the curved hem of the blouse, the short length of the jacket, the small as opposed to wide flare of the jeans, and the more cropped length of the jeans provide subtle elongating and structural outfit details that make the combination just flattering enough.
I finished off the outfit with green specs, darker lippie, gold watch, wedding ring, AND MY PEARLS. I have many pearl necklaces, so shopping my closet for them is easy and cost-effective. I twist and knot this 36 inch strand to shorten the length and create an organized messy visual vibe. They are quite dressy and dramatic for the casual outfit, yet feel so right. I forget that I am wearing them, which is a good sign. That means I’m neither self-conscious about them, nor are they getting in the way of the tasks at hand. Gosh! How I have missed my pearls.