It was my birthday five weeks ago, and this is what I wore during the day (in the evening I wore my new lace dress to dinner.) I have since worn the outfit combination another three times because I love it so much. Apart from the sandals and sunnies, all the items were birthday presents. Even the white watch was a birthday present several years ago. Since I’m a sentimental person, that makes the outfit all the more special. Outfit happiness factor is through the roof. 

In-house fashion stylist Greg spotted the Rag & Bone Grace Wide Leg Crop Pants at Nordstrom on my annual birthday shopping day. I rather fancied the dressier and streamlined denim culottes — a new look for me —  and was game to give them a whirl. They reminded me of fun Japanese street style, so why not!

Birthday Casual - Sail

Birthday Casual - Sail

Birthday Casual - Boats

I sized down in the jeans to create a more tailored fit. As soon as I put them on, Greg was smitten. He loved that they came up higher on the waist and hugged my hips, thereby showcasing subtle pocket detailing and not so subtle zippers. He also loved the wider leg and cheeky length. I was in love with the same design detailing, as well as the uniform dark wash of the denim. Despite being wide, they did not overwhelm my slight frame because of excellent fit and fabric drape. I instantly saw all sorts of outfit possibilities in my head knowing that these jeans would get year-round wear in Seattle if I swapped out the support act. They followed us home, where I hacked off an inch and a quarter of the leg to create a more flattering length. They have become my favourite blue jeans of the year, and I want to wear them all the time.

Birthday Casual - Full

These jeans were begging to be combined with two things. A cropped top to showcase the waist detailing both in the front and back, and ankle accentuating footwear with high vamps to close the gap.

Birthday Casual - Speedboat

Birthday Casual - Argosy

Enter Club Monaco’s Nasya Sweater in a rich French blue (another birthday present from Greg). I tried the pullover on with the new jeans and got the thumbs up from my in-house fashion stylist. The length was perfect, with the drape of the yarn exuding just the right soft and relaxed integrity to complement the harder edge of the jeans and sandals. This may look like a seasonally confused outfit, but the pullover is made of a loosely woven slubby and very crisp cotton yarn, making it a good Seattle Summer weight. The high neckline is just up my ally, and the dolman-like sleeves are interesting.

Birthday Casual - Back

The strappy gladiators that come up higher on the leg do a good job of grounding the outfit and offsetting the potentially leg shortening length of the jeans. The cropped length of the top further elongates the leg line by drawing the eye upward from the hips. I’m fine with a look that’s “just flattering enough”, and I’m having great fun with these trendy jeans. 

Birthday Casual - Side

L.A.M.B.’s graphic black and white wristlet, a gorgeous present from a dear friend, picks up the white in the footwear, watch and a very old pair of Wayfarers. I wear my bright green specs with this outfit indoors, which adds colour to a neutral palette. No jewellery required, other than my white gold wedding ring to match the hardware of the outfit. 

I’ve been toying with the idea of adding a graphic element back into my style, without compromising the soft and retro elements that make me happy. By keeping the vibe of my tops and my hair soft, I can safely add the harder edge of the graphic. Choosing white as the basis of this graphic leg of my style journey adds extra softness to the outfit. And speaking of hair, I had it cut shorter recently because the length of the fringe was annoying me and getting in the way of my yoga practice. It’s not quite as dramatic, but a lot more practical. I’m happy as a clam.

Birthday Casual - Side