I’ve softened my style considerably over the last eighteen months, which has felt right in every way. I’ve reduced the Tomboy, amped up the Pretty, thrown in the Retro, and rekindled my affection for Romance. More recently, I longed to bring back a smattering of Graphic without losing the soft vibe of my outfits, and it’s been a fun challenge. Blushing with black is one way I pulled together a more graphic look in a gentle and romantic way this Summer. I’ve worn this outfit to work with clients, and might wear it to an upcoming wedding rehearsal dinner.
I’ve been all over cropped straight and flared jeans because the silhouette has changed the landscape of my wardrobe. Most of my outfits look trendier and on point when I wear this style so it has become a wardrobe essential. Cropped flares and straights are practical year-round for a Seattle climate, making them all the more appealing. I’ve got the silhouette covered in denim, which meant that replicating it in dressier fabrics was in order.
Enter Derek Lam’s cropped flared trousers in black. I instantly fell in love with the fabric of these pants because they’re thick, rigid in a comfortable way, and glisten in the light. They were a perfect fit and length on the legs, but overly roomy on the hips and waist. An easy alteration made them fit perfectly, and was well worth the expense. I like the way the fabric and fit feel against my skin, and the high rise doesn’t cut into my waist. I can dress these pants up and down, so they’re versatile as well as dressy.
I have an army of blouses, pullovers, jackets, coats and shoes that work with these pants, they are that easy to style. For their first outing, and to create the romantic vibe, I chose Club Monaco’s ruffle back sweater in blush to pair with them. I LOVE this pretty top, which became an instant wardrobe workhorse. It’s gorgeously sheer and delicate, making it drape like a dream. The fabric feels luxurious and crisp. The swingy silhouette is fun in motion and breezy to wear on a warm day. The party of flounces at the back of the top pulls at my heart strings and makes the top look interesting from the back and side. And the high neckline and long sleeves are right up my alley. I chose a white tank to wear under the top because it makes the blush look richer. I scrunched the sleeves for a hot weather look.
I like to include a bit of white in the outfit when I wear pastels with black, because it softens the harshness of the combination against my pale skin. Enter my two-toned black and white wedge pumps that I bought in Tokyo five years ago. I haven’t worn them for a while, but I never stopped loving them. Those awfully narrow low-vamped straps are unique and work well with my low-volume feet. The length of the pants at two and half inches above my ankle bone makes wearing low-vamped footwear with cropped pants sufficiently elongating to my eye. (The heel helps too, of course.) The pumps are great with cropped black pants because of the repeated black in the colour block. The white has the added advantage of bookending my hair and adding a little graphic touch.
An old black satchel with digital white pattern adds the third graphic touch, and picks up the white of the shoes. Retro Ray-Ban sunnies prevent me from squinting in the sun, but indoors I’m wearing my bright green specs all the way. Silver watch and wedding ring are all I need in the jewellery department as I save my pearls for another day.
I’m thrilled with the outfit proportions and fashion trends over the last few seasons because there’s finally ample variety. There’s something for those who enjoy boyish dressing, classic style, rock ’n’ roll or hard edge, and there’s something for those who prefer to keep it soft and pretty, bohemian, sporty, arty, eclectic or theatrical. You can make your current sartorial preferences work no matter what they are because there is no one way to be stylish. As a result I’m happier with my wardrobe than ever.