Designer Eileen Fisher is known for her fashionable and somewhat avant-garde, unstructured silhouettes made of natural fibres. The palette is generally neutral, but pastels and brights feature in every Spring and Summer collection. The outfit below is a typical Summer Eileen Fisher outfit. I think it’s fabulous. 

The outfit is an excellent way of keeping covered AND cool on a hot, sunny day. It’s made of a soft linen, but a version in cotton, silk or blends of those fabrics would work equally well. Of course, you have to be at peace with the crease and the casualness of the vibe.

Lovely Loose Layers

This is not a traditionally flattering outfit because it conceals the shape of the body. In fact, it’s a look that’s beyond body type. When the proportions are right — anyone can wear it. Here’s why the outfit works well:

  • A Tonal Colour Palette: The white and pearl grey are low contrast to one another, creating an elongating and harmonious effect. The key word here is TONAL, and you can create the same effect with any colour palette. Think of it in black and navy linen with black sandals, for example.
  • Perfect Pant Lengths: The shorter length of the wide crops — two to four inches above the ankle bone — goes a long way to creating just enough structure in the outfit. 
  • The Open Topper: The unfastened topper creates a vertical line down the front of the body, drawing the eye up and down and visually streamlining the look.

If I were to nitpick about lengths — which I am infamous for doing — I’d have shortened the length of the tunic so that it’s a couple of inches longer than the topper, but not as long as it’s shown here. That would create a slightly more polished appearance. 

Petites can absolutely wear the combination when they keep the lengths of the tunic and topper a little shorter. In cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong, these types of outfits are not uncommon, and the women that wear them are typically very petite. But they adjust the proportions, which makes the difference. Casual flats look fab so no need for heels. A slubby linen scarf in the same tonal palette would be a nice addition, as would some casual jewellery. 

Although I personally prefer to wear a linen, silk or cotton casual shirt dress or sack dress with sleeves and collar for sun protection when it’s hot and sunny, I like this look on others. How about you?