Texture Mixing For A Casually Elegant Look
Part of my style recipe has always included a small amount of elegance. Not stuffy elegant, just kick-it-up-a-notch elegant. Even when my lifestyle and fashion preferences change, the constant always seems to be a dab of dressiness. The truth is, I just don’t wear casual as easily as many women, and I tend to appear overdressed, even in simple outfits. Today’s ootd is a casually elegant outfit combining textures.
As I read more about the Kibbe system, I begin to understand why. I’ve discovered I am a dramatic classic and apparently, they do have a hard time with casual. More on the Kibbe system after I study the book in more depth.
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Casual can run from sweats with clunky athletic shoes to something like this outfit which is firmly in my wheelhouse. Even though I’m wearing pull-on jeans, the espresso color is slightly dressier than blue denim and a welcome change for me. I never thought I’d get tired of jeans, but I have so it’s nice to have alternatives. I love the comfort of a pull-on style, plus the lack of zipper and button means nothing to poke out front and show through my top.
I’ve been stocking up on brown this winter. It’s not as readily available as black, so I snapped these items up when I saw them. Espresso is a rich deep neutral that coordinates with things as easily as black. It also looks great worn with black. Black and brown are a very low contrast combination.
You may enjoy –How To Find Your Personal Contrast Level And Why It Matters
Last weekend I wore these jeggings with a teal sweater and a plaid blazer (similar)
I wore this look for a run to Home Depot, Lowes, and a tile store. Someone on FB mentioned that I must have been the best-dressed shopper at Home Depot, and I was. Did I feel overdressed? No, I felt like me which is how I want to feel no matter what other people are wearing.
This column of color is not as typical as if the sweater were brown and the outer jacket a contrasting color, but I get the same elongating effect by wearing brown head-to-toe. I added a blouse, fingerless gloves, and scarf in soft blush and faux pearl earrings to keep the effect soft.
I am an equal opportunity pearl lover and don’t care if they’re real or faux. The effect always feels elegant to me because the soft luster just glows.
Do you find yourself under or overdressed most of the time?
Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident, no matter what the ‘crowd’ is wearing:)
I struggle with this….feeling over dressed. But I’m just going to continue to do it because I feel like me when I dress for the day. I’ve been transitioning my wardrobe since I retired last year and have to admit that there are a few things I just don’t want to let go of!
Then you should keep them and work them into your retirement look:)
I’m a cool winter and after following you for over a year I can add a dramatic classic to that. Have been under going chemo for the past two months with surgery coming up soon I still dress up with minimal makeup weather leaving the house or not. I nearly always receive compliments on what I have on, feel naked with out earring and a little makeup. For the ladies who don’t wear sweatshirts , check out Talbots there embellished ones make a bit of difference. I love the tie dyed and tie dipped ones. Have got the blue dipped sweater on my wish list waiting for a sale. I only shop sales at least 40% off. Macys, Talbots and Landsend are my favorite places to shop nearly always have a sales of some kind going on. I retired Dec of 16 at 67 so casual is my go to, especially since we don’t have anywhere to go to speak of. For reference I’m 72, 5’ 120# . Jennifer keep doing what you are doing, love the dressing room diary’s even thought you tempt me too much…./
Sending prayers and hugs to you! Dressing with pride and taking care of ourselves is self-care that does make us feel better. Best of luck!!
Yes I do find myself overdressed sometimes even in jeans. I think I got it from my Mother. She was always dressed just so. Also wearing uniforms all through Catholic school really made you want to stand out with your hair, accessories and shoes. I love your outfits!
My mom adored looking nice and always “put her face on” and fixed her hair in the morning.
You always look so lovely, I would be thrilled to have a chance to glance a casually elegant shopper. I tend to overdressed for two reasons. The first is that my Mom loved clothing and accessories. The second is that we lived in a rural setting. We played in old clothes, but if we left home for any destination it was important to Mom that we dressed first. The only problem I have wearing nice clothing at home is the cat’s claws.
I have a request for a topic I am hoping you might cover. I have never worn makeup because of skin allergies. I’ve noticed statements from many readers and yourself about make up over the years. Would you be interested in doing a post on how to compensate when not wearing makeup?
Can you not wear any makeup or just ones with certain ingredients? There are so many clean brands now that don’t include allergens
That is a good question. I will look at the newer options, and google ‘clean’ rather than ‘non-allergic’. When I tried makeup as a teen, and again in my 30’s, even the non-allergic brands caused reaction. I use perfume and dye free soaps for body, hair, and laundry.
One word. Wow. these are great looks for you-classy and classic.
Thank you, Pam. I love to look classy:)
Such a pretty blush coloured blush. It suits you well. I love the earrings you featured, too.
This is just so perfect! I love you in blue but this blush and espresso brown is just stunning on you. I love all the pretty browns that are out there right now. Coffee is a color I like too. Someone wore that color lately. One of the Fab Four I think.
Thanks! It’s a great neutral for so many of us, I wish it were around more.
Love the brown and pink combination.
That soft pink/ blush color is very flattering to you.
I couldn’t believe it when I read your statement about not doing casual well, looking dressy when you are dressed casually!! I thought I was the only women on earth with that problem!!! What a relief to know I’m not. All my life people, including family members(read husband, and children) would look at me and say “Where are you going?” When I was just dressed for a day at home. I guess there are worse fashion dilemmas to have, eh?? Anyway, at 68 years of age, I accept it is what it is, and appreciate any and all tips from you.
We are in great company:)
For months after retiring early in the pandemic, I stocked up on the “nicer,” casual sweaters I wore to work. But over time, I’ve become more used to myself in a casual look, and those sweaters are not worn as much. The first time I wore my walking clothes (leggings, tunic, puffy vest, sneakers) to run an errand afterwards, I cringed. Now I live in leggings and tunics. But I -really- had to get used to this! I love fashion, and I always wear makeup at home and out, and jewelry when out. I’ve upped my sneaker/casual shoe game, and use a slightly more structured bag. Long-winded way of saying there are ways for those of us who are used to wearing more structured clothing to participate in the casual (and comfortable) trends without looking sloppy. It’s the easy veer into sloppy that I, and I bet others, fear. Casual and athleisure is not pajamas or leggings and a crop top in public! But it can be just as fun and stylish to put together outfits using active fabrics and add accessories.
I totally agree, Linda
I too feel the need to dress up most of the time when leaving home. All those years of working when I wore suits and high heels I guess! 😉
A tag on some clothing I bought last year sums it up for me and hangs in my bathroom. “ I still feel the need to dress up in order to feel like my true self” by Rachel Zoe.
I thought you’d understand this statement.
I am 5’8, 139 lbs and 67… I tend to wear clothing in a little more fitted younger look, but still enjoy your articles. Cheers to 2022! Stay healthy!!!
Happy New Year, Beverly
I do like that shade jacket Jennifer. It looks like it has a lot of red in the brown……very attractive & it’s long enough to cover your derrière & not “chop you in half”. Altogether a very nice look indeed!
I love the length for covering tunic tops too:)
Yes! That’s why I love your blog so much, Jennifer! I also love a touch of elegance, even with casual clothes. For me, it has been a tricky transition from a management position to retirement. I am still working to find the right mix for my personal style. I look forward to hearing more about the book you are reading!
Thank you Ruth
I love this combination of deep brown and pink. I’m thinking of adding some cool brown to my closet. We live in a very casual town and casual is my everyday vibe. Like one of your other ladies, I lay my clothes out before I get dressed and put some thought into it. You look pretty in pink Jennifer.
Thank you, this is a lovely cool-toned pink. I love your name:)
I wouldn’t say I over-dress, but I do put together an outfit. It seems some people just throw on a top and jeans. I’m one who likes to look pulled together, even with my top and jeans. I’ll make sure my shoes, jewelry, scarf- if applicable – all coordinate with my top and jeans.
I’ve taken to wearing some broaches and necklaces that have been underused. I pin one one my sweater, or coat. It looks pretty even if it’s not mainstream jewelry. I’ve been given some nice pieces. I tend to like two pieces of clothing: Jean’s and nice sweater or quarter zip with a collar. It’s easy and fresh looking. I dont spend a lot of time dressing, unless I go out for an occasion. Love your post.
Love the espresso color, and the idea of this as sort of neutral. I also am trying to move away from the harshness of black. It looks beautiful on you especially with the soft pink. You are selling me on those jeggings- may be time for another look.
Please keep sharing your Kibbe concepts with us, these are fascinating to me. Thank you!
Yes, I feel overdressed fairly often, compared to those around me, but not for the setting or occasion. I’m often told that I look nice. Casual lack of style, has taken over and I often wonder if people have a full length mirror that would show how unflattering their outfit is. I’ve been over weight and knew how to draw less attention to it with my clothes. But now being in the current style is more important than the effect. I celebrate the freedom and the acceptance of all shapes and sizes, but I cringe at some of the results.
“I don’t wear casual easily”. What does that mean? Seems to me that you are a bit hard on yourself in ways that are unnessarily limiting. We look a lot alike (except my arms and legs are a bit short) and I wear everything except tops longer than mid hip and purple.
I like the look your wearing, except I don’t wear scarves as much, unless it is pretty cold. We go from parking lot to store and usually it is warm in the stores. Texas has had some very warm days in December this year.
I tend to dress nice casual mostly when I meet up with girlfriends at lunch, shopping spree at the Mall, church, dinner out, social gathering, etc.
I think having to wear a mask everywear I go has made me not want to dress up more, maybe less. Masks are a real downer for me feeling good about how I look. We are socializing less these days as well with Omnicron, so I haven’t felt like buying more clothes or accessories. I really just don’t have anywhere to wear them, and I love clothes.
I tend to dress more sport leisure wear in my home and for a quick to run to grocery, pharmacy, Target, nursery, etc. which is a 15min. hop in the car. In Texas there are shopping centers on every corner, so it is not like I would decide to make a shopping day and get fixed up to go.
I think where we live dictates how we dress.
Thank you so much for your tips on clothes, health, and beauty, they have been very helpful.
Happy New Year
I agree with you my casual is more than some. I want to look a little more when leaving the house even to the store. I enjoy adding jewelry and putting on something more than sweats.
I think you do casual very well. Your featured outfits today are relaxed but in good taste, polished, coordinated and flattering to you. I don’t call that overdressed but rather well groomed.
What most people call casual these days, in my opinion, is really just sloppy and inappropriate. And designers seem to be encouraging the sloppy look with their mismatched, poorly designed fashions
Seeing someone dressed in a polished, well coordinated outfit is inspiring and uplifting. I grew up in an era when this was the norm, not an anomaly! If I see a well groomed person in a public place I always compliment them. I’m all for encouraging a higher standard.
That outfit is stunning on you Jennifer. I too am Dramatic Classic and really struggled with a casual wardrobe when I retired. I wouldn’t say that I overdress, but I always look polished and I think that has a lot to do with how I accessorize. I love bold accessories, and I wouldn’t feel like myself if I didn’t have on earrings, a ring and bracelet at the very least. Even at home alone, I’ll wear earrings and lipstick.
That’s me:)!! Everyday of lockdown I fixed my hair, wore makeup and jewelry!
Jennifer, I relate completely with your philosophy of casual. I’m always drawn to a more dressy casual, but not because it feels dressy to me. It just feels like it’s my comfort zone. If I show up in something others consider casual (a sweatshirt, for instance), they usually comment because it’s so out of the ordinary for me. I have tried to fit into others’ general concept of casual, but it feels like a costume in many ways. Give me a nice sweater or blazer over jeans and a tee and I’m more me. Always with a bracelet 😊
Love your blog! I’m interested in hearing more about this topic in the future.
Exactly how it feels for me!
I love the brown suede jacket and the pinkish blouse. I think you look upscale casual. The earnings are a lovely touch.
I love this entire outfit on you. Very stylish! It looks comfy and warm. I would definitely wear this. I like to feel put together, not just something I threw on so I would say I tend to be overdressed rather than under. I wear hospital scrubs for work during the week, so enjoy elevating my outfit for the weekends.
I bet weekends are fun for you. Wearing any uniform all week is easy but limits your creativity.
You look fabulous in that outfit. I love the earrings, and personally wear obvious earrings most of the time. The dramatic classic would explain your love of pearls in all shapes and sizes. I can understand the problems with dressing down, as I tend to feel too frumpy in a very casual look, and need the extra boost from a bit of ‘extra’ without ever feeling overdressed. As you say, dress to please yourself to feel confidant. I like the gloves but my fingers get so terribly cold that I can’t wear fingerless, but then again we are many degrees below freezing right now. Enjoy your trip through Metamorphsis. After much searching, I did find my notes from many years ago so am having fun with that again too.
It’s a fascinating book!
Yes……I am usually the one that is dressed more over. But you ask, do I ever feel over dressed than others, No. I don’t wear expensive clothes, I am very conservative but it’s the way I put it together I believe. I always get compliments and I always feel good about myself.
I do love earrings and a necklace that don’t have to coat a lot, really elevate and outfit!
Great point. Great style is not about price
I would say I dress up more than many others when wearing casual attire (dressy casual?) But not overdressed, at least not for me.
I want to look good, which makes me feel good, and I take pride in my appearance.
Dressy casual describes it perfectly
Yes, always overdressed but not because I always wear smart clothes. I wear jeans almost every day (blue, brown, cream, green, grey…) but my tops are interesting rarely just a T shirt and never “sweats”, the name is enough to put me off. I cannot bear to see myself without makeup or hair “done” and happily I have a husband who appreciates the effort. I actually enjoy applying my makeup, choosing what to wear (always done the night before) and hate sloppy or creased clothes. I am happy with my style and try not to judge others. Jewellery, nail varnish, handbags and shoes are fun and, yes, I have a busy life and believe it or not all this dressing up does not take much time. Happy days.
Can you tell me what make are your sunglasses please?
My sunglasses are HERE
I had the lens switched to my prescription.
Thank you 😁