Dressing Room Diary in Classic Neutrals

Today I have a dressing room diary try-on session that surprised me. I was looking for fun, bright colors but Banana Republic was filled with these soft neutral shades which I ended up loving!

If you’re new here, welcome. A dressing room diary is when I go into a store and try on new merchandise so you can see how it looks on a woman who is over 25. For reference, I am 5’4″ and weigh around 136 lbs. I have an inverted triangle silhouette with broad shoulders and straight hips. I have a long torso and arms with very few curves. I often wear one size larger on top than the bottom.

I’m a big fan of denim everything and skirts are no exception. This denim skirt also comes in blue but I like the unexpected ecru color. It’s a soft stretch skirt available in regular, petite, and tall. The petite is 23″, the regular is 24″, and the tall is 25″ so you can choose based on how long you like your skirts to be. I am wearing a 4 regular.

I’m wearing it with a simple henley tee that comes in 5 colors, regular and petite in sizes XS-XXL. The cardigan does have a soft sheen, but it’s very subtle. It comes in navy or this white in sizes XXS-XXL. It’s oversized so I’m wearing an XS because I wanted a slimmer look. I added this fun bronze leather belt for a bit of soft contrast. It’s a large belt that I wrapped to give more interest.

These navy pants are fabulous! They have a straight leg in a machine-washable wool blend that stretches. They come in regular and petite 0-14. I’m wearing a 4 regular because I wanted the rise to be as high as possible and they’re labeled mid-rise. In this regular, they do come right to my waist.

The lightweight sweater is available in 6 pretty colors sizes XXS-XXL. It’s a blend of 65% viscose, 30% silk, 5% yak… an unusual combo that feels amazing on. This shibori tie-dye scarf drapes beautifully. This outfit will be great for spanning the seasons into fall because nothing is overly warm.


WEARING –  no link for this color-blocked scarf –  ESSENTIAL LAYERING TEE  –  HIGH-RISE SLIM WIDE LEGG CROP JEANS

I’ve admired the tees and tanks in the Essentials Collection for a long time but they always seem sold out in my size. The same was true here:) These run very small so size up! This is the color Hue 140.

These jeans are super fun. They have a great high rise yet are slim through the hip and thighs which makes them more flattering than other wide legs. They’re cropped which will look really fun over knee boots this fall. They come in regular, petite, and tall, sized from 24-35. The inseams are – petite 24″, regular 26, and tall 29″. I am wearing a 28 regular.

These pants come in regular and petite, sizes 0-20. I’m wearing a 4 regular and love the length for me. If they’d had the green in my size, they would have come home with me. I’ve never been drawn to cargo-type pants but this fabric is amazing and the fit is slimming. The button tab at the bottom of the leg is a cute detail. I would remove the self-belt and replace it with this one, or this one. The sleeveless shirt comes in 6 colors and 3 prints in regular, petite, and tall, sized from XXS=XXL. I am wearing this one in petite small.


This fun top has a sun protection factor of 40 built into the fabric, yet feels lovely against your skin. Many UPF fabrics are stiff, not this one. It comes in 3 colors in regular and petite, sizes XXS-XXL. I am wearing a small in regular and it runs TTS.

The jeans are 100% cotton in ecru, which is fast becoming one of my favorite shades. These are stiff denim with no stretch. I haven’t tried this type of denim on in years…but I have to say, it’s a nice change. They feel very supportive rather than stretchy…if that makes sense. The frayed bottom is something you’ll love or hate and could be easily hemmed.


The cashmere is hitting the floor at BR. There is an entire collection labeled PERFORM which is a combo of cashmere meets high-tech Core Temp fibers which is meant to warm up or cool down as needed. It’s a temperature regulating fabric. Of course, I couldn’t test that theory out in the store, I just know this is a fun bomber-shaped cardigan with a zip front in a gorgeous navy.

I know I said I was done with skinny jeans for a while but these slim jeans are a bit different. They have a cigarette shape straight leg with a skinny fit from hip to the knee so they’re roomier than your favorite skinnies. They’re made from bi-stretch denim engineered with special, 4-way stretch that has a holds-you-in feeling that’s still soft to the touch and feels amazing on. They come in regular and tall,  sizes 24-35. I am wearing a regular 27 which is too snug but I sure love the shape:)


I know many of us are craving color these days but are you still attracted to soft neutrals?



This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Chris
    August 4, 2021 / 8:58 am

    What is it with the unfinished jeans? Hanging threads are just not attractive to me on myself and others. OK, I’m a young 70 Y/O who keeps hoping this style along with the thready slits will soon be in the rear-view mirror. A girl can only hope ; )

  2. Maeve
    August 3, 2021 / 8:01 pm

    My coloring doesn’t really suppot neutrals, especially some of the beige tones that look good on you. Ivory is much better for me, and I love navy and deep blues like the bomber jacket and the washable wool pants. I saw the olive color in the cargo pants paried with a black top –that or a navy or burgundy would be much better on me. You’re so right about the frayed pants: they’d drive me mad lol.

  3. Karen Kasberg
    August 3, 2021 / 5:32 pm

    I love neutrals as staple pieces in my wardrobe! I don’t necessarily like them together though. It just does not work well for my skintone. I do love the last outfit on you!! I’m going to have to look closer at the jeans, as they look fantastic!!

  4. Linda
    August 3, 2021 / 4:21 pm

    I loved most all of the outfits. I still don’t go to the stores and when I have they don’t have much of a selection. Those sack waist pants I love and the wide leg Jeans are to die for.

  5. Nicole
    August 3, 2021 / 1:45 pm

    That last outfit is a winner on you. Not sure about the others. Neutrals are washed out and don’t have a fun factor. For me, as I age, brighter colours work best to compliment my skin and hair.

  6. Eve
    August 3, 2021 / 10:55 am

    I love neutrals and my basic pants and tops are neutral but I have a thing about jackets. I love the unusual. I just bought a safari jacket….with a giraffe on it. I have a string jacket in blue and green. I pop them over a neutral column and away I go. Can’t wait to get into boots.
    I still love you in pink and blue best. You shine in those colors.

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 11:06 am

      Thanks, Eve.

  7. Carol Causey
    August 3, 2021 / 10:30 am

    This has nothing to do with your cute selection of outfits but wanted to ask how you have lost weight. I am struggling to get 10 lbs off over age 60.

      • Carol Causey
        August 4, 2021 / 3:49 am

        Thank you!

  8. Nancy
    August 3, 2021 / 10:29 am

    I like the contrast of dark on the bottom and light on the top on you. The all monochromatic look of light neutrals seems to pale.
    There are some really nice pieces in the mix you tried on! Will have to take a further look when I have time!

    • Jan
      August 3, 2021 / 4:12 pm

      I agree Nancy! Also, adding the contrast with a scarf just pulls the total look together.
      I love neutrals too but find I need that bit of color. Great post!

      • Maeve
        August 3, 2021 / 7:18 pm

        Yes, me too. I think the Shibori scarves are great.

  9. Yvonne
    August 3, 2021 / 10:12 am

    Neutrals, especially soft ones are so chic and sophisticated. My soft neutral would be grey, which I do enjoy wearing in the summer with white.
    You tried on a lot of great pieces Jennifer. Hope you bought some.

  10. Cathy
    August 3, 2021 / 9:59 am

    Love neutrals! Your coloring is much like mine and I love black too. The colors seem to bring us into fall/winter. The tanks and tees are meant to fit snuggly since they are for layering with less bulk. Sizing up is a good idea to wear alone. The sweater top blended with silk is something I would wear often. I can’t go with unfinished hems on jeans. I guess I’m old-fashioned on that….. wait a sec! Reality check says I am old.
    This is a different kind of post and I really like it. Mix it up.

  11. Ellen
    August 3, 2021 / 8:56 am

    I think these neutrals look beautiful on you. Such shades don’t work well for my coloring. My favorite outfit here is the fun jeans with the scarf and camel tee ! You look great in that!

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 9:27 am

      Thanks Ellen

  12. Pam Singer
    August 3, 2021 / 8:26 am

    Yes yes yes- love just about everything. The soft colors / neutrals compliment you so much. I went back and re read your color analysis posts and my jury is out again . Soft autumn maybe??? Anyway thanks for this post. It got me excited about shopping again.

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 9:27 am

      Each system uses different terms but soft is certainly my favorite so they don’t overpower me. Then again, black overpowers my coloring but I love it:)

  13. Sheila
    August 3, 2021 / 7:48 am

    Did you take anything home with you? I love almost everything

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 9:25 am

      lol, I brought too much home and still deciding what I can reasonably keep:) #hazardofthejob

  14. Dianne
    August 3, 2021 / 7:37 am

    Do like neutrals but don’t look good on me with my coloring. Absolutely love the last outfit with the jeans , scarf and black sweater! Casual but classy.

  15. Rose
    August 3, 2021 / 6:57 am

    Banana Republic had always been mostly neutrals whenever I go. I love the looks on you. I especially liked the black cigarette pants with the sweater and scarf. In winter I always like their black and grey sweaters.

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 9:23 am

      The pants are a very deep navy, and yes, I loved that look too.

  16. Char M
    August 3, 2021 / 6:45 am

    Great post, fresh and inspiring. Love those scarves, tho in Arizona mine live in the drawer more than on me. No quicker way to add personality than a fun scarf.

  17. Rhonda
    August 3, 2021 / 6:17 am

    I have recently shopped BR and am loving their neutrals! And, I especially love the wide leg jeans! I have a pair in black denim and also blue and only wish they would become more mainstream so I don’t feel like I’m the only one on this 70’s bandwagon!

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 9:21 am

      I love them and so do many other people because I don’t see them going away anytime soon:)

  18. Leslie Greaves Radloff
    August 3, 2021 / 6:17 am

    Much to love here. Both styles and colors. And, better still I could replicate most by ‘shopping my closet. Since I’m in person shopping less (both retirement and COVID) it’s nice to see how to use/ reuse .

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 9:20 am

      That’s awesome!

  19. Julie
    August 3, 2021 / 6:14 am

    Great choices! The neutrals are amazing and so easy to accessorize with scarves, jewelry and shoes. Well done.

  20. Diane B
    August 3, 2021 / 5:14 am

    This DDR is a really nice change from all the screaming colours out there right now. You look so great in these items, and the shots with the scarves vs necklace is interesting. I do like the ones with scarves. I have noticed lately that the soft colours or neutrals are wonderful on you, and as much as we all said how great the blues and pinks were, the neutrals and soft tones really make you stand out and not the clothes, if that makes sense. One more twist in the colour analysis conundrum. I think I will wear my cream linen skirt and a soft heather top today.

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 9:20 am

      It makes total sense to me. I’ve decided to not limit myself to my most flattering colors, but rather wear what makes me happy.

  21. Andrea
    August 3, 2021 / 4:52 am

    Oh my gosh. Am I still interested in neutrals? Heck yes! Literally every outfit here is something I would wear. The possibilities are endless: unlimited mixing and matching, whether with other neutral pieces and adding accessories like scarves, jewelry, and purses—or adding a dark or bright-colored piece that pops. Bottom line, to me neutrals aren’t tame at all; instead they’re springboards for creativity and offer versatility for those of us who live on a budget. Thank you so much, Jennifer. I love your fashion posts.

    • Jennifer
      August 3, 2021 / 9:18 am

      Neutrals are my favorites and always will be for just those reasons, Andrea:)

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