How Would You Style This Outfit?

Happy Tuesday, ladies. I found this mannequin on Monday and couldn’t resist trying to style it myself. I have to say, I was singularly unimpressed with the styling, so I grabbed a few other pieces and switched things around.

Grab some coffee or tea and let’s chat about how you would wear this outfit.

As always, you can click the red highlighted text for more info and to shop.

I own these jeans but would never have styled them this way because it would make my legs look even shorter than they are so here’s what I tried.

This knit utility jacket is super soft, stretchy, and comfy in a really pretty blue. The color you see on the mannequin is more accurate because the dressing room was dark. I tried tucking the top in first.

Then I switched to these high-rise straight leg, uncuffed jeans. I like the look better already.

Then I swapped out the floral top for this tank, added this quartz/jade/labradorite necklace, and wove this tasseled scarf (on sale) through the belt loops. My verdict is this jacket works better with the uncuffed jeans. What do you think?

What would you have tried?

If utility jackets aren’t your thing, have you tried Poncho’s, Wraps, or Ruanas? They’ve been on my mind lately because we’re coming up on the perfect season to wear one. They’re warm, but not too warm, can cover a multitude of sins plus they offer a lot of comfort and flexibility. I love that you can pop a nice one over an average outfit and instantly look great!


Color blocking is always very popular so they coordinate with lots of things you wear them over.


Do you wear ponchos or ruanas?





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  1. Janey
    September 14, 2021 / 5:08 pm

    I love blue and like the 3 separate pieces, but that outfit screams too much blue for me. I like the last pic where you have changed the top for a neutral top. Alternatively I would keep the original top and add a different coloured jacket.

  2. Lin
    September 14, 2021 / 1:53 pm

    Well, Miss Mannequin blew it again.
    Love your style with un-cuffed jeans and the tucked in shirts and also untucked shirt.
    I think a brighter print would also work.
    On to ponchos. I have two, a knitted multi-blue one and a dark gray heather one. They both totally transfer my outfits from casual to smart casual.
    They are not over size so the fit
    nicely and are very comfortable.
    I think they should allow you to dress Miss Mannequin. 😊

    • Jennifer
      September 15, 2021 / 7:08 am

      I used to dress the occasional mannequin when I was managing boutiques. It’s fun but challenging because their bodies are not very flexible 🙂

  3. Elizabeth Kurman
    September 14, 2021 / 12:57 pm

    What a coincidence?! I saw the jacket on J Jill’s website and vacillated because I live in Vermont now (no more Florida, I much prefer buying clothes up here) and you can’t have too many jackets. I loved the color because it suits my blonde/neutral/soft summer palette. But seeing it on someone my age, build, etc., as opposed to the catalog model, WOW, what a revelation! This jacket is frumpy, I agree with the other commenters. It needs a waist, definitely.

    And don’t even get me started on those cuffed jeans. J Jill came out with those a couple of seasons ago, and I ordered them, but it was a pass for me. I am already short and at that time was a OP (now with COVID weight, I’m a 4P but hey, I’m working on it) and they made me look dumpy. No bueno. Funny, because I roll the cuffs on my Gap straight leg jeans all the time, it’s just that uber deep cuff that they stitched in that I hate.

    So, in your pictures, Jennifer, I do prefer the last photo but like someone else said, I would style with a little bootie because I like a leggier look. Otherwise, it’s the best one can do with that jacket. But what we really need to do is find out why J Jill is anti-waist!

    In other news, I love the plaid poncho from AT that’s at the bottom of your page. I can wear some wraps but I have to be careful because I’m 5’3″ but I am mad about the plaid!

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 9:10 pm

      I love to hear you describe your coloring as a blonde/neutral/soft summer pallet. Neutral skin tones do exist often. We are all a combination of warm and cool. The ratios fluctuate but we are all that combination. I can wear both warm and cool because I skew neutral, but I have to beware of icy cool and too warm.

      • Elizabeth Kurman
        September 15, 2021 / 12:31 pm

        Same, which I think is what drew me initially to you. Our coloring is very similar.

  4. MRSBEN2
    September 14, 2021 / 12:44 pm

    Great styling of the pieces, Jennifer! As to the top for myself; though not a fan of florals this type of print I don’t mind and I would prefer the high-rise straight leg jeans to the cuffed ones. Re the utility jacket would much prefer it without the breast pockets however in event I would be styling with the pieces mentioned; the top would be tucked it, sleeves ‘pushed up’ on the jacket then I would add to the equation a pattern and light weight fringed or tasseled, rectangle scarf around my neck (several ways to wear it) to add a little bohemian flare. To conclude, my footwear (mostly likely a bootie) and handbag (unstructured) would repeat the colors in the buttons. Jewelry would consist of just a expansion bracelet wrist watch, since still wearing face masks where I am.

    On the topic of ponchos and ruanas; I personally prefer blanket wraps (wear them in our Fall season) as can style them several ways and actually just added a strip of faux leather to a favourite of mine, positioning it to hold a corner when drawn up to the shoulder area. (Difficult to explain.) -Brenda-

  5. jackie
    September 14, 2021 / 11:52 am

    I need a class in wearing a poncho or ruana. Love the look, but it’s only good on me for the 15 seconds I’m standing still! The minute I get out of the car, walk, reach, hug a grandchild, it’s on the ground.
    The knit utility jacket looks comfy, but that’s it’s limit. Strictly an around the house item.

  6. Brenda Lusk
    September 14, 2021 / 11:34 am

    Overall I think the entire outfit is rather matronly. The top pockets on the jacket are not attractive and the jacket seems very boxy, especially on a shorter frame. I agree the jeans deep cuff does not work for either. The jacket color needs a pop of color or a deeper color top. Too monotone gives no interest. Seems like the stylist dressing the mannequin should have taken a second look at their work.

  7. Melissa
    September 14, 2021 / 11:02 am

    I do like the causal jacket but not the breast pockets and I’m too short to wear big cuffed jeans. I love the last pic you did with the white tank and scarf belt. I could see myself wearing it. I love reading your emails and have learned so much for myself on styling my body at my age, 61.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 2:01 pm

      Thanks for being here with us, Melissa

  8. Elizabeth
    September 14, 2021 / 10:08 am

    It is really helpful to see you with all the different versions of the outfit on a real person not a “model”, even though I have the opposite type of body then you 🙂 gives me ideas on how to try things. Just looking at myself in the mirror sometimes it is hard to see what looks better, so maybe taking a self of myself and looking at the picture…

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 2:00 pm

      Take selfie’s! It really helps

  9. Peggy
    September 14, 2021 / 9:57 am

    I would add some cool long-ish gloves and booties and uncuff those jeans. The jacket would be a lost cause on me and look terrific on someone else.

  10. Janice
    September 14, 2021 / 8:18 am

    The plain jeans are what I would do with the jacket, maybe even black jeans with a top with blue, white and maybe black in it to pull it together.

  11. beth byrd
    September 14, 2021 / 8:02 am

    I think the jacket and jeans look best on you with your shirt tucked in. I especially like the last outfit.

    I’m not a fan of the big cuff on jeans as I think they would look too clunky on me. Also they seem to be a bit too trendy — much like distressed jeans and cold shoulder tops. Great for others — not for me!!

    I do like the jacket, however, I’d prefer it without the breast pockets. I like its unstructured look with jeans and the color is lovely! That is a beautiful color on you, too!!

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 1:59 pm

      I love soft blue. Thanks Beth

  12. Dianne
    September 14, 2021 / 7:48 am

    Love how you styled the outfit with the white tee, scarf as your belt, but straight leg jeans, no cuff. I have never really liked jeans cuffed like that. Not a flattering look for me anyway. You always get the look so perfectly. Have a sweater wrap that I purchased in London two years ago and it will work just fine. Time to wear is minimal since it never gets very cold here in central Florida.

  13. Sheila
    September 14, 2021 / 7:47 am

    I love the jacket. I tried it on in the store the other day. Plan to return and buy it. I’ve wanted a utility jacket and love the knit fabric. I also bought the shirt underneath when I was there last week. It’s a soft organic cotton.

  14. Linda
    September 14, 2021 / 7:43 am

    The fabric is wrong for this jacket.

    It appears slouchy and poorly made (which I am quite certain it is well made, just doesn’t look it as too wrinkled and bunched where there are stitches).

    I would select a different fabric for the jacket such a faux leather to give a more polished and clean appearance that doesn’t detract from the shirt ( very nice shirt) and pants. ( Not a fan of any blue jeans but it’s because of fabric inflexibility that hurts my arthritic knees.

    Shirt snd jeans are great together.

  15. Eve
    September 14, 2021 / 7:38 am

    I seem to be in the minority but like the jacket. Love pockets and the deeper color on the mannequin appeals to me. You put tickets or notes, small shopping list, a mint, bandaid, credit card so you don’t need to fish for it at checkout, small flat lip gloss, cough drop. That’s how I use it anyway. I don’t big cuff. I small cuff. I like the way you styled it.

  16. Elizabeth Pollard
    September 14, 2021 / 7:27 am

    I definitely vote for the uncuffed jeans with either shirt tucked in. I think it creates a longer leaner look. I’m not sure about the jacket. I think I would prefer it without the breast pockets.

  17. Leslie Greaves Radloff
    September 14, 2021 / 6:58 am

    The jacket with breast pockets, in that fabric and color would not scream utility to me, nor would I buy it. Breast pockets and patch pockets make my 5ft 3in, narrow frame look dumpy. These also do not look particularly well sewn or tailored. I also skip cuffed jeans as I do not feel a need to display the reverse side of denim for its cache. I do have shawls and Diana’s that don’t swamp me, but don’t find them very practical when driving, working around home, though I do-did-take them when we were traveling more.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:46 am

      I agree, they’re a cozy option while traveling.

  18. Linda D.
    September 14, 2021 / 6:55 am

    Ponchos and ruanas are not for me. I’m too short and they have too much material. Love them on others though, Today’s jacket is too pale for my palette but mostly it is the chest pockets that make it difficult to style in my opinion. What do you put in chest pockets? I would wear it with a V neck tee in a strong colour and a long colourful patterned scarf just hung around the collar to detract from the pockets and brighten the outfit up. Cuffed pants give a very western, country, farm vibe to any outfit in my eye.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:45 am

      Great point! I wouldn’t put anything in chest pockets but I recall men putting they’re cigarette packs in them many years ago. Time to get rid of chest pockets:)!

  19. Jeanine Kesey
    September 14, 2021 / 6:10 am

    I would love a pancho or rauna but feel they swallow me. They seem to hang almost to the ground. I have not found one for petite women and would love to see some options. There seems to be more and more options now. Maybe I need to look around again. I wear my jeans cuffed and don’t really think about it making my legs looking shorter so I will rethink that. Utility jackets are great if you can find a really good fit. I don’t like oversized ones. I prefer those to Jean jackets sometimes.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:43 am

      I find a lot of Ruanas way too long for me too so I’m hunting down some shorter versions.

  20. Rose
    September 14, 2021 / 6:07 am

    I don’t know about the jacket for me, it might be too boxy unless it was shorter or nipped in the waist. I like how you styled it better it looked really cute. I think I’m too short to cuff my jeans that much. I’d wear the jacket with skinny jeans

  21. sue
    September 14, 2021 / 5:55 am

    My goodness! The utility jacket is about the most boring thing I have seen. I can’t think of anyone it would flatter. But it does look comfortable. Love the fringed poncho!

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:41 am

      I’m seeing lots of fringed ones this year. So fun!

  22. Paulette Levy
    September 14, 2021 / 5:53 am

    Hi Jennifer! First off I would have to shorten the jeans slightly or purchase the petite. Then roll the cuff as it’s intent.
    I’d totally forget the knit jacket and replace with the faux suede fringed poncho shown below, and belt the tee with a mid width brown belt
    Thus would fit my idea of a wearable outfit.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:40 am

      Cute ideas! I hadn’t thought of swapping the jacket for a poncho.

  23. Donna
    September 14, 2021 / 5:36 am

    I like the one with no cuffed jeans and shirt out. Looks slimming and you look taller. Thanks for showing how us the different ways. The cuffed pant really is not that flattering.

  24. MP
    September 14, 2021 / 5:33 am

    Yes, I like the uncuffed jeans better. I wear ponchos in the fall. They are comfy for driving and walking around. I own a black one with fringe and a grey tonal one. They work really well with jeans and a crossbody underneath the poncho.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:39 am

      I only own a few and love their versatility.

  25. Lynn
    September 14, 2021 / 5:27 am

    I think the outfit on the mannequin looks sloppy. Too much draping and cuffing going on and the jacket looks wrinkled. I have never been a fan of that large cuff on jeans. I like the tank with the uncuffed jeans. Maybe a slight heel on the sandal with a long necklace as well. Can you tell I go for lengthiness!!! The jacket does look comfy.

  26. Lynn
    September 14, 2021 / 5:26 am

    I think the outfit on the mannequin looks sloppy. Too much draping and cuffing going on and the jacket looks wrinkled. I have never been a fan of that large cuff on jeans. I like the tank with the uncuffed jeans. Maybe a slight heel on the sandal with a long necklace as well. Can you tell I go for lengthiness!!! The jacket does look comfy.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:38 am

      A little heel would make a big difference. Maybe a bootie?

  27. melissa
    September 14, 2021 / 5:19 am

    I like the uncuffed jackets with the longer tops and jackets. To me the long jacket and “shorten” jeans makes your legs look shorter.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:37 am

      I thought so too, that’s why I tried ticking in the shirt and then wearing uncuffed jeans

  28. Liz
    September 14, 2021 / 5:03 am

    Uncuffed Jean looks the best. Honestly, it’s not an attractive look.
    Ponchos hide sins? What sins? I think the sin is thinking one must hide. You look beautiful in many things. But ponchos gotta go away.

    • Jennifer
      September 14, 2021 / 7:35 am

      I mean a less than flattering outfit under it. You can pop one on and run to the store looking nice.

  29. Carla
    September 14, 2021 / 4:55 am

    Yes, I like the outfit with the uncuffed jeans best. I also like you wearing the tank and using the scarf as a belt- cute!
    I have 2 Ruanas for Fall. My fav has the mustard, rust, and cream Fall colors!

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