Style Edit Over 50 in Black and White Linen

We’re due for a spot of rain this week, and our temps have dropped again, but I’ve swapped my wardrobe over and gearing up for the hot weather that I know is headed our way. By the time summer sets in here, I’m planning my escape from the heat and living almost exclusively in lightweight cotton and linen. I know many women struggle with the way linen wrinkles, and it’s an acquired taste, but I could not survive the summer without it.

For our style edit over 50 this month, Cindy and I are sharing how we’re styling a few Eileen Fisher pieces into our spring wardrobe that were generously gifted to us. Everything gifted is marked c/o. Mixing and matching pieces helps stretch your wardrobe, so getting dressed is easier. There’s nothing easier than black and white, so today, I’m showing several ways to mix things up

jennifer connolly of a well styled life blog wearing eileen fisher black linen top over white linen tank and white mother jeans

Here’s a column of white, topped with an airy, crochet-type linen top. I have fond memories of a similar pullover many years ago, which was invaluable to pop over so many things for arm coverage. This seems to run larger than usual, and I could have worn an XS, so I suggest you size down. If it came in white, I would order it in a heartbeat. Since I’m larger on top than the bottom, I front-tucked this into my Mother straight-leg jeans to show some shape. I’m one of those people who put their jeans in the dryer and really appreciate that Mother jeans are designed to do just that and come out looking brand new.

I kept details simple in this look so as not to overpower the weave of this top. I’m wearing pearls studs with this short black seed bead & pearl necklace because anything longer could get snagged in the top.


For this look, I paired an organic linen cropped cardigan over a simple black cotton/spandex tank. This is a look I will wear all spring. The cardigan length nods to my (non-existent) waistline without having to tuck anything in. This is a great little cardigan for arm coverage that won’t be too hot in the summer. It will be slightly warmer than my blue one I shared here simply because black absorbs the sun making it feel hotter. My jeans are a straight-leg medium blue wash, and I added my super comfy Franco Sarto sandals.

woman wearing black eileen fisher cotton tank dress with obi belt and eileen fisher organic linen cropped cardigan

Here, I tossed the same little cardigan over my Eileen Fisher cotton dress that I styled 5 ways for you here. Several ladies thought this dress was hitting my leg at an unflattering, wide spot, but you can see here that it doesn’t. I must get on my photographer (husband) to watch those angles 🤣.

I added an Eileen Fisher Obi belt (similar here) that’s as old as the hills and nude sandals to elongate my legs. FYI, ankle straps visually chop your legs at the ankle and are not usually elongating. However, if they’re a nude shade that blends into your skin, you can get away with it.

fashion blogger jennifer connolly wearing eileen fisher linen dress open over linen tank and wide leg linen trousers

Here I’m pairing a button-up white linen dress, worn open as a duster, over a white tank and black linen trousers. I love a simple white dress in the summer, but knowing me, I’ll probably wear this like a duster more than I do a dress. It comes in 4 colors, and I could not resist classic white. The linen trousers are much more flattering than most pull-on styles because these have a zip front and add less bulk around the tummy but still have an elastic waist. They come in four colors and are a great weight for the summer, so I bought the natural color.

woman wearing eileen fisher white linen shirtdress open over black tank top and white mother jeans

Here’s the same linen dress worn over my white jeans with the black tank. I sized up in the tank because I hate when they cling to my torso. I’d also like this look with a white tank or a column of another pale color under it. I’d wear it as a dress with a natural straw bag, some raffia earrings, and nude sandals.

woman wearing eileen fisher black linen sweater over black linen trousers

This head-to-toe black linen look is only punctuated by nude wedges, a silver bracelet, a short necklace, and my favorite hoop earrings. I could have worn black sandals, but I’m really loving the effect of nude shoes these days. I’ve had these wedges for years (similar here) and find them very comfy.

Let’s go see how Cindy is styling some of her pieces at Cindy Hattersley Design.

Thanks to Eileen Fisher for sending these gorgeous pieces for me to share with you. Thanks also to my readers for supporting the brands I love!


  1. Hi Jennifer, when I read your post on 5/2 I just fell in love with the idea of the white linen dress , done up as a long cardigan…Knowing that this would be something I’d wear rarely, i didn’t want to pay for the linen dress you modeled, though it is gorgeous. So I went on line and found a similar cotton dress, at Target for $35. sent away and it was delivered yesterday. Actually I like it, but the medium was too big, strange because that’s my normal size and too long for my 5′ 5″ height. I’m planning on going to Target and see if I can find the dress in small, and then hem it…the look is really cool…so thank you for setting me in another style direction……

    1. Have fun with it. I love the look.

  2. Deborah Murphy says:

    I bought a pair of Rothy‘s nude flats, which I wear with everything including black. I love the fact I can wash them in the washer because they always get dirty. I have learned that linen will just be wrinkled. You are convincing me to wear more belts!

  3. Love this blog. In my favorite colors (black and white) and styles.
    Great job Jennifer.

  4. I hope Eileen Fisher sends you a thank you, Jennifer. You helped her to have a very good day! Just as I debated black and white, you showed me it can work. I often worry that the contrast is too much for my apple shape.
    I did go in a bit of a different direction, using your ideas as a model. It’s hard for me to get over my blind spot of a cropped sweater because of my tummy and bigger bust. It feels as though I’m emphasizing all my faults. So, I went with a long linen sweater in graphite, which is a little more forgiving on me than black. Still works for a dark/light look. I also swapped the white linen dress for a long white linen sweater. Think the knit may look less wrinkled over linen pants.

    1. I love your combos, Susan! I totally agree the linen knits do not look as wrinkled.

  5. Love black and white and happy to see some great inspiration here! Thanks Jennifer.

    1. Happy you like it too.

  6. These are all gorgeous looks, Jennifer! I have steered away from Eileen Fisher in the past because the pieces all seemed so shapeless. But, I love those pants! I may have to take a look at other things! Thanks for sharing!

    1. They are very nice!

  7. Loving that “obi” belt on the black linen dress. What a fabulous way to style that dress! All these linen looks are very chic on you Jennifer and so cool for summer.

    1. This is such an easy belt. I wish I had more colors.

  8. These all look great on you! I think this is one of my favorite posts you’ve ever done. Thanks for the inspiration. I love Eileen Fisher; these are the items I wear again and again and they last forever. I put a big dent in my wallet today!

    1. I wear mine over and over too!!

  9. Charlotte says:

    Black and white is always so smart and au currant. I am shorter than you Jennifer by 3 inches and high waisted. I am concerned about looking overwhelmed in fabric. Would love guidance to linen pants that are slightly less full in the leg. Any ideas?

    1. Buy the petites for sure and size down one or two sizes. The petite leg is narrower than the misses.

  10. Great post with beautiful styling. I don’t worry about mild wrinkling. It adds to the charm!

  11. Francesca B says:

    Thanks so much for a great post Jennifer wonderful clothing and you look amazing in them, especially love the crochet top look ! Wow inspiring thank you.

    1. Happy Tuesday, Francesca!

  12. You look wonderful in all of these refreshing classic styles. No ruffles thank goodness! I love the black columns the best!

    1. Lol, not a ruffle in sight!!

  13. Love the linen dress worn as a duster. Never occurred to me…..not wanting to spend what the dress cost, because this would be only worn rarely, I wonder if there are similar, but less pricey choices. Love the black & white looks, those are my go to color choices.

    1. This look works with any straight button-front shirt dress. I wear it often.

  14. Jennifer, what a great post. You look relaxed and chic. Thanks for highlighting Eileen Fisher, and reminding me how timeless her pieces are.

    1. They really are such timeless and great investment pieces because the cost per wear is low if you wear them for years, as I do.

  15. I honestly love every one of these looks. It is so great to see the dress/duster and the sweater on a completely different physique, and how you styled them. I absolutely love that white dress/duster on you…and that black sweater…now I want that one too. This was a great post. Just love Eileen Fisher separates. They are so versatile.

    1. These look amazing on you!! Such fun to see how differently we styled them.

  16. Beautiful. I love EF clothing and appreciate the way you’ve styled several of my wishlist items!

    A comment on the black knit dress — the reason it’s currently the right length is because you belted it. The “five looks” post did not belt the dress. Since I never belt, I’m intrigued by the difference.

    1. It’s really ok without the belt too. My husband is a foot taller than I am which can really skew a photo. Here’s a better angle of the length worn without a belt.

      1. Absolutely! I think the length is perfect — but I can see how adding a belt takes off an inch or two. Hmmm. Something for me to ponder! 😉

  17. I really love the cropped cardigan, very versatile. I like this because I’m like you with really no defined waist. The crochet top looks great on you. You just can’t go wrong with classic black and white.

    1. I loved lightweight cropped cardigans this time of year. They’re so useful for many reasons in my wardrobe.

  18. Love everything in this post all outfits are becoming on you

  19. Hi. I love the black and white styles. You look beautiful.
    Going to try some of those.

    1. I know color combo has gotten a bad name lately but I love them! They always feel chic.

  20. Pat Patterson says:

    Hi Jennifer, I really like the black & white outfits today. Classic and never go out of style🙂. Have a sunny day

  21. WOW! I love this. You have inspired me. I knew I loved EF, but when I go into their store or just browse online, it’s very uninspiring to me. You have made this work for me, particularly because I am PP (5’2″, 120 lbs) and most of the pieces seem huge. Apparently, they are not! Also, I have become more comfortable, as I age, with “loose.” Loose is good! Thanks, Jennifer!

    1. They do run large so always size down at least 1 size. Sometimes two. I’d recommend their petites as well. The look is intended to be loose but not with their jeans which have a standard fit.

  22. You look amazing Jennifer! I really like the white duster and tank with dark pants and black espadrilles! So stylish and comfy!

  23. I like the nude shoes with your outfits. I’m downsizing my closet and I’ve decided that instead of having a lot of shoes to match my outfits, I’m just going to have a couple of pairs of nude color shoes. It’s very freeing.

    1. It really is! Nude shoes go with everything.

  24. Love these looks! I really like the linen dress as a duster. I was afraid that look would overwhelm me, but I am rethinking it after seeing these photos. You look great!

  25. Jennifer, I love linen but wonder about the best way to wear linen pants due to “wrinkling”. Perhaps that is something you could talk about? If they are synthetic/machine washable, hung up damp to dry, they are quite wrinkled. Ironing doesn’t last for long. Is it the style to wear wrinkly linen or is that just why some people avoid it? I hate to think of wearing pants the I can’t sit in (to avoid wrinkles). Your advice, suggestions?

    1. They will wrinkle. There’s no way to avoid it. I find the more I wash it the softer the wrinkles become. Steaming is meant to make them softer but I often iron mine anyway.

  26. Love the white linen dress worn as a cardigan! Looks great on you!

  27. You look great in every one of these outfits!

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