We all love wearing outfits that are easy + comfortable, right?
But it can be tricky to blend comfort + style. In fact, I used to think I could only have one of those two things — definitely couldn’t have both, right?
Turns out I was wrong. It just takes a bit of observing (the fashion world around you) + translating (those crazy fashion trends into something you can wear).
Let’s take the example of this oversized sweater.
I’ve been noticing a lot of fashion-forward gals wearing shapeless, oversized coats on Pinterest lately. (Olsen twins, anyone?) Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the look. But it does tip me off that oversized layers are in. Cool. I’ll file that away in my brain and see if it ties in with anything in my real life later.
Hint, hint: That’s the observing part. :)
Cue to the moment when I pulled this sweater out of storage from last year. It’s oversized, it’s got a full shape to it — so it could play as one of those oversized layers I keep seeing. Cool!
But … how can I style it to fit my non-Olsen life?
This is where the tricky translating part comes in.
Hm. Well, it’s a short sweater — as opposed to the long coats I’d seen on Pinterest — so that’s a good thing already because I can wear something form-fitting on the bottom + keep some girlish shape + not look like a walking blob.
I’ll pair it with skinny jeans. My fav. (I could have also paired it with leggings.)
So I’ve got my full-on-top Olsen-ness + form-fitting-bottom Caroline-ness.
A beautiful blend.
Here are a couple Q’s to ask yourself when you’re trying this whole observing + translating thing:
What have I been seeing around lately (in stores, on Pinterest, on people, in magazines, on blogs)? How can I take a piece of what I’ve seen and work it into an outfit?
Maybe you’ll get it right the first time, maybe not. I almost never get it right the first time. But I’m learning how to do this more and more with every outfit — which is fun. And I also get to laugh at whatever failed outfit I made too — that’s also fun.
Sweater: old from Zara (similar)
Shoes: Dolce Vita
Necklace: Handmade (similar)
you made that necklace? props, girl. where’d you get the chain? i’ve got a couple of rouge pendants but haven’t found any good, long chains for them. thanks!
Fab look, lovin’ your blog, recommend it ALL the time. And yes, it’s ALL about the fun & happiness no matter what:
Your purpose in life is to BE HAPPY. Dalai Lama
There is nothing better for men than to BE HAPPY and do good while they live. Ecclesiastes 3:12
do not start wars.
do not live a life of crime.
do not hurt and abuse other people.
do not go around causing pain.
do not go around creating problems and disharmony.
treat others well & go around spreading happiness.
BE HAPPY anyway. Mother Theresa
Kathy Mader says
Hey, that was good, Glenda! Thanks.
You’re welcome–that’s posted on the door of my studio.
Kathy Mader says
Good idea…posting is the only way I’m going to remember anything.
I love that sweater!! I have been trying to find something similar. You look amazing and I love your blog. Its such a breathe of fresh air.
*breath.. wow I am tired today, haha
Hey Kaylee, there’s a department store in the Midwest where I live that has a similar sweater. I’m pretty sure they have free shipping too.
Hey Caroline! How are you liking the slip-on sneakers so far? I’m thinking about treating myself to them for my birthday. :)
L-O-V-E ’em. So practical yet stylish. :) xo Caroline
Found these at DSW for $15… practically squealed when I saw they were on sale. Can’t wait to style them! Thanks :)
I totally relate to the “observing + translate” concept!
I’m 5’2” and there are many times where I will see a really appealing idea in the blogosphere, Pinterest, etc, but I will think to myself that this might not be an exact match for my vertically challenged self.
I actually did just what you did this morning. I’ve been seeing vests around lately, especially faux fur, fluffy ones. I’m not sure if I would be comfortable walking around with a large sheep hanging off my shoulders, but I found a nice fleecy vest in my current wardrobe that was a little less furry and sheep-y (for lack of better phrase), and slipped in on over my all black outfit. It worked!
Great translation. Not so good at it myself. So, what do I do with the great stuff I have bought but just did not work out? I am on a buying freeze until I know more how to ” translate” my clothing.
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
I am in the middle of selling all my stuff that I’ve purchased, haven’t/gently worn, but don’t actually fit my personality. It’s a hassle and you won’t get your money back in full, but at least I don’t feel like such a waste. I feel like accepting that I was a bad shopper is the hardest step in starting the minimalism wardrobe.
Tania – I love this comment. It is so true! I feel the exact same way. And I just checked out your blog, it looks awesome.
Caroline – I love your blog! Keep it up!! I listened to you on Jess Lively’s podcast, The Lively Show the other day and I love your story. Please share your personal journey more!
Thank you for checking it out, Amanda :) I really love browsing the blogs of the commenters on here. It’s a bunch of like-minded people congregating together!
Love this little thread, Tania + Amanda + Melody. Just love how you all support each other. Total gold. xoxo Caroline
Absolutely love the outfit. It’s gorgeous but still looks really comfortable.
Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's says
Haha I’m not sure if I’d consider the sweater high fashion, but maybe that’s because you dressed it down so well :P I have an outfit rule in which if the top is loose, the bottom should be tight, and vice versa. Love this look! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s
I love your blog and the concept of having a capsule wardrobe – I’ve always thought that it was better to invest in a few pieces you LOVE and would wear all the time, instead of buying many pieces that I merely like :)
I love how simple your style is and that you’ve invited us to follow your fashion choices via this blog. I’m starting to plan and look for pieces that I need for winter, and I was wondering if you could start talking about what you’ll be stocking in your winter wardrobe so that your readers will have time to shop for pieces that they need?
Thanks so much! <3
This is why I love your blog – you make fashion thoughtful and and intentional! I never thought about this – I just figured my 5’3″ chubby self couldn’t wear any of the things I see. But this makes total sense, and I love the approach you outline here. Thanks for making me think about clothing in new ways!
Question – how do those made well jeans fit? I’m 5’6 and curvy/thicker thighed and can never find jeans that are: a.high enough to be comfortable and not gap at the waist and b.not cut off the circulation in my legs!! I see those jeans everywhere and I’m curious. Thanks!
I love cozy sweaters in the fall, I literally live in them!
I just purchased a pair of black slip on sneakers similar to the ones you are wearing, I am loving them. Such an easy everyday piece!
xo Nan – Simply Elegant Blog