Well isn’t this fun, seeing each other on the weekends. :)
I’ve got not one, but two outfits for you today.
How plain is this outfit? Black jeans, white button down.
But you know what? I love it.
There’s nothing really special about it at all — no attention catching accessories, no unexpected layers. It’s just a really solid outfit that I wear all the time.
But even though there’s nothing “stand out” about it, wearing it is a special experience because each piece is comfortable and beautiful. I love the drape of my white button down, the wash of my denim jacket, and the comfort level of my jeans.
With the flat shoes, I’d wear this outfit to run errands or to hang out with friends or just about anywhere.
I don’t have any specific styling notes because it’s such a simple look. But then again, I suppose the styling note is that sometimes, plain is just right.
I’d give this first outfit an A. It’s comfortable, and it’s functional, and unfancy.
01 | White button up (old) | similar
02 | Denim jacket (old) | similar | similar under $75
03 | Black jeans (old) / similar by Mott and Bow (made responsibly)
04 | Shoes by Madewell (on sale) / similar (made responsibly) / similar slide (made responsibly)
05 | Bag (old) | similar | similar (made in USA)
06 | Necklace in Yellow Raw Diamond by Julia Szendrei (handmade in USA)
• • •
Have a look at this second outfit …
Hm. I was going for a bit of a safari inspired look here with the bandana, open button down shirt, and the camera bag. But to be honest, it doesn’t really feel like it’s my style, even though it’s made up of pieces I love. Something about the combination is throwing me off.
However, I still have two styling notes for this look:
Pinched cuff / Here I am with a thick cuff again. But with boyfriend jeans, I like to cuff ’em, then pinch the front of the jeans right above the cuff (see photo below). It gives it more of a disheveled, boyfriend look. It might even be worth using a small safety pin and pinning the pinch. Just make sure to position the pin so it’s hidden underneath the cuff before you pin it.
Bandana / Usually I tie my bandana in a loose loop, but this time I did a double loop. Functionally speaking, it’s warmer. Aesthetically speaking, it’s just a nice shake up.
Grade time. This outfit gets a D. That might surprise you, because it looks like a pretty solid outfit. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bandana, the jeans, the shoes, the color combo. Almost everything about this outfit is right — it’s comfortable (loose jeans, swingy tops) and it’s functional.
But it doesn’t feel like “me” which is the ultimate deal breaker — I think it’s the combo of the white cami underneath the white button down. I just don’t love it.
It’s funny, I’d actually raise the grade to an A if I simply shed the white button down.
01 | White button up (old) | similar
02 | Silk cami by J.Crew | similar (made responsibly)
03 | Jeans by Rag and Bone (made in USA) / similar by 7 For All Mankind (on sale + made in USA)
05 | Bag by ONA
06 | Bandana by Madewell
• • •
Now, back to your regularly scheduled weekend activities. See you Monday for outfit 7 — we’re making our way through this challenge, you guys! We can do it!
Last week in Chicago was in the 80s, but it turns out this week will be in the 60s. So jackets and cardigans will be necessary and no sandals for me. Thanks for all the outfits, Caroline! See you on Monday.
I love both of your looks! And the best thing is I have similar pieces in my closet what enables it to copy them :)
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
I love your casual outfits!
Emily Mahi'ai says
Something about v-necks under button-ups never sits right with me. Maybe that’s part of it? It just creates a strange line and an uncomfortable contrast. Even if it’s a v-neck tee I don’t generally like it. But I agree, shedding the button-up makes it perfect!
And the first one is one of my favorite things to wear too. Simple and unfussy. ☺️❤️
Hey Emily, maybe that’s it? It was hard to put my finger on why I didn’t love it. But I guess that could be part of it! :) xo, Caroline
I agree on the v-neck/button up. I don’t care for un-buttoned button-up shirts, in most cases. Funny, I’d actually shed the cami, then it’d be perfect! Love the first outfit – esp with flats!
100% agree! When I do an open button-down (which I haven’t done in a little while), it’s always with a fitted scoop-neck tank. I didn’t notice on you, but I definitely notice on me: V-neck + collar = too much action! And those are my two favourite necklines!
Hey Caroline :) where did you get your white button down? Thanks for sharing your outfits with us, and the fascinating moments ;)!
Hi Anna, this one is old from Cloth + Stone, but I’ve linked to a similar one in the post! :) xo, Caroline
Thank you Caroline! I was curious… :)
Love to see how you are repeating items! Thanks, Caroline! You mentioned in another post that your use your travel steamer to kill bacteria and keep clothes fresh for multiple wears between washes. Does that work well to eliminate odor? Do you use plain ole water in there? I’d love to hear a little more about this!
Hi Jane! Typically the steamer does eliminate a majority of the odor, but if that’s not cutting it, sometimes a fabric freshener spray (like this one: http://bit.ly/2cyqnrQ) can help because it has an odor eliminator in it. If all else fails, a quick hand washing in the sink will do the trick. I think technically, you’re supposed to use distilled water in the steamer but if I don’t have any on hand, I’ll use tap or filtered water. Hope that helps :) xo, Caroline
Caroline – I bought the travel steamer you recommended and I LOVE it. Small but mighty, has an on/off switch which many (surprisingly) do not and its super easy to fill.. Sorry to take over this thread!
An airing out in the open and a blitz in sunlight for a few minutes may also help (subject to availability of sunlight of course!) And hanging garment inside out so the sun doesn’t fade the colour will also help.
How interesting! I’ve been following you since your very first capsule and I agree the second outfit just doesn’t feel like you. It just goes to show that great pieces don’t always add up to great outfits.
Maybe we are seeing a glimpse of an unfancy outfit for the very distant future? Maybe it’s because my mom (in her 60s) wears a light weight button up open over another top pretty much every day of her life but I associate this kind of layering with women past middle age.
Now if it were a cozy flannel, that would be a whole nother story. Fabrics count!
But I’m loving how you are changing the look of your jeans each day through different cuffs. You inspired me to try a larger cuff on my boyfriend jeans that usually get a smaller messy roll.
Loving the more frequent outfit posts!
Totally agree, including on the flannel! Was thinking the exact same thing. :)
I love how you are posting outfits that aren’t just A’s & B’s. It’s real life! Thank you for that :)
Hey Caroline! I love your blog and one of my favourite things about it (and your style) is that you’ve reminded me that keeping it simple and minimal works so well, and you can look amazing and feel like yourself without succumbing to all the trends and needing to add a lot of colour/texture etc.
Thanks for helping me find my style and keeping it real!
Brenda Sain says
I love outfit #1. It’s perfect. It’s practical! I think the problem with outfit #2 is that it is baggy on top of baggy. I can’t pull off an outfit like this. But honestly Caroline, you’d look super cute in a brown paper bag!! : )). Keep ’em coming! This is fun!
Have you done, or do you have a ref point about cuffing jeans? I see them in everyone and it changes the looks of jeans, but I always feel like mine are all wrong. Ideas?
Love outfit #1! I totally get you on the simplicity factor – my favorite outfits are often the most “boring” :)
Outfit #2 – I agree there’s something off about the silk tank under the button-down, though I can’t pin it. Maybe it’s the white on white that just doesn’t quite look right? I wonder if that tank was under a more contrasting shirt/sweater that added a bit of a texture and coziness (e.g., a cozy flannel or slouchy sweater in non-white), I feel like it’d work better. Of course that’d also add warmth, which I’m not sure if you need down in Tx!
I’ve decided to use this 10 piece limit for my trip to upstate New York next week. But mine will be 5 tops, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 jackets and 1 pair of ankle boots. It’s still 10. :)
The best thing about your posts this past week: the “aha” moment where I realized why the concept of styling outfits has always intimidated me so much…its because I always associated styling with fashion mag spreads, which tend not to translate to real life. You know, three different plaids, 27 accessories, impractical shoes, all in one outfit that is supposed to equal “stylish” for a given season, but would look ridiculous in the real world. You’ve shown that styling isn’t complicated and it’s changed the way I look at my closet. Thanks for that!!
ShIrley hunt says
Hi, I’ve just found your blog and loving it!! I have an outfit just like look #1 and I also wear it often and its so comfortable! I’m looking forward to Monday! Have a happy weekend! ;-))
Beautiful outfit! Those ripped jeans are perfect!
I love all your looks and am in love with the first… So simple and unfancy!
For the second, I agree it seems off but wonder if its less about the white on white and more about the shapes and colors. It seems dark on top with the hair and bandana, then white in the middle followed by blues, so it’s cutting you in thirds. Then, it’s rounded on top with a big gape and the sharp vnecks
I wonder if we all like it better without the top layer or with flannel because it simplifies the look and makes it more uniform?
Regardless, I am thrilled to see this because I bought that shirt and always wear it like look #2 because it’s too big. Yet I’m never quite happy with it, so I just dropped it at the tailor to be fitted. How fascinating! ? Now I can’t wait to wear it soon!
Note on the roll– I’ve been experimenting with folding the cuff before rolling with great success. I think if you try folding the bottom of the pants over on themselves first (like you did on the front after rolling) to get a crease then roll the cuff you’ll get a casual, messy cuff that holds up well. This is hard to explain in writing… It’s often referred to as an 80s roll.
And I love the re-styling posts. Those are what keep me coming back!
That white button-down shirt looks so comfy even though I’m not really best friends with that kind of clothing. My boobs aren’t that big at all but they always manage to look “too big” because of those buttons. But the fit of yours looks just perfect! Lovely outfits xx
Tanya E says
Both outfits are lovely, but if it doesn’t feel like you…
I think you’re right about the shirt over the cami and it’s perhaps the shapes. Shirt over a more fitted top would change the proportions but I love the white with the bandana, I’m like you with heels, though, I walk around lots and only really wear them a few hours at a time for socialising.
I’m pretty sure I love wearing white as much as you. I recently tried switched to a non-aluminium deodorant to make sure my white shirts weren’t left with nasty yellow stains after a lot of wear. However I haven’t found one (a deodorant) that really works for me yet and I’m going back to regular old degree. Do you use aluminum-based deodorants and if so, how do you deal with the eventual yellow stains on your white shirts?
Try Jason or Toms. I haven’t had any trouble with stains
Sheila Durey says
Love your blog!! I am always nodding in agreement as I read your posts. I would have graded your outfits exactly the same, even your body language in the second outfit conveys your discomfort. It took me years and copious amounts of money buying clothes to realize I feel most comfortable with simple minimal outfits. It also takes effort and time to find that right feel and style that becomes one’s signature. Thank you for celebrating all things un-fancy and making them true gems!
I love your personal style! I am currently working on making my first capsule wardrobe. Can I ask how tall you are? There are some pieces of yours that I love, but I worry they would look funny on my 5’3 frame. Thanks for the inspiration!
Jan Marie says
I’m pretty sure Caroline is shorter than her lithe frame makes her appear. I remember reading it somewhere here once and having a How fascinating! moment of my own. I think she’s like 5’5″
Jan Marie says
Yep, I was right, 5’5″ Found the post, scroll down to comments: http://www.un-fancy.com/outfits/fall-outfits/4-34/
Hey Cat! As mentioned, I’m not much taller than you at 5’5″. Good luck with your capsule! :) xo, Caroline
I love the way you break down your analysis of each outfit. It makes me wonder what outfits I might love more from my wardrobe if I just changed out an item.
Jan Marie says
Caroline! I found an old post (told you I was scouring the archives!) wherein you also layered cream on white (http://www.un-fancy.com/outfits/summer-outfits/layered-whites-jeans/) and comparatively, what I notice here is the *ease* factor is lost, and I think that’s what you’re responding to.
So I think it’s a matter of structure v softness. Your outfits generally fit into two categories: structured but minimal/simple, or curves/flowing but layered. This look is trying to combine a structured piece in a non-minimal fashion, and it’s falling short because it seems *fussy*—and Un-fancy is definition un-fussy!
That’s why you love it when you take it down to the cami: it fits into the minimal category again.
The old post I linked to has even *more* layers, but the beaded necklace is long, round beads, and tassles (flowy), the overshirt has extra fabric that falls over your sides like waves (flowy), and the gathered neckline on your tank creates a gentle taper down and out (flowy). That’s why it’s a success!
I also think combining the *double*wrapped scarf just adds to the already-fussy factor. And because of how tightly it’s tied, it reads like a collar, another tickmark in the “structured” category… while still adding an additional layer.
So to sum up:
structured pieces + simple/minimal combos = winning!
soft/flowy pieces + layering = winning!
structured pieces + layering = Caroline rates her outfit a D
Would love to see you prove this wrong though. ;) I know you love a challenge!