Like a favorite holiday destination that always delights, it's helpful to have an outfit formula that lights you up and never lets you down. My favorite equation for fall: a three-piece combination of cardigan, sleeveless shell, and midi skirt. It has the flexibility to adapt throughout the day, and you can create an exponential amount of outfits from just a few choices--especially great for travel and small closets.
The cardigan is the key piece for marrying coziness and polish. Again, lots of flexibility here: longline or cropped, jewel- or v-neck, buttons or open-front. An (optional) elastic belt anchors the look.
Cardigan: Land's End / Shell: Land's End / Skirt: my own handiwork, shop similar
Scarf: Calvin Klein, shop similar / Boots: born, shop similar
Necklace: Tip Top, similar here
Sleeveless blouses with a crew neck can be pretty hard to find in satin and chiffon, so I often buy short-sleeve tees and carefully crop the sleeves off. Since it's mostly undercover, this layer is a safe haven for loud prints and daring colors.
Cardigan: Nic+Zoe / Shell: Land's End / Skirt: thrifted, shop similar
Headscarf: my own handiwork, shop similar / Necklace: J.Crew, shop similar
Boots: Easy Spirit (not pictured)
The midi skirt rounds out the trifecta by balancing the volume of the cardigan. A full, pleated skirt is a prime partner for a fitted button-down; a fluid duster calls for a tailored pencil skirt.
Cardigan: Garnet Hill, shop similar / Shell: Land's End / Skirt: Junee's, shop similar here and here
Scarf: Echo, shop similar / Boots: Kenneth Cole Reaction, shop similar
These simple separates will carry you through the heavier months with aplomb. Having just a few of each kind will take you far. If your wardrobe skews toward solid-colored garments, it will be all the more foolproof. An effortless uniform for a thoughtful lady like you.
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