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  • Writer's pictureJulie Diana

The 3-Piece Modest Outfit Formula

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

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 and winter: 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. It's 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

Scarf: Calvin Klein / Boots: born

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 cut the sleeves off. Since it's mostly undercover, this layer is a safe haven for loud prints and daring colors.

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: Nic+Zoe / Shell: Land's End / Skirt: thrifted

Headscarf: my own handiwork / Necklace: J.Crew

Cardigan: Garnet Hill / Shell: Land's End / Skirt: Junee's

Scarf: Echo / Boots: Kenneth Cole Reaction

This simple 3-piece formula 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. It's an effortless uniform for a thoughtful lady like you.

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