June 15, 2020
My plans for this were so good, I thought for sure that I could find lovely linen shirts for everybody! Normally, this time of year, stores are FULL of linen, silk or cotton “overshirts,” which is exactly what I had in mind for this wardrobe addition…
But NOT this year – things are selling out quickly so I had to do a little bit of scrambling… Thus, we’ve got ruanas and cardigans and shirts and kurtas…
It was pretty straightforward finding toppers that will work with the growing wardrobes built around these 6 scarves:
The thing that convinces me that this layer is useful? The fact that everybody I know with a car keeps a cardigan in the back seat ALL SUMMER!
Oh how I WISH someone would make shorts like this in black and white, or black, white and pink…
Did someone say boho? Is this the kind of thing you were would consider to qualify?
I love the simplicity of this, and the melting earrings!
If you don’t like a LOT of red on your feet, maybe really simple, minimal sandals like this are better for you?
This one confounds me – I love this outfit, but the ruana is burgundy, and the tank top is apricot? Color names are evil!
This last outfit is perfect for me; if you don’t dare wear a button-front shirt, I encourage you to try one of these. I have 2 of these shirts and I love them! I feel very crisp and classic when I wear one.
Since I’m so smitten with that pointelle cardigan, it seemed like the logical garment to put into this wardrobe. My suitcase is calling out for these pieces:
We’re getting close to the end! Time flies, when it’s not standing ABSOLUTELY STILL…
Do you like more traditional cardigan-type 2nd layers, or are you open to things like a shirt, or even a ruana? I’m curious about which of these appeals…
p.s. Five years ago, I considered the concept of traveling with 9 garments that could give you 45 different combinations. It’s fascinating…
Love love love
I get such inspiration
From your posts
My neutral 2nd layer for the summer seems to always be my denim shirt. I’ve never tried a ruana or kimono, I really don’t like things that are too flowy,. I would consider that pointelle cardigan, I love that. But I would be afraid of snagging it if it was something I would be taking on and off. I was out with my husband yesterday and the weather was on the cooler side but when the sun popped out it was warm so my denim shirt was on and off constantly.
Beth T says
Thank you for including the ruanas. It’s nice to see an alternative to cardigans. I favour sheer kimonos and lacy boleros with short or 3/4 sleeves in the summer to put on over a dress.
Wearing a shirt over a tee idea is useful for my country walks capsule. Saturday was a warm, muggy but windy day. T-shirt and jeans but too warm for a jumper. My check shirt with sleeves that can be rolled and secured with a strap and button on the sleeve was ideal. As the weather changed and got windier and cooler during our walk, I began with it loose with sleeves rolled up, then buttoned up, then sleeves rolled down. It rained later.
Non-essential shops in England are allowed to open from today. At my local shopping centre, not all the shops were open but I went into one clothes shop that has reopened and noticed several open-knit jumpers and cardigans.
Sadly the main shoe shop was being stripped out. It’s a well known brand and sells very good leather shoes and boots plus has a fitting service for children’s shoes. So anyone needing decent shoes and boots this winter or new school shoes will have to travel to the big town thus taking more trade away from local shops.
Thankfully the independent jewellers has weathered the storm and had a constant stream of customers whilst I was in there.
I’ve just last year started wearing button down shirts as a topper and love the functionality. My issue has always been the “crisp” factor. Though I love the look of a crisp shirt, my body demands a soft shirt. I look for a knit shirt with roll-up sleeves and button tabs as that style is extremely versatile, as beth t points out. I’ve also been experimenting with loosely woven shirts and find that they become much more comfortable after multiple washings so I tend to wash them 5 or 6 times before ever wearing them to get them to that soft enough stage. The extra effort is worth it for the value they add to my wardrobe.
Sally in St Paul says
Lena, I had no idea that a knit button up shirt was a thing! That sounds like the perfect compromise between the more tailored appearance of a shirt and the comfort of a cardigan. I will definitely keep my eyes open!
I have a Lands End soft button down tunic that I purchased a couple of months ago. Didn’t think I’d wear a tunic very often, but I really wanted an olive colored button down so I ordered it – and I love it! It works great as a shirt or as a topper with a tank or t-shirt.
And check out Coldwater Creek for a soft knit “denim” jacket. Each season they offer several colors. White is perfect for Spring and cool summer evenings.
Lisa P says
I found a jersey knit shirt-style top that works really well on its own or as a second layer over a tank. I find that the soft drapes of the jersey makes it easy to dress up or down.
Sally in St Paul says
Oh my gosh, Lena, I hadn’t been to Coldwater Creek’s site in years. I love the knit denim jackets…I ordered (on 50% off) both white and medium denim. How perfect. Thank you! I was also pleasantly surprised by how many really cute prints they have in their no-iron shirts.
Janice, CC has nice flat lay photos on their site ;) And this shooting star sweater made me think of you…
Oooh I need to look!
I prefer cardigans and shirts as I feel they are more flattering to my body, but I like all other options on other people!
I’m thinking of buying a kimono in silk/satin just to wear at night over my short-sleeved pajamas, as I always seem to wake up with cold arms, even in hot weather… If anyone has suggestions for where to find decent ones that don’t break the bank, I’m all ears!
Love the ruanas! Just the right amount to knock traditional into creative, without being too loud.
Yes, perfectly put.
I layer with cardigans pretty much exclusively. The last time the cropped cardigan was in style, I bought a pile of silk/cotton ones in colors (cobalt, salmon, teal, etc.) and having been wearing those, usually over a black tee and black bottoms, for years. (I can hear Trinny & Susannah screaming “you must wear colour with colour!” Yeah, nope.) I’m down to the last of those, and a dotted cardy I regret buying on sale, so I hope the silhouette comes back again soon.
Beth T says
You can still find cropped cardigans if you hunt around, particularly in clothes shops and concessions aimed at the under 25’s. Also vintage and retro brands and shops often have cropped cardigans as they are popular for the 1950’s silhouette.
Many years ago, I won a place on a Trinny and Susannah roadshow. It was quite an eye-opener. As long as you went along with their ‘gentle bullying’ and didn’t resist their suggestions, it was quite good fun. They had a huge range of clothes to try on. Some ladies were utterly transformed. I did learn how to style a drop-waist skirt which were popular at the time.
If you also like boleros, I bought a couple of nice ones on Zalando in the past few years:
* https://www.zalando.it/wallis-shrug-cardigan-black-wl521i05v-q11.html – I love this one! It’s very soft and well made, and I think the buttons look nicer in real life;
* https://www.zalando.it/kaffe-astrid-bolero-cardigan-ka321i08y-b11.html – these are simpler but also very soft and good quality: I bought mine in 2016 and it still looks great.
Lisa H. says
This is a wonderful post as usual, Janice. And I love the melting earrings! Cute find. Thank you for all you do.
I finally caved and got myself a pair of those earrings for my birthday. June’s a big shopping month in my life!
Linda from Bluffton says
Another good post! I’m a goblet shape so I have a terrible time finding over-pieces. That’s probably why I have so many scarves!
I favor cardigans or actual jackets for second layers. – nancyo