January 31, 2022
A blazer or a cardigan? Or a “sweater-blazer,” which seems to be the best of both worlds? You get to choose, but I think many of us agree that a classic second layer is pretty important this time of year!
Why yes, these ARE the same pants and shoes as last Monday’s post; this is about building a wardrobe, not starting from scratch every week!
If you were only going to have just ONE second layer garment, you could do worse than this:
If you’ve wanted to introduce some camel into your wardrobe, this is a great way to do it! You don’t have to wear it right next to your face, you can brighten up the look with a scarf and earrings…
If you wear lots of shades of grey and struggle to find something to wear over them, don’t forget that black is perfect! And some whimsical jewelry makes the day a bit brighter, too!
If a lovely shade of rust catches your eye, and you’re devoted to warmer shades, don’t hesitate!
It looks a little bit like a black suit, but when you introduce a softly pretty tee shirt, and a great little scarf, it’s a whole different thing…
Of course, wearing a 2nd layer doesn’t have to be AT ALL dressy – even the most relaxed outfit might need something cozy!
I have both a black blazer and a black and white tweed blazer – I’m thinking of getting the tweed one lined… Do you know anybody in Chicago who can put a lining in a blazer? I will pay handsomely!
And yes, I have cardigans. The grey with black stars cardigan, a black cashmere blazer-style cardigan, and a pink J.Crew blazer-cardigan from 2 years ago. They get worn a LOT…
p.s. Four years ago, we were revisiting our medieval architectural symbolism expert, with the gloriously posh black, red and green wardrobe. I want to meet this woman!
The koala scarf is beautiful, whimsical, delightful!
PS You don’t want to know how many cardigans I own. (I kind of got carried away)
I’m with you AK – I have a ton of cardigans. I love them. I saw that Koala scarf yesterday when I was looking for something else. Did a double take! I love the pink and black, and also the navy blue. Always look forward to M,W,F. Can’t wait to see what’s next for the six scarves posting on Wednesday! Cheers.
PS Can anyone tell me – is silk/twill slippery or not? I know my silk/wool scarfs are not slippery and very nice to wear. Not sure about silk/twill? Thanks!
Twill is a weave. The silk is still slippery. I love the wool/silk combo though. Not slippery, not scratchy or bulky!
Twill is just the way it’s woven, with a pronounced diagonal texture. Twill scarves are supposedly easier to keep knotted because the diagonal fibers “catch” on each other and hold the know in place. It makes sense, and I don’t have any trouble with my twill scarves coming unknotted… Your mileage may vary!
Thank so much!
MARY E JACKSON says
Didn’t you say you know a sewing group? Why don’t you ask them! If you want to mail it to Maryland, I would love to help! Mary J
Good luck finding someone to line your blazer! I have one that I would love to have lined, but every tailor I have contacted has told me it’s not possible.
Linda P says
Hi Janice! Thank you for the post. I find, for me, blazers are one of those fashion pieces that get stored in the armoire for ‘fancy’ or more professional occasions that do not involve paint or glue. I have many lovely ones waiting for me in various styles and colors.
I have to give a BIG shout out for Lands End turtlenecks. They come in different ‘weights’ and ‘fit’ and have held up well for me (and I am tough on clothes). I am currently wearing one w a grey snowflake pattern with my grey marl sweater. Plus they are on SALE right now!
My second layer is a fleece jacket, at this time of year. I like a second layer that fastens up the front. Sadly, the rust red cardigan does not. Otherwise, it’s a great color. I got the rust red cotton turtleneck from LandsEnd and it’s wonderful. The green blazer calls to me but I just don’t think I’d wear it.
Before covid, I wore more cardigans but now it’s fleece jackets. Great post. Thanks.
Fully agree here on the need for front closing outer layers in winter! Currently in double layered thin and thick fleece here.
Sally in St Paul says
The koala scarf, owl pin, and Tiffany scarf are superstar accessories! The navy cardigan with white buttons is perfect with the striped top; those buttons are such a small touch but really ramp up the look.
Years ago, I loved my wool blazers, but I never had anything as luxurious as that green tweed. That outfit is so attractive. I would wear any and all of these scarves and find the navy stripe tee with the navy sweater to be a fresh twist. You are not helping me define my wardrobe today. I’m more like a kid in a candy store!
Ooh…love the owl pin & yes to cardigans. Though I have to add that one thing I just tried this month for a different take on the 2nd layer was a 1940s style short & close-fit wool jumper vest over a bishop sleeve button-up crepe rayon blouse. Really shocked at how warm & comfy it was…and didn’t worry about dragging a cardigan sleeve through pencil marks & needing to wash after just one wear. I still love my ivory cardigans & would never give up on them…though am going to keep an eye out for another jumper vest as it was so practical with a dark blouse.
A well-done lining is a beautiful thing!
I’ve had wonderful experiences with Rainbow Cleaner in Andersonville, including putting a lining in my husband’s button-up leather jacket: https://www.yelp.com/biz/rainbow-dry-cleaner-chicago.
We also had good luck with Advanced Cleaners in Humboldt Park, who altered our wedding clothes: https://nicelocal.com/chicago/utility_service/advanced_cleaners/
Rainbow would be my first stop. Hope it works for you if you venture up to the neighborhood!
Beth T says
The koala scarf is cute.
However, anyone who pays $500 (£385) for a tweed jacket WITHOUT a lining has more money than sense. There are plenty of tweed jackets under, $200 (£150l) which ARE lined. The lining makes it comfortable and helps it to keep its structure and shape.
Beth T says
There are times when we sometimes lack confidence in our outfit choices or believe that we are being judged on our appearance or can’t help but compare ourselves with people who just seem to look amazing even if they are wearing a bin bag.
This evening I read a profound poem on an FB site called Poetry Lovers. It’s called NOT by ERIN HANSON jand describes who we truly are. Thought I’d share. Look it up online. It’s on various sites.
Thank you! My mother gave me a magnet in my 20’s, which I still have 40 years later “It is not what you are that holds you back… but what you think you are not”…
That poem is so beautiful, thanks for sharing Beth!!
As I have a more casual wardrobe, I tend toward cardigans and flannel/denim shirts (no plaids, thank you). Most are open with a “waterfall”-style collar. I did recently add a button navy cardi from Lands End (Slounge) in a jersey knit…so comfy! I love to see the more “dressy” wardrobes you create, I just wish I had that type of lifestyle, sometimes. :)
I have a navy knit blazer from Uniqlo (via ThredUp) that I have never worn – I am a stay-at-home mom and don’t have a reason to be dressy – but every time I put it on I remember why I bought it! The fit is perfect and it’s just exactly my style, if I had somewhere to go :) I’ll figure out how to wear it in my casual lifestyle eventually. Any tips for incorporating dressier items into a casual wardrobe would be much appreciated!
Although I go to work twice a week, I’m also a mom and know what you mean!! I have 2 blazers one more dressy than the other. Don’t wear often sometimes for kind of lacking the occasion ad other like now for the weather still being too cold to wear by itself and too uncomfortable layered under a coat or puffy jacket. On the other hand, my cardigans are being worn a lot! But when spring comes I intend to dress them down a bit with nice fitting jeans and sneakers. I think another reason why I don’t wear them so much is that I relate blazers to suits and that always seems way too dressy for me (growing up in the nineties does NOT help in this area).
Have a nice Tuesday everyone!
Thank you Arwen! That might be my issue too – I also grew up in the 90s and blazers just say “dressy” to me (even when they’re not). I am not a fan of cardigans, but I love structured jackets, and have a few that are my go-tos. Maybe I just need to keep playing dress-up with the blazer until I figure out how to wear it in a way that is more comfortable for me.
Jackie Katz says
I love the Koala scarf and the first outfit!
Since the pandemic, I wear fleece jackets on a daily basis because I work from home. I occasionally will wear a nice cardigan sweater for a zoom call, otherwise my cardigans are languishing in my closet! I still have 2 jackets from my corporate work life that I will wear once I loose my COVID weight!
Anna, a simple blazer looks great in the spring and fall as an altermative to a jacket worn with jeans and a plain tee for errands – grocery store, dentist, doctor. My big pet peeve is seeing ratty tees & baggy sweatpants or leggings that I wouldn’t even wear to scrub the bath worn in a public venue. No matter how busy a mom can be, I think she teaches a lesson in self confidence and respect when she takes a moment to make sure her clothes are neat, clean & presentable in a simple way that says she repects herself & others. My mom was a homemaker & always made sure to be presentable in a practical way. Dress for your taste and you’ll find a way to make your lovely nice pieces fit your life so they work. The Mr & I joined a lot of activities just so we would have a reason to dress up on a regular basis.
Thank you Kari! I appreciate the suggestions. I have found this to be true: “No matter how busy a mom can be, I think she teaches a lesson in self confidence and respect when she takes a moment to make sure her clothes are neat, clean & presentable in a simple way that says she repects herself & others.” I spent way too many years putting my own appearance last, and it has been quite a journey over the past year or so finding my style and learning to prioritize my own appearance again. It does make a difference.
It seems sometimes that society takes the SuperMom title to an extreme making women feel bad about taking any time for themselves which is a shame because a person who neglects her needs does no favors to her family. I’m so glad you get to take time for you now & wish you all the luck with your wardrobe journey. It can be hard. I’m struggling with how to blend the vintage cuts I love with today’s favored looks that are really wrong for my shape and taste.