Discover more from The Cereal Aisle by Leandra Medine Cohen
Easy outfits to wear when you want to look put together
What do you wear when you want to look (feel) put together, even professional or mature and kind of grown-up but not too grown up, esp when your situation is such that you work from home or (and) spend most of your time with your kids/could probably swing wearing gym shorts (cargo pants) and a sweater every day for the next month?
No season inclines me to indulge in the yearning to look like I have my shit together more than September’s back-to-school. There is something about the (Virgo?) energy of the time that makes it feel like January — as in, the new year (which, technically, for Jewish people, it is) but by a factor of 10.
(👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻Per this button👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻, it’s a 7-piece knitwear collection, with the price ranging from $185 - $280.)
Here is an entree of straightforward outfit ideas that leave enough flexibility for personality styling (that thing where you make your outfit look like something “only you” would wear). I tried to incorporate classic former season heroes in some of them, to demonstrate how to build around those too, but I’m going to start with the least straightforward/put-together look because it’s also the most fun idea I had in September. (As I write this, I realize that for as much as I wanted to look put together when I made this post, very recently has my attention shifted towards looking like I want to have fun. Maybe it’s all the rain we’ve had in New York, or the fact that it’s actually Libra season now, but I guess that will be next.)
The formula: Classic upper (in this instance blazer and crew neck) x personality skirt + casual accents (fisherman shoes and unexpected sunglasses)
Onwards to the straightforward ones:
The formula: Classic cardigan x reliable jeans (wide-leg jeans are great this time of year before coats become a factor to consider and start to weigh down all the volume) + sleek belt (for put togetherness) x contrasting color accents (rosette, shoes).
The formula: Trusted summer bottom that you could wear to a place with a dress code (in my instance, it’s the Bermuda shorts, could be something else for you) + delicate Fall piece (in this instance, the top) x direct rebellion to the previous variable (suede cowboy boots).
Put another way, you can swap out the cowboy boots for rubber flip flops, the nice top for a nice sweater (do you see the rebellion?) and wear full-length pants instead, like this:
The formula: Oversize top x tailored pants x decorative belt + practical, but still festive shoes
The formula: Matching layers of cool-weather fabric x casual accessories (suede fisherman shoes, sunglasses) + glamorous accents (gold earrings, red lipstick).
The formula: Cookiecutter office staple you can’t deny as such (grey suit jacket, suede loafers) x balls to the walls imagined undertaking (sheer net overlay, leggings) + talisman to remind you you’re you (bandana).
I think you might be able to make anything look a little more polished with a grey blazer —
The formula: Shades of office-appropriate material (shirt, skirt) x counter material removable item (suede fringe jacket, but if you’re wearing pants and a shirt for example, it could be a suede belt or shoes or something) + accent to offset the aforementioned (patent leather party shoes)
👆🏻👆🏻Here are some close-ups to further accentuate the points made above. 👆🏻👆🏻
The formula: Everyday staple (black bike shorts) + beloved winter accessory of yore (boots) x personally surprising garment to represent spirit of the incoming season (belted wool top — a silhouette I don’t typically choose)
The formula: Summer staple (lightweight cotton button-down shirt) + heavy counter (cowskin skirt) x accessories to balance the contrast (sweater to match skirt, necklaces to match top, shoes that could go either way)
The formula: Fancy dress x casual shoes
That’s all I’ve got for you this go around. Stay tuned until next week for the answer to the most burning question of the season: what does a red accent do for your outfit?
I’m signing off yours,