25 February 2011 – Work With What You’ve Got

February 25th, 2011 § 17 comments

Work With What You've Got


  • Cardigan: H&M, thrifted
  • Tunic: Tucker for Target
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Wedges: Lauren by Ralph Lauren

End Notes:

I didn’t come up with this outfit on my own. I really should have. After all, both this tunic and cardigan were in my 30 for 30 capsule wardrobe. Thankfully, the one-that-got-away was reeled back in once I looked at my wardrobe with fresh eyes, having “shopped” for ideas elsewhere. (And yes, I just used a fishing metaphor. I’m not sure why since I have no real point of reference for that.)

For me, playing with Banana Republic’s spring line was like getting to play in someone else’s closet. Someone who gets to wear a lot of silk. In that closet, it was a no-brainer to top off this ruffled, red-orange print top with a structured military jacket while keeping things sleek and simple on the bottom with jeans and statement heels.

Ruffles In Command


What made the outfit for me was the combination of voluminous ruffles under military structure, and I immediately started thinking about how I could translate to the clothes already in my closet.

Now, let’s be honest. My own jeans, though cheaper, are doing my legs lots of favors. That’s why I own them. As for the top, I knew I didn’t own something with such¬†peplum-like ruffles at the bottom. But, I wondered if I could tweak this Tucker for Target tunic to mimic the effect. A hidden belt and some strategic blousing let me adjust the length of the tunic to the optimal hip-mitigating length. I think the trick here was making sure that the “blousing line” of the tunic was noticeably higher than the bottom edge of the cardigan, creating a play with proportions rather than a heavy horizontal line.¬†And that’s the best thing about re-interpreting outside inspiration for the garments you already own! You already know that your pieces fit and flatter you or you know how to use them to their best advantage. I love it when an outfit comes together as a mix of new inspiration and old favorites.

Work With What You've Got DSC_9848

Thanks for indulging our dress-up this week. It was a treat to take a little bit of a week off from daily photos and to show you some of our inspiration for the coming season.

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§ 17 Responses to 25 February 2011 – Work With What You’ve Got"

  1. Great re-interpretation! I love your Tucker tunic, and the way you belted it really gives it a great shape. Nicely done!

  2. Stacey says:

    I am so drawn to gray and red together. These looks are soo great today

  3. Oh I LOVE this. Especially appreciate both pics, so we can see how the idea started.

  4. Mrs.M in MI says:

    Do you mind telling me the cut/style of your jeans, if they might still be available? I am trying to replace a beloved pair of Gap jeans that don’t exist anymore, and these might be a candidate. Thanks very much!

  5. Wendy says:

    I love it when you do stuff like this. One of the greatest pleasures in life is seeing an amazing outfit in a magazine, catalogue, online or wherever and going into your own closet and realizing you already have everything you need to capture a similar look.
    Always love what you put together!

  6. Evie says:

    What a great post. I like the explanation of your thought process and how you styled your blouse to match the one at the store. Genius (as usual)!

  7. Jackie says:

    I really like that ruffled orange top. Cute outfit!

  8. Grace says:

    I honestly love your version more than the BR version. You look fantastic!

  9. Laura says:

    This looks great! I like your version a lot better than BRs. :)

  10. Rebecca says:

    That is a great take on the BR outfit. It is perfect for a Friday.

  11. Those old navy jeans look awesome! I always have a hard time with their denim, but they look so cute and comfy on you. Happy Fridaaaay!

  12. Carey says:

    Cute! I think I like your closet’s version better even! Really like the Old Navy jeans too – do you know which style they are?

  13. Nadine says:

    Your at-home version is way better – I love the stronger, bolder colours. Goodness me, you are one stylish woman.

  14. Helena says:

    This is a great side-by-side to show off the inspiration and outcome. This is how one should think when interpeting magazines to your own wardrobe.

  15. Terri says:

    I like the version you came up with at home better!

  16. Marina says:

    One more person who needs to know the style of your ON jeans!

  17. [...] Dear wondering readers, those jeans I wore at the end of last week are my Old Navy maternity jeans (demi band, straight cut — not currently available). [...]

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