Casual Vendredi: Balancing Act

creating outfit balance between feminine and masculine elements, Saint Laurent Downtown Cabas bagOn the style continuum between “girly girl” and “tomboy,” my comfort zone is somewhere in the middle. I feel most myself when I can achieve a balance between feminine and masculine elements in an outfit.

Above: earrings | scarf | jacket | top | bracelet |
bracelet | jeans | bag | shoes | lips | fragrance

Balance between soft and structured elements is essential too. And I find that mixing levels of formality, rough and polished within the same outfit, is another kind of balance that appeals to me. It can be tricky to keep it from looking slapdash, though. I’m still fine-tuning my formula.

How do you find balance in your style?

Bon weekend!

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12 Comments

  1. February 10, 2017 / 4:05 am

    I am drawn to very formal, feminine clothes, but they just don’t suit my lifestyle, which is on the go. And I have found that with age, I am less inclined to wear things that aren’t comfortable, which results in lots of pants, jeans, flats and practical coats–more masculine stuff. A pretty scarf and a few colors can help give me the feminine touch I long for while keeping the practical side.

  2. Debra
    February 10, 2017 / 5:48 am

    Ah – I have all the pieces in your photo, so I know what I’m wearing to work today (I’ll be in my office at the university). Thank you!

  3. February 10, 2017 / 5:51 am

    Bon jour! I’m 67 and still rock in’ my jeans (probably 15 pair of all styles!) and striped shirts. Oh, I can doll it up if needed, but that inner tomboy still lives on. I actually receive lots of compliments on my casual, classic style and have had friends ask me to take them jean shopping!

  4. February 10, 2017 / 7:19 am

    Like you, I prefer that middle ground between masculine and feminine in my wardrobe choices. Although I generally start with pieces that are more classic (masculine?) and then add the pizzaz with feminine touches. I love the juxtaposition and “surprise” of wearing pearls with distressed jeans (as an example). Fun stuff, and I love your selections above.

  5. Cathy D.
    February 10, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Susan, this is a great outfit for the way most of us of all ages live now. I especially like the fact that, thanks to the accessories, it still looks complete once you take off the jacket.

  6. Sheri Baker
    February 10, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    Susan, I love this look! I bought the olive jacket from Nordstrom based on one of your posts last year and I absolutely love it and plan to wear it on my trip to Italy this spring! Btw, do you wear a camisole/tank top under your blouses, shirts, etc.? I feel the need to have something tucked into my pants, keeps the shirts from riding up and exposing parts I don’t want exposed. Do you have any recommendations for this? I’ve tried a few “shaping” camisoles, but the ones I’ve tried are very snug (which I know is the point) but not as comfortable to wear as a tank top. Thanks!

    • Minerva
      February 11, 2017 / 3:35 am

      Sheri, I can’t leave the house without a Uniqlo camisole these days. There are different ranges for summer and winter, both brilliant.

    • Susan B
      February 11, 2017 / 7:11 am

      Hi Sheri, yes most days I wear one of the Eileen Fisher silk camisoles or tanks underneath my tops and sweaters. I love these for travel too. They can be washed in the sink and dry overnight, and I find they help keep my tops fresher longer.

  7. February 10, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    Love the look! Once described as biker ballerina, I have been a fan of girly tomboy dressing for years. You do it well and this inspiration is divine!

  8. Anne G
    February 11, 2017 / 3:06 am

    This is definitely my look. I have all these pieces and wear similar items almost all the time. For me it’s a perfect combination of comfort and casual style and is just right for my lifestyle.

  9. Nancy
    February 15, 2017 / 3:39 am

    Advice on what top of striped top (if there is one) that would not make someone with a large bust look larger? wide stripes? skinny stripes? Love the look but have always stayed away because I was afraid it just made me look bigger. Thank you. Pics or links would be very helpful

    • Susan B
      February 15, 2017 / 5:20 pm

      Hi Nancy, one option is to try a v-neck striped top like this one: http://bit.ly/2llwzKZ

      Another option is to wear the striped top underneath an open cardigan, jacket or vest.

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