Outfit: Playing The Long Game

Eileen Fisher duster cardigan, Goyard bag

I popped out for a quick sidewalk sashay yesterday. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up my wonderful photographer, just had a couple of new things I wanted to share ASAP.

I’ve had a duster-length wool cardigan in my wardrobe for a few seasons now and love it. But I was also happy to run across this updated and lighter weight version in viscose. The fabric has such nice drape and swing, and it can be machine washed. The side slits lighten the look a bit, I think. A long outer layer can be slimming and lengthening. I’m 5’1″ and wearing size XXS in this duster cardigan.

vintage French medallion necklaces

vintage French bee medallion

The stone bead necklace and bracelet are from the new French Kande “Madeleine” collection. (Both gifted.) I love anything with a French bee… The chain necklace is from a prior collection, and is one of my favorite layering pieces!

Eileen Fisher duster cardigan

Wearing: cardigan | top | necklace | necklace |
bracelet | jeans | bag (similar) | sandals (similar)

(As you can see, I had a bit of wind to contend with, which I think confused my camera’s auto-focus just a bit…)

“Skinny jeans are dead, long live skinny jeans!” As much as the fashion world has tried to bury skinnies over the last few seasons in favor of other styles, I don’t think they’re going anywhere. They help balance out a more voluminous top, and work well with a variety of footwear styles. A slim-leg style accomplishes the same objectives. I love grey jeans as an alternative to denim or black.

I’m still intent on finding a white bag, and am test-driving this one. Just about every leather bag I’ve tried was heavier than I prefer, so am now looking at canvas and nylon styles.

Do you wear duster-length cardigans or jackets?

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  1. LeeAnn
    February 24, 2017 / 3:51 am

    Fabulous outfit. You look great. I only wear skinny jeans, so I hope they’re always around no matter what the current trend may be.

  2. Jan
    February 24, 2017 / 3:55 am

    I have a few sleeveless versions as well as the cardi style like yours and your love them but always wear them with a medium heel as I am only 161cm . I love the way you have put your outfit together and will definitely have to treat myself to a piece of the French kande jewellery- it is exquisite.

  3. February 24, 2017 / 3:57 am

    I have a navy cotton duster that I bought on my first trip to Paris, in 1985. It is still fashionable (no shoulder pads) and still looks great. The length is satisfyingly dramatic. Talk about a good investment!

  4. Elizabeth Bennett
    February 24, 2017 / 4:04 am

    Hi Susan
    Is the duster petite or regular size. I too am on the shorter side–160cm

    • Susan B
      February 24, 2017 / 5:53 am

      Hi Elizabeth, this is the regular size.

  5. DGW
    February 24, 2017 / 5:36 am

    I too love skinny jeans, and for the same reason that you do–my height of 5″ 1 1/2″, 125 lb. I’ve had grey jeans for several years, but want narrower ones than the straights I have. Prefer high-rise/high waisted ones for comfort. Have tried Levi’s 721, which for the price aren’t bad at all, but the waist was too large. Any suggestions that aren’t $189 like today’s jeans? I’m a size 6-8 in pants, depending on the stretch factor. I’m from New England, but enjoy your California style, and your packing and travel tips. Keep ’em coming! Thanks!

    • Jude
      February 24, 2017 / 5:39 pm

      Think I already advised Express extreme stretch jean legging midrise .grey, white other colors. They are the best I am similar size and get 6 Short. Get when on sale two for one.

      • Jude
        February 24, 2017 / 7:49 pm

        Check now the grey midrise extreme stretch jean legging on sale BOGO. $ 79
        Make sure midrise. Search it and skip all the rip jeans. I don’t work for them or anyone but these jeans are great.

  6. Martha.
    February 24, 2017 / 5:37 am

    Long dusters look like Harry Potter

    • Susan B
      February 24, 2017 / 5:53 am

      Cool! 😉

      • Jude
        February 24, 2017 / 5:29 pm

        Love long dusters!!

  7. February 24, 2017 / 5:50 am

    Great look, Susan. I, too, love a long topper. I have a few in different colors, and like how they add just a bit of drama to a simple outfit. Love your style.

  8. Cher
    February 24, 2017 / 6:29 am

    Susan, try Brahmin for a white bag. I think you are familiar with the brand. I believe you will find one there. You might also,check Gigi online.

  9. Lisa
    February 24, 2017 / 6:31 am

    I love long tops, too. I have 2 right now, but both are sweaters. I love the lighter look of your viscose one in this post. Just the thing for the spring that I’m sure is coming! Love your styling!

  10. Susan
    February 24, 2017 / 6:47 am

    I love users.My problem is having to put a winter coat over it,ruining the look

  11. Garden Goddess
    February 24, 2017 / 7:58 am

    I think those shoes go especially well with that duster. Bravo!

  12. Jane
    February 24, 2017 / 8:01 am

    You look wonderful. I am a bit short for dusters but I do the look with a shorter open version.

  13. plutrell
    February 24, 2017 / 8:24 am

    This is my kind of style. I am wearing my tanks longer and longer these days, but fortunately still have the height to do so. I also recommend the long Eileen Fisher tanks…they are great. You look lovely and I would wear this all in a heartbeat!!

  14. Daniella Karo
    February 24, 2017 / 9:20 am

    Good look! One should make sure that the length should be several inches above the ankle otherwise one would mimic a monk!

  15. Joanna
    February 24, 2017 / 10:16 am

    I don’t think skinnies are going anywhere. They are great with tall boots and are a nice alternative to leggings for those long tops.
    I bought a long sweater last spring and have yet to wear it. I think I was confused on how to style it. Obviously with skinny jeans and a fitted tee. Bring on the nice weather!

  16. February 24, 2017 / 10:32 am

    I like that we can have a variety of pant widths to play with – anything goes! I adore dusters – I have a boho fringed one, and a sheer burn-out velvet Armani one (thrifted for $6.00!). They are so fun for creating a long, lean look, and they give great coverage of upper arms (a factor both for my age and my tattoos, ha ha!). Also, Drama! Lovely look, Susan!

  17. Cinzia
    February 24, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    Clever styling — this definitely gives you height.

    I haven’t tried any of the new EF tencel knit pieces yet — do you like the feel?

    • Susan B
      February 24, 2017 / 12:37 pm

      Hi Cinzia, yes, I really love the softness. The fabric seems to have good stretch recovery too, doesn’t stretch out. Cold water wash, no dryer. They line dry in a few hours.

  18. Ming
    February 24, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    Love skinny jeans and narrow legged pants. I have given up large handbags. I have a tote with everything in it which I keep in my car or carry into my office. But in the tote is a mini bag which holds my phone (with credit cards) a little cash and my lipstick and keys. I pull it out and wear it crossbody. Hands free, no longer shoulder strain.

    • Verónica
      February 24, 2017 / 12:40 pm

      Great idea!

    • February 25, 2017 / 5:29 pm

      I need a larger bag when I’m not on my bicycle with its panniers (no car; walking, métro or bus). I have a very lightweight crossbody bag in green from Patagonia. And a dressier laptop bag for working at conferences and other events, red.

      I’d never wear such a thing, pretty and graceful though it is, on the bicycle, and wouldn’t it also be dangerous if driving? I guess you just have to be very certain that everything is inside! One doesn’t want to end up like Isadora Duncan!

  19. Verónica
    February 24, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    Great outfit! I am always confused with petite sizes. I am also short (5’2) and usually wear size ¨S” Regular. If I order petite should I go for a medium petite or should I go for small petite?

    • Susan B
      February 24, 2017 / 12:41 pm

      Hi Veronica, Thanks! I find that I usually go up one size when I shift from Misses to Petites. So if I’m usually an XS in Misses, when buying Petites I go for Small Petite. That said it really depends on the the cut of the garment and my preferences. I have occasionally purchased the Petite XS if the cut is very generous, or even gone up to Petite Medium in some brands or pieces.

  20. February 24, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    Your “all gray” look, underneath the duster, is simple and looks great. I have a soft spot for GRAY jeans. I shouldn’t admit this, but my first skinnies were from Forever21 –because I took my daughter there, and she convinced me to buy a pair for myself! I loved those jeans 🙂 This duster is brilliant—it makes you look so tall.

  21. Anonymous
    February 24, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Love the nylon pliage. I have the largest size nylon one that you can take on board as hand luggage. But generally keep it folded up in my medium – it’s just there in case the airline staff say “No, only one bag, including your handbag” as they sometimes do (specially for some reason when flying out of Paris), even when you’re travelling Business. That way I can take it out and put both inside the big pliage. And even add tax free items. Suddenly there’s just one bag. Works so well. But I don’t usually wear a pliage for everyday – mostly keep them for travel as their zippered top is so much more secure when bags go through the security tunnel than bags that don’t seal at the top, including the LV neverfull. Last year I put my brand new jumbo Chanel classic flap inside for the flights home. It’s amazingly capacious and protects good bags from travel scratches.

    Normally when in France (and at home) I carry one of my collection of Vanessa Bruno totes (as well as wearing a small crossbody bag for wallet, glasses etc). Love these – now have them in black, charcoal, dark blue tiger stripe, amber, and brown and beige animal print. Prefer them in tough linen but also have a canvas one. I now buy a new one in a different colour every visit to France. Last year bought one for my DIL who loves it! They’re very popular in France – many Frenchwomen wear them. Best wishes, Pamela

  22. Erika
    February 24, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    Love long cardigans, but it’s a bit of a struggle to find good quality ones that fit a larger, muscly upper arm. They really are one of the big ticket items, but so worth while!

  23. Kate
    February 24, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    I have a confession to make: I actually prefer your old-style snapshots — i.e., the ones of you taken on the sidewalk outside your home (at least I assume that’s where they are taken). The new ones, while lovely, just aren’t as …. I don’t know….authentic? charming? In any event, no need to apologize for not having a professional photo. Love the duster.

    • Susan B
      February 25, 2017 / 6:41 pm

      Hi Kate, thanks for the feedback. I’ll continue to include both types of photos.

  24. February 24, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    Love the duster. I have a few Kipling bags now as these are lighter than my leather bags. I do remove the furry monkey charm that comes with them!

  25. February 25, 2017 / 7:50 am

    Hi, I’m a first time visitor – Julia from When the Girls Rule suggested I stop by as we were talking about using a tripod for blog selfies. But now that I’m here I love your style as well and will certainly be back!

    I also love grey jeans (they’ll be one of my new additions for spring) and duster length toppers. My beloved black one has been missing since last summer and there are so many times I have an outfit on and think “oh this needs the black duster” and then…sadface. Sigh. And I just KNOW that as soon as I spend the money to replace it…the original will resurface!

    I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future!


  26. February 25, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    Huge fan of duster length cardigans and the three I have get a lot of use. Looking for one in a light blush or lightweight true navy blue, so Susan, if you come across any please post! Love the look!

    • Annette Ryan Kleinhenz
      March 5, 2017 / 7:52 pm

      Check out J Jill for the blush and navy.

  27. JMS
    February 25, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    I love how the shades of black and gray work together in this outfit, and how the jewelry complements them! Inspiration for the coming week.

  28. February 25, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Had one with the side slots. They got caught on everything… including in the car door too many times.

  29. Marie
    February 26, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    Wonderful outfit, wonderful photo. I have gotten so much use out of the gray jeans I bought a few years ago. I believe I was inspired by your blog to make that purchase, so thank you! I prefer straight legs to skinnies, since my runners’ calves mean that skinnies are often way too tight.

  30. Annette Ryan Kleinhenz
    March 5, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I love the Eileen Fisher pieces and wear them more than anything else but I recently found some very nice long tanks and long cardigans in great colors and neutrals at J Jill, so thought I’d share.

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