Making it work: 2 new looks with “old” favorites

Susan B. wears a brown faux-suede jacket outfit with printed top, jeans and Clergerie laceless oxfords.

2 outfits with a faux-suede jacket…

I’ve been revisiting some older wardrobe items that I haven’t worn in a while. Even pieces I love can feel “tired” sometimes, so I put them aside for a few seasons, and come back to them with fresh eyes.

earrings | jacket (similar) | necklace | top (c/o) | ring | jeans | shoes (similar)

I purchased this Ruti faux suede jacket about 2 years ago. I loved the interesting collar shape, and that it had a snap fastening in front. Though I wore it a few times that Spring, I don’t think I ever shared it here. By the time cooler weather rolled around again, I was a bit burned out on “cascade” style jackets.

The color is a dark taupe, which is one of the neutrals in my Spring palette. When I tried it again last week, I remembered why I’d loved it so much. In addition to the interesting shape, it’s really soft and comfortable, and a perfect weight for Spring.

Similar jackets:

Those Clergerie sparkly oxfords are one of my best shoe purchases EVER. I bought them in New York City in 2016, when I was visiting to attend a cousin’s wedding, and catch some of the New York Fashion Week action. They were so comfortable I wore them right out of the box and walked miles in them the first day with nary a blister or any discomfort. They’re a lighter taupe (with sparkly gold “raindrops”) and I love how they coordinate with the jacket.

what I am wearing

French Kande jewelry stack: necklace | ring | earrings

what I am wearing

Clergerie oxfords from 2016

Similar shoes:

I really like that first outfit, but it does feel a little dark and heavy for Spring. So I swapped out the jeans and top for lighter colors. Here’s a lighter, more minimal look with the faux-suede jacket.

Susan B. wears a Ruti faux suede jacket, Eileen Fisher shell, French Kande gold jewelry, boyfriend jeans, Clergerie oxfords.

earrings (similar) | jacket (similar) | charm necklace | lariat necklace | top (similar) | jeans | shoes (similar)

Doing an exercise like this not only helps me get the most out of my wardrobe, but also reminds me where I have some gaps. For example, in the first outfit, a pair of brown or tan trousers might have been a nice alternative to the jeans. I love how a printed tee looks under a jacket, and would have loved to add one in lighter colors for the second look. I’ve had both of these on my wish list for some time, and will keep them front-of-mind when I’m shopping.

And it also reminds me not to overthink an outfit. If I’m doing a lot of “faffing” (love that word!) trying to make it look right, I know I need to pare back.

Do you put aside favorite pieces periodically, and then re-visit after a few seasons?

Stay in touch.

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32 Comments

  1. Jill
    March 22, 2021 / 3:35 am

    I don’t know if you wear it, but pink is everywhere and there are so many variations. A pink tee would look great under that jacket! I think pink is universally flattering and what better color for spring…

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 8:06 am

      I have a salmon pink sweater I love, but it’s a bit too bulky under the jacket. I’m keeping an eye out for a similar tee or tank.

      • Pat
        March 22, 2021 / 10:02 pm

        I was thinking one your pinks would look beautiful with your jacket which is so stylish. I mustard yellow might also be nice. I love this post as you offer possibilities and get us thinking. Those shoes are amazing. I have purchased several shoes from your blog and loved all of them. Thank you for your thoughtful content!

  2. Karen
    March 22, 2021 / 3:56 am

    Yes, sometimes putting something aside for a while makes it seem new and fresh when you come back to it.
    Have you thought about trying the 2nd look with white/ecru jeans? IMO that would up the spring feel 100%.

    • Liz Bordeaux
      March 22, 2021 / 4:17 am

      I agree about the white/ecru jeans. I think they’d go well with the first look as well.

    • Judi
      March 22, 2021 / 6:39 am

      As always Susan you look great in these outfits. I agree, white jeans would look nice. I liked your look in the AG exboyfriend slim jeans so much,
      I bought 2 pair to try. I am the same height with similiar build and usually buy the size you are wearing.
      Looking at myself in the mirror I could not help but feel I was heading to the garden or out to the farm. I must be way too use to slim jeans.
      Sadly returning. But you can pull them off.

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        March 22, 2021 / 8:01 am

        Thanks, Judi!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 6:42 am

      I did try them, but the look felt unbalanced somehow. I think I might need a different shoe with the ecru jeans. Will keep experimenting! 😉

  3. Carol
    March 22, 2021 / 4:42 am

    How inspiring I have the top and a similar faux suede jacket and had not thought of putting them together

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 8:04 am

      Thanks, Carol.

  4. Anne
    March 22, 2021 / 4:44 am

    Susan, your blog is my favorite! Why? You feature a more colorful, practical, casual, every day style.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 8:03 am

      Thanks so much, Anne!

  5. Jules
    March 22, 2021 / 5:48 am

    And this is why I don’t automatically get rid of things I haven’t worn in a year. Think I’ll pull out an olive jacket today instead of the black I’d planned. Thanks Susan for a sustainable look that reminds us to shop what we have.

  6. March 22, 2021 / 5:51 am

    I really like the concept of your blog today. I did manage to drop a few pounds and have been revisiting some of my clothing that was put aside. Also, my hair is now a bit lighter in color and I’ve let it grow out to shoulder length. All these small details can change the look of a piece of clothing.
    The dark taupe jacket looks amazing on you. I can’t help but wonder what a pair of glasses in a taupe shade would look like for you.
    I do have several small print tanks that I layer over with denim shirts or cardigans. They can add that bit of color and also be very forgiving around the mid section.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 8:03 am

      Thanks, Jan! I will be looking for another pair of glasses this Spring and will keep that in mind.

  7. Kami
    March 22, 2021 / 6:18 am

    I always love your posts, Susan! You have such a wonderful eye for creating great outfits, and you have obviously collected some wonderful pieces. In fact, I have purchased several items after you have featured them in your blog posts (and loved them!) I would love to see you make a regular feature out of “shopping your closet” so we can see more of the pieces you have already added to your wardrobe and how you would combine them in different ways for different looks. You may even find you have fewer gaps in your wardrobe than you think!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 8:02 am

      Thanks so much, Kami. I do plan to include “shopping my closet” as a regular feature.

  8. JoAnn Czarny
    March 22, 2021 / 7:08 am

    I love the idea of more “shop your closet” posts. Great content today Susan! What is the brand of your fabulous shoes?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 7:25 am

      Thanks, JoAnn! I’ve added the info to the post; they’re from Clergerie.

      • Joss Czarny
        March 22, 2021 / 9:11 am

        Thanks!

  9. Carol Montanti
    March 22, 2021 / 8:00 am

    Susan, I think this dark taupe colour is your new “black”!

  10. March 22, 2021 / 8:34 am

    That jacket looks amazing! I too love it over the printed tee *star-eyes emoji.*

    And thank you for that wonderful reminder of our Fashion Week adventures. You speak in that old post of looking to spark your love of style again, for some fun, which my goodness you have certainly found since then. I had just gotten my mother safe and sound after six months of emergency and danger and grief and rage, and she’s gone now and her affairs are 99.999% settled. Maybe the universe DID give us Tom Ford Through A Window, as a tiny ray of hope and inspiration for moving forward.

    Also feels so good to remember that we all WILL be standing on line in New York again, if we choose to, sooner or later, but it will come. xoxo

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 9:28 am

      Thanks so much, Lisa. That trip was just kind of magical, wasn’t it? I’m looking forward to being able to tear around NYC with you again!

  11. March 22, 2021 / 9:29 am

    No, I never put anything aside. It all hangs in my wardrobe. But there are things that you don’t wear for a while.
    How about buying a pair of cream coloured jeans to go with that first outfit? Or do you already have them?
    I think you did a very good job with your existing wardrobe pieces.
    How on earth you can walk in closed shoes with bare feet, is beyond me. Just looking at it, gives me blisters (joke).
    Greetje

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 9:34 am

      Thanks, Greetje. I’ll try that. There are many shoes in my wardrobe I can’t wear comfortably without socks. For those, I like these liners: Secret sleuth liners

  12. Sue
    March 22, 2021 / 9:55 am

    This is a great post. The first outfit is one of my favorites for you. And you reminded me that I have several Lamarque suede waterfall jackets I need to pull out for more frequent wearing.

    I tend to buy classic jackets and keep them for years (fortunately, I have a lot of storage space). Intermittently, I realize a style I wore several years ago is looking current again, and I shop my closet. Good quality deserves multiple seasons! Thank you for spreading that sustainability message.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 22, 2021 / 10:40 am

      Thanks, Sue!

  13. Nancy Karpen
    March 22, 2021 / 2:13 pm

    I like it better with the white tee. It’s a busy neckline and the first top is very busy. The shoes are fabulous.

  14. Sheryl
    March 22, 2021 / 3:26 pm

    The dark taupe is a great color on you! I especially like it in combination with the cream top. Those shoes give just the right amount of punch to the outfit.

  15. Eve
    March 22, 2021 / 4:05 pm

    The right shoes can really kick an outfit up a notch. You really have nailed down the right shoe look. It’s a talent. I experiment more now since I starting reading your blog. I’m trying to imagine life Covid free. Maybe we could all meet on the town square and have a mask burning party.

  16. Jan
    March 22, 2021 / 4:49 pm

    Just did something similar when I pulled out several bags of clothes from under the bed. One bag had items that no longer fitted and I was thinking of sending them to the charity shop. Luckily I hadn’t got around to it, and after dropping 11kg, they now fit again so I am very pleased as I really love many of the items.
    Love this post and look forward to more on this theme.

  17. Alexis I
    March 22, 2021 / 8:25 pm

    I love those shoes!

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