A Layered Approach

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears an Eileen Fisher cardigan, Tilo floral scarf, lilac sweater, woven leather bag and mauve sandals.

I’m always on the lookout for simple, lightweight knit pieces that will layer well. They’re the basis of my travel wardrobes, and of my at-home wardrobe as well (especially this time of year, when temperatures can fluctuate so much.)

Earrings (similar) | Scarf (c/o) | Cardigan | Sweater (c/o) | Bag | Jeans | Shoes

Sure, it’s easy enough to find these kinds of pieces in black or white, but in other neutrals or colors, not so much. I’d been eyeing these Belford cotton sweaters at Halsbrook, so when they offered me something from their Spring collection to style, I chose this one in Lilac.

This v-neck sweater is a fine gauge knit and has a slim fit. I’m wearing the size Small. If you like a looser fit, I’d recommend going up one size from your usual.

Detail: Susan B wears a Tilo floral scarf and textured ivory Eileen Fisher cardigan. Info at une femme d'un certain age.

They also gifted me this gorgeous floral scarf, which is from the Fall collection. It’s quite lightweight and pairs beautifully with the sweater. I think it really makes the outfit!

This is the Eileen Fisher cardigan I mentioned in an earlier post. It’s organic cotton and silk, and has a fun texture and lovely drape. I’d call this an “elevated basic.” It’s simple enough to be classic and versatile, but it’s not generic. (It seems to be marked down at the moment.)

Detail: Susan B. wears a pearl bracelet from French Kande and carries a Loeffler Randall woven leather tote. Info at une femme d'un certain age.

I picked up some of the other colors in the scarf with the bag and shoes. I really like how the texture of the bag plays off the cardigan.

Detail: Susan B. wears Eileen Fisher slide sandals in "Mahogany." Info at une femme d'un certain age.

Some of my favorite slide sandals from prior seasons have heels that are now too high for me to wear comfortably, so I’m beginning to replace them. These are a purplish-brown, which can skew either as a neutral or color, depending on the rest of the outfit. They’re comfortable and easy to walk in, too.

What “elevated basics” are on your wish list this season?

Stay in touch.

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24 Comments

  1. April 9, 2019 / 1:45 am

    There is nothing like a piece with a tone-on-tone pattern or texture to be simultaneously solid/plain and yet not plain.
    The first thing I noticed in the photo was the scarf and that it’s long enough to hang as long as the cardigan. A too-short scarf doesn’t deliver the same drama.
    I posted a bunch of street-style photos from my city in the south of France today. Scarves are a running theme. If you want to look a little French, put on a scarf.

    • Kelly
      April 9, 2019 / 5:00 am

      I’m glad to hear that you’re seeing a lot of scarves. I feel that I don’t see many scarves where I live – an urban area in NC. Maybe it’s because we have so many hipsters and millennials and they’re not into scarves. I hope the scarf trend sticks around because I love how it really pulls together an outfit.

      • April 9, 2019 / 10:15 am

        Odd, in Montréal they definitely are. And there are very light scarves that work in hotter climates like yours.

      • Kelly (but a different one ;-)
        April 9, 2019 / 11:14 am

        I’m in NC and wear a scarf pretty much every day. Some I’ve owned since I started wearing scarves in high school (in CT in the 80s). There are usually a few in my office wearing scarves regularly (including our male director 😉

    • Elizabeth
      April 9, 2019 / 8:00 am

      Bon jour! I just checked out your street photos because I, like Kelly below, was wondering if scarves are still popular in France. They are and it seems like more women tend to wear skirts than here ( in Canada ).

      • April 9, 2019 / 10:35 am

        I wear skirts a lot, except perhaps in deepest winter, often with sport leggings or lycra shorts underneath, when cycling here in Montréal. There are a lot of nice skirts this season at Simons.

  2. Rita Rothzen
    April 9, 2019 / 6:28 am

    I Love the scarf but it’s definintely out of my budget.

    • Dee
      April 14, 2019 / 7:34 pm

      All of it is out of my budget.

  3. Carol Montanti
    April 9, 2019 / 6:53 am

    That scarf is amazing! And it could be worn with so many outfits! But, you are right, it is soooo pricey. What I like about a scarf is that it can some warmth early in the day or in a place with too much a/c without adding bulk or an extra layer. The jeans paired with this scarf on the site are great too, and a good price. Thanks for the great look Susan!

    • Susan B
      Author
      April 9, 2019 / 7:05 am

      Thanks! I’ll be featuring more Spring scarves in a range of prices later this week, so do check back.

  4. Harriet
    April 9, 2019 / 7:25 am

    I am replacing shoes as well. I can no longer handle a heel higher than 2 1/2 inches. So, rather than have a closet full of shoes, I am concentrating on finding 5 or 6 quality shoes that are comfortable and stylish. That is no small feat and so I appreciate your suggestions!

  5. Suz
    April 9, 2019 / 7:28 am

    Another lovely “put together” outfit, you look fantastic- as usual 🙂
    Suz from Vancouver

  6. April 9, 2019 / 8:09 am

    I love this look! I have cream colored EF jacket I bought at a great markdown at Macy’s last summer. I haven’t worn it much because, although I love it, it feels too dressy for everyday. Now you’ve inspired me to style it with jeans, a colored tee and scarf. I’ll wear it to a casual meeting tomorrow.
    Someone mentioned how expensive the beautiful scarf is. I’m always on the look out for scarves and have picked up some at the local college bookstore for less than $20. I have a friend who finds gorgeous scarves at Value Village. She hand washes them and hangs them to dry. They look good as new!

  7. Rondi
    April 9, 2019 / 9:33 am

    You look put together yet casual! I like the idea of “elevated basics”. And I am ecstatic with the availibility of color. For a long time all you could find were black and pure white and some gray for neutral pieces. Now I am seeing camels and blushes and creams. Also brown and navy. Yay! I honestly would be happy to never buy black again! Navy is just as basic as black and much more flattering to softer complexions such as mine. I’ve also discovered that complexions do change a little as we grow older. Thanks, Susan, for showing us how to use different neutrals in our outfits.

  8. Anne é
    April 9, 2019 / 12:29 pm

    J adore that scarf !
    Fyi inouistoosh is trending in Paris.

  9. Daniella
    April 9, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    Nice, casual ensemble. Great bag. The shoes look too much like a house slipper, though. Downgrade the look.

  10. Margot
    April 9, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    Love, love, love the scarf! The colors are versatile and the weight looks flexible also. Love a scarf you can wear as you show yours, use as a wrap when needed but collapses into a little bundle to tuck into a bag if the temps climb. I live in Chicago and we’re likely to have all 3 situations in one day!

  11. cindy
    April 10, 2019 / 3:53 pm

    Love this look. Truly an ‘elevated’ basic. Have you packed this EF cardigan? Wondering if it wrinkles?
    Thanks.

    • Susan B
      Author
      April 10, 2019 / 5:38 pm

      Thanks, cindy! I have not yet packed it, but did try the “scrunch test” and any creases fell out in a minute or so.

      • cindy allen
        April 10, 2019 / 6:02 pm

        Ha! the scrunch test – my mother taught me as a child!
        Also, thanks for turning me on to Halsbrook – a great curated site i was unfamiliar with!

  12. Marilyn J Brill
    April 16, 2019 / 6:59 pm

    Just love this, it’s my favorite look on you so far!

  13. Marilyn J Brill
    April 16, 2019 / 7:10 pm

    I especially love the cardigan and shoes on you. Such a great look all together!

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