The Antidote To “May Grey”

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears navy and periwinkle blue outfit with silver jewelry.

What I Wore: Navy and Periwinkle

Without a doubt, this has been the coolest, wettest, greyest May in California that I can remember. Ever. I’m still in a sweater most days, sometimes two sweaters. I have some lighter weight pieces on deck that I’ve been wanting to show you. But it’s just been too cold to wear them.

Sweater-Blazer | Necklace (c/o) | Top (similar) | Ring (c/o) | Jeans | Shoes

Plus options: Sweater-Blazer | Top | Jeans

And I’m tired of my sweaters. Most are neutrals; I feel as though I need some color to counteract the gloom. So when I spotted this periwinkle blue version of my favorite sweater-blazer on the rack at J.Crew, it was a slam dunk. I’m almost embarrassed to admit I’ve purchased this piece in four colors over the last couple of years, but I wear them constantly. We finally had a little break in the gloom yesterday, so I was able to get some shots that show the color more accurately.

Susan B of une femme d'un certain age wears a French Kande silverite-Swarovski necklace with a St. Christopher medallion.

This color, though. 😍 It’s a favorite, and I think it’s one of my “personal best” colors. I like that this version is deeper and brighter, not a pastel. (It’s more saturated and a little darker than it appears on the J.Crew website.) I’m wearing a size Small. This style is offered up to size 3X. It’s currently 40% off with code WEEKEND.

French Kande silver ring with blue agate cabochon. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The necklace and ring (both gifted) are from the French Kande “Mabillon” collection. It’s a happy coincidence that the cabochon color in the ring is almost an exact match to the cardigan.

Detail: Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears Paul Green Lois sandals in silver metallic.

It’s hard to tell from this image, but these sandals actually have a muted pewter metallic finish. They’re comfortable as heck, too!

Are you still in sweaters? Or have you been able to break out your Spring and Summer clothes yet?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Abigail Adams
    May 24, 2019 / 4:19 am

    Great outfit! The FK jewelry always elevates the look.

    Still in sweaters here in upper Midwest … actually shopping for a new casual long light raincoat. Not water resistant but water repellant. With a solid hood.

    Long time reader … love the balance of style, sale, and thoughtful topics the posts explore.

  2. May 24, 2019 / 4:41 am

    Oh my gosh Susan that ring is made for your cardi! It’s absolutely stunning and really elevates the entire outfit. I love that you describe the cardi as periwinkle.

  3. susan
    May 24, 2019 / 4:57 am

    Don’t feel bad about owning four of the sweater blazers, I am so in love with them I have nine! Black, navy, spruce, blush, ivory, khaki, bright cerise, bright orange and leopard! You have also got me hooked on those gorgeous Brahmin bags. I am almost afraid to look when I find out they have come out with new styles and colours. I have the pecan Melbourne tote, if not the same, very much like yours. I love your style and your ideas, I like following your blog and you have inspired me to clean up my fashion act and dress better. Thanks and I look forward to your next fashion musings and advice.

  4. Teresa Landers
    May 24, 2019 / 5:19 am

    Just now starting to get warm and sunny. The Texas Hill country is generally semi-arid, but we’ve had buckets of rain and lots of grey, drizzly days that are uncharacteristic. My neighbor have sold their house and are moving back to Scottsdale to escape the damp

  5. Catherine
    May 24, 2019 / 5:36 am

    We’re getting the same dreary damp cool weather in New England. The weather pretty much limits the opportunity to start wearing lighter colors and fabrics, but thank heavens for those J.Crew sweater-blazers! I have three and I’m actually wearing the navy one right now along with the J.Crew navy striped boat-neck tee. That periwinkle color is very pretty. I must admit I’m tempted!

  6. Eleni
    May 24, 2019 / 5:41 am

    The weather here in Ontario has been dismal for days, dark and rainy. Wardrobe looks dark and depressing also !! Still wearing sweaters. Your jacket looks bright and lovely and will surely lift your spirits. Going shopping today with my daughter to a nearby small town – hope to find something to lift my spirits.

  7. Anne
    May 24, 2019 / 5:44 am

    We had snow a few days ago here in Denver. Love the blue combination you picked today. Blue is so versatile and good against the skin. Not as harsh as black. I do wish J. Crew made a sweater jacket that was a little more fitted.

  8. Holly
    May 24, 2019 / 5:50 am

    I also have several of these J.Crew jackets, thanks to seeing them styled on your blog. I may go for this blue, if it’s still available. I’ve had a little trouble putting together outfits with the pink color though. And I eventually figured out my correct size because I seem to wear the same size you do, except I’m better suited to a petite size. I have been eyeing these same Paul Green shoes but waited too long as this pewter color seems to be sold out everywhere. Looks like I’ll have to decide on the smoke. I’ve also been eyeing the PG Andre sandal in the leopard but not sure how to style those. Can’t believe you’re going on a cruise AND working on your new house at the same time!

  9. Katrinka
    May 24, 2019 / 5:58 am

    I have a question for those of you who own this sweater/jacket. I read the negative reviews and they mention pilling, especially under the arms. Has this been an issue for you? I have one of those battery operated “depillers” that I use on fleece it so I’m not going to let a little pilling prevent me from getting this sweater!

    • Susan B
      May 24, 2019 / 6:17 am

      I have not experienced noticeable pilling.

      • Holly
        May 24, 2019 / 6:45 am

        I haven’t notice any pilling on my 4 jackets either.

        • Katrinka
          May 25, 2019 / 3:25 am

          Great, thanks!

  10. Terri
    May 24, 2019 / 6:38 am

    I second the cold, wet May. I am in Italy, came on May 12 and the majority of days have been cold and damp. In Venice it absolutely poured and was windy as well. I am currently in Bologna, having just left Firenze and hoping for warmer weather. I keep thinking I should have packed waterproof boots as per your travel recommendations and I keep hearing your “voice” saying to pack for 10 degrees over and under the expected. Lesson learned!

  11. Marla
    May 24, 2019 / 6:49 am

    That color looks great on you! This weather – ugh! I’m ready to be complaining that it’s too hot!

  12. Chris
    May 24, 2019 / 7:08 am

    The temperatures here in Louisville finally are up in the 80s, with highs into the 90s this weekend. We went from cool to hot in a flash. So take heart, the sun should be out tomorrow! Love your blog and the stylish inspiration it provides.

  13. Rondi
    May 24, 2019 / 7:51 am

    We are definitely out of sweaters here in FL! Actually can head to the pool this weekend! I do remember living in a climate where I thought spring would never come. I really like that periwinkle sweater and, you are correct, it is an excellent color on you. I always have some type of sweater or light jacket to compensate for the icy cold air conditioning. If you dress for the outside you freeze in most offices, restaurants, or stores. I am ready to see some of your more lightweight outfits!

  14. Lyn
    May 24, 2019 / 8:25 am

    No problem with gray skies here in the Sunshine State of Florida. I checked out that J Crew cardigan after all the rave reviews but it simply weighed too much. I have finally figured out that I avoid wearing clothes that are physically heavy when you pick them up. Personal quirk. I am the queen of the traditional high-hip cardigan. You called it Retro Sleek once, and I love that name for my “style” (insofar as I have one.)

    • Katrinka
      May 25, 2019 / 10:19 am

      Lyn, good point on the weight. I live in SC and we went from winter to summer overnight (it’s going to be 100 on Tuesday). I’ll have to look at this again and see if it would work for me. I, too, prefer high-hip cardigans. Hmmm. WIll have to think this through.

  15. Mary Hanson
    May 24, 2019 / 9:33 am

    I purchased the sandals for a conference where I walked probably 5 miles a day up and down steps. They were super comfy from the get go. I would highly recommend them though if you have really narrow feet they might be too wide for you.

    I love the periwinkle color on you and the ring is beautiful!

  16. Berenice Wolpin
    May 24, 2019 / 10:00 am

    Another question about that Sophie – I love the way it looks; given the fabric, is it itchy at all? I have a very difficult time with bare arms/short sleeves if the top layer is itchy.

    • Susan B
      May 24, 2019 / 10:32 am

      Hi Bernice, I don’t find the fabric to be itchy at all.

  17. May 24, 2019 / 10:49 am

    I’ve been looking for a pair of sandals with about a 2″ heel that would go well with pants or skirts with a Boho vibe. I think the brown ones would fit the bill. Although, I get a bit of sticker shock with Paul Green, I have a pair of sandals from him last spring summer that still look great.

  18. Kris
    May 24, 2019 / 11:26 am

    Love this sweater-coat on you! And it’s such a classic style that having it in 4 colours is just fine, I think! You’ll wear them for a long time.

    Wish we had some of your rain – this is one of the driest winters/springs ever on the West Coast and forest fires are a huge concern (as they have been the past few years).

  19. Shirley
    May 24, 2019 / 1:25 pm

    I haven’t commented before, but I have followed your blog for some time now. I love your style. Here in the South we have a very brief Spring. This weekend and thru next week, it will be around 100 degrees. No sweaters here, I’m liking linen pieces.

    • Susan B
      May 24, 2019 / 6:34 pm

      Hi Shirley, welcome! Yes linen is wonderful for really hot climates.

  20. citizen spot
    May 24, 2019 / 6:27 pm

    I am wondering if that nice light blue color would play well with a leopard print.

    • Susan B
      May 24, 2019 / 6:34 pm

      It does! Stay tuned…

  21. Helen
    May 24, 2019 / 6:36 pm

    Hi Susan,

    I’m very interested in the JCrew “ Sophie” sweater jacket and without question value your opinion. I read in the reviews that many buyers experienced pilling with this jacket. Have you found this to be true?

    Absolutely love your blog and look forward to it.

    Many thanks,


    • Susan B
      May 24, 2019 / 6:39 pm

      Hi Helen, I have not had any noticeable pilling on any of my Sophie jackets. It seems to be a pretty tight weave. That said, it’s possible that some colors pill more than others; it’s just not been an issue for me.

      • Helen
        May 24, 2019 / 7:16 pm

        Thank you so much for prompt response- will order right now! Have a great weekend.

  22. Angela in NZ
    May 24, 2019 / 10:33 pm

    Here in New Zealand, we are having the weather you should be having except it’s our autumn. Not complaining 🙂 Absolutely love the periwinkle, suits you beautifully.

  23. June 3, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    Today in Montréal: 51 degrees and on track to break a 122-year record low! I’m in a lightweight cashmere sweater, but in a spring coral, a puffer jacket, and closed-toe shoes. Periwinkle is a genius colour; a non-neutral that goes with a lot makes a fantastic coat.

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