One From Column A…

Style blogger Susan B. wears a camel J.Crew sweater-blazer over black separates, and metallic boots. Details at une femmme d'un certain age.

This outfit hits my Style Trifecta: it’s simple, comfortable, and polished without looking or feeling fussy.

Black And Camel, With A Side Of Leopard

One of my go-to outfit formulas is a column of color with a longer contrasting top layer. Here, I’ve used a couple of my favorite black knit separates with a collarless sweater-jacket. I really love these jackets! They’re soft but structured, and offered in several colors and up to size 3X. I’m wearing the X-Small.

Earrings | Scarf (similar) | Sweater-Jacket | Top (similar) | Ring | Pants | Bag | Boots

I still have plenty of black pieces in my wardrobe. And I’m still most “at home” wearing black: it’s easy, it feels chic. But I’ve also learned to break it up with lighter colors (especially near my face).

I’ve had this scarf (similar) for a couple of years. I love the leopard print, and how ties together the black and camel colors.

Details: ring by Charlotte Chesnais, Givenchy small Pandora bag (several years old). Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This bag is now going on 6 years old. It’s one of my favorites, and after giving it a rest for several months I’ve begun using it again. It’s softened up nicely over the years but is still in good shape. I may get spendy with my bags at times, but I do tend to keep and use them for years, which brings down the cost-per-wear. The ring is new, purchased on my recent trip to Paris.

Details: Everlane Day Boots, metallic ankle boots. More at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve become a big fan of metallic footwear over the last couple of years. It’s very versatile, and adds a little zing to a simple outfit. These boots are almost sold out in this bronze color, but there’s another metallic (Iron) still available. I give them high marks for comfort.

Don’t forget…I’m giving away one of the February boxes (“La Parisienne”) from My Stylish French Box! If you haven’t yet entered, click below for details and follow instructions in the post to submit your entry.

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  1. First of all, your hair looks fantastic. Not everybody has such luck when growing out a style. It’s soft, feminine and not fussy–very French.
    I think a black column with a colorful scarf and sweater or jacket is a brilliant way to dress. Most people wouldn’t even notice you’re in black, because the scarf, and then the sweater, get the attention.
    Your metallic shoes (and also the leopard ones and the colorful ones) are a great way to have fun without being wacky. They’re just a little hint that whispers “not boring.”

    1. Thanks so much ToF! Yes, I sort of see the black as blank canvas, and the accessories as the focal points. And yes, shoes feel like a subtle way to play with colors, textures and trends.

  2. Is the sweater jacket too warm to wear inside? I’m a teacher and need work outfits, so I was wondering if the formula would be too warm for the classroom?

    1. Hi Robyn, I think it would depend on how heated the interior is and your own comfort level. I’ve worn layered over a sleeveless top when the weather was warmer, and was quite comfortable. I’ve also worn like this out to dinner in comfort recently. I find that Southern California people and businesses don’t keep the thermostats as high as in other parts of the country.

  3. I’m breathing a sigh of relief b/c your posted outfit I love and it feels right for you. It would feel right for me. I love that you’ve experimented! But I’m glad to see you back in an outfit I can relate to. Love love love. Your longer hair is beautiful. I’m trying to let mine grow also but mine is kinky wavy and coarse. Wicked. Anyway, cheers to coming ‘home’ to your style. I love everything you do, of course. But so glad to see this outfit. 😉

    1. My hair is kinky-curly as well. A stylist who works with such hair textures can make your hair look splendid. Mine is Latin-American and has clients with hair from Indigenous American to biracial Black/white as well as mostly European. I’m way overdue for a cut, I confess!

  4. Great look!!
    Have you done a blog yet on your favorite looks in the past year? I know you”ve done them in prior years. Perhaps I missed it.

  5. Classic, comfortable and flattering – what more could you ask? You are my style twin (in looks as well), so I always enjoy seeing you in the same outfits I’d choose. I’m also trying to break up black – scarves rule!

  6. You can’t lose with black and camel in my opinion. And the metallic boots up the ante nicely. Looks fabulous. One of those outfits that you put on and sigh with pleasure:)

  7. I am finally going to buy the sweater coat! I have held off because of the iffy quality of J Crew lately but because it looks so great on you and I value your opinion I am going to go for it.

    1. Hi Jaimee, I’ve had no issues with quality on this piece or the other sweater jacket with the collar. I think J.Crew heard the feedback about declining quality and has been paying attention.

  8. Love your look Susan-so stylish and put together. That J Crew sweater jacket runs large so be aware of that when ordering online -especially if your local J Crew store has closed ,as ours has in Ottawa. I have to mail mine back.

  9. I love your looks and find your perspective so similiar to mine (after years of experience in apparel, color, and costuming. My hair is grey, so I often substitute some of your colors to enhance my coloring.
    Thank you for inspiring style and knowledge.

  10. Soft camel and black with a touch of leopard is YOUR LOOK, it enhances your coloring, you look elegant and at home with yourself!
    I could not comment on Paris in the widget, so here I will have my say.
    Paris elevates the ordinary, the light, the inspiring architecture, the accessibility of art, the enhanced sense of joie la vie.
    Paris inspires!

    1. Thanks very much, Vicki! You actually don’t need to comment IN the widget, just need to click the box that says “I commented” to be entered.

  11. You really do wear the sweater blazers well. It’s so great to find a wardrobe staples that works with ease. I’m a fan of a column of color underneath, too. I’ve been stalking a Gucci bag, but I’m not sure I can “pull the trigger” on it-ha! Also, instead of the bronze booties, I found a leopard pair on sale and opted to get those instead, sometimes it’s hard to narrow down those decisions!

  12. I have a question about the black pants. I have problems with knit pants and bagging at the knees. Do you find that with this Eileen Fisher brand? I’m willing to spend the money if that doesn’t happen. Loving your blog. Thanks for doing all this research for all of us.

    1. Hi Ann, I have traveled with these pants which often includes long flights, and have not found them to bag noticeably at the knees. When I wear them on an everyday basis, haven’t noticed any bagging at all. That said, all knit pants will stretch out somewhat with a few hours’ wear, but these stretch less than others, and regain their shape overnight.

  13. Hi Susan, I’m loving today’s look for you. My hair is your color, and as much as I like neutrals, I have a difficult time making the khaki color work for me. Do you think it makes a difference, when all pulled together with black, or a white top to break it up? Also, it would seem that you are wearing the bronze metallic boots; however on my monitor, they almost look like iron metallic. I am going to order a pair of the boots – just on the fence as to whether the bronze, iron, or bone would be more versatile ? So your opinion please. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Pat, if the khaki isn’t your best color, try the grey, ivory or smoky wisteria. I think this look could work with any of those. As to the most versatile boots, it really depends on your wardrobe and taste. Personally I’ve found metallics to be the most versatile. The bronze is warmer, the iron cooler.

  14. Susan, everyone else is correct — you look wonderful in this ensemble. Speaking purely for myself, I like to “hang out” in what feels like my basic look(s), and then play “dress up” in other looks that amuse me, but would NOT satisfy me on an everyday basis.

  15. Hi Susan,
    I love this look on you! Your hair looks great too! I bought the Everlane booties in Bronze during the sale and received them last night. They are gorgeous and fit perfectly in my usual size, I have a slightly wide foot and the width is fine. I love that they’re metallic but not in your face shiny. Thank you for the recommendation!

    I’ve tried the sweater in two different sizes but couldn’t make it work, it was too big for me. I’m a size 16 and I felt like it made me look larger. It looks wonderful on you!

    Love your blog!

  16. Beautiful ensemble. Oh how I love camel; It looks dreadful on me and sublime on you and others with the right colouring. How do you keep your metallic boots polished? I have silver metallic shoes and the polish bought specifically for them is not very effective‚ the scuffs make dull spots.

    PS And leopard is so you; reminds me of the early days when I first began to read “Une femme”/

    1. Thanks, Duchesse! I haven’t had to polish these yet…I do have some polish for metallic finishes (from Mephisto, of all places) and will give it a test this week.