PMWIW Challenge I -- Everyday Real

I am currently making more of an effort to look not just casual but smart casual in my everyday, at home outfits.  These were outfits I wore before starting work at 3 pm.  All outfits rely heavily on my favorites -- sweaters, skinnies and ankle boots.

1 -- Yesterday.  Black skinnies + black turtleneck + navy vest with black faux leather pockets.  The only thing new here is the Ann Taylor navy vest.  I know black near my face it not my best color and fairly aging, so I'm considering purging this turtleneck.  What do you think?  Am I allowed to have some black tops or should I let go of them?

2 -- Today.  Vintage cashmere sweater + white shirt + dark wash skinnies + brown Western style booties.  Everything here is 3 plus years old, I think the shirt is the newest piece.  They don't make cashmere like they used to.  This has not a hint of pilling and it was worn all the time in the late 90s when I purchased it.  Do you think the sweater still works or does it look dated?  I might have quality cashmere goggles on.

Thanks for looking and commenting and participating in the challenge!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • deb replied 5 years ago

    I think a lower neckline for you black tops would be better. The turtlenecks are so much warmer where you live, though.

  • crutcher replied 5 years ago

    Please don't get rid of the black tops..then I would feel guilty that I am still wearing black and I would wonder if it does age me and that would create a whole new set of problems...I am for just wearing the black...
    Your efforts at a better stay at  home look are just fab...I love the blue vest and black...That is quite the chic look as well as making a stay at home statement...I absolutely think the camel cashmere is perfect...It is not dated and looks just too cute with the white shirt...
    I may have to put my leggings and sweatshirt on the hook and try a bit harder...

  • replied 5 years ago

    Hmm, maybe a lower neck as Deb said, but I still love the outfit. Why not try a softer charcoal like the model has on under the vest in the Finds picture? I do love that vest btw and what a fab necklace! I rather like the sweater in #2, the proportions are really nice with the shirt.

  • jackiec replied 5 years ago

    I hear you on the black thing, but I can't let go yet either. I think you've done a fabulous job counteracting the black with the pop of blue of your pendant - it seems to pick up a sparkle in your eyes. And I love your cashmere sweater & outfit. My cashmere pills like crazy. Problem is I couldn't afford it back when it was good so I have no experience....

    Thanks for getting the challenge going :)

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Yay!! You posted! And two outfits for the price of one. These definitely read as "smart casual" to me. 

    What Deb says about necklines with the black is interesting. I find that I prefer to wear black in summer when more skin shows. At the same time, I still have (and wear) a black turtleneck -- because at times, it's the only item that will do! I don't think you look bad in the black, and the necklace helps to balance it. 

    I think the second sweater is really fab. Shopping your closet is the best! 

  • ironkurtin replied 5 years ago

    I love black. Aging schmaging.

  • Caro in Oz replied 5 years ago

    I hear you on black, how does ink or navy work for you? I find it much softer than black. The second outfit is fab - no cashmere goggles imo  :)

  • PalmFronds replied 5 years ago

    I don't think the black is bad at all but if you are thinking about alternatives how about navy or charcoal? Love the outfits overall, fab smart casual:-) agree on the cashmere, the quality in stores now is not as good as it was a few years ago

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    I am trying to lighten up myself with tops, although I'm not feeling the jewel tones as much.  I think both are amazing and classic Denise.  I especially love and admire your pant lengths - the skinnies and booties with the sliver of skin.  Sigh.  No skin for me for another 6 months...

  • bj1111 replied 5 years ago

    great sweater!  keep.  like how you modernized it.

    wrong person to ask about black.

  • Jjsloane replied 5 years ago

    Black works fine on you - your skin glows. Maybe a little more blush on apples of cheeks. 
    I think the cashmere looks totally modern here. I know what you mean - I have a BR cashmere twinset purchased 14 years ago at a consignment store that is pill free but much more expensive recent purchases are not so much. Do we blame the retailers? The manufacturers? The goats?

  • Style Fan replied 5 years ago

    Love both outfits but especially the second one.  I hear you about cashmere from last century.  I have a couple of sweaters from a least a decade ago.  No piling and they look like new.  I am hanging on to them forever.  I do not buy cashmere anymore.  It always piles

    You look great in black. 

  • Carole replied 5 years ago

    I think you look sensational! I had ordered that vest but sadly it didn't workout for me....I LOVE it on you and the Tneck looks great with the vest and black jeans. I really like the 2nd sweater and how you've layered under it...makes it look very current to me! Well done!

  • Jeanie replied 5 years ago

    I think that vintage sweater looks a lot like the Madewell sweater I bought last year.  I must copy your look.  You look great in both of these shots!

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    I LOVE you in those oatmeal colours paired with white, Denise. I think #2 is killer. Great vintage pullover. Not dated. 

    AND you can keep the black t-neck. You look super in #1 too. xo

  • kellygirl replied 5 years ago

    Gorgeous x 2. LOVE the light cashmere sweater on you. You look stunning in cream/white. Very sleek cardigan look too. I think you should keep on keeping on with the black.

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    I don't see the aging effect at all in #1. The overall outfit is dark, which I am not used to on you, but that is not a reason to purge a particular shirt. I love #2 also.

  • Neel replied 5 years ago

    Whoever gets rid of black? Pft :)

    That statement vest ... I would be saving it for some imaginary event .. Better than normal kind of day! I am learning a lot from what people actually wear at home! And gosh .. I am ages behind you all!

    And I love the cashmere sweater on you. Doesn't look dated to me. Very classic but made modern by the rest of your outfit items.

  • jenanded replied 5 years ago

    I think both outfits look great! There seems to be a bit of a backlash around the blogosphere against ditch the black because its pretty versatile and can balance the black geek glasses etc.
    And thanks for getting us going with the challenge!

  • kkards replied 5 years ago

    love how you have taken the older pieces and mixed them up to create a totally current outfit! 
    as for the black ---i like it, and i'd keep it. i still black, i just try not to wear it as often as i did "back in the day", so that its an accent now, not my uniform 

  • Alexandra replied 5 years ago

    You look fabulous in #2!
    As for the black, if as you say it's not your best color and is aging you, why settle for it?

  • Janet replied 5 years ago

    Denise, I see you and I took the same strategy yesterday -- dark turtleneck with a statement pendant! I love it on you, and the topper is fab. I see absolutely nothing wrong with black on you. I understand how you feel (as you can tell from my questions/concerns about me in turtlenecks yesterday)!

    I also like the cozy sweater outfit -- it looks plenty current to me the way you've styled it. I will have to try the white shirt underneath treatment on my cream cabled sweater when the weather gets cooler!

    Thank you for starting the challenge. It's fab to see all the WIWs. I just regret that I don't have time to comment on everyone's posts!

  • Sara L. replied 5 years ago

    These are great casual outfits!  I like black so I really can't comment on it.  When I think colors don't look quite right on me, I add some blush to try to counteract how washed out I can look.  The necklace is beautiful and interesting.  The cashmere sweater looks like a classic style to me.  I don't see that as looking dated anytime soon.

  • lyn67 replied 5 years ago

    Love both outfits, denise. First is very edgy, i don't have a problem with the turtleneckm, it's all good, love the vest, and the bl&navy combo is very sophisticated! Second is a very polished casual, but I would roll/push the sleeves of that beautiful vintage cashmere  up a bit on the forearms,  as to my eyes their low hems looks a bit loose on your wrists. 

    I just wanted to let you know, I really wanted to participate the challenge but unfortunatelly I have got my worst hair cut in years this morning. My poor self confidence is to pieces now, so it really wouldn't happen...:-((. I know, hair grows, but will take me some time till then...

  • Debbie replied 5 years ago

    The 1st outfit is my favorite. The necklace really helps to balance the black out. The sweater in 2 does not look dated at all. You look fantastic.
    Thanks for the fun challenge.

  • Olivegreen replied 5 years ago

    I like both outfits, very wearable and go anywhere. I am a scarf person so wear a scarf with my black turtlenecks these days. A really big one would play well with the vest. And find that I am addicted to blue shirts with denim, and you look like blue is your colour, would harmonize with the jeans and pop your eyes.

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