WIW -- Some work, some don't. Help me analyze.

I thought I would post some outfits from the past 30 days.  I felt happy with some of them, not happy with others.

First, the happy.
1.  I am usually never happy in flats.  But here, since the pants are already leg shortening, it just seems to work.  I get to have a long torso look in this dog-walking outfit (from LA, when it was warm).
2.  I tried a graphic tee with jeans vest from an outfit I had put on one of my pin boards, happy with the overall effect.
3.  Inspiration picture for #2 above.
4.  Dinner at a friend of my boyfriend's house, didn't want to be too fashion-forward nor too dressed up.  Good thing because the host wore sweatpants.

Second, the not-quite happy.
5.  Wore to dinner with forum member MaryK in LA.  Nothing wrong with it but it somehow feels too preppy for me.  What do you think, in general, about stepping out on your authentic style persona?  Is there a way to make it feel more "me"? Should I have removed the scarf?  A different pair of trousers/jeans?
6. What's wrong here, I need an Rx.  Is it the shoes, would a slightly lower vamp work?  The outfit look frumpy with the pants unrolled (too short).  Poor choice of shirt?  Does it need a belt?  It's nice to go belt-less.
7.  The above outfit looks a bit better from the side which makes me think the shirt is the biggest problem.

Please comment freely!!  I had a few other not-quite-rights this month but failed to take pictures. 

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.


  • goldenpig replied 6 years ago

    1 & 2 are super cool and so very you--I can see why they made you happy! I really like #7 too. In #6 the plaid shirt looks a bit out of place with the darker style but I feel like it might have worked better under the jacket untucked and unbuttoned over a graphic shirt (like the one in #2) to serve as an extra layer instead of being the focal point. In #5, I agree it's somewhat more preppy than I'm used to with your edgy style. How would it look with black leather jacket and the slouchy pants, and the scarf tied like an infinity scarf? I feel like the way the scarf is tied is making it look more preppy. Or ditch the scarf?

  • Jeanie replied 6 years ago

    Love you fab casual looks in 1 & 2.  I like goldenpig's suggestions on #5.  On #6 I feel like the white in the shirt wants to be the star and so it is fighting with the white in the jacket and trying to bookend with your ankles.  Maybe a solid cobalt would look nice with the jacket.  I can see Angie wearing white boots with that plaid shirt but not totally sure that is your style.  

  • Greyscale replied 6 years ago

    Well, #1 is the look I'd love to be wearing right now, so two thumbs up on that one. And I've been looking for graphic tees to wear like that in #2.

    I'm not sure what's wrong with 6 but I agree something is off. They're all great pieces on their own. It's either the proportions or the volume of the jacket lapels, maybe, but I don't know. How would it look with the shirt untucked?

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    Not responding in order ... sorry!

    #5 - for me it's the top half of the outfit that Im struggling with.  The jacket and scarf look very 'ladies who lunch" (or as you suggest 'preppy') and I just don't feel it looks like 'you'.  Now I don't want to box you in or stereo type your style... but...  I would suggest definitely a different scarf maybe something in a solid colour.  I actually want to add some dark tones to this but that might just be my need for dark colours.

    #6 - I would unroll the pants and create an unbroken leg line.  Something about shirt is working for me.  I think it doesn't work under the jacket.

    The first four outfits are gorgeous.  I particularly love #1 it is just beautiful and the proportions are perfect.

  • Lantana replied 6 years ago

    Denise I only have time tonight to comment on the last outfit. It looks best side on but even so I'm a little distracted by the sliver of skin, still that's more a personal preference than anything else. Front on, this outfit has astrong vertical line made by the shirt placket and the rather long fly front on the pants. I think it needs a cropped jacket to make it a statement line, does that make sense? I feel the assymetry of the jacket you are wearing isat odds with this other"accidental " line.
    This probably sounds like rubbish because I'm just about nodding off here.

  • replied 6 years ago

    I am transfixed by 1 -- it is super.

    I think the top of the preppy outfit is throwing you off.

    7 I think would be better with a cropped jacket, or a longer shirt not tucked into the pants.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    #1 is my favorite with the next one not far behind. I love the jacket in the last one, and the side shot so agree it is the top which might be too much going on with the jacket. Something about the scarf with the cut of the jacket makes the jacket look like a cardigan - maybe that is the preppy vibe? Or my bad monitor. But back to #1 - love that!

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Love 1&2! I actually love 5, but it doesn't quite seem your style. I would wear this and may try to copy it from my closet, meaning that the look may be too old for you;)
    I don't feel qualified to comment on 6/7, but the plaid shirt doesn't seem quite your style in this outfit. I like it though. Maybe with stompy boots?

  • MuseumGal replied 6 years ago

    I think these are the first outfits of yours I've seen, so I'm not familiar with your style.  But 1 and 2 made me sing that Clapton song in my head, "I've got a rock and roll heart."  And 5, while a perfectly lovely outfit, absolutley does not go with that song!  The last one I want to like it, the song wants to play ... but - I feel like the lapels of the jacket are completley overwhelming you.  What does it look like zipped?

  • Janet replied 6 years ago

    I adore #1 so much it's hard to look at anything else. I love those pants so much on you.

    I agree that 5 doesn't quite feel like you, and I think Natalie has a good point about the scarf, including how it's tied. I definitely find I need to play with my scarves to get the right look for a little rock'nroll effect. I'm even wondering if it would be enough to simply wrap it around your neck once with the ends hanging down on either side.

    I also think the plaid in 6 is not my favorite part of the outfit, even though I like the shirt itself.

  • carambola replied 6 years ago

    I am bowled over by 1 and 2. So cool.

    I really like 6, although I think I might like it even more with a solid or crew neck top. For 5, maybe a statement necklace instead of the scarf might make it feel more like you? Honestly though, I wish I looked that good on my not-quite-happy days.

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    Agreeing on your happy pix. #1 just kills me with fabness.

    I feel 5 is just a little fussy for your style and have a bit of a poison eye for the cream/white combo. There isn't anything fluid about the outfit to my eye, as in all your happy outfits.

    #6 I feel you need more ankle showing. Also maybe the jacket and shirt are fighting?

    Honestly I would have no critique if you hadn't asked!

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Your dog walking outfit is my best. How can it not be. It's an emotional thing. 

    #2 and #4 are typical Denise looks that you do so well. 

    #5 is fabulous. I think it would have been more "Denise" with a white shirt layered under your slubby tan sweater. You love that look - a little more RATE and casual, and not Preppy. 

    #6 works well from a mix point if view. The shirt is pulling a little under the jacket, and that may be the problem. Black boots and pants look good to my eye. Very on trend in fact. 

    I miss you, Denise. We need to get to sunny CA again. xo

  • Nicole D replied 6 years ago

    I agree that you look fab in all those pics!  Just as an oservation, I notice that your less happy pics have cropped (rolled) pantlegs and jackets.  Maybe you prefer less volume.

  • Diana replied 6 years ago

    #1 is incredible!

    For #5, the jacket reads like a cardigan to me which is contributing to the preppy feel. I would try a tougher or boxier jacket, maybe one with lapels.

    #6 I am unsure about. In principle the pieces seem as if they would work together but I agree that the outfit seems a little off. Maybe untuck the shirt and see if that helps?

  • Sara L. replied 6 years ago

    I think these all look great, but like #1 the best.  I agree that #5 isn't quite the style I expect to see from you.  I was going to suggest the same thing as Natalie - that tying the scarf differently might help - maybe infinity style.

  • ironkurtin replied 6 years ago

    I think what's happening in the last 2 is too much volume on volume.  They're not bad, you're always chic, but they're not sleek as in the looks that you like more here.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Love your happy outfits, Denise -- you look great. I like the long torso look and agree that sometimes it just...works! Funny, that, isn't it. High contrast and all -- it just comes together. 

    For the ones you don't like: 

    The light neutrals of 5 are beautiful on you but it doesn't feel as RATE as your ordinary casual style. Of course, it wasn't your ordinary, since you were having lunch with a lady. :) I don't really view it as "preppy" but perhaps a bit...mmm...mixed up? The light jeans with striped under layer could read as preppy, true -- or just modern classic. But the scarf is a bit boho (especially as tied) and maybe too fussy somehow with the jacket. Or just too fussy, period. I know you're not usually a fan of scarves with outfits. So that alone might have turned you off it. 

    I actually like the last outfit, but can see that maybe the vamp of those booties necessitates a different way of wearing the pants (either full length, which I know you couldn't do, or rolled a different way?) I think the rise of the pants may also be a bit high (from the front view). I wonder about a semi-tuck there. 

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    I am so glad I posted my less-happy outfits. Your comments are most helpful. I'm at the dentist waiting for my ride home, just had an extraction. I will come back later to respond as there is a lot of good info here.

  • Sarah A replied 6 years ago

    Oh! Dentist no fun :( I totally dig #1. In 5 i thik the combo of the breton stripes and scarf reads very preppy, so maybe change out one of those elements. For #6 i'd love to see the top from 1 or 2 with this combo. Always love your posts Denise :)

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    As I have said, I've learned so much!  By absorbing the information here, I can draw a few conclusions.
    - First, I do love some preppy or classic pieces (breton stripe top, classic Chanel type jacket -- that cream jacket is from IRO, it's not a cardigan actually, and plaid flannel shirt).  But I need to figure out how to more truly integrate them with my own style.  I might post a separate thread about this.
    - Second, yes -- I do find cropped pants a bit of a challenge.  Since they are leg-shortening, I prefer to wear a tucked or semi-tucked top with them.  But this tends to show problem areas like pants rises which are almost always too long on me.  Or maybe they bunch because I am not cut straight like most pants are, I am curvy.
    - Third -- it's interesting to see how my style is viewed as more RATE and casual or rocker.  So my next challenge is this:  how do I stay true to my style persona when the occasion calls for a more dressed up look?  Something to include in the above separate thread.

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for this. I love these types of posts - I learn so much.

    My favourite is #1 I love this look on you.

    Just an observation - the outfits you like seem to be lighter (in feel rather than colour) than the ones you don't. I'm not sure if it's to do with fabric or the scarf or the collar of the jacket in these photos but I see the clothes not you.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Caro makes an excellent point there. I think it's partly the fabrication weight. Visual weight, anyway. Especially in the collar/ neck/ chest areas. 

  • karymk replied 6 years ago

    Coco I love number one on you. Can you id your tee shirt for me?

    You look so great and relaxed in number two, I gotta aim for rocker tee shirts. done like this.

    Number 4 is great because of the simplicity and that fabulous neckpiece.  It's fabulously "odd".  

    Number 5, meh.

    Number 6 fantastic, expertly done pattern play!

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