Weekend Inspiration: Sweater Blazer Two Ways

Weekend Inspiration - Sweater BlazerSweater-Blazer, $138; Jeans, $89; Tank, $68; Dress it up with: Necklace, $24; Clutch, $40; Heel, $89 Dress it down with: Earring, $975; Bag, $168; Sneaker, $75

Versatility is the name of the game when your goal is to create a hard-working wardrobe. Yesterday we featured this updated sweater-blazer from J Crew. (Available in regular and petite in xxxsm – xl) Need plus size?  Try this from Ralph Lauren. It’s the ideal piece when you want to create structure without making a look too stiff and formal. Today I thought it would be fun not only to show how to wear it on the weekend (or any casual day of the week) but also how to dress it up and down.

Like everyone, my life seems to get busier and busier by the day. Sometimes I feel like my day is over before it gets started because every hour is planned out. For days when one activity leads to the next, and you have little to no breathing room, wearing one outfit you can transition by swapping out accessories, saves you time and energy.

To create the base of the outfit, I went with the dark gray option of the sweater. It’s less severe than black but serves the same purpose. To keep it simple with this tank by Elie Tahari. It’s a little better than a basic tank, with stretch and length (especially helpful if you have a long torso.) It comes is black and white.  Looking for something less expensive? This Karen Kane tank is similar for less.

By now, many of you know I love the contrast of polished and casual, or feminine and masculine. For this look I used a pair of “boyfriend” jeans, which just means the leg of the jean is more loose than what you might be used to in a skinny or straight leg jean. These by KUT from the Kloth come in sizes 0 – 16 in regular and petite. Their plus size goes up to a size 22.  They are not as polished, so the key to making sure they don’t look sloppy is to pair it with a polished piece. For this look, the polished piece is the sweater-blazer.

For the casual outfit, I went with something I would wear every day. We’ve talked at length about slip-on sneakers this season, so I’m going to feature them throughout the next few months to give you more ways to wear them. You’ve seen these Sperry slip-ons before, this time I featured them in navy which works so well with casual jeans. For a weekend bag, I found this drawstring bag from Madewell, and I’m just nuts about the color. It pops off the navy and gray but is still neutral. Finally, I added a pair of diamond earrings by David Yurman, not because I want you to run out and buy a pair, but because I want to encourage you to wear whatever better jewelry you already own. Sometimes we “save” special pieces for special occasions only to never wear them. If you have something precious, wear it with your everyday items, you’ll create interest and balance without even trying.

To transition your day from busy with the kids, to drink or dinner date with friends, all you have to do is switch out your accessories. Swap your sneakers for a pair of basic pumps. I like these tan suede pumps by Nine West. Remember, we’re creating a modern look by playing with contrast, so the femininity of the pump is working off the casualness of the boyfriend jean. Next, grab a clutch. I used this animal print clutch to add a playful element. It’s also the right shape and style. You wouldn’t want to carry a formal clutch, it wouldn’t translate, but this one does because it’s also slouchy, like the jeans. Finally, I filled the neckline of the sweater-blazer in with a three-tier delicate necklace. Easy peasy.

I’m spending a few hours this morning trying to get ready for another busy weekend. We have dinner plans with friends tonight, and then tomorrow our school’s bi-annual fundraising auction, it’s always a big deal and a lot of fun. Sunday the girls are running in their cross country championship, which means I’m also running a few miles too! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

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