J. Crew feather paisley skirt
Blazer, Aritzia (via Kijiji); skirt, J. Crew (via consignment); top, LOFT (swap); necklace, J. Crew; shoes, Nine West (via consignment); bag, Ferragamo (via eBay)

There are days (many days) when I just don’t feel like reinventing the sartorial wheel. On those days, I’m thankful for dependable outfit staples that can be thrown together to make me look presentable at work. Mixing one print with two coordinating neutrals, plus an accent colour (pulled from the print) is about as dependable as it gets – office-appropriate, with a bit of visual interest.

J. Crew feather paisley skirt
easy peasy, presto outfit

Oh hey, let’s take a closer look at mah bag! It’s very purty, see:

J. Crew feather paisley skirt
the details

A red bag is by no means a must-have – if you own one or two bags in total, you definitely don’t need a red one – but it’s a nice-to-have in my books, because it works great as a Pop Of Colour. (My blogger mandate is to remind you periodically about the Pop! Of! Colour! It’s, like, written in the small print.)

Got a dependable outfit formula? Tell me.

J. Crew feather paisley skirt
Total outfit cost $123 (not including bag) / Retail $380 (approx.) / CPW $22.80

14 Comments on The Dependables

  1. God I think that’s my formula every damn day… Still it works for me and it clearly works for you here. I’ve been so lame this week with Felix being ill; no pictures and trousers two days in a row (the horror) as no time to shave my legs!

    • Oh no! I hope the little guy is feeling better xx

      Pants are not so bad – now that I’ve found a few pairs I like, I positively enjoy “pants day”, LOL!

  2. I love this outfit! Dependable but interesting, like you said. I love that paisley print and the subtle one in your blouse, and the red bag just finishes it off. Beautiful.

    • Thank you! It was one of those outfits you don’t think twice about, and then you’re surprised by how nicely it turns out. Or does that only happen to me?

  3. I bought 4 pencil skirts in solid bold colors + 5-6 silk button down shirts in neutrals and these are my dependable when I don’t want to think too much. I add a Pop of Print via shoes and sometimes a belt.

    • I love “uniforms”! When you find something that works for your lifestyle and makes you feel like a million bucks, I’m all about wearing the heck out of it, creative styling be damned. All the classic style icons we admire had their “uniforms”.

  4. Uh – I saw your Instagram and will never complain about Chicago spring ever again. That’s terrible. Will it all be melted by the end of the day?

    Is Aritzia like the Canadian J.Crew? I think we’re just starting to get them but I’ve never been in one.

    • Haha! No, the snow is still here. It will probably (hopefully!) melt in a few days.This is actually not that unheard of here.

      Aritzia is not really like J. Crew, except pricing wise (but their sales are crappy, IMO, unlike J. Crew). It’s less preppy, more … dunno, modern minimalist? To be honest, I don’t shop there because the aesthetic is not my cup of tea. I do love my Talula brand blazer – it’s a slouchier, boyfriend style but with a slimmer line. Not sure it’s worth the $125 retail price tag, but if you can find it in the $40-60 range, it’s a nicely cut blazer.

  5. If I’m feeling lazy, I have a few set outfits that I reach for. It’s not really a formula, it’s more like I’ve tried out these 3 pieces together before, I know they work together, and I can just grab them and go. I think your outfit is much nicer than any of my set outfits!

  6. After reading your post about Sofia I was waiting to see her in an outfit. I love it! I own a couple of red bags and find them very versatile, and often have to stop myself from buying more…

    • Red bags can be quite versatile, I agree – especially with a neutrals-heavy wardrobe. It’s a great accent colour.