WIW: fall workhorses come out of the stable

In the last couple of days I broke out some fall items--my taupe trench coat (essential) that I bought last year, and my olive boots (statement) from NAS this year. I expect both to be workhorses in coming months.

I'll join in the game and try to identify essentials and non-essentials/statement pieces in this post, as Alaskagirl suggested, and as Angie blogged about and elucidated on the forum.

The outfits:
1-2 (worn for a day off): taupe and white chunky knit cotton sweater (Amy Brill) [statement]; scarf in neutral shades (Asian Eye) [statement]; dark skinny ankle jeans (Lucky, Charlotte Rail) [essential] tucked into tall olive suede boots (Donald J. Pliner, Devi3) [statement]; olive jacket (Laundry by Shelli Segal) [statement]; taupe shoulder bag (Aunts & Uncles) [essential].

3-4 (worn for day off and work in evening): teal corduroys (Kut from the Kloth, Diana skinny) [statement]; teal, green, black marbled print knit peasant tunic (made by me) [statement]; taupe suede booties (Paul Green, Jano) [statement]; taupe trench (Calvin Klein) [essential]; taupe shoulder bag as above.

5-7 (worn to work): water-color-like print silk and cotton voile cowl-neck blouse (made by me) [statement] over navy tank (Tees by Tina) [basic]; navy linen knit drapey vest (made by me) [statement]; espresso skinny ponte pants (NYDJ) [essential]; denim ballet flats with navy cap toe and tan belt detail (AGL) [statement]; taupe trench, as above; navy satchel with tan trim (Dooney & Bourke) [statement]

I really am just stabbing at the pieces that Iabeled "essential." I wonder if they really are statement pieces instead. The ones I labeled statement seem more clearcut. What do you think?

Any comments and suggestions are welcome, on the outfits, categories, or whatever! Thanks for looking.

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.


  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    I think you look terrific. Statement, essential, basic, or whatever! 

    #1 is just fabulous on you. Love the proportions, and nice to see those olive boots come out to play. 

    I think you're right about which items fall into which category, for you. On the whole it looks as if you have more "essential" bottoms and more statement tops, and also, that your wardrobe includes a lot of statements. Which is no surprise, of course, when Made by Me makes such beautiful pieces! 

  • Karie replied 5 years ago

    A question because I struggle with the essential vs. statement issue for myself: What makes the teal corduroys statement but the espresso ponte pants essential? The bolder color of the cords? 

    All of your outfits are beautiful, and those boots are extra fabulous!

  • Style Fan replied 5 years ago

    Gorgeous pieces!  I love your colour palette.  Teal is one of my favourite colours.  So versatile.  When you wear the teal corduroy jeans I would remember them so maybe that makes them statement.

  • Joyce B replied 5 years ago

    You have great outfits. My favorite is number one, the coloring is fabulous on you.
    What you said about essentials and basics makes sense.

  • Sveta replied 5 years ago

    Sharan, I need to echo Suz: who cares if they re basics, essentials or statements when they look so good. But if we are on a quest here I have a question: your olive jacket form #1 - why it is statement and not essential? From what I can see it can work with a lot in your wardrobe and it it pretty similar in role (not cut of course) to your trench. I would call it essential unless   -remember that essentials can make statement on their own too!
    Karie, think how easy it is to build brown ponte pants into the outfit compared to the teal pants and also teal pants stand out more - becasue of the color.

  • kellygirl replied 5 years ago

    I need to read up on the statement/essentials clarification. I think I missed a lot of that conversation. On first glance, I think the chunky sweater, the tunic and the gorgeous knit vest are statement pieces are statement pieces because they are what stand out and make the outfit "you." Of course, I could completely have this wrong in which case, ignore me! I have to say, I love all of these. The new vest with the "ruffled" hem is terrific on you. I love the drape and cut!

  • unfrumped replied 5 years ago

    Wow, great combinations. I am so glad you got the olive boots--too fab.
    #1 is the bomb.
    I like the layering vest, but #5 looks so dark. You can wear the dark colors and may be trying to include more navy. And, the lighter colors in the print give balance. Would you experiment with lightening up that outfit somehow?  I wonder even if not buttoning up to top--just showing some skin--or pushing up sleeves.
     I love how all these pieces play well with each other. 

  • Aziraphale replied 5 years ago

    Firecracker, the title to this post is wonderful. I have a very clear visual of a dusty farmer leading animated coats and pants out of the stable. :-)

    You look great in all the pics. I like your skinnies-with-short-booties looks in particular. And both your olive coat and your trench coat are fantastic!

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    You got it, Sharan. Well done. (Although I might pop all your AGL ballet flats into the Essenials category). 

    LOVING #1 and #5. I like you in shorter tops I guess. The colours in the pattern in the blouse in #5 are magical with your complexion and hair. Rock on you creative and stylish creature. xo

  • bj1111 replied 5 years ago

    Sharan...really paying attention to your wiws of late and I have come to really appreciate that warm earth tone that infuses your outfits. Very flattering especially the bronzy golds leavened with a pop of really dark or shockingly white.

    Looking esp at #1 --interesting how few essentials it takes to bring a bunch of statement pieces together. Like the lunchroom monitor with several unruly kids.

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    Arty perfection!  The boots are fantastic.  I too prefer the shorter tops.  I think so many of your handmade pieces are statements just because WOW.

  • Firecracker replied 5 years ago

    Thanks, everyone!

    Karie, yes, I felt the bolder color of the teal cords makes them statement instead of essential, whereas the espresso ponte pants are a key neutral for me. Both Sveta and Style Fan's explanations make sense to me.

    Interesting, Angie! I was thinking colored ballet flats might be statement. But then, these are in key neutral shades of denim and navy. So--there you go. My idea of "color" in shoes strikes me as kind of funny when I put it this way.

    Angie, and Alaskagirl, I see what you mean about the longer tunic. I wasn't enamored with this look myself. I'm thinking. . . I could cut off the tunic and give it a new life as a kind of peplum/blouson top! Same with another tunic I thought of wearing Friday and didn't.

    unfrumped, I see what you mean about the darkness in outfit 5. I think it might be partly the photograph. But also, just what I had available to layer over the blouse. I wasn't liking the ponte pants without butt coverage. Unbuttoning the neck is a good option--thanks!

    bj1111, thank you! I was musing along similar lines. . . I often have a lot of statement pieces in one outfit. And yet I don't feel like my style is especially ALGO. Hmmmm.

    kellygirl, that's an interesting take on statement pieces. Seems to make a lot of sense. An essential might feel like "me," but it doesn't necessarily look characteristic of me until I pair it with something that has more of my signature. But then, I think one could pair a bunch of essentials in such a way as to make a characteristic look, too. Like the way Angie pops a collar and has her signature sleeve scrunch and wears her slim trousers sized up to be slouchy--when she puts an outfit together like that, it looks so "Angie."

    Sveta, I wondered about the olive jacket, too. I dubbed it "statement" because of the style, which seems somewhat trendy to me. But I don't know. You are right about its use in my wardrobe. I was thinking it was a statement piece that is also a workhorse, perhaps.

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    Your MBM are the stars/statements and you do a terrific choice of supporting them with quality essentials!

  • Staysfit replied 5 years ago

    I think everything looks great. Personally I am still sorting out what is an essential and what is a statement item. I think it must vary from person to person and across lifestyle and climate. if something is a bold color rather than neutral, can it still be an essential? For example Angie suggested your AGL ballet flats would be essentials in your particular case. I happen to love them and own 6 pairs, many in what I consider bold colors. Almost a pair for every day of the week! So are these essential or statement?

  • thimblelina replied 5 years ago

    You always look flawless to me firecracker! I would love to see that tunic repurposed though just because you have a small frame & it kind of engulfs you as it is. But if that's the look you want, it's still a beautiful piece!

  • Firecracker replied 5 years ago

    Staysfit, I keep going back to Angie's post about essentials being items that make your wardrobe function. So I would think some of your ballet flats could be essentials and others statements. The ones in colors that you consider essential neutral colors for your wardrobe versus the ones in colors you wear to liven up an outfit. By that definition, most of my AGLs probably do fall into the essentials category. I have a mauve pair, but even those I don't really wear as a statement or pop-of-color item.

    Thanks, Thimbelina!

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Makes sense, Sharan. And I'm excited to see you alter your tunic top. xo

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