A Case for The Outfit-Making Jacket

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As much as I love summertime and summer weather, I’m super excited to start dressing for fall. Having a few outfit-making jackets in your closet is my best tip for getting your fall outfits to come together quickly and easily, so today I’m styling an olive utility jacket two ways.

wearing: jacket // tank // jeans // mules // tote // sunnies // necklace // earrings

This corduroy jacket is from Nordstrom, and it’s surprisingly lightweight and comfortable. I also love the way the buttons are sort of an antique gold — they create a pleasing contrast to the dark olive-green jacket and make it look more expensive than it is. Plus, the fine-gauge corduroy adds texture to these casual outfits.

Unfortunately, this jacket started selling out yesterday after it went on sale. It was fully stocked when I shot the look on Wednesday, and even when I went to write the post yesterday morning. I know it’s disappointing and frustrating when I feature an item that isn’t available in your size, but sometimes it’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

I rounded up some other options for outfit-making jackets at Nordstrom. Maybe one of these will strike your fancy, or perhaps you have one in your closet you can use to recreate these looks.

For my first look, I wore this olive jacket over a black woven tank with a pair of slim straight ankle jeans.

This woven tank isn’t new to any of you regulars. It’s a workhorse in my wardrobe year-round, and I have it in both black and ivory. The raw-edge chiffon adds interest, and the straps are regular bra-friendly. It runs true to size; I have the small.

And these jeans are the AG Mari, a slim straight ankle jean with a 29″ inseam. My exact pair is from Nordstrom last year, but they have a lot of other washes.

If you’re having a hard time parting with your skinny jeans, this slim straight style is a nice option. They fit snugly through the hips and thighs, but they’re cut straight from knee to hem for a modern silhouette that’s very flattering.

Yesterday’s post was all about mules as the perfect transition shoe for fall, and I mentioned that block heel mules are gaining momentum this season. This pair is a great way to experiment with the trend because the price point is extremely wallet-friendly, especially now that they’re on sale. I sized down half, as I typically do in mules, so I’d say they run true to size.

Once again, I’m carrying my cat print Clare V. tote. It really does go with everything, and the pattern pops against all the solid colors in this outfit.

To show the versatility of an outfit-making jacket, I also styled this corduroy utility jacket over a white t-shirt with black jeans and flat mules.

I looked for a t-shirt that’s a little more of an off-white or beige, but I couldn’t find one. The white works, or a leopard print or stripe would also look great with this look.

wearing: jacket // t-shirt // jeans // mules // tote // sunnies // necklace // earrings

These jeans are a legging ankle fit with a raw hem in a classic black, and they’re very lightweight and stretchy and comfortable. I’ve had them since last year, and they’ve held up well and don’t fade quickly. I’m always careful to wash them inside out on cold and hang to dry. They come in both petite and regular sizes.

And can we just talk about these shoes? How fun is that asymmetrical vamp? I thought they might be hard to keep on my feet when I walk, but they really aren’t. They also have a good bit of padding in the footbed, and the leather is soft and comfortable. They’re also true to size, or size down half if you typically do in mules.

I wore the same accessories with both looks. These Gucci sunnies were a splurge a couple years ago, and I wear them almost every day. I love the bold, oversized, sleek black frames. Check out this similar pair by DIFF for a lower price point.

These gold double link earrings are by Kendra Scott, and they also just went on sale. They’re very pretty and lightweight and easy to wear.

And I’ve been wearing this Madewell mixed metal layer necklace with so many of my fall outfits. I love how it fills the neckline of a v-neck or scoop neck top, but it also lays nicely on top of a crew neck.

Both of these outfits use classic wardrobe essentials that most of us already have in our closets, and this corduroy jacket is the pièce de ré·sis·tance that completes the look. If you don’t have any lightweight jackets in your fall wardrobe, I highly recommend adding one or two. It’s a great way to level up your casual looks and keep your outfits interesting.

As always, when you shop at Nordstrom, you get their free shipping and free returns. And don’t forget about their BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store) and contactless curbside pickup options.

And if you aren’t already a Nordy Club member, be sure to sign up so you can start earning points toward Nordstrom Notes when you shop. You also get to enjoy exclusive perks like members-only access to sales, offers, and events — like the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which is just around the corner!

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photos: Alison Cornell

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22 Responses

  1. Good Morning!!☕
    I sure hope you kept the Motto Jacket. It’s Beautiful. Looks Great with the black top and Jeans. You look taller than 5’5″ in these pictures, especially with the block heel mules! Beautiful outfit. Hope you, Paul and Becca have a Great Weekend. Glad Paul is feeling some better. Be Safe!!

  2. I’m trying to put outfits together from items in my closet because I’ve been replacing jeans and adding shoes to go with the changes in styles. This is a great post for this strategy. And I have more than one olive jacket in my closet! I bought the DIFF cateye sunglasses when you mentioned them earlier in the year, and I love them so much that I’ve bought a couple of other pairs from DIFF. They are great for the price and many of the styles come in polarized for those of us with old eyes who need it. On a different subject, Jo-Lynne, how do you feel about the white button- up shirt trend? I like it when I see it online but not sure how well it will translate to actually wearing it. Is that something you might like to do a post on?

    1. I’ve just never cared for them. The buttons always gape and the collar annoys me, lol. I did get that one blue one last spring and thought I’d wear it, but I never did. So glad you like the DIFF glasses! I thought they looked nice but I haven’t tried them.

    2. Colleen….. I love a white button up shirt. Always classic and I love to wear them a little longer with black leggings and my black mules. So cute and then if it gets chilly, I add my jean jacket. I just feel good in this outfit. I think you’d like the blouse. Jo-Lynne looked really good in the blue button up she bought and still has styled on her blog at the bottom and I think she should wear it. 🙂 But, we all have our comfort zone.

  3. I love little jackets like that! So cute! I must have a short neck as those collars always hit me in the chin and they they get make up on them. I just started using a setting spray so I hope that might help with make up transfer.

  4. Oh my gosh – I love jackets. I am embarrassed to say how many I have. Two of them are olive utility jackets. This year I bought a cute navy utility jacket at LL Bean. It comes in several different colors.
    The reason I bought a navy utility jacket is because I was watching a series on Netflix and one of the characters wore one. Then I needed one. I think I have a problem.

    1. Becky, this totally cracked me up! I think I have the same problem. Full disclosure, I have a navy and green utility jacket too, 3 denim jackets, 2 sweater blazers, and countless cardigans. Can’t beat the versatility of a second layer!

  5. OOOH how I love the corduroy jacket, such a cute outfit. Remembering when I had a corduroy jacket in the “ole days” when I was little it was so comfy. Might have to order that.

  6. I love both of these outfits and can see myself recreating them from items I already own. Does the layered necklace get tangled as you wear it? It is tempting me, but layered necklaces usually get tangled on me. Hope you have a great weekend!

  7. I do like that jacket a lot! Maybe it will get restocked. You look great in the straight slim cut jeans. Boy, you do have a busy day. It sounds like Paul plans on going to see Becca play for the pregame tonight, which is fabulous. Have an awesome day!

  8. I am so glad that Paul is improving. Praying that he continues to do so.

    I love the jacket and this formula. Have you looked at Banana Republic at all this season? They have totally overhauled their look and it is much more like how Banana was when I was growing up in the 90s. They have some great utility jackets and statement jackets right now.

  9. It’s not often that I can say this, but I can recreate both outfits from my closet with the exception of the shoes. I have both exact jeans, and I bought two of the tanks in the NAS this year. I have several white t-shirts. At first I was disappointed in the jacket being sold out, but then I realized I have an olive jacket I got last year, and then I remembered I have a dusty navy corduroy jacket almost identical to yours, and I haven’t worn it in forever. It will be like wearing a new jacket! I also have a dust pink utility jacket I have never worn. I, too, have a jacket problem! I will definitely pin this so I won’t forget to wear it when it cools down.

  10. Love the outfits, especially the slim straight jeans that don’t get all wrinkly like the skinnies do. I’m going to try to wear more jackets (once fall weather gets here) but it is hard to be inspired when you stay home all of the time! Meanwhile, grabbed some fall colored shorts so I can pretend that it isn’t going to be 90+ today. 🙂

  11. I bought an olive utility jacket last year, I think you inspired that purchase and I love it.I have dark hair and tanned skin and it really suits me. I wear it with the sleeves pushed up as Ithink casual jackets look better like that. I’ll be wearing it very soon here in Canada. K

  12. Love the jacket and you look GREAT in both outfits. Your hair looks soooo good. It looks so much thicker that you say it really is. Great job on piecing the outfits together. I just ordered the Treasure and Bond jacket on sale for $57.85. Thanks for giving the link to this one. 🙂 I ordered 2 different sizes to compare. I don’t look good with olive or types of olives up by my face, so this one I ordered is more a blue green that should work good for me. I need more jackets in my closet for Fall for sure. So happy to hear Paul is recovery as expected. I’m jealous…..I so miss the High School football games when my son played. I don’t miss worrying about him playing football, but I loved the atmosphere of going to a Fall game. I’m like you……excited to dress for Fall. Today is a cloudy, warm Fall feeling day. Its been hot. Have a good time.

  13. PS. When I check the site on the jacket you are styling, there is still 1 left in size Med. and 1 left in Large. This is at 4p.m. today on the West Coast if anyone wants it.

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