Early Spring Work Wear Look with Geo Print Skirt

It’s rare that you’ll catch me in a skirt, but this geo-print a-line skirt stole my heart when it arrived in my last Stitch Fix box. It makes a great work wear piece, or if you don’t work in a professional environment, you may like it for church or even dinner out.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing an early spring work wear look with LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt from Stitch Fix with black Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and a red handbag.

If you aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix, it’s a subscription box service that sends you clothes and shoes to try out at home. You send back what you don’t want and only pay for what you keep. It’s a great service for busy women who don’t have time to shop. My experience has been hit or miss over the years, but I like to order a box every now and again.

I have a hard time with skirts because I’m too short-waisted and well-endowed to tuck in my tops, but this sweater is short enough that it works untucked with a knee-length skirt. In my perfect world, it would be a tad shorter, but what’s a girl to do!?!

You may be wondering why I say that.

Ideally when you put an outfit together, it should visually divide your body into thirds; that’s considered the most pleasing balance of proportions in matters of art, photography, and fashion.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing an early spring work wear look with LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt from Stitch Fix with black Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and a red handbag.

Often I’m going for a 1/3 to 2/3 body ratio — the top is 1/3 and the pants are 2/3. In this case, however, it’s more of a 1/3 to 1/3 to 1/3 situation — the top is 1/3, the skirt is 1/3, and my legs are 1/3. (The shoes don’t really count — they more or less bookend the look.)

So basically, I want the sweater and skirt to be about the same length. If the top is too long, it shortens the skirt area, throwing off the proportions. Make sense?

This is a very rudimentary diagram, but you can see here, if my sweater were a TAD shorter, it would be perfect.

(I measured from the top of my shoulders to the bottom of my skirt. That is 6 1/2 inches. Then I drew a line at the 3 1/4 mark, which is half of 6 1/2, and therefore where my top should ideally end. It’s close!)

Yes, some women wear long tops over short skirts and leave only a bit of skirt showing, but that is a hard look to pull off. When they do that, if they do it right, they are probably creating the “rule of thirds” with the top (2/3) and skirt (1/3) OR the rule of thirds comes into play in the way they combine colors… or it just may look wrong. LOL!

I’m a plain Jane and usually stick to this 1/3 to 1/3 to 1/3 outfit formula when I wear skirts because it’s generally pretty foolproof.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing an early spring work wear look with LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt from Stitch Fix with black Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and a red handbag.

This skirt is so super cute. Look at the red zipper detail.

These are fake pockets, by the way. I know women tend to like skirts with pockets, but they can create extra bulk, so I don’t mind that these are fake. I’m sure it also saves some money in the manufacturing.

If you subscribe to Stitch Fix, you can request this skirt. It’s the LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt, and mine is a small.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing an early spring work wear look with LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt from Stitch Fix with black Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and a red handbag.

To bring out that red zip pocket detail, and because the outfit is pretty plain otherwise, I carried a red bag.

This bag is old; I scored it at the J.Crew Factory Outlet several years ago when I was shopping with a friend. I love the orangey-red color, plus it’s the perfect size and shape for carrying for a dinner out. It’s just big enough to hold my regular wallet, and the chain allows me to eat and drink hands-free. When I prefer to carry a clutch, I can tuck the chain inside.

Since it’s no longer available, I’ll link up some other red bag options at the end of this post.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing an early spring work wear look with LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt from Stitch Fix with black Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and a red handbag.

My first instinct was to wear a long pendant necklace or layered necklace on this sweater to break up the expanse of black, but then I spotted this monogram pendant in my top dresser drawer, and I decided to wear it instead.

I like how it draws attention up towards my face; otherwise, the eye is drawn only to the skirt because the white in the print is the lightest part of the outfit. When you add a light or bright piece near your face, it causes the eye to bounce around and distracts from any problem areas you don’t want people to focus on.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing an early spring work wear look with LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt from Stitch Fix with black Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and a red handbag.

This sweater is from Ann Taylor, and I can’t believe it, but it’s still available in some sizes! Aren’t the button cuffs on the sleeves a fun touch?

SALE ALERT >> Get 40% off your Ann Taylor order with code FRIENDS40!

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing an early spring work wear look with LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt from Stitch Fix with black Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and a red handbag.

You can definitely swap out the long sleeve sweater for a short sleeve version when it gets warmer, but this works perfectly for the current weather situation in our neck of the woods.

A blazer would also make a nice addition to this outfit; it would create more structure through the waist area, and of course it would also provide extra warmth if you need that.

I’m not wearing hose, but they certainly would not detract from this look at all. I’d wear a verrrry sheer nude or black if I wore hose with this. Probably nude, to keep it from being too heavy. I recommend Donna Karen The Nudes if you need a good pair of sheer hose.

Finally, these black pumps are my absolute favorites. They’re so good to walk in, the shape is flattering, and the leather is high quality. You can sometimes find them on sale but not very often. In my opinion, they’re worth paying full price if you need a classic pair of pumps. For a lower heeled option, check out this pair by Cole Haan.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing an early spring work wear look with LE LIS Maura Zip Pocket Detail Skirt from Stitch Fix with black Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and a red handbag.

 button cuff sweater (short sleeve alternative) // similar skirt // my go-to black pumps (low-heeled option) // similar red bags here / here / here // monogram pendant: 3XL with 16″ chain

Be sure to visit Cyndi and see the spring outfit she’s styling today!

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54 Responses

  1. As a photographer, I think about the rule of thirds all the time in my photos, but never in my clothing! Thanks for pointing this out!

  2. You look fabulous. Love the outfit. I’m a pants person too so understand how you feel. You look great in skirts though. But comfort rules with me. Ha

  3. I think that’s a fabulous outfit.  Can I ask what’s your rule of proportions for a maxi skirt and T-shirt combo?   I’m 5’2” 

  4. 1/3 to 1/3 to 1/3 outfit formula never thought about this, I wear a lot of skirts in the spring and summer here in FL, so will be applying this to my outfits. Also I like to pop the under colors in an outfit, like you did with the red zipper and purse. People ask me all the time about how i put together shirts with skirts and not wear color on color, I tell them to look for the under color and pop it some how, for example a purse, jewelry , shoes or a different top from what you would normally wear.

  5. Such a pretty work look! I love that you included the 1/3 rule, getting proportions right really makes all the difference, so helpful! Hope you have a great weekend!

  6. This looks cute and even though I have no need for a “real” professional wardrobe in my “mom” life, the info about the rule of thirds is really interesting and helpful in explaining why some outfits just look “off” to me because of their proportions.

    But the REAL reason I’m commenting is because when I first read the post I thought you said you bought the purse for yourself when you were out shopping for something for a friend. THAT I can totally relate to 😉

  7. I am always preaching the rule of thirds when people ask me for styling advice.  I love this outfit.  The skirt is beautiful and the button detail on your sweater sleeves is so pretty. And of course, red bag perfection always elevates an outfit! I hope the snow has stopped down your way because I am planning a trip that way tomorrow!


  8. You know I’m always such a fan when you wear a skirt or dress Jo-Lynne. I mean, heck you have fabulous legs from all that running—you ought to show them off while you can. And I’ve read all about those proportions, and they are true. But I think this shows how a little leeway for them, still works wonderfully. !!! Have a fabulous weekend!!

  9. I’ve read the rule of thirds before but it is easier to understand the way you have explained it. Love this outfit even though I don’t wear “work” clothes anymore.

  10. You look fabulous in this fantastic outfit!  I really appreciate you sharing the thirds rule with us.  I think that’s why I am donating the ON duster cardigan; it just didn’t look right on me, no matter what I wore with it.  I have long legs and an average height torso,but the extra long sweater chopped my legs up too much.  I hope the weather is better there today, so y’all can prep for the potential snow on Monday.  Larry starts back on the oral chemo today, so this will be a rough weekend for him.  I will be spending most of my time putting our master bedroom back together, so that he can resume sleeping in there, and getting the front part of the house ready for the painting to begin on Monday.

      1. Thank you!  Fortunately, the only real side effects Larry has from the oral chemo is having to pee a lot and he’s extra sleepy.  He took numerous naps yesterday.  Hopefully, he will have a little more energy today, then tomorrow he should be better.

  11. I love it when you point out why you choose the pieces you wear!  Thank you!  Sometimes I know my outfit doesn’t look just right but can’t put my finger on why. Now I know. I am also loving your new emails!!!

  12. This outfit looks so pretty on you! I love the details with the pop of red in the purse. Thank you for taking time to explain the reasoning behind the 1/3 rule. The visual explanation helps, also.  I’d be curious about wearing a maxi skirt or dress and how to apply this rule wearing either of those. What would you do?  Enjoy your weekend!

    1. I’d say a maxi dress is 3/3 – it is just the whole body. This is why some have a different color on top – that would be the 1/3 – or if there is a waistband, that could break it up into a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio. With a maxi skirt, the top is 1/3 and the skirt is 2/3 — see, I wear a longer top with a maxi skirt. Ultimately, it’s what looks good to the eye, the measurements may not always be perfect. But taking mirror selfies and looking at the picture (not the mirror) helps a lot when trying to figure out proportions.

  13. Thank you Jo-Lynne for the tutorial on the rule of 1/3 when wearing a skirt. I try and use that rule when wearing pants but had never thought about it when wearing a skirt. You made it so easy to understand. Just wondering though, how do you apply that rule when wearing a dress?

    1. I’m thinking the dress is 2/3 and the legs are 1/3 ??? But I don’t know… I mean, I like a knee length sheath, but if the dress is maxi length or floor length, it is basically the whole 3/3. And if it is midi … well, that is why heels work best with midi dresses, I guess? Every woman is different so it’s not an exact science, more or less a rule of thumb, but ultimately it’s how it looks to the eye – and there are a myriad of ways to trick the eye — shoes, over layers, color blocking, etc.

  14. Love this skirt and the slight flare.  I remember the days when i could wear a pencil skirt but those days have passed.  Happy Friday!

  15. The monogram necklace is such a cool accessory. You look really good in skirts and I’d wear this outfit in a heartbeat. I can understand what you mean about the top being just a little shorter… but it works as is in my book 🙂

  16. I love this outfit. Skirt, sweater, purse, everything! I have the same body-type as you (short mid-section with a well-endowed chest). Thank you for the rule of thirds explanation. I’ll be “testing” my outfits now!

  17. Jolynne, I have always been a skirt and dress girl so you can imagine The outfit today is a fave. Also please tell your daughter that one of your readers is “So OLD ” when she played basketball in high school “girls” had to stop mid court. Don’t remember exactly how that worked. The offence on one side the defence on the other a roving guard and forward. Anyway I hope you all enjoy the game and your daughter plays well and has fun. Bet you wear jeans🏀🤸😋

  18. So cute!!! I actually like the longer length to the top!!! I’m not a fan of the shorter shirt lengths that are trending!!! I look way better in a little bit longer top!! love you in the skirt!!!

    1. I think it depends on each person’s body type – and height plays into it as well. I know a lot of women like longer tops. I hope they keep offering a variety in stores!

  19. I have been following you for years!  I believe this is one of your best looks for your body!   Thanks for the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3, lesson. It works!   

  20. This is such a cute outfit!  Thanks for the lesson on thirds.  I am really enjoying the extra features in your emails.  Today, I particularly enjoyed the 4 top items of the week.  I went to Old Navy and tried on that cute $15 dress. I tried the navy solid, and the stripe.  It is a cute dress, but I decided to pass on it anyway.  The fabric is heavy, and I live in a hot climate…no esta bien! 

  21. Love this pretty outfit! I have trouble with skirts too – I have the same well endowed problem and I never know what top to wear with them. You look lovely!

  22. I can’t believe someone else received the same item I received in my Stitch Fix box. I sent mine back as I didn’t like how it it on my knees. It looks super cute on you.

    I’m loving the spring ideas you are putting together. I don’t mind having snow in the back ground. I know from the news you have been receiving a bunch of snow.

  23. The things we learn as bloggers. I never really knew about that rule of thirds, but it makes sense and it looks better if you pay attention to that “rule”. It is a lot like photography…which I am still learning so much about. There are just so many things to learn and while the older I get the better it is for my brain, sometimes it makes me tired. Ha, ha. You look fab, pretty lady! Have a great weekend and thank for hosting the link up! – Amy

    1. Yeah, I was looking at these pictures and wanting to hike up my sweater just a bit, and when I did the measurements in photoshop, I thought it was funny how my eye was pretty accurate. It just needed a nudge. 🙂

  24. Thank you for explaining the 1/3! I never heard
    Of this however it makes sense and is very helpful.
    It’s possible to teach an old dog new tricks🤗.
    Stay warm in the east coast!
    From the west sunny west coast!

  25. I know you don’t really like wearing skirts, but this ensemble looks great on you!  Thank you for explaining the rule of thirds, so helpful!  Do you size up in the Hazel pumps or wear your usual size?  Thought I would give them a try though I wish the heel was just a littttttle bit lower!

  26. I don’t know how I missed this post initially but thanks for bringing it to my attention.  It REALLY explains the rule of thirds and the diagram is great!!  I’m more of a visual learner and this is perfect!  It sure would be worth sharing again in case anyone else missed it.  😊

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