Neutral Denim Looks for Transition Season

** This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. 

This time of year is always hard to dress for. It’s still quite cold here in Philly, as it is in many areas of the country, but I’m itching to change up my drab winter uniform and wear some lighter colors and fabrics.

Open Edit trench (S) // Marine Layer sweater (S) // FRAME denim (29) // Vince booties (8) (option) (option) // necklaces (option) // earrings

I decided to take myself to the mall to see what’s new at Nordstrom that might pique my interest, and I came home with two new outfits that I can’t wait to share with you today!

Actually, make that three… I ended up photographing a bonus outfit with a couple of quick swaps from items in my closet.

The pièce de résistance for the first two looks is this belted trench coat. I just love this subtle shade of green. It almost reads as a neutral, but it’s such a nice, fresh hue to brighten up these dreary winter days.

This coat is fully lined with traditional notch lapels, side seam pockets, and a removable belt; and the double breasted style and 48″ length keeps it looking effortlessly modern while maintaining a classic silhouette.

It even has a storm shield on the back and a deep kick pleat, for ease of movement. This coat runs true to size, or size down if in between; I have a small.

The bonus outfit I mentioned features a black long sleeve rib polo and these black Vince booties from last year’s #NSale.

My boots are pretty much sold out, but these are a good alternative. And this sweater is fully stocked. It’s been getting a lot of airtime in my current outfit rotation.

It’s a high quality knit fabric, and I love the flat ribbing and polo neck detail. I also appreciate the way the dark buttons on the coat relate to the black sweater and boots when they’re all put together.

But as I said above, I’m itching to wear lighter colors at this point in the year, so I picked up this cotton/wool blend ribbed crewneck sweater in the Ivory Pristine when I was shopping last week. It also pairs beautifully with the seafoam green trench coat.

This sweater hits all the right notes with the classic crewneck, cozy cotton/wool ribbed knit, and raglan seaming at the shoulders.

It has an easy fit and a versatile 24″ length. In fact, I like this sweater so much, I also came home with the black/ivory stripe.

And these jeans are another new discovery from my recent shopping expedition. While wide leg styles may be the most fashion forward denim silhouette at the moment, flares are not far behind, and I immediately fell in love with this pair with their super stretchy denim fabric in the medium-light wash.

FRAME Le Easy Flare Jeans (29) (budget option) // Nordstrom Rib Organic Cotton & Merino Wool Sweater (S) // Dolce Vita Dee Pointed Toe Bootie (8.5) // YSL belt (option/option)

They’re the perfect 31″ inseam for me to wear with low heels or flats, and the high 12″ rise with the relaxed fit through the thighs and generous 24″ flared leg opening keeps them from looking too much like the low-slung bootcut jeans I wore almost exclusively when I was a young mom in the early aughts.

Style Tip: When we embrace trending styles we’ve worn before at another time of our lives, we run the risk of looking like we never left that era, so if you like to stay current, you want to pay attention to those small details that create a more modern look. (These jeans have a similar look for less.)

My pointed toe booties with the kitten heel also help to keep it current.

Speaking of styles we’ve worn in another era of our lives, I also happened to notice this denim midi skirt when I was wandering through Nordstrom last week, and I immediately grabbed it and took it to the nearest dressing room. As luck would have it, I slipped it on, and it’s pretty much perfect in every way!

At times in the past, I’ve worn the long straight styles and the knee-length pencil skirt styles, but these midi-length A-line denim skirts have been calling to me ever since I saw them popping up a couple seasons ago. I think they have such a fun, retro flair.

Nordstrom Rib Sweater (S) // Rails The Highland Denim Midi Skirt (29) // Sam Edelman boots (more options) // rag & bone belt (M) // necklaces (option) // earrings // Clare V. Midi Sac // similar sunglasses (option)

This one has the perfect amount of distressing and a raw hem so you can easily cut off some of the length, should you desire to do so. I also love the back vent and the rear pocket placement. Score one for Rails!

These A-line denim skirts can be hard to come by, so I was thrilled when I searched my phone and found this one fully stocked online at Nordstrom!

In fact, they’ve definitely upped the ante this spring to meet the demand, because I also found some other nice denim skirt options at various price points with good inventory. If you’ve been in the market for one, you’ll definitely want to check them out.

I almost paired this skirt with the black and ivory stripe sweater, but at the last minute, I decided to go with the solid ivory and pop the neutral look with this fabulous Clare V. camera bag.

The sporty stripes and red trim at the zipper are such great details, and the luxe leather and chambray lining is so Clare V. She always adds just the right touches to make a bag a little extra special.

These boots were another #NSale purchase that have all but sold out, but that’s the great thing about a neutral look like this. You can probably shop your closet, or find a similar pair with better inventory.

I love how this look came together. It’s casual and comfortable enough for daily activities, but also looks elevated enough to wear to church or some work environments, or even out to dinner on the weekends.

In fact, I had to run a few errands after my photo shoot, and it was nice to feel put-together and a little bit sassy, even if  I was just picking up groceries and dry cleaning!

Why do we save our favorite outfits for what we deem to be worthy occasions, when we can enjoy them anytime we want? This may be my new mantra.

If you’re looking for a few new pieces to get you through the winter doldrums, or want to try some new styles for spring, Nordstrom offers free shipping and free returns on all orders.

And if you have a store local to you, they also have BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store) and contactless curbside pickup options, so you don’t even have to get out of your car.

Also, be sure to sign up to be a Nordy Club member, 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 will be here again before we know it!

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photos: Alison Cornell

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29 thoughts on “Neutral Denim Looks for Transition Season

  1. Great outfits, Jo-Lynne! I love the denim skirt, looks awesome with the boots. I see there is no stretch and you were able to get your normal jean size. Not sure if I would need to go up a size for ease around the waist. Looks like I need I trip to Nordstroms! I also love the color of the trench coat. I have a great London Fog black trench that I’ve worn for years and still love it, but I really like the lighter color. The Clare V bag is sweet, but still a little too big for those venues that still require teeny bags (like 5″ x 7″). I wish those restrictions would be eased or lifted! Enjoy the sun today!

      1. NHL Hockey games for one….the size restriction is ridiculous. 6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ at Toronto arena. 8″ x 5″ x 1″ at Nationwide arena in Columbus Ohio when we were there recently.

      2. Any Phillies game for sure. Went to a symphony concert at Santander Performing Art Center in Reading last weekend to watch my grandson play and bag restriction was 5×7, and they measured. Didn’t realize beforehand, glad my daughter had a clutch I could borrow for the performance!!. Any event at the Linc as well. I have a clear crossbody I have used there (I still remember all the fun at the Taylor Swift concert there, all the younger girls blinged up their tiny bags!!! Very creative!)

          1. It seems like a lot of concert venues, big ones, are requiring a teeny tiny bag too. I always look to see what any venues requires now before I go. I don’t want to have to go back to my car, ugh.

      3. I have run into this at college basketball and football games, MLB games, concerts, and even a small(ish) city hockey game. It’s so annoying. I have some pretty small purses but they are often too big. Sometimes the requirement for a bag is essentially the same size as my phone! I do have a clear crossbody bag but it’s too large for occasions where I really just need my phone, license & credit card, car key, and a lipstick. Ugh.

    1. I recently to a Washington Capitals game and saw online that you could only bring clear tiny bags into the arena, can’t remember the size but it was really small and I didn’t have a clear bag. I just went without. Carried my phone in my coat pocket and my husband carried my license.

  2. Love, Love both outfits and are so becoming on you! You can truly find anything at Northstrom, love online shopping from them just wish a store was nearby me!

  3. I totally agree with your new mantra and hope to start wearing more of my favorite outfits. I think I look decent when I’m out shopping until I see other women that look much more fashionable. Not to mention that wearing my favorite things always makes me feel happier!

  4. Jo-Lynne – maybe a silly question for you…when you go to the store to shop for jeans…can you just tell the rise and inseam length by looking at them, do you bring something to measure? Do you look them up online? I feel like it would take me forever to find jeans in person that had the rise and inseam that I’m looking for…

  5. Totally Luv jean skirts! Have two: Just above the knee and bottom of the calf lengths. Although not appropriate for the office they becime my weekend go-to’s!

  6. I saved this quote last year, and find myself referring to it often: “The best New Year’s resolution I ever made was to start devouring all my nicest things, and save no small pleasure for an unspecified future. Now I burn the good candles, wear the expensive perfume at home, scribble imperfectly in pretty notebooks. You can’t pin joy like a moth.” I’m telling you, this was life changing for me!

    1. Oh, I so agree, Rebecca! During the lockdown and health scare of 2020-21 I decided to wear my better jewelry (mostly Tiffany pieces from my hubs!) so wore a necklace or bracelet every day. Every time I saw myself in the mirror it made me smile and I wondered why I kept them hidden away in the pretty teal boxes! I have learned from that, so I still wear my better jewelry a lot. My daughter will get those pieces when I’m gone, so why not enjoy them myself now!!:)

  7. I love the denim skirt and have considered getting one for a while. But I’m not sure what to wear with it- I love the boots but living in South Florida that would only work a day or two a year.

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