Wardrobe Basics + Stripe Scarf

Greetings, friends! Happy Friday and First Day of December! Today I’ve got a casual look with a hint of sophistication — at least that was the vibe I was going for. This outfit is made up of some of my favorite wardrobe basics plus a stripe scarf to give it a focal point and a pop of color.

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

As I’ve come into my own and become comfortable with my personal style (it’s about time, I’m 45, after all!) I’ve decided that my ideal wardrobe is made up of simple, quality pieces that I can put together in a few different ways. I’m okay with the fact that a lot my outfits are similar, and I don’t mind wearing the same things over when they’re all pieces I absolutely love.

With the evolution of this blog and turning to fashion topics full-time, I try to purchase a variety of styles and price points, and I certainly cycle through clothes lot a lot faster than what is typical, but it’s these classic outfits made up of quality wardrobe basics that I come back to time and time again.

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

As you can tell from my #OOTD posts on Instagram, my daily fall/winter uniform consists of some type of pullover + jeans + boots/booties/loafers/ballet flat combo; but I’m learning to add one statement piece — a scarf, a piece of jewelry, a colorful bag, or a great pair of shoes — to keep my outfits from getting stale.

In this case, the key wardrobe pieces are my jeans, sweater, and boots. While those look fine together all on their own, I added a quilted vest and a striped scarf to make the outfit more interesting (and warmer!)

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

This charcoal grey cashmere v-neck sweater is simple, but it’s a nice mid-quality cashmere with a flattering fit. I love that it has true shoulder seams and a straight hemline. While I do enjoy the split hem styles and the high/low hems on some sweaters, I believe this straight hemline is the most universally flattering and easiest to layer.

Also, the length is perfect (at least for my short-waisted 5’5″), and I like the shape and depth of the v-neckline. Normally I would wear a necklace, but since I was covering it up with the scarf, I didn’t bother.

This sweater is a great wardrobe basic, and it’s a really good price for cashmere at $69 (it’s currently 20% off.) It comes in a ton of gorgeous colors and it runs true to size. I have the small, but if I wanted to layer under it, I would go for the medium.

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

I like the juxtaposition of the luxe sweater with the distressed jeans, and the quilted down vest adds a preppy vibe to the outfit. I don’t wear it a ton, but I like to have a few quilted vests in my closet for the days I don’t want to wear a coat but I need another layer.

I never thought I could wear quilted vests until I found these J.Crew Excursion vests. They fit really well and don’t add too much bulk. They aren’t cheap, but you can often snag one on sale, and the quality is great. In fact, right now this vest is 30% off with code BUTTONUP.

For a more budget-friendly option, I recommend the quilted puffer vest at J.Crew Factory. I have the green one, and while it isn’t as thick and doesn’t have as much down content, it’s still a nice looking vest.

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

The rain boots were more or less an afterthought, but I really love how they play into the outfit. I don’t usually wear my rain boots when it isn’t raining, but it was a chilly, overcast day, so they work.

These boots were a Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchase, and I really like the matte finish and the refined styling. They’re 25% off right now and starting to sell out. I really like the striped buckle strap, but Zappo’s has the plain ones fully stocked. I would say these run true to size, unlike other Hunter styles that run really big.

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

When I wear a quilted vest over a turtleneck, I usually bypass the scarf and wear a necklace, but I was afraid I’d be cold with the open v-neck so a scarf was the perfect solution. I like how it becomes the focal point of the otherwise neutral outfit. My scarf has been discontinued, but I like this stripe scarf a lot.

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

I carried my go-to black satchel and added this Stella & Dot beaded leather wrap bracelet — definitely my favorite accessory purchase this fall! It adds interest to an outfit and doesn’t get in the way when you’re typing or make noise when you move around.

Don’t forget, I’m running a virtual trunk show for Stella & Dot (I’m a stylist.) You can take advantage of the half-off trunk show exclusives if you make a qualifying purchase through THIS LINK. All the details are in THIS POST.

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

You can’t see them, but I was wearing oversized pearl studs for earrings. I like studs when I’m wearing a scarf because they don’t interfere or get caught on it like hoops and drop earrings tend to do.

I thought I might regret choosing the black vest with the charcoal grey sweater — I almost wore my red one, but I really like how this outfit turned out. It’s more elegant and understated with the black over charcoal, and the scarf and jeans serve to lighten up the look.

How to add interest to a plain outfit. | Fashion for Women Over 40 | #momfashion #winteroutfit

Halogen v-neck cashmere sweater // J.Crew Excursion quilted down vest // similar striped scarf // AG raw hem legging ankle jeans (similar for less) // Hunter refined matte rain boots // R Minkoff Mini Perry black satchel // Stella & Dot Yves wrap bracelet

Be sure to visit Cyndi and see the winter outfit she’s styling today.

And it’s Friday, so that means linkup day!

Fashion Friday

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40 thoughts on “Wardrobe Basics + Stripe Scarf

  1. Where did you get your monogram necklace (like in your profile photo)? I know you’ve listed it before but now I cannot find it!

  2. I love the outfit, it’s perfect for this time of year! I’m thinking about the live tree dilemma. Perhaps a compromise of a small (tabletop) live tree that really needs them? Think Charlie Brown! Good luck, we can’t wait to hear what happens!

    1. That’s a good idea, but they each have a small tree in their rooms. They want the big one in the family room, and I get it. We’re going to see if we can make it happen. 🙂

  3. I too love a simple yet classy outfit! These days I’m all about being comfortable yet classy in my outfits. Many of the things you style fit the bill for me and you always look so cute!
    I hear ya with family traditions. It’s funny how our kids get set in their ways frim the atmosphere we instill in our homes! My grown children have now carried many of our traditions into their own homes! And just this year I wasn’t going to display my well loved snow village until my little granddaughter lamented, “But Grammy, you always have the snow village!” So we pulled it out and she got to help me set it up this year. And so now, she thinks it would be a great tradition if she helps me with it every year! Tradition. I guess it becomes part of the fabric of who we are! Happy hunting for the live tree! LOL

    1. Ah, yes. The Snow Village. I used to do those too. True confessions, I finally sold a bunch on eBay and then sent the rest to the thrift store. I feel so bad about it but they just stressed me out. NO way have I got time for that, and I don’t really have the talent for it either. My mom style puts up her Dickins Village, and my daughters LOVE it. Can’t wait to be at her house this Christmas.

  4. Another simple and yet elegant look that works for everyday but doesn’t look like everyone else. The understated color palette is fabulous and classic which adds a note of sophistication. Thank you for sharing your styling ideas and for the link up. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. 


  5. Jo-Lynne I love this outfit. And that purse is a must have! I would like to see how you tied your scarf. Maybe you could do a tutorial on different ways. Have fun decorating this weekend! Get the tree! They are only young once.

  6. Oh I absolutely love this outfit I would not change a thing… I love the casual put together look over any other style and this one I’d wear in a heart beat. I have many pieces I too wear over and over because they are so comfy yet you can change them up with different footwear or accessories. I don’t know about you but when I put too much effort into an outfit or try to be too different I don’t usually like it. lol . Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing .

      1. Great post, super cute outfit. Can you cover rainy day, warm outfits? I am in the great Pacific northwest, and its raining or misting here a lot! I have fine hair so need to wear coats with hoods that look stylish. Also what takes the place of the white t shirt in winter time, i am always cold in the damp cold weather up here and like to be warm!

  7. LOL. I love this look! This is one of my “uniforms” as my kids like to call them. Simple, but put-together looking. Jo-Lynne, I sent the gray sweater you’re wearing in this post back because I have so many of this style and kept the gray J Crew one I gave the link for.

  8. Wearing your clothes in different ways helps us rethink our own wardrobes. Trying to buy something new all the time will take the fun out of shopping for you, plus it’s expensive. Another blogger I follow does a series “ wearing your …. 5 different ways. It’s fun and expands our smaller wardrobes. All that to say, it’s not boring, it’s helpful.
    Perhaps, changing two traditions in a year is too much for the kids. Your day picking the tree has always been a fun, family event. I know my kids like our traditions and now that they are on their own they have carried many on, while I have dropped some. Ha!

    1. Yes, I love Cassie’s 5 ways series! I often think I should do that, although I don’t want to copy. I did the pine green jeans 4 ways and the red jeans 3 ways earlier this fall, but I’ll keep trying to come up with new items to do that with. This sweater is an ideal subject.

      1. Different colour combos will help us stretch our wardrobes, too. I saw a pic on Pinterest of an outfit with royal blue paired with grey jeans. I had never thought to combine those two colours but loved it enough to copy. Who would think that pale pink (blush) would combine so nicely with burgundy? Or, even red with pink. You make us think outside of the usual colour pairings.

  9. This is one of the reasons I love reading your blog Jo-Lynne. Because we are almost opposites. I tend to ignore the basics, and go straight to the unique and crazy items!! So being able to see your point gives me so much insight into other “normal” people!!!
    Have a great weekend!!

  10. No apologies for showing something you already own or have shown before!  It’s the small changes that make a difference over the years with a “basic” wardrobe.  You always have great ideas for accessories such as sunglasses, bags, scarves, shoes, jewelry–These days I have a closet that fits me well and that I like, so your blog helps me update with just a few accessory change-ups.  I don’t turn to your blog for shopping info as much as I turn for updates that keep me modern without jumping on every trend.  Appreciate you!

  11. Jolynne, this is the perfect outfit! My style is very much like this. I wear jeans and a top, often a cashmere sweater this time of year, and I love vests. I have bought a ton of them.  Aside from being warm, they add a little something extra to the outfit. I’m also a scarf hoarder! I love them! I love that you wore the Hunter boots with this. I’ve been thinking about getting a pair of the refined boots. I have several pairs of the regular ones, and with my skinny legs and petite frame, they are a little clunky. I love them nonetheless, but I think the refined Hunters would be a better look for me. Have a great weekend!

  12. Can you start posting the actual color of the clothes and shoes on your blog?  For example are the Hunters on this page navy blue or black?

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