Style Lessons: Finishing a Tee & Jeans

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That old tee and jeans combo. I think what I like most about it is it’s dependability and unassuming air. It never changes and doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is – classic, easy and cool.

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So here they are together. Alone. It’s…cute. Definitely a usual for me when I am at home (and not in my pjs or more recently…loungewear), but it makes me look too much like a mom (and I can say that because I am a mom- ha). It just doesn’t say anything, you know? I’ve always believed that clothes speak…and they do. They dooooo. It’s an expression, so what is this old tee and jeans expressing? Nada mucho. Let’s get it talking, shall we?

STEP ONE – Make the Tee less Mom

Umm. Cams, we are moms. I know, I know. Hear me out.

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The tee cries out for something more. It’s basic, so it needs something to push it further. I simply ditched the plain blue jeans for something a bit more edgy – these deliciously destructed jeans are my current go-to. J. Crew denim tends to be a bit boring, in my own opinion, and I’d rather buy a designer brand before I spend almost just as much on the Crew’s, but these…these have it. They instantly make any tee look cooler. Also, tuck that tee in a bit in the front. MONEY.

The keyword to remember here is simply. Styling should be simple and come easy. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong (and I say that with love;). If you run into feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable with what you’re putting on, start again. Erase and start fresh with your clean canvas – the tee and jeans. This happens to me A LOT. I find that the harder I am trying, the more my outfit is just not me. If I let it all come together naturally, adding things without overthinking…the outfit ends up looking so much better and not “put on”, if you know what I mean.

STEP TWO – Add Shoes for the Feets

…because it’s a bit cold to go barefoot and if you pick the right pair, the outfit will begin to take off from there.

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A simple black, pointy toe pump is perfect. It lengthens, gives the outfit a more streamlined look and adds a feminine touch to the otherwise gender neutral white t-shirt and jeans. This particular pair has a lower heel, but somehow that does not take away from their sexiness. Usually you have to sacrifice sexy by going with a lower heel, but no…not with these. I saw them in H&M (over a year ago) and I think I sprinted for them. I knew they’d be the closest these mom feet got to comfortable heels. They have not disappointed. Not one bit.

STEP THREE – Layer

Adding a layer, preferably a patterned one, adds dimension to the outfit.

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I opted to leave the shirt unbuttoned in order to show off the classic tucked tee underneath. It also makes the outfit less preppy this way…which is always the way to go, in my own humble opinion. Preppy pieces, such as a button-up, are wonderful base pieces to start with, because they can so easily be styled to look more edgy.

STEP FOUR – Fill In That Blank Space

It’s time to accessorize. The white, blank space needs something to catch the eye.

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Layering on the jewelry can be…errrr…interesting with babes. There’s always someone pulling, wanting to be held, playing with and attempting to eat whatever is around your neck. It’s always a fun little adventure. The key to making it work: keep it simple (again) and layer. I only added two necklaces. Nothing else. No earrings, no bracelets…nada mas. It’s all this outfit needed, really.

STEP FIVE – Add a Jacket

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Anthony: Mom, we know who the real style star is here…moi.

…because jackets are coooool, ya’ll. A jacket can do so much for an outfit. It adds more substance to the look and allows for the layers underneath to pop out in all the right ways. It helps if the jacket is an army-like style with zippers, pockets…and a seriously cool sheer back panel (see below. for realz). This is the look for a causal date night or if you lean more towards the feminine and preppy. You’re done, lady.

If you just can’t do pumps (no matter the heel height) or prefer to rock it out a bit more, please do continue to the next step…

STEP SIX – Mix it Up

You know, I thought I was all ready to go with that last step, but I decided last minute to change it up a bit. I swapped out my pumps for combat boots, added a slouchy open front sweater , shades, great bag and…aaahhh. Yes. Yessssss.

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That was it. I made simple adjustments to the outfit and BAM, baby. Sometimes you’ll start with one thing and end up with something entirely different…just by taking away one thing here and adding another in it’s place. That too simple, soccer mom-ish tee and jeans is now a ROCKIN’ outfit.

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Notice, I did not end up wearing the sweater underneath. It was 60+ degrees here in the Carolinas (don’t throw things at me), so I didn’t need it.

wearing:

tee: Everlane Cotton V (wearing a size S for reference)

jeans: J. Crew toothpick jean, blacksmith wash (wearing a size 27 for reference – I went down a size)

plaid shirt: Banana Republic soft-wash plaid shirt (wearing a size S for reference) – sold out (boooo), but I lurv this Wayf Long Sleeve Plaid Blouse from Nordstrom. If you like Banana’s fit, here is another one of their soft-wash options…and this one too.

jacket: old find (lo siento), but oooooh, do I love this Levi’s Parachute Cotton Parka. I’ve mentioned it on here before…and that’s because it’s awesome.

pumps: H&M (old – lo siento again). Sole Society’s D’orsay Pump is pretty great as well as these jeweled Kate Spade Jaylee Pumps

boots: Steve Madden Troopa boot and I adore them. I’ve had them for at least 2 years and they have been one of THE best shoe purchases I have made. You can wear them a few different ways too, which…well, geez…awesome.

bling: Baublebar (sold out) + I DIY-ed the tassel one from an old bracelet and necklace, but hey…this ASOS necklace does the layering for you as well as this Baublebar Triple Strands Necklace.

bag: Kate Spade and I are currently having a hot love affair (my husband’s cool with it). I can’t find my particular handbag online, because I scored it at a factory store. However, I did find some other very similar handbags – Kate Spade Grove Court Maise Leather SatchelCedar Street Maise SatchelGrove Court small Leslie Satchel. Oh, and definitely head over to check-out the awesome Kate Spade section on Amazon!

shades: Tommy Hilifiger, Marshalls find. Hella, these Illesteva Holly Cat Eye are sweet. If you rock these Asos Round Sunglasses or any round shades, I’ll dance for you. This Quay Flyn pair too.

Cheers,

Cams

Images: Andrea Monteruil Photography 

29 COMMENTS

  1. Love this post! I ordered the Levi’s jacket- any idea on the sizing? Worried it runs big! Keep these coming, so practical and easy to implement these ideas!

    • You know, I don’t have the jacket…so I’m not sure on the sizing. The couple reviews seem to say that it does run a little big, but then someone else says it’s true to size. I hope it ends up fitting you well! Cheers.

  2. I love the ideas…. However I’m not a size small anything. How does a more girthy mama tuck, not look frumpy…? A tshirt on a fuller figure always tends to look…. Wrong…. Not graceful and flowy.

    • I’m a curvy girl and I feel like the little tuck works great for keeping me from looking like a blob of boobs and hips. I always size up on my t-shirts (Loft’s sunwashed t’s are great) by one or two sizes and then just tuck the very front to hide my pooch. 😉

      • Agree! Size up – or go tall if that works better – and with a half tuck plus a V or scoop neckline it’s a winner. And as for this outfit, couldn’t wear this outfit without the jacket – the structure makes it works for curves, whereas flannel over T (while my 90s self weeps tears of joy) my mirror just weeps. 🙂

  3. And…I cannot implement this simple styling tip at all for the lack of wardrobe!! Any tips on styling jeans and a fleece hooded jacket? 😉

  4. I have a question … I LOVE button-down flannel shirts, but my bra size is DD, so button-downs often get gappy on me or tight in the chest. I’m looking for a style that’s a good fit for a curvy girl. I have tried sizing up and sometimes that works, but sometimes it looks like I am wearing a tent (bad news if you’re 5′ 4″). Any styles you can recommend to me? My favorite color is blue. Thanks in advance! –Shelle

    • I’m right there with you having had pre-pregnancy DDs and mid-pregnancy DDDs (when will they stop growing?!) while being a medium fit otherwise. For years I thought tent button downs were the only, unacceptable option. I’ve satiated my love of button downs by experimenting with brands and fits. Last year some J Crew, Banana Republic, and even some Old Navy fit well. Gap and Loft were comical. Basically, experimenting with brands worked for me. It was a time investment, but I found that once I figured out what worked for my body, I could ID workable items online.

  5. Darn! I’m in desperate need of a black skinny jean or a heavier duty black legging. The Blacksmith skinny jean from J Crew is out of stock in my size. Any other suggestions for a black skinny jean (torn knees would be such a plus) or a heavier duty black legging? Thank you and LOVE your posts!!

  6. Totally copied you and proud of it! I swapped the jacket for a puffer vest and my husband commented on how great, but laid back I looked.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

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