The Base Outfit That Looks Good With All Cardigans & Soft Jackets

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I did it! I found my formula for wearing ALL the cardigans and snuggable jackets this fall. Sometimes cardigans and unstructured jackets can just look so…well…blah.

The thing is, I WANT to wear cozy cardigans and super soft jackets (you know I’m ALL about comfort), but I don’t particularly want to look blah. It can be a challenge, though, figuring out how to blend these two (what seem to be) opposing desires.

The Base Outfit That Elevates ALL The Cardigans & Soft Jackets

But voilà…I found the formula for a base outfit I’ll be wearing on repeat this fall that seems to work! Neutral stripes (think grays and beiges), good denim, and gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots. Feel free to add in a fabulous fun bag too if you want EXTRA “non-blah”.

Found: the base outfit I'm wearing on repeat. Neutral stripes (think grays & beiges), good jeans + gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots.

Jeans | Sweater | Jacket | Boots | Earrings (Black-Owned-Business) | Bag

My Go-To Base Outfit: Neutral Stripes, Good Jeans & Fancy Ankle Boots

You can of course play around a bit with the choices in this formula to meet your budget and personal style, but I’m likely sticking with these boots and these jeans, and only playing around with the various stripes and top layers (keep scrolling to see the other stripes, cardigans and jacket options). I guarantee you’ll be seeing these pieces on me a TON this fall –when I find something that works, I’m not afraid to commit.

1. Start With Gorgeous Designer Boots

Found: the base outfit I'm wearing on repeat. Neutral stripes (think grays & beiges), good jeans + gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots.

Aquatalias are VERY special boots. Functional luxury is how they are described — Italian design mixed with weather-proof and stain-resistant technology. Not a bad combination. Many of us wait and wait for the ones we want to go on sale. Weather-friendly, chic, comfortable and very high-quality. They have a bit of a cult following in the comfortable (but still super-stylish) boot world.

These particular Aquatalias run TTS, but are narrow-“ish”. Even though they felt a little snug going on (my feet are on-the-wider side), they have molded to my foot perfectly. I love this gray hue (and they look good with pretty much everything), but a pair of navy Aquatalias just arrived to my house, and they are absolutely stunning. The color is the prettiest navy I’ve seen in a boot EVER and I think they would work equally as well in this formula.

I’ll admit, I say “I’m sticking with these boots”, but I WILL likely be looking for a pair of clog boots to switch into this formula as well (maybe these will come in gray or navy this year??)

2. And Good Jeans, Of Course.

Found: the base outfit I'm wearing on repeat. Neutral stripes (think grays & beiges), good jeans + gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots.

Jeans | Boots | Stripe Sweater | Jacket | Earrings (Black-Owned-Business) | Bag

I am partial to my favorite MOTHER Insider Chew Hem jeans, but any crop medium wash denim will work if you have your own favorite. These jeans ARE by far my most-worn, though, and after selling out initially SUPER fast, they’re finally back in stock EVERYWHERE!

At Nordstrom | At Saks | At Shopbop | At Bloomies | At Neiman Marcus

Found: the base outfit I'm wearing on repeat. Neutral stripes (think grays & beiges), good jeans + gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots.

Jeans | Boots | Stripe Sweater | Jacket | Earrings (Black-Owned-Business) | Bag

I’m wearing a size 28 in these jeans. I could definitley size up for a slouchier fit, but they’re plenty comfortable in my typical size and I like a bit more fitted look, especially with cardigans and jackets.

3. Add A Neutral Striped Top

Found: the base outfit I'm wearing on repeat. Neutral stripes (think grays & beiges), good jeans + gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots.

My favorite stripes right now are from Vince, but I’m finding many neutral stripes that work in this formula. For me, finding the softer neutrals has been key…grays, beiges and tans (not stark black and whites). I’m wearing an XS in this particular sweater, but wish I would have gotten the small for more drape.

More Neutral Stripe Tops

4. Top It Off With ALL The Cardigans & Soft Jackets

This jacket feels like you’re wearing an oh-so-soft-and-cozy quilted blanket…oh yes! This similar option is on super sale, though and I’m realizing that with a really neutral stripe, these jeans, and these boots…pretty much any cardigan or jacket looks good.

Found: the base outfit I'm wearing on repeat. Neutral stripes (think grays & beiges), good jeans + gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots.

Jeans | Boots | Stripe Sweater | Jacket | Earrings (Black-Owned-Business) | Bag

More Soft Jackets & Cozy Cardigans

With Beige Stripes

Found: the base outfit I'm wearing on repeat. Neutral stripes (think grays & beiges), good jeans + gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots.

-Shop Looks Above-

With Gray Stripes

Found: the base outfit I'm wearing on repeat. Neutral stripes (think grays & beiges), good jeans + gorgeous weather-friendly, fancy-schmancy boots.

-Shop Looks Above-

Alright guys…help a cardigan-lover out. Any other go-to formulas that you follow? I’m not a graphic tee person, but that would DEFINITELY be a great formula as well. Was thinking maybe cute hoodies layered under cardigans too for fall?

-Linzi

photo credits: Redfield Photography

7 COMMENTS

  1. So, does this outfit base still work with more affordable boots and jeans? Or, if not, what are the specific characteristics of the (lovely!) designer pieces that make it work? I’d love to see a “budget” version photographed side-by-side with the designer version, with analysis breaking down what the differences are. Doesn’t have to be budget dupes of the same items, just e.g. a different budget-friendly pair of boots in your closet and a different budget-friendly pair of jeans from your closet.

  2. If you don’t like graphic tees, try a floral top instead! You get the same fun hint of pattern without looking juvenile or overly casual- which I agree graphic tees can, though I do like them myself. Of course florals can skew juvenile too, but it helps if there is black in the pattern.

    • Yes! Great idea…sometimes I get tired of the search of finding a floral I like …so I give up and forget to keep florals on my radar. And great suggestion with the black! Thank you, Anna!

  3. Adorable! I got these jeans and love them so much, but have a question. On distressed denim with some stretch – the strings don’t look very nice if they break and are hanging. They look more like an elastic tangle, if that makes sense. Do you trim? Leave them be? I must have bent my knee in exactly the right way…

    • Haha! I do know what you mean…I have trimmed a bit with these types of jeans, but not a ton. I can get carried away with scissors, so I try very hard to be careful and conservative.

  4. I love the May&Maya Amazon cami that I post in The Mom Edit Insiders page (Meredith has shared it here!) and I wear that under my cardigans, it gives a slightly more dressy look. I love my Mother jeans, but I’m a tried and true Gap jeans girl. I love everything that you’ve posted here! Cardy girl all the way!

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