WIW this week: Less is More

Angie's post on simple and classic not being the same thing as boring was very timely. This week I have been trying to dress a little more simply and more subdued, either by sticking mainly with neutrals/subdued color, or less patterns/pattern mixing, or fewer layers. Suz's comment struck a nerve with me too when she said that those of us who come to fashion late sometimes go haywire for ALGO to try to compensate for our previous lack of style. I am totally busted on that count. Since joining YLF I found that really like bright colors, patterns and pattern mixing. And I have the tendency to feel that a simple outfit in plain solid neutrals is a little too boring to deserve a WIW. Also, before I never used to wear jewelry, accessories or belts, so throw that in the mix with the bright colors and patterns and it can get pretty ALGO pretty quick! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's nice to change things up a little too!

So this week I've been trying to tone it down a bit. I was on call this week so I was working every day at the hospital. I had to stick to comfortable heels and I didn't want to dress too loud since I was working in the hospital. But the surprising thing was I was still getting compliments from both coworkers and patients, maybe even more so than when I wear my crazy colorful outfits. Maybe the restrained outfits have a broader appeal. So I'm still trying to find my balance and trying to figure out how to create outfits that look nice but won't bore the "new" me.

1. This kicked off my LIM week--Black long sleeved Anne Fontaine shirt, Classiques Entier grey pants, red Clark pumps and red Fossil tote, and a strand of fake pearls. I tried adding a belt, but in the end left it simple. I thought it was a little boring but I wanted to try something totally different. But someone at work told me I look "stunning" so I guess it's not all bad, right?
2. Subdued ALGO. Most of these clothes are pretty old and I was happy I could remix my old clothes in my new style. The brown/cream/light blue floral skirt is one of my old Ann Taylors. Cream H&M top. Cream snake print Michael Kors belt from Bluefly--first time wearing it. The brown top is super old (it even has shoulder pads) and I don't know why it keeps surviving all these closet purges. In the past I've worn it buttoned up as a fitted top, but this time I tried using it as a blazer. Another closet orphan rescue! Old Banana Republic brown extreme pointy kitten heels. And my Fossil floral bag. This outfit felt very subdued to me, even though I now realize that it's actually a triple pattern mix (skirt, belt and purse)!
3-4."Banker look"...ivory tie neck blouse and navy pinstripe midi pencil skirt. Very very conservative and I almost didn't wear it because it was afraid it was a little staid, esp compared to my new bright colors and patterns. But the blouse has tiny little bees and crowns on it if you look closely, and I wore red pumps and my red tote to bring in a bit of color. So I feel like it's "simple and strong" but not boring--it has just enough interesting detail and color to keep the "new" me happy!
5. Black Anne Fontaine shirt. Classiques Entier Apollonia grey blazer with lace detail at the waist and skirt with black lace at the bottom. Red Clark pumps and red Fossil tote. One of the nurses came up to me and said, "I thought your slip was showing but I guess it's part of the skirt." LOL!
6-7. I posted this WIW earlier in my K/R leather jacket thread. Banana Republic black wrap dress with silver/bronze chain pattern detail. This wrap dress is old too and as Rita and DressLover pointed out, it looks better on me than the DVF and other wrap dresses I was trying. I guess I already had a great wrap dress in my closet! Worn with my old black Nine West boots and old Jack Georges brown briefcase satchel. And a small (fake) gold and diamond V-shaped Calvin Klein necklace. First time wearing my hair up in a clip! Another outfit made up entirely of my old clothes! This outfit is very simple but as Rae pointed out, the pattern keeps it from being entirely Minimal.
8. I loved this cognac Lafayette 148 leather jacket so much, I ripped the tags off and wore it the next day! I guess that's a sign! I think I'm going to get so much use out of this jacket. Especially happy with how well it goes with my floral Fossil satchel. Wore it with a Banana Republic cowl tee, Lafayette 148 tweed skirt with leather waistband, and brown suede La Canadienne Galaxy boots.
9-11. I decided to keep the black Tahari leather jacket with the suede panel details because I agreed the other one was too aggressive and this one would be more versatile and work appropriate. So I wore that the day after the cognac jacket! I'm definitely Team Wear! I ordered this Halogen red and black houndstooth pencil skirt online, but when it came it looked much darker than on the website...it's actually a purplish wine color. I had a Splendid cranberry cowl neck top that I bought on sale...I was going to return it because it's so low cut that it's not wearable by itself. But it matches the skirt, and I put a black H&M tank top under it, so it was saved. Black Nine west boots. I wore an old black and silver necklace...thought about using a bigger necklace with more color, but then remembered my "theme" for the week and went with a more subdued dainty and neutral necklace. I like this outfit because it feels rather bombshell without the jacket, and then the black leather jacket toughens it up a bit. But it's still polished and I actually wore the whole outfit to work, leather jacket and all! I am excited that I can use my two new leather jackets as "blazers" for work...I love non-suit suits!

So there you have it...a week of Team Minimal, done by a Team Maximal player! Comments and suggestions welcomed!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Amy replied 8 years ago

    While it's fun to experiment, I hope you don't tone down your natural tendencies towards lively colors and print mixing. I like your fun style.

    These are all great looks too. I really, really love #6, #8, and #9.

    That wrap dress is PERFECT for you. Love the brown leather jacket too.

  • MsMary replied 8 years ago

    Love times eleven!! Those are all too,, too fab! Glad you decided to keep the lace-trimmed suit!! I would totally wear all these outfits!!!

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    I LOVE THE LACE TRIMMED SUIT. Absolutely killer!

    That's how excited I am :)

    Natalie, your stripped down style is as fab as your ALGO style. Good job experimenting!

    You look so beautifully Ralph Lauren in #6. It's just perfect. One of my faves you have posted.

    Suz really did hit the nail on the head when explaining the "ALGO injection" with women who want to change up their look. I see this happening with some of my clients too. And then the dust settles..... Even our Queen ALGO, Mary - has simplified her style a little.

    There is room for both looks in your style, Natalie. As long as you keep on having fun with your outfits - that's the only rule! Personally, I think it's even more strong, but that is a completely subjective opinion because I tend towards less is more in all facets of my life. Please don't think that I am unappreciative of ALGO looks - I think they rock too!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Wow, Natalie, what a great experiment! This could be your "less is more" theme week, a la Ornella and her themes!

    I am as excited as Angie about your lace trimmed suit. I think it fits perfectly into your developing style and it is great to have a quiet wardrobe item like this when the need arises.

    I still adore look #6; it is your best yet! Just so flattering to you. Keep wearing that.

    And I'm really keen on your last outfit, too. Great save of the top. It works beautifully here. I would wear this in an instant.

  • Carole replied 8 years ago

    Natalie! I like the new team! Less is more becomes you. What a fabulous bunch of outfits. Loving them all but 5 and 9 have me coming back for another peek.

    I completely relate to the swing from ALGO to simple and classic. It's hard to completely change our natural fashion set point. For me it was more about adding what I think now as wild color to the mix. I'm a little more comfortable and happy expressing myself with a few well chosen accessories or fun shoes.

    What team are you joining next week, lol.

  • Allison replied 8 years ago

    All these outfits look stylish and effortless! I think the challenge with more complicated looks is that it often looks like "trying too hard" to me. I really like 3,5,8,9!

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    Love that dress in #6!

  • modgrl replied 8 years ago

    I love 6-11!! You look perfect in these. I little cami under the cowl neck is perfect because it bookends the black boots and the black in the skirt. I think it's really pretty this way. The cognac jacket is just amazing, seriously it is perfection on you, like the union of your style and personality. I really like how you have the black leather jacket styled too. I wasn't key on it as much when you posted the k/r but I think it's great here. I still have serious reservations about the underboob lace (apparently I am the only one), but the skirt is fantastic. I thought the matching pants were very nice too. I think 3/4 could use a belt or something to make the transition between the blouse and skirt. I think if you wore the leather trim skirt it would be super with the blouse, otherwise maybe one of your cognac leather belts would be nice here. Love your style, great week. You are really starting to feel out your own style and it shows!

  • HelenInCanada replied 8 years ago

    Saving lives and looking great - you're an admirable one, GP! My favourites this week are #2, #6, & #9 - so ladylike yet chic. How amazing to bring smiles to your patients' faces!

  • fern replied 8 years ago

    You look fantastic. I can't believe you had #6 in hiding! Love #9-10 too.
    I am totally impressed by you and the other "jump-in" folks. I am a toe-dipper and to see how fast you have turned fab is eye-opening. Thank you!

  • goldenpig replied 8 years ago

    Thanks all for the kind comments! Don't worry, I haven't abandoned my ALGO ways altogether. Just having fun experimenting with LIM and trying to make it more exciting for me. It was a very eye-opening exercise, just like Angie's post said...you can be classic and minimalist and look stylish without being boring! I feel better that MaryK said she would wear these...it means I haven't swung too far in the opposite direction! ;-) Good to have options!

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    Natalie, you've now proven that you can do it ALL: ALGO or strong and simple. Now you can make the conscious decision of which direction to go in, which ever one best represents you at the moment. :)

    #3 is my favorite so far - the drape of that blouse is so flattering and elegant on you!

  • goldenpig replied 8 years ago

    Thanks Rae! I think I'm starting to figure out the difference between simple/unstyled/boring and simple/classic/elegant.

    Now Ornella and MaryK can both be my style idols! ;-)

  • Queen Mum replied 8 years ago

    great simplified looks. I especially love 6 and 9. I was admiring those knit skirts on the Nordies site. They look very practical and comfortable.

  • Saretta replied 8 years ago

    #6 and #9 are extremely flattering on you both in terms of color and fit!

  • krishnidoux replied 8 years ago

    All the outfits are very nice. But #3 #6 #10 are absolutely gorgeous. Especially the wrap dress in 6-7, my oh my do you wear it well.

  • krishnidoux replied 8 years ago

    What is ALGO?

  • Jonesy replied 8 years ago

    You look terrific! The wrap dress is really a stand-out on you, but you look great all week. It's so fun to try out new styles and combinations--you are having so much fun with fashion!

  • goldenpig replied 8 years ago

    QM: you would look great in those Halogen skirts too!

    Krishnidoux: ALGO = A Lot Going On.

    Yes Jonesy, I'm having a blast!

  • Jenava replied 8 years ago

    GP, You will find your balance! I do love, love, love that wrap dress...and the dotty blouse with the t-straps is achingly adorable!

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    You look lovely and stylish in all these but I'm drooling over 9-11. That red/black skirt is so you!

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    These are all fab looks, but really I am just blown away by the wrap dress. It's such a stellar look for you... please wear it all the time.

    And it is so much fun to see how analytically you are applying your mind to dressing AND having a blast at the same time. Your positive energy is inspiring .

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