+ Three Ways

Three Ways: Cable Knit Sweaters

I don’t own many sweaters.  Mostly, because I find them to be so boring.  But there are a few basics that every woman should own, and a chunky, cable knit is one of them.

Sweater: Molly Cable Knit ($98) Top: J.Crew Suzette Blouse ($128) Pants: Similar to  J.Crew Hutton Trouser ($158)

Earrings: Nunu Teardrop Chalcedony Hoops ($168) Bag: Vintage Style Satchel ($83)  Shoes: Viv Bow Flats ($228)

This outfit is simple enough, a knit, a blouse, a pair of pants.  But what makes it a little bit special is the interplay between the gauzy chiffon blouse and the knit sweater. 

The color palette is a bit soft for Autumn, but the weight of the sweater and the wool trouser make up for that.  And while I don’t usually like black shoes with grey pants, very few retailers are making pointed-toe grey flats or pumps these days.  Maybe I need to start my own shoe line?

Lastly, the bag is a knock-off of a Coach Beekman Briefcase.  So, if you’re having a West Wing flashback, that’s why.  And the chalcedony earrings are meant to pair well with the blouse, but any basic earring will do.

Hair should be off the shoulders to show off the delicate bow at the neck.  Makeup should be appropriate for day, but with a bit of eyeliner and grey shadow.

SweaterMolly Cable Knit ($98) Skirt: Diaphanous Pleats Skirt ($118) Boots: Intyce Cognac ($150)

Bracelets: Callie Bracelet Set ($48) Earrings: Philippa Roberts Wire Drops ($120) Bag: Pieces Dertan Satchel ($68)

Again, this outfit is about the pairing of soft and heavy.  The chiffon skirt is breezy and light while the sweater is cozy. 

Add a pair of tall boots, a satchel, some drop earrings and a stack of rich-looking bracelets, and you have a look that is just a bit 1970s. 

As for tights, I wouldn’t wear any.  I would invest in a slip though.  I doubt that this skirt is opaque.

The hair would be lovely in a curly, low bun.  And the makeup should be soft with a neutral eye and light berry lip.

SweaterMolly Cable Knit ($98) Skirt: Robert Rodriguez Sequin Mini ($198)

Earrings: JG Gold and Gray Drops ($55) Bag: Only Son Suede Clutch ($262) Shoes: Nicole Miller Banded Sandal ($500)

Last weekend, I was at a dinner party with some friends when I spotted a girl in a cable knit sweater and a sequin skirt.  The look was the epitome of relaxed cocktail.  So I thought I might recreate it.

I don’t know what possessed me to do grey accessories with gold.  Perhaps, I was just looking for an excuse to use the earrings.  But whatever it was, I like the look of the charcoal suede with the sequins.  If this isn’t your thing, I’d recommend nude pumps and colored clutch.  Maybe plum with gold hardware.

As for hair, long, loose waves.  You’re going for California-chic with this outfit, so maybe a hint of bronzer.

Leave a Reply to Emma D. · cancel comment


  1. R says:

    I couldn't believe it when I saw it, but I found a long pleated skirt from Old Navy in grey that looks exactly like the weekend skirt a couple weeks ago. It is gorgeous! Nobody appreciated them at Old Navy- they were on the clearance rack for about $10.

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  2. Amelia Bedelia says:

    Okay – I totally want to rock the last look at my office's holiday party this year. But, I need a more work appropriate (but still fabulous) skirt . . . any suggestions for something similar in a length closer to the knee?
    or (and don't shoot me), can I make this work appropriate if I pair it with opaque tights? it is a holiday party . . .

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  3. Nina says:

    I love that you're doing the links here instead of just linking to ployvore! It probably takes you longer, but I appreciate it, please keep it up.

    For the second look, is doing white on white okay? What if the whites don't quite match? Things that almost match but don't but the crap out of me. Don't get me started on non-matching blacks.

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  4. Rachel says:

    Belle, I was reflecting on my lack of gray pumps yesterday; after searching, I'd also been unimpressed with the selection. (Of course, I used my online search failure as an excuse to purchase a gorgeous pair of deep red pumps instead!) If you happen to come across any good gray ones, please share.

    Love the sequin mini with the charcoal accessories; I'd never have thought to do it myself. Well done!

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  5. Belle says:

    Amelia- Try a longer skirt. Unless you find a black sequin mini, and then tights and black shoes could work. But not with the gold.

    Nina-Non matching blacks bug me a bit too, but I think it's less of a problem with white or ivory and white. That's more of a “color family” than a case of faded vs. fresh.

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  6. Emma D. says:

    I absolutely love the last look. Did the woman you modeled it after have the sweater tucked in, or loose? What sort of fit? So inspiring — thanks!

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  7. Belle says:

    Emma-Loose and slouchy.

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  8. Jessica E. says:

    Belle, if you're searching for some grey pointed toe flats… I tried these on last week but opted for the black ones at the last second instead. They're patent so maybe not exactly what you're looking for but I thought they were really cute (I just needed black ones more)


    November 1, 2011/Reply
  9. Emily says:

    I really like the colors you used in these outfits. And the contrasts in textures are perfect! Great ideas for jazzing up a sweater.

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  10. Erica says:

    Amelia – I just checked online, and it says that this is out of stock, but I was at Banana Republic on the corner of M and Wisconsin in Georgetown a week or two ago and they had a FABULOUS sequin skirt – it was pencil length/shape, and was a matte gold/ivory sequin. I thought to myself at the time I saw it that it would make a great holiday party skirt because while it was festive and trendy, it was appropriate length, etc. and not tacky, “Vegas” sequins. Although it says out of stock online, maybe get to the nearest Banana and see if they still have any in store??? I don't remember the price point, unfortunately.

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  11. KC says:

    I have silver flats (Ciao Bella) and gunmetal silver pointed pumps (Bandolino Berry) that I wear with gray pants and skirts. I like the metallic look because then I don't have non-matching grays. I've noticed that I have grays with cooler undertones and grays with warmer undertones. I think the metallic is easier to match and gives the outfit another interesting touch.

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  12. Sarah says:

    Unfortunately, I have a broad torso (losing weight, but can't seem to get to the point of a defined waistline, gah!), and cable knit sweaters always make me look like a linebacker. They're definitely designed for long/lean women. I love this sweater, I just wish it were wearable for those of us over a size 6!

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  13. Belle says:

    Sarah-Grab a skinny belt and instead of buckling it, kind of tie it in a knot. https://bit.ly/rWQ6yR

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  14. Anon says:

    For women with boobs over a c cup, or with broad shoulders, cable knit looks terrible. And adding a skinny belt wouldn't help. In this case the problem is not the undefined waist, the problem is that cable knit adds heft that looks bad on top-heavy people. (By the way, this is true of scarves too. Big chunky scarves are not a good accessory for a woman with a large chest or broad shoulders.) Neither scarves nor cable knit sweaters are a must for every woman's closet.

    Also, am I the only one who thinks open toe shoes are unacceptable in the winter? If it's cold enough for suede, it's too cold for open toe.

    November 1, 2011/Reply
  15. Belle says:

    Anon-I don't think suede is as seasonal now as it used to be. Though some people consider it cold weather only.

    As you know, I am not blessed in the bust area, so I'm always grateful when people who have these concerns voice them. But do you think even a v-neck cable knit would look awful, esp. a smooth cable knit like J.Crew sells?

    November 2, 2011/Reply
  16. Alison says:

    I'm a 34D and I wear scarves all the time. I think it really depends on the individual. Not every girl with boobs looks bad in scarves, or else there are a lot of celebrities (Jessica Alba, Jessica Simpson, etc.) who should stop wearing them.

    As for cable knits, I wear cable cardigans all winter long. It's about the shape more than the material. I look like an over inflated balloon in any crew necked top.

    November 2, 2011/Reply
  17. elz says:

    I am in love with the idea of the cable knit sweater and sequin skirt. I would have never thought about that combination!

    November 2, 2011/Reply
  18. nene says:

    Belle, in the first outfit, are you envisioning the tie on the blouse left underneath the sweater or pulled outside? I love the tie-neck blouses you've been posting lately but I need a little guidance as they are totally out of my range of familiarity. Thanks!! Love the ideas and especially the soft color palette in the first look. All my fall/winter clothes seem to be darker tones!

    November 2, 2011/Reply
  19. Kaylee says:

    Amelia-in addition to the Banana Republic skirt mentioned in the comments, Express and Zara both have gold sequined skirts this season. Not as a great a pattern as the one Belle features here, but still cute!

    And I agree with Alison that not all large-chested women look bad in cable knit or in scarves. I'm a DDD/E and I wear both all of the time. (Admittedly, I do have average/narrow shoulders, so perhaps that's the difference?) I agree that, with the sweaters, it is all about the fit.

    November 2, 2011/Reply
  20. Tina says:

    I believe the sweater is the “Mattie Cable Knit” not the Molly…



    November 2, 2011/Reply