+ Three Ways

Two Ways: A Multi-Season Dotted Blouse


Blouse:  Tie-Neck Dot Top (J.CREW, $118)

From the Left, Earrings: Madewell Bow Studs ($18) Bracelet: Elephant Clasp Bracelet ($128) Bracelet: Classic Medium Bangle ($22) Bag: Urban Expressions Satchel ($70) Skirt: Double Serge Wool Skirt ($130) Shoes: Ted Baker Peoni Pumps ($130)

From the Right, Bracelet: BCBG Stone Cuff Bracelet ($78) Bag: Coach Legacy Candace Satchel ($328) Shoes: Lola Cruz Slip Ons ($108) Sweater: Dream Crewneck Sweater ($78) Pants: Stella McCartney Erin Trouser ($595)

Polyvore Set Here.

Today, we’re doing something a little bit different with the Two Ways feature.  Instead of showing you how to create outfits for two different occasions, today’s feature focuses on two outfits for the same occasion in different seasons.  After all, it’s mid-August and, whether we like it or not, the September issues are in the mail and it’s time to start thinking about fall.

For Late Summer.  Wearing a bright skirt with the simple dotted blouse is a great way to finish out the summer season.  The color on the skirt is bold, but a little less neon than what we saw at the beginning of the summer.

I like to let a neckline speak for itself.  This tie-neck doesn’t need any added adornment, so skip the necklace.  I was in a bit of a quirky mood when I created this set, so I chose the elephant clasp bracelet (similar version, $32) with a complementary blue enamel bangle.  And since we’re still talking about the warm summer months, I added a tan bag with some chic details (also comes in an awesome emerald green) and nude-to-me pumps.  

The earrings in the set are also fantastic.  They’re sweet and pretty, and look like Kate Spade, but for a much lower price.

For the hair, I like to keep it off my neck when I wear a tie-neck blouse.  For the makeup, I’d choose a neutral eye palette with matte gold, a taupe and a bone-colored highlighter.  I’d also keep the blush and lip color on the bashful side of pink, no reason to go really bright in the workplace.  But if you’re looking for a bit more color, a raspberry would be nice.

For Autumn.  When the weather turns cold, this blouse will be a great layering piece.  You can wear it under blazers, cardigans or sweaters.  You could even try it over a long-sleeved chiffon blouse.

This color combination is a stretch for some women, but when you put it all together mixing navy, grey, mustard and cognac is a truly chic look.  Think of this as a master class tutorial on mixing colors that at first glance might not work, but will grow on you.  

Because there are a lot of colors happening here, I wanted to keep the accessories fairly basic.  The shoes are grey because they need to blend seamlessly with the pants.  The cognac bag gives balance to the mustard sweater.  And when you roll or ruche the sleeve, you can add this gold and blue stone cuff to bring the blouse and the sweater together.  (I also loved this blue stone cuff for half the price of the one in the set.)

Also, these trousers are incredibly expensive, luckily, I found a less pricey pair.  I don’t wear pants very often, but even I own a pair of grey trousers.  They’re just as versatile as black and a little more interesting.

For the hair, I would wear it either half-up or all the way up.  And if I chose to wear it up, I’d skip the bun and soften the look with a curled, twisted updo.  For the makeup, I would choose a soft red lipstick and defined eyes with black liner and a bit of grey shadow.

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  1. JulieY says:

    Hmm, I like the ideas for different seasons. I will seriously have to consider this blouse – any thoughts on a machine-washable, less expensive version?

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  2. Clara says:

    Love that you posted for different seasons! Unless it's a sweater, I wear my clothes year round so this is really helpful.

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  3. Boardroom Belles says:

    This one from Modcloth is already sold out, but I would check their site frequently, they are bound to have something similar back soon. You can also sign up under that item and they e-mail you when it comes back in stock

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  4. Terri says:

    JCrew vanity sizing…size extra small sweater is too large for someone who is a 4/6! Even skirt is too big! I've not been a 2 in REAL size in never. What gives?

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  5. Lauren says:

    @JulieY I saw another comment in the original post of this blouse that there is a similar on on J.Crew's “factory” store.

    @Terri, I had to go back and find it because I just knew it was something Belle had posted on, and here it is… Vanity sizing by company https://www.caphillstyle.com/capitol/2011/4/29/discuss-crazy-eights.html

    I have given up on keeping track of my 2-4-6 sizing in most stores (at least I'm consistent in J.Crew), I pretty much shop exclusively online now and buy based on my measurements not a tag.

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  6. Catherine says:

    navy and yellow is a fairly common color combo.”master class” calls to mind something slightly more daring: mint and red, pink and red.

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  7. Belle says:

    Catherine: It's not the navy and yellow, which is simple, it's pairing it with the grey and cognac. Nine times out of ten, you'll see this combo with khaki or brown or navy trousers. And if you did see the grey trouser, the bag would be grey or black.

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  8. Liya says:

    @Catherine This combo is out of the comfort zone of most women I know, including myself. I don't think I would ever carry a brown bag with grey shoes (aren't they supposed to match?). Sorry Belle, no go on this one.

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  9. JW says:

    obsessed with both of these outfits, especially the polka dot with the pink pencil. le sigh.

    August 7, 2012/Reply
  10. Caroline says:

    My outfit today was inspired by the Autumn outfit. I layered a thin short-sleeved black sweater over a sleeveless lavender tie-neck and wore it with pale grey trousers. I don't wear pants very often either, but I feel too much like a 1950's secretary when I wear a tie-neck blouse with a pencil skirt.

    August 8, 2012/Reply