Adding Definition with Shape

I am a huge fan of the First Lady, patron saint of sedentary children and fledgling fashion designers, and it was from her example that I learned how transformative a belt can be (for an outfit, not a person).
Consider this charming blouse with many fine attributes: small Peter Pan collar, fabric covered buttons, shininess. But a little shapeless, no?

Sans belt
Sans belt



Buttons, shine
Buttons, shine


And suddenly, with a belt, it’s 50 times cuter.
The belt and the blouse were purchased years apart with no plan to wear them together, so here I must present the case for a little Directionless Shopping.
Consider: You may want to buy a few belts to have on hand even if you are’t entirely sure about what you will wear them with. I would recommend an assortment — varying in width and color — because . . . you never know. I would suggest, at a minimum, two black belts (a skinny one and wider one between 1-1.5″), one animal print belt, and one belt in your favorite color.

Avec belt
Avec belt


So now that we’ve smartened-up our blouse, how do we finish? A cropped cardigan is one possibility (to show off the belted blouse), but I like this jacket, which has a graceful shape and great details.

With jacket
Despite constant vigilance, there is a cat on the table. Do you see her?




Lots of buttons here, which begs the question: How many are too many?
The answer is: It depends. Buttons should be functioning, which these are. And while they are intended to both serve a purpose and add interest, they shouldn’t stand out unduly. These buttons, covered in self-fabric, add depth without much contrast. The buttons on the sleeves, moreover, are only visible from the back or sides, so they add interest to views that otherwise are unadorned.

There are 19 buttons on this jacket. I hope I never lose one and have to replace all of them . . .

Blouse: Theory; Belt: JCrew; Pants: JCrew; Jacket: Vanessa Bruno; Bag: Coach Gramercy Satchel (2015); Shoes: French Sole New York

1 thought on “Adding Definition with Shape”

  1. I love the juxtaposition of the militaristic jacket and the ultra feminine fushia blouse. Especially love the buttons on the sleeves. I’d also like to see this jacket with some groovy jeans and a black tee shirt (but, admittedly, I like to see every jacket with groovy jeans and a black tee shirt).


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