Falling into Fall Part 6: What to wear on top? Blouses, Shirts and Sweaters

One of my favorite things about fall is all the new colors and shapes change every season.  I love fall especially because I love the rich colors and textures and fabrics.  One of the best way to inject new style into your classic wardrobe is by buying different tops and sweaters that you can wear with your classic bottoms.  There are so many wonderful silhouettes out there for Fall 2015.  Lots of new things to wear with your jeans on the weekend or for a casual day, great new ideas for tops at the office and great pieces that can take you from daytime to dinner with just a necklace or earring change.  In this blog I will try to give you great ideas to change-up some of the things you have been wearing for a while and advise you on how to achieve certain looks that will be bang on for a trendy fall 2015 look.


Nothing makes me happier than pulling on a great sweater on a chilly day.  One of my favorite looks is a big sweater, jeans and boots.  cardiagan and jeans sweater and jeansBoth of these looks from Nordstrom ( now open in Vancouver) are the perfect casual look for any September day.  The flowy cardigan on the left and skinny jean make your body look longer and taller and the drape of the cardigan will hide and soften your curves.  The look on the right is actually quite similar to what I am wearing today.  An oversize crew neck sweater with detail, casual jeans ( boyfriends in the picture) and flat shoes.  Both outfits scream comfort but not sloppiness and work great for a weekend or casual daytime look.

Sweaters come in all shapes and colors.  Crew necks that hit below your waist are great to wear if you want to wear them a bit slouchier for a casual look. layered pulloverThis fabulous layered pullover from Anthropologie works beautifully for either daytime casual or change the bottom to a skinny black pant or silky jogger and heel and you are ready for evening.  This is what I am talking about when I say a sweater can do double duty.  With this sweater an accessory or heel change can take it from day to-night.  Ombre confetti pulloverWhen the weather gets a bit colder why not try something with a bit more wool in it.  This ombre confetti pullover also from Anthropologie is fantastic because it is not overwhelming on the body.  A crew neck sweater should fit you, not be a couple of sizes bigger.  If you buy and wear a sweater that is too big ( and doesn’t fit you in the shoulders) it will only make you look bigger.  Trust me, I am correct about this point.  This sweater could be worn to work on a cold day with a leather or darker skirt and boots or heels.  It just works well because it has the lightness next to your face and it is not too oversize that it looks like strictly a weekend look.

One of the big things this fall is the funnel neck, it hails to the Minimalist trend and also to the 1970’s trend.  There are so many great ones out there.  I really urge you to try one, even if you are not a turtleneck fan because they are not tight at the neck at all. dotted funnel neck pulloverThis dotted funnel neck also from Anthropologie is one of my favorites for Fall 2015. I love the way they layered it with a shirt underneath.  The dot adds enough details to wear it alone or play it up and try styling yourself with a shirt underneath.  Just make sure your bottoms are slim of you are going to wear a shirt.  If you wear the funnel neck on its own, most of them hit just below the waist so they will work with the new flare silhouette out there.

Or perhaps you like a v neck.  There are lots of classic V’s out there, cashmere, wool and cotton.  Find one that fits your body. classic v neck sweaterMake sure it drapes over your middle and hits you either right below the waist or skims close and ends at the hip.  This classic is from Talbots and would be fantastic under a suit to the office on a cold day or with a classic pair of pants in a check or plaid.  It also happens to be fantastic with jeans, but I believe most things are. Trouve colorblock sweater and jeansThis Trouve colorblock sweater from Nordstrom is a bit more interesting but also notice how close to the body it fits.  I personally don’t have many v necks but if you like a v neck try to find one that fits close to the body and looks good on you.

I personally love a turtleneck and what I call a ballet sweater.  First let’s talk about turtlenecks.  They are an absolute essential in my closet.  I have casual ones, cashmere ones, cowl necks and all sorts in between.  Talbots perfect turtleneckThis is one of my favorite ones.  It is called the perfect turtleneck and it is from Talbots.  I have it about 4 colors and I wear it fitted and close to the body.  It is in a poly blend so it’s not too hot and it works great for an office look, with pants or a skirt, withe jeans on the weekends and I even wear my black one with a black lace skirt for dressy.  I also bought this fabulous wine colored one this season just to add a bit of color to my sweater wardrobe. But there are lots of great ones out there in lots of fabrics and colors. marled turtleneckI really like this marled turtleneck from Anthropologie as well.  Great to add punch to any bottom and fabulous under a jacket. And when the weather outside is frightful there is nothing like a wool or cashmere turtleneck to keep Jack Frost from nipping. wool turtleneckJust be careful with wool and cashmere when you wash them. You need to block them back into shape and dry flat, or better yet have them dry cleaned, then they will last for years!

One other turtleneck look for fall is the classic sleeveless turtleneck that you can easily wear under a suit to work.  You can buy a silk one and layer it under a matching cardigan or go for something with more detail and that is a bit more modern like sleeveless turtleneckthis one from Anthropologie.  It has detailing around the sleeves and waist so you can feel free not to put a layer on top if you don’t want too.

Ballet sweaters are higher crew neck sweaters that fit very close to the body.  I like them because they accentuate the positive – your curves and detract from the negatives in your figure. ballet sweater black ballet sweater colorpatch ballet sweaterHere are 3 examples of what I refer to as ballet sweaters.  They all hug your body and end at the hip.  The top and left are from Talbots and both are cashmere and the one on the right is a bit more edgy and it is from Anthropologie.  It is a very feminine silhouette and can easily be paired with antique and feminine accessories to match the Victorian trend for fall.

The last sweater I am going to talk about is the cardigan.  Now that really is a sweater that can come in all shapes and sizes.  This is also a big year for sweater vests.  I featured one from Whitehouse Blackmarket in my blog about Toronto a month ago.  The sweater vest can harken back to the 1970’s trend of both Boho if you buy one with fringes or Mod. It also works to the Minimalist trend if you do a tone on tone look. long sweater vestJust to refresh your memory here it is again. Black on black very Minimalist.  But the vest is a small part of what is happening with the cardigan for fall. Sweater sets are in, like always, and work great for the office or business dress occasion. classic v neck cardiLike this one from Ann Taylor that is perfect with any office bottom.  But there are quite a few novelty ones out there as well. Cardigans have even become coats in some occasions.  Here are some of my favorite looks for this fall:oversize cardigan and jeans sweater and colored jeans open cardigan duster cardi fun cardi long cardiganAll of the above work for this fall.  Evey shape and length.  I know it’s not helpful but you really need to try them on to see if the shape and style works for you.  I love a cardigan as a jacket pictured above.  I also love the long cardigans that skim over your dresses and bottoms.  Just make sure that the sweater and your skirt hit at the same place on your leg, not one shorter than the other. Have fun with your sweaters! Use bright colors and details to wake up your jeans and solid bottoms.

Shirts and Blouses

Lots of new and updated silhouettes for fall in shirts and blouses.  For a casual look the plaid shirt is huge! madewell plaid shirtThis one is from Madewell ( in Canada you can buy Madewell at Nordstrom), but you can find plaid at every price from designer to Costco.  So if you want one find the one that is right for you. That is likely the newest thing for casual shirts aside from Chambray and light weight denim shirting.  Both those tie back into the 1970’s Boho.  Or bring on your Geek-Chic and wear your Chambray shirt with wool pants, runners and a blazer. Chambray shirt lookThis is from the Talbots website and It is a great way to wear the chambray shirt.  Wear it with bottoms that are not denim and put a statement necklace on.  Very Fall 2015.  Here it is shown with flats but also great with booties.

Really any shirt with a collar can be worn this way for an updated look.  A white blouse or colorful one, add a statement necklace and you can make it Victorian, Geek-Chic or Glam-Goth.  Just by changing the accessories.  I believe that a good white blouse or shirt is a must in every closet.  I also have a black one.  They work under suits, dresses, sweaters and jackets.  Make them fall 2015 worthy with a statement necklace or a funnel neck sweater over top. Find ones that you like and fit you perfectly, the closer to the body the better, for white shirts and blouses. Perfect white blouseFrom Office to casual, it won’t let you down.

Lots of other interesting blouses for fall.  The tie neck blouse is still big and great for a dressier or business look. tie neckI think I have shown this tie neck blouse from Anthropologie before.  But it really works for fall.  The edgy pattern would be fantastic under a suit for the office or just on its own with a skirt for a dressier look.

The same type of look can be worn casually by making it a bit more of a peasant blouse look. peasant topLike this one from Anthropologie as well.  There are lots of looks in this type of shape in all sorts of prints, so you are sure to find one that suits you at a price that makes you happy.  For casual think stores like Lucky brand. For a dressier blouse with a tie think stores like Ann Taylor and Whitehouse Blackmarket.

Here are four examples of different silhouettes. layered chiffon topThis is a round neck layered shift that is perfect in this rosy wine color. round neck blouseHere is an example of a round neck print blouse that has a true modern edge. pattern button downA printed button down works because of the print and the delicacy of the fabric, not to mention the color. trouve silk blouseOr just wear a simple blouse that will work with any silhouette for any occasion.

The examples above are either available at Nordstrom, their own house brands: Trouve and Pleione and at Anthropologie. There are lots of examples at both stores and online that you are sure to find the perfect blouse in the perfect pattern and color that fits you and what you plan to wear it with. I own quite a few blouses and wear them all year round.

I know that I didn’t touch on poncho’s and wraps.  But I was planning on covering those when I do my fall outerwear blog the beginning of October.

Let me leave you with one great go to look that everyone who reads this blog could wear. go to lookThis look with a classic long open cardigan and white pattern blouse with a classic trouser ( all from Ann Taylor) can work on anyone.  Switch it with jeans for a casual look and a skirt for a different look for the office.  It is timeless, classic and always on trend. Those are also things to keep in mind when you are shopping.  Ask yourself how much will I wear this? I look at things all the time and put them back because I know I will never wear it.  Yet when it comes to something like a classic long cardigan, spend a little more money on it because you will wear it for years.

Questions or comments?  Want some styling advice? As always I can be reached at suethefashionista.com with any type of query you have.

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