Cream With Neutral Plaid : Sweater Dress & Classic Coat

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Wearing white in winter brings me such joy, and these layers in light cream and soft gold lend themselves well to an uplifting, refined look well-suited for any age.

Investment Pieces: A sweater dress, long structured coat, custom-made ballet flats, and a leather bag - all in warm neutrals. EyeForElegance.com

The plaid coat is a classic style (that would have fit right at home on the Gossip Girl set); it is one of my most-loved purchases of the season. In contrast, the ultra-soft cashmere-knit sweater dress is an older favorite. It’s from Theory, one of my favorite brands for timeless, quality closet staples.

The Investment-Piece Sweater Dress

Are sweater dresses a small or nonexistent portion of your closet? If so, I hope I can persuade you to invest in a few select sweater dresses. Chosen well, they are are easy, elegant choices for any day/evening event, and keep you both stylish and comfortably cosy.

  • Look for a long-sleeved knit dress that very gently hugs/hangs on you with some freedom of movement. You’re going for a modest, figure-flattering look. You don’t want to look like you’re buried in a shapeless thick cocoon, which can be an unfortunate side-effect of thickly-woven knits without a defined waist or shoulders/arms (save the cocoon shape for light, transitional-season coats). On the other hand, you’re also not looking for a sexy-snug body-con dress. A sweater dress should be comfortable, to allow for layering underneath for when it gets really cold.
  • If you get cold easily, a sweater dress with a turtleneck adds delicious warmth. If you don’t like the feel or look of a turtleneck, stock up on colorfully-contrasting scarves or wraps for easy alternatives.
  • If this is to be your first sweater dress, try a solid colored dress in either a rich shade that contrasts with your skin tone, or a light neutral. A black sweater dress, of which I admit to owning a few too many myself, seems like a logical first choice… until you pull on easily-available black tights and boots… and suddenly you’re a floating head atop a sea of black. I promise you that having a light or colorful dress will also help lift your spirits a bit in the dark of winter. :)
  • When going for a solid color, look for details such as a knitted pattern or a subtle construction of complementary materials. This means a mixture of knit blends, not material-blocking like wool and leather.  The latter look is edgy and modern, but will likely date itself fairly quickly.

Investment Pieces: A sweater dress, long structured coat, custom-made ballet flats, and a leather bag - all in warm neutrals. EyeForElegance.com

Investment Pieces: A sweater dress, long structured coat, custom-made ballet flats, and a leather bag - all in warm neutrals. EyeForElegance.com

The Club Monaco plaid coat is utterly delightful, with a wonderful heft and warmth, structured form, and sophisticated extras of faux leather piping and button and belt detailing.

Investment Pieces: A sweater dress, long structured coat, custom-made ballet flats, and a leather bag - all in warm neutrals. EyeForElegance.com

Top: Club Monaco coat (30% off), Theory sweater dress (classic options: Cynthia Steffe cream sweater dress, Tart grey sweater dress)
Bottom: Viajiyu Portofino flats

Last year, I was introduced to Viajiyu, an entirely custom-made leather Italian shoe company run by Nicole Still, an adorably warm and spunky woman with infectious and positive energy. She and her husband have roots in Australia (she’s originally from Ohio), but have set up shop in Florence, where their shoes are made alongside some very famous, top-name shoe brands. The name Viajiyu comes thusly; VIA (vee-uh) is Italian for ‘road’ and JIYU (zhoo) is Japanese for ‘freedom.’ Together, VIA + JIYU (vee-uh-zhoo) = The Freedom Road.

The designing process (I recommend doing this in person, as it’s wonderful to experience the tactile feel of the leather. Also, the company is still fairly small, so the website interface is good for browsing, but isn’t yet optimized for an online ordering process.):

  • Select one of their modern-but-classic shoe silhouettes. My favorite (pictured) is the Portofino, a rounded-toe ballet flat with a flexible sole, generous padding (more than any other flat I’ve tried), and a detail of a 1/2″ hidden wedge heel for just a touch of height and ever-so-slight incline that is more beneficial to your natural stance than a completely-horizontal flat.
  • Select the leather you want the shoe to be made with. They offer an incredibly wide breadth colors, finishes, and textures to select from, including the season’s newest shades.
  • Select decorative touches to dress up the toe (if desired). Perhaps a grosgrain ribbon? A patent leather bow? A fabric rosette? A beaded finish? I selected a removable, clipped-on grosgrain ribbon (in both white and black) to add accent versatility.

These are beautiful, expertly-made shoes that are meant to last a lifetime. They are for the woman with a rich life, globe-hopping and adventuring her way around the world for business and pleasure. With their combination of well-crafted comfort and polished, elegant look, they fit very well indeed into my lifestyle: current and desired!

Investment Pieces: A sweater dress, long structured coat, custom-made ballet flats, and a leather bag - all in warm neutrals. EyeForElegance.com

Investment Pieces: A sweater dress, long structured coat, custom-made ballet flats, and a leather bag - all in warm neutrals. EyeForElegance.com

Simple hair ribbon tied to a low side-swept ponytail

Investment Pieces: A sweater dress, long structured coat, custom-made ballet flats, and a leather bag - all in warm neutrals. EyeForElegance.com

As I get older (I’m in the latter half of my 30s), I’m focusing more and more on investment closet pieces that will serve my style vision well for years to come. Do you have any investment pieces? Or if not, do you have any ideas of what you might be looking for in the future? If so, let me know if you’d like any help; I’m always happy to offer guidelines of what to look for!

xoxo,
lauriel

 

 

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  • Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugar

    That sweater and coat – ahhh! Need need need. They are stunning, such a great combination. Especially paired with those adorable flats. I absolutely love this looks! I would wear it in a second. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Brittany Leland

    Oh my gosh I love this look! It is so stunning!
    Your sweater dress is amazing and I love your flats and coat!
    Your blog is so lovely I’m so happy I found it!

    Cheers,Britt
    http://www.justbritt.co

  • http://nataliemadeit.net/ Natalie H.

    This outfit is very stunning to say the least. Though being 6 foot tall, this dress would be a shirt on me, haha. But I love it none the less. The shoes are awesome too, with being so tall, I always try to wear flats, no need to be taller than I already am.

  • Cherri Littleton Megasko

    I love that coat. It is so classically beautiful and will never go out of style. I also really like the necklace. I don’t wear much jewelry, but I could use a long chain necklace like this. Very pretty!

  • Fiona Naughton

    These is such a stunning outfit and I’m loving the white, although it’s probably not so practical for someone like me with a small child – I’d be destroyed in seconds! The sweater dress is beautiful on you, I had a grey one in my teenage years and I loved it, it was so cosy and it was great that it could be dressed up or down. Your pumps are so pretty too, great outfit!

  • blondxzilla

    I nominated you for the Versatile blogger award, you can check it out here, http://blondxzilla.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-versatile-blogger-award.html have a nice day x

  • http://www.SamanthaAngell.com/ Samantha Angell

    I love that sweater dress and coat- such a great combination! I have a fair amount of sweater dresses, but don’t get to wear them as often as I would like. Winters in Sweden can be pretty chilly, and when I spend most of my time in an ice rink as it is I really need to have much warmer clothing on!

  • Mindi @ 2foodtrippers

    I also love to wear sweater dresses in the winter. I like to wear them with tights and boots. Your outfit is super cute. I especially love how you layered the sweater dress with the plaid coat.

  • Rochkirstin Santos

    I love your outfit as it looks so girly yet classy. If the temperature is too cold though, do you wear thermal clothing inside? Your flats look like those of a ballerina’s, so soft and comfortable to wear. The necklace makes the attire glamorous! Where did you get it from?

  • http://shabbychicboho.com/ Terri Ramsey Beavers

    Both the sweater and the coat are so cute. I’d wear that sweater dress and the coat but I don’t think I could wear them as well as you do. The entire outfit looks amazing on you.

  • http://tickleyourvanity.com/ TickleyourVanity

    Those shoes are lovely! :) I totally agree on investment pieces! I have decided not to invest in fashion jewelry and get the gold alternative of what I really like and can wear on a daily basis!

    http://tickleyourvanity.com

  • http://adorkablii.com/ Amanda @ Adorkablii

    The sweater dress it totally adorable! I wish I could pull something like that off. Maybe one day! I love how well you paired it. Between the dress, the flats, and that beautiful coat…. I love it! The necklace is very beautiful as well! I love everything about this outfit! Great Job!

  • Jennifer Juro

    That is a beautiful sweater dress!! I love how well it pairs up with your flats. Sweater dresses are so nice this time of year, plus they pair up great with leggings when it’s chilly outside.

  • http://growingupmomma.com Ashley Brewer Applegate

    Those shoes are adorable!! I wish I could pull off the whole sweater dress thing but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. They always look either too snug or too big. But you’ve given some incredible tips in this post, maybe one of these days I’ll give it another go ;) Thanks for the resource, pinning this to save for later!