WIW : Classic Edge!

Hi Ladies,

Here's the back story which you can feel free to skip:)

My mother gave me this gorgeous Laura Ashley cardigan. Despite not having been a 'classic' dresser for quite some time, she still tends to buy me classic pieces when she gives me clothing. Now I love everything Chanel and when I saw the cardigan I did love it, with it's jacket cut and Chanel style detail, but had no idea what to do with it. Pairing with classic items just creates a frumpy look on me. So it's been hanging in my closet most of winter until last night when I had some time to really consider how I might wear it.

I knew I would wear skinny black bottoms but it was the top that was challenging me. If not for YLF, I wouldn't have thought to consider what I wouldn't ordinarily pair with it as an option. I tried a silky front abstract patterned tshirt, which I liked a lot but not for the office, so at the last minute this morning I grabbed my Metalicus tunic and tried it with that and really liked the end result.

My photos were taken after work so lighting is poor, sorry. And I am 4 days off a haircut and my hair is so 'boofy" lol.

What do you think? I do love the cardigan and I am hoping this works. My aim was to edge up the classic piece.

Thanks for looking and for your thoughts.

xxx Deborah

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • CocoLion replied 5 years ago

    Hmmm... love the tunic, booties and leather bottoms.  Just not 100% sure about how it works with this cardigan.  Maybe it's the different black textures?  No I think it's just the traditional aspect of the cardigan -- its cut, length, the white tipping.

    I guess in my mind I'm seeing the cardigan with a white shirt, rolled distressed boyfriend or skinny jeans, and pointy toe pumps.  But probably just because that's how I'd edge it up.

    Your hair looks amazing to me in these photos not sure what doesn't work for you?  I wish my hair looked that good.  I've resorted to the laziest frumpiest ponytail of late...

  • Deborah replied 5 years ago

    Denise I really appreciate your thoughts;). I saw lots of pics on Pinterest of what you describe but I wanted to aim for an unexpected combo if you know what I mean. I look funny in boyfriend jeans so I don't wear them;). I will need to think more on this one. I also needed it to be work appropriate which the jeans wouldn't have been. Any other styling thoughts?

  • Lucy replied 5 years ago

    Beautiful! Love the juxtaposition between the extreme classic of the cardigan and the edgier tunic and leggings. Super. 

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 5 years ago

    I think it is good but perhaps you have set the bar so high that good isn't good enough.  I wonder if there is a bit too much of the juxtaposition between the ladylike chanel jacket and the tougher elements.  You recently bought a few pieces in softer colors.  Could one of them be subbed in for the draped top to segue from the hard edge to the classic modern?

  • Deborah replied 5 years ago

    Thanks Cheryle, that's a good idea.  I will have a look and see what might work.  I hadn't considered anything other than black or white at this stage:)

  • gryffin replied 5 years ago

    Deborah - I think this looks great.  The jackets fits well and proportions are very flattering.  Why not try tossing it on daily, over any outfit, and see what it plays nicely with.  Just looks like it should be more versatile than you seem to feel.  But I really like this outfit.  Is it stitching or studs on the sweater?  Either way, almost like a b/w negative effect - elegant but fun and not too "classic" at all!!

  • lyn67 replied 5 years ago

    Wow, not all Chanels are equally classic:-), I see the white stitchings make this one a bit edgier, so I think it can work with your wardrobe! Great silhouette with that tunic dress under! And great use of a classic piece for that unexpected juxtaposition!

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 5 years ago

    I quite like the opposite juxtaposition of the edge with the classic. I like the suggestion of tossing it onto other looks to see it's true versatility. Could be a fun month or so challenge to see how many it works with,lol.

  • jackiec replied 5 years ago

    Well, I LOVE it. Well done.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I just wish it were a wee bit more structured and tweedy, but I think it works :-)

  • replied 5 years ago

    I LOVE it too.  As in , really LOVE it.  Going with a white shirt and BF jeans is the casual alternative, but the way you are wearing it here is dynamite and more true to your look.  I had no idea Laura Ashley was still in business.  I still think of it as frilly and cottony and flowery :)  

  • Cococat replied 5 years ago

    It definitely works. I really like the contrast of pairing somethig classic with your usual edge to produce a fab look.

    Your mum sounds a bit like mine. She tends to buy me classical/traditional things which is how I think she would like to see me dress.

  • Maneera replied 5 years ago

    I like it too. Yes, the cardigan would look better with a white top.....and your white shirt might work too. But....that's what anyone would expect - playing the black and white contrast. This look is unexpected....and since that's was your aim behind combining these pieces, I would say you are 100% successful.

    But, I also like what TraceyLiz says. This IS a classic versatile piece in a color you love, and it loves you right back. You could wear this cardi in many ways. Try a cobalt top inside, or a navy or pink or soft grey.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I agree with Cheryle: To my eye, this look is fine, but there's just a bit too much disconnect between the styles. Trust your instincts, though and wear what makes you happy. I'm very fashion non-forward, and others love it. Plus it'll make your Mum happy to see you wear it :)

  • replied 5 years ago

    I rather like it! Different and very 'you' Deb. I get what Denise is saying and that is a great way to wear a Chanel type jacket, but that's not really your look. I'd love to see Cheryle's idea of some softer shades with the jacket too.

  • viva replied 5 years ago

    I like it, and I am also surprised to hear that Laura Ashley is still making clothing! How good of you to treat your mother's gift so well and to give it a try with your decidedly different style. I think it works great here -- and I think it's worth trying in other iterations, too.

    I remember spending a semester in London during college and spending a good deal of my discretionary money at Laura Ashely, buying a dress worthy of Jane Eyre: a severely modest cut (high neck, long sleeves, midi length), empire waist, charcoal with thin black stripes -- and I wore it with black moto boots, a huge men's overcoat, and my short hair sticking straight up. That was my one foray into Laura Ashely fashion, and Lisap, it wasn't exactly flowers and light. :)

  • replied 5 years ago


  • CocoLion replied 5 years ago

    White shirt, black cropped bottoms, and edgy shoes.  The edgiest you own.  For a sort of strict chic French look.  Either tuck the shirt or tunic it.  The reason I keep seeing a white shirt is I think the traditional aspect of the cardigan needs one more "friend" in this outfit to balance it out.  Does that make sense?

    I know I am being picky here (sorry) but it's true you have set a really high bar.  I hope this discussion is helpful.

  • Meow replied 5 years ago

    I really like this! Very creative. You're pairing classic with your style - what would you call it Avant Garde. I love unusual pairings - like a restaurant I went to not long ago of Korean and Mexican cuisine. I would never have thought to put those cuisines together but it was really good!

  • dakotacheryl replied 5 years ago

    I like it!

    How about with your new culottes and some great footwear?

  • shedev replied 5 years ago

    Looks very good.

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    I love these Chanel jackets but the style and collar get me stuck every time.  I think this a good combo because the low contrast means you don't see much conflict between collars.  Well done!

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    *hands over a pile of pearls*

    I love this combination, Debs. To my eye it works exceptionally well.  The white stitching on the cardigan MAKES it for me because it breaks up the expanse of black. As does the woven leather bottom by adding textural interest. It's fun to see you not wear voluminous drape for a change. The more tailored combination is a fab way to mix things up. I vote Killer. 

    I hope your Mum sees the outfit too. 

  • replied 5 years ago

    Yes to what "she" said above ^^  :)  "She" is always so smart and takes the words right out of my mouth, even when I didn't know they were there.

  • Brooklyn replied 5 years ago

    An original and unexpected combination. I like it :)

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    I actually really like the cardigan! Love the white stitching on black - I thrifted a jacket along those line that it has been too hot to wear. 

  • Parsley replied 5 years ago

    I really like this! It's unexpected and interesting. 
    And I have a very soft spot for wearing gifts that loved ones have given, even when they're not exactly what you would choose yourself: I like the idea of wearing their loving thoughts. Call me a hopeless romantic...
    Send one of these pictures to your mom, and I bet she'll be thrilled.

  • Beth Ann replied 5 years ago

    Taking an item outside of your core style and making it your own is always a big win.  Using a classic piece, or unexpected cut or color, is a great way to keep the minimalist and draped vibe you do so well.

  • jenanded replied 5 years ago

    I love it.... and double points for anything to get away from the frump in Australian fashion sometimes....

You need to be logged in to comment