Introducing the TAUPE capsule: Round One, Debombshelling the Pencil

So. Assuming I can find a way to make the portobello pencil skirt work, either by exchange, alteration, steaming, or simple acceptance, let me show you why I am SO galvanized by this whole "taupe" as neutral 2 epiphany.

I actually have a few posts to make but will spread them out over a few days so as not to bore the pants off you all.

For now, here is the skirt with another new purchase: a taupe linen "sweatshirt" from H&M. This is my first H&M purchase ever. Normally I go in there and feel overwhelmed, discouraged by the poor quality, and lost. But on this most recent occasion, I knew what I was looking for, and armed with my list I felt much happier. I wasn't after a sweatshirt in particular, but I was after a loose drapey top of some kind, in taupe. And voila! It's almost a perfect match for the skirt.

The sweater needs a steam, and I have just thrown on (not arranged) the scarf (my photographer was losing patience), but I think you get the idea.

How have I done, proportion wise? Does it work?

Happiness factor: HUGE. In this loose on top, slim on bottom silhouette I feel "myself," the way I feel in a good tailored jacket, which is sort of ironic, but there you go. It is what it is, right? I seem to have two loves -- waist defining, and waist surrendering.

By the way, I was very amused when my daughter noticed and pointed out that the sheer top underneath the sweater and the scarf are both leopard print. It seems my insidious fashion education is working on my fashion-despising girl!

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.


  • replied 8 years ago

    OH WOW! This is a great neutral for you Suz! I missed earlier posts about the skirt but I'll go back to find them. These two items together will revolutionize your wardrobe I predict. You can wear them together for a dress effect, and in a myriad of other combinations with black and denim. *waving to our scarf* You look absolutely fabulous!

  • Ingunn replied 8 years ago

    You are really beautiful in this! The sweater might be surrendering your waist, but it certainly enhances your shape anyway. I love, love, love, taupe on you, it will be a wonderful basic color in your core wardrobe. Well done!

  • replied 8 years ago

    I agree about this color being a great neutral for you. I'm sure you will be able to make those 2 pieces work in a myriad of ways.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I love the taupe with your hair, Suz! This is such a fresh, modern look.

  • Gaylene replied 8 years ago

    I think you've found your style sweet spot, Suz. Your outfit looks great and you like the way you feel in it-- the jackpot, as far as I'm concerned.

    Isn't it funny how you can agonize over trying to define your style when it sometimes just takes listening to that inner voice that says "now, this is something I really like wearing."

  • JR replied 8 years ago

    Love this look! You've nailed it.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Oh, thank you! I am SO excited about TAUPE!

    And can't understand why it didn't occur to me before...but that's another story. I guess I got confused between taupe and soul sucking beige.

    Claire, I agree - a wardrobe revolution is afoot. You would not BELIEVE the number of combinations I came up with yesterday playing with the taupe skirt and sweater. Taupe works with all my other colours and neutrals: all shades of blue, from ink through navy through denims through light blues. Teal. Orchid and raspberry and cranberry reds and burgundies. Greys. White. Winter white. And, of course, black.

    Gaylene - so true. I seem to be one of those who just needs to go through the angst a bit before hitting my sweet spot! I do think this particular silhouette will be a great model for next year's summer wardrobe.

  • MsMary replied 8 years ago

    SO FAB!!!! Love it! You are on your way, Girlfriend!

  • replied 8 years ago

    Yay! Don't you just love it when you bring something home and go to your closet and think, "Oh! It will go with this, and this, and this and this too and well.....everything!" I hope this color is represented well this season and that the manufacturers all go with the same uniform shade (aren't your skirt and sweatshirt from two different stores?). I'd like to pick up a few pieces myself.

  • kellygirl replied 8 years ago

    Hurray for epiphanies! You have found a fab neutral. It's soooo you. I love the silhouette too--it looks flattering and comfortable. I love it!

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    Perfect. Slam dunk! This color is going to snap so many things into place, methinks. And this outfit with the booties bookending your hair? So great!

  • shiny replied 8 years ago

    I'm still struggling to understand what "taupe" is... though I like the term "greige"... would you say your booties are taupe, just a lighter shade?

    Regardless of what you call it, you look smashing in this color! Goes very well with your hair and skin. And the whole outfit is adorable. It looks very comfy, yet sophisticated.

  • Gaylene replied 8 years ago

    I'm just laughing at "I am SO excited about TAUPE!"

    Those poor neutrals like taupe, beige, black, and their ilk get so dissed as being "boring". Here's to those of us who get excited about our neutrals!

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    I'd say this is perfect! The color really is awesome on you. I totally get the dichotomy of loving both a tailored jacket and loose, flowy tops - I'm in the same boat :) Good news is you can do both, and sometimes together!

  • morethanbeige replied 8 years ago

    Fabulous! How cool to find something so in-synch with who you are. You look so comfortable, stylish, and confident!

  • replied 8 years ago

    @Shiny: Like brown, gray and other neutrals, there are various shades of taupe. This particular taupe looks fab on Suz.

  • cheryl replied 8 years ago

    You look fantastic! It's a great look and color on you.

  • anne replied 8 years ago

    I really like the new outfit Suz - very sophisticated!! I am still, like Shiny, struggling with working out what taupe is! (I did a google search and there were variations there)

  • Susie replied 8 years ago

    I LOVE this outfit on you for so many reasons- the color works so well, the slouchy top and fitted skirt, the chicness of monochromatic, the pop of pattern from the scarf- all of it just works so well! You make me want to try taupe.

    Congratulations on a great find!

  • Mama Susie replied 8 years ago

    You look fabulous!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    HOLY CRAP GIRLFRIEND!!! This is absolute perfection on you Suz. I love, love, love you in taupe - it is so flattering on you and those booties with that skirt??? Delicious! I adore the waist surrendering top with the more fitted silhouette of the pencil skirt. This is how I felt about the taupe skirt - I didn't care about the little flaw because seriously no one is going to see it as I don't intend on tucking into it anyway and I knew the colour, style and length would work with about a gazzillion tops. Carry on Ms Gorgeous in taupe!!!

  • Classically Casual replied 8 years ago

    Love, love, love! This is a wonderful outfit for you. And also one that will be unique to you ,which is a bonus I believe.

  • Carole replied 8 years ago

    Taupe, its the perfect color for you! So rich, classic and goes with just about everything...I've learned so much from your color journey and the best part is seeing you actually find the pieces to your capsule and put them into action! So inspiring...thanks for sharing. I'm so excited to see your other photos.....

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    YAY! The YLF sisterhood likes it!! Your approval means the world.

    Jennifer, and Anne - taupe IS one of those tough to define colours. Kind of like mauve (which it somewhat resembles...) You COULD call it greige. Basically it is a greyed brown in various hues. So it can be really light, like Jennifer's (Shiny) skirt. Or it can be darker, like my sweater. Sometimes you see it called mushroom (or portobello, for us fancy types, LOL!)

    These booties are actually called "sand" but they are a very light taupe.

    The difference between taupe and tan is the absence/ presence of yellows. I can't wear any kind of beige or brown that has a yellow cast. I look simply hideous in it. But I do wear grey very well.

    I'm now also thinking that I don't have to banish brown...I can't wear many browns, but I do look good in a chocolate, and I like it for accessories sometimes. Oh...the possibilities going forward from here!

    Claire, like you, I am crossing fingers that this neutral is in stores this year and next. I did get the sweater from a different place than the skirt. The nice thing is that you don't really have to "match" with can be tonal, with shades of grey or lighter taupe or what have you.

    Thank you again, everybody!!!

  • deb replied 8 years ago

    This looks great on you. I have always thought the taupe did not look good on me. Our coloring is similar and this taupe looks so good against your skin that maybe I just have not found the perfect taupe for me. I will now reconsider this color, thank you.

  • K. Period. replied 8 years ago

    Oh my gosh, you look so fantastic in this! I look like death warmed over in taupe. YOU look radiant! Now I know why they sell taupe tops!!!

  • rachylou replied 8 years ago

    This IS a great color for you, Suz.

    I like the outfit, but I have to acclimate to it on you. The fabrics are quite "relaxed", and I'm not used to it.

  • Charmian replied 8 years ago

    I LOVE that you're excited by neutrals, and it's clear that this neutral loves you back. What a lovely color on you, Suz!

    And, as I just mentioned in my other thread, I'm jealous of taupe-wearing ladies. It's a neutral that I want to love; warm colors just don't get me excited, even though they look great on me ( jealous jealous jealous ).

  • Ginkgo replied 8 years ago

    This is gorgeous on you, Suz -- you must keep this skirt, there is nothing wrong with it in this picture. While you're on the taupe roll, maybe you should consider the taupe pleather jacket from Express that Claire has from Express, it looks like the exact same color. And their red is beautiful too! I bought the same jacket in sand a couple of months ago and wouldn't know it isn't leather.

  • MNsara replied 8 years ago

    Aah, taupe! *happy sigh* How I love your taupe epiphany! And love the new skirt and top. Interesting observation about your waist def and surrender.

    Hands down my fave neutral and probably because it plays so nicely with all my other favorite neturals, hence all those fab combinations as long as the proportions work :-)

    Also very accepting of most any pop of color you feel like adding that day. What could be better!!!!

  • Jonesy replied 8 years ago

    I love your New Taupe Direction and I think this look is fab!

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    Great taupe look!

    What I love most about it is your HUGE happiness factor :)

  • jenanded replied 8 years ago

    Suz you look fantastic! the shoes look brill with it as well.... I can't wait to see the next installments... do you have more elements for the taupe capsule? oh can not wait to see!

  • JR replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I was in Cleo today and saw your skirt. It was quite visible; on the entire hanger all the skirts had one straight hip and one curved one. How all that got past quality control is a mystery to me.

    No, I didn't buy anything, except a couple of earrings on special.

  • tarzy replied 8 years ago

    We have crowned a new member of the YLF Royal Family - Queen Taupe!

  • Caro in Oz replied 8 years ago

    Love it! Love it. I can't wait to see how it works with your blues. Neutrals make me very happy too (then again so does colour).

  • krishnidoux replied 8 years ago

    Suz I'll say like everybody else, you look absolutely amazing. Taupe suits you so naturally. And I love all the details - booties, scarf... the touch of silver from the bracelet is genius here. Bravo! You are finding yourself.

  • Beth Ann replied 8 years ago

    I'm on vscation, but I was doing a quick browse of the forum, and just had to take a minute to give a heartfelt YEA!

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Awesome! No wonder you're on taupe of the world!

    *hangs head in shame*

    Seriously, a revolution appears to be in progress - can't wait to see all these combinations you've created. Posts, please!

  • CocoLion replied 8 years ago

    I too love this color on you! I always thought these soft colors would wash blondes out but they actually look good. There is also something so sophisticated about soft, tonal dressing like this. At least I think so.

    I have been wanting to tell you that you have the perfect figure to wear waist-surrendering, oversized tops. Don't fear them. As long as you have something fitted on (like the skirt or skinnies), and show some skin (forearms, collar bones etc.) to both balance and soften the volume. I think they will add that edge you are looking for in your style.

    As for H&M knits, I purchased two unfitted muscle tees there this summer made from 100% viscose. They have washed beautifully, and compare well to ones from the Gap ($7.95 vs. $42) or even Vince ($100 plus).

  • Deborah replied 8 years ago

    Suz what resonates for me here is your comment about feeling most like you both waist defining and waist surrender silhouettes. Two different silhouettes yet something in each reflects "you".

    I am really surprised at the "taupe". I would not have guessed this would be a good color on blondes, though I can see how it works. I also understand the need for a neutral that pulls everything together in your closet and in someways becomes part of your signature. Black would be mine:). I love this skirt and top and the scarf looks good with them. I think the taupe can be worn alone but I can also see it with a pop of color, and really so many colors would work with this taupe...for some reason I am seeing teal blue?

    I will be watching to see how this develops for you Suz, it appears you really have struck on something:). Thanks so much for sharing x

  • Jjsloane replied 8 years ago

    Fabulous as shown. Also a great foundation for a variety of looks. Great job and the happiness is the best reward.

  • unfrumped replied 8 years ago

    So many things going for it- proportion, color. The monochrome makes it look elegant and sophisticated. Would wear this to work in a heartbeat. You already know this , bow that neutral, tonal approach can allow more budget - friendly items or more casual "cuts" (dressy T-shirt top or almost sweatshirt top) to play with more work/corporate/dresy items and look "effortlessly intentional."

    I wear this color and similar a lot, and I can tell you it's out there-- just keep your eyes open. Similar includes one of my favorite colors I call " vacuum cleaner lint"! That undefinable taupey-gray, not too light( for me with brown hair-- lighter hair can like paler end of the spectrum). Ann Taylor, BR,Talbots , even Target will have these colors off & on.
    Cruise often but buy selectively and you should find things that work with this direction you're in.

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    I'm traveling but had to comment on your new-found light neutral. My SIL, who likes a sophisticated look, loves taupe and has been mourning the lack of availability especially in trousers.
    You might consider duplicating your pieces. I love seeing this neutral worn head to toe in varying textures...a soft sweater, taupey pearls, etc. Target had a sequined-front knit top in this color last fall. Enjoying your joy over finding this color

  • Kari replied 8 years ago

    Suz, this is stunning on you. That shade of taupe looks like it was made for you! I love wearing separates that are the same shade and "faking" the effect of a dress, like you did here. And I also love the pairing of the patterned scarf and the light booties with this outfit. What an amazing concept!

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