Minimally & Neutrally Coated

Here are two versions of today's forumla. 

I'm wearing a J. Crew rollneck sweater (because I believe those first became a thing in the 90s, if I am not mistaken? and this is a 90s throwback style). Because the sweater is cotton and it is very cold here, I'm also wearing Heattech base layers! 

Wit & Wisdom pants, Sam Edelman boots, Bernardo coat. You can see here, a little bit, how the stance is a bit low for me -- my arms are almost not long enough for the pockets. But they do make it. 

This was interesting for me. I like the version with the coat. But without the coat, I feel too minimalist. I kept wondering how to make it an "outfit" without pattern. (There is some textural interest, but...). Meanwhile, the version with the bag felt like "too much going on" for me. In these little discoveries we find our own style, no? 

My last picture is the real-life version. It is way too cold here today to go out in a wool coat, even with multiple layers beneath. I am wearing my distinctly non-90s (but still neutral and minimal) parka when I venture forth! ;)  

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.


  • Helena replied 6 months ago

    Well you know I love this Suz, but for your style, I do see you might want to add a scarf into picture #2! You wear navy and winter white so beautifully.

  • Dee replied 6 months ago

    I’m not a minimalist either so I understand being unsure of wearing only plain solid colours together when you’re used to having some pattern in the mix. It all looks good though, fun to experiment. 

  • Runcarla replied 6 months ago

    You wear the minimal look very well, Suz!  love #2, and wouldn’t add anything to it!  It’s fun to flex your style chops, even if the style isn’t your daily cup of tea!  

  • Suz replied 6 months ago

    Yes, I agree it is fun to experiment like this. You know, my first impulse (after I realized I wasn't going to be adding pattern via a scarf or something --arrrgh!!) was to think about whether I wanted to add jewellery. And normally, I never wear much jewellery! Just simple stud earrings and a watch, rarely a bracelet or drop earrings and even more rarely a necklace. Anyway, I did not add anything. 

    I felt like if I were to go minimalist with my style, the cut and proportion of items would become even more important. These items are current and they work together but they don't have enough personality, IMO, to stand alone like this and feel like an "outfit." Maybe they are not architectural enough for me. Hmmmm. This is a great learning experience! 

    I do love wearing navy and white, though -- that is a win. 

  • Runcarla replied 6 months ago

    Suz - I had an epiphany recently whilst musing on my style descriptors.  Though ‘minimal’ was one of the descriptors I used, it was pointed out to me that my style was not minimalist - though my closet was - because it’s modest in size.  This exercise just proves it.  (More puffer layers and a scarf, please!)

  • Suz replied 6 months ago

    Yes, that makes sense, Carla. I would not have pegged you as a minimalist except in wardrobe size. You love colour, layering (which can create a colour-blocked effect, depending), pattern, and pattern mixing! Like me. 

    I don't consider myself (and wouldn't call you) a maximalist, either, though.Somewhere in between. Clean lines, but multiple places for an eye to land? I am not entirely sure. 

  • Dee replied 6 months ago

    Yes Suz,  I so understand that urge to want to add that little extra to somehow punch up a plainer look, just like Runcarla's need to add that scarf for more detail.
    So if we're not minimalist or a maximalist, then what are we? Happy medium? Lol.

  • MsMaven replied 6 months ago

    Whatever you call it, I love the look on you, Suz. I didn't expect to like #2 and wouldn't like it on some people, but the light, dark, light works for you. 

  • Suz replied 6 months ago

    Well, everyone, I was wearing #4 with the addition of mittens and you can believe I had the Heattech undies on as well, and I was still cold on my walk! It was -18C which in my old life in Kingston I would have said was nothing, but wow, it felt cold to me today! 

  • rachylou replied 6 months ago

    Beautiful! I know what you mean about a complete outfit, but this is one time when I think the under layer is working on it’s own. The black and white is dramatic.

  • BlueJay replied 6 months ago

    I like all the renditions! #4 is great as the boots really do accent the other white items. Stay warm!

  • Bijou replied 6 months ago

    I agree with BlueJay, all renditions are great. It is fun to read your analysis of where the sweet spot hit for you on the minimal vs maximal spectrum.

  • Cardiff girl replied 6 months ago

    All looks great on you,l think l would always want to add a scarf forthe extra visual interest not to mention the avoidance of a cold neck .l appreciate seeing the outfits with and with out scarves even if it’s just to confirm my preference.

  • Jaime replied 6 months ago

    Great experiment. I also like with the coat best, but without the coat is also good. I would add some earrings and go. Agree the third is a bit too much. And your actual parka works beautifully too!

  • April replied 6 months ago

    Hmm, when DID rollnecks come in?  

    Whenever, you wear this one extremely well!  Elegant combination.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 6 months ago

    Nicely done, Suz! You CAN wear it, but is it you? I like your discovery process here. I find the outfit without the coat a little not-Suz also. Even the first one--with the patterned scarf and how gorgeous you look in those whites--feels a little out of your usual style or palette to me. Still a sensational look, though!

  • cat2 replied 6 months ago

    Well, that’s a hoot. But I definitely prefer color, texture, pattern and shine as my mantra, not the absence of it.

  • lyn67 replied 6 months ago

    This is an interresting observation-and I feel exactly the same with you. Love showing off a big patterned shawl over an uni coat only  without a bag OR with an  uni tote with no details in a neutral of the outfit OR a   smaller uni cross-body(where strap is  uni, too).  So that's the reason I  bought me an grey uni quitar strap, too:-))
    AND I also  feel blah when wearing the outfit  like yours in nr 2. There I love accessorizing either with a smaller scale scarf (but not really bandana) worn indoors, like a tie-dye or an accent collor with some fringes either with some jewelery (say a brooche, a fine or a statement long pendant).

  • RobinF replied 6 months ago

    I know exactly what you mean about not feeling like an outfit without a print! I always start with a print to "tie the colors together" and it feels weird to wear two colors without that. Although a texture can be enough too, like if the sweater was a cable knit that might be enough to amp it up. Interesting observation.

  • Zaeobi replied 6 months ago

    You look great in all of these, but I agree that the bag over the top becomes quite busy altogether - which is why I make sure all my winter outerwear has enough pockets for my essentials (& gloves)! I think this is also why I've ended up with a closet of mostly solids (even my bags), so I can mix & match without thinking. Though you pattern mix well, Suz! So I wonder whether this particular example has more to do with the placement and scale of the patterns (guitar strap VS scarf etc).

    I guess if we're neither Minimalists nor Maximalists, then would 'Moderatists?' work? Moderists? Lol my phone *really* wants to correct it to Modernists... Middists, perhaps?

  • Joy replied 6 months ago

    Nicely done. You look like those heavy things fit well. I love the white boots with the navy and white.

  • Angie replied 5 months ago

    All renditions are FAB, Suz!

    Glad you found a version that felt best. Glad the arctic weather is behind us too.

    #3 - the one you felt was "too much going on", is my KILLER fave :) - (the bag comes with a self-leather strap, so maybe you'd have liked that version more!).

    Interesting discoveries as always! I find that I frequently wear a solid outfit that is brightly coloured, and high-contrast. That tempers the "too minimalist" feeling for my sartorial preferences. 

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