Relaxed merino top and pants, BR, review. Bonus WIW and cat.

So, in one way you might say I'm at it again, that is, falling back on the fallback that tends to lead to feeling like I'm in a wardrobe rut, that is, prioritizing neutral essentials over more "fun" items. 

In my defence, I know I will wear such items to the ground. And I also felt these styles had potential to both relax and "dress up" my work-from-home capsule. Honestly, if they came in more exciting colours that worked on me, I'd be on board for duplicating. Especially at the sale prices. 

Also, on another note -- I added more lights!! I think it helps....

What I got: 

A light grey merino V-neck in a slightly oversize style. It is very lightweight but not see through and not at all scratchy. As others love puff sleeves, I love a batwing effect. This has slightly dropped shoulders but slim arms and a snug cuff (all-important for structure). I can easily tuck it. Or semi tuck. The back is slightly longer than the front. 

A pair of slim straight navy ankle pants in wool with a bit of stretch. Love these! They are not a duplicate of my older Kit & Ace pant because these are more generously cut -- still qualifying as a slim straight but with much more ease all round. They zip up the front (not the side, like the Kit & Ace pant) and they are a darker, truer navy, not a greyed navy. Super comfortable and easy to wear. 

Bonus WIW today -- red plaid ankle pants and turtleneck. It's cold out there! 

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.


  • Joyce replied 2 months ago

    Suz, no rut when it comes to the red plaid, awesome, out of the park!

  • CarolS replied 2 months ago

    Oh WOW -- yes, those red pants are a home run, Suz. If that's a rut, stay in it and keep driving....

  • MsMaven replied 2 months ago

    Love the gray sweater/navy pants combination. You look chic and relaxed at the same time. The red pants are wonderful--I'm always attracted to plaid pants in nice colors, but find it hard to wear them when I do buy them. 

  • Helena replied 2 months ago

    These colours are fabulous on you Suz and things become FFBO for a reason!! You look wonderful in both outfits, as always!

  • Angie replied 2 months ago

    Yay, more light! BIG improvement.

    What Helena said, Suz. You wear essentials and love them for good reason. They love you right back :)

    KILLER new pants and jumper! I'll make them top picks. The pearl grey is stunning with your silver hair. LOVE the way it all comes together with the scarf in #6. 

    KILLER modern Audrey vibe with today's look! Looking festive and comfy.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 months ago

    The new pants and sweater are totally fab on you, Suz. That's the fit I strive for as well. The gray and navy are flattering and elegant. I gotta say the red plaid pants outfit steals the show, though!

  • Irina replied 2 months ago

    You both look amazing in the last picture. :)

    I love grey and navy, I think it looks so good on you that it makes perfect sense to get both the sweater and pants while they are available. 

  • LJP replied 2 months ago

    Fabulous new BR pieces ! The sweater has almost a metallic sheen to it which is beautiful . Love the red plaid too :). I need to investigate those BR pants - how was the sizing ?

  • Dee replied 2 months ago

    Great lighting Suz!  And you’ve got to have those essentials even if they aren’t “fun”, they are just so important in creating different outfits and I’m sure this grey sweater and trouser will serve you well. 
    Always love the plaid on you, the red is so good. Actually, I though of you when I saw a pair of plaid pants out shopping today.

  • Janet replied 2 months ago

    Oh, so good!

    Love love love that sweater. The US site has an orchid version on deep discount but no returns.

    Also love the plaid pants. I just sadly let go of my ancient plaid pants, giving up hope that I’ll ever fit back into them the way I want. Sigh!

  • rachylou replied 2 months ago

    They look good. That’s a particularly sharp navy.

  • Runcarla replied 2 months ago

    I can’t get over how great a simple grey sweater looks on you!  Your hair is fabulous❤️ -and ‘yes’ to better lighting ;-)

  • Jessikams replied 2 months ago

    This kind of sweater will definitely be a workhorse. I prefer a charcoal gray for myself, but this lighter color looks perfect with your hair. And those fab plaid pants! I miss my old pair. Like Janet I “outgrew” them :(

  • slim cat replied 2 months ago

    Total love! New lights work beautifully ;) .

  • Suz replied 2 months ago

    So for the lighting, you will's what I have going on. One big overhead light. Two small decorative lights near the windows. Two gooseneck reading lights angled towards me. Two bright LED lights over a desk to the side. One LED strip light set up on the other side, another LED spot set up in front of me. 

    THAT's what it takes, folks, to get things looking half decent in this room, LOL. I want my side-gig as a lighting director now, please! 

    Lisa, the pants fit very generously in the hips, thighs, bum, I would say. but pretty normally in the waist area -- just a little loose there. They do have a small amount of stretch. No lining. They come in black and a nice camel colour. Expensive at full price but I got on sale. 

    Janet, they have that sweater in ORCHID in the US? Oh....I'd love that. They don't have that colour here. 

    I love the J. Crew plaid pants. Wool and LINED -- great for today's temps. However, they don't have the ease of the new trousers. They are a "slim straight" too -- but much slimmer than the BR pant, if you know what I mean. So a different vibe. 

    Janet, Jessikams, you both need new plaid pants, pronto!. Plaid pants feel like part of your style signatures, like a highly necessary item to you both!  It is interesting -- our styles differ but we definitely all overlap in that area. Jessikams, I also love charcoal grey and have a sweater in that colour, too. But until now, I did not have a light grey pullover and thought it might work well. 

    Thanks Carla, Dee, Irina (Max says thanks, too!), Slim Cat, Rachy, Sharan, Carol, Ms. Maven, Helena, Angie. 

  • Star replied 2 months ago

    Fab new pieces!  I don't believe knowing what works on you can be classified as a rut.  Love your WIW outfit.

  • Janet replied 2 months ago

    Suz, here’s a pic. I’m tempted but that final sale thing… it’s a nice color on me but I haven’t owned any in a while, not since I grew out my natural hair color.

    My old plaid pants were from a NAS at least 10 years ago! They were actually a junior brand and skinny (but not ridiculously so), so I shouldn’t beat myself up too badly for outgrowing them. The colors were perfect for me — a low contrast black/navy/deep green plaid in a nice scale that didn’t emphasize my wide hips the way many plaids do. There was a bit of a punk edge to them. It’s a HEWI for sure.

  • Zaeobi replied 2 months ago

    That grey jumper is fabulous on you. That's exactly how I like my dropped shoulder batwings too - with tapered cuffs! I'm sure it also helps to trap the warmth? The way you describe the hourglass fit of those trousers sounds perfect too - but my wallet is happy that BR doesn't deliver here, lol! :P

    Agree with @Star - it might help to reframe how you look at this FFBO. I'd say this isn't a rut so much as you've finally managed to solve a big piece of the FFBO puzzle... with your indoor loafers!

    Remember how frustrated you were that you weren't managing to get that 'comfy but polished' vibe from your WFH outfits? I'd say you've nailed it with these looks - & the trendy soles/ glossy finish of the shoes no doubt helped with that. Sometimes seeing progress requires looking at the bigger picture, instead of zooming in on the current situation - or in this case, outfit(s)! ;)

  • Suz replied 2 months ago

    Zaeobi, that is astute about the footwear. I was thinking exactly along the same lines this morning. It makes such a difference to how I feel at home! A few years back I bought a cute pair of fuchsia ballet flats for at home, but predictably, they tend to fly off my foot, and also, I can't wear socks with them as well for warmth (although, given the new trend for socks and dressier shoes, maybe I will try, ha!). Anyway, they haven't really worked, but these loafers do the trick and also offer great support for my feet on our hard floors. 

    And you are also right about "solving a piece of the FFBO puzzle with slightly newer, updated versions of old beloved standards. Yes, I wear slim pants and have been wearing them for years...but these ones are a more relaxed cut. Yes, I wear merino sweaters but this one is an updated cut as well, not my usual tailored classic. Really good insights! 

    Janet, that is a great colour! I think it would look terrific on you. They have it in petite only here (I guess it sold out in regular?) and it's quite pricey now again (prices went up after Black Friday). I think petite could work on me since it I don't really care about the length, so, hmmm....maybe I should go for it or at least watch to see if the price comes down again, which it might. 

    I remember those pants of yours! You wouldn't really want skinnies now anyway. These Camerons are on the verge of skinnier than I would like, in fact. But I'm keeping anyway. I could always have them altered with a tuxedo strip along the side or something. Pricey, but maybe not pricier than new pants of the same quality. 

    Thank you, Star! 

  • Jaime replied 2 months ago

    The lights make a huge difference and you look glorious! Love both the neutral top and the plaid bottoms, as well as the outfits you've made with them!

  • Zaeobi replied 2 months ago

    Yes, & the way you're wearing them is current too - half tucked in the front but with a longer back (I feel like subtly dipped hems (like high-low tops) are more 'in' these days), but what do I know? I get my in-person fashion education from my students, lol :D

  • Sally replied 2 months ago

    Fabulous new pieces and you wear them well  I especially like the pants with the half/semi tucked shirts.  Its a great look that really suits you well.   I don't think it is a rut either.  Why change when you find something that works perfectly for you.  

  • Ana replied 2 months ago

    Looking great as always, Suz! The plaid pants outfit looks amazing on you! So fun. :)

  • nemosmom replied 2 months ago

    Well, your fallbacks are fabulous no-fails! So milk it! The light grey is stunning on you and I envy how great you wear those plaid pants.

  • Laurie replied 2 months ago

    Super loving the grey and navy combo. With your hair, and the loafers, that is a fantastic outfit!

    Wow, I really do not like the current Banana Republic website, and the final sale policy. Both have dissuaded me from purchasing this year.

  • Suz replied 2 months ago

    Laurie, I know...the current rules and offerings do not make me happy, alas. I did try to order some items from them (biting my fingernails all the while, because I would have to pay for returns as well as delivery, if indeed returns were allowed...) BUT it turned out none of the items I wanted could be delivered to Canada. So that was that! I'm sad, because for years they were a go-to for me. But such is life! Onwards to a different retailer, I suppose. 

  • sarah replied 2 months ago

    Lovely. I also like that "batwing" silhouette. and it looks great on you.

  • Jessikams replied 2 months ago

    There is something just a bit punk about plaid pants, Janet is right. Which is unusual for holiday wear! That’s why I
    loved my cheapies from H&M … but they were definitely cut for juniors….for now I make do with my green corduroy stripe/plaid pair. Not as dramatic, but still fun.

  • lyn67 replied 1 month ago

    The devill is in the details I would say-love the cut of this V-neck-and the new pants, are great, too!

  • Greyscale replied 1 month ago

    I just bought that same sweater in black and I'm in love. I wore it two days in a row. It almost feels like a throwback to my style 10 years ago when that casual draped look was everywhere. I've been gravitating to that again this past month...

    The grey looks great on you, and I love both pants.

    Speaking of plaid, I also just got these from BR during the black Friday sales, a real HEWI.

  • Cee replied 1 month ago

    You can't go wrong with a good ol' turtleneck and a V-neck sweater.

  • suntiger replied 1 month ago

    Those all look great! I'm jealous of your ability to be polished at home!

  • RobinF replied 1 month ago

    Oh my goodness, I missed this earlier! Love it and I need that sweater! This is such a simple look but works perfectly.

  • Kyle replied 1 month ago

    Well, I’m a fan of basics like this, always and forever. The older I get, the more I love clean cuts and simplicity. But, of course, the turtleneck outfit has my heart. Love everything about it, Suz, and you look wonderful.

  • Christina F. replied 1 month ago

    Looking good - as always! Those red pants must come in handy this time of year. (I have a similar pair, shockingly--but they're currently not fitting well enough.)

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