Which works better...and why?

I'm hoping you'll indulge me in a little analysis. This, by the way, is all in the service of my new year's goal about distilling the essence

Here you see two recent and very similar outfits. Both skirt, sweater, boots, and scarf. Both fairly monochromatic. 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me: 

Which do you think works better for me...and why. 

Note, I'm not asking you to say which is the better outfit in some abstract sense. 

I have my thoughts and theories but I would like to hear yours first. 

Please vote for Team 1 (Yay) or Team 2 (Nay), and no sitting on the bench -- it is freezing cold there with none of Angie's delicious snacks. 

Thank you for your help!

ETA: Added a pic of #1 without scarf. Different footwear (different time of year) but it helps give a slightly different impression of how it actually looked if you put the two together.

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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.

95 Comments

  • merwoman replied 5 years ago

    Team 2.
    While you look gorgeous in both - I prefer the proportions, silhouette and textures of #2. Length of the skirt, dropped waist (and waist surrendering) all work better to my eye. Plus narrower skirt versus fuller skirt. I also prefer the lower contrast impact of the scarf in outfit 2.
    I'll bring snacks for everyone -  oatmeal cookies fresh out of the oven!

  • Kristin SF replied 5 years ago

    Team 2 (photo 2) all the way. I think the color of the boots bookend your hair nicely, and the gray sweater seems to somehow make your face look brighter. Even the shape of the skirt is somehow more flattering for your body shape.

    Were the photos taken at the same time of day? The lighting in photo 2 seems more flattering, somehow. But I do think the colors of the outfit flatter you more, as well.

    IMHO! :-)

  • abc replied 5 years ago

    I think the color of the sweater in #1 is slightly more flattering to your skin tone / hair color than the color of the sweater in #2, but both are fab and I would not hesitate to rewear either if I were you!  I also think the slightly more fitted waist area in #1 is more flattering.  

    I tried to respond taking into account your request to describe why it works better for you, taking my personal tastes out of the equation but that's hard - I love a little sparkle :)

    What a fun challenge, looking forward to hearing other input!

  • Neel replied 5 years ago

    Team 1. Because I like sparkles :D. No help I know!

    Let me try! I think the blue of the top suits you better than the gray in 2. And I have always preffered you in figure flattering clothes. So the waist surrendering look in 2 is fresh but I prefer 1 more.

  • Linda replied 5 years ago

    Your first outfit puts the focus up on your face, for my eye; the second, on your whole figure.  I was about to say I thought the 2nd suited you best, but, it really depends on how you want to relate to the world I think. 

  • Mo replied 5 years ago

    Not reading ahead.  I like both, but I can guess you prefer #1 for the leg lengthening it offers.  I'm on the bench, but you said there is no bench, so if forced to choose I go with #1 because of said proportions.

  • DeclawedJaguar replied 5 years ago

    I voted for the first one, because to my eye the scarf and the patterned tights in the second one make this outfit busier than what I think your style is, Suz. Interesting to see that I seem to be in the minority so far.

  • Gracie replied 5 years ago

    Do we have to choose, really?... For me, no. 2 is more you – it looks professional and elegant. The dark lower half anchors the look solidly and the column silhouette is to my eye, more modern. No. 1 is gorgeous, I think of it more "flirty" due to more skin showing and the slight A-line/swingy skirt (I imagine it moves beautifully when you walk), so this is a great fun or date look in my book (so I think this is also you). All pieces fit you beautifully... the only detail I'm not too keen on is the scarf on no.1... having one very light area on the whole outfit doesn't look balanced to me, it almost looks like a collar, maybe if it were draped where it shows more of the grays and blacks it might blend a bit better for me.

  • carter replied 5 years ago

    Team 2. You look much taller in this one. I think it's a factor of the long straight lines of both the sweater and the skirt, plus the blending between tights, boots and skirt. In pic 1, there seem to 3 distinct sections rater than one cohesive flow.

  • Kristin L replied 5 years ago

    It's a hard choice, but I'm on Team 2. I think the lighter colored top and scarf help brighten up your whole look. And, like Carter said, it seems to flow better than the first outfit.

  • Diana replied 5 years ago

    I like #1 better. I think the proportions are better, and the color balance. #2 breaks you up into two blocks of equal size, and all the light is on top. #1, although all over darker, has the crucial element of sheer hose that is just light enough to balance the light scarf and hair.

    And this is mostly personal preference, but I like a little flash of leg with skirts+tall boots looks. Sheer tights or even contrasting color opaques give this effect whereas a matching opaque (like in 2) does not.

  • El Cee replied 5 years ago

    Gosh… I really have to pick? But I like BOTH. OK, if I must choose I would say #2 by a nose. The lighter color on top seems to brighten your face. I also like the modern silouhette of the chunky, slightly oversized sweater over the sleek dark column. But, that being said, #1 is also beautiful on you as the blue coloring is flattering to your complexion. And the magpie in me adores the sparkle.

  • Glory replied 5 years ago

    Both are truly fabulous but since you made the rules we have to pick one or the other. I prefer 2 for what I see as a slimmer silouette. I like that the scarf blends a bit more with the shade of the sweater, the slimmer skirt and the length of the sweater. If feels more casually elegant to my eye.

  • Inge replied 5 years ago

    Well, I'm sorry Suz, but I am benching myself :-) I really do like them both. To me they have a different vibe, but they are also equally flattering and interesting.

    I see outfit 1 as somewhat more modern classic. The flared skirt and black hose are the dressier classic elements. The knee-high boots are not super dressy, yet not super casual either. The sparkly blue top is a gorgeous colour on you, the fit not body con, but not extra fluid either. It brings subtle bling that adds (textural) interest and a contemporary modern feel. The style of the top works really well for this flared skirt silhouette.

    Outfit 2 reads more casual, and has the fluid fit chunky knit sweater over pencil skirt that gives it its on trend feel. To my eye, all items and colours are just as flattering on you as those in outfit 1, the "whole" just has a different vibe. I adore the checked tights here, they add a playful feel, as does the three-toned scarf that works great with the chunky knit of the sweater.

    Not sure if I'm any help at all:-)

  • texstyle replied 5 years ago

    Haven't read the others --Team 2 all the way for me - I like the overall effect of the proportions and I greatly prefer non-sheer tights worn with any winter skirt outfit. I also have a personal preference for textural sweaters vs. sparkly tops, though I do own a couple of items with some shine, I have a hard time wearing them. I think I've seen you in this sparkly one and pants and loved it, but for some reason it feels like a lot going on in outfit 1 - esp. for you.

  • Susie replied 5 years ago

    I'm going with #2 because the skirt shape and proportions appear to be more modern and to me it is an overall more streamlined, minimal look, which I think you may prefer.

  • Sharon replied 5 years ago

    I like #1 the best. I think the words that sprung to my mind when I saw it was "feminine" and "structured". I really like the grey colour and the texture of the second one on you, but I don't like the boxiness. To me, it would be better a bit more cropped and maybe with the sleeves pushed up. I know you use the style descriptor of Urban Prince, and that conjures the idea of a fairly streamlined look to me. But I think my style biases are influencing that assessment, because you look lovely in both of them. I am interested to hear which you prefer!

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    I'm going with 2 - the first is less streamlined and more ALGO. Both are objectively beautiful and flattering, but 2 has a more cohesive appeal to my eye and more importantly, seems in line with YOUR style goals of simple refined edge if I understand them correctly... (Or are those MY new style goals?).

  • Sarah A replied 5 years ago

    Voting #2, b/c here i like the whole thing. Its more casual but it all works.

    #1 I think like better for you than #2 if it were sans scarf. #1 has the slightly more polished feel and trendy sweatshirt to incorporate that modern aspect but than adding the tight scarf wrap and high contrast scarf color doesnt work as well to my eye.

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 5 years ago

    I am for Team 2 and would like the first one equally without the scarf...

  • Joyce B replied 5 years ago

    I go for 2. Although 1 highlights your beautiful eyes, I think 2 is softer and brighter looking so I prefer the second look. Also, I am partial to great handknit garments.

  • E replied 5 years ago

    Not reading everyone else's yet!

    I'm team 1, as I love the more fluid feel of that sweater, the way the skirt and sweater echo each other with gentle curves, the colours and just everything about that oufit. I'd wear it in a heart beat. :) I like 2, but it's boxier and stiffer, with the heavier wool sweater and denim skirt, and I don't think it flatters you, or looks like a natural extension of yourself, quite as much.

  • gryffin replied 5 years ago

    Team 2
    "Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions" Coco Chanel.  Suz - I am a big fan of the "Golden Ratio."  In most situations the proportions of 1/3 and 2/3 will be the most flattering.  Team 1 outfit breaks you into 1/2 & 1/2, Team 2 the sweater which extends the line being a t-neck and long gives you 2/3 up top to 1/3 on the bottom.  In addition, I like the scarf with Team 2 because the grays read as identical undertones with the sweater which  enhance the relationship and the t-neck makes it look like part of the organic whole, mininimizing the transtion of one element to another.  Also the cabling on the sweater enhances the long vertical line and is very flattering.  Team 1, reads to me as colorblocked, which is dramatic at your neckline - it does not elongate and the transitions from the sweater to the skirt are to my eye more abrupt, which is due to the shine transitioning to the matte skirt. The sheer black hose are another transition point to the black boots.  So many transition keep the eye moving on the outfit and keep it from resting on you.  Team 2 - the tights, although patterned are the same value as the skirt and boots.  The gray boots are a good match for the tights and give you a nice long leg line which is picked up by the burgundy stripe in the tights which reinforces the vertical line.  This is picked up by the contrast stitch on the center seam of the skirt which brings us up back to the verical cable on the sweater which gracefully brings the eye up to your face.   Team 2 - black boots give a nice line which breaks at the lighter hose, the a-line, instead of the pencil pulls the eye horizontally, there is no vertical detail on the skirt to bring the eye up, at the waist we get a diagonal line from the sequins with an abrupt transition to the scarf - it's a less fluid movement.  For all of the above reasons I find Team 2 not just more flattering but harmonious, tranquil and organic.  Team 2 puts the focus on you, Team 1 makes me look at the components.  This does not mean I don't  like your first outfit!!  I think you look lovely in both but if you asked me to pick one that you were going to box up and send to me it's number 2 (ps feel free to do that!!)  Sorry Suz, that this reply is so long but you asked!!  BTW this was a really fun exercise.  I'm really glad you did it and I'd be thrilled if you did more.  Fun and really instructive!!

  • Thistle replied 5 years ago

    I am answering without reading the others so I can be honest and not swayed!

    I like #2 on you far better. Here's why:
    1. The first one feels too "busY' for an Urban prince.
    2. I like the flow of the grey sweater better on you, as well as the texture of it.
    3. The proportions feel better to my eye in #2. I can't explain this as I don't know how.  Visually, it is just more appealing.
    4. I feel like the lighter color of the grey looks better closer to your fair coloring that than harsher darker colors.

    I have to admit, though, I would like #2 even better sans scarf. But, I am a minimalist at heart :)

  • amiable replied 5 years ago

    I'm on Team 2, and honestly don't know why.  I kind of think that I'd like them both better without the scarf....  Your style is often pretty simple/minimal, and I think both would be more in line with that without the scarf.  

  • Janet replied 5 years ago

    OK, I'm not looking at the other replies so as not to color my initial impression. I'm going with #2. The lines are simpler, which seems more "you." Something about the scarf, the sequins, the flared skirt, and the detail on the boots in #1 is a bit ALGO for where you seem to be going stylewise, even though it looks perfectly nice.

    I say this as someone who is also feeling a pull toward simpler silhouettes in my style. I think I am also working on "distilling the essence." Thanks for sharing that.

  • Aquamarine replied 5 years ago

    Team 2 all the way! I prefer knits to sparkles, so I am biased. But also I think the proportions work better and are more interesting in 2. It's texturally-rich with the sweater, tights, and suede boots. The boots, although not really light-colored, seem to bookend your hair unlike the black boots. Pic 2 just works to my eye, and is naturally pleasing. It's EASY to look at, that's all I know :-)

  • Catnip replied 5 years ago

    This was hard, but I voted for #1.  I like the individual items in #2, but the long, shapeless sweater is not flattering to your figure and the gray color is just OK.  The proportions in #1 suit your figure much better, showing off your slim waist and making your legs look long.  #2 makes you look somewhat overweight and stumpy.  I think you look somewhat better in purple than in gray.  To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what is going on at the neck in #1 and am assuming it's a scarf.

    I'm certainly no trend expert, but after following YLF for several months I would guess that #2 is more current.  I can understand why people who care a lot about being trendy might prefer #2. 

  • April replied 5 years ago

    I'm writing after scrolling down very quickly to avoid being influenced...  

    Team 2.

    Somehow the lower contrast looks better to my eye with your low-contrast light hair and fair skin.  If you had Snow White coloring, I would probably vote for #1

  • Caro in Oz replied 5 years ago

    Haven't read the other responses yet. #2 looks more like the Suz I "know". 
    It is more streamlined. #1 has many vertical breaks between boots, tights, skirt & the shiny top & it feels like there is too much action (for you). I think the textures may have something to do with it too but I'm not sure why :)

    ETA: Just read the other comments - the subtlety of the softer colours has a big impact on the feel of the outfit too.

  • viva replied 5 years ago

    Not reading others. #2. It's hard because the sparkle in #1 brings out the color of your eyes in a very lovely way, but overall the look in #2 is just amazing. It gives you length and stature that the first look does not. There is a wonderful line from the boots right up through your legs, skirt and sweater. I think the lack of defined waist helps here, as does the darker hose. There is more interesting texture in this outfit too -- the hose, the sweater, and the scarf, as well as the boots -- while, not textured necessarily, have that more interesting tonality. And they also work so well with the color of the sweater.

    I am voting for the strong and soft column of look 2. It's both feminine and fierce.

  • Lisa replied 5 years ago

    #2 strikes me as more urban prince than #1.  #1 has a lot going on, shine, flowy drape with the skirt.  #2 has stricter lines with a straight skirt and texture but no shine.  I associate clean lines, and one or two standout features for your style best.  In #1, I'm looking at all the movement going on, the shine, the flowy skirt, it's busy, whereas in #2, I'm drawn right to your face because there is less "going on" in this look.  Both outfits are lovely but it's too cold to sit outside on the bench so there's my vote. :)

  • K. Period. replied 5 years ago

    I'm on Team 1, but I get to issue a disclaimer. Suz, I can't look at these objectively.  When I look at them, I view them through the lens of my figure flattery priorities and my comfort with certain items.  I don't have a long neck, I'm not willowy and I love sparkles.  So an outfit with sparkles that makes you look willowy and long necked is a sure winner with me.  For you, I would guess that you feel more comfortable in Team 2, but you think that the tunic is too long.  I think it is lovely and the tunic length looks great but the weight of the sweater plus scarf around your neck seems too heavy for me.  So back to the sparkles.  You look gorgeous in both, though.  

  • Catnip replied 5 years ago

    I have just reread my first response and can no longer edit it.  Unfortunately I always do better if I write something and revise it several hours later.  I apologize for the tone, which is not at all what I intended.

    Suz, I do not think you are either overweight or stumpy.  You have a great figure and #2 doesn't emphasize that as much as #1.  You look good in gray, just not as good as you look in purple.  I'm still going with #1, but do not dislike #2 nearly as much as my first response suggests.

    I promise to try harder and do better in the future!

  • Mo replied 5 years ago

    I want to know what YOU think now that you've seen all our (very split) answers!

  • Vildy replied 5 years ago

    It's hard because they're just pictures. I like how the leg color blends together in 2,  whereas my eye goes to shinier knees in 1.  I also don't like the whitish semi-circle of the scarf or collar in 1, as distracting to me. So I say 2.

  • Marley replied 5 years ago

    Both are really nice - but the scarves are distracting me.  The bold color difference between the sparkly sweatshirt and the scarf in #1 feels too abrupt - and the way that you have the scarf wrapped around your neck in #2 feels just too round and like there is too much going on from your scarf on up.  Can you tie the scarf in #2 in a way that it hangs in a vertical line down onto your chest/torso?
    As far as which one I like best - I go with #2 - partly because of the scarf "issues" in #1 - and partly because in my eye the skirt in #1 looks too short - and then pair that with the sheer hose - which really highlights the length of the skirt - well, I'm not crazy about that!  I like the tonal integrity of #2 - and all of the different textures and vertical lines.

  • Deborah replied 5 years ago

    It's hard to look with objectivity. I prefer #2 because it is more streamlined and neutral. It's visually easy and pleasing to the eye (mine anyway). There is a lovely flow to the outfit proportionally. Outfit #1 is lovely. It I find it too busy. There are too many things calling go for my eye's attention. The proportions are fine but I do think there are too many horizontal lines.

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    This is fabulous!!! Thank you so much! I had to be out of the house for an hour and came back to such wonderful, thoughtful, and incredibly interesting responses!! I am WOWED by your perceptive thoughts. 

    Catnip, don't you worry one little bit -- you couldn't offend me! I absolutely asked for real, off the cuff responses and you gave that. So please do not think you have upset me by straight speaking. That's exactly what I was hoping for! And your perception is very valuable. 

    Vildy, you are right - they're just pictures, and also, as Kristin SF immediately picked up, they weren't even taken on the same day in the same lighting. So in a sense it's not a fair comparison. (Even my hair is different because I got it cut in between these two days.) 

    Oh - and something I forgot to mention, but Gracie and Sarah A. and TraceyLiz and Marley sensed it immediately  -- the scarf really wasn't part of outfit #1 and shouldn't even have been in the photo. I threw it on just before heading out the door for warmth before grabbing my coat. At my destination I actually took it off. So the outfit looked a bit different IRL -- slightly fewer horizontal lines and a bit less going on. 

    Also, let me add -- I actually liked wearing both these outfits and don't think either one is "bad."  Linda, I love what you said about "depends on how you want to relate to the world." 

    Gracie, you were also right in another way -- that first outfit WAS a "date" outfit. I wore it for my birthday lunch out with Mr. Suz. You are intuitive! :) 

    Now, before I go on, let me say that I'm astounded and very, very intrigued by the differences of opinion and perception. It's fascinating. 

    As for my own view -- I prefer #2, for all the reasons that the amazing gryffin so carefully and brilliantly detailed. (Thank you, gryffin!!) And others have said similar things. 

    But I must say that your comments on #1 have let me look at it with softer eyes as well -- SANS scarf!!! 

    Oh - and Marley -- I did in fact wear the scarf as is in #2. It doesn't tie (it's an infinity) and anyway I have sort of a thing against a long scarf in front -- I am generally going without them, period, when I can - but this day was just SO cold that two turtlenecks and a scarf were needed!! 

  • L'Abeille replied 5 years ago

    Not reading the others yet but I say #2. Which really surprised me, because when I saw the thumbnails I thought #1 is so you and #2 just looked off. So I think the difference is mostly one of proportion or balance.

    In #1, the 3 pieces--top, skirt, and boots--seem perfectly divided into thirds, which I think is not the golden mean ideal is it (although on me, it is often the closest i can come to it!). Whereas in #2, the top takes up a bigger chunk of visual real estate than the skirt, which is more pleasing to my eye.

    Again, in #1 the sparkle of the top in the thumbnail was appealing (ie looked like the refined Suz I am used to seeing), but the actual pic looks too busy--the scarf, the hourglassy (for you) silhouette, the sparkle, and the obvious break at the top of the boots--they are not exactly twee, but more Princess than Prince. Whereas in #2, even though there are more colours (grey AND black not just black! sounds like me too), the total effect is more harmonious, each piece contributing to the whole instead of competing. (Are those different boots than in #1? They look like a deep charcoal suede--even if they aren't, their very reticence adds to your outfit.)

    Now off to read about your new focus, which I somehow missed until now.

  • Echo replied 5 years ago

    It was a very difficult task for me to look at the pictures objectively. I instinctively like the outfit in #1 better because I love sequins and I adore blue with black. However, the question was which looks better ON YOU, and that would be #2. Your hair and complexion simply "go" better with neutrals and lighter colours. You look more at home in the second outfit. The harsher colours in the first outfit, while not terrible, just aren't as flattering overall IMO.  Regardless, I think both outfits are fab for different occasions, and I would encourage you to wear both.

  • unfrumped replied 5 years ago

    Chiming in late, but voting with disclaimer:
    I like #2 best of the two, and the sweater looks more modern, but at the same time, the sweater has "issues" . It speaks to Angie's comment on things not being conventionally flattering but can be pleasing as worn.
    To me this sweater does look like you now, does have good proportions with the skirt, but yet is quite 2-dimensional-flat, so to speak and no pun intended. Very rectangular .
    I was initially quite happy with a couple of similar styles that I bought this season, but I've just about sworn off treading any further into that water. I really like a small amount of curve-following--perhaps that can be in the fabrication even in a boxy long cut. I think I'd like that better on you as well, even as I can at the same time see that it's fine to go this route for an intentional style.

    So maybe it is only my style goal that is heading that way or it could be that this is what is being offered now and I'm thinking that somewhere in the middle is fluid fit with slight movement and a lot of folks look better in that than in the very straight interpretation. But, would that be as stylish? Hmmm.

  • deb replied 5 years ago

    I have not read what others think, but I vote for #2. To me, it looks more your style and more balanced on your frame. 

  • Mona replied 5 years ago

    I love #1 because I love sparkles, waist definition and sheer hose. But you are asking what looks good for you then that would be #2. Only because it has that stylish grace that is your signature style.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 5 years ago

    I haven't read the other responses so they haven't influenced my opinion.

    I thought I would prefer #1 based on the thumbail pics but I prefer #2.  I think for me it is that the sheer tights between the dark skirt and boots break up the leg line and shorten.   This mucks with the proportions a bit.  #2 is not monochromatic on the lower half but reads that way because of the lack of contrast.  I also think you have a slim build and that this allows for the waist surrendering.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I like #2 a little more but then that's the style I gravitate towards myself. 

  • vipanchi replied 5 years ago

    Late to the party but I vote for #1 Suz. You look gorgeous in that and it feels more polished to me than # 2. I also feel you look younger in it with the sparkle and fit of the sweater. I like the scarf in outfit 1 too although you say it was a last minute throw - the little sparkle and the black and gray ties together the sparkle of the top and the black in the rest of the outfit. The off white adds another touch of interest and color dimension to the whole outfit. Busy as it may be , I dont think it takes away the focus from you face! Overall the outfits feel like day and night (#1 being night and #2 being day)

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    I am Team #1. It's a more chic outfit, and that, I think is more suited to Super Hero Suz. xo

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Oh yes. Team #1 gets my spicy masala burgers. No snacks on the bench. 

  • Aubergine replied 5 years ago

    You look great in both, but I voted for #2 too.

    One thing that was throwing me was the scarf in #1, which seemed like a sharper juxtaposition in terms of color and texture with the top than I've really seen you in. Even taking that into account, though, #2 just immediately felt more like your style to me. Something about the lighter colors, the more fluid yet still perfectly fitting silhouette of the sweater, and the sophisticated harmony/unification between the different shades and textures of gray.

    Interestingly, of the two, I'd wear #1 (with a darker scarf, or maybe with some interesting earrings and no scarf) in a heartbeat!

  • MuseumGal replied 5 years ago

    #2 looks more like the way I've seen you dress, so that's how I voted.  However #1 is fun and flattering too. 

  • Gigi replied 5 years ago

    I'm late to the party, but I would have voted #1. I didn't read all the comments, but I did read your follow-up, Suz, as well as gryffin's post, since you mentioned it in your follow-up. I will say that I completely agree with gryffin and that the golden ratio makes for pleasing outfits--but I view outfit 1 as being more in tune with the ratio than outfit 2.

    In outfit 1, I view all of your lower half--skirt, hose, and boots--as being all one "piece" since they are all black. So I see 1/3 (top) plus 2/3 (skirt, hose, boots). In outfit 2, I see you as cut in half because of similar reasoning: the skirt, hose, and boots are all very close in color, so I see 1/2 (top) plus 1/2 (skirt, hose, and boots).

    I wasn't crazy about the scarf in either outfit.

    Just wanted to throw a monkey wrench into things! Both outfits are fab, by the way--this is pure nit-pickery. 

  • JAileen replied 5 years ago

    I prefer #2 except that the sweater seems a little big on you. I like its casual chic vibe.

  • Dee replied 5 years ago

    I would vote #2. I think the streamlined skirt is a nicer fit and the outfit is overall more minimalist, which seems more in tune with your usual look. The scarf in #1 also doesn't work quite as well in terms of color, in my opinion.

  • LACeleste replied 5 years ago

    Hi Suz,

    Look 1 and look 2 are so vastly different.  I want to be helpful but find it hard to compare.  Look 1 is so glam and your figure looks amazing.  You look ready for a fun night event. 

    Look 2 is perfectly FINE but I am so spoiled by seeing you look incredible that it underwhelms me.  Look 2 looks a little plain--even with that great scarf.  I am not a fan of grey at all (for me--it is a bias I bring) and think maybe the sweater hits your hip at the wrong part?  

    I consider your style skills advanced and think look 2 looks like a pre-evolution look.  Look 2 is something I would wear (and consider a success) but I am not in your league yet. :)  I was so wowed by all of your orange pants photos--very aspirational!

    I did not read your "essence" link so please pardon me if my observations are off-base or inconsistent with your goals.

    You always look fabulous to me!  Really!

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    Without looking at any replies I will say #2. Something about the scarf with the contrasting sparkles looks forced to me. Also all the light is on top with #1 while with #2 is balanced with the lighter boots. #2 has a lot of compatible and interesting textures that all read cozy winter and is less jarring to my eye. That said, I would like to see #1 without the scarf!

    ETA: I see that Gryffin and others said what I was trying to say more clearly. Yes #2 seems more organic, but I think my opinion would change if you weren't wearing the scarf in #2 (as you mentioned you weren't).

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Curiouser and curiouser, Alice would say! 

    There is obviously no right or wrong answer here. But I'm so interested in the reasoning. 

    Gigi, I think you are making a good argument....and I see the point. 

    For me, it comes down to the line and shape more than anything, I suspect. 

    Off to ponder some more. I am most grateful for your input - it's really useful to me, moving forward. 

  • columbine(erin) replied 5 years ago

    They both look fab, honestly. But I like 2 the best for you; it's less busy and I like the gentle colors with your face and hair.

  • Joy replied 5 years ago

    Without reading any replies I think that 2 is closer to your simple dressing and your lifestyle. I think 1 is also fab but would be more Suz without that particular scarf and with boots with less hardware detail.

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    This has been a really educational thread!

    Something LACeleste said particularly struck me regarding advanced style skills and Suz's second outfit seeming like a pre-evolution look. Suz and I have both been pondering how we have cycled back to our old style selves in some ways, only with more awareness. And Janet's post today with a skirt that didn't feel quite right for her though perfectly styled was also on point.

    The truth is, many of us who have been here a while, or have natural talent (not me!) certainly are able to put together what is objectively a more "advanced" outfit (if advanced is defined as complex, composed of multiple elements and fashion forward pieces, which is just one definition). But if it doesn't feel right for us, than is it really evolution? And is revolution - revolving back to a truer distilled sense of self- not a form of evolving too?

    Sorry to hijack with philosophizing, Suz!

  • rachylou replied 5 years ago

    This is very interesting. A few hours ago, I popped in, had a quick look, then got called away. In that split second (before the third pic was added), my impression was for #1. #2 also looked good to me but felt a little... misshapen; and maybe there's a point too about how flattering the deep blue is to you with #1 compared to #2.

    Anyways, now I've returned, and I see #2 has taken the lead. The difference between time for reflection? I can see that perhaps #1 could be a little less refined, less edited, less strict. Buckled boots, sequins, and a scarf...

    But I don't know if I should toss out my first impression. That is, if you were trying to make an impression and stand out, I'd maybe go with #1.

    ETA: Mwahaha, I went back and searched to see if Angie commented - and I see Angie went with #1. I think I was attracted to the flash. I know, tho, Angie has more justified reasons...

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Una, that's not a threadjack. That's exactly the kind of thinking I was hoping to stimulate in myself and others with this little experiment. 

    I'm really interested that opinions were so mixed. I didn't think that would happen, although when I thought a bit harder about WHY, it occurred to me that (like Janet in her skirt outfit) I was slightly uncomfortable in photo 1 and thought it showed...I actually liked the outfit itself but the scarf was bugging me. And I wasn't feeling sure about the tall boots withthe skirt, either. I mean those were my feelings while I was standing there waiting for the photo to click. However, I wore the outfit happily enough (without the scarf) and certainly didn't feel uncomfortable once I got out into the world in it.

     The thing is, I think my...self...is actually more flattered by the less conventionally flattering, and less (as per Angie) "chic" look. 

    For me it's partly colour and tone, as several people mentioned -- but in fact, IRL I am at least as flattered by that navy as I am by the grey. Both are good colours for me. The light was better in the second picture, making it super hard to compare. 

    At first I thought it was all about proportion. There's some truth to that -- gryffin explains it really well. But others make an equally plausible argument that the proportions are better in #1 and I see their point. 

    Mostly I think it's to do with line. I think my angles are supported more by the line of the second outfit. I can wear the other one, for sure, and enjoy it, too --  it's fun, flirty, current and (without the scarf) still theoretically sleek enough for any Urban Prince -- but it's not so much "me."  

    That doesn't mean I'll banish such looks and such play from my wardrobe -- after all, it's hardly a big departure and if we don't experiment at all, we never grow. 

    But I suspect a sleeker, more pared down version of #2 is my truer style direction. I don't mean I'm going to wear pencil skirts all the time or anything like that -- I just think I need to look for strong vertical lines along with a fairly monochrome palette in order to dress in harmony with who I am. Drama may come in the line. 

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Rachy, super interesting -- thank you so much. 

    I kinda think Angie's Magpie may have been responsible for that, too. :) 

    Seriously  -- it IS a great sweatshirt and I have worn it to bits this year. 

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Oh - and I also wanted to thank everyone again for commenting. I truly appreciate this and I also hope it might be helpful to somebody else. 

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    ETA again - Joy - how I wish those boots didn't have that bit of hardware!! But as you know, beggars can't be choosers. They work a lot better as "tucking" boots with skinnies. Ah well. The ones they had without the hardware detailing just didn't fit me. 

    Another point I wanted to make -- many of you commented that it is hard to take your personal style preferences out of the equation, and I totally get that. So in filtering comments I was aware of that. I really like that the perceptions and preferences were so divided. I guess in the end it means that they are both pretty good outfits (or maybe AWFUL outfits, LOL!) 

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    Although I kind of hate the word "authenticity" (ironically it feels inauthentic!), I think that's what we may be orbiting around here. My old clueless self was nonetheless authentic - I liked what I liked and didn't pay attention to trends. Thus military, black, stompy, RATE were always themes for me. Then I discovered fashion blogs and being me, I had to try some of everything, and what a fun but trying and expensive road that has been! And finally I've learned that as much as much as I admire others here - and I'll call out MaryK as someone whose style I adore but is so different from mine - copying for the sake of it is just not going to feel like me.

    Perhaps outfit 2 is simply more authentically Suz? Just as Janet's second outfit is more authentically her? I feel a little concerned that the whole idea of authenticity can be limiting, but in some ways it is is freeing too.

    All that said, I am still feeling lost and at somewhat of a crossroads... That is a separate post!

  • La Belle Demimondaine replied 5 years ago

    My gut reaction was for #1.   It looks stellar, literally.   Galactic.  Stars in the night sky.   I feel like there should be Pink Floyd music and a laser light show happening :)    The colors are beautiful on you, and you look so elegant!  This outfit says "wow, that Suz is a real knockout!" to me.    I love the higher contrast against your skin and hair.   You just glow in this outfit.

    #2 is pretty, but kind of bland and everyday to my eye.   #1 is special :)

    ETA:  I scrolled up after and read comments - and realized, I wasn't even looking at the different shapes of the skirt.   I saw color palette more than anything else, to the exclusion of many things - despite my belief that I had studied the photos carefully.   LOL.

  • kellygirl replied 5 years ago

    I'm late to the party (but I couldn't see the details on my phone.) It's funny because I liked #2 from the get go. I like 1 too but for some reason, the colors, the silhouette of 2 look more "you" to me. It also makes you look taller for some reason. This is just my gut reaction--I have no idea why. I am off to read the analysis by those more articulate than me! 

  • SarahTheWhite replied 5 years ago

    Unfortunately I don't know you well enough yet to know what is YOU... So I'm looking at it completely through my own preference filter. I am very torn because I find that I love half of each outfit. (I think you look beautiful in both, of course!) I love love love everything about the bottom half of #2 as well as the color scheme of the whole outfit. It is such a soft look with great texture. I think the bulk of the sweater, along with the roundness of the scarf made the top a little disproportionate to the bottom half. I really love how flattering the neckline is in the third picture. Your hair cut is showcased better, and your whole face looks more youthful to my eye with your neckline opened up. If you could have achieved that with the second look, it would have been perfection. I don't know if I can choose between the looks, and think you should wear them both as often as you can, but gun to my head, I have to go with #3 because the neckline is just that good! :-)

  • Beth Ann replied 5 years ago

    OK --- I had no time for the forum today, so I'm posting before reading the thread in order to keep my "gut response" pristine. 

    #2!  I love the sparkly sweater (without the scarf, though), but the proportions in #2, and the light near your face tip the balance this direction.  I think I'd like #1 better with a slightly longer hem on the skirt -- so impossible to find these days.

  • Janet replied 5 years ago

    Suz, this has been really interesting to read and ponder, as I find some analysis going on with me right now too. I'm a little afraid that some things I bought as recently as last winter are not feeling terribly "me" when I try to wear them now, but I also don't want to limit myself too quickly. Is it the item itself, or in the styling? I suppose I need to do a little playing with the closet to find out, but I dont have a lot of time for that these days. It feels a little strange. I may try to articulate it all better in a post of my own sometime, rather than further hijack your thread!

  • E replied 5 years ago

    Fair enough re: feeling #2 is more like you! While obviously my personal style leans more towards flippy skirts, I don't *think* that's what drew me to #1. If anything, I think it was my personal awareness of my broad shoulders that made me hesitate about #2, especially since we have similar body types. ;) I think I liked the sleekness of #1: even though there's more stuff going on, the fabrics are more refined than in #2, which somehow works better to my eye with your face & hair, and seems more princely and more urban.

    None of which is an attempt to talk you out of your gut style, just expanding a bit on my vote.

    I love the conversation going on between you & AG! Today I put on a full skirt and a fitted sweater and a little belt and added a brooch and rings, and I just knew that if I could only wear one 'formula' for the rest of my life, this would be it. I feel completely, effortlessly myself, and I don't even think about what I'm wearing. And it's simple, not complex, or advanced as AG puts it. Actively participating on the forum has made me want to push myself, play with different silhouettes and combinations; in part that's because the forum has given me more confidence to pursue my quirkier tendencies. And it's fun! But it's also fun to just put on something I've worn happily for a couple years now, and just enjoy the comfort of it. :)

    Authenticity is a challenging idea, especially in a consumer culture that tries its hardest to convince us that identities are something to be bought and/or marketed. So I understand your concerns about it AG. But, as you (AG) mentioned in your post soon after I joined the forum, there are some ways of dressing that seem more in sync with a person than others. I do think it can be freeing to accept that some items are simply not 'us,' even if others think they're flattering and wonderful. Conversely, even if something isn't the most physically flattering option, if we feel fabulous in it, I think that will make it more flattering. That's a slippery slope of course, that could lead to the whole 'but sweats are comfy so that's what I'm wearing and no one else has to look' idea. Yet photos can only tell one story, and when you're going about your day interacting with people, how you feel in your skin is going to affect their perceptions of you. If you're perfectly at ease, you'll just look better.

    Which leads me back to my big challenge of the year, which is going to be getting fussy about fit. I'm so interested in colours and fabrics and the style/feel of a piece of clothing, that if something seems perfect in those categories, I'll overlook fit problems. Which I really shouldn't do anymore, and I need to take a good look at my wardrobe and sort out the compromises from the well fitting options. And this is all a long way of saying, I love the idea of style revolution alongside evolution and hope to be closer to that revolution by the end of the year! :D

  • Deborah replied 5 years ago

    Suz, thought I would pop back and try to read all the responses. My further assessment is that both outfits are fab, and I think both "look" like you. Stylistically both outfits are well put together, flattering and modern, and I'm only able to prefer one over the other based on "what I like". And I think that's a big part of the responses here. The truth is there is nothing to "fault" here. No proportions that obviously don't work, the colours/tones are flattering to you etc....for me, I just relate to #2 more so:)

  • O replied 5 years ago

    Not reading what others (or you in the meantime) say, but my vote goes to 2. I looks a touch more fresher to my eye, is very playful and simply looks good on you. I do like both options, but I'm also swayed by what I'd personally wear, tehrefore the first choice is the second outfit :-D

  • replied 5 years ago

    I am going to go back to read the comments, but I like #1...well actually #3 without the scarf.

    I love seeing your neck which is ironic because it seems you have written on different occasions you don't care for your neck :-) or at least that you have a long neck or something?

  • lyn67 replied 5 years ago

    Haven't  read those above me, but will do it later, when I'll have a bit more time.

    I vote nr.2.

    It's the sleek siloutette of the denim skirt which is more important for me there, than the skirt in nr. 1(but am a pencil girl of all kinds, you know).

    Lighter color column can also be more appealing now end of winter, but not quite neccessary. I think a simple black pencil to the sequined swetshirt (and no scarf) would have been making my choice much more difficult.

    But then,  I also find  the grey sweater  more of a current look, then the other one. 

    Does this help? 

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    It all helps -- yes! And thank you all! 

    Mtgirl, I do have a long neck, but I don't dislike it. I actually like it a lot! 

    It's just that in order to create pleasing overall proportions I can't wear low necklines. A crew neck like the one in the sweatshirt is totally fine.

    What I try to avoid because of my bony chest (not my neck, per se) area is a scoop, a wide square, or a wide V (some very narrow Vs can work, although they are difficult to find.) Or Vs layered over a crew can also work. 

    Also, in winter, I end up wearing scarves a lot because otherwise my neck freezes!! So that's another wrinkle. 

  • Sarah A replied 5 years ago

    So interesting to come back to this discussion. I really see the flirty hem of the skirt in #1 more in the new picture (perhaps my eye was too busy trying to figure out the scarf the first time around). I think the discussion on coming back around to an authentic style/uniform after trying lots of different things is an interesting one. (something to think about while running today for sure!)

  • AviaMariah replied 5 years ago

    I haven't read any other responses but I much prefer #2.  To me, #1 has too much going on and looks a little confused.  I do like it much better without the scarf.  I like #1 because I think the grey is more flattering on you and it has that "what, this ol' outfit I just threw on" look, but looks great.

  • ironkurtin replied 5 years ago

    I haven't read the others but my feeling is that neither is unflattering and the outfits serve totally different purposes.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    (Pardon me not reading the comments - I am once again short of time). 

    Suz, #3 is YOU most of all to my eye (now sans the scarf, which is how you wore it initially if I understood correctly). It comes as a surprise that you feel that #2 is most suited to you. It's a denim skirt - which I hardly see you wear. Arty patterned tights - which are not minimal - but rather whimsical. And a jumper that you are not fond of because it's itchy. I mentioned that #2 was a departure from your usual style when you first posted it actually.  So for FWIW, that's why I chose the other outfit. 

    It's all good, Suz. If #2 is the new direction of your style, of course, I support it. I failed to share my reasoning, so that's why I jumped back on this thread. xo

  • Alassë replied 5 years ago

    Posting first, then I'll read responses. #2, because I like #1 & #3. ;) I skew ladylike/feminine, and those come off more that way to my eye. #2 seems more like you, Urban Prince. Slightly oversized fit, modern styling of skirt with longer sweater, grays instead of black.

    After reading: The scarf in #1 is ALGO for your style. #3 is simple, but too "pretty" for your style, I think, because of the flared skirt. #1 also looks too broken up with the sheer black tights, scarf, sparkles, black skirt, & black boots. The colors in #2 go slightly better on you, being your especial neutrals (just the lighting, as I know navy is one of yours as well). Gryffin analyzed the proportions very well, too

    Una, wow. "My old clueless self was nonetheless authentic - I liked what I liked and didn't pay attention to trends." I really enjoyed reading your "threadjacking.".I'm coming back to a bit of that myself (maxi skirt, whimsical-ness). 

    And E: "I feel completely, effortlessly myself." That's the feeling I want to have when dressing in one of my uniforms. Held against that standard, I'm not sure that a lot of my "pretty good" outfits have been cutting it. And that just gave me an idea how to tweak my current outfit to an ideal one, so thank you....

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Angie, thank you so much for chiming back in! 

    I think we're looking at different elements. You are, of course, precisely right about each individual part of outfit 2. So in all those ways, you're right -- it's a less "me" outfit. 

    I think I was considering it more in broader terms -- looking primarily at line, and I liked the silhouette of #2 for me better than the silhouette of #1 and #3 -- not that I intend to stop wearing that silhouette, understand -- I love having a fun change up!

    I  just think that the predominantly vertical lines, wider at top, narrower at bottom, of #2 flatter me more -- and that what various people said about two many horizontal lines in #1 was correct. I think I want to aim at more vertical and possibly diagonal lines.

    Again, I won't be foregoing my horizontal striped sweaters, either -- I love them and do think they look good! It's more a point about silhouette or something. I think I like myself a lot in waist surrendering looks (and don't at all mind the blockiness that some mentioned about the sweater). 

    This has been so interesting to me, so thank you Angie, and thank you all, for indulging the process. It has been very helpful. 

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Ah. I get it. Both outfits fulfill a purpose and look fab - and it's fun to change things up - to your point. xo

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    You know, another undefinable and variable element is mood. On the rare days when I feel like wearing something girly, I am much more likely to own the look than when I am forced into the same look when I'm not in the mood. KWIM?

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Yup - that is true, Una. I only pull out the black gored skirt at specific times. Because it is a much more girly look than I usually enjoy. 

  • rae replied 5 years ago

    Very late to this, but I like 1 sans scarf the best. Looks more clean and more you somehow. I do also really like the coloring of 2.

  • nancylee replied 5 years ago

    Weighing in very late to cast my vote for #2.  No question in my mind that this is the "Suz look."  I think it has a lot to do with proportion (as Gryffin said) and the more gradual transitions between the pieces.  #1 is perfectly fine, but it just doesn't seem like a natural fit for you.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I'm with you on covering up the neck....especially with my short hair!

    Wow! I just read the comments, very very interesting perceptions. Thanks for letting us learn along with you.

  • Sveta replied 5 years ago

    I did not have time to read all comments but I prefer #1 sans the scarf (both with booties and boots).
    Honestly I am really surprised that you feel more yourself in #2. For me #1 (or 3) is similar to fluid trousers and fluid top outfits which are very much your style.
    I may completely lost my sense of style on my bujsiness trip but for the life of me I don't see more horisontal lines in #1 compared to #2! There is low contrast between the top and the skirt and also the fluid (read not straight) hem on the sweater looks less horisontal than the grey sweater in #2.
    Maybe you feel that this particular sweatshirt is dressier because of the sequins while grey sweater is more casual (of course does not matter how you dice and slice it the black skirt IS more dressier than the denim skirt).
    Also from the point of comfort I would think that flared skirt is more comfortable
    than the straight skirt, no?
    On the other hand it may be that denim skirts were never my thing and I am biased here...:-)

  • Jjsloane replied 5 years ago

    I only just read Sveta's last comment and I voted for 2, but if I could have #1 without the scarf I might have (because there is sparkle and the blue is gorgeous on you)... NO. I will be strong I don't care for the sheer hose in 1, I love the combo in 2. I think I failed though since 1 is probably more you and 2 is more me? I give up. Can I have an Angie snack please? 

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    LOL, Jeanne. 

    Sveta, I think you are responding as Angie did more to the details of the items, and in that sense I think #1 might be more "me." But no - it is the silhouette that is different -- it is less a strong vertical line in #1 (and 3) because of the flared skirt. And maybe also the sheer hose - I have to think on that some more. 

    But I appreciate all opinions here. It has been very helpful. I'm not ruling out this silhouette or these items, either -- not at all! It's still "me." I just think I need to be looking in general towards a fairly vertical line. I think it is one reason the tube skirts work so well on me. 

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    A lot has happened since I commented on this thread! I really want to reread but am popping on just to say I love the newly unveiled #3 as much I thought I would. But there is something about #2 that does read very Suz to me. Maybe it is more that I associate that look with more cerebral pursuits? (A prejudice that I want to immediately shoot down once it makes its way to my conscious mind.)

  • Joy replied 5 years ago

    Also popping back to say that #3 is lovely. Suz, I have a pair of boots with straps like you are wearing in #1, because I can tighten the straps to fit my leg more tightly. I hope to find a pair that fit without straps...someday ...
    This thread has been full of food for thought. Now I feel armed and better able to respond to SAs and friends who are convinced that I must buy something that they say looks fantastic on me when I don't feel it's "me". I don't mean something new that I like but need to get used to, but something that just isn't my style like jeans with blingy back pockets.
    Thank you for starting this discussion.

  • ManidipaM replied 5 years ago

    V late to this discussion. But been wanting to say all day that I think #2 is more 'everyday Suz'. More contemporary silhouette vs conventional figure flattery, not as hourglass as the first which is also more dressy. I am tempted to go so far as to call #1 'girly' with more of the prince about #2... although I surprise myself there because the latter feels more Kibbe natural where the lovely blue and the shimmer and sheer are far more princely? Also, the second silhouette and proportions look just a tad edgier to me simply because they defy conventional figure flattery... and it's yet very flattering, just not aiming to showcase the hourglass as many figure flattery rules seem to aim for.

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