Combining Separates with Interest

Yesterday as I was leaving Target, I saw a woman running towards the store. Two things were striking about this image: 1) she was running while wearing pumps and dress pants; 2) she was not wearing a coat or scarf or anything other than her plain v-neck, long-sleeve tee, dress pants, and pumps and it was 35 degrees outside.

My secret wish for her was that she was not running from the cold, but running to purchase something to finish her outfit.

Her base layer of dress slacks and plain t-shirt fit her well but she looked like she hadn’t finished getting dressed. It was 12:30 PM so she probably left the house a few hours earlier looking like that on purpose, unaware that she was not finished getting dressed.

Let me show you an example of how you should always have an interest piece to complete your outfit.

You guys know how I love J.Jill, so let’s take the JJill Pure Jill full leg pants for example. We’ll pair them with the JJill Pure Jill stretch cotton V neck tee, which is a fine combination to start with. But what happens when you don’t add more?

So here is the “before” scenario:


comfy but not very interesting


I hope you didn’t fall asleep while looking at that combination…

Basics are a great place to start. Black and white is fine if color stresses you out. But this look is unfinished and may be confused for pajamas without adding interest pieces.

Add interest with pieces like:

JJill inked floral / geo silk infinity scarf

– JJill mini bucket bag

Chelsea Row Gwendolyn Earrings

Chelsea Row Sophia Bracelets

Here is the “after” picture:

keep separates interesting

just a few simple pieces can make a difference


Still basic and not sacrificing comfort, but more put together and complete.

I did not follow the lady into Target to see if she was looking for a scarf, nor did I wait for her in the parking lot to see if she came out with more clothes on. But in my mind she came out with a scarf and earrings, no longer running but strutting confidently back to her car…

Do you use scarves and jewelry to complete your outfit when you leave the house? Why or why not?