Back to basics

white top denim scarf looks 670

Top left: H&M; blouse,(free ship w/code 2288 until 9/27), J.Crew blazer, Prada bag 
Bottom left: H&M; hat (I took M) and scarf, Nine West shoes c/o (size up if betw. sizes)
Right: Gap “real straight” jeans (current season options), Halogen heels, Chanel bag

Lately I’ve gone back to basics and keep reaching for this flowy blouse and distressed pair of jeans. Pair with a wool blazer and printed heels for a more tailored look, or swap in a cozy, oversized scarf and loafer flats for lazy afternoons. For me, each garment in this post is a closet foundation piece that will hopefully stand the test of time. If you’re just beginning to build up a wardrobe and feel overwhelmed by options, starting with pieces in a navy, camel, and fresh white color scheme makes for classic and easy chic pairings.

Jewelry must-haves: delicate layering necklaces – Stella & Dot “On the Mark” + heart (sold out) c/o and oversized pearl earrings (I got 12mm from eBay, buy similar 12 mm styles)

white top denim blazer
As an added bonus, all items here also happened to fit off the rack. The H&M; blouse runs true to their sizing (which is on the small/narrow side, for those new to the brand) and the only tailoring I might do is to shorten the sleeves. Please note that the back of the white version is sheer so you need a nude bra or camisole. I reviewed a similar blouse by Pleione before which is pricier and fits roomier (so size down), but thought the polyester quality and overall draping were nicer.
white top denim
white top denim blazer1
I wore this last outfit on Saturday while playing “director” for our friends’ engagement shoot (it beats us as to how, but Nick’s made a small name for himself within this genre of photography). Coaching picture-perfect smooches all over town is hard work, and I’m glad I dressed comfortably : )white top denim scarf


62 thoughts on “Back to basics

  • Sasa Zoe September 15, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Love these basics! Looking so chic<3

  • Kesly Winona September 15, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Such a beautiful and chic look! When in doubt, it's just better to go back to the basics. is what I always say!

  • Anna Liu September 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Jean! Love the outfit. Would you say the blouse runs true to size?

  • Suzie Q September 15, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I agree, I always revert back to distressed boyfriend jeans since they're so comfy but can still be dressed up. I love the last styled look in the last photo, simply Fall chic with the leopard accent shoes, beige scarf, and black felt hat! So perfect!

    Suzie Q

  • Cynthia Nguyen September 15, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Really enjoy seeing a chic outfit paired with a blazer and distressed jeans. I got some Madewell ponyhaired leopard printed flats. x


  • Anonymous September 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Lovely outfit!! So glad that I have similar pieces in my closet. Please do a fall lookbook..;)


  • Olyvia September 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    lol, I once thought if i ever get married, I would love to hire you and Nick for engagement pictures, since your blog photos are always top notch amazing!

  • Nidhi Patel September 15, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    I definitely need to expand on my wardrobe basics, you really do look effortless!
    An Unblurred Lady

  • Ella Pretty Blog September 15, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    That white H&M; blouse is so gorgeous – hope I see it in store! Love your advice about stocking up on navy, white and camel basics – they really do give off such a refined vibe!

  • andrea September 15, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I absolutely love this outfit…that white wrap blouse is perfect! Can't wait to order and pair with my favorite fall pencil skirts!


  • Sweets &amp; Style September 16, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Love your outfit! You look stunning!

  • Elysia September 16, 2014 at 1:55 am

    You can never go wrong with navy and camel. Really love those delicate necklaces you are wearing!


  • September 16, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Hey Jean! I bought this H&M; top after seeing it on your blog a while back and I love it! The flowy top is so casual chic even over jeans, and I've been dressing it up with bright colored pants and big jewelry. Thank you for the tip!

  • September 16, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Love this outfit, especially those loafers! Thank you for sharing!

  • heather gilmour September 16, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Such a pretty outfit, clothes that I would love to wear! That blouse is killer, it's very beautiful.

    Carpet cleaning Dartford

  • TaraMixandMatch September 16, 2014 at 5:48 am

    I really love that hat on you!

  • chachamisu September 16, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Chic and timeless. Glad to hear the H&M; narrower size.
    Naty Ponders

  • Bogi RedReticule September 16, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Gotta love a good basic look. The combination of jeans and blazer never disappoints.
    Red Reticule

  • Yukari September 16, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Jean – I loved your video post on your Prada purse and see that it's part of your basics ensemble. I saw in prior posts that you have the Goyard Marquises bag. Which bag do you prefer and why? If you could only have one of then which one would you keep? I'm in the market for a new purse and am considering both (but will only buy one!) Thanks!

  • Mady T. September 16, 2014 at 9:16 am

    love all 3 looks! especially the one with the hat! I was craving for some fall outfits… thank you! <3


  • Anonymous September 16, 2014 at 9:39 am

    jean i tried on that wrap blouse in store and hated how sheer the back was. Do you wear a nude camisole underneath? Seems so bulky because there's already a half-tank top built in for the front!

  • Celena September 16, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I bought the blouse/blazer based on your reviews from your past posts and actually wore the same outfit (w/ birkis instead of heels) this weekend. Love classics. Thanks for recommending these key pieces, I know they'll be staples.

  • Kelsey Long September 16, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Love this look. I have the same shirt in navy and am obsessed with it. Love the hat as well!



  • Amelia September 16, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I adore this outfit, so gorgeous.
    The jeans and shoes are amazing, beautifully put together.

    Amelia Rose | Beauty Blogger


  • ellen September 16, 2014 at 10:24 am

    hi jean,
    I have the same bag and I was just wondering how you store it to keep it's lovely shape. I have a bag shaper for the bottom but I was wondering about the sides. Thanks!

  • Creatiffa September 16, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Hi, Jean! I like this outfit and the last photo ;).

  • Sandy Boston September 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

    i love it, I have the same pants and blazer, love the white blouse… thank you thank you for putting these together to give me ideas

  • Anonymous September 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I have you on my reader so I rarely comment, but I clicked over for this one – i LOVE how you styled this several different ways. I have a large tan scarf I never wear and the simplicity of pairing it with a white blouse and jeans is so classy! Great post.

  • FashionsWeek September 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us.Great site and a great topic as well i really get amazed to read this. Its really good.

  • Julie September 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I love that last look with the leopard flats and the scarf. Very simple and chic! I love the blouse.

    Style by Joules

  • Hope Howland September 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Oh I cannot tell you how much I love this look!!! And being 5'1 I appreciate all your attention to petite sizing!

  • Gigi Katz September 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    basics are certainly going to be my go to when it comes to fall! I love a great scarf and blazer combo. thanks for sharing this! xx. gigi.

  • fashionourlove September 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Gotta love basics! Whenever I don't know what to wear basics are always a good idea. By the way, your hair is absolutely beautiful!

  • A Golden Tulip September 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    These are such perfect basics…especially for this the hat and scarf pairings..


  • Jilli Joffe September 16, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Basics are the best! I feel the exact same way, and find myself gravitating more and more to basics on a daily basis. They're the only thing I feel comfortable splurging on in fashion, because I know that I won't get tired of basic pieces the same way I do with trendy ones! I just published a report touting the virtues of basics on my own blog!

    xo, Jilli

  • Miss Hot Couture September 17, 2014 at 12:21 am

    I love those drape front surplus tops but have not been able to find a flattering one. I remember seeing the white H&M; one at the store after you featured the Pleione one, but didn't buy it! I am kicking myself in the foot now!

  • Anonymous September 17, 2014 at 1:43 am

    I love you and your style so much. We have essentially the same measurements except I am about an 1/2 inch bigger. I was wondering which size you get in Gap jeans, and if it's not too outlandish of a request what your thigh measurement is (for a size gage). Also today I went to Zara and got a tweed dress in the kids section for $45, I think you should check it out.

  • Jean September 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Thank you, Anna! I'd say yes for h&M;, if you're familiar with their sizing. I took an H&M; sz 2/32 which fits narrower and smaller than 00 in American brands.

  • Jean September 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

    You're too funny! I'll be sure to pass along that compliment to the photographer ; )

  • Jean September 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

    So glad you like it! Going to try your pairing next with some of my bright trousers : )

  • Jean September 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Hi Yukari – I'd pick the Prada because I like the overall silhouette better. The shape is very elegant and I love the option to wear it on the crook of the arm, holding the handles, or with the shoulder strap. Good luck shopping for one that you'll love!

  • Jean September 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Yes it unfortunately it sheer, and some lines will show even with my nude bra. I guess that is what you get for the price…have you tried the Pleione version at Nordstrom?

  • Jean September 17, 2014 at 11:44 am

    So glad you liked them, Celena! I was surprisingly pleased with the blazer since the other J.Crew Schoolboy I have is from several years ago. The updated fit is pretty good!

  • Jean September 17, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Hi Ellen – aside from the base shaper, when i'm not using it I just stuff it with an oversized scarf to keep it "filled"

  • Jean September 17, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Thank you for the kind words! I got sz 24/00P, my thighs are around 16" and the jeans fit well for a "casual" style. Thanks for the tip on Zara kids…they definitely have some cute stuff from time to time that works on adults!

  • Dayle September 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    You look so perf! Absolutely love your blog & new follower 😀

  • Anonymous September 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Love the outfit. What brand are the necklaces?

  • Trish September 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I can't tell you how happy I am that I have found your blog. I am about your size and have the hardest time finding clothes that fit. I'm so excited for your tips and success stories 🙂

  • Anonymous September 21, 2014 at 3:43 am

    Hi Jean. Love this look! May I ask if you altered the blazer or did it fit perfectly when u got it?
    The shoulder area seems to fit u perfectly! Are the sleeves too long though?

  • Anonymous September 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Love the outfit. What color wash is your Gap jeans? I am thinking of getting a pair.

  • Ellen September 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Got it, thanks!

  • Jean September 23, 2014 at 9:04 am

    thank you! It's an old destructed wash from a year ago…hope they'll bring something like that back! Sydney at Sydney's fashion diary reviewed the current darker destructed pair a while back, if you'd like to see what that looks like in a non-stock image!

  • Jean September 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Hi there – the blazer fit perfectly : ) The sleeves are not too long, in fact they hit right past my wrists so those with longer limbs may find it to be "bracelet" length.

  • Jean September 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Thank you so much, Trish!!

  • Jean September 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

    THank you! The necklaces are Stella and Dot. The arrow is the "on the mark" necklace which is still available.

  • Kayleigh September 24, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    It's a bizarre thrill to get as excited as I just did to see you wearing something I own! LOL! I looked at that blouse and thought, "Oooh! I have that!" and double checked your description and indeed I do! That is really such a gorgeous, versatile piece!

  • Anonymous September 25, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Thank you! 🙂

  • Miel October 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Jean! I'm always referencing your blog and am a big admirer of your style, so I'm hoping for your input. Between the leopard flats and leopard pumps, which do you find you wear most often? I don't have the budget yet for multiples, but I've been seriously eyeing a pair of kitten heels by Isaac Mizrahi and those Nine West smoking slippers for winter. Do you have any advice for picking a pair that's versatile, comfortable and chic? Are kitten heels a mistake?

  • corgipoop October 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Jean– do you have any recommendations for seamless nude bras that would be appropriate for wearing under work tops like this? Nude camis, bras, etc. I used to have a strapless VSecret nude bra but I'm kind of looking more for a nice comfortable cami. Thanks!

  • Elisha Kelly November 18, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Cool outfit!! I like her boyfriend jeans. Find accessories that will add beauty to your outfit.

  • Princess Elisha November 19, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Simple yet adorable outfit! Love it!!

    New FASHION post on

  • Ethel Evans November 20, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Bought the top immediately after reading your blog. Wore it this weekend at a marriage retreat and my husband loved it.

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