Every now and then, I get some requests to update my “how to look older in casual attire” post from years back. And while I don’t have enough material for a sequel, this basic outfit employs many of those tips using my wardrobe staples. Per the points in that post, a striped blouse + fitted dark jeans are just as comfy as a graphic tee + lighter flared jeans, but look a little more grown up. Rather than a poofy windbreaker, a tailored trench instantly makes outfits look more pulled-together while still keeping you dry (and warm, through a thick cashmere cardigan I have hidden as an extra layer). I finished with functional accessories that also add texture and dimension to the outfit – a warm camel scarf and oversized leather tote.
This tote is from Given Goods, which I recently learned about through a reader. I chose this Lori tote because it’s a useful everyday piece, which would also make it a great gift. It’s handmade by leather artisans in Peru and each product sold through GG has its own story.
This bag measures 13″ across the bottom, 18″ across the top, 6.5″ wide base and approx 9″ handle drop. The leather is a heavier weight with “weathered” markings, and is pliable but stands upright when sitting on its own. The inside is unlined with one small pocket and a seam across the base.
I also wanted to share a tip for working with unlined leather. Genuine leather is malleable and can be shaped over time by the contents or how you treat it (which is why I now use base shapers for all my large bags, including this one). Since this tote had a wider top, I folded in the upper side panels and secured them with large binder clips. I removed the clips after a few days and the sides now stay folded naturally, visually reducing the top width from 18″ to 13″ across.