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

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.21.14 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    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?

    Posted 9.21.14 Reply
  3. Trish wrote:

    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 🙂

    Posted 9.20.14 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the outfit. What brand are the necklaces?

    Posted 9.18.14 Reply
  5. Dayle wrote:

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

    Posted 9.18.14 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  7. Jean wrote:

    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"

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  8. Jean wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  9. Jean wrote:

    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?

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  10. Jean wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  11. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  12. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  13. Jean wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  15. 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!

    Posted 9.17.14 Reply
  16. 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

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  17. These are such perfect basics…especially for this the hat and scarf pairings..


    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  18. 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!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  19. Gigi Katz wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  20. Oh I cannot tell you how much I love this look!!! And being 5'1 I appreciate all your attention to petite sizing!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  21. Julie wrote:

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

    Style by Joules

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  22. 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.

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  24. Sandy Boston wrote:

    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

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  25. Creatiffa wrote:

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

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  26. ellen wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  27. Amelia wrote:

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

    Amelia Rose | Beauty Blogger


    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  28. Love this look. I have the same shirt in navy and am obsessed with it. Love the hat as well!



    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  29. Celena wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  30. Anonymous wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  31. Mady T. wrote:

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


    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  32. Yukari wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  33. Gotta love a good basic look. The combination of jeans and blazer never disappoints.
    Red Reticule

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  34. chachamisu wrote:

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

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  35. I really love that hat on you!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  36. Such a pretty outfit, clothes that I would love to wear! That blouse is killer, it's very beautiful.

    Carpet cleaning Dartford

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  37. Love this outfit, especially those loafers! Thank you for sharing!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  38. 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!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  39. Elysia wrote:

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


    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  40. Love your outfit! You look stunning!

    Posted 9.16.14 Reply
  41. andrea wrote:

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


    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  42. 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!

    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  43. I definitely need to expand on my wardrobe basics, you really do look effortless!
    An Unblurred Lady

    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  44. Olyvia wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  45. Anonymous wrote:

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


    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  46. Really enjoy seeing a chic outfit paired with a blazer and distressed jeans. I got some Madewell ponyhaired leopard printed flats. x


    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  47. Suzie Q wrote:

    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

    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  48. Anna Liu wrote:

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

    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  49. Such a beautiful and chic look! When in doubt, it's just better to go back to the basics. is what I always say!

    Posted 9.15.14 Reply
  50. Sasa Zoe wrote:

    Love these basics! Looking so chic<3

    Posted 9.15.14 Reply

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