Casual fall: Taupe and gingham at Boston Public Garden

taupe and gingham

Bobeau fleece cardigan (in “mink”), petite legging jeans, similar gingham shirtSole Society booties c/o, Coach court bag, Hermes belt

Recently I’ve been reaching for a lot of my older staple pieces to experiment with layering. The formula has been simple – lean silhouettes, neutrals, and accent prints or a pop of color for interest. For this weekend outfit I paired skinny jeans with leg-lengthening booties, plus a cardigan that’s so comfy it’s pretty much a blanket. The outfit felt a little monotone, so I added a gingham layer and colorful belt which made all the difference.

taupe and gingham5

I’ve gotten good feedback from several readers on Sole Society shoes, so was excited to collaborate with them again this season. They’re one of the few brands to offer extended sizing from 4 – 12, and most styles I’ve tried run on the narrower side plus about half a size small (so could potentially even fit ladies who need an elusive 3 – 3.5). The Lylee booties I picked out here add 3″ of height but with plenty of stability, and the suede feels sturdy and of good quality.

Taupe and gingham2

Fit wise, true to the online reviews, I found the Lylee style to run at least half a size small and narrow. I’d recommend going up half a size if you plan on mostly wearing thin socks or tights with these, or possibly a full size if you want to wear cotton socks. The ankle opening of my sz 5.5 pair measured 4 and 3/8″ across and I’d expect that to be wider incrementally with sizing. The style is slip-on and there are wide elastic panels on each side to facilitate that. I’m wearing the “army dark brown” color and think the “smoke taupe” may be very similar, but lighter with a hint of grey.

Taupe and gingham3

Our home is now just a short walk away from Boston’s Public Garden, where Nick and I love strolling for a bit of peace and quiet on weekend mornings. It’s the perfect place to sit and enjoy a cup of tea before families and tourists start flowing in (circa 10AM). For a special treat, we also love packing banh mi sandwiches and some Vitasoy for munching under the trees while the weather is still nice! The day we snapped these photos, I wore these booties for about a mile of strolling around the garden and they were comfortable with no breaking-in required.

Taupe and gingham 3

I’ve mentioned this casual Bobeau cardigan (wearing the “mink” color) a few times now but haven’t had the chance to take photos since it’s been glued to my office chair. It’s smooth on the outside and soft and cozy on the inside – the perfect chic upgrade for those fuzzy zip up fleeces we loved in middle school. The fit was surprisingly perfect off the rack, narrow in the shoulders and slim in the sleeves, but with plenty of drape in the front. I tried both XXS and XS petite and went with the former because I like my sleeves to be narrow. Both sizes fit fine, though, so I’d recommend sizing up if you’d like some room in the arms. Thank you to Sole Society for sponsoring this post!


77 thoughts on “Casual fall: Taupe and gingham at Boston Public Garden

  • Reply Jean October 3, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Hi ladies – tough call as both are comfortable and neither feel like 3" heels… since the BP fit wider in the ball of foot area, if you don't have narrow feet then I'd recommend those for longer-term walking and standing.

  • Reply Jean October 3, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I am so glad to hear and I hope you like the fleece as much as I do!

  • Reply Jean October 3, 2014 at 9:10 am

    It does look super similar! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Jean October 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Hi there – Hmm…just based on my own sizing in H&M; and what I took here, perhaps try a S petite? I have worn mine a long time and it has a little wear at areas that rub a lot (like my wrists) but overall in great shape. I always recommend not machine drying items as that causes piling quickly. And if you have time to gently hand wash versus machine wash knits, that helps prolong their pristine-ness too.

  • Reply Jean October 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Hi Kayla! It is literally the same loop I do for belt loops (which you can search for in my sidebar) – I punched new holes in using the belt hole puncher I've featured on here a few times, and then looped the extra end.

  • Reply Jean October 3, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Thank you Trini! We use a 6D and 50mm lens.

  • Reply Jean October 3, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Oh I can see how it'd work perfectly as a nursing coverup! Congrats on your little one : )

  • Reply Anonymous October 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    What size did you get for the cardigan?

  • Reply Dr Elin October 4, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Thank you!!

  • Reply Trini October 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you Jean!

  • Reply Meiching Fong October 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Jean,

    I love your blog and fashion tips. Just curious, is your hair naturally wavy or you perm them or use a curler? If you do use a curler, can you recommend one?



  • Reply Sarah Jensen October 8, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I love the lip color you're wearing in these photos. May I ask what it is?

  • Reply Emma October 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    The cardi arrived few days ago! BTW, I got XLP (since you said it's smallish) instead of my usual LP. It's comfy- gonna wear it on FRI.

  • Reply Anna Marie October 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Jean
    can you clarify which size you got in the sweater. I didn't really understand it in the blog post. Did you go with the xs or xxs?

  • Reply Jean October 15, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Hi Anna Marie – I got xxs petite

  • Reply Jean October 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Glad you like it, Emma!

  • Reply Jean October 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Hi Sarah! Thanks! It's MAC "charismatic"

  • Reply Jean October 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Hi Meiching! I curl it…this is a super old video but I still use the same process, and just a $15 conair 1" curler from CVS or Target:

  • Reply Jean October 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I'm wearing xxs petite

  • Reply Naomi T October 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Jean, I love the Hermes belt you have on here. Can you tell me more about it (color, width, reversible)? Is that the same buckle from your black/gold Constance belt but with a new leather strap? I've always been wanting one.

  • Reply Abigail Hare October 24, 2014 at 8:47 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply Abigail Hare October 24, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I ordered this sweater and it came in today! I'm just waiting for my J.Crew shirt to come in and I'll be all set! Thanks Jean 🙂

  • Reply Elisha Kelly November 18, 2014 at 6:41 am

    I like her cool outfit. Especially her cute cardigan. Find accessories that will add beauty to your outfit.

  • Reply Princess Elisha November 19, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Totally love her outfit!! Love her striped!! So fab.

    New FASHION post on

  • Reply Nicole December 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I love your website! I am petite as well so I appreciate the recommendations – I'd love to see what you think about these booties

    I think I am going to get them for Christmas, I've heard they have a small ankle opening, which is great for smaller women like us 🙂

  • Reply Lovellie Sugar May 15, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply Viki September 29, 2015 at 8:56 am

    so cute ♥

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