Navy and Red

Many of the garments in my wardrobe can be worn during three seasons. However, I wear them in different combinations according to the weather. For example, red and navy feel classically springtime.

An elevated casual look might include faded jeans with a red blouse and a summer wool navy blazer. But those same pieces can be worn in many different ways. For example, I’m showing you a look I might wear to brunch on a cool but sunny spring day in these first photos.

The red heels with a sculptural heel, nude bag, and belt are slightly more formal, contributing to the more elevated attitude.

Notice how adding a navy quilted vest, nude crossbody bag, and suede booties change the attitude of the same red blouse and faded jeans.

The only things I changed were the bag, the vest, and the booties. However, this look is one I regularly wear to run errands.

None of the items I’m showing you today are new, so I’ll share links to the sites where I bought them. You may find similar items available there now.

The no-iron shirt is from Chico’s here. The soft, comfortable jeans are from White House Black Market here. The navy blazer is from J. Crew here. The vest is from Chico’s here. The top handle bag is from Neiman Marcus here. The crossbody bag is by Kate Spade here. The red pumps are by Sam Edelman here. The suede booties are by Vince Camuto here. The belt was from Nordstrom here.

I hope sharing how I wear the same things differently and telling you where I bought the items helps you assemble a wardrobe that serves you well. In addition, the shopping links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission without cost to you.

  1. Because I am busty I have always avoided crossbody bags because I thought they accentuate the bust, yet you pulled it off and look fine. Is that because the layer of the vest detracts from it? Does the width of the strap have any bearing? Or have I believed something is a fashion “ rule” that isn’t really true?

    1. Whenever I wear a crossbody bag, I keep it on the front of my hip since the strap draws way too much attention to the bust when the bag slips to the side or back.

  2. Hi Susan, The jeans you have been wearing with flared bottoms are very becoming on you. You have mentioned before that you have had pants altered because they were too long. When having jeans shortened, is it possible to have it done in such a way as to be able to wear them with 2″ heals and also sneakers/flats? Can you please give me any tips on what to ask for when getting jeans shortened? Thank you.

  3. I really like this suggestion on how to make a few changes and an outfit can go from casual to more dressy. I really like both and they are so easy. I know I have those in my closet.

  4. I’m so inspired by the way you’ve transitioned the same blouse and jeans from a dressier elevated casual look, to an everyday but “very-put-together” casual look, by changing accessories.
    Love love love your red shoes!!!

  5. Hi Susan,
    I love your blog! Have been following you for a while now, and admire your take on fashion and self care.
    I love shoes, but have “gifted” feet – small and wide. Do you have any advice for women with feet like mine? I love your pointed toe shoes and boots, but have difficulty finding such styles in my size. I also find that I prefer a heeled shoe and I also feel most comfortable with a strap or similar feature across the arch (with the heels). Any advice?
    Thanks for all the inspiration.

    1. Hi Georgia! Thanks for following the blog and for your kind comments.

      When the shoes match the color of your pants (or legs) they will blend in without bringing attention to themselves. Following this tip will allow you to wear comfortable shoes that don’t stand out unless you want them to.

  6. Well done, your outfits are so harmonious without seeming contrived or prescriptive.
    I love the way you use textures to bring variety.
    You also have a nice way of balancing the jewelry.
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  7. Beautiful as always. Thank you for sharing and sparking ideas for use of my own wardrobe. I always look forward to seeing your blog Susan. ( Mr Mickey too)
    Molly, Beaufort SC

  8. Susan
    Thanks again. Love the looks, as always.
    Here’s an idea — show your outfits with the shoes and boots you’ve chosen to wear, but how about alternative pictures of the same outfits with flat shoes.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I would show alternative styling with flats. However, the same pant length would not work with flat shoes. Additionally, I have given away most of my flat shoes since they cause bunion pain.

  9. I Like the beige/ tan booties with the jeans. They look dressy or casual. I do have a question re the red shirt and the red shoes. Is that for balance or effect? I don’t wear red so I would reach for the booties always. Even to go a little dressy.

    1. The red shirt with the red shoes would be considered sandwiching. It balances one piece on your bottom half with another on your top half and includes something contrary in the middle.

  10. Susan you look fabulous as always! I am going on an English garden tour in May and I am going to try and incorporate your mixing style so that I can have a different look for each of the seven days without having to take a lot of clothing.

  11. Susan, love to see your everyday looks, like the vest & jeans. I live in a semi-rural area of California where casual has been taken to a new low, if you know what I mean. I always go out with make-up, hair styled and a hopefully pulled together look. It’s great to see your outfits as inspiration! Thank you.
    Diane, Sonoma Cty CA

  12. FYI, I think you would also look fabulous in the non-iron block print shirt! Blue blazer over that. Fabulous!

  13. I leaned into the red with navy scheme today with a classy long red cardigan (found at goodwill on a whim this week…I never go except to drop off) over dark slightly boot cut jeans and navy silky tank. Even put on pointed kitten navy heals. Added a long red/silver necklace and feel smart in my inspired look. Thx!!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.