Leather and Lace

While I like a Romantic style — ruffled blouses, full skirts, loose hair and soft colors — I like to see it roughed up with a few tougher pieces.

One of my favorite looks is a feminine, floral dress or skirt worn with either a) a classic jeans jacket; or b) chunky boots. I think it keeps me from looking too “precious” or girlish, neither of which is a great look for a fifty-something professional.

I like a lacy blouse or scarf worn with classic jeans, a velvet blazer with a tweedy skirt and a chunky fisherman’s sweater over a frothy, feminine skirt. My taste in jewelry has gotten more textured as well, and I avoid very girly pieces in favor of simple silver or stone jewelry.

Here are some mixed-mood looks I really like and find age-appropriate (ack!). As always, I love to hear your opinions. Do you like to stay consistent in mood within your outfit, or cross boundaries?

Feminine dress plus broken-in denim jacket. Polyvore.
Love this lace top with casual denim, via The Coveted.
I’d add a nude cami, just me.
Blogger Fashion Banana shows how to do a pretty floral dress with
a cool motorcycle jacket.
This feminine skirt would look great with a soft blouse, but I
love the chunky sweater for a bit of contrast. Source.
And I really like a menswear watch like this one, to balance out
an otherwise feminine look.

What say you all? And have a happy Friday!

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  1. I love your roughed up approach. The clash of the unexpected is so alive. 

  2. "One of my favorite looks is a feminine, floral dress or skirt worn with
    either a) a classic jeans jacket; or b) chunky boots. I think it keeps
    me from looking too "precious" or girlish, neither of which is a great
    look for a fifty-something professional."

    ha! you've got me completely pegged on this one, only i usually do a jeans jacket AND rugged boots. my face, hair, skin, and figure are all so femme that it's just too much for me. plus it's much more my personality, mixing everything up and defying expectations.

    plus my grandpa was a motorcycle racer in the 1930's, my other grandpa scared a bear away from his grilling steaks using nothing but a rolled up newspaper (in his boxers, no less!)…..in other words, got to acknowledge all the rugged ancestors! those were just the guys….  😉   

    Patti, you have this formula down to an art and always look so beautiful!!  really, you give me more confidence in this aspect of my style.  steph

  3. I'm definitely a boundary crosser, for similar reasons to those you've stated. If I'm too much "one" thing, I feel like I'm either a) boring, or b) in a costume, pretending to be someone else. I love mixing what I call "hippie chic" type-items with more classic, tailored pieces. Too much in one direction feels unsophisticated; too much in the other feels stiff.

  4. I very much go by my own rules, mainly because I'm a tall, broad-shouldered Nordic type and the classic French taylored or feminine style doesn't really suit me. A long and ample sweater over a long skirt is my favourite look ever ! and I love a quite masculine watch too ! Have a nice week-end !

  5. I adore feminine pieces paired with masculine basics: the Katharine Hepburn look.  I purchased a woman's watch last year for my birthday (an Omega Seamaster) that is a softer, smaller version of the man's watch.  I like to think bringing in a little edge/toughness/masculinity into the attire allows your frillier pieces, or even your feminine personality, to shine through even more.  Think about Marilyn Monroe in a pair of trousers and a white blouse: super sexy.

  6. Lace and leather I think is good together. It gives just a little boost to the feminine

  7. Great looks. You have inspired me to dust off my old veggie leather jacket that's been hiding in the closet. I don't care if it's 90 degrees out!

  8. "Tough" isn't a part of my style lexicon.  At one time I had a leather jacket but it was heavy and not waterproof and fell out of favor.
    If I think whatever I've got it overly girly I'll pair it with something more tailored or modern.

  9. Oh, that lace top is just divine! I adore it. 
    A little bit of edginess is always welcome in my book…

    Have a lovely weekend, Patti! 

  10. I definitely agree with your senitment. I usually wear things that are quite feminine, but toughen them up with leather harnesses or leather jackets. Gothic accessories and belts, deconstructed details or grunge elements.

    I like the contrast and I tend to come off as "cute" all the time. I don't want to dress entirely androgynous, but I also don't want to come off as twee – which I probably do about half the time so I dunno.

    I do think I've come up with outfit 'equations' if you will that I stick to. It's easier to know I'll like and keep a garment or pair of shoes. I got into a bad habit of buying things I liked, but didn't want to wear. So I got rid of a lot of it and only keep what I absolutely love.

    I actually have a "fisherman" sweater I need to figure out how to wear before fall. I love it too much to send it back to Goodwill and I've only worn it once. Will be looking to you for style inspiration.

  11. Hey Patti: I love how it looks together feminine and rocker, but just have never had the opportunity to try it (or the guts to be honest)

  12. My daughter K. always manages this type of look so well.  And while I have the separate pieces in my closet, I never think to put feminine and tough together!  I have a mental block!

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