WIW: Everyday Minimalism

What with all the talk lately about dressing in uniform to play the protagonist in your own life, when I saw these pictures, I couldn't help but think of myself as a cartoon character. Grey, white, black. Signature haircut, statement specs, red lippy. Skinny legs and big shoes.

Mostly I'm not much of a minimalist. Then there are those days when I forget about what's not there and focus on the rightness of what is. They don't come around very often, because neither do these kinds of quietly perfect pieces that only make themselves known after a few wears. 

And there's the rub. There is only one of that jumper, found in an atelier shop in Lisbon, and only one of that Jil Sander/+J for Uniqlo shirt. I wish there were twenty, because it is without a doubt the best white shirt for ladies I have ever found, and the piece I will wave in the face of anyone who says chainstores can't deliver outstanding quality. 

Shoot on the execution, ladies. Shirt in or shirt out? And should my pants be looser fitting? 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • torontogirl replied 3 years ago

    To me, this outfit is PERFECTION. Prefer the shirt out myself. Awesome look!

  • viva replied 3 years ago

    Love the outfit and the perfect collar of that Jill Sander shirt.

    I can't decide about shirt in or out -- I love it out (and would probably wear it that way) but in feels fresher (because everyone else would wear it out). Does that make sense?

  • trekkiegirl replied 3 years ago

    You are a wonderful writer, such a way with words. Is that your profession or just an innate talent?

    I prefer the shirt untucked. I think it looks more intentional and stylish.

  • Carole replied 3 years ago

    This is the perfect outfit! I prefer the shirt out. You look fantastic!

  • Angie replied 3 years ago


    And a biased one. I LOVE a simple outfit. (Shirt out). 

    YES. Chain stores are capable of delivering outstanding quality. I bought a BR white button down yesterday to replace the old Brooks Brothers which tore under the arms. It is beautifully made - I hope to do a post on that shirt - and cost $43 with their discount day. (Regular price $69). 

  • replied 3 years ago

    Love the shirt out. Utter perfection!

  • Marilyn replied 3 years ago

    Awesome look!  Love the minimalism and the neutrals.
    Shirt out.  Pants look great.  Everything is good to my eye.  Nicely done.

  • Isabel replied 3 years ago

    Both are good, my preference is by a very narrow margin for shirt in because I like the less fuss (not sure how your sweater is staying folded) look of it. I still like shirt tails out but tucked in looks fresh,neat, and almost "new look" again. If you have any reservations about the tightness of the pants, you might be more at ease with the sweater full length, which also makes a nice long tonal column, uninterrupted by the white.
    The pants do not look too tight to me, and overall you look fantastic either way.

  • Susie replied 3 years ago

    I love this. Then again, my preference is usually for minimal outfits. Both ways look great but I slightly prefer it with the shirt tucked in, just based on looking at the small photos side by side. 

  • cjh replied 3 years ago

    Shirt out. For some reason it looks more sophisticated (never would've predicted that an untucked shirt would be THAT.) Nicely done. Pants not too skinny.

    Love this simple outfit and it looks great on you.

    I was similarly inspired today and put on dark blue denim shirt, black slim pants, black and white marled boxy pullover sweater. I don't normally like marled knits, but this one is just nice, a nice brand, cotton, dark enough, good shape. I'll try to do a photo today. It's been a long time since I posted a WIW.

  • Ruth M replied 3 years ago

    Just perfect.

    Slight preference for shirt out.

    I love that all the colour is in your hair, specs and lipstick.

  • Meredith replied 3 years ago

    Love your "uniform!" Love it untucked and the pants look just fine.

  • merwoman replied 3 years ago

    Out!  However, is it a PITA to wear that way? Does it behave itself, or are you having to frequently adjust/readjust?
     Such a gorgeous sweater, love the neckline. Pants look great - how do they feel?

  • Hil replied 3 years ago

    Stunning simplicity in my favourite colour palette!

  • Astrid replied 3 years ago

    Totally love it! I prefer the shirt out.

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    Boy, either way is good.

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    Ladies, I really don't know what to say. I've been watching all your comments come past, and I'm pretty stunned by the positive reaction. Thank you all so much. 

    There's just about enough stretch in the hem to keep the sweater in place with a little maintenance. I think I prefer it with the tails showing, but I might try it with different pants and the shirt tucked in. 

    Angie: this shirt is a little masterpiece by any standards. You'd be amazed. Crisp poplin, perfectly tailored and flat-fell seams throughout. I've only ever seen that on vintage pieces or Jermyn Street. Sadly no BR here, but will try and take a look at shirts in the London branch. 

    : so kind of you to say so! I'm not a professional writer by any means, even though I love writing. But if I was, I'd be a fashion critic. :P

  • Alassë replied 3 years ago

    I vote shirt out - it looks so fresh with pops of white at top, bottom, and wrist. :)

  • westsidesue replied 3 years ago

    Love this! I like the shirt in, as it lets you focus on the lovely collar and cuffs.

    Have you considered having a tailor or seamstress copy this for you? Or, maybe you could do it yourself, as you sew? Copying is very simple, and if you get someone good, or are careful, you should get very close to the same shirt, in any fabric you like.

  • Caro in Oz replied 3 years ago

    I love this on you. Either way looks good for the shirt imo but my personal preference is for it out. I think it looks more "undone" in a good way :)

  • shipskitty replied 3 years ago

    You don't need to change anything here - fab outfit!

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    OMG. I am totally in love with this. Every possible way. 

    What a fantastic outfit. 

    You're so right -- this kind of minimalism seems to depend on really great pieces that fit and move "just so." But oh, it's so delicious when you find them. 

  • L'Abeille replied 3 years ago

    Voting with most others for tails out. And awesome outfit.

    In fact it looks exactly like most of my pinterest feed... I'm not sure if the pinners I follow are all repinning the same outfit, or if it exists in a million iterations. Because it is SO classically simple.

  • replied 3 years ago

    I agree with Vivian - that collar could not be better executed. What a great shirt. As for in or out - I also agree that in is nice here. Again Vivian nailed it with in being fresher. There are so many fake sweaters with fake shirttails out there now it's ridiculous. Your pants fit just perfectly to my eye - all of this is just great!

  • ElleH replied 3 years ago

    I prefer the shirt in but both look good. I love this outfit! Pants don't need to be looser. They are not body con and are still fashionable. 

  • Janet replied 3 years ago

    Totally fab. Simplicity works so beautifully when you're using such well-made, well- fiting pieces.

  • Deborah replied 3 years ago

    Just picked myself up from the floor!  Fabulous outfit.  I adore the simplicity and the minimalism here.  Just beautiful.

  • shevia replied 3 years ago

    Oh I love this with the shirt out. The collar, cuffs and the length of the white shirt is just perfect on you. Would it be better with looser pants? Well this way highlights your long lean legs (not like a cartoon), but looser would be good too. Perhaps show us again with looser pants and your soon to be new George Cox shoes?

  • replied 3 years ago

    Votre tenue est parfaite

  • Karin L H replied 3 years ago

    Great look! I prefer it out.

  • Cococat replied 3 years ago

    I love it and the way you wrote about it. I favour shirt out and skinnies.

  • lyn67 replied 3 years ago

    Both are great, but shirt out is KILLER, and pants as they are! Don't change a thing! YLF! Wow!!

  • approprio replied 3 years ago

    Heh. Funny to see this one in particular float to the surface again, (courtesy of a mysterious Francophone - merci bien, bernard, tu es très gentil!) because I've been wearing a more directional variant of it quite a lot lately. Relaxed, minimal and secretly a bit fancy. I like. Thanks for the props, ladies!

  • Beth Ann replied 3 years ago

    Your own look -- aside from your clothes --- is strong and beautiful.  You can wear avant garde without it overwhelming you, but you also still make a great impact in perfect, simple outfits like this one.

    I think tucked in makes the look a bit dressier, but I also like it out.  I would love to see a lighter shoe with the tucked look, to bring a lighter shade down.

    And a perfect white shirt is definitely a HEWI for me!

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