WIW: Inspired by MaryK

I don't have those incredible legs of MaryK, nor do I have colourful pencil skirts or a legitimate "sassy sweatshirt" but I've been inspired by MaryK's use of her sweatshirt with pencil skirts and had to find a way to copy it with what I had in my closet.

Substituting the sweatshirt, I went with my Gap mesh sleeve grey pullover and paired it with a basic black pencil skirt with a front zipper. I like how the zipper helps to give some vertical-ness to the outfit. I chose sheer black hose and then went with my animal print pumps for footwear. Accessories are all shades of red - eyeglasses, quilted handbag and lipstick. Jewelry is a simple black/silver oversized watch and silver wedding band.

Although I like the outfit, I feel like it's missing some panache - probably should have gone with my cobalt pencil skirt but it's in the laundry pile. Oh well…might be cute to try with my animal print pencil skirt too with different footwear.

What do you think - does it work? As always, all comments/suggestions welcome.

Pullover: Gap
Skirt: Nygard (thrifted)
Shoes: Cole Haan
Watch: Calvin Klein (thrifted)
Handbag: Nine West (thrifted)

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.


  • April replied 5 years ago

    I think the red bag and leopard pumps are all the panache you need!  The spareness of the rest of the outfit allows them to sing out.  

  • donnat replied 5 years ago

    I have a vince camuto skirt like that. I like the combo but i think it needs a scarf or necklace to my eye.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I think you need a third piece of some kind -- a necklace or scarf or vest or blazer or something. I like it as is, but it is more stripped down than your usual.

  • rute replied 5 years ago

    love! For me it's perfect, but I'm very minimalistic lately. Maybe you could add a necklace or a silk scarf

  • Elizabeth P replied 5 years ago

    Ditto what they said... my first instinct was that it needs (or rather, would be improved) with a necklace or scarf.

    And nothing wrong with your legs, woman!

  • El Cee replied 5 years ago

    I love your gray, black and red ensemble. It is a bit more minimal than I am used to seeing on you -- but the leopard shoes, along with the red bag and glasses, add interest. You look sharp.

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    I think you have plenty of panache Shannon! The one thing I thought of is sheer hose to make the bottom half lighter.

  • kerry replied 5 years ago

    Wow! This looks fantastic! I love the neckline - it gives you a nice shoulder line - is open enough to make your neck look long and graceful but not too open to be sloppy. I also think the top is the perfect length for the skirt - great balance. The skirt is a great shape and length and your legs, particularly your ankles, look amazing! On the one hand, I see the point others make about needing something at the neck but on the other hand, I love the simplicity. It helps that you have great glasses, a bold lip and fab hand bag. I think you should try to find that top in a great colour.

  • replied 5 years ago

    Looks great Shannon! I'm in two minds about weather it needs anything more round your neck area. I kinda like as is.

  • Sona replied 5 years ago

    I did not read the other replies before I assimilated my thoughts and I feel the same way- love it but would love to see it with a necklace. I know you are more minimal these days but this outfit screams for a necklace to my eye. Maybe a minimal acrylic laser cut pendant? in red?

  • Thistle replied 5 years ago

    I like your interpretation, and I give you HUGE kudos for wearing a skirt in this frigid cold!

    I think you look terrific. To take it up a notch, I would have either chosen a more colorful top, or I would have added a jacket. I am team magpie, so to me, the quiet top could use a bit of bling with a necklace.

    You do look lovely, and I especially like the pop of red from the handbag.

  • O replied 5 years ago

    Repeat after me: "I have got what I have got and things look amazing not despite but BECAUSE of that".

    How many times? Your age number of times.


    Now, about the outfit. This is totally unexpected and totally fab in my book. I think it's a form of art to turn a sweatshirt into office-friendly, ladylike item and you (and MaryK) are artists.

  • torontogirl replied 5 years ago

    Looks terrific to me - I'm on the minimalist bandwagon too, so I don't think it needs a thing!

  • Vildy replied 5 years ago

    Since you called my attention to your legs - they're super! Reframe!

  • Lisa replied 5 years ago

    This works for me!  You have interest with a red and textured bag, and printed and textured shoes.  A lovely look here! 

  • lyn67 replied 5 years ago

    wow, what an easy but sophisticated look! dare I say completely effortless? The masterpiece is the shoes! YLF as always, and red pops  always bring me smiles:-).

  • Sara L. replied 5 years ago

    I think you look great and really like the pencil skirt with the zipper.  I would have added a necklace or scarf but I'm not into minimalism like so many on the forum.  I like the use of red for your accessories.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 5 years ago

    Thank you all for your great insights - before I left the house I tried the outfit with a long pendant necklace and then also with a scarf. Didn't like either. And then I tried it with a jacket but in my mind, that takes away from the "sweatshirt with a pencil skirt" look. So I kept the outfit as you see - clean and simple. And I've actually decided I quite like it. Guess I'm more minimal than I thought.

    Shevia - I do think you are right about the hose and next time will definitely go with nude to lighten the bottom half.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Simple, Chic, Professional and Modern. What's not to love? xo

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    I love it, too, Shannon. I agree with Shevia that nude or more sheer hose (if the weather cooperated) might balance it a wee bit more. Or maybe you'd like it better in this version (with this colour hose) with your Docs? That could also work really well. 

  • amiable replied 5 years ago

    I really like it as is, and I think the black looks better than the cobalt would.  (In my limited experience, I end up thinking that gray with cobalt is kind of meh)

  • celia replied 5 years ago

    I think in the photo we are missing part of the details that give this outfit panache. If I imagine the mesh sleeves and the detail of the skirt that must be much more visible in person this is in fact a very flirty outfit.
    I love it!

  • Parsley replied 5 years ago

    I love the pencil skirt and sweatshirt combo, Shannon, and you look great in it! I don't find it too minimal at all, in fact that's a lot of what I like about it. The animal print shoes and red bag provide plenty of interest.
    You look terrific!

  • columbine(erin) replied 5 years ago

    I like this as is. It would be fun to see the other two skirts with the same top and shoes, too. The thing I always admire the most about Mary's outfits is the proportions and I think you got it right.

  • Debra replied 5 years ago

    You look fabulous....nothing else needed :)

  • E replied 5 years ago

    I love it as is! The texture & neckline of the sweater and the zipper on the skirt, plus your accessories, add more than enough panache to my eye. The cuts of both the sweater & skirt are SO flattering on you that the outfit's simplicity really lets you shine.

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