Today is  a day full of lessons: I did too much walking yesterday and this morning my ankle reminded me it's only been two weeks since I sprained it. So once again, I had to choose my footwear carefully and today's choice was my cognac knee high Hush Puppy boots.

I paired the cognac boots with sheer black hose and my old black sheath dress. My newer sheath dress is a bit long and dressy for these boots. I topped the dress with my cropped denim jacket and added my vintage men's tribal belt to add a bit more cognac. My handbag choice was my Fossil two-tone cognac satchel and jewelry is my rose gold/black watch and gold wedding band. 

My other lesson is that this old FFBO no longer makes me as happy as it used to. Something has shifted in my style over the last year and although the formula is still my favourite (dress, topper, boots) this particular combination which I used to love (black, cognac and denim) just doesn't feel like ME anymore. I'm not entirely sure why that is though - got any ideas? 

So based on my footwear needs I'm going to work in an outfit I feel rather "meh" about. Oh well…what's a gal to do? What do you think of the outfit? As always, all comments/suggestions welcome.

Jacket: Brody Jeans (thrifted)
Dress: Banana Republic
Belt: vintage
Boots: Hush Puppy
Watch & handbag: Fossil

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.


  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    First of all you look great but I am going to throw out a dart and ask if the browns/cognacs are not doing it for you right now. 

    ETA if it were a white belt and white boots with a snakeskin (black and white pattern) bag would you like it better?

  • replied 6 years ago

    Is it that the denim is too rugged for you now? I see you as moving more into a sleek, modern look lately.

    I think your burgundy skinnies would look nice with those boots!

  • Neel replied 6 years ago

    I think Shevia and Ceit are on to something.  Your style seems to be more dressy and the cognac and the denim is actually making the black dress less dressy?  Or it could also be the fact that the dress is old and you are over it!  You look fab as always though!

  • gryffin replied 6 years ago

    Shannon - I do think you look absolutely lovely.  However, I do prefer you in cool colors because I think it makes your skin and hair glow.  I am with Shevia and Ceit - I would love to see this with black tights for a long leg line and then swap out the belt with with black and silver, white, snake skin or what about your famed pops of color?  Cobalt?  red? Also I think a boot with a tighter fit at the upper calf would be more in keeping with the slender, elegant lines in your other outfits.  Just a thought, but as I said i thought this was very pretty!!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Yup - I think that's it, Shannon. You look super, but you're not feeling the earthiness of the cognac now. Hang onto the bag and boots, though, if the fit is great. We may feel a collective shift back to those kinds of hues and then you'll be glad to have them on hand to work with your greys, blacks, and ink blues. 

  • cinnamon fern replied 6 years ago

    I like the outfit.  I wonder if black sheers are the wrong tights for these rugged boots, though.  I also wonder if you used to like this outfit better because the boots fit better before you lost a lot of weight - they're pretty gappy now.

  • Aubergine replied 6 years ago

    It's no fun at all when you have to choose shoes for reasons other than which ones you want to wear the most! I think you look great, but do agree that this is a little more earthy/boho than other outfits of yours I've seen. Maybe even if you kept the cognac, but switched out the denim jacket for something dressier in some kind of rich color or a cream shade, it would feel more like you?

    That said, I would totally wear this. I don't currently have a denim jacket that I like, but I'm going to try and remember this combination for if I end up ever getting one.

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    I agree with Cinnamon Fern that the boots are looking a bit wide now. I really like this outfit but it is a different look from what we usually see you wearing now. How about switching out the denim for one of your leather jackets?

  • donnat replied 6 years ago

    You know i like this alot. I would wear it in a heartbeat but I think it is too rugged for your style right now.

  • E replied 6 years ago

    I don't have any advice to offer, although I loved seeing everyone else's comments (like the hive mind in action!), but I wanted to say I hope your ankle is doing better.

  • Parsley replied 6 years ago

    Just echoing the others that this outfit is more country casual, and your style lately has been more polished urban. I wonder if you wore either the cognac accessories OR the denim jacket, but not both together it would feel better to you. Also,  a less rugged brown belt might be more in keeping with your current style.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    You are all so wonderfully wise! I think it's a combination of all of these things - earthy tones, rugged jacket, gape-y boots, dress that makes me feel wide and stumpy. 

    The boots are a great and comfortable fit and work well over jeans and skinnies so will reserve them for that purpose. Ditto the handbag - great with jeans.

    I still like the fit of this denim jacket but am going to tuck it away for now - just not feeling love for it these days but may again at some point.

    The dress....the dress...I think I will have Wonder Woman take it in and then I have this option plus my dressier black sheath. It will be worth the money and I really feel rather yucky in it the way it fits now. Much too wide on the bottom half in particular.

    Kristin at work made a comment that made me realize this is NOT my look anymore..."oh I like your outfit, it's kind of cow girl-ish".....yeah, so NOT what I'm going for...

  • Angie replied 6 years ago


    (Haven't ready the comments). 

    You do this look so well, Shannon - despite your lacking happiness factor. Perhaps you're just not into earthy tones at the moment. Or wearing belts that shorten the waist. Onto outfits that make you happier. 

    Hope your ankle is feeling tip top. xo

  • kellygirl replied 6 years ago

    First, you look terrific. I love the color combination and the silhouette. In terms of happiness factor, i think the denim jacket just isn't polished enough for you anymore. Your current style seems more sleek to me. 

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    This does not say Shannon to me, although it looks fantastic... Even your casual outfits are polished in a different way.  Not sure how to explain.  Rest assured you look incredible, although I know what it's like to feel "meh" these days!

  • Amy replied 6 years ago

    I wish you felt happier about the outfit--because it truly looks fab on you. Hope your ankle is feeling better after today.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Thank you all for your comments and insights. Definitely not feeling the outfit and moving on to something better...

    I like that a few of you mentioned my style being more sleek, polished, urban and modern these days. That's the direction I'm wanting to head so it's nice to know I'm getting there :)

  • Gaylene replied 6 years ago

    Well, I'm going to throw in something else that could be affecting your perceptions--the fact that your shape has noticeably changed over the past few months. Working with a new body shape is a lot more complicated than just reaching for a different size. Outfits that look fabulous on a statuesque body can quickly overwhelm a smaller frame, so it makes sense that a formerly flop-proof outfit might not be quite as reliable now as it was in the past. Could it be that your changing body shape is partially behind your feelings that your former style is no longer working as well for you these days?

  • Marmee replied 6 years ago

    I like this, but like others have mentioned, wonder if it's the color and fit of the boots that are keeping the happiness from the outfit.

  • vipanchi replied 6 years ago

    I'm drawn to the cognac, earthy tones of late and I like your combination except that I think that the shoes would have been better if they were booties in the same color? I actually like the denim and cognac too! Would definitely try it myself! Maybe you should just keep the color combinations and try changing proportions and texture?

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    After reading about your lack of happiness with this outfit & looking at the pics the word that came to my mind was it isn't "sharp". Your outfits lately have a sharpness to them  that I'm having trouble explaining - sorry. This is more earthy/retro than sharp imo.  

    You do look fab so if this is a miss, from your point of view, you are on one fabulous roll :)

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    What Caro says is so true. 

    I also would reiterate what Gaylene said. 

    I was shocked, and I mean SHOCKED, at how different it was to dress my new body after I lost weight (and inches...it was more where I lost it, than how much, you know?)  

    Sure, there was the initial thrill of imagining, "I can wear anything!" because I'd go into the store and be easier to fit off the rack (unless I was sized out, that is.)

    But then there was the dull realization that just because something technically fits doesn't mean it looks good. 

    I swear I am still getting used to it. I will look at photos sometimes and think: But wait! When did I become a straight up and down person? What happened to the pear tendencies? Why can't I wear that V neck that used to look so fab? What do you MEAN a surplice style sort of just "hangs." Why? WAAAAAAA! 

    And do not even get me started on proportion. 

    My favourite standby outfits and items, even if I had them altered to fit, just did not look as good. And it has taken me quite a bit of time to figure out what does look good, these days. 

  • Helenedith replied 6 years ago

    If you placed the outfit photos side by side with your recent black watch and leather outfit you will recognise the elements that no longer work for you. The black watch appears to be more sleek and minimal ( to my eye) and as you mentioned the cognac boots will still work with your jeans. I learn so much through your posted outfits - thank you

  • Emily replied 6 years ago

    First, you do look lovely!  I think the other ladies have hit the nail on the head w/the country/classic/rugged vibe of this ensemble vs your more recent urban/modern/sleek looks.  I think the boots and dress would totally work with a different topper and belt (or no belt), though.

You need to be logged in to comment