WIW: Something Unexpected

When I bought this cascading Eileen Fisher merino wool cardigan in the summer for fall/winter, there were a few raised eyebrows on the forum as this is typically not my style at all. I adore structure and low fuss factor, so why was I buying a piece with flow and drape? At the time I bought it because it just spoke to me in some way. I have since figured out that it is my "chicken soup" sweater - the type of piece you put on and it wraps you in warmth and comfort. Today's weather forecast is for bitterly cold, snow and high winds - calls for some chicken soup, don't you think?

So because this is quite a statement item, I've kept the rest of the outfit streamlined and simple - my first outing of my ponte knit leggings, a black asymmetrical tank and knee high black boots. I hope I don't look too much like a pirate - lol! For jewelry, I went with a large gun metal cuff and my silver wedding band and stayed with the over sized clutch that I used yesterday.

So what do you think? Can I pull this off? Do you have a "chicken soup" item in your wardrobe? As always, all comments/suggestions welcome.

Sweater: Eileen Fisher
Tank: Attitude by Jay Manuel
Leggings: Lord & Taylor
Boots: Clarks (ancient but comfy and warm)
Clutch: XOXO (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.


  • replied 6 years ago

    Ok, please to transport all these items into my wardrobe!

    I love this Shannon, this is my favourite kind of comfy look. You've checked all my boxes.

  • El Cee replied 6 years ago

    You look cozy and beautiful. I like that you put the focus on the drapey cardigan by wearing a dark sleek column underneath it. Your accessories are perfect for the outfit. That clutch is to-die-for, and the gun metal bracelet is a fab touch.

  • lyn67 replied 6 years ago

    I always love me a chicken soup! This one is no exception! Love all black underneath!

  • Neel replied 6 years ago

    Drapey and comfy Shannon is a treat to the eyes! We received our first rainfall today (!!!!!) And you have made me crave some soup now :) A bowl of thai veggie clear soup please for this vegetarian :)

  • Debra replied 6 years ago

    Love it Shannon, great cardi that would feel very at home in my wardrobe :)

  • Aubergine replied 6 years ago

    Looks great - streamlined yet comfy! And I love the idea of "chicken soup" clothing. Which I think actually applies to more of my winter wardrobe than is entirely wise.

  • krishnidoux replied 6 years ago

    You have styledit beautifully. Granted, it doesn't look like the usual you we have grown to know. But it is a refreshing change. A bit whimsical, feminine, playful. 

    Yet, to my eye, something is missing. Something to respond to the gardigan's frilly shape: it's like the rest of the outfit's restraint keeps it from smiling to its potential. 

    Have you thought about adding a long pendant in a coloured stone or glass? It would bring further verticality, and its still nature would contrast with the flowey nature of the cardigan's detailing.  

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Wow Shannon - no it is not your usual look but you are drawn to some drapey looks too and this one looks terrific! Hmm, is this part of your style shift?

  • Joyce B replied 6 years ago

    I like it. I agree that it is nice to change up the style for variety. That is something I also want to work on, to be able to wear nicely different styles so that my outfits are not the usual predictable stuff.
    I think it's more fun that way.

  • E replied 6 years ago

    I love this sweater SO much, and you pull it off beautifully. If I were you I'd wear it every day. Except your whole closet is full of beautiful pieces that would then be neglected ;D

    Almost all of my clothes are bought with comfort and ease of movement in mind, but on really cold days (rare where I live now) I reach for some Ralph Lauren flannel cashmere/wool trousers that are the softest thing I've ever touched. I don't even care if they're flattering or not, because they're like wearing a cloud, but a warm one. Also, a lot of my jewelry is emotional chicken soup. :)

  • donnat replied 6 years ago

    A very feminine look. I think it can be good to shake things up a bit. Perfect for this cold day.

  • Von replied 6 years ago

    I really like this, even though it's outside of your comfort zone.  I think you did a good job of dressing up the comfy. 

  • Emily replied 6 years ago

    The flowing, feminine drape of this cardigan is gorgeous on you.  It looks cozy and comfortable.  I like how you added structure with the boots, clutch, and big bracelet.  Lovely!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Emily - adding the structure of the boots, clutch and bracelet were key in keeping me happy in the outfit. I would not feel as good in the sweater if it were over wide legged trousers or flowy dress for example.

    Krishnidoux - thank you for your suggestion of a pendant. For me, the drape and frill at the front of the cardigan already borders on "too much" so I personally would not add any jewelry to the look. But I certainly understand why that could work.

    Shevia - I am drawn to different shapes at times and although structure will always be a primary part of my rubric, maybe there's room in my closet for a few drapey pieces, as long as I pair them with structure and simplicity. I'm not really sure where my style is heading these days but like Angie suggested, I'm just going with it and enjoying the ride!

    Thank you for your positive comments Fabbers - first a scarf yesterday and now a drapey cardigan today. What's next???

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    You look wonderful! I wouldn't change a thing.
    The term you coined, "chicken soup" sweater, really is appealing. Mine is a very soft warm alpaca cardigan from DS and the Nordstrom 360 cashmere grey cardigan I wore when copycatting your burgundy skinny look with you EF cardi.

  • Elizabeth P replied 6 years ago

    I think this syle "diversion" really works for you.  We all need something a little out of hte box, don't ya think?

    I love your term "chicken soup" sweater.  I have one of those... one of Angies's gems, which was included in a blog post on oversize toppers, which I got in black:

    So cozy!

  • Carole replied 6 years ago

    I love this outfit on you, Shannon. You look so chic yet comfortable! I love the chicken soup analogy, how perfect is that for describing that sweater. I have a very similar one I picked up at Target of all places that I have the same feeling about? LOVE my cozy chicken soup sweater.

  • rute replied 6 years ago

    Fabulous! That clutch is gorgeous! One of my favorite outfits

  • JAileen replied 6 years ago

    Very chic! I think I'm loving that sweater. The simplicity of the rest of the outfit really lets it shine.

  • Isabel replied 6 years ago

    I haven't been on much lately, so I missed the original yay or nay. But this is such a strong YAY from me. You look amazing.  I have grown to love the whole waterfall sweater thing. 

    I have a few "chicken soup" pieces ( I love that expression ), which I think are a bit easier for a SAHM.  My current favorite is similar to yours but in lightweight sweatshirt material from Nordstrom.  I have one in black and one in fushcia that I don't wear much outside the house but I wear it inside all the time. The black I wear everywhere casual.

    And they are on sale !!!  I may have to get the dark green.   :  ) 

  • Alexandra replied 6 years ago

    Looks cozy and comfy! I like your idea of a "chicken soup" item.

  • replied 6 years ago

    Your styling of this takes it a level beyond chicken soup to me!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Well, I think it is a super fab chicken soup for the soul change! I like it. And I am totally with you. I had gone off cardigans for a long time but I am actually thinking of ordering a couple for my work-at-home days for just this reason. Rock on!

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    This is something I'd wear head to toe. I love if and totally get the comfort issue. It's my mashed potatoes with gravy outfit! This is why I've been wearing so many oversized cashmere sweaters.

  • DizzyLizzy replied 6 years ago

    I wear this type of outfit all.the.time in winter as I like a high degree of comfort and I think you look absolutely FABULOUS in this outfit. The simple column of colour under that sweater jacket looks perfect - flow and drape that doesn't add bulk can be hard to find but you nailed it with this outfit.

  • Nebraskim replied 6 years ago

    You rock this look. I, too, bought a cascade front cardigan on deep sale a year ago. It was far outside my typical look and lacks the ruffle/peplum of this garment, but I loved the color (charcoal, black and grey color blocks) and warmth from high wool content. And I wear it a lot, finding it surprisingly versatile. In fact, I found that this type of style looks good on me, and I've added similar cardigans in different fabrics. I am a no-fuss person. I don't wear much jewelry but I do like scarves. This looks feels no-fuss to me because it comes with its own accessory...Congrats on achieving high style, comfort and warmth. (Your cold air is barreling down on Nebraska today....)

  • Amy replied 6 years ago

    Can you pull this off? What a silly question. You look fantastic! Stay warm.

  • Marmee replied 6 years ago

    I love the lines of this sweater on you!  Looks Fab!

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    Fantastic! The drapy cardigan looks wonderful with the sleek silhouette underneath. I like the black and grey look and your clutch is just perfect for this outfit.

  • DonnaF replied 6 years ago

    The sweater is a departure from your usual style, but what I found interesting is that it looks 2000% fabulous on you.  (Sometimes we don't wear certain styles because they don't look very good on us, IYKWIM.)  I think if this were an *ordinary* cascading cardi and was not EF quality, it would look meh on you.  I am always so impressed by your style.    

  • peacechick replied 6 years ago

    Shannon, you look arty and stylish. I've followed previous discussions in this forum in the past about style identities and veering from them, and my opinion is that experimentation is important and brings joy. I love that book by Trinny & Susannah, "Who Do You Want To Be Today?" To me, that's the joy of dressing up!

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    LOVE. Totally killer with those boots! 

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    Definitely different, but excellently executed! I think you are ready for the zombie apocalypse brigade in this outfit :) Hehe. A lady after my own heart. I'll start work on a "chain mail" (i.e., soda can tab) vest for you. Hehe.

  • replied 6 years ago

    New to the forum but I have seen a lot of your WIWs and seriously this is my all-time favorite look of yours. Simple black dressing underneath really highlights the sweater. Lovely!

  • bella replied 6 years ago

    I find these cardigans super difficult to style, but you did an awesome job!

  • O replied 6 years ago

    Shannon, I was wondering what happened to this cardigan. t is gorgeous. I love it on you and I love this new-to-me silhouette on you.

  • NDMom replied 6 years ago

    I LOVE it!  Actually, because it is my uniform. You look great!

  • deb replied 6 years ago

    I really like this sweater on you. It is very flattering.

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    YLF. Making the drapey piece the star works for me too.

    Mine is a cashmere hoodie. I'm so not a hoodie person - i wear it round the house & feel very comfy lux.

  • Aida replied 6 years ago

    Lovely! The cut and drape of the sweater is really nice, and the sleek boots go a long way to streamlining this (as much as it could be hehe). Though I must say I like it with the clutch included because it adds a bit of lightness (that's just my thing with black feeling heavy, I think). This sweater could also be fun on the weekend with lighter elements, say a light top, jeans, and tall boots; you could really work the cozy angle for a weekend outfit!

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    11 out of 10. 

    You wear your Chicken Soup Sweater beautifully, Shannon. And should seriously model for Eileen Fisher. 

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Rae - I'm laughing at your comment on my boots. These have got to be at least 10 years old. I'm not sure if they're entirely in style but they sure are warm and comfy.

    Aida - I know what you mean about adding lightness and love your styling suggestions. I will definitely be playing around with this sweater to see how many ways I can make it work.

    Thank you all for chiming in - I truly appreciate each and every comment :)

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Cross posted Angie :)

    Wow. Thank you. I will admit I felt pretty darned fab in this outfit today.

  • replied 6 years ago

    That's a lot of cardi.  You styled it perfectly, LOVE.

  • LACeleste replied 6 years ago

    I am so inspired by your style Shannon!  You are always evolving and look smashing all the time!

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    I am having so much trouble keeping up at the moment, hence my late visit to this post. Shannon this might be my favourite outfit of yours ever! And that's saying something because I love all your outfits. You wear this beautifully. I was all for this sweater and I am thrilled to see how stunning it looks on you. This is perfection!

  • Greyscale replied 6 years ago

    This is very, very much my style, so of course I like it - but it looks particularly good on you, with your excellent choice of accessories and coordinating clothing pieces. I can see how it's a departure from other things you've posted, and I know I'm new here, but to me it seems to fit your overall image even though it's a bit of an outlier.

  • goldenpig replied 6 years ago

    I love that you can embrace many different styles yet make them all so you! You look super cozy and I love the term "chicken soup sweater".

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