How The Polished Tomboy Does Layers And Avoids Flapping Fabric

Layering. An excellent strategy to add interest to the extremely casual wardrobe. But tomboys (AKA Sturdy Gals) hate excess fabric. This is partly because it’s hard to carry heavy stuff around when our coats keep getting caught up, and partly because when long cloth panels hang from our broad shoulders we start to look like old-fashioned voting booths. Or superheroes.

Enter short-over-long layers.

You may remember that UNIQLO “Jasper Johns” tank from two summers back, as well as the short cadet blue UNIQLO field jacket from close to always.

Add my new brown Dickers (alert alert these are on sale for 40% off at net-a-porter!), narrow-for-boyfriend 3 year-old Citizen of Humanity jeans (teeny cuff for more texture), a pair of antique gold Swedish chandeliers, some Ray-Ban aviators, a 4-year old Bottega Veneta crossbody messenger, and off we go for dinner. San Francisco nights.

Oh, wait, don’t leave yet. That tank makes for a lotta lotta navy on the chest and belly. Unbroken, it’s ungraceful. Unadorned, the rust flag across the belt line brings to mind a butcher’s apron. So I pulled out another piece of antique jewelry, this time from my father’s family. A lariat locket.

You could also wear something like this, held together with a bar clip or brooch.

There, now we can eat. White bean stew and a gin martini, anyone?

Wholly Recreatable Short-Over-Long

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  • I love your post. I never knew what my style was, but now I do! The layered look. You describe is SO Vancouver, BC, which is where I live.

    8:54 am
    Lisa said...

    @MarcyLuna, Glad you like it – and now you mention it, I think we on the West Coast layer in part because our weather can be so changeable!

  • I love layering too. Especially short over long. I’m still looking for some interesting tee shirts like this one, and a couple of other ones you’ve written about. Not necessarily message tees, unless the message is “I’m over 60 but I can still do cool…albeit a refined, slightly classic cool.”

    8:55 am
    Lisa said...

    @Sue Burpee, That is the exact message I’m always looking for;).

  • I like the boots with the t-shirt. Uniqlo has interesting shirts.
    I’ve been patting myself on the back for owning several Jean-Michel Basquiat shirts since the million dollar purchase of one of his pieces hit the news in the past weeks. Some of the best designs are for men and I’ve done a little alteration on a few to make them my own.

    8:56 am
    Lisa said...

    @RoseAG, I agree – UNIQLO’s graphic shirts are really something – they have ongoing collaborations with graphic artists from around the world. I have a Basquiat tee too – it’s a favorite. Good work on your part!

  • Love the boots. And the locket!
    Short over long is a nice way to wear layers (I started when a black velvet sweater started colouring my white pants,so I added long black t-shirt beneath and liked the look immenesely )-it suits you great

    9:09 am
    Lisa said...

    @dottoressa, Thank you! And black on black layers are really nice and subtle.

  • Great outfit! Love the visual interest it creates. I’ve had my eye on those brown Dickers (have had a beige suede pair in my wardrobe for years) and may have to bite. ;-)

    9:10 am
    Lisa said...

    @Susan B, Thank you! The Dickers go really well with the pink Kenzo tiger tee;).

  • You look great. I almost bought that tee shirt when you featured it, but somehow forgot – I find the Uniglo website hard to navigate?

    Those Irene Neuwirth earrings in re-creatable portion are so great….thinking.
    I’ve tried them on and they’re really beautiful.

    9:38 am
    Lisa said...

    @Kathy, The Uniqlo website can be a pain in the neck. Here’s the link that gets me to where I like to be;). Note that that is monetized, so, if you want an unmonetized navigation path go to Uniqlo->UT: Graphic Tees and then look down the side menu for SPRZ NY. That’s where the stuff I like is. Watch out however, as the weird Uniqlo navigation means that men’s tees will now be mixed in to what you are seeing..

    7:00 am
    Kathy said...

    I went to the link, and get as confused as ever. I think you should just tell me what tee you’re ordering and send me a link please!!!!!

  • Love this post. Layering is what I do,too. Where I live it can be 45 in the morning and 75 in the afternoon. Spring/early summer in Idaho. Your polished tomboy looks have alway appealed to me.

    9:41 am
    Lisa said...

    @MaryAnne, Thank you. And that is a serious temperature swing. I guess we might go from 50 in the am to 78 in the pm, maximum, so, not too far off now that I think about it.

  • Love that outfit and you really seem to be a master of just right.

    9:43 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mardel, Thank you so much. If I give myself credit for some kind of aesthetic talent, it’s largely to do with an eye for balance. Does that make sense? So, will rarely cause jaws to drop from perfection, but, will rarely cause jaws to drop from getting it wrong;).

  • Like an old fashioned voting booth – ha! A perfect description of how I feel wearing floppy clothes. Not sure I’m adventurous enough for short over long, but you might get me there yet. Plus you remind me how much I love the Bottega Veneta bags, although I’m still not ready to spend that much on a purse. One of these days I might convince myself that it’s worth doing.

    3:24 pm
    Lisa said...

    @MJ, Just cannot do floppy. I did try to include some very refined options, in case some just aren’t in the mood for field jackets over flags;). And the BV purses are the real deal – value for this kind of thing however has to be deeply felt or it really isn’t worth it.

  • I would rather shop a jewel box with treasures from my ancestors than any website I can think of!
    The lariat necklace rocks it out of the park…my kind of fun!

  • You have a distinctive and well defined style/aesthetic. Knowing what works for you and putting it together well is very satisfying.

  • Clap, clap! Well done! What’s in the locket????