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Elevated Jeans Outfit Formula for Spring

February 13, 2024

On the day I shot the photos for today’s blog post we were having unseasonably warm weather. It felt nice to bare my ankles with these straight leg ankle length jeans. Spring is coming…but it’s not here yet! We, however, are going to be ready when it does. Today I’m sharing an elevated jeans outfit formula that I’ll be wearing on repeat very soon.

How to Elevate a Jeans Outfit for Early Spring

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Since moving to Ohio five years ago, I’ve learned the benefits of owning several cotton sweaters for spring. In the south I always felt like we kind of skipped over spring temperatures and went straight from the yearly ice storm in February to summer. But here in Ohio, spring is cold y’all!

Elevated Jeans Outfit for Early Spring

So I lean into wearing tightly knit cotton sweaters, and I often even layer a tank or t-shirt underneath. Still, I’m ready to bare my ankles with shorter jeans. It’s too cold for sandals, so I generally opt for sneakers or other closed toe shoes.

In both of today’s outfits I’m wearing my Frame ankle length straight leg jeans from last year. This silhouette is still very on trend, and they’re a great option for women who loved their skinny jeans. You get that slim fit but with a more modern leg opening width below the knee. My jeans are no longer available, but these Frame jeans and these are very similar. Or you could get the same effect with these from Talbots or these from Gap.

Elevated Jeans Outfit Formula for Early Spring

A simple cotton pullover sweater paired with unembellished ankle length jeans and sneakers, loafers or ballet flats is a classic early spring style formula for me. Add a great trench coat and you immediately elevate the look substantially.

Elevated Jeans Outfit for Early Spring
roll-neck cotton sweater // trench // similar Frame jeans (more economical option) // similar sneakers (more economical option) // handbag (more economical option) // earrings // bracelet 1 // bracelet 2

That’s one of the reasons I love having a polished, classic trench coat in my wardrobe. It elevates anything I wear with it. The soft blue roll-neck cotton sweater above looks great paired with the trench. But remember, I always make sure I have tops in the same color as my completer pieces and coats, too. Look how chic this heather linen rolled-neck pullover looks with my birch trench coat.

Elevated Jeans Outfit for Early Spring
heather linen rolled-neck pullover // trench // similar Frame jeans (more economical option) // retro trainers (and here) // handbag (more economical option) // earrings // bracelet 1 // bracelet 2

While some may prefer to wear loafers or ballet flats with this sweater and jeans combo, I generally opt for sneakers. Like many of my readers, I have a “foot issue.” My metatarsalgia requires that I wear a little bit of a heel or at least a lift in the heel, as well as a soft cushioned sole. So both my Veronica Beard retro trainers (and here) and my Paul Green white leather sneakers (similar) fit the bill. I’ll be wearing both very frequently this spring and summer.

Elevated Jeans and Sweater Outfit for Spring

Both of the sweaters I wore for today’s blog post are cropped length. So that tank or t-shirt I have layered underneath really help protect me from the draft. These sweaters work nicely with the high rise jeans and pants I opt for. But if you wear jeans with a lower rise, you’ll probably prefer this fuller length cotton sweater (49% off today!) or this one (cotton blend). Also my Jenni Kayne cotton sweater, which is truly my favorite and I wore in yesterday’s blog post, is available for 20% off just through February 14, with code VALENTINE.

Cotton Sweater for Spring

With both looks I’m carrying my new Veronica Beard Goody Bag. This durable cotton canvas bag is trimmed with beautiful cognac colored leather, and it comes with a detachable shoulder strap, too. It’s also available in this off-white color with black leather trim and in an army green cotton canvas with white leather trim. Here’s a surprisingly similar bag at a more economical price point.

Veronica Beard Goody Bag
Veronica Beard Goody Bag (more economical option)

Remember, one of the keys to defining your style and refining your wardrobe is to consider your REAL lifestyle. I’m so tempted to build a wardrobe for that “dream lifestyle,” but then I end up with a closet full of clothes I never get to wear. AND I end up wearing things I don’t really enjoy for the life I really lead.

Elevated Jeans Outfit for Early Spring
heather linen rolled-neck pullover // trench // similar Frame jeans (more economical option) // retro trainers (and here) // handbag (more economical option) // earrings // bracelet 1 // bracelet 2

So, since I truly live a very casual lifestyle, this sort of elevated jeans outfit formula for spring is perfect for me. I’ll feel confident and stylish wearing this sort of outfit to meet friends for brunch, get in a little shopping or explore an Ohio town with James. This outfit meets me where I really live, but it’s also a little elevated. And since my personal style angles are classic, elevated and effortless, I think this formula works helps me stay within the parameters I’ve set for myself.

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Thanks so much for stopping in today. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Let me know what style formula you’ll be wearing on repeat this spring.

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Blessed for My Day

Happy Galentine’s Day! Did you know that was a thing? Ha! Yeah, it’s a recent invention, but it’s fun to celebrate the love with have for our girlfriends. Women friends have played such an important part in my life. They’ve encouraged me to pursue my dreams, coming alongside me to keep me going when I began to doubt myself. They’ve also helped me to walk more closely with the Lord, keeping me accountable and reminding me of biblical truth in times of decision.

When I reflect on how dear my sweet friends are to me, I have to pause and consider whether or not I’ve been an equal asset in their lives. I’m compelled to be more faithful to checking in with them. I want to be a godly influence in their lives. And I strive to be more thoughtful of their needs and dreams and feelings. Maybe this would be a good day to reach out with a text or phone call to encourage a friend who has been dear to you.

Iron sharpens iron,
    and one man sharpens another. ~ Proverbs 27:17

xoxo, Kay
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32 thoughts on “Elevated Jeans Outfit Formula for Spring

  1. Hi Kay, Doe the trench have a belt? If so did you just tie it in the back?

    Asking because belts tend to look awkward on me and wondered it just tying them in the back was still acceptable.

  2. Hi Kay,
    I am a fan of your site. We have a shared love for classic tailored clothing, but I really am.not on board with the cropped look. It looks like your clothing shrank big time. I get the cropped pants with sandals in the summer. I enjoyed your white jeans article last week. Nothing cropped there. I am looking forward to the cropped shirts com I ng to an end.

    1. Oh I absolutely agree! Those cropped tops look like they are too small and so do the dresses that are tiny. Being modern isn’t looking like your clothes are too small. I think some of the cropped pants look too small too. Maybe the clothing manufacturers are just styling a trend like this to cut their cost and increase profit. Less fabric….

        1. I don’t want my belly button showing nor do I want to dress like my granddaughter. I want to wear clothes that fit right and are comfortable. I don’t want cropped tops, pants that look too short, or dresses that barely skim the lines of the body. I want my clothes to be classic, mature, and timeless…..not silly trendy.

          1. Some of us petite gals like the crop tops because it fits us just right. Not all retailers offers petite sizes so I like the crop tops because they fit me at the right spot.

  3. Even though the outfit is cute on you, if you have to reach up to get something the gut will be exposed. The cami will be exposed for now but wearing those tiny cropped tops maybe should be left for the young folks. Come hot weather the cami will be left in the drawer. I’m not trying to be ugly, but most of us older ladies don’t want our stomach exposed. Most of us don’t have 6 pack abs, I’m going to wear what is comfortable and flattering for someone my age and leave those cropped tops to the teens and twenties crowd.

  4. Love the trench coat your wearing in todays post as well as your entire outfit
    What trench coat brand is this?
    And as always Kay you look great in everything

  5. Love the outfits today.

    Did something change with your emails? Wondering because I am no longer receiving them.
    Your email is the one I look forward to. Lately I’ve been having to go to your web site and usually I can just get to your post from your daily email.

  6. I really enjoy posts like this one that show how to elevate a casual outfit! My life is casual, but I still want to look put together. On another note – I’ve been considering purchasing the Talbots slim ankle jeans you linked, but I’m still undecided on whether or not I’d be happier purchasing jeans with a wider leg. My budget is limited so gotta spend wisely!!!

  7. So, in all of this, and this is really good styling tips, we must remember your earlier posts….Grooming is the key to looking stylish in a casual ensemble. You always look fabulous, even in tees and jeans. But you are also always well groomed. That can be the lazy part for me when I’m “just going to the market”. Thank you for keeping that up front in all your posts.

  8. I have to agree with some of the comments regarding the crop sweaters. Your Jenni ones look fine, but today’s seem too short. They look a little cheap and a little too youthful. Not wanting to hurt feelings, just hoping you can show styles that are more age appropriate for us. Thanks. The colors are lovely on you, and I love a great sneaker. Are you going to embrace the metallic sneaker trend?

  9. Minority opinion here! I’m just under 5′ and am an inverted triangle. I still wear the wider legged pants I enjoyed during the 90s. I’m thrilled to see new pants I can wear without looking like a golf tee and SO appreciate shorter tops. To my eye, they work well on you presenting a balanced appearance.

    1. I agree Carol. I prefer the shorter tops and sweaters. I’m a 5’6” pear and the shorter sweaters are good for balancing and not hitting me at my widest part. I just wear a tucked in tank or tshirt under so I don’t expose my bare stomach. Also, high rise jeans are a must with the shorter length tops. Thank you for the content Kay.

      1. I agree about the shorter tops. I’m way over 60 and wear crop tops. They hit me right below my waist. I put a tank underneath too. They make me look taller and look like I have longer legs too. I don’t always want to front tuck or tuck all the way. I don’t think Kay should be getting so much flak over the sweater.

  10. I’m not really liking the shorter sweater trend. I tried on a very pretty spring sweater with in a sky blue yesterday at Old Navy and put it back. Loved the sweater but not the shorter length. It would be nice if retailers didn’t swing between the shorter and longer lengths of tops, but that’s how they make their money. I will probably wear what I have rather than buy a shorter and not very flattering sweater. It looks great on the thinner younger gals.

    1. I love the cropped sweater debate. I think different retailers have different crops. Aritzia or Old Navy cropped sweaters are probably shorter that Talbots or other more mature labels. It’s really hit or miss.

  11. I live a casual life as well. This outfit would fit right in! I have two questions for you. First, what do you do with the belt on your trench coat? Do we still tie the ends behind the back, or just take it off and ignore the empty belt loops? Second, what do you do with clothing items you no longer want/need? Thanks for all you do!!

    1. Hi Angie. Here I’ve belted the belt behind me. Sometimes I tie it behind me. But most often I put the sash ends in my pockets. You’ll see the back in tomorrow’s email. I generally donate my clothes to Dress for Success.

  12. I can’t find an unsubscribe link. Kay if you’re reading this please unsubscribe me from your emails, I won’t buy the kind of clothes you’re blogging about …

  13. Nice outfit Kay. I like the shorter crop sweaters and tops. I’m 5’2 and most tops are so long if not petite. I also think crop tops and jackets look good with wide leg jeans and pants. I also try to follow the 1/3 on top and 2/3 on the bottom rule to look taller. Just because I’m over 60 doesn’t mean I have to wear tunics and dress matronly. I like that you offer different options and suggestions to dress in a modern way.

  14. Kay
    Thanks for mentioning one’s dream lifestyle vs one’s real lifestyle. I find myself shopping for the dream rather than the real. I’m now purging the dream purchases and concentrating on quality real lifestyle purchases for 2024.

  15. I like your outfit Kay I think it looks modern and not too young , I think it is put together really well especially worn with the trench coat and like one of your followers said you are always beautifully groomed which makes a huge difference . I too am in the minority Petites and it is so hard to find a sweater that sits just perfectly and yes a cami underneath looks good and deals with modesty , last summer I tried the ankle grazer trend for my pants and jeans ( All down to you Kay) because being petite I thought Oh no not for me! But surprisingly my friends/family say it makes me look taller . I love that in this day and age we have so much freedom to wear and choose what suits us and what makes us happy Im a great believer like you said Kay about turning up as your ‘Authentic Self staying true to your Style’ Thank you for your Inspiration . Love todays Devotional too ❤️

  16. Hi Kay
    I love your posts which always give me great styling ideas. Those who are critical of different looks need to remember everyone has different body shapes and proportions. Usually items that help balance my pear shape would never look great on my friend who is an apple or my daughter who is an inverted triangle! Some trends will work on my body shape and others won’t but we should all be kind. In my opinion there is no age appropriate fashion just better or not for our shapes! Thanks for all the ideas Kay. You are a beauty both inside and out! ❤️

  17. I am late in viewing this blog post, but I still have to comment on the cropped sweater debate! As someone who is only 5′ 4″, short-waisted, and pear-shaped, I am so happy to see the shorter sweaters! Classic cut sweaters tend to end at the widest part of my hips. I feel frumpy/dumpy wearing them. I don’t want to show my torso, but it’s such a challenge to find clothes that flatter my figure in a world that tends to design for women who are taller and slim-hipped. I am happy to add a tank underneath if it’s needed.