Build a winter outfit for lunch with a friend

winter outfit

Happy Monday, everyone!  Welcome into my head today as I take you through my process to build a winter outfit for lunch with a friend.

My lunch date with a friend was last week (during a chilly week for us) was on one of the days we actually had full sun.  Still a winter outfit was required.

I thought it might be helpful to some for me to take you closet diving with me, and see how I process a winter outfit right now.

Two things to remember.  First, our winter is much lighter than most of you and when the sun comes out on a clear day, things heat up quickly…that ruled out sweaters and heavy jackets.

The second thing to remember for my own current winter outfits is that I am not wearing a variety of pants since my recovery boot is still on.

I have just a handful that are comfy and easy to wear with the boot.

One of my favorite pair of pants right now are the black Talbot’s T by Talbots Ribbed High Waist Flare Leggings.  

You have seen me in them before.  Since I wanted to wear these pants (because they look and feel good with the boot), I decided I could go with a column of black and put a different color on top near my face.

As Paul Harvey use to say, here is the rest of the story……


winter outfit

When you build a winter outfit, remember that the mirror is your friend…an assistant…not an enemy!

The mirror I use for photographs is a full wall of mirror in a dining room.  Many who upgrade home decor take those mirrors out…I like having them.

It has helped me so much to have a good full length view of what I am doing.

The woman I was meeting for lunch is quite fashion forward and gorgeous.  I knew this gave me an opportunity to elevate my casual winter outfit.

At first I thought I wanted a very light color on top of the black…in one of my ivory/creamy off whites that pair best in my warm palette wardrobe.

winter outfit

I reached for my quilted jacket from Chico’s…which I have owned a long time.

The black long sleeve tee from Talbot’s that I am wearing has a flowy leopard print embellishment at the wrist and I wanted it to show out of a jacket or topper.

This was just OK to me.  I wanted to elevate it more. I also did not like how much black there was with the short necklace.

I thought a longer necklace would look better to streamline and break up the column of black.

I usually wear this jacket with denim…and I think I will keep it that way.

So, this was a NO.


winter outfit

This is an older EIleen FIsher jacket in bone, and you can see on my face that it wasn’t going to work.

I am not a doctor and do not want to impersonate one…however my doctor dresses very fashion-forward.

This is just too much fabric…not flattering…and soon after was passed on to sell. 

I love Eileen Fisher garments, but it has to be just right and the shorter jackets of EF are what I am wearing more these days.

I am glad to have EF in my closet, but this one was just not going to work. I previously wore it when I was hiding my larger shape….just truth here.

Sometimes a longer garment can be flattering and fun…it just depends on the cut and style of it…but this one did not.

As I was looking in the mirror, my eye fell on the leopard embellishment which made me think of the jacket I wanted to pair with this.


winter outfit

That was when I remembered my soft, ruched sleeve Chico’s jacket in this lovely toasty brown.

Voila…with a gold sparkly brooch, and the Chico’s necklace I recently purchased on sale, it worked!  I liked it.

This color of jacket has sold out, but they have a new one in BLACK and a lovely new blue….RUCHED SLEEVE SOFT JACKET IN AZORES BLUE.

I am going to stop by this week and see that blue myself…it needs to be close to a kingfisher blue for me…I really like these jackets!


winter outfit

When you only have one foot to put forward, it should be your best foot forward!  Right?  So build a winter outfit with your best.

I like the touch to this outfit of wearing on my best foot this KEDS RIFLE. PAPER COMPANY TRIPLE DECKER COLETTE JACQUARD SLIP ON.

I recently purchased these shoes on sale because I liked the look of them so much…and I cannot wait to wear both of them!  On both of my best feet!

They were too cute to pass up and wait for the boot to come off.

With the touches of fun in my accessories (including the leopard sleeve design), this outfit speaks my style adjectives of creative, polished, approachable, joyful, and current.


winter outfit

I felt so confident in this look, that after lunch I stopped by Nordstrom Rack to see what was going on.

Confident dressing will do just that…give you the energy and fortitude to do more than you planned.

Taking time to put on a winter outfit and try different pieces, is very helpful to me.  Then I know better what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to find a new home.

I hope taking you with me as I build a winter outfit for lunch with a friend was helpful to you as well.

As always…ask or share about today’s post…you guys are the best.


By Pamela Lutrell

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winter outfit


  1. The colors seem dark for you, not used to seeing you on black. But who did your hair? The color looks great. If you cut it at chin length and got the bulk off your shoulders, you would look 20 years younger.

  2. I can see why you chose what you did. I have always liked the combination of dark brown and black. I look forward to those lunches to have some fun with choosing outfits! Funny thing Pam, I also have the mirror wall in my dining room. I did a whole house upgrade and chose to leave the mirror where most would be tearing it out. My son who is a professional painter and obviously much younger recommended leaving it. It brings in so much light and visually increases the size of the room. Plus, like you said, you can see how you look every time you pass by it. Way off topic I know, but it made me smile!

  3. You look beautiful, Pam, in the winning outfit. I have trouble understanding contrast, but this is a good example. The bone jacket, in addition to being too long, is too light and a drastic contrast to the black. Do I have that right? Thank you for sharing the exercise with us.

  4. I have so many memories of our six little ones discovering that mirror! I am not one to follow most home trends…and I have always loved black and brown together. Thanks Karen.

  5. This was a great example of intentional and thoughtful planning. I personally think browns are the best choice to pair with black if you are an autumn. Mirrors are our friends. We mirrored a dining room wall in our last house to brighten up the dining room. I miss it, but I have many mirrors in this house as well as one by the front door with a lipstick in a piece of pottery with my keys. A necessity for me. You looked confident and happy. Love the hair!

  6. Good morning, Pam,
    Enjoying your post in our almost empty, heated (thank you, Jesus) house. I think you look beautiful in the outfit you chose for lunch with your friend. You look confident, gorgeous, and slim, and I didn’t even notice your special boot! Have a blessed week.

  7. Loved seeing the “process”. Your lunch look evolved into perfect. Your hair is really attractive today. Glad you had a fun outing.

  8. I keep looking at the after Christmas sales and cannot bring myself to buy anything because I still have so many items in my closet. I prefer to do as you’ve shown us today and figure out what I’m comfortable wearing from my closet. I try to think of it somewhat as an adventure to put together an outfit that satisfies my thinking for the day and occasion. I have to admit that I am a packrat and have saved too many clothes so now it’s a matter of wearing something that is not dated, still fits, and meets my adjectives.

  9. Love your hair Pam! Quite beautiful! And you look fabulous in the deep brown/black combination. Just a question : could you have selected a camel blazer? Or is camel not one of your Autumn colors?

  10. I wear camel and I thought of camel. But, the black/brown leopard on the sleeve pushed me to think of this blazer in my closet and once I tried it on…I thought..THIS IS IT.
    It went so nicely with the rest of the outfit and it more in my colors than camel would be. I do wear some camel in the spring when I have on one of my autumn colors in a blouse or a cream color.
    Once I saw this jacket with the overall look, my search had ended.

  11. This was a lot of fun and educational too. I know what you mean about the EF sweater – sometimes we purchase things, and then we change in some way, and we want our clothes to reflect that. I have a longer Talbots sweater that I bought because some influencers wore it. I have one outfit that features it, but I have never really integrated it into my wardrobe as a whole. I think the pin helps make the outfit visually. I’m not so enamored of the necklace. It’s great when you’re standing – but sitting at lunch, isn’t it too long to be seen as a whole? BTW, I no longer have a full-length mirror, and it drives me nuts – LOL!

  12. The contrast was too high in the outfits with creamy white toppers. And I agree, the EF needed to go. Wearing longer shapeless things does not make anyone appear smaller, but so many of us do it. The black and brown is a much better combination, and the column of black with topper is a good look on anyone. All you need is a good color near your face. A charcoal gray (I don’t know if autumns wear gray) would also work. Love the shoes!

  13. This was a very good exercise. What a good reminder when trying something on that isn’t quite right (and isn’t going to be right) not to put it back in the closet but make plans to donate/sell it. Also a good reminder to think about jewelry, especially necklaces, when putting together an outfit. You look great. Thanks.

  14. I never really considered how it looks when sitting, but I usually sit up straight, so I believe the necklace could be seen well. I like how the length gives more elongating style on this column of black, which also elongates. The shorter necklace was not flattering on the column of black.
    I encourage you to get a full length…even a cheap one you can lean on a wall. It makes such a difference. Thanks for joining in today, Maeve.

  15. I love black and brown together, and the reddish brown of the jacket (on my monitor at least) was quite sophisticated. I got a “brown” sweater that color from Amazon Essentials that turned out to be a happy accident, as it looks great with both black and navy. I think the black works fine for your autumn coloring because of all the brown styled with it. For the record, I’ve always loved your hair :). These are some of my favorite posts … how you put together an outfit. Did you wear a black bag, a brown bag, or an orange (or other pop of color bag)?

  16. I like the brown in the jacket near my face, Susan. This is a good color for me. This autumn girl has elephant gray in my palette…but I do not think it would look its best in this outfit. I actually tried a couple of scarves once I settled on the jacket and decided I liked the necklace better.
    Thanks so much.

  17. Thank you Tess. My stylist did a fabulous job with the highlights. This is how I left the salon. You are about to see it this week a little fuller when I do it myself. I so appreciate the kind words.

  18. I kept the mirrors in my new home; they reflect the golf course and add so much light to my condo. I love your hair length and think its very flattering. Thank you for the inspiration today as I am having lunch with 2 friends and our usual warm weather is going to be rainy and cool. Will shop my closet for a infrequently worn rain jacket!

  19. I think I am going to show you mine tomorrow…we had such heavy rain over night and this morning. Time to pull out my trench.
    Have fun at lunch!

  20. You are welcome, Audrey. I was hoping it might help some of you to see. I cannot direct link to many of these pieces because my closet has little brand new looks in it now, but wanted you to understand the process to getting me to a big smile as I leave the house.

  21. Chico did an impressive job showing different outfits that go with azores blue blazer. This method would be a great idea for you to use in your blog. It would encourage us
    to use different combinations using the clothes we have in our closet.

  22. My first reaction was, WOW! to the hair. Of course I remember when it was straightened and short, the debate over going longer, natural waves versus straight. In my opinion, it’s all been good, but this was very polished looking. Thanks for the journey to the winning outfit for that day. It’s helpful to see your process of elimination. Cute shoe, too!

  23. You know my hair has received the most comments of anything on this blog. I think when I went shorter I was responding to those comments. But no more…this is me..the length I like…the smooth style I like. I am just going to be me. When it is time to stop the color, I will know. There will be days it is curly because I do not want to mess with it. I am so grateful (now) that it is thick and I have hair. I do not find offense to my hair…but I do not see me changing it. Thanks Connie…I love getting highlights.

  24. This is a good idea, Judy. I hope it would be helpful since our closets hold so many different pieces. But I also think it would be fun. I will work on it.

  25. You look outstanding: hair 💗, skin, outfit, confident and yes JOYFUL! As you are up and about after your foot surgeries you actually look like you have been to a wellness spa. This was a great exercise in getting ready. Actually good to know others don’t nail it on the first try. 😌

  26. The look you decided on is a home run! The brown jacket is a good color for you. The cut of the jacket is slimming. Your gold jewelry is creative, coordinates with the brown and I like the scale of the pieces. That jacket, in the blue, as shown on the model wearing jeans is fabulous. I’m all about a tonal jeans look. Think I’d need a petite, unfortunately.

    Full length mirrors are definitely our friends.

  27. I love your hair! I wear mine straighter sometimes and others, I wear it naturally wavy with bottom curl. In my short chin length bob it looks better straight. Keep your length as it gives you more options. I love the outfit you chose for your luncheon with a friend. You looked lovely and put together in it.

  28. The outfit you chose was definitely a winner! I’m glad you moved the long EF topper along to someone else. It reminded me of a bathrobe because it looked so oversized on you. I’m glad you shared your process with us. I have lunch date this week with a group of ladies I met online. We are going to a rather nice place, so I want to dress up a bit. In addition, after being bitterly cold last week, the temperature is supposed to be in the 50’s with rain, so a heavy sweater is out for me as well. I will be shopping my closet for a good outfit. BTW, I really love those shoes. They are so cute, & a great way to elevate a sneaker.

  29. Rarely rarely do I nail it on the first try. Thanks for the encouraging words, Suzi.

  30. Thanks Lily. If I can arrange for my friend, Leigh Ann to go to Chico’s with me soon, we will see if one of those jackets looks good on her petite frame in a smaller size. It may not, but is worth a try.

  31. Thanks Becky…I love the shoes…right now fun shoes are catching my attention. Have fun at lunch!

  32. Love this outfit, Pam, and your hair is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing how you build an outfit. This is a great example of how to accessorize.

  33. Really enjoyed reading your process in choosing your outfit today. You chose a winner. I love the brown blazer on you. I own it as well and look forward to wearing it when spring is nearer. The black column of color looks quite elegant under it. The quilted jacket is darling and I agree its a better match for jeans or even cargo pants. I’m glad the EF jacket is going to a new home. It overwhelms you and a shorter jacket looks so much better on you. I think your hair is great and the way you’ve styled it today is particularly lovely. I hope you had a great time at lunch with your friend. You were probably the two most fashionable women in the room. Happy Monday.

  34. Well, we were, because the eatery only had four tables and they were mostly men! 😂😂😂

  35. The “style show” was very helpful. This is probably one of my favorite posts especially since I have added some black back to my wardrobe.
    The keds are super cute!

  36. Hi Pamela, I sometimes put a note in a jacket pocket reminding me what went with it next time I want to pull together an outfit, we don’t always remember if it’s been a while😂 love you final choice, I do that an sometimes end up with the pile of rejects on the floor. Time to do closets now, it’s spring cleaning time. Enjoy your foot progress and keep you beautiful hair. Sandra Winfield

  37. I’m still catching up on posts I missed while out of town for a long weekend, and I’m so glad to see this one. Please continue to share examples of how you choose your outfits – this one was absolute perfection! I love the leopard sleeves peeking out of the brown jacket. Seeing your process for making an outfit work is very helpful, and I love Sandra’s suggestion about leaving notes in the pocket for workable combinations. One thing that has helped me get dressed in a hurry is to hang a few complete outfits that work perfectly at the front of my closet. It eliminates decisions on days when I’m running short on time, and I try to have several ready to go at all times – one for casual outings like errands or doctor appointments, one for church or business meetings, and one more dressy outfit for dates or Sunday morning church. I also repeat my winning outfits several times in a week if I’m going different places. I also hang pieces near the front if I’m on the fence about keeping them. I challenge myself to figure out a way to wear them in a certain length of time, or I let them go.

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