18 In Anatomy of an Outfit/ Styling Tips

One jacket, countless looks


Milla Jacket from Artful Home

You’re in for a styling treat with the Milla Jacket.


You guys are in for a treat! And just in time. Isn’t everyone hitting that point in winter when you peer into your closet and nothing quite inspires you? My hand just went up—did yours? Creating new outfits is my joy and my profession, so when outfit blahs descend, I fear I may fall down in mismatched pajamas and never get up. Artful Home intervened when a box arrived at my doorstep with the Milla Jacket inside. The result? I’ve been on a styling high for a whole week creating new looks and even reconnecting to my sensual, sexy self.

There’s a word in the description in the Artful Home catalog about this Comfy USA jacket that I especially love. See if you can tell which one it is:

Dressed up or down, this versatile jacket projects an elegant air in crinkle crepe de chine—a sensuously textured fabric that packs beautifully.


No doubt it packs beautifully. You could wad it up in your hand, stuff it in your purse, pull it out, and wear it to an opera in Rome after a day of sightseeing in a sundress.


Travel with the Milla Jacket

This Milla Jacket is travel-friendly.


It does have an elegant air and dresses up nicely, as you’ll see when I add pearls to it in an outfit I made for my client. It’s just as happy accompanying skinny jeans and tall boots for a birthday party gathering of friends.


Who’s up for feeling sensual in their outfits?

But what about the word sensuously? I bolded it so you wouldn’t miss it. My aim is to keep this post G-rated, but I’m so close to telling you about the lusty feelings this jacket elicited in me in certain outfit combos. If you were inside my head you’d probably hear a racy thought or two. I haven’t considered how my hips move when I walk, but suddenly I noticed them swaying while wearing this jacket. It was like I was wearing high heels, but I wasn’t.

Is it body hugging? No, it’s a boxy silhouette. But there’s something about the way this fabric graces my body that just feels sexy and intimate!

Let me take you through the Milla Jacket outfit combos I came up with over these last few days.


The Milla Jacket gets creative in a client appointment


Adding three pins to the Milla Jacket

Adorning the Milla Jacket with a stack of pins.


Outfit 1: I listened to the Milla Jacket and it said, “Leather leggings.” I said, “Okay, we can wear leather leggings, but we’re going to work, not a nightclub, so let’s make this stylishly professional.”

Since the jacket is cropped, I went for a longer underpiece: my white-and-black-striped cotton T-shirt. This tee is a bit too casual for a work outfit. It’s so soft and cozy, it could second as a pajama top, so I decided to cover most of it—but I especially love how the stripes peek out. I could have used the jacket’s button closures but decided to make pretend closures with arty textured silver pins.


Stacking pins for interest

Three pins add a stylish element to the crinkle jacket.


Stylish mix of textures

A creative mix is perfect for my creative profession.


Then my wrists said, “We want adornment, too!” (Your clothes and accessories talk to you, too, right?)

On one arm, I wore my watch on the outside of my tee, and I layered artful silver bangles on the outside of my tee on the other wrist. I added silver rings. (The Bumpy Belted Ring got its own post a few months back.) Every body part was happy now.


Wearing accessories over long sleeves

Adorning wrists and fingers.


We had a successful shopping trip with our client Michael. He and the sales associates we worked with all complimented me on my outfit. I felt in charge, confident, creative, and delighted the whole day. Give me five, Milla Jacket.


Textures in a black outfit

Shine, luster, crinkle and smooth are happy together.

The Milla Jacket goes for testing and a birthday party

Outfit 2: I always make a point of dressing well when I go to a doctor’s appointment, especially one that involves needles. Creating an upscale casual outfit was going to work well with the rest of my afternoon plans, too. Once I finished my much-anticipated allergy testing appointment, I was headed to my friend Nadine’s 65th-birthday lunch. Get this: it was my allergy technician Janara’s birthday, too! I wished her Happy Birthday, and then she starting cooing over my Milla Jacket. She stroked my sleeve. “Oh, I love the crinkles!” she said. When a colleague came in with my lab reports, Janara insisted she come in and check out my outfit.


Now bring on the birthday celebration!

I make lots of outfits for my clients who get together with their girlfriends for lunch, shopping, or book signings. It’s fun to get a little dressed up to meet with friends, isn’t it?


Dressed up jean outfit

Happy Birthday, dear Nadine!


So let me tell you how I styled this upscale girlfriend-gathering outfit. I started by layering my black mesh tee over my bra (1) and then added a slinky spaghetti-strap tank to cover the torso (2). Once the jacket is on, the mesh sleeves peek out of the three-quarter sleeve on the Milla Jacket, and the sheer netting will hang well below the jacket (3). I love the proportion of the cropped jacket with a longer piece underneath it. Layered long necklaces make a great slimming focal point (4).


Layering pieces

Layering pieces.


I added skinny jeans and tucked them into my tall boots. The way I feel inside this outfit is like my mature, sexy 40-year-old self who hasn’t been around in a while!


The Milla Jacket goes to a client closet appointment

Outfit 3: The third outing of the Milla Jacket was to a client closet appointment in which Erin and I would be making outfits for our darling client Veronica. I’d already worn this jacket twice in one week, but that didn’t stop me from wearing it again. I wanted Veronica to see it; I had a hunch it would be perfect for her, too.

I basically copied the birthday party outfit, only I created a cuff in my jeans, wore waterproof suede ankle boots, added a crystal pendant to the necklace cluster to make that area brighter, and brought in a structured handbag.


Casual dressy work outfit

A closet appointment outfit.


Vicarious outfit 3.5: We were halfway into our appointment when Veronica showed me a black V-neck sweater she’d purchased over the holidays. I couldn’t help myself. I took off my jacket and said, “Try this on.”

I immediately saw the “elegant air” of the Milla Jacket on her. I layered two different-sized strands of pearls at her neck and added diamond hoop earrings and a small, polished cross-body bag. On the bottom, I put her in a dressy black pant and pretty flats. Voila! She was ready for any San Francisco social event. (Both Veronica and I are wearing the XS. It does go up to 3X.)


A dressed up social outfit

Adding pearls and diamond hoops to Veronica’s outfit.


Sophisticated layering

An instant fan of the Milla Jacket.


We ordered it immediately. She texted me later that night and said, “What an easy, unexpected, sophisticated piece to add to the mix.” Perfect! Her personal style words are easy, unexpected, and sophisticated!


Just me and my Milla Jacket

Outfit 4: The Milla Jacket has been creative, sensual, and sexy; elegant on Veronica; and now it’s being cozy and comfortable on a rainy writing day. What I hadn’t gotten around to telling you yet was how this jacket feels: nurturing and comforting when it’s closed and layered over a cashmere sweater. I use the button closures it comes with, and I feel safe and cocooned, which is exactly how I like to feel on a writing day. I need to shut everything else out and listen to my own thoughts.


Asymmetrical Milla Jacket

Milla Jacket is perfect on a writing day.


At 4 o’clock my thoughts turn to chocolate. You, too? Doesn’t this chocolate bar make a lovely accessory for this week’s final outfit?

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the Milla Jacket travel through a week’s worth of activities—it has earned its position as a wardrobe essential. Do you think it would work for you?

Thank you Artful Home for insisting I try the Milla Jacket! Who knew I’d use it this much in a week’s time? This is a sponsored post, but you know me—all the comments are mine. Ready for my last comment? You never know when one item turns out to serve your lifestyle so well. Some pieces do one thing, and we love them just as they are. Others step up to please us in multiple unexpected ways. It’s pretty cool when that happens.

Have you had something come into your wardrobe that was pleased you beyond your expectations? Do share!



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  • Reply
    Pamela Vanaman
    February 19, 2019 at 5:54 am

    I have a skirt just like this that I bought in 2009. I paid a lot over my usual budget for it. But, whether is is thrown in a bag last minute when I need a dress up or dress down outfit on vacation, this is my go to outfit.

    • Reply
      February 19, 2019 at 5:34 pm

      I so agree. A piece like this can do so much. I think the Milla Jacket is priced very well. When you apply cost per wear formula to a purchase that you get so much wear from over many years, it makes it so inexpensive. It’s fun to hear about your skirt!

  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    February 19, 2019 at 6:19 am

    It’s the texture that does it for me. And it’s so darn different than anything you see at the retail stores!! I can see why you fell in love with it Brenda!!

    • Reply
      February 19, 2019 at 5:32 pm

      So true! I think texture is a secret style tool especially for “our age”. It adds interest and flair and as you can see, you can do anything with it! Great to hear from you, Jodi!
      xoxo Me

  • Reply
    Karen Earl
    February 19, 2019 at 6:43 am

    I love the outfits you made, Brenda, I could see myself wearing every single one of them. I’m going to go to the Artful Home website and look at the Milla jacket for myself.
    What is the brand of the black mesh tee you’re wearing above? You suggested them quite a while back including the name, and I went to their website and liked what I saw. I’d like to get one or two, but I can’t recall the brand. They’d fill a real hole in my wardrobe, I can think of lots of ways I’d wear them! Thank you!

    • Reply
      February 19, 2019 at 5:31 pm

      The label is out of mine so I’m not 100% sure. Artful Home has one in their catalog. It’s a double layer mesh (much better than a single layer as it gives dimension). It’s called the Cotton Mesh Tee by Cynthia Ashby. Check it out when you look at the Milla Jacket. Otherwise, it might have been Petit Pois. Great to hear from you! You’ll love this piece! Try the XS.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 8:39 am

    I have a hard time thinking of wearing already crinkled clothing, but I LOVE the looks you put together – especially the one with OTK boots, and the comment about getting back your sexy 40-year-old self. Spot on!!

    • Reply
      February 19, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      I wonder if I can turn you into a crinkle lover. Wearing this fabric doesn’t add any other “wrinkles” to it. The fabric is just permanently set to be that way. If you think of the pleating that Fortuny was famous for in his gorgeously designed gowns, it too was a process to make the fabric have interest. And yes, my sexy 40-year-old self was fun to visit again!

  • Reply
    Mari Ryan
    February 20, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Brenda – love the jacket but would like to find out about your black paisley pants. Are they a recent purchase? I have a pair that no longer fit (too large, yay!) and would love to find another pair. Thanks!

    • Reply
      February 26, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Mari, these were purchased maybe five years ago? Actually, could be more. I was thin when I bought them, then there were some years when they were too small to wear, and now I can wear them again!

  • Reply
    Cara in S.FL
    February 22, 2019 at 7:13 am

    The jacket works well on you, Brenda. I like Artful Home’s designs, but most of the clothing seems to have man-made materials and I avoid buying those because of the petroleum products used and that they won’t biodegrade. I LOVE that their mesh T is 100% cotton (wish it were organic).

    Enjoy, and thank you for posting.

  • Reply
    Cindy Scurry
    February 22, 2019 at 10:39 am

    I love it! I especially love the way you styled it with the mesh tee and the tank over it. The mesh tee looks so cool under the jacket. That jacket is so great for travel and so artsy for everyday! Love it!! Great piece!

  • Reply
    Trinnie q
    February 23, 2019 at 3:43 am

    Oh my goodness! Simply gorgeous ! Sending love from Oz

  • Reply
    Gail Guinn
    February 23, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    I love all the looks but really love how those pins create a more earthy, artesian (how do you spell that anyway? It’s underlined as an incorrect spelling but I have tried EVERY combination, checked with my daughters and none of us could figure it out so…there ya go..) look that I just love!! Where did you get the beige pins? I love to create very unique, individualistic outfits.
    Love your descriptions, it like reading a love letter to fashion!

  • Reply
    Linda Vila Passione
    February 24, 2019 at 9:06 am

    I usually love your posts…but this one, nah…not liking the crinkly look at all. Though I always love how you put yourself together and you have me thinking out of the box. We will have to agree to disagree on this one, my Brenda.

    • Reply
      February 26, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      Not a problem! I’ve learned that some people get allergic reactions to crinkle fabrics. Not me, I’m crazy for them. So yes, let’s just agree to disagree!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2019 at 10:29 am


  • Reply
    Elizabeth Gosse
    March 21, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    Love the black and flame colors together!
    Love the appearance of bees I always see in your posts. Do you know the are a sign of good fortune and prosperity in some cultures? The are a symbol of community, brightness and personal power! Wow! That is truly your gift to us, along with your great fashion sense and creative ideas for us gals! Thanks! Bee happy!
    Elizabeth in CT

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