Shabby to Chic: Drab Hoodie to Knit Blazer

Surely you’ve heard me profess my love for knit blazers, right?  No?  Or perhaps you forgot?  Ever since I got this knit blazer last year I’ve thought about how this is exactly like wearing a grey hoodie but so much better.  It feels like a sweatshirt, but in fact, it’s even more comfortable because it’s fitted so I’m not carrying extra fabric that drags me down.
One of my favorite things to talk about on this blog is how to take boring, drab outfits and turn them into a put together look with easy changes.  Like, how adding one accessory can totally pull together an outfit.  Or long, long ago when I posted”Shabby to Chic – Buying the Right Pieces to Look Effortlessly Put Together.”
And while I’ve mentioned the knit blazer vs. grey hoodie thing before, today I’m finally showing it.  ANNNND, if you like these posts you’re in for an even bigger treat because today is actually just a preview of a bigger upcoming post with a handful of examples just like this!  But, shhh, don’t tell anyone.  😉
How similar are the pieces above?  SO similar, but so different, right?!  Plain tee, grey sweatshirt-y thing (that’s the technical term, btw), jeans, neutral flat shoes, and a bag.  But, if you are used to dressing like the picture on the left you can make small and simple adjustments to have a more pulled together look!
Seriously people.  This blazer is a total cheat.  In the most awesome way, though!  Some people are worried about blazers with broader shoulders or due to upper arms, but this particular one has no shoulder pads and should lay flat on any shoulders.  It’s stretchy too–really, really like a sweatshirt.
These are my super cheap Target flats that I wear more often than you all probably care for.  (See the ways HERE.)  They’re not necessarily stylish, but they look a whole heck of a lot better than flip flops and go with almost anything.  When I have no idea what shoe to wear or just want to run out the door without thinking about shoes, I slip these on.  Eaaaaaaaasy.
And I’m barely wearing any jewelry!  How simple is this?  Getting the right pieces makes it super easy to get dressed!
Here are a bunch of blazers, all of which are knit or ponte and should feel like sweatshirts, at least to varying degrees.  (I haven’t personally felt all of them though, so read their item descriptions!)  My exact blazer is no longer in stores, but a seemingly similar one of the same brand is HERE in 8 colors and in petite sizes.  It’s a little more expensive than the rest, though.  (I got mine during Nordstrom’s sale last year.)
The rest are mostly from Target and JCPenney.
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six
seven  |  eight  |  nine

Shop for the Look:
Tee: Everlane (exact, v-neck version)
Blazer: Nordstrom (very very similar)
Jeans: c/o Lilac Clothing
Shoes: Target (exact, genuine leather version)
Bag: c/o Lily Jade (exact)

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  • Reply
    Sarah @ Bows and Clothes
    May 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I really love this post! Super cute outfit! I'm glad you are doing more. I need to get a knit blazer really badly!


  • Reply
    Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
    May 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    I love that grey blazer! It's so cute and pulled together!

    Her Heartland Soul

  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I so so need these types of posts. And I love that blazer! I think the lighter color helps keep it more casual too!

  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    I love the blazer you are wearing, it looks so cute and comfy!

  • Reply
    Joy Nicholas
    May 18, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    I'm so looking forward to the upcoming post because this is great! I love the knit blazer. One question though: I live in Hawaii and everyone here wears flip-flops (slippahs). I agree that flats look much better, but they are hot, and the cute sandals Ive bought tend to take longer to put on and take off. Since I'm chasing after four (verrrryyy soon to be five) kids, and we take off our shoes inside our home or other people's, time is especially of the essence. 😉 What do you suggest?

  • Reply
    May 19, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Love this post! Totally illustrated the point.

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    May 19, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Hi Joy! I always wear Target sandals instead of flip flops now. Mine have a buckle, but I can usually pull them on and off without doing the buckle. We are a shoes-off house as well! I have these: and they have a little elastic in the back which makes it really easy to get them on and off. I think they also make a little girl's version too.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Great tips to polish the whole look! I find myself adding more blazers and cardigans to polish up my regular tee and trouser outfits.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2015 at 3:57 am

    I bought a dark gray Caslon sweatshirt blazer at Nordstrom Rack a while ago, and I have to agree -they are so great! One of the most comfortable ways to add a little polish. I'm headed on a quick trip soon and am thinking about packing mine because it makes a nice light layer.
    Another Hawaii reader here … I second Joy's question below about how to spice up an outfit without layers. I usually just wear an interesting necklace or statement earrings, but I would love to find other ways to dress stylishly and stay cool!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    May 19, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Oh, I missed the layering thing!

    I did a post on that:

    Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    May 19, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Oops, I missed that second half of Joy's comment! Here's my response…a post written about that!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    May 19, 2015 at 4:39 am

    Thank you, Erin! Did you get my email from a while back? 🙂

  • Reply
    May 19, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I never really understood the blazer thing until I got a jersey blazer and yep I was sold on it too! I love mine, I found my first in an op shop (thrift shop) and managed to track down another in a different colour on ebay! They really are so comfortable and do look so put together 🙂

    Away From The Blue

  • Reply
    Susan Jeffries
    May 19, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I love a knit blazer! They are the perfect spring/summer alternative to a jacket! Love this gray one! Susan

  • Reply
    Lauren {Fizz & Frosting}
    May 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Knit blazers are awesome. This was a nice reminder that I need to break mine out more often!
    Fizz and Frosting

  • Reply
    May 19, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I have a question about the jeans: I can see that the skinnier pair in the right-side photo are more flattering than the boot cut pair on the left, because the skinny jeans fit you better & the darker wash gives a more polished overall look. I'm wondering, though, if there is something intrinsically more "put together" about skinny or straight fit jeans — it seems like every time I see an "outfit transformation" like this one involving jeans, the "shabby" look is always boot cut jeans and the "put together" look is always skinny or straight fit jeans! Is there a way to style well-fitting boot-cut jeans & look put together? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    May 19, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Katie! In this post, I think what doesn't work well in the left picture is 1) the wash, and 2) how they hang at the bottom.

    There's a pic at the bottom of a post in the Wardrobe From Scratch series showing ill-fitting straight leg jeans (pooling at the bottom) and better fitting straight legged jeans:
    I hope that helps!

  • Reply
    May 19, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Love the side-by-side comparison! It really shows how those things make a difference in the overall look of your outfit.

  • Reply
    Rachel Walsh
    May 19, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    This was so timely – I am basically sitting here in an even less fab version of outfit #1 (bright orange hoodie and shorts instead of jeans). Between movie back to Alabama (so HOT!) and nursing a baby, I've basically lost my limited sense of style. Thank you for the round up!

  • Reply
    Karen Wurgler
    May 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    THANK YOU! I have been feeling SUPER scrubby since I sprained my ankle and moved, etc….Dressing for comfort was easier and necessary sometimes, but I totally needed the reminder that you can be cute and stylish AND still comfy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    May 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    That's great to hear, Sarah! Thanks for sharing, and I hope you have fun with them!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
    May 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I did!! And I wanted to say thank you so much! I love your blog and that was such a sweet note!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I live in a hot climate, too. I do like statement jewelry, but another blogger just gave me a new idea: hats! I now have a couple of cute straw hats (a cloche and a trilby) to add pizzazz to a casual shorts and tee shirt outfit. Just thought I'd suggest that. Keeps the sun off your face, too. I've got my eye on a straw cowboy hat next.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I'm definitely going to snap up a knit blazer when I find a good deal. I probably wouldn't wear it much over the summer (maybe going out at night to restaurants or movies), but I can see myself wearing it a lot in cooler weather. You look great in yours!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    What a great example of how a few small changes can make a really big difference! Great post 🙂

    Murphy Family Madness

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    May 22, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Luci! I've been thinking about those things lately! I haven't worn them a whole lot, and if I have worn them it was pretty much however I've already worn them on the blog so I didn't have any new pics or outfits to show with them. I should put some more energy into them because they're comfy!

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Here&Now
    May 26, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Oh my, you really made the point with that visual! Both of those looks would take the same time to put on, and be equally as comfortable, but what a difference!!


  • Reply
    May 30, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I agree with all of this, Audrey! I'm a huge fan of TOMS and will sing their praises any chance I can get 🙂 They're my favorite type of footwear for traveling as well. The last time I traveled, I packed my TOMS ballet flats and then a pair of the classic TOMS and both pairs were perfect for the trip!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    This is so great! I have a similar series on my blog that I call "Plain to Polished" – the idea has been so helpful for me feeling a bit more put together. In fact, the whole reason that I started reading clothing/style blogs in the first place is because I was tired of looking and feeling like a college student, and wanted to learn how to look more polished without sacrificing comfort. It's so easy once you learn how to make a few switches between different cuts and styles of clothing 🙂

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    June 2, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Oh I LOVE the title of Plain to Polished wayyyyy better than Shabby to Chic! I feel like those tips are like "style hacks" that make it sooooo easy to look polished.

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