What is a Completer Piece? + My Favorite Completer Pieces for Spring

My Favorite Completer Pieces for Spring

One thing I absolutely love about spring style is how the weather is perfect for completer pieces!  I LOVE completer pieces, like to the point when I see them in my closet, I get giddy.  Call me a weirdo, but that’s how much I love them, haha!  They are some of my favorite foundational pieces in my closet, and if you have yet to know the beauty of completer piece, let’s talk!

My favorite Spring Completer Pieces

I talked about them in Part 4 of the Building a Remixable Wardrobe Series (see the full series HERE), but it’s been a while and there are lots of new faces around here.  Today I want to talk about what completer pieces are and why they’re awesome, and I want to share my favorites for spring!

SIZING INFO: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes.

 

What Is a Completer Piece?

I believe I learned this term from Stacy and Clinton on What Not to Wear!  They referred extra layers like cardigans, blazers, vests, and cropped jackets as completer pieces, saying that throwing one on really helps complete your outfit.

Now, every time I say this, I get a bunch of questions about what to do in the summer when it’s too hot for another layer.  Hear me loud and clear: these pieces complete outfits, but they are not the only way to complete outfits.  They are ONE way to do it, and they’re a fun thing you can play with in the spring when the weather is cool enough for layers.  In the summer, you can focus on other things to complete outfits.  I’ll talk more about summer style when it’s actually summer.  For now we’re still talking SPRING and wonderful layers!  But, if you’re dying for summer style help, you can check my very old post Dressing Cute in the Heat or get the PMT Summer Starter Kit Wardrobe Guide.

 

Why I Love Completer Pieces

Completer pieces have been vital for me creating a mix and match closet, and in addition to pulling together your outfit magically, here are some other benefits:

1. Define your outfits.
Even more than completing outfits, I love how completer pieces define outfits.  You can take a tee + jeans from casual to dressy or chic to edgy with the use of completer pieces.  Below I’m using the same striped tee + jeans (with the exception of the denim jacket outfit) and changing the completer pieces and accessories.

Completer pieces change an outfit

Can you believe it’s the same base for all the outfits?  Literally the same t-shirt and jeans in all pics, yet they look pretty different!

 

2. Mix up your outfits and help you create several different looks with the same pieces. Below I’m showing the same dress styled in two seasons.  The first is for colder seasons, using a thick, oversized cardigan.  The outfit is dark and cozy, perfect for colder weather.  The second is for warmer seasons with a light wash denim jacket.  The outfit is light and fresh.  Both looks are casual, but completer pieces help mix the dress up seamlessly!

Difference a completer piece makes

 

3. Give you an extra layer to stay warmer!
So practical.  😀  I’m asked often if you are “supposed” to wear something like a moto jacket or denim jacket indoors, or if you should treat it like outerwear.  I treat cropped jackets like those the same way I treat blazers and cardigans–wear them indoors.  When shopping, I make sure to find ones that are soft and flexible enough for me to wear indoors without being annoyed with it.  If they’re not comfortable enough for me to do that, I don’t buy it and continue searching!

My Favorite Completer Pieces for Spring

Before I built a remixable wardrobe I had a few completer pieces, but mostly by accident and definitely not by intention.  Now that I’m 8 years older and wiser (wow time flies!) I’ve got a way better handle on how to utilize completer pieces.  When I first started, I think I had a black cardigan and a grey one, eventually got a white cardigan, and had a denim jacket.  But yeah, mostly cardigans.  There’s nothing wrong with cardigans, but diversifying to different shapes and structures by incorporating fitted jackets is what will go the distance to define your looks.

So, here are my favorite completer pieces for spring!

striped tee + denim jacket + black jeans + brown tote denim jacket + black jeans + striped tee

1. Denim Jacket – Works really well with skirts, dresses, and colored bottoms of all sorts.  I love wearing these in casual outfits, and I love using them to dress down fancy skirts and dresses.  Most of them are very stiff, thick, and uncomfortable, so be sure to find one that is soft and flexible.  I’ve heard about Kut From the Kloth jackets for a very long time but hadn’t tried them until very recently.  I’m in LOVE!  They are the most comfortable denim jackets I’ve ever tried–and I’ve tried a ton.  Find them HERE.

What to look for: Soft ones with lots of stretch that are fairly lightweight.  They do exist!  Otherwise, I find them annoying and uncomfortable to wear.  I personally prefer mine more fitted rather than boxy, but that’s up to you.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Target (exact-size M)
Jacket: Nordstrom (exact-size M)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact-size 6)
Wedges: Old Navy (similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (similar)
Necklace: Dear Mushka (exact)

 

olive utility jacket + striped tee + jean jacket + white sneakers + brown tote striped tee + skinny jeans + olive utility jacket + brown tote

2. Utility Jacket – My go-to completer piece with jeans.  I’ve talked about these a million times, but here goes again.  These are my go-to for casual outfits because 1) they have bigger pockets which holds things like my phone or all of my kids’ stuff so I can be handsfree.  And, 2) they are fairly durable (even the soft ones) and don’t easily show dirt marks.  They are easier to pair with blue jeans than denim jackets are, which is another reason I end up wearing this more.

What to look for: Find ones that are very soft–many are stiff and I don’t find those as comfortable to wear indoors.  Also find ones with fitted sleeves–many have wide sleeves and make you look bulkier.  Look for elastic at the wrist, or at least ones that can be rolled up to your mid forearm.  I want one with pockets big enough to hold my phone.  Lastly, look for cinching at the waist to provide some figure flattering curves.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Target (exact-size M)
Jacket: J.Crew Factory (similar, similar, similar)

Jeans: Nordstrom (exact-size 4)
Shoes: Report (similar)

Tote: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar, similar)

 

olive utility vest + striped tee + skinny jeans + brown toteskinny jeans + striped tee + utility vest + brown tote + white sneakers

3. Utility Vest – This is the utility jacket in vest form, which is great for when it’s hotter.  I love this in the spring, summer, and sometimes early fall.  You can wear these with ANY  sleeve length.  Short sleeves, long sleeves, sleeveless, you name it.  I love wearing them with dresses too!

What to look for: Similar to utility jackets, I like ones that have a drawstring or cinch at the waist, and ones that have huge pockets.  I also REALLY love ones that are soft and flexible which make them comfier to wear.  The one I’m wearing is soooo soft, and while it’s not currently available, there’s a similarly soft one at Target HERE.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Target (exact-size M)
Vest: JCPenney (similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact-size 4)
Shoes: Report (similar)
Tote: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar, similar)

 

yellow cardigan + striped tee + skinny jeans + brown tote yellow cardigan + yellow flats + striped tee + skinny jeans

4. Cardigan – Particularly, my mustard yellow cardigan.  I realize many people are scared of yellow, so of course go for whatever color works for you.  As much as you all know I’m VERY into oversized cardigans, I tend to wear those more in the fall and winter as the ones I have are on the thicker side.  Come spring, I’m going for color, and a mustard cardigan has been in my closet for YEARS.  See ways I’ve worn mine HERE plus more on Instagram.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Target (exact-size M)
Cardigan: ModCloth (exact-size M)

Jeans: Nordstrom (exact-size 4)
Shoes: Amazon (exact-size 9)

Tote: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar, similar)

 

brown leather jacket + skinny jeans + striped teebrown moto jacket + brown clutch + striped tee + skinny jeans

5. Moto Jacket – These are my go-to’s for dressing up jeans or fancy dresses.  I wear my cognac one the most with jeans while I wear my black one the most for fancy occasions or evenings.  I’ve tried many, many moto jackets, aiming for under $50, but the winner for me was a more expensive one at $76 HERE.

What to look for: If going for faux leather, try to find ones that don’t look like plastic.  Look for ones with fitted sleeves and that doesn’t add unwanted bulk up top.  Many jackets are wider on top and taper down at the waist and I don’t know why!  It works for some people’s bodies but creates a strange silhouette of bulky broad shoulders for others.  It’s not a “right or wrong” thing, rather just something to pay attention to and make sure it fits your needs and preferences.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Target (exact-size M)
Jacket: Lulu’s (exact-size M–runs small)

Jeans: Nordstrom (exact-size 4)
Shoes: Target (similar)

Clutch: (similar)
Necklace: Nordstrom (identical)

 

grey blazer + skinny jeans + striped tee + nude flats + brown tote grey knit blazer + striped tee + skinny jeans + brown tote

6. Knit Blazer – Knit blazers are soooo soft and comfy.  They feel like sweatshirts but with more structure and polish.  The one I’m wearing above has a very relaxed look.  It can be found HERE in other colors.  Unfortunately grey is not currently available!  (You can also wait for these to go on major sale during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every July!)  There is another one HERE that is much thicker, has a lot more structure, but is still really soft and stretchy.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Target (exact-size M)
Blazer: Nordstrom (exact in other colors–size XS, almost exact, similar)

Jeans: Nordstrom (exact-size 4)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)

Tote: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: Dear Mushka (exact)

 

black twill blazer + striped tee + skinny jeans + leopard print flats + brown tote black twill blazer + pendant necklace + striped tee + skinny jeans

7. Twill Blazer – I only ever associated blazers with suits and always felt like those were too nice for my lifestyle, even with jeans.  I had no idea there were different types of blazers that weren’t as dressy.  I like these $30-something ones from Target and Old Navy as a step between the knit blazer above and the super sharp blazers from suits.  In casual settings you can use blazers to dress up jeans with heels for a night out, or you can pair them with slacks for work, like HERE.

Shop The Outfit
Top: Target (exact-size M)
Blazer: Old Navy (similar)

Jeans: Nordstrom (exact-size 4)
Shoes: Sole Society (similar, similar)
Tote: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: Dear Mushka (exact)

 

Completer pieces are SUCH great closet staples to have.  I rotate through this handful of completer pieces with almost all of my tops and bottoms, and they help me create endless outfits!

Now I’m curious to know: Are you utilizing completer pieces to remix your wardrobe?  (When the weather allows, of course!)  Which of these do you already have, and which, if any, are next on your list?

 


 

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