Dressing Up Denim With the Dynamic Duo of a Jacket and a Pair of Printed Shoes

Published in: Fashion

loft colorblock varsity jacket

I recently had a fashion revelation, and by recently I mean a few days ago. If you throw on a cute jacket and a pair of shoes with a snazzy print, you can pretty much turn any standard-issue outfit into something pretty darned cute.


I’m not sure why this trick works, or what the fashion-based scientific logic is, but it does. Something about the different shapes, lines, textures and patterns on what would otherwise be a ho-hum canvas…

Take this white tank and skinnies…

Super casual on their own, yes? But instead of wearing them with “the usual,” also known as my favorite black Zella hoodie and a pair of flip-flops (seriously, most of the time I’m tempted to dress like I’m going skateboarding by the beach), I put on this casual beige and gray zip-up jacket with these cute cat-print Vans.

The addition of the jacket and printed shoes slightly dresses up the outfit but doesn’t make it look overly dressy. Perfect to go to a baseball/basketball game, a picnic or a barbecue.

You might remember these shoes… I got them last year when Vans did their ASPCA collaboration. You’d think that a pair of shoes covered with cats would only interest a minority of crazy cat ladies, but I get a surprisingly high number of compliments on these shoes, and not only in pet stores, LOL!

VANS Cat Shoes

Vans Cat Shoes

VANS Cat Shoes

I think in the case of these particular shoes, the cat print works with so many different outfits because of the preponderance of neutral-colored kitties. The gray, beige, tan and black go with almost everything in my closet.

See how the gray and beige in the shoes matches with the beige and gray in the jacket?

Ooh, matchy-matchy…but not ridiculously so.

The jacket, by the way, is from LOFT (big surprise), and it’s very soft and cozy. Feels almost like high-end sweatshirt material. I’ve wanted to upgrade my casual outerwear situation, and this achieves that nicely. It goes with jeans and tees, casual dresses, shorts, rompers…and you can even wear it with workout clothes, too. It’s very flexible!

And it’s on sale online right now for 60% off with the promo code FLASH, if you’re interested.

Here’s another example of the same jeans and tank, but this time with an oversized alligator green jacket with big pockets, and a pair of leopard-print flats.

loft cotton linen anorak

This look is also très casual, and better, I think, for things like sightseeing or brunch in the city. I think the intensity of the jacket works with well with the brown and black shoes.


The jacket’s another LOFT gem, by the way, and I wear it whenever I want freedom from my purse. I just stick my wallet, keys, phone and gloss into the deep pockets, which snap shut, and go on my merry way. πŸ™‚ It’s also roomy enough to layer.

As for the shoes, GURL!believe it or not, but they’re by Dr. Scholl’s, and like the cat print Vans, I get compliments on them all the time. People are shocked — SHOCKED — when I say that they’re by Dr. Scholl’s, and honestly I can’t blame them. But they’re incredibly comfortable and feel very cushion-y inside, like I’m walking on fluffy clouds… I wear them all the time.

The take-home message is this: if you’re going casual for the day with jeans and a tee, try skipping the sweatshirt or hoodie, and add some polish with a cute jacket and a pair of printed shoes instead.

What I’m wearing in these looks…

Beige/gray jacketLOFT Colorblock Varsity Jacket (on sale for $49.99 with an extra 60% off with code FLASH)
Alligator green jacketLOFT Cotton Linen Anorak (on sale now online for 40% off)
Tennis shoesVANS
Leopard-print flatsDr. Scholls
White tankTipsy Elves (this fits snug so size up for a looser fit)
JeansLOFT Modern Super Skinny Jeans in Kinetic Blue Wash (on sale now for $39.99 with an additional 60% off with the code FLASH)
Necklace — Anthropologie (an oldie, no longer available)
EyesL’Oreal La Palette Nude 1
CheeksBECCA Damselfly Blush
LipsMAC Matte Lipstick in Runway Hit (available online starting May 28, and in-stores June 11)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. jessica says:

    YAY for Lady Liberty! I went to visit her on Saturday.
    Cat sneakers…I NEED a pair.

    Got some of those leopard bags at Ulta that were in the background of your post from the other day…thanks a lot. LOL
    jessica recently posted … Two More Paintings

  2. tirurit says:

    Great combos!!

    So, right now I am thinking that there must be a brand out there which does dalmatian spots trainers, right? How awesome would I look walking my spatzy dog? πŸ˜‰
    tirurit recently posted … Loving the Mac Studio Sculpt powders

  3. Lauren says:

    You are so gorgeous! Still lookin’ like J LO and now you have me buying clothes on top of makeup?! I’m in love with the army green coat…going to look online for it now. Zella is my fave workout brand for pants!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lauren,

      It’s gotta be the hair, LOL! Did you end up grabbing the coat? I just checked and it’s still there, but unfortunately not on sale. I’d suggest waiting, because LOFT has a sale every 5 seconds (seriously).

      Hope you’re having a nice day so far!

      • Lauren says:

        It’s your hair, this lip color, and your gorgeous skin!

        I was going to go to the LOFT today to try on the jacket, and realized I lost my entire wallet yesterday…ID, credit cards, cash. Ugh. I think I need to take some deep breaths and stop rushing thru life!!

        • Karen says:

          Aww, thanks doll!

          I’m bummed to hear about your wallet. That’s so scary! I hope that you’ll be able to get it back and that it isn’t too stressful dealing with the aftermath. I’m so with you about rushing…When I’m in a hurry I make so many mistakes. Gotta remember to slow down and take a breath. Have you cancelled all of your cards?

  4. Rachel says:

    Sounds like Loft is having some good sales right now, I’m a sucker for sales!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rachel!

      Honestly, me too. That’s how they hook me every single time. S-A-L-E. How are you and Natalia doing? Did you guys move into the new house yet?

      • Rachel says:

        Natalia is doing well, she might be getting a little kitten brother in a couple weeks. A co-worker of mine boards her horse at someone’s barn and there’s a litter of kittens out there! The house is taking longer than expected, which is fine because the lease on my apartment isn’t up until September. Right now we’re in the process of removing wallpaper (definitely the least fun project ever) so we can paint.

        • Karen says:

          Oh, I hope she gets a brother or a sister or maybe both? LOL I’m living out my cat lady dreams through you.

          So, removing wallpaper doesn’t sound like fun, but painting does. What colors are you thinking about? I love picking out paint (but not the actual painting).

          • Rachel says:

            Literally the entire house needs to be painted so I am very overwhelmed by both the prospect of picking out colors and actually painting! I’m thinking a shade of green for at least one wall in my bedroom. The dining room is currently purple and I actually kind of like it, that might be the “crazy” room and everything else kind of neutral.

  5. Lily S. says:

    Gorgeous! But will ya stop looking 17…. sigh!

  6. Sandy says:

    I loved these Vans so much when you first posted about them that I bought a pair for my best friend’s birthday — then had to buy a pair for me, too! They are the cutest sneakers ever — and look faboo with the outfit you put together. My tabby kitteh Sophie (who might be Tabs’ cousin) also loves them — she has rubbed her face all over them multiple times!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sandy,

      That’s so cute! How long have you been Sophie’s assistant?

      Tabs does the same thing with my shoes, too, by the way. Actually he does it with all of my shoes. I think he thinks he owns all my footwear, haha!

      • Sandy says:

        I’ve been Sophie’s food unit producer for about 13 years. She’s moved into the “elder states-kitteh” category but still thinks she’s a little kitteh. I hate to think what would happen if she and Tabs got together!

  7. You look so cute, Karen! I love the animal print flats πŸ™‚ And your jeans. And your shirt. And those jackets. Well, I love pretty much everything.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Bobbi Brown Mini Must Haves set

  8. Heloisa says:

    Wooww! So cute, simple and casual! I love it that you styled everything in an effortless vibe, yet very chic and polished. And the best of it all, cute shoes which are actually FLAT!!
    I really enjoy those tidy, elegant, glamourous or posh looks many fashion blogges do, but when I see the high heels… oouch, my poor poor little feet! AND ANKLES! AND SPINE… and all the rest really, the body is an integrated system. =/
    Although heels add up an undeniable flair to our figures, nothing beats comfort + cute!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heloisa,

      I’m a recent convert to flats! I actually used to wear heels all the time. I still do on occasions, but daily. For everyday I’m all about flats or a low-to-mid heels. My feet and my back are happier, that’s for sure! I do love how heels look, though, especially in pics. πŸ™‚

  9. Heloisa says:

    YEP, totally! let’s save them heels for some special day, or night, or something. Sometimes I wear high heels just because… you know, when you want some glamour in a gloomy day. I recently took most of my high-heeled shoes/boots to the cobbler as to actually cut a few centimeters off! Sounds drastic, but they ended up much better now. Only the more “wearable” ones though! As to mid-heels, I think basically every outfit in the world looks instantly youthful and cute with some booties! It’s an obsession now. Oh, and oxfords! And so much else :p

  10. Metta says:

    Oh my gosh! I just scored that jacket(grey and white one) for 20$ this morning! And I kept telling myself I didn’t know what to pair it with but I can’t pass it up for 20$. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Loft, they have been on over drive with the sales lately. And cute cat shoes, my daughter has a pair of hello kitty vans, I’m not brave enough to wear them though lol

  11. Kim says:

    I like the cream/gray jacket – super duper cute. And the cat shoes are adorable, as always! πŸ™‚ I hear you on the pockets for “go without a purse” day. I’m completely lost if I don’t have some pockets (which is most of the summer). I can always count on the Hubs to be wearing functional cargo shorts, though.

  12. Sara says:

    Karen – because of your initial post re: Cat Vans, I immediately rushed to get a pair for my boyfriend, who is a skateboarder/ Vans fan and cat lady himself πŸ™‚ He loves the shoes – he jokes about how he doesn’t wear them outside and one day when he’s an old man he’ll whip out the crazy cat shoes (he’s saving them for the long haul hehe!). You are his fav. beauty blogger that I follow since he loves your Tabs posts. So anyway, thanks for the tip and I (we!) love your blog

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