Elevated Everyday Basics

Chicago fashion blogger Jessica Sturdy wearing a fur beanie, Nordstrom sweater, a Gucci belt, coated black jeans, and heeled ankle booties.

As more and more time goes on, the more I just gravitate towards basics. Remember back in the day how we would try to do the GD most with our outfits? Extra layers, 100 pieces of jewelry, and all of the prints and details at the same damn time. Ruffles, bold prints, print mixing, sequins, embellishments, statement necklaces, bracelets stacked up to your elbow… The more the merrier. I shit you not, there is one post way back in the archives where I actually wore two watches at once because I saw it on some “trend” list and gave it a shot. I think about that time, and see outfits from that era, and just laugh! On one hand, I attribute it to my age and trying to figure out my style as I was becoming an adult in my early twenties. And on the other hand, I think the overall fashion consensus has gotten a little bit more simplistic in ways (and definitely less accessorized) over the last few years. Would you agree?

Chicago-based fashion blogger Jessica Sturdy wearing a black fur beanie by Kyi Kyi, a balloon sleeve sweater from Nordstrom, and a black and gold Gucci belt.

Nowadays, I tend to just stick to the basics! Basics don’t have to be boring though. Instead of layering on one million different pieces and accessories, I now choose items that are a bit more interesting from the get-go. It’s all about the texture! For example… A fur beanie that makes a statement on its own, a sweater thats details are in the stitching, black jeans that are coated to almost have a leather-like appearance, and a gold belt buckle to elevate the look a little bit. Pull it all together and I think my outfit looks stylish, without feeling too try-hard, if that makes sense.

Chicago lifestyle influencer Jessica Sturdy wearing a fur beanie with a pom pom and a gucci belt.

I got these coated skinny jeans a few years ago from Express! Sadly, they don’t have a similar style right now, but there are a ton of different brands that have the same look.

Chicago stylist Jessica Sturdy wearing a simple black and white outfit elevated with a textured hat and Gucci logo belt.

Yes, this belt is definitely a splurge. It’s expensive AF, there’s no denying that. (I bought it for myself last Christmas, because I truly felt I deserved a gold trophy after making it through a hellacious year. 😅) Sure, the “cost per wear” has definitely gone down because I wear it so often (I bought a size that would work for both my hips and waist), but it’s still an investment for sure. I rounded up some similar belt styles that have gold buckles to achieve the same accessorizing effect!

Chicago personal stylist Jessica Sturdy wearing a Kyi Kyi pom-pom beanie, a Nordstrom sweater, a Gucci belt, coated jeans from Express, and ankle boots for a cute winter outfit.

I can’t say enough good things about this sweater! I want to buy it in blush pink, too. The pointelle stitching doesn’t make for the warmest sweater necessarily, but it sure is pretty. It’s a great option for date night in the winter when you don’t want to wear much else besides your sweaters! The balloon sleeves are so fun and make for a more interesting shape.

Chicago influencer Jessica Sturdy styling a black beanie with a open stitchwork sweater and a Gucci belt.

I found this fur beanie at Nordstrom Rack last winter for 50% off! Sadly, it’s no longer available at a discount, but this one and this one are both great alternatives.

Chicago-based blogger Jessica Sturdy wearing a monochromatic black and white outfit. She's styling a fur beanie with a pointelle balloon-sleeve sweater from Nordstrom, a Gucci belt, leather-like jeans, and black suede ankle booties.

Shop My Outfit…

Halogen Balloon Sleeve Sweater
Express Coated Skinny Jeans (old; similar here)
Kyi Kyi Fur Beanie
Gucci Belt
Black Suede Ankle Booties

Chicago wardrobe consultant Jessica Sturdy styling a black fur hat, a pointelle sweater, and a Gucci belt.

Travel and lifestyle blogger Jessica Sturdy styling a Gucci belt wax coated jeans in Chicago.

Chicago personal shopper Jessica Sturdy wearing a simple outfit that's elevated with stylish details like a fur beanie, textured sweater, coated jeans, and a logo belt buckle.

Leave a Comment


  1. 1.16.19
    Rena commented:

    I agree, fashion definitely became simpler in the last years compared to fashion a few years ago. And I understand why you want to have this sweater also in blush pink as it is a very beautiful piece. I like your complete look!
    xx Rena

  2. 1.16.19

    I LOVE this look! That beanie is so much, this is such a simple look, but really elevated too with the right pieces that all work together so well.

  3. 1.16.19
    Sarah Foley commented:

    I adore your pants! I’m really happy fashion has calmed down in the past few years too – clean, simple looks like this are perfect for winter and way more realistic. Although I love your more vibrant looks as well!
    xx Sarah
    Day Trip

  4. 1.16.19
    Briana commented:

    I so love the basics! It’s always a great look!


  5. 1.22.19

    I adore this sweater, so pretty!