Black Watch Plaid Pantsuit on a Rainy Day

Styling a black watch plaid pantsuit for women with a black turtleneck and dark green faux fur jacket

Wednesday I shared my three day trip to NYC and mentioned we did a photoshoot – well here are the photos!  We met with Kathleen from Laurel Creative at Pastis, a French restaurant in the Meatpacking District, for a breakfast shoot.  I bought no new clothing for this trip and struggled with what to wear that was deserving of a paid photoshoot, that I hadn't shot before.  I decided to just wear what made me feel fierce – my black watch plaid pantsuit I got from Talbots this past holiday season.  You've seen it before; I wore it with a black camisole for our family holiday cards and wore it with a crisp white shirt to a Mommy & Me tea at the Four Seasons.  I wanted to toughen it up and make it feel less “holiday” for a rainy day in February in NYC.

woman in a black watch plaid pantsuit carrying a dark green faux fur coat over her shoulder on the streets of New York City

Pantsuit: Talbots (gift from brand, no longer available, both pieces are 14 petite) | Turtleneck: Universal Standard (XS, gift from the brand over a year ago) | Booties: ASOS (old; similar) | Faux fur: Unreal Fur via Rent the Runway Unlimited (XL) | Ring: REALM (gift from brand)

woman in a black watch plaid pantsuit carrying a dark green faux fur coat over her shoulder on the streets of New York City

I've had this turtleneck from Universal Standard's Foundation line for over a year and it is so darn versatile.  I recently wore it to winterize a summer jumpsuit and last spring I wore the turtleneck with a red pantsuit. It's opaque (that is unless a flash is being used on you), stretchy, fitted without being clingy, and washes up amazingly well.  Not hot, but still gives warmth. I have the same turtleneck in white and they are the perfect layering pieces all winter long. I added a pair of old, well-loved black patent booties to keep warm on such a cold day but add edge to the look.  Who says Talbots has to be just preppy and conservative classic looks?

Styling a dark green faux fur coat from Unreal Fur with a green plaid pantsuit and black turtleneck

When I decided to take this black watch plaid suit to NYC, I rented this dark green faux fur jacket from Rent the Runway Unlimited to take along with me.  Such a jacket can fill an entire suitcase, but I put it in a packing cube and it shrunk up to a fraction of its size. If you'd like to try Rent the Runway Unlimited, use this link and promo code RTRDC22F051 at checkout to get $100 off your first month!


I felt like too much jewelry would ruin the look, so the only piece I wore was my gold ring from REALM.  I felt tough with my big gold ring, fur coat, and suit with a turtleneck and I have to say I liked the effect. I'm also glad I wore less makeup, it felt right for this outfit.  

woman in a green plaid pantsuit standing in front of a bar at a French restaurant Tips on how to style a plaid pantsuit in multiple ways

I keep saying how much I love suits, but they work for so many occasions.  I felt fierce in this outfit while remaining comfortable and completely covered.  When I was somewhere that was warm, I could take off the blazer and still have a put-together look. While I wore this suit with heeled ankle booties, it would look just as chic with a pair of brogues or loafers (I've been looking at these, and I just got these in white croco and find them extremely comfortable and chic looking). 

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13 Comments

  1. February 28, 2020 / 9:48 pm

    Oh this print is fabulous, it brought back memories of when I was in high school and had a pair of trousers with the exact same print!

  2. L H Carter
    February 28, 2020 / 6:37 pm

    I am agreeing with Krista—Fierce and Fabulous.
    Plaid is my least favorite fabric design. Yet I am compelled to say how well it looks on you.
    So should I say Plaid and Patent—Perfect!

  3. Cynthia
    February 28, 2020 / 2:37 pm

    Wow — you look amazing. I love the green faux fur with the suit!

  4. Allison
    February 28, 2020 / 9:08 am

    You do such a great job at giving conservative pieces an edge! That is your wheel house. Then again…you make everything look good!

  5. Krista
    February 28, 2020 / 8:26 am

    Fierce and Fabulous!

  6. RoseAG
    February 28, 2020 / 7:15 am

    Now we know why when you posed with your suitcase it wasn’t carry-on sized 🙂 Who cares when you’re on a bus!
    I think as long as you know you’re going to have a layer over the turtle neck that they’re OK with a substantial bust.
    Do you pick a particular bra with that so when you are’t wearing the jacket you minimize VBL?
    I like the dark color with the jacket. If I were going to wear white with that outfit I’d probably go for a blouse so I could have the white collar stand out against the lapel.
    The photo shoot looks good, you’re living the blogger dream life with this one.

    • February 28, 2020 / 4:32 pm

      Exactly, if I was taking a plane I would have packed far differently! Half the suitcase was the coat! And this turtleneck has been good to me, I think because it’s fitted but so… spongey I guess you could say that it’s not clingy. I believe I wore the Soma Cooling Full Coverage. And thank you!

  7. Anna
    February 28, 2020 / 6:55 am

    Lovely clothes and photos, Alison! You chose a look that is pretty, relaxed, and polished enough for the Big Apple. Here’s a question. Like you, I love turtlenecks, especially here in the northern latitudes, but also like you, I am busty and feel that turtlenecks are not necessarily in a good proportion with the girls. Maybe it’s just me being hypersensitive, but I’d love to have your opinion.

    • February 28, 2020 / 4:37 pm

      I never wore turtlenecks for the same reason, I felt like it made me look like I was all shoulders and boobs. Not all turtlenecks are created equal and I’ve learned that only in the past couple of years. I’ve become a sticker for the neck; if it’s too long there is too much volume up there and it makes everything else look linebacker. Thinner fabrics (love a sweater turleneck with a slightly tighter/thinner neck fabric), shorter necks so when it folds over it’s not swallowing my second chin, and well-fitting shoulders (no raglan) so there is that separation between head and bust. I only have two I really like, and both are from Universal Standard (this one and their merino turtleneck). They have good neck lengths.

      • Anna
        February 28, 2020 / 4:55 pm

        Thanks, Alison! These are good suggestions. How right you are that we busty ladies should avoid raglan shoulders.

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