The Mara Topper from Soft Surroundings - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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The Mara Topper from Soft Surroundings

Hi friends, Happy Monday!

I hope people are staying safe from Dorian. I was pleased to see the animals being rescued and taken to safety.
Are you a cardigan kind of girl? Do you look forward to wearing that extra layer once Fall rolls around? Soft Surroundings sent me this Mara Topper, as rust is one of those colors we are seeing alot of this Fall.

Fall Colors

I just love rust! As long as its not on the bottom of our car! Gotta go for those Southern vehicles, ladies!

The shades that are popping up in stores prominently showing are olive, burgundy, rust, mustard, browns. Right up my alley! I loved the pattern with black on this topper and can already pair it with several pieces in my closet. This cardigan has a bit more “red” in the color than the slip dress I am wearing which has more brown.

Ways to Wear

Thick belts with blazers are showing to be popular this upcoming Fall season, so I decided just to give it a go with this 3/4 length cardi. I show it as well without the belt. Are you one to belt your longer cardigans, or do you prefer them to hang loosely?

Just some ways to wear this cardi-

Add a topper to a jumpsuit. – I have a black knit jumpsuit I received from a Canadian company last year. It has short sleeves and will work nicely with this topper giving it some extra zest! The solid black column of a jumpsuit gives you a blank palette to work with making the cardigan the focal piece.

Along those lines- Taking a black camisole, you can find it here and here, quite reasonably, and wearing black jeans, you can have a similar effect. Add the Mara Topper as your third piece. The Piece de la Resistance! ( Did you like that?)

Other complementary colors- I’ve mentioned other Fall colors that will complement this cardigan, so don’t feel like you can’t wear anything but rust or black here. Mustard would look amazing with this topper, as would olive.

A slip dress- Here I have taken a summer dress, a light slip dress I bought from Mango, and decided to style the Soft Surroundings Mara Topper over it. Since the dress came with a cloth belt, I thought it might look a bit dressier with the cardi/dress belted with a thicker leather belt. I added leopard pumps as I was desiring more pattern in this look and that leopard is a neutral that goes with everything, even other prints!

The Mara Topper comes in two color patterns. One is black and whte, the other is the one I am wearing here- Black and Rust. I am wearing the XS and this is the typical size I wear at Soft Surroundings. I love that they are consistent with their sizing.

Without the belt as a change.

While we were taking pictures, little Sammie, my neighbors dog, stopped to pose on the sidewalk! She is my girls, Truffle’s best friend!

Here are some other  toppers by Soft Surroundings I am a fan of.

Prosperity Topper

Autumn Floral Topper

Do you wear more cardis in the Fall, or do you prefer Kimonos? Have you checked out the Soft Surroundings items for this season?

Stop by tomorrow for Turning Heads Tuesday linkup with many bloggers post all in one place! I will also be featuring another Soft Surroundings piece.

This topper was gifted to me by Soft Surroundings. All opinions are mine and truthful.


Mara Topper c/o Soft Surroundings

Mango slip dress ( ON Sale!)  I wore it here on this post.

Leopard pumps- Rockport

leopard earrings

Have a wonderful day!

Jess xo


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  • Jessica
    Posted at 11:09h, 17 September Reply

    Such a chic girlboss look dear! Love it, the belt really wrapped up the outfit.

    Jessica |

  • shelbeeontheedge1
    Posted at 09:26h, 15 September Reply

    Rust is such a great color on you, Jess! You are the perfect image of gorgeous Autumn in this outfit!


  • Chrissy Rowden
    Posted at 09:31h, 12 September Reply

    I love layers…cardigans, kimonos and shawls oh my! I had too. 😉 Anyway, I love your fall colors for this post, as well as the belt you used to bring shape and extra pizazz to the outfit! Lovely look as always Jess. Thank you so much for linking up with us at the Style Six! Have a wonderful rest of the week. 🙂

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:59h, 12 September Reply

      HI Chrissy,
      Haha! I love that 🙂 Glad you like the look, I have been experimenting with belts more. Fall is my jam, I love the colors too! Enjoy your week too! x

  • Happy Great Day
    Posted at 21:01h, 11 September Reply

    There is so much to say about this most recent beautiful blog post……. • When we were heading into Hurricane Dorian in Savannah, GA, the animal trainer at Pet Smart told me our Valen-Tino 🐾 was anxious because dogs sense the atmospheric pressure of an oncoming tropical storm. Thought that was interesting. (Grateful we did not suffer more than about a week of pre-hurricane inconvenience. Despite Tino’s anxiety, we’re fine now 🙏)… Shifting gears, Jess, you have such a gift!!!! You manage to make the simplest fashion details elegant. Every time I look at your photos I think to myself about how I need to switch up my personal style more. – Your artful fashion combinations come across as put together effortlessly. (whereas I struggle to add the just right tshirts underneath coveralls :):):) ..I’ll cut myself off before I get too boring. — Headline is that I want to emphasize how much I sincerely enjoy studying your work as an exercise in observation of inspirational details that keep me thinking long after the 5 minute read. 😍
    ~ Suzana Barton

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:02h, 12 September Reply

      Hi Suzana!
      Oh my, I am glad everything was fine regarding the hurricane. That is interesting about dogs and atmospheric pressure, I can believe that as Truffles will look up at the window a long time before a storm. Thank you for such lovely comments, it means a lot! I have always enjoyed fashion and creating. When I couldn’t play guitar becuase of my illness, I looked for another creative outlet as that is such a part of me. Again, thank you! Have a wonderful week.!

  • Christina Daggett
    Posted at 11:28h, 11 September Reply

    Hi Jess. I love the way you’ve paired this topper. I bought a cream colored cardigan for fall and I think I’m going to try your idea of pairing it with a wider belt. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:31h, 11 September Reply

      Hi Christina, thanks so much. I want a cream sweater– but ill wait as it isnt sweater weather yet! I have been experimenting more with belts this year, and I do like the look! Give it a try, I bet it will look great!

  • Neti*
    Posted at 16:43h, 10 September Reply

    Rust is such a great color for you and you are just GLOWING! Enjoy September. . .

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:52h, 11 September Reply

      aw, thanks Neti! arent you sweet! I will, we have some things planned I am looking for- we are going to a play , out for jazz, and a doggy event. Hope your Sept is great as well. xx

  • Phyllis Lerner
    Posted at 07:08h, 10 September Reply

    I love these looks Jess. I have tons of cardigans, cropped jackets and other toppers and wear them constantly. They really can change up the look of your outfit. And I didn’t like rust until I saw your beautiful outfit!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:12h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you Phyllis! It was funny as I was out with my niece at Target a few weeks ago and she said I was banned from buying “rust” pieces! heeh. It really is such a rich shade along with olive, mustard, burgundy and browns for Fall. I love that 3rd piece to add more elegance to a look.

  • Lesa
    Posted at 00:52h, 10 September Reply

    Love the first outfit and a big fan of kimonos right now 🙂

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:05h, 10 September Reply

      Thanks very much! I love that this one is longer and I couldnt resist the leaves 🙂

  • Nina
    Posted at 20:26h, 09 September Reply

    So lovely as always! Hugs Nina

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:05h, 10 September Reply

      Thanks so much Nina! I loved this rich color.xx

  • pearlsandpantsuits
    Posted at 20:03h, 09 September Reply

    I’ve seen several things in the Soft Surroundings catalogs…but am unsure of their sizing. Do their pieces run true to size?

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:07h, 10 September Reply

      Hi Andy! I wear an XS in all of their clothes. Typically I wear an xs, s in tops and a 2-4 in bottoms. I would go by the size chart, I find it accurate.

  • Lisa D.
    Posted at 14:57h, 09 September Reply

    This outfit goes perfect with Fall. You look pretty as always and Sammie looks sassy.
    Happy Monday.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 15:06h, 09 September Reply

      Thank you Lisa! Sammie was sassy that day! It was so funny, she just sat down and posed for my husband. 🙂 Have a great day!

  • Loretta Sayers
    Posted at 14:28h, 09 September Reply

    I am a huge fan of cardigans – or toppers as you call them. Love that rust color too. Great suggestions for pairing Jess.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 14:29h, 09 September Reply

      Hi Loretta!
      I have invested in some duster cardigans this year as I do like the look paired with slip dresses, camisoles etc. Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Maureen
    Posted at 12:40h, 09 September Reply

    I love rust! It reminds me of Autumn so much and I can’t get enough. Good question…I am not sure if I love layering or not or if I am a cardigan gal or not. The truth is, I get hot easily and layering makes me feel bulky. So the jury is still out on these topics! On the other hand, I love how you styled your cardigan. It looks beautiful with the belt and even without. I have to say, it’s a one of kind cardigan that is eye catching. Sammy is adorable! Love it!

    Maureen |

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 13:00h, 09 September Reply

      Thank you ! Yes, it and so many Fall shades are my favorites- I love burgundy, olive, mustard… rust is the favorite and my closet shows it. I understand what you mean abut layering. I finally bought a few camis over the last few months as the long cardigans can look too bulky in the arms if you wear a shortsleeve, long sleeve shirt. I like the camisole under this look. Here I wore a slip dress . Sammy is a doll! Happy Monday! xx

    Posted at 10:15h, 09 September Reply

    What a gorgeous topper! I love the colors and print – so perfect for this time of year!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:20h, 09 September Reply

      Thank you Grace! I love it too and am excited to style this various ways. Happy Monday! xx

  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 09:24h, 09 September Reply

    Beautiful topper, Jess. I love that rust color and it works so well with your slip dress. You look fabulous and you are right this topper will work so well with other fall colors like mustard and olive. It would look pretty with jeans too! Hope you have a wonderful day. – Amy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:08h, 09 September Reply

      Hi Amy, thank you ! I love the warm hues of Fall. I can picture this cardi with a black column. as well. Lots of styling options! Enjoy your day too! xx

  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 07:05h, 09 September Reply

    This topper is so pretty on you! I love it with the belt too. The others you showed are gorgeous as well, you can go wrong with a gorgeous topper. I love them and look forward to layering in the fall. I just feel so much more put together when I pop on an extra layer. I do need to add some rust to my wardrobe – not my car – lol! I am seeing it everywhere, definitely the color of the season!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:09h, 09 September Reply

      Thank you Kellyann. I do like my other belts a bit more as the leather is weaved and moves with you, this belt is kinda stiff. I do like both ways I am the same, feel more stylish with layers. Yes, rust! I know it would look good on you! I have a penchant for it and pumpkin 🙂 xx

  • Martina
    Posted at 03:43h, 09 September Reply

    You look gorgeous in this outfit! Have a great day!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:21h, 09 September Reply

      Hello Martina, thanks so much! Enjoy your day as well 🙂 xx

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