In the past two weeks, you've seen a couple of outfits I like to call "remixes," where I take a dress that I've already featured, and re-style it in a different way - sometimes because I was unhappy with aspects of the first version, but other times just because I like to keep dressing up each day feel new and different.
Re-styling outfits is something I've been doing for a long time, without really thinking about. In fact, if you look back through the blog posts tagged "outfit," you'll begin to see some patterns (which is exactly what I did below!).
Maybe it's the art teacher training in me and how I can explain in excruciating detail about why shades of blue are awesome with orangey-yellow tones (hint: it has to do with the location of the two colors on the color wheel), and why certain items just "go" with most anything else, but it usually boils down to one thing: balance.
- Mix a tighter top with a looser bottom, and vice-versa.
- Break up areas of pattern with accessories, like a belt, a scarf, or colorful tights.
- Add interest to a monochromatic outfit with pops of color.
The key to this dress has always been to break up the stripes, because there's a lot of them...
So far, I've worn this stripey dress on the blog three different times. I'm actually wearing it today as I type this post, but today isn't an "outfit photo post" day. So you don't know that I'm just copying the middle look right now. But then again, I just told you that I was, so now you do... well, what'cha gonna do about it?!
P.S. Don't you think it's weird that I shot the stripey dress photo in almost the exact same pose each time? Yeah me too...
Above is a black lace dress, worn on the blog three different times in three different ways. Gotta love the $20-$25 Target dress finds...
The "trick" to having a versatile wardrobe is to collect secondary pieces that you can swap around and layer with your main items. For most of these items, you'll want to own a several in a variety of colors and/or prints commonly found throughout your wardrobe. These pieces include:
- tights (my fave is We Love Colors!)
- jackets: denim, faux leather, blazer, military style, motorcycle...
I didn't even picture my denim jacket here, because I probably would've had like 10 photos of me wearing it. It's kind of my go-to item. A denim jacket is one of those neutral items you can wear over pretty much ANYTHING. So if you don't have one, go get one!
I LOVE fall weather because I love to layer. It is easy to swap pieces around and get very different looks, often incorporating bold pops of color. Below, an example of my gray studded cardigan, worn two different ways:
In the photo on the left, I added color through my red tights, and the rest of the outfit is pretty neutral in tone: meaning that they are black, white, gray, or brown. Are you thinking "leopard is neutral?!" But in this case, yes it is, because of the color palette. In the photo on the right, the color comes from the floral dress. The sweater, boots, and leggings are all neutral. This is why it works.
As a general rule, I would say: don't be afraid to add pops of color, especially in small doses like a scarf or tights to begin with, if you are timid. Worst case scenario: you hate it, and you change clothes!
Once you start feeling more adventurous, mix your patterns up! I felt very fun the day I mixed stripes with a hot pink leopard scarf! On the right, I took the same pink scarf, only I mixed it with a bold patterned dress. Did you notice that on both occasions, the main palette was black, white, and blue? The pink was added as an accent color on the top layer. (In this case, leopard print is not a neutral, due to the hot pink-ness...)
Does this start to make sense? I hope so.
Here are three of my most-used scarves: a gray leopard print, a solid black, and my hot pink leopard print. They can be mixed and matched with most of the things that I own. Although I have grown to love colorful accents in my outfits, I still tend to stick with certain basic colors when I shop for clothing:
And in smaller doses, red and yellow... This is just my personal preference, what I'm naturally drawn to, but because I tend to stay in this range, it also means that most of my clothes will mix and match more automatically. I've tried adding in brown, but I just can't seem to "make" myself like it. Once I start buying brown clothes, I then (in my mind) must have brown shoes, and very quickly then, it just all spirals downhill...
See? We all have our "thing." And mine is the color brown.
Wanna try re-styling your own wardrobe items? Not sure where to start? Try these tips:
- Try a cardigan in a DIFFERENT color than you're used to over a favorite dress.
- Wear a brightly colored tights under a dress - but try a color that is NOT present in the color of the dress at all!
- Put a sweater over a dress, and then add a belt over the top of both: dress and sweater together.
- Pair two completely different patterns together, just to see what it looks like.
- Buy a patterned scarf, and see how many different items already in your closet you can pair it with.
- If you don't want to wear something OVER your dress, try UNDER: a long sleeved (or 3/4 sleeve) shirt looks really good under a lot of sleeveless items, and can stretch your wardrobe from summer/fall into the winter season. Try several colors/patterns.
Got any tips of your own? Please share!
Jen @ Hell Razor