Just yesterday, at Saratoga Beads I was asked, “How do you put your outfits together? Where do you shop? You always look great!” I smiled, feeling terrific, thanked her and thought about my ensemble for the day.
I realized that I was wearing only one new piece of clothing: a tunic I bought on vacation in California in a dusty red and realized that the rest of my outfit – in sagey greens — were lasting pieces that had been gathered over years.
So, how did this seemingly strange combination of red and green come together and what makes it work?
Think nature. In nature, we marvel at all the colors thrown together in pleasing ways. So, it’s not so much about the particular color. Sometimes it’s the color intensity and/or shade. This combination works for several reasons: most of the outfit was a palette of sagey greens that were of the same intensity and the tunic blouse was a dusty red that warmed up the greens while giving the possibly blah sage some punch.
I built this outfit starting with a pair of Bora green amethyst earrings that I love and just purchased from The Red Wolf. In fact, I spent several days building outfits around these earrings.
Ultimately, dressing is all about being your own kind of beautiful and trusting in your choices.
Here are a dozen tips to help you maximize your own beautiful, unique style and build a working wardrobe in the process:
1. Buy what you love and only what you love. When in doubt, leave it out! This way, every time you catch sight of yourself, you’ll feel good.
2. Lean towards classic, accent with trend. This helps build your wardrobe possibilities. If you have too much trend, you won’t want to wear those pieces when the trend fades and you’ll lose that from your wardrobe. And yet, don’t be afraid to take risks or think outside the box and differ from your usual look. Have fun with dressing!
3. Solids tend to be easier to layer, and yet a print piece here or there can be fun tossed in. But be sure that you have other items that will work with the colors in the print.
4. Don’t be afraid to buy the same piece in different colors if it looks great on you.
5. Maximize on a fashion that looks good on you. Do you look good in a pencil skirt; flowing, gathered skirt; narrow pants; wide pants? Buy those pieces. You’ll feel great all day!
6. Save up to buy an expensive, well made, timeless piece rather than blowing money on more, poorly made, less expensive items. Over time, you’ll spend more having to replace things that don’t wear well and have to be tossed. If you purchase well, you’ll have pieces that last tens of years. This way, you’ll build a wardrobe of things you love that look good on you.
7. Consider each item you consider, be it a skirt, or blouse, a “piece.” Measure its value in your closet. How will it work with other things you already have?
8. When dressing, start with something that calls to you that day whether it be a scarf, necklace, skirt, or shirt and build your outfit from there.
9. Build pallets of color. Concentrate on blocks: blues, greys, blacks, browns, beiges, whites. Then, when you are dressing, take the piece that you want to match and move it against all your pallets to find the color that rocks.
10. Avoid being too “matchy-matchy.” Colors do not have to line up like soldiers. Try unusual combinations – sometimes build on contrast, sometimes, shades or even intensities. Sometimes throwing in a burst of color works.
11. Great accessories are a key component of pulling an outfit together and achieving a great look. Scarves, a necklace or necklaces, rings, or earrings. Again, buy things that you love.
12. Now, even though I have mentioned buying quality, sometimes, you’ll find something that you love and its inexpensive. The point here is: don’t buy based on price. Buy based on love. You might find something that’s inexpensive and not a “quality” piece, but you love it. Buy it. You’ll feel great wearing it.
So, what does this all achieve? You’ll feel unique, beautiful in your own skin, put together, and fashionable.