Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Sip of Style

by Kristen Kaleal

One of the most frequent challenges facing my female clients, as well as one of the most popular questions I am asked, is how to make one's wardrobe more interesting.

For some women, clothes are simply utilitarian and serve a purely functional purpose. These may be the women who have way too many pairs of jeans or call black pants their most valuable fashion asset. Or they may simply be stuck in a style rut - never varying their standard look.

People always know what to expect from them - whether it's a twinset, T-shirt, or even fancy shoes. They may fear that they have become too boring and predictable.

If you're one of those women who routinely plays it safe, but feels uninteresting and knows she is missing out on something, it's time to add some fun to your wardrobe.

And if you're one of those who is routinely fabulous, there is a way to take your fabulosity to the next level.

I get a lot of comments about the way I dress. When women say, "I could never put that kind of an outfit together - how do you know it's all going to work together when you put it on?" My secrets? Start by only buying clothes you love. Dress in what expresses your mood.

And throw them a curve.

Color and pattern not only communicate our feelings to the world, but they can also have an immediate effect on our own mood!

For more of my secrets for wearing patterns, click here.

Here's how to use this little guide:

We have our BASICS - our base garments. The vodka of our wardrobe. The pieces that can be construed as a little boring if we aren't careful.

But if we don't have these pieces, then our wardrobe has no solid foundation and we may end up looking like we have no clue about how to put an outfit together.

Next, add a SHOT. This is if you're a typically uninteresting dresser, or if you feel like you're missing something. Go for a quick shot of something unanticipated. A bright teal blouse. Red pumps. Zebra print bag.

And if you're a little more daring, throw in a TWIST of the truly unexpected (maybe even over the top) to the outfit. Something that says "WOW". An item that truly sings. A piece that no one saw coming, but makes people stand up, take notice, and tells them that you know exactly what you're doing, stylishly speaking.

Here are a few examples from my own closet:

BASICS - Gray jacket, black pants (boring!) SHOT - Bright red shirt
TWIST - Gold bag and leopard print shoes.

Cool colors and warm colors can go together beautifully.

BASICS - White denim jacket
SHOT - Here, the base garment is the shot - an orange T-shirt and cotton skirt
TWIST - Accessories! Both the necklace and bag had the same colors in them, so I simply pulled out the teal from both and selected patent teal slingbacks.

Casually elegant!

- Dark wash jeans

SHOT - Lemon yellow twinset
TWIST - Red ballet flats and red polka dot tote

Put this together in 2 minutes one day! Looked like I had actually put thought into it.

BASICS - White pants with black pinstripe
SHOT - Black patterned top, gold shoes
TWIST - The straw bag adds another layer to this outfit.

Playing with texture can be fun.

Here are 3 rules for adding color and pattern into your own wardrobe!

1. Have a color palette you shop within. When you find pieces like purses, shoes or necklaces that incorporate a lot of the colors you wear, buy them!

2. Buy items together. If you pick up a pair of great looking royal patent slides, pick up a top that matches them as well as a bracelet or necklace, perhaps. It's not the idea that you will wear all of these items at one time - don't be "matchy-matchy" - the idea is that you have the option to wear a couple of them at a time to look put together.

It does an amazing job of curing "I have nothing to wear" syndrome. Trust me on this.

3. Use RESTRAINT. I say this very seriously. There is a fine line between being enjoying color, pattern and accessories and being a fashion victim.

Use the rule of two. Wear a maximum of two patterns. Repeat an accent color only twice. Two colors in your outfit gives you a better basis to add interesting accessories.

Of course, rules are meant to be broken, but having the basic knowledge will take your wardrobe to that next level, help you be more daring, and truly enjoy getting dressed and have fun with your clothes.

Isn't that what it's all about?


(This was originally published in our newsletter. To request reprint rights, please contact me.)

This was originally published in our July '07 newsletter.
To request reprint rights, please contact me.

1 comment:

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