Let’s face it; winter is a long season in Colorado. You probably have some great pieces in your closet, but you’re sick of your outfits. Versus going out and buying for the sake of buying, my solution is for you to shop in your closet. Here are a few tips:
1. Break up your suits. Many suits that are bought together aren’t meant to be separated, but most are easily separated. Pair your pinstriped pants with a solid jacket. Wear your glen plaid jacket with a solid skirt. Play with layering in new ways. Instead of your usual shell under a jacket, try a belted, lightweight cardigan.
2. Mix prints. If you feel like your outfits are bland, mix it up! Combine that pinstripe suit with a
geometric print blouse. For a more subtle look, pair your tweeds with prints. The trick to mixing prints and patterns is to make sure one print is dominant an the other is subordinate. Also, there should be at least one common color in all pieces.
3. Soften menswear with feminine pieces. This is one of my favorite looks, unexpected and always chic. Consider a silk, ruffled blouse under a small, houndstooth check suit. Lace blouses look fantastic with menswear prints. Treat the texture of the lace as a pattern and follow the above guidelines. (Note: for professionalism, consider your field, company culture and occasion, and of course, don’t forget your camisole.)
4. Experiment with color. Wearing unique color schemes not only makes you look and feel fresh, but you’ll also heighten others’ perceptions of your creativity. Here are a few combinations to get you started:
-Gray with pink or copper
-Navy with mauve or lavender
-Olive green with burgundy or hot pink
-Brown with purple or pink
-Teal with apple green
-Avocado green with moss green
5. Accessorize! Accessories are what help to pull your color schemes together, and the right accessories can turn any outfit from blah to beautiful. Her are a few ideas:
-Layer necklaces. Simply adding a second necklace can help you channel your inner Coco Chanel.
-Mix bold jewelry with your work clothes to completely change the look.
-Raid your grandmother’s jewelry box to add a vintage flair to your basics.
-Belt your cardigans with slim belts.
-Wrap a belt around boxy garments to show your shape.
-Change your shoes. A shoe can completely alter the mood of an outfit.
-Build what my friend and mentor, Brenda Kinsel, calls Beauty Bundles, collections of similar colored accessories. For example, a black suit with a white blouse gains new power by adding a purple scarf, subtle purple earrings and even purple shoes. Take this same beauty bundle and see what happens to jeans and a black sweater.
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