When I meet with a client for the first time, I often will ask her to select an item from her closet that she loves but has no idea how to wear more than one way, if at all. Lots of times it will be an item that veers away from the rest of her wardrobe, and surprisingly often it will be a pair of shoes with a tinge of boyish flair, like these oxfords. Sure, it’s fun to wear oxfords all preppy-style with rolled up jeans and a cardigan, but to me, the most fun thing to share with my clients is how to mix different contrasting elements together in one outfit to create an unexpectedly fun ensemble. These are the kind of simple outfits that let people know right away that you have style, but it’s not in a big showy way.
So, when considering your item of confusion, try playing the opposites game.
Style Opposites: What’s the total opposite of a masculine shoe? A girly white dress! Or something floral! Or something pink!
Texture Opposites: This time of year is perfect for playing the opposites game, since this kind of weather forces up to mix heavier and lighter items in one outfit. I love the clunky oxford with more lightweight textured fabrics like chiffon or lace.
Coverage Opposites (not sure how to describe this one!): A flat oxford is perfect for pairing with tights and a shorter hemline (think shorts or a little dress/skirt), since the boyish charm balances out the legginess and you just end up looking super cute, but not overtly short-skirted. Try them instead of flats!
How to do play the opposites game? Have any items that stump you hiding in your closet?
November 7, 2011