Back in December, I was working with a style consult client who intimidated me. This woman had fabulous taste, a marvelous wardrobe that included both well-edited basics and funky accent pieces, and she had already figured out how she wanted to flatter her fabulous figure. What, exactly, did she need ME for?
Well, for starters, she was bored stiff.
My sweet client had her basic style totally nailed, but she had no idea how to use her wardrobe to express her creativity. She looked polished and lovely, but she wanted to look polished, lovely, and INTERESTING. And yet, as the mom of two young kids, she had to keep her ensembles simple, comfortable, and washable. In the end, we found three techniques that she could use to spice up her pared-down outfits, and since they can be applied to just about any woman hoping to make simple outfits sparkle, I thought I’d share ’em with all of you!
Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I was going to say something über-specific like, “Wear a fez!” Or, “Invest in a plaid waistcoat and some hand-crocheted socks!” Not so much. Making your simple outfits sing will take a bit of work on your part. But it is worthwhile work! Throwing a few accessories into a simple mix can make all the difference in the world.
A blazer, tee, jeans, and flats constitutes a great base outfit. Simple, sleek, refined, and comfortable (if you pick the right blazer, that is).
But add a few accessories, and things start to get interesting. A fabulous necklace, scarf, or belt is all it takes to elevate this ensemble from plain to chic.
Gorgeous, perfectly-fitting clothes are absolutely key to building fabulous personal style. But without accessories to add interest, outfits can seem tame and subdued. One way to make simple outfits sparkle is to hone your accessorization skills.
Want more help with accessorization?
Accessorization and Figure Flattery 101
How to Wear Tights
Building Accessory Collections
What Belting Can Do for You
Flattering Hats for Every Head
Accessory Scale and Personal Style
Other Already Pretty posts on accessories
EXPERIMENT WITH COLOR
Again with the far-from-easy outfit enhancing techniques … sorry, friends, but yet again I’m recommending a skill set well worth cultivating. Mixing colors in unexpected ways will make even the most pared-down outfits look contemporary and cool. If you’re a fan of jewel tones, try pairing at least two at a time. Go for a non-neutral monochrome look by mixing shades of one color, or pick two shades to sprinkle on a background of neutrals. And speaking of, mix your neutrals three to an outfit: Black with brown and tan, gray with black and olive green.
ADD AMAZING SHOES
Ah ha! Here, my friends, is the super easy, throw-money-at-it solution to spicing up your simple ensembles. I truly believe that an eye-catching, beautifully crafted, bright or embellished pair of shoes can make the plainest outfit pretty. Now, when I say “amazing” I do NOT mean expensive, painful-to-wear, or trendy. Shoes that can transform an outfit are generally colorful, sculptural, or adorned with tasteful-but-innovative hardware. Sometimes all three. Flats, heels, boots, sandals, any old style will do so long as it is unusual, interesting, and conversation-worthy.