In case you need some clarity on what we’re trying to accomplish with this blog, I thought I would elaborate just so you know what you are getting yourself into. This is best illustrated by an example, of which I experienced the other day.
While I was getting dressed for work (my work is very lenient on the dress code, encouraging fashion-forward dressing), I chose a leopard print skirt with a tie-waist in a taffeta-like fabric, and a graphic tee with cute illustrations of iconic symbols of London. I paired this outfit with a pair of strappy nude heels and some arm candy, but felt I was missing something to really pull everything together. I wanted a statement earring, so I started to pick up every pair of earrings I owned and held them up to my ears as I looked at myself in the full-length mirror. As I picked up a pair of statement gold ball drop earrings, I thought these will never “go.” Nonetheless, I held them up to my ears with my outfit and immediately knew my outfit was complete. There was something about the combination of a bold but classic skirt, the child-like tee shirt (in fact, it was child’s tee shirt, size 14) simple shoes, and elegant earrings that made for a interesting, compelling, and comfortable ensemble. Each of these pieces were an extension of a different part of myself, and the mixture of high and low demonstrated, “I like fancy stuff but I don’t take myself too seriously.”
Discovering the magical completion of the outfit with the unlikely earrings, I remembered that this is the joy of dressing. Just taking different items of clothing that you love for different reasons, haphazardly pairing them together, and somehow creating a look that’s uniquely you.
When I purchased those gold drop earrings, I had no intention of wearing them with this kind of outfit. But at the same time, I do not buy items because they will go with one outfit, I try to think of multiple options. If I can think of three or more instances I might wear it, I buy it. And typically I find even more options to wear with this item once I have it in my closet. I cannot stand owning something that I can only wear in one outfit, unless it’s truly fabulous, like a cropped feathery jacket (I’ve worn in three times in four years and I still do not regret purchasing it). Other than that utterly spectacular piece, which you should probably only wear once a year as to not diminish its amazing effect anyway, that’s it. I recently worked with a client who believed if you liked something and did not have a thing to go with it, get it anyway and the right piece to complete will come along. Though this advice has a optimistic appeal, I do not recommend it. How many times can we all re-account of purchasing something because we loved it, only to never wear it because we never had or found something to go with it?
To me, getting dressed should be treated similar to the way you played dress-up as a child. You didn’t pick thing because they coordinated, you picked things because you simply liked them. Like wearing my ruby red slippers with EVERYTHING; dresses, tee-shirts and sweatpants, swim suits, everything. I wore what I loved and I loved what I wore. So what if you built a wardrobe of fantastic pieces and great basics that you love, and could virtually get dressed in the dark and end up with an outfit that surprisingly made sense. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish, and that’s what I hope to help you accomplish. Stick around, and you might learn a trick or two. And if you find place that sells adult ruby red slippers, let me know.