Look Simply Chic by Color-Blocking

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If you read my last post, I mentioned a few outfit strategies, one of them being color-blocking. This is usually a bold styling strategy, though it can be as basic as wearing a black top with white jeans. But color-blocking is usually referred to when two or more bright colors are worn together. Like a fuchsia skirt with a cornflower blue sweater. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can add a third color to the mix, like a yellow clutch or heels. Some daredevils even add a fourth color to their ensemble (gasp!).  To make this look work you need to be very strategic to look intentional, not like you’re color blind.

The key is to choose colors that compliment each other, that pop off one another. Googling a color wheel is extremely helpful if you’re unsure of what colors compliment each other. You simply pick a color, then find the color located exactly opposite the first color you picked. These two colors are complete opposites of the other, meaning they bring out each other’s hue even more. Now, you don’t have to get all anal with this concept, colors don’t need to be exactly opposites to compliment each other. You may choose a hue that’s slightly to the left or right of the complimentary color, perhaps changing the hue from being more purple-ish to more green-ish. Be creative; let your eyes guide you through the process. We’ve all had a moment where we think of the most brilliant combination, only to find out that our eyes are watering from looking at it for more than ten seconds.

Another tip to rocking this look is to choose simple pieces of clothing, especially if you’re choosing bold colors and stark contrast between them. Avoid lots of detail, or if you do so, then have your second piece be stupidly simple. Like pairing a neon red top with large ruffles across the front with a pair of yellow cigarette pants. But again, sometimes the beauty of the color-blocking strategy is the relationship between the colors instead of the design of the clothing. So, when in doubt, keep it simple.

Color-blocking does not just apply to outfits, but also to accessories as well. Such as pairing an orange heel with an aqua blue dress. The same applies to other accessories, like handbags, jewelry, and hair accessories. Now, if you do choose to color-block an outfit, it’s typically best to keep the accessories neutral, like black, brown, navy, grey, white, or nude. If you are a master at this whole color-contrasting-thing, feel free to add that third or fourth color through your accessories. If you’re a first-timer, I suggest sticking with two bright hues for now, lest you look like you’re an over-sized escapee from kindergarten. Baby steps, dear, baby steps.

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Staples and Seasonal Clothing: The Magic is in the Mix

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If you have read my “Finding & Defining Your Style” post, you’ve already had a glimpse of some of my style staples, and the new summer clothes I hope to add to my closet. I adore a neon red, as well as a bright, sunny yellow, and this season’s popular candy pinks are also on my shopping list. I know what you’re thinking: I’m probably a clown as my day job. Rest assured, this is not the case, and it is possible to embrace juvenile colors without looking like you’re color blind.

Along with these cheery colors I also love adding black, white, navy, nude, denim, leopard, and chambray to my wardrobe. So it’s important to get yourself some great staples, to wear with each other as well as with seasonal/bold/trendy pieces. Like a great pair of jeans, or a crisp white button down shirt, or timeless black heels. But another thing, just because an item of clothing is a staple to one person, does not mean it is a staple for another. So your staples might be completely different from mine, depending on your taste, lifestyle, age, build, and so on. And that’s perfectly okay, stick to your staples, or go out and figure what your staples are.

Staples are also season-less, so just because you love your heavy wool plaid pants, does not mean you should be wearing them to the office in the dead of summer. Conclusion: they are not a staple. Honestly, whenever I’m deciding whether a piece of clothing is appropriate to wear during a season, I always fall back on the weight of the material. Like, yes, a white button down is season-less, but not if it’s made out of linen (one of the most breathable fabrics–a stiff breeze will make you feel like you have nothing on).

But what’s really important, is to take risks and try things you wouldn’t normally try. I have been so pleasantly surprised by going outside my comfort zone, like learning that red pants paired with a blue pajama top with red piping and matching red shoes is not too much, and is in fact incredibly sharp. Or trying pattern on pattern, or color on color. Some of the chicest looking outfits are completely monochromatic or color blocked with bold colors. So I am going to pair my red mini skirt with a pale pink tee shirt, and create something that’s simple, comfortable, but exciting. I’ll also pair my black bell-sleeve top (I love it for the fall because it’s kind of “witchy”) with black flat espadrilles to make it relevant to the summer season. And with that being said, I’ll also wear a baby pink sweater in the winter, because there is nothing I love more than to wear spring-y colors during the dreary, chilly months.  So challenge your principles and preconceived notions of this color or style being “too summery” or “a clashing of colors.”

However, I do have some limits, like those furry pom pom key chains should be solely designated for fall/winter, sorry not sorry.

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