Look Simply Chic by Color-Blocking

sketch1497629551799 (1)3

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.

Standard

Style Secret: Choose a Style Icon

sketch1488914234287 (1)2Maybe it’s my background of being an artist (a term I use loosely considering my number one patron is my mother) but I believe inspiration is key to creating anything worthwhile. This includes creating a spectacular wardrobe. One of the easiest way to gather inspiration for your wardrobe is to choose a style icon, or a combination of multiple. These icons could include celebrities, fashion bloggers, a family member, or the fabulous mature woman with snow-white pixie-cut hair, red lipstick, and a crisp, starched collar that you see every morning at Panera (true story). Choosing a style icon serves as a continuous source of inspiration, even if you choose someone who is no longer in the public eye, such as Marilyn Monroe, I continue to find pictures and films of hers that I hadn’t discovered before.

In a perfect world, your style icons may include people with similar body types, coloring, and lifestyle. In the real world, go crazy. Find people that really excite you, while at the same time, still seeing a part of yourself in their style. For example, one of my favorite personal style icons is Audrey Hepburn, I love her elegance, and clean but feminine lines of the 50’s, as well as her embrace of bold colors and silhouettes of the 60’s. I mean, c’mon, she was best friends with Dior. As you can imagine, I have no reason to walk around in a couture Dior gown, but I love the essence of her look, her persona. Those are the kinds of elements I try to incorporate in my personal style. Other icons of mine include, Olivia Palermo, Blair Eadie, and Jenna Lyons.

Imagery is so much more powerful than words, like, “I want to look chic,” or “stylish,” or “cute.” Okay, ready? Compare that former sentence to, “I want to look like Audrey Hepburn when she meets her dream bae on a tennis court in a full-length gown in the middle of the night. You know, fabulous but relatable.”  So that may have been oddly specific, nonetheless, having a particular person for example will have a similar effect. When you begin to fill your brain with inspirational images, it will automatically be drawn to like-aesthetics.

Creating a great wardrobe does not mean reinventing the wheel; you can take a cue from other stylish individuals, put what you’ve liked and learned in your magical mixing pot, and end up creating something uniquely you. Because we’re not about copy-catting here, we’re here to create something really special and personal to you. So, once you find your style icons, find a way to document them. You could add pictures of them in your favorite outfits to your Pinterest board, cut out pictures of them from magazines and paste them on an inspiration board, or it could just be as simple as a single photograph taped to your bedroom wall (but not like in a creepy, shrine-like way. Just keep them somewhere that will remind you of what you’re going for).

The key is to remain inspired, when I feel directionless I always have trouble figuring out what to where. But when I see one of my favorite pictures of my style icon or just a great outfit, suddenly getting dressed seems is exciting, like a creative process. My closet becomes a wonderland…Maybe a little dramatic until I get a walk-in closet. Point is, you have to know what you like before you can choose what you like. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up serving as inspiration to someone else along the way.

Standard