Simple styling tips to help you make the most of your wardrobe
This week I have a special treat for you: Rose & Fig’s very first guest post! Fellow blogger and steadfast Skype friend Malorie Bertrand is a communications professional by day and a freelance blogger and stylist by night, focusing her efforts on promoting sustainable fashion. She’s founder of the fab EF Magazine (which you may know from this post) and is currently working on launching an online boutique that will sell Canadian-made sustainable fashion and accessories. Here are a few of her oh-so-easy tips for making the most of your wardrobe pairings.
The fall is the best time to clean out your closet. It gives you the chance to stow away your spring/summer pieces, bring out your sweaters from the basement, and assess your threads. There are a gazillion blog posts about how to clean out your closet, but what about after the purge? How do you actually put outfits together? My clients often say that the hardest part for them is figuring out what goes with what. People often think that if the colours match, the outfit is good to go. Unfortunately, this often makes people look like all shades of bad. This post focuses on matching: what does, what doesn’t, and gives you some easy tips to keep it straight.
Tip #1: Matching patterns – at least one colour in common
Some people can make any two patterns look great together. These are usually fashion editors and those eccentrics you see on the streets of New York during fashion week. For the rest of us who sit in an office all day and have to look somewhat presentable, pairing plaid and cheetah might not fly. The general rule of thumb when matching prints is to have at least one matching colour in each print. The easiest example is to pair black and white patterns together. The first photo above doesn’t work well because the patterns don’t have any colour in common. The second, although still a little loud for me, works better because they are both made up of white and blue. Please note that the colours should be the same shade too. Neon blue and navy blue wouldn’t work well together.
Tip #2: Matching patterns – size matters
Using the same outfit images above, note that the second outfit’s patterns also match in size. If you can’t match your patterns with a colour, try matching them in size. For example, if you have a blazer with big roses on it, pair it with a dress that has an equally big pattern on it, not a tight-knit or tiny one. So yes, you can match plaid with floral, just make sure that they are equal in size.
Tip #3: Matching neutrals – avoid similar shades
The first outfit above is made up of two neutral-coloured pieces. Technically, neutrals go with neutrals, but these shades are just too similar; I look like a puddle of mud. These colours don’t bring the best out in each other. The second outfit is better. You have two neutrals, beige and grey, but because they are from different different colour families, they complement each other.
Tip #4: Matching proportions – mix it up
It’s not a faux pas to wear a baggy top with baggy pants, but in general, you’ll look more put together by mixing proportions up. The first image above shows me wearing a baggy kimono with flared jeans. It’s not terrible, but I don’t have much shape. The second image works better because I switched up proportions by pairing the jeans with a cropped jacket. You can see more of my shape and it just looks a wee more interesting than the previous outfit. According to my boyfriend, the kimono and white pants combo made me look like a futuristic doctor. I’ve since paired this lovely linen Kimono from Duffield Design (a sustainable Canadian line) with skinny jeans and sometimes a narrow belt to cinch in my waist.
I encourage you to clean out your closet this season and then use these four tips to help you put together new outfits that you may not have thought of before. I would love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions you might have. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more.