Springtime is lovely — except when it snows or when there is an earthquake. Living in Wisconsin at this time of year causes clothing confusion, so this week we are talking about how to clear up any questions or difficulties when it comes to different occasions, fancy or casual.KW: Now that it is getting warmer, I am more excited about my outerwear. Spring coats make me really happy, but most of mine are black — much like the rest of my wardrobe — which often leads me to wonder, “What about these brown shoes?” In general, I feel like shoes, outerwear and bags should go together. They don’t need to all be the same color, because that can get kind of boring, but coordination is important. In a similar vein, if you are wearing a dressier jacket or carrying a nice bag, the other things you have on should work with that level of dressiness.
EG: I think the idea of having things go together is often more important than whether or not things match. A brightly colored shoe paired with a solid or print top might look mismatched, but it also looks really innovative. It’s also about what colors mix well together and which color combinations look the most stunning. For example, I was just flipping through a catalog and saw a model wearing a dressy lime blouse with a gray skirt and toned down leopard-print peep-toes. Although it sounds a bit odd, because each clothing item was still dressy, the slight mismatching actually worked.
AA: I am always enthralled with people who can take potentially difficult colors/patterns and make them work together. Sometimes I think it doesn’t take more than an open mind and a lot of self-confidence to do it! I agree with both EG and KW; in general, your things should go together, but there are ways to mix it up. Like in EG’s example, leopard print and lime green? Those are two things I’d never think to wear together, but then again, they can work fabulously well if you are thoughtful.
EP: I am big into the idea of mismatching jewelry with outfits. For example, it is so fabulous to wear a kind of plain secretary-esque outfit (think pencil skirt, flats, sweater vest) and then wear big interesting earrings. As long as the colors coordinate (I love wood and metal with things like tweed and wool), it works.
The biggest thing in matching is to coordinate levels of dress, as Kayla pointed out. For example, a skirt should never be worn with a fleece. Finding cheap coats from Target or Forever 21 that work for different occasions is the perfect solution this problem. 25 bucks every now and then on a coat isn’t so bad!
KW: I agree with EP on the jewelry front. Not only is it a really cool way to incorporate different colors or textures into an outfit, they can do a lot to determine how dressy an outfit is, which can in turn allow the employment of classier footwear and jackets, even if you are just wearing jeans and a simple top.
AA: To add to what EP and KW were talking about as far as keeping levels of dress the same, I would like to voice an opinion. I really dislike seeing fancy designer bags on the arms of girls who are dressed in a sweatshirt and leggings. It’s just one of the best examples of bad fashion. As EP pointed out, fleeces with skirts or dresses are not okay. Although I understand not having a coat for every situation in life, it is really nice to have a coat for fancier occasions and one for casual events. And sometimes, you can get two-in-one; a simple, one-color peacoat works for both upscale and low-key occasions!
KW: Spring is a great multipurpose jacket season, which is why I love trench coats right now. They can be kind of dressy depending on the length and what you pair them with, but other times they look just fine with jeans. For an overall “this goes together” ensemble, a trench is just right.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re “pulled together” enough, but making thoughtful choices about the way you mix and match your outfits can help you feel more confident — even through the spring blizzards and earthquakes.