Styling

Black & Blue

Season after season, I find myself turning to a tried & true color combo: black & blue. No matter the variation (light blue, cobalt blue, navy blue) this match made in heaven always works for me. Whoever said you can’t wear these two hues together needs to go see an eye doctor.

Keep scrolling to see some of my favorite black & blue ensembles…

Light Blue/Black as an Accent

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You may think light blue & black is too much contrast, but it is actually a softer take on black & white. This works best if there is already some black worked into a print, but if you feel like wearing black shoes with your blue outfit then do it! The first look puts the print trick into action; there is a subtle outline of black around each flower, thus tying in the skirt which is totally appropriate for a spring day. The second ensemble is a visual trick; the print on print (yes, that is a cardigan & skirt) consists of a white background with dark blue design, but your eyes blur the colors to read “light blue.” The bit of black up top & in the shoes gives your eyes a break, keeping the ensemble from looking like tacky wallpaper. In the third outfit black plays a bigger role and all shades of blue are present. I chose white as the accent color to lighten everything up for summer. Lastly, we have an all blue look with only a hint of black in the loafers. Black CAN be a neutral to blue!

Cobalt & Black

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Cobalt & black has to be my #1 Fave version of this theme. The first two images depict ensembles consisting of mostly black & white with a POP of vibrant blue. This technique can be very effective and give off an artsy vibe. The third & fourth looks allow cobalt blue to be the star of the outfit. With these looks, black is simply used to cover the skin (because I freeze in winter) and accentuate this bold hue. You may notice that I went a little edgy with the last looks, but really this can be done with any style.

Midnight

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This is possibly the most controversial color combo in the fashion world: navy & black. I know people who loath the pairing and others that work it on a regular basis; I fall into the latter group. This first ensemble exhibits the color scheme by way of color blocking; no prints, just solid-color pieces. The second ensemble uses a subtle print as the centerpiece of the outfit. If you look closely, the shirt is a navy floral brocade against a black jersey background. I completed the outfit with a black skirt, tights, and heels so that the navy stands out. The last two looks are variations on the same dress, styled for winter & summer. The winter ensemble toughens up the geometric print shift dress, while the sheer tights add a little sass. Ditch the tights & jacket, trade the booties for strappy wedges, add some fabulous sunglasses and you have a simple summer ensemble that will not disappoint. It just goes to show that even a dark color scheme can be appropriate in warmer weather. Blue & black is so versatile, why don’t you try?!

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Styling

We’re All Mad Here

What do the Scotch, Irish, and English all have in common? Besides England’s frequent efforts to invade their neighbors, all three cultures have a plaid history. The plaid print arose for symbolic purposes, rather than attempts to be on-trend, but stayed in style due to various cultural movements that evolved in the centuries and decades to follow.

Plaids come in all colors and sizes, and these elements help to tell a story. Traditional plaids, or tartans, were used to differentiate between clans or regional groups of people. This purpose of identity comes as no surprise when you consider that the punks of England’s late 1970’s adopted the print with a rebellious intent. In the modern fashion world, you can see plaid being used by avant garde designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood to pay homage to their past.

This unique print has also been adapted for a more classic environment. Take school uniforms, for example, and their preppy interpretation of plaid. Mix this print with a white button-up and smart shoes and the print goes from edgy to sophisticated. On the flip side, the plaid school uniform has also become a sex-symbol (thanks to Britany’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time”) and a common Halloween costume choice.

With so many incarnations of plaid, it’s evident that this ancient print has been able to sustain itself in the ever-changing fashion atmosphere. The following looks demonstrate four ways to wear plaid, each with it’s own take on this classic print.

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GLAM
Seeing as plaid has a more masculine history, I wanted to shake things up a bit and add some glamour to this utilitarian fabric. I am obsessed with this Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti dress, complete with it’s own waist capelet. Throw on an actual capelet and you’ve got drama — add some jewels and little leather gloves and you’ve got a statement.

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GRUNGE
Grunge may have began in the mid-80’s, but it is obsessed with this 16th century textile (usually in the form of a flannel shirt). I’m not one for the frumpy, so I took it upon myself to modernize this style with a sports bra and skinny jeans. The result is sexy, but still cool enough to hang with the guys.

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PUNK
To the untrained eye punk may look like grunge, but in both music and fashion they are very different. Channel your inner Sid Vicious with stove-pipe plaid pants and metallic accents. When in doubt, look for pieces with buckles and/or zippers and pair with black. Warning: outfit must be worn with attitude!

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PREP
Thanks to Ms. Spears and certain anime series, the school girl ensemble has become a fantasy for many boys. Instead of playing in to this sexist ideal, I decided to call it out in a more stylish way. A men’s tux shirt and an oversized safety pin add toughness to this ensemble, which is off-set by the ultra-girly accessories; Tous bear earrings and bracelet with bright blue platforms that resemble the classic Mary Janes. The low, sleek bun and longer hem-line work to give the look a more sophisticated quality. I guess what I’m getting at is, if you’re going to wear plaid in a preppy manner take care not to play into uncouth stereotypes.

That’s the great thing about a plaid print: you can style it however you want! There is no singular trend or fiber that defines this textile. Plaid lends itself to so many items and fashions that it is easy to wear regardless of your personal style. Try incorporating a little into your winter (or spring!) wardrobe and you won’t be disappointed.

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Styling

Going Green

If I were to ask you to list some neutral colors, you’d probably mention black, brown, and white. But what if I told you that navy, raisin, and olive can also be neutrals? It may sound crazy, so let me explain.

Recently I’ve been obsessed with this pair of soft green cotton twill pants from GAP and you’d be surprised at how versatile they are! Wear them with colors, other neutrals, for spring and for fall. The options are endless. Here, let me show you…

With Neutrals
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Green pants can be paired with other neutrals for a very subtle & chic ensemble. I love the touch of leopard print seen in the ballet flats of the first outfit and the pop of orange in the second look. When playing with an all-neutral color pallet it is nice to throw in an unexpected element, like a print or a bright hue (used sparingly).

With Colors
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Do not be afraid of other colors when wearing green pants. I play off of a complimentary color scheme in the first example by pairing these slacks with a burnt-orange print top. Some bronze accessories and a loose-knitted cardigan make for a soft, earthy ensemble. The second image draws inspiration from the scarf – you do not have to match the colors of a print exactly to make it look good, just stay with the same intensity (bright VS light) of the hues. The third image takes on an analogous color scheme with moss green, mint green, and a pale blue. Since this shade of green is so muted, it works well to highlight pastel hues without looking childish. Lastly, I put a spin on the color/neutral dynamic by making white the stand-out color. The core of this ensemble is monochromatic green which allows for the white accents to take center stage to complete the look.

With Prints
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I love mixing prints. It is easier than it looks and a pair of green pants is the perfect place to start. I have a lot of green in my closet already, so this came naturally, but if you have another color that acts as a neutral for you then the same idea can be applied. When mixing prints, pay attention to the scale, color scheme, and type of print. For example, in the first outfit I mix two geometric prints (plaid & stripes): this works because the prints have a 2:1 scale ratio and the color pallet is limited to three main colors (white, navy, and green). In the second look I mix an organic print (floral) with a geometric print: again, the color pallet is the same and the prints are in good proportion. An easy way to start playing with prints is to work the secondary print as a contrasting accent, like at the cuff of your sleeve or as a scarf. When in doubt, florals & stripes are always a favorite of mine!

 

 

 

Still not sure about green pants? Send in your questions & I’ll answer!

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