“Dress shabbily, and they remember the dress. Dress impeccably, and they remember the woman.” Coco Chanel
I would be the first person to tell you that there are days when I go to work and ask a coworker, “Does this outfit seem confusing?” Readers, you know I love color, prints and patterns. I consider myself at risk for taking this love a bit too far.
Allow me to digress for a moment.
For many years during high school, undergraduate and graduate school, I worked at a luxury salon and spa. The dress code was black and white clothing, with a blazer required at all times. Solely gold and silver jewelry were allowed. If you were anywhere on the floor, make-up was required, as was groomed hair. Heels were technically required, though you could get away with flats on most days. There were days when I just was not all about putting that much effort in my appearance. But, at some point, thanks to the help of the real talent there, I developed an ability to pull together all of the requirements quickly. Hair and make-up in 15 minutes? Done. Toss on some heels? Done. Mascara, dry shampoo, and hairpins are your best friends when you’re in a job that has such requirements.
I think I maxed out on black and white outfits after all those years, hence my love of all things bold and bright. So, coming full circle, I may be at risk for taking bold too far and looking a bit confusing. Working in a hospital has significantly less dress code requirements, though conservative business clothes are required at all times. Luckily, I have friends who will fashion intervene if I take my bold colors too far at work. While the outfit pictured here seemed out of the box to me, I think it definitely worked!
My printed pants, lace top, and orange shoes combination:
At some point throughout my many years in the salon, dressing up became internalized. I am forever grateful that the salon took me on so many years ago when I just 17 years old and taught me the value in showing up, dressing up, and being ready. I carry the same principle with me today…except now vividly in color.
Top: H&M ($5 marked down from $12)
Pants: Gap (approx $35 marked down from $55)
Shoes: Dolce Vita at Bloomingdale’s outlet ($17 marked down from $100)
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) I wrote about this lace top over the weekend. I just couldn’t resist this lovely top for $5! I last wore it here:
To make this top appropriate for work, I just added a tank top underneath it. I have yet to experiment with different colors underneath, but I think that would be another way to wear this top in a different/new way.
H&M has really great sales, and this top was no exception! I notice a sale basically every time I am there. However, they tend to have bigger sales every few months, where essentially half the bottom level is all sale and clearance. These sales generally are ‘advertised’ with big red SALE signs down the store windows and doors, so keep an eye out!
2) I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that I am hopping on the prints and patterns bandwagon. With this outfit, I took it a step further and added a new texture with the lace top. When I first put on the lace top, I think maybe it was too many differences (fabrics, colors, patterns), but I think it was a success! If you’re wanting to change up one of your looks or pieces, consider adding a textured fabric (lace, tweed, herringbone, etc).
There are some great fall 2013 overviews here and here that review mismatch and mixed fabrics. What do you think about mixing fabrics? If you do mix, what are your favorite fabrics?
Thanks for reading, all!!