reminiscing and wearing (seemingly) random attire

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“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!

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My printed pants, lace top, and orange shoes combination:

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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.

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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)

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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:

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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!!

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46 thoughts on “reminiscing and wearing (seemingly) random attire

  1. I love your outfit! I am trying to add more color to my closet. I used to have a lot of black and white pieces! I still can’t resit a perfect little black dress! I am not too good in the mixing patterns department. I love your flats!

  2. I hear you. I have a lot of black and white because of my corporate job, but every once in a while I like to mix it up with a bright colour.

    Love the purple shade of your shirt!! Lace is beautiful!

  3. I love the idea of mixing fabrics but, I’m nervous about it. Hopefully, your blog will help! -It has already inspired me to make some purchases out of my normal comfort zone. Thanks!!!!

    • I completely understand! I normally feel a bit nervous when I get out of my comfort zone too, as I did with this outfit. But, I’m so glad that you were inspired to make new purchases, maybe mixed fabrics is next!! 🙂 Keep me posted!

  4. Ah-ha so you do have a stylist/fashionista secret weapon! 😉

    I love your use of prints and textures; you always pull it together so well without it being overwhelming or too busy. While I’m a little bit of a plain jane when it comes to my personal aesthetic, I’m trying to dip my toes into the more trendy prints lately!
    So thanks for consistently providing me with inspiration (and courage) to wear this cute, colorful looks! 🙂

    xx,
    j. parker

    • Haha, I guess do after all! You have to wear what you love; that’s how you make it work, no matter what it is. I do think it’s fun to get out of the comfort zone some days- it keeps people guessing, right?? 😉 I’m glad my blog inspires you! Your blog inspires me too (especially to strongly consider using the word y’all because it’s so irrestible)-! xoxo

    • I learned a lot of valuable lessons there, and do feel pretty confident that I can whip up a presentable look within a couple of minutes, if need be…even if I don’t feel particularly presentable or prepared! Bless them for teaching me so well!!

  5. I like colourful clothes too. I totally understand you about the dress code… I have to wear the same uniform everyday to go to work and I hate it…
    perfect top…
    kisses

  6. Why this works (to me): Both patterns, the lace and the print on the pants, are in a diamond shape, so they compliment each other, without being too matchy, matchy. You have to find a similarity in the print, like stripes on top and bottom (but different directions, to avoid matching), similar colors, etc. You know what you’re doin’, girl! Don’t second guess. Go with your gut 🙂

    xo Ashley

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