September 2, 2016
I used to wear a lot of black clothes.
Only problem? Black looks terrible on me. Truly terrible.
Why in the world I couldn’t comprehend that fact, I’ll never know. I guess I was just caught up in the usual Black Clothing Thinking:
And on women with cool undertones with strong coloring and contrast between hair and skin, black is absolutely perfect and stunning
But when I wore black close to my face, I looked like I had one foot in the grave and the other one hopping toward it. Not an attractive look.
It finally occurred to my semi-slow and slaggardly brain that if I looked that bad in black, maybe (just maybe?) I shouldn’t wear it. Maybe my neutral base color should be brown instead. Ya think?
And so I made that transition to brown as my base about five years ago and am so much happier with the way it pulls my wardrobe together.
However. This summer I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I walked into a thrift store and emerged with a pair of black capris.
Why would I do such a thing?
Well, mainly because I have put on a little weight and so I’ve had an even harder time than usual finding pants to fit. These capris actually fit well and are by Ann Taylor (one of my favorite brands when found at thrift stores). Those were two characteristics which caused me to break out in a Dressing Room Happy Dance.
Even though the capris are not my best color and have a (subtle) pattern, I figured they would still work if I kept warm colors near my face. Here are some outfits I was able to come up with.
(Click on any photo then scroll through them at full size.)
It just goes to show that sometimes you can make clothing work that normally wouldn’t. However, I try not to stray out of my personal color zone very often because every time I do, it just takes me a step in the wrong direction of creating a wardrobe where all my colors coordinate. I do it only when I am desperate which thankfully doesn’t happen as often these days.
I went into a thrift store recently and fell in love with this fabric; however, I hated the style of the dress.
I studied it for a few minutes and came up with a plan.
I had my seamstress cut off the top of the dress and add an elastic waistband. And it worked!
$5 for the dress and $4 for the alteration. Voila!
I also stuck this shirt on with the skirt but can’t make up my mind whether or not I like it.
Although I don’t wear many sleeveless things, I did actually wear this shirt this summer when I was feeling slightly adventurous. One of my style words” is asymmetrical, whether it refers to a hem line, a collar, or a row of buttons. I guess it appeals to the quirky side of me. (I am sorry that the blouse clashes with the car but what’s a girl to do?)
Although I know I’ve talked about my New Mexico dress before, I ran across these pictures showing three different “looks” with the dress. They perfectly illustrate how certain pieces of clothing can make such a big difference to an overall look. (Note: everything else in this post is thrifted but the dress was a new purchase.)
Look Number #1 is just o.k. Yes, the colors do match, but the flowy topper is competing with the flowy skirt and it obscures the shape of the dress which was one of its main selling points for me–in addition to the bright colors.
Look #2 is better and I would wear it in a pinch, but I don’t love it. Once again, the shape of the dress is hidden.
Look #3 is the clear winner. The shorter topper allows the fit and flare style of the dress to shine, and the coral provides a lovely pop of color.
I love how the simplest additions to an outfit can make such a big difference.
The next two pictures illustrate the difference between “just okay” and “just right.”
Let me start by saying that I have a terrible time finding tops in solid colors. I found this shirt at Goodwill and although it’s not technically a solid, the pattern is muted and subtle enough that it can be used in that capacity. Unfortunately it is a Kmart brand which I normally would never buy but once again, desperation won the day.
I have actually gotten a lot of use from the shirt this summer because it goes with several of my colorful, cotton skirts.
I didn’t like it as well with this particular skirt but for a while, I had no option.
However, Sheri, my wonderful friend and mother-in-law to my son gave me this shirt when we were in Florida. As a rule, I am not a ruffle type of gal but the fact that the ruffles are diagonal (which draws the eye down) instead of horizontal (which draws the eye across) made it much more slimming.
I had the bottom hemmed a bit (it was a little tight and awkward around my hips) and I was good to go. The whole vibe of the blouse suits the vibe of the skirt and the color matches it better, as well.
Hooray for a son who has good taste in mothers-in-law and hooray for a mother-in-law who has good taste in clothes. (And is also generous!)
this fashion tip is probably one that is just a personal preference on my part, but lately I’ve been finding that I prefer leaving my neckline uncluttered.
I don’t like this look . . .
as well as this look.
I don’t like this look . . .
as well as this look.
I’m not saying I will never wear short necklaces because I own a lot of them that I love. But I am starting to notice a slight shift in keeping the area around my neck a little more clutter free.
And one last tip but it’s actually the most important tip of the day:
Take pictures of yourself!
Have you ever looked at an outfit in the mirror and couldn’t decide whether or not it worked?
All you need to do is grab your camera, snap a picture and look at the outfit on your phone. I don’t know what it is about seeing something as a picture instead of in the mirror, but it’s like you suddenly have a new set of eyes and you can see all sorts of things you didn’t notice before. The more I take pictures of my outfits for these style posts, the more I find this to be true.
Case in point: I have worn the outfit below many times but it was only when seeing it in this picture that I noticed the material in the waist line bunched up and was visible through the thin yellow blouse. (It isn’t quite as obvious in this photo as it was in another photo that I wasn’t able to find.)
The skirt had a piece of fabric that folded over on itself and I was constantly having to adjust and rearrange that fabric. (One of my pet peeves is clothes that need constant attention.)
I took the skirt to my seamstress and asked her to cut off the piece of floppy fabric and then put elastic in the waist, since the skirt had gotten a little stretched out and was sliding down a bit.
It’s so great to pull that skirt on now and know that the waistline is streamlined and I don’t have to tug at it or worry that it’s bunching up.
And it’s all because I took a picture.
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.