With the recent introduction of Hanes x Karla, I got thinking about that most humble and hardworking of fashion items: the t-shirt - and how to incorporate it in daily fashion! Once relegated to being underwear for men, the style history of the t-shirt has been influenced by gents from Clark Gable (who once went tee-free. Coincidentally, the undershirt factories in America had to shut down the next day and Clark's influence as a style-setter has been blamed ever since) to James Dean, who made the garment iconic with his inimitable 50's cool. Luckily for us, the t-shirt has expanded its fashion territory and now can be worn by pretty much everyone and with pretty much everything. Hanes is an iconic purveyor and their product quality has maintained its high standards over time. Early last year, I updated my collection with a bunch of yummy colors in the classic not-overly-refined ribbed-trim style (the Beefy). I'm a fan of the fabric weight, which is thick enough to not be overly see-through even in lighter hues (like yellow :D). Note: I did not try a white as I am a stain magnet and have basically tapped out on the whole attempt to wear white tees. The colors have held up wonderfully through multiple soaks and washings and the fabric gets even softer the more its worn. And how exactly might it be worn?
Tees are so casual that they work really well as the laidback piece of a casual-formal mix. I love the idea of pairing one with high-waisted wide-leg pants - it's a modern take on the classic style. The bold statement and ultra-chic vibe of the pants is softened by the chill vibes from the tee. I went with on-trend stripes here, but nearly any variation of the wide-leg (from standard neutral twill to pink silk) will work. A super-casual rendition of the look can be done with a denim version of the silhouette. To keep the casual-formal dynamic, finish with low-heeled mules or wedge espadrilles. Or, bring the nonchalance via sneakers. I love adding a touch of contrasting color to a neutral pairing, like this powder pink with the navy. Add an oversize watch with a pink band, or a bangle to echoe the hue, carrying it through the look.
The interplay between simplicity and complexity is another fun avenue to explore. Consider pairing the pared-down tee with an intricate lace pencil skirt or floral-embellished A-line. Other possibilities include floral prints or pleated metallic pieces. Don't shy away from unusual and expressive color combinations, either! The bright teal really gives the look a pop, as would lilac, bright rose or lemon. Choose neutral accessories, or mix-without-matching by adding more colors (e.g. a powder blue bag or light aqua ring here) in the same family.
The obvious partner for the iconic t-shirt is the equally iconic blue jean. Go for a cropped (or roll your own ;)) skinny silhouette and add panache by styling with strong contrasting accessories and beauty looks: deep magenta sandals and bag, or an orange statement ring and lip shade. Heels help elevate the relaxed tee-jeans combo - don't be afraid to push the envelope with satin or be-jeweled versions. (Note: flats in those two genres will be fancy enough to work similarly).
For warm temps, and relaxed occasions, the tee works fabulously with shorts. Well, duh, right? :) Since the combination is so ubiquitous, add a spark to the look by including an unexpected twist: finish it off with ankle booties (split-shaft versions like the Jeffrey Campbell Cromwell (as modeled by Summer) are having a moment, but any pair will do. Think more 'practical', 'broken-in' and 'urban' than fierce. Stay with mid-low heels or flats. Add color and visual interest with an embroidered or intricately laser-cut belt (studs work too ;)), printed scarf, ribbon or tassel at your waist. I hope this inspires you to let the world see your Hanes sometime soon ;) Happy styling!
I love the idea of mixing without matching. It can be a little trickier than close or exact matches, but the complexity makes it modern. And it's way more practical! Imagine having to exact-match every color in your wardrobe. Ugh. I was wearing essentially the first pairing here the other day, and it gave me the idea to expand on the topic a bit more.
One of the easiest ways to make the mixy kind of pairing work is to put together similar shades in different intensities. This lilac top is much softer than the tanzanite pumps, but they are both to the blue side of the purple spectrum, so they coordinate nicely. Light aqua with teal, powder blue with cobalt and blush with coral will all work similarly. The key is in the similarity of hue. Aqua is a blue-green; hence the pairing with teal, as opposed to ,say, kelly green, which has more yellow in it. I gravitate toward doing the lighter color for my outfit and the darker shade for my shoes, but going with the lighter shade on the bottom is 100% acceptable, as is bringing in the color play with other accessories (belts, bags, scarves) or jewelry.
Another way to mix without matching is to connect different shades with colors that bridge the difference. The easiest way to do this is with colors in the same family (all blues, for example). This second look starts with a carnation pink top and peach-nude shoes. The shoes are a warm, neutral orange, while the top is a cool pink - i.e., there is a blue tone in the red it was derived from. To bridge the difference between them requires a color that's warmer (more brown or orange in it) than the carnation shade, but cooler than the shoes. The rose-nude tone of the bag works perfectly. For a little more fun, the coral-orange tone of the sunnies acts like a brighter pop of the shoe shade, carrying that hue upwards through the look (a lip shade in this hue would do the trick nicely as well). With green shades, you might blend lime, celery and mint. Lime is a yellow-green, mint is a blue-green and celery acts as the bridge color. If you don't want to try a verdigris lip shade ;), add a bit more color via your nail hue.
PS One of the best ways to get a sense of how colors work is to mix paints :).
Happy mixing, loves!
It's tragic, but it must be faced: into every fashionista's life, a little fail will fall. I had this idea for a pearl+jewels+denim look. I had it all planned out except for my top and figured I could handle that in the a.m. Except I was tired and overslept. And nothing I had clean seemed to fit what I wanted - what color makes both ivory pearls and colored jewels show up well? I need dark for the pearls, but light for jewels...gah! That being waaay too challenging to compute at 5:45 a.m, I went with ivory, which was meh. Oh, and then I spilled cardamom on it, so I had to button my jacket. So you could barely see it anyway. Reboot needed. Stat. Except I was late already so nevermind. Sometimes, despite the best laid plans, fashion doesn't happen. Style shuts off the alarm, crawls back into bed and tells you to Fendi off. What does a chic chick do in this sitch?
1. Roll with it. It might not be what you dreamed of, but you're prob not hideous either.
2. Change gears: have a back-up plan - or better yet, a mental catalogue of go-to, better-bff-than-diamonds insta-looks that you know work for you and that you can swap to.
3. Laugh. Make a face at the fashion divinities and tell 'em you hear them and you've got it. You *are* flawess. Just not 24/7/365. Sometimes, the stiletto hits a crack, the ankle twists and what was fabulous in your head ends up splattered across the sidewalk. C'est la vie. Literally. It's ok. It makes a great story to tell. Evidence above.
4. Try that amazing concept again another day.
And I will.
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets-fashion fairy tale world, the home of my non-wrestling-related style musings and loves.