I've come to love the simplicity of one-piece dressing, especially during the warmer months and, although I've never been a head-over-stilettos-for-prints kind of girl, I finally was seduced by the florals trend :). I've loved the addition of some non-solid pieces in my wardrobe; they bring depth and character...and they're soooo pretty! Because who doesn't want to feel like a walking garden? Even so, I can never escape my need to temper their vibe in some way, to add some more or less subtle shading to the statement my outfit makes. Completing the outfit with suede or leather ankle boots adds an edge to the sweetness of the florals. Take into boho territory with fringed pairs or Western-themed pieces. Give the look some rocker attitude with studded, buckled or other hardware-infused pieces. Add a backpack or crossbody bag in a coordinating material to reinforce the statement. Alternatively, bring a sporty twist to the styling by adding sneakers. I love the idea of pulling one of the colors in the print for a bright, fun look. Neutrals will do nicely as well! Add a baseball cap and/or oversized watch to complete the chill vibes. One of my favorite – and super simple! – options is to balance florals’ dressier vibe with casual block-heeled mules or wedge espadrilles in a classic neutral. The less formal shoe choice grounds the look, compared to the polished vibe of pumps or the sultry beauty of heeled sandals. Enhance that vibe with a coordinating belt – breezy tasseled or braided pieces, or sleek solid leather –or laidback statement earrings (think simple metal geometrics or matte beaded pieces, more than crystal or gemstones). And voila – done! Can’t get any easier than that :). And now is the time to enjoy easy…because layering season is right around the corner! Happy styling!
So much of fashion is about getting the balance in a mix of pieces just right! It can be about colors, it can be about textures and it can be about formality. The last is one of my favorite themes to play with! I've been loving wearing skirts all through the humid weather, but this morning I needed to make a stop before heading into work which made a skirt an impossible choice. My original thought was go simple and, since I was picking up product, practical: jeans and tee. I chose a more refined knit tee with a slim silhouette instead of a super-relaxed, broken-in version. The pairing still had to be spiced up a bit, though, even for my casual office. Heels were my first choice. They immediately raise the bar of an outfit. I wanted something summery - I'm trying to make the most of this last, glorious month! - so I was leaning toward denim ankle strap wedges with a cork heel. A mirror check made me realize that even with the heels, the look was a little shy of coming off breezily pulled together. My next thought was “add a necklace!”. I have tons of them, but a fair few are heavy on the sparkle (what can I say? #ShinyObjects #Magpie) and that felt kind of extra with the casual vibe of my shoes. I wasn't keen on doing the 'contrasting color' vibe either, as I'd done that just last week and I like to change things up. Bracelets seemed like not enough, a jacket like a layer too many. I finally settled on a scarf knotted loosely at chest-height, first discarding a floral one as more pattern than I wanted, and then selecting a simple linen piece in a more pastel version of my tee color. I could have left things there, with the very color-blocked feel of having all blue denim below and purple on top, but I gravitate fiercely toward carrying color throughout an outfit, especially with un-complex two-tone stylings. I ended up swapping the denim cork heels for another touch of purple: patent leather pumps in a clean lilac hue. I love the dimension created by mixing shades of the same color family in this way! While not having quite the summer feeling of the denim ankle-straps, the pumps elevated the look a bit more, something I found appealing due to the casual nature of my scarf. (Had I gone with a more formal scarf (e.g. printed silk) I would likely have stayed with the denim shoes or leaned toward the lesser formality of light neutral espadrilles as a counterpoint. The layering of these subtly contrasting graduations of formality brings a lot more punch to what initially seems like a very basic look. The interplay between high and low – despite the differences being within a very few degrees of each other - conveys intention and prevents the ensemble from coming off haphazard, giving the look the je ne se quoi I always crave. It's so fascinating to me how slight alterations in the pieces selected affect the qualities of a look so greatly!
I've mentioned previously how much I enjoy wearing skirts in the summer, especially longer ones that I can throw a pair of capri leggings underneath and feel both comfortable and feminine at the same time. Lately, I've settled into a particular combination that's become both a favorite and almost a uniform: a maxi skirt paired with a plain, basic tee. It's an easy combination that offers plenty of room for variety and is fun to wear - there's just something about the flow and movement of a long skirt :). Pair a blue top with a lilac skirt for a symphony of blues. Try a laidback, sporty gray heather piece with sweet textured lace. Contrast bright stripes with classic black for a moodier take on summer. I've especially been attracted to combinations involving less refined, slightly boxy tees with broad, ribbed trim. The key to the look (and keeping it casual-office appropriate, if, like me, you choose to wear it to work) is to pair those super-casual tops with a more formal skirt: pleated pieces, ones with a sheen to the fabric (or even sequins :), eyelet or tulle confections). Save the super-beachy knits and crinkle-fabrics and for another day. A fully tucked tee works perfectly for skirts with a structured material and/or non-elastic waistbands. Or, try my favorite styling method: knotting the tee at the side-center of your waist (approximately below where my shoulder and collar bone meet). (PS this looks fabulous on elastic-waist pieces, since it ups their formality by camouflaging the elastic). Center-front and back knots work quite nicely too! Use the knot to dictate where the waist of the tee falls: at the same height as the skirt’s waistband for a classic look, lower for a slouchier and slightly blouson effect, higher if you’re in a situation where you can show off some skin (or throw a cami underneath and get that color-block thing working for you). The cami layered below is also your friend if you’re giving this a try with one of those infamous see-through tees. One last styling note: if you're a fan of cap sleeves (or just need them shorter for reasons), def consider rolling your sleeves - it s great way to add casual polish and create more visual curve by accenting your shoulders. And now, to shoes! Shoes are crucial for this styling. The look sets up a dynamic of equally weighted formality-informality and your footwear should walk a similar line. Chunky-heeled sandals are my top choice with wedge espadrilles hot on their heels (har har :)). Mules are an on-trend way to capture that chill-meets-polished vibe. Other options include boots of nearly any variety and, if your skirt isn't super formal, sneakers (yes to sneaks with stripes, less yes to sneaks with lace - not saying it's c'est impossible, just a bit trickier to make cohesive. Flat sandals are 100% acceptable as well - think more "leather slide" than "flip-flop". Happy styling, loves!
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.