Dressing well is simple but not easy.
Having said that, most women fret and worry about what to wear and usually end up either going too simple or too over-dressed. The middle road is the stylish woman who looks put together whatever her budget.
One of the problems is that girls are not taught how to dress well. Fashion magazines are often no real help because they only show you how to put one or two outfits together. The result is a wardrobe full of single-combination clothes and accessories. It is easy then to fall victim to spur-of-the-moment fashion buys that you later regret.
While there are many tips and tricks to help you dress well, there is one that, if you learn and apply it, you will always feel great, look fabulous and receive lots of genuine compliments.
That key tip is CONTRAST. You can dress well all your life by following this one tip. And it allows you to really enjoy dressing and fashion.
Here are three ways to tap into the power of Contrast.
Past & Present
Have you ever harboured a secret desire to copy the ‘Mad Men 50s Look’ or go Vintage or Retro but are scared that you will just look silly? Fear no more!
Tap into your stylish side by using the power of Contrast. Go all Retro, Vintage or any TV fashion style and you will look costumey like this model dressed in 1940s retro style using Simplicity pattern, 1777. Her classic accessories reinforce the costume look. This works for the young. For the rest of us, especiall Baby Boomers, take a leaf from cosmetics founder, Poppy King, and wear past fashions with obvious, modern accessories to tone down the look. Choose very modern shoes instead of basic court shoes and you show your modern attitude rather than your desire to relive the past. A modern jacket, trench coat, handbag, necklace or hairstyle will have the same positive contrasting effect.
An alternative way to mix past and present fashions is to wear modern clothes and add one Mad Men 50s, Retro or Vintage accessory. The accessory needs to be large enough to be obvious like those mentioned in the paragraph above.
It is the unequal proportions that make both these combinations work. Never go half and half.
Cheap & Expensive
Contrast is also very effective when you have bought a cheap item and are not sure how to wear it so that you look and feel great. I am not talking about a quality brand name bought at a heavily discounted price. Quality brands will always look quality. Just never reveal the price you paid.
I am talking about a no-name brand item that suits you and you want to wear it with confidence and style.
The secret to making cheap look expensive is Contrast. Wear the item with quality accessories. That means wearing a quality pair of shoes or boots, skirt or pants and quality matching or contrasting accessories. It is amazing how good a cheap chain store item can look on you when the eyes are drawn to your accessories rather than your clothing. I know from experience, past and present, that it works.
Now to the one area where most women struggle when it comes to dressing – how to wear two colours so that you feel fabulous and shine confidently.
Any colour goes with an all-black outfit. BUT the colours that make you shine are those that provide a definite contrast to black. Any light or shiny colour will provide the most powerful contrast because they stand out against a dark background. Light colours or mid-range colours in a shinier fabric or metal make the light-dark contrast more intense and pleasing to you and to others. Gold, silver or white accessories look great with black. The contrast is more effective when one of your accessories has black and the other colour in it (eg this black and white obi belt as featured in a Threads magazine or black and white shoes or necklace).
When your clothing consists of two plain colours, use the power of Contrast by wearing jewellery or an accessory that combines the two colours in unequal proportions. As most of today’s clothes are a flat matt texture, adding a shiny metal or textured necklace, a silk, woollen, chiffon or lace scarf or textured or patent shoes is a very simple way to add a colour and texture contrast that makes you shine with confident self-assurance.
In the world of fashion and dressing, Contrast is a simple and powerful word. Use these tips to remind you to think ‘Contrast’ every time you get dressed to go out. Then play and see how many other ways you can apply Contrast to your dressing.
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