Tuesday, March 27, 2012

You Want Me to Wear What?  

I remember at the age of 9, my inner fashionista paired plaid shorts with a floral-printed shirt. I felt great in the combo, just fabulous, but then my grandmother patiently informed me that printed tops belong with solid, same-color bottoms.  This norm was further forged growing up in “Middle America,” with the only revision to the rule being jeans counted as the infallible "solid color" pant-wear to dress in daily. But now as I type, 15 years later, wearing a bright, neon yellow pencil skirt with a floral top in sky blue, I know the matching-solid-with-a-print rule IS NOT enforced on the runway, nor should it be in my wardrobe. I’ve noticed three striking, common, designer combinations you may want to consider:

The Mix-Match

 Mono-color Separates

The Off -color Match-up

All of which, sadly,don't step off the runway into my world hardly enough.

The Look:

The Mix-Match: 

I noticed a TJ Maxx add yesterday where the model wore navy tribal printed pants and a turquoise and crème striped shirt. It seems as if mixing prints is hitting mainstream America. Although it is the modern style, something that will probably separate this decade from the last, mixing prints is definitely not new to the runways. In fall 2000, Prada, Dolce & Gabanna, and Fendi all sported clothing mish mashes, just to name a few.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <></>
Fendi fall 2000

I will say though, fashion has become a lot edgier in recent years, particularly in mixing prints. Just look at Marc Jacob’s fall 2000 show, compared to his fall 2012. It’s a great example of fashion becoming funkier with coordination as of late.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <></>
Mar Jacobs fall 2000

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <></>
Marc Jacobs fall 2012

Tip: Start by mixing prints in the same color family, and sizing scheme. So, for example, if you have a skirt with small polka dots in red and white, opt for a top with small floral print, as opposed to larger, in a red and white. Think Stella McCartney for spring 2012.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <></>
Stella McCartney spring 2012
The Look:
Mono-color separates:
This look simply consists of a top and bottom in the same color. The first thing that comes to mind is Blumarine Fall 2011, when Anna Molinari sent out a pair of sexy purple trousers topped with a purple turtleneck. By the time the yellow and orange renditions strutted out, this color on color pairing seemed so right, but still, so wrong? It’s just that I never see anyone wear this! When I speak for myself, my instincts say, ‘All the same color? Boring!  Where is the fun?’  And of course, that grandmother figure is still in my head, shaking her own disapproving head. But the result is bold, not boring, and oh so chic! Sometimes minimal creates the most appeal.  (Don’t believe me; check out Calvin Klein, the epitome of minimal cool, any season! But for spring ’12, Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa sent out a slew of one-tone match ups for your fancy).

Tip: Try contrasting fabrics when you're not contrasting with color.

Calvin Klein spring 2012

Tip: Stick to long, slimming cuts because they, along with the mono-tone, elongate your body.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <></>
Blumarine fall 2011

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <></>
Bluamrine fall 2011

The Look:

The Off-Color Match Up
 Sometimes, however, a solid color with a print is effective, but perhaps , the combo packs the most heat when the solid color doesn’t match the color of the print exactly. Furthermore, two completely different colors can create a very pleasing aesthetic. My personal fav is blue and yellow, indicated by what I’m wearing and mentioned earlier. A favorite of the fall ’12 runway was pink and red, seen at Dior, and Dries von Furstenberg.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <>                                        </> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <></>
Dior fall 2012

Tip: Take a color from a print and then pair it with a solid tone in the same color family, seen here with the darker and lighter shades of pink by Balenciaga Fall 2012.  It’s more chic than a dead on match.
Balenciaga fall 2012

And sometimes, the traditional pairing of a print with a matching color just works. I absolutely adore Chanel's matching line-up for fall 2012. I guess rules are meant to be broken, but not all the time.

Chanel fall 2012
Chanel fall 2012

The Invisible Shirt You Must See

Almost all of us have at least one of these- a top that intentionally does not completely cover, whether it be a lace throw over, an embroider patchwork cardigan, or a sheer blouse.  They all can inevitably lead you to ask, “What do I wear underneath?” This can complicate the dressing process so much that you avoid wearing your pretty little see-through shirt all together. There is a solution, a very easy, simple one, almost as clear as your skin in your peek-boo- top, and that is a nude colored body tank. 

A nude colored tank does not distract from the true sight to behold, and that is your main cover up.  A common inclination is to wear a white shirt underneath, but this can be the worst possible choice. Check out the differences a nude tank makes as opposed to a white one in these looks:

Although a nude tank is an easy solution to dressing, believe it or not, it is not an easy find! Online, the affordable stores that come to mind, such as Hanes, Target, and Kmart, do not offer any nude camis! I even came up empty handed at Victoria Secret, Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe online. Gap.com is your best, and seemingly only, bet for a quality nude cami. Try their Body Support Cami in Light Nude for $22.50. If you like everything on your bod to be luxurious, then check out HerRoom.com, where you will find pricey nude tanks, such as one by Donna Karen for $52.

I guess the easiest solution is sometimes the hardest to get your hands on. But if you pass by a nude tank ( I have the hunch they are easier, and cheaper, to find away from the computer), snag it! It's one of the most affordable, greatested investments for your wardrobe, even though no one will see it.