It’s easy to fall into a routine with our wardrobes. Wearing the same pieces in the same combinations week after week, tending towards the same styles and colors when we shop. I think 75% of my closet is grey — guilty, party of one. [This is Becca by the way, I’m the one on the far left in case we haven’t met before]. Sometimes our clothing routines can put us in a rut, and suddenly we are feeling a little blah about the clothes we wear and aren’t sure how to mix it up.
Trends come and go, and some of them seem to be quite a bit risky. However, you can totally spice up your wardrobe without going too far. The key is balance — with the right techniques you can take on riskier looks with confidence! The LIY Team took on four adventurous styles to prove just that. Scroll on to see what we came up with!
1. Over the Knee BootsAmerican Eagle Outfitters AE Strappy V-Neck Sweater //American Eagle Outfitters Jegging // Women’s Charles By Charles David Perfect Over The Knee Boot Charles By Charles David Perfect Over The Knee Boot // American Eagle Outfitters Jegging // American Eagle Outfitters AE Strappy V-Neck Sweater
Normally, the less material a piece of clothing has, the sexier it becomes. The opposite is somehow true with boots. How is it that by adding 6 inches of fabric to the top of a pair of boots suddenly adds 100 points to the sex factor? Cover up my knees and suddenly I’m a sexpot. Oh man, my knees must be pretty terrible to look at!
The key to adding these sassy boots to an outfit is to balance their sexiness with something that leaves a little more to the imagination. Try pairing over the knee boots with a top or dress that has some good coverage – for example a loose fitting sweater like Erin’s rocking in the photos above.
And don’t forget to consider the hemline! Wear too long of a dress or top and it awkwardly skims the top of your boots. Wear too short of a hemline and you might wonder why people keep throwing dollar bills your way. To get the most flattering result, make sure the top or dress you choose bares just a little leg. Three to five inches is probably a good range, but it really depends on the height of your boots and the length of your legs.
Pro Tip: Don’t opt for over the knee boots on a day where you need to do a lot of crouching down or sitting on the ground – it’s nearly impossible to do. And you may just end up like Erin in this photo, sprawled across the sidewalk since your boots prevent you from squatting down to take a picture of someone’s shoes for a blog post.
2. Denim on DenimExpress Denim Short Sleeve Lace-up Top //Simply, by Love Scarlett Women’s Pointelle Stitch Duster Cardigan //Liverpool – Alec Crop Raw Hem Vintage Super Comfort Stretch Denim //Women’s Toms Majorca Peep Toe Bootie // Merona Women’s FedoraMerona Women’s Fedora // Simply, by Love Scarlett Women’s Pointelle Stitch Duster CardiganWomen’s Toms Majorca Peep Toe Bootie // Liverpool – Alec Crop Raw Hem Vintage Super Comfort Stretch Denim
Not long ago, I was hesitant to try the denim on denim look. I was afraid that I would end up looking like Justin and Brittney at the 2001 AMAs. It’s a risky style if you don’t know how to balance it correctly, but when you get it right it’s edgy and fun!
The number one rule to rocking denim on denim is contrast. It’s important to incorporate different washes of denim into the look. If you wear a denim top and a pair of jeans that are a similar shade of blue, the result might be something resembling a denim Smurf. Make sure there is a significant difference in the washes of your denim pieces.
The most flattering option is to wear a lighter wash on top and a darker wash on bottom. The lighter wash in your top or jacket will draw the attention upwards towards your face. Plus, dark wash denim is slimming, and I for one will take all the slimming I can get on the lower half of my body!
Last, but not least, accessorize! Choose accessories that are not denim or blue. Instead, create balance by choosing another color for your accessories that tones down all the denim you have going on in your outfit.
3. Statement AccessoriesWomen’s Pleione Cold Shoulder Tie Sleeve Sweatshirt // Women’s Wit & Wisdom Twisted Seam Ankle Skimmer Jeans // Mora Fringe Bib Necklace // Mesmerizing Flowers Wristlet // Sienna Fringe BootiesWomen’s Pleione Cold Shoulder Tie Sleeve Sweatshirt // Women’s Wit & Wisdom Twisted Seam Ankle Skimmer Jeans // Mora Fringe Bib Necklace // Mesmerizing Flowers WristletWomen’s Wit & Wisdom Twisted Seam Ankle Skimmer Jeans // Sienna Fringe Booties
There’s nothing wrong with a delicate necklace or classic black handbag, but sometimes it’s nice to shake things up! Variety is the spice of life, and sometimes our accessories should make a statement!
When going bold with accessories, a simple outfit is best. Think solids or very subtle patterns. This allows the accessories to be the focal point of the outfit.
It’s also important to pick and choose which accessories to go for. If you opt for a statement necklace, a large pair of earrings may not be the best choice. The earrings and the necklace would be competing as the focal point. It’s best to break it up, like Steph’s statement necklace and bold patterned clutch.
4. Mixing PatternsWomen’s Amuse Society Dakode Print Gauze Blouse //Women’s Topshop Stripe Paperbag Skirt // //Women’s Argento Vivo Openwork Drop Earrings //Bp. Faux Leather Clutch // Women’s Arturo Chang Hollis Block Heel Sandal Women’s Amuse Society Dakode Print Gauze Blouse //Women’s Topshop Stripe Paperbag Skirt // //Women’s Argento Vivo Openwork Drop Earrings //Bp. Faux Leather Clutch Women’s Arturo Chang Hollis Block Heel Sandal
Mixing patterns is not for the faint of heart! Get it wrong, and you look like that patchwork quilt your grandmother made from her childhood dresses. But by following a few simple guidelines, anyone can pull off this look. And the pay off is great — get it right, and I can guarantee you’ll be looking fierce!
When choosing two patterned pieces for an outfit, make sure the sizes of the prints are quite different. If one is large, the other should be small. This contrast allows your eye to move easily from one piece to the other without the patterns fighting against each other.
Secondly, you will want to make sure that the two patterns have one color in common. If you look at the photos of Cassidy above, you’ll notice that her top has a black shape repeating on the fabric, and her skirt has black stripes. The repetition of that color helps the two patterned pieces to come together as a cohesive outfit.
And last but not least, complete your look with neutral accessories. This will tone down all the excitement in the rest of your outfit.
Pro Tip: When in doubt, go with stripes. Pairing stripes with another pattern is the easiest way to mix patterns. The simplicity of a stripe print makes it the most versatile of patterns. It will go with just about any other print if you follow the guidelines above.
There you have it! Four different ways to spice up your wardrobe! Personally, I am working hard at not making decisions based on fear, even when it comes to things as trivial as my wardrobe. Here’s to trying new things and stepping out of our comfort zones together!