What’s on the fashion blog menu today? Great pairings!
I started thinking about some of the formulas I have for putting outfits together … you know, the shortcuts of getting dressed. It’s not every day that I want to create a whole new masterpiece or have the time to fiddle around with a delicious wearable art project. Often the clock is ticking and I need to be heading out the door to work with my clients. That’s when I lean on tried-and true-formulas for things that naturally pair well together. I’m going to share a few of those pairings with you today. If you’re not doing this instinctively, you’ll want to think about how you can create these shortcuts for yourself.
Pairing bright colors
The other day I wanted to wear this bright purple-blue jacket by Jil Sander. I mean I don’t even know how to describe this color! The jacket had been in my mending pile so I hadn’t had a chance to wear it since buying it at SAX consignment store in San Anselmo where my daughter’s gave me a pretty good deal on it. It has large pockets on the side that droop and hang open right around my hips and I didn’t think that drooping was necessary. I stitched the pockets shut and liked it much better. Next step: figuring out what to pair it with!
This is such an amazing color and I decided to pair another amazing color with it: a bright, saturated orange sweater that sometimes looks red. Va-va-voom! These two colors together are like two little kids in a playground discovering that they vibrate on the same wavelength. They are instant besties!
One other reason this pairing works so well together is that both pieces of clothing are simple. The two pieces have no frills, ruffles, appliqués, or inlays. They are both clean, simple, and straightforward designs. They need each other and not much else. I know how little kids are though so I gave them a bangle to play with; one that has beetles all around it. The blues in the bugs relate to this vibrant, otherworldly blue-colored jacket.
Pairing two shades of the same color
Here’s another pairing trick: Wear two things together that are shades of the same color. This was an outfit I wore during the Sonoma International Film Festival in April. The T-shirt is ruched and in a steel gray color. The leather jacket is a lighter shade of gray.
Another reason I like these two pieces together is they both have a drape to them. The ruched T-shirt has graceful gathers in it and the leather jacket is unstructured and finds its own natural form when it’s on the body. I LOVE these two pieces together!
Pairing stripes with stripes, Mother-Daughter style
When Erin showed up for work last week wearing these two stripes together I couldn’t stop complimenting her. What’s interesting to me with these double stripes is that they are pretty much the same stripe; there’s no variation in scale. The T-shirt is a black and white stripe and the scarf is a dark navy and white stripe. Her scarf is so fluffy and lightweight. It’s like a frothy foam on a Havana cappuccino from Peet’s Coffee. (Don’t get started on these; you won’t be able to stop.)
I paired stripes together and had the same thing going in that my T-shirt is a black and white stripe and my Chico’s jacket is a navy and white stripe. In my case, the stripes are different widths; one is thinner than the other. I thought for sure that was the best way to pair stripes, being sure they weren’t the same width, but upon seeing Erin’s pairing, I think they’re both great!
Stripes love stripes! What can I say?
Pairing denim with denim
Next up: double denim. Whenever I wear two pieces of denim together, I call it a Canadian tuxedo. Have you heard of that term? But my Canadian friend, Sue Jacobs, says, “That’s not what we call it here in Canada. We call it it Texas tuxedo.” And then I saw an Instagram post from my friend Suzanne Dekyvere who’s in Australia and she was calling it double denim.
Whatever you call it, it’s a great pairing, especially right now. There is such a ’70s flashback going on in fashion right now and the more denim the better. So why not double denim?
Erin’s really getting the gold star in this outfit because not only is she pairing denim in her ’70s vibe outfit but she’s wearing those paired stripes as well.
Pairing feminine with masculine
The day I put this outfit together I knew I wanted to swing and sway through the shopping trip with my client, feeling the pleats of this silk leopard print skirt kissing my knees. I LOVE that feeling! But at the same time I felt like being all girly, I wanted to add some toughness to my outfit and I did that with my masculine, sturdy laceup Rosa Mosa shoes. I felt grounded and sure of myself all day wearing these shoes with my silk skirt. I never tire of mixing feminine and masculine elements together.
So, to review, here are the pairings we talked about today: double denim, stripes with stripes, bold colors together, neutral colors together, and masculine elements with feminine elements. This could be easy, right?
So tell me, do you pair things on a regular basis? Does it make getting dressed easier for you when you do? I want to hear all the details!