I’m a three-way girl. In my fashion book, there have to be three ways of styling one single item.
Three ways or three solutions is ingrained in me. When I was in high school worrying about this, that, or the other thing my dad would intervene. “Brenda, if you’re thinking there’s only one way to do something, you’re not thinking hard enough. There are at least three ways to solve this problem.”
He was right. I got so much relief from broadening my mind to come up with multiple solutions.
I took this lesson into how I work with clothes. Call me prudent, but I believe any new item should work three ways at a minimum in order to earn that little piece of real estate it’s going to take up in your closet.
Styling the Renzo top three ways
Case in point: My recent acquisition from Artful Home, a charcoal gray Renzo crepe top by Lisa Bayne. I chose it from an image in the Artful Home catalog. I was very attracted to the color. As you well know, shades of gray are great on me. This top has 3/4 sleeves and is hip-length. I’ve been looking for tops that aren’t too huggy around my tummy.
When it arrived in the mail, I said, “Okay, pretty crepe top, let’s see if you pass the three-way test!”
Wearing the Renzo crepe top with jeans
I had a date with my girlfriends to grab a bite to eat and solve world problems at Farm House Local in Larkspur. (I recommend the Huevos Rancheros.) I put the Renzo top on over a black tank that hung lower than the top. I wanted the tank for warmth. That layering piece blended into my dark indigo flared Kut from the Kloth jeans.
I wore my trusty cowgirl boots. Since it’s been chilly, I looked through my scarves to help me keep my neck warm. I felt a strong need to wear this wool gray and black leopard print one. Isn’t it fun?
By having that luscious wad of fabric near my face, it actually made me look taller! That’s because the scarf extends the line of my outfit. I bet you didn’t know a scarf could make you taller, right?
I enjoyed feeling snuggly with the scarf around my neck. When I pull it away you can see the great detailing in the top.
I accessorized by adding interesting bracelets to my wrist. One of them is a horn bracelet with two bands of tiny diamonds to anchor it. The other one is by Pat Flynn. It’s his iron cuff with diamonds from Artful Home. The two bracelets are both elegant and organic. I love the color of them with the charcoal top. I added my arty ring to the mix. I loved every chance I had to gaze at these two bracelets while not being able to solve world problems over lunch.
Wearing the Renzo crepe top to work
Warning: Baby pictures ahead which means I need you to remember to come back to this post and finish reading it to the end. Although I too wanted to spend the day staring at Baby Owen, you need to see how I’m styling this top for a different lifestyle activity: working with my precious clients whose grown-up children (also my clients) become parents for the first time.
Meet two-week old Baby Owen.
How’s a style and wardrobe consultant going to help Gramma get into some transition outfits for spring with Baby Owen in my arms? This is one of the perks of having a long career working with the same clients.
Okay, baby gazing time is over. Now let me show you how I worked this charcoal top into a work outfit.
I like to have a polished look when working with my clients for home closet visits or when I’m out shopping with them.
So that morning I started putting my professional look together using the Renzo top. I started with my black Theory ankle pants. I wanted to see if I could layer the charcoal top over a high/low white blouse. I love the classic color combo of black, gray, and white.
I scored this blouse at my daughters’ consignment store, SAX Consignment. It’s by Brunello Cucinelli.
I added charcoal earrings and my crystal pendant with light colored stones (homemade). I added a thin charcoal bangle and my arty ring. I put on some tightly woven black fishnet knee-his and my black patent boots by The Office of Angela Scott.
When this day started, I actually wasn’t expecting to be shopping with my client. Erin and I were there in her home to style new outfits for this sliver of fashion transition time between winter and spring. Remember my 5 lightening and brightening tips? That’s what we were up to. But while we were in the closet working with her wardrobe it became apparent that she needed more than jean jackets to help her transition her wardrobe. We decided to run to the mall and check on a couple of jackets she could start wearing soon.
I love the detail of the keyhole closure in the back.
Wearing the Renzo crepe top for dress up
Okay, I’ve worn the Renzo crepe top to lunch with my gal pals, to work with my precious clients, but could I dress it up for a lovely date night with Russ and enjoy looking at his brown eyes over candlelight at a corner table in a nice restaurant? Well, let’s just see.
In dressing up the Renzo top I didn’t want a collar, too formal. I did need another layer (chilly, still). I looked in my closet for other gray things. Gray on gray is elegant. When I spotted this gray Echo shawl I knew I had a big piece of the outfit completed already.
The shawl extends the length of the top and flows into the wide-leg Rag & Bone pants I chose to wear. I added my Pat Flynn iron cuff with diamonds to keep the elegant theme going. So the diamonds in the cuff could have a playmate while Russ and I were cooing with each other, I added this simply elegant tassel necklace with sparkles. This outfit called for my pointy-toed patent AGL flats with big velvet bows.
I love when perfect mating happens spontaneously in your closet. The texture and flat weave of my shawl is only perfect with the texture and flat weave of my top. The fact that they’re so close to the same is what gives this an elegant look.
I’m adding a different texture for added interest with the iron cuff and the sheen of my framed charcoal gray artistic handbag.
I really love the way this came together. How I feel in this outfit is exactly how I want to feel on date night.
Dad would be proud! I did indeed come up with three ways to wear this top. I think I get extra points for the fact that I managed to wear it for three different parts of my life.
What do you think about my prudent three-way styling rule? Do you have a different formula that works for you? Do share, my friends!
This post is sponsored by Artful Home. You can find the Renzo crepe top by Lisa Bayne in charcoal or Jasper in the winter collection right now. Thank you Artful Home and Lisa Bayne for gifting me this top and letting me use it to demonstrate my three-way fashion styling tip.