People with recognizable style often know how to pair together pieces to create visual interest. These are unexpected yet balanced combinations of varying cuts and materials which makes one’s look more unique. Anyone can dress head to toe in Fendi or J. Crew or style their home throughout in Restoration Hardware but no matter how amazing the brand, I argue it’s just too predictable.
There are no hard fast rules on how to achieve visual interest, but I do believe there are some pairings in which I like to experiment with. Here are some I like to play around with mixing when styling and dressing clients:
HIGH AND LOW: This is pretty self-explanatory, but people don’t need to dress head to toe is the same designer to look good. In fact, it often creates a more “one-note” look. I love the juxtaposition of marrying together some trendier, lower cost items or even thrift/consignment finds with high-end items. It might be your handbag, jewelry shoes or denim you invest in and then fill in the gaps with various brands at lower price points.
MASCULINE AND FEMININE: I’m not a feminine dresser so for me this is a go-to to make any outfit that feels too girly look a bit more edgy or masculine. Think about pairing a heavy boot or leather jacket with a dress or skirt. Or even looking for a traditionally masculine look, such as a suit, and soften it in a shade of pink or purple.
CASUAL AND DRESSY: Wearing a dress with a baseball hat and high tops? Yup. Or track pants with heels. A suit with sneakers. Yes, yes. If your core or base piece feel too dressy for where you are going, finish of the look with more casual pieces to feel appropriate. And if cargo pants and a t-shirt feel too casual for dinner, throw on a strappy sandal or pump and immediately see how it changes the look. No matter what, it’s a fun and unexpected combo because its not the normal way you would style it.
OVERSIZED AND FITTED PORTPORTIONS: There’s reason why wearing a baggy shirt with baggy pants can look disproportionate. The same can be said for wearing tight clothes from head to toe unless you’re a 5’11” model, of course. The idea is that mixing proportions creates interest as well as flatters the body. So try the full skirt or trouser or with a fitted shirt tucked in or the oversized jacket with the mini dress.
MIXED FABRICS: Mixing materials is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit look more unexpected. Often fabrics have a light, airy soft quality about them or a harder, heavier feeling. Try mixing ones that feel opposite of each other, but just be mindful of the season you are in. for example I love pairing sweaters with silk, linen with lace and leather… with everything 🙂
Hope this sparks some new ideas for you & your wardrobe and if you still need more guidance, reach out to BOOK A CONSULT HERE.