This is an introductory post into the fundamentals of Outfit Pairing. We hope you enjoy!
We offer a variety of patterned and solid color tops, bottoms, and dresses at Shelley’s Shoppe, along with some great Southwestern style jewelry and accessories. We each have our own style and ways to ensemble the perfect outfit but wanted to cover some of the fundamentals just for fun. We certainly do not want to seem that these are the only ways to pair outfit items and accessories, as it is your own uniqueness that makes YOU so great! But here are some thoughts on putting together different pieces to showcase your individual unique style. Let’s begin!
Color plays such a large role in our lives. We each have a favorite color for a reason that we may not quite remember anymore – but we love how we look wearing it, how it looks on the walls in our home or the color of our car. The different colors can represent emotions and create different feelings when around them. We can utilize color in our wardrobe as part of our self-expression.
We offer several solid-colored pieces in what we call “layering” tops, for the distinct purpose of establishing that emotional/base foundation that can be layered upon. The darks (charcoal, black) and colors (fuchsia, mauve, robin egg blue, magenta, peach) work together with any type of print to create that complete outfit. And we can accomplish a complete outfit in a short amount of time when we begin with a solid color base. It is just fine to wear solid colors for both tops and bottoms – you can even wear the same colors if you like. But you can use these pieces to add an outer layer – kimono, vest, duster – and fun accessories.
Black, white, and browns are neutrals. In western style, we can consider turquoise a neutral and you can never go wrong adding turquoise! Neutrals can be worn alone or paired with most prints to balance the look of an outfit. Have a fun colorful top? Pair it with a great solid color bottoms. Generally darker colors have a slimming effect, so you can choose your pieces based on where you feel that would be helpful with your style and body type.
When making outfits with color think about matching complementary or contrasting colors (pull out those color wheels from grade school). Choose colors in the same color scheme to match (complementary) or colors that are opposite (contrasting) for a pleasing look to the eye.
When pairing a certain style of print, whether it is leopard, Aztec print, or even the serape print on many of the items we sell, it is important to note the direction and color scheme. A lot of our apparel items give you a mix of prints – don’t shy away from them – they give you the opportunity to wear them in many outfit combinations! You CAN mix prints in the same or contrasting color scheme. Wear what makes you feel great!
Lines – as seen in our serape prints – are also an interesting design feature to incorporate to any outfit. The direction, thickness and color of the lines can play tricks on our eyes. Vertical lines, especially in the tops, tend to make the person look taller and thinner. While horizontal lines can make a person look wider, this is not always a bad thing if placed at the correct portion of the garment. The eye will travel either from bottom to top or top to bottom. Diagonals are always a good slimming shape, as it generally pulls the eyes from outside to center. It is all about perception and balance.
One other note on balancing an outfit: avoid baggy with baggy or flowy with flowy. We do not want to get lost in our clothing. Each of us is unique in our body type and should be embracing that uniqueness. Baggy/Flowy tops and bottoms are not meant to hide anything, but to offer a subtle flow for the eye. It is good to keep things moving in a single direction: A flowy top over regular/snug fitting bottoms. A pair of flares with a regular/snug fit top. And as always, personal preference will be the final decision.
Pairing accessories uses the same thought process as the main outfit pieces – adding the icing on the cake. How much icing do you want with your outfit? Are you more simplistic with a single necklace and stud earring or more adventurous with layered necklaces, fringe earrings and maybe a great thumb ring. Choose a color from your outfit that you want to highlight and choose your accessories from there. Don’t be afraid to mix in more than one color here!
We offer several different types of accessories that work together well with a mix of different materials – from beads, faux stones, suede fringe, pendants and more – each in varying shapes, sizes and colors. What is great about these different shapes, color, and size is variety.
We will stop here with this introductory discussion to pairing items and get into a little more detail in later posts. Choose the outfit that makes you feel fabulous! When you look great, you FEEL great, and you do great things! Wear what makes you happy. We hope that you enjoyed this and look forward to any comments that you may have!