TIPS ON HOW TO PLAY WITH CONTRASTS IN YOUR OUTFITS

Nov 25, 2014

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So this is going to sound against the grain, but I hate when things "go" together. Matchy-matchy looks have my eye falling into a twitching frenzy; dresses paired with cardigans and ballet flats make me want to put my head slowly down on the table; and I don't get too excited over a top that goes hand in hand with a pair of pants. Don't get me wrong, I think it looks fine. Nice. Appealing. 

But, to me, it doesn't look amazing. I like amazing. And I think the way to achieve amazing is if you take elements that shouldn't go together and force them to make nice. Like pairing rugged boots with feminine dresses, delicate, intricate tops with menswear-inspired slacks, or chambray shirts with evening gowns. 

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It takes a bit of practice, but once you hit your stride with balancing juxtapositions, beautiful outfits emerge. And one of my favorite contrasts to play with is the casual + elegant combo. 

Take this particular outfit for example. This full emerald skirt has silk gloves and champagne written all over it. I could easily wear this to a date where five courses and soft candlelight are involved, or to a dinner party where I borrow my mom's diamond earrings to fit in. Because of that, do you know what would be wonderful to take that vibe down a notch or two? A plaid shirt.

Plaid has autumn evenings with hot ciders and commutes with infinity scarves basically written into the thread of it. A straight opposite from full, silk skirts. But when paired together, they both war and accept each other. They fit flawlessly but still create interest.

Then to take it a step further, pair the look with sleek black boots for a sharp, but relaxed vibe; and a vintage fur collar (this one is from New Old Fashion Vintage) to add a touch more fancy and balance out the casual pieces. 

And what do we have in the end? A look that you could easily take to the coffee shop to read a book, or to an after hour's cocktail party at the museum with the rest of the fancy folk. Win, win.

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ONETWOTHREEFOUR


PS: Want more tips on how to play with opposites? Then check out 10 Tips on How to Wear Your Evening Wear in a Casual Way, Dressing Down Evening Skirts for the Day, and How to Wear Column Dresses During the Day Time. Want to see other looks where I styled this fur collar? Check out Tips on How to Style a Blanket Scarf: There's More Than 1 Way!


OUTFIT-DETAILS
SKIRT: c/o Choies (only $16!)
FUR COLLAR: c/o New Old Fashion Vintage
BOOTIES: Marshalls
SHIRT: thrifted (similar: here and here)

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38 comments :

  1. I can only agree (-: It looks beautiful on you. xx

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  2. Nice look dear:) xx
    Bianka
    http://ruhamania.blogspot.hu/

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  3. I love this look! Totally with you on the mixing of styles! :)

    Style Sunrise ☀ // Giveaway!

    :)
    x

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  4. I love this skirt with the plaid!!
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  5. I'm definitely guilty of being too matchy-matchy! I always love how much creativity you put into your outfits, and this one is so divine. That skirt is pretty amazing, and I have a couple of vintage fur collars that I need to incorporate into my outfits! This is a beautiful holiday look.

    xox Sammi

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  6. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about style - the creator at work, it's precious to me, thank you for sharing. Love the photos, there is something mesmerizing about them, I find myself scrolling up and down time after time. This color is great on you, and you created a gorgeous outfit. It's good to know not just what you like, but what amazing looks like to your eyes, and you took the next step - what it means to your soul ("war and accept"). That's genius.

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  7. Oh, WOW...that skirt! What a great find :) Beautiful for the holidays!

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  8. I love the fur collar, and that green skirt is beautiful too!

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  9. This looks so lovely Marlen! I love the color palette and for this time of the year is just perfect!

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  10. I've said it before but that skirt is fantastic! You are gorgeous. <3

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  11. This outfit is so dreamy, Marlen! I would wear this head-to-toe in a heartbeat. So Christmasy!

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  12. I love this combination! Your experimental mixing is inspiring to this very traditionally "matchy-matchy" gal!

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  13. you've got such a good style, i really love it. so happy i came across your blog :)
    -k
    www.kerryjune.com

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  14. Great tips and I love this outfit! I would easily wear it as well!

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  15. You look so classy and elegant! I adore that skirt!

    lovejoanna.com

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  16. This all looks so wonderful together! So glad I ran across your blog!

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  17. That skirt is brilliant <3 Beautiful texture and color!

    - Anna

    www.melodicthriftychic.com

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  18. I totally agree on how one must literally force pieces to go together, because once they achieve it, they look 100% great! I love this outfit, I personally love to mix and match patterns! Your style is pure amazing xx

    http://www.roomxcv.com | Room 95

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  19. I love your skirt!

    - Deniz
    www.dressedupdeniz.com

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  20. Amazing style is your forte too. Aha, I've always enjoyed seeing your fashion posts for exactly that reason. You mix things I'd never think of putting together, and make it work!

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  21. Ah Marlen! I always enjoy reading your posts...they couldn't be more relevant and on point. So it's no surprise that, once again, I couldn't agree more. I usually play it too safe myself, and go for the matchy matchy look rather than a more risky look, but I absolutely adore what you did here. This is such a versatile and interesting look. Besides, I really feel like I need that skirt in my life...the colour is beyond amazing and perfect for the party season :)

    Jasmin xx

    http://www.whatdefinesus.com

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  22. Haha, I'm all for forcing stuff together :D Sometimes I like the end result, sometimes I look like a horrible experiment that went wrong :D But who cares, experimenting makes me happy and I think this is what fashion is all about :D
    I love the outfit, don't even have to mention it! It's extremely bold and gorgeous, stylish and cozy. I love it ^^

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  23. I love the fur collar, it's so unique! The whole outfit is one of a kind, actually, and I know that's the amazing look you're so good at getting :). And, you don't need to "force" things together to look nice. You have such a talent for putting unique outfits together and they always look so lovely! I love it.

    xo, Serli
    www.lesoleilchic.blogspot.com

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  24. Great tips! I love all the looks :)
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  25. So, I wear all of the outfits you'd described in that first paragraph, but I utterly agree with you- they look fine and nice, but not amazing. The juxtaposition is what takes a look to that level, quite often, and you do it well!

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  26. Beautiful look, I have yet to master how to style my clothes like this... I am too "safe" (yes by safe I mean boring lol!) But I'm comfortable with what I wear and I like it. :D I just found your blog and I love it! :)

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  27. I agree! Matchy matchy drives me crazy when I try to wear it. I like my outfits to POP. Mix colors, textures, and patterns. This is a great look for all of those reasons! Love it.

    http://lamentinglizzie.blogspot.com

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  28. Yes- I feel the EXACT same way! I totally know that twitching frenzy you speak of :) I remember an argument with my mom in like 5th grade when she bought me a matching top and skirt outfit for a school program and I insisted on wearing a different shirt with it because it was too matchy. She was so confused by this, but it's really been how I've functioned ever since ;) This is such a fun holiday look- I love that collar so much!

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  29. i love both matchy outfits and those with contrast:-) and i love this one, the shirt, the skirt and the collar all look gorgeous together! xx

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  30. I really like this! That fur collar is really cute and I love the green in the plaid top! It is the perfect contrast to the full emerald skirt! Thanks for visiting my blog! I love the name of yours!
    ~~Megan~~
    http://www.poshprime.com

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  31. It's funny you should say that, I tend to think of your ensembles when trying to create a harmonized juxtaposition. Although, I have much to learn! This outfit is right on the dot, the plaid looks amazing with the full fancy skirt! I like the holiday vibe with the plaid and the dark green too, and the fur adds a wonderful classic touch.

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  32. Genius. Pure genius. I'm all about the mixing prints but I love the thought of mixing different categorized pieces together!

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  33. I feel the same way.. definitely the struggles trying to put together an amazing outfit with pants or minimal layering pieces.

    I am loving the green in this! That fur collar makes it really unique!

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  34. I hate having things match too! It's so boring! I love having different shades of a color when going monochromatic like you have here. The fur creates such an interesting look and texture. I love it!

    Theatricality by Mariah

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  35. You have great style, it's so unique! I'd love if you took a peek at my blog as well! :)

    xx

    Justine of The Desert Mermaids

    http://www.thedesertmermaids.com

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