Wearing bright pants is an acquired taste. Some find the look loud, juvenile, unprofessional and widening, and prefer neutral bottoms. Others simply prefer to wear their non-neutrals up top. Personally, I enjoy wearing bright pants because it’s an easy way to make an interesting and bold statement. Add a simple top and pair of shoes, and you’re there. The pants do all the talking. I miss my red, orange and citron pants, and desperately want to replace them this year.
I think these outfits are gorgeous, although I’d swap out some of the footwear choices and we need warmer weather before we can put them into action. Hopefully they’ll provide some inspiration.
1. Fuchsia Elegance
Combine a black lace or solid blouse with pair of dressy fuchsia pants like these crepe flares. Tucking the top makes the leg line look longer, as does wearing almost floor sweeping hems. The low-contrast silver pumps further lengthen the leg line and add some shine. Proportionately, the model looks short in the waist which is accentuated by the strong horizontal line created by the high-contrast top and bottom. The V-neckline of the shirt collar offsets that by drawing the eye back up and down. The model looks beautifully elegant.
2. Trendy Classic
Combine a pair of red pants with white boots and top, and Bob’s your uncle. Throw in just about any colour bag or topper because red & white are a classic and versatile combination. I’d add a turquoise bag and coat to this combination, and swap out the shirt for a white pullover. You could sub the white for black, toffee, tan or navy, if that’s more your thing.
3. Suited and Stilettoed
Combine green pants with a navy top, and finish off the look with nude-for-you, white, blush, metallic or navy footwear. Sub the navy with black if that’s more to your taste. And if suits are your thing, add the matching topper. Wearing stiletto heels with a suit is a classic pairing, although the heels needn’t be high.
4. Tonal Romance
Cobalt works well with teal and turquoise because it clashes in a deliciously tonal way. Here, both the pants and blouse are soft, creating a sensual vibe. The blouse is tucked for structure, but you could wear it untucked. Nude-for-you, white, metallic, or footwear that bookends your hair is a good way to go. I’d have styled the model with closed footwear like a tan mule, ballet flat or pump.
My business casual clients are always looking to style black trousers in interesting ways. My first suggestion is to change up their footwear from the usual black to animal print, metallic, white, red or grey. Then to create a complement with the footwear by repeating the colour somewhere else in the outfit, like in the top, scarf, bag or with jewellery. Bookending hair with footwear counts as colour repetition.
Here are four more ways to add interest to black pant outfits for work:
1. Animal Print Footwear & Patterned Top
The snakeskin footwear breaks up the black of the suit, as does the polka dot blouse. The black background of the blouse creates a low contrast against the suit, but feel free to wear a high-contrast patterned top. Leopard boots, pumps or loafers would have worked as well. Keeping the palette neutral makes the pattern mixing easy to pull together.
2. Silver Shoes & Pussy-Bow Blouse
Combine a patterned or non-black pussy-bow blouse with black pants and silver footwear like pumps, ballet flats or boots. Top a black moto over the blouse to create a juxtaposition of tough and pretty. If the silver hardware of the moto picks up the silver of the shoes, so much the better. Add silver jewellery or hair to complement the silver shoes too.
3. White Boots & Top
Create a complement with a top and boots in a shade of white. Add that to a pair of black pants and finish things off with a topper in just about any colour and pattern. If the pattern has black in it, the palette will come together very easily. A black and white plaid is shown here, which is serene and classic.
4. White Boots, Tunic & Oversized Topper
Combine white pointy-toe footwear with full-length black bootcuts or bell-bottoms. The black soles of the boots here do a great job of picking up the black in the rest of the outfit. For the top part, layer a shorter voluminous topper over some type of solid and streamlined tunic and watch the magic happen.
Nods to the ‘80s and ‘90s continue as we head into 2019. As far as the ‘90s go, there are few items as representative of the era than black combat boots. Styles can be chunky or more refined. Despite the bulkiness of the boot, the fit is tailored.
Black combat boots are an iconic casual classic with a high longevity factor. They’re always in style, a wardrobe essential for a hard-edged style persona, and a practical statement shoe. Most of them are black, although they come in shades of brown and sometimes white too.
These days, you can incorporate combat boots into just about any outfit. They add a casual and tough component to a look, which makes them a handy styling tool. Here are four renditions to get you started.
1. Architectural Darkness
The column of colour here is easy to pull together with a dark pair of blue jeans, which effectively breaks up the black. No need to tuck the top if that’s not your thing. Top and bag are simple, but the topper is dramatic. Its accentuated cocoon shape adds an architectural, arty and playful touch. Jeans are cropped to showcase the boots, and by all means wear warm black knee-highs or socks.
2. Soft and Playfully Patterned
This is my favourite of the four because it’s not hard-edged. It’s softer and I like the white boots. It’s also Trendy Classic, which is a look close to my heart. Combine a pattern-mixed top and topper in any colour palette with jeans and combat boots. If you can’t pattern mix, find soft or bright solids. Wearing the jeans cropped or rolled at the hems to showcase the boots is key. Substitute the jeans for pants if that’s more to your taste.
3. Hard-Edged Flounce
Combine a flirty, flared and flouncy midi skirt with a black top and combat boots. It’s that simple. Sweatshirts relax the vibe of the outfit. A fitted black pullover will work, and dress things up a bit. Feel free to sub the skirt and top with a prairie dress, floral flared midi, or something similar.
4. Skirted Equestrian
Combine a tapered black tube skirt with a black top and combat boots. Throw on a classic blazer in any colour palette and Bob’s your uncle. A moto jacket, bomber, denim jacket or cape can work as well. Try a shorter black pencil skirt with black hosiery if you have those on hand. Or sub the skirt with black pants.
Wide crops have been trending for a while, and are gaining mainstream momentum. They are high in the waist, roomy to very roomy in the leg, wide at the hem, and cropped above the ankle. The idea is to showcase the high rise but tucking or semi-tucking tops into the waist, and most wide crops are styled that way. But feel free to wear an untucked top, especially when it creates a low contrast with the bottoms. That way you won’t shorten the leg line as much, especially when you wear flats.
Here are four outfit ideas to get you started.
1. Streamlined & Punchy Shoes
These wide crops are streamlined and the tucked top showcases the self-fabric belt. The black moto adds structure to the outfit because it’s short, thereby accentuating the natural form of the wearer from the hips down. The black moto also creates a column of colour in a more subtle way. Black boots would have been an obvious elongating choice, but the snakeskin is unexpected and punchy. The black in the pattern of the snakeskin creates enough colour palette cohesion.
2. Column of Colour
Columns of colour are often black or dark. But they can be any colour, like the red one here. Columns like these make a bold yet calming statement. They are elongating, streamlining, and make a statement. Columns of colour allow you to combine a larger assortment of silhouettes because they offset the horizontal lines that get in the way of flattering proportions. They also provide a so-called blank canvas for all sorts of accessories and footwear. Here, the white boots are crisp, and their black heels match the black buttons of the outfit.
3. Earthy Super Hero
These might be proportions that are easier to accomplish when you wear heels, but flats can work if they’re structured and tidy on the foot and ankle. The high contrast of the top, boots and coat create horizontal lines that affect proportions. Yet the subtle elongating strategies make a difference like the the semi-tucked top, the very long length of the coat, the open front of the coat, and shorter length of the wide crops.
4. Textured Black
I like the texture in this outfit, which offsets the flatness and severity that an all-black outfit can exude. There are six textures: wool, bouclé, fur, surface interest stitching, ribbing and patent. The grey laces and Swiss dot are subtle, but make a dancing difference against the black. The proportions work because a column of colour offsets horizontal lines that high-contrast items create. The result is streamlining no matter the silhouette.
Physicians Formula has launched its first makeup collaboration collection with popular beauty vlogger Casey Holmes, and the set — a palette that comes with a lipstick and perfume — sold out almost immediately. Allure
Pencil skirts can be formal, strict, classic, professional, ultra feminine and bombshell, which is fabulous if that’s how you want to wear them. They can also be playful, casual and relaxed with the right support act. These outfits showcase ways of doing just that. Mix things up by creating tension and interesting juxtapositions. Feel free to change up the colours and patterns so that they’re more to your taste.
The strength of the pencil skirt is its structured slim silhouette, which makes wearing just about any silhouette of top or topper a flattering and streamlined-enough option.
Pencil skirts vary from straight to very tapered on the side seams creating a tube-skirt effect. Take your pick.
1. Playfully Heeled
I like the tension between the severity of the pointy-toed, glossy, dressy, heeled boots and the relaxed and gentle vibe of the roomy cardigan. The flowered pattern and billowing sleeves add a dash of romance. The knit top adds a little more softness, which in turn complements the hard-edged shaved head of the model. The tucked top adds polish and lengthens the leg line from the thighs upward.
2. The Comfy Touch
The pattern on this pencil skirt is playful in itself, and accentuated with the addition of the comfy sweatshirt. The layered white shirt is an interesting detail, but not essential. The flat high-shaft haute hiking boots throw in a ‘90s integrity, and the white laces magically pick up the white in the rest of the outfit. You could wear a less oversized sweatshirt, leave off the white shirt, and semi-tuck into the pencil skirt instead. Throw in a dressy shoe and Bob’s your uncle.
3. Haute Hiking in a Bomber
The tension between the tight tube skirt and relaxed bomber is interesting. Sporty Bombshell. The layering top is a simple long-sleeved tee or pullover worn over the skirt. Feel free to leave off the belt bag. The haute hiking boots add back a ‘90s touch, and the scrunched shuffle socks above the boots bring back the ‘80s. I’d have preferred to see a beret or beanie for a hat, but the felt fedora is unique.
4. Relaxed Elegance
This pencil skirt here is less tapered and dressier than the first three looks. The roomier pencil skirt complements the oversized pullover thereby matching the relaxed effect. Semi-tucking the front adds some structure, as does scrunching the sleeves of the pullover. The black-on-black creates an elongated column of colour. The naked silver sandals look seasonally confused with the pullover to my eye – cold feet! But I love the way the silver magically bookends the model’s silver hair. Silver pumps, Mary Janes, pointy-toe ballet flats, or booties would have been my choice of shoe. Gorgeous look.
Wearing white jeans in Winter looks fresh and gives your blue jeans a break. It might not work in your snowy, slushy, rural and wet climate, or be your cup of tea. But as a white jeans advocate, I’m hopeful you’ll give it a go anyway. Maybe you’ll wear the look on a bright, dry and sunny Winter’s day. Or when you’re being chauffeured and don’t need to traipse through the snow. Failing that, freeze the idea till things thaw out in Spring.
For those who like to wear white jeans in Winter like I do, here are four ways to combine them with a neutral support act. You can swap out the black for navy or olive if that’s more to your taste.
1. Classic Fabness
Create a column of white with jeans and an off-white or tan pullover. Tuck or semi-tuck into the high rise and add a belt to bookend the black jeans, and possibly your dark hair. The horizontal line of the high-contrast belt is offset by the column of colour and high rise of the jeans that elongates the silhouette. Top things off with a high-contrast neutral coat. I love this even though I don’t wear black booties. I’d substitute the black for cognac booties and belt, and wear an olive parka, or navy coat.
2. Earthy Flares
Create a column of Winter white with white jeans and a cream pullover. The white flares are lovely but desperately need DRY weather. I like the oversized fit of the pullover that’s offset by the sleeker thigh fit of the flares. The unstructured toffee topper adds visual interest. The heels create a longer leg line which can prevent that “dumpy” feeling when you wear wide unstructured layers. But by all means create a more structured silhouette and wear tapered jeans. White boots are fab, but toffee or metallic work as well.
3. Cosy and Wrapped
Combine white skinnies with a turtleneck or layering pullover of your choice. Bring on the drama with a patterned or solid wrap or poncho. Wear it unstructured or belted at the waist. Add neutral boots that work with the palette of the outfit. Here, tan boots would have worked as well as black.
4. Structured Equestrian Lite
This one is for extremely mild Winter weather. Heck, I’d wear the combination in Summer. Combine white skinnies with a black tee and plaid equestrian blazer. Add black boots, mules, shooties, loafers or booties. For a proper Winter, I’d tuck white skinnies into tall black riding boots, and layer a black turtleneck under the patterned blazer. I’d throw an anorak, military coat or cocoon coat over the lot.
Velvet pants are a classic for the holidays. That said, it’s soon to be 2019 and these days velvet is an everyday fabric too. Heck, most retailers are styling velvet pants with sneakers, sweatshirts and oversized pullovers. No need to save velvet pants for the end of the year or evening settings. Dress them up or down and just wear them.
Here are four easy ways to style velvet pants that are a little different from the norm. A much warmer option for Winter than a skimpy sleeveless dress that tradition insists we wear at this time of year.
1. Black & Musical Grey
Combine a pair of black velvet pants with a UNIQUE grey pullover that sings to the pants. The black bow and sleeve vent on the pullover makes the outfit here. Simple but not basic, and that’s key. Black classic loafers effectively bookend the model’s hair. Add knee-highs or trouser socks for warmth.
2. Pattern Mixed
Combining three patterns within the same palette creates visual harmony. Mismatched, but not as jarring. The combination is an acquired taste, but worth a go if you fancy the effect. Winter florals are fun to wear too. Add knee-highs or trouser socks for warmth.
3. Red & Cream
Combine red velvet pants with a white or cream support act. Think Winter white top, topper and boots instead of the usual black. The pullover here is slouchy and casual, but feel free to sport a dressier version. A good one for blondes, and my favourite of the four.
4. Magical Merlot
Combine a pair of burgundy velvet pants with black top and shoes, and layer a Winter white topper over the lot. These flares are not for snowy and wet weather unless you’re chauffeured to the doorstep. Of course, the colour combination works as well for tapered velvet pants.
I have a new pair of mustardy-chartreuse velvet pants from Boden that I had altered on the waist and hips to fit perfectly. I love them because they’re bright and different. I’m wearing them as regular day-to-day pants because why not! They are extremely well made, do not bag out, are toasty warm, and look luxe. They’re a nice alternative to jeans and very comfortable. I like them best with a cream, blush, and watermelon support act. I have an old chartreuse coat and scarf that tone in well with the pants although the colours look off in the stock photos. Here are the pants and the exact items I’ve been wearing with them so far. Go Team Velvet Pants.
Metallic boots are a great way to jazz up an outfit, especially for the holidays, when you have grey, or salt & pepper hair to bookend the look, or when your wardrobe is neutrally-rich. Metallic boots add shine, which is festive, eye-catching and unique. Silver boots are especially popular because they’re less bright and gaudy than most gold boots. Pewter boots straddle the line between silver and gold and are another way to go.
Silver boots come in all sorts. Heeled, flat, matte, extra shiny, dressy, casual, minimal, maximal, high shaft, low shaft, so take your pick.
Here are four outfit formulas that incorporate silver boots in easy ways. Note that none of the models have silver or salt & pepper hair to bookend the look, but that would add something extra to the look.
1. Skinnies, Black Top & Silver Boots
Combine a pair of dressier blue skinny or straight leg jeans with a festive top and silver boots. The top needn’t be black, but that might be what you have on hand. Finish off the outfit with a silver bag to match the boots, or another bag that works with the palette. Silver jewellery picks up the silver of the boots.
2. Flares & Silver Boots
Pointy toe heeled boots or pumps are a classic worn under flared jeans and pants. The combination is dressy, streamlining and elongating. Here the model is wearing a black top with waist definition, but a colour or pattern works just as well – as will a fluid fit. The eyelet detailing of the top does effectively pick up the silver of the boots. Adding silver jewellery will do that too. Personally, I find the jeans here two inches short, but that’s subjective.
3. Flared Midi, Fluid Top & Silver Boots
A soft flared midi skirt worn with a fluid, untucked welted top is a comfortable and modern combination. The pairing can shorten the leg line so in this case heeled boots are a good bet. The silver boots are low contrast to the model’s skin tone which further elongates the leg line. The silver complements the white in the pattern of the skirt, which pulls the outfit together.
4. Column of Black & Silver Boots
If you wear a lot of black, breaking up the head-to-toe column with silver boots is extremely effective. The same can be done with a column of navy, ink blue, red, grey or a pattern. Here, the black trim of the boots complements the black of the outfit. Although this is a skirted look, adding silver boots to black pants and top is as fabulous. Just about any colour or patterned handbag would work here.
I prefer warm metals so it’s gold boots for me. I have a flat smart casual pair that I bought last year that became instant workhorses. I wear them day to day instead of on occasions because I like glitz and shiny things. I often complemented them with a matching gold belt. But now that I’m off wearing belts with high rises and exposed butterfly jeans, we’ll see what happens. My gold boots are great to travel with because they’re very comfy and go the distance. I wear them in the Winter and Spring when I feel like more of a party on my feet. They are particularly good with white jeans. The metallic leather scuffs quite easily, but not too bad. I’m an urban walker and don’t let my shoes boss me around.
Holiday parties are a lot more relaxed than they used to be, which brings me to the casual holiday dress. It is comfortable, sleeved and insulating. No form-fitting silhouettes that need shapewear. No need to find the right topper because it’s sleeveless. No worries that your outfit looks best with a jacket, because the dress does all the talking. And you can wear comfortable and practical footwear.
A shout-out to Artful Home where they sell eclectic and arty holiday attire from an XS to XXL (size US2/4 to US18/20). Silhouettes are fluid, a little architectural, and provide ample coverage. I found this site through the wonderful Brenda Kinsel, who wears their items with panache.
Here are some neutral and understated renditions to get you started, but feel free to add more colour and pattern. You might also like the combinations for settings other than casual holiday parties.
1. Arty Tartan
A sleeved A-line dress in a pattern made of substantial fabric WITH pockets and a versatile neckline ticks off all the boxes. It’s warm, comfortable, interesting, festive, forgiving and elegant. Throw it on over leggings or hosiery with a pair of flat or heeled shoes, and Bob’s your uncle. Add bling, a clutch, lippie, and possibly fingernail polish. Brenda Kinsel wears this dress with grace and panache. I love her dressier additions of fishnet hosiery, matching specs, low-heeled ankle strap pumps, and sparkly expressions. You can also keep the look more casual with leggings, skinnies, flats or casual boots.
2. Magical Movement
This type of drapey dress works on most body types. It’s just structured enough through the sleeves and upper torso, and lets the volume and colour-blocking below the bust create movement and interest. Wear it over leggings, skinnies or hosiery, and add anything from ballet flats, booties, and shooties, to oxfords, Docs, pumps and ankle strap looks as footwear. Add festive bling to dress up or dress down this look as much as you like.
3. Cosy Cardi Layers
An A-line shift dress in a jersey or silky fabric looks surprisingly good with a tailored maxi cardigan worn loose like a casual jacket. A fine gauge knit cardigan is dressier than a chunky knit, and can be longer than the dress. Finish off the look with hosiery, boots or pumps, flats or oxfords, and some bling.
4. Sweatered & Booted
A great sweater dress is a beautiful thing because it’s the warmest and most versatile option. The turtleneck midi here has been layered with a cardigan, but you can wear the dress on its own with hosiery and your choice of dressy or casual footwear. You can add a scarf instead of a necklace. Finish off the look with bling and bag that make you smile.
I wore formula #4 to a few casual events last year, but more frequently when I work with clients. It’s a workhorse olive sweater dress from Banana Republic that is my go-to Winter dress. It’s gorgeous quality and hasn’t pilled, stretched out of shape, or shrunk. I wish I had it in other colours. I dress it up with hosiery or boots, shooties, pumps or heeled oxfords, and pick from my large capsule of handbags and outerwear to change up the palette and the mood. I’m happy to pattern mix up to three patterns in an outfit. I’ve also dressed it down with cream hi-top Converse sneakers and a guitar-strap crossbody bag. I often wear it with a scarf for warmth, which I either drape around my neck indoors or take off. Here are the exact items from my wardrobe that I mix and match to create an assortment of outfits.
Breath of the Wild was a huge departure from the usual Zelda formula. The world was completely open to explore and rarely felt empty or boring as there was always something to do. Every quest you embarked on could be interrupted by dozens of other objectives to complete. The changes not only satisfied longtime fans but left them yearning for more.
Although little has been confirmed officially, speculation suggests that 2019 will bring a new Legend of Zelda game. Given the success of Breath of the Wild, we can only hope that Nintendo will continue to build upon its new formula. Here’s what we think Nintendo should do next to continue to evolve the Legend of Zelda franchise.
Customization — Who Says Link Has to Be Hylian?
Imagine starting up the next Zelda game for the first time, selecting “New Game,” and being greeted by a character customization screen. A Mass Effect-level of customization might be a bit much for a game whose main character is as iconic as Link. But being able to choose your gender or even race, as seen in games like Skyrim, could be a lot of fun. And what would happen if you chose to be a male Gerudo?
Speaking of customization, building swords, bows, and axes from materials you find during your travels would be a lot of fun, and a great way to introduce new items to the game. Customizable weapons might also force the game designers to give players each weapon a few more stats, too. Hey, wait, weapon building could mimic one of the best systems in the game: cooking. Imagine all the exciting “recipes” to try.
Ironing Out That Confusing Lore
What if Breath of the Wild didn’t just reset the Zelda formula? What if it was also intended to reset the timeline? It’s no secret that the Zelda timeline was an afterthought to Nintendo. The company even waited until the franchise turned 25 to finally release an official timeline. But now that the Zelda formula has been reinvented, couldn’t the timeline be reset as well? Breath of the Wild could be the start of its own story arch.
At the very least, it would be great to build upon Breath of the Wild‘s world. We don’t have to go full Dark Souls, but the follow-up to Breath of the Wild could continue the story with the same characters, items, weapons, and world. And what if you could live that lore by helping to rebuild Hyrule yourself? Sweet.
Give Us More Than Just Land to Explore
Bigger is better when it comes to map sizes for open-world games. Breath of the Wild is the biggest Zelda game yet, but it could be even bigger. Think Grand Theft Auto 5 orthe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. And what about water? That’s right — maybe it’s time to bring those iron boots back. There were exactly zero underwater areas to explore in Breath of the Wild. Opening up the game to water exploration would lead to a bigger map, which, in turn, could lead to a whole new set of game mechanics.
And we haven’t forgotten about airborne travel. Surely, we weren’t the only ones who started Breath of the Wild, saw the Divine Beast Vah Medoh floating in the distance, and thought, “Oh my gosh, it’s Skyloft!” or, “Oh my gosh, it’s the City in the Sky!” Wouldn’t it have been great to try to figure out how to get up there? And you know that jumping off to see how far you could glide is also a must.
Hey, Link! Let’s Start a Band
Musical instruments are no strangers to Zelda games. Link has played the ocarina, the guitar, and the drums. He’s even played disembodied voices… and grass. It seems a musician as eclectic as Link can play just about anything. Breath of the Wild was about reimagining the Zelda experience. So why not get the Champions together for a reimagining of the Indigo-Go’s?
Better yet, how about an entirely new musical experience? Besides collecting items and ingredients, Link could be a travelling minstrel much like Kass. Collecting musical themes and writing original scores could be a key game mechanic. Music could even influence the environment, like how you could cause a storm in the Ocarina of Timewith Link’s ocarina. This would lead to a lot of experimentation in songwriting and hours of gameplay.
Bigger Bads and Tougher Big Bads
Remember when you first scaled the mountains in Lanayru and found the cursed Naydra dragon at the top? It was a unique airborne battle that had Link glide down the mountain to loose arrows into the Malice-infested dragon. But later in your travels, when you found the other two dragons, there was no battle at all. Sure, you could collect dragon scales. But it’s weird that there was only one dragon to fight.
Then there was the first time you encountered a Lynel or Hinox. The heart-pounding battles that ensued resulted in dozens of deaths, enough to make anyone want to quit. But these clashes got easier over time, and we all wished there was an even greater challenge. The hard mode released with the DLC helped, but the next instalment of Zelda would benefit from a much larger roster of tough enemies. Give us more unique battling experiences please, Nintendo.
A pant suit that doesn’t look corporate is an excellent, versatile and easy outfit to pull out for the holidays. It’s less formal than a skirt suit, a whole lot warmer than a dress, can be layered with knitwear for extra warmth, and works with practical and weatherproof footwear. The suit can look as dressy, casual, festive, fun and elegant as you style it. The jacket and pants can be separated and remixed with other items.
Men’s fashion shows practical, warm and swish holiday attire every season, while women’s fashion continues to showcase a plethora of skimpy sleeveless dresses. It drives me bananas. I for one want to look festive AND feel warm.
As much as I adore wearing dresses, I’m into the fun holiday pant suit, and hope to encourage you too. Pant suits are cosy, versatile, and a great combination of dressy and smart casual. Here are four ideas.
1. Brocade Suit
The dandy and baroque integrity of a brocade suit is classic, romantic and luxe. This one is multi-coloured, but the more subtle self-colour brocade suit does exist. Choose a neutral or non-neutral, pop a silky camisole underneath, or a simple knitted layering top. Finish off the look with pumps, boots, Mary Janes, loafers or oxfords. Add knee-highs or trouser socks for warmth, and a clutch for dressiness.
2. Velvet Suit
Velvet, another regal and luxe fabric, is a fabulous idea in a pant suit. Think neutrals or non-neutrals. Subtle or bright. Pop a casual tee, fitted knit top, turtleneck, striped top, or silk camisole underneath, and wear anything from boots to loafers as footwear. A velvet blazer can be remixed with jeans as holiday outfit #2, while the pants can be remixed with a dressy pullover for holiday outfit #3.
3. Plaid Suit
A plaid suit is another way to go. High-contrast plaids are a commitment to wear from head to toe so make sure you’re comfortable doing that. Here’s a classic low-contrast plaid that looks streamlined with a navy turtleneck. It’s easier to wear than a bright or high-contrast plaid. Your choice of pumps, boots, Mary Janes, loafers or oxfords as footwear with hosiery or socks. A sparkly bag and brooch would lift the dark palette of the outfit if that tickles your fancy.
4. Bright Suit
Think of a brightly coloured suit like red, pink, mustard or purple. Or less bright, like teal, plum, blush, forest green, burgundy or cobalt blue. Finish off the outfit with a top, shoes and small handbag in the same colour or pattern. Finish off the look with a suitable layering top, footwear. Add as much bling as you’re comfortable sporting for the festive season.
You could wear a leopard print pant suit, a metallic suit, or a classic black “Le Smoking” tuxedo too. Switch out the layers, footwear and accessories to create a fresh look, and layer a warm cape, coat or puffer over the top.
Mixing patterns in an outfit is an acquired taste, and some versions of the look are more subtle than others. The more hectic and maximal versions clash in colour, pattern size and pattern type, which is in itself a trendy look. Combining bold, bright and big patterns in different colours can clash to such an extent that they create visual harmony. Subtle pattern mixes are tonal, neutral, and the patterns are usually small. Either way, there’s a pattern mixed look for each of us.
Some pattern mixed looks to get those creative juices flowing:
1. Stripes & Florals
Combining a simple and small scale geometric pattern like a gingham or stripe with any floral is compelling. The cream and black in both patterns here are what allow the eye to rest and pull the look together. The black bag further complements the outfit.
2. Chevron & Dots
It’s effective to combine a quiet pattern (the dots) with a loud pattern (the chevron). Polka dots are generally easy to pattern mix with when they’re two-toned, small, and subtle. Here the black in both patterns is what pulls the look together. The blonde hair of the model picks up the cream in the top, while the silver boots pick up the metallic in the skirt. The eye can rest because it can see colour repetition.
3. Spice it Up
Wearing two busy patterns in the same palette creates hectic harmony. Here there’s almost a positive and negative pattern effect that works well. The colour-blocking on the lower legs of the pants creates a third pattern, which is quite jarring. But the jarring effect is grounded by the black boots that complement the black of the colour-block.
4. Checks & Florals
The floral and check patterns are big, but not awfully bright. The low contrast of the buffalo check makes it just about pass for a false plain instead of a pattern. The hues of the check are repeated in the floral which makes them gel. The cream boots further strengthen the cream in the patterns which unifies the components. The unexpected blush bag is delicious.
5. Tartan Squared
Both tartans are neutral and earthy. The geometric repetition as well as the white and black present in both tartans are what bind the patterns together. The white top matches the white in the patterns. The black boots match the black in the pattern and bookend the model’s hair. The effect is a very friendly clash because there is enough common ground and repetition between the elements of the outfit.
Who else likes to pattern mix? I’m looking forward to seeing lots of pattern mixed outfits on the forum.
This is part two on how to incorporate white boots in outfits. Last week I covered white boots with pants and jeans. This weeks it’s dresses and skirts.
Repeating a few upfront comments I made in the previous post on white boots with pants and jeans:
Platinum blondes, light silver, and white-haired people naturally bookend white boots in outfits. If the white boots match nothing else in the outfit, they will effortlessly create a complement with their light-coloured hair.
It is not essential to bookend the look. You can have ANY complexion and hair colour and rock white boots.
When you wear tops and toppers in shades of white, white boots look more integrated into the outfit.
Create a two or three item complement with white boots using a belt, a scarf that picks up some white in the pattern, a handbag, or a an item of jewellery. My white pearls do a good job of picking up the white in my footwear.
Don’t worry too much about mismatching white boots in an outfit. Their jarring and bright effect as a stand-alone addition is in itself a trendy look, although an acquired taste
Some visuals to get those white boot outfits rolling:
1. Super Hero Dress
Combine short white heeled booties with any dress, walk out the door and feel like a super hero. Finish off the look with a topper that works with the outfit. The pattern of the dress does not have to have a white component. White works with any solid, and you don’t need blonde or silvery white hair to bookend the outfit.
2. De-Bombshelled Mini
I liked how the short skirt is combined with a fluid blouse that’s tucked for structure instead of a tight top that would create a body-con look from neck to hem. The tailored flat booties further de-bombshell the outfit the same way a pair of sneakers would. The tailored low-contrast booties lengthen the leg line, as does exposing the waistline which offsets their flatness. The white in the tartan of the skirt picks up the white of the boots.
3. Sharp Neutals
Combine a neutral top and bottom and finish off the look with white boots because it’s as neutral. The cohesion in the outfit comes from the repetition of the cognac bag, toffee top and ginger hair of the model. Of course, you can wear any neutral, but the earth-toned repetition here is interesting.
4. The ‘90s
Black and white matched with bright red is the most classic palette of all. Combine a black skirt with a red top, and finish off the vibe with white boots. Here, the black soles and laces of the boots work well with the black skirt. The blonde hair of the model bookends the white of the footwear. Of course, black pants and jeans work just as well.
5. Prairie Fabness
Midi dresses are very fashionable, and flouncy ones like this are a nod to the Western trend. Tall white ruched boots with high heels are a fringe trend, and look fresh under the longer length of the dress. The light background of this dress complements the white boots, which pulls the look together. Tall white cowboy boots could look fabulous too.
I wear white Western shooties instead of white booties with my skirts and dresses at the moment, and insulate with sheer barely black hose or black micro fishnet hose. Here are the exact items from my wardrobe. I add a pair of cropped flares to the short Zara dress and wear it as a tunic.
Boots in white shades are on-trend. There have been lots of questions on the blog and forum about how to incorporate them into outfits, so here is the first of two outfit formula posts on the topic.
A few things upfront:
Platinum blondes, light silver, and white-haired people naturally bookend white boots in outfits. If the white boots match nothing else in the outfit, they will effortlessly create a complement with their coloured light hair.
It is not essential to bookend the look. You can have ANY complexion and hair colour and rock white boots.
When you wear tops and toppers in shades of white, white boots look more integrated into the outfit.
Create a two or three-item complement with white boots using a belt, a scarf that picks up some white in the pattern, a handbag, or a an item of jewellery. My white pearls do a good job of picking up the white in my footwear.
Don’t worry too much about mismatching white boots in an outfit. Their jarring and bright effect as a stand-alone addition is in itself a trendy look, although an acquired taste.
Some visuals to get those white boot outfits rolling:
1. Column of Colour
The white boots here are a mismatched addition, which I think works well. Less expected than black, animal print, or cognac boots to match the top layers. There is no bookending with light blonde hair, but there is an extremely narrow white stripe in the pinstripe of the blazer that picks up the white of the boots. It’s very subtle, and might as well not be there. The column of navy, and the long layer of toffee add vertical integrity to the outfit which offsets the high-contrast horizontal line created by the white boots.
2. Low-Contrast bottoms & Topper
Wearing white boots with light bottoms like these light wash jeans creates a low contrast that lengthens the leg line. Adding a low-contrast coat further elongates the outfit and harmonizes with the light blue and white. Here the white boots are less visually jarring than in outfit 1 above. They blend like the froth of cappuccino.
3. Graphic Matching
Wearing wardrobe items with white in them makes white boots look integrated into the outfit. Here, the white of the sweatshirt and colour blocking of the topper match the white of the boots. The black-white-denim palette is a graphic classic where the white adds crispness to the outfit.
4. Suited & Unexpected
Another mismatched combination that looks as if the wearer forgot to swap out her shoes. Personally I like the unexpected and jarring effect of the white boots. They look interesting, fun, crisp, and make a bold statement. There is very subtle bookending with the black hair of the wearer and the soles of the boots, which in turn matches the black bag. These small visual details help pull together the look.
5. Black, White & Grey
Wearing a black-white-grey outfit with white boots is a classic colour combination. First, the column of black creates vertical integrity which offsets the horizontal line created by the high-contrast boots. The white in the plaid and stripe of the coat pick up the white of the boots to create a harmonized whole. When the coat comes off, the repetition of the white is thrown out the window. That’s fine because mismatched boots look just a fab.
I’ve been wearing white footwear forever. It’s my thing, signature to my style, and bookends my blonde hair and white pearls. White footwear is my wardrobe essential, so much so that I don’t think about how I’m going to integrate it into outfits because white footwear always works to my eye. It’s a completely subjective thing. It might not be your preference, and it’s all good. Horses for courses, always.
It’s a challenge to make a simple pair of black pants feel fresh, especially when they’re a staple for the office. Adding key, on-trend components, like white boots, sneakers, Western elements, longer blazers, statement plaid, and a flared pant silhouette are some of the ways my clients are preventing black-pant-outfit boredom without breaking the bank.
Here are four easy renditions:
1. Blazer & Sneakers
When flares like bootcuts were on trend a while ago, it was all the rage to wear them with pointy-toe heels. Although a beautifully elegant combination that I adore and will personally continue to wear, it’s much more 2018 to wear flares with flats (like sneakers), a tucked top to showcase the fashionable high rise, and a blazer of sorts. That ‘90s longer length is on trend, but a shorter modern classic blazer is just fine. Feel free to add a blue blazer instead of grey, and any colour sneaker. Fabulous with cowboy boots too.
2. Volume & Western Boots
Combine a pair of black culottes, wide crops or harem pants with a white top, and oversized grey or blue jacket. Wear the top tucked or untucked. Finish off the look with short cowboy booties or shooties. If Western booties aren’t your thing, choose black booties that are tailored on the ankle. A grey or navy top will look as fab.
3. Modern Classic & Polished
Combine a pair of black pants with black boots, a navy top and and a plaid topper of sorts. Choose a blazer instead of a coat if that’s more your thing. NICE to see full-length black pants here for a change. I like the exposure of the high rise, but you can wear the top over the bottoms.
4. Columned & White Boots
Create a column of colour with black pants and top. Layer a navy blazer or coat over the top, and finish off the vibe with white boots. No need to match the white boots with anything in the outfit. No need to have blonde or silver hair to bookend your look either. Just throw in the white boots and wear them! If that feels off – remember, you might need to get used to the jarring effect so give it some time. Failing that, build a white complement with white bag, scarf, top or belt. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.
Black and white with a shade of bright red is a classic colour combination. A little severe at times, but awfully effective and punchy. I like to see grey and blue denim thrown into the palette to relax the tension between the colours and soften the severity of the combination. The denim also adds a handy casual integrity when you need to dress down the look.
I go back and forth on wanting bright red boots, but decided this year that I’m going for it if I stumble across the right pair. They can look jarring and “super hero” in an outfit, but that’s their charm. Wear bright red boots and be noticed. It’s high time we connected with our inner Wonder Woman.
Here are four renditions to get you started. Boots are bright red and not burgundy because they’re the star of the show.
1. Jeans, Blazer & Boots
This is the easiest outfit to pull together. Combine blue jeans with a white or black top and layer a grey glen plaid or houndstooth blazer over the top. Finish off the look with red boots. No need to wear ripped denim, and feel free to choose any silhouette.
2. Matrix Fabness
Combine blue jeans with a white or black hoodie, and layer a dramatic black coat or jacket over the top. Pull the hood out over the coat. The white hoodie creates an effective contrast with the black. Use a white top if you don’t have a hoodie. Finish off the look with red boots. The print on the hoodie picks up the red of the boots, which creates a complement.
3. Suited & Red Booted
Red boots add a whole lot of punch to a grey suit worn with a white or black layering top. There is no need to repeat the red in the outfit. A red bag is a nice addition, but not essential.
4. Skirted & Red Booted
Combine a black skirt with a cream or white top and finish things off with red boots. Choose any silhouette of top and skirt that tickles your fancy. Choose black pants instead of a skirt if trousers are your preference. I like the addition of the unexpected cognac bag here too. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.
Sneakers are the shoe of our fashion era. Full stop. The world LOVES wearing sneakers, and retailers stock them in deep assortments because they sell like hot cakes. It helps that these days “almost” anything goes in fashion and style which means that sneakers can be integrated into most outfits.
Irregular juxtapositions are another benchmark of our current fashion era. Combining items that used to be unthinkable pairings are totally acceptable and often all the rage. Combining a formal trouser suit with sneakers is an irregular juxtaposition, and my favourite way to interpret the Sporty Luxe look. The vibe is an acquired taste and a fun way to dress down a suit.
The suit renditions here are styled with white sneakers because white is the “it” sneaker colour. Crisp, a Trendy Classic, and somewhat iconic. That said, feel free to add any colour sneaker to a suit. Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers and hi-tops in fun brights, pastels, black, blue or grey look smashing with suits.
The layering tops are casual, which complements the casual vibe of the sneakers. Feel free to add patterned or slogan tees to the outfits.
1. Double-Breasted and Buttoned
YES, you can wear white sneakers with dark hair. No need to follow the bookending styling technique at all. Just like you can rock black shoes with blonde hair. Here, the black ‘80s inspired double-breasted suit is fully buttoned, and worn with straight leg pants. I’d have preferred to see the pants two inches longer, but that’s subjective. Pop a black lace camisole under the blazer so that a little lace peeks out from under the collar of the blazer. Or you could wear a white tee under the blazer. The white sneakers pick up the white stitching and buttons of the suit. Scrunched sleeves add a relaxed touch to the look.
A trendy long blazer is paired with matching ankle pants and worn open to create a vertical line down the front of the body. A simple turtleneck is a good layering piece for a suit. Tucking the turtleneck lengthens the leg line from the thighs upward. The white sneakers pick up the white in the checked pattern. Scrunched sleeves add a further relaxed touch to the look.
3. Maximal Pattern Mix
Bright red tartan and two types of animal print are combined with a white tee that picks up the white in the sneakers. The white sneakers further complement the light neutrals in the pattern. A smashing maximal look that can take you just about anywhere. To work, a night out, the theater, an event, or fashion show.
4. Eleganty Flared
This rendition is of the most interest to me because the flares are combined with flat sneakers instead of heels. That’s very liberating, and a newer way to wear a classic ‘70s inspired suit. The tucked top creates a longer leg line which offsets the flat-footed feeling of the sneakers. The white top picks up the white of the sneakers. Scrunched sleeves relax the formality of the suit.
5. Tailored & Pretty
Here’s a classic tailored suit with a regular length blazer and tapered pants. The striped layering top adds a further classic yet bold touch. The white of the stripe is repeated in the white of the sneakers. The pants are very cropped, but feel free to wear full-length tapered pants.
You can wear this look in Winter with knee-highs, trouser socks, woolly socks or even patterned socks if you dare. Pop a cocoon coat or puffer over the lot with cosy Winter accessories and thermals and Bob’s your uncle.
I wore formal trouser suits with sneakers back in the ‘90s and ‘00s. I have two very old suits that I’m keeping despite rarely wearing them. An all-season grey Theory pinstripe suit in immaculate condition, and a funky cropped black Summer suit from Tokyo. Both are sentimental pieces that I can’t pass on. I’m going to haul out the grey pinstripe suit that has long flared pants and combine it with my new chunky white ‘80s inspired SAS sneakers and see what happens. I also might do a fun plaid or velvet trousers suit for my holiday look this year. My thinking cap is on.
Most of my clients wear long cardigans with a lot of enthusiasm. They enjoy the comfort, ease, relaxed vibe, and forgiving fit over the shoulders, bust and midsection. Long cardigans are especially good for a work-at-home lifestyle, or as a topper to keep at the office for when it’s chilly.
The maxi cardigan is extra long and dramatic, and that’s the showpiece for this outfit formula. If it’s a little too long for your taste, substitute the maxi for a shorter version that is just above the knee.
Here are four easy outfit ideas that look fresh. Choose any colour palette and feel free to throw in patterns.
1. Draped & Booted
Combine a pair of slim-fit jeans or pants with a draped knit or woven top that’s worn over the jeans. Top it off with a maxi cardi and scrunch the sleeves for structure. Finish off the outfit with booties, pumps, oxfords or loafers.
2. ‘90s Fabness
I’m not a ‘90s gal, but I do like the subtle allure of this combination, and that the boots are flat. Combine a soft and flowy midi dress with a maxi cardi. Scrunch the sleeves for structure. Finish off the look with a pair of tailored and high-shaft tough boots. This is a fab way to insulate a dress, and dress down a dress. Add hosiery for warmth.
3. Wide Crops & Waisted
Combine a fluid or fitted top with a pair of wide crops (culottes will do just fine). Tuck or semi-tuck the top for structure. Wear a shorter top if tucking is not your thing. Top it off with a maxi cardigan and a pair of shoes that work with the outfit. The white sneakers here effectively pick up the white of the tee and bookend the model’s blonde hair.
4. Bootcuts Your Way
Combine a pair of bootcuts or wider flares with a fitted or fluid top. Wear the top your way — tucked or untucked — and create a high or low contrast with the bootcuts. Wear flats or heels but make sure the length of the flares are perfect (as you see here). Top the lot off with a maxi cardigan. Finish off the look with jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.
I will sit this one out because I’m not a cardigan gal, and especially not a long cardi gal. They make my narrow shoulders look even narrower, and further lengthen my very long neck. As a result I don’t feel fab in a cardigan, unless you take me back to the ‘80s when I wore long cardigans with gigantic shoulder pads and loved it. I will enjoy this look on YOU.
We see animal print every season, but this year it’s on steroids. The plush and furry leopard coat or jacket is a Trendy Classic with a high longevity factor, although it’s having a fashion moment in 2018. One of countless ways to wear animal print, the leopard topper makes a loud and strong statement. It’s an acquired taste and one I enjoy seeing because it reminds me of the ‘60s and ‘70s (a few of my favourite fashion eras).
Here are four ways to wear a leopard topper with neutrals that are easy to pull together. The leopard prints are earth-toned, but feel free to create a similar look with leopard prints in other neutrals or non-neutrals.
1. Stripes & Jeans
Leopard print and stripes are classic patterns that work well together, especially when the palette of the patterns are similar. The repetition of the black in the leopard print and stripe creates a cohesive statement. It’s further complemented with black footwear. Tucking or semi-tucking a top to showcase a high rise is a trendy statement, but you can leave the top untucked. Wear full-length or cropped jeans in a silhouette of your choice.
This outfit takes pattern mixing a step further and is not for everyone. It combines the leopard print and stripe we saw in the first example, and adds a floral. The black across all three patterns AND the footwear unites the items, gives the eye a chance to rest, and creates a combination that is just cohesive enough. The tucked top, shorter coat and heels elongate the silhouette.
The remarkable part about this outfit is how it combines four Modern Classics to create a funky, arty, chic and creative vibe. It’s all about HOW you put items together that makes the difference.
3. Column of Colour
Columns of colour are an easy go-to way to create a long lean line and calm down the hectic pattern of a topper. Here, the column is black, but it can be just about any colour. It’s nice to see a skirt in the mix, but jeans and pants work as well. The topper is more of a jacket, which is better than a coat. That way you don’t need to remove the jacket indoors, which would take the punch out of the look.
4. High-Waisted Jeans & Black
Combine a high-waisted pair of full-length or cropped jeans with a tucked or semi-tucked top. Repeat the black in the shoes. Layer the leopard top over the lot and Bob’s your uncle, it’s that easy. Add jewelley, bag, watch, headgear and eyewear as desired.
I bought a new leopard coat from Boden which is not as high contrast as the ones you see here. I can easily put the first look together, which appeals to me most since I adore the pattern mix. I have options across blue, faded blue and black jeans. I’ll change the footwear to white, add pearls, and either a light blue or tomato red bag to make the outfit more to my taste. I adore the rendition with the floral skirt, and would like to add something like that to my wardrobe too. In the meantime, here are the exact items from my wardrobe to create the look.