Monday, December 11, 2006

Sheep, sheep, go away....

It's not even mid-December and I'm already sick of the holiday uniform. You know exactly what I mean - a little black dress or suit worn with some kind of sparkly, "festive" accessories. Now there's nothing with this, per se, but enough already.

First of all, you are allowed to wear colors other than black (I promise you won't lose your fashionista card). Everyone's favorite non-color will always be a stylish mainstay, but imagine how nicely you'll stand out if you wear, say, emerald green or cobalt blue. If you still want your accessories to be the star of the show, chocolate brown and charcoal gray are good alternatives - and both of these are softer on winter-pale complexions than harsh black.

Another reason black is perpetually popular is because it's undeniably slimming. However, any dark shade worn monochromatically will serve the same purpose, provided the fabrics you choose are not too shiny (repeat after me: shininess is the enemy of slenderness). You can even do pale shades like winter white, ice blue, or dove gray. You can even wear the same "festive" accessories that you'd normally pair with black with these colors as well.

If you'd like to venture away from the monochromatic look, there is only one key rule - wear the lighter/brighter color on the part of your body that you want to highlight. Besides the obvious bright top - dark bottom combinations (and vice versa), try a three-quarter look. This means a cropped jacket over a slim dress or a long tunic over slim pants. The stand-out color should be the "one-quarter" of the outfit for maximum figure-flattery.

You can whittle your waist and look chic with a wide obi or cummerband belt. Cinch a black belt over a jewel-toned dress and all of sudden, you're Jessica Rabbit (even if you're not that naturally curvy). Add some sparkly jewelry and glittery shoes, and you can be a festive Jessica Rabbit. Another slimming effect is a cascade of long beaded necklaces over a solid dress or top. This draws the eye up and down instead of across - stockings with back-seams or other kinds of vertical designs can have the same effect on your legs. Just remember to keep the rest of your outfit sleek and simple with these kind of dramatic accessories.

Prints are very fun and definitely different, but most of us find them difficult to wear. However, a print wrap dress (think Diane von Furstenberg) or a sleek sheath is an ideal option for an office party or other work-friendly type gathering. A print can also be quite flattering - the right one will create movement and disguise any less-than-perfect areas (not that you have any of those, of course).

With all these alternatives to boring black, you really have no excuse for sticking to the uniform.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog radomly, and I have to say I love it. You are not only smart when it comes to fashion but also can deliver it well. I also work in the fashion industry. What do you do? I am going to put you on my blog list if you dont mind.