Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Year's Fashion Resolution: Risks Are Rewarded

"Do one thing every day that scares you" said Eleanor Roosevelt. Now, I seriously doubt she was talking about fashion choices, but the statement still applies. Many, many people admire the style risks and outrageous ensembles worn by others, but they stick to the basics for their own outfits. "I could never pull that off" is a common refrain.

Most of the time, however, they are wrong. Granted, not everyone can pull off hot pants in public or things like American Apparel's metallic leggings (and only Madonna could get away with the cone-bra on stage), but everyone can take elements of a particular style and work them into their own wardrobe, no matter how wild, extravagant, or otherwise "out there" they may be.

For instance, if you are a big fan of Dita Von Teese's vintage burlesque glamour, try incorporating things like seamed stockings, pencil skirts, curvy little jackets, and other 1930s, 40s, and 50s styles into your wardrobe. While going for the full effect will probably make you look like you are wearing a costume, a piece or two mixed in with modern items is perfectly wearable and can make your look more interesting.

On the other hand, say you enjoy Gwen Stefani's eclectic fashion, but can't imagine yourself in any of her clothes. Like Dita's highly stylized look, Gwen's wardrobe tends to lean towards the costumey side. However, if you pick one or two pieces and keep the rest of your outfit simple, you can pull off almost everything.

Really, the concept of picking one or two showstopping pieces and making them the center is the key to rocking even the most unusual clothing and accessories. I even have several examples in my own wardrobe, like a pair of black velvet and patent platform shoes that add six inches to my height, or my extensive collection of dramatic long necklaces and earrings (I like my jewelry to make a statement). I also own things like leather pencil skirts, bright paisley print dresses, and a black jacket with a sculptured shawl collar and sash belt with enough structure to stand on its own. Granted, I defintely do not wear these things all at the same time, but I do like to experiment with the kind of clothing that qualifies as memorable. Hey, why not stand out from the crowd?

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