2.26.2014

How to Remix Closet Staples

{Rethink the Standard}
Photo Credit: Taylor Tomasi Hill featured on Street Style Seconds.

I've made pretty my entire life. And I mean as early as metallic maryjanes with my private school uniform, like single digits early. I've spent the better part of my days cultivating fabulous and exploring the peaks and valleys of style, leaving zhuzhed manes and popped collars in my wake.

Here's what I've learned in my life-long devotion, the key to completely evolved style:

Do whatever the heck you want.

Yes, you read that correctly. Break the rules to your heart's content. Don't just wear as purchased. Take a cue from it-girl, Taylor Tomasi Hill, shown above with a plaid shirt atypically tied around her hips, a wonderfully unexpected complement to her floral blazer. Layer, and mix and match with abandon.

I'm sure you're thinking, "That's great and everything, but how do I pull something like that off?" It's your lucky day: Welcome to the first installation of our latest series. In the next few weeks I'll teach you easy ways to shop your closet and reinterpret what you have in fresh, fashion forward ways--to rethink the standard.


A no-brainer outfit, just one color, head to toe.
Image Credits (from left): Cara Delevingne for DKNY S/S 2013 Ad Campaign. Cintia Dicker by Andre Passos for Glamour Brazil March 2013. St. John Resort 2013, Look 10 via Style.Com.

I see it oh-so-many times, closets that are veritable seas of black and beige. I get it, they're easy to work with. But instead of reaching for that safe pairing, say blah-beige top + black trousers, put your color crutch to work in the chicest way possible: one color, head to toe. Try it: beige blouse, beige skirt, nude pumps, tortoise accents. All black is a classic non-combo, try it with red lips and a slick side part--you'll look the part of an off-duty model no time! But don't stop there, try it with any color--red dress, red pumps, you get it. Part those closet doors, ladies, and look at that sea of neutrals in a whole new way.

Take note! All white is très chic for spring. Just, please, keep the ensemble nice and tailored, lest people should assume you're into alternative religious practices or something.


Walk over to your husband's side of the closet...and steal his shirts!
Image Credits (from left): Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules via Who What Wear. Madison Australia August 2010 (photography: Simon Upton; styling: Rachel Wayman) via Fashioned by Love. Cara's Cliché.
If you're deep in the cozy confines of commitment with a man, congratulations. Not only do you have a hunk-o-beef to share your joy with etc., etc. You've also got yourself a whole other badass wardrobe to play with. Because being in love means never having to say I'm sorry [for borrowing your stuff and never giving it back]. Happily, the menswear trend has shown no sign of slowing down. And best of all, there's no need to slim the silhouette with constricting belts or tummy-tucking shapewear. Revel in the freedom our male counterparts enjoy...let it hang. This whole look is about being stylish and comfortable.

Take note! Keep it polished with a fitted bottom, such as your favorite skinnies or a sleek pencil skirt. And--this is the only time I'll ever say this--you must press his shirt.

Mix floral prints with everything.
Image Credits (from left): Image via Shoe Daydreams. Photography by The SartorialistHanneli Mustaparta for Vogue.com, by Marko MacPherson.

Chances are you have a few floral frocks hanging in your closet this very moment. How can I know this? Because florals are en vogue. Every. Single. Spring. Perk up those posies, dolls, by bravely paring them with anything. This season, everything goes with floral prints: plaids, stripes, other florals. I dare you to confidently go where no wallflower has gone before. Take a good look at your wardrobe. How can you mix it up?

Take note! For you office-dwellers, no doubt you have an armory of tastefully printed button-downs. Let them see the light of day (not just those harsh fluorescents) layered under or tied over your flirty floral sundresses.

Check back for next week's styling tips, and until then:

Image Credit: "Street Chic" editorial by Tommy Ton for Harpers Bazaar.

Indulge the silly, fully commit to fleeting moments of fancy, and never question your taste. If you believe it works, it will work. If you enjoy dressing, you will take that joy to wherever and whomever your day leads you. You will dazzle them all.

Click here for even more Outfit Inspiration.

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