September Style Prompt #1: Recap
This month I've started a series of style prompts to encourage creativity within the closet. As teachers, we regularly use prompts with students to springboard ideas in areas such as writing, the arts, problem solving etc. So, my thinking was...why not also apply this same practice to our wardrobes?
Here is the first prompt that I shared on social media and in my monthly newsletter.
Style prompt: Find a garment you usually wear a certain way and come up with a new way (or ways) to style it.
Throughout this process I came up with some discoveries I think are definitely worth noting and was so thrilled that one of my fabulous stylist friends also responded to this prompt - read on for her outfits (and tips) below as well.
Outfit #1: Re-styling my wide leg white jumpsuit
Instead of layering a cami or tee beneath this jumpsuit (which has been my go-to up till now), I wore this lightweight knit above, which gives the illusion of a top paired with a wide-leg pant. I love the silhouette of this outfit and the monochromatic look of light neutrals. There is some texture in the top for interest, and I added a coral sandal for a soft pop of colour. The pendant necklace helps complete the outfit as, the day I wore it, it was too warm for a layer.
Figuring out new ways to layer over this jumpsuit has helped me add more versatility in how and when I would wear this piece, thus improving its cost-per-wear! Although it is white, the fabric is thick enough that it can easily take me well into Fall (yes...you CAN wear white after Labour Day!). I could pair with warmer sweaters, or blazers/cardigans and with an ankle boot.
This strategy would also work well with Summer dresses for another Fall transitional dressing option and to add to the overall wearability of some of our favourite warmer weather pieces.
Outfit #2: Re-stying my favourite Summer dress for work
This H&M dress was my absolute favourite this Summer. Yellow has always been a colour I love and the style was so easy to wear...plus, it's airiness helped me manage wandering the streets of NYC during a heatwave! Bonus points there.
When I purchased this dress, it came with its own tie, which I automatically removed as I feel it cheapened the overall look of the piece (and it wasn't very flattering). Whenever I have worn this dress, I add one of my own belts to give it more dimension and interest. The belt trick must have elevated the overall appearance, as I was complimented several times on this look while browsing in high end Manhattan boutiques (this dress was less than $25).
In the Summer, my go-to styling for this dress was just a belt and white sneakers. When I went to re-style it to wear to teach in my school library, I found I have so many layering options that would work for possible outfit combinations. This is because I have a cohesive colour palette in my wardrobe. I wear a lot of pastels; or white/grey/navy as my neutrals. Not only do these best flatter my skin tone, I naturally gravitate toward them (they make me smile), and feel they reflect my style personality.
Having a cohesive colour palette just makes things come together so much more easily!
The other tip that makes outfit creation go so much more smoothly, is having a solid arsenal of basics to combine with your interest pieces. They are the building blocks.
I opted for this floral blazer and metallic belt. To polish off the outfit, I just added this soft white loafer which is a more dressed up version of my white sneaker. But, a light ankle boot would pair well as would my rose-gold block heel. Again, it's that cohesive palette that makes everything come together without too much effort.
Outfit #3: Pairing my leopard print earrings with my new plaid top
Last week was a big one in the ovarian cancer community in Canada with the walk of hope and "wear teal" day which is the signature hue. This cause is near and dear to my heart as we lost my mum to this awful disease over two years ago. I know she would be all for using style (and exercise!) to promote and support educating and working toward finding a cure.
This new plaid top was the closest to teal I could find in my closet (definitely same colour family!). Because leopard has been so on trend and I have been sharing how easily it works with other prints, I thought I would use this opportunity to try this pairing. I love this combo!
For work, I paired it with a neutral tan skirt and my rose gold block heels and after, just put on my jeans and kept the remainder of the outfit as we were heading out for the evening.
Takeaway: if you want to step in to giving print mixing a whirl, try pairing leopard with any of your other favourite prints.
Prompt Responses from Stylist, E'Beth Goad: Re-styling the midi leopard skirt
In response to this prompt, E'Beth decided to add her own element, one which we stylists often put out to our clients: can you style a particular piece at least 3 ways? You've heard me say before that this is great to have on your radar when considering adding a new garment to your wardrobe. I am so glad E'Beth applied this philosophy when coming up with new ways to style this skirt.
E'Beth was excited to play around with her new midi leopard skirt. She explained how she loves the skirt because of the feminine details, yet it is also feels bold...even though leopard is also a neutral! This past Summer, when I was finally able to meet E'Beth in person in Philadelphia - she was rocking leopard pants. Leopard definitely aligns with her style personality - and I love it!
In the first look, she paired with a graphic tee and denim jacket. White sneakers are so on trend these days, but E'Beth explained that when getting dressed she always wants to stay true to herself. She is far more comfortable in something that is a little more dressed up so she opted for these gold slip-ons by Anne Klein.
The second look was dressed up more for date night, or to wear to a luncheon. E'Beth explained that "while print can be a fashion don’t when it comes to covering up our 1000% areas (those pesky little areas that we are soooo self-conscious about) I’ve done a work around to combat this by adding shine. Your eye is drawn to shine so from my belt buckle to my flashy earrings I’ve drawn the eye up so that you’re looking at me". As stylists, we always say that getting dressed is all about creating optical illusions and I love that E'Beth manages to create those in order to wear a skirt she loves with confidence!
In the third image, she styled the skirt for a conservative business look. According to E'Beth, "I popped the collar slightly for an elevated look and have rolled the sleeves to make sure to accentuate my waist line. The classic black pumps add to conservative side of the look."
I absolutely LOVE that she used the 3 ways to style in response to this prompt and I highly recommend you give this a try with one of your favourite wardrobe staples.
For more amazing style tips and tricks be sure to follow E'Beth on Instagram and Facebook.
Did you manage to give this prompt a whirl with something in your own closet? If not, are you inspired to do so now? I'd love to know what you come up with!