Fashion Files: The Case of the Tricky Tunic

Client: Linda – co-founder of the Fitz Urban Youth Sports program (she has helped improve the health and wellbeing of thousands of children in the City of Boston), and world’s best mom (okay, I know I’m biased because she’s my mom, but seriously, she’s the world’s best mom)

The Scene: A Tribute to Kevin W. Fitzgerald, benefitting Fitz Urban Youth Sports and the Kevin W. Fitzgerald Giving Back Fund

The Dilemma: What to wear with a tunic sweater

Our client, Linda, had a particular interesting case. She was hosting the Tribute to Kevin W. Fitzgerald, an event that honored one of the city’s greatest community leaders, the late Kevin Fitzgerald. In this capacity, she would be both running the event as well as serving as its main host, so she needed to look polished but also needed to be comfortable to handle the evening’s logistics.

She had already found an amazing piece – a black, short-sleeved, cowl-neck sweater that floated just below the hips. And it was perfect for the event – a great alternative to a suit for a post-work affair. But as the day of the event drew near, Linda pulled out that great tunic sweater and found herself in a situation that so many of us find ourselves in – “now, what do I pair this thing with?”

Finding a great piece is exciting, and often, utterly exhilarating. But so many times, that great piece ends up stuck in the back of the closet because we don’t know what to pair with it or how to make it really work for us. When shopping, remember to bring your “mental closet” with you.

  • See a shirt you love? Tick through your mental closet and think about what skirts or pants might go with it.
  • Need help visually? Grab a pair of pants or a skirt similar to what you have at home, and try them on. Then you can see if that shirt is really worthy of joining your wardrobe.

For Linda, she had an option for her tunic sweater – a pair of black slacks – but she wasn’t happy with the outfit. The pants just weren’t showcasing her new piece the way that they should. Here’s the advice I gave her:

  • Brown stove-pipe pants. Prowling through her closet, we found a great pair of tapered brown pants. But “Horrors!” you say! Brown and black? Yes, brown and black do match, and if you pick a rich brown, they can look fabulous together. This stylish-looking pair of pants was just waiting for an event like this one. The slim fit under the tunic sweater ensured that the look wasn’t bulky and the color really highlighted the sweater. •
  • Crisp white shirt. Okay, you probably knew I was going to suggest this one! Since the tunic sweater had a cowl neck and short-sleeves, it needed something underneath to keep the client warm since the event was to be in the TD Banknorth Garden. The white of the shirt also helped to play up the sweater by adding crispness at the arm.
  • Black belt. To tie the outfit all together, we added a black belt to help define the waist without stealing the thunder of the black tunic sweater. The belt helped to dress up the look of the sweater, and really turned up the glam factor of the entire outfit.
  • Comfortable, but classy, brown shoes. For an event that would involve several hours walking on a concrete floor, I suggested she wear a pair of dressy brown shoes which had previously gone unworn. The slight heel of the shoe helped lengthen the leg, while the rubber sole helped cushion each step. The great thing about swapping out the black pants for the brown was we were also able to add in these great shoes – another item that had been languishing in the back of the closet! Cole Haan, with Nike Air Technology built in, has some great options that keep the style factor intact.

Was the client happy?

“I thought I had an outfit, but when I tried it on, it just didn’t look that special and this tribute was a very special event. Those small changes – the dressy brown pant, the brown shoes and adding a belt – resulted in a truly great outfit. I’ve never received so many compliments on an outfit before.”

Thanks, Mom! Another case closed!

Have a fashion caper that needs to be solved? Ask put2gether to put you together!


April 8, 2010. Tags: . Fashion Files.

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