Faux Fashion Faux Pas

In celebration of a glorious weekend, I attended a few parties this weekend where the ladies were awash in color. It was so fun to see all of the rich jewel tones, different patterns and flowing fabrics after the cold snap we’ve had (well, it is California, so the term “cold” is relative). Seeing a number of graphic tees and bold prints offset by crisp white pants, I thought how great it was to see the white pant back out in full force. White pants just signal summer.

But it also started me thinking about how sad it is for those white pants to languish in the closet until we approach Memorial Day Weekend. So today I thought I’d dispel some fashion myths so we can get those long-forlorn, misunderstood pieces in a more permanent rotation.

White’s All Right. That’s right, white is all right – any time of the year. The old adage of “you can’t wear white after Labor Day” is really only true for shoes, and I’d suggest that is mainly for practical purposes – obviously white can’t stand up to rain or snow. But white is a wonderful year-around color – you just need to select the right fabrics for each season.

  • Summer – White is absolutely ethereal in the summertime. You want to go light on your fabrics to withstand humidity and heat, so go light cotton or linen. Avoid any fabric that doesn’t breathe. This summer, go for A-line dresses, blouson shirts and anything with smocking, swiss dot or eyelet. It’s all about looking as free and casual as a summer day.
  • Fall – As the cooler days of fall creep in, we start to gravitate towards deeper colors – chocolate browns, burnt oranges, richer greens – and away from our friend, the color white. But nothing says fall more than a crisp white turtleneck under those darker colors, or a crisp white shirt layered under thick cardigan or a sweater coat. Remember, these touches of white – in more substantial cottons or silks – to help offset the darkness of deep colors.
  • Winter – White in winter offers great juxtaposition to the feeling of the season, especially on particularly gray days. Try some sturdy white stovepipe pants, tucked into short black boots, paired with a white tunic-style sweater and a black pea coat thrown over it all. No way you can feel winter blah with an outfit like this one!
  • Spring –  Spring is all about white, but we tend to hold onto our winter blacks way too long. I particularly love a white suit in the waning days of March. I recently went to a fundraiser cocktail party where every woman was channeling winter with their black dress suits, minus myself and one other woman who both came in white. She did a white skirt suit with a black cami and great black heels, while I did a white pant suit with a wide, dusky purple belt cinching in the waist. We gave each other a conspiratorial wink from across the room.

Match Set. Next up – the old saw that you have to match your bag to your shoes to your belt. Not true! You can absolutely go this way – this is no crime in being fabulously matched – but I think it’s much more fun to change up your look through accessories. Here are some thoughts for spring:

  • White Hot. White eyelet wrap dress, navy ribbon belt, open-toed red sling-backs and, pale pink, wide-stripped canvas tote
  • Play Day. Black peasant blouse, light blue seersucker shorts, skinny beige braided belt, orange leather and cork wedges, pale orange envelope clutch
  • Working It. Tan suit, white ruffled blouse, black crocodile belt at the waist, black strappy heels, straw bag

Stock Up. For years, I held firm to my belief in this myth – stockings were for closed-toed shoes only. But despite a love for boots, last year I got tired of always having to shelves my sweet stilettos for the season. I began my experiment slowly with opaque trouser socks and then I boldly graduated to ankle socks. The result? More looks in the winter and equally toasty tootsies!  Next year, I’m going for broke and adding in some colored sock versions!

Fit to Print. Mixing different prints and patterns is okay – you just need to have a light hand. To try out this trend, match one of the colors between the two prints and keep the patterns in a similar size. An easy way to start is to mix a printed blouse with a printed scarf, which you then anchor with a neutral top and pair of pants or jeans. If you want to go for the full effect, try a printed top and different print skirt. The shorter length of a skirt keeps the prints from being too much. One of my faves – my Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress in psychedelic brown, pink, black and cream with black herringbone patterned tights.

Back in Black…and Brown. As discussed in the Case of the Tricky Tunic, brown and black do indeed match, and if you pick a rich brown, they can look fabulous together. My current favorite match? The brown with black pinstripe tights that my mom gave me for Christmas – gorgeous!

What’s your favorite fashion myth to debunk?

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May 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Runway to Your Way.

7 Comments

  1. Pinstripe suit? | Business Suit replied:

    […] Faux Fashion Faux Pas « put2gether […]

  2. What colour suit, shirt, tie and shoes will go well with a full white dress at a formal? | Custom made suit replied:

    […] Faux Fashion Faux Pas « put2gether […]

  3. What are some inexpensive dress suit options? | Business Suit replied:

    […] Faux Fashion Faux Pas « put2gether […]

  4. Tessa replied:

    Hi! Thank you for joining my Blog Frog Community :)- It’s so fun to ‘meet’ new bloggers! I’m enjoying your blog. I’m now following you, too!
    Cheers!
    Tessa
    http://www.shoppergal.com

  5. y3y3n.s replied:

    I really like it when you represent diverse people on your blog.

    I’m always so afraid you’ll just showcase the fashionistas and forget about the true gems.

    This shot is very inspiring! Thank you!

    • put2gether replied:

      Not to worry! put2gether is all about sharing the feeling that you get when you feel good in your clothes – and that’s for everyone! Do you have any questions I can answer or topics you’d like to see me cover?

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