Focus on Fashion: Don't Shrink from Variety

My five-year-old has a certain way with fashion that prompts adults to ask, not unkindly, "You dress yourself, don't you?"  After studying her outfits, I've noticed a trend. 

First, she starts with her version of a neutral -- say, a turquoise, black, and yellow plaid skirt.  Then, she combines that piece with other patterns (like stripes, paisley, or polka dots) in whatever colors strike her fancy.

She's unencumbered by rules.  Who needs matching socks?  Why not combine florals with stripes?  Such freedom!  Such inhibition!

Then there's me: a woman who's passionately drawn to the color gray, a woman who's apt to build every outfit from the ground up with a white tee shirt and a pair of jeans.  So, let's start with these basics -- these neutrals of adulthood -- and top them with a yellow cardigan.

A note about this cardigan: I hesitated due to the color.  I mean, yellow?  Mustard yellow?  Won't yellow make me look sallow and sick and jaundiced?  But something about that cardigan spoke to me, whispering sweet promises of fashion possibilities. 

What if I could wear it with more than just a white tee shirt?

I started simply by adding a printed scarf to the white tee shirt.  Please note that this is the first time I've dared to wear anything with an animal print, unless you count that bad decision in sixth grade when I frequently left the house in a neon, zebra-striped sweatshirt.  (Come to think of it, the entirety of sixth grade was one extended bad decision.)

Emboldened by the animal print, I thought that a splash of color would be nice, which led to this purple ensemble with a flowing, flowered scarf.  Combining colors from the opposite side of the color wheel (say, yellows or oranges with blues or purples) can work well, and the scarf, which highlights both sunny yellow and deeper purple hues, helps to finish the look.

Why stop there?  I discovered another look by buttoning the cardigan over a professional blouse and cinching the waist with a belt, which would look polished with a pair of tall brown boots.

And then, of course, I reverted to my default love: stripes.  The clean lines of simple black-and-white stripes add interest.  Looking back, I'd add a pendant necklace.

So, follow the fashion advice of a five-year-old.  Try new colors and pair unexpected items together.  You just might find something that you love.

What's your favorite combination?  Let me know your thoughts!

Have you missed a Friday post in February's Focus on Fashion Series?  Just click the link below:
Focus on Fashion: Breaking Out the Blazers
Focus on Fashion: One Skirt, Three Ways


  1. I love eclectic tastes in kids! My oldest daughter rarely wears skirts, but the younger two always are wearing them. They pull skirts over pants, or -- even better -- add them under dresses, because REALLY, you need to have a skirt underneath a dress, right?

  2. smoothstonesFebruary 28, 2014

    I pretty much just wear yoga pants and sweatshirts. You think I'm kidding. You look great, and I love baby girl's polka dots. (I would rock those under my yoga pants!)

  3. I have to admit that yoga pants are simply amazing.
    I just had to edit that sentence because I actually wrote "yoga ants." In the spirit of accuracy, I don't know enough about yoga ants to know whether they're amazing or not. ;)

  4. I dont' do hello either, but you made it look great! My favorite is the one with the professional blouse & belt. That would look fantastic with some boots!

  5. I love when children "dress themselves". They are completely oblivious to fashion/style "rules". That yellow cardigan looks great on you and you changed the look so many ways. Good work Robin!


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