Are you feeling bored with the contents of your closet? Are you avoiding the stores altogether, or when you do venture out is there nothing to see that grabs you? Let me help you feel more inspired! It’s true that the fashion industry has been playing it safe with lots of neutral colors. The big “news” this spring was khaki paired with denim – hardly a zesty combination. Macy’s recent campaign was “Back to Basics” but who wants to go back, least of all to basics? Yet inventive fun is always available when you connect with your inner artist. Here are some of my latest suggestions:
Venture out of your safe zone when combining neutrals.
Another reason mixing khaki with denim didn’t light my fire is because khaki’s greenish hue is not in my colors, but the latest trend of mixing denim with denim got my attention. However, denim worn with color has long been a standard but jeans mixed with more denim sounded improbable. I decided to experiment: Faded boyfriend jeans with a white linen shirt and dark, cropped denim jacket was kind of interesting! The secret lies in varying the shades and textures. You probably own lots of denim pieces – pick up some inexpensive knit items like a chambray colored t-shirt or leggings and start mixing!
Jazz up your neutrals with signature touches.
I had all kinds of fun with my denim combinations, but when I started to look too much like a Gap ad I wanted to inject some of my own personality. Denim is endlessly mixable so it welcomed my chunky red earrings and sandals, my black and white cowboy hat and studded turquoise belt. A long yellow folkloric necklace (Lucia Antonelli) is a great way to add color and whimsy to a neutral outfit.
Combine neutral colors in new ways:
If we can mix denim with denim, then how about black with black, white with white or navy with navy? Think of layering textures using sheer or woven fabric, airy scarves, or ropes of beads. Add a touch of luster with long chains, a cluster of pins on a sun hat, or a summer tote with shimmery threads. Pick up the metallic tone in your sandals.
Use your rolling rack to create color vignettes.
Start with your neutrals, and move on to other color stories. Set aside a small section of your wardrobe by color only, and see how you can mix it up. We’re used to wearing the same pieces together. You may have some outdated notions about colors that don’t harmonize, but these days anything goes. Black worn with brown or navy was once a taboo, but now it is considered chic. Or give yourself permission to let your colors clash. If it pleases you, go for it. For wonderful examples of how colors can work together I recommend Kyeela Meadow’s book Fearless Color Gardens.
Get rid of stuff.
Having less has proved to inspire inventiveness. Go on a removal rampage.
Get more stuff.
If adding something new is what inspires you, go get it! I recently participated in a clothing swap that was a fundraiser for a local organization, and women had a blast finding different things to take home. Clothes new and used are amazingly inexpensive right now. There will always be gorgeous stuff with a high sticker price, but you can still stay in the game even if your resources are limited.
Don’t say no to yourself.
Say maybe. If you see something you like in a magazine or catalog, cut it out and save it. Breathe in. Trust that things have a way of working out, and what is important will appear in your life. Sometimes it is appropriate to check it out, to look at the item online or in a store. Sometimes not. You might find that when you breathe out, the longing has floated away.
Getting a great deal does not fuel your imagination.
The media reports that women are obsessed with on-line bargain shopping. If you know what you want it pays to shop around for the best price, but getting caught up in the hunt for great deals is not the path to fulfillment.
Keep your design sense in shape.
Think about perusing style magazines in a voyeuristic sort of way, like going to a museum to see art you don’t really get. It still stimulates your eye and your awareness of where design is going. Maintain creative muscle mass so you are ready to spring back into action. Don’t get left behind or you’ll start thinking that current fashion is for your granddaughter. Not so! Or think of staying aware of fashion trends as a way to keep in touch with your essence.
Connect with a friend.
She’s probably in a fashion rut too. Support each other by making a date to work on a collage together or play in each other’s closet. If you need a bigger boost or more focused attention, give me a call. I can find the spark in your seemingly lifeless closet, and direct you to a couple of specific items that will complete the story.
Stay Engaged! Keep your artful spirit alive and continue to express yourself!
Becky Johnson says
Your new painting are beautiful and your self portrait conveys happiness.
PS can you post suggestions for what to wear for a second wedding when you are 50 and not a suit?