Wednesday 25 March 2015

How to Wear Patterns

Yesterday, while going to the office I noticed a gentleman wearing striped trousers and a checkered shirt and it got me thinking about wearing patterns. Indian clothes and patterns are very vibrant and many a time we see people wearing several colors, textures and patterns combined together. This is nice but if we keep in mind some pointers when it comes to patterns, we’d be better off. 

Patterns create illusions about the size, shape and weight of the body. Patterns attract attention. For example thin vertical stripes can make you look taller and thinner whereas thick vertical stripes and horizontal stripes can make you look wider. Small scale closely space patterns will be better than large scale widely spaced patterns that make you look bigger.

Patterns can be classified as classic or traditional and trendy. Classic patterns are ever green and include pin stripes, chalk stripes, pin dots, polka dots, coin dots, paisley, floral, tweed, herringbone, gingham checks, houndstooth, plaids, argyle. Trendy patterns are the ones in fashion for a while. These patterns tend to fade out quickly.  

How to wear patterns?

Scale – The most important point to remember while pairing patterns is the scale. Combine big and small patterns to create a balance. Generally, wear patterns that are mid or small scale. Large scale patterns attract attention. So wear small patterns in areas you want to draw attention away from. 

Add solids/neutrals to your outfit – Break the visual space by adding solids or neutrals to your outfits. You do this with bags, shoes, accessories or another article of clothing. 

Choose a color palette – Using colors from the same family or one main color when mixing patterns can be visually stimulating. Prints in similar backgrounds also look good. Try a monochrome colour palette. Prints in a black and white color palette are great for a classic look.

If you are a big fan of patterns, it’s advisable to stick to small scale geometric patterns at work, if not solid colors. One can experiment with other patterns, perhaps on Fridays at work and for casual wear. Choose patterns that will camouflage your body variations and enhance your body shape. 

My pinterest board  has more options.

Wednesday 18 March 2015

How to make monochromatic work for you

Monochromatic literally means having or consisting of one color or hue. 

In fashion it means dressing from head to toe in one color. However, it’s not as boring as it sounds. Wearing a monochromatic outfit makes a bold statement and can really make us look chic. The best part is we tend to look slimmer and taller in monochromatic outfits. We are familiar with the date night ritual of all black.

How to pull off a great monochromatic look?

  • Different shades of the same color works well. Try shades of brown and rust or light and dark blues.

  • Play with textures and create an interesting effect.  Interesting texture combinations can be created using - Silk (which has a natural sheen), Wool (the dull, more subtle texture), Lace, Leather (whether used for a jacket, skirt or as trimming for clothes). A beige silk blouse or shirt paired with a leather jacket in the same color will look attractive.

We can make this work in the office too. Formal dressing works well in this scheme and the textures make an interesting statement. Use the duller fabric from the part of the body you want to draw attention away. The eyes get naturally drawn to the brighter fabric and this can be effectively used.

  • The key to pulling together a great monochromatic look is in the accessories. No outfit is complete without the right shoes and accessories. Accessories should ideally be of the same color but you can get away with a touch of another color. For example if you dress in a blue outfit, a silver necklace would be perfect.

Of course, we are comfortable trying neutrals but do try combinations beyond neutrals like reds, pinks, oranges, rust. 

Look into your wardrobe and pull out tops, bottoms and accessories of the same color and experiment with a new look.

See my pinterest board for more monochromatic outfits

Thursday 5 March 2015

Wear Colors Of Spring - Holi Hai!

When trees sprout brilliant green leaves and the koels start cooing, we know spring is here. And it’s also time for the festival of colors – Holi. We Indians enjoy wearing bright colors most of the time and are perhaps most experimental with our color selection. However, some basics need to be kept in mind when wearing colors. One can wear almost any color but it’s the combination of colors that makes the difference. Its not only what you wear but how and where you wear it.

So why do we need to pay attention to colors? Colors draw attention to a particular part of body, they create illusions and they communicate moods and messages. For example Navy Blue communicates authority, stability and is classic, dignified. Orange communicates activity, adventure, creativity and is joyful, lively. Generally the lighter color attracts the eye, so if you want attention away from a particular area, wear a dark color there.
 It is recommended that 80% of our wardrobes comprise of neutral colors and 20% accent colors.

What are Neutral colors?
·       Muted or less bright a color is neutral
·       Adds versatility to your wardrobe by helping mix-n-match
·       Can easily combine with other colors that are brighter or darker
·       Neutrals go with a wide range of occasions and moods
·       Examples - Colors in tints and shades of cream, beige, brown, olive green, blue, grey,               black and white, etc. These colors build the basis of your wardrobe.

What are Accent colours?

·       Colours that add pop to your outfit are accent colours
·       Brighter than the wardrobe neutral combined with it. They are strong, intense,                         flamboyant.
·       Can combine with very few other clothes
·       These depend on personal preference and even the current fashion trends
·       Examples – fuchsia, shocking pink, lime green, canary yellow, tangerine, etc

How do you use/combine neutral and accent colors?
·       You can add accent colors to your neutral outfit by using bright colors as scarves, ties,             necklaces, dupattas and other accessories.
·       At the workplace accent colors should be used in very small proportion to neutral                     because you don’t want to distract co-workers. You need to be taken seriously.
·       On social occasions – one can use slightly larger amounts of accent colors

Someone who uses neutral and accent colors really well is Mr. Navjot Singh Siddhu.  We also admired Kate Blanchett's Oscar gown in black with the aquamarine accent piece.

Wearing colors also depends on other factors like personal hair and skin color etc.

Try creating different color combinations using different amounts of accent and neutral colors depending on the occasion and make your outfits chic and colorful. It is the festival of colors after all!

For interesting options on using accent colors in outfits check my pinterest board