My friend and I were talking about orphan pieces the other day. She, and others, have mentioned their struggle with figuring out what to pair with a single item they found and loved – a blouse, skirt, sweater, necklace…
So FIRST for Fashion Friday, I’m issuing a call for orphan pieces! I will be writing a post on how you should wear the item in your closet you just don’t know how to put together (but don’t want to give away because you LOOOOVE it). Send me a photo of the orphan wardrobe item, or a link to the item if it’s current, and I’ll build an outfit for you.
Next, today’s will jumpstart this conversation; let’s talk: How to Style an Interesting Piece.
We all find something in the fitting room (or in the box on our doorstep) we think is gorgeous but wonder, what should I wear this with? Those items aren’t the black pants or the ivory cardigan, but something interesting which doesn’t logically fall into what you imagine pairing in your current wardrobe.
The key is to find a way to use it in more than one application. A cool cocktail dress is one note. We can style it with shoes and hair but you have limited uses. A valuable piece is one you can wear in multiple applications.
Example 1: Oversized Graphic Sweater
This is a lovely example from Nordstrom.
For the weekend, pair this sweater with skinny bootcut jeans, narrow lines are key when you have an oversized piece and bootcut is this season’s statement, and a neutral shell. I’d prefer something deeper than the ivory shown here for most skin types. Look at the navy and maroon featured in the pattern; select a solid shell in a lighter shade of one of those colors. Because of the pattern, keep jewelry neutral and polish off with a great boot.
For work, partner this sweater with a navy shift dress and oversized belt. Simple jewelry and gray heels will make a bold but professional statement.
Example 2: Embellished Blouse
Consider a neckline on a blouse with partnering it with a jacket or sweater. Try not to create conflicting lines or layers which take away from the best aspect of your feature item.
Here’s another example from Nordstrom’s:
It partners jacquard with small stitch embellishments and tiny black pearls.
For work, this would be gorgeous under a navy suit. The neckline here is straight so it’s easy to marry with a blazer and it needs no necklace as the shell serves as all the accessory you need. (Plus this color pairs beautifully with navy, a classic contrast for work in any traditional environment like energy, finance, and law.)
For the weekend, this would be a perfect brunch topper. Pair it with a high-waisted full skirt in a contrasting color, again navy would be a great choice but you have far more flexibility, and platform pumps for a feminine, retro look. (Imagine this MINUS the midriff showing!)
Okay girls, so this should get your creative juices flowing. Send over all your orphan pieces and let’s see what we can create!