It might be the request I receive most frequently: “I just bought ______ and I don’t know how to wear it!”
As much as I’m a big fan of planning purchases and having a deliberate wardrobe scheme, I’m not immune to the reality of the “coup de coeur” – that French kick in the heart that screams to you and will not be denied. And I think that these impulses that overwhelm can be a good way to indulge in an accent color, or a change of wardrobe direction.
Take, for example, these stunning boots:
These are oh so NOT my style, but I can see the appeal. And one of you, dear friend, fell for their charms.
Now what to do? I have a plan. Of COURSE I have a plan!
- Consider, while you’re still carrying these lovelies with you, looking for a scarf, or a pair of earrings, or some other accessory that works beautifully with your trophy purchase. They don’t have to be dye-lot matched, but they should look like they share DNA. The point of this is to be able to pull on another accessory at the same time that you wear your boots, so that the addition of (in this case) orange looks deliberate, rather than random. (if you’ve ever thought of going wild and getting an Hermes scarf, this is the time. They are CRAZY about orange…)
- Think about a cardigan in this color family. Cardigan are easy to pull over other items, and will again give you that “I meant to do this” look. (House of Fraser has a lot of cardigans, as does Yoox)
- A sweater, or a dress. I don’t think that buying a garment specifically to leverage a “grail” purchase is a bad idea. Maybe you won’t be wearing orange for the rest of your life, but for this season, and maybe next season, it will be a frequently-worn signature.
- Or just break down and buy an entire outfit. The world will NOT come to an end, so long as you have the budget bandwidth to accommodate your splurge. Wear the outfit constantly. Enjoy every second. If people have seen you in this outfit before, so what? You are not under contract to wear different clothes every time someone sees you. Your friends won’t mind, and anybody who DOES mind shouldn’t get a vote…
A few ideas:
How smart would that Hermes scarf be if you had a bit of olive green in your wardrobe?
When I was working on this, I noticed that some brands tend to work a lot in one color palette; Stella Jean (plaid pants, above) has a lot of clothing available in the brown and orange range, and Issa (dress above) has a handful of dresses available in orange prints. What does this mean for you? If you see something you love, look at other items in that brand! And if you see something that’s close, look at that designer’s other items; they may have something more to your taste. This narrows down the WIDE world of shopping a little bit!
I have another pair of shoes to work with, and a handbag that isn’t getting the love and mileage it deserves; do you have a closet orphan that you really love and want to wear more often? Let me know about it – send a link or a photograph, if possible.
PS – For more in the Maximize Your ROI series, check out the following articles:
- Maximize Your ROI: Orange Boots
- Maximize Your ROI: Black and White Houndstooth Check Flats
- Maximize Your ROI: Leopard Flats
- Maximize Your ROI: Estellon Striped Handbag
- Maximize Your ROI: St. John Collection scarf