*Bright + bright
*Neutrals + neutrals
*Pattern + pattern
Confused? Let me illustrate:
Why only wear one bright ass skirt when you can also pair it with bright flats? (bright + bright)
Why wear one neutral when you could wear several? (neutral + neutral)
Why only have vertical stripes ... why not horizontal ones, too? (pattern + pattern)
In short, I am a fan of more, more, more. But, generally speaking, only in these 3 categories.
I try to show some restraint when it comes to work. Bright shoes with a bright cardigan? Passable. (If I was still a student or working in one of my old jobs, likely that would have been bright cardigan + bright skirt + bright shoes + bright brooch.) Black and white bias-cut button down gingham with black? Hits neutrals and patterns at the same time.
One way that I have found to keep pattern clashing from veering too far into Visual Whoa territory is to pair classic patterns together. Here, stripes and plaid. Plus, red, blue and white is a classic combination.
Sometimes, in a futlie attempt at subtlety, I will only attack 1 out of the 3. On this day, I kept it to bright + bright (+ bright).
I do like how bright shoes can add more color to an outfit. Makes the bright + bright philosophy less overwhelming but still fun.
Sometimes the bright + bright is subtle. This outfit is dominated by neutrals working together, but it's all about the mustard flats and the way they pick up the yellow in the scarf. My coworker said she thought I looked European in this; must have been the scarf, which is a vintage French one!
Occasionally I do tone things down quite a bit and compose an outfit of neutrals. But even then I like to mix my neutrals to keep things interesting. And I couldn't resist some pattern mixing, too. It's hard to see, but this thrifted blouse has this great 70's-colorway-meets-Scandinavian-print aesthetic going. A couple interesting printed blouses go a long ways in the office.
You may have noticed that I rarely wear denim, but it's my "staple" for those closet orphans I've made through the years. I keep forgetting how much I love this tank, probably because it's never warm enough here to wear it.
And, when all else fails, I just grab this gray blazer and toss it over whatever latest handmade to come off the sewing table, for those garments I'm too excited to wear but harbor secret doubts over their passability in the office. Gray, conservative thrifted blazer --- perhaps you are my wardrobe essential #7!