After a long break, we’re back together. As I shared a while back, my wrap dresses and I (particularly the one I wore for my wedding rehearsal dinner eons ago) had a falling out. We had a whole lot of love / hate relationship going on and we needed some distance.
Throughout the fall and winter, we went our separate ways. A trip to the thrift store landed me a Maggy London wrap dress to be debuted on the blog later this week. This run-in with The Wrap reignited our spark.
I have a handful of wrap dresses. Recently, I collected them in my closet, hung them all together, and committed to giving our relationship a second go. So far, we’re still in the Honeymoon: Part Two stage, but things are looking up!
As we’ve been getting to know each other again after our hiatus, I’ve spent a lot of time wrapping myself up in these beauties, though never wearing exactly the same outfit. In that spirit, I want to share all the ways I’ve remixed my wrap dresses with one simple outfit formula to make the most of my closet and get reacquainted with one of classic style’s favorite staples.
Basic Outfit Formula: Wrap Dress + Camisole + Cardigan + Tights + Boots
Sidenote: PLEASE don’t wear your wrap dresses without camisoles. I understand the dresses weren’t really designed with camisoles in mind. It’s nearly impossible though to wear them conservatively for the office even with the smallest of “assets.” I know some have trouble avoiding lines and bunching of the camisole under the dress, particularly at the waist. Often times, however, a cardigan over the dress masks any potential lines. Also, it’s far better to fight with camisole lines than cleavage. Please, oh please, wear the camisole!
If you really can’t come to grips with the camisole, consider a bralette. It looks like a hybrid between a camisole and a sports bra. Thus, it provides conservative coverage for the office without cramping your undergarment style beneath the dress.
Today, wearing just one dress and the same old pair of my favorite flat cognac boots, I created three different versions of this outfit using various color matching tools. Let’s break it down (and not the dance kind, I have no rhythm…).
Colors like black, brown and gray (and maybe navy or olive as your definition expands) fall into a neutral category. These neutral colors match a whole slew of pieces in your closet making them particularly versatile. In fact, many minimalists rely on primarily neutral items to comprise their wardrobes to maximize remixing capabilities.
This faux wrap dress contains plenty of color and a strong pattern on it’s own. Thus, adding all neutral accessories (tights, boots, and a cardigan) really let the dress stand out and be the center of the outfit.
Some days, I’m feeling bored by neutral pairings and want to mix some bright colors. For someone like me who has had trouble matching colors my whole life, this can go awry quickly. To keep the color combination working, it’s important to keep one of the qualities of color consistent. Colors have qualities like brightness, saturation, and hue. If one of these is consistent throughout a color scheme, you’re likely to have a pairing that appears to match.
In my case, I chose colors analogous (next to) each other on the color wheel (yellow, greed and blue) and ensured to keep the saturation of the colors similar.
This option often proves to be deceptively difficult. Matching on the surface seems pretty easy. I chose a color included in the fabric of the dress and wore a cardigan in the same color.
I don’t clash, for sure. But matching pieces can begin to feel too “matchy-matchy” and overdone if an outfit includes too many pieces in the same color. Imagine if I wore an entirely navy dress covered by an entirely navy sweater. Take that further and consider if I wore nave shoes and / or tights as well. Too much! I’d be drowning in navy.
When opting for the matching option, simply take a color in your outfit that’s not already overwhelming and add one more dose of it to the combination. I know. I know. It seems so obvious. Just be cautious not to go nuts with the matching efforts. It won’t end well…
The above gives the low-down on just the basics. As someone who struggled mightily until a few years ago to match even the most basic of colors, I’m certainly a beginner. I can share with you the really simple rules I use as guardrails when getting dressed. If you’d like something far more in depth, I recommend the Intro to Color Theory from Into Mind. She writes a host of minimalist living posts with a focus on our closets. After reading this post over a year ago as well as her post on Developing A Color Palette for Your Wardrobe, I’m pretty sure she’s a color genius!
Style Link Up
Do you find mixing color to be a great resources for remixing your closet? Today’s the style link-up, so let’s see what your remixing. Share your favorite color combination. Does it follow one of the rules above?