How to put together a cohesive look even on the craziest of days
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why a look is or is not working—if it looks great, you want to replicate it, and if you’re not sure how you feel about it, you may want to alter an element. Luckily, for days when you don’t have time to experiment, there are some pretty easy things you can do to pull together an outfit as you’re running out the door. Here are some rules for looking coordinated even on those crazy days.
Coordinating your accessories is the strategy that gets you the most bang for your buck. Wearing accessories in the same color or color family is a subtle way to really pull a look together. Choosing all-black accessories is, of course, one way to make sure everything matches, but you can also look for accessories within a color scheme or family, such as whites, tans, and browns, reds, blues, or blues and purples.
To choose a color scheme, analyze your favorite colors that you have in your wardrobe: are they cool or warm? Are they bright, pastel, or muted? Pick a color scheme that will coordinate with the most colors in your wardrobe. For example, if you have cooler colors, you may decide to work with navy blue accessories. If you have warmer colors, you may choose tans or browns instead. It’s often also easy to find shoes and bags in whites, burgundies, and other shades of red.
As things wear out (or if you constantly lose gloves, like me!), replace them with items in the new color scheme you chose. (You can also consider picking two color schemes for different seasons, such as spring/summer and fall/winter, especially if you need different shoes for each.)
The accessories don’t have to be exactly the same color, just in the same color family. For example, you could wear all navy accessories or navy shoes and gloves with a royal blue purse. You could also use patterned accessories as a bridge between two colors. If you have a leopard-print bag, for instance, you could pair it with brown or black shoes, belt, and hat.
You can see below that these simple outfits look very chic, in part because of the coordination of the accessories,
Brown, orange, and white blazer with orange scarf and jeans for a fancy casual fall outfit.
Brown shoes, a brown belt, and a brown print purse help make this simple outfit look chic.
She Color-Coordinated Like a Pro
Lupita Nyong’o accessorized her jeans-and-a-tee weekend look with a royal blue bag and slingbacks.
The English designer, Victoria Beckham, infused her typically minimal look with a touch of Parisian panache.
Victoria Beckham chose to coordinate with red. Note that the accessories don’t need to match perfectly: her shoes look to be a fire-engine red, while the purse is a more muted shade.
These are the perfect example of coordinating accessories.
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