Happy day, dear reader!
A client was recently asking me about what jewelry to wear with a casual tee. She loves one very sparkly necklace she owns, but always ended up taking it off because something feels “wrong.” That “wrong” feeling can come from a disconnect within the Levels of Refinement in an outfit. It’s one thing to understand the Level of Refinement of a particular garment, accessory, or shoe, but quite another to combine items from different levels well. I want to share an easy tip to create more harmony when mixing refinement levels. It’s a cousin to my Power of Three, but doesn’t require counting!
Create a Connection
In the case of my client, who’s not much of a rebel, her super sparkly multi-gem necklace just doesn’t connect well with the casual tee, jeans, and booties, that is her default. If the necklace had another higher Level of Refinement piece to connect with while wearing the jeans and tee, like a cute pair of pointy toed pumps, or a shiny sandal, the look would be intentional. With her more relaxed style, the necklace feels out of place. To create a more synchronized style, she can tone down the necklace, or elevate the shoes to create a look that feels more “right” for her!
In the middle we have the starting point… Jeans, tee, booties, sparkly necklace. The jeans, tee, and booties are all very casual. Their Level of Refinement is 3-4, but the necklace has a much higher Level of Refinement. To create a more harmonious outfit, she can go left, and swap out her gems for a more casual necklace, and keep the tee and booties. The leather lace and tassel of the necklace eases the pearls into relaxed mode. This creates a polished weekend play look. If she wants to elevate her look, trading her booties for a metallic sandal creates a different look completely! Even though the higher Refinement Level of the necklace is still out of context for the jeans and tee, connecting the necklace to the dressy sandals creates a reference for the two, and an intentionality that says “I meant to do this!” (Rather than “I got dressed in the dark…”)
So, how about you? Are you more comfortable staying within a Level of Refinement? Have you found that limiting, or comforting? Or are you a Rebel or Creative who likes to mix and match Refinement Levels at will? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below! I love to hear about your experiences…
And many thanks to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for the Link-Up!