Dress It Up or Down
Hello, Lovely Reader!
I’ve been on holiday for a few weeks now. Or not. Our non-refundable overnight runaway to the beach was scrapped due to family health issues and that adventure is occupying all my time and emotional bandwidth. I’m more tired and stressed than I’ve been at any time since my practicum during the last semester of my graduate degree. Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you that story sometime!
Apropos of nothing: I’m overdue for the CPI PSA!
PSA: Every few weeks, I throw out this reminder: Our mission here at Closet Play Image is to inspire you with Bright Ideas for Your Style and Your Wardrobe. When you find anything here useful, illuminating, or even plain old amusing, please share it on social media or with a friend! Pinning it on Pinterest rocks, too. Style is more than a hobby, it’s my business. Unfortunately, keeping the lights on and internet up and running doesn’t happen because the utilities people think I’m swell! Silly utilities… What do they know?! While you’re being supportive, sign up for my monthly newsletter; there I share highlights and random special content (and offers) only for newsletter subscribers. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Thank you. You’re the best! XO
Would it be odd to say that my mom inspired today’s post? I’ve written about Mama before. More than once. I might even have mentioned that a big piece of my style history is encapsulated by the phrase dress it up or down. Those words were the highest praise that could come from my mother’s lips about any clothing item or accessory. As we do, I internalized that as the measure of a good purchase. Does it work 100% of the time? No. But no rule or measure does.
As an adult, I held onto that shopping mantra, albeit often as a joke. It wasn’t until I did some digging around in my personal style history that I uncovered how many purchases I had made or eschewed due to dress it up or down. Some of those decisions were good. Others, not so much.
I love to dig into style history with my clients, because we can’t change our behaviors until we understand why we do them. (Well, we can, but it’s wayyyyy harder that way!) And I’ve decided that versatility IS important to me. Not just because Mama said so, but because I say so. For me, versatility can mean dress it up or down or that the item in question is multi-seasonal. Even better if it’s both!
How to Get Versatile Style
I’ve written before about Levels of Refinement (AKA: How Dressy Is It?) and Dawn to Dusk Dressing. The key to versatility is to build your wardrobe on multiple items from your mid-range of dressiness. When you fill your wardrobe with super casual play pieces and dressy pieces (Work, maybe? Or social?), you’ve got no connectors. This is a common wardrobe problem, especially for those in (or from) a more polished work environment.
Today, I thought I’d take one of those mid-range pieces and look back at the ways I’ve styled it the last three seasons AND at how I might style it for fall this year. Maybe I’ll even rock a trend or two?
This skirt fits squarely in the 2 category, making it easy to dress up or down AND wear multi-seasonally!
If the skirt looks familiar, you’re right! It featured in this post about Achromatic Style. There’s too little color in the looks below, but for fall, I think I’d like to style it with some more color. Let’s look back to last spring:
It was a cool spring, so my navy sweater saw a LOT of wear. I’m okay pairing navy and black. If you aren’t, choose a different color!
If you’d like to read the thought process behind this atypical outfit pairing, check out this post!
With temps hovering near 100 today, I’m not feeling fall styling love… But I can get super excited about the idea of boots! (Because I LOVE boots and wish I could wear them all the year long. Sigh. Living in Georgia was poorly planned.)
First outfit has me psyched! I cannot wait for a day in the low to mid 70’s; this will be my first pick! Leopard Skirt + Denim Blouse + Silver Boots + Huge Hoops + Black Chain Bag This combo feels particularly me and kind of 60’s all rolled into one. A little ladylike and a little subversive. Perfect.
For fall choice #2, we’ll need some cooler temps! Leopard Skirt + Colorful Merino + Tie Styled Scarf + Huge Hoops + Sheer Tights + Booties I’ll half tuck the sweater and keep the knot on the scarf low. (Man styled ties are one of the F/W trends I didn’t address.) Pairing the sheer grey tights with the booties prevents the chopped off effect created by booties and bare legs. I need all the length I can get!
If you are looking for scarf inspiration read about last fall’s #scarfstylechallenge. Because yes, scarves are in style for F/W 2022/23. (I don’t think they ever went OUT of style, but that’s just me…)
What was I doing with this skirt last winter?
Cat prints are one of the big fashion trends for F/W 2022/23 that I can get into! It might mean this skirt (and this dress) see more wear than usual.
How About You?
What clothing item(s) do you wear all the year ’round? (Or most of the year except for the most extreme weather.) Are they casual pieces? Dressy pieces? Or versatile pieces that can play both ways? What are your most dress up and down-able pieces? Are you comfortable mixing refinement levels? Or does that make you uncomfortable? (Either is okay! It’s a personality thing.) Do share! I love to hear from you…