Style and Styling

Outfit Flop to Fab!

AKA: Reworking a Look

AKA: Sometimes It Takes a Few Tries!

Happy day, reader dear!

Have you ever gotten dressed, caught sight of yourself in a mirror (or a picture) later and said, “What was I thinking?” Well, even an Image Consultant has those days. Sometimes what was working in your head, just doesn’t work once you get it on your body. Or as in the words of my favorite philospher, Winnie-the-Pooh… you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it. Yup. Today’s post is about an outfit that was that kind of thingish.

This outfit was Thingish inside my head, but IRL, there was just too freaking much going on! The biggest problem? Too much color! I’ve got on three neutrals here, black, denim/chambray, and the intensely dark green background of the dress. And I’ve also got TWO colors going on: reds and turquoise blues. No human naturally has a 3N2C Color Contrast! I may have been piling on clothes for warmth, but it could certainly have been done more gracefully…

Take 2!

Definitely better. Styling this dress is a challenge, because VERY vibrant reds and blues stand right out against the dark background. That limits the other colors you can add harmoniously, so here I chose to play on just the red by adding the red neckerchief (I’m sure that’s a surprise…) and the red flats.

Take 3!

Just last week… A second variation of the red play (It WAS Valentine’s week after all!), with the re-addition of the black jacket. I tried my faded black cropped jeans under the dress (Sorry, no photo.) but the vibe lost its casual fray.

I’ve owned this dress for years, I wear it with everything from ballet flats and sandals to boots and a denim jacket. It has more than earned its keep in my capsules from fall through spring. With spring coming, I am desperately sad that my turquoise suede sandals that looked so 70’s hip with this dress came from togetherness (Translation: Completely fell apart.) near the end of last summer. I know that is an incredibly trivial thing to be sad over, but those were the bestest shoes. They were the shoe trifecta: comfortable, cute and colorful.

So… How about you? When an outfit doesn’t work out, do you try again? Or do you just give up in frustration? If you do, you’re not alone! Many of my clients find that’s their pattern until we start working together and they start to understand the WHY of those fails. What’s your most recent FAB? Do you know what made it so great? How can you take that and tweak a fail to better suit you and your style? Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I love to hear from you…

Stylishly yours,


  • Angie

    Hi, Liz!
    This was interesting because of the reasons you gave of what was wrong with the first outfit. But although emphasizing one of the two colors with your accessories toned it down, both colors are still there. And I assume you are 2N1C? So I thought that would mean the dress you love and have worn often (1N2C) isn’t your best look. But you are definitely showing how to use it to best advantage. So I guess you are also showing how we can wear something we love and look good in it even if it doesn’t match our coloring. I’m looking forward to finding out more when we meet in March at the Influencers of Midlife conference!

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for visiting, Angie! And you’re right, the pattern of that dress is not my ideal Color Contrast, or Value Contrast for that matter. I am 2N1C, with a Medium to Medium High Value Contrast. But personality trumps, and I LOVE the dress. It makes me happy and feels cheerful when and wherever I wear it. I am looking forward to seeing you in March! We need to chat further… Hmmmm. I may need to pack that dress!

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