How to Mix & Match Clothing

Women shopping for new clothes
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Some of the hallmarks of a good wardrobe are its versatility, variety and adaptability. Don’t worry; all this doesn’t require you to have a wardrobe of Hamletian proportions or to spend a fortune to build your wardrobe.
All that is needed is some creativity, common sense and a penchant for ‘mix and match’ when you buy your clothing. The extent to which you can mix and match depends on the interchangeability of the various pieces of your clothing. So what this essentially means is that you need to plan your wardrobe in advance.
Why mix and match?
• Mixing and matching allows you to wear different and exciting looks even when you have a small or limited wardrobe.
• It allows you the most optimum use of your clothes and accessories.
• With imaginative mixing and matching you can make even the ordinary clothes look exciting and thus stand out in a crowd.
• It lets you express and stamp your individuality and your style in an emphatic fashion.
How to mix and match?
• Building your wardrobe is not that different from building your house. First you need to build a solid foundation of a few basic colors and then add rest of the structure according to your taste.
• Do not buy duplicates of the same basic color. Navy blue, black and brown are good choices for a basic color.
• Find out what kind of colors best suit your skin tone i.e. warm colors or cool colors. Generally the best option is to have a wide selection of colors.
• The top half of your body is always more noticed than the bottom half. So in essence this means that if you wear the same top with different bottoms you will end up looking the same, whereas same bottom with different tops will give you a different look every time.
• In other words, in your wardrobe your tops should vastly outnumber your bottoms, if you want to mix and match.
• It’s always easier to match prints with plain clothes, whereas clothing with different patterns does not match. So as a thumb rule at least 75% of your wardrobe should be composed of plain clothes and the rest could be in print.
• Determine what kind of dressing suits your normal lifestyle needs and then build your wardrobe around that. Normally, opt for clothes that are versatile, i.e. can be used for both formal and informal occasions.
• Dresses don’t leave that much scope for mixing and matching, so try to buy more of separate pieces of clothing.
• Wise use of accessories like jewelry, hand bags, shades, scarves, belts etc, is also an important tool for mixing and matching. Radically different accessories with almost same dress end up giving you a completely different look.
• A little bit of tweaking with your hairstyle, shoes etc, also helps in changing the look.
A few examples of effective mixing and matching:
• A pair of jeans is perhaps one of the most versatile pieces of clothing. A blue denim jean with a white shirt and black blazer creates the formal look, whereas the same jeans with a satin green camisole creates a great night out look.
• The little black dress is another wonderful versatile must-have in your wardrobe. E.g. a little black dress with jacket is great as office wear. Now, take of the jacket, add a pair of dangling ear rings, some red lipstick and sexy stilettos et voila you are ready for the evening!
• A just above the knees skirt with a pair of flats might be a good idea for office. Now replace the flats with high heeled knee length leather boots, you will notice the transformation.
• A knee length dress layered over a white shirt and pair of black tights and booties gives you that chic look. Now, strip off everything except the dress it self, then add a long necklace, a pair of high heels and you are ready to bowl your date over!
Some pitfalls on the road to ‘mix and match’
• Be careful with mixing and matching bright colors, you don’t want end up being
tackily dressed.
• Beware of mixing too many colors in the same outfit. That’s not eye pleasing.
• Avoid repeating the same top on daily basis when you have to meet the same people everyday; e.g. that would be the case in an office setting. As explained earlier, the top gets noticed more than the bottom.
So to conclude, mixing and matching with some creativity and loads of common sense can multiply your dressing options by manifold without having to buy more clothes.