Create Your Own Canvas: Boom.
The formula for excellent layering is sort of like what Avril Lavigne did with her music in 2018. She majorly mixed it up and it's the best yet. Her new song, "Head Above Water" is the best of the best. I can't wait to hear what else she comes up with. I like it so much I prayed for her inspiration to be protected from anything that gets in its way. Seriously, check it out if you like her music, so soulful and the most real yet.
Your clothing style, if you want to defy the American blah of predictable, should be similar. Seriously surprise everyone, including yourself. I'm going to give you many recipes for doing just that in a moment. I'm going tell you which rules are fun to break, and we'll talk about what the definition of "layer" is, actually kinda deep.
Webster defines "layer" in one sense as "a shoot fastened down to take root while attached to the parent plant." Jesus said, "I am the vine. You are the branches." When we dress, when we make choices of any kind it always points to something else we deeply believe. When my son was (briefly) in Catholic elementary school, the bird-like principal once said that the school dress code and choices in dressing were meant to show respect to self and others.
This was a new concept to me that I partially agree with. I don't really like to respect American norms, so I'm in partial agreement when it comes to mainstream fashion. We have to cover the surface of our body somehow, unless it’s the Oregon Country Fair, and in that case, all bets are off. Do you believe that how you cover the surface of your body matters? I do.
Why layer? Layering clothing is kind of like layering your hair - there's "movement" as your stylist might tell you while running their fingers through your hair, making you look like you'll never look when you try to style it yourself (am I right?).
The surprise of a pop of color people get when it comes to couch cushions, but what about clothes?The all white dress below with the red shoes - fabulous, surprising and a little rebellious. I love it.
If you were going to choose one piece of clothing to 'pull yourself together' I'd recommend a trench coat in a color that makes your face look regal. The color people compliment you on every time you wear that shirt. . .it's your magical color. A trench coat in your magical color would be a solid investment.
Here are some recipes to explore for some stylish change-up:
- Short dresses over jeans or leggings. That dress was a joke at first, but now you look all cool and casual by combining it with pants. Bending over, no problem.
- Thin small shirts in surprisingly complementary patterns under dresses are great, but watch the neckline. A high necked sweater looks bad over a low necked tank dress - just does not work. It starts looking very teacherly or school-uniformish.
- Two patterns, never three unless you're looking to be offhandedly diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. In the photo below the dresses and leggings look great to me, but the other add-ons look a little crazy. Granted, it's the runway - but still. Crazy.
4. I love to wear tall socks at the gym or under boots that barely peek out in a non-matching color that is happy with the rest of the outfit. Think of the color wheel or just colors you like together if you try this. One time I wore a red and black hunter flannel belted dress with my greenish blue socks that have Foxes in Boxes on them. With the boots, one little fox face peered out from each calf to the delight of people who noticed.
5. I've noticed cotton and synthetic fabrics do not layer well together. The cotton ends up looking like the ugly step-child, suddenly cheaper. Patterns, textures, colors - it's all so fun to work with and just see, like an artist what surprising combinations you can create from what you already have. I would love to walk into your closet and go to work making outfits for you to try, but you got this. You can do something new and fun. If you try it on and you feel ridiculous do not wear it. Even something that looks pretty terrible if worn with confidence looks right, and you can get away with it. Think of high fashion. They do that all the time.
6. Under-things can be highly unconventional so that lines, wrinkles and transparency are solved. Sometimes I find white gym shorts are just easier than a slip or that cut off leggings are better than underwear. Little tank tops can be a lifesaver for that way too low top.
7. Thinner layers are usually best underneath. Once in a while a thin sweater works under a synthetic dress, but not very often. When you shop, start thinking of layering pieces that would allow you to wear things in a new way. These kind of layering pieces in second hand stores are ridiculously inexpensive and give you so much more latitude. Recently a friend walked into my closet and said, "there's not as much here as I expected" and I replied, "because I mix it up all the time".
8. Belts are great to rein in some chaos and accentuate your smallest torso circle. Try using other colored or textured belts to add surprising punch to an otherwise mellow outfit. A belt also reminds you to stand tall, [abs up and in] all day long which can't be a bad thing for your overall look.
10. Jackets thrown over summer dresses turn into winter outfits, especially with boots or tights. Sweaters can create the same opportunity. Why not wear white in winter? It's a good color for me. The season certainly won't stop me from some Labor Day rule some boring person thought up. No way will that limit me.
11. So may your branch of humanity remain true to your individual style. And if you have wisdom you'll have the added bonus of a face no longer hard in appearance (Ecclesiastes 8:1). Kindness is beautiful. Forget that, and you're just plain less attractive. Boom.