3.12.2006

There IS Redemption for Buyer's Remorse--Crazy Prints

Remember the time you thought leopard prints were hot and collected all things leopard? What about those zebra stripe sweaters that were trendy last season? Yes, those prints can go from popular to tacky faster than you can say "fashion." If you only spent $5 on them, you probably won't think twice about throwing them away or donating them. What if you sunk a ton of money into those now-odious pieces? There might be no takers on eBay, and tossing them feels like stabbing yourself in the gut; you'll feel cheated, since you haven't gotten the proper return on your investment. What to do, what to do?

We've all had this problem, even if your purchases will never be mistaken for animal hide. Sometimes we fall in love with colorful stripes or big floral prints, only to tire of them in a few short months. The answer, my friends, is layering. Layering allows the crazy prints to create a "statement" outfit without overpowering the senses. The key is using layering pieces in solid colors with little or no embellishments. Keep accessories simple and to a minimum.

To illustrate how layering can raise the status of a long-disdained piece of clothing, I'll use a cheap KMart shirtdress that my mom got for me eons ago (during my unfashionable high school days). I love the fit of the dress, but over the years the print has gotten too much for me.



If I was wearing just the sweater and the jeans, it would have been a really boring combo. I tied up the bottom half of the skirt and turned it into a shirt; the bow (from the tying) and the bold print add some character.


This one is a bit more adventurous, but I think it looks better simply because I'm a dress/skirt-over-jeans gal. If you want to wear a sweater that completely obscures the top part of the dress, including the collar, that works too--it'll look like you're wearing a skirt.

I got *really* adventurous and ended up with this mod-ish look. Much more unusual, but not outlandish. Several people really liked this outfit on the day I wore it.

Layering can get cumbersome in some situations, but workarounds are available. If the problem is caused by bulky leopard print outerwear, wear it unbuttoned/unzipped with solid-colored tops and bottoms; let the bottom layer(s) "dilute" the top. Accessories, when used alone or in conjunction with layering, can also break up the gaudiness of prints by drawing attention from it. Use a color that contrasts with the print; with dark colors, white belts are very effective. With the leopard coat example above, adding a simple necklace or a belt on the bottom layers can further draw attention away from the print. Another strategy is to use accessories that either complement or match with your solid-color layers; I carried a metallic green bag along with my "mod" outfit and it worked really well.

1 comment:

fashionasian said...

I really like that mod look! Its great when you can make an old (and pretty ugly) piece look stylish again!!