Thursday, February 19, 2009
Shop Your Closet
The days are still chilly with the occasional hint of snow yet as we inch closer to spring it makes me wistful for my spring dresses. So why not bring those spring cotton dresses out of hiding and give them a makeover that takes them to the office or out to play and induldges you with something "new" from your very own closet? Last week I found myself doing this very thing and, to my surprise, received compliments from my husband (!) as well as other women business owners I was meeting with. How's that for re-using what I already have!
The key to this look is to choose a dress that doesn't shout spring or summer. A bold, splashy floral sundress isn't going to work quite as well as a cotton dress in a neutral color or a more subdued print. But don't be afraid to experiment - you may surprise yourself. Remember, accessories are key to taking your spring dress into another season so keep your jewelry, jackets, bags and shoes season appropriate. Here are my tips for giving your cotton dresses a cool-weather makeover:
1/ Start by adding a pair of tights. Pay close attention to color. Black tights may work with a medium to dark tone dress, but are going to stand out with a pastel dress. For lighter colors try tights in a pale gray or taupe or bring out a color that's in the dress. If it's neutral don't be afraid to try a bold hue like red, raspberry or royal blue.
2/ Your shoes must work with the dress too. For a cheeky look try a pair of boots (we love these black suede slouchy boots), suede oxfords with cut-outs or a pretty pair of pumps.
3/ A lighter weight dress may require a slip or some shapewear underneath to give you the cool-weather coverage you need. What's appropriate for the beach isn't exactly office attire. Make sure you're covered in every way.
4/ Top your look off with a jacket or cardigan. Ensure it coordinates with your overall look and gives balance to what's on your feet and legs. Try adding a belt over your cardigan for a fun look.
5/ Your bag should match your shoes...just kidding! Your bag should be appropriate for February. Don't make the mistake of pulling out your raffia bag just because you carry it with your dress in the spring. Your bag should whisper 'winter' and coordinate with the rest of your look.
6/ Add some chic jewelry that gives you the finishing touch. Try a brooch on your sweater or jacket, an armful of bangles or a necklace or earrings that really make a statement.
Voila! You've just successfully gotten a whole new seasons' wear from an old spring/summer favorite without spending a dime! I hope this will inspire you to see what other looks you can create by mixing and matching season. Let me know what ideas you come up with!