Make the most out of your wardrobe 0
Mix, match and experiment with the clothes you already own to discover what works best for you. (Shutterstock)
Eva writes: I need some help putting my clothes together.
I have great black-and-white tweed pants, wine wide-wale stretch cords, brown slim-to-the-ankle pants and sleek black leggings.
My tops vary. I have a long cream bulky knit sweater, a classic camel fine knit twin set, a black close-to-the-body fit cowl neck, several sleek tank tops in assorted lengths, a black microfiber cozy that falls to my knees, a red shrug and a striped knee-length coat in rainbow colours . A couple of tailored blazers complete my inventory.
How do I coordinate these pieces to make combinations that look best on me?
Marilyn’s answer: Rather than give you specifics here are some tips to guide you:
Experiment with these options and make the decisions by how you look in your mirror and how you feel in your outfit.
Suggestions for possible combinations:
1a. Place close-to-the-body tops and bottoms under a third item. The style, weight and texture of the third item depends on your height and dimensions.
1b. Wear lines of color under contrasting or complementary third pieces such as cardigans, jackets (tailored or soft), vests or capes. This makes you look taller and thinner.
2. Wear bulky tops with finer and leaner bottoms
3. Wear finer and more fitted tops with heavier or fuller bottoms.
4. Wear a jacket or vest if you need to camouflage any excess in your middle.
5. Wear darker toned items on areas you wish to minimize and lighter ones on an area you wish to highlight.
6. Wear long easy tops and jackets over clothes that skim your body.
7. Wear items with coarse textures when and where you wish to build volume.
8. Wear short jackets and shrugs over longer tops.
9. Wear belts to cinch in shapeless tops. Place them under your bust, around your waist or low slung on your hips. Your body type and the garment will determine where to put a belt.
10. Use patterned items to draw attention to where you want it and as a map to combine colours.
The suggestions above are general guidelines to encourage you to mix, match and experiment so you discover what works best for you. Your body proportions and height will be contributing factors. Your personality will help you gauge what mixes and matches fit your comfort zone.
The combinations you make with your clothes will be further enhanced by the strategic addition of accessories. Jewelry, scarves or shawls, and belts will complete your best look and give it an original personal stamp.
You have a good assortment of separates. Pull your items together so you achieve a look the feels good and makes the statement you want. Once you have combined your items, then add your accessories.
Push or roll your sleeves. Stand your collar. Place your belt strategically. Do anything it takes to make the reflection in your mirror one of which you are proud. You are unique. The combination you create can follow rules or break them so long as the final look is one you love and wear confidently.
Your clothes have the potential to give you a great look. Just be self-assured and create it.
“Wardrobe Doctor” Marilyn Wetston is the owner of Marilyn’s in Toronto’s fashion district, the host of a weekly radio program and the author of columns helping people with their fashion dilemmas. Visit her site at marilynwetston.com