Lessons in Balancing the Right Outfit

I look at balancing an outfit very strategically - it's all about proper layering and focusing on the overall composition. Yes, I'm speaking about styling like its an art form, but it kind of is... Here are some quick tips to help you execute the best outfit. 

I'm going to speak to the below look and tell you what's important about each item and why it works.

1. The coat. My outfit always begins with a piece that I want to showcase, whether it's a coat, shoes, or pants, it's a statement item. For the look below, I focused on the long, dramatic Elizabeth and James cheetah print coat. *Key Takeaway: When in doubt, just begin with one piece and build off of it.

2. The skirt. The coat had a busy print, so I needed to balance it with a solid color underneath. The vinyl skirt was perfect, and its patent leather texture was just enough to compliment the coat's playful print. Also, it was a brisk 60 degrees outside, so the mini skirt provided just enough leg action to give the look more style. *Key Takeaway: when the weather allows it, try to opt for a long coat and mini skirt. It's only appropriate during key seasonal periods, but it creates a dramatic effect. ALSO, it's not always about color and prints - you can mix and play with texture, too.

3. The turtle neck. As you can see the coat has a clean neckline (no collar or lapel). Which means, we have room to accent the neck. The long sleeve, turtle neck also emphasizes the sophisticated neckline of the jacket - which I thought was an excellent compliment to the edgy, patent leather mini. *Key Takeaway: Don't just stop at accenting one aspect of an outfit, try taking it up a notch and see if you can find more ways to utilize a statement piece.

4. The accessories. I wanted to give my neck all the attention, so I decided to wear my hair up. Then, I thought I still had some opportunity with the top half of my look. So I went for a newsboy cap to add a modern touch and chain link earrings. The earrings were sophisticated and matched back to the patent leather skirt. *Key Takeaway: Always evenly distribute hard and soft elements.

5. The shoes. The shoes tend to be the last item I think about. For this look I needed something dark to complete the Fall look as well as balance the black skirt and hat. In addition, I had silver details within my earrings and skirt. So, a black bootie with silver hardware was exactly what I needed to evenly distribute the bold features. *Key Takeaway: Think about evenly distributing elements, textures, and colors to give the full "eyeing up and down" effect.

There you have it! I broke down my outfit to help you achieve this look or something similar. I know it's a lot of information, so just start with one key takeaway. When you're ready, add on more! Mastering styling didn't happen overnight for me, it took practice. I challenged myself on multiple occasions to take a look to the next level. You can, too!

Have fun getting ready!

XOXO, Vanks

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