Fashion in motion: can you print that?
Thank you, dear readers, for your support of this new office outfit column- it’s nice to hear you’re enjoying the stories and looks. It’s been a joy to dress up for work every day: I love being at the CBC and getting dressed for my time there is a fun exercise in how I want my day to feel.
Don’t you feel different when you wear a tweed blazer, pencil skirt, crisp cotton collared shirt and pumps, then when you’re in liquid leggings, batwing cape and oversized bangles? Dressing for work is daily costume party and it sets the tone for how I’ll be feeling and how my colleagues and floor mates will interact with me. Sometimes I wear a vintage skirt nipped at the smallest round of my waist and hard-holding nylon tights that the combo is so fitted I have to sit straight all day, can’t eat a giant lunch and race home to de-brace myself and exhale with triumph Those days I walked really straight, I looked at my profile and I thought, man those tights are tight.
Today’s outfit is brought to you by the artist’s canvas and the ocean’s treasures: it’s a comfortable dress that lets me relax because it’s not tight and the mood isn’t uptight, either: this print is artsy. It’s a cute little number by Rachel Rachel Roy and I bought it when I attended the label’s launch at The Bay four or five years ago. It’s a fun dress: the front and back of the dress have lovely watercolour-esque centre panels made of silk and the sides are a flowy synthetic. I love the juxtaposition of prints here: fluid but high-pigment watercolours right up against geometric orange and grey that remind me of coral in the ocean. This dress is so fun to wear and I feel happy in it.
I get many compliments when I wear it- everyone always loves it. I love the pockets and the keyhold button closure at the name of the neck. It has an elastic waist that I have belted before with a thin silver/gold braided belt (black would be too harsh, orange not really interesting). Lately I’ve been wearing it plain and I like the boatneck shape. It’s a touch on the short side and because the fabric is so lightweight, I prefer wearing it in cooler weather when I can pair it with opaque grey nylons or thick sweater tights like I have on here.
People are often really interested in this dress because it’s a fun combo of prints but you know, it’s not that hard to wear prints. You just have to do it with a few simple rules in mind. Pairing prints is one of my favourite fashion challenges (this is how I keep myself entertained at 7:50am) and I love adding as many prints as possible. This week I added a cream-striped navy cardi in case I felt cold at the office, and my sweater tights boast rows of fun braiding.
How does it all work? Well, none of the prints compete with each other because of the different scale of the prints and the style of them, too. No two prints that I’m wearing are the same, and it’s not a mess because they are all colour-united: the dress’ watercolour panel has grey that’s repeated in the tights, and navy and cream in the cardi. So far so good. But what shoes to wear? This is where I can make this look a giant fiasco by adding another colour. There’s enough going on here, so pointy black leather flats is the best option or a grey to match the tights would work well, too.
My white watch really pops and I wore silver bracelets and lovely silver earrings hand made by a Winnipeg artist. I’ve had these earrings for more than a decade- my mom bought them for me. They remind me of inukshuks and they’re as light as a feather and make a soft jingle sound in my ear. And they even look fabulous with a plain white t-shirt at the end of your workday:
The earrings are another interesting aspect of the outfit’s success: again it brings in geometry and pattern. You’d think you couldn’t possibly add more to this dress but think about it, it’s just asking for company.
This spring is a return to ’60’s dressing with lots of repetitive prints, print mixing, geometrics, and matching coats with pants with shoes. It’s a fun season for a gal who likes to play in the print box. I hope you’ll join me for recess and come up with some unique combos that make you feel special and look fun.
If you want an easy in to the club, check out the Rachel Rachel Roy dresses and you’ll definitely find something there that’s got a similar KA-POW to my paneled dress. Rachel Roy is a gal with a cultural heritage’s love of colour and prints and her goal was to create a label that counters all the colour-blocking basics of every other retailer’s collection. She’s enjoyed success because her product is quite unique against the reliable Banana Republic and Club Monaco black, white, tan combos. Let her do the print mixing for you.
Go play and please report back.