I am not saying that I don’t like ice cream. That would be crazy. I mean, who doesn’t like ice cream? What I am saying is that after something sweet, I sometimes want something salty. It’s all about balance.
It’s the same with outfits. Sometimes, an outfit just seems to be missing something. It’s blah, it’s lackluster, it’s boring. And, in the case of ice cream and outfits, opposites can attract. In other words, add an accessory or an element that contains an opposing detail to create balance.
It’s super simple, and it works like magic.
Do you have to do this with every outfit? Absolutely not. When in doubt, refer to my one of my cardinal rules:
This is a strategy, not the law, and it’s yours to pull out whenever your outfit needs a little something. (Yes I know I call it a rule but it just sounded better!).
So here, 3 ways you can use The Rule of Opposites to add interest to boring outfits.
Add Color to Neutrals
Some all-neutral outfits just sing. They’re chic and minimal and cool and have just the right balance of texture and details and simplicity to make them work. And others are just plain boring. When you encounter an all-boring outfit in your life (or on your body) one strategy can be to add some color. While the pop of color strategy never truly goes out of style, the way that it’s executed evolves. In 2023, that pop can be unexpected, and should almost always be limited to one item. (Note: This rule, like all the others, works in reverse too. Adding neutrals can ground and balance colorful outfits.)
Add Baggy to Fitted
Sure, if you’re tall and willowy, an all-baggy outfit can be super chic. Same with an all-fitted outfit. Even for us non-models, the right slouchy or stretchy outfit can work, but when it doesn’t, it can help to add opposing element to smoothing things over. Adding a slouchy jacket or relaxed trench over a fitted dress, for example, can add coverage and tone the look down a little, while adding a fitted top with slouchy pants can make the volume easier to pull off.
Plain vs Embellished
After seasons of simple streamlined styles, bling is back, although I’m pretty sure nobody is calling it that. But the key to balancing something fancy, which has the potential of looking dated, over the top, or even frumpy, is to pair it with something simple. The reverse, as always, is also true. Adding something with interesting detail to an outfit that falls flat is a great way to bring it together.
There are so many other ways that The Rule of Opposites can be applied to outfits. These are just a few. Which of these strategies did you find the most helpful?
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