Fashion

Is grey and white the new “black and white”?

17th Sep
I would have to say my favorite color combination for this summer is light grey with white. It's a softer, more sophisticated variation of the all-white look which has been so popular this summer. Just adding a slightly darker tone - light grey - makes an outfit look airy and light but not glaringly in-your-face. When I first saw my colleague Alyssa wearing the Banana Republic ensemble pictured below, I was reminded of an old black-and-white negative print: a reversal of the more commonly seen dark suit with white collar. She also looks a little celestial with her cloud-like white polka dot top, don't you think? The black accents at her collar and feet "ground" her and nicely frame the outfit. My favorite element here is the double-stranded coral colored choker necklace, handmade by Alyssa herself. It is a perfect accent of color, contrasting beautifully with the black-to-white spectrum. Notice also how it draws your eye upward to her face. This next look (pictured above) is cool, casual and youthfully lady-like. The fitted, long-sleeved top is a more polished alternative to the more typical tank top or t-shirt, and the grey skirt keeps the white top in check so as to prevent too stark an impression. It is the perfect outfit for a warm Saturday afternoon. [caption id="attachment_178" align="aligncenter" width="450"] If you look closely, you will see that these pants have grey and white stripes.[/caption] This third ensemble (pictured above) is a casual, comfortable look which I originally photographed for an earlier post regarding alternatives to yoga pants for everyday wear. It is simple and uncomplicated, but definitely stylish. With something like this in the closet, there's no need to resort to those boring yoga pants for a weekend stroll about town, now is there? This woman was pictured on a shadowy sidewalk, but I assure you that when she stepped into the sunshine, she glowed (oh so softly). Sandy's lovely ensemble (pictured below) was featured in an earlier post about sparkly sandals. I include it here as a beautiful variation on the grey-white combination. Both Sandy and Alyssa (in the first photo) demonstrate how adding an additional color can wonderfully enhance the palette. Adding a third color works best in my opinion, if it is very close in tone to the grey - as is the light wintergreen pictured above - or if it is a strategically placed small detail, as in Alyssa's ensemble. Both ladies chose accent colors which flatter their natural coloring. The only problem I can foresee with this grey/white pairing is the upcoming change in seasons. But then, we can always resort to grey and winter white! Does this combination get your vote?

LAYANA AGUILAR

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Style

Drowning in brown: dare we dress in non-autumn colors after Labor Day?

12th Sep
I detest brown. It is a practical color for shoes, I grant you. But when it comes to dresses? Drab! Suits? Boring. Shirts? Excuse me, but it was never "the new black". I mean, brown is the color of dirt, not of elegance and sophistication. So, Labor Day has just passed, and what is everyone wearing? Let's see: brown, moss green, burnt orange, mustard yellow, brown, burgundy-violets and more brown. Why do we feel compelled - maybe even obligated - to dress like autumn leaves once Labor Day has passed? Okay, I'll admit it. I recently wore a brown suit with pink and white pinstripes. I am not immune to the tendency to be in-step with what I see going on around me. And I must acknowledge that some people seem to have just the right coloring to make brown clothing look rich and soothing, like a cup of hot chocolate. While I occasionally succumb to this movement, I cannot help feeling a bit like a herd animal or even as if I am faking something. I mean, I live in California: this is our Indian summer. I am still surrounded by blue skies, a blue ocean and golden hillsides. There aren't a ton of deciduous trees here. Ya know what I mean? I used to live next door to a five-year-old named Samantha whose parents let her wear whatever she pleased. I would see her in flowery rubber rain boots in the summer and little sparkly sandals in the winter. (I mentioned I live in California, didn't I?) Sometimes I want to emulate that little girl and disregard convention. Last Saturday in San Francisco while wearing a burgundy blouse with tan jacket and beige booties, heaven help me, I was relieved and inspired to see some people with style, dressing in glorious disregard to the fashion mandate to wear autumn colors in September. It was a gorgeous 74 degree day with little wind, and I would say the people pictured below look totally appropriate for the conditions, wouldn't you? [caption id="attachment_104" align="aligncenter" width="450"] I have to admit I really like these brown shoes.[/caption] We all seek that fine line between convention and individuality. My creative side suffers when I play it too safe, but then I might realize I've made a big, maybe even embarrassing, mistake when I totally disregard the norm. I suppose I couldn't get by with flowery rubber galoshes while working in a courtroom. But when it is possible, I would like to try to be a little more like Samantha, wouldn't you?

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