warm it up
Pop it like it's hot: Splashes of color to spice up your winter wardrobe
Never wanting to blend in with the crowd, I’ve always looked for ways to set myself apart from the masses with unexpected, personal touches to my ensembles.
(Full disclosure: My pea green patent leather blazer from Gadzooks circa 1996 for my freshmen yearbook photo does not represent my best work. Thanks, Mom, for this constant reminder by keeping that framed pic on display in your house 10+ years later. Another change worth noting: I’ve since waxed my brows to add shape to the furry caterpillars previously growing above my eyes.)
This fall, I’ve been experimenting with vibrant pops of color everywhere from my wardrobe and accessories to my everyday beauty regime. This is an easy way to step out of your comfort zone, add playful elements to what currently resides in your closet, and show some pizzazz without going over the top in sequins, Clorox bleach or other embellishments that might somehow get you mistaken for a Dallas-ite.
Here are three areas I’m really digging to showcase some inventive color incorporations.
This category wins the prize for my favorite piece to both shop for, because my size doesn't change no matter how many food trailers I frequent or how many miles I log at Lady Bird Lake. Yep, these size 9 feet are still going strong, dating all the way back to when I was the awkward third grader running around the playground in my older sister’s penny loafers. Here are a few of my favorites:
Having spent the past five winters as a resident of either Chicago or New York, this is the first time in quite a few years (five to be exact, for those of you with short-term memory loss) I’m actually welcoming the arrival of months November through March. Regardless of the forecast Al Roker has in store for your respective geography, embrace the cooler temps by deviating from the traditional neutral palette of winter coats and stepping out in a bolder color.
In case you haven't heard, tanning beds are bad for you. And the fall and winter months destroy that base you acquired on the lake this past summer. Instead of overcompensating with loads of bronzer and blush (guilty as charged), transfer that urge to apply color to your cheeks a few inches down to your lips.
This might be an incredibly scary endeavor to test out, so I recommend increasing your confidence level by wearing it around your house for a few hours before gallivanting around in public. Don’t forget lip liner to avoid the color running all over your face a la The Joker. Also, the rest of your face should be kept as simple as possible with neutral shadow, simple eyeliner, and muted blush.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind for the pop of color approach is to pick one focus area and keep everything else fairly tame in an effort to prevent looking like a Katy Perry-wannabe.
I’m all for color-blocking, but simultaneously rocking a bright coat, a bright handbag, bright shoes, bright lips and a bright pair of jeans would be tough to pull off with finesse, even at the next Rainbow Brite Fan Club Meeting. Try to start small by dressing up an all black ensemble or spicing up your classic white blouse and jeans combo with one of the focus areas mentioned above.
And if you happen to stumble upon my pea green blazer in your nearest consignment shop during your quest for color additions—just walk away. It wasn’t cool back in 1996, and—in a similar vain as my ginormo shoe size at an oddly young age—that hasn’t changed over the years either.