Sunspots

Dress: Thrifted (via Miss Modular Vintage)

Shoes: Diana Ferrari

Belt: Sussan

You know how you get stuck in style ruts from time to time, when you find yourself putting the same three combinations together again and again and again?

For a while I was wearing this dress several times a week. Always with red shoes. A red belt. Sometimes a red cardigan. Because, you know, red-white-blue. They’re kind of MEANT to be together, right?

After a while I kind of OD’d on the whole thing, and for a while the dress sat in my wardrobe unworn, because I was kind of over red-white-blue. It was all about yellow now.

Interestingly, you know what else goes with white and blue? Yellow.

It has to be the right kind of yellow. Mustard won’t cut it, or anything too creamy. It has to be a bright POP of primary colour.

Like these brilliant yellow shoes from Diana Ferrari

I spotted them some weeks ago at the Diana Ferrari clearance centre – the one, lone, yellow incarnation sitting amongst hundreds of pairs of identical shoes in black and red.

I don’t know if they were a once-off, a small run, or just enormously more popular than their more common-hued brethren. I do know they were half a size too small, but I shoe-horned myself into them, determined that they’d give eventually. Yellow shoes are scarce.

Mix ‘n Match

Blouse: Harris Scarfe

Belt: Portmans

Skirt: Princess & Queen (via Etsy)

Shoes: Diana Ferrari

 

I actually really love the idea of pattern mixing, but it’s not something that comes naturally to me. I’m a bit of a matchy-matchy girl when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, and I don’t have that splendid innate ability that some women do of looking at two very disparate items of clothing, and understanding how they’ll work together.

It’s a shame, because I love my prints, but you’ll notice I never wear more than one patterned piece at a time. It’s not because I don’t think it looks good – my favourite fashion bloggers are masters at it (floral dress & polkadot tights! Genius!) – just that I haven’t figured it out yet. It doesn’t help that printed plus-size clothing has historically been so difficult to find, because it means I haven’t been able to turn to places like Fatshionista, Flickr or Tumblr for inspiration.

A week or so ago I read a blog post somewhere (and now of course I can’t find the ruddy thing to link to it) about pattern mixing for beginners, and they suggested baby steps like “match the colours”.

Recently I’d seen a woman on the street wearing a fantastic monochromatic outfit comprising of a full 50’s style skirt and a blouse. The skirt was black with white polkadots; the blouse white with black polkadots. It. Looked. Amazing. It also looked like something I’d be able to manage.

Combining that black-and-white aesthetic with the spots-and-stripes of pattern matching worked out pretty well, though I think I probably need to re-hem the skirt to a shorter length so the stripes don’t overwhelm the spots quite so much.

The skirt was custom-made for me by Princess & Queen on Etsy. It’s made of a thinnish cotton fabric and is pretty cheap ‘n cheerful, but it fits well, and the stripes aren’t wonky which is more than I can say for the striped skirts that I’ve attempted for myself!