Thursday, August 2, 2012

when animal print becomes profound

I love me some Nate Berkus. And when Nate Berkus has Genevieve Gorder [from Dear Genevieve] AND Stacy London [from What Not To Wear] both as guests on the same show, my world pretty much explodes.

Ah, nap times. ;) And today, while Nate and Genevieve were talking to a couple about the use of animal print in their home, Genevieve said something that I loved: "People tend to try and match. And that's a dirty word in design...." To which Nate added, "It is! Because when you try and match, or you try to do a theme, it takes away our own creativity."

And I realized that's exactly why I don't feel drawn to matchy-matchy anything. Not in the home and not in clothes. Because if you base your home decor or outfit based on matching, it seems to be a safe move based on what others have decided for you. It's basically like the magazine or store display person said, "Here, you can buy this lamp and this pillow because they're the same pattern and we are telling you that it looks good." Don't misunderstand me, there is nothing offensive to matching. There is just nothing personal about it- which is the basis of my entire attraction with either medium. Home decor AND personal style should be just that...personal. And when I'm styling someone else, or when I'm dressing myself each morning, my goal is to figure out what best showcases the person wearing the clothes. How can their clothes be a reflection of who they are? What makes that person different? And by the way, different is good!

I think in our heads we often think "I can't put those two colors together" or "I could never wear a necklace that big" because of the dreaded what would people say question. I get it- we could psycho analyze here and dive into where we find approval, blah blah blah... but ultimately, who cares if so-and-so thinks the necklace is crazy? Who cares if the stranger in the parking lot sees your outfit choice and thinks "Aw, poor soul. They must be color blind." Sure, that may be the case of some. I cannot tell you the number of times I have had people comment to me {or about me} about what I'm wearing and how ridiculous they find it. {And between you and I, I will admit that it gives me pride and makes me want to go a step crazier just to be like "you like that? try THIS." haha I'm a rebel. not really. but sorta.} But for most, it's the opposite. Most people assume you are some kind of color magician when you wear two colors together (or three or four!) that surprises them and they assume they just don't know any better! Use that to your favor! I swear to you, if you carry yourself in a way that says "Of course this works?? What? You didn't get the memo?" then they'll assume that they, in fact, simply didn't get the memo. Haha- Seriously!

 shirt: american eagle, necklace: o'ahu stadium flea market, jeans and shoes: old navy

Yes, I know the shoes match the red in my shirt. ;) The reason I chose to wear red shoes is because the necklace color is nowhere to be found in the shirt {royal blue, light blue, dark green, pink, and red stripes} and I wanted the necklace to be the detail that was slightly off. So I kept everything else tame. (I acknowledge that the entire outfit is pretty tame...I only had a doctor's appointment to go to today. The rest of my day is at home, so this is a happy place to exist with that agenda.) If several details seem to be misplaced, that's when things start to get questionable. But when it's just one element that is a surprise or doesn't seem to be obvious...that's perfection to me.

Here is Genevieve in a screen shot from the episode I was watching:

See! Why green shoes?? Because they are incredible! Do they match? NOPE! Not at all. Do they "go?" Absolutely!!! A safe, matching color would be black or neutral. But she picked green, and I'm a smitten kitten.

Can I take the whole "matching" thing a step further?

What if fashion and home design are actually more important than people sometimes give them credit for being? For the matchers, find out why. Is it because you don't know what colors look good? If that's all it is, find a color wheel and look to the colors immediately beside and directly across as a place to start for combinations. Or look at pictures of nature- birds, ocean life, and flowers can help inspire colors to play with. BUT, if the reason we feel confined to simply match is because we're afraid of what others will think of us, be free! Because if we worry about what others would think if we wore what we love, we aren't being confident in who we are. We're using others as a bar against which to measure ourselves, letting others say if we're doing "it" right. And that is contradictory to the whole point of "personal style." You see, I believe style (as something separate from fashion) is about much more than just wearing clothes to cover the body. I believe you can tell a great deal about a person's confidence level and their knowledge of self. And that's in addition to wielding the power to change body shape without plastic surgery, change the way you feel about yourself and what you believe are your flaws, and reflect your personality/heart without saying a word.

Who knew all of that was being expressed when you got dressed this morning? ;)

(ps- after reading this please check out THIS post. They work together as a pair.)


  1. I have that necklace in red but it bleeds all over my neck/ shirt when I wear it :(

    1. Seriously?? Lame!! I have the red one too and I haven't had that problem yet. Need me to grab you another one to see if it's different?