As eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine continues to become broader, it might finally be time to leave our sweatpants behind and start thinking about fashion outside of quarantine chic.
If you’ve forgotten what it feels like to pull together a complete look — or aren’t connecting to your current wardrobe — you aren’t alone. And according to Darcy Camden, personal wardrobe stylist and founder of Styled Seattle, there is no cause for panic.
“Style should be fun and getting dressed in the morning should offer an easy boost of energy that carries you through your whole day,” Camden says.
Camden says many of her 2,000 clients have been in touch lately as their lives potentially change. Many offices are set to reopen, and social calendars are beginning to once again have entries that go beyond Zoom. Have the rules of fashion changed over the past year?
“In general, I hesitate to apply steadfast Dos and Don’ts to anything in fashion, because trends are constantly evolving, and I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated to try something new for fear of getting it “wrong,”” Camden says.
Instead, she likens fashion to tasting food; what tastes good to someone might not to another, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
No matter what you decide to put on, the finishing touch before you walk out the door isn’t jewelry or even shoes (although don’t leave your house without shoes!), it’s your handbag. (If your handbag collection needs an update, Snoqualmie Casino’s $100,000 Mother’s Day Giveaway might be just the ticket.)
No matter if you’re a person with one or two “tried and true” classic handbags, or someone who likes to switch things up on a daily basis, there are handbag-focused style tips for you. Camden calls these her “ABC’s of spring style.”
Accessorizing is right for the person who usually dresses with an eye toward the classic. They lean toward “elegant everyday staple pieces,” Camden says. If you’re someone who is always on the hunt for the perfect black pants to pair with a crisp white shirt or small splashes of color among a timeless palette of white, black, navy and gray, accessories are a way for you to weave in color and texture.
“I always tell clients that the key to maximizing a simple capsule wardrobe is owning fabulous accessories. You need fun shoes, colorful scarves and a great bag (or several) to bring your outfits to life, and simply changing your accessories can change your entire look,” Camden says.
This could be as easy as bringing in a metallic pink bag to liven up a mostly neutral wardrobe. While the color or print might not be something you would ever choose to wear, Camden says it might be a terrific choice in a purse.
Second, think balance.
Camden says a great outfit is “all about balance.”
“Most people don’t feel comfortable in head-to-toe leather, but they might enjoy one edgy piece.”
This could look like a chic leather moto jacket paired with a soft pink skirt or even those joggers we’ve all been living in this past year, topped off with a structured bag, or an edgy studded black leather cross-body bag with a spring floral dress.
“If you are someone who really loves florals and things that are feminine and frilly, then something more edgy or structured in a bag would be a really good choice,” she says.
Alternately, if you’re a person who gravitates toward solids in their wardrobe, look for a bag with a bold print or even something with a little more slouch or texture.
Third, don’t forget color.
April showers bring May flowers and wow, the PNW is bursting with color like no other right now. It’s also the time that many of us start to pack away the subdued hues of winter in favor of bright, pops of color in our wardrobe.
Camden says she thinks going to a clothing store right now is like “going to a lush garden.”
What to do with that rainbow?
“I often tell my clients to refer to a color wheel as a guide; colors on opposite sides of the color wheel always look good together,” she says.
This could look like bold blue paired with a bright orange, lemon yellow with a deep purple, or a bright turquoise matched with a baby pink.
Camden says that of the entire year, spring and summer are the time to resist a black or brown purse.
“They want something that will go with everything and they think that’s black. But in the summertime, it doesn’t look very seasonal. My clients are always delighted to find that a pink, red or yellow bag can be just as versatile as something that’s black or brown,” she says.
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