Ask Avery: Be a trailblazer
blog by Avery Hartmans • November 04, 2011 @ 7:00am
Dear Avery: I have a really great brown suede blazer that I’ve never worn. I’m always tempted to try to pair it with jeans or something so I can wear it to class, but I don’t know how to put it together and not have it look too business-y. Any suggestions?
A great piece like that should be worn often, not hidden in the back of your closet, so try it on with everything from skirts to jeans, Hanes t-shirts to cozy sweaters — anything goes. The trick to downplaying a business-y blazer is to pair contrasting pieces together. No one would expect a pair of ripped jeans and a men’s v-neck under such a structured piece, so give it a try.
If you’re really looking to get creative, pair the blazer with some of your summer clothes. You may have thought your favorite sundress was done for the year, but you’d be wrong. A sundress paired with leather boots and topped with your blazer and a scarf creates the perfect fall ensemble.
Dear Avery: I don’t know what to wear for the cold winter season while still looking cute. What do you suggest?
The key to dressing for the cold weather is layers, layers, and more layers. We all know the uncomfortable feeling of freezing your toes off outside and becoming overheated as soon as you step inside. In order to avoid that discomfort and irritation, try wearing a lot of light layers instead of a few heavy ones. That way, you can remove clothes as needed.
This tip applies to men as well as women and is both practical and style-conscious. Start with a base layer of a thin t-shirt or tank top, throw on a thermal or long-sleeved shirt over that, then a sweater, and top it off by a coat and scarf. Mittens and a hat are optional but strongly suggested.
Another way to look great during the fall and winter is to add color to your outfit. Your winter accessories don’t have to be drab just because the weather is. Stores everywhere, from J. Crew to H & M, are featuring coats and other winter wear in bright colors like fuchsia, banana yellow and cobalt blue. Don’t shy away from eye-catching hues — they’re not only cute and stylish, a bright color can also lift your spirits on those gray days we all know and hate.
Dear Avery: I have a lot of great jewelry but I feel like I throw on the same things every morning when I get dressed. What’s a way to mix up my accessories to add a little more excitement to my outfits?
The tip about layering also applies to jewelry. If you have a lot of great jewelry, why stick to just one necklace or bracelet or ring when you can wear more? If you have a lot of silver and gold bracelets, throw them all on together. If you collect silver rings, wear them all at once, sometimes two on a finger. If you happen to own a few delicate charm necklaces, why not layer them on top of one another? There’s no reason why you have to stick with just one piece of jewelry.
However, unless you’re trying to look (and sound) like a gypsy, you shouldn’t wear multiple bracelets AND multiple rings AND multiple necklaces all at the same time. If you’re piling on the bangles, wear the bangles and nothing else. You don’t want to announce your presence everywhere you go with the jangling of too much jewelry.
Another way to mix up your jewelry routine is to mix opposite pieces together. A heavy metal cuff will look fresh and unexpected with a delicate pearl bracelet or two. A beaded necklace will stand out more when paired with a few chains. If you’re unsure what to wear, try closing your eyes, grabbing a few things and wearing them together. It’s not as weird as it sounds, I swear.