Ask Avery: Tangerine dreams
blog by Avery Hartmans • August 16, 2013 @ 7:38am
I just found this maxi dress at what is usually a crazy expensive store….on sale for $25! It fits perfectly and is extremely flattering except for one little problem: it’s orange. I’ve never worn this color in my life and have no idea how to accessorize it, but I’m headed to a wedding in two weeks and want to wear the dress. Help!
I’m a little offended that orange is being referred to as a “problem,” but I’ll let it slide. Let’s get one thing straight right now, though: you and everyone else on the planet can pull off the color orange. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you’ll feel like everyone is staring at you. But it’s possible to wear tangerine, coral, gamboge or vermillion and still look totally chic.
Before picking out shoes and accessories, you first need to decide what style you’re going for. The great thing about vibrant colors like orange, teal, cobalt or purple is that you can wear them several different ways. I know that everyone calls a black dress the most basic building block, but think about all the different looks you can try out in a solid bright or a jewel tone dress.
Option No. 1
You’re feeling kind of brave — you bought an orange dress, after all — so you decide to keep playing with color. But hold on a second: just because you can pull off a super-bright maxi dress doesn’t mean you can pull off said dress, plus a blue bag, plus green shoes. If you’re trying to incorporate lots of color, you need to remember one of my favorite words: monochromatic.
In case you didn’t take high school art classes, monochromatic means either all one color or a very short range of colors. In this case, it means numerous shades of orange. But please, please keep in mind that your dress should never be the exact same color as your accessories and the exact same color as your shoes. Instead, try a red-orange woven box clutch, a pair of bejeweled earrings in shades of tangerine and nude heels to tone it down a little. After all, the only time head-to-toe orange is acceptable is inside the Carrier Dome.
Option No. 2
To continue our art lesson, let’s talk about the color wheel. The color wheel is basically exactly what it sounds like — a circle that displays every color of the rainbow. On this wheel, orange is directly across from blue, making the two complementary colors. When it comes to fashion, complements — and compliments — are definitely a good thing.
To achieve the perfect complementary look, pair your tangerine maxi with turquoise jewelry. Not only is turquoise jewelry totally beautiful (OK, it’s my birthstone, I might be biased) but the combination of turquoise and tangerine will be exceptionally pleasing to the eye, whether you’ve ever seen a color wheel or not.
And you can’t wear turquoise jewelry without feeling like you’re going to wander around the desert looking fabulous, so you might as well go for a Southwest theme here: a silver and turquoise collar necklace paired with a turquoise pendant on an extra-long chain will be simple yet fashion-forward, while studded black sandals will take your look into the evening. Add a fringed ponyhair clutch and you’ll easily win Best Dressed.
Option No. 3
I know orange may not be everyone’s favorite, but you have to admit one thing: it looks great with metallics. While some colors only look good with gold or silver, orange can easily be paired with either warm or cool tones. So if it looks good with both, why not do both?
To achieve a totally glamorous look, try your dress with mixed metals. A silver and gold chunky statement necklace will liven up that high neckline, while simple, ankle strap sandals will keep your look consistent from head to toe. Add a sparkly, almost-nude, laser-cut envelope clutch and you may just outshine the bride.
Image courtesy of Pinterest