21 Days of Skirts and Dresses – Day 16 – Mix, Match, Mingle

We're well past the halfway point with the skirt and dress challenge, and I'm trying to do more mixing and matching with my outfits. It's interesting to me that even with a knowledge of Capsule Wardrobing (the principle of mixing and matching garments to create new outfits), I still sometimes need help in creating new outfits, and in taking full advantage of the items I've already GOT in my wardrobe.

We’re well past the halfway point with the skirt and dress challenge, and I’m trying to do more mixing and matching with my outfits. It’s interesting to me that even with a knowledge of Capsule Wardrobing (the principle of mixing and matching garments to create new outfits), I still sometimes need help in creating new outfits, and in taking full advantage of the items I’ve already GOT in my wardrobe.

It’s easy to look into your closet and feel that you have “nothing to wear” – especially if you’ve gotten into a visual rut and cannot see your way clear to mixing and matching your garments to create new outfits.

I was scheduled to conduct a workshop on day 16 of the challenge, so I went into my closet to not only pick a skirt or dress, but to be intentional about the impression I wanted to make. The workshop was one of my favorites – Color and Its Effect on You – and I was delivering it for a group of women connected with a local women’s organization. Katie Blair House is part of Bethsaida Community, and they assist women who have been through traumatic experiences and addiction and help them to get their lives turned around.

The workshop teaches the participants the principles of color as they relate to their wardrobe. They are empowered with the knowledge of what colors look best with their unique hair / skin and eye colors, in cooperation with their unique personality aspects. For this workshop, I wore a white jacket and top (to avoid a color cast from my clothing onto the skin of the recipients) and a classic black-and-white straight skirt that was purchased from my favorite discounter, T.J. Maxx.

During the workshop, I have the recipients sit in front of a large mirror and aim special color-corrected lights at their faces for even distribution. I find that a lot of the women I perform the color draping on are reluctant to look themselves in the eyes and are a bit uncomfortable with seeing themselves up close in a mirror. This to me speaks volumes about their self-esteem – and by the end of the workshop, it’s my purpose and passion to help them feel better about that reflection they see by showing them how color makes a difference.

I am changed and affected deeply by this workshop – to see women who have trouble looking themselves in the eyes at the beginning of the workshop and seeing them smile and beam proudly at themselves and at their reflection by the end of the workshop is immensely rewarding.

I intentionally dress to emphasize my height and slim down my figure. Having formerly been heavy, I am very conscious of the impression m attire gives and my preference is to create the longest and leanest line that I can. I believe that’s most flattering to my figure. My basic body shape is a rectangle – my shoulders and hips are roughly the same width (though I have very wide shoulders for a woman), and while I’m still working on my physique, my waist is not as defined as I would like.

To maximize my proportions, I keep my jackets long (in the photo, my jacket falls to approximately mid-thigh) and has no obvious closure (nothing to disturb the long line of the jacket). The bracelet-length sleeve shows off a little skin and breaks the horizontal line of the jacket to avoid making it look as if my entire body is as wide as my shoulders.

The print in the skirt is also more vertical in it’s line and theme, further accentuating my height. The dark hose and flats continue the dark color of the hem of the skirt and make it a bit more difficult to see where the skirt stops and my legs begin – further emphasizing my height.

My goal with this outfit was to be comfortable, attractive and functional – and with some forethought and planning, you too can achieve all the goals you set for YOUR wardrobe and the outfits you create.