The dramatic elements of your style are the striking or eye-catching aspects that often stand out the most. Outfit drama runs on a continuum, which means that you can amp it up or dial it down. This controllable aspect is what I find so appealing, because you can add drama to your outfit as the situation or your mood dictates.
Most of my clients enjoy adding some degree of drama to their style. It makes the outfit feel distinctive, powerful somehow, and more special, which in turn makes them feel more fabulous. After working with clients for years, I’ve found that there are ten main strategies you can use individually or combine to add varying degrees of drama to your outfits.
- Hairstyle: An eye-catching hairstyle is a very effective way to create outfit drama. It can be the length, curl, cut or colour that creates a unique and striking look. Rainbow hair is particularly dramatic.
- Eyewear: Choosing a unique shape or bolder colour of eyewear is another effective way to create a more dramatic look, especially if you wear eyewear daily.
- Interesting Footwear and Handbags: There is something about what you wear on your feet and carry in your hands (or drape on your shoulder) that adds the magic touch to an outfit. Interesting shoes and a fun bag go a long way to securing outfit drama.
- Architectural and Avant-Garde Clothing and Accessories: Architectural and avant-garde clothing, clothing with lots of drape, volume and ruffle, or asymmetrical pieces successfully reflect a sense of drama. An oversized scarf or belt can add ample outfit drama, as can wearing a hat.
- Bold Colours and High Contrast: Bold colours are striking, and will stand out in a sea of neutrals. Neutrals that create a high contrast are equally eye-catching. I also think of white as a bright that adds a good dose of drama to an outfit.
- Bold Patterns: Bold patterns are as eye-catching as bold colours, especially in high contrasting colours or neutrals.
- Irregular Juxtapositions: Styling items in unconventional ways is an excellent source of outfit drama. The irregular pairing of wardrobe items, so that the outfit looks just flattering enough and intentionally fashionable, is at the forefront of the look for 2014.
- Hard Edge: Wearing head-to-toe black in avant-garde silhouettes and interesting fabrications with hardware has always been a dramatic look. Designers like Rick Owens spring to mind.
- Eccentric Jewellery: Chunky earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets with an eclectic and arty flavour are very dramatic.
- Make-up and Nail Polish: A bold lip, a smoky eye, colourful eyeliner and mascara, and clearly defined eyebrows can successfully add drama to your style. And these days fingernail polish is an art form that can add a striking aspect to your outfit.
The way you choose to add drama to your outfit is a personal decision. Also, drama is a relative concept because what is dramatic to some is completely safe to others.
For the most part, the dramatic part of my style is visible from the neck up with a fairly dramatic hairstyle and eyewear. I also wear bold colours, bold patterns, lots of white, and love a killer handbag. I have fun creating irregular outfit juxtapositions, but the effect is more subtle. I hardly ever wear avant-garde pieces or hard-edged looks. I also don’t wear jewellery, lots of make-up or fingernail polish. But I do create a strong eyebrow line because it frames my face.
Which strategies appeal to you the most? Do you add drama on a daily basis?