In the last outfit I posted — Boho Lite in Arizona — all the items are new. This is rare, because I usually mix newer items with older ones (I love the way a few new items can refresh your whole wardrobe for the season). It’s even more unusual for me to find a completely new outfit combination made up of golden oldies that have been in my wardrobe for years. I’m constantly experimenting with my wardrobe, mixing and remixing, so it’s very unlikely that a good combination will go undiscovered for long. But that’s exactly what happened here.
For two seasons I’ve been looking for a two-piece dress, but it only recently occurred to me that I could combine my Band of Outsiders multi-coloured twinset with my J.Crew skirt to create the same effect. It’s a fab coincidence that the shades of orangey tomato red are a perfect match. The two-piece dress effect would have been lost if the tomato reds were merely a tonal complement.
The colour blocking in the twinset uses intarsia knitting. It’s an expensive technique that’s typically only found in higher-end pieces. Early in my career as a fashion buyer I worked for a retailer that was on the budget end of the spectrum and I could never afford to use intarsia knitting in my range. This changed when I moved to a more upmarket department store and I remember being very excited about finally having the budget to do so.
The silhouette of the twinset is a good combination with most styles of skirt because it’s short and fitted. It can therefore be worn untucked without compromising the traditionally flattering proportions of the outfit. Although the cardigan is a fun visual match, I like the outfit best without it. Keeping it simple with a skirt, fitted shell top, heels and clutch looks best of all.
We live in Seattle, so at this time of year I need some sort of topper when it’s cooler in the morning and evening. The cardi is handy, but a denim jacket is even better. My old Paige Premium mixed media denim jacket is a wardrobe workhorse and my favourite casual jacket of all time. It does a good job of relaxing the fitted pencil skirt vibe, and the blue is complementary to the orange.
I chose my all time favourite pumps, the cow print Okala ankle straps, to finish off the outfit because the pattern mimics the colour blocking in the twinset. I threw in the tomato red clutch for an extra dose of matchy-matchy. My apple green specs are the final colourful cherry on top. The high contrasting and clashing colours here are hectic and not everyone’s cup of tea. And while I don’t wear this type of colour statement daily, it makes me very happy when I do.
The classic combination of a knee-length pencil skirt with a tucked or fitted top and heels has a certain timeless quality. It strips things down to the bare essentials, creating a traditionally flattering, polished, and ladylike appearance that is always in style. It feels good to detox from trendier pieces from time to time.