Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crafting an Outfit that Pops

Passionate Professional in Plum
Passionate Professional in Plum by LeighAnneD

Inspired by this fabulous retro houndstooth dress from Lane Bryant and the plum orchids I happened upon, I wanted to craft an outfit with a pretty pop of color and lots of pizazz.

I've actually tried on and love this dress (now unavailable), but bare arms weren't exactly ideal for a Cleveland winter. Also black and white can feel blah when you don't have any accessories to punch it up. Having a personal interest in the garment made it even more fun to seek out accent pieces for this elegant and professional dress.

The first accessories I hit upon were the velvety-purple shoes (shown in suede; I'll seek out a vegan option if I were purchasing myself) and rich-colored scarf. Basic black is a wardrobe staple, but just for fun I picked a dynamite purple briefcase. A fan of pairing purple with yellows and greens (just like Mother Nature does), I sought out jewelry that would complement and add a little something extra to outfit. This bracelet and brooch hit all the right notes for me; there is a brooch that goes with the bracelet, but that appeared too "matchy-matchy" for this outfit. Since the other jewelry is on the bold side, I picked some delicate, basic black earrings.  Since I am nearsighted myself, I added some curvy specs to round out the ensemble.

Unable to decide on just one, I've included three options to accessorize the hair -- a pretty posy, a beautiful butterfly and a jazzy beret with floral accents created from zippers for that little something unexpected.

The makeup for this look can have some pop but shouldn't overpower or compete with the accessories. I've always heard you should emphasize just one area of your face, so I chose the eyes. When I found the eyeshadow trio, I loved it instantly, and knew it would work in perfect harmony with the subdued blush and lipstick, which also keep it professional. Touching up your mascara and adding dramatic eyeliner can take this look from day to night. The nail polish selected looks to be an ideal hue, coordinating with to the other accessories.

And, of course, what plum collection would be complete without a little commuting music? "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" always gets more attention this time of year, but this version by Duke Ellington and his orchestra gives it the same kind of pop that the plum accessories give this classic black and white outfit in this version titled "Sugar Rum Cherry."

You can visit the Polyvore version to see all the individual pieces selected for this outfit.

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