When Your Outfit Becomes a Costume

We’ve all made the mistake of putting together that outfit that echoes a theme only to overdo the entire thing by sticking too much to the theme. Consider a pair of sailor pants paired with a striped top and, god forbid, accompanied by a sailor hat. A little too Cracker Jack or Popeye for me, thank you. But what about other trends? Suppose you have a gorgeous pair of 40s-inspired shoes? If you pair it with a great 40s-inspired dress, is that too much? Or is it the deep red lipstick that puts it over the top?

I saw a girl at the mall yesterday wearing a fabulous white a-line grecian dress with either a gold breastplate necklace or gold jeweled embellishments at the neck (she was walking by pretty quickly). She had on jeweled gladiator flat sandals and she was wearing multicolored bangles with a serpent bracelet. She looked amazing and not overdone. Why? Maybe it was her makeup, which was very summery and not too complicated. Maybe it was the fact that she mixed a modern clutch in with it, or the headscarf that wasn’t grecian at all. Perhaps it was just the cell phone she had to her ear. Whatever the reason, she was put together without looking costume-y. It went something like this:

Mixing in a few more modern, less thematic items often takes the edge off a retro outfit. And let’s face it – retro is definitely tricky to pull off well if we stick too closely to the theme. The sailor pants are great if you wear them with a fitted jacket. Or wear the sailor outfit with say a pair of stacked heels.

What do you do to mix things up?

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August 24, 2008. Uncategorized.

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