Last week we defined your Core Four - and with those pieces we made two complete 3-piece outfits ... and these four Color Columns:
Now let's take those two "inside columns" and add a contrasting over-layer top. With the brown core in our example we chose a camel short-sleeved button-up jacket. Keeping this garment in a neutral color will give us more mix/match flexibility later.
We can layer the jacket over the pants column and the skirted column. Leaving the jacket unbuttoned lets the visual emphasis flow up and down your body, creating a taller, trimmer look.
In either case, we want to finish the combination with a linking accessory. The scarf we chose obviously contains both the brown and the camel, but it also has touches of black that will tie these pieces back to all the black most women already have in their closets.
"There are many ways we could have tied the scarf. But when you are wearing two top garments in very different color values (light/dark) you get a more integrated look by wearing the scarf this way - bringing some of the darker shell color out onto the lighter jacket.
In this example, our camel jacket happens to be light-weight enough and button up high enough to be worn as a single-layer top for another look. Of course that breaks up the Color Column, so tying the scarf at the neck or adding a great necklace is a must for pulling the attention up away from the color break at the hipline!
So far this one garment has given us four more outfits.
Now look at the "outside columns" and add a contrasting top under the cardigan. Our example happens to repeat the camel color of the jacket, but it could just as easily be a different color, as long as it would blend with both the camel and the brown.
We could have linked these combinations with the same scarf, but we didn't want to conflict with the twist detail on the shell's neckline -- and besides we wanted some variety -- so we chose a necklace instead -- a combination of brown and camel stones.
Belting over the cardigan is an option - depending on youir body type. Don't forget the Shoulder Shapers with this unstructured cardigan. And notice that we're still wearing the same shoe with all these outfits. Of course that doesn't mean that you couldn't buy a variety of brown shoes if you wanted to -- it just isn't necessary.
For warmer weather or for dressy-casual occasions, we could pair the camel top with either bottom - no cardigan.
This time our link is the cute little animal-skin print bag - slightly dressier because it is accented with clear sequins and a twisted silk cord. The necklace is a complementary animal print. When you're mixing animal prints they don't need to be identical twins, but they should be from the same family.
If you're ruling out this last pair because you're not crazy about your upper arms - or because you realize the sleeveless cut gives you no way to hide your Shoulder Shapers - opt for a short-sleeved top instead.
So far we've made 12 outfits from 6 very basic pieces. Join us next week when we add just two more garments and DOUBLE the number of options. By the way, these garments are all from Jones New York Collections. Many thanks to Macy's for the loan of the clothes for our photos.