The ideal wardrobe for any woman is made up of many tiny decisions. Early in my career I made choices intuitively, often not realizing WHY a certain thing was going to showcase a client perfectly … just somehow knowing that it would.
Eventually I recognized the underlying theme – points of connection! The more elements of the outfit that repeated the woman’s inherent characteristics, the more fabulous the pairing. Both the client and the garment looked more attractive because of the repetition. The focus went to her – not the specific item she was wearing. People didn’t say “what a great dress” but instead started saying “you always look so wonderful”.
If that sounds confusing, let me use a non-garment example – my home. Before I married Mr Wonderful I had a very traditional home with rather soft furnishings — not flat-out Laura Ashley English Country, but nodding in that direction. When I moved into his mid-century modern, angular and more hard-edged house, my softer things looked totally out of place. They were lovely, his house was lovely, but the combination was like fingernails on a blackboard. Neither did anything to enhance the other. The pictures below aren’t my real homes, but you can see the obvious disconnect, right?
That same thing happens with women and clothes. The collage below – from a recent fashion mag – features 10 gorgeous women in 10 fabulous gowns. But do you see how many of the combinations make the woman appear entirely unrelated to the dress? Don’t ask which dress you like better on its own, but rather which one showcases the characteristics of the woman wearing it.
Your attention may go first to Viola Davis – in bright yellow top right. She’s a stunning woman, but can you see how the brightness of the color makes it difficult to focus on her darker, low-contrast facial features? Or maybe you noticed Naomi Campbell’s black and white Versace gown. It’s gorgeous, she’s gorgeous, but it’s hard to take you eyes off the black and white color bands to look at HER.
In my opinion, the best choice in the group is Laura Dern’s. I cropped her out (not very skillfully – sorry) so you can really see the points of connection.
See how her skin color, hair color and its highlights and low-lights are all included in the print? The contrast between the paler background and the darker print elements is about equal to the contrast between her pale skin and deeper eye color. The softly curved print motifs echo the wavy shapes in her hair. The lip color is as warm as her total color pattern and as deep as her eye color, so her face looks balanced. There’s a lot going on in the outfit, but still your primary attention ends up at her face — you’re seeing HER. That’s the impact of “points of connection.”
Can you find at least one item in your closet that has points of connection to you? Tell us about it in the Comments.
If you need a hint, repeating your hair color is an easy place to create connection. See below how each woman chose a print that includes that element. You see the print and the face as one unified visual, don’t you? Much more on color choices coming soon…