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You have the basics, now use them

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By Alexandra Hehlen

I like to start off the New Year correctly where fashion is concerned. Sure, you may now know how to find pieces that fit right, but can you make them into an outfit that will look chic? It’s all about using the right colors on the right clothes, in just the right places.
When I say colors, you’re probably thinking, “Ooh, matching time!” Yes, it involves matching, but not quite.
Matching does not mean wearing flats with a cardigan, earrings and a necklace all in the same forest green. Let’s not turn ourselves into walking trees, okay?
To me, matching means being able to put a few colors together so that they complement each other, but also complement you. If you really want to wear the flats, the cardigan, the earrings and the necklace all in green, vary the shades.
Keep the necklace and earrings simple. Choose a dark, metallic, gunmetal green. The cardigan can be in sea foam green and the shoes should be a dark, foresty hue.
This type of color variation takes someone daring, but pulling it off can certainly make a statement.
Another method of matching that is more commonly used in fashion consists of using various colors only in patterns and as accents.
For example, combine and elegant, girly, black leather jacket over a V-neck, fitted, cotton dress that has a beautiful, large, modern pattern consisting of various reds.
This is a casual look for summer, so pair it with some sunflower-yellow leather gladiator sandals and a big brown leather bag.
This is a fabulous look, which draws the eye to the sandal, but then balances it with the red dress and the darker jacket and bag.
See? Color is essential, so play with it. Just remember, we only need to have two different colors—other than the neutral ones—per outfit, otherwise there is too much color and the eye will be drawn to everything at once, which totally ruins the outfit.
When dressing for a more professional setting, imagine an outfit that doesn’t consist of a lot of one color like the red dress, but is rather mostly neutral colors, accented by a few colorful accessories and a blouse.
For example, imagine a silk blouse softly patterned in different shades of elegant light blues, paired with a black, fitted, pinstripe jacket and black straight-leg pinstripe trousers.
We already have a blue top, so I would add a very dark, brick red pointed-toe heel, a dark brown leather bag and maybe even a chunky bracelet in the same brick hue as the heels.
Everything needs color: the gray winter needs the blue sky, the frosty spring needs the yellow flowers, the summer needs the green grass, the fall needs the red leaves and you might need a few splotches of everything to brighten up your wardrobe!