Color, Pattern, Texture, & Shine

Do you ever feel like your outfits lack interest or dimension?

Are you bored with the same old solid-pants-and-a-solid-top look?

cropped green headshot4There are four basic elements that make an outfit interesting:  color, pattern, texture, and shine. Incorporate these four things into a look for a result that is multidimensional and anything but boring!

Color:  You’ll almost always want to have at least a little color in your outfit.  When wearing all neutrals, add a pop of color in an accessory.  If your top or dress is in a bright color like mine in the photo at left, that’s probably enough – move on to the other three elements.

Pattern:  This is a must especially for those of us who tend toward solids (**hand raised**) – pattern, even just a small amount, keeps your outfit from looking boring.  You can even mix patterns (one subtle, one bold) keeping in mind scale and never pairing two patterns of the same size.  Because I wear a lot of solid clothing, I often incorporate patterns via my shoes (like animal print, as seen at left), as well as handbags and scarves.

Texture:  Embossed leather, lace, embroidery, tweed, suede – this is where you get that sophisticated, rich look.  I threw a leather jacket on over my dress to toughen it up and add some dimension with texture.  Handbags and shoes are also great for added texture.

Shine:  My go-tos for shine are statement necklaces OR bold earrings (not both!).  Sprinkle shine into your outfit in small doses -too much shine can look cheap!  And while jewelry seems the obvious way to add this element into your look, don’t forget about other accessories with shine like patent leather shoes or a metallic handbag.

When in doubt:  A safe bet is to incorporate each of these elements into no more than 2 pieces of your outfit.

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Showing 2 comments
  • heather wright
    Reply

    Jill, you are brilliant! Next time my outfit isn’t working I will think through these four elements to figure out what I need to add. Thank you!

  • jillmarinelli
    Reply

    Thank you Heather! So glad you found this article helpful!

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