Fashion do’s and don’ts, they are all subjective. And sometimes you have to see your style in a photo before you know: this isn’t the best look for me. It doesn’t need to be egregiously awful, but you know there’s something off. You can still go about your day, but your fashion confidence might flag.
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This look below is fine, it’s a charming ruffled blouse (via ThredUp, similar) and my new favorite funky skirt (from Suzanne’s Vintage Etsy shop). I’m wearing some curly blonde hair by Paula Young, and nifty Steve Madden sneaker-oxfords. But my first reaction when seeing the pic was, “Who is that missionary woman?” All my skin is covered and it looks a bit suffocating. This blouse with a slim knee-length skirt would be lovely.
We try again. I’d already removed my add-on hair, so I just gave my own silver hair a feminine mohawk. I changed out the top for an open-necked Karina dress. Add a gust of wind and bam! I look free and easy. Some of you may prefer look #1, and that’s cool. I feel more like myself in the one below, letting some skin show.
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Stay fabulous and wear what you love, xo
Browse these pretty pieces:
I think fashion is very much about experimenting with style – the sense of freedom (which often people call “attitude”) comes from many, many, many experiments when we allow ourselves to make mistakes. I love the first blouse very much! And your hair is always awesome! And the sneakers! And I think both combinations are great for different occasions or moods. But more than anything – they helped you to deeper connect with yourself, to feel what is more you. I do it too – I experiment and sometimes I look back and think, “What I was thinking?” But I also sometimes look back twice and decide that I actually liked what I created, despite some disbalance in proportions, colors etc. There is still value in those rejected outfits, I think.
Loving that skirt. Outfit #2 works perfectly. Little changes sometimes make all the difference!
Whitney | whitneynicjames.com
Wow! Still so hot! Outfit #2 definitely. Interesting to see how we can change our look with just a different top. Thanks for hosting, Patti 🙂
thank you, Penny! Love your black hat, xo
Outfit #2 is definitely a big YES!!! The open neckline makes all the difference.
Thanks Shelley! I do like an open neckline when I’m all covered below. Have a wonderful day, xox
Love that faux-hawk – looks great! And both those pieces in Look 1 are awesome, but I prefer your styling in Look 2. Meh, a case of two rights don’t make a right, unless that’s what you want, right? I love your experimenting, Patti. Who knows what’s next? Thanks for your linkup, as always.
Thanks, Mel! Your velvet pantsuit has me mesmerized. I need one of those to experiment with. xoxx
I loved seeing your experiments – the blouse in the top photo is gorgeous and i agree with Suzanne and Sheila, a skinnier bottom half, would balance that pretty flounciness out and show it off beautifully.
The second outfit is perfect – I love your hair worn up like that! xxx
Thanks Vix! I loved your new vintage finds, you have the eye my friend. xox
Patti, a huge part of personal style is experimentation as this post of yours shows. While individual pieces may be lovely, a person cannot expect to be able to just throw them together for a flattering ensemble, no matter what seems to be showing in magazines. I enjoy your styling tip posts because they are subtly presented and feel more like a gentle nudge rather than a bash on the head. Thank you for sharing your insights and for hosting. I hope that you have a great week ahead of you.
Yes, agreed. You can’t even just lay them out on the bed, you have to put your outfit ON, then you know. Thanks for posting, and Happy Anniversary! xox
We just keep learning, don’t we? I’m with you on look #2 – it’s more balanced. I like the top in the first one, but all that volume needs something proportionately smaller to balance it.
Thanks so much for being so danged visible, Patti!
Thank YOU, sheila – you’re one of my Visible Inspirations! One example: your gorgeous Birds of America dress, xox
I agree…the second outfit is much more you.
I think the first would be fine with some skinny jeans and heels or a pencil skirt and heels. I love the colours in it.
It’s funny how our perception can change dramatically when we see a photo of ourselves instead of just looking at our reflection in a mirror.
I could see that blouse on you, with one of your leather pencil skirts! Thanks for coming over, xox
The clothes in the first pic totally swamp you. Second photo – just lovely!
Well said – and who wants to resemble a swamp? : > Thanks for coming by, xo
I can tell by your body language that you feel more comfortable and confident in look #2, and I agree that it suits you better. The body doesn’t lie!
Cheryl Shops | http://www.cherylshops.net
True that – the body (and camera) doesn’t lie! Thanks for linking up, love the leopard skirt. xo
Great skirt, definitely the fashion piece of the year. Thanks for hosting. Jacqui Mummabstylish
Thanks Jacqui! Love your red + pink in today’s post! xo
The second look is very much you, the first not so much. It’s trial and error isn’t it. Love your up doo Patti!
Thanks so much, Cherie. Your cowgirl boots today are TDF. xox
I love, love, love that second, carefree look! But I know exactly what you mean. Things might be fine until I spot my reflection in a shop window, for instance, and think, no! The day is totally off-kilter from that point … xxx
So true, Ann! That glimpse in the window tells all. Loved the wee black cat in your post today, xox
Patti, I can see look 1 with, as you said, a slim trouser or a pencil skirt. I think it would look fab as I love the colors in your top. What a cool Karina dress! I dont know if I know this style, but the look is fresh and fun. i think we all have times where something doesn’t feel like “us” when we put it on. Love the red lip too!
Thanks, Jess. I love, love your animal print skirt + scarf today, xox
I can’t see anything past those AWESOME sneakers! 🙂
thanks, Jen. I like your classic “inspired by art” look too. xo
Oh gosh Patti! You made me laugh out loud with your “missionary woman” comment! I would have said “Little House on the Prairie” look. I agree the second one is more edgy and flattering because it fits your personality more. Thanks for taking the time to show us how one item can change an outfit completely!
Thanks, Julia. I’m loving your black and white look today, and the pop of yellow, xo
Hi Patti! Yes you’re right, I think the second look is better, but the blouse in the first one is very pretty – I think it would look great with jeans or a shorter a-line skirt.
Thank you for hosting the link-up 🙂
Thank you Helen. Your post about transitioning to Fall made me smile! xo
Love your skirt Patti!
Joi | http://www.inmyjoi.blogspot.com
Thanks, Joi! xo
Love the twisty faux-hawk up-do! Second look wins hands down for me. I have a look that still makes me shake my head… Might have to pull it out the archives for my own do/don’t! You gotta try stuff out or you don’t know!
You absolutely have to try it on before you know! Yes, pls., show us a before and after : > xox
I also prefer look #2 as it’s more modern and fresh, anyway the blouse of #1 should look wonderful with jeans, I’d give it a try! Looking fab dear Patti. Thank you for the linkup. Kisses
Fashion and Cookies – fashion and beauty blog
I definitely agree look #2 is more you! LOVE it!
thank you, Amy. I love the garden pics you posted of you and Alethea. xo
The second look is definitely more you! But that floral blouse is darling and would look amazing with something slimmer on the bottom like you said!
Thanks Shelbee. Love your football analysis – I forgot you were such a big fan! xox
I love both the blouse and skirt, but I agree that the second look is more balanced. I like to try combinations that I think won’t work because every now and then they do!
That’s a great style plan, I agree: take a chance and see how it turns out. I love, love your striped top and polka dot shoes today, xox
I love the second look! I saw it on Instagram and thought it was fab. Since you said it first, I do agree…the first look does have a missionary vibe to it. There’s a whole lotta fabric going on! xo
Thank you, my friend! I am ordering your leopard skirt asap, it’s such a cool piece. xox
Some clothes are like pickles and others are like chocolate. Pickles are perfect on, say, hamburgers or in tuna salad, and, while some may like a pickle-chocolate combination, I have to say no. Indeed, while chocolate is my favorite food group, it doesn’t work with everything. So, too, with this skirt and top. The top is pickle–very good, but needs the right setting. The skirt is chocolate, that goes down easy. But not with pickles.
Haha – this is a wonderful analogy, TOF! Love your travelogue of Casablanca; it reminds me of Miami with the great Art Deco buildings. xox
I like the second look better, genius idea to add the Karina dress! I love the neckline and the sleeves. Your “feminine mohawk” is a nice touch too! Have a great week Patti!
Thanks, Kellyann! Is our weather ever going to cool down? (nope). I enjoyed getting to know you better in your post, xox
I totally agree that no 2 is so much more you. A touch of the staid librarian in no1. I do like your hair in the second one too . Wasn.t it good of the wind to co-operate.Many thanks for hosting Patti.
Yes, Jill, the breeze was timely! Your wedding pics in your post are beautiful, and a reminder that indeed time does fly by, xox
I love your funky skirt!, such a lovely piece! and it looks edgy and cool with the big sleeves in the second outfit!
I like your ruffled blouse, but I agree with you. It will look better with another skirt, for sure, as it’s cute and matches nicely your shoes!
Gracias, Sra! You look fab in your blue tunic and wonderful smile. xo
I agree Patti – although you look beautiful in the first picture the style of the second top shows more you and is a much more stylish outfit on you! xx
Thanks, Maria. Your London bloggers post is wonderful! xo
I totally agree. The first look would be fine if the proportions were better , and the second lock is stellar. Very sophisticated and chic. We do sometimes need to see the photo to evaluate if an out that is flattering.
I hope it cools off soon. It went from 92 to 58 here In NYC!
Your weather’s been crazy, Elle! I’ll be in the city this coming weekend, hoping for clear, cool days. Thanks for coming over, xox
It’s amazing how different outfits sometimes look in a photo. That’s why I now always try to take photos of any outfits I take on a trip… #2 definitely looks more like you.
Thanks for the link up & have a great week, Patti!
thanks Andrea, and I like your idea of pre-travel pics too, xo
hmmm, i hate to agree with you, but when i first scrolled down the blog i could only see the top half of the outfit and thought – thats not bad. but once the skirt came into full view i thought -oh no! The wind and the top and the second pic make it look slightly better but still not your most flattering look. Admire your bravery, but i don’t think i would ever have the guts to put myself out there fashionwise the way you do sometimes. That’s what I love about this blog and all the daring women who follow. I stick to beauty – its easier.
Thanks for hosting the link up.
thanks for your honest feedback, Ahhhsoneo, xo
To me Look #1 is dowdy and I feel you are anything but that. Look #2 is how I think of you and your blog. This post is a nice reminder to rely on a camera and/or the trusted opinion of a good friend. It reminds me of a time when I thought I was being very vampy and retro in a home made turban. My oldest and best friend, a very stylish gay man, asked why I was wearing a terry cloth toaster cover on my head; was it due to a bad hair day? At first I was furious, then I burst out laughing because upon a second, realistic look, he was correct.
Love that story! And thanks for the feedback, and for stopping by, xo
Wow, what a difference a pose makes too.
True that! Thanks for posting, xo
Yes, look 2 is better: more modern, more approachable, more you. Also, other people get an impression of us based on our clothing choices, and sometimes their tastes may be very different from ours. Our their interpretation of something may be different from ours.
Thanks, Tiina. I do like to communicate that I’m not a missionary : > Thanks for coming over, xo
No, I agree with you about Look #2. For me, there’s just too much going on with #1. But I seem to be seeing ruffles everywhere at the moment. I would love to see a post where that blouse just really works in a way that you love.
. The shirt and shoes make such a glorious statement. I’ve been adding a few sneakers and oxfords lately and those Steve Maddens are just perfect.
I like ruffles too, but I think I went too far. Love your white booties! xo