Tuck the basic and black in the back of your closet, and take a few style risks this season. We suggest starting with statement skirts, graphic tees and flashy sneakers.
By Alexandra Ayaub
We are finally coming out of the deep depths of winter, shedding the all-black wardrobes and layers that kept us warm. Being chic often took a back seat.
During spring, we tend to crave more color in our wardrobe, more excitement, more fun. But adding these elements to our closet can be risky, and it’s not easy. How do you keep yourself from ending up with a closet full of clothes you’ll never wear, or are too afraid to?
I’m a big believer in taking style risks. Yes, I’m the girl who wore a pink tutu and a soccer jersey in first grade. But it’s important to ease into it, adding little things here and there to elevate your look. Here are a few things you can incorporate into your wardrobe, with less commitment than a gym membership.
I almost never wear high heels. I believe God made me short for a reason, and I should stay that way. Sneakers are always my go-to for comfort and style. A metallic pair like these from Golden Goose (Tender Birmingham, $425) is a quick way to take an outfit from sweet to stellar. Pair with a feminine sun dress, or a skirt and blouse. Not only will you elevate your look, you’ll be comfortable enough to walk those extra few blocks for an afternoon coffee. Keeping your sneakers clean is key for this look. Rub a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on the soles to keep them looking fresh.
A great graphic tee can go from sloppy to chic, just by switching what you wear on the bottom. Ditch the leggings or sweats, and pair with a fuller-style A-line skirt, pencil skirt or high-waist jeans and small heel (yes, kitten heels are back). I especially love tees that represent our city, like tees from Detroit is the New Black ($64). How you tuck the shirt is as important as the shirt itself.
- For a full tuck: Tuck the shirt in completely, then lift your arms over your head to get the natural fall of the tee.
- For a half-tuck: My personal favorite, it’s a little more interesting than fully tucking in the tee. Take a small portion of the center-left or center-right side of the tee, and slightly tuck into the waistband. I love doing this with sweaters as well.
- Knotting: You’re really going for it! Simply knot the bottom of the tee slightly to the left or right of center. Not enough material to knot? Fear knot (I had to)! Use a small, clear rubber band to keep it in place.
My first true love was a statement skirt from Jacobson’s in 1996. It’s the easiest way to add style. Look for fabrics like light tulle, silk or cotton, and full or slightly A-line silhouettes. Let the skirt be the star of your outfit. Pair a skirt like this black one from Dries Van Noten (Linda Dresner, $1,415) with a plain white T-shirt tucked in and a flat sandal for daytime. Skirts get a bad rap for being thought of as business or formal. I’ve worn a ballgown skirt with a tank top before to the grocery store.
Long Crystal Earrings
I used to love playing dress up with my mom’s costume jewelry. I think she thought it was adorable — until I started stealing it to wear to school. I love the look of a simple T-shirt, jeans and long, crystal, dangly earrings. It’s not quite a statement earring; it’s more of a timeless glamour, wearing something meant to be dressy as a casual accessory. I love this pair from Karen Egren ($70). Pair with a simple tank top, an oversized blazer and jeans, and prepare for major ear-envy from others.
No matter what you add to your wardrobe, pulling off a new look depends on how you carry it. Don’t worry about what your friends, husband or boyfriend will think. If you carry it with the same confidence of Beyoncé at the Super Bowl, people will believe you. How you carry yourself is what makes your style convincing.
Alexandra Ayaub is an assistant buyer at Linda Dresner in Birmingham.