I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with red: I love to own it, but I hate to wear it.
I don’t know whether it’s the stigma of scarlet – you know: scarlet letter, scarlet woman, red-light district. Or perhaps it’s because the outfits I conjure up are reminiscent of an 80s aesthetic: all shoulder pads, power suits and red and black.
Whatever the case may be, I have few red pieces in my closet. In fact, there are two red dresses that I’ve owned for ages but have both been on the chopping block every time I’ve culled my closet, due primarily to my inability to style them. Somehow, though, they always manage to survive to live another day.
On Sunday, then, I was super excited when I saw that one of the choices KS#1 had liked on my Pinterest board was the red dress. Finally! I thought. A surefire way to utilize one of my closet orphans!
And one was ready to go – the Max Studio number – hung up with complementary statement necklace and cardi and all. Then late last night, as I put myself to sleep thinking about my outfits (yes, I’m weird like that), I decided that I couldn’t wear the dress after all.
I realized that the proportion of the dress to the cardi was all wrong.
Even though the bodice mimicked the inspiration photo exactly, the empire cut coupled with a bubble hem conspired against me and made me look like an Oompa Loompa when I put the cardi on. Had the cardi been cropped, it might have worked. But it’s not, and since it’s Leopard Print Week and not Red Dress Week, I knew which one I had to sacrifice.
I liked the idea of red with leopard, though. It was another bold color pairing that appealed to my sensibilities. So rather than scrap the whole idea, I kept the cardi, grabbed a red shirt, and in the immortal words of Tim Gunn, I proceeded to make it work.
When BF and I went thrifting during spring break, we discovered that everything looked better with a pencil skirt. So, growing weary in the midst of my late-night ad-libbing, and sensing there was only a little bit of time left before the light from my closet would wake the sleeping Hubs, I pulled out several pencil skirts and started the match-up process.
To be honest, this khaki number was low man on the totem pole, but in retrospect, I don’t know why. It’s so obviously the best choice for the outfit. It picks up the colors of the cardi almost exactly, and although I eschew all things matchy-matchy, it does provide a muted palette for the vividness of the red shirt. The fabric of the skirt – a nice, sturdy cotton – also helps minimize the potential va-va-va-voom of the scarlet.
I was going to go with a pair of Jessica Simpson stilettos for the color (a subdued nude) then realized doing so would defeat the purpose of not wanting to be scandalous, so on went the modest Seychelles wedges. With the stitching and perforations of old-fashioned spats and the weathered aspect of the leather, these shoes completed the toning-down process while injecting a bit of sass with their vintage flair.
BF pulled drop-off duty today so was unable to take pictures this morning. At first, I thought I’d have to make do with mirror shots again, bad lighting notwithstanding. But I caught a break when my intrepid TA came a-knocking at my door and was thus inveigled to become my stand-in photographer. We had fun with action shots and I actually managed to find non-contrived things to do with my hands. I’ve always said I show better in candids.
A quick reminder: keep those challenge pics coming! I’m building quite a library on my Pinterest board. If you can’t send links for whatever reason, then feel free to visit my board and like the ones others have contributed and which you want to see me dupe.
:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Converse One Star @ Target
Cardi – Old Navy
Skirt – F21
Wedges – Seychelles