Monday, June 22, 2009

The Art of Mismatching

Let us introduce a bit on Janet, our beloved out-going, happy buyer of soak republic :) very nice of her that she is willing to write up some precious tips to share and show how she can play around with her favorite pieces from us! If you like how Janet can be so spontaneous with her fashion sense and that attitude that will not worry you about going over-the-top. Here you go girl. A round of applause -

a little background on being vain... I remember being a fussy-pot in the dressing department when I was only ten or so – of course, compare that to today's urban & privileged little girls, being a vain pot at ten years of age is nothing. I remember in vivid memories how I would plan what blouse to go with what skirt and sandals before I make a trip out with my dad for a stroll in the mall (whatever version of shopping malls I could get my hands on back then in little Taiping town).

All through teenage years I strife to be stylish in my own ways with my limited resources (wardrobe, knowledge & finance) and it's only in recent years I feel that I have somewhat, relax my own 'fashion rules' a little. Having spent so many hours of my life thinking about looking stylish, I have compiled some lists of ideas and pictures on dressing.

The Art of Mismatching

Personally, I always have the most fun mismatching an outfit for a look that is hard to copy. It's hard for others to copy because unless everyone else has the exact accessories, the look is uniquely yours to keep. There are many levels of mismatching...

example 1: mismatching styles of accessories.
I created a feminine podka-dot tube dress with an ethnic necklace,
longer ornament chain, and to complete the outfit I wore clogs.
Mismatching belts for one outfit to create a new outfit!

example 2: mismatch with the wrong cardigan. Pair an outfit with an
unpredictable jacket or cardi to brand the look your own. I paired this purple cocktail dress with a laid back but fitted cotton cardigan. Experiment with a few options to get the satisfied result.

example 3: Mixing genres. Mix the east and the west elements together fusion look. This is an easy one and also I'd say it is rather safe too, we seen Kebaya tops being worn with blue jeans, haven't we? So have fun oriental or ethnic pieces mix with everyday skirts or jeans; or pair up your batik sarong with a sultry tube...the possibilities are endless, enjoy!

DIY and Rock-N-Roll!
Trust me, the satisfaction derived from modifying your existing wardrobe is no less greater than coming home from the mall with bag full of new clothes. This is especially rewarding when you turn a pile of to-be-throwout old clothes into something different that you can't wait to put on and parade round town.

The DIY ideas:
Cutting Edge: update with a pair of scissors. Change the design of your old tees which you are bored with with a few snip here and there. Start by looking at the tee and ask yourself why are you bored with it?
Wish it's a little more low cut? Hate those three quarter sleeves? Well, cut them off and see. The natural `free hand' cut with a pair of scissors will give the garment an edgy casual look, it's a fantastic way to immediately `dress down' any item that look too dressy for its own good, eg. you feel uncomfortable wearing a fully-sequined blouse to go out, try this method to make it look dress BUT chic-casual.
Safety pins: Instant-down-sizer. Keep a collection of normal safety pins AND fancy ones, in various sizes to work as both decorative item and a functional safety pin, for that fancy blouse that you think it's showing too much cleavage, try pinning the sides from the inside of blouse to tighten it. I learned this one from a model I met at work previously: tighten a tank top or a singlet's waist by using a safety pin, pin the back of the top from the inside, at waistline area. Use a fancy one you can tell people you reinvented the tank. Hemming up is the way. Grown sick of your outdated 90s Lycra long evening dress? Bring the dress to the shop and alter it into a mini dress. Or turn that sloppy working pants into a fitted tailored shorts to pair with high heels.

Renewal tricks:
~ Bored of a garment? Try too keep the item tuck in a twist, ie. Create wrinkles on it, take it out again after a
month and you might juts like the wrinkled look – works on certain kind of material only, so experiment away!
~ Your tube tops have gone too loose? If the top is a thin material kind, try use it as a belt - push the tube
top down to your waist level and secure the look with a thin belt.
~ Lost one of your favourite vintage earrings? Use the one left as a brooch, on suitable jackets, dresses, tops,
mind the material of the clothes.
~ Spice up an old garment by designing a new look for it by adding accessories such as sequins, lace, beads,
tassels, ribbons and etc.
~ Your favourite shirts/blouse/tee got stained/colored? Sew sequins or beads in matching colors to the item,
the beads will make the mistakes less noticeable and your old items will now stand out in a crowd!
~ Tie or sew ribbon bows to the sleeves of your boring sleeveless tops.
Instant “Glamourizer”
Want to add a touch of bling or glamour in our otherwise rather down to earth everyday wardrobe? Not everyone of us get the excuse to dress up to nines every weekend to attend parties and cocktails so why not create our very own little moment of glamour in our everyday-wear? When asked by a friend who was packing for a three-week-long honeymoon, what to pack so that she could travel in comfortable clothes and still be stylish, I compiled this what I call,the 'Instant Glamourizers' list – items that can spark up, smart up your casual and down to earth looks.

Janet's Instant Glamourizers
~ Jewelled or accessorized Japanese slippers or sandals
~ Cargo pants in luxurious fabric, comfy and glamourous
~ Little jewelled hats
~ Chunky & fancy accessories: large vintage earrings, big ethnic necklaces, big rings...etc
~ High fashion handbags
~ Evening cardigans with rhine stones, beads, sequins, in satin or silk fabric
~ Red lips!!
~ Wicked attitude & lots of confidence

Instant Glamourizers are for:

~ Going from day to night look
~ Leaving back stage to main stage, to transform from anonymous crew to the look-at-me crew
~ Emergencies: out shopping for groceries and have to rush to a full-watt party,
~ Anytime low key glamour, when it's adjusted well of the glam-volume, it's classy and low profile.
Keep one or two pieces of these items in your car for those emergency call for wardrobe change for a last minute party or cocktail. The idea is to invest in some `stand-alone' accessories that will go well with your normal wardrobe. So there you go, have fun with improvisation!

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