Fashion as a Creative Outlet: How to Dress Down a Dress Up

My favorite fashion challenge is discovering how to wear items for occasions that aren’t ‘normally’ suited for that occasion. For example, last month I took a skirt I purchased for and wore at Burning Man (blue, puffy, shiny, high waisted) and paired it with a black long sleeve cold shoulder top, with black fishnets and grey lace up wedges. Since the outfit was already attention grabbing, I topped it off wearing only lipstick and a dab of glitter on each cheek. Normally, costumes stay costumes (in the box) but in this case I took a costume, dusted off the playa dust and wore it to a wedding. I wish I took pictures!

I revisited this concept with this shoot; displaying a sophisticated lavender jumpsuit (typically acceptable for fancy events, weddings, or parties) and later in the day made the look more casual by simply adding a tied up tee shirt, kicking off the wedges and tossing on the tennies. Wear what you like, not what you feel goes together according to what other people wear.

Look 1: Went to a fancy fundraiser

Look 2: Meeting friends for happy hour

To sum it up:

1. Think outside the box of normal fashion constituents. Don’t limit yourself to what is normal. Use fashion as a creative outlet!

2. Play with items from different eras or cultures: Wear a fanny pack (80’s) with a wrap dress or jumpsuit (70's).

3. Experiment with pieces from different occasions: Put a tee shirt over a dress and wear sneakers.

4. Find the balance. Obviously there is a certain grace that goes with this. You’ll know when you look in the mirror if it works and if it’s flattering. If it’s not flattering, it’s a no! Don’t force it just because it’s different. It has to actually work.

5. Never feel insecure because you are different. Own it (this goes with life too!). Remember, using your creative powers to dress makes it so you will rarely be spotted wearing the same outfit or style as anyone else.

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