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The Ultimate Guide To Pairing Shoes With Different Pant Styles

Remember last time, we chatted about the longevity of skinny jeans? And the fact that some newer pant styles, with wider legs, are making their way onto the scene? And do you also remember that I said because of this shift, there’s an ongoing conflict about what shoe or boot to pair with these wider leg styles?

Well, this week, I’m addressing that very issue. It’s a subject that’s been coming up over and over again with clients, blog readers, and social media followers too. And for good reason. Shoe and pant combinations are an area many people struggle with. Even before the shift toward wider pant styles, it was challenging to know what shoes to pair with pants.

When the pants and footwear of an outfit are out of sync it feels off. It’s like having Froot Loops and filet mignon at the same meal. On their own, or in a different combination, they’re fantastic. Together, not so much. There’s an incompatibility.

Why is the shoe/pant situation so difficult? Well, for a few reasons…

How to Wear Any Color and Look Good Too!

Let’s start by addressing the question: Can I only wear specific colors? The answer is: You absolutely, positively, can wear any color you want and look great doing so! Questions revolving around color are THE most asked questions from readers, Instagram and Facebook followers, and real-life styling clients… “what color should I wear?” “what colors should I stay away from?” “can I wear red (or yellow or pink or olive or any color you’re unsure about)?”

People are seemingly consumed with what colors they can and cannot wear. And honestly, it doesn’t need to be that hard. Maybe it’s because people had their colors done during the color analysis craze of the 1980s and categorized to be a spring, summer, winter, or fall. That assessment then dictated ALL the colors they would or would not wear for the foreseeable future.

Trigger Warning – Unpopular Opinion Alert

In my opinion, the whole concept of the right colors has become just too complicated. It doesn’t need to be, and I’d like to suggest throwing it all out the window. I might get some hate mail about this. Or color analysis devotees sending me dm’s to say how having their colors analyzed was a life-changing event for them. And, if it’s done right by you, that’s great – keep doing it. 

But the majority of people I see are hindered rather than empowered by their color category – the rules they’re trying to follow have made things more complicated, not easier. And that’s just backward. It’s frustrating to see. So if it’s frustrating for me to witness, it must be even more disheartening to experience.  Please understand, this is coming from me!! I’m both a rule follower AND a rule creator (cough cough, The Rule of One, The Third Piece Rule, and The 2 Out of 3 Rule, to name a few). So it’s not that I’m anti-rules. Instead, I’m anti-complications. 

Don’t Box Yourself In…

Dr. Diana Ponsky – Such a Girl Crush!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve possibly noticed, in my stories, I’ve been taking you guys behind the scenes at my appointments with Dr. Diana Ponsky, Facial Plastic Surgeon. No, I’m not having surgery, at least not yet. But never say never. I’m not against it, and I’m not for it. I’m pro you feeling like the best version of yourself. The choice has to be yours, and yours alone. And if botox, fillers or surgery can help you achieve that (and it’s healthy and fiscally responsible for you to partake – I say go for it). And if it’s not your thing, then don’t.

But what I’ve found is that there is a lot of confusion and uncertainty surrounding the whole subject. Maybe even a stigma. And I hate that. So I want to open up the conversation, and take a peek behind the curtain.

Luckily my friend, client and personal doctor, Diana Ponsky, MD, FACS, has agreed to join me in an ongoing series about all things Facial Rejuvenation. Monthly we are going to sit down and have a chat (on Instagram – so be sure to follow us both there – The Wardrobe Consultant and Dr Diana Ponsky) where questions will be answered (in plain, everyday, understandable layman’s terms) and pros and cons discussed. We Weill even cover pricing and pain and recovery times. I’ll take you along as Diana assess the best path for me and my face. And as she  performs some of my procedures  too.

Olive Oil and Creams can Only do So Much

Ok, let’s get real… I love and adore JLo, however, I’m actually kind of perturbed that she claims she’s NEVER had ANYTHING done. I’m sorry, but she does not look that way from just using olive oil on her skin! I call BS on that. BIG TIME!

Dr. Diana Ponsky Tells it Like it Is

Dr. Diana Ponsky and I have had some frank discussions about celebs ( both those that look subtly refreshed and those that look like a plastic, overdone caricature.) For example Diana suggested adding a smidge of filler to a part of my face. My first reaction was NO WAY! I want to look slimmer, not puffier. But as she explained, one of the reasons a well known female, at 80 years old, looks so vibrant is because she has fullness in that region.  Diana was able to help me visualize and understand it and then  I was like “sign me up!” BTW, when I tried to explain The who and why, I suck. So, I’m asking Diana to do a quick video explanation – basically how she explained it to me. Look on my IG story, Wednesday (or it will be saved under the Dr. Diana Ponsky highlight.) 

So Girl Crush Worthy

Anyway that’s just one of the many reasons, I have a big, old girl crush on Diana. She’s warm and sweet. Crazy smart and talented yet very humble. She cares deeply for her patients and about her profession. And, especially, when we are talking about something like plastic surgery, she has an incredible eye and the ability to make subtle tweaks that have a great impact.

Another Easy Outfit Formula

The feedback I’m receiving from all of you, dear readers (did you catch the Bridgerton allusion there?) is that you LOVE these fashion rules! And I couldn’t be happier! However, there is a chance I may eventually run out of formulas to share. But until that time comes, I’ll keep cranking them out as fast as my mind can process.

The truth is that these fashion rules are somewhat intuitive to me. They’re second nature. I see the various elements of an outfit and what needs to be added or taken away. I don’t think a lot about it; it just IS until I’m working with a client and need to step back and explain. 

When I take that step back, out of my very active brain (it works kind of like a slot machine as I’m searching for outfit combos – a great outfit is like three cherries) and simplify the steps or reasons, I’m able to create the rules. No, I’m not saying this is fashion for dummies (I hate that name, it’s so condescending) – but the breakdown often makes it easier to digest. 

Dressing is Just an Optical Illusion

As I’ve said before and will probably repeat a zillion times, dressing is the ultimate optical illusion. No one, NO ONE, not even Jennifer Aniston, has a perfect figure. But what people that seem to have an ideal figure do, is use clothes to their advantage to create the appearance of balance and proportion.

These outfit formulas are the foundations for creating visual harmony and making most looks work. They’re the infrastructure of the ensemble. Once these basic formulas feel comfortable, and if you’re in the mood to step it up, you can build upon them to make outfits even more multifaceted and exciting.

When working with clients, I often refer to outfits as mild, medium, and spicy. The same elements and ingredients apply – but just like in a recipe, you are more heavy handed with some aspects if you want to get really spicy. The 2 out of 3 rule is a foundational outfit formula. Consider it mild in the clothing/food analogy. But once this principle is mastered, it’s easy-peasy to add some spice.

Outfit Ideas for the Teen & Twenty-Something Crowd

One of the really special things about the readership of this blog is that it’s quite wide ranging. Yes, there’s a business philosophy to “niche” down, and get very, very specific as to who your audience is. And I can see the benefits to that, but I personally love the fact that the community represented here is so diverse. When I look at my analytics I get giddy. This blog is read weekly by 8,000 people (and counting). By both women AND men. By people ranging in age from 15-85 years old. And in 50 different countries! And I am deeply grateful and fully aware that with out all of you spreading the word, telling friends and family and co workers , that growth would not be possible.

So, when I am planning what topics to cover, what to write about and generating outfit ideas, I try to keep the various readers in mind. When we use to go out (oh how I miss those days) my greatest joy would be when a  college kid, a mom and a grandma would all comment on that weeks blog. The same topic, but they were each able to relate from their own perspective. And knowing all of these different people feel that they’ve learned something here is my emotional currency.

Outfit Input with My Teen

For years, my 17 year old daughter Maggie’s friends would say “you’re so lucky, your mom can style you and give you outfit ideas”. And to that she’d subtly roll her eyes. The LAST thing she wanted was my opinion on what she was wearing. The one caveat however, was for special occasions such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, and holidays, she was open to my outfit direction. Other than that, she wanted to make her own choices.

Trying Out Different Styles = Creates Confidence

Target, Take Me Away…

When in doubt, do a Target run, right? I remember when my kiddos were little, it would be my escape. Like my version of a Calgon bath. Remember those commercials that aired during Love Boat? That was me, walking the aisles of Target alone! And being able to get clothes and food and pharmacy and lightbulbs, and home decor, and dog food all in one place. It was indulgent, relaxing and productive all at the same time.

Now when I have Zoom fatigue, and it’s too cold out to take a walk, I’ll roam the virtual aisles of Target. And you know what I’ve recently found? Fabulous Zoom ready tops for under $40! Yup!!

I’ve had a few clients looking at add a few fun pieces to their Zoom outfit rotations (and at the same time not spend too much). And my virtual Target run hit the mark.  I’m sharing a pretty well curated list of the best pieces to get from Target right now. And they’re all $40 or under (and are $20 or $25!) Ya gotta love that!

Zoom Outfit Fatigue..

Fashion Rules

Fashion rules. Some love them. Some hate them. To me, it doesn’t matter if you follow them or if you don’t. If you’re happy and comfortable with what you’re wearing and how you’re wearing it, THAT IS WHAT MATTERS. In fact, that is all that matters. But, some people just like a rule. It provides parameters and makes it easier to take on something that feels challenging. So, if you like a good rule here or there, this is for you. If you’re a rebel, a rule-breaker, or just quite content with what you’re wearing, you can stop reading now, and I’ll catch you next time. No hard feelings, promise.

How to Get Your Outfits Over the Finish Line

I hear this often with new 1:1 wardrobe styling clients… “Hallie, when I get dressed, my outfits are 80% of the way there, and then something goes wrong. It’s hard to pinpoint where. I like the pieces separately, but together not as much. Something is off, but I can’t seem to fix it. And buying more isn’t helping.” If you don’t know what the problem is, it’s hard to correct, right? And just ignoring that unsettled feeling or buying more clothes doesn’t fix it either. So, coming at you another (hopefully) helpful fashion rule, to take the guesswork out of getting dressed.

The Rule of One..

Why is it so hard to buy men gifts? And what do they REALLY want?

Those might be the billion-dollar questions right there. Men are notoriously difficult to find gifts for. The answer, while, I admit, somewhat of a sweeping generalization, is twofold.

First, I think many men can be uncomfortable with the idea of receiving gifts. They view themselves as the givers, the providers. I am not saying that mindset is right (or wrong, for that matter), but it’s a perspective into the why. Couple that mentality with difficulty articulating what they want, and you’ve got a perfect storm for a hard-to-gift guy.

Second, and possibly the key reason for this challenging dynamic – when a man is passionate about something, be it a hobby, an experience, or even technology, they tend to dive deep, research it and buy it for themselves!! Fantastic for them; they get exactly what they want. But bad for us. We gift-givers are left confused, scrambling, and feeling clueless. 

What’s the Perfect Gift for Men?

A favorite gift will be something they’ll use every day and would never think to get for themselves.

A Stylist’s Recipe for Mixing Patterns Like a Pro

How to successfully mix patterns is a question that comes up ALL THE TIME with both female and male clients. It is probably because pattern mixing is one thing that, when done correctly, adds an inordinate amount of interest to an outfit. And when done wrong, well, it can be a total disaster.

Some people can naturally do it. They throw on this and that, and it looks effortless and flawless. It can seem like those people are everywhere, especially with the highlight reel of life that is social media. But in reality, those that can throw it on and go are few and far between.

How to Mix Patterns 
Make it Look Effortless

Spoiler alert – most things that look effortless and flawless are the exact opposite. There is usually a whole lot of effort that goes into making something look effortless…