Juxtaposition, It Takes Your Outfit Up a Notch

I’ve been meaning to write this post about the rule of juxtaposition for quite some time. But this trick is very visual and I got totally in my own head and was worried about how it would come across in a more word-heavy space.

And then, as always happens, my lovely clients showed me the light. In the last few weeks, the juxtaposition trick has come up frequently.  I’ve been talking about this rule as a way to transform how you think when putting outfits together. Yes, for me it’s an art, almost intuitive really. When I look at someone and what’s in their closet (or at a store) I kind of just know what will work. Now my major caveat is that I am not the fairy gd mother from Cinderella and I can not just wave my wand and make it happen. There is definitely trial and error that is an inherent part of the process. But all in all, for me it’s a pretty intuitive journey.

However, when I’m working with clients or writing a blog, I try to take 3 steps back and think about the what’s and the why’s. This allows me to better explain it in non-fashion nerd terms, for all to (hopefully) understand.

Juxtaposition – It’s a Fashion “Rule”

I know how much you all love style rules (and if I’m being honest, so do I). I don’t love them in the oppressive, ‘these are rules and this is proper and you can’t express yourself, you must conform,’ kind of way. Rather I like rules because they provide a framework. Then within those guidelines, you can decide what part(s) work for you. If you like rules too, be sure to check out the third piece rule and the fashion rule of one.

Okay, enough about my philosophy on rules, and let’s get to the actual juxtaposition rule, or maybe it is better described as a trick. The juxtaposition trick is one that, in the simplest of terms, helps you take your outfits up a notch. 

This is a particularly good rule if you’re not a big accessories person. Often we rely on accessories to spice up outfits. However, if you’re anti-accessories, then it becomes more challenging to add interest to your look.

Well, that’s where the juxtaposition rule (or trick) comes into play.

Opposites Attract

The basis of this fashion trick is formed around the idea that opposites attract…

STOP right there – you’ve got to hear this! My Cleveland people are likely clapping their hands and jumping with joy right now. Because Knuth’s boutique is a Cleveland legend. And all of my non-Cleveland readers are like, yawn, this doesn’t have to do with me… BUT WAIT! One of the positive things that came out of Covid and lockdown was that this iconic Cleveland boutique now has ON-LINE shopping!! Yup, so you too can purchase the adorable items I’m posting, even if geographically, you’re not a CLE girl!

What’s a Nap Dress?

This summer has been HOT, HOT, HOT. And rainy, but let’s not talk about the rain. As a woman, especially a woman of a certain age, I’m solidly in my 50’s now, there is an extra getting dressed struggle in the summer. We ladies tend to run warm at this stage of life. And what works best to counteract heat? Ventilation! A nap dress is essentially the ultimate ventilated dress.

Thankfully, trend gods are looking out for us (although this trend is not just for the 50+ crowd). Fashion girls/women of all ages and stages are embracing this style of dress. And it’s the answer to our collective overheating issues.

What’s old is new again…

The nap dress is not a new concept. It’s a breezy dress with an ethereal, Jane Austenesque feel. Think of a nightgown you’d feel ok going out in; that’s a nap dress. Fans of the 1970’s sitcom Three’s Company might call it a Mrs. Roper dress, a mumu (or muumuu), or even a caftan (or Kaftan). They are similar as they are all dresses that are roomy and provide built-in air conditioning. And, equally important, are all dresses considered to be stylish in 2021. Yet, there are subtle style differences to each. 

Here’s my quick rundown of each style:

Muumuu: “a loose often long dress having bright colors and patterns and adapted from the dresses originally distributed by missionaries to the native women of Hawaii” Merriam-Webster

Caftan or Kaftan: “a usually cotton or silk ankle-length garment with long sleeves that is common throughout the Middle East” Merriam-Webster

Nap dress: a nightgown style dress that feels possibly appropriate for guests, or a dress that feels remotely appropriate for bed. (this term is new, so it is not in the dictionary yet)

What makes a dress a nap dress?

Curly Girl Hair

Buckle up, this is a really long and detailed post. It’s no secret that this summer has been hot and humid and rainy. The perfect storm (haha – I’m so punny) for us curly hair girls to be at our witts end. Having curly hair has its own special kind of challenge. And only other curly hair girls understand the love/hate relationship we have with our tresses.

What’s universally most frustrating, I think, is the inconsistency. One day your curls will literally be swoon-worthy, and the next, even if you use the same exact technique and formula, it can be a frizzy, flat mess. Ugh. This is a total IYKYK (if you know, you know) kind of situation. It’s our own personal curly hair purgatory. I won’t call it hell, because it is not all bad, it’s just also not all good all the time.

Curly Girl Hair Frustrations

I typically wear my curly hair straight. I’m a grandma and get a weekly blowdry or use the Dyson Airwrap (read my full review here – it’s amazeballs!) But with the current rain and humidity, my curls are breaking thru. I was publically airing my curly hair dirty laundry on my Instagram Story and sooooo many people responded. Sharing their favorite products or techniques to achieve curly, bouncy, soft, non-frizzy curls. Curly hair girls are the best! And not only that, many of you have reached out wanting to know what I learned and if I’d share. The answer to that is ALWAYS a yes! I am a sharer, possibly an oversharer. But it did take me a while to collect all of the good info – but here is it, finally!

What’s The Best Topper To Wear With Your Dresses and Skirts?

As I was curating a client’s virtual closet for the summer months we talked about making sure to add a wrap, sweater, or jacket to all of her outfits – even her summer and Florida outfits. Why? Because even when it’s sweltering out – when you go inside the AC is blaring and it gets COLD. Or when the sun goes down it gets chilly. Another reason, some ladies want (notice I didn’t say need) to cover their arms. Or for modesty reasons, some need to cover their arms.

Yes, all valid reasons to need a third piece. In addition to the fact that a layer often adds an extra element of interest to an outfit (and ya know how much I love that). However, even though there are so many reasons to throw on that third piece, there is a perpetual issue when it comes to adding a layer to outfits with a dress or skirt. If it’s the wrong piece – or more specifically, if it’s a piece with the wrong proportion, the functional layer ends up looking dowdy and ruins the whole outfit.

Or the third piece looks like an afterthought instead of an intrinsic part of the outfit. Sort of like when someone is going to a black-tie event and throws their Northface puffer over it. Yes, they’re both items of clothing, but they don’t go together. It’s like eating Filet Mignon and Froot Loops at the same meal.

So what’s the best topper to fix this common dressing dilemma?