Photo by Andy van der Raadt
"I know you don't run a 'style blog' or anything of the sort, but I was just wondering, if you had a pair of really loud pants, how would you wear them? By loud I mean like yellow and green stripes or purple stars on neon pink, or being really specific a pair of skinny jeans that are black and yellow checker. I just bought them and now I have no idea what to wear with them with aside from the obvious solid yellow and black and that's just boring."
There are always those zany, out-of-this world impulse buys that seem like such a stellar idea while standing in front of the dressing room mirror, those cardigans all held together by tiny bows and those houndstooth wraps with fringe on the bottom like an old time flappers dress, and when we wear them we feel fabulous in so many ways - like this is the piece of clothing that defines us as a person, yet somehow when we get home and neatly unfold our tiny treasure, it seems like we can never bring ourselves to pull it back out of the closet and to wear it again. They're the kinds of pieces that we could stare at for days in loving admiration, starstruck by the way they seem to say everything about us while they say nothing at all, yet in all our thinking and all our planning we can never quite figure out what to wear with them. It's a tragedy, sure, but one that can be avoided - all it takes is a few simple tips, a little bit of courage, and a great pair of pants.
Wear Solid Colors
Patterns and vividly bright colors just complicate your look if you're already wearing something that's prominently vibrant. For shirts and jackets, use pastels and neutrals to soften the explosion of color. If you are going to wear a pattered or bright top, try to wear something plain over your pants to break up the colors. For instance, wear a little pair of shorts or a wide belt just to draw a line between the two pieces of clothing. I have to warn you, though, this usually only works if you're wearing solid colored pants with no pattern or design on them. If your pants are checkered or dotted with little pink stars or gingham or plaid striped, a plain shirt is the way to go.
Introduce Another Color
When wearing something very bright, people tend to be afraid to introduce any more color into their outfit for fear that it will be too over the top. The truth of the matter is that using just one or two colors, no matter how bright they are, actually makes your outfit look very bland. Use the color wheel to find a complementing color to your pants (one on either side of the color closest to that of your pants) and incorporate items of that shade into your outfit. If your pants are patterned with two different yet equally vibrant colors, pick the more noticeable of the two and go from there.
Add More Color Through Accessories
Afraid of wearing a green shirt with your blue pants but worried that a neutral top is a little too boring? Accessories are the absolute best way to add that extra punch to what you're wearing without going too over the top. Stick to a neutral shirt and try spicing things up with a pair of bubblegum pink sunglasses or some vibrant bracelets. Even something as simple as carrying a purse that complements the color of your pants really works.
Wear Longer Tops
Although some a reluctant to "hide" their super cool pants, the ultimate fail-safe is a longer, tunic style top. It'll allow just enough of your pants to peek through and show that you're funky and vibrant without making you look silly. This is for dire emergencies, though! I say, if you've got the will and the pair of pants, show them off!