11 August 2009

August 11th, 2009 § 12 comments §

11 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
All remixed except new plaid flats:
  • Blue necklace – thrifted
  • Purple top – Target
  • Blue cami – BR
  • Jean skirt – Urban Outfitters
  • Plaid flats – Target
  • Green tote – Kenneth Cole


For this week’s color review, we’re experimenting with triads (as E. did today) and analogous colors. When it comes to analogous pairings, A. is the queen of greens and blues. I’m usually more drawn to the warmer color combos, like purple and red or red and orange. Today I’m meeting A. half way and combining purple with blue – a neither cool nor warm color mix that creates a beautifully balanced result.

As for the shoes, I’m going to join E. in raving about my new pointy flats although they’re no superb yellow snakeskin like hers but still pretty cool in their own rights. I had been wanting to add another patterned flat to my collection since I practically lived in my black and white damask ones this spring. I was also repeatedly inspired by E’s use of her patterned flats to spruce up many an outfit during her pregnancy when she felt like her shrinking wardrobe was becoming an increasing style challenge. Her patterned flats were not only comfortable but also gave her looks that pop of visual interest that she could not always count on from her clothes. Well, lesson learned: patterned flats is where it’s at.

And on a technical ‘cycle chic’ side note: I discovered today that it’s not very easy to hop on a bike when wearing a pencil skirt. Pencil skirts do not exactly allow for much hopping or peddling. This one allowed for more movement once I undid the bottom button, but I think in the future I may have to avoid narrow cut skirts for my bike commute. Fellow bike commuters, any tips or thoughts? S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue, Vélocouture
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11 August 2009 – Tricky Triad

August 11th, 2009 § 12 comments §

11 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Pink top: BR Outlet
  • Navy skirt: Old Navy
  • Yellow snakeskin flats: SE Boutique, via DSW

End Notes:

Last time around when we experimented with triadic color schemes, S. and I both tried our hand at the Piet Mondrian-esque triad of red, yellow, and blue. S. boldly incorporated all three colors on top while I let my pattern do some of the mixing for me.

This time, I’m taking a slightly different approach, using shades of red and blue rather than the “full strength” version. This deep pink top stands in for red, and navy (which also serves as a handy neutral) stands in for crayon box blue. Paired with a bright yellow shoe, the look is definitely still full of punch without veering into grade school territory.

SE Boutique Yellow Snakeskin Flats, originally uploaded by academichic.

And can we talk about these shoes? I realize they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am in love. I’m in a wedding at the end of this month that requires yellow shoes, and I’m tickled that I managed to find a pair of flats dressy enough for the occasion and versatile enough that I can wear them with more casual looks too. Admittedly they’re not the shoe I would normally pair with this outfit, but I think they add an unexpected exclamation point. Pun intended.

11 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
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10 August 2009

August 10th, 2009 § 9 comments §

10 August 2009 , originally uploaded by academichic.
All remixed:


This week we’re reviewing Triads and Analogous Colors. Before we began these color challenges, I had never even heard of a triad (I’m no Art Historian like A. and E.) and would have been hard-pressed to tell you which colors form a triangle on the color wheel. But since constructing our color wheel of clothing I can not only point to a triad but I’ve also come to have a favorite triad: purple, green, and orange.

I know I’m cheating just a bit today by using a turquoise top to count for the green but I’ve been really dying to wear this pretty lace-embellished top again. I’ve worn this particular triad ‘straight out of the crayon box’  here, and near-triads like today’s outfit here and here. It does seem like it’s easier to create near-triads, where one color is just a darker or lighter hue than its undiluted version. Or with a color that’s slightly to the left or right of the actual triadic one, like today’s blue-green of my top. It seems to mitigate or soften the otherwise very bold color mix. But even so, I’ll be anything but a wall flower wearing this bright and punchy color combo today! S.

Category: Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual
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Fashion 101: Color Review Session 3

August 9th, 2009 § 9 comments §

Color Wheel of Clothes, originally uploaded by academichic.

When we first explored the color wheel and experimented with various color combinations, we found it to be extremely helpful in lending us new eyes with which to see our wardrobes. This was so useful the first time around, that we decided to revisit the color modules and to challenge ourselves to a review session using our summer wardrobes. In our first review session we reexamined Neutrals and Neutrals with a Pop, and for the second review session, we tackled Complementary Colors and the Two-Thirds Rule.

This week we will review Triads and Analogous Colors. To read more about this color mix lesson, click here…

» Read the rest of this entry «

Category: Color Combinations, Fashion 101
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1 August 2009

August 1st, 2009 § 10 comments §

1 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
All remixed except pale pink flower:


I’m ending the week’s review with another blue and orange color combo since I really love this color mix. This floral skirt, with its profusion of blues and orange, already does the work for me. I wanted to achieve a sort of mirroring effect on top, so I chose a pale blue button down and  a couple of flower brooches to pick up the design from the skirt. Since I don’t own any orange flower pins, I went with the closest and used two pink brooches, creating an analogous color combination between the skirt and pin flowers.

In the end, I actually prefer this version than a more exactly matched one had I used orange flowers. I like the subtle difference between these neighboring hues – pink and orange – and how they interact with the meta color play of the complimentaries blue and orange.

As A. has mentioned – when we do these color challenges, it often forces us to think outside the (color) box and experiment with combinations that may not feel truly ‘us’. This outfit, however, could not feel more me. It combines many elements I love – the button down shirt, the full knee-length skirt, and flowers and floral galore. It’s a good mix of preppy and romantic, whimsical and structured. So what would you call this look?

I ask because we’ve been asked several times during the course of this project, how we would each classify our personal style. I never quite know how to answer or whether there is a perfect ‘fashion’ term to denote this mix of romantic and preppy, feminine and structured. For all you fashion-savvy readers out there, how would you describe this look? Thank you for your tips!  S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Night Without Grading, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
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31 July 2009 – Friday Casual

July 31st, 2009 § 1 comment §

31 July 2009 – Friday Casual, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • White tank – J.Crew, remixed
  • White tuxedo front top – J.Crew, remixed
  • Shorts – Old Navy
  • Blue sandals – Birkenstock,  remixed
  • Bike – Nerp, remixed


Today’s Complimentary Color pairing is a recent favorite of mine: orange and blue! I fell in love with orange-and-blue back in January when E. posted this photo only the third week into this project of ours. I instantly loved the way these two colors played off each other and have been a believer ever since.

Incidentally, as I spent a happy morning coffee time perusing other style blogs, I came across this gorgeous blue and orange combination sported by one of the lovely ladies of Sisters and Dresses. She’s also wearing a shorts and tailored top combo, but with an entirely different effect than my version thereof. Check out her post for more orange and blue style inspiration!  S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, The Short of It, Vélocouture
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30 July 2009

July 30th, 2009 § 5 comments §

30 July 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Purple cardi – H&M, remixed
  • Black jersey top – thrifted, remixed
  • Green tote – Kenneth Cole Reaction, remixed
  • Khaki shorts – Old Navy
  • Green loafers – Anne Klein, remixed


This week we’re exploring Complimentary Colors and the Two-Thirds Rule. One of my favorite two-thirds of a triad is purple and green (of the orange-purple-green triad). I wear it in many incarnations, be it in small doses or large color blocks:

Looking at my past purple and green combos, I’m also noticing that I’m drawn to deep saturated purples and greens more so than to pastels. I like the rich organic look of these colors that remind me of some of my favorite flowers. E. noted yesterday that she sometimes draws color inspiration from nature, and I think that certainly rings true for me as well. How can you go wrong being inspired by the colors found in irises, petunias, or lavender?
What are some of your favorite flowers and do you ever find yourself translating their hues into outfits or design ideas? S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, The Short of It
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29 July 2009 – Coleus and Impatiens

July 29th, 2009 § 11 comments §

29 July 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Gray nursing tank – Target
  • Magenta cardi – H&M
  • Gray grosgrain ribbon – craft box
  • Green jersey skirt – Target
  • Patterned flats that make everything better – Old Navy

End Notes:

In theory, I like the complementary color scheme of pink and green. It’s a sweeter, non-holiday version of the proper complements, red and green. But, as I explained back in April, pink is just not my color. So while I loved how A. did preppy chic yesterday with her pink polo and green accessories, I feel more comfortable moving one step over on the color wheel to pair red-violet and yellow-green.

This outfit is also an example of how the choice of a neutral can change the overall effect of the color palette. A white cami would have given this a crisper feel. Brown probably would have taken the whole “organic inspiration” bit too far. But this heather gray keeps everything softer and more subtle.

And… I match my potted coleus and impatiens. Nature is, of course, a fantastic source of inspiration for color pairings. I started wearing orange and purple together, for example, after realizing that they looked quite fantastic in a sunset sky. What color ideas have you found in nature? Have they always translated to outfits or are there some combinations that are better left outdoors?

29 July 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Calls for Papers, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
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28 July 2009

July 28th, 2009 § 10 comments §

28 July 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Polo – J Crew
  • Denim Pencil Skirt – Gap, endlessly remixed
  • Pink Tank – Gap
  • Green Flats – Banana Republic, remixed almost as much as the skirt
  • Bracelet – Faces Green Necklace


When I sported a white polo for a little golf outing a few weeks back,  reader Jessica asked how I might style a polo off the course.  Well, here you have it.   This J Crew polo is much softer than the average polo and feels more like a worn-in tee-shirt.  I love the detail of the little pocket and extra buttons.  I also love the color of this top – a pinky peachy almost coral.  I think on the color wheel, it falls closest to pink (a shade of red) thus making its compliment green.

Red(ish) and Green, originally uploaded by academichic.

I wore a similar outfit when we explored complimentary colors back in February. Using the same necklace as my pop of green, this time I have wrapped it around my wrist several times to create an oversized bracelet.   I loved S.’s big blocks of bright color yesterday and promise to give that approach a try at some point this week, but for now am easing into color mixing by grounding my look with a neutral base in the denim skirt.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue
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28 July 2009

July 28th, 2009 § 8 comments §

28 July 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Lace trimmed cami – BCBG, remixed
  • Drop waist tank – ON, remixed
  • Skirt – Calvin Klein, remixed
  • Red espadrilles – BR Outlet, remixed
  • Red cardi – thrifted, remixed


This week we’re reviewing Complementary Colors and the Two-Thirds Rule. For today’s outfit, I chose to mix red and blue, which make 2/3 of a red-blue-and-yellow triad. While I find red and blue to look fresh and summery together, I have a hard time adding that extra bit of yellow to make it a triad. So it suits me just fine that we’re only working with 2/3rds of triads this week.

Red and blue have always struck me as crisp and summery when paired together, especially when added to a good dose of white. Perhaps it’s the allusion to marine colors or the French flag that makes me really fond of this color mix. It makes me think of the French Riviera, the ocean, sailboats and seagulls. So donning this color combo today was guaranteed to put me in a good mood and excited for my evening plans.

For an added bit of glam, I chose this skirt for its sequined hemline and my red espadrilles that give me a few extra inches of height. Were I someone who could pull off red lipstick, this would be just the outfit for it. But alas, I’m not that glamorous, so chapstick it is. Nevertheless, I’m off to toast the town…

Bonne soirée, mes amis! S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Night Without Grading, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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