Saturday, May 10, 2014

Style Supplement: The vitamin J guide to pastels


Even though there's still snow EVERYWHERE, stores refuse to care and are stocked with loads of pastels.

I probably have something of every colour in my wardrobe but pastel tones, by far, are the most infrequently found.  I find pastels difficult to wear and difficult to style.  They often look too old, too young, too frumpy, too saccharine and sometimes just too uncool.  Pastels in spring are ubiquitous, and I've been experimenting with my most feared colour group lately.  I present to you, dear reader, my findings/ramblings, grouped by colour, in something I call 'The Vitamin J Guide to Pastels'.

OVERALL TIPS

Balance in all things

from LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's 2011 collection

Pastels have a tendency to get too cute too fast.  Since the colour reads feminine and/or juvenile, make sure to balance this out by not wearing too much pastel in one outfit and to wear sleeker and edgier shapes.  Minimize ruffles, bows, flowers and other feminine details.  Pair with leather, denim and other more rugged and masculine-type materials.  Try simple shapes like basic collared shirts, skinny jeans and pencil skirts with few details.

Tone it down

 from RW&Co Spring/Summer 2014 collection

The easiest pastels to wear are desaturated ones.  For example, instead of baby blue, try one that reads more as ice blue or blue-grey.  Desaturated pinks and browns can often read as neutrals and are easier to style.  You can also go the complete opposite way and choose more saturated and brighter tones, which I find are also easier to wear.  There's less risk of washing yourself out and brighter colours generally look less juvenile.

Cross those seasonal barriers

from Le Chateau Spring/Summer 2014 collection

Pastels epitomize spring, so it can be hard to wear these colours in other seasons.  An easy way to do it is to pair with black.  This automatically gives off a sense of more grounded, serious femininity and is a favourite combination of mine for job interviews.  Pairing with any darker colour will do the trick-- brown, navy and burgundy are great colours to try.

SELECT COLOURS

MINT

Mint has been everywhere recently!  Its definitely a great choice as its on-trend and often does not read as a true pastel. You can wear a lot of mint without it getting overpowering, so feel free to experiment with dresses, skirts, pant, etc.  However, I recall mint first being exciting about three years ago, so I feel its on a downwards trajectory as a trend.  My advice is to pick up a few things if you like the colour, but don't go overboard as I don't think it'll be super hot in the coming seasons.

Easy pairings: black, grey, white, bronze, gold

BLUSH

Blush is a great, easy pastel to wear as it can be treated as a neutral and never really goes out of style.  Be careful of how different shades work with your skin colour-- some can make you look washed out.  

Easy pairings: black, grey, brown, cobalt, navy, magenta, gold, bronze, silver

LILAC

I haven't seen too much lilac in-stores, but I have a feeling that in upcoming seasons, it will be like mint was last year.  With lilac, definitely stick to less frilly and feminine items; menswear-inspired pieces like collared shirts and blazers would look great.  You can also try a more desaturated colour with grey undertones for an easier to style piece.

Easy pairings: grey, beige, camel, cobalt, navy

ICE BLUE

Like lilac, I feel like ice blue will be a bigger colour given some time.  Blue reads more masculine, so this is the one colour you can go with more feminine details without it being overpowering.  Chambray's also a great choice that is technically light blue, but reads more rugged than pastel.

Baby blue personally terrifies me as I grew up in the 90's.  I would avoid baby blue (and baby pink) as it currently reads dated and instead go for something either more or less saturated.

Easy pairings: charcoal, navy, white

GREY

Not technically a pastel, but I included it as it’s a great colour to incorporate along with pastels for spring.  It’s a good neutral that’s less heavy than black but is more graphic than brown shades, and thus plays well into the graphic, black and white look that’s currently trending for this spring.  Grey looks great with texture, so try it in velvet or silk.

THE REST

Yellow and spring green aren't quite as hot this season.  I feel that except for the coral that usually pops up around this time, cooler tones predominate.  White isn't a pastel, but is always, always in for spring and summer and works with most pastels very well.

The great thing about pastels is that you can find one that will work for you.  What's your favourite pastel tone for Spring/Summer 2014?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stay tuned: Spring (maybe) coming soon

In addition to a terrible winter that will never end (G. R. R., it got here before Winds of Winter!), I'm separated from the majority of my wardrobe and my computer has died. I managed to completely kill the processor, ostensibly with too much awesome, but my photo-editing capabilities have died with it along with a bunch of posts. Now, I've been planning loads of posts, but just having trouble with the pictures to go along with them, due to the aforementioned issues. I'm fed up with not posting though because I have loads to talk about! I'm hoping in the meantime, with the dearth of accompanying illustration, you all will be charmed my my wit and way with words. :) (Hey, an emote can't hurt either, right?)

Let's talk about the weather. All of Canada and the US has been inundated with a really, really terrible winter this year. Although the stores are full of spring and summer collections on schedule, the weather, at least in my neck of the woods, hasn't been cooperating. Like, at all. So what's a girl to do? Let me tell you.

The Vitamin J Guide to Telling Winter to Shove it (Through Fashion)

1. Buy some cute winter accessories at a serious discount
Ah, the joys of off-season shopping. Except this time, you can wear your purchases right away! I recently picked up a bunch of scarves originally priced around $20 for less than $3 a piece. i found that pair of heart print gloves marked down 75%. And I wore these things the same week. I generally pick up lots of winter things anyways, since my winter season is so long, so it was nice to have a cute little pick-me-up that would come in handy later in the year as well.

2. Wear warm weather dresses with tights
I swear by fleece-lined tights and leggings. These babies make it so that even if your dress is made out of the thinnest cotton ever, your legs will still feel toasty. Cardigans perform the same function for your arms. If you can't find fleece-lined tights in your colour of choice, wear black ones and layer a coloured opaque pair over top.

3. Pin on a flower
In your hair, on a lapel, on a belt, anywhere! I'm currently really digging the sock bun and metallic flower combo at the moment.

People still stuck under sheets of snow-- what are your ways to incorporate spring into your clothes while it's still miserable outside?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

HANG IN THERE GUYS!

The title should actually be directed towards me, as I am allllllmost there -- just hang in there vitaminJ, you'll be done soon!  (The seriousness of this situation dictates that I use my blogger/rapper name.)

What will I be done with?  MEDICAL SCHOOL.  There's been so much stuff to take care of as I near the end of this slog that I haven't been able to post much.  I have a write-up on how to wear pastels in-progress that I keep opening up, staring at and then closing again.  I have been taking outfit photos though, and I have actually been drawing my outfits as well (OMG).  I've been having trouble figuring out a good time-efficient way to draw things for the blog, but I think I've got it!

Essentially, I just wanted to let everyone know that I plan to be back with some great new posts (+ drawings!) very soon, and to also give some insight into whats been up with me lately.

See you all very soon,
vitaminJ

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Daily Dose: The girl in the green scarf

I have been reading a lot lately.  My brother kindly found me an iPad mini and so far I've read through A Song of Ice and Fire and the Shopaholic books.  Obviously both clothing and dragons excite me immensely. I don't quite know why the Shopaholic movie changed the colour of a Very Important Scarf to green (it was blue in the books), but that's OK.  Green scarves are better anyways.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Daily Dose: Kimonos

I don't know about you guys, but I tend to fluctuate in my use of accessories.  Lately, I've been crazy for necklaces and nothing else!  My belts and bracelets and scarves are languishing in their drawers, crying out, 'wear me, wear me!'  I pulled out a belt for the first time in a long while, and it reminded me of my belt phase.   I have resolved to try to not get stuck in accessory phases (we'll see how long that lasts).
This is an outfit from the aforementioned belt phase.  It really reminds me of a kimono because of the flowy jacket-thing and the obi belt, although I am aware it is nothing like a kimono if I'm honest with myself.

The jacket-thing (I still don't really know what it is) was a cheap buy because I was intrigued.  I have become very fond of my jacket-thing, because it's super comfortable and I love the way it drapes.  It has a pattern but it's very subtle, so it's not too hard to pair with other things.  And of course, I'm wearing my much-beloved liquid leggings.  Have I told you how much I love my liquid leggings?  I thought not.  Finally, the outfit's finished off with a pair of nude pumps.  I do really like nude pumps for their versatility and leg-lengthening effects, but I've found it's quite difficult to find the right nude for you.  Nude doesn't mean a sort -of beige coloured shoe, but rather one that matches your skin tone.  Being browner than much of Canada, I went on quite the hunt for these, but I think they're exactly the right shade for me!  If you want to invest in a pair of nude shoes, please take the time and effort to find something as close to your skin tone as possible!  It looks super chic when you find the right ones!

I added up the total cost of this outfit for interest, and thought it might be cool to post the total costs of my outfits from now on, since I post the prices of the items anyways.  Is this of interest to anyone?

Grey lace-paneled tank - Smart Set - size S - $4.99
Floral kimono jacket - Smart Set - size XS - 4.99
Cognac obi belt - Aldo - size S - $5.99
Copper bracelets - from India
Liquid leggings - Suzy Shier - size S - $7
Nude pumps - Aldo - size 7 - ~$40

TOTAL COST OF OUTFIT = $62.97

 

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