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Get more compliments with these fashion pairings

Woman in black leggings, white blouse and black and white houndstooth duster


The statement “opposites attract” holds true for relationships and for fashion. Complementary pairings are sure to get you noticed, inviting admiring comments from friends, coworkers and even a stranger or two. Below are some outfit ideas to help you mix and match contrasting looks with style:

Menswear and feminine accessories

Boyfriend jeans, men’s-cut blazers and square-shouldered coats have brought even more versatility to women’s fashion. Yet, many ladies are afraid of trying the look for themselves, fearing it makes them look too masculine. Don’t worry – you can rock the menswear-inspired trend while still celebrating your womanhood. Just add some feminine accessories that maximize your charm. Add women’s hats, gloves or scarves that play up your femininity, or add fashionable jewelry for pops of visual interest.

Houndstooth pocket duster

Casual and professional

Jeans and a blazer are a time-honored casual/professional look, but there are so many more options. Throw a denim jacket over a nice sweater or work-appropriate dress, or hide a striking pair of shoes underneath wide-leg dress pants. For that last tip, make sure just enough of your shoe peeks out to make for an interesting look but enough is covered to stay classy.

T-shirts are also great for a casual/professional style as long as you do them right. Replacing a button-down with a tee under your suit looks mismatched, but layering the shirt under a nice cardigan looks polished and comfy.

Take it away Jacket
There are a lot of ways to mix casual and professional pieces.

Small and statement

Tiny fashionable jewelry is all over the stores, and for good reason. A slim ring provides a bit of barely noticeable flash that’s great for minimalist looks, while stacking these pieces together highlights any area they adorn. That said, there’s no reason to pack away your statement jewelry. Wear the two together for some nice contrasts. Pair your beautiful gemstone necklaceĀ with slim single-bar earrings, or wear your giant ring with a few stackable bracelets.

3 piece cuff set

Capsule closets and purse/shoe closets

Many women have warmed up to the idea of capsule closets, paring back their wardrobes to a select versatile basics. The appeal is that focusing on a few all-purpose items – with one or two special pieces like evening dresses and business suits – makes it easier to put together outfit ideas that work. There’s nothing wrong with capsule closets, but some of us prefer to switch things up from day to day.

If you fall into this latter camp but are still pulled by the notion of simple outfits, combine the idea of a capsule closet with womankind’s time-honored dream: a purse or a shoe closet. Stick to the basics with your clothes, but buy as many boots, sandals, satchels and totes as you want.

Capsule closets usually stick to a monochromatic color palette of black, white and grey, with some navy and camel thrown in for good measure. Use your purses and shoes as an excuse to go wild on color, incorporating jewel tones and patterns to your heart’s content. This way, you’ll always have a working wardrobe but still own that bit of unique flair.

Complementary colors

Of course, nothing garners more compliments than complementary color blocking. Red and green (or pink and olive, if you want to avoid a Christmas look), purple and gold, navy and orange – these parings always look great together. The trick to not looking too ostentatious is to wear a bright variant of one color with a muted version of another. As indicated earlier, pink and olive look nice together, whereas flamingo and lime are a bit too much.

With the right balance and the right items in your closet, mixing and matching your look should be a breeze.

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Published on Jan 10 2017

Last Updated on Jan 25 2018

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