9 Sep 2015

Style Notes: Never Wearing Head To Toe

dolce and gabbana autumn winter 2013 runway show, vicki archer

Style means never wearing head to toe of any one label.

Obvious, yes.  It can be easier said than done.

Designer or otherwise, it is the eclectic mix that gives a unique and personal approach to fashion.

We have all seen the look.

Someone who feels that wearing only the same designer from head to toe is the way to look their best. It’s not.

Great style, style that we admire, is never about the cost of the individual garment or an overload at any one time. Enduring style, style to love is a co-ordination of pieces that work and tell a story together.

Otherwise we would wear a uniform every day. Life would be easier but very dull.

Fashion designers work very hard to entice us each season and they do. I have favourites that I return to time and time again. Labels that I know work for me and that will suit my lifestyle. I may buy several pieces to invigorate my wardrobe from one particular collection but I will add them to the mix and see what I come up with.

As I get older I am less likely to care if something is of this season or from the last. What a relief to let that particular demon go.

Style is a tricky beast.

Sometimes it is easy and willing and at other times most petulant. It can take a firm hand to bring style under control.

So, so much easier to buy the whole kit and wear it together.

Think about it,we are not wearing the clothes, the clothes are wearing us and anyone could be hiding inside.

We can’t have that and we know better. Our “style” personalities deserve to be expressed.

dolce and gabbana autumn winter 2013 runway show, vicki archer

How do we blend our style and find that unique mix that says this is me?


Studying the trends, watching the fashion shows and looking at street style prompts great ideas about what to wear with what. Thoughts are triggered and I find ways to adapt them to my age and aesthetic.


The sneaker trend is an example. The last year I have worn my Stan Smith sneakers with everything from silk and satin to denim and tulle. The more I wear them the more I like them and the more outfits I add them to. I would never have thought to mix an army jacket, a tulle skirt and a pair of sneakers. I have, I do and I think it works.


Taking inspiration from other women is all-important.

I don’t see this as copying; I see it as flattery. Women are our greatest allies and they should motivate us on so many levels. Style is only one of them. Every woman has a way of expressing herself when she dresses, we can learn from that and no two women will ever look the same.


Knowing what you like and what suits is half the battle when it comes to putting together an outfit and finding personal style. Indecision is the killer. Invest in yourself; learn what works and the confidence will flow.

The beauty of our personal style is that it can be forever changing.

It is for us to choose, to decide and to decipher the trends. Input from our designer gurus, tastemakers and influencers is illuminating and galvanizing but ultimately, we want style to be our own.

Fashion is way too much fun to wear the same from top to toe, xv.

To Make It Your Own

i wear opaque and patterned tights when i wear a dress or skirt. as much as i like opaques and i do, there is nothing like a lace or a fishnet to up the style game. a small investment with a hint of pattern can make all the difference to a simple lbd or a-line skirt.

***wolford twenties fishnet  //  wolford lilie lace  //  ***hue diamond  //  ***wolford support opaques

images dolce&gabbana autumn winter 2013

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Anita Rivera

Observation, yes! Without paying attention to the details that make us LOVE a particular style, it’s impossible to get the look. But paying attention and then trying out the style for yourself is FUN, it’s an experiment to see what works and the best part is the surprise of finding out how well the unlikely goes together! I’m still finding that out!


Small tweaks can make all the difference… you are up early Anita!.. or is it a very late one? ;)

Design Chic

I totally agree, Vicki, and on those days when only a black dress or outfit will do, I always try to have an animal print shoe or great colored handbag to add a little pizazz! Happy Wednesday!


Such a good way to make an outfit your own… I am really thinking a new handbag might be in order soon… I am thinking aboit a burgundy or even emerald green.. I am trying not to find yet another grey or black that needs me… ;)


Yes… there is a lot to be said for choosing well… :)
Sometimes we don’t always get it right but I think I am far better at knowing what I like and what looks ok now than I was before!


Love this post – I saw a lady the other day in head to toe leopard print – coat, purse, shoes, etc. I could not believe it. I’m still thinking about her! Way too much of a good thing. When shopping the other day I spied a beautiful pair of leopard print flats – even my husband agreed how nice they look with a simple outfit – so I had to have them. I will wear them with black slim slacks, dark slim jeans, and my favorite idea – I have a great short dress/tunic with a small cowl neckline, with black leggings. I love putting these looks together. Thanks a bunch Vicki – for making us think outside the box!


Sounds like you might have been on safari Ella… ;)

I adore leopard and today I am wearing virtually what you described… except it’s an old black suit that I am wearing and one I love… with my leopard flats…


Observation, and a certain amount of daring is what develops individual style. And then there is experience, of knowing what works and what doesn’t. I count on a wardrobe sprinkled with basics, then enlivened with a few “trendy” pieces to carry me through each season. Like you, Vicki, I am not all that concerned about having each year’s “latest” version, more about cut, and quality. The fun IS in making unusual combinations that make wearing clothes an individual and envigorating experience!


you are so right Vicky. Style is a personal thing either you have got it or you
will never have it..you can’t learn it. It has to do with your feeling and self
confidence, it has nothing to do with “that in-fashion”. And b.t.w. red is always a color of style as black is. And I personally like to mix it up like I do
in my interior design. pedigree dogs are not as interesting as street dogs are.
Even latter are not so perfect and beautiful but unique. Isn’t it?

April Dilbeck

Vickie, as you aptly point out, dressing the same from head to toe is as boring as decorating a room or a house in one style. It does take patience and trial and error, as well as knowing what suits one’s body/shape.

Two books written by Kendall Farr might be of interest to your readers: “The Pocket Stylist” and “Style Evolution”. Both have often helped me in my hour of need!


Cathy Wong

Thanks again for another delightful post Vicki!……lots to inspire and think about….
I enjoy the observing and am getting better at being open to inspiration, but the knowledge is my challenge-“indecision is a killer” :)


Sometimes indecision is just really good judgement… ever thought of that?? When in doubt, both feet out… that’s what we always said…
Maybe you already know… :)


I completely agree with you. I have never followed “style” since I was an impressionable teenager. I could never afford, still can’t, financially nor with a clear conscience, true designer clothing nor accessories. I will say, however, that after having lived in France for six months, and inheriting a very small sum, I have come to appreciate the French details, fabrics, and styles. I now collect “Lilith” jackets, buying a new one (or two) every year. They are quirky and can be mixed with anything, old or new. The operative words, here, as you said, are mixed and added. For once, I agree with you.


Just wanted to say how much I enjoy the comments section on this blog. What an eclectic & fascinating group of people have gathered here! Love reading everyone’s ideas, insights & experiences.


Haha! I thought the fashion no-no was going to be not to walk around with a gold crown on your head!

I’ve been wearing fishnets for years — I think they are an overlooked gem. And can’t wait for the dress, tights, and tall boots “uniforms” to come out of my closet again this year.


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