Style formulas sometimes change just a little for us as we move into new seasons. As we shift from fall – when we could wear blazers, lightweight jackets and cardigans as our outerwear – into winter – when many of us require heavier coats – we have to adapt our outfit combinations just a bit. So today I’m styling a column of color in a winter style formula that can work so many ways in your wardrobe.
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A column of color is created when you wear one color – or in this case, neutral – head to toe or at least neckline to ankle and then wear a contrasting color or neutral over it in an opened jacket, cardigan or coat. In this outfit I’ve worn black as the column and caramel brown as the contrast that sets it off.
This blog post isn’t really about the individual pieces, but I’m wearing this snap detail funnel neck pullover in black, the black jeans I purchased in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July and my black Chelsea boots. But you could create a similar look with so many pieces in your closet.
A column a color can be very slenderizing visually. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind as you select pieces from your closet for this formula to work.
First, consider where you are your heaviest or widest. You’ll probably want an outerwear piece that drapes nicely over that area to create the most visually slimming effect. For me that area is my hips and thighs, so I intentionally chose a lightweight coat that skims this area and falls beneath it. I can create a column effect with a shorter jacket, but it isn’t quite as slenderizing.
Another consideration is the fit of the column pieces. Again, you can create a column with more flowy or fuller pieces. But you’ll get the most visually slimming results with pieces that are either body hugging (such as leggings) or body skimming.
When it comes to your footwear you have some options. You’ll get the added benefit of gaining a little visual height if you don’t interrupt the column at your feet or ankles. So you’d want to do like I did and wear shoes (boots) and/or tights (if applicable) in the same color as the column. But if adding visual height is not a priority, it’s okay to interrupt the line either by wearing shoes in the same color but exposing the ankle or by wearing flesh toned shoes, such as nude pumps.
Not only does this style formula create a very slenderizing appearance, but it’s also failproof chic. It’s smart to keep your colors in one outfit to a maximum of three or an optimum of one or two. So a column of color or neutral under another color or neutral creates a very cohesive look. Very pulled together.
My only regret about this outfit is that I fully intended to wear my black belt with it and I forgot to take it with me on the photo shoot that day. Looking at the photos now, I wish I’d just left the funnel neck pullover untucked since I didn’t have the belt. This, dear reader, is why it’s so smart to snap a photo of yourself in your outfit before walking out the door. We just see ourselves differently in a photo than we do in the mirror. With the black belt the gentle tuck looks great, but without it I think the top needs to be left out.
I love an all neutrals look with a column, but you can create similar looks with colors, of course. That said, I have rounded up some other nice coats and jackets in a similar caramel in the shopping widget below. This color is definitely on trend and looks so warm and elegant paired with black, grey, navy or denim.
One more tip! To achieve a true column effect you’ll want to select a coat or jacket that you’ll wear all day (or evening) with the outfit, and one that you can wear open. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take it off. That will just create a different look. Monochromatic dressing is very in style, so you’re still good! But definitely interweave a variety of textures into your column in the event that you’ll be removing the outerwear. My mixture of ribbed knit, denim and leather works well together for an interesting combination. But you could also include suede, a chunkier knit, faux leather, velveteen, etc.
I hope you enjoyed this little style tutorial. Maybe you’re already using this style formula and you’d like to share with other readers how you’re doing it. Let us know in the comments how you’re working the column of color style formula in a way that reflects your personal style, color palette and body type. I’d love to hear from you today!
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Blessed for My Day
I’ve been reading this beautiful Christmas devotional by Ruth Chou Simons in the mornings and it is really helping me to prepare my heart for Christmas. I still don’t have a single decoration up (I’m fixing that tonight!), but my heart feels appropriately adorned for the season. I wish I had gotten it earlier so I could have recommended it to you. But I’m actually playing catch-up myself, reading two entries a day through today. In the entry I read this morning I was reminded that Christmas really begins in the garden, not in the manger.
You see Jesus – who has been before the beginning of time and was involved in the creation of the world – was sent to restore the intimate relationship we had with God from the beginning but lost due to our sin. When God created the world and then created man, He said it was all good. And it was. Not only was everything pristine, but Adam and Eve had an intimate relationship with the God who had created them for fellowship from the very beginning. As we approach Christmas, let’s remember that Jesus came to give us a relationship with God now and perfect intimacy with Him for eternity.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:26-28