Style is often one part brain power and two parts gut instinct. There are rules to learn about colors, patterns, and proportions but, none of that would go anywhere without that feeling in your stomach that says, "yes, this is good" because style isn't a formula. It's an expression of self meant to evoke feelings and feelings don't really work like one plus one equals playful and fun. Having too much formula packed into your brain or sticking too rigidly to a set of rules can dampen the creative flow of your gut. Leaving you feeling frustrated, unsure, and full of roadblocks. So, how can we know when our brain and gut have stopped being symbiotic and started fighting like brother and sister in the backseat of a hot car on a long road trip?
Cut to me standing in my closet putting clothes away. Out of the pile I pull this gorgeous pleated skirt and this old, faithful flannel and my gut says, "hey! wear those things together! The colors look so pretty!"
Then my brain steps in and says, "Woah there! Don't get too crazy. Isn't that a little too mixed up? Sure, the colors are great but, isn't that skirt a little too fancy for a flannel? Oh, I know! How about a sweater to tie them together? Fashion Rule Number 265 says you can use the colors in the flannel to put pieces together. I see purple and teal in the flannel as well as the pink. What can we work with here?"
"Oh! Deer sweater?" replies the gut. The brain calculates that all three pieces share a common thread based on the colors in the flannel and the brain is happy. The outfit is born and I am really excited about it.
But, when I put it on a few days later, something in me was hesitant that this sweater and skirt shouldn't be together. Who was putting on the breaks? My gut because it really was wrong? My brain because I've never entered "dark deal and peachy pink" into the database of accepted color combos? There I was standing in front of my mirror feeling like a stalled out car and that just isn't why I bother getting dressed every day.
So, what's the solution when this happens to you? What's the balm to ease the irritation and get your gut and brain back to working order? The answer is to unclench and stop trying so hard. They're just clothes and this is just one day. If it's not perfect, so what? Wear it for a while and if you continue to feel that tick of irritation every time you catch a glimpse of yourself, then it's probably a true instinct. But, if it's just a creative roadblock built up by "rules" then your brain will assimilate the new information and your eyes will start to like what they see. Creative balance will be restored.
Turns out, I love this outfit. After I got over the idea that these colors shouldn't be together, I started to feel like I could be in a Modcloth promo and that's pretty much my style goal. The moral of the story is that sometimes when you feel that little clench of hesitation in you, don't stop. That fear could be a sign that you're about to do something really great and be it as small as an outfit or as big as a major life change, it will feel good.
Sweater: Modcloth similar (XS-4X), similar | Flannel: Target similar similar (plus) | Skirt: Torrid (on sale!) | Belt: Target similar similar (plus) | Tights: We Love Colors | Shoes: Thrifted similar | Sunglasses: Vintage similar | Lips: ColourPop's Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bumble