Today I (Jessica) am going to talk about a style how-to that took me forever to work up the courage to try: wearing colors on the bottom of your outfit!
I've been a black/grey/denim below the waist girl since I can remember, but when we moved to Boise from Washington State I knew I had to step up my game when it came to color. See, Hilary is a Pro with a capital P at wearing color. She can pair all kinds of crazy colors together and come out looking fantastic (which is why it made me laugh that the pic of her for this post is monochromatic--that never happens). I knew that if I was going to go out with her in public on a regular basis and not be eclipsed by her awesomeness I'd need to get comfortable wearing color of my own.
So for all you other color-shy ladies like me out there today I'm going to share my tips for wearing color on the bottom half of your outfit! You can do it I promise! So break out your hot pink pants and keep reading.
With a neutral:
This is the easiest way to wear colored bottoms, with a neutral! For this outfit I chose literally the most neutral of all neutrals, beige. I did add a peek of leopard belt to help liven things up a little bit, but for the most part I just let these oxblood pants speak for themselves.
Pants: Mossimo for Target// Booties: JC Penny// Belt: Target// Necklace: Made by me
This is arguably the most flattering of all the ways to wear color on the bottom. It creates a long, lean line down your whole body, and you can use pattern and just a few accessories in a complimentary neutral color (in this case, silver and brown) to break it up.
Dress: H&M// Scarf: Made by me!// Cross body bag: Shopko// Boots: overstock.com// Sweater: Kohl's// Earrings: Shopko// Tights: Target
With a pattern:
This pairing is a bit trickier, because it means you've got one focal point on the bottom (color) and one on the top as well (pattern). The best way to pull this off is to pick a smaller scale pattern of neutral colors. Leopard isn't always a neutral, but the colors within it are (brown, black and white) so it made a good pairing with this neon yellow maxi skirt. A black-on-white stripe would also work, or a grey and white floral...you get the idea!
Skirt: Old Navy, refashioned by me// Tank: Made by me// Cardigan: Calson (super old)// Booties: JC Penny// Necklace: Piperlime.com
With mixed neutrals:
Mixed neutrals are another great, and simple, kind of piece to pair with your color on the bottom. The best neutrals for pairing with color are beige, black, grey, and white. Navy blue is a little too much color when pairing it with colored bottoms, and brown can be a little harder because it's so dark. I save these neutrals for small accessories and finishing touches. I've used beige, grey, black and brown with my purple pants in the outfit below. But I have to be honest, the brown was because I was lazy and didn't want to change my sunglasses! Still, I think it works. And can we just love on these purple pants for a minute you guys? They're from my favorite place to buy clothes online, ThredUp. Online consignment store? Yes please!
Pants: Old Navy (via ThredUp!)// Booties: Steve Madden// Bag: **// Jacket:** // Sweater: JC Penny// Necklace: Made by a friend
The absence of color:
Ah yes, white. While not strictly a "color," white still gets a mention here because it is So. Hard. To. Wear. Paired with the wrong thing it can be horribly unflattering, and whatever you put on top needs to compete and it's glaring pristine expanse of...whiteness. White works well with one other bold, graphic element (in this case a bold tribal print) and the rest of your outfit should be fairly neutral. A brightly colored top, or simple large scale pattern (again, see below) are perfect choices.
Jeans: Old Navy// Shoes: JustFab// Necklace (as a bracelet): Thrifted// Tank: Made by me// Earrings: Made by me
As a bright color and a pattern...plus more color:
I added this outfit last because it shows you the most challenging kinds of things to pair with color on the bottom. This maxi dress is already hard to style because it's a bright orange and a striped pattern. I've embraced that, though, and kicked it up a notch by pairing it with neon yellow flats which are in a similar color family to the orange, and a bright blue scarf which is a complimentary color. Then I added another touch of more muted blue in the jacket and a bright neutral white clutch. Whew! One thing is for sure, though. This is NOT the time to pattern mix! I wore this dress once with a leopard cardigan and the results were eye-bleedingly bad.
Dress: Old Navy// Flats: Old Navy: Clutch: Vintage (thrifted)// Jacket: ?// Scarf: Made by me
So here's a basic review of our tips for wearing color on the bottom:
1. Pair your colored bottoms with a neutral for the easiest outfit.
2. For the most slimming effect, go monochromatic! Pair your colored bottoms with the same color on top and create a long, lean line.
3. A small scale pattern in neutral colors is a great choice for the top.
4. More then one neutral (brown + black, gray + white) is another easy way to build an outfit around your colored bottoms.
5. When wearing white, pair with a large scale bold pattern on the top, but keep accessories neutral.
6. You can pair color with more color, but keep the colors complementary.
Now take those hot pink pants and you GO girl! And if you're looking for more of our outfits or style tips/tricks, you can check out our style page here. And if you use any of these tips be sure to send us some pics, via facebook or twitter so we can see your awesomeness!