By Nafeesa Muqtasid
MULTIPLY THAT PIECE
The sign of a great piece of clothing is being able to wear it multiple ways. Multi-Life Clothing or the ability to multiply a piece of clothing is when you consider different ways to wear one item, in your closet. Clothing will serve you better when you can consider how to wear it to work, out on a date, to church and dinner. When you think of multi dressing don’t just think of your basics such as a black skirt, that grey jacket or your jeans. In fact, every piece you own can live a multi-life, if you apply the right opportunity.
START WITH NEUTRALS
If you start this concept with the neutral colored items in your closet, it will become an easy task to master. Neutrals offer an easy path to mix color be it bright, pastels or other neutrals such as khaki with grey, grey with white and of course white with black.
ON STYLING IT BIG TIME TO THE TEE…
YOU DO IT ALREADY
You’ve probably already utilized this concept without even thinking about it. Have you ever taken an interview suit and then wore those dress pants or skirt with a completely different top or jacket for a date or another interview? If so, then you have already started to display your wardrobe’s multi-life; just dial it up a notch and consider this concept for those casual pants, that jacket in the back of the closet, even that dress or suit you wore to a wedding that has been sitting in the garment bag ever since.
THAT SPECIAL ITEM
Special pieces can be a bit more challenging to mix, but if you start with the same rule you’ll begin to master the idea. Wear that classic blazer with your bright stripes, wear your sequins with a simple neutral garment or wear that special colored skirt with a graphic tee. That dress from the wedding I mentioned could look great with a denim jacket, leather jacket or the dress pants with a bright colored sweater, offering a more casual approach. If you look at your dressing with the idea of the Star and Co-Star you can’t go wrong. The Star is the main piece that grabs the eye, something you saw and had an immediate emotional reaction (come on, I’m not the only one, right?) a piece with very strong appearance usually a conversation piece; “What a beautiful top.”, “Where did you ever find those fabulous pants?” and the Co-Star supports the main piece. The Co-Star finishes the outfit and doesn’t out shine the main piece. Most people wouldn’t pull off head to toe sequins, but a lot of people don’t mind pairing it with a plain white blouse, turtleneck sweater or basic black pants. The Star: Sequins Skirt, the Co-Star: Simple Turtleneck. Using this rule of thumb, you start to realize the Star can have several Co-Stars. One day the Co-Star is a simple white blouse, the next a grey cardigan; now you’re applying the Multi-Life Concept.
HOW TO MAKE THAT STAR SHINE
I think I’ve made it pretty clear to you, that I enjoy spending a bit of time, on my wardrobe. I think every person should. Taking time to think through the garments, on your back will offer the opportunity to think of coordinates, accessories, hair, make-up and even help you plan your day. For example, “I have a meeting, which will have me running around and on my feet all afternoon so that tight skirt with the turtleneck and high heels probably won’t be the best idea.
Instead, I’m going to opt for those great straight pants with a lace-up flat and the same turtleneck. It will look smart, sexy and I’ll be more comfortable.” Another example, “I’m so excited for my good friend’s wedding, this beautiful dress is going to be amazing and look so sexy with these heels”. A month later that same sexy dress will look great with a new hair style, lower heels and a blazer for drinks with friends. Make sure you consider these ideas whenever you dress for a date, wedding, job interview, dinner with friends or just a run to the grocery store! Thinking about how you dress and options for your wardrobe is how you make you star shine. The same rule applies when organizing “Multi’s”. If you think of the Multi-Life of your garments, you can take that lucky shirt you usually wear with the green skirt and heels, you can now wear with a great pair of flats and more comfy casual pants. A woman I dressed shared with me: “Nafeesa I just purchased this great lace blouse with ruffles that was a bit expensive, but I really like it. What should I wear with it?” This piece is clearly The Star, so a few Co-Stars should be thought of, to make it worth the money spent and emotional enjoyment. A simple pair of black dress pants, a great straight skirt, maybe in a fun color but what about leggings or leggings in faux leather, jeans or even better a denim skirt can truly enhance this expensive purchase and make that star shine. If you ever doubt the idea, don’t wait until you’re about to walk out the door to see if it will work, try it on in your down time, take a good look in a full length mirror, take a picture, give it about an hour or so, then go back and review to see if you can pull it off. If you’re happy with what you see in the mirror, go for it!
EVEN ON T.V.
One of my favorite shows in High School was the soap opera All My Children (don’t judge). Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) was a master at maximizing her wardrobe (okay it was probably the wardrobe person); but here it was she’s a celebrity playing a celebrity and several times they would show her, in the same dress. One of my favorites was a white shift dress that had a complex woven pattern. She wore that dress at least 6 different ways. I know, because I loved it so much. Sometimes with heels, sometimes with flats or sandals; sometimes with hair up and belted other times down and messy. I remember she also wore that white dress, with a boyfriend jacket, a more intricate hair style and eye-catching shoes. It was worn well and in many different ways. Now if Erica Kane can figure it out, you have no excuses!
Happy Multi-Life! ❤