By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM, and Sarah Ward, Conselle Affiliate
A popular styling trend continuing this fall is layering with colorful cardigans. Michelle Obama has frequently been seen wearing a belted cardigan over a dress. A current article in a popular women’s magazine actually showcased an awful example of what doesn’t work when layering cardigans.
Here is our editorial take on this photo. In the picture, a fuller figured model is seen wearing a navy blue dress, an aqua blue cardigan, a silver skinny belt, a white bib necklace, black tights, and black and white animal print shoes. Woah-h-h. At Conselle, we educate people about what works, what doesn’t, and why. With that in mind, here’s why this look does not work.
- Silver belting: The first impression is that of a heavy, large-looking figure due to the width emphasized at the bust, belt, and thigh levels. In this photo, the belt is making our full-figured model appear even wider. The cardigan has been allowed to curve out around the bust curve and angle outward at the thighs, further increasing apparent weight.
- Conflicting focal points: The white bib necklace and silver belt are both attracting attention to themselves, due to the extreme color contrast. They are fighting for attention. If the belt was a darker color, like the navy of the dress, it would likely become subordinate, allowing the necklace to become the dominant focal point.
- Weighty stocking color: Black stockings may be popular right now, but they are visually weighty, too heavy looking in relation to the light colored shoe.
- High contrast shoes: Attention always goes to contrast! In this instance, attention goes to the shoes, which become a third focal point fighting for attention.
When choosing how to style your cardigans, keep in mind the importance of creating a single dominant focal point. For professional and leadership occasions, keep that focal point up near the face. Color contrast with a collar, jewelry, or a scarf will maintain the attention on your face for improved communication.
Belting doesn’t always have to be on top of the outer layer, it can be done underneath a jacket or cardigan for a slimming effect.
When deciding what shoes to wear, take a tip from menswear. Continue the skirt color and repeat it in the shoe color. It works!
Have fun with the cardigan trend!
Copyright Judith Rasband and Conselle L.C. 2010
Judith Rasband is the Image Expert and an expert on what works, what doesn’t, and why! Visit www.conselle.com or call 801-224-1207 to learn more.