Proportion + Colour + Offbeat Accessory = The Perfect Outfit: Fashion Math in Action

Proportion + Colour + Offbeat Accessory = The Perfect Outfit: Fashion Math in Action

I’m a big lover and proponent of the girl math phenomenon, specifically fashion girl math that took the internet by storm last year. The idea itself isn’t new - like almost everything else, what the human eye finds aesthetically pleasing is predictable, mathematical. Formulas for balance and styling are not revolutionary concepts, but they are incredibly useful. One of my favorite formulas for a visually interesting outfit is: to a. [lay with proportion, either with one structural piece or the overall balance of an outfit, b. add a pop of color, this can either be something bright or a simple complementary contrast, and c. finish off with an eye catching, offbeat accessory. The formula is so effective because it maximizes use of the most important tenet of good styling - aesthetic juxtaposition. I’ll share a few examples here to give you an idea of what this looks like in practice. It really is the most easy, foolproof way to look chic without having to reinvent the wheel every time you get dressed.

 

 

The easiest way to play with proportion, in my opinion, is with pants. Volume on the bottom half is always flattering, never overwhelming, and the width is easily balanced with a sharp pointed heel. I love the barrel leg shape and the pronounced pleating on the pair I’m wearing below. It’s much more visually interesting than a simple relaxed straight leg.The fabric is thick enough to hold shape without feeling or looking rigid. The grey also plays very well with almost every other color, making the next step in this formula very easy. I chose a bright pink cardigan as my pop of color - grey and pink are a classic, failsafe color combination. If you prefer a more neutral color palette, grey and burgundy make for an equally interesting pairing. As for the offbeat accessory, I’ve added a chunky statement silver belt in a polished black leather. The key here is to add a piece that differs from the aesthetic of the rest of the outfit, utilising juxtaposition to engage the viewers eye. The belt I’ve added is much edgier than the rest of the look and serves to add aesthetic contrast to the other, more polished preppy elements. A simpler, classic belt wouldn’t have added the same level of visual contrast.

 

 

 Featured in this outfit: The Grey Wool Tailored Trousers

 

 

This formula lends itself equally well to dressier occasions. The combination below is perfect for a nice dinner or drinks. An oversized blazer paired with a slimmer, flowy pant has never failed me. It brings so much proportional interest to an outfit while still maintaining a polished, sleek aesthetic. Here I’ve utilised a slim, bias cut silk pant to contrast an oversized blazer. These pants are perfect for evening looks because of the elastic waistband (clutch when you’ve had a big dinner) and the heavy weight silk that looks and feels incredibly luxurious.The sleekness of the pants serve to further exaggerate the width of the blazer, making the look feel less dated and more contemporary. A longer oversized belted blazer would also complement the trousers beautifully. I’ve added two pops of color here, my chartreuse knit with the collar folded over the blazer lapels for more impact, and my burgundy bucket bag. The bucket bag also serves as the offbeat accessory here, a foil for the classic sleek lines of the look. The pleated leather and puffed texture are in direct contrast with the sleekness of the rest of the outfit. A slim clutch on the other hand would have been too on the nose and not as effortless.

 

 Featured in this outfit: The Coal Silk Bias Trousers

 

 

The last combination is a true chameleon, easy to dress up for dinner or dress down for a more casual brunch. It’s also the easiest of the bunch, perfect for the minimalists, largely thanks to the blue bodysuit. It’s a classic, versatile basic in a soft blue for a subtle pop of color. The baby blue pairs beautifully with neutrals like burgundy, black, olives and greys. All earth tones offset the blue beautifully. It’s the ultimate elevated basic. You can wear it as a top or layer it underneath a crisp white button down or a v neck sweater - the options are endless.I’ve paired it here with wide leg black pants and an oversized coat to add the proportional contrast that is essential to this formula. As an offbeat accessory I chose a gold belt with a statement buckle instead of a simple silver belt  to add a little maximalist bling to this otherwise sober, sleek outfit. The bucket bag has a similar effect as earlier, adding edge to the more polished aesthetic of the other items.

 


Featured in this outfit: The Cloud Recycled Nylon Bodysuit
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