Hello, December! Jacket days are over as parkas and puffers are taking over the reins. Catalogs are filled with models in down coats looking swell with their ankles exposed and/or parkas unzipped. This is the untold rule of a fashion spread: showing utility clothes next to flashes of skin and/or soft fabrics underneath them, sells. It is the striking contrast of utility fabrics and fragility of bare skin that is appealing to us. It brings a touch of femininity to an otherwise bulky garment. That is how we end buying that damn parka year after year. Hoping upon hope that we will look as stylish as Giselle and instead we end up looking like the Michelin man. Which only contributes to our looming SAD symptoms.
When the fashion industry offers us utility jackets, they usually are served as a ‘utilitarian chic’. For ‘Utilitarian Chic’ flashes of bare skin is important. The analogy that comes to mind is how a massive Restoration Hardware dining table is magically perceived as being light when placed in a Philip Johnson glass house. But for non-Californians among us, who spend winters carefully bundled up, means that the sensuality of flash skin message delivery will shift from ankles to noses. And not that the noses are exactly cut for the job. This is how, instead of the intended “utilitarian chic”; we end up in a depressive ‘utility overload’ scenario. The moment we cover our shivering ankles with weather boots that kicked-back luxury is forever gone. It is hard to look luxurious in weather boots, dark denim and a puffer mix. In addition, the black color just takes things to a whole new level. That is what my fellow-Russian friends are lovingly referring to as a trash-bag appeal.
Yet, most people wear their parkas in black. This is when suede booties can come to rescue. Suede is soft to the touch and sight and helps evoke images of bare skin. I see some options here with light suede and juicy one. There is always the black suede but that is a no brainer.
Taupe suede is great to imitate those sexy bare ankles. The color does not need to copy exactly the actual skin tone. For a winter outfit it is enough to go only 2-3 tones lighter. Heathered light olive, grey and beige can be considered. The booties must be high enough to compose about 1/7 of your entire silhouette mimicking the ankle. Have skinny jeans/leggings tucked in or wear them with opaque tights. For Caucasian and Asian skins, the rest of the outfit stays black or navy blue, which in water-resistant fabric bears similar effect. For a black skin, it is the opposite: light clothes and dark shoes. It is important to have the shade complementing your skin tone and just one-two tones darker than the Caucasian face. That will help the face to shine in bulky tent-like winter clothing. These are not the easiest color combinations wot work with, but if it works, it will bear juicy fruits. And here is an easy one:
One of the most common ways of breaking the overhead of winter clothing is by bringing yellow-based color suede shoes. I found that works great on apricot-skinned gals like Kris Jenner and Britney-Spears- and absolutely ruins anyone whose skin tone is not yellow-based. It also works best in climates where parkas are used open, like blazers. For the colder climates that call for zipped up parkas and puffers I feel this enormous need to replace the ubiquitous chestnut shoe-wear with something more subtle.
Think of bright, juicy olive. Complementing an array of various skin tones (when used in suede shoes,) it helps to brighten the strictness of the black and the navy blue present in of waterproof fabrics, with the promise of sunny days, while maintains the sophisticated appeal. I see it works with many other colors combinations too. Celine’s 2012 suede olive green Phantom bag nailed the tone just right. Saturated and restrained, it creates a wonderful accent against black clothing, bright and sophisticated at the same time.
JEWEL TONE SUEDE
Burgundy and dark teal suede booties can step in for the alluring slice of bare ankles and totally create the same appeal. Lean towards juicier, well-saturated kinds, because grayish versions can get lost if used next to black.
Well, that is what those exposed sexy ankles can be traded for, while maintaining your winter look casual and luxurious. A quick recap of what I just shared with you:
Have fun trying on these ideas and keep me posted on the results. I will be back soon with white down coat review.
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