Friday, November 20, 2015

Mature Fashion: Monochromatic "uniforms"

Hello Fashionistas and Stylinistas;

It occurred to me to post a "runway" of the uses of a particular design element; we covered monochromatic dressing in the post, but this will give you a chance to see a variety of monochromatic uniforms I basically wear several times a week. Several of these have been taken from my last season's style book, however, they are still on trend thru this season (one benefit of the mature women; we can look modern with last year fashions; so many of the young crowd are used to seeing older women in ten or more years past fashion.)

(Learning curve here: can't seem to line the pictures up the way I want)

In the upper left hand picture,  I have used the dark olive as the base color; the top camouflage print is in values of green and grey and so are the shoes.  Head to toe, one base color, monotony relieved by the print.

To the right, various shades of caramel browns and deep brown. This is an example of using various textures to break up the use of one color. To the left, black vinyl pants and a layered silk and cashmere boat neck sweater over a windowpane black and white silky blouse.  Just a peek of the blouse at the hip and at the wrists break up the solid black. Black patent loafer add to the texture mix and extend the line and prevent me from looking too short.

Two different shades; one of dark reddish brown and the other a basic China red.  In the picture on

the left, notice the change of textures again, also the checked scarf and jewelry.  This outfit was worn with a black leather 3/4 length coat and a black Indiana Jones wool felt hat.  

The outfit to your right also uses a print with the jacket to create one line of color.  I could also wear red ankle boots (which I will this season) to update last winter's rage for riding boots.  I could also wear navy heeled ankle boots to extend the blue in the printed silk blouse.I would wear a red handbag if I wore the navy boots, and a navy handbag is I wore the red boots.

This uniform composition is a medium grey cable knit cashmere over a dark red shirt and worn with narrow legged deeper grey stretch pants.  I have on grey socks the same shade as the sweater.  The pop of black based with bright graphic printed scarf relieves the monotony of the grey while the black loafers pick up the black background of the scarf. The colors of the scarf add just the little bit of edge for this season's almost clashing color scheme with the maroon shirt whose sleeves just give a bit of pop at the wrists. (no, I would not wear red in my socks or shoes because with this color scheme it would break the line-the black shoes recede so I am okay).  I could also wear my gray suede wedge boots with the ensemble, but the black loafers are "comfort shoes" and I was on my feet a lot the day this picture was taken.

One of my Lolita compositions; I am not sure this will get worn this season because I haven't the right occasion where I would wear this.  Party, anyone?

The outfit to the left is composed of a black flared skirt and a sporty sweater with a mustard stripe around the neckline.  This color scheme is exactly matched in the heeled pumps.  I will wear black tights and a black knee length black cashmere coat with this ensemble.  Simple but striking.  I can't wait to wear it.

(I make my style books up before the season starts.)

You may have seen this outfit before.  Head to toe royal blue popped with what I call my garish blouse.  It has too much color and would over power my body frame worn by itself.  It is great for just a frame around the face and a peep at the hip line.  The shoes are also a royal patent print with the exact red tones as in the blouse.  I carried a royal blue handbag with me that day.  I know, I know, today's "rules" say not to match shoes and handbag; I make up my own mind on that rule. I want the matchy-matchy look with this outfit.  The wild colors of the blouse add the only touch of "fad" I want in the outfit.  (note: remember the red outfit in the previous picture was composed of "old" classic pieces.  If I updated the boots I would alternate the color scheme to update the very classic look. Garish colors is a fad; not matching purse and boots is a fad.  Because of my age I am careful not to put too many current fashions into one look.  That is a Geneva rule based on my age, personal style, etc.  Make up the rules that work the best for you.

The outfit on your left is the "new" (very old) cropped flares. I will wear totally monochrome in this outfit because I am short.  I will also wear grey tights and grey heeled ankle boots to offset the shortening effect of the pants.  I am wearing a crew neck top to add the maximum amount of grey (both top and bottom in the same shade).  The white mock turtle neck that will peek out just at the hip line and the "V" caused by the black cross necklace gives a very "hip" look to the outfit, but is starkly elegant, as suits my age and aesthetic. I will further carry out the gray theme with a gray snakeskin purse and a grey ankle length wool coat.  Very austere, very sophisticated.  I can also wear a short faux fur vertical striped hip length jacket should the occasion be more relaxed.  For younger mature fashionistas who can wear this style, I would also suggest sporty footwear and a gray cardigan sweater for a very "now" look. (there is a vast difference in being a mature 40 and a mature 70 in what makes a good fashion fit; it still blows my mind when I realize Gwen Stefani is on the shady side of forty and looks wonderful, even in extreme fashion forward ensembles.)

I trust the above combinations have given you ideas for how you can use monochrome dressing in ways that will not be boring.  Based on your age and imagination, you can use color to design looks that will be both youthful and flattering. Remember that monochrome dressing is probably not your best choice if you are very tall and slender.  Other uses of color would usually be in your best interest.  Check out your body type, then your closet for possibilities.  I will be creating a few more personal runways to demonstrate other design elements such as line, texture, scale, and proportion (note: you have seen some elements of using texture in the monochrome displays.  I work with texture a lot because it updates the tired look of dye vat dressing that can occur with matchy-matchy dressing using a "suit" with both top and bottom of the same materials-so 1980-early '90's career girl look). You might want to scroll back through previous runway posts to view additional examples of monochrome dressing.

Remember to check out my other blogs; they are all tied together. addresses general topics for mature women in all three disciplines of up to date styling issues; attitude and personal style, styling issues for the specific roles within our lifestyle (,) and how we can best flatter our bodies for these role.  We also share "how to" tips on diet, exercise, and other related issues ( to let us "Rock our age." Rockmyrunwaay addresses styling examples of our topics from my own closet and represents my body type.  Of course, many of these examples can apply to anyone. 

Happy styling,

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