You can’t beat damask when it comes to fanciness factor. If you’re throwing a high-end dinner party, be sure to decorate your dining room with damask wallpaper, and damask drapes, and a damask tablecloth, and wear damask too, from head to toe. Peak damask is peak fancy shmancy. But don’t mess with damask, or damask will mess with you, and by that I mean I’ve said the word damask so many times now that I don’t even know what reality is anymore. DAMASK!
Being a smart woman who knows what she wants in today’s world means being aggressive and unafraid, passionate and driven. What better way to express such animalistic yearnings than by wearing an animal print? My favourite is leopard but feel free to experiment with zebra, tiger, crocodile, or heck, even giraffe! Any animal print will convey the idea that you’re a wild and sassy go-getter! But if you’re wearing the actual skin/fur of an actual animal, well, that conveys an entirely different message that will arouse a variety of reactions, depending on context and the people you surround yourself with. I’d say in today’s cultural climate it’s only safe to wear, say, baby seal fur if you’re in the actual arctic, living off the land and such.
Florals are feminine and flirty, and will make you seem both friendly and fancy. Indeed, floral is the perfect pattern to wear when executing a devilish deed, as no one would suspect the lady in the flowered dress. The show Marvel: Agents of Shield even played with this stereotype by having a villain named “lady in the flower dress”. So whether you’re working for a major corporation or simply doing your groceries, feel free to commit fraud or sneak a jar of olives into your handbag, as you’re sure to get away with it.
You can never go wrong with a stripe. Stripes are orderly and practical. They’re a good way to wear a pattern without fear of overdoing it, or drawing focus. Horizontal stripes are a classic, and many fear the vertical, but pinstripes are timeless and elegant. Gender-neutral and casual without being sloppy, stripes keep you on the level, and keep you in line.
What is more whimsical than the polka dot? A dress that might otherwise be viewed as overly fancy will immediately be rendered more casual if it’s made from a dotted fabric. On the flip side, something overly simplistic, such as a tee-shirt and jeans will become pleasantly playful if that tee is polka-dotted. A man in a polka-dotted tie will be seen as more friendly than a man wearing a stripe, or god forbid, a solid. Deploy a tiny, barely perceptible, dot for an upscale look, and go larger for a more daytime affair. The larger the dot, the more whimsical the look, right up to the point where you’re wearing a big red nose and floppy shoes, and absolutely killing it as you do so.
Unless you’re wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes, participating in the Highland Games, or are otherwise actively Scottish, you risk invoking a slight schoolgirl connotation when wearing plaid in skirt form. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, as plaid is also professional and entirely work-wear appropriate. Plaids involving red risks being too traditional, or too lumberjacky, but purple plaid is appealingly modern. You will be perceived as conservative yet kicky, which is the right balance to strike whether you’re in staff meetings, in your cubicle, or plotting revenge against those who’ve wronged you.
Black and white are a natural combination – opposites that look great together. Throw in any other colour and the combo still works. Literally any other colour. Try it, you’ll see. (Ok, orange might be a bit weird because black and orange evoke Halloween but even that is doable if you find the right shades.)
A rainbow marks clear skies after a storm, and is a symbol of beauty and pride, but wearing every colour all at once is a costume, rather than an outfit. But maybe that’s not a problem. Maybe costumes ARE the new outfits. Maybe we should all turn up at work wearing our comicon cosplay. It would certainly make the days more interesting. Go forth with costumery I say!
Pink and purple are sweet and feminine, and with turquoise in the mix, you have quite the My Little Pony experience. Aqua is crisp and cool, dusty rose is mellow, and violet is soothing, yet together these colours are a bold choice that could never be considered dull.
Green is cool, but its fun factor is ramped up when mixed with orange and yellow, which both sit on the warm side of things without getting too hot. All together there is an ease to this colour combination, perhaps because each colour transitions into the next on the spectrum. Truly, this combination is citrus personified – summery, sunny, and whimsical while maintaining a certain sourness, thus preventing the whole thing from being too cute to tolerate.