on edit: commenter Karen was kind enough to let us know that the authors of the 'cake vs frosting' concept are Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo. The book of theirs i read is Life In Color: The Visual Therapy Guide to The Perfect Palette - for Fashion, Beauty, and You! Thank You Karen!
So, here's the outfit that sparked the one in the last post. Sorry about the lighting! The days around here got real short all of a sudden (any Alaskan readers are viewing me with complete scorn right now). I'll most likely adjust my picture-taking times right around mid-April.....right when the days start getting perceptibly longer!
As i explained in my last post, I eyeballed this outfit in order to use it as inspiration for creating more successful looks along the same vein. The first thing i noticed was the clean lines of the silhouette - the fit is 'classic' (not too tight, not too loose) all through the outfit. No exaggerated blousing or tightness anywhere. The waist of the outfit falls at the natural waist. It's just a jacket and a skirt - no complicated layers or fancy edges peeking out. The top ends at the top of the legs (not cropped or down at the mid thigh or lower). There's not a lot of contrast in the main clothing items (color, light/dark, texture), or between them. Everything's kind of khaki to kind of a light medium brown. Even the scarf blends in, being composed of the same basic tones.
In other words, the clothing provides a calm, non-distracting background for any accessories. No exaggeration in contrast, fit, or cut of the clothing. The only place where there's any real concentration of detail and contrast is in the hat and boots, and so they are highlighted. The eye is drawn to these two accessories because the rest of the outfit is so plain and low-contrast. There's no danger of losing the 'style quotient' of just one or two accessories because the rest of the outfit is so low-key. Really, this formula is not that complicated - once you figure it out!
|Jacket off & the scarf jumps out|
'Frosting' consists of those drool-worthy pieces that you scrimp and save (or go into debt!) to obtain - the sequin flapper type top, the red satin trench coat, the black Tahitian pearl necklace, Cynthia's new boots. 'Frosting' pieces add life, detail, character, and interest to an outfit. 'All cake' outfits are......fine. But they can be boring and lifeless, and give no to little clue about the person in the outfit. 'All frosting' outfits are great for clubbing or getting married. But for a job interview or running down to get a gallon of milk, frosting all the way is too much.
Looked at in this way, i can see that i can expand my 'style spectrum' (as Paula put it in the comments to my last post) by creating outfits with just a touch of frosting on top of mostly cake. I'd been afraid that by doing so my style would not come across, that it would get lost......but through observing my fellow bloggers, and by analyzing my serendipitous outfit, i'm learning how to create the proper 'cake' background to showcase the frosting i want to highlight. I used to worry that if i didn't put across my style strongly in every piece of a look (or at least 75% of the pieces), that the impact would be significantly dulled. I still don't want to start wearing items that i can't relate to at all. But i'm getting a better feel for how to choose and use pieces as appropriate 'background'.
|the inspired outfit from last post|
The authors of the 'cake/frosting' idea recommend a typical wardrobe should consist of 80% cake, 20% frosting. I'd have to work with this concept a lot longer to be able to give an educated opinion about it, myself. Nevertheless, i'm grateful to them for giving me a very useful tool to use in expanding my range.
I am sorry to tell you that i didn't write down the name of the book or the authors of the 'cake/frosting' idea. It was written by two men. I've looked all over the web but can't for the life of me track them down in order to give them proper credit. Do any of you know who these authors are? I'd be so happy to find out!!
Hat: Renaissance Faire vendor, trimmed by me
Jacket: Ralph Lauren, old
Skirt: own design, inspired by some girls wander
Scarf, Earrings: own design
Boots: Bass Lamont
full disclosure: This outfit actually has a ton of layers, but they are all 'hidden'. On top: cotton spandex cami, lonsleeved cotton blend sweater, cashmere long sleeved cardi, wool jacket. On bottom: leggings, silk half slip, knee socks, skirt. Combined with hat, gloves, and scarf, i was nice and toasty!