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Monday, August 18, 2014

6 Pieces Of Style Advice Straight From The Garden

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Here at Dobbin, we love gardening almost as much as we love fashion. When we're not sketching dresses for next season, overseeing production, or filling orders, you can find us with our hands in the dirt (or, at the very least, pinning dreamy landscapes to our Pinterest page). In fact, flower beds, floral shops, and luxe landscape often inform our clothing designs. From color palettes to signature scents, here are a few fashion tips you can glean from the garden:

1. Don't be afraid of color. While the merits of a little black dress can never be overstated, it's a shame that so many women shy away from bold color in their wardrobes. All it takes is one look at a lush, colorful garden to see what we're missing when we fill our closets with nothing but slightly varied shades of ebony. What about watermelon pink? Vivid blue? Kelly green? Adding just one bold color to your closet can wake up your look and re-energize your whole wardrobe. Try playing with unexpected combinations, too: purple and orange. Red and pink. Blue and green. The options are truly endless.

2. Find a signature scent. Gardens aren't just feasts for the eyes - they are bounties for our noses as well. How many times have you leaned over to smell a gardenia, rose, or lilac, knowing exactly what scent to expect but still delighting in the familiar fragrance? We can achieve that same effect by finding a signature scent and wearing it every day. Anyone who gets close enough to detect it will start to associate the scent with you. A signature scent is sexy, classic, and a little mysterious. Bonus garden inspiration points for choosing a floral scent in a bottle that's almost as pretty as a real flower.

Rose, bergamot, pink pepper, and that bottle? Yes, please!
3. White, black, gray, and taupe aren't the only neutrals. For the past few years, fashion experts have insisted that it's time to expand our definition of "neutral." What is or isn't a neutral depends more on context than any hard and fast rules. Looking at a photo of a colorful flowerbed really drives this point home. Which colors fade into the background, allowing the others to take center stage? In the case of a garden, the most neutral colors are often shades of green - vivid and lively on their own, but when paired with hot pink or bright purple, suddenly they act more as a subtle backdrop than a bold hue of their own. You'd be surprised which shades can act as neutrals in your wardrobe. Play around with red, green, and yellow pieces (especially accessories) in the context of different outfits, and see what happens!

4. Weed out unnecessary extras to make the truly special things shine. You'd never notice even the brightest, most perfect bloom if it were overrun with weeds and foliage. The same goes for the gorgeous pieces in your closet. Don't get caught up in the pace of fast fashion and fill your wardrobe with cheap pieces you don't truly love. Buy quality pieces that make you feel amazing, and cull your closet of any less-than-amazing extras that are weighing you down. Not only will a well-edited wardrobe make it easier to get dressed in the morning, it helps hone your personal style and create memorable looks that are all your own.

5. Try mixing shades within the same color family. An outfit composed of contrasting, saturated colors will always grab attention, but there's another way to play with color: a limited palette within the same color family. Try pairing a pink dress with a red necklace. Splurge on an ombre scarf in a range of deep purples and barely-there lavenders. Add a light blue ribbon belt to a bright blue dress, like we've done below with our Vivian Dress. You don't need a ton of different colors in your outfit to make an impact -- a couple shades of the same one is often enough.

6. Perfection is overrated. Our favorite yards and gardens aren't the ones that are perfectly symmetrical and immaculately landscaped. They're the ones that have a sense of spontaneity, freedom, and playfulness. The same can be said for our favorite outfits. The fashion choices we make should feel organic, not uptight and prescribed by strict rules and worries. Fashion, at its heart, is about self-expression and joy. When we dress to reflect that fact, we look our best, feel our best, and reflect our best self to the world. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses, and don't forget to have a little fun with fashion. Why shrink into the background when you can bloom?


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