Remember Fashion Plates? Admit it – you loved them!
My first foray into fashion was wearing out the pages of the JCPenney, Sears and Wards Christmas catalogs. After dog-earing the pages with cute boots, dresses and hip jeans with roller skate patches on the tush, I would spend hours thumbing through the toy section making my selections that hopefully Santa would bring. He pulled through…and brought me Fashion Plates. Since I couldn’t actually buy all those divine clothes, I spent hours mixing & matching imaginary outfits, scrubbing their outlines with a black crayon, then filling in lovely patterns and colors to present at the supper table (note: “supper” at our house = dinner at everyone else’s). I experimented, using alternate Crayola colors for the outlines, making up my own funky patterns, and even mixing up the plates to pair boots with a tennis skirt – rebel!
As I was organizing my closet last week, I fondly remembered this fabulous gift that shaped my childhood. How can I simplify, but still mix & match to fake like I have an expansive wardrobe?
Sadly, most of my clothes are solid colors. Great for easy coordination, but blah (Fashion Plates, you made me a pattern snob!). So I first took out everything I haven’t worn in the last year and will donate them a local non-profit organization, like Dress For Succes. From what remained, I got rid of a lot of duplicates…you can only have so many pairs of black pants, black shirts, black shoes…you get the idea. With all my basic pieces and solid colors in order –literally, grouped together by color – I made a plan to fill in the blanks with more patterns, bright colors, and fun pieces.
- Dressy tees with a front ruffle at Ann Taylor Factory Store ($14.99), I got the pink, brown & black patterned ones. Well, they do go with my dress slacks, as well as my jeans, khaki capris, and walking shorts.
- This great dress from Kenneth Cole ($59.99) – bonus that it’s a lightweight stretch knit which means that you can throw it in your suitcase, wash & dry it, and wear it over and over. Throw a black sweater over it for cool evenings, or wear it to work.
- I’m donating my plain black handbag and I’m treating myself to a fabulous new handbag in a bright color (see The Outlet Fashion Expert blog for suggestions).
How’d I do? Maybe for my next blog I’ll take you inside my closet. Or we could start analyzing my husband’s half…!
Now for YOUR challenge…what’s your best Fashion Plate advice?