Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reader Question

Happy New Year, everyone! I am so excited for 2011- I feel like this year truly has some good things in store, not just for me, but for my family, friends, coworkers, etc. As I reflect back on 2010, I realize I definitely made the right decision to pack up and move out of PA and back to NH. Even though it has made the blog more difficult to maintain, I realize it was the right thing to do for my career, my personal life and even for my mental health. If you are the type to make New Year's resolutions (I'm SO not), then I encourage you to resolve to make change in your life where you need to. It is not always an easy decision to make a major change, but I promise you will not regret it. Whatever it is in your life that is causing you grief or pain, take steps to resolve the issues- it is the only way you will move forward in your life.

Ok, I'm stepping off my soap box now! I don't mean to get too preach-y here on the blog, but sometimes I really feel compelled to say what is on my mind, even if it is not fashion related. But speaking of fashion-related things, I received the following message from reader Miguel a few days ago and I wanted to take a moment to respond:

Hello from the internet! I just want to say I enjoy your blog, and that I appreciate some of the guy tips you have thrown out there. Especially the holiday outfit suggestions... so that brings me to a question I have... :-) What's the rule for wearing black dress pants with a not matching black jacket? It looks like a no-no to me, but is there a time when that would makes sense? Should you ever wear a blazer with anything other than light colored slacks or jeans? Thanks! Miguel :)

First of all, I want to thank Miguel for writing to me- I LOVE to hear from the people who read my blog and I truly want to know what questions you have about fashion, style, sewing, or anything else. I always encourage you to leave a comment and I hope you feel as though I respond to them when appropriate. Additionally, I try to avoid badgering people into "following" or "subscribing" to my blog- I don't want you to feel as though you have to be a follower in order to be appreciated. 

And now to address Miguel's question: Can you wear black slacks with a non-matching black blazer? My opinion is this: if you are choosing to wear two non-matching black items, make sure they are decidedly different. For example, wear a solid black jacket with a pair of black pin-stripe trousers or vice-versa. If you pair two very similar, but ever-so-slightly different pieces, you run the risk of looking as though you simply mis-matched your black suits at the dry cleaner. Other distinctions can be fabric/textile choices: a pair of woolen dress pants with a cotton sateen jacket- the contrast in texture will distinguish the two from each other, but it will still look put-together and polished as opposed to looking like a mistake. 

Here are some great combinations of black pants and black blazers: 

 Both items available at Banana Republic (jacket, pants). 

You can find the blazer at Gap and the pants at Express. 

You all know how much I love dark jeans with a nice, tailored jacket, right? Let's not exclude that option OR its opposite- a denim blazer with trousers: 

The jacket is from Zara and the jeans can be found at Neiman Marcus. 

Zappos sells the jacket and the pants are the same ones from Express that are pictured above. 

While this post is geared specifically towards men because of Miguel's request, it also has applications for women. Check back in a day or two for the womens edition of monochromatic black outfits. 

In conclusion, I want to address Miguel's last question about only wearing blazers with light-colored pants or jeans. The answer is no- you can wear a blazer with any pair of pants that work- dark, light, cotton, wool, heavy, light- if it looks good, you can wear it- ignore the rules of your grandfather's generation. I personally love black blazers with charcoal or even light grey pants- it's a polished look without being a matching suit. Pair a navy jacket with chocolate brown pants for a twist on the more classic khaki/navy combination. And don't be fooled into thinking white or blue button-front shirts are the only options, either. But that's another post for another day. 

Miguel, I hope this has answered your question! Feel free to submit any other fashion/style questions you may have and I'll do my best to answer them! Happy New Year! 

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