Some things naturally pair well together, like peanut butter and jelly or balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The same goes for fashion (think: tights and dresses or button-downs and blazers). This winter, we dare you to stand out with unexpected, surprising combos that defy the norm.
Neutralize the grandeur of gilded brocade pants with a cozy slouchy sweater, or consider pastel-on-pastel and opt for a frosty gray overcoat (as opposed to classic black) to top an icy-pink holiday shift dress. Got a no-nonsense, no-frills blouse? Lessen the conservative look with an over-the-top accessory. See all eight pairings to give your wardrobe a refreshing spin.
1. Cozy Sweater + Brocade PantsWho says fashion and comfort can’t coexist? Tone down the grandeur of gilded brocade pants with a slouchy knit. Keep the look polished by pairing similar shades (note how our picks both have warm undertones).
Sweater: J.Crew, wool, yak and nylon, $443; jcrew.com
Pants: Galitzine, polyester, acetate and acrylic, $821; farfetch.com
3. Lace Dress + BroguesA frothy dress that boasts tulle and lace can easily cross into excessively saccharine territory. Nix sweet, dainty heels and go for a masculine shoe in graphic contrasting colors for a charming effect.
Dress: Alice by Temperley, nylon and polyester, $490; net-a-porter.com
Brogues: KG by Kurt Geiger, leather, $214; asos.com
4. Statement Necklace + Button-DownA buttoned-up blouse (yes, all the way up!) doesn’t necessarily have to seem straitlaced. Flashy jewels or chunky chains deliver an air of lightheartedness without looking gaudy-just keep it to one loud piece per outfit.
Necklace: Baublebar, acrylic, $38; baublebar.com
Button-Down: Boy by Band of Outsiders, cotton, $265; lagarconne.com
5. Tweed Jacket + Cross-Body PurseTweed is one of winter’s star textiles, thanks to its sturdy woven nature and ladylike origin. Shoulder a bold purse in a bright shade, like cobalt blue, which serves up a refreshing change against the conservative fabric.
Jacket: Joie, cotton and polyester, $298; joie.com
Purse: Danielle Nicole, manmade, $38; hsn.com
6. Silky Pants + Sexy StilettosTapered trousers embody the comfort of pajama bottoms while retaining some semblance of professionalism. Throw tuxedo stripes in the mix, and you’ve got yourself one sharp looking pant. Go a sexy step further with gold-plated killer heels.
Pants: Tibi, polyester, viscose and elastane, $295; tibi.com
Stilettos: Aldo, textile, $90; aldoshoes.com
7. Cocktail Dress + Winter Coat
8. Stacked Rings + Studded Clutch