I Dare You!

Posted by Jill Chivers in Shop Your Wardrobe Strategies

One of the great joys of shopping your wardrobe is to Go Daring. To create an ensemble that’s a bit risky, a bit outside the boundaries of what you usually wear, that feels a bit daring to wear.

Clothes should be fun and clothes should offer choices.  There’s absolutely no need to buy something new (or even new to you) to inject some newness into your outfits.  Take some risks with what you already have!

My version of Going Daring is the ensemble you see at the very end of this post – the combo trench and skirt in the same pattern.  What’s daring about it to me is the combination of items – not the items in and of themselves.  I wear animal print every day – it’s my signature style.  When I’m wearing animal print, I feel it adds a dash of style and uplifts every ensemble, and often my mood.

This is how I would normally wear this ensemble:

Ensemble worn the usual way

Ensemble worn the usual way

Even though this outfit would be daring for many people, for me it’s my normal.  It contains animal print – check!  My signature style.  It contains a light, warm and on-the-bright-side colour (turquoise) – check!  One of my signature colours.  All good, all as per normal – at least for me.

To me, Going Daring was wearing the skirt with its matching trench.  I wondered if it would be Too Much – whether I would look like Peg Bundy gone mad.

But I was inspired by an episode of that classic sleuth television show from the 1970s, Columbo.  In the episode Try and Catch Me (1977), the legendary Ruth Gordon plays Abigail Mitchell, the perpetrator of the dastardly deed (but she had a good reason, and was apparently voted the most popular villain of the show).

Ruth Gordon was a diminutive woman – petite you might say, coming in at 5′ 1″ (1.55 m).  In the episode, she was beautifully dressed, and she wore quite a few shift dress-combined with-long jacket suit ensembles.  Stunning!  She was classy, she was classic and yet not staid or boring and it didn’t make her look even shorter (no mean feat).

I loved that look!

So I thought I’d give the concept a whirl in my own wardrobe.  Not owning a single suit anymore, I wasn’t sure how I could give this look a go, until I remembered I had an animal print and jacket (trench) that were in the same fabric.

And if you’re wondering why it took me a while to remember I had these two matching items, well it’s the darndest thing!  The skirt and jacket were not purchased together.  I purchased the jacket in Melbourne around 2007, and my mum purchased the skirt in Noosa later that same year.  I didn’t even know she owned the skirt or that it matched my trench until she saw me in the jacket and commented on it.  In an act of maternal generosity, she allowed me to permanently borrow the skirt and now I have this natty suit!

Here’s the suit, my Go Daring ensemble, which I’m a teensy bit excited to have discovered (and had the courage to wear – there’ll be more outings for sure!).

Go Daring

Go Daring

What’s daring for you?

Take the challenge to create at least one daring-for-you outfit over the coming 7 days.

  • Combine items you have never dared combine before – this skirt with that shirt, this jacket with those pants, this dress with that layering item
  • Add shoes that you would normally never dare wear with this ensemble before
  • Wear more accessories than you would normally never dare wear with this particular outfit
  • Show more flesh than you have not dared expose before – cleavage, legs, arms
  • Dare to change your makeup in some exciting way

Dare to show to yourself, and those you encounter in the day, a new version of yourself!




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