Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Breaking the Rules

That old fashion dictum that you shouldn't wear more than one boldly-printed item per outfit is so deeply etched in my mind that I have a hard time questioning it. I'll happily wear the leopard print shoes, but not with a leopard print blouse. Despite the fact that I embrace mixed and layered prints in interior decorating, that attraction doesn't affect the way I dress. Until, perhaps, now.

I love the more-is-more aesthetic of this Gap ad. Even though the two striped items bear identical patterns (rather than ones that just use the same color palette), the outfit still works, coming across as playful, even joyous. It doesn't overwhelm because the rest of the outfit is completely tame, comprising the simplest shapes, textures and colors. All you focus on are the stripes, and without them, the clothes would be utterly bland. I also wonder whether the fact that the patterned pieces are at opposite ends of the body, with the plain fabric giving the eye a breather, keeps the prints from being too busy. I won't be racing out to Gap to buy these matching pieces, but I do intend to keep their styling idea in mind for future outfit inspiration.

Gap ad from Lucky, December '07.

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