In my new series (upon request of my readers) on sharing how to interpret the personality style of an outfit and the elements within it, here I’m sharing my Picasso top inspired outfit.
Every garment you wear is likely to have more than one personality element to it. How you put an outfit together will change the way you interpret the personality style of the outfit as a whole.
The top is a vintage silk (1980s minus the shoulder pads) batwing top with a Picasso painting printed onto it. Teamed with a black straight skirt to make it look more like a dress, and because this top really is a hero, it doesn’t need anything else to fight for attention.
The top – the Picasso painting is wearable art(Creative)but it’s a very large scale print (Dramatic). The shape is boxy and comfortable (Relaxed).
The skirt – straight shape in black (Classic), stretch knit (Relaxed) with panels in different fabrics (Creative).
The earrings – dangly and sparkly (Feminine) but a little unusual in colour combination and design (Creative). Notice that the colours in the earrings are almost all contained within the Picasso print, plus the top has small beading detail on it which creates related shapes to the small bead detail on the earrings.
Cocktail Ring – worn during the day (Creative), large in scale (Dramatic), made from sparkly stones (Feminine).
Shoes – beige leather flatform wedge (Relaxed)
Hairstyle – Bob with no concave shape – smooth and straight (Classic)
Makeup – Noticeable but not heavy makeup, pink eyeshadow (Feminine)
Interestingly, my husband hates this top (I’d call it a man-repeller), but women love it. I think it’s the large scale print and that it’s boxy and doesn’t work with the ‘figure flattery’ body shape rules (no I don’t look slimmer in this top and it doesn’t show off my female shape). It’s interesting to me how often what women like and men like can be poles apart!
I have been following your fabulous blog for many years now, Imogen. I am totally struck by how beautiful you look. When you first went blonde, I did not think this look suited you as I loved your dark hair. However, I must say that it really looks great on you and shows us all that we should never say no to changes in our looks as they may be the best things for us.
Thanks so much Rebecca – you are very kind. It took me a year to get used to the blonde myself. Going lighter can be more flattering with age.
I have followed your blogs for some years also and have seen how you have changed your image from being dark haired to your current lovely blonde look. I am really impressed with your style and love to see pictures of you in your outfits. You really have gone into detail with image advice. For example, categorizing descriptions of what you are wearing, say earrings – feminine, top – dramatic and so on. I just love it. You are an inspiration to me. Thanks so much.
I think that top really suits you but I feel a bit puzzled about contrast levels: the top’s contrast level seems medium to high to me, while your personal contrast level seems significantly lower, and despite that, you really look fabulous in it!. Could that be because of the color contrasts, which are maybe more “in tune”?
Yes the value contrast is higher – it has light and dark – but because it also has a medium colour in between, it actually brings the value contrast down to medium – which is why it works! Plus it’s more dramatic which works with the dramatic element of my personality and I can break the rules.
Thank you, it makes much more sense now.
Teeehh 😀 I have a lovehate relationships with batwing tops and giant prints myself – so in a way I can feel for your husband – but I do think this tops looks great on you. Basically I find them pretty difficult to pull off but when everything clicks together they’re fabulous. You aren’t a pro for nothing ;).
I have those same earrings btw! They were sold at Zara last year (or was it the year before? Bit fuzzy atm) here in Italy. Really pretty. They had two slightly different batches too… First batch (and the one on their site pics) had the biggest bead in orange red, the second looked closed to the one you are wearing – biggest bead seems more orange-orange -. <— The detailed stuck as I went to buy another pair for a friend and could only find the second batch version.
Yes the earrings were from Zara last year.
P.S.: please forgive all the typos :,)
I love this new series about interpreting style element of clothes. It is very eye opening . Thanks!
Also I find this husband hates this top, but women loves it really interesting . What do you with such items? Do you wear it regardless? or just wear it when you do not have much interaction with him?
I have this amazing cashmere/wool cardigan with a unusual belt and gathering, and I always get compliments on it from females, but my husband hates it. Unfortunately he can not keep this opinion to himself, but he tells me every time he sees me in it. I ended up wearing it maybe only 5-6 times all winter , because his comments make me feel bad about wearing it.
Up to you – I wouldn’t wear something my husband didn’t like on a date with him. But I will wear it to work or someplace I want to wear it. And maybe you could tell your husband that you know he hates it and you understand that and he can stop telling you!
I asked a long time ago about formality regarding prints and texture, How would you interpret formality when it comes to a garment cut and fabric?
Its something Ive trying to research for but cannot find an answer. Like for example, Ive two pair of nicer pair of black pants, that are not as dressy as dresspants but they don’t come off very casual either. One pair has a more tailored cut (fit & flare) but has a thick rayon knit similare to knit blazers while the other ones has the fabric of the dresspants but a very loose and tapered “slouch” cut. They looks like this: https://scontent-ams3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpl1/v/t1.0-0/s526x395/12733419_500269456848340_5362990282994968038_n.jpg?oh=bea7691797a0769e7874d3c1254b2d5c&oe=576120D0
I also have a peplum blazer style jacket but the description says “sweatshirt” which also make a bit confused as I wouldnt mix up a hoodie and peplum blazer in the same category.
Because my lifestyle is more flexible (can wear basically anything I want) and Ive a dressier slightly classic style (with egdy and feminine details), I often purchase these kind of versions instead as they would suit me better (worn both casually and dressy), but I often find it hard to interpret the formality of them. So when choosing between options like this (tailored but relaxed fabric versus dressier fabric and more relaxed cut), which one usually “triumph” when it comes to formality the most?
Have you had a look at this post Lina https://insideoutstyleblog.com/2014/02/how-formal-is-that-print-or-fabric.html
The more ‘soft’ or relaxed the fabric the less formal the garment – so the slouch pants are less formal in style (more yin because of the curves) than a tailored cut.
As far as what to wear – it’s really down to your personality and what you think is appropriate for the occasion.
You look utterly fabulous! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts
Thanks so much!
Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. The shirt is awesome, but I think the earrings are as stunning!
I am not a fan of batwing sleeves but I think you pull off this top very well!
I feel like I remember commenting on this top before–either on Instagram or here. I can’t remember. What I do remember is that I LOVE IT! I think it’s the coolest. Also, those earrings are so lovely.
Thanks for coming over and linking to the Kremb de la Kremb Style Stories No. 12 Link Up.
Imogen, you look STUNNING! And I have to echo the others, when I started reading your blog (fairly recently) and saw that you went from dark to blond, I had my doubts. But like others have said also, the lighter hair really looks stunning on you. I’ve done the experiment by asking my husband how he likes your Picasso top – he looked at it, then re-looked as if he thought his eyes are playing a trick on him, then came closer to have a proper look and then he said puzzled: “What happened to his/her NOSE?” 😉 I nearly rolled on the floor laughing! So it seems that some men don’t have an eye for art and that your beautiful top is just above what they are capable of appreciating! 😉 Keep wearing it – you look stunning!