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As a lifelong lover of colours on the cooler end of the spectrum, I have always struggled to draw myself away from the calming tones of blue, green and purple. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to broaden my horizons and embrace the colour of the season: pink. Breast cancer has affected many people in my life, and I’ve had a front row seat to their tenacious battles with this horrible disease. Witnessing their struggles has only strengthened my resolve to support this worthy cause and Wear it Pink this October.

So, here’s the challenge – create as many “pink” looks for the month of October, using the crossover blouse and wrap over skirt in rose pink.

The first look obviously has to be the blouse and skirt co-ord. I love the way the fabric comfortably moulds to my silhouette, and the lining on the skirt adds to the feeling of luxury and softness. While this co-ord will remain a favourite in my books, I want to explore the ways I can take these pieces from boardroom to bar and workday to weekend, so that I can slim down my wardrobe and better embrace my philosophy of investment dressing.

From here I decide to try the rose pink with white. Nothing expresses my personal style better than pairing a pencil style skirt with a peplum blouse. Having an Audrey Hepburn inspired moment, I decided the perfect accessory for this look is a pair of sunglasses, reminiscent of the pair she wore in Breakfast at Tiffanys. Combining this look with a jacket for the office, then “zhuzhing” it up with some fabulous gold accessories is the perfect way to take this look from work to wineglass with minimal fuss.

Keeping with the pink and white theme, I then explored some of the ways I could dress down the skirt for those occasions where you want to look nice but not overdone. Starting with a white singlet top and the pink skirt, I was able to tie the look together with some beautiful accessories, as well as softening the top half by layering with my favourite white vest.

Being the bold colour that it is, the rose pink has to be the focal point of any look I create. So pairing patterns with this colour does present something of a challenge – you want to create interest in the look, but too bold a pattern and the outfit will make your eyes pop (and not in a good way!) The solution? Stick with black and white. Patterns like stripes and polka dots always pair so well with this shade of pink. These two tops have become favourites when I fly, owing to their soft texture and ease of restyling when I’m trying to travel light.

Moving on to another neutral – black. The general rule of thumb is to pair cooler tones with lighter neutrals and warmer tones with darker neutrals. Despite this, I generally navigate towards light neutrals with my warmer tones as I worry dark neutrals will dilute the colour. For this combination, I wanted to create a work day to date night transition with minimal effort using black and pink. Initially I thought this would be an easy undertaking, however it took many different top and shoe combinations to find the right look. After much trial and error, I discovered the secret is to create balance by having an equal amount of black both above and below the skirt. I achieved this by pairing my black turtleneck top with black stockings and boots for my work day, then swapping to a black singlet top and strappy heels for date night. By doing this, the pink skirt remains the focal point and I can adjust the look with minimal changes. And as an extra bonus, I have figured out how to style the skirt for winter!

The next logical step was to start introducing more colour. Many people are afraid of colour blocking for fear that they stand out for all the wrong reasons. If you’re a colour theory expert, colour blocking will come as naturally as a fish to water. For those who don’t have as much experience, the colour wheel will be your best friend! I knew the orange peplum blouse would pair perfectly with the pink skirt for two reasons:

  1. They’re analogous colours
  2. I’ve never gone wrong pairing a fitted skirt with a peplum blouse – it’s my bread and butter!

Deciding to embrace my bold even further, I started playing around with pink and blue. This was purely based on instinct, and I was thrilled with the result! Following my own advice in reverse, I checked the colour wheel and discovered that this shade of blue is a tetradic colour pairing for the rose pink. While you’ll probably never see me try to execute the entire tetradic rectangle in one look, this is definitely a blocking technique I’ll be trying again soon.

The final task was to dress the pieces down even further for those days when I need something comfortable to run errands in. Many of you are probably questioning my sanity right now, as the recent proliferation of active wear makes for a more logical choice than the crossover blouse and wrap over skirt. At this point, I am reminded of an occasion many years ago when I was working in the manufacturing sector. My first role in the sector was mostly office based and required the usual office attire. Once I was promoted, my work attire gravitated towards hi-vis and steel cap boots, owing to the amount of time I had to spend onsite. One day, I was wearing a dress with a pair of heels and a colleague said to me “This is an unusual getup for you Jac!” It was in that moment I resolved there was to be no more procrastinating – it was time to follow my dream and start DRSSD.

Dressing the blouse and skirt for running errands didn’t prove to be as complicated as one may expect, and I put this down to how comfortable the pieces are to wear. There’s the obvious go to blue jeans with the crossover blouse which does the job, however I much preferred pairing a denim jacket with a plain top and the skirt. I also paired the crossover blouse with a pair of beige trousers that are the perfect weight for autumn and spring weather. The final look was a grey t-shirt paired with the pink skirt and trainers. It’s taken me a long time to get onboard with the dress/skirt and trainers combo, however seeing the beautiful combination these pieces create, I expect you’ll see me strolling aisles in the supermarket in this particular outfit in days to come.

Jac xx