I'm Fiona, a 18-year-old high school senior. I've got this Forever 21 dress in a severe (hmm, how do I say it?) print, the prints are black-and-white swirls/florals. I don't know what to wear with it without distracting from the prints. Colorful heels might be too loud, while black heels are too monochromatic? What do you think?
PS I'm a great fan of your site! I aspire to be like you :)
Like you, the first accessories I think to pair with this dress are either black or bright. Both are valid options. I assume you are going to wear this dress more than once, and would like to try some different styling options.
Safe. Accessorize in black or white. There is nothing wrong with pairing this dress with black heels and a black bag. In fact, that might be the route you’d choose if you wore this dress to a conservative event, like a church service (hopefully with a black cardigan on top!)
Obvious. We’ve all become so style-jaded that adding a bright “splash of color” to a neutral outfit is considered predictable. True, adding red heels is pretty obvious, but also carrying a bright yellow clutch can add a note of originality. What about bright turquoise shoes and a fuchsia shrug? Feel free to accessorize with brights, but add two different colors for a fresh approach.
Browns. It might feel odd to consider, but mixing browns into a black and white outfit can be very chic. Try this dress with a short-sleeved, chocolate brown, safari jacket, a wooden bangle, and woven brown flats. The dress is transformed from sharp and graphic to earthy and ethnic. If you do brown, though, do it thoroughly. If you wear just brown heels with this dress, people may think you dressed in the dark.
Print Mixing. Admit it – if you wear a dress like this, people will be watching you. Why not live up to your inner diva fantasies and pair this with accessories in black and white prints? How about zebra pumps? Or a black and white checked bag? Use caution if you’re adding more than one additional print; you could cause a car accident. I’d choose a printed bag or printed shoes, but not both.
Subtle. As I mentioned earlier, bright colors are the obvious accent choice. However, a more muted tone, like eggplant purple or sage green can add color to your ensemble without screaming, “Look at me! I’m an accent color!” With a toned down color, you can add two accessories of the same shade without looking too matchy-matchy. I’d stay away from pastels, though. Maybe it’s just me, but pastels seem very out of date at the moment.
Perhaps my readers have some more suggestions?