Soft, demure and petite are all terms that can be used to describe the feminine side of fashion. Rugged, edgy and hard are the contrasting terms used when referring to the more masculine clothing pieces. Finding ways to exude these two styles of dress fairly easy, but this spring a new palette of has emerged. The art of merging the worlds of hard and soft can be quite the complex task. Fusing the worlds of soft and hard requires its wearers to know their physical proportions, color palette and desired style outcome.
The first step in mastering the art of hard and soft is first determining what your desired look is. This look may be as close or as far away from your everyday style and appearance as you want it to be. But understand and take note of the fact that when making drastic changes and departures from your normal wardrobe, you must be ready to adapt, accessorize and adjust to compromise with the new style palette created by your look.
Researching celebrities, bloggers and other fashionistas who have tried the look will help you get a grasp on where you want to cast your net for
determining your look. In addition to researching others who have mastered the look, you can also obtain tips on how to achieve the most polished or rugged interpretation of your look. Although you may initially feel like a “copycat” for following someone else’s techniques, remember that “imitation is the highest form of flattery.” Instead of trying something and it coming out a failure, I will always suggest replicating what’s been previously done by others. Furthermore, in fashion, a large amount of what we wear is a replicated version of more expensive haute couture items shown on the runways.
A good way to find a style look is to describe who you want to be when you wear the look. Ask yourself the questions; Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do I want to look?
Use descriptive terms to describe this guy or guy that you want to be. Some popular hard and soft men’s and women’s looks are “the newcomer,” “the daredevil” and my personal favorite, “the person with nothing to lose.” A more literal definition of these three styles would be easy, medium and hard. Although through using descriptive terms and catchy titles it makes it that much easier to visualize the direction your look is going.
The women’s three style looks aren’t as cut and dry as the male ones for a majority of reasons. Mostly this less abstract distinction is due in part to the fact that women’s fashion contains such a large amount of clothing pieces that come in a greater variety of shapes and sizes than male fashion.
The female newcomer look is one that is easily attainable and just requires a bit of matching and adjusting to pattern and shape. A good introduction to this look would be to focus on color. For example, a soft, pastel-colored blouse and a black-and-white striped skirt, paired with spiky heels is an innocent way to try the look. The daredevil would go a little bit further by wearing a pastel lace blouse, leather jacket and liquid leather leggings. A great example of a girl with nothing to lose would wear colored-constructed button-down top, a plum leather peplum skirt, and lace embroidered tights.
The male’s three style looks have less variation, but on a more positive note really lend their wearers the ability to completely change who they are and the style look in which they are defined by.
A crewneck colored sweater, wax-treated jeans and boat shoes are a good example of the newcomer look of hard and soft. An outfit the daredevil male would choose to wear might consist of a plaid button-down shirt, black leather pants and Timberland mid-length boots. A black leather jacket, an asymmetrical diagonal henley shirt, a Scottish kilt and combat boots may seem like an extreme take on hard and soft, but this look is truly the epitome of a guy with nothing to lose in fashion.
Balancing the mystery of hard and soft may initially seem like a battle, but I encourage you to view it as a challenge to redefine yourself. The journey to merging the style classes of hard and soft can be huge journey into self-discovery, and I encourage you to embark on it today