How to style the best and scariest thing in your closet, starring Sister Jane
We all have that one piece in our closet that we adore, but definitely pushes us out of our comfort zone. For me, it’s this gorgeous Sister Jane dress which I'm obsessed with but am also terrified of styling. Other things that I’m lovingly intimidated by include the mixed print autumn trend currently sweeping through the high street, animal print flared trousers and big ass ruffles. I will never get the hang of the last one.
However I’ve learned not to put that crazy beautiful thing back on the rack and to take a chance on styling it if it really speaks to you. If you’ve got a wild statement piece you’re scratching your head over, here’s a few tips on making it work…
Paint with all the colours of the wind.
When it comes to tying it all together, you don’t necessarily have to go for a safe neutral. One easy way I get around accessorising or balancing a statement piece is by picking up one of the colours on your item of clothing.
For example in the case of this Sister Jane dress, I would happily wear a pair of sky blue brogues based off the zig zag pattern or a colour matched pastel pink handbag. But for this shoot, I actually decided to…
Play it safe.
There’s nothing wrong with opting for a neutral shade like white, black or nude when finishing off your look. Sometimes if you don’t have the patience to play Barbie and try literally every combination in your closet, a pair of pointed nude or black strappy heels will be your saving grace nine times out of ten. (Investments pieces man, they’re a thing.)
I chose to go this route and let my Sister Jane dress do the heavy lifting, though I tried to step my accessory game up a notch by choosing a black clutch in a wilder shape.
Swing Swing Midi Dress, Dream Sister Jane
Heels, Forever 21
Take pointers from the look book.
Brands literally pay people to make their clothes look cool AF and you might as well not let that good money go to waste. I’m not saying to completely rip off what their stylist has done, but it’s a great place to find inspiration. Shout out to whoever’s behind the Mango look books because they are KILLING IT.
In the case of my specific dress, the Sister Jane clothing look books tend to take a more pared back approach to styling - their styled shot opted for just a pair of pointed nude flats.
Use Instagram for research.
If you’ve bought a jaw-dropping piece of clothing, I can almost guarantee you somebody on Instagram has photographed themselves wearing it. If you find the official account for the fashion brand you’re wearing, you can tap on their tagged photos and scroll through to see if any other users have a cool take that dress or top you’ve picked up.
If you can’t find anything promising, you can also zip through the brand’s hashtags and in the case of bigger high street names like Topshop - sometimes there’s even subtags broken down into specific niches like TopshopDress or TopshopShoes.
Sometimes the best combinations are the most unexpected ones. When I have a lazy weekend afternoon or when I'm planning outfits for a shoot, I try to keep an open mind and follo w every crazy thought. Some of my favourite looks from the site have started off that way - for example my Chinese New Year outfit came about when I was trying to think of ways to dress down my formal qipao, so I shoved it into a pair of trousers.
Half the joy of styling is getting to put your personal stamp on an outfit (the other half is playing with pretty clothes). You're never too old for dress up TBH.
shop similar dresses
Sister Jane masterpieces and more below...