Today I was stranded at the gym with blue leather shoes. They're definitely hot shoes, but not with the outfit I was wearing. Buying new a shirt or a matching accessory was an option, but I decided to be frugal rather than fashionable.
The scenario: The non-profit company that I work for has a free gym for employees. For the last several weeks, I've run a daily brisk mile on the treadmill and lifted a few weights. Today, I tried a new routine. Rather than work out in the middle or end of the workday, I hit the free gym before work.
Great idea. I had my gym shoes. I had the rubber shower shoes ($2.49 from CVS), but the Joan and David black leather pumps ($7 dollars on sale at Marshalls versus the full price of $90) were not in my gym bag.
No problem. I typically have an extra pair or two stashed in my office. But today, only the blue shoes were left. They're a pair of Nine West Shoes ($6 on sale ) made from soft blue leather and three-inch stacked heels.
These shoes look hot with the $15 powder blue, light wool suit I found at a yard sale or the blue and brown skirt that was a hand-me-down from a friend. But today, I looked like a fashion don't, as in: don't mix those colors!
The administrative assistant in the office very was kind. She looked at my outfit and studied the situation.
"Do you have an appointment today? Do you have a meeting? Do you have to see anyone today?"
No. No. No, I said. My only appointment was with the keyboard and phone.
"Well. You're fine," she said, adding: "The shoes look...OK."
I wasn't convinced. The clash annoyed me and I knew that I could easily pick up a matching or complementing shirt for under $10 at the shopping center located dangerously across from my office. After a quick stop at the clearance sections at Gap and Ann Taylor Loft, I returned back to the office without making a purchase.
I learned a lot from my day of clashing colors:
1) Pack carefully. Whether you're going to a foreign country or just to the gym, it pays to double check your bags. Shopping for missing items can cost time or money.
2) Don't settle for near matches. To her credit, the salesclerk at Ann Taylor Loft nixed the blue shirts that I had selected as possible replacements. "Your blue shoes are much lighter than that," she said. I discovered that almost-but-not-quite matches can look worse than an outright clash.
3) Ignore your shoes. No one cared about my clashing shoes but me.
4) Turn a mistake into a fashion statement. So what if my black skirt and and yellow sweater set clashed with the baby blue shoes? I converted my error into a bold trend of extreme accent colors.
5) Whatever! By midday, I stopped caring about my shoes, my sweater and skirt. Hurricanes are threatening parts of the U.S. A historical presidential election is underway and my shoes don't match. Big Deal. Make life really happen!
6) Convert mistakes. My fashion mistake sparked a very productive day. I spent a lot of time in my office writing.
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