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The Magic of Juxtaposition in Creating Great Outfits

January 12, 2021

Welcome to Dressed for My Day, where I’m always playing around with multiple mini series at once. Ha! Yeah, I love me a good mini series. They give me the opportunity to really think through a topic piece by piece and grow along with you as I process one step and then another. And they keep me from writing too many monster-size posts! Today I’m continuing our Oh, So Pulled Together mini series by sharing the magic of juxtaposition in creating great outfits.

The Magic Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition: the act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or contrast or to create an interesting effect


Juxtaposition adds interest to an outfit, of course. But it also indicates an intentional choice was made. That intention is one of the keys of looking oh, so pulled together. Remember, we decided that a little effort goes a long ways when creating a chic look, so we don’t want contrasts all over the place in an outfit. Just one little unexpected point of whimsy or contrast will do the trick.

See if you can pinpoint the contrasting elements in each of the outfits below that create the magic of juxtaposition.

Bold & Sassy
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Juxtaposition can be created with contrasting accessories or garments. When we wear heels or pearls (or both!) with jeans we’re creating the magic of juxtaposition.

Pink Coat with Blue Jeans Stripe Tee and Red Cardigan
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You can also create juxtaposition with colors that you wouldn’t expect to see together.

Blazer and Tee and Jersey
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We also create juxtaposition when we pull pieces from different parts of our wardrobe to create an unusual outfit.

Ways to Wear Joggers this Fall
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For instance, when you wear something that is traditionally considered to be active or loungewear with something that is generally reserved for the office, you definitely created an interesting contrast.

What I Wore on Our DayTrip
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Sometimes designers interject juxtaposition within their design. For instance, sneakers with heels, dresses designed for playing outside or hoodies on fine cashmere sweaters.

J.Jill Dress
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Anytime we top a dress or other “dressy” garment with a denim jacket, we’re using the magic of juxtaposition.

Eclectic & Fun
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We also create a little magic when we wear contrasting prints. One of the easiest prints to pair with another print somewhere in your outfit is any animal print.

Style Formula #1 - Top This!
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I know some readers don’t care for ripped or distressed jeans. But I love the effect of wearing slightly distressed jeans with a silk blouse and heels. In fact, if you’re going to wear distressed jeans, you’ll definitely look more grown up and pulled together if you create a little juxtaposition with them.

Be on the look out for ways to use your chambray shirt to create a little juxtaposition magic, too.

chambray shirt
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Even wearing a long sleeve shirt with shorts creates a little juxtaposition. The key is simply choosing a lightweight top that is still cool and comfortable.

denim shorts
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Button up your cardigan and wear it as a top. Magic!

textured 3/4 sleeve cardigan
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Or wear that bright pink cardigan with a black and white all over outfit! Magic!

Styling Polka Dots for Spring
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Okay, I’ll get out of the way and let you train your eyes on the next few photos. You find the magic!

3 Ways to Wear Crop Chinos for Spring and Summer
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Favorite Travel Outfit Two Ways
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Do You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome
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5 Ways to Wear a Red Suit
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Fall T-shirt with jeans and corduroy jacket
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A Fun Fall Look for Later
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Obviously I love the magic of juxtaposition. In fact, I have to resist its allure sometimes. I do like more cohesive outfits, too. So I don’t want to lean into this style tool every day. But it sure is fun. Here are a few of the items I keep in my wardrobe so that I can easily create a little juxtaposition:

  • fashion sneakers
  • denim jacket
  • graphic tees
  • animal print accessories: belt, shoes, handbag, etc.
  • whimsical brooches
  • colorful pieces (like my pink coat, red blazer, green cardigan, etc.)
  • pretty and comfortable pumps
  • wearable blazers
  • pearls
  • earrings with gemstones

Thanks so much for dropping in today. I hope you enjoyed this little bit of style inspiration. Will you be doing a little juxtaposition magic today? I’d love to hear about how you incorporate juxtaposition into your outfits.

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Blessed for My Day

Have you ever been through a season of life when your thoughts were absolutely consumed by one particular thing in your life? I had a season like that a few years ago. A specific struggle just absolutely captured my thoughts. And as much as I would try to stop thinking about it, I couldn’t. I felt dominated, like I was in bondage and out of my own control. It was very frustrating. I finally got victory over it, but it was an anxiety-ridden season of my life.

That’s why I know what it means to keep your mind “stayed on” something. The problem is that when our minds are “stayed on” anything or anyone other than the Lord, we will experience that same frustrating bondage that I felt. And those consuming thoughts lead to high anxiety, paralysis and panic. On the other hand, when we keep our minds stayed on the Lord, He keeps us in perfect peace. Ahhh. Why does that happen? Because a mind stayed on God is a mind that trusts completely in Him. Today I challenge us to stay our minds on God, reflecting on His character, ways and words. And let’s see if our anxiety isn’t settled with His all-consuming peace.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. ~ Isaiah 26:3

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xoxo, Kay
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12 thoughts on “The Magic of Juxtaposition in Creating Great Outfits

  1. Good morning Kay. I love these outfits. I am a very big fan of juxtaposition, I do it a lot! It can make an outfit wow!!! Everybody needs a little wow now and then. I have had more than a few seasons in my life where I am consumed with a problem. Sometimes when you are going through that time it is hard to focus on God , but I keep trying?. I hope your day is blessed.

  2. Wow, this post is jammed back with things to think about. First of all, the BfMD is outstanding and perfect for everything that is happening in our world! I love the idea of juxtaposition and I find it so helpful that you pointed it out in the outfits above. Some ways I am already doing (and didn’t know it!) and other ways you have shown has given me ideas that I can create with my own wardrobe. You rocked it today, Kay, thanks so much!

  3. Like your post today with the juxtaposition in your outfits. I do it sometimes and did not even realize I was doing it.
    Like a pop of color to an outfit. This also adds pow to the outfit. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Hi Kay, I just found you a few weeks ago while reading Beth Djali’s post. She referenced you wearing the pink coat several ways, and I now follow you every day. What sets your post apart from all others I’ve seen is your subtle references to the Lord. Thank you for using your influence to not only inspire us to dress for the day, but to inspire us for more eternal matters! Your personality comes through in your pictures and writing !
    An over 70 follower who won’t give in to old and frumpy!

    1. Hahaha! I love how you signed your comment. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. These are exactly my goals. I want to encourage and equip women to get dressed for their unique days so they can show up in a big way. But I strongly feel that unless we also tend to the inner woman we won’t be able to show up with the grace our world needs. Thanks so much for joining me here. ?

  5. One juxtaposition I like is something edgy/tough, like a leather jacket with something ultra soft/feminine, like a filmy flowing skirt. Could be a nubby texture with satin or bold purse with soft outfit. I like the contrasts.

  6. Great post, Kay! All the outfits look well on you.I like the idea of putting unusual colors and different textures together in creating looks.
    Thanks for BFMD. Your post today is both timely and comforting.
    Have a blessed day,

  7. Hi Kay
    I loved your post today! And I learned something new!! I now have a lot of new ideas for my wardrobe. This is the time of the year where I start to get bored with my daily wardrobe and get in a rut. Using juxtaposition will give me some new ideas to jazz things up a little bit!
    I too got so much out of your BFMD post today. Especially needed during this terrible time in our country.

  8. BFMD spoke to me. Lord knows there was a certain situation, I stayed my mind on last year. I will never get that obsessed with things outside my power to control again.
    As an artist, I’m always looking for that little something extra to set my art apart from the usual. I love doing the same thing with my outfits. I have a favorite little brooch. It’s a little gold mouse with eyeglasses that I pop on a too serious look. Makes people smile.

    1. Hi JoAnn. I’m so sorry. I actually did send an email, but I have two email lists and I forgot to send it to one. It’s on its way! And it explains why there was no post today. ?