the yin and the yang of dressing

to my understanding, yin and yang in chinese philosophy represent opposing but complementary forces. some common examples are light/dark, positive/negative, female/male, passive/active. they are opposites, but one cannot exist without the other, and their balance is essential.

this makes total sense to me within the context of nature, personal growth, relationships, and of course, fashion. leave it to me to translate years of ancient wisdom into style theory. what can i say?

  photo   Orit Harpaz   |    black & white works, no fail. i wear this duo all the time. one caution: with a white button down and black pants, make sure your shoes are interesting otherwise you will look more waitress than wow.

photo Orit Harpaz | black & white works, no fail. i wear this duo all the time. one caution: with a white button down and black pants, make sure your shoes are interesting otherwise you will look more waitress than wow.

above and below are my three favorite yin-yang style combinations. i use them often when concocting an outfit and find that the pairings always make my look more interesting. black and white. tough and tender. uptown and downtown.

  photo   Orit Harpaz   |    tough & tender. the girliness of this lace dress needs something more rugged for balance. leather & lace is a classic combo like peanut butter & jelly, parenting & sleep deprivation.

photo Orit Harpaz | tough & tender. the girliness of this lace dress needs something more rugged for balance. leather & lace is a classic combo like peanut butter & jelly, parenting & sleep deprivation.

what makes these seemingly contrary pieces work is their relationship to each other. alone they are fine, but together and in balance, the parts become a greater whole. if you are wearing a floral dress and pair it with pastel heels and a straw hat…well, you’re look becomes syrupy-sweet and on the verge of “costume.” too much of one thing. but if you take that same floral dress, add suede ankle boots, ditch the hat and carry a clutch…well, now you’re sayin’ something. your look becomes dynamic and noteworthy. and what’s more zen than that?

  photo   Orit Harpaz   |    uptown & downtown. this is my hip-hop redux. a ladylike, classic black dress (seen here first) with a skully and oversized gold chain. would pearls have worked? sure. but you have to find ways to infuse your fashion personality into your look whenever possible. 

photo Orit Harpaz | uptown & downtown. this is my hip-hop redux. a ladylike, classic black dress (seen here first) with a skully and oversized gold chain. would pearls have worked? sure. but you have to find ways to infuse your fashion personality into your look whenever possible. 

tell me. what are your favorite style pairings?