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Hermes silk sweater, GNW Luxe sweater, Oliveo plaid blazer, H&M sequin skirt, Söfft shearling booties, blue topas earrings (all own) and tights c/o no nonsense ribbed turnip tights

This post covers key elements of eclectic style, how to put it together and for whom it works best. Read how to have eclectic style.

Contents

  1. What exactly is Eclectic Style?
  2. Key elements of Eclectic Style
  3. How to Style an Eclectic Look?
  4. Pieces from Different Decades and Styles
  5. Going Wild with the Look Just for the Fun of It
  6. What’s the Message that this Style Sends about the Wearer?
  7. Celebrities with Eclectic Style
  8. Examples of this Free Spirit Style
  9. Conclusions

What Exactly Is Eclectic Style?

The term Eclectic stems from the Greek word eklektikos meaning selective. In Ancient times, the word referred to philosophers who selected opinions and inspirations from the varies schools of thought. They postulated whichever doctrines fit their own thoughts rather then sticking to just one school.

In the sense of the ancient Greek word, a person donning this fashion direction picks whatever pleases them. They abdonndon all “fashion rules”, but their own.

An eclectic outfit typically encompasses items from different periods and styles. It is tied together by means of color, texture, shape and accessories. The color palette can vary, but often a few neutrals serve to ground the look. Typically, the look has a multitude of fabrics, which differ by patterns, texture or both.

post logo on eclectic style showing a tartan skirt, fishnets, striped shirt and bags, window panel blazer, yellow sandals

 

Obviously, this style is difficult to aim for and it can look very different depending of the person’s taste. Thus, let’s start with what persons of all age and gender choosing this way of dressing have in common.

Key elements of Eclectic Style

According to the above definition, a huge variety of garnments work. It’s just about how to put them together. However, this point is the challenge! This fashion direction requires creativity, trying unconventional combinations, an eye for what you can do with a garnment, curation and time to try everything with everything to identify what looks the best (wrong) or stylish. The look is high maintenance! It’s rather an attitude! It’s best for people with an individualistic lifestyle and/or free spirit. People who don’t give a damn about what others think of them. Or like Mademoiselle once said

I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all. - Coco Chanel #quote #highlatitudestyle Click To Tweet

Persons donning these outfits are often collectors and curate their wardrobe. Their closets may hold pieces from several decades as well as the newest It piece often mixed with recycled or upcycled clothes like an old shirt revived as a skirt.

 

brass eclectic dragonfly inspired modernist earrings This large brass and turuqoise magnesite dragonfly inspired dangle would work with the tweed skirt and floral cardigan ensemble. Handmade in the Burlington, VT.long crystal chandelier Long vintage inspired chandeliers. They would look great with the LOTD with the camo joggers at the bottom of this article

Art Deco inspired dangling earrings Art Deco inspired dangling earrings. They work with the black, gray and white OOTD.

ribbon jewelry A modern twist to Chinese knotting crafts are these black satin ribbons with fringes.pink scales ear jewelry Lakshmi pink scales or leaves in various tints. They would go perfectly with the pink OOTD later in this post.

mod inspired Kelly green ear clips Bold Mod Kelly green metal hoops dangling faux pearls. These would be a great finishing touch in the OOTD with the floral print cardigan.

 

Here is a list of items that are rarely missing in an eclectic closet:

  • Big earings – vintage, modern, Art Deco, contemporay, Victorian – you name it. They can be family heirlooms, costume jewelry, or unexpensive bold statement pieces like BigEarings‘ as a final touch. See above photos for examples.
  • Classic wool cable-knit sweater made in Ireland or Scotland. They look for a piece in the tradional design of the cable knit sweater.
  • A black and a white T-shirt for layering and grounding of outfits.
  • Solid and patterned button-down blouses from a different decade.
  • A pair of jeans in their favorite style, no matter what currently is trendy. Typically, the jeans looks very lived in and hence, individual.
  • Solid-color pants,
  • Plaid, glen check, herring bone, tweed or corduroy blazer,
  • Riding boots,
  • Some sort of Wellies,
  • Tweed, plaid and floral skirts,
  • Garnments in sequin, or brocade. These pieces can, but must not be cocktail dresses or evening attire worn at day. See this Ever Pretty review post at the link for eclectic outfits with evening gowns styled for day.

 

over 50 years old eclectic style blogger in an outfit from different style tribes

sequin with plaid
Outfit details: Hermes silk scarf, GNW Luxe sweater, Oliveo plaid blazer, H&M sequin skirt, Söfft shearling booties, blue topas earrings (all own) and tights c/o no nonsense ribbed turnip tights

 

Celebrities with Eclectic Style

Here are some of my favorites:  The young Coco Chanel when she still worked as a millnier, Coco Chanel in her British inspired phase, Diane von Fürstenberg, Nicole Richie, Solange, Lyn Slater, Mel(anie) Kobayashi, Miss Papelicios.

As you can see, the looks of these women are not at all similar. This means eclectic style is very unique and personal. Therefore, don’t copy them. It’s their, not your unique style. However, their looks may give you ideas what works.

Don't be a copy cat. #personalstyle #highlatitudestyle Click To Tweet

 

How to Style an Eclectic Look

In the first outfit example of this post, the neutrals are chocolate brown, gray and olive. The fashion color is pink. The scarf picks up the gray, brown and pink. The Irish blazer has a brown, gray and pinkish plaid. Its corduroy collar and trims add texture, which differs from the texture of the sequin skirt. The skirt repeats the pink of the scarf and jacket. The ribbed tights again have a different texture and repeat the pink and gray. It’s of no importance that the pinks and grays are not exactly the same. The color scheme is the overarching idea that makes it work.

Stylist’s tip: Pick a color scheme and a neutral as for grounding. Add to it with colored and textured solids and patterns, lace, trims, tassels and/or fringe. Finish with accessories that support tieing the outfit together.

 

zoom-in on belt with multiple buckles
Zoom-in on belt

 

zoom-in on blue turquoise Prada bag
Zoom-in on bag
stylist featuring an unusual combination of tweed skirt and with printed top
Floral cardi with tweed skirt, 1960s necklace, studded shoes. See outfit details below.

 

mature woman in heavy wool skirt with pink motorcycle jacket
Outfit details: Newport News leather jacket, Cable and Gauge floral print cardigan worn as top, Eddie Bauer tweed skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, BCBG Maxazria belt, Festina watch, Ray Ban sunglasses, statement necklace (gift from my late mom), Valentino Rock Studs, and Prada bag (all own)

 

In the above look, contemporay items from Rock’n Roll (studded pumps, leather jacket, belt, bangle), the 1960s (sunglasses) and classic style (cardigan, skirt, bag) are mixed. Furthermore, there are pieces from summer (cardigan, shoes sunglasses,) and winter (skirt, leather jacket). The pumps and bag repeat the turquoise in the print of the cardigan. The pink in the abstract floral design ties the motorcycle jacket in the look. The combination works well as a summer-to-fall transition outfit.

 

stylist taking a book out of a high shelf
Outfit details: Pendleton classic glen check midi skirt, August Silk cardigan styled as top, GNW opaque tight, and Söfft heel boots (all own)

 

The outfit above uses brown and beige to ground the look. Here different texture (suede, shearling, knit, weave) are used. Furthermore, the leopard print is unexpected with the glencheck of the pleated wool skirt and floral print of the neckerchief.

The next example features items from Romantic Style (tulle skirt), the British variation of Preppy Style (wool riding jacket), Rock’n Roll (buckles, studs). The link between the skirt and blazer are the blush in the plaid. The shades of brown in the plaid ground the elements colorwise.

 

mature style woman in Irish blazer with skirt and boots
Back view of the look described in the next photo to show corduroy trim
style influencer in mesh skirt
Orvis Irish blazer, Yves St. Laurent bag, GNW tight, Söfft shearling buckle booties, GNW Luxe sweater, smoky quartz statement belt (all own), sport watch c/o Jord and long mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store

 

Pieces from Different Decades and Styles

Well, you can mix all patterns when they are gray with black and white. Thus, this alone would not pull the combination into eclectic territory. Here it’s the different decades. A fascinator from the 1950s, a jacket with the bold shoulder pads of the 1980s, leopard print and leather-on-leather trend from the 2010s.

 

mature style woman in mesh skirt with military inspired jacket
Great Northwest military inspired utility jacket with distressed leather belt and smoky quartz statement buckle, Anne Klein snake print shoes, Jaeger tote, Ray Ban aviator sunglasses, and LeatherCaoatsEtc camouflage leather hat and layered mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store

 

#fashionover40 woman in leather skirt and cardigan
Outfit described below, but without jacket and 1920s hat

 

mature woman in leather skirt and jacket
Outfit details: Oliveo custom-made full-skirt, leather jacket, pantyhose, Modalo Pippa bag, scarf tied as a bow, ankle strap pumps, leather gloves, and white hat found in a conseignment store (all own) (all own)

 

Stylist remark: When the items above were all from the same decade the above ensemble would look customery.

In the look below, a tartan jacket is used to tie the various colors of the eclectic style creation together. Despite the seemingly wild combination, it is still work appropriate in a business casual work environment.

stylist in leopard print, tartan, leather eclectic outfit
Burberry plaid blazer with leopard print sweater and Halogen skirt, statement necklace, Kate Moss for Longchamp bag, GNW tights, Nine West heeled plateau loafers (all own)

 

style blogger in camouflage pants in eceltic combination of sequin top and shearling vest
Max Mara shearlin vest, unbranded sequin top, Halftee layering top, smoky quartz buckle belt, Söfft shearling buckle booties (all own) and camouflage pants c/o Femme Luxe

 

The above winter attire features camouflage, sequins, shearling and a black jersey cotton T-shirt. Wearing black and brown together is very modern, i.e. the old fashion rule of not pairing them is broken. Sequins, shearling and knit have distinctly different textures. There is also the play of matte (suede side of the shearling vest and booties) with shine (sequins). The camouflage repeats the various shades of brown and black. Here the aforementioned black T-shirt serves for layering. The flower-inspired belt buckle balances the tough vibe of the camo joggers. Elements are taken from Rock’n Roll (studds, booties), the 1970s (sequins), Modernist (buckle) and contemporary (joggers, vest).

 

Going Wild with the Look Just for the Fun of It

In the look below, the mesh dress is for style and fun. Can you believe that a colleague said “Do you wear a see-thru skirt? I was like “No, a mesh dress over jeans.”

 

stylist in mesh dress, skinny jeans, cable knit sweater, pendant necklace and statement belt

Rebecca Collins belt

fashion blogger in meshdressover jeans with wool sweater and statement belt

Nicole of High Latitude Style in an ecclectric look of mesh skirt, ethnic sweater, artisan made belt, skinny jeans and shearling heels
Quartz pendant on multi-strings of leather, Orvis Irish cable knit sweater, Esprit neckerchief, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Rebecca Collins belt, unbranded mesh dress, Söfft shearling booties and unbranded skinny jeans

 

What’s the Message that this Style Sends about the Wearer?

These people look stylish because they are confident and persistent enough to make it work. They see their fashion and dressing as an act of art. Some are their own living Barbie doll. These persons won’t fit into one primary and one secondary category like it is the case with the majority of fashion lovers, who have achieved their personal style. The eclectic person’s life stories are too complicated to show the World who they really are with the mix of a dominant and supporting style.

style book author in diamond and plaid pattern eclectic look
Diamond leopard print jacket over plaid skirt accessorized with pill box hat, LV silk print scarf, tan gloves, LV bucket bag, and Dior over-the-knee boots (all own)

 

This style is worn by reflective, unique and bold personalities, individualists. These people have learned to express themselves. They often have a strong opinion. They will only change their mind when you come with strong rational (i.e., better arguments or a proof). When they have made up their mind and set a goal, they work hard and focused to achieve it. They know that the road to success is not straight, but learning from prior failures, i.e. trial and error and never giving up. They do not fear to be alone. Nor do they care about what other people might think because they think for themselves. Or

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde #quote #highlatitudestyle Click To Tweet

 

midlife style blogger in eclectic winter outfit with casual boots
VS sequin skirt, GNW tight, Eddie Bauer sweater, statement belt, wool socks (all own) and Alida nubuk boots c/o Coolway

 

Conclusions

This style is very individual and requires a lot of confidence, a great eye for what works, editing and curation. It’s high maintenance. Recall being yourself is your superpower. People with eclectic style get noticed, but not necessarily appreciated for their creativity and abilities. In other words, if this is you and you are employed in a conservative job field, limit your outfit to a primary and secondary element except on weekends. Eclectic style is not a dress for success recipe unless you work in a creative field like personal stylist, fashion industry, art, theater, film and movies, professional dancer or musician, designer, influencer, etc..

Photos of me: G. Kramm

Photos of earrings courtesy to BigEarrings.com

© 2013-2021 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. donnadoesdresses

    It’s all a bit of fun isn’t it? Thank you for sharing the finer points, Nicole!!
    Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🐝

  2. I enjoyed reading your post and I learned more about eclectic style. The sequined skirt is very pretty and I lvoe that it is unexpected with the structured blazer. So stylish!
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

  3. Nicole Mölders

    Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

  4. Mr.Rios

    Again, loving the research-based, peer reviewed work on this fashion blog! Totally agree with you on the subject of eclectic style being a hallmark of the individual; you leave such an indelible mark on us all with each of your pics and posts! Your pink-sequined skirt combo is definitely your personal style, and you make it look both effortless and breathtaking. But, then again, almost every posted picture of you is empirical evidence of your ability to stun us with your wise and alluring fashion choices. Thank you for the lesson and for allowing us to learn from your wonderful style selections!

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