Throughout the history of modern fashion, there was always this concept that things need to be exact matches for them to look good. If you think about it, only a few decades ago, the norm was to wear clothes and accessories that matched to perfection.
With the latest developments in style, fashion has become more sophisticated and complex. This is how stylists, creative directors and fashion designers have come to the conclusion that sometimes you can mix pieces that are highly different and still obtain a cohesive and elegant effect.
The high and low trend, or better said direction is a great example of the new liberation and found complexity of fashion.
What is high and low?
Basically high and low refers to mixing pieces that would normally not go together at all. For example, if you say “tuxedo jacket” and “sweatpants”, there is no way that those two could go together. But is that true?
In fact, many style creators, tastemakers and influencers have shown that one can do high and low and obtain amazing results.
Alternatively, high and low can also mean mixing very rich, expensive pieces with ordinary, cheaper ones.
But what are the ingredients to creating beautiful high and low looks?
How to achieve a great high and low look?
While it is very hard to make an outfit combining high and low look good, this can be achieved. Following some simple guidelines will help you put together a wonderful high and low look.
Wear great pieces
First of all, you need to make sure that the pieces in themselves are great. As mentioned earlier, high and low can mean expensive – cheap, but this does not necessarily mean “good – bad”.
In other words, you need to make sure that the pieces you are mixing look great, regardless of whether they are expensive or cheap. Be reminded that sometimes expensive things can look worse than cheaper items.
To properly do high – low, wear pieces that you would actually wear. Don’t settle for bad things just because you are doing a conceptual look.
Create a theme
Secondly, you need to establish a theme. Think of what you want to communicate through your outfit. Then think of how the pieces you want to use make sense to communicate your message. If they don’t convey your message, your message is too obvious or too complicated, you should work on that and try to make it simple and clear.
Create a color palette
Establishing a color palette is the third thing you need to watch out for. It’s not all about the pieces; it’s also a lot about the colors: if you have a cohesive color scheme, your outfit will definitely look better.
Work with materials
The main effect a high and low look has is that it is bold, surprising and contrasting. Contrast and the resulting surprise is what high and low is all about. Hence, when you are choosing your pieces, you should work with one of the following options:
a) Fabrics that either contrast greatly, but that still work together, or with
b) Fabrics that are extremely similar, but that are cut in very different ways
For example, mixing a soft velvet jacket with a soft pair of sweatpants can look good, especially if the materials feature similar colors.
What we recommend that you avoid is mixing fabrics that are neither very different nor very similar.
Wear it with attitude
This might sound easy, but it’s probably that hardest thing of all. After you have tailored your clothes impeccably, chosen the right accessories, created a color palette and put order in every detail, you should always remember that the key to pulling anything off is confidence. Confidence takes practice, but if you do it every day, you will get there.
The key to a successful high and low look is to seamlessly intertwine pieces that come from different areas. In other words, don’t simply throw on things that contrast, it will make you look like you got dressed in the dark. Always consider the how’s and why’s of your look and take into consideration every element, from the fabric and the texture of the pieces to the colors and the cuts.
It might take some time to create great high and low looks, but once you get it down, you will discover how you can create unconventional outfits and still look amazing and stand out for the right reasons.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. What do you think of the high and low mix? Have you ever tried it? How did it go? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!