Most of the time, getting dressed is about finding items that "go" together. But in the fashion world, going for the opposite direction, or creating combinations based on differences makes an outfit more interesting. If you want to push the boundaries in your style, keep on reading for the 11 fashion opposites that always look great together, so you’ll make your outfits fashion-forward and a bit unexpected.

What is the juxtaposition rule?

oversized outfit with mini handbag Photographed by Christian Viereg

Photographed by Christian Viereg

The word "juxtaposition" is just a fancy word for "contrast". The concept of juxtaposition is when you mix two opposite things together, and their contrast becomes more interesting—as they say, opposites attract.

While some people have a dominant style they find appealing, others have an eye for unexpected combinations that they find pleasing. The key is to get the right balance of the two moods.

Do you still remember when mixing clashing colors became a major trend? The concept of juxtaposition is similar in the way you’ll create an interesting outfit though unexpected combinations or wearing fashion pieces that would normally clash, but when they’re put together in the right way seem to look great.

When done right, bold shades and unusual partnerships make a serious style statement. So, read our post on “Unexpected Color Combinations to Wear with Your Bag”, so you’ll step outside the neutral box and add some fun to your style.

Juxtaposition in Arts, Design, and Fashion

Viktor and Rolf

Viktor and Rolf

In arts, juxtaposition is used to emphasize a concept, form unique compositions, and add intrigue to paintings, drawings, sculptures, or any other type of artwork with the intention of contrasting the elements.

It’s one of the techniques that artists use to bring out a specific quality or create a particular effect in their masterpieces. The concept of juxtaposition is ideal because the viewer's attention is drawn to the differences of the elements.

When it comes to creating juxtaposition, one can be creative by incorporating changes in shapes, contrasting colors, or even representations of actual objects. Juxtaposition in art is everywhere—and famous artists have used it to create their artworks.

Surrealist Méret Oppenheim’s sculpture "Le Déjeuner en fourrure" translated as "Breakfast in Fur", René Magritte painting of "Memory of The Voyage"; and M.C. Escher’s lithograph "Still Life with Spherical Mirror" proved that juxtaposition made a difference in masterpieces.

Juxtaposition in fashion © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In architecture and design, juxtaposition paved the way for the unexpected, original, and unique spaces. One of the most iconic examples of juxtaposition is The British Museum, mixing the old and new architectural styles.

While the core of the building was originally designed by Robert Smythe in the 19th Century—featuring its rich and decorative columns borrowed from the ancient Greek temples—the the inner courtyard of the museum is covered with a striking glass and steel roof, giving a contemporary spin to the overall design.

When it comes to fashion, juxtaposition makes the art more wearable with fashion pieces in unexpected colors, silhouettes, and designs. Rei Kawakubo is a fashion designer known for making works of art through her clothing design.

Juxtaposition in fashion © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

According to the Bustle, her runway shows don’t really feature too many wearable pieces, but designs that are perfected with themes—‘Blood and Roses’, avant-garde silhouettes, and contrasting colors—and unexpected reconstruction of clothing.

Think of her "Monster" show that featured a knit blazer with six sleeves, but none of them were actually used as sleeves, and her structured dress that was all about structure and barely any dress.

During her collection exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, she featured her designs that were caught between two extremes. Think of clothes versus sculpture, fashion versus fine art, beauty versus repulsion, and ideas versus objects.

Unexpected Pairings That Always Look Great Together

Juxtaposition makes your on-the go outfits more interesting, adding an unexpected element that makes people do a double take. A great thing, this concept can make your style more creative, and even extend your wardrobe by wearing your favorite pieces in fresh, new ways.

  1. Knits and Leather

knit sweater with leather trousers and handbag

Leather pieces and knit ensembles are some of the must-haves on the colder months, so why not have both? According to stylists, keeping your leather ensembles and sweater in a neutral color palette will make mixing and matching the contrasting textures easily. Just complete your outfit with our Leather Tote Bag that will make everything stylish and functional.

  1. Long Coats and Short Hems

camel coat with olive green shirtdress and edgy boots

Do you find your miniskirt and little black dress too revealing? Pair them with a long coat or vest, and you’ll make everything balanced and stylish. They key is to opt for a hemline that contrasts against the straight up and down of your coat.

Like fashion blogger Magdalena Fuess, think of wearing your shirtdress with a long vest, making a military look more polished. To get the look, think of our Herald Fashion Messenger Bag with Tassel that will look rock-chic with your favorite leather boots.

  1. Denim and Heels

printed pumps with denim overalls

Denim might be your go to when you don’t feel like dressing up, but it can still give you that fashion-forward look when you pair the casual piece with heels.

Like fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein, swap your sneakers for a pair of heels that will make your denim overalls sleek and polished. According to stylists, you just need to make sure that your pants hemlines are cropped at least an inch bet between the hem and the top of your shoes.

  1. Dresses and Boots

black dress with boots and velvet bag

The age-old styling trick to making a party dress look a bit laidback is to wear it with boots. According to stylists, a pair of black ankle boots will look great with all dresses regardless of its design, length, or color. A great thing, a pair of structured boots will make your layered outfit of a dress, vest, and even a coat more put-together.

Fashion blogger Carrie Colbert even make her black dress a bit edgy with a pair of suede boots, velvet handbag, and a boxy military jacket. Just complete your effortless statement with our Bucket Bag, making everything cool and functional.

  1. Neutrals and Neons

shift dress with green bag and block heeled pumps

Neutral colors are great for making your wardrobe more versatile and timeless, but adding some pop of neon colors into your style won’t hurt. The key is to opt for a neutral and a neon shade in the same warm or cool color family. This way, your color combination will look put-together and sleek.

If you’re not a big fan of bold colors, start with your accessories. Like fashion blogger Nicole Warne, adding a pop of color to your black dress with a bright green handbag will make your style fashion-forward and a bit unexpected.

Our Etaloo Handbag is great for adding some life to your all-black and neutral outfits, making your style more creative than before.

  1. Plains and Prints

floral print dress with collared top and rounded bag

Incorporating prints into your style is a great way to add some individuality to your looks. Do you know that you can even pick prints that reflect your fashion personality? While animal prints like leopard, zebra, or snake add some fierceness to your looks, floral patterns are great to show off your romantic side.

You may even think of exploring other prints like graphic patterns, gingham, stripes, paisleys, houndstooth, tartan, tribal, and other exotic ones that best describe your personality.

A great thing, a printed handbag can easily make your plain and boring outfit stylish. While our Classic Shoulder Bag will ground your loud prints, our Colorful Genuine Leather Handbag will add some life to your basic, neutral outfits.

  1. Structured and Shapeless

structured handbag with architectural heels and casual outfit

Photographed by Victoria Adamson

The quick fix to make your shapeless baggy clothes look polished is to wear it with something structured. Think of an architectural pair of shoes, structured handbag, boxy jackets, tailored trousers and such that will balance your look.

If you’re looking for a handbag that will look great with all of your outfits and in all occasion, our Bolish Structured Crossbody Bag is perfect for you.

  1. Feminine and Masculine

tuxedo blazer with fur skirt and clutch bag

Do you still remember when the borrowed from the boys trend became popular? The most notable push and pull in this look is between masculine and feminine, which always ends up interesting and stylish. Tuxedo blazer, pantsuits, button-down shirts, bow ties, oxfords, brogues and are great to "man up" your wardrobe.

When we say feminine, think of your party-appropriate staples, or chic pieces that usually give you a romantic look. To add some edge to your fur skirt, pair it with boyfriend blazer like fashion blogger Annabelle Fleur did. Our Leather Bowling Handbag and Sunny Shop Classic Handbag will let you achieve the look you’re aiming for in a more stylish way.

  1. Polished and Edgy

camo print coat with edgy urban outfit

Your polished staples—little black dress, button down shirts, long-line vests, pencil skirts, shift dresses, tailored blazer, straight-leg pants and such—can come off as being too boring, but when paired with edgier pieces creates a balance outfit.

Like fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni, rock the military trend by wearing your classic dress with an edgy camouflage print coat and a pair of combat boots. To avoid being taken too literally, add our Drawstring Handbag into the mix.

  1. Casual and Dressy

fur scarf with casual cool outfit

Dresses and skirts are great for channeling your feminine side, but that doesn’t mean you must save them for parties and formal occasions. Like fashion blogger Nina Suess, think of adding some casual spin to your dress by wearing it with sneakers. This way, you’ll get the most of your wardrobe.

Our Structured Handbag will give you a professional style when worn with your office staples, and will also dress up your most casual outfits.

  1. Classic and Modern

cobalt blue classic outfit with modern structured bag

Classic staples will never go out of style, but you can add some contemporary feel to them with your modern pieces.

Like fashion blogger Mary Orton, add some spice to your classic office outfit with an architectural handbag, adding some modern flair to your professional style. If you’re still on doubt on getting the look, simply team our Modern Classic Handbag to your outfit of choice and it will do the tricks for you.

Indeed, juxtaposition makes a style more interesting and personal. With this styling trick, you’ll totally transform how you put together your outfits and will never be stuck in a rut again.



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