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Being a Hairstylist: All Dressed in Black Part 2

BlogBeauty Tips, Fashion Trends | February 6, 2014
Accessorizing your hairstylist wardrobe

A statement feather and metallic necklace paired with a bold, geometric belt. The boots give it an edge and keep me from looking too dressy.

In my last blog, I gave you a few reasons to be grateful for black attire at the salon, but I need to be honest. As much as I appreciate black for it’s ease and stain resistance, some days I’m just bored. So, how do I beat monotone monotony?

First, I Accessorize… A lot. An obvious tip, but who doesn’t love accessorizing? My coworkers often comment on my obsession with accessories and, while “Wow, you’ve got a lot going on there. I could never pull that off.” may or may not be a compliment, we’ll pretend it is. Accessorizing is an art form. It is all about balance and aesthetics and color placement. These are all things that I love about hair, and that I am excited to incorporate into my clothing. If your salon allows colorful accessories, use scarves, jewelry, shoes, or belts to add life to your outfit. Here are some ways to accessorize:

My embarrassingly large belt collection.

Belts: If there is a disease that causes people to collect belts with feverish intensity in every color and size… I have it….and I don’t want the cure. I just want more belts. Be it support or fashion, I am tempted daily to cinch a belt around my waist. Thankfully, my plethoras of options are a great asset when I am dressing up my blah blah black. Sometimes to add a pop of color, but often in a shade of brown or metallic, I use belts and other accessories to set the tone of my outfit. This helps me to determine which direction I will go with my shoes or jewelry.

Have some fun with color and brighten up your black.

Color: There are no rules here, but I like to stick to one or two colors and use multiple shades of that/those color(s) to accent with. An example of this would be to use accessories in varying shades of blue or green. Different shades within the same color will add texture to your look.

Get adventurous with some bold jewelry.

Go Bold: pick one unique “piece” (perhaps a necklace or pair of earrings) that will add a “wow” factor to your ensemble. I may keep the rest of my accessories small to emphasize that “piece”, or take a risk with a large necklace and a striking belt. Bold statement accessories put an exclamation point on my finished style.

Next, have fun with Fabrics. Variations in the texture and weight of fabrics can really add dimension to an outfit. I might pair a structured shirt with a flowing, floor length skirt, or on the flip side, a pencil line skirt with a billowy top.

This outfit hits all the bases with a long, billowy skirt, varying fabric textures, and bold jewelry.

Layering: One particular stylist in my salon (you know who you are, and I love you for it) gets a laugh out of counting my layers when I come to work. She will peel and poke and prod at me, counting up all the variations of over-shirts, undershirts, and under the undershirts that have hitched a ride on me for the day. When she is satisfied with her tally, she will determine whether I am keeping up my reputation for being the most layered person. Ever. I can’t help it and won’t help it. I love jackets and vests and collars and anything that I can throw on top of something else to add interest.
We are allowed to wear white at the Bell Tower, but being the messy colorist I am, that is a remedy for tie-dye catastrophe. Rather than wear white on its own, I layer it under sheer black material (often lace) to add pattern and variation to my clothing.

Combat-style boots are a great way to add “wow”.

Surprise by Contrast– To put it in hairstylist terms, surprise-by-contrast is like that sneaky panel of brilliant red hair color you hide under your client’s part line. Nobody is expecting it, but when she moves, the light catches it just right and her onlookers gasp with delight. The element of Surprise-by-Contrast is what I like most in the world of fashion. For me, contrast is my black combat boots hiding under my favorite billowy, floor length skirt. For you it could be a military jacket over a lace dress or the contrast of a Vintage shirt paired with modern jewelry.

In closing, I have to put in a shameless plug for thrift store shopping. For the unique, the strange, or the surprising, thrift stores cover all your bases at a price that won’t leave you in tears. The next time you discover a bleach smear the size of a football on your posterior, you may be disappointed because you loved that dress, but not because it cost you half of your last pay check.

Whatever you wear, and however you wear it, black or white, or any color in between, get creative with it!  Keep Calm and Style on.

Leah Perlman

Written by Leah Perlman

Leah is an Empire graduate who has been in the industry for 7 years. She has worked at The Bell Tower Salon and Spa in Wyomissing, PA for 6 years . She serves on the salon's education team and is involved in planning and educating for their stylists-in-training program.

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