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How to Style a Primary Color Block Top

3 Days, 3 Ways with

Name: Laura Southward
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Occupation: Thrift Store Retailer: Nelson Tasman Hospice Shops

Style Advice

People often say to me that they would love to wear more color but don’t think they could ‘get away with it’ the way I do. The key thing is just to wear it! I didn’t always wear super colorful outfits, you start adding color and people get used to it – start with something you have always wanted to wear and then keep adding things you love! Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? Someone doesn’t like it? Who cares? Take a risk and decide whether YOU like it. If not, try something else tomorrow but don’t give up!

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@emmahearl.tall.vintage (3D/3W alum!), @funky_fearless_fashionista (also 3D/3W alum! 😉 @maryothrift, @mystyleismybrand, @muggemugge

I have lots of style icons! Like many people I find the inspirational Iris Apfel pretty amazing but I also follow a variety of thrifters and conscientious purchasers on IG that do amazing things with their style such as @muggemugge @emmahearl.tall.vintage @maryothrift @mystyleismybrand @funky_fearless_fashionista @imsarahstepanek @karins.vintagestyle and many others! I love seeing how other people play with their clothes!


Our family took a trip to the USA and Canada and I did some vintage and thrift shopping while we were there. I found this Tory Burch shirt in a vintage shop in New York City –beaconscloset– and thought it was a good one to experiment with ideas I have on wearing a button up shirt in different ways.

Look One

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Color Theory Lessons

My first look is the kind of outfit I pictured myself wearing when I bought this shirt. Pairing it with bright orange pants and picking out colors from the shirt in the accessories. The pants, which are also thrifted, are super fun to wear with their high paperbag waist. The scarf/collar is one I made out of the bottom of a dress that I cut off to make it into a top when it wasn’t getting worn as a dress! I got the idea from Pinterest from someone who had made one from recycled ties. The bag was one of my very few ‘new’ purchases in NYC – I bought this one and a neon orange one. I’m wearing this one for work at the Hospice Shop.

Look Two

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Orange is the New (perfect pairing to) Black

My second look feels a little bit edgier to me – I think it is because I don’t wear a lot of black anymore! I’m wearing the shirt upside down and round the wrong way to make it into a cropped jacket. I love wearing items in unexpected ways! I tucked the collar up at the back so it doesn’t show, this shirt works really well for this as it is quite a stiff heavy cotton fabric. I love orange in all its forms so I picked out the orange in the bag and boots. You might notice the boots are the same style as my first look but a different colour – I love these Miss Sofie boots from @shoe_connection so much I have them in 4 different colors!

Look Three

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Casual Coffee

My third look ended up being my favorite of the three! I love dressing up but I also adore being in jeans – especially these ones that I found in one of my favorite NZ secondhand clothes store recycleboutique. Finding them was one of those magic thrifting moments where you pull something off the rack and you get tingles knowing it’s EXACTLY what you have been looking for and it’s going to be a favorite in your wardrobe!  I’m wearing the shirt back to front. I have kept the collar out at the back this time. I like the idea that it will look so different from what you expect when viewed from the back. I have gone for a retro style with my headscarf, shoes and bag as I love this style with these jeans. This is a Friday coffee with friends outfit for me.

Find more of Laura’s amazing styles on instagram

You asked, and we listened! You said you wanted more style inspo of real people showing how they wear a garment in multiple ways. Great style advice on personal style and examples of how they do it. We’ll be doing this for you at least twice a month –if not more– and if you’re interested in being featured you can DM us on Instagram or reach out to

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