Sometimes it's the details that really make an article of clothing. And some manufacturers are better than others in this department. I'm not refering to anything tacky, but just fun, quality apparel with unexpected details tend to be just that much more special. At the risk of making this blog a gigantic commercial for Naartjie, I do have to say that for a lower-priced brand like they are, they can certainly play on near-equal footing with the big boys, like Oilily, whose costs are completely prohibitive for all but the ridiculously-wealthy. Oilily is known for quality and attention to detail, from a beautiful finish on the underside of the garment, to a secret pocket, whimsical lining or added embellishment that just makes you smile.
Those are the kinds of things I often look for in clothes. I still feel you need to have basics to balance the detailed pieces out, and the details certainly don't need to be big or flashy, but I've found shirts with buttons on elbow cuffs, leggings with buttons on the calves, an extra bit of ribbon along a bottom hem or a contrast stitch...those things make the item feel special, make someone stop and say, "Wow, I like that!"
If you showcase a large amount of detail, make sure you balance it out with something simple. In the outfit below, I added a plain pink t-shirt, layered with a plain, chunky-knit, hooded pink cardigan for warmth.
The dress below was a bit of a splurge that I just had to have from Naartjie's Spring 1 collection (purchased at 40% off on a Treasure Tuesday a few weeks ago). I had seen it in their online catalog, and loved the contrasting fabrics and patterns and how beautifully they all worked together. They were part of a fairy-tale inspiration that reminded me so much of what childhood is all about. I have paired it with a pair of capri jeggings, but have also purchased the lace-detail capris shown with it online.
Don't be afraid to try different combinations. Don't shy away from details. Even with boy's clothing, a cuff in a contrasting color, cross-stitching, fun linings below collars, extra buttons or funky pockets, a pant that rolls and buttons into a capri - just have fun with it!