Putting on clothes is not the same thing as wearing an outfit. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a fine eye for fashion and style. The good news is that you can develop an acute sense of style and elegance. Definitive Ways To Put Outfits Together , I am no exception and neither am I a fashion expert. But I have learned many things over the past several months since I purged my closet. It’s a pleasure to share some of the tips and tricks I picked up about how to put the perfect outfit together.
Definitive Ways To Put Outfits Together
Know Your Closet
This point is crucial for style success. You need to know what is inside your closet. You must be aware of what you love and enjoy wearing. You should learn which things look great on you. You don’t need a huge wardrobe to create beautiful outfits. Actually, it is quite the opposite. You need to sort your closet out, purge it, and clean it. If you want further inspiration and a few more tips, continue reading the rest of this post. Check out the before and after pictures of my closet (because who doesn’t love a good “before and after”?).
The goal of this first step is for you to only be left with clothes you love in which you feel comfortable. The outfit itself is only a small part of the process. You could create an outfit which coordinates color and matches style. However, if the outfit you’re working on doesn’t fit your shape and character, you’re not going to feel comfortable wearing it. It’s not just about wearing gorgeous clothes and stylish accessories. The clothes you love may not always be the most beautiful pieces. But when you wear clothes that you love — regardless of how fashionable they are — that alone can boost your self-confidence. When you feel confident, your charisma oozes and your body language evolves. You start radiating passion and the people surrounding you can tell.
Meat and Potatoes
“If 70% of your wardrobe is meat and potatoes aka basics, the other 30% is the dessert—full-on sparkle and shine, indulgent glamour.” – Michael Kors.
The aforementioned quote is not the golden rule everyone ends up following. However, if you’re not a professional stylist, following this rule could save you from future outfit failures and “nothing to wear” problems.
Try to keep core pieces of muted and neutral colors — black, white, tan, blush, navy, denim — which would comprise the 70%. Then retain 30% accent colors and accessories. This will be personal to you. What do you love and wear the most? For example, I have found that the accent colors I wear the most are mostly blue and red.
When you purge your closet and compose your wardrobe following the 70/30 rule, you have done 90% of the work up front. This will easily save you hours and hours of decision making in the future.
Where To Start
When I start putting my outfits together, the first thing I do is take the weather into consideration. I think about the kind of activities I am about to do. Will I run errands all day on my feet? Do I have a lunch with friends? Am I heading to the office? This basically dictates what kind of shoes I want to wear. Heels? Flats? Chucks?
Shoes can make a huge impact on an entire outfit, thus I love starting there.
For the purpose of this post I will be using one of my own outfits which I wear to hang out with friends in the city.
I am big fan of capsule wardrobes, so I don’t have many garments. This summer, I had about 35 pieces of clothing. That included handbags, five pair of shoes, and accessories. And guess what? Some of them I only wore once. Because even from that small capsule wardrobe you’ll still have your favorite outfits which you can’t help but repeat.
With that being said, my choice of shoes was super easy. I have a single pair of nude pumps which are also extremely customizable in many ways. You can see some examples in this post as well as my Instagram story. My nude pumps go with literally any garment from my summer capsule wardrobe.
Choose a Focal Piece
I love to add colors and patterns to my wardrobe. It is far easier to create outfits with simply neutral and muted colors. That’s why you must take care not to overwhelm your outfit once you choose to add an accent. Focal pieces would be the ones with brighter colors, patterns, or both. In glossy magazines you would see models wearing patterned tops and colored bottoms. And each outfit is spruced up with eye-catching shoes, handbags, and accessories. But again, if you don’t have a well trained eye, it’s easy to end up ruining the look completely. The good news is that with practice, you’ll be able to effortlessly come up with more sophisticated combinations and options.
As a focal piece, I chose my oldy — a floral print boyfriend-fit button down.
Pair it with the Core Piece
Once I chose the focal piece, I grabbed one of my weather appropriate bottoms: tan Paul & Shark shorts which I spotted on The Real Real for a fraction of its retail price. Each of my bottoms are core pieces of muted color. It was simple. I just grabbed what I felt like wearing. Black, brown, ivory, dark burgundy, navy, or denim bottoms would work just as well.
This particular outfit did not require any layering. But if I had to, I would have layered it with a light denim jacket or a core-colored cardigan.
Accessories and Handbags
When it comes to accessories, I look at the colors that the focal garment already has. Even tiny bits of color can be enhanced with the right accessory of coordinating color. This particular shirt is navy-colored with pink, orange, green, and blue flower print.
I happened to have the perfect bag for it (and it’s one of my favorite bags which always migrates from season to season).
It’s a color block bag with large navy detail and an orange tassel. It is not too bright so as to overpower the focal piece, but the eye will definitely be travelling seamlessly from the shirt to the bag. Light brown or tan handbag would work just fine.
The outfit as a whole emphasizes the repeating colors of my focal piece. When it come to the jewelry, I love the “less is more” rule. For the majority of my outfits, I like to downplay my accessories. For this ensemble, I chose a tiny floral silver-plated pendant on a thin chain.
One More Example
What if the focal piece you choose is a solid color and you want to add a little flair to it? Note the following example.
You can spread the color of the focal pieces throughout the outfit. Whether it’s the shoes, accessories, or both. I chose my chocolate-colored sandals with tribal accents which repeat the color of the shirt.
It works well to coordinate the sandal colors with the jewelry. Harmonizing well with the rest of my outfit, I selected a silver necklace with turquoise elements.
Read one of my blog posts about how colors work together. The article is about choosing a paint color but I tried my best to simplify a color theory and mentioned some tools you could use to help you coordinate colors better for your outfits.
On a Final Note
Those are some rules that always work for me. The more you practice, the more your creativity with evolve. Putting outfits together will be more effortless and intuitive. You’ll be less keen to follow the rules. Just don’t be afraid to experiment and take photos of your outfits. When you take photos, it’s easier to see yourself with an outside observer’s perspective. Take pictures of multiple outfits and compare them. I would highly recommend participating in seasonal challenges that Lee from Style Bee hosts. Her idea is to wear 10 outfits using 10 pieces of clothing. It’s easy have fun with this sort of challenge. You could learn some new things about yourself and your closet throughout the challenge. Plus, you’ll be supported and inspired by a growing community of like-minded people. Check out the Instagram hashtags #StyleBee10x10, #UnFancyRemix, and one of the latest challenges #summer10x10 to see what some of the participants came up with. Follow others and share your style. You never know who you might end up inspiring! Fashion Blog.