I am a believer that what you wear can have a huge impact on how you feel. Clothes can help you feel empowered, beautiful, sexy, feminine and confident. To harness the power of the outfit, I encourage you to focus on these three steps to creating a complete outfit, so it highlights your personality and your best physical assets — and helps you feel like a million bucks!
I’ve noticed that, unfortunately, most women don’t complete their outfit. They usually throw on a top with a bottom piece, slip on some shoes, and head out the door. This is really just completing the first steps. I beg you — as the beautiful, capable, unique person that you are — to learn how to create an entire outfit. And here’s why: You will stand out. You will feel confident and fabulous. And you will feel like yourself.
You won’t be just another ‘cookie cutter’ woman on the street, wearing the same uniform of jeans and tee, or skirt and blouse, right? Of course not! You want to feel and look like you.
So here are the three simple steps to creating a complete outfit:
1.) Always Start With a Foundation
Just like putting on makeup, building a house, or completing a math equation, you need to start with a good foundation. It’s impossible to move onto Steps 2 and 3 if you don’t first understand the fundamentals. So, the first step here is to determine if you have the fundamental clothing pieces in your existing wardrobe to build what I like to call a “foundational outfit.” These are pieces that you probably have in your wardrobe, and they are pieces that you have heard or read about — the “classics,” such as a quality blazer, a great pair of trousers, and a timeless wrap dress.
Shop your closet for these 10 Closet Staples that I believe every woman should own. Begin to take inventory of these items and see what’s already in your closet, and what you may need to purchase (immediately or over time). These 10 clothing pieces will be the starting point for the majority of your “foundational outfits.”
Here’s a few examples of how you can put these items together for different occasions to create a “foundational outfit:”
Silk Blouse + Trousers = Interview
Silk Blouse + Pencil Skirt = Office Presentation
Pencil Skirt + T-shirt = Girls Night Out
T-Shirt + Trousers = Window Shopping
Skinny Jeans + Silk Blouse = Sunday Brunch
Skinny Jeans + T-shirt + Blazer = Date Night
The more items you have in your closet from this list (see it again here: 10 Closet Staples), the better off you are with creating a foundation of outfits in your wardrobe.
2.) Add Elements to Show Your Personality & Experiment With Trends
The next step in creating a complete outfit is what I call the “elements.” In reading the above outfit examples, you probably had a picture pop into your head. When you read the example, “Silk Blouse + Trousers = Interview,” you most likely had a complete picture in your head — you probably saw in your mind what kind of purse you were carrying, or what type of shoes you were wearing.
I feel that these “elements” are key to highlighting your personality and your style type. And it’s also where you streamline everything, so your outfit works for your body shape (so you look and feel your best, of course!).
There are tons of tips and tricks regarding what to wear and how to dress for your body shape and personality, and I unfortunately can’t cover them all here. But during this step is when you execute what you know and what you’ve learned over the years (such as rolling up your jacket sleeve or pant leg, or half-tucking your t-shirt), and also when you show a glimpse of, well, you. Show who you are! Be proud of your sunny, friendly personality by wearing a yellow silk top or by carrying a poppy-orange handbag. Or maybe you want to rock some killer heels if you prefer a sexy, glam vibe. More examples of “elements” are shown below.
As another example, let’s take the “Skinny Jeans + T-Shirt + Blazer” combo from the list above in Step 1. Let’s say your style and personality are laid back, classic and a little boho. You could add slip-on sneakers and stack your wrist with some bohemian beaded bracelets. Or perhaps you’re a little more edgy and rock & roll. You could choose a skull scarf and moto boots as your “elements.”
Also, this step is also where you incorporate any trends that you’d like to wear. If harem pants are your thing — then rock ’em, girl! Just pair them with a silk blouse, or with the t-shirt and blazer from Step 1 (see how this all comes together, here?), so it’s not costume-y, and still feels like you.
3.) Add Texture and Color
The last step is the fun part! You can experiment with different color combos or mix several accessories to complete your ensemble. I like to use at least two colors in every outfit (really, I prefer three). Additionally, I encourage you to use accessories to really play up, and a few more that are opposite, the “elements” that you just added from Step 2.
For example, let’s say you’re the rock & roll gal from Step 2 (with the skull scarf and moto boots). I would encourage you to add color to your outfit and play off the rocker vibe, say, with a bold red lip, liquid eyeliner, and punky stud earrings in a fun color.
Here’s another example, shown below, using the basic outfit from Step 2 — the silk blouse and trouser combo.
After that, the majority of your accessories should be more basic so you still look sleek and streamlined. Also, during these finishing touches, I challenge you to find a few accessories that might oppose the before-mentioned “elements.” To continue with our example, say you now have four “rocker” pieces (moto boots, skull scarf, red lips, stud earrings); now challenge yourself to juxtapose those elements with texture (lace, pearls, silk, satin) or with color (lavender, baby blue, pale yellow) that is opposite of that style type. You don’t want it to be too out of the box, because you still want to feel like yourself, but this a great way to play with opposites, have fun & be a little surprising, as you are now complete your fabulous outfit!