Over on my ‘Questions’ page, Maria asked:
“I’ve seen this concept of outfit formula going around the web for a while: what are in your opinion the most stylish ones? For example, every person has a formula, be it blazer + blouse + boyfriend jeans, or maybe graphic tee + skinny jeans + colorful sneakers. Do you find yourself wearing formulas or you like to change your style everyday?”
So, first of all, GREAT question!
Secondly, HELL YES, I believe in outfit formulas! I’m a huge advocate of developing a signature style or “uniform”, and while I definitely don’t think you should stick rigidly to your formula once you’ve found it, when I think about the women I personally consider to be most stylish, they’re normally people who have very a vry identiable personal style – the kind of thing that makes you look at a particular dress or something, and think, “That’s SO Audrey Hepburn”, or whoever.
That’s not, of course, to say I don’t think you can be stylish WITHOUT having a distinct personal style: far from it. There are plenty of women out there who’ve mastered the art of chameleon dressing, and who get a lot of pleasure out of being creative with their looks, but I’m just not one of them. Honestly, the idea of changing my style every day is just… well, it’s just sounds exhausting, really. Not only would it require a lot more thought than I’m really willing to put into getting dressed every morning, I suspect it would require a whole lot of clothes, too. Now, I DO have a lot of clothes, I’m not going to lie to you. Sticking to the styles I love, though, makes it easier for me to get dressed in the morning, and also makes it easier to resist those impulse buys that just wouldn’t go with anything else.
As I said above, I’m not saying I NEVER want to change my style or experiment with fashion: I actually think it’s a really good idea to at least TRY new things every so often, but I don’t feel any pressure to change my style just to be “different”, either. It’s all about knowing what works for YOU.
As for which outfit formulas I consider to be most stylish – well, that’s a question that’s really just going to come down to personal taste, really. For me, though, the formulas I find myself falling back on most often are these four…
OUTFIT FORMULA ONE: FULL SKIRT + FITTED TOP + HIGH HEELS
I must own dozens of skirts in this shape now, and almost as many tops to go with them. The colours and patterns might vary, though, and the tops come in a variety of different shapes and styles, from cardigans, to sweaters to bardot-tops or even plain t-shirts, but the basic formula remains the same: the skirt is full, with a nipped-in waist, and the tops are always fitted. The shoes, however, aren’t always heels: they ARE my preference, especially with longer-length skirts, but if I’m going to be doing a lot of walking, or just want to make the look a little more casual, I’ll switch them for flats.
OUTFIT FORMULA 2: JEANS + STRIPE TOP + BLAZER + FLATS
This is my go-to ‘casual’ look, and you’ll find me wearing some variation of this several times a week. It’s also what I wear when I don’t know what else to wear: sometimes I’ll switch the blazer for a trench coat, and I might also switch the flats for boots or heels, but as with the look above, the basic formula will remain the same.
OUTFIT FORMULA 3: CAPRI PANTS + DRESS TOP + CROPPED CARDIGAN + PEEP TOE SHOES
For a dressier alternative to outfit formula 2, this one is a good option for times when I want to look reasonably “smart”, but don’t want to look totally over-dressed.
OUTFIT FORMULA 4: BODYCON DRESS + SHOES OR BOOTS
My final outfit formula actually varies depending on the weather, occasion, and whether I’m dressing up or down. So the dress might have long sleeves, short sleeves or no sleeves at all – in fact, it might not even BE a dress: a skirt and top will work just as well. I’ll then weather either shoes or boots, depending on the season/occasion, and finish it all off with a swipe of red lipstick. This is one that can be adapted to tons of different styles, but the overall silhouette will always remain the same.
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As I said, these are the outfit formulas I find work for me, but obviously everyone would answer this question differently, so what about you? Do you have any outfit formulas you always fall back on? What are they, if so? (Oh, and don’t forget: if you have a question of your own, you can submit it here!)