How I put an outfit together

The lovely Michelle asked me to do a post on how I put an outfit together. Many of you have probably noticed my outfits from my Fashion Friday posts. I will admit that I put in a little more effort for those outfits than usual, but I have a few general guidelines when it comes to picking out clothes.

I hope they come in handy or they give you an insight into how I put an outfit together.

1. Don’t try too hard.

I’ve just said this, but it’s true. I definitely want to wear what is most comfortable, and I think about that first. I think about what main item I want to wear that is comfortable. It might be a pair of flat shoes instead of heels. It might be heels I feel comfortable wearing! It might be a slouchy top, or one of my favourite skirts. It might be a nice scarf.

Full body shot of an effortless outfit, standing against a wall
One of my more ‘effortless’ outfits

2. If you don’t like it, don’t wear it.

This is something that can take a bit of extra time. You might put something on but decide it looks awful, or that you don’t feel great in it today, or the other piece you want to wear with it is in the wash, and nothing will match.

Basically, if you don’t like something, take it off and wear something else. I have met people who think this is silly and it seems like you take a lot of time getting dressed. However, if you care about your appearance and know you would be happier wearing something else, do it. Give yourself permission to do it.

3. Build up from one piece.

I usually think of one item of clothing or accessory, something I definitely want to wear, then work around that. As I mentioned in point #1, it could be anything from a pair of shoes, to a top, or even down to your nail colour.

Look for other pieces that complement or go well with what you have chosen. Think of your chosen piece as a statement or standout piece. Make sure the rest of your outfit matches that piece without overpowering it.

Me wearing a whale print shirt.
This outfit’s standout piece was the whale print tee, which I just teamed with a simple black skirt.

4. Choose balance.

If you pick a loud printed scarf, choose clothing to go with it that is simple. If you choose a bright coloured shirt, try wearing grey, black or a traditional blue denim for jeans.

The same goes for the clothing’s fit. You don’t want to wear a lot of slouchy pieces unless you are going for a lazy look. You also don’t want to wear too much tight clothing. We mustn’t forget the rule about showing skin, either – if you’re showing off a lot of leg, for example, try not to reveal your back or shoulders as well.

5. Know what looks good on you.

I think a lot about what looks good on me as a short person with generally quite meaty legs. It’s not something you can do in one sitting, but try looking at yourself in the mirror, getting friends to take photos of you, and analyse what looks good on you and what does not. I’m no expert, but you can do some easy research into what looks good on you depending on your body shape. For example, as a petite, I know that I should stick to pointed heels rather than round, wear clothes with a small scale print rather than a large scale, and steer clear of horizontal lines. Those are just a few examples. For large women, tight clothing is not recommended, flowy tops can hide a large waist, and chunky heels can balance out the look of large calves.

Do your research and get used to what looks good on you and what complements your skin colour, facial features and body shape. Not everyone chooses to think about what ‘looks good’ on them, but if you are comfortable wearing something, if it gives you confidence, wear it.

6. Don’t over-accessorise.

I love, love, love jewellery but sometimes wearing too much can really be too much. These days I try to wear less pieces, picking a few pieces that really go with a part of my outfit. I try not to wear too much colour if I already am wearing a bold colour, for example red. If I was wearing red I would not make all my jewellery red. Sometimes I go for the same colour as the buttons, or a coloured stripe on my clothes. In the case of a black-and-grey outfit, for example, I might choose something with colour (like blue or green) to contrast with the dark outfit.

If I wear heavy earrings, I tend to go light on the arm accessories. Vice versa. If I wear a big scarf, I will definitely go light on the earrings. A chunky necklace definitely calls for more delicate jewellery elsewhere. There is a rule that says to take one accessory off before you leave the house, because we have a habit to over-accessorise. This is something to keep in mind.

Full body shot of me standing in front of a wall near a corner pillar
This recent outfit has one simple dainty necklace

Conclusion

There are no hard and fast rules about putting together an outfit, but these six points are the ones I have in my mind when I put together an outfit. I believe that what makes an outfit visually appealing is having one feature or statement piece, and accessorising minimally unless you have kept the rest of your outfit super simple. But what I more strongly believe is that fashion is an expression of style – everyone is different, and everyone takes time to find their ‘style’. It is prone to change, and change should always be welcomed, because fashion is about experimenting and trying new things as well. 🙂 👗

Leave a Comment

Comments on this post

I LOOOOVE your last outfit. ♥️ I also like how simple accessory can make a HUGE difference on the appearance of the entire outfit.

Will be bookmarking this post to read again if I need to remind myself about putting an outfit together.

I always love your outfits, and I like the points that you use when choosing one! That’s a good idea to build up from one item and to keep balance in mind. It took me a while to figure out what looks good with my body, and now it’s really important to me when choosing clothing. Accessorizing is something I want to be better at, and well, I also just need to own more accessories.

I agree that everyone is different and has their own style, even if it takes a while to figure out what it is!

Great post! I cannot advocate more for #5. It wasn’t until I was probably 23 or 24 before I started realising what clothes flattered me! I was usually a jeans + t-shirt girl and hardly ever wore dresses. Now it’s the reverse! I know what style looks good on my shape.

It’s funny when you’re talking about over-accessorising. The only jewellery I ever wear are the two rings on my fingers, and my gold watch haha. Occasionally I’ll wear a bracelet but that’s about it. I normally accessorise with a scarf 🙂 That’s why I love winter because I get to bring out all my scarves!

I like the guidelines that you follow for putting an outfit together! I agree with the fact that not trying too hard is the best way to go; especially since it’s better to be comfortable. Building the entire outfit from one piece is my favorite thing to do because there are options on options 😆. Over the years, I think we learn that minimal is best in everything we do. This includes wearing jewelry!

Keep building awesome outfits 😉!

I’m so blessed to have you answer that for me. It feels like you do put a lot into an outfit and I understand why. Appearances matter a lot in this world, along with what’s inside. Hahaha, never thought my question would get answered and I appreciate it! 😊 Thank you so much, Georgie! You’re just as lovely!

You’re welcome Michelle! I always appreciate ideas for what my readers want to read about, especially if they are my friends. I am not an expert in anything but if someone wants to read my opinion on something I am happy to share it. ♥️