An easy way to create outfits

As a wardrobe consultant, I’ve had extensive training on everything design, wardrobe and clothing related. Before I started learning the theory and principles of what goes into great looks, I learned a lot from my stylish mom. BUT…the biggest lessons I’ve learned, especially about shopping strategically, have come from my own MISTAKES. Yep, you heard it here… even a wardrobe expert isn’t perfect with her own domain.

Originally, I thought I’d make a list of a few ways to create more outfits in your closet, but I got to thinking that it would make more impact if I write a post illustrating a recent experience I’ve had with my wardrobe. I urge you to stay with me here…I promise I’ll get to the point soon.

I was out “window shopping” very early in the spring season, actually without any goal or intention at all, when I spied these super cute, Splendid, striped, wide legged pants. On the rack right next to them was the navy off-the-shoulder top, also Splendid.





I tried the outfit on for a few reasons:

  • I’d been wanting some printed, wide legged pants and these were the first ones that appealed to me in a long time.
  • An off-the-shoulder top was a brand new style for me and I was interested in discovering whether it would flatter my extra-wide torso and shoulders. I had a feeling this would work for my Inverted Triangle body type, because the dark color on top of the bold stripes on bottom would balance my figure.
  • Sort of sexy date/girl’s night out clothes is a big hole in my wardrobe.

Viola! Very flattering and I loved it. It was a COMPLETE OUTFIT! Yes, here is the moral of the story and the point of the post…

Buy complete outfits.

(Normally, shoes and accessories would also be included in a complete outfit, but I knew I had the perfect things at home.)

Doesn’t sound like a mistake at all, right? Here’s where it got sticky.

I wore the outfit two times. The first wearing, everything was fine. When I wore it the second time, every time I moved my arms up even a few inches (as in to reach for my wine glass,) the top popped up to my shoulders, creating an awful, unflattering silhouette for me. It drove me IN-sane!

So I took the top back. Even the sales associate handling my return agreed it was made wrong with too much elastic.

Now I am in the same spot I would have been in if I’d only bought the pants, an incomplete outfit. (You are probably thinking I’m crazy and that I can wear the pants with just about any casual top, but really, I don’t have one. It’s a problem!) Now it is taking me way more effort to complete the outfit than if I had bought the whole outfit, which I did, but you get it…

While I could just wear the pants with a white top, but I urge you also to not fall into this trap. Sure you can wear lots of things with a white top,  but here are a few problems solely relying on white creates:

  • Unless white tops are your signature and you have a lot of them, you’re going to be doing laundry all of the time.
  • You may get a little bored wearing said white top with everything.
  • The look can be a little bland and may lack creativity and polish.

Nic and zoe milk white tankTo illustrate this a little further, I do have the Nic and Zoe top at the left. When I wore it one time, it was okay, but quite honestly the outfit was a little “meh.” The cut of the top was right for the pants, but it fits me much closer and the sleeves were more cut in than they appear to be. Couple that with the fact that it’s white and a little sheer, (a good layering piece.) I felt more exposed in it than I did in the off-the-shoulder top!

At first it can be hard to swallow the idea of buying complete outfits. You may think you are saving money by buying one item at a time, but the fact of the matter is when the item just hangs in your closet, you’re actually wasting your money. And it is a time sucker and can be stressful to have to go shopping again to actually find something to wear with your orphan.


If you’re thinking that it sounds a little boring to have matched outfits in your closet, stay tuned for another post to learn another reason why buying complete ensembles helps you grow your wardrobe.

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