Creating outfits should never feel like a chore.
Do you spend wayy too long picking an outfit only to feel disappointed when you try it on?
I’ve been there too. It’s not a great way to start a day.
Let’s get you unstuck and excited about creating outfits every day. Think of me as your personal stylist and confidante, here to guide you through the exciting process of curating stunning looks.
So, grab a cup of coffee or tea and cozy up. We’re about to dive into the art of creating outfits that turn heads and make you feel like a million bucks in these simple-to-follow steps.
Disclosure: Vain Affair is reader-supported. When you buy through affiliate links on our website, we’ll make a small commission, without impacting your price. Thank you. Learn more.
#1 Check The Weather
Picture this: you’ve put together a fantastic outfit, ready to conquer the world. But hold on!
Have you checked the weather forecast? Considering the weather is key to nailing your outfit game.
No one wants to be caught in a downpour wearing delicate fabrics or sweating profusely in a heavy sweater. No way!
Take a moment to assess the weather conditions for the day. Is it sunny and hot? Rainy and humid? This vital information will dictate your clothing choices.
When it’s scorching outside, opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, and choose lighter colors to reflect the sun’s rays. On rainy days, waterproof jackets or umbrellas become your best friends, while layering options like light cardigans or versatile jackets can combat unpredictable temperature shifts.
Remember, Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so be prepared with layering pieces that you can easily add or remove as needed. Checking the weather ensures you’re not only stylish but also comfortable in any climate.
#2 Where Are You Going & What Are You Doing?
Now that we’ve covered the weather, let’s zoom in on another crucial aspect: where you’re headed and what you’ll be doing. Fashion isn’t just about looking good; it’s about dressing appropriately for the occasion and feeling confident in every setting.
Are you going to a casual brunch with friends, a business meeting, a night out on the town, or a special event? Each occasion calls for a different sartorial approach. Dressing for success means tailoring your outfit to match the vibe and expectations of the event.
For a casual outing, think effortlessly chic. Opt for comfortable yet stylish pieces like jeans, a trendy top, and some funky accessories. If you have a business engagement, aim for a polished and professional look with tailored separates or a well-fitted dress.
A night out calls for a touch of glam. Choose a standout dress, pair it with killer heels, and don’t forget to add statement accessories that reflect your personality. And when attending special events, be it a wedding or a black-tie affair, embrace elegance with a show-stopping gown or a sharp tuxedo.
So, take a moment to consider the venue, the nature of the event, and any specific dress codes. Dress for the occasion, and you’ll effortlessly radiate confidence wherever you go!
#3 Choose a Key Piece (this will determine your color palette too)
Ah, the magic of a key piece! It’s the star of your outfit, the item that sets the tone and captures attention.
Choosing a key piece is like setting the foundation for your ensemble—it not only defines your style but also determines the color palette for the entire look. A key piece can be anything that grabs your attention and sparks inspiration.
It could be a bold patterned blouse, a statement jacket, a vibrant pair of shoes, or even a unique accessory. This piece becomes the focal point, around which you’ll build the rest of your outfit.
Once you’ve selected your key piece, let it guide your color choices. Take cues from its colors, patterns, or textures to create a harmonious and cohesive look. For example, if your key piece is a floral blouse with hues of pink, green, and yellow, consider incorporating those colors in other elements of your outfit, such as bottoms, accessories, or even makeup.
Style Tip: If you don’t know what color palette to start with, go with neutral colors, such as white, grey, black, brown, and beige. These colors pair effortlessly together!
By letting your key piece dictate the color palette, you create a visually appealing and well-balanced ensemble. It ties everything together and showcases your keen sense of style.
#4 Build Around The Key Piece
Now that you have your eye-catching key piece, it’s time to build an outfit that complements and enhances its beauty.
Here are some tips to guide you in creating a well-rounded ensemble:
- Balance is key: When working with a statement key piece, it’s crucial to balance the overall look. If your key piece is voluminous or eye-catching, consider pairing it with more understated and streamlined pieces to maintain visual balance. For example, if you’re rocking a flowy maxi skirt, pair it with a fitted top to create a visually pleasing contrast.
- Play with proportions: Proportions play a vital role in outfit composition. Experiment with different silhouettes to find what works best for your body shape and the chosen key piece. If your key piece is oversized or loose, consider balancing it with more tailored or fitted items to create a flattering and balanced look.
- Layering wonders: Layering is your secret weapon for adding depth and dimension to your outfit. Experiment with different layering pieces like light cardigans, jackets, or scarves. They not only provide practicality for changing weather conditions but also add visual interest to your ensemble.
- Create focal points: While your key piece takes center stage, don’t forget to create complementary focal points. Use accessories strategically to draw attention to specific areas. For example, statement earrings can frame your face beautifully, or a colorful belt can accentuate your waistline.
- Pay attention to color harmony: As you build your outfit around the key piece, ensure that the colors harmonize well. Consider using color theory principles like complementary or analogous colors to create a visually appealing combination. This will further enhance the overall impact of your ensemble.
#5 Layering Pieces
Layering is a game-changer when it comes to creating versatile and stylish outfits. It not only adds practicality for changing weather conditions but also allows you to add depth and dimension to your look.
Outerwear and light cardigans are the unsung heroes of layering, and here’s why they deserve a special place in your wardrobe:
- Weather adaptability: Layering pieces like outerwear and light cardigans provide a practical solution to fluctuating temperatures throughout the day. They allow you to easily add or remove layers as needed, keeping you comfortable and stylish in any situation.
- Textural interest: Outerwear and cardigans come in various fabrics and textures, offering opportunities to incorporate visual and tactile interest into your outfit. Whether it’s a cozy knit cardigan, a sleek leather jacket, or a trendy denim piece, these layering items can elevate your ensemble with their unique textures.
- Versatility in styling: Layering pieces are incredibly versatile and can be styled in multiple ways. A cardigan can be worn buttoned up as a top or left open as an added layer. Outerwear like jackets or blazers can be effortlessly thrown over dresses, tops, or even jumpsuits to transform the entire look. The possibilities are endless!
- Enhancing silhouette: Layering can help create a well-defined and flattering silhouette. For example, a structured blazer can add shape and structure to an otherwise flowy dress, giving you a polished and put-together appearance. Experiment with different layering combinations to find what works best for your body shape and personal style.
- Adding visual interest: Layering allows you to play with different lengths, colors, and patterns, adding visual interest to your outfit. For instance, pairing a patterned cardigan with a solid-colored dress can create a dynamic and eye-catching ensemble. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, as layering offers endless opportunities for creativity.
#6 Pick The Shoes
Let’s talk about the finishing touch that can make or break an outfit—shoes! Choosing the right pair of shoes is essential to complete your look and ensure it’s on point from head to toe.
Here are some tips to help you select shoes that perfectly fit the style and occasion:
- Match the occasion: Consider the nature of the event or occasion you’re dressing for. Are you attending a formal affair, a casual gathering, or a professional setting? Select shoes that align with the formality and vibe of the event. A pair of elegant heels might be perfect for a formal occasion, while stylish sneakers or flats could be a great choice for a casual outing.
- Complement the style: Your shoes should complement the overall style and aesthetic of your outfit. If you’re wearing a romantic and flowy dress, consider opting for strappy sandals or ballet flats to enhance the feminine appeal. For a sleek and modern look, pointed-toe pumps or ankle boots can add a touch of sophistication.
- Consider comfort: While style is important, comfort should never be compromised. Ensure that your shoes are comfortable and suitable for the activities you’ll be engaged in. If you’ll be walking or standing for extended periods, choose shoes with proper support and cushioning to keep your feet happy.
- Play with colors and details: Don’t be afraid to have fun with your shoe choices! They can be an excellent opportunity to inject a pop of color, a statement pattern, or unique details into your outfit. A vibrant pair of heels can add a playful twist to a neutral ensemble, while embellished flats can bring sparkle to a casual look.
- Think about coordination: Aim for coordination between your shoes and other elements of your outfit, such as the color palette or style. This doesn’t mean everything has to match perfectly, but creating a sense of harmony and coherence will elevate your overall appearance.
#7 Accessorize Minimally
Accessories have the incredible power to elevate an outfit and add those extra touches of personality and style.
However, when it comes to accessorizing, less is often more. Opting for a minimal approach can create a polished and balanced look.
Here’s why and how to accessorize minimally:
- Let your key pieces shine: Remember the key piece we discussed earlier? Well, minimal accessorizing allows it to take center stage and be the focal point of your ensemble. By keeping other accessories to a minimum, you allow the key piece to shine and make a statement without overwhelming the overall look.
- Pay attention to the details: Minimal accessorizing doesn’t mean neglecting the details. Select accessories that have thoughtful design and quality craftsmanship. Look for pieces that complement the color palette, style, and overall theme of your outfit. Small details like a delicate pendant or a refined watch can add a touch of sophistication to your look.
- Embrace negative space: Sometimes, leaving a bit of negative space in your outfit can be just as impactful as adding accessories. It allows the eye to focus on the key elements and creates a sense of simplicity and elegance. So, don’t be afraid to leave a neckline bare or keep your wrists free from excessive adornment.
#8 Plan In Advance
Let’s face it: the last-minute scramble to put together an outfit can be stressful and often results in settling for something less than ideal.
That’s why I highly recommend planning your outfits in advance–days or even a whole week! By taking a little time to plan ahead, you can save yourself time and headaches.
Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Maintain a calendar: Use a calendar or a dedicated section in your planner to jot down the outfits you plan to wear for specific events or occasions. Consider factors like the weather, dress code, and any specific requirements. This way, you can refer to your calendar and know exactly what to wear without any last-minute panic.
- Use outfit planning apps: Make use of technology to simplify the process. There are several outfit planning apps available that allow you to create digital closets, save outfit ideas, and even schedule outfits for different days. These apps can be handy tools for organizing your wardrobe and planning ahead with ease.
- Create outfit inspiration boards: Another fun and visual way to plan your outfits in advance is by creating outfit inspiration boards. You can use platforms like Pinterest or even a physical bulletin board to collect outfit ideas, color combinations, and style inspiration. This way, you’ll have a go-to resource when you’re feeling uninspired or pressed for time.
- Consider the week ahead: Take a few moments at the beginning of each week to review your schedule and plan outfits accordingly. Consider any important meetings, social events, or activities you’ll be participating in. By thinking ahead, you can curate outfits that are not only suitable for each occasion but also ensure that you feel confident and comfortable throughout the week.
- Mix and match: One of the benefits of planning in advance is the opportunity to mix and match items in your wardrobe. Take the time to experiment with different combinations, layering options, and accessories. This allows you to make the most of your existing pieces and discover new outfit possibilities.
#9 Clean & Organize Your Closet
A clean and organized closet is the foundation for efficient and stress-free outfit creation. When your closet is clutter-free and well-organized, you can easily see and access your clothing options, making it a breeze to put together stylish outfits.
Here are some benefits and tips for cleaning and organizing your closet:
- Clear visual space: A cluttered closet can make it difficult to see and assess your clothing options. By decluttering and organizing your closet, you create clear visual space, allowing you to easily spot the items you have and visualize different outfit combinations.
- Streamlined decision-making: When your closet is organized, it becomes easier to make decisions about what to wear. You won’t waste time searching for specific pieces or getting overwhelmed by the chaos. Instead, you can quickly identify the options available to you and make confident choices.
- Rediscover forgotten gems: Cleaning and organizing your closet provides an opportunity to rediscover forgotten gems hidden in the depths of your wardrobe. As you sort through your clothes, you might stumble upon items you haven’t worn in a while or even pieces you’ve completely forgotten about. This allows you to bring new life to those items and incorporate them into your outfits.
- Identify wardrobe gaps: As you organize your closet, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you have and what you might be missing. This helps you identify any wardrobe gaps or items that need to be replaced. Knowing what you have and what you need ensures that your outfit creation process is more intentional and strategic.
#10 Get Rid Of Clothes You Don’t Wear
Clearing out clothes that you no longer wear or that no longer fit properly is an essential step in creating a functional and efficient wardrobe.
Letting go of these items not only frees up physical space but also declutters your mind and allows you to focus on the pieces that truly bring you joy.
It’s important to purge unused or ill-fitting clothes. Figure out what to keep, donate, or discard. You can thank me later.
#11 Take Pictures & Notes
Taking pictures and notes of your favorite outfits can be a game-changer in enhancing your personal style and outfit creation process.
Whether you’re using your camera roll, a dedicated fashion app, or sharing your looks on Instagram, capturing your outfits and making notes can provide valuable inspiration and help you refine your fashion choices.
Here’s why it’s beneficial to document your outfits and utilize platforms like Instagram:
- Visual reference: Taking pictures of your favorite outfits serves as a visual reference for future inspiration. When you’re stuck in a style rut or unsure of what to wear, you can scroll through your photo gallery and rediscover looks that made you feel confident and stylish. It’s like having your own personal fashion lookbook at your fingertips.
- Experimentation and creativity: By documenting your outfits, you can experiment with different combinations and styles. It encourages you to think outside the box, try unexpected pairings, and discover new ways to wear your existing pieces. When you capture these experiments, you can evaluate and learn from them, fostering your creativity in the process.
- Style evolution: Over time, your personal style may evolve, and documenting your outfits allows you to track that progression. By looking back at your previous looks, you can identify patterns, preferences, and changes in your style choices. It’s a helpful tool for self-reflection and self-expression through fashion.
- Community and inspiration: Sharing your outfits on platforms like Instagram creates a sense of community and opens the door to inspiration from others. You can connect with like-minded fashion enthusiasts, discover new styling ideas, and engage in conversations about fashion and personal style. It’s a wonderful way to learn from others, gain fresh perspectives, and find inspiration beyond your own wardrobe.
#12 Try Unexpected Combinations
Sometimes, the most memorable outfits are born from unexpected combinations. Stepping out of your comfort zone and experimenting with mixing and matching different pieces can breathe new life into your wardrobe and elevate your personal style.
Embrace the fun and creative aspect of creating outfits by trying unexpected combinations. You might just uncover your new signature style or fall in love with a combination you never thought would work.
#13 Let Go Of Perfection
When it comes to creating outfits, it’s essential to let go of the pursuit of perfection and instead embrace your personal style with confidence.
Remember, fashion is subjective, and there are no hard and fast rules.
With a little bit of confidence, everything matches! Embrace your personal style, trust your instincts, and let go of the notion of perfection.
Fashion is an ever-evolving journey, and it’s the unique blend of individuality and confidence that makes your outfits truly remarkable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an app that puts outfits together?
Yes, there are several apps available that can assist you in putting outfits together. I actually write about the 10 best outfit planning apps you can download now.
These apps typically allow you to upload photos of your clothing items and create virtual outfits by mixing and matching them. This is extremely helpful in organizing your wardrobe, experimenting with different combinations, and planning your outfits in advance.
Where do I start when making an outfit?
When starting to make an outfit, it’s helpful to begin with a key piece or inspiration.
This could be a statement piece, such as a bold printed dress or a unique accessory, that you want to build your outfit around. Consider the occasion, weather, and your personal style preferences.
Then, think about the color palette and choose complementary pieces to create a cohesive look. Pay attention to proportions, balance, and layering to create a visually appealing outfit.
Just refer to my comprehensive list of tips and tricks above. Remember, it’s all about expressing yourself and feeling confident in what you wear.
How much time does it take to create an outfit?
The time it takes to create an outfit can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the look, your familiarity with your wardrobe, and your personal decision-making process. Some people enjoy spending more time experimenting with different combinations and accessories, while others prefer a quicker approach.
On average, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour to create an outfit. However, with experience and a well-organized wardrobe, you can streamline the process and make outfit creation more efficient.
Practice makes the process easier each time. 😉
Remember, there is no set time limit for creating an outfit, and it’s important to enjoy the process. Allow yourself the freedom to explore different options, experiment with unexpected combinations, and have fun while putting together your outfits.
The goal is to feel confident and comfortable in what you wear, so take the time you need to curate a look that truly represents your personal style.
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Let’s face it, it’s hard to choose a stylish outfit everyday! This checklist is here to show you that you only need around 33 pieces to create easy and chic outfits all year long. Print it out or use it directly on your computer. Best of all, it’s FREE!
Disclosure: Vain Affair is reader-supported. When you buy through affiliate links on our website, we’ll make a small commission, without impacting your price. Thank you. Learn more.
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