Outfit inspiration abounds, but whittling down what you want to wear on any given day can be a challenge. Usual solutions include developing a uniform, clearing out your closet, or saving looks using tools like Instagram or Pinterest.
While these are great solutions I’ve found a few other ways to get out of a style rut in the morning. I usually start my outfit on the temperature, my schedule, and the level of comfort I want in a day. This narrows the outfit choices, but I will still have several directions to go from there.
Over time I’ve developed four alternative methods to style my outfit in the morning, all of which involve the imagination. It is a great way to spice up your morning routine if you are growing bored with your closet.
Wear a Favorite Piece
Sometimes I want to wear a particular piece but it doesn’t seem practical (Or I’ve worn it recently). Instead of trying something else I will often style an entire look around that particular piece. Some people would call it the “hero” item—it serves as the focus of the outfit, and everything else will make it look good.
There are a few ways I style around a favorite piece:
- Use other pieces that enhance/play off its details.
- Build up the outfit and then minimize it by taking pieces away.
- Look in the mirror often to see how your eyes travel. Ask yourself, “Is the main piece the loudest piece?” (Not a loud piece, mind you, but is it the piece that says the most?)
Today’s look is an example of this. I began with this vintage style eyelet dress and added all the details around it. I looked to pair it with other overwear layers (cardigans, coats, jackets) and a few other details, but they created a more complicated look that took away from the dress. In the end I chose minimal accessories and the slip/skirt extender to add lace to the bottom. Keeping it simple kept the dress as the focal point.
Take Inspiration from a Character
Being a lover of stories this might not seem much of a surprise. The outfit styled in this post was heavily inspired by Anne of Green Gables, though not in any direct form of imitation.
While the details I chose enhanced the dress, I chose them in accordance with the character of the piece. While Anne wouldn’t have worn a dress like this exactly, the white eyelet and vintage details transport me back to that era. I chose a locket for my jewelry—something simple and realistic for the time. To add a bit more of the humbleness of Anne’s place I added the straw hat. It keeps the dress from feeling too fairytale and a bit more of someone in the country.
Perhaps it is my writer’s brain, but I make up characters too. My picture stories involve me styling an outfit around the personality of a character. Ultimately, all style choices are still meant to reflect me, but drawing heavily from an imaginary person (whether in film or book) can add a little interest in my outfits.
Match Your Mood
There are some days when mood takes over everything. On days I feel very strong and ready to take on the world I tend to grab blazers and structured pieces, though I rarely dress in a full suit. I usually mix my blazers with some casual element because it balances out my feeling of strength but also the part of me that believes I can still be comfortable and strong without having to completely match a socially respected aesthetic.
Colors are a great place to start, but I also pay attention to how I feel wearing certain pieces. I can feel great wearing a variety of pieces, but asking myself, “Great in what way?” helps to connect the dots. Flowing pieces make me feel either very romantic or very rustic and free. Very dark, structured pieces make me feel classy and collected. Next time you are wearing something, ask yourself how it makes you feel and keep it in mind for later.
Follow an Aesthetic
Sometimes when I style an outfit I aim for a certain aesthetic. I look for textures and colors that represent something I like, and combine them together. It’s a bit like taking a mood board on Pinterest or a textural Instagram feed and combining the elements of several images together.
One of the most common ways this shows up is in my love for very textural, organic pieces. Last week’s look was one of my nature-y treeish inspired looks. I combined natural colors and textures I felt went together. Everything was loose, the fabrics had lovely movement, and the brown details added tons of texture to the dress and cardigan.
I usually draw inspiration for this from all sorts of places—Instagram, Pinterest, places I spot when driving, a magazine, the view from my window… I try to match colors, textures, lines, and whatever else reflects the essence of my inspiration.
These styling tricks have helped me discover so many new combinations within my own closet, some of which I never would have tried otherwise! Though a bit unconventional I find that they lead to some very unique results and some of my favorite looks.
Do you have any tricks to styling your outfits in the morning?
Thank you for reading,