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Basics - how to put an outfit together?

(24 Posts)
billandcoo Mon 31-Mar-14 13:25:52

How does this happen? You pick a pair of trousers, a top, a jacket, a scarf, shoes, jewellery and bag. How do you know what goes with what? How often do you just keep 'that' cardigan to wear with just 'those' trousers or do you mix and match.

I'm putting together my ideal wardrobe and so far have the basics like trousers, pencil skirts, cardis and teeshirts but I'm missing the stuff that makes an outfit.

Can you point me in the right direction please, your help or books/blogs/websites. Thanks

I'm not wanting to look fashionable or trendy, just put-together.

Blithereens Mon 31-Mar-14 13:30:02

Try, she does a whole series on this!

Bonsoir Mon 31-Mar-14 13:32:00

Absolute basic rule: if your top is fitted, wear something looser on the bottom. If your bottom is fitted, wear something looser on the top.

TheLadyRadishes Mon 31-Mar-14 13:35:04

I'm too busy to write much now but didn't want your thread to fall off as I find this kind of thing interesting!

I mostly go by instinct, I know what just looks right (to me) when put together - though often I don't wear anything very interesting day-to-day (skinny jeans and grey/brown tweedy jumper dress thing today).

I think you can get a feel for it through practise, looking at magazines (I love Grazia, I would never actually buy all the expensive fashion stuff in there, but I just like leafing through it and getting ideas for colours and shapes etc) and also a lot of clothes shop websites have sections where they suggest outfits and let you try putting items together - Boden is one.

Also accessories can really help, so for example - jeans and plain black top - a bit meh - but add a bright necklace, scarf, contrasting colour shoes or sandals, funky bag and suddenly you have an "outfit" IYSWIM. I like necklaces and always wear one.

TheLadyRadishes Mon 31-Mar-14 13:35:20

Agree with Bonsoir on that.

noddyholder Mon 31-Mar-14 13:35:41

I often wear fitted bottoms ie skinny jeans with a fitted top. Yikes! Agree a fitted top looks good with fuller trousers.

Bonsoir Mon 31-Mar-14 14:00:40

Über-stylish people can break all the rules, noddy wink. I think this thread is about pointers to help beginners, IYSWIM.

Another helpful hint - separate your clothes into seasons (by weight/colour) - winter/summer/in between - and don't mix items across seasons.

billandcoo Mon 31-Mar-14 14:26:57

This is just what I wanted - thanks! smile Any more would be greatly appreciated!

Great link to puttingmetogether - thanks!

Bonsoir Mon 31-Mar-14 14:29:44

Start from the underpinnings: make sure you have nice, well-fitting, matching underwear and decent socks/tights that are the right weight/colour/shape for your outfits.

cloudskitchen Mon 31-Mar-14 14:39:03

Accessorise. Accessories always make an outfit more put together. Have a look at a couple of blogs for advise and pictures. I read Does my bum look 40 in this or School Gate Style to name a couple. If you're not as old as me Twentymumthing is another good one apparently.

billandcoo Mon 31-Mar-14 15:24:28

I'm very old - I'm 50 grin

I have lots of fine jewellery but that doesn't seem to be colourful enough to work as statement necklaces. Is cheapo costume jewellery ok?

Also, with black trousers and a grey tee, a black jacket looks too severe. Should I invest in some coloured jackets?

Bonsoir Mon 31-Mar-14 16:28:20

At 50 you should probably be avoiding black all together, and certainly not wearing black/grey combos. Far too dreary and draining.

Bonsoir Mon 31-Mar-14 16:29:17

If you have proper jewellery can you plan an outfit around it? I think proper jewellery is great!

Floisme Mon 31-Mar-14 16:33:44

You're not as old as I am, op grin
Do you know what body shape you are? And what colours suit you? I think that's the first step.

cloudskitchen Mon 31-Mar-14 16:41:55

Do you wear jeans? I just bought a black jersey blazer from uniqlo that I wear with a couple of co-orinated layers underneath. Then bung a scarf round to tie it all together. I wouldn't wear a black jacket with black trousers as too "suit" like for my taste but your black jacket with grey tee and some jeans might work if you put a coloured scarf to brighten it up or a statement necklace. I'm not actually mad about statement necklaces either but I know there's a lot of them about at the moment. I tend to wear beads or long silver chain with something hanging off it grin

bonzo77 Mon 31-Mar-14 16:56:29

Following with interest. Ironically I hate accessories. And love black!

AmethystMoon Mon 31-Mar-14 17:18:35

Good thread!
I have been gradually replacing my clothes since I had DD a couple of years ago.
I have been (mostly) sticking to good quality classics (Bicester Village and Gunwharf Quays, thank you!)
I have consciously been building the basics first in neutral colours. Surprisingly for me I have realised black is not an easy colour to wear. I am buying far more Navy and grey, which is softer and actually easier to mix n match. I have invested in some tan boots and a bag which go with more.
I also challenge myself more about whether a potential purchase will go with any other items I have. Also I try to identify gaps, eg dark cropped trousers or navy cardigan. Then I keep a list on my phone dpi always have it to hand.

billandcoo Mon 31-Mar-14 18:03:47

I do wear jeans as long as they're smart ones.

I'm a size 12 top and 10 bottom with a waist and a 32FF bust. My hips aren't as wide as my bust so not sure if I'm a typical hourglass. I'm 5'6"

Dark hair (dyed obvs) and dark brown eyes, pale skin.

I agree about the black jacket and trousers being too suity.

I can't tell you how useful this has been, I've spent years being really drab and frumpy but not this year!

Please, keep your advice coming smile

TheBigBumTheory Mon 31-Mar-14 19:10:50

Thanks for the putting me together link..

I've finally decided to take an interest in what I'm wearing at 44!


billandcoo Mon 31-Mar-14 19:18:23

Isn't it weird bigbum? All of a sudden my approaching 50th brings about an interest in clothes!

I'm learning such a lot :-)

carrie74 Mon 31-Mar-14 19:32:41

I think the older I get, the more I need to work at outfit building, accessorising and buying better quality. I have found following a few blogs of women in similar circumstances to mine has helped give me some ideas of how to put recent fashions into practical use on a real person. I don't always like everything they do, but overall I like their style and their way of putting things together. It also helps if you can see where things are from so I don't need to spend hours in the shops (which I don't have). I also recently went to have my colours analysed which has helped when shopping to just gloss over the wrong colours, have more confidence in choosing the right colours and, crucially, knowing they all go well together.

matildasquared Mon 31-Mar-14 19:42:05

I'm following the thread with interest. I'm 43 and my work wardrobe is 98% grey and black.

ThatsMyOnlyShirt Mon 31-Mar-14 19:54:15

Does anyone read "The Invisible Woman" column on The Guardian? I am not within the demographic she writes about myself, but I still find it an interesting read & it address woman's fashion for mature ladies. I think they are all available online.

billandcoo Tue 01-Apr-14 10:37:38

I tried a white shirt ensemble but hate the boxiness and lack of control (I keep tugging at it) of it so now I know I don't have to have one!

Will check out the invisible woman thing. Thanks.

I've had my colours done carrie which helped a bit but I'm not going to do the style day until I have an idea of what I do and don't like.

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