When it comes to personal style, I don't believe in universal rules. We are all unique – our body shapes, our coloring, and, of course, our personalities.
However, when it comes to creating new outfits, I do use certain formulas that work for any age, shape and size.
These formulas are the blueprint for great style – and will help you to look great no matter the occasion or time of year without filling up your closet with items that you’ll only wear once or twice.
Want to know what they are? Well then, let’s dive in!
Ready to wear outfit formulas
Play with proportions.
If you’re wearing something loose on the top, pair it with something fitted on the bottom, and vice versa. This style “rule” works for any height and/or body shape. Never wear an all loose outfit (= frumpy), and be careful with an all fitted outfit (= not classy).
Mix your neutrals with a splash of color to add a little fun (and personality) to your outfits. If you’re just starting out on your style journey (or if colors scare you – not as uncommon as you may think!), go for a scarf, belt, handbag, or jewelry. However, if you’re more experienced and/or confident, you could also pick a top or dress in a daring color. For advice on how to find the best colors for you, take a look at my article HERE.
The difference between “wearing clothes” and “wearing an outfit” is all the little details that pull the individual items together. For example, a simple jeans and white tee outfit with sneakers is super casual. But as soon as you start adding some statement jewelry, tuck in the t-shirt, use a colorful scarf as a belt and add an oversized handbag, you immediately look more put together, and the look turns into something straight off the catwalk.
Coordinate the details.
The devil is always in the details. Recalling the color of the pink flowers in your dress with your accessories and/or shoes, or using a matching scarf with your handbag are details that don’t always stand out at first but are visually very pleasing to the eye, and make a big difference when it comes to finishing off your outfit.
Show off your best assets.
It may sound counterintuitive, but showing off the parts of your body that you are most happy with can distract from the parts that you want to hide. For example, if you don’t like your tummy and your waist is not that defined, instead of covering up everything, focus on putting your best part(s) on display. If that’s your cleavage, then wear a V-neck top you to show off your décolleté, if you have gorgeous toned arms, wear a sleeveless top. The eye will be naturally drawn to these areas, and no attention will be given to the rest!
Layer, layer, layer.
Playing with layers is one of the most coveted pro styling tips you’ll ever get. Fashion evolves, and layers have been pretty big in the last few years, but you don’t necessarily need to be “on trend” to look put together. When it comes to layers, it’s all about finding the right proportions. Never go all oversize or all fitted, rather mix it up to create a relaxed yet stylish feel.
Aim for an hourglass figure.
An hourglass looking figure is the most feminine of all and looks great on anyone! It doesn’t matter what your body shape actually is; you can always create the illusion of an hourglass figure with your clothes and accessories. The secret is to camouflage the parts that need be balanced with complementing cuts and colors, visually enlarge any smaller areas, for example, your shoulders or your hips, and then accentuate your waist.
Classic outfit ideas
Here are some of my go-to outfit formulas that my clients always love, and work for any woman regardless of age, shape or size.
Jeans, t-shirt and blazer. A super versatile combination that easily goes from casual to smart. Pair it with flats for a more relaxed look, or dress it up with high heels for the night. This is my go-to day look; I wear it with slip-on sneakers and statement accessories, and in the nighttime I change into a pair of ankle boots.
Shift dress. Works for literally any occasion depending on how you switch up your accessories. I love to wear it with a belt and sneakers for the day, and ankle boots or chunky sandals for the evening.
Denim skirt and a silky top or t-shirt. My all-time favourite spring/summer look. Denim skirts are as adaptable as jeans, and there is a cut for every shape. They can work for most occasions depending on the wash and shade, and go really well with silky tops or even simple t-shirts. I love wearing them with sneakers or sandals in the summer or ankle boots in the spring.
Midi skirt and blouse. I’m loving the midi pleated skirt trend! Even though I’m rather petite, they’re a major part of my wardrobe right now. They look best with heels (especially if you’re not that tall), but I also wear them with slip-on sneakers and usually finish the look with a denim jacket.
High-waisted pants and a top. Another seasonal favourite that works in a million ways. This always requires the top to be tucked in, and a statement belt will finish off your look beautifully. Personally, I wear it with silky blouses and short jackets, pointy flats or chunky but “light” heels. (Note: I usually don’t recommend this outfit for those with “apple” body shapes.)
A couple of bonus tips…
Play with patterns. Start with accessories and work your way up to statement items, such as dresses or coats. Make sure that you don’t overdo it, though! Also, if you’re fond of patterns pay attention to what you already have in your closet so that you buy items that work with them, to get the most out of your wardrobe.
Always add some personal touches! A look isn’t truly “put together” unless you have something really unique in your style. Personally, I like to keep things simple when it comes to clothes, but I do match accessories and colors in my own way that makes the overall outfit special. Find your “style personality” and add that special signature touch to every look.
In my signature Style Coaching program, My Style Story, we define your personal brand and style, and then a build a wardrobe that suits you in every way around that. If you’re interested in discovering more, book your completely free and no-obligation Image Evaluation with me today!
Veronika Nemeth is a Style Coach & Image Consultant, based in Milan, Italy. She works with ambitious businesswomen and female entrepreneurs who have a desire to create a unique & authentic image that enhances both their professional & personal lives.
Veronika’s mission is to empower women to build wildly successful businesses & lives by creating a confident, authentic & stylish personal brand.
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