Do you want to develop your own signature style? Do you want to look and feel your best every single day while simplifying your life at the same time? Or maybe you want to make a fashion statement and challenge yourself to live with less.
Whatever the reason, the concept of outfit formulas can help you simplify and narrow down on what your style truly is.
I’ve already talked about decluttering your closet, finding your best cuts and colours – you can find that blog post here, but now let’s look at what is an outfit formula? If a formula is a list of ingredients with which something is made, then an outfit formula is a list of clothing items you use to create an outfit. But to understand it better, let’s look at some examples.
OUTFIT FORMULA 1 = SNEAKERS + SKINNY JEANS + BLOUSE + COAT
OUTFIT FORMULA 2 = SNEAKERS + HIGH WAISTED PENCIL SKIRT + CAMI TOP + DENIM JACKET
OUTFIT FORMULA 3 = SNEAKERS + SKINNY JEANS + T-SHIRT + BLAZER
So all that you have to do is break down the items that your outfit consist off and voila, you have your formula.
You can, of course, do it as detailed or as general as you want and you can also add accessories like scarves and belts.
So now that you know what a formula for styling is, then it’s time to find some of your favourite combinations so you can work on your signature style.
STEP 1 – OBSERVE
Before doing or deciding on anything, take some time to observe yourself. Start with dressing yourself as you usually do but this time, write down the formula you’ve worn that day in your diary.
Include any extra notes that you want to, like which outfits you liked the most, which combinations weren’t exciting and if there are some outfits that you actually disliked.
Do this for a week or two so you get a good idea of what you wear most frequently and how close you are to feeling your best. If you want to speed things up, you can always try multiple outfits in one day but bear in mind that it’s good to wear an outfit for a reasonable amount of time so that you can notice other things such as comfort, practicality, how you feel around other people etc.
STEP 2 – EXPERIMENT
Depending on how your week or two went, you can now try experimenting. If you were quite happy with how you dressed, then you can skip this step but if you feel like what you were wearing was too dull, neutral or repetitive, then you can definitely try some new combinations.
When experimenting, there are absolutely no limits! You can try every type of shoe with every style of bottom with every type of top. That doesn’t mean every single top, just the cut and style. This way, you can discover some great combinations that can become part of your signature look.
The combination of sneakers, skinny jeans, a t-shirt and a blazer is something I discovered by experimenting because I would have never put them together on my own. The same happened with sneakers, dresses and a denim jacket. So trying out new things is a great way to find great outfit formulas.
STEP 3 – DO THIS FOR EACH SEASON
Because the weather is always changing and depending on where you live these changes can range from small to big so, it’s important to take your time to develop your signature style for each season.
It may sound like a lot of work but you only need to do this once for each new season and then you’re good – everything that you’ll learn, you can apply when preparing a new capsule wardrobe or when getting dressed in a new season.
STEP 4 – DEVELOP YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE
Now that you’ve done all of that, you should have a clear idea of what your favourite outfit formulas are so you can work towards building onto that. It depends on what you want to achieve, but you can rotate between any number of outfit formulas that you want.
- If you want to have a really noticeable signature style or you want to simplify your dressing than rotating between 1-2 outfit formulas will do.
- For more versatility yet simple dressing, you can alternate between 2-4 formulas – this is my personal favourite.
- And if you don’t want to limit yourself then use every outfit formula that you like but keep in mind that when it comes to shopping, it’s better to focus on only building your most worn combinations to avoid wasting money and energy.
*TIP: You can also create an outfit formula or two for your work to save time dressing up in the morning.
STEP 5 – PLAYING AND ADDING
Once you’ve found your best combinations for each season, you can now start playing around with them. If you have enough pieces, then you’ll know what to do – when you’re getting dressed in the morning simply follow your favourite formulas with pieces that you have.
But if you feel like you want to build onto what you already own, then think about how you can add more pieces that would create a lot more combinations – that would create a cohesive wardrobe that you absolutely love.
Let’s say one of your favourite outfit formulas is SNEAKERS + PENCIL SKIRT + LONG SLEEVE TEE + COAT. Now let’s say you own one pair of sneakers, one pencil skirt, six different long sleeve tees and two coats so that gives you around 12 combinations. By adding another pencil skirt that would match other items, you could instantly get 24 combinations. And if you add another coat, you could turn that number into 36 combinations.
This is just an idea of how to add more pieces to keep your signature look, while also having versatility and fun. But as always, don’t rush this. Add a piece first and see how it goes. Developing your true style takes some time so there is no point in trying to do everything overnight. Focus on the process and learn as you go.
*Note that finding your best formulas is not something that is supposed to make you feel trapped or make you think you must only wear certain combinations but it’s here to help you develop a style you truly enjoy without thinking about it every single day. And if you feel bored, you can always create random combinations – that is what I sometimes do to spice things up and break the pattern a little. But because I genuinely enjoy my signature formulas – I love wearing them and playing around with them.
I love the concept of outfit formulas because they can give us some guidelines on how to shop better, how to get the most out of our closet, how to create a great capsule wardrobe and how to feel our best every single day.
So I really hope this blog post inspired you to tap into your inner stylist and find your best combinations 😉 and as always, if you have some thoughts I’m excited to hear them!