Not everyone is fortunate to be born with a fine eye for style and design. However, it is quite easy to fill this gap by using some simple tips and tricks.


Pare down your closet

What? It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? One would think putting together successful outfits requires many garments in your closet, but it is quite the opposite. So, sort it, purge it, clean it first! Here are some tips on how to do it effectively (I share some before and after pics of my closet, too!).

After you do this, you will be left with only clothes you LOVE to wear. And when you LOVE what you wear, you look immediately more confident and attractive.

How to Put an Outfit Together Like a Pro

Meat and Potatoes

“If 70% of your wardrobe is meat and potatoes aka basics, the other 30% is the dessert—full-on sparkle and shine, indulgent glamour.” – Michael Kors.

Of course, this should be treated like a guideline rather than a rule. However, if you are not a professional stylist, following this rule will save you from outfit failures and the common “nothing to wear” problem.

Have core pieces in black, white, tan, blush, navy, denim – and there is your 70%. Add 30% of accent colors (whichever suits you best) and accessories.

After this, the hardest work is done. If you follow this scheme, you will have no problem combining clothes into outfits.

How to Put an Outfit Together Like a Pro

Where to Start

Consider your activities for the day. Do you have a meeting with a client? Do you have lunch with friends, or are you just running errands on your feet? That will dictate what shoe you will be wearing – choose appropriate and comfortable shoes for your activities. Chucks? Pumps? Mules?

Shoes can make a huge impact on the entire outfit, thus I love to start there.

Choose a Focal Piece

In other words, choose an accent piece that will draw attention and build from there. It can be a patterned shirt, or accent color pants. If you are not an experienced stylist, try to stick to one accent garment, otherwise you can overwhelm an entire outfit.

How to Put an Outfit Together Like a Pro

Pair it with the Core Piece

The core piece is usually achromatic – ivory, white, black, gray, or basic colors like navy, chocolate, denim etc. and solid. It is easy to pair them with pretty much any pattern or accent color.


Depending on the weather, you might want to layer for extra warmth. Layer with a jacket, blazer, or cardigan of the core color, or pick any color from the print and use it in your layering piece. This is an easy way to coordinate colors.

If you want to know more about coordinating colors, you might want to read about basic concepts of color theory. It is applicable to everything, from creating beautiful outfits to pulling a room’s design together.

How to Put an Outfit Together Like a Pro

Accessories and Handbags

When it comes to choosing an accessory for focal patterned pieces, I look at the colors that the piece has and repeat it in the accessory – handbag, necklace, bracelet. If not sure, gold or silver are always a safe choice. Just be careful with accessories. If in doubt, less is always more. Just follow Coco Chanel’s rule, “Before leaving the house, remove one accessory.”

How to Put an Outfit Together Like a Pro




Brief bio:

How to Put an Outfit Together Like a Pro

Nadia Karpov is a founder of Happymalista blog where she documents her journey towards minimalist life style. As a slow fashion enthusiast, she constantly explores the subject and shares everything she learns on her blog. You will find simple style, beauty, sustainable shopping, and travel tips on her blog. To learn more, please visit Happymalista, Instagram, and Facebook


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