Do you have a closet full of clothes and “nothing to wear”? That’s probably because you’re used to styling your clothes one or two ways, so your outfits start to feel stale and old. But you don’t have to buy a new wardrobe every season to have a fresh, trendy, and polished look. You just need to learn a few new ways to rework the pieces you already have. That’s why I'm giving you these three easy fashion formulas that will simplify putting together a gorgeous, unique outfit every day.
These fashion formulas are easy to recreate, and you can adapt them to your own style, using the pieces you already have in your closet. You can utilize all three, or you can employ just one or two. Either way, you’re sure to get a put-together look!
1. Have a uniform
Streamline your style and your wardrobe by creating your own personal uniform. This “uniform” functions as your go-to style that you can mix and match to create new looks easily and quickly. It will help remove the stress of selecting outfits, and you know you’ll always feel confident and beautiful in what you’re wearing. By simplifying your wardrobe, you also know what clothes you like and wear a lot, so you stop buying clothes you don’t wear and/or overbuying fast fashion that’s just going to end up in a landfill.
Having a personal uniform is not wearing the same thing every day. Think of it more like a pizza. There’s a formula to creating a pizza: bread, sauce, cheese, and toppings. You can still play around with the pizza: make it gluten-free, change the toppings, add a stuffed crust, or turn it into a calzone. Or you can stick to good old extra cheese. A style uniform is the same way; you create a basic formula, and then you can shape it and mold it to suit you!
Here’s how to create your fashion uniform.
Step 1: Track your current outfit habits
Record your outfits for two weeks. Write them on your phone or in a journal. In the morning, write down everything you put on, including accessories. Even better, take a picture of your outfit to add to your phone journal.
At the end of the day, record how that outfit “progressed” through the day. Did you take your cardigan off for most of the day? Were those dangly earrings annoying so you removed them? Did your heels make your calves hurt or give you blisters?
Also, write down how you felt in that outfit. Did you feel confident and beautiful? Why or why not? Remember that what you wear has a direct impact on your psychology and how you feel, so don’t forget to make note of how the clothes influenced your day.
Step 2: Notice patterns
After two or more weeks, review your journal. What sorts of pieces do you like to wear the most? Note the color, fit, fabric, and style.
It’s important to start with a journal of your style, so you can choose a personal uniform you’ll actually enjoy wearing. Don’t just jump into picking out your uniform based on what you think is cool or what you “should” be wearing. If you choose clothes you aspire to wear but don’t currently, you’ll end up with a lot of clothes you just don’t feel good in. The point of this exercise is to find clothes that make you feel good and fit into your lifestyle, and that means starting with clothes you already have and wear!
Step 3: Create a uniform framework
So, which outfits do you wear and love the most? Group them generally. Don’t worry about colors or materials just yet. For example, you might have:
- Work uniform 1: blazer + pencil skirt + white tee
- Work uniform 2: button-down + black pants + cardigan
- Weekend uniform: Black leggings + oversized tee/sweater + booties
The goal is to get a sense of how you currently like to mix and match the key pieces in your wardrobe. Only include accessories if you wear them consistently, like if you have a specific bag you bring with you everywhere or if you always wear sunglasses with work uniform 1.
Step 4: Build a color palette
Having a few go-to colors makes your uniform easy to mix and match. Start by picking two primary neutral colors to work as the foundation of your outfits. This typically includes white, black, navy, beige, brown, grey, and even burgundy. Next, pick two to five accent colors or prints that will match your base colors. These accents ideally should also match, so you can easily throw them together.
Let’s do an example. If you have green eyes, you might like wearing pale shades of green to make your eyes pop. These shades look great with white and beige. So, you pick white and beige/tan as your two base colors. Then, for your accents, you select sage green, forest green, and pale pink. You might also want floral and leaf prints to give your wardrobe a more earthy feel.
Or here’s another example. You have an edgy, rebel style. You wear a lot of black, so that’s your primary base color. Tan is a great secondary base color because it pairs beautifully with black. Then, you choose bright red, metallics, and animal prints. Note that you can pair red, metallics, and animal prints pretty easily. If you selected red, purple, and orange as your accent colors, it would be a lot harder to mix and match, so they’re not good “uniform” colors.
For most everyone, you can’t go wrong with a base of white and black with accents of beige, brown, and one bold, eye-catching color (this will be your statement). This is a neutral go-to that looks great on everyone, is easy to mix and match, and you can find a lot of basics in your color-uniform.
I also recommend that everyone have denim in their closet. So, buy denim washes that match best with the rest of your color palette.
Note: Of course, this isn’t to say you can’t have more colors or styles in your wardrobe! The uniform is just a starting place to make everyday dressing easier.
Step 5: Buy for your wardrobe
Once you have the framework and the colors, start building a closet that fits your style. This means cleaning your closet of items you rarely wear, storing or moving to the back those items that you don’t wear frequently (like cocktail dresses), and organizing your closet to make creating your daily uniform easier. It may also mean going on a shopping spree at Current Boutique to find more pieces that suit your personal style!
Keep in mind that the pieces in your uniform should be high-quality and well-fitted. If you’re going to be wearing these garments a lot, you want them to look right and feel good. At Current Boutique, we offer preloved designer pieces at a fraction of their ticket price, so you can find quality basics that will suit every fashion uniform.
Check out some more uniform ideas on Glamour here.
2. Two basics + statement piece + four accessories
There’s a theory that the perfect fashion formula is two basics, a statement piece, and four accessories. The two basics make it easy to put together a polished outfit, while the statement piece gives a bit of oomph and individuality, and then the whole look is frosted by gorgeous accessories that tie the whole look together.
This means that 2/3 of your closet should be basics, like a white button-down, black tee, quality jeans, etc. Check out our wardrobe essentials list here. Then you can have 1/3 of your closet for statement pieces that you adore. (Ideally, those statements are timeless and sustainable too!)
Here are some examples of outfits that follow this formula:
Jeans (basic) + black tank/tee (basic) + leather jacket (statement) + red purse, red Prada pin, jewelry, belt <@chiaraferragni>
White button-down (basic) + jeans (basic) + check blazer (statement) + sunglasses, headband, purse, jewelry that all match PLUS a bold red lip <@chrisellelim>
Beige long sleeve (basic) + beige shorts (basic) + knee-high white leather boots (statement) + sunglasses, purse, water bottle, belt <@camilacoelho>
White tee (basic) + light wash jeans (basic) + oversized blazer (statement) + matching boots, heel, purse <@negin_mirsalehi>
3. Two of three pieces should be the same color
A polished outfit has two elements that match. This creates a visual continuity that makes your ensemble look purposeful and cohesive. Here are some of the primary ways to leverage this fashion formula of two elements of the same color:
Top + bottom
Matching your shirt and pants in the same color family helps you appear taller, and it creates a gorgeous monochrome outfit that’s always put together. If you use a neutral color for the top and bottom, like black, white, or beige, then you have room to play around with your jacket and accessories to add in other colors, prints, styles, or statements. If you’re feeling bold, use the same bright color on top and bottom to create an eye-catching, powerful look.
Jacket + bottom
Matching the second layer of your outfit to your bottoms gives the appearance of a suit, which is always refined and sophisticated. But this second layer doesn’t always need to be a blazer paired with matching pants. You can match a jacket, sweater, wrap, blazer, cardigan, or vest to your pants for a stunningly cohesive look. This is a great fashion formula for workwear since the matching colors give the impression of a suit but you still have the flexibility of what you want your two top layers to be.
Jacket + top
You can also pair that second layer with your top, giving you room to try out new bottoms. For example, I love the look of a camel sweater paired with a camel blazer or trench coat. You can then dress it down with denim or dress it up with black slacks. You can even pair it with a floral midi skirt for a feminine silhouette.
This outfit pairing is a great way to draw attention to either your bottom or top half, based on where you centralize your color. So, if you love your legs and butt, wear bolder pants and a neutral shirt and jacket; if you want to draw the eyes upwards, your top and jacket can have bolder colors or prints.
Accessory + accessory
The easiest fashion formula that will always give your outfit a fresh look, no matter what you’re wearing, is to match your accessories. Any ensemble, even sweats, can look more polished if your shoes match your purse.
You particularly want to match your shoes, bags, and belts. If you’re just getting started on your accessory journey, I recommend buying accessories in beige, brown, or nude. It’s easy to find brown and nude accessories, and they’ll match with just about any outfit.
(Even matching your slippers and hair towel can be chic!) @gabifresh
Start shopping for your go-to accessories on Current Boutique! We offer high-quality, preloved basics and statements that will make matching accessories even easier.
Use all three formulas
All three fashion formulas go hand in hand. If you create a personal uniform, you should have basics and statement pieces based on what you tend to wear most. You’ve also selected your foundational colors and accent colors, so you can easily meet the two-piece color matching rule. Leveraging all three fashion formulas at the same time will help elevate your wardrobe to feel more cohesive, polished, and timeless.
Do you have your own fashion formula? What does your personal uniform look like? We want to hear from you on social media – tag us on Instagram @currentboutique!