You probably had those times when you irritably realized that the outfit you prepared last night, which was perfectly fine when you tried it on, doesn´t look flattering on you in the morning when you´re dressing for work or for an event. I had many of those mornings which often left me frustrated and confused; yet because the time is running out and I couldn´t afford to be late, I would have to abandon any attempts to fix the look. Instead, I´d pull a tried and true, reliable go-to outfit.
Every girl must have a handful of time-saving, fast style for different occasions in her closet for times when she´s vulnerable or if she´s dressing up under time pressure and not wanting to jeopardize her style.
The ideas of these six looks were lifted from John Lloyd´s, Before You Put That On: 365 Daily Style Tips for Her, my go-to inspiration manual. I love the random ideas that John provided in his book. If you haven´t read it yet, then let this be a sneak peek.
1. Timesaving, stylish outfit combination
When the season calls for spring colors, this outfit will save you time while keeping things stylish. It´s called a surefire combination, styling up a mix of elegant neutrals with a standout spring color.
Go for a bright, spring-color sleeveless sweater (V-neck, turtle, or mock turtle) for your top, dark knee-length skirt, dark sexy knee boots, opaque tights that match your skirt and boots, a bright, spring-color handbag, and a classic-fitted denim jacket.
2. Basic black and white
I´m a fan of Angelina Jolie´s style, always elegant in neutrals. But unlike her, I love wearing bright colors most of the time. And yet I love incorporating black and white and other neutrals in my wardrobe too. In fact, a third of my closet is dedicated for this group of colors.
As Lloyd puts it, “going black and white can almost erase the dateline from your appearance, especially since it looks great in just about any season, can be sported in any fabric combination, and is appropriate for day or night.” Here are three suggested ways to go colorless.
Look 1: white dress pants, black velvet blazer, black camisole, and black sling-backs.
Look 2: black turtleneck, white trench coat, white A-line skirt, and black knee boots.
Look3: black jeans, white safari jacket, black shell and flats, white clutch bag.
3. Surefire combination for winter
Towards the end of winter, the clock seems to jump ten minutes ahead every time. Now is the time to get to wear your last winter look before you ditch those heavy wears. If you can´t seem to create a final, original outfit, opt for this trusted combination. Remember, you can create your own version of this with whatever you already have in your closet, not necessarily in exact colors.
Mix a winter white or white turtleneck with winter white or white pants, or white jeans, flat loafers or moccasins in a bold color, chunky leather belt with bold buckle, sporty tote bag, and a quilted three-quarter-length jacket, collar up.
4. Fast fashion for May
As the middle of the year approaches, celebrations pile up. This is especially true in May, my birth month. May has a tendency to feel like December and the social calendar can fill-up quickly – Mother´s Day, graduation ceremonies, weddings, garden events, and other summer celebrations.
Create a bright, fun outfit that embodies the spirit of summer, incorporating cute details. No need to do it carbon copy, just use this mix as a template.
Plain solid blazer or suit jacket, basic white t-shirt or men´s tank top, flouncy skirt (pleated, tiered, or ruffled), high-heeled sandals, or espadrilles, fun clutch (usually meant for evening), and super skinny belt worn with a jacket to give a 1940s edge to the look. If you prefer a tan skin in baring spring legs, apply all-over body bronzer.
5. Jump into a black and navy ensemble
A surefire, safe outfit can also speak of European flair and a fashion runway sensibility. While teaming black with navy seems too dark, the trick in rocking these intentionally coupled darks is wearing a balance amount of each. Chic women in Paris and Italy knew for long how modern and sophisticated is the result of this pairing if done right. Here are three ways to mix it.
Look 1: black silk blouse, pleated knee-length skirt, navy hose and shoes
Look 2: Black pantsuit, navy scarf tie blouse, thin strappy heels in black or navy
Look 3: Black trench coat, navy sweater, navy cropped pants/tights, black knee boots
6. A Look that speaks sweetness and retro glamor
Retro glamor has vehemently conquered this year´s trends, from swimsuit to dresses and skirts. But whether many girls are rocking retro or not, you can always make a take any time you feel the need for a fresh color combinations and a great new look.
Try chocolate-brown and classic pink for a look that speaks of sweetness and retro glamor, it was very popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This ensemble has timeless appeal, like a scoop of Neopolitan ice cream, “with its rich stripe of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors”.
Look 1: solid brown skirt, solid pink v-neck sweater, crisp white button-down shirt.
Look 2: pink tank or shell, brown/cream pinstriped pantsuit, pink high heel sandals.
Look 3: brown sheath dress, pink and brown patterned neck scarf, pink mules.
What do you think of these stylish outfits? Which ensembles can you create from the items in your closet?