How to build a stylish outfit.

When I recently asked you guys to tell me what you'd like to see from me, a lot of you asked for some direction with how I put together an outfit. A full look, from head to toe, accessories included. I feel like I have somewhat mastered this process so I thought I'd sit down and take you through, step by step.

No. 1 Inspiration 

Some of my looks come to me organically, or maybe I have picked up inspiration subconsciously while scrolling online, but most of the time, it is because I have documented my style inspiration. I think of it as digitally scrapbooking. Whether this is by pinning on Pinterest or saving pics to my saved collection on Instagram, I always have a go-to place where I can take a look at what outfits have caught my eye. I love finding looks on Insta or in magazines and re-hashing them to make them more 'me'. I tend to love re-working straight size outfits and making them plus size friendly. I love showing you guys that no matter your shape or size, you can make so many of the on-trend looks, work for you.

Flick through magazines, look through the hashtags on Instagram, check out the various Fashion Weeks each season, find what works for you. 

Visual Merchandisers work hard to put looks together on mannequins in store. Now, I don't think they always do a fantastic job, but that's just my taste BUT, 9/10 they do help to inspire the less fashion savvy or the people who are in a fashion rut. I love looking at mannequins in stores like Zara and thinking "how can I recreate that look with clothes that'll fit me?"

No. 2 Building the look

Choose the star item - The first thing I tend to do when building an outfit is choose the main garment. It can either be a statement coat, a wicked dress or classic shirt for example. I always pick one item and then go from there. 

Whether I am putting together a look for the blog or a day to day outfit, it's the same process for me. I start with the item I want to be the focus and pull together additional items that I want to compliment that star item.

Basics at the ready - Something I have learnt over the years is that basics and wardrobe staples are essential. Check out a recent post of mine here, where I detailed the top must-have items to help you build the perfect wardrobe. 

Basics, such as Breton stripe tops, crisp white shirts and plain white tee's help you build a killer outfit because they are the items that are there to help glue a look together seamlessly. Alone, they aren't always the most thrilling pieces but mixed in with the statement pieces; they make a look complete!

Mix & Match - a top tip is to make sure you have pieces in your wardrobe that sing together. Make sure you have items that you can re-work over and over again and that you can pair with heaps of other things in your wardrobe. Statment pieces and on-trend pieces etc. are good, but they can date very easily, and you probably won't reach for them as much as your trusty skinny jeans or throw on t-shirt.

Watch the Weather - If you live somewhere like the UK, dressing for the seasons is kind of hard. Take the weather at the moment for instance. It is hella hot, but pouring down at the same time - this makes dressing appropriately, all the more difficult! Where possible, if you keep an eye on the weather, you'll at least know to stay away from your polyester tops if it's humid or your linen dress if its raining cats and dogs!

Versatile shoes - a lot of the issues I have with building a look, can be because I really struggle to find comfortable shoes. When I do see a shoe or trainer I like, I tend to buy them in every colour and stockpile them hahaha. If you have a versatile array of shoes, you can quickly switch up a look just by changing the shoe. A 'nice top and jeans' look can go from casual (with a trainer) to party ready (with a heel), just like that!

Go - to accessories - I love buying accessories. I am a highstreet handbag fiend, I buy too many earrings, and my recent obsession is sunglasses. The accessories available to us in store tend to be very trend driven, but I always make sure I have the classic go-to's ready and waiting to finish off a look. I like to pick out a key colour in my outfit and let that inspire my accessory choices. If I am wearing a blue/white/denim look, for instance, I will usually wear gold jewellery, white or red sunnies and yellow is also a current obsession! I just love my primary colours! 

I would say those classic accessories are pieces that are timeless such as gold hoops, white trainers, your fave stackable rings, black/tortoiseshell sunglasses. Items that won't go out of style and you can wear with hundreds of different outfits.

Try on session - once you've found the star item, mixed your basics in, picked the shoe and accessorised to the gods, it's time for a try on session! Put it all on, get up close and personal with your full-length mirror and get looking! A lot of women tend to shy away from looking at themselves in a full-length mirror. This is something I find exceptionally sad, but it is a reality for many. I think it's so important to look at your body, from all angles and understand that the way we see ourselves is very different from how others do. 

Get to know your body dressed and undressed! Before I go on holiday, for instance, I always prance around the house in my new bikinis to see how I feel in them and to get used to flashing the flesh.

No. 3 The boring stuff 

Keep on top of your laundry - this is so simple but so helpful. I try to do my washing regularly so that I know what I have clean and know what I have available to wear. There is nothing worse than planning a look, only to find your beloved piece is in the laundry basket, and you have to start from scratch.

Invest in a steamer - Guys, ironing is killer. I hate it. I have a chronic pain condition, so it really hurts when I have to iron. A steamer has changed my life. Honestly! I keep it in the corner of my bathroom, and I pull it out whenever I need to get an item of clothing ready to wear. I used to buy a dress or a shirt and literally wear it once because after I washed it, I'd have to iron it and I am so lazy/in pain that it would just sit in the clean laundry pile or wardrobe, unworn. Now that I have a steamer and it takes minutes to make an item look brand new and crease free; I wear things over and over again, how they should!!

Find a tailor - Does anyone else have a pile of clothes that they love but they cant wear because they're too baggy or too long in the leg? I used to have this pile...well drawer full, but last year I found a seamstress in my local dry cleaning shop, and now I always get things altered. This has opened up such a variety of garments that were previously unwearable and I now have a lot more choice!

Dry Cleaning visits - I used to buy statement garments, wear them once and then they'd sit at the bottom of my laundry basket getting all musty and gross. I would say "I'll go to the dry cleaners next week", but then forget time and time again and never re-wear them. I now make a conscious effort to round up my dry clean only clothes and my clothes to be altered and take them to the shop. Now I know that I can actually re-wear my killer standout pieces and not just let them go to waste.

Shop my look

1. Breton top  | 2. Trousers | 3. *Wide fit heels | 4. Sunglasses | 5. Bum bag | 6. Denim Jacket, similar here

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