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How to Build an Outfit- Part 1

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How to Build an Outfit- Part 1

For me, building an outfit is a step by step process to achieve the best results. Coco Chanel iconically said, “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Those were the days of exorbitance and expressing your wealth through your jewels and fur. These days I believe the opposite has become the advice that’s applicable for us modern day women.

When I get ready, I don’t go from forklift driver to fashion blogger with a wave of a wand like I do in the video. If only! Of course, you always start with the core pieces of an outfit; top, bottom and shoes. A lot of women, maybe even you, stop there. This is the equivalent of leaving a party at 9pm. You miss out on all the fun and all the ‘wine’! I have said it before, and I’ll keep saying it; I prefer to indulge trend, “in fashion” pieces in the form of accessories as it’s more cost effective and that way it doesn’t take up too much space in your wardrobe or make your wardrobe as ‘drunk’.

The bones of an outfit, i.e. what I start with for this look are my ‘water’ pieces.

A good pair of jeans, because jeans will ALWAYS be a ‘water’ piece. I love these light wash ‘Mom’ jeans from Levi so much they have basically become a second skin. And if you can remember from last year, the fact that they are not wide leg or flared is a miracle for me.

A t-shirt. Of course, I am making my point by starting with a ‘jeans and t-shirt’ combo because like I have said a million times, I am not a ‘jeans and t-shirt’ gal and I believe that you are better than that as well. So, I’m about to show you how to build on it. This t-shirt matches my vintage style as it is a band esque style, ripped shirt from Free the People, however, just substitute any t-shirt that is more your style.

And some sneakers. It’s very rare for me to not be seen in my converse but these Superga platforms are a literal and figurative elevation to the outfit which I am digging.

Whatever is added to the outfit from here is generally what makes up your individual style. Always with these outfits in the blog, they are just inspiration for you in which you can take and apply certain aspects of the process to your own style.

Ok so generally the next step in the outfit building process is a bag because we are females and we like to carry a lot of shit around with us. One of the only old fashion rules that I follow is matching my bag to my shoes so naturally, I chose a black belt bag.

I am actually so here for belt bags at the moment. When I featured them as a ‘wine’ piece in a Water and Wine episode last year, I said that I wouldn’t get much wear out of it but that it was practical. As it turns out I need to eat my hat, as the saying goes because it’s been a great addition to my style. And hands-free baby! You could add whatever bag you have that goes with your style.

Next, I always consider headwear. I love hats and they have always been a part of my style. If you haven’t given them much of a go, I recommend test driving a few different styles. They have a transformational way off adding a certain je ne sais quoi to any outfit. My baker boy cap goes with the 90’s, grunge, street vibe that seems to be forming in this look. But maybe your outfit doesn’t call for any kind of hat. Maybe it would benefit from a silk scarf or a headband or even a cute scrunchy. Outfits are all about the little details.

Then it’s always jewellery. I would feel naked without it. I have some signature pieces that I wear all the time and then I build on that if the outfit calls for it. I recommend you do the same. Think of your jewellery collection as a mini wardrobe. You should have your ‘water’ pieces that go with any outfit and your ‘wine’ pieces that are more costume jewellery and depicted by trends. We will talk more about jewellery another time as it deserves an in-depth discussion. Here, I am wearing mostly my signature pieces with the addition of this statement cuff to go with the grudge-y vibe.

And lastly, outerwear. It’s debatable whether this should be decided upon before or after the accessories. And honestly, it really doesn’t matter. I am not loyal to either method. Whatever works for you.

I have gone for the Canadian tuxedo esque look with this denim on denim combo. Which can be a tricky one to pull off, but I find it works best if the denim is either the same or completely opposite in colour. I’ve gone for a matching light wash with my trusty ‘water’ denim jacket, but a black denim jacket would also work.

There you have it. The entire look from start to finish. Generally, the bones of an outfit are the easiest part and then I usually spend a bit more time playing around with what accessories work best. I hope you enjoyed the video and this concept gives you some useful insight into my streamlined method of how to build an outfit. We will go step by step through a different type of outfit next week as I feel this is a useful topic to spend some time on. Look forward to another video as well. Happy outfitting!

Love Hayley

Videographer and photographer: Rose Newland from Velvet Wings Media

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