How to Take Basic Outfits from Simple to Stunning

you can look put together in simple but stunning outfits

Do basic outfits have to be boring?

“I can’t believe how cute you dress with those 6 little ones! Don’t you worry about your clothes being ruined?”

My eyes dropped to my basic outfit, and I wondered why she thought I was so dressed up. I was wearing a tee, my favorite jeans, and flats. Stud earrings, a striped diaper bag, and 6 kids ages 2 to 8 completed my ensemble, but my outfit was pretty simple. 

After giving birth to 6 kids in 6 years, my days have been messy for 12 years now, but it has always been important to me to get up and get dressed every day. Even with the lots of spit up, diaper explosions, sticky hands, and messy faces, I like to be dressed and look nice. 

I’m in a different stage of life now that my youngest is 6, but daily life as a mom is still messy with cooking, cleaning, hidden puddles of syrup on the counter, and the occasional glitter explosion. 

I'm not as dressed up as I look

The truth is, my outfits are still pretty simple because of my Minimal Classic style, but I look much more dressed up than I am. Most of my outfits come from a simple formula that allows me to be put together, but ready for anything that comes my way. 

Broken down by tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, outerwear, and accessories, I’m sharing what I wore in the early, messy days, and what I NEVER WORE during that stage of my life. These same tips apply whether your job, lifestyle, or personal preference requires basic outfits.

Finding your style makes it even easier to get dressed, and if you’re still refining, or starting from scratch, the Classic Style Twist Quiz below can get you started!

How to take your basic outfits from Simple to stunning

This video is a special Facebook Live I did in my free Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style group. It’s a sneak peak into the kind of content members of the Stunning Style Society get every week. I share exactly what I would, and would not, have worn in those early, messiest days when I had 5 kids born in 3 years (if you’re doing the math on that, I’ll help you out. Add a set of triplets, and it works).

Are you surrounded by sticky hands, syrup puddles, glitter explosions, or otherwise worried about ruining your clothes? Your basic outfits can still be stunning.

Join the conversation

Looking for more inspiration? Discuss capsule wardrobes and classic style with a fun community of like-minded women in the Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook group

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12 thoughts on “How to Take Basic Outfits from Simple to Stunning”

  1. After becoming familiar with what style I am, I discovered my closet was full of things I didn’t know how to put together. UNTIL NOW! Thank you so much! 🦋🌷

      1. I love, love, love all your outfit suggestions! I also like how you have grown your hair out and style it (with texture) Could you do a short video on how to style your longer hair.

        1. Thanks Cathy! I’m glad you love the outfit suggestions. I feel like I’m still in a major learning curve with my hair, but when I feel like I have my system down, I will definitely share! Thanks for the suggestion. I love knowing what you’d like to see here.

  2. Kimberly Lattimore

    So excited to be part of this group!!! I’ve been searching out my style & this really resonates with me.

  3. I absolutely love how your explanations help me pull together a look that presents me to the world in a way that is comfortable and tasteful. Thank you!!! It is helping me refine my closet so the items I keep are truly a reflection of who I am.

  4. I just found your blog and it is amazing! I sent the link to my daughter immediately as we just recently had this conversation about wanting less clothing, the right clothing, but not being sure of how to go about it. I have learned that In the city I am a classic minimalist that can veer in all directions except cute. I have a dilemma, however…I have a soft spot for what I can only call the cowgirl/mountain girl esthetic on the weekend. Think brown harness or hiking boots, Lucky Brand jeans, a leather belt and southwestern-ish jewelry. I even like plaid shirts. But almost always it feels like too much. How on earth can this be incorporated into the classic style? Or am I doomed to a country mouse/city mouse dichotomy?

    1. Jess, welcome! I’m so glad you found me and my articles are helpful. It might surprise you, but I’m a country girl at heart. I love to ride, I have a mini homestead (it’s gotten smaller as I’ve gotten busier, and when the last flock of chickens was killed by yet another neighbor dog, I gave up. I had already replaced 50 hens over the years due to dogs), I LOVE gardening and landscaping, I’m a master canner, and an amazing country two-stepper. So I am also drawn to that aesthetic. I would say choose fewer of those details per outfit if it feels like too much. Have you read the Sporty Classic article? It might help.

  5. A word about handbags, I have a small collection of Louis Vuitton bags that I love. One is a classic black, one is a classic brown (damier ebene), one is a classic cream (damier azur). Since I’m not buying a navy bag or a red bag right now I use my brown bag on navy bag days and my cream bag on red bag days. What do you think?

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