Effortless Style Series: Cover Your Basics For Easy Outfits

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putting together outfits is effortless WITH THIS TIP

Why Is This So Hard?

“How do I create outfits with what I have? I’m embarrassed that I have so many clothes and putting together outfits is still so hard! How do I get effortless style?”

Most of us have more clothes than we need, and yet, putting together outfits is still a challenge. It feels like it shouldn’t be, and that fills us with frustration, shame, and overwhelm. I hear from you all the time, and I know exactly how they are feeling because I’ve been there!

There is a secret to easily putting together effortless outfits, and it doesn’t get talked about much. You might hear tips like, “You need to accessorize!”

“Add that third piece and you’ll have a perfect outfit!”

“You need four points of interest in your outfit!”

And those are all good tips, but they are all secondary to this most important tip, and it’s probably sitting right in your closet going unnoticed, unloved, unappreciated.

Let’s talk about the unsung heroes of the closet, the behind-the-scenes wardrobe warriors, the foundations upon which we build our fashion. They get no credit, not love, no accolades, but they should, because they are the key to effortless style and creating easy outfits!

Let’s Build a Foundation

When shopping for a new home, you notice the architectural features like beautiful windows that reach for the sky, domed ceilings that soar above, and open spaces that make everything feel so large. These are the features that sell a house.

The only thing you want to know about the foundation is it’s not cracked, sinking, leaking, or crumbling. It’s not pretty, and usually goes unnoticed until it’s a problem, but the foundation of your house is what the windows, ceilings and open rooms rest upon. These windows on my front staircase made me go all heart eyes when I first saw them, but what would happen to them in my foundation failed?

Effortless Style Series:

Likewise, your wardrobe needs a foundation of basic pieces that support all the eye-catching pieces that make you swoon in the store. Without them you can’t build outfits that can support and display those pieces.

If I had to divide my wardrobe into two sections, it would be basic foundation pieces and special pieces. Both have an important role in creating a wardrobe and an outfit, but the most important one is usually overlooked because talking about them and shopping for them is as fun as reading an inspection report of the house you’re buying. What many don’t realize is they are the secret to effortless style and effortlessly putting together outfits.

Each of the outfits in this post is a combination or basic and special in varying degrees, but they all need that basic element.

Basic Foundation Wardrobe Items

What is a basic foundation wardrobe item? They tend to be classic styles and silhouettes, solid or classic patterns that suit your style, in neutral colors, and really unremarkable…or so they seem.

Items like jeans, basic tees or tops, pencil skirts, flats, a jacket, and ankle pants, in solid neutrals create a foundation for every outfit you wear. They are the items you wear over and over, your go-tos, your wardrobe work horses that go with everything, and yet they rarely get the compliments, the attention, or the love.

And that’s the point! THEY GO WITH EVERYTHING! There isn’t a single top in my closet I can’t pair with my dark wash classic jeans. Not one! So if you could up my tops, that’s how many effortless outfits I can start with. Then add in my black jeans. And pair them with all my tops and we just doubled my effortless outfits.

EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits redtopandjeans
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits burgundytop
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits greentopandjeans

My neutral tops go with every skirt and pair of pants I own. More effortless outfits.

Black turtleneck sweaters never get a compliment, a question, or a text. But those blue pants and houndstooth skirt have, they do, and they will. They get all the attention, but if you had to guess which items in my wardrobe get the most wear, which would it be? You got it – the basics. And what frames the special pieces so beautifully? The basics! And yet we don’t get excited about finding them or buying them, but we SHOULD.

EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits blacktopandskirt
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits allblack
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits blackturtleneckandcyanpants
Do I love the blue ankle pants with all my heart? Oh I do. But do I wear them as often as the black sweater? No. Because they aren’t as versatile. The sweater goes with everything. The blue pants don’t. I need a neutral basic top to go with the blue ankle pants unless I’m in an extraordinarily bold mood. The black sweater gets a ton of wear, but none of the love. In order to be able to wear these pieces, we need something to wear them with, so we need to have a foundation of…foundation pieces! They are what hold your outfit together.

Overthinking Outfits

My wardrobe has always been mostly black, white, and blue, which a college roommate once pointed out to me. When I decided I needed to find my style again after the lost years of motherhood gave me memory loss of what I loved to wear, I went a little crazy.

Every outfit needed to be A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Beyond awesome! They were going to be fresh! Fashion forward! Ahead of their time! Making. Fashion. History. And…I looked ridiculous.

I wore ALL THE THINGS in all the outfits. I had colors, patterns, textures, accessories, third pieces, big hair, lots of makeup. I HAD IT ALL!!! But rather than looking stylish, I looked like a Ringling Brothers runaway. Everything in these outfits is shouting, and there is nowhere to let the eye rest.

Awful outfits

What makes it effortless is the effort you put in beforehand of having the right foundation pieces in place to make these outfits come together easily.

But…basics are boring. No one wants to shop for them or talk about them, but they are the foundation for successful style and outfits.

Without them you wouldn’t have a functional wardrobe. Wardrobe basics are a foundation, just like a house has a foundation. Without the proper structure in place, the beautiful home you build will fall apart because there is no stability. The foundation pieces support the special items and allow them to shine.

EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits greentopandjeans
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits browntopandjeans
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits purpletop

Basics Don’t Have to Be Boring

The truth is, boring is kind of my favorite. Sure I’ll bust out a colorful combination when I’m feeling it, or get so fancy with my combinations sometimes, but honestly, my very most favorite outfits are made of basic, boring pieces.

Any outfit described as effortless is subtle, casual, cohesive in a way that’s hard to explain because we can’t reconcile that boring basics are chic.

Even though basics are…basic, they can have special details and elements that elevate them, and if those details reflect your Classic Style Twist, you get a double benefit of extra chic and telling your style story.

EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits allnavy
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits allwhite
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits Denimtop

Unsung Heroes

It’s not as fun to go in search of the perfect jeans. Being totally honest it ranks right below swimsuit shopping. But the value of a pair of perfect jeans – the ones that fit you like a glove, stretch but don’t stretch out, lift and separate your bum (no more mooshy mommy bottom!) in the perfect color – is priceless. They make all your special tops look that much better.

Compare that to jeans that squeeze your belly out and over the waistband like a tube of toothpaste, cut into your hips, lose their shape by lunch time, and smash your tush into an unidentifiable mass? How great will your awesome top look now? Not that great.

Because I’m a Minimal Classic, many of my favorite outfits are made up entirely of foundation pieces, and if I had to choose one category or the other to keep, I’d keep only my basics and part with the specials.

EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits allblack
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits Denimtop
EffortlessStyle–CoverYourBasicsforEasyOutfits allnavy

Every Outfit Starts with the Basics

Shopping for basics isn’t sexy, fun, or Insta-worthy, but you need them. It’s worth the time to figure out what you are missing and find the right ones because it will open up so many more outfits when you find the basics that go with your special pieces.

If you are struggling to create outfits, reconsider the basics. Do you have the foundation pieces you need? Or do you have a closet full of special items and nothing to wear?

Just like every outfit starts with the basics, so do the Stunning Style Classic Wardrobe Guides. They are intentionally based on classic, foundational items you probably already have in your closet. Then I add in a few special pieces to refresh and update your seasonal wardrobe. Each Wardrobe Guide is a collection of 30-40 pieces that create a cohesive, effortless wardrobe, and I create 100 outfits from those pieces, put them on a monthly calendar so you don’t have to choose your outfit, and provide you with a shopping portal to buy anything you might need or want, from basics to special pieces.

The doors to the Society are opening soon, and you can learn more and join the waiting list here!


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