On the face of it, it may seem like a question with an obvious answer, but I feel it’s one I need to spend some time on.
Well, after working with clients over the years I feel the definition of an outfit is one thing that’s often misunderstood. Although it may feel trivial at first, it can have a massive influence on your wardrobe, which in turn, can lead to them becoming overstuffed, stressful mornings and painful comparisons.
So what is an outfit?
My definition isn’t probably too dissimilar to yours – a set of clothes worn together for an occasion.
But I keep seeing people tripping themselves up because they feel they aren’t wearing a ‘new’ outfit unless it’s formed from an entirely different set of clothes each time.
Where does this idea come from?
I think a lot of us hate the feeling of being ‘caught’ wearing the same thing twice, so we feel the need to wear a new set of clothes every time. This is amplified if it’s a special event or occasion. You also see this concept promoted across the internet; whether it be through ‘influencers’ or bloggers posting new outfits every day, championing the notion an outfit is an entirely new set of clothes.
Repeating outfits is a term often thrown about that has subtle undertones that imply frugality, and therefore something to be surprised or shocked at. The fact tabloids make it even a ‘thing’ when a royal does it just develops this concept further. All of this suggests that newness is something to embrace while re-wearing pieces is something to look down on.
A different way of viewing outfits
The way I view a new outfit is ANY change to a set of clothes.
So let’s say you start with one set of clothes and then swap a single piece. That could be something as large as a skirt or small and simple like a pair of earrings or a necklace. In my eyes, you’ve now created a brand new outfit.
By simply swapping the accessories and shoes in an outfit you can create a huge variety of looks before you even consider swapping any clothes. When you throw those into the mix, the possibilities are endless. Ultimately, this should lead to you wearing more of your clothes by expanding the opportunities for outfits that lie in your wardrobe.
Creating a variety of different outfits is one of the most common dilemmas I come across and more often than not it’s because people just need to adjust what they identify as a new outfit.
When you make this switch, it alters the way you look at your wardrobe. All of a sudden you see new outfits you’d never have considered before out of concern or fear that it wasn’t ‘new’ enough. It also alleviates comparison and curbs shopping habits. If you can add a new accessory or piece of jewellery to a set of clothes to create a new outfit there’s no longer a need to go out and buy a new dress, skirt, top or anything else! You can look at your wardrobe first rather than feeling the need to go straight to the shops like you may have done in the past.
I’ve written about outfit formulas before. But jotting down outfit formulas gives you a visual representation of an outfit and allows you to see which parts of it you can swap out. It may seem really obvious, but that’s because it is! Our memories are terrible at remembering trivial things such as what clothes you’ve put together, especially when there’s so much more important information it needs to retain. Writing an outfit down as a formula is a quick and easy way of capturing that blueprint so you can come back to it at a later date and create the same, or a similar outfit, again.
Hopefully, this post has illustrated a slightly different way of defining what exactly an outfit is. By simply changing the definition you can unlock your wardrobe, make it easier to get dressed while reducing the stress you feel when trying to ‘put your clothes together’.
Creating outfits isn’t difficult. We make it difficult for ourselves by creating unnecessary restrictions, by getting rid of these you free yourself up to then get creative.
How do you look at outfits?
You can check out more from Zlata who featured in my photos, (She’s a fantastic fashion designer) on her Instagram or Youtube.