Work That Wardrobe: Tips on How to Plan Outfits

chanel_fashionistaWe all know the feeling — staring at a closet full of clothes but having nothing to wear. How do you take pieces you own and create pulled-together looks? Our Trendsetter Chanel Fashionista lends some advice on ways to plan complete outfits. If the ensembles in this post entice you, there’s more where that came from. Just head over to Chanel Fashionista…

Every time I make plans to go somewhere, whether it’s to a wedding or just out for drinks, the first thing that comes to my mind is: WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?! It is the inevitable question that probably goes through every female’s mind when events come up. Finding the perfect outfit can take hours. Here is the process I go through when trying to pick out my outfit:

  • First, I consider the event and the dress code. If it’s a wedding or another formal event, there is definitely a dress code, either an implied one or a stated one. Because wedding invitations come way in advance, I have plenty of time to first shop my closet and see if anything I have will work. If not, again I have plenty of time to shop around for that perfect dress or that perfect bag. Weddings are pretty easy to plan for because of the advance notice.
  • For all dressier events, I start by selecting the main item, usually a dress, and then work on the accessories and shoes. For less formal events, such as bridal showers and BBQs, I still start with a main piece, such as a pair of shorts or a casual summer dress, and then plan from there. How to pick that key piece? I take inventory of my closet many times through the year, so that when an event comes up, I can mentally picture my wardrobe and think of pieces that will be perfect for the event.
  • Sometimes when I am bored, I try outfits on and see how pieces look together. This helps me put outfits together, and I am prepared if I ever need to throw something together quickly.
  • Also, when I shop I try to buy versatile pieces, pieces that can be mixed and matched to make many outfits.

Here are some examples of outfits I could put together inspired by my actual wardrobe:


Black Halo Jackie O Dress, $343
LuciferVir Honestus web earrings with diamonds, $5,160
Lulu Guinness Pollyana clutch, $288.75
Nine West bonfire, $89
Miss Selfridge 2 row pearl necklace, approx $5.40
J. Crew Jackie cardigan, $59.50
Wet Seal button front tube dress, $23.50
Christian Louboutin large leather bowling bag, $1,385
Forever 21 heart wedge sandal, $29.80
J. Crew wallpaper jacquard short (similar to image), $98
Louis Vuitton monogram speedy 30 (Bag, Borrow, or Steal), $150/month
Beach bronze glatiator sandals, $41

If you shop appropriately and inventory your wardrobe enough to be familiar with your pieces, planning an outfit shouldn’t take up too much time at all. I make a point of trying on all my clothes when I’m not in a hurry and when I have time to see how they look together. In fact, many times I put on a fashion show for my husband and get his opinion. Then, when an event comes up, I can start planning my outfit right away in my head. Once I have my outfit planned, all I have to do is accessorize and I am ready to go!