I recently started watching a series of videos about styling outfits and got to thinking about how to make my own outfits, well, more interesting. I tend to accessorize in ways that are safe: pick the shoes that match. Pair gold with white, silver with gray. But this stylist was telling me to create outfits with more “friction,” or pieces that aren’t quite matchy matchy, for more interest. Let’s try it out!
Ok so yes the deep Instagram TV hole I am now in is Tibi’s style series and some of the videos are basically coverage of Tibi’s new designs but others are FULL OF STYLE TIP GEMS like “mix coverage with exposure” and “look for one casual, one modern, and one classic element in each outfit.” The stylists are also pretty funny and have some definite opinions–it’s like going to happy hour with your friend who loves to play fashion police. I am very overwhelmed by all this new style knowledge and thought it would be best to stop binging videos and start actually trying to use my closet to test some new looks.
Anyway, let’s take the following outfit:
I think this outfit is pretty cute and I will absolutely be wearing it to work in the fall. Being matchy is ok! Some days it’s what I want. But other days I’m just standing there staring at my closet hoping for something more interesting, so instead let’s try…
According to the stylists, one thing you can think about is mixing coverage levels: this is a midi dress so it’s pretty full coverage, and one tip they keep giving people is to mix in a strappier shoe for contrast. I don’t have many strappy shoes so this was the best I could do. I also like that the shoes are a little tougher/trendier, versus the more modern/minimalist dress.
Next up: items that I style the same way every time I wear them.
This leopard skirt is a statement piece in my closet so I usually put it on with a close fitting tank top in black or white…and that’s the only idea I have. I’ve probably worn the above outfit 5 times at this point, so I’m getting a tad bored. Instead let’s try:
Another thing they recommended to someone in a recent episode is to play with proportions by pairing sleek items with bulkier items, which I did here with an oversized shirt and lug sole boots. And my interest in wearing this skirt to the office in the fall has totally returned! Can’t wait to wear this one!
Finally, here’s another outfit that I would say is very “classic” me/ripped out of the Madewell catalog/I’ve been wearing it for five years:
Again, nothing wrong with the outfit, but even with the pop of contrast in the shoes, the contrast isn’t that big, because the style of the shoes, bag, and shirt all vibe with a sort of academic/preppy look.
Instead here I swapped out the shoes and earrings with items I usually wouldn’t bring into my work style. The number one thing I’ve learned from my stylist video deep dive is to switch out the shoes, switch out the earrings. Seriously they’ve said “add a weird earring” in every episode. The good news is I know a guy who makes those 🙂
I really appreciate people who can pull back the veil on the elusive “effortless” style that I really want to have but have never been able to make effortless 🙂 Have you found any good sources of style inspiration lately? I would love some more!
This post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author.