Outfit formulas

Feeling like Cinderella, the broom and mice version?

Let's face it. Your mornings are far too busy to worry about how to put together a polished outfit. You have more than enough putting together that reviving cup of morning tea and remembering to add sugar.

And you're a uniform dresser. Which doesn't mean that you're a nurse or bus driver, it means that you prefer to wear the same basic combinations over and over, kind of a formula that you use, perhaps even without being conscious that you do.

Let me give you some other formulas that you can use, that are just as easy as adding sugar to you morning tea. You did remember sugar, right?

So let me see if I've gotten this right.

Is this your standard outfit formula?

You begin by stepping into a pair of pants, then grab a comfy top, and then add some sneakers or other flat shoes.

Dressing up to you looks something like putting on dressier pants and a different comfy sweater, and loafers instead of sneakers.

There's nothing wrong with that.

But then there's that occasional twinge of "maybe I should make an effort and get some variation" but you don't want to do the whole Lady Gaga thing. And for you, the definition of Lady Gaga is wearing high heels and a dress.

So you don't want to turn into Cinderella in glass slippers on her way to the ball.

Forget Cinderella. That kind of got us off track.

We're talking super casual with variation, but keeping it real.

Would something like this be close to your go-to outfit?

outfit formula

If this outfit formula looks like you and you'd like to expand your options, this is the article for you.

Let's look at som simple ways to add just a little polish to your casual daily outfits, without morphing into a prom princess.

And do try this at home! 

No need to run out and buy anything. Look at the outfit formulas below. I promise that you have something similar in your closet, prêt-à-porter.

Formula #1

Casual pants + dressy top + dressy shoes + one accessory

Instead of throwing on the usual sweatshirt, pick one of your dressier tops. Doesn't have to be a crisp white shirt, could be any one of your dressier tops that doesn't see much use. I'm sure you have one. 

outfit formula

So instead of saving that dressy top for the fortnightly dinner with your mother-in-law, wear it with your jeans, and bring out that pair of loafers or slightly dressier pair of shoes, add a belt or scarf. No need to go overboard and do both. One accessory will do.

Pro tip 1: Fold up the hem of the jeans so your ankles show. This is particularly effective when wearing dressier shoes.

Pro tip 2: Do tuck the shirt, or wear the belt over the shirt.

Formula #2

Dressy pants + comfy top + casual shoes + necklace

outfit formula

Combine a dressier pair of pants with a comfy soft sweater, and keep it casual with sneakers and add polish with a necklace.

Formula #3

Dressy pants + T-shirt or camisole + dressy shoes + cardigan + necklace

Nordic Simplicity outfit formula

This is upping the polish a notch, in case you have an important meeting with the PTA board or the Angora Rabbit Breeders Association that day.

Formula #4

Casual pants + comfy sweater + sneakers + necklace.

Back to casual, but adding sophistication by remembering to wear a necklace.

outfit formula

Pro tip: If in doubt, wear a necklace.

Formula #5

Skirt + dressy top + dressy shoes + necklace

Nordic Simplicity outfit formula

The Sunday best formula. But why not wear it in an everyday setting once in a while? You'll be surprised at how sharp you'll feel.

Pro tip: Avoid oversized tops. 

Formula #6

Skirt + comfy sweater + sneakers + necklace

Nordic Simplicity outfit formula

Skirts can be very versatile. Pairing it with a comfy sweater, thick tights and sneakers (or boots) makes for a casual outfit with a polished twist. Especially if you remember to top it off with a necklace.

Formula #7

Casual jeans + T-shirt or camisole + sneakers + cardigan or jacket + belt

Nordic Simplicity outfit formula

Pro tip: If in doubt, add a belt. 

Formula #8

Dressy pants + crisp shirt + dressy shoes + cardigan or jacket + necklace

Nordic Simplicity outfit formula

Don't forget to tuck the shirt in.

Formula #9

Same as above, but with your skirt!

Nordic Simplicity outfit formula

Which outfit formula is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

About the author, Jorunn Hernes

Jorunn is a Certified Personal Colour Analyst, founder of Nordic Simplicity and Scandinavian Style Academy™, the fresh, simple, Scandinavian approach to getting dressed. Jorunn will avoid social settings with more than three people but can be lured out with snacks and the promise to talk about books.

  • Jorunn, these are simple ideas, yet having them together in one spot is brilliant. #1 speaks to me. I have several nicer blouses that I think of as “going out” or “professional” tops. I have planned outfits using them with jeans for going out to dinner, etc. but I had not even considered wearing the ensemble to my causal workplace! Now if I could just find some lug soled loafers that fit! I may try ballet flats now that they are “back.” Cheers!

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