May 13, 2015 - Easy Outfits, Style

Outfit Builder Grid: An Easy Way to Get Dressed Every Day

Today I’m providing a solution for a question that I get asked all the time.  What’s the easiest way to put together an outfit for every day?

Many of you are stay at home or work from home moms like me.  We know we feel better when we don’t spend the day in our yoga pants, but when it comes to casual outfits, what’s enough and what’s too much?

Applying the principles that I use when I get dressed every day, I’ve created an easy casual outfit formula grid for getting dressed that makes you instantly look put together.  Just pick out a top and bottom, then add one to two more items to make it an outfit.


How to Use: Choose one item each from Categories 1 and 2. Then add an optional topper from Category 3 and at least one item from Category 4.

You can build outfits as simple or as complicated as you’d like, the key is the number of items you choose in Category 4.  For a really simple outfit for a day at home, only use categories 1 and 2 plus one item from category 4.  If you want to get more adventurous, wear something from all of the categories and as many from Category 4 as you’d like.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 5.34.26 PM


Helpful Tips:

  • Combine patterns from any of the categories to mix prints. Start with two at a time (i.e. stripes with leopard, floral with stripes, floral with polka dots).
  • Fit is key. Make sure all of your items fit well and flatter your body type.
  • Pull the colors of your outfit together by pairing a patterned scarf or colorful statement necklace with a complementary t-shirt and cardigan.
  • Add bright flats to an all neutral look for a fun pop of color.
  • Leopard is a neutral and can be worn with virtually any color or pattern.
  • Your add-on’s can consist of any accessory you have on hand.  The possibilities are endless!

Outfit Builder Examples

Scarf Outfits

My favorite outfit formulas usually start with a scarf.  Outfit inspiration can be found in any scarf.  Just pull out a printed one and then build the rest of your outfit around it.

Black Jeans + Striped Tee + Printed Scarf + Leopard Flats

Striped Top Black Jeans Full

Colored Denim + Tunic + Scarf + Riding Boots


Black Jeans + Striped Tee + Puffer Vest + Printed Scarf + Riding Boots


Dark Wash Skinny Jeans + Solid Blouse + Printed Scarf + Riding Boots

Emerald Shirt, Riding Boots

White Shorts + White T-Shirt + Printed Scarf + Metallic Sandals

Emerald and White Full

Necklace Outfits

This is probably the easiest of them all.  Add a statement necklace or long necklace to your top and bottom to look instantly pulled together.

Colored Denim + Striped T-shirt + Statement Necklace + Neutral Handbag

Stripes and Oxfords Full 2

Boyfriend Jeans + Striped T-shirt + Statement Necklace + Leopard Flats

mixing prints fashion

White Shorts + Popover + Long Necklace + Metallic Sandals


Denim Capris + Solid T-shirt + Statement Necklace + Bright Handbag

Neon Yellow Shirt Jeans 34

Date Night Outfit

Dark Wash Jeans + Blouse + Long Necklace + Heels

Dark wash jeans are universally flattering and can easily be dressed up.  Add a pretty blouse, necklace and heels to make them completely date night appropriate.


Dressy Event Outfit

Dress + Heels + Necklace

It doesn’t get any easier than this, just add a fun clutch to finish it out.


Denim Jacket Outfits

Denim jackets get points for being both incredibly cute and for always being in style.  Experiment with different bottoms including colored denim and maxi dresses and skirts.  A maxi skirt may feel dressy but it’s as comfy as your favorite pair of yoga pants!

Maxi Skirt + Tank Top + Denim Jacket + Statement Earrings


Colored Denim + Striped T-shirt + Denim Jacket + Sneakers

Sneakers Alison

White Capris + Striped T-shirt + Denim Jacket + Sneakers

reebok skyscapes outfit


If there’s anything I have almost as many of as scarves, it’s cardigans in every color.  I stash one in my purse year-round as a top layer for everything, including shorts.

Gray Jeans + Solid T-shirt + Cardigan + Patterned Scarf + Bright Flats


Patterned Shorts + Striped T-shirt + Cardigan + Wedges

Boden Full

Military Jacket

 Cropped Pants + Striped T-shirt + Military Jacket + Statement Necklace + Bright Flats


Boyfriend Jeans + Solid T-shirt + Military Jacket + Long Necklace

Military Jacket, Neon Shirt

Dashes of Leopard

Leopard is a neutral.  Add a touch to any outfit to take it up a notch.  Even the simplest t-shirt and jeans gets a boost from a little bit of leopard.

Colored Denim + Solid Blouse + Leopard Belt + Riding Boots

Red Jeans purple Shirt

Colored Denim + Striped T-shirt + Leopard Flats

red denim stripes and animal print

It’s Your Turn:  Play around in your closet today to see how many outfits you can come up with.  Take pictures of your combos and save them on your phone for an even faster way to get dressed every day.


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There are just a few simple rules:
1. Follow GYPO. (Bloglovin‘, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest)

2. Link up your pretty post.

3. Link back to my blog (using the button above or your own link).

4. Visit other pretties. That’s it, now go have some fun!

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  1. This is so helpful! I am going to print it out and use it for reference when picking outfits ! And you look amazing in yellow! Susan

  2. PERFECT! I just made a copy to hang in my closet. I know this but some days I just forget as I’m staring into my closet FULL of clothes thinking “I have nothing to wear!” LOL This will be a good reminder. When in doubt, follow the formula. Thanks, Alison! 🙂

  3. Where did you get the purple solid blouse, 2nd from the bottom in the “Colored Denim + Solid Blouse + Leopard Belt + Riding Boots picture???

    I have that same shirt in black and its my FAVORITE shirt but its super old and I can’t find it again or anything similar.

    Help please!

    1. Hi Ello! I got it at Target a few years back. They usually carry a similar version in the fall. Hope you can find one!

      1. Thanks! If you (or anyone) has a link for their most recent version that would be greatly appreciated as I am not sure what language to look for in identifying what might be similar.

        Thanks again.

      2. Still haven’t had any luck finding a current edition of my beloved tunic top. Has anyone here seen anything this fall that might be close?


  4. This was great information. I generally already do this for work clothes (dress code doesn’t allow jeans), but I don’t often think to “fancy” up my casual clothes.

  5. Allison, all of your articles are awesome, but this is hands down my favorite to date!! Thanks so much!

  6. Fantastic thankyou so much, I am going to print this and put it in my wardrobe. Love your blog but this is your best post yet. Now I have no excuse even if I am drowing in motherhood with 5 year old, 3 year old and 9 month old. 🙂

  7. The grid is such a wonderful tool! Enjoyed seeing a variety of your looks. Obsessed with the orange printed dress, and blue gingham shorts!

  8. I love printing out your outfit sheets. I put them in a plastic sheet protector then hang them in my closet with a skirt hanger. I’ll need to add a new hanger for this one! So helpful! Thank you. Your blog has changed my look from the daily uniform of a graphic T-shirt, jeans and sneakers to something stylish!

  9. All these visuals made my day! I missed seeing more of your challenge examples in this last one. I’ve done 4 challenges so far (even while expecting, so didn’t follow completely), and I’m excited to add these to my print outs on file. Thanks!!

  10. I always forget about my blazers so your Toppers category will help me with this (I’m more of a cardigan gal even though I have a closet full of blazers). I love all your outfit photos and your ability to coordinate 3 or 4 different colors and/or prints. You truly have a gift.

  11. Wonderful outfit inspirations. I am not a stay at home Mom, but I am a stay at home, work from home, Grandma ( wink). I try and make a conscious effort not to dress as if I was going to the gym. I invite you to share this terrific post at my Thursday Favorite Things blog hop ( you can link u through Sat midnight) Hugs!

  12. Thank you SO much for posting this!! I printed it and can’t wait to start building outfits from it!

  13. Alison, As I read and scrolled down through this post, I would say “Wow, love this outfit. This is my fav!” and then another outfit would come up that I loved just as much. So many great looks on one great fashion guru. You are my mentor!

  14. Such a great post Alison! You are looking as gorgeous as ever! I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for a while but I’m looking forward to a good catch up with you & the blog! Andrea x

  15. I just love your website! I’ve been wearing black yoga pants for what feels like forever. I simply fell into the yoga-pant mom uniform. Now that my children are older, I’m eager to get back into dressing well and feeling pretty, but I’ve had the hardest time trying to figure out what to wear and how to put outfits together. You are SO helpful with your tips and videos. I just printed your Casual Outfit Builder Grid and am actually starting to look forward to getting dressed in the mornings! Thank you for all you do!!! xoxo 🙂

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