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.

CASUAL OUTFIT BUILDER GRID

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

OUTFIT BUILDER PRINTABLE PDF

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

J-Jill-Full-2

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

olive-vest-striped-shirt-leopard

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

aqua-top-white-shorts-full

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.

pink-blouse-jeans-leopard-clutch-heels

Dressy Event Outfit

Dress + Heels + Necklace

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

orange-dress-nude-heels-full

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

brunch-outfit-full3

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

Sneakers Alison

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

reebok skyscapes outfit

Cardigans

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

yellow-sweater-plaid-scarf-jeans

Patterned Shorts + Striped T-shirt + Cardigan + Wedges

Boden Full

Military Jacket

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

j-jill-chinos-full

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.

I FEEL PRETTY

It’s the day of the week at GYPO where we celebrate what makes us feel pretty. Whether it’s a new outfit, hairstyle, or makeup, the I Feel Pretty link up is about anything and everything that makes your life prettier. Even if you’re not a blogger, you can still play along. Just tell us what made you feel pretty this week in the comments! I Feel Pretty Logo

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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58 Comments

  • So many great looks! I love the denim ones the most, the key elements you listed do make for a variety of great outfits! Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.dressed2dnines.com

    • Thank you for stopping by!

  • 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

    • Thank you Susan. Glad it was helpful for you.

  • This is so helpful! I also love the idea of putting outfits together and taking pictures on my phone for reference later!

    -Melanie-
    http://www.theseblankwalls.com

    • Having a visual is always great Melanie.

  • Saxon

    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! 🙂

  • Ello

    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!

    • 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!

      • Ello

        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.

      • Ello

        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?

        Thanks!

  • Awesome outfit ideas!

    Best!
    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

  • Tammy

    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.

    • I love a little fancy. 😉

  • Lori

    thank you Alison! This is great and will be very useful.

    • I’m happy that it’ll be useful for you Lori. Enjoy it!

  • Kendra

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

    • Awww Kendra. This means a lot to me. Thank you!

  • That is one amazing chart. So helpful. I need to study it more carefully later. Love all your looks! ~Cynthia

    • Thank you so much Cynthia!

  • That grid is genius Alison!

    • Thank you Sheaffer! 🙂

  • Great tips, love all your outfits!

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

    • Thank you Alice. I’ll check it out.

  • Your outfit builder is such a good idea.

    Diary of Elegance
    http://diaryofelegance.blogspot.ca/

    • Thank you so much Elisabeth.

  • I like your boyfriend jeans….cutie!

    • Boyfriend jeans are my favorite Kristen. What’s your favorite style jeans?

  • What a great reference chart! I’m a SAHM and I try most days to “get dressed”, but I often feel stuck with the same old. This will definitely help! Thanks!

  • Janell

    Love all the outfits!!

    Is there any way you could post some links to each one?

    • Great suggestion Janell. I’ll dig for some links.

  • Prudence Yeo

    The builder grid is such a great idea and provides a really simple way to decide what to wear, thanks for sharing! Love all your looks too, really classy and chic!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

    • You’re so sweet Prudence. Thank you!

  • Lucy

    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. 🙂

    • It’s a grid to an outfit success! You’ll love it.

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

    • Thank you Jennie. The gingham shorts are my favorite.

  • 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!

    • I’m so glad Heather Anne! Thank you for stopping by.

  • Erin

    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!!

    • So glad you like the visuals!

  • Jay

    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.

    • You are too sweet Jay. Thank you!

  • 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!

    • Thank you so much Katherine!

  • Kerry

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

    • You are very welcome Kerry.

  • 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!

    • You are too kind Leslie! That just made my day. Thank YOU so much!

  • 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

    • You are too sweet. Glad to see you here!

  • I love this so much!! I need to find a military jacket for Fall!!

  • 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 🙂

    • So happy to have you here Carole! Have you joined a GYPO Style Challenge?