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.

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 complimentary 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-ons 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.

Boot Cut Jeans + Solid Sweater + Patterned Scarf + Brown Booties

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans + Solid Shirt + Printed Scarf + Metallic Slip-Ons

Skinny Jeans + Neutral Sweater + Puffer Vest + Pattern 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 + Black Tunic + Long Necklace + Neutral Flats

IMG_8187.jpg

White Jeans + Plaid Shirt + Graphic Sweater + Statement Necklace + Black Flats

White Shorts + Solid T-Shirt  + Long Necklace + Kimono + Sandals

Skinny Jeans + Graphic T-shirt + Neutral Cardigan + Statement Necklace + Neutral Booties

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.

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, dresses and skirts.

Dress + Denim Jacket + Taupe Ankle Booties

Colored Denim + Striped T-shirt + Denim Jacket + Neutral Flats

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

Solid Shorts + White T-shirt + Cardigan + Sandals

Military Jacket

Cropped Denim + Solid T-shirt + Military Jacket + Long Necklace + Metallic Slip-Ons + Neutral Tote

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 get a boost from a little bit of leopard.

Striped Shirt + Color Denim + Chambray Shirt + Leopard Flats

Gray Denim + Solid Blouse + Leopard Clutch + Heels

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

olive-vest-striped-shirt-leopard

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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58 Comments

    • Alison

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply
  1. Susan

    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

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you Susan. Glad it was helpful for you.

      Reply
    • Alison

      Having a visual is always great Melanie.

      Reply
  2. 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! 🙂

    Reply
    • Alison

      LOVE it Saxon!

      Reply
  3. 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!

    Reply
    • Alison

      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!

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
      • 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!

        Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you Rebecca.

      Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply
    • Alison

      I love a little fancy. 😉

      Reply
  5. Lori

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

    Reply
    • Alison

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

      Reply
  6. Kendra

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

    Reply
    • Alison

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

      Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you so much Cynthia!

      Reply
  7. Sheaffer

    That grid is genius Alison!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you Sheaffer! 🙂

      Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you Alice. I’ll check it out.

      Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you so much Elisabeth.

      Reply
  8. Kristen

    I like your boyfriend jeans….cutie!

    Reply
    • Alison

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

      Reply
  9. C.K. @ 50 Days of No Grey

    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!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Glad it will C.K.

      Reply
  10. Janell

    Love all the outfits!!

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

    Reply
    • Alison

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

      Reply
  11. 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

    Reply
    • Alison

      You’re so sweet Prudence. Thank you!

      Reply
  12. 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. 🙂

    Reply
    • Alison

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

      Reply
  13. Jennie

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

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you Jennie. The gingham shorts are my favorite.

      Reply
  14. HeatherAnne

    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!

    Reply
    • Alison

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

      Reply
  15. 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!!

    Reply
    • Alison

      So glad you like the visuals!

      Reply
  16. 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.

    Reply
    • Alison

      You are too sweet Jay. Thank you!

      Reply
  17. Katherines Corner

    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!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you so much Katherine!

      Reply
  18. Kerry

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

    Reply
    • Alison

      You are very welcome Kerry.

      Reply
  19. Leslie Roberts Clingan

    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!

    Reply
    • Alison

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

      Reply
  20. In Mamas Wardrobe

    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

    Reply
    • Alison

      You are too sweet. Glad to see you here!

      Reply
  21. Jamie Ashcraft

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

    Reply
    • Alison

      Must find 😉

      Reply
  22. Carole Murphy

    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 🙂

    Reply
    • Alison

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

      Reply

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