Instead of going out there shopping, choose 3 coats/jackets that are right for the current weather. It got awful chilly in Seoul, so I am going with 2 of my coats from last year, and a quilted jacket from fall.
Make sure that your coats/jackets are in good condition, with the right warmth, but also make sure that you have a good range; a) something a little formal, b) something casual, and c) something in between.
In the Polyvore above, I am showing you approximations to what I chose. The first one is my 'formal' coat, although it's not a classic styling, for me, it is more formal than the others and suffices my urban & daily needs.
The second is my semi-formal which I wear with my dark wash jeans. Because I am keeping it the same color range, it looks more formal-ish. And the overall silhouette is trim and lean compared to my thicker bulkier coats!
My last one is a military parka and the most casual and trendy. But since I like casual trendy clothes, and need a lot of warmth, I tend to reach for this the most.
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Have you got your favorite 3?
The next step is to find the right bottoms to go with these coats. Most people own a lot more tops than bottoms, so it's easier to match things by selecting the tops last.
Choosing the right bottoms takes some thought though, because the shape and thickness of your bottoms will create the silhouette for your outfit. I was going through my stash of bottoms and as I keep putting on weight around my waist, there was a pair of faux-leather pants that I couldn't fit into... Naturally, that piece had to be weeded out...
Then, there was a pair of black corduroy pants that my Mom gave me, but these made me look too fat... so out they go! Unless I take them to a tailor for a fix up...
I started with my military parka because it was the bulkiest coat among the three. I wanted to make sure that I didn't look like hulk OR look too dull and dark like a Nazi officer... So, I put my ivory fleece-lined skinny pants for a clean contrast.
Next, I wanted to have a 'column of color' for my navy quilted jacket, so my dark wash jeans was paired with that one.
That left me with a pair of light beige skinny pants for my black coat.
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The 3rd step in this process is to bring out your lovely warm knits... and other tops for the season.
Just for ease of calculating, I decided that each of my coats will have 1 pair of pants, but the pants will get 2 coordinated tops. This gives you a total of 6 ready outfits!
1. Military Parka x Ivory Skinny x Light Blue V Neck Knit
2. Military Parka x Ivory Skinny x Black Chunky Cable Knit
Depending on whether you like to layer your clothes for Winter or not, work out IN DETAIL, how you will wear your tops. Look at the color scheme in your coat and your bottom, and how the top helps or disturbs the color scheme.
Again, to have completely brainless dressing in the mornings, I assigned one layering tank tee for each knit top. The light blue V neck knit was paired with a long skyblue tank tee. And the black chunky cable knit was paired with a long cotton black tank tee.
Since I wear skinny pants a lot, I am really fussy about covering up my crotch area... So having the right LONG TANK TEE is a must for me! I have a dozen cute tops that are all too short for my skinny pants... and this is part of my dressing dilemma when I don't work out my outfits beforehand. So, think about your own body issues or lengths issues as you pair up your tops with your outers and bottoms. This is one of my key drivers for mindless shopping, when I feel like "I have nothing to wear" in my wardrobe. It just takes time to coordinate your pieces like this, and hey presto! You can totally do your shopping in your own closet!!
Moving on to my other combos...
3. Quilted Jacket x Dark Wash Jeans x Grey Cashmere Knit
4. Quilted Jacket x Dark Wash Jeans x Copper Brown Long Sleeve Tee
My cashmere knit is shortsleeved and this is the only top that doesn't need a tank tee underneath. My dark wash jeans have a nice gold stitching on it, and this is the only pair of pants where I can wear any length top. My long sleeve tee is the only top that is thin and really requires a warm tank underneath, so I am using my warmest tank tee for this one. Again, it is figuring little details like this that prevents you from indulging in expensive retail therapy! The quilted jacket is the only outerwear among the three that has very narrow shoulder/arm space... so matching these tops with my jacket widen my options for those occasions when I will be going to a overly heated restaurants etc.
5. Black Coat x Ivory Skinny x Plain Black V Neck Knit
6. Black Coat x Ivory Skinny x Wine Cardigan x Warm Grey Tank Tee
I wanted to include my favorite wine cardigan here, and the only tank tee that was left and that worked with the colors so far was my grey tank tee.
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Now that I had 6 outfits using pants...
I wanted to add a dress to my coats. I had two tunic dresses from fall, which could be worn for winter... So I decided to pair them up with my black coat and my military parka. I couldn't wear my dress with my quilted jacket because the dress is sleeveless and requires warm knitwear, and that would be too thick to fit in.
Studying the colors... my black tunic dress could go with either coat. But my patterned dress is multicolored (dark brown, gold, white). So, it made more sense pairing the patterned dress with my black dress, to have a sleeker look. And naturally, the black dress was paired up with my military parka which also dresses it up a bit.
7. Black Coat x Patterned Tunic Dress x Grey Slouchy Cardigan
8. Military Parka x Black Tunic Dress x Black Fitted Cardigan
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As I said before, my goal was to come up with *complete outfits*...
Meaning, I consider the bags, shoes, and scarves or hats that go with the base outfits.
Having gotten to my 8 outfits thus far, I started to bring out my scarves collection.
I began to pair up appropriate scarves for each of my outfits.
I took a look at my bags and shoes too, to see if the colors were working together or now. It's easy to end up dressing in all dark colors for winter which makes you look sturdier or heavier, and overall less feminine... So it's important to note the colors and bling-level of your bags! Also, if you already have a lot of colors going on in your outfits, you will need to have a bag that blends in with the coat color, or your hair color. Those are the easiest ways to streamline your outfit. If your colors are more uniform, then, having a bag with a little shine or bling to uplift the outfit will give you more polish and refinement.
Because I had a lot of scarves, I was able to create a 9th outfit as there were two scarves that went well with my light blue V neck knit!
1. Military Parka x Ivory Skinny x Light Blue V Neck Knit x Light Blue Polka Dot Scarf
9. Military Parka x Ivory Skinny x Light Blue V Neck Knit x Honey Yellow Velvet Scarf
As you can see, the scarf color created a very different feel for each of the outfits... And as my light blue V neck knit is my favorite top this year, I will feel like I have more options with this! Awesome!
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My 10th outfit... was created with a more festive occasion in mind.
So far, all of my outfits are great for daily dressing. But December and January has a lot of family gatherings and socializing! So... I wanted to add one CRAZY COLOR...!
I fished out my bright pink knit dress with batwing sleeves...
If I ever felt like I was getting tired of all my wonderful practical well-coordinated clothes... I would be able to reach for this very trendy pink knit dress! And feel very special in it! So yes, definitely, include one sexy sassy top or dress... You might need it for a party or date night towards the end of the year!
10. Black Coat x Pink Batwing Sleeves Knit Dress x White Long Tank Tee
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Icings on the Cake!
We could end here... if you've already run your 2 plus hours getting these sorted out. But, for some of you... Maybe you have other accessories like hats, gloves, and earmuffs... Because as we all know, Winter calls for these!
When I was doing my 10 outfits, I realized that I had a white angora beret and pink earmuffs... And adding those to my dresses gave an added Oomph! and Pizzazz! to my outfits. I paired the white beret with my black tunic dress & black cardigan, and the pink earmuffs with my pink knit dress.
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The last tid bit, but an important bit, is to make sure that you have the right socks and tights for each of your outfits. My dresses require thick winter tights... Thankfully I have those. At least 3-4 pairs in good condition. But after wearing my Ugg boots and my riding boots, I realized that these beasts kept eating up my socks! My regular socks were being chewed up and it was super uncomfortable... I did have some athletic socks though which are much tighter and likely won't get chewed up... But my Ugg boots is a knitted type which doesn't allow thick socks in them. Which means... the Uggs can only be worn with thick tights...
Working out all these take some time of course, but the 2-3 hours of coordinating efforts will give you Brainless Dressing every morning!
And you will have more time to coif your hair, do your makeup, and sip your favorite coffee! :)
I hope this inspires you to create your own 10 Complete Outfits!
With Love & Giggles,