A really long time ago, as I watched my older sister be the fashionable one in the family, I knew I wanted to learn a thing or two about style and how to dress right. Navigating my way through tweenhood at the time was filled with so many questions, including what my sense of style was.
Oftentimes I was casual, and just like my sister, I wanted some glam. But once I left to study in Cape Town in 2015, I was exposed to a whole different world of fashion – one where expressing your own individuality was praised and taking a trend and making it your own was the fashionable thing to do. I didn’t know where to start creating my own sense of style. So I searched online and came across The Fashion Formula
Essentially, this is a simple way of creating an outfit, and with enough practice and over time, you eventually create your unique sense of style. What a revelation this was for me, and once I started actively putting this formula to good use, I began to form my own fashion identity – 3C, which incorporates elements that are Casual, Comfort and Chic.
So if you’re looking for a way to create outfits at home or want to develop your own sense of style, keep reading to see how you can also put this formula to good use.
THE BASIC PIECE
Like any equation or recipe, there are a couple of elements that are important in order to end up with a good result, and when it comes to fashion and style, there are fundamental basics you need to have in your closet that you can use to centre some of the other clothing items around.
These basic items include denim jeans, basic white tees, tank tops, and black leggings. I like having a good selection of denim in different basic colours and styles – dark blue skinny, white high waisted, or cropped high rise. As someone who dresses according to their mood or the weather, I need to have a good variety to suit the vibe I’m feeling that day.
I tend to stick to colours like black, white or neutrals whenever I buy these basic items so that I get more wear out of them. It’s a lot easier to get 5 outfits from a dark blue denim jeans as opposed to a red one. Whilst there isn’t an exact rule that says you HAVE to stick to the colours I mentioned (unless Gucci does have this rule?), it’s always a good idea to have just a few of these to help you curate more outfits.
THE INTEREST PIECE
I really enjoy wearing monochromatic and neutral toned clothes – black long sleeve tops or white tees. But this can get a little boring for me, so I switch things up by adding an interesting piece of clothing. I do this through bright or bold colours, prints and patterns, or textured clothing. I mainly add this piece through the tops I wear – red bodysuit, mustard polo-neck, stripped tops or textured knitwear.
This is the piece where you really can let your personality show. Love some glam? Add a shiny or bejewelled top (Zara usually has great options with these). Prefer to express yourself through words? Then printed tees with fun phrases or sayings from Cotton On could be your next go-to. Either way, I love the self-expression that this item of clothing can do and the freedom you have to really be fun or creative.
THE COMPLETER PIECE
You’ve got blue jeans and a bold tee, but you can feel that something is missing. You need that extra ‘oomph!’ to add the finishing touch – the Completer Piece. This is a usually large item of clothing that essentially rounds up your entire outfit.
This could be a belt, kimono or jacket. It all depends on the vibe you’re going for (perhaps even the weather could determine what piece you wear). I don’t have the biggest collection yet, but I love simple belts with a little dynamic buckle to it. A girl had to grab this particular one from Supre during my time working there. This was where I learned so much about how belts don’t just have to be something to keep my jeans up – they can complete my outfits too and now it makes frequent appearances in my outfit combos.
Shoes can also be a Completer Piece. Have you ever experienced that ‘Ah Ha!’ moment when your outfit finally came together because of the shoes you decided to wear? That’s because shoes can have a powerful enough effect to round off your look. Would you wear open sandals with activewear? Or loafers with an elegant eveningwear gown? Whatever your answer may be to these questions, shoes can make all the difference in adding final touches. I generally stick to neutral coloured shoes – again, to get more wear out of them – but my heels are generally where I add splashes of colour. From yellow pointed courts to red wrap-around heels, my shoes are another place for me to express my personality fashionably.
THE ACCESSORY PIECE
Of course, no outfit is fully complete without a little jewelry (at least that’s what I say). Again, this is another way of self-expression. Whether it’s dainty or bold, adding accessories always elevates your outfit, taking it from 100 to 110!
I personally love adding gold or bold earrings. I’ve been feeling these bold golden earrings from Rubi – the perfect size that adds a touch of quirk to some of my outfits. Or I might play around with thick hoops, again from Rubi. I managed to actually snag these two earrings for R19, thanks to their Buy One Get One Free deal, and a R100 voucher I had from the Cotton On Perks loyalty card. Either way, you’re more than likely to find me donning a pair of these.
And because these types of earrings can be large and somewhat overpowering, I balance that out with feminine and dainty rings. Simple does it for me, and I tend to stack a couple on each hand.
This is only the beginning of many more Fashion & Style posts I aim to share and I hope you enjoyed this easy and simple way to pull a look together. Of course, there are tons of other ways to do this, but I wanted to show you the basics of how I started creating my own style before it grew into what it is today. Let me know in the comments how you see yourself using The Fashion Formula!