How to Make Basic Outfits More Creative and Interesting


How to add creativity or interest to your basic outfits


Most wardrobes are built around basics or what I call, supporting acts.

Basic outfits are the neutrals and solids with little built in detail (like denim jeans, black pants, plain tops and jackets) that are the glue as they go together with many things easily.

But, if you’re not careful, a wardrobe of supporting acts can easily become dull and boring.

In this video, Jill Chivers of Shop Your Wardrobe and I discuss how to take that basic outfit and make it more interesting and creative.

We discuss how to use accessories such as:

  • necklaces
  • rings
  • bracelets
  • belts
  • shoes
  • handbags
  • scarves

We talk about how you can change the level of refinement by the accessories you choose.

And we cover ideas about

  • Texture
  • Pattern
  • Colour
  • Details
  • Multiples
  • Contrast
How to add creativity or interest to your basic outfits
Here in this basic outfit of knit top and jeans with a waterfall cardigan I’ve added a pink necklace (statement), pair of knee high boots and a bracelet for added interest and texture.  The pink necklace adds colour contrast.


So tell us, how do you like to add interest to your otherwise plain outfits?

Evolve Your Style - The 31 Day Style Challenge


Back to Basics – The Top 6 Essential Supporting Acts for Your Wardrobe

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I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • Hi Imogen. Thank you so much for another fabulous post. One of the things I struggle with is wearing earrings and necklaces together. It always feels off. I have a neck of normal length. Are there any tips to making this work?

  • Love your blog and your ideas obout mixing things up! I have a rather small wardrobe and try to get as much variety from it as possible. In regard to this I have a question: when is an outfit seen as “new” or “different”? I think if I saw you on different days wearing the same bright pink tee, even if it was accessorized differently, I’d still recognize it as the same tee. But perhaps that’s not important!

  • Beautiful accessories, and a wonderful illustration of the changes they can afford — in levels of refinement, contrast, etc. A great video post!

  • Between this post and the one about “6 Things You Must Do When Packing for Your Next Trip”, you’ve given me lots of great tips for making a very minimal neutral black wardrobe go the distance for my two-week camping/sightseeing trip to the Great Lakes of Michigan in June. I went out today to do a little thrift store shopping with these ideas in mind and found a black and light purple/orange flower print dress that triples as a skirt or a tunic and found a light purple sweater to go with it. Whew, really went out of my comfort zone on it, but the I loved the dress as soon as I saw it. I already have some casual purple jewelry and some more party-like jewelry so I can be ready for visiting Mackinac Island for a horse-drawn carriage tour, or for going to a night spot–in the same outfit! Black is that versatile, for me.

    One of the ways I make sure my black-based wardrobe continues to be interesting is in the details, like graphic tees with bold designs that I wear over long-sleeved black tees, handmade earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that repeat the themes, sparkly and metallic headbands in highlighting colors, and scarves with metallic threads and details. I’m a “metallic” as long as it’s subtle. The light purple sweater I just found makes just about any combination of my black skinny jeans, leggings, tee shirts, and print blouses look a bit retro. Like wearing cigarette pants and a “sweater set” to the store in the 1950’s. I had a red sweater for that purpose but wanted something more pastel for the summer. And, thanks to my shopping trip, I now have two dresses in my minimalist wardrobe, one longer, black and formal, and this new one that is a bit more colorful, swirly, and flirty, but still based on black. I know you don’t do minimalist yourself, but your style tips can work very well for your readers that need to keep a smaller wardrobe, and I appreciate your blog so much. Thank you!

  • Hi Imogen and Jill, love your suggestions in this video – I am a very “plain” dresser, and your showing of the different ways to dress up an outfit has given me so many ideas to try to look different – different types of necklaces and scarves, can’t wait to try them out. Jill, I love your crystal/transparent necklace – it catches the light and glows – truly eyecatching.

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