27 September 2013

15 items = 75+ outfits

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I've been working on this post for ages, and am excited to share it with you today. The point of it is to show you how you can increase the number of outfits in your wardrobe by switching things up using accessories and shoes.

I've chosen these 15 items out of my wardrobe. They were all inexpensive - the total cost of them was NZ$120 (about US$99 / £62 / R994). These 15 items span seasons and can be dressed up or down.

I've included two jackets (one denim, one brown corduroy) and a black waistcoat:

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Five cardigans:

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Three tops (one blouse and two t-shirts):

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A dress, two skirts and a pair of jeans:

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Although they are not all neutrals, all of the tops go with all of the bottoms. In fact, they make over 100 combinations! But a lot of the combinations can look repetitive or boring, and that's where styling comes in.

By styling each combination in different ways you can create different outfits.

Choosing a combination = putting an outfit together
Adding accessories like scarves, jewellery, shoes, tights, belts and hats = styling an outfit

Imagine if you took the 100 combinations and styled each one in three different ways. Suddenly your 15 items of clothing have provided 300 outfits!

This is especially useful if your body is changing, particularly if the changes are temporary, for instance during pregnancy, on a weight loss journey or if you are gaining weight. With more accessories you actually need fewer clothes.

Accessories are generally inexpensive, widely available, and will fit you even if your body changes. Jewellery can be picked up during sales or on eBay, tights are available in all sorts of patterns and colours, scarves are mostly just pieces of fabric and are easy to make, I buy almost all of my belts on eBay, and if I can't find a particular colour of belt that I want I've used ribbon from the dollar store.

To illustrate I thought I'd show you 25 combinations, each styled in different ways to make 75 different outfits. Brace yourself for 100 photos of me.

Combination 1

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Outfits 1, 2 and 3

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Combination 2

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Outfits 3, 4 and 5

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Combination 3

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Outfits 7, 8 and 9

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Combination 4

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Outfits 10, 11 and 12

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Combination 5

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Outfits 13, 14 and 15

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Combination 6

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Outfits 16, 17 and 18

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Combination 7

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Outfits 19, 20 and 21

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Combination 8

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Outfits 22, 23 and 24

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Combination 9

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Outfits 25, 26 and 27

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Combination 10

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Outfits 28, 29 and 30

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Combination 11

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Outfits 31, 32 and 33

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Combination 12

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Outfits 34, 25 and 36

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Combination 13

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Outfits 37, 38 and 39

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Combination 14

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Outfits 40, 41 and 42

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Combination 15

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Outfits 43, 44 and 45

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Combination 16

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Outfits 46, 47 and 48

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Combination 17

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Outfits 49, 50 and 51

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Combination 18

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Outfits 52, 53 and 54

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Combination 19

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Outfits 55, 56 and 57

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Combination 20

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Outfits 58, 59 and 60

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Combination 21

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Outfits 61, 62 and 63

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Combination 22

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Outfits 64, 65 and 66

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Combination 23

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Outfits 67, 68 and 69

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Combination 24

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Outfits 70, 71 and 72

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Combination 25

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Outfits 73, 74 and 75

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Whew! If you made it this far you must really be interested in styling! Now that I've justified my shoe and accessory collection, I'm not sure how I'll be able to justify future clothing shopping trips ;)

I'd love to see your styled outfits, or hear about which ones you liked in this post.

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  1. Wow you sure look great in all of those! It is amazing what you can do mixing and matching. You have alot of shoes - more than 50 pairs?! I haven't read your blog for a while - hope you're feeling ok.

    1. Aw, thank you so much, you are very kind. I do have a LOT of shoes - not all of them are shown in this post, and none of my boots *blush* Health wise I am doing okay - not as bad as I was but not as good as I want to be.

  2. Fantastic post Jen, you've put a lot of work into it and you look great!! You've inspired me! x

  3. love this Jennifer, Thanks for the inspiration. This really does opens my eyes to see the clothes already in my closet so differently. Can't wait to start mixing and matching.

  4. Great job! I love to see how each one outfit can be unique!

  5. This is a FABULOUS post, and probably SO MUCH WORK to put together.
    From taking pics in each outfit to editing them together.

  6. Thank you Thank you. You have made me realize I have so much more going on in my closet than I ever imagined.
    I love this hair cut on you. I really loved the short hair on you, but this length is perfect.
    The coral dress with turquoise cardigan, WOW. The colours on you are amazing. You look radiant.
    Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better. Hopefully right as rain is just around the corner.

  7. This is a fantastic post and just at the right time for me. My size is changing (smaller!!) and I don't have many clothes that fit right now. I don't want to purchase more because I intend to change sizes a bit more. That means I need to be creative with what I have that fits. I have a lot of accessories (necklaces, bracelets, scarves, hats) but I rarely wear them. You've inspired me to look at my clothing pieces with new eyes and use my accessories to style my outfits. Thanks for all your hard work! You are a fantastic teacher!

  8. Best post ever! Thank you!

  9. Outfits 52, 56 and 57 are my favorite.

  10. this was a great post.bravo for the hard work.i need to put more effort into how i dress.thanks for the tips.

  11. I love this post!!! I've always loved your "what I wore" posts but this overview is fantastic! I usually fall into the rut of wearing the same things. I'm going to switch a few things up now!

  12. You are a style maven!!! Suddenly I have a need for more accessories.

  13. Wow Jen! You have inspired so many with this blog post. You have shared clever styling ideas with us all. All your behind the scenes thought and planning is very evident. Accessories really do change and make outfits come together. A very informative visual lesson on making the most of what is in one's wardrobe. Thanks so much for sharing this via your blog.

  14. LOVE THIS!!! I need to print this as a poster and put it in my closet so I can refer to it to give me ideas when I get dressed in the morning! I have trouble putting outfits together. This will help me a lot. I am so impressed with the amount of work you put into this. Thank you!!!

  15. This is awesome! I personally HATE shopping for shoes (plus they cost a lot!) and never buy accessories, but maybe I should, since it does renew your clothes every time.

    As a side note, you look so happy in these pictures! I hope this means you're feeling better in general! :)

  16. This is awesome! What a lot of work, but I'm glad you did it!

  17. I am definitely referring back to this post again and again. I hardly ever accessorise and wow, it makes such a difference. Thank you.

  18. Absolutely love this post ! I am off to email a few clothing blogger peeps to let them know !!
    Do you ever link in with Wardrobe Wednesday

  19. this is a wonderful collection and great photos :o) I have rather a lot of everything in my wardrobe :o) very impressed with these ensembles and super accessible for the 'average' (whatever that means) woman. Good on you!

  20. Wow - what a lot of work and dedication putting this together. It just shows you how important colour/accessories are. Go you!

  21. WOW Jen. Really good post. Love all the pictures and how easy you make it look when getting one outfit and changing it to look different. I really need to check out all the stuff in my wardrobe now! X

  22. Wow! This is fantastic! You are very pretty.

  23. Freaking awesome, you've given me so many ideas. Thanks darling!

  24. Fantastic! I love your style. I favor scarves, necklaces and belts as accessories too, and have similar shoe preferences-- love the classy look of heels, but can only wear up to 2.75 inch heels and have to have a Mary Jane or T-strap. You've given me lots of ideas!

  25. That's a lot of smiling!
    I'm loving the green and the gray skirts. The gray and brown combos weren't something I'd have imagined but they looked great.


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