This is Part 1 of 2 all about outfit recipes. What is an outfit recipe? That’s what we’re here for!
In this post we’re covering what outfit recipes are with some examples. Then in the next post we’re covering why to use an outfit recipe and my favorite outfit recipe use cases (find the 2nd post here!).
Embracing your personal style and dressing fabulously when you feel confident with all the time in the world is one thing. Dressing well when you’re rushing out the door, or on a low energy day, or when you work from home 99% of the time and don’t remember going into the office is another.
Which is where outfit recipes come in!
What is an outfit recipe?
From Merriam-Webster, the definition of recipe is: “a set of instructions for making something from various ingredients” or “a formula or procedure for doing or attaining something”
Again from Merriam-Webster outfits has a handful of definitions including: “a clothing ensemble often for a special occasion or activity” and “the act of fitting out or equipping (as for a voyage or expedition)”.
Put the two together and you get an outfit recipe, which I define as “a formula for creating a clothing ensemble.” (Or, if you want to invoke a sense of adventure, “a formula for equipping yourself for the day.”)
An example of a very basic outfit recipe is: shirt + pants + shoes = an outfit full enough to get service at an establishment classy enough to have a “no shirt, no shoes, no service” sign.
You can make your outfit recipes as simple or complex as you’d like.
Example 1: Bodycon Dress Outfit Recipe
Here’s an example from BODYCON! Outfit Recipes for Bodycon Dresses of an outfit recipe for styling bodycon dresses in a work appropriate way:
Bodycon Dress with Interesting Details + Classic Heel + Structured Purse or Bag
Can a bodycon dress be work appropriate? Heck yes! You’ll want a bodycon dress (probably in a classically neutral color, with a skirt that ends around the knee) with some interesting, understated details. Add a classic heel at a comfortable-to-you height. Pair this with a structured purse or briefcase. Of course, your work environment will dictate what is “work appropriate” but this is a recipe to start from.
If you’re worried or uncertain about this, build an outfit you feel good in using a pencil skirt and a blouse. Then keep all of your shoes, accessories, bag, hair, makeup, etc the same, and swap out the skirt and blouse for an understated bodycon dress.
(Side note: tossing a blazer over your dress is a nice addition. And if you want more bodycon dress outfit recipes check out BODYCON! Outfit Recipes for Bodycon Dresses.)
Example #2: Casual Professional Outfit Recipe
Here’s the recipe:
Sneakers + Jeans + Graphic Tee or Blouse + Relaxed Blazer
This is a great recipe for getting out the door or onto a video call in a hurry.
The blazer adds style, the jeans and tee shirt add casual, and together it all works to create a pulled together casual look.
Other options include:
- Swap the sneakers for flats or a classic shoe
- Swap the blazer for a sweater if a blazer doesn’t feel like you
- Swap the graphic tee for a solid tee and add a statement necklace
Example #3: Stylish Weekend Outfit Recipe
The outfit recipe:
Sweater + Relaxed Jeans + Wide brim hat + Flats
This is a great recipe for a casual weekend running errands or leaving for a weekend getaway or long drives or road trips. Basically anytime you want to be casual, relaxed, and physically comfortable.
Adjustments you could make to this recipe:
- Change the hat style
- Swap the sweater for a jacket
- Swap flats for boots for more foot support
- Swap flats for heels to dress it up
- Swap the hat for statement sunglasses or statement jewelry
As you start to use outfit recipes in your own life, you’ll start to identify specific pieces that work especially well in certain recipes.
You’ll realize that Sweater A works perfectly for travel but Sweater B works better for errands. Or the jeans that are great for date night outfits don’t work for girls night even though it feels like they should. Or the skirt you wear to brunch also translates easily into going to the office outfit recipes. (These can be really handy notes for your wardrobe inventory.)
And that is what an outfit recipe is!
Don’t forget: find out why you should use outfit recipes, and my favorite use cases in Part 2!