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When I uploaded my last article about the ‘ultimate work wear wardrobe’ with just 26 items of clothing, I didn't anticipate the overwhelming response. I was very impressed that so many of you were going to immediately put my tips into practice. My advice comes from real examples I have gained from working with clients or from personal experience...none of it was Googled or made up, which is why I think it resonates with so many of you. But along with the praise came some feedback...nothing negative, just constructive comments. Some of you requested the same formula, but instead of work wear dressing, you wanted a solution to 'dressing for life'. 

So I wondered, what about 'dressing for life' is so difficult? I guess it comes down to having too many choices. With work wear you have boundaries set by office norms, but outside the office you have total, scary freedom. Women struggle to dress when there aren't any rules, as it is easier when there is a dress code to consider. So when you think you don't have anything to wear day to day, going shopping and sifting through racks and racks of clothing is confusing because you don't actually know what you are looking for.  When dressing for life, what you need is 'constructive narrowness' to focus the mind.

In a world where we have too many choices and too little time, the obvious thing to do is just ignore stuff.

So, below is my list of tips that have helped me not stress too much about ‘dressing for life’.

  1. The first thing you need to do is forget about what the trends are. Yes, this goes against the grain, but you really need to start with a framework before you can add some fun. Think of trends as 'noise'...and when there is too much noise in your wardrobe, there is confusion and stress.

  2. Remember what the core or essentials are that you wear daily. These items are what I like to say are 'no brainers' - they are things you wear without thinking. Like basic t-shirts, black pants, classic knits, shirting - and most often they are black, white or neutral in colour.

  3. Denim can play a key role in dressing casually as it becomes the starting point of the outfit and is essentially like a basic.

  4. Dressing casually is a 'dress code' so try not to associate it with not caring about how you look. You can still be comfortable, chic and cool 24/7.

  5. So many of us shop for special occasions, like a wedding or birthday party, and only focus on finding these items before we have built a wardrobe for day to day life. Your wardrobe is then filled with ‘one off’ wears rather than styles you can wear multiple times. We all want to look great for that special occasion, but don’t forget you can also look great every day.

Following this formula of a ‘casual uniform’ or ‘style for life’ can reduce the stress associated with dressing. Consider variations of key elements and build a wardrobe that is very wearable. The main benefit of this concept is you are effectively using a formula; ‘A + B + C = outfit!’ 


  1. It is about CORE items that are the basis of your outfits.

  2. Buying SEPARATES that can be interchangeable, and allow for more outfit options.

  3. WEARABLE items that you will get longevity out of. Buy styles will stay relevant for longer.

With this formula, you can create over 120 different outfits!!


 4 jackets + 3 shirts + 6 dresses + 4 pairs of pants + 2 skirts + 6 basic tops + 4 pairs of shoes + 4  pieces of denim + 2 bags = 35 items 

  • JACKETS - 1. Blazer / 2. Basic coat in black or navy / 3. Puffer jacket or vest / 4. Trench

  • SHIRTS - 1. White shirt / 2. Pretty white top / 3. Striped shirt

  • DRESSES - 1. Black dress / 2. Striped dress / 3. Floral print dress / 4. White dress / 5. Shirt dress / 6. Wrap dress

  • PANTS - 1. Black pant / 2. Track pant / 3. Light coloured pant / 4. Active legging

  • SKIRTS - 1. Black skirt / 2. printed skirt

  • BASICS - 1. White tee / 2. Black tee / 3. Striped tee / 4. White tank / 5. Hoodie in black or grey / 6. Basic cardigan in black

  • SHOES - 1. Black pump / 2. Black ballet / 3. Sneaker / 5. Loafer or slide

  • DENIM - 1. Classic wash jean / 2. Denim jacket / 3. Skinny leg jean / 4. Denim skirt

  • BAGS - 1. Large tote / 2. Clutch

Don't forget to make a comment below....I love reading your thoughts. 

This article is copyright and may not be used without the express written permission of Where Did Your Style Go. 




Tash Sefton9 Comments