Saturday, January 25, 2014

On How I Plan Outfits

Hi Everyone!

Recently, someone on Instagram asked me to do a blog post on how I plan outfits.  What a great idea!  So, here it goes:

I rely *heavily* on my amazing retail VPS and mannequin displays to plan outfits.  I'm a visual person, so I need to see how an outfit looks.  Most often, I copy what my VPS is wearing.  I LOVE her style! Moreover, I use the StyleBook App and Polyvore to plan outfits.

Typically, I start with a statement necklace and then I plan my outfit around it.  About a month ago, for example, I knew that I wanted to wear the J. Crew Crystal Lace Necklace.  I used the following mannequin image to create an outfit with the necklace:

Here is my outfit:

Details:  Blazer, Sweater, Tank, Necklace, Jeans, Bracelets (here and here)

Moreover, here is another mannequin image featuring the Crystal Lace Necklace that I will recreate soon:

Details:  Blazer, Shirt, Necklace

And, here is another example of how I use J. Crew retail store mannequin images as outfit inspiration:

Details:  Jacket (similar), Sweater, Shirt (one option), Necklace, (I will wear these jeans with this outfit)

Finally, I snap pictures of outfit combinations while I'm in the retail store with my VPS.  And, I snap pictures of her outfits too.  For example, when I purchased the Misty Fog Floral Popover, she told me to pair it with the clear Dazzling Pebble Necklace and the Cerise Schoolboy Blazer.  So, I snapped a picture of the combo:

And, here is another styling option for this shirt:

Details:  Jacket, Shirt

I also text and call my amazing VPS to ask about outfit combinations.  She is really outstanding.

That's how I plan outfits, how do you plan outfits?  Do tell!

p.s.  I will be back shortly with a review of the J. Crew Darby Paisley Loafers.  And, tomorrow, I have a rare Banana Republic Review (the Dahlia Bouquet Necklace) to share.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Greetings Rynetta - What a great question. I usually start with the weather, and it’s a free-for-all from there. But since I actually did a bit of this today, I'll share: ONE - I actually start with the Style Guide. For a few outfits, I almost copy them out of the catalog, subbing with other items as needed. Other SG combos, well, I'm not so crazy about them, but the SG gives me ideas on how to match colors, patterns and textures (e.g., Moonglow Paisley Tee plus olive things, Pack Green Schoolboy Blazer plus bright yellow Tippi, Military Pocket Shirt plus Pixies and tall boots, etc.). TWO - I use Polyvore A LOT, particularly the one run by the JCAs. I also Google "J.Crew Insert Item Name Here Polyvore" as a frequent strategy. For example, PV gave me ideas for pairing the Collection Leather-Front Merino Cardigan with the crinkly-wrinkly Boy Shirts in various plaids and Double-Serge Wool No.2 Pencil Skirts. Before that, all I could find were images pairing it with a tee. Even Reese Witherspoon couldn’t get beyond a white tee with the navy cardi at the airport (I mean, where IS her stylist?). I also Polyvore (yes, it is now a verb for me) while at J.Crew B&Ms debating on FS items. Such as, “What will Darby Suede Loafers in Fresh Strawberry that I can get for about 33% of the original sale price go with?” “Navy . . . they go with navy-colored things! And Misty Fog items! And Moonglow Paisley items!” Sold! I’m pretty sure the SAs think I’m nuts for sitting on the shoe sofa for as long as I do staring at my phone. Well, I kind of do too. THREE – I have a couple of go-to blogs that give me ideas for colors, textures, and patterns. Favorites are A Bigger Closet (ABC . . . I am waiting, waiting, waiting for your next capsule wardrobe!), jcrewismyfavstore (idea for pairing the Crystal Lace Necklace with the Embroidered Tee and Schoolboy Blazer – just love that necklace!), and The Chloe Conspiracy (how I learned a big, bad, bold floral also goes with the Leather-Front Merino Cardigan). FOUR – My online VPS has been very helpful with the more challenging items, such as the SchoolBoy Blazer in Tipped Wool in Vintage Mahogany. She pointed out that it has a lot of brown tones in it, and that blue patterns, such as a blue and white striped tee, or the Misty Fog Floral Popover or Collection Secretary Blouse, will work well with the piece. Thanks super-awesome online VPS! FIVE – Sadly, the in-store mannequins are not inspiring to me, but I sometimes take photos of the racks with interesting color combinations. I also downloaded a Color Wheel App on my phone. Okay, for as much time as I spend on this, I would think I would be better at it, but I’ll go with a “practice makes perfect” mantra. Thanks for your blog Rynetta! Cheers! J.

  2. I could only hope to be that organized! Very impressive. I am very haphazard and if I put together an actual outfit I am proud of myself lol. I usually base what I'm wearing on where I am going and on the weather. I just don't put the time into it, I could do a lot better!

  3. P.S. I cited just a couple blogs in the post above, but also appreciate all the others, such as: 1) Life is Short . . . Buy the Shoes for reporting that the Lucie Slingback Flats are TTS, 2) Respect the Shoes for letting me know I CAN wearing the big Crystal Shimmer Earrings, and 3) Gigi's Gone Shopping for making me laugh over the Crewlang post. Love it :-)

  4. I have to agree using the Stylebook App has really helped me step my game up in planning outfits.... so I'm not wearing the same thing over and over again. Sidenote: I tried to take a picture of the mannequin at my store, and I was told I'm not allowed.... :-( Chavon


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