How to wear the same thing all the time and still look super stylish! (or how you can do more with less..)

by Sylvia

How to wear the same thing all the time and still look super stylish! | 40plusstyle.com

There seems to be a ‘trend’ going on where bloggers and instagrammers wear something new every single day which may prompt you to think that you need lots of clothes in your closet.

Not one to follow the crowd (mostly) I have been doing the opposite lately and basically wear the same outfit all the time. Different variations, of course, but essentially still the same thing.

I still feel good and I still look good, because I’m using a formula that just works for my style personality and body type.

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Skinny ankle pants: All grey outfit with a pop of color | 40plusstyle.com

Style idea: Pink capelet top with skinny 7/8 pants | 40plusstyle.com

So why stick to a formula?

There are a few reasons why a dressing formula works so well for me:

#1 Save money

As mentioned above I feel that overspending on clothes is not the right thing to do. I feel it’s important to have plenty money left for experiences, sport and overall well-being. Spending some money is definitely important but we really should not aim to spend money on the right clothes (and fewer of them) and give them all sufficient wear.

Stylish outfit for women over 40: Skinny 7/8 pants with chic blue top for Summer or Spring | 40plusstyle.com

#2 Avoid waste

I also feel that we just have TOO MUCH. The landfills keep filling up and after watching the documentary The True Cost, I just feel we should do more with less. Do we really need overflowing cupboards? Or can we just concentrate on some simple outfit formulas that work for us?

Mix and match your clothing style tips: Wearing white pants and a floral top | 40plusstyle.com

#3 Gain time

Then there is time. Or the lack of it. As a busy entrepreneur with lots of plans and ideas, I simply don’t have the time to spend hours on shopping, grooming, putting different outfits together etc. Time is precious and I need a simple and convenient way to get dressed.

Stylish outfit formula: A blue button down top paired with skinny 7/8 pants and a stylish shoe make a fabulous outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Travel outfit idea: Black skinny pants with a stylish scarf and sneakers | 40plusstyle.com

#4 Comfort & happiness ensured

Although I’m all for taking risks and trying new things, in fact I very much encourage it, I also believe in doing more of what works. When I wear my dressing formula, I KNOW that I will feel comfortable, happy and stylish in my outfit. It may not be the most adventurous, fashionable or creative outfit but I know that it does the main job of letting me feel good about myself.

Stylish outfit idea: skinny 7/8 pants with a sheer top and pointed toe shoes | 40plusstyle.com

My dressing formula

My basic dressing formula is simple:

Skinny 7/8 pants + original top that can stand on its own + nice shoes + accessories

Style tip formula: Skinny 7/8 pants + original top + nice shoes + accessories | 40plusstyle.com

Style ideas: Outfit inspiration on how to pair your bomber jacket with skinny pant | 40plusstyle.com

Let’s look at the details:

Skinny pants

I love my skinny pants from Zara that was also part of the casual summer challenge and capsule. I have them in several colors, but the ones I use most is my white version (by far the most popular) and the black ones.

They are comfortable, make my body look good and they look good with almost any kind of shoe.

I can therefore dress them up or down depending on the occasion. I wore them a lot in London for example with my sneakers, which was perfect for walking around. But I also love wearing them on an evening out with fancy shoes.

Skinny pants outfit idea: Pair it with an asymmetrical top | 40plusstyle.com

Top

I often advocate the purchase of tops that can stand on their own. Tops that are just a bit more special than your average t-shirt. I like asymmetrical tops, but it could be a print or a stripey top for you.

Of course if it’s cooler a nice striped top with a blazer jacket would be perfect too! If you have a nice top then that’s all you need to look good when you pair it with your skinny pants.

Outfit ideas: Inspiration on how to wear an asymmetrical vest | 40plussytle.com

Tips for a stylish outfit: Wear unique tops paired with pants for a chic outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Shoes

The 7/8 pants can be worn with many types of shoes. My favorites are sneakers (for days when I walk a lot), booties (for colder days), pointy ballerina flats (when I want to be comfortable yet stylish), block heels (when I want to look a bit more polished and fancy) or wedges for a casual chic look.

Capsule wardrobe items: skinny pants and a beautifully draped top | 40plusstyle.com

Accessories

Last but certainly not less important are the accessories.

I ALWAYS wear some accessories. Often it’s a necklace, bracelet and lately also earrings. When I’m outside, I wear sunglasses. They are the finishing touch and will make any ordinary outfit special. Don’t ignore them!

Wear the same thing and still look stylish: Ideas on how to pair animal print with white pants | 40plusstyle.com

Does this mean I don’t wear anything else?

Of course not!

You have seen me in all kinds of outfits apart from this formula as every now and then, it’s just fun (and necessary) to do something different. I usually make more of an effort when I go to a special event or whenever I have time.

Fashion inspiration: Chic white pants outfit idea | 40plusstyle.com

But it’s super useful to have a few formulas ready to go.

They are ideal for those situations when you feel you ‘have nothing to wear’ or feel overwhelmed by the size of your wardrobe.

Use capsule wardrobes to minimise your closet and always have something to wear

In addition to a few formulas that work for you, it’s also very beneficial to apply the principle of a capsule wardrobe to your closet. These are a collection of clothes that all work together and are able to be mixed and matched. This will allow you to create many outfits from just a few pieces.

If you like to find out more and put this principle into practice you can access our casual capsule wardrobe challenge.

How to wear the same thing and still look stylish: Pick a bright and vibrant top with your favorite pair of pants and top it off with an accessory! | 40plusstyle.com

We will offer you lots more help in keeping your wardrobe lean, fabulous and practical in months to come so stay tuned!

Do you have any outfit formulas that work for you?

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Disclaimer: I’m not a minimalist, I still have plenty of clothes and accessories. But doing more with less is definitely one of my goals this year!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine

Thanks for sharing your formula Sylvia! Having a formula to follow makes packing and traveling much easier. I have been weighing the idea of adding black and navy 7/8 pants to my closet and eliminating some older dated jeans. So now I will do it! I struggle to find unique tops scaled for petite sizes because often the design will not allow for shortening. I love your accessories and shoes. They make each outfit unique.

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Sylvia

Thanks Elaine and good luck finding some good pants!

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Aileen

What a great article, Sylvia, I think this is a very good idea, both in saving money and also using what we buy, rather than enjoying only the moment and the buzz of purchasing the item. All too often I used to find the same or very similar item already hanging in my wardrobe when I got my new purchase home.
But now I know my preferred style, rather than trying out every new trend, I need much less and everything works together, both in style and colour. It makes a big difference when everything goes with pretty much everything else in my wardrobe.

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Sylvia

Definitely Aileen!

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Andrea@WellnessNotes

You have certainly found a fantastic formula that suits you so well! You look fabulous in skinny 7/8 pants, and I love your asymmetrical tops and interesting necklaces!

I am trying to be much more intentional with my clothing purchases and try to think of my wardrobe in terms of different capsules with a few fun elements thrown in.

I created a summer capsule wardrobe for your 4-week Europe trip in summer, and it became my wardrobe for 3 or 4 months. It worked out great because getting dressed was easier and actually more joyful!

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Sylvia

Glad to hear it Andrea!

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Ana

Great piece, Sylvia. I am finding myself wanting to keep a more sustainable wardrobe now, too. Thank you for sharing.
Best,
: ) Ana

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Sylvia

Thanks so much for your feedback Ana!

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Terry Murphy

Great article, wonderful tips. I’m trying to minimize clothing purchases myself. However, just a comment about shoes. Scanning through the pictures, you do seem to have a lot of shoes?

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Sylvia

As I mentioned in the disclaimer, I’m not a minimalist and I have a variety of shoes. However, shoes tend to last long and I don’t tend to add duplicates in a particular style.

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Melisa

Great article, Sylvia. Having a very limited clothing budget and one very small closet means this is the approach I have to use. Unfortunately, my default is usually cropped jeans and a top simply because I have wear sneakers most weekends. My weekends include lots of walking where I need to be able to keep up with my guys and only sneakers will do (plus I have some physical issues). I do wish you’d shown your pants with the sneakers you mentioned because I find when I buy cute pants that aren’t jeans they seldom get worn because of the shoe issue. I do have “cute” sneakers but frequently feel like I’m dressing too young if I put them with anything but jeans.

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Sylvia

I am wearing them with the sneakers here (in the cactus photo). I have worn these sneakers with both my black but especially white pants the whole summer.

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Melisa

Oh, I didn’t realize those were sneakers. Thought they were booties, probably because I couldn’t see the toes. I like them. What kind are they? BTW, you look so gorgeous in that last red and white outfit that I have to keep scrolling back to have another look. It definitely suits you! The background scenery is so pretty, too.

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Sylvia

They’re from Marc o Polo but I bought them 2 years ago so no longer available. They’re white and grey similar to the styles listed here http://rstyle.me/n/b2asn9cmww

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Melisa

Thanks! Zappos is the only place I order shoes from. Love them. I’m going to wishlist a couple of these for later.

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Rachel Nichols

Nice idea Sylvia! Skinny pants wouldn’t work for me, however. I am losing weight–finally found a method that works–and seem to be going from an apple to more of a full hour-glass. My thighs remain thick, though, and will probably seem thicker when I lose.

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Sylvia

Thanks Rachel. You just have to find the pants (or skirt, whatever you like to wear) that works for you!

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KatieRae

Thank you for your very thoughtful post! Your post was a good reminder to me of the balance between beautiful style and global responsibility. The True Cost is on Netflix, so my (adult fashionista) daughter and I are going to watch together, looking forward to that:-)

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Sylvia

I think you will find it quite shocking. It’s quite an eye opener…

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Rachel

This is spot on. As an environmentalist who loves having options to express my style and creativity it can be a real challenge to honour both. Worth trying though. Your style equation works beautifully for you!

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Sylvia

Yes it is a challenge but these little steps can help make it happen…

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Greetje

Nice article Sylvia but I have to say, the only thing you minimalized are the trousers haha. Tops, shoes, accessories, they all vary. I don’t mind but weren’t you thinking more of those capsule challenges? Where you combine two skirts, three tops and a pair of trousers (f.i.) to make multiple outfits?
Greetje
Ps my sustainability lies in the fact I buy and then pass something on quite quickly

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Sylvia

My aim with this post is to make dressing easier by providing a simple formula that works every time. What I encourage women to do here is to have one or 2 formulas so dressing becomes easier. If you combine that with a capsule wardrobe, you can then also very much minimise your wardrobe. I think that getting a few formulas that work for your style first will help with that endeavour.

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Bobbi

Sylvia really enjoyed this post as I am a uniform-type of gal. It must be my days of Catholic school uniforms:)

Great tip about the 7/8 pants which are my favorite style AND it is less hassle with finding the right pair of shoes.

I had a eureka moment with the adding interesting tops. Usually I am in a t-shirt, some sort of jacket, sweater, cover up and scarf.

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Silvia DiPierdomenico

Thanks for sharing so many photographs as examples. I think having go to looks is also a way of dressing agelessly, rather than being at the whim of trends, you always know you will be dressed confidently whatever the occasion.
http://www.beastofstyle.com

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Emma Peach

I’ve been dressing more according to a formula for the last couple of years. Jeans, a blazer and trainers or flats is my non-work uniform. There isn’t a dress code in my office but I like to make the distinction between leisure and work. For the office I usually stick to trousers, top and jacket but occasionally I wear a dress or skirt. I also like to stick to black/red or navy/red/white for most of the time as it makes selecting shoes and a bag much easier in the morning. If I have a bit of extra time (which is rare) I change it up a bit. You’ve reminded me that I need watch The True Cost…I just watched the trailer…it really makes you think about the people making our clothes and the value we place upon them.

Emma xxx
http://www.style-splash.com

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Melody Guy

Great article. Your outfits look great! Your outfits show off your long slim legs.

I try to show off my waist and my calves. I have two looks. For work I wear an a-line dress or skirt with a fitted top and heels, plus a cardigan or jacket if its cold. Outside of work I wear high waisted skinny jeans with a merino top and flat shoes, or if it’s really hot I’ll wear a skirt. My work look is more me but I’m currently a stay at home Mum so comfortable casual it is!

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