How to get outfit ideas? Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration…

by Sylvia

How to get outfit ideas? |

I’m pretty proud of myself.

I felt amazing in an outfit that was almost entirely shopped from my own closet. All of the pieces are more than one year old. The top even far more than that. Even better, the top, skirt and shoes were all bought on sale.  The only new item in the outfit is a necklace that I bought for $25.

I often advise you to shop your own closet, but if you are like me, you are always attracted to the newest things. So much so that you may be tempted to shop.


I’m no different.

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The way I resist it is by just not going to the shops. Luckily I’m so busy that I don’t have time! Buying online is still not that easy here in Singapore (certainly not from my favorite US shops) so I can usually resist the temptation when I’m scouting for fabulous pieces to feature on this site.

I was VERY tempted though by my last lineup. My articles are often influenced by what interests me at any particular moment and I was really in the mood for adding some extra color to my closet. When I spotted the fabulous image of a woman wearing red, orange and pink (or nude) that inspired my post on how to wear red, I was very tempted by the products I featured.

Until I realised that I actually have most of these items in my closet already!

Once I realised that, the temptation to shop was over and it was easy to put an outfit together.

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The pink top may be familiar to you as I often wear it in its red version. It’s one of my old favorites from now retired brand Alldressedup.This top always makes me feel glamorous because of the beautifully draped back.

Then there is my all-time favorite skirt from Donna Karan. One of the few solid body hugging skirts that I can wear with tucked-in tops because of the beautiful draping at the front.

You are also already familiar with the Chie Miharie shoes that I wear quite often. These actually featured the color orange!

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Bringing it all together was this lovely necklace by Estdio Shp, a brand I found thanks to a comment by Ann Martin (an artist herself who makes paper jewelry) to my article on the best online stores for statement jewelry.

This was a brand new outfit for me as I had never worn these clothes in this combination before. It felt new, fresh and modern to me.

And it all came together because of an idea. A simple picture that inspired a color palette.

So I encourage you to look around for ideas too and be inspired.

  • Look around in nature and be inspired by the colors. Discover how you could create that in an outfit.
  • Have a look at images. This need not be images from clothes but could be anything. Notice the colors and how they combine.
  • Which colors really strike you at the moment? Think about how you could use it in an outfit.
  • What inspires you in buildings? Perhaps you can recreate some of the lines in your outfit.

This outfit is going to get another outing this week. It’s Fashion Week in Singapore and I will have to shop my wardrobe a lot because I did not buy anything new for it. I’m hoping to see Diane von Furstenberg, Victoria Beckham and Thakoon as well as a few local designers. Of course I will keep you posted. You may like to follow my fashion adventures on Instagram.

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Top: old, Alldressedup (also like this one – on sale)
Skirt: old, Donna Karan (similar)
Shoes: old, Chie Mihara (more from their collection)
Ring: Linnie McLarty
Bracelet: Jewelry to Your Doorstep
Necklace: Estdioshp

More ideas for wearing pink, red and orange and what is available online can be found here.

But of course I encourage you to look in your closets first and I wish you all lots of fun with shopping your wardrobe!

What has inspired your outfits recently?


P.S.: I will feature more red looks later this week. To submit your looks for the #redstylechallenge, tag your images on social networks or send to sylvia [at]

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Sabina “OceanblueStyle” B

Agree! I was reading your headline thinking I am so looking forward to your answers realizing I get the best ideas relying on my closet and what is already in it instead of shopping for new items 🙂 So I stopped shopping last year for 6 months. That got the creative juices flowing….Sabina | Oceanblue Style


I try to shop my closet every day, and add sparingly – only things I truly love. You look wonderful, Sylvia! xo


Love the skirt! Once in a while I get creative ideas while going through my closet.


I love this outfit.

I pinned that necklace when it was mentioned several weeks ago, but as a DIY challenge. I’ll have to send a picture if I ever get around to making it!

Sometimes a new accessory is all that is needed to inspire creativity in wardrobe planning.

I heard a tip (on Oprah) years ago to arrange clothes like the colors of the color wheel. This works for me. It makes my little closet look like a boutique and much more inviting to “shop” there. I arrange shoes, scarves, purses, jewelry by color too.


I am shopping my closet more and more…there is so much I can do there with pieces I love!


LOVE all the colour and the outfit!

You look so happy.

I’m also shopping my closet more this year. Too many unforeseen expenses this year, and now possibly a bathroom reno are seriously taxing my shopping options. That’s okay, my closet is bursting at the seams anyhow.

Choosing from my closet forces me to be creative rather than just buying something new.



fabulous outfit!!!
it´s totally chic and suits you so well – love that clear colors on you!
i´m on the red/pink/orange trip too, although i have to be careful with orange. i take it only in small doses or use coral and salmon instead 🙂
wish you lots of fun at the fashion week!! xxx


Great outfit Sylvia, you look amazing. I think you have a fabulous figure and great sense of style; you put so many lovely outfits together from simple pieces and make them look superb.
It’s a very good exercise working out new ideas from what’s already in your possession, rather than spending money on new pieces all the time. I tend to buy too much at once rather than only one or two pieces, with the result that they all need replacing faster. Either that or I just get tired of them at the same time!
I’m going to stay away from the shops for a while and watch my bank balance recover, hopefully.

Jodie filogomo

What you say is truth! My closet is perfect…I don’t need anything. Sometimes I pull something out and think….wow–how cute…I need to wear this! jodie
ps…I love that color combo!! Actually the entire outfit is perfect!

beth djalali

lovely post, sylvia! couldn’t agree with you more, shopping your closet is a tried and true technique. thanks, for sharing.

Natalia Lialina

I really love this outfit – how perfect that the red skirt has draping! And your accessories are always exquisite, Sylvia. I experience something similar lately. I have a feeling that I built my wardrobe in the last couple of years, and now I only will add occasionally what I truly love, and without breaking the bank too, so either thrifting, or buying on sale, which I usually do. I stopped my self quite a few times lately. Finding new combinations in your own closet is a fun creative task.


This shoes are so lovely and i think this look fits perfect on you.
Many greets, Ela


Love the skirt and LOVE the colour! On the lookout for a bright red blazer at the mo x


You look absolutely chic! Just goes to show that although we want new things, what we have works just fine!!


You are right, although I find shopping in my own closet rather boring and in the shops very exciting. (I need a shrink.)
Your outfit is very elegant and your new necklace does indeed tie it together.
Thanks for the inspiration. I am going to wear my orange/red/pink cardigan with orange top tomorrow.


I plan to use your post as inspiration to style some new red pants I recently required. I’ve never owned red pants before so I need plenty of ideas! I’m still retooling my closet to meet goals I set in the style course and in the process I’m finding things that I can use and hope to have success with them too.


Love the pink and red and WOW you look great in that skirt!

Susan Street

You look so cool and confident! Love it!

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