Making outfits in my head is something I casually think about to pass time. As a visual person, I love the whole process of finding just the right textiles, colors, and pieces to make an outfit look and feel complete. Although fashion can be specific to a particular or popularized aesthetic, style can take on many unique forms for anyone and as someone who has had many style “phases,” I have curated the top three most flattering rules I live, or better said, dress by.
1. The eight-point rule
For as long as I can remember (or least as long as I have been dressing myself), I have used a point system that balances my day to day style. Each outfit is judged on an eight-point basis but not on whether how good the outfit is, but rather on the individual pieces’ coordination with the rest of the outfit. Each piece starts with 1+; bottoms, tops, and shoes within themselves land you at 3+ points. Items begin to acquire an additional point based on the flashiness/boldness it brings to the eye, an example of this can be patterns, bold colors, statement piece cuts. I like to add if you do something unique with your hair, more than basic makeup, jewelry, nails, or any other accessories to this category as well since these, too, are key pieces to a look.
With this rule, your goal is to reach but not exceed 8+ points but it also helps you determine when you may be doing too little in how you dress. 6+ is the minimum I allow for each outfit just to have a good range on whether I may be overdressing or underdressing myself for any given occasion. What’s important to note with this rule is that it is completely subjective to what “loud” pieces are to you and your aesthetic! If you like certain types of clothes because it flatters your figure in the way you like or certain materials because it’s most comfortable for you, these styles may become a staple, everyday “basics” look for you. In this case, where most would consider those types of pieces to be 2+, you may only count 1+!
2. Color theory
Let’s travel back to elementary school for the most slept-on fashion lesson we all probably forgot about, color theory. As you may remember, color theory is based on the color wheel which is broken down by the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and the colors that exist between them, secondary (orange, green, purple) and tertiary colors (yellow-green, yellow-orange, blue-green, blue-purple, red-purple, red-orange).
This wheel very simply explains complementary colors through the secondary color across each primary color on the wheel; for instance, blue (primary) and orange (secondary) or more advanced, pink and green. This is when shades, tints and tones come into play! Although they all may sound like synonyms for one another, each one changes a color drastically. Shade is classified by how much black you add to a color. Tone determines how much grey is a color, and tint dictates how much white is any said color. In the prior mentioned example, pink would be considered a tint of red but why is this all so important? The color wheel is a quick and easy guide to embracing one of my favorite things, color, into your style! If you typically find yourself sticking to the same color scheme when shopping or dressing yourself, look into complementary colors or shades, tints and tones to spice up your style or wardrobe!
3. Three outfit rule
Lastly, this is a rule more for shopping than dressing but since the two go hand-in-hand, it’s just as important! When trying to expand your wardrobe there will always be moments when you see something that instantly makes you go “I NEED TO HAVE THIS” but don’t be deceived! In my years, I learned to never trust this initial thought because in the moment of excitement, anything goes and when you’re balling on a budget, that isn’t ideal. The three outfit rule almost completely solves deception. The rule explains that when out shopping and this happens, instead of finding excuses to validate just buying it because it looks nice, try to come up with at least three outfit ideas with clothes you already own and the item in question. If you can and the price tag allows for it, purchase the item and strunt, honey! But if not, maybe think of when and where you would potentially wear it: is it a piece that is for a special occasion or would you have to go out of your way to find a reason to wear it? This has helped me many times in deciding to take or leave a piece but also in not breaking the bank in buying new looks. Fashion, but never at the expense of frugality!
Hope this helps and stay fashion-forward, collegiettes!