Trying to style new outfits…. not an easy job

Xenia Walschikow broochThis post is going to show you how difficult styling is. I am often told off for saying this, but really, I am not a good stylist. I know because I have been shopping with a real one. The difference is significant and that difference will be clear when you have read this post.

Trying to style new outfits means taking pictures of every attempt with your smartphone in bad light. Which is what you are about to see: crappy pictures of me. But at the top of a blogpost should always be an attractive photo, so this is the one. The only one. 

Below: a close-up of the lovely brooch. A piece of art, which I got for my birthday in April from Ron and my mother. Maybe for some people too big, but I was hunting for a big, contemporary, colourful brooch. Mission accomplished. It is made of paint and the artist is Xenia Walschikow, who lives in England. She is such a lovely person. The process of making a brooch with paint is on her website. Xenia was like a friend in helping me to get just the right piece. Great service. We will meet in real life as she will be at the Jewellery Art Fair in Amsterdam, November 9-12, 2017. Such an event is soooo nice, but sooo bad for my bank account.

Xenia Walschikow brooch

Before you are about to see all the bad pictures of my styling journey, let me first tell you about the first photo above. These grey trousers haven’t been on the blog much, but they are easy to style. I use the same black sweater or black silk blouse and vary with belt, shoes and accessories. The easiest trick: black and white and a pop or colour. (Black and white is in this case black and grey.)

Below: Me (and my colleague Isabelle) with the grey trousers and a green necklace. We got the memo.

Grey trousers with green

Below: And here the grey trousers with yellow shoes and necklace. You see? This is an easy trick. Even I can do this.

Grey trousers wih black and yellow

Now to the more difficult part.

First you need to know which item will go with the item you need to style: both in colour and in shape. You want the colour(s) which suit you best and go with the item. And the items together should make your body look good, perhaps even awesome. This means a great, big heap of clothes, shoes, boots, belts, scarves and (in my case) necklaces all over the bed. And I HATE that. Because I am the one who has to put everything back in the closets. In a shop I don’t have that problem, although I am always very tidy with the merchandise.

Below: Take for example these ochre trousers. They looked perfect in this post with the fitted green jacket. And that was the only way I wore them. A bit of a shame, so into the closet I dove. First try: my navy blue jacket by Kenzo (it looks black because of the bad photo, but it really is blue). The jacket is another item I cannot style: too wide, too boxy. Combining it with these trousers, make me look like a clown.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: Another blue jacket? More fitted? Hmm no, these items have nothing in common. You could say the white shirt and the boots match, but as a whole .. mweh.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: Fitted black jacket then? Probably the best but the length of the trousers bother me. Not with high heels, but with these boots they do. Besides, green fitted jacket (the original styling) or a black fitted jacket? What’s the difference?

Trying to style new outfits

Below: Why not try a top instead of a jacket? One with yellow in it. Oh gosh NO!! I love this top to death but the sleeves are too short. Anybody have a solution for that?

Trying to style new outfits

You see, a stylist just KNOWS what to pick and what will go together. I only achieve a good outfit by either getting advice from a shop assistant or by blood, sweat and tears (well.. no tears really) in trying and trying again.

Below: White Irie Wash jacket with blue/white striped trousers and yellow sandals. Not bad but the jacket starts to look a bit frumpy. Not frumpy as in “old lady” but as in “crinkled”.

Trying to style new outfits

Trying to style new outfits

Below: I like the idea, but the execution is bad. Big white front is not flattering. And the sneakers make the outfit look heavy.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: With high heeled shoes then? No, still a failure.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: The silk Diane von Fürstenberg shirt. Only styled it with white trousers and a black and white belt for summer. Black and white with a pop of colour again. I quite like this outfit with the skirt. Just need my modern summer shoes to stay away from too old fashioned.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: Anything combined with my G-Star boyfriend jeans looks good. This black and white sweater (is there a theme here?) is in my closet for 40 years. No wonder I have no space left. But I still like it. Cannot find a single reason why I should get rid of it. Green vintage mini bag is the pop of colour.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: A succesful outfit: white tuxedo jacket, green jogging trousers with silver side stripe and EIJK black flat shoes.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: Ron said I looked like a model from a German post order company in the sixties. He is right. I tried to style that darned blue Kenzo jacket (boxy, wide… trouble). Oh and the stripes on the photo? I am afraid the mirror was dirty. Honestly, our house is pretty clean. No idea how this happened.

Trying to style new outfits

Trying to style new outfits

Remember last week’s post with the sequined T-shirt? It took a lot of try-outs.

Below: Not bad.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: Hmmm, from the side it looks strange on the tummy though.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: No, no, no no no.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: With a pleated skirt and sneakers? Don’t think so!!

Trying to style new outfits

Below: With high heels? Better, but not good. Which is why I chose the pencil skirt. Should have given that more thought as that skirt wasn’t right either.

Trying to style new outfits

Below: I will leave you with a trusted outfit. The only change I made here, was adding the vintage bag haha. A steal for € 10. The necklace is a present from Daniela (The Pretty Cute) and the shoes…. again: EIJK.  I agree with Michelle (RetroChicMama) who said you should wear your best items as much as you can and not save them for a special occasion like Christmas. See her blogpost about that subject here.

Trying to style new outfits

Do you agree with me that styling is not that easy?

Greetje

No Fear of Fashion

PS I have joined the Saturday Share Link-up, hosted by Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Go and click the link to see a multitude of bloggers.

 

 

 

 

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55 Comments

  1. Riley
    1 October 2017 / 18:13

    My Lord, girlfriend, if I had your legs, I would get rid of every skirt in my closet and wear only slim fitting trousers/jeans. Want proof? Go back and look at the picture of yourself wearing the blue striped jeans (?), pictures 9 and 10.

    Then go straight to your closet and start clearing out skirts (except, perhaps, for pencil skirts). 🙂 🙂

    • 1 October 2017 / 19:28

      I’m with Riley!

    • 1 October 2017 / 19:40

      Hahaha.. thanks Riley, but I can show off my legs in skirts too if I style them well, right? I will admit that those white and blue stiped 7/8 trousers are doing my good favours.

  2. Riley
    1 October 2017 / 18:16

    The ochre trousers? I think it might be white shoes that are throwing you off. What about dark shoes instead of white?

    • 1 October 2017 / 19:43

      You might be right. I know blown slingbacks are good, but I wanted to try a more comfortable heel. I think these ochre trousers don’t work well with flat shoes. They are sort of in-between-weather trousers. Too hot for summer, too cold for winter. I might need the perforated black booties by EIJK. Will try.

  3. 1 October 2017 / 19:08

    I like that black and white skirt a lot on you. It s the perfect lenght!

  4. 1 October 2017 / 19:14

    Yes, black and white plus a pop of color, or gray and black plus pop of color are great style recipes. Have you ever tried the yellow sandals with the yellow pants to get mile long legs?

    • 1 October 2017 / 19:45

      No the two yellows clash like hell. But I have tried those trousers with high heeled brown slingbacks. And that worked fine.

  5. 1 October 2017 / 19:30

    I agree that styling is hard, but at least you know what works and what doesn’t work, and that is half the battle! A lot of people don’t get that part. Those ochre trousers are particularly hard to style, I think. It was fun to see you try on your wardrobe though! xx

    • 1 October 2017 / 19:50

      Ron didn’t like this post at all. I said: “Well blogger life isn’t just pretty pictures you know. My readers are allowed to see the reality behind the pictures. Puts things into perspective.”

  6. 1 October 2017 / 19:30

    So many decisions! The ochre pants, maybe if you shorten them so you don’t need to turn up the cuff at the bottom, they would hang better with booties…? It’s a shame not to wear them more often – they are such a fun piece. But you always find a way to make your clothes fit together in the end, in a way that makes you happy, which is really all that matters. And your G Star jeans, they really do shine with anything.
    So great that you and Isabelle got the same memo. Hahaha!!

    • 1 October 2017 / 19:53

      It happens a lot in the office, that more than one woman turns up in the same colours or style. Last week, three in my group (I was one) came in orange!

  7. 1 October 2017 / 19:47

    It’s true…things can look so good in a flat lay, yet on our bodies, they look totally different.
    I love this experiment, Greetje. Although it’s a lot of work!
    As for the sleeves that are too short—-you could find a seamstress to add some material to them. Possibly a black material of the same weight? Or if you wanted to shorten the shirt, you could use the bottom part on the sleeves!!
    Love you…love this!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • 1 October 2017 / 19:56

      Thanks for the advice. I have been toying with the idea of lengthening the sleeves as well. I don’t want to shorten the shirt (would give another problem) but I could have an inch or two removed from the sleeves, add a piece on to elongate and sew the removed two inches back at the end of the sleeves? To make it less obvious that the sleeves were altered? Don’t know about the style yet.

  8. ISa
    1 October 2017 / 21:02

    I love it (As always!)! This is how I am too – in my head I think something will look good but I reality it looks terrible – so like you, I have to try many combinations to find a good outfit, and then tidy everything up. I wondered how the yellow trousers look with flat shoes?

    • 1 October 2017 / 21:40

      Those ochre yellow trousers look awesome with high heels and absolutely terrible with flat shoes. I think these boots are wrong for them as well though. Glad I am not the only one struggling (didn’t think so to be honest).

  9. 1 October 2017 / 21:25

    Hi Greetje. I think lots of us have moments like you have just shown us. I for one do. That is what I like so much about your blog; you are always so honest and you also show us that taking things lightly brings a positive vibe in life and that is far more valuable than being a stylist. So, well done again. Love, Lieske

    • 1 October 2017 / 21:43

      The stylist i went shopping with was great. I just gave her an exact briefing of what I wanted and she just pulled the most stunning (or simple) clothes from the rack. As by miracle. If I then said something like: “I think this neckline is too wide for me”, she would pull the string belt from my waist saying: “You don’t need a belt anyway, let’s make this into a necklace.” And put it around my neck: magic, it worked. That is how I know it is a gift.

  10. Judy
    1 October 2017 / 22:20

    First off, love the honesty and good humor with which you tackled this problem. As many blogs as I read, and look at pics, I end up with some variation of the same types of clothes because the constant work at mix and max just flummoxes me. I know what works and leave it at that, but then I get bored with the same thing. Hmmm, perhaps I should try a stylist. You do look fab in anything showing off your legs as the others have said.

    • 2 October 2017 / 21:03

      Thank you. For the compliments and for teaching me the word flummox. I am at a disadvantage by blogging in English. But is it great for my vocabulary. I am trying not to get blasé with my clothes and shop in my closets as well as in the shops. A stylist is nice but you will have to have a fair budget. As you are paying her (usually a her) you have already spent a fair amount. You don’t want to do that for buying a tank top. So your budget for buying clothes should be… I don’t know… 3/4 clothes and 1/4 stylist?

  11. 1 October 2017 / 22:37

    Greetje

    You are a courageous women by sharing this trouble/workout/ whatever. I have said this before. You are are truly Haarlems Kenau Simons Hasselaer.

    • 2 October 2017 / 21:08

      Thank you very much Claudia. That is a “Geuzennaam”. It is not so much courage as it is lack of concern. I think to myself: “So people will see I am not such a pretty picture after all.. so what?” And really, that was the purpose of this post. All these perfect pictures on the internet, women might think that is the norm. I gladly show the other side.

  12. Buttercup
    1 October 2017 / 23:59

    I agree that styling is difficult but you certainly have perseverance. I also understand now why I struggle so much and resort to the black and white with a pop of colour. Once again thanks for your honesty. I love your blog.

    • 2 October 2017 / 21:11

      I should thank you and I do. What a great honour it is that people love your “creative” work. I make a post every week with so much pleasure. (A little stress etc., but not bad stress.)
      There are of course women who blog who are good stylists. I admire them. They can just grab 4 things and KNOW it will go together. It is an art. And indeed what I lack in skills I try to make up in perseverance haha.

  13. 2 October 2017 / 11:34

    Hello

    I think you were having a bad day!! Seen you look waaaaaaay better, OFTEN!

    Love
    Lizer Pearl

    • 2 October 2017 / 21:13

      Hahaha Lizer Pearl, the whole point of this blog post was to show the “behind the scenes”. The blood, sweat and tears going into creating a good outfit. The many failures. The crappy photos were just visual reminders for me, but I shared them with you. So yes I agree… I have seen myself WAY better too hahaha.

  14. 2 October 2017 / 12:48

    I’m with Riley also. Seriously you have stonkingly good legs! I agree that styling is difficult which is why I tend to live in jeans. Also I am not patient enough to spend time like you trying things on and evaluating outfits…I’m always in a hurry. Great post as always Greetje, your honesty is refreshing and your humour always gives me a smile. Whether you are happy with your outfits or not you are still a very stylish woman.

    • 2 October 2017 / 21:17

      Thank you very much Fiona. For the compliments (learned another new English word: stonking.. thanks) and for letting me know I entertain you. To tell you the truth I am very impatient. These trying things on sessions… there aren’t many of them. But I just love clothes. Always have and probably always will. When I was 11 I went to stay with my aunt and she asked my mother: “What is the matter with this girl? She changes clothes 3 times a day”. Hahaha

  15. Babette
    2 October 2017 / 19:24

    I have really enjoyed your recent posts…makes me appreciate the effort all my favorite bloggers go to daily/weekly. Thank you, thank you for inspiring the rest of us to take care in our personal appearances. Love love love your style!

    • 2 October 2017 / 21:20

      Well Babette, the pleasure is entirely mine. I love clothes, I love to write, to come up with a post, to take photos etc. The whole shebang. It is my creative outlet. I suck at painting, drawing, sewing, claying etc. This is my thing. And I love it that there are women out there who want to read it. So thank you for commenting.

  16. marjolein
    2 October 2017 / 19:57

    Really…is there no shame …nope no shame, and that is what I like so much about you. LOL There were some bad combis and your face expressed it all!!

    • 2 October 2017 / 21:24

      Hahaha.. You can tell as you know me for such a long time. Yes there were some bad combinations indeed. My face is usually just concentrated, but indeed most of the time not very happy.

  17. 2 October 2017 / 19:59

    First, the purple shoes in the top photo are great, love the colour! Second, I think the top with yellow in it is a quite good choice with the ochre yellow pants, maybe really good with altered sleeves. How about adding a jacket on top then? As for the Kenzo jacket, could you add a nice leather belt, brown perhaps? That would give you a waist, and possibly make it easier to wear with some of your pants and pencil skirts? Like the others say, you have fabulous legs! No photo however bad, can hide that fact! Thanks for sharing your troubles with styling, we all get there from time to time.

    • 2 October 2017 / 21:27

      I have added a fitted purple velvet jacket to the top with yellow in it. Plus white jeans and that went really well. Still haven’t found anything different for the ochre trousers but the green jacket and the brown slingbacks. Belting the Kenzo jacket is something I haven’t thought about. It might get too bulky but I will certainly try that. Thanks for the tip. And thank you for the legs compliment.

  18. 2 October 2017 / 23:25

    Wow! Lots of work happening here! LOL. It’s supposed to be enjoyable. Not a chore.

    I find styling pieces easy and fun and if it isn’t it because the piece I bought simply isn’t good for me and my closet.

    Although your body shape is excellent in jeans it is also great in skirts.

    LOVE that funky vintage bag!

    As style bloggers I do believe we are very difficult to please when it comes to outfits and how we look.

    Suzanne

    • 3 October 2017 / 21:58

      I know you do this styling bit for fun. Which is because styling comes so much more natural to you. To me it is indeed a chore. Which is strange as I love to create an outfit. In the shop. I am doomed 😂😂.

  19. 3 October 2017 / 03:47

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post – I have days where there is a pile of clothes on my bed because I’ve tried to put together an outfit using pieces I was determined to wear, and wasn’t able to find a way for them to work together. At least you know what shapes flatter your body, and what colours suit you, and that is half the battle won. I really like the acid green blouse with the black and white skirt, and the grey pants with the black top and pops of yellow.

    I think you always look so wonderfully put-together so even though it may take a few experiments to find the right pieces that go together, you are very successful in the end.

    • 3 October 2017 / 22:01

      Oh I have my bad moments. Like I wore the “German post order suit from the seventies” to work. What saves me is that somebody will always tell me a certain outfit is not a good idea before I put it on the blog. Well, the black skirt with the sequined T-shirt was a slip-up haha.

  20. Marilee Gramith
    3 October 2017 / 06:21

    My dear Greetje you need to give yourself more credit!!! You have a few great pairings here and some that are good but just need an accessory, like jewelry, or a scarf to tweek the outfit to perfection. I LOVE those yellow pants (are they a laser cut?) I ADORE the yellow shoes! To bad the yellows clash.
    Anyway my dear I think this was a pretty cool post. I like your honesty and humor so much. Clearly, you’re open to learning more about what you love and how to put it together. Keep trying and keep an open mind. Also , try Googling for ideas!

    • 3 October 2017 / 22:15

      Thank you dearest for sending me links. I think that is so sweet. There is something weird about me with outfits. I love “assembling” pieces to put together a great outfit. I always call that “my creativity”, but I find it really difficult to create an outfit with stuff I already own. And I am not tough on myself. Just realistic. It is the sheer perceverance which gets me results haha. There are more ways to Rome as they say.

  21. 3 October 2017 / 10:20

    Styling schmyling!
    You have the best shoe collection of any woman I know! Damn I wish we had the same shoe size woman…I’d happily pay you to take any of the above off your hands 😉
    Also absolutely love the Latin tee! Hilarious from a blog dev perspective, where did you find it?
    That’s the ultimate question though isn’t it? You have such a brilliant knack for finding uniquely fabulous pieces. None of this H&M rubbish.
    One of these days Imma come over there & have a proper root around your wardrobe Greetje xxx

    • 3 October 2017 / 22:23

      You are most welcome to root around my wardrobe dear. Everything will be too big for your tiny figure anyway haha. I have a size 38 to 39 in shoes and boots. You do the converting before we get into a squabble about that again haha.
      I always look at other bloggers thinking they have the best shoe collection. And what do you know? It turns out I have a good one as well.
      The Latin T is one that my niece made me. She is an artist but diverted by having a little business in self designed T-shirts. Actually the little business is growing fast. She designed the T-shirt with the first two words and I asked her to add three more words. As we use these texts all the time in advertising (my profession). It is indeed unique.

  22. 3 October 2017 / 14:21

    It wasn’t until I started (a decade ago) trying to create outfits that I realized how hard styling is. Very hard. Elusively hard. My string of misses are rarely interrupted by a hit. Even now I’m batting .250 (meaning my success is about one in four attempts). For this reason, I respect women who make a serious effort to learn how to style themselves. You are among them. Most of your outfits are smart and successful, as you show us here. Kudos to you!

    • 3 October 2017 / 22:25

      Thank you so much Ally. But I will confess, a lot of my outfits are styled by a clever sales assistant 😇. Or a good friend. And yes occasionaly I come up with a good one myself. And when that happens I am so proud of myself. Recognize that feeling? I bet you do.

  23. 4 October 2017 / 01:46

    First off, the first 5 or 6 photos are fabulous. Love the brooch, love the outfit with the black and white belt, and all of the looks except for the ochre trousers with the blue blazer and loose black blazer.
    Love the fitted blazer!

    You are a much better stylist than you give yourself credit for, and my golly , how you wear skinny jeans!!!

    I put things together instananeously, but my outfits don’t always work, but I love the imperfection in that process too.

    My site is down for a couple of days.. all good here though.
    Hugs from NYC!
    ❤️🌸❤️
    Elle
    Theellediariesnyc

    • 4 October 2017 / 08:06

      It is the hard work and the not knowing what to combine which makes me not a stylist. A stylist knows what works. But as I said before, there are more ways leading to Rome. It is a Dutch expression but perhaps you use it as well in the USA? Or is the equivalent: there are more ways to skin a cat?

      • 6 October 2017 / 16:11

        We use the “skin the cat” phrase… but I still think it is hard work and skill on your part. Sorry I could not reply to your post earlier regarding the mass shooting. I just switched blogging platforms, and lost all my comments. ergh!

        But I wanted to let you know that we still do not know the moviatioms behind this terrible tragedy. Yes, he was well off, but also a gambler, so his financial security is not well established. Whether there was any group associated with this incident is still under investigation.

        If this keeps up, you may have a new neighbor!
        Happy weekend!
        🌸❤️🌸
        Elle
        https://theellediaries.com/
        I hope that new link works!

        • 6 October 2017 / 18:01

          The new link works. Saw your new blog. Kudos for you to refresh your blog appearance from time to time. I get tired even thinking about it.
          What do you mean with “you may have a new neighbor”? Thinking of moving to Amsterdam? (Not very likely.)

  24. 4 October 2017 / 13:59

    Here you go again entertaining us, which by the way, we all thoroughly enjoy so tell Ron it’s a great blog post. I don’t even know where to begin with the styling tips becuase you’ve already heard it all and you most definitely already know your strengths and weaknesses. Your strength my friend is knowing what works for you and with that you do know. It may take you a few tries must you recognize when it works and that alone is a talent.
    One thing I’ve realized with myself is when I have to try too hard with an item, it’s simply not an item meant for me so I either give it away (if it happens to be in my closet already) or don’t purchase it.
    I absolutely love that artistic brooch and it is a work of art! I certainly hope you’ll blog about meeting this artist next month.

    • 4 October 2017 / 17:27

      Of course I will blog about Xenia who made the brooch. I wonder what she will show on the fair. It is such a delightful fair. Last year I bought a bag there (and really restrained myself as I could have done 10 times more “damage”). I am hoping to get away this time with no purchases. However, it is like putting a 4 year old in a shop with sweets. And no parental guidance.

  25. 6 October 2017 / 07:25

    OH YES! I too get overwhelmed trying to style outfits. And then with all the clothes and belts and shoes on the bed and the floor…I feel exhausted thinking about putting everything away.

    I do think that taking these selfies such as you have to be really helpful. You can see what’s working and what isn’t working. Save the pics…or better, refer back to this post….and you have several outfits that you can wear.

    I seem to rely on my shoes these days. I’ll choose shoes that somehow match the outfit, but I do worry that I look too matchy-matchy. I also often feel that I style myself too ‘themed’. Do you know what I mean? Like…I want a French look, but when I accessorize myself it comes across sort of theatrical and fake. Sigh…yep, not easy for me.

    I do really love the outfit with the tuxedo jacket, casual pants, flats and large bag. LOVE!

    • 6 October 2017 / 17:57

      I always have a great tool in my “outfit gallery”. Every main outfit of a blogpost is put in the gallery, so I don’t have to remember which belt or what shirt. 😊 And it is a great help when I don’t have any inspiration. The photos I take of try-outs I pit in a virtual album called “Outfits still to do”.
      I get your too themed or too matchy matchy concern. It is a fine line and I often cross that line as well haha.

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