Finally a post about ‘How to style an outfit with clothes from your own wardrobe’. You have suggested this many times and asked me to show the process. So, here it is.
When you have seen the many, many crappy iPhone photos, all looking more or less the same, you will be as bored as I always am with this exercise. After this styling session, in the “week report”, you will find much more variation.
It all began with the purchase of this brooch below.
The brooch would go very well with a purple jumper, which I possess. I had worn the jumper before with wide green trousers (see this post) but it is rather fitted and I intended to wear it with a skirt. Now… which skirt would be nice with this jumper?
Below: A cream skirt? Not really, don’t know why. Too much contrast?
That is the trouble with me, I never know what makes an outfit work or not.
Oh, and the white spots you see on my tights? Those are not holes but smudges on the mirror.
Below: How about this A-line black and white skirt from years ago, bought at the Max Mara outlet in Turin? Yes, better. (See how I styled it with a black top in this post.).
The polka dot tights were nice with the skirt and I am wearing the same chunky shoes I wore with this skirt before. To make it less classic.
By this time I was already out of ideas and consulted my friend Misja (MisjaB) by sending her photos through WhatsApp, accompanied by the word “HELP”. She suggested to concentrate on the outfit and not on the brooch. The orange brooch and the pattern in the skirt somehow didn’t go together. Did I have any necklaces?
Below: Yes, I have necklaces (understatement of the year) but this black and white one seems to choke me. Let’s add a belt as well to give myself more of a waist.
Below: This chunky one? Seems too casual. Or too chunky.
Below: This white one looks more contemporary (well, in my eyes). Too long. It is fighting with the belt.
Below: That is easily fixed; I shortened the necklace. Better, better, much better. Still, there is room for improvement.
Below: Misja suggested to use a scarf. The polka dot one was an obvious choice because of the corresponding polka dots on the skirt and tights. Nope, another case of strangulation.
Below: What if I wear the scarf hang loosely? Don’t know why it doesn’t work, but I wasn’t very enthusiastic.
Below: Let’s put the scarf around my waist for (as Misja put it): more visual interest. Hmm…not bad. Misja suggested to wear it like an obi belt, just straight, no hanging ends.
Below: A brooch was still an option, but another one, one that is in tune with the colours of the outfit. This one is second-hand and silver coloured. It looks like an S because I took the photo in the mirror. In reality it isn’t an S.
Below: Then I used the same brooch which I wore with this jumper and the green trousers. This is getting somewhere.
Below: My new pewter bag finished the look. Misja and I decided this was the outfit.
(The pewter bag by Midlifechic Boutique is also available in black mock croc, chocolate mock crock and navy mock croc. Just saying, as they are so gorgeous and handy.)
Below: I like to finish with a similar photo as the first one, to get rid of the bad images on your mind. I can wear this bag as a clutch (photo at the top), as a shoulder bag (below) and as a crossbody bag. Notice what a difference it makes whether I wear lipstick or not.
I am very curious to hear what you think of this post. You can be honest; I am not easily offended.
What happened in my life this week
It was a busy week and this blog post took a long time editing. Can you believe it? A retired person in Covid times who says she is busy haha.
I had a lovely long Facetime conversation (1 1/2 hours) with Anja, my friend and ex-neighbour who moved to Spain. She could show me the house which is nearly finished. It took a lot of renovation which started in March when Anja still lived in the Netherlands. Until she and Frits could travel to Spain in August, every consult had to be done by phone, photos and Facetime. Risky, but it paid off. Their house looks lovely. Very quirky as that is Anja’s style and she is an artist. Luckily she found a husband who likes her style just as much.
Visited my mum again and Ron came along, which pleased her no end. It is like in the Bible with the prodigal son… I am always there but Ron is special. Anyway, we had a nice afternoon with her.
Below: I took this photo in her bedroom. The dress is Sportmax which I bought years ago at LAB Women’s Clothing. The pleats at the bottom of the dress are pleats from a sleeveless dress which I got through the Etsy shop of Bella, the Citizen Rosebud. You can see more details in this post.
Below: Close-up of the earrings by Lara Design.
Below: Close-up of the tights and the shoes (by Steffen Schraut).
A visit to Helga was a nice break from sitting at home. We kept our distance and had a lovely chat. She has a new kitten. It was late afternoon as she took this photo at a distance against the light, so bad photo. But the kitten is so adorable. (Link to original outfit post.)
Because so many of you have said you do like that blue hat on me, I tried it with a casual outfit and straight on my head. What do you think? With my hair behind my ears or just as it always is? I think I prefer it behind my ears. It was late so the iPhone photos are really bad, but you can still see the effect.
This week there was a Life Stream of a prestigious Advertising Award (the “EFFIE) for a highly effective advertising campaign. My former company sent in a campaign which I helped to develop and my colleagues invited me to watch the award ceremony and join the WhatsApp group to chat about it. We won bronze, yay. As it was an award day, I dressed accordingly, even though it was only virtual and I wasn’t even on camera.
Below: Lavender dress by Max Mara Studio. (Link to original post.)
Below: Close-up of the blue earrings I wore with the dress.
Below: Max Mara boots.
Below: Another outfit this week. Sportmax dress. (Link to original post.)
Below: The earrings from Lara Design have exactly the same colour as the dress.
With Misja I had a conversation about knitting and such which made me remember my mother knitting these jumpers below for my sister-in-law, my niece and me. I had to apply most of the snow as my mum was quite done after knitting them with so many colours. I am 29 in this photo. When I talked about it with my mum, she told me that the kid’s version was originally knitted for my niece’s older brother which is why the neckline closes the other way than the girl’s version. Just as the buttoning of shirts were opposite for men and women. Is that still the case?
Wednesday was a beautiful day with nice temperatures, no rain and a lot of sunshine. My friend Marja came to hit town with me. She bought nothing and I completely “fell of the wagon”. Remember I said last week that I wasn’t craving anymore for new clothes and such? As usual that didn’t last very long. After being cooped up in the house I was in such a good mood. Every time we went into a shop we were the only customers so I think I have made a lot of retailers happy that day. Used the toilet truck on the market square and indeed it was squeaky clean. A really lovely day. Coffee and lunch were take-away and consumed on a bench in the sun. We had such a good time I totally forgot to take a photo of Marja and she looked so nice. Pity.
Below: I was wearing an easy outfit that Wednesday.
Ron wanted to go and see an exhibition about “movement” in a place called Gorcum (also known as Gorinchem). Georg and Marla were kind enough to mind dog Watson that afternoon and off we went. Totally Covid safe exhibition. It was small but nice. Afterwards we walked through the town, but it was stupid weather: sun/rain/sun/rain. There were hardly any people in the streets. With lots of shops and all the pubs and restaurants closed, it felt deserted. We did see a lovely double rainbow (below).
Below: Another shot of the harbour and lock.
Below: This photo needs a bit of explanation. In 1621 a Dutch statesman, Hugo de Groot, had to escape from his castle and they smuggled him out in a big book trunk. (Famous Dutch history we all had to learn at primary school.) They carried the trunk through this little door into the house of a merchant man, after which he escaped to Paris dressed as a bricklayer. It all happened in Gorcum.
Below: We saw this crest on the big market square and Georg translated it for me: It means “Strong (people) bring forth strong (people). He also added that this was a common belief in the 17th century and many wrong interpretations have led to race theories.
Below: I wore this to Gorcum and to dinner that night at Georg and Marla, who kindly invited us. Always nice. We are getting used to socializing with keeping our distance.
Below: On Friday I combined a visit to the cobbler (again!) with a visit to Marianne and I made her take photos of my outfit. Marcella of Lara Design had requested a photo of this outfit with her earrings as both the bag and the earrings are pink with red.
And that is it for this week. I thought it would be a boring week but it has been quite the opposite.
Hello Greetje. I really enjoyed your blog and how you share your wardrobe and daily life in such a natural way. Great reading. you seem like such a fun person. I am Eva from Norway, retired editor of Shape-Up Magazine – now living in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. Writing books and blogging on health, beauty for women who want to be “ageless”…. Wishing you a great weekend.
Love to get a compliment from you, having been a founder and editor of a lifestyle magazine. (I googled you.) And of course being a writer. When you say you enjoyed my blog, I feel very proud. Thank you very much.
This post was fun Greetje, I was smiling along at the try-ons and nodding in empathy as I go through the same process sometimes, thinking something will look good together and then once on and in the mirror it does not! My fave is also the lime and jeans, very spunky! The lilac dress is gorgeous.
Thanks for the feedback Lise and I am glad you enjoyed the process. I’d rather read about it than do it myself too haha. Always such a disappointment when your ideas fall flat when you look in the mirror.
It never cease to amaze me what outfits my readers like. The lime jumper/jeans outfit to me, is so simple I nearly didn’t dare posting it.
I finally get it! Like you, I’ve learned to build an outfit from scratch using the raw ingredients found in my closet. A brooch or other piece of jewelry can start the process, as yours did here. It wasn’t until I started wearing women’s clothes regularly (a decade ago) that I discovered this joy: the creative invention of outfits.
Glad you had a Facetime chat. Over the weekend I also had a 1 1/2 hour Skype chat with Suzanne at her suggestion. It was marvelous! The virus has isolated us from our friends and video-chats help. Mine made me very happy.
FUN… you call this exercise joy and I find it pain. Of course I understand why you like it so much. I am more of a shopper than a creator. The advice Misja gave me was with photos and messages in Whatsapp. We didn’t even Facetime. Hurray for video chats though. I did that with my friend Anja for 1 1/2 hour and you did that with Suzanne. I should Facetime with her as well. It is such a long time since I spoke to her.
Oh geweldig jouw stijling weg te volgen
Wat ik herken is dat je soms al doende beter ziet wat top of flop is !
Mijn schoonmoeder zegt altijd: als je zelf iets niet goed kan, dan moet je zorgen dat je vrienden hebt die het wel kunnen .
Nou die heb je !!
Dat is mijn motto ook. Ga niet ploeteren op iets wat niet je ding is wanneer anderen in je omgeving het wel kunnen en je willen helpen. Ik vind dat een foto van een oufit altijd goed werkt. Dan zit er wat afstand tussen jou en de outfit. Beter dan in de spiegel kijken.
Love your mum! Yes you are so lucky to have her here!
You look great in everything but if I looked as you do in jeans and a top I wouldn’t bother wearing anything else! Sorry its no good for your creativity but you nail the jeans look!
Me nailing the jeans look isn’t a bad thing as jeans are my favourite. I just need the variety of skirts and dresses as well. Otherwise I get too bored. And I agree I am very lucky to still have my mother.
Beautiful Amsterdam photos, as usual. Thank you, Ron x
So pleased you gave The Hat another chance, and yes, hair behind the ears is good.
Love the Max Mara and Sportmax dresses; just a soupçon of dressy-uppy there, but nothing overly. I agree with M, you seem much happier in jeans and jumpers. As for the first lot of outfits, dear God! But your Mum absolutely nailed her get-up!
Have a nice week
OK, your comment confused me Gee. I start with a correction: the photos of the town I showed were of Gorcum not of Amsterdam. And nice of you to thank Ron, but I took them myself haha.
Jeans are my favourite and the first thing I grab, but I would be really unhappy if I couldn’t wear any dresses or skirts anymore. I have to have variety. I will smile more when I take photos of me in dresses haha.
Funny, isn’t it, how photos of the Netherlands say Amsterdam to me more often than not. I must pay better attention! And YOU take a good pic too!
It’s good that you want variety; I’m just an idle old lady who loves her jeans and tops and is quite happy with variety within that sphere – most of the time. Hopefully, I can scrub up reasonably well when I have to!
And you keep on smiling, kiddo.
I get it, all these old buildings look alike haha. If you are ever in The Netherlands there are lots of towns outside Amsterdam you can visit to see such scenery.
Photos of objects are much easier to take than of people haha.
LOVE YOUR HUMOR………..
LOVE YOU IN JEANS!
YOUR MOTHER IS ADORABLE…………
BE HAPPY YOU STILL HAVE HER!
WHEN WILL YOU BE TRAVELING TO SPAIN????2022 I BET!
I am very happy I still have my mother. She experiences that her daughter is now retired haha. Not many mothers will experience that.
Jeans are still the first thing I grab, but I am trying to vary it with dresses and skirts. Otherwise I find it boring.
Travelling to Spain? Who knows. Probably 2022, sigh.
This look is … cute! This beautiful skirt, the violet color of the top, your stockings, your bag, your waist … everything seems adorable to me. The white skirt is pretty, but with the patterned skirt the outfit improves a lot. And those necklaces! And those brooches! And the scarf on your waist! You really are a girl with imagination and style.
I loved seeing your mother.
Later there is so much to comment, I have no space! The wonderful dresses, your fantastic jeans, hat, red and black, the pleated skirt! And, of course, your close-ups. You look gorgeous, Greetje!
To tell you the truth, it wasn’t really me with the imagination but my friend Misja. She gave me the right suggestions.
Glad you liked everything in the post. I aim to please haha. And you always give me such sweets compliments. Thank you.
Hi Greetje, I really enjoy your friendly posts and how you show us different parts of the country. I had to comment today as I particularly liked three outfits on you – Sportsmax dress with pleats at the bottom- so gorgeous and different, the neutral dress with yummy chocolate patterned tights and boots (so elegant together!) and I also loved the last outfit- the pleated skirt just gave it swish and texture, and I love red and pink! I also liked the white boots- gorgeous, and a nice pop surprise as I scrolled down! Thank-you for sharing!
The Sportmax dress in yellow/white/black doesn’t have pleats at the bottom. The pleats belong to a sleeveless dress I wear underneath which I altered especially to fit the dress. It does look as if it is one, doesn’t it?
The neutral (lavender) dress is a treasure which I will keep all my life (so better keep my weight). The pleated skirt at the end + the jumper are both black. Did they come up black on your screen? I had a couple of readers who thought it was blue. The whole idea of that black/red/pink/white outfit came from a fellow blogger: Eugenia of The Age of Grace.
This is a very interesting post, Greetje. Like you, I struggle to style clothes in different combinations. I think the end result is definitely the styling that works best. It was so nice to read about your museum visit. To see the photos of another place is lovely, especially at the moment. In the UK we are in lockdown so apart from the supermarket, our options are limited.
Have a great week
Glad you liked the post Carole. I wasn’t so sure about it and was glad I could add some more outfits and the photos of Gorcum. We are not really in lockdown although we have to stay in as much as possible and not gather with more than 2 people in the streets. I am very careful when I meet friends. The contamination figures are going down, but very slowly. Nothing to write home about yet.
An interesting post! Thanks for sharing your process. There are so many good style photos. I like so many of them. I think my favorite is the one with the pleated navy blue skirt and red belt but I like many, many of them. Nice to see the sweet photo of your Mom.
I am glad you liked so many outfits. As I wasn’t sure whether the styling process would be enough, I was glad I could add some more outfits and some scenery. By the way, the pleated skirt is black (just as the jumper/sweater). Another reader also thought it was navy, strange.
I enjoyed reading and seeing the process of jumper with the skirt. I hope you do more. I would love to “borrow” Misja for all the experiments with dressing. I usually just go with the original idea and if I don’t look totally dreadful I just leave it as is.
Thank you for your weekly updates. It is a wonderful way to visit virtually your life and your home.
Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for letting me know. I wasn’t sure. I would love to involve Misja more myself, but she does have a life haha.
In the old days, before blogging, I was the same as you. I bought an outfit and the way the shop assistent styled it (or perhaps sometimes me a little bit as well), that was the way I would always wear it. My friend Anja was shocked and amazed when she found that out haha.
I will keep the weekly updates coming.
I like seeing the outfit design process, as it’s similar to what I do when I’m creating my outfits (although I don’t always try everything on). I love the full skirt in that outfit, and the spotted scarf as obi-style belt is great. Excellent earrings in all of your outfits, Greetje!
Hello to your Mum, and look at that cute little kitten!
My favourite outfits are your lavender dress, the striped dress, and the lime green/leopard/jeans look (very chic).
If I don’t try things on, I cannot be sure they will suit my figure or whether the proportions will be right. Such a tedious job.
The earrings are a thing with me since my earlobes are healed and I am involved with Lara Design. So nice.
I am glad you like my dresses as well. And I am surprised you calling the lime/leopard/jeans/sneakers outfit very chic. To me that is the most casual as I will ever be. Too simple for words, but there you go.
I think the ultimate result of your styling session was spot on. That brooch nicely echoes the shapes in the skirt pattern. Well done!
Love those pink and red accessories, one of my favorite combos.
You have so many picturesque towns, and with so much fascinating history.
Glad you liked the post. I wasn’t sure how it would go down, but I think I could add enough at the end to make it a bit more than so many nearly the same photos.
A lovely mix of events in this post, thank you. I’m less keen on the so formal skirt outfit at the beginning although I love the navy and red, skirt outfit at the end.
To me, your winning outfits are the jeans and jumper combo’s
that you look comfortable and relaxed in, maybe that’s why to me, they seem “more you”.
I’m envious of your outings at we in the UK are on Covid lockdown, apart from working.
I am not a huge fan of the formal outfit at the beginning either, but still think it is nicer than I thought it was going to be. The outfit at the end is actually black with red, not navy.
You are not the only one liking jeans combinations. I think a lot of my readers do. And so do I. But I do want variety.
Our contamination figures are going down but very slowly, so no cheering yet. But you are right, we are still very lucky although I think entrepreneurs with restaurants or pubs will think very differently.
Interesting posting. The process ended in something that works, so, it was worth it. Loved the black chandelier set outdoors.
you look smashing in the red outfit. perhaps your BEST color to date. The pleated skirt and loose top make me think of an overripe strawberry! Not bad, just overripe!!
You have a beautiful silhouette, so why hide it in that super long, shapeless top. let those for the overweight, of which we have plenty here. And, yes, they hide well. The accompanying double and triple chins are the give away!
The hat works best with your hair behind the ear, in my opinion.
Wishing you a Covid free week!!
Trust you to come up with a comment like this haha. An overripe strawberry. Well thank you (big grin). I might have a decent silhouette, but there are things I want to hide. Like: no hips, a little belly, no bum, a big waist and some stomach bulging. So tight tops are a thing of the past for me. Besides, these oversized jumpers (sweaters) on long skirts are very fashionable. Another thing is, just because you can, doesn’t mean you must.
I agree with you about red being my best colour and about the hair behind the ear when wearing the hat. Well, we do agree on quite a lot after all. Have a nice week.
I love this post – so many wonderful things to look at. I especially like seeing the process you went through to settle on an outfit. I’m very much a behind-the-scenes person, and I love learning how something is made. I also love the final outfit!
I would love to see more of these kinds of posts, although it looks like it might be a lot more work on your end.
Here in the US, we have Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday. I am thankful, Greetje, for your wonderful blog! Have a great week.
Yes indeed, such sessions of styling an outfit are a lot of work and not something I like. But I do have a few more which I will incorporate in a post when I am revealing the boots that were involved (cliff hanger here).
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving (given the circumstances).
You, your sister-in-law and niece are all darling in that old photo. Please tell your mom I so admired her knitting skills. Beautiful sweaters worn beautifully. Also, the dress you wore for the awards thing was so sophisticated in it’s cut and style. Congratulations to you and your group for getting bronze. Very nice indeed! Glad you had a good week. Covid is going mad here in the States so our lives have been trimmed down to size. It’s necessary and important. Stay safe and happy this week!
I will tell my mum. She was very good at knitting and learned how to crochet (ever so good) as she was already in her forties or fifties. She also taught me how to sew as she made dolls clothes for me when I was young and clothes too. Now she doesn’t do anything like this anymore.
The old photo… ah youth, it is always nice.
The award dress is a Max Mara Studio dress from the outlet in Turin. Studio means it is of the highest standard with man-made finishing. And I agree with you, it is a darling dress.
Our contamination figures are going down but very slowly. Nothing to cheer about yet.
You and Misja nailed it with the end result of using what you have to style a look (purple jumper etc). My favorite of all outfits on you in this post is the jeans with the lime top. Terrific casual styling looking very hip and chic at the same time. Fun post.
You do surprise me Lynda. The jeans and lime jumper outfit to me is the most casual as I would ever get and quite uninteresting. Yet, you are not the only one liking that particular outfit. Here am I trying to spice it up a bit, not showing jeans all the time, but a skirt and a dress as well, and you like the jeans haha.
Thank you for sharing your life with us. Wonderful to see some colorful and creative fashion, and I like your haircut and color! Hello from Southern California. We are nearly locked down again, and certainly discouraged from gatherings for Thanksgiving. Take care.
We are not in lockdown yet, shops are open, restaurants and pubs closed and we can walk in the street with two people at the time, so no gathering of 4 people or more. But as you can read, it is very manageable. The contamination figures are going down but very slowly, so Christmas with family is still not certain.
Always like your posts but to be able to follow behind the scenes how you creat your outfits was very interesting and informative. Nina
I am glad you enjoyed it instead of getting bored haha.