1 Nov 2017

Style Notes: The Difference Between A Good Outfit And A Great Outfit

Style Notes: The Difference Between A Good Outfit And A Great Outfit

cutest sunglasses || check it out jacket   ||  most comfy skirt

Getting dressed each day means so much choice.

Too much choice or not enough are equal disasters when it comes to the morning.

I want to get ready with the least amount of effort and in super quick time; I also want to make sure I look the best I can. We all want that but it is easy to have those days where it all goes slightly wrong.

I don’t think I ever leave the house with the idea to look less well presented than I should – a bad outfit day is never intentional and yet I have days where it goes pear-shaped. Like last week when I packed a ridiculous set of clothes for a week in Provence. What was I thinking?  I blame time constraints but I also am responsible for not taking my own advice. How many times do I write about, “what to pack” – it is a favourite subject of mine and one I think I’m not bad at. Pity I broke all my own rules.

For starters, I forgot to look at the weather report. Rookie mistake and it was freezing due to a mighty cold Mistral wind. Secondly, I forgot all the easy favourites that work so well – the ones I tell you about all the time. For example, where were my most loved leather pants? Why didn’t I pack my turtleneck sweater or listen to my 3-shoe rule? My head must have been far away. Anyway, it didn’t matter; Provence makes up for bad outfit days in every way.

What I did figure out is this; there are certain key elements with dressing to elevate an outfit. An outfit can be good, totally ok and passable, or it can very easily be turned into a great look. Packing badly and leaving behind those items that could have made my very simple pieces jump out was a lesson learned. xv



How To Turn The Good Into The Great

Clothing should be the best fit possible. 

Wearing ill-fitting pieces not only is super uncomfortable but also unflattering. Knowing what brands work and what styles suit eliminates the problem.  A simple blazer or tee can change the most basic of outfits if they fit well. Watch those hemlines too, they can make or break the smartest of combinations.

Handbags and shoes are the rock stars of an outfit.

Investment in quality handbags and shoes is a wise move. If these two are right it is easy to get away with some “high street” savvy in your outfit.

Leave the complicated pieces to the dedicated fashionistas.

Trying to hard with a look is the easiest way to get it all very wrong. Stay calm and classic and leave the frou-frou to others. Simple is not dull or boring, especially when worn with a killer pair of shoes and divine handbag.

Have fun with the small accessories.

Wear reading glasses or sunglasses that are not only up to date but also fashionable. I learnt long ago the value French women put on their eyewear, despite their age. Along with an excellent haircut, the glasses are an important addition.

Be brave, mix the all-stars and chorus line. 

Don’t be afraid to mix and match pieces to create your personal signature. Designer labels don’t have an exclusive on great style. Some of the most beautiful outfits include vintage and the inexpensive. The key is to know what you like and what suits and then the ability to put it all together.

Check List: Start Here

tuxedo blazer  || leather leggings  ||  sweater dress  || best sneakers  || embroidered tote bag  ||  leather tote bag  ||  jewelled flat  ||  khaki parka


images vogue spain, georgia may jagger by tom craig


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Mimi Gregor

I think in this case. less is more. If your entire wardrobe consists of only say, three colors (two of them neutral), and everything must go with everything else, you can’t go wrong. Oh– and another of “Mimi’s rules”: You only buy what you LOVE. If you do this, you will have a smaller wardrobe. But everything will be a cohesive whole, and you will never be at a loss as to what to wear.


Yes, I agree with buying what you “love” – whenever I buy “what I think I should”, it is usually a disaster! :)


Very important point made about clothes fitting properly. I tailor all my clothing regardless of price. An ill-fitting garment can spoil the whole appearance. One size does not fit all!


Couldn’t agree with you more! This year I experimented with clothes that weren’t me but have returned to what I know looks fabulous… classic pieces, the best I can afford, paired with a great bag, shoes and glasses! Brenda


Because I don’t have a restricted clothing palette (in my wardrobe – everything from orange, pink, red, navy, aqua, green to white, grey and black) I do need to think through what I’m going to wear next day during the evening before. When I was working (having checked the weather forecast first!) I always pulled the combination I felt was appropriate for my program the next day, eg if I knew I’d be chairing a largish meeting I might chose a red or fuchsia jacket over a white shirt and black pants, with a good silk scarf that brought them together. In a meeting where most of the women are likely to be in black – power dressing works. Black isn’t power dressing because you’re just one in a sea of black. Now that I’m retired, I can choose colours according to season, mood and where we’re going. Some years ago we were a couple of days out from a visit to a friend who was an Ambassador in Warsaw. As we were going to be there in May I’d already packed mostly brights – pinks, reds and oranges. But then we saw on the news the terrible disaster of the plane crash in Russia that killed many leading figures from the Polish government. No-one survived. So I instantly unpacked and re-packed mostly black, grey and some white clothes. I just knew it wouldn’t be appropriate to be dressed in happy colours. So glad I did – the whole of Warsaw was in mourning – there were flowers and burning candles on the footpaths in front of photos of those who’d died. We saw many wherever we went in Warsaw. People wore black and were weeping openly in the streets. It was a sad time to be visiting – and I was so glad not to be dressed inappropriately. Best wishes, Pamela


My first thought seeing this was it that one of Mick Jaggers daughters ? :)
I love blazers and jeans in the fall .. I am not thrilled with Florida weather, it hampers my Autumn Winter shopping :)

Beth Anderson

Thank you for the sweater dress idea! I ordered one in each color. If they don’t fit well I may send them back, but you can never have enough sweater dresses in my opinion. I am short (5’4″) so they might really be ankle grazers!

Pam Hill

How do you find the right spectacles? I have been wearing them for 50 years and I still don’t know. I can’t afford to pay a lot of money and I only have one pair at a time, keeping the last pair as a spare. But I just never know what suits me.


I guess it’s trial and error to see what is comfortable and what fits the face.
Like a lot of fashion ideas, I modify what’s “in” to work with me. Have you looked at the online service Warby Parker? They make some great shapes and have lots to choose from also. The other idea is to convert sunglasses – I find a pair I like and then have my prescription added – this is a great way to get the look that suits. xv

Elizabeth Anderson

I ordered the sweater dresses in each color. Small in black was fine, but small in grey was definitely bigger – noticeably wider and longer and because it was wider, it hung lower (neckline is somewhat drape-y anyway, thus wider meant it would hang even lower because it’s not hugging). Bottom line – the grey one is literally grazing my ankles whereas the black one would be perfectly OK with boots or shoes – it is at least three inches above my ankle, maybe even four inches above the ankle.

I just ordered the grey in XS to see how that fits. It might even fit better than the black small one.

Half tempted to keep larger grey one anyway, I don’t know that I’d wear it outside given how long, but, it may make a very comfy lounge dress for home wear. If I had people over for dinner for instance I could wear it with ballet flats and who cares how long it is. Or, an invite to a weekend away in some cabin with a log fire – curl up in this dress and look presentable indoors hanging out.


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