I stumbled on this outfit while browsing Net-a-Porter. To some it may look overly strict and masculine, too formal and business-like, or just plain boring. To my eye it’s stunning. Amazingly simple, clean-cut and comfortable. It lacks jewellery, but it’s polished. And it is as modern as it is classic. 

Granted, I love classics. I love to wear trouser suits and blazers. And I love flared wool trousers at this length because they move as you stride. I also enjoy a graphic rugby stripe, angular clutches and pointy toe pumps. The magpie in me adores the gold shoes. 

Four factors are key to making this type of simple outfit look spectacular: 

  1. Superior quality
  2. Perfect fit
  3. Classics in current silhouettes
  4. Beautiful footwear and bag

As soon as the quality and fit of the garments are off, the strength of the simplicity goes downhill. It’s vitally important to wear updated classics because they do date. Here, the sweater is fluid, the cut of the blazer pretty straight with narrow lapels and low stance, while the trousers are elegantly flared but not overly wide or snug. The length of the blazer is just below the seat, which is a flattering length with flared trousers and heels. Dressy sci-fi metallic pumps in a trendy and refined pointy toe with envelope clutch are the perfect finishing touches. And the colours should flatter your complexion, which means that black can be substituted with ink blue, navy, tan, or a shade of grey. 

Creating simple outfits that look interesting and attractive can be hard because you rely heavily on the fabric quality, workmanship, cut of the garments and footwear, the way they fit your body and hold up during the day. These are tall orders no matter what. It’s often easier to wear a complex outfit with bells and whistles because the design details of the individual pieces create the interest, and you can mask less than stellar quality and fit by layering and wearing accessories. 

It reminds me of baking. A cake that has to look beautiful and taste delicious sans toppings usually requires more care and better ingredients than one that can be covered with icing and sprinkles.

In the same way, creating simple yet interesting outfits is as much of an art form as creating complicated outfits that involve multiple layers, colours, patterns, irregular silhouettes, complex design details, and accessories. Both can be fabulous. Both require skill and flair. 

Outfit Simplicity