They say that variety is the spice of life, and that’s very true when it comes to your daily outfits. Variety prevents the dreaded style rut and for many people is a big part of making them happy with their style. The degree of daily outfit variety that my clients are after varies considerably from person to person. Some enjoy extreme changes from day to day, while others prefer to keep the differences subtle.
I see two main groups among my clients when it comes to the drivers of outfit variety.
My stay-at-home clients typically achieve variety within the framework of day-to-day formulas, like casual pants with a statement sweater or combining a cardigan with jeans and boots. They change up the colour, patterns and texture of the pieces. They might find variety in different silhouettes. Or in footwear — switching between boot styles is particularly popular in Fall and Winter, for example.
My clients who work outside the home have much more inherent variation in the requirements of their wardrobe. For they may need all sorts of trouser styles and suits, as well as jackets, skirts and dresses, across a range of colours, textures and silhouettes. They might also need to dress up jeans on casual Fridays. And over the weekend their styles are usually much more relaxed.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that all of my stay-at-home clients seek less variety, or that all of my working clients love to have more of it. Although their life circumstances demand a certain amount of variety from their wardrobes, they don’t need to let that dictate the way they choose to express themselves with style. They can be creative within the constraints. For a stay-at-home mum this might mean pushing the boundaries of what they do within their daily formulas. For an office worker it might mean finding items that can be dressed up and down to meet different needs.
My need for daily outfit variety lands somewhere between the two extremes. I wear knitwear, shirts, jeans, trousers, jackets and coats with boots most days in Autumn, Winter and Spring. Most of my outfits are smart casual, although I wear business casual and casual looks too.
But I do need ample variety within this framework of outfits in order to avoid getting bored with my style. Switching to colours after a few days of neutrals. Patterns after a few days of solids. Tonal outfits after a few days of high contrast. Switching to white-out when I’ve been wearing dark outfits a lot. Pattern mixing when the outfit the day before felt tame. Colour and pattern play a big role in achieving outfit variety.
I also find that switching between tailored and slouchy silhouettes is a particularly effective way to add variety. For example, I like to wear baggy boyfriend jeans and straight leg jeans in the same week. And I don’t like to wear jeans every day, which makes wool trousers and happy patterned pants a must have for my wardrobe.
Finally, like most people I find variety in accessories. I’m a bag lady, so I frequently get my outfit variety by switching handbags.
Over to you. Is your need for daily outfit variety subtle, extreme, or somewhere in between?