I’ve had my style consulting business for almost 14 years, and over all that time the story has been the same. Most of my clients get stuck in the outfit creation stage of their style. They need help putting together COMPLETE head-to-toe outfits that make them feel fabulous across a range of seasons and settings. So I spend a lot of time doing what I call outfit creation sessions.

During one of these sessions we create many, many outfits using the items in my client’s wardrobe. This is a physical exercise that can take one to four hours. I make my clients try on the outfits from head to toe as we create them. We don’t just look at them on hangers, in an app, or laid out on the bed. That way we make sure that we like the outfit, that the proportions are right, that the colours work, that the components are comfortable, and that the wearer feels fabulous. There is no free lunch or shortcut. The laborious approach gets the best results.

We take photographs of the completed outfits with a phone to document them for future reference. Some clients make additional notes. Some clients hang the complete outfit back in their wardrobes. The session is great at identifying potential wardrobe holes, laundry bottlenecks, and excessive duplication. We keep a running list of those and attend to them after the session.

We’re creating these outfits in advance so that clients can pull out a successful tried-and-tested outfit whenever they need it. This eliminates most wardrobe and style malfunctions, organizes their outfits for their lifestyles, and eases the morning rush of trying on multiple outfits to find a winning combination.

An outfit creation session is a time-consuming process, but it does get easier and faster with practice. It’s extremely worth putting in the effort and planning up front to save time and money in future, and to have peace of mind. You will reap what you sow. Even if you set aside half an hour to plan your outfits for the upcoming week, it’s time well spent. Or at least make sure you know how to incorporate new items into fabulous complete outfits.

Personally, I don’t often plan my outfits in advance. I thoroughly enjoy the early morning adrenalin rush of creating an outfit that panders to my mood from scratch. I take into account the weather, make sure my feet are happy, and the rest is whatever I feel like wearing in that moment of selection. I very much look forward to this impromptu outfit creation. It puts me on a high and is the fun part of the day.

I’m able to easily create winning head-to-toe outfits that make me feel great because my wardrobe is very cohesive, curated, and organized. The palette is consistent and complementary, items mix and match well, items work for my lifestyle, every piece sparks joy, there is lots of variety, and the size of my wardrobe is one that I can manage. I also do mini outfit creation sessions with new wardrobe items so that I know how to incorporate them into outfits. That eliminates potential orphans and ensures that the new pieces earn a place in my wardrobe.

I haven’t always been this confident with outfit creation. It’s taken time, resources, wardrobe planning, patience, soul searching, discipline, the right headspace, a bit of luck, and my share of shopping and outfit failures to get to this extremely happy place with my wardrobe and style.

Over to you. Who else successfully plans complete outfits in advance? Or at least does a short outfit creation session with new pieces so that you know how to incorporate them into future outfits.