Dee's recent thread on adopting what she called my formula of stripes and wide legs (which was itself a version of Angie's suggested "unexpected spring tweed jacket outfit -- not a formula, per se, since she gave variations) has me thinking, what actually counts as a formula?

Is it a combination of types of pieces, i.e. jeans + tee + moto?

Or is it more specific, yet still somewhat generic, e.g. wide legged denim plus striped tee?

Or is it more about silhouette, i.e. long over lean or short and boxy over wide?

Or is it about picking specific items in one's own closet and wearing the outfit one creates with those multiple times a season?

I guess in a way it's all semantics -- maybe formula dressing could be any or all of those!

But if you asked me whether I'm a formula dresser, I'd probably say no because I don't think "okay, today I'm doing boxy over cropped" (or whatever) or "today I'm doing jeans + tee + moto."

On the other hand, I very definitely find outfits I like from the stuff I have plus whatever new piece or pieces I've added, and wear those multiple times within a season. For instance, I have already worn the outfit below at least three times in the last month-- double denim, simple navy top, floral scarf (when needed) belt. (That little rolled bundle in my arms is my packable puffer for the colder evening temps.) The jeans are new -- the rest of the stuff is seasons old.

I know some of the capsule wardrobe people conceive of formula dressing in one or another of these ways. And it might be helpful when you are building a wardrobe to decide on certain silhouettes or type of item you've going to emphasize and think about how to make outfits from those.

I'm not sure, for me, the first version I mention (jeans + tee + moto, i.e. A type of item, + B type of item, plus C type of item) would be useful in any real way because if the devil is in the details, then you can't just throw on any jeans with any tee and any moto -- it won't work!

One of the weaknesses or problems with my type of formula dressing, if you can call it that, is that I get quite wedded to the combos I like, and when something wears out or gets tired, I can look for a direct replacement rather than evolving to a newer shape -- usually because that newer shape won't work in the old combination. Over time, this can lead to a feeling of being in a style rut.

How do you conceive of formula dressing and whether you consider yourself a formula dresser or not, and why?

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