My Style Formulas For Fall/Winter


We can change our minds and our style and our clothes whenever we want. That’s one of the best things about style – the flexibility we have to dress like ourselves.

In my early career I had very little choice. I wore a suit or dress in a dark neutral, and always wore pantyhose and some kind of heel.  Since age 38, I’ve had great freedom to dress myself. The only “rules” I follow (for me, not for you) are: Nothing too tight, short or low-cut.

So there’s a world of fashions available to me, and even on a small budget I can choose to wear what I like. I wish I had the talents of a Melanie, Suzanne, or Vix, to create original looks from scratch. I am a super-analytical person, though, so I try to make good use of those skills. I read about style, take notes, “fantasy shop” online, then come up with a couple of formulas.

Here’s a quick look at my Fall/Winter wardrobe. It’s missing some pieces, but it helps me think:

Fall/Winter 214-2015

I’m feeling like simplicity and neutrals right now.  That means:

  • Neutral base pieces: dark denim jeans and pencil skirt; dark trousers; navy, black, gray, and ivory tops; a black cardigan and black or navy blazer. An LBD, of course (the Karina Rita is my favorite now).
  • Interesting shoes/tights. I like to show some personality via my feet. For Fall/Winter, that’s booties and boots and colorful flats. I like patterned tights too.
  • Good hair. I spend time and money on my hair. It’s on display every day and sets the stage for my whole look. I own a few hairpieces that help supplement my fine, fuzzy natural hair. I look at these as important accessories.
Don’t be afraid to play with faux hair. It’s an accessory, like a scarf or necklace.
  • Simple makeup and well-groomed fingernails. I have a streamlined makeup routine, and I don’t feel fully dressed without some concealer, blush and lipstick. I bought the Bobbi Brown concealer set that many of you recommended last week, thank you.
  • A couple of great jewelry pieces. I wear my vintage Egyptian bracelet almost every day.  Vintage shops have the best jewelry.
  • A splash of color from a scarf. I have a collection of about 20 scarves, of all colors and sizes. Soon the weather will allow a scarf-a-day.

Are you more creative or analytical, when it comes to dressing? Or a bit of both? Share your “formula” if you have one, and stay fabulous,

Not Dead Yet Style is a ShopStyle affiliate – please be aware that all links to these vendors are affiliate links. I do benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog. 

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  1. Honestly, I suppose such articles should be published more and more because of the current
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    I read them to find some new info that will correspond to my needs.

  2. I admire analytical and conscious choices in wardrobe choices, because I don't have those skills for squat! I find pieces I like, buy them, then try to mash them with other things I like until something works. Then I take blog photos and find out sometimes that no, they really do not. 😀

  3. Hi Patti
    I need to stop o over here to your blog more often. I enjoy your tips and style. Love the mustard yellow skirt and those cute sneaks. I love the choices of booties, I really like every one of them and have invested in a couple of low heeled ones. Nice wardrobe, I do need some more willpower, or a larger closet;.. not sure. hah, wanted to wish you a great weekend,

  4. I'm definetely on board for the "olympiics of styling" how fun would that be? That probably answers the question for me, I'm more on the creative side, although I must admit I actually do a lot of analytical thinking when I'm shopping so perhaps I'm a mixture of both.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your Fall board. Last year when I traveled to Europe for 29 days with only a carry-on, I capsuled packed (analytical) and threw in some fun creative accessories (scarves and hats), it was kind of refreshing to not have to think about what I was going to wear for the next day, the choices were quite limited. By the time I arrived back home, my creative juices were ready to explode but it was a nice break.

  5. I'm 57 with a 13-year-old, so I'm dressing in the dark every morning. My daily fall/winter outfit is black NYDJ jeans, black tee, cashmere sweater, vintage Hermes scarf, and vintage jewelry. Oh, and I'm usually covered in thread from whatever I'm sewing. When I go out, I'm wearing the vintage-style Chanel, McCardell or Vionnet I've cooked up on my sewing machine. Not ready for the faux-hair yet; I'm lucky if I have time to brush the hair I've got!

  6. I am definitely NOT analytical…but admire those who are. My thoughts and wardrobe are ALL over the place. Of all the items on your image list, I'd have to say I'm SUPER drawn to that coffee pot! And now, with your inspiration, I'm off to Sally's Beauty Supply this afternoon!

  7. Hmm… My assessment of myself would be somewhere in between spontaneous instinctive dressing, and a planned analytical approach. I'm drawn to certain colours and prints, styles and silhouettes, but actually I think those choices are based on some internalised guidelines about what suits me. I don't plan my shopping at all, I have no mental lists, no formulae, I just wait and see what turns up in the charity shops, and if it sort of fits with my preferences (and budget) then I'll get it, regardless of whether it goes with anything else.
    Yes, I think we should all have fun with wigs! xxx

  8. Ohhh, I'm honoured to be included amongst two of the coolest women in Blogland!

    I'm not analytical at all, I'm as impulsive in my dressing as I am in life, grabbing what's available and making the best of it. Over-thinking clothes is like saying a familiar word over and over again until it stops making any sense.

    I'm in awe of your restraint, how you know what you need to make your wardrobe work. Your tips make perfect sense, too. I love wigs and interesting footwear and tights. Us black haired girls can get some amazingly cheap hairpieces from Asian beauty shops. xxxx

  9. Ya know, Patti, I always like to see how you go about dressing – how you move in on your prey, price it, circle it slowly, and then pounce. And everything works. My style is not better, just different. And my work allows me to play on the boundaries more than most. I also love your advice and suggestions, especially this one about wearing hair-pieces. I second your motion. Thanks for the mention!

  10. No analytics for me when it comes to clothes. It's just what ever is clean and on top of my big mess of clothes. I've always been intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe but I think I would miss my other clothes too much.


  11. I'm transitioning on the makeup thing myself. What I've found is that if I use only very light products – especially around the eyes – then on day two I am not piling on heavier to cover around the eyes. I'm still not sure of the connection. Am I just not getting day one's eye makeup removed well enough? Or is there something in the makeup that makes my eyes swell and have dark bags around them 24 hours later? I find this very strange after years of wearing makeup everyday. Of course, I never noticed because I just smeared on a layer every morning no matter what.

  12. Thank you so much for the shout-out : )

    I really feel like we need to have an "olympics of styling" for thrifters/consignment store junkies. We could have a big pile of clothing and then have so many minutes to create a number of looks. This would fuel my creative styling energy. I know Melanie and Vix would totally win but I'd have fun trying.

    So I kind of think that answers your question…I am not analytical at all and I have no formula. Even in the slightest. Just throw a big heap of clothes at me and see what I come up with. I like to call it "adult play". Or playing with real people like Barbie dolls.

    It seems like you have the most compact wardrobe ever. I think for me this would be a travel wardrobe! LOL Yikes.

    My overstuffed closet is jealous of your constraint.

    I must check into that Bobbie Brown concealer now. You have peaked my interest.

    I *really* wish I had the guts to wear a wig out in public. Granted what I have are more "play" wigs than proper wigs but still…. the possibilities would be endless.


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