Three Casual, Creative Style “Formulas” For Any Day

Three Casual, Creative “Formulas”. You know I wave the flag for “wear whatever makes you happy.” No rules from me, and no lists of Do’s and Don’ts. When I find a useful closet strategy, though, I like to share it with you, and to hear back from you in the comments.

If you enjoy Uniform Dressing, or wear an actual uniform, you know it simplifies morning decisions. My style is a bit more eclectic than that. But I do have admiration and a touch of envy for those Ines de la Fressange types who look authentic and stylish, wearing dark jeans, flats and a white shirt every day.

My wardrobe is messier than that archetypal French woman, but I find myself dressing in familiar formulas. At 63, I know what I like and what feels good, and expresses my identity. “Flattering” is in there too, but it’s not always the first consideration. Flattering for me flows from the confidence I feel wearing my favorite things.

Here are some of the style formulas I’m drawn to over and over, and I would love to hear about yours in the comments (Note: I am retired and have a casual lifestyle now; your mileage may vary):

  • Sweater with personality plus slim skirt. I adore a sweater or tee with a graphic image or message. I wear them often, and this formula works for me every time: A personality sweater with a slim skirt, plus booties or sandals.

Hanging around downtown Melbourne, FL with a flamingo sweater and slim corduroy skirt. This bar is ultra cool for lounging with a glass of wine and a book.

A favorite is my “Free” (“Spirit” is on the back) ivory sweater, worn here with a thrifted Vivienne Tam Buddha skirt.

  • An easy-fitting dress is another personal favorite. I prefer dresses that don’t have a waistline, but skim my body and let me move like a dance-ah. They’re great all year-round in our mild Florida climate, and can be layered for New York City.

This thrifted black dress (no tags, sim) can be dressy for special occasions, with pearls and sleek booties.

I love this thrifted Maeve dress too, from Anthropologie, although I’m still not thrilled with the knees-showing thing.

  • White jeans, not-tight top, booties. OK, this one is slightly aspirational, as I don’t currently own white jeans, although I have in the past. I love their clean look, and they pair well with everything. A particular formula I get a kick out of is white jeans with a slightly loose sweater or blouse. Sneakers in the summer and booties in the winter.

Susan of Une Femme looks stylish in her white jeans and ivory cable sweater. She’s a master at styling a scarf too.

Paris boutique owner Linda Wright is stunning in this casual look. Well, owning a Paris boutique may give one a leg up on the chic ladder, eh? 😊

Do you have any style formulas that make you feel fierce?

Keep joy in your heart, and stay fabulous, xo,

Here’s some cool casual pieces you could play with for your formulas:

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  1. For winter, I like a cozy, slightly oversized top like a sweater or sweatshirt with a short skirt, and patterned leggings.
    I have never owned a pair of white jeans – they hold no appeal for me style-wise, and as I’m also a stain-magnet, they are not practical for me either.

  2. Wonderful formulas or recipes really,
    I never thought of the category- personality sweaters- but like it very much.
    My favorite outfits do not include denim, as jeans are really not that comfy.
    I do love a well fitting easy dress! So simple.
    Anything I can wear without a bra is tops on my list.. lined pieces.. ruffles in a strategic place.
    Great post, you have your signature style and it is always a winner !

  3. What I’m wearing really determines my mood. I’m working full time but there’s no dress code, so that I can happily wear my 1960s/1970s vintage frocks, especially my fit and flare frocks, which are such confidence boosters, as I know they are great for my body shape. I couldn’t do unstructured dresses myself, nor fitted skirts, by you are looking amazing in them! xxx

    • thanks Ann! It must be great to wear all your favorite vintage dresses on the regular! xox

  4. LOVE this post AND white jeans cream sweater in winter. I use Oxy clean to keep my whites looking good no worries Monica it works for me so maybe try this? Look out for my next post about how to complete an outfit with glam messy hair. The frizz struggle is real for ME. xoxo

  5. I have seen such interesting women lately. At the parent-teacher conferences at school, a mom walked in with radically cropped plaid trousers, Chelsea boots, a fitted moto jacket, a scarf (duh, it’s France) and a knitted cap. She looked like a cousin of Annie Hall. As you say, flattering flows from the confidence you feel wearing something. I would love to wear Annie’s cousin’s outfit, but I am sure I would be mocked mercillessly by my family, and so I stick to safer things.

  6. I’m into this, too. I also do it with jewelry combos—I stick to a similar set of things for a while. I have always liked that Free sweater and I adore you in that Maeve dress—super flattering. I agree about the no waistline lolol

    • Can I get a witness for no-waistline dresses? : > I never thought of jewelry “formulas”, but I like it. xo

  7. So I’ve often seen the recommendation of white jeans/pants and been tempted to try it, but really… how long do the white pants last without becoming permanently stained or just dingy to the point of being unwearable? For me, I’m guessing 3 months, and that just makes them not very economical

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