How to combine style elements to achieve the looks you envision

I’m going to try something a little different in this post…that I think will be quite effective in terms personal style development and wardrobe building.  It makes sense to mention the event or setting that a look is styled for as the context is crucial in a conversation about combining style elements, and  executing the desired vibe.

Ok, so… I styled this look for dinner and a movie with hubby and a couple of close friends.  First stop was our favorite casual spot for dinner and then the movie.   Since it wasn’t really a date or a fancy dinner, and the theatre is always freezing, I opted for a casual look created around a cozy sweater & jacket.  Since it was Saturday night, I added the heels for a little bit of sexy.  

Now that we have a clear picture of the setting, it is easier to talk about this look as an example of combining style elements to achieve the vibe I was aiming for.

I’ve learned the importance of paying attention to every detail when it comes to putting outfits together.  It is so easy to hone in one one piece we love and then wonder why we don’t love it when we put it on.  There was a time when this happened to me on the regular.  Until I realized it is all in how we combine style elements to balance a look and ensure the end result is what we hoped for.  


One of the best pieces to illustrate this concept is a leather moto jacket.  This is a piece I adore BUT it has the potential to come off extremely edgy or even costume like if it isn’t balanced properly.  For this reason, I avoid pairing my leather jacket with any sort of moto, riding or OTK boot.  Also, I opt for a looser fitting base layer such as a drapey tee, camisole or a cashmere sweater under it.  I love a leather moto paired with a feminine flowy dress or even a t shirt dress.  Nothing too short or tight!

In today’s look, I chose a camel crew neck which is notorious for being considered classic…even a little preppy.  The juxtaposition of a preppy classic with an edgier piece is something I love!  Next, a pair of worn in Levi’s 501s exudes an understated, carefree feel which is perfect with a Moto jacket.  Finally, instead of a rugged or super edgy shoe, I chose a girly pair of pumps in leopard.  The pop of leopard and camel cashmere keeps the Moto out of costume territory and, instead, it remains laid back and cool girl classy. 


 As I mentioned last week,  the effortless “it girl” style is far more deliberate that we sometimes realize when perusing Pinterest.  When we are trying to get a handle on the aesthetic we crave, it is essential to break down the details.  We must identify what it is that we are consistently drawn to and then pick it apart.  Look at the individual elements that make up the finished looks we love.  This is the key to building the wearable wardrobe we’ve been dreaming of!

I hope this breakdown was helpful and, as always, thanks so much for stoping by.  I’d love to hear your tips for styling a leather jacket.  Leave me a note…I love hearing from you all.


This is one that always makes me a little crazy.   Is it creating too much bulk, is it messy?   If I’m not completely comfortable, I know I’ll fidget with it and that is not a good look.  I rounded up a few examples of tuck options.  I think this element is a matter of trial and error with each individual look.

What are you thoughts about the tuck?  I would love to hear your suggestions on this tricky situation.

photo credits:  black sweater photo  | Diane Kruger photo | star sweater photo | grey sweater photo