Hi friends!!! Ahh, this is going to be such a fun post for me to write! If you and I aren’t already connected on insta, then (a) we should be, because I would love to get to know you! and (b) you may learn something new about me today – I love personal style & fashion. Yep, that’s right. I’m a shameless What Not to Wear fan girl (seriously – I have seen every. single. episode… at least, up to the final season, when we ditched DirecTV for Netflix and I had to make do without Stacy and Clinton in my life. But I digress!)! Styling outfits is another creative outlet that I have SO much fun with. I love mixing and matching pieces to create new outfits, and let’s be real, I get a little bit too excited about accessories. And I don’t just love styling my own outfits – some of my favorite styling endeavors are when I get to help someone else style their own look! So today, I am sharing my process for choosing mine and Jason’s looks for our anniversary session last month with the lovely and talented Kaitlyn Phipps Photography in hopes that it will provide you, my friends, with some helpful tips and inspiration for your own every day style (and maybe even for your next photo session!)! My goal is to walk you through, step-by-step, my decision-making process for putting together an outfit (or in this particular case, two coordinating outfits for me & the hubs)!
So, here we go! My first decision is usually to choose one item that will be the focal piece of the ensemble. This piece is going to be the main focus of the outfit – it is the star of the show, it’s supposed to steal the spotlight. And all of the other pieces are there to support and compliment it. I generally try to only have one focal piece – multiple busy pieces will start to compete with each other for attention and instead of having a visually pleasing, cohesive outfit, you have a confusing one that overwhelms the eye with way too much to look at!
So for our first set of outfits (a more casual look) my focal piece was this AHH-dorable printed skirt from Old Navy.I loved the watercolor-inspired print, I loved the colors, and I LOVED how bouncy and playful the cut of the skirt is.
Also, it has pockets. Enough said.
Next, I needed to choose a top that “supported” my skirt! With a high waisted, A-line skirt like this one, I needed a fitted top to balance the “fluff” of the skirt. Again, I wanted to keep it simple so that my top wasn’t competing with my skirt for attention. So I went with a basic fitted tank (also, conveniently, from Old Navy) that complimented the teal/blue hues in the skirt.Once my outfit was finished, it was time to put together Jason’s look. In this case, since I was choosing our outfits for a photo session, it was really important that mine and Jason’s outfits complimented each other without competing with each other – and also without being so matchy-matchy that we looked like we were wearing uniforms. This is an example of why I LOVE using patterns and prints (in small doses!) – because of how many different colors were in my skirt, it made it really easy to find a focal piece for Jason that complimented my skirt without competing with it (and without matching the color of my top, which I felt might look too matchy-matchy). Enter this super fun “guava” button-down.Confession: this, too, was purchased at Old Navy. Y’all, sometimes it really is just that easy. : )
I finished Jason’s outfit with some classic khaki shorts to balance out all of that guava, and we had two perfectly coordinated, casual summer outfits!The very last decision, the finishing touch, was the accessories! I chose my accessories last, because I feel like it’s easiest for me to decide on accessories once I have a complete outfit to pair them with. I found this peachy-pink necklace on clearance at Target that went perfectly with the lightest pink in my skirt and with Jason’s shirt. Those crystal stud earrings from Kate Spade are my current FAVES because they go with literally ev.ery.thing. And, yes, I count nail polish as an accessory. This soft nudey-pink by essie is also on repeat for me this year…I was super happy with the results! Plus, how cute is Mona?! Gosh, I love our fur baby.We opted to change into a second set of outfits halfway through our session, and my thought process for those was super similar to the first pair of outfits. I wanted these to be a bit more dressed up than the first set of outfits, and really, if I’m being honest, I just adore this mint green hi-lo dress that was a random Ross find last year (#winning!), so it became the focal piece for the second set of outfits!Side note: the dress did not come with a belt, but I never wear it without one! The belt does so many things! It adds some visual interest to an otherwise monotone outfit, it does wonders for accentuating my waist (always a bonus!), and it adds a little polish to the overall feel of the outfit by covering up the scrunchy elastic waist of the dress.
Choosing supporting pieces looked a little different this time around. Because the dress provided SO much color, I went more neutral with Jason’s outfit. (Now, had I been able to find a subtly patterned shirt that was mostly neutral with hints of this mint color, or even a slightly lighter or darker hue, I would have been in heaven! But alas, no such luck.) An all-mint (or even mostly mint) shirt or pants would have looked too matchy-matchy. Classic Ralph Lauren khaki pants with this textured white long-sleeve button-down (an older staple in his closet from American Eagle) were the perfect supporting pieces alongside the dress! I love how the texture of the shirt adds a little depth without a full-on pattern or print.Because I didn’t have any pattern or print tying these two outfits together, it was really important that the accessories tied them together. So I chose one of my favorite white necklaces, accentuated by Jason’s white shirt, and I deliberately chose the khaki pants for him (as opposed to gray or navy) because they would accentuate my belt. Peep Jason’s croc-skin dress shoes – the dark brown helps ground his outfit, and (bonus) they are one of his favorite pairs of shoes! They’re a great subtle addition to this outfit – adding some interest through texture instead of a bold color, print or pattern.The crocheted lace on my shoes, and the gold sequin sparkle on the hat, also added a layer of visual interest with texture!One more time… the results in person! Love this shot!
Friends, I would SO love to hear from you in the comments – did this post provide some inspiration or direction for your next photo session? What are some of your favorite colors or patterns to play with?! What are your biggest challenges when it comes to styling an outfit?