How to put outfits together

September 14, 2016

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

I pulled most of this from my post about how to get dressed but this one is just about how to put outfits together.

How to put outfits together is where many of my clients struggle most.

My ladies have plenty of clothing and accessories but they don’t know how to put them together into outfits.

There is a science to it!


Here’s what I regard as the Winning Outfit Formula:

Winning Outfit Formula Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant pattern, texture, shine, color

I use this formula often. This is what I wore to teach a “Blogging for Business” workshop for the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce Small Business Expo in 2012.

How to put outfits together TABITHADUMAS.COM image consultant

Your “completer piece” (especially if you live in a warm climate) can also be a scarf, wrap, headband or even a fun belt.

It just adds that extra pizzazz that pulls an outfit together and says, “I’m making an effort!”

This jeans and tee would be pretty boring without the kimono and jewelry! 

Outfit formula basics plus completer piece plus jewelry tabitha dumas phoneix image consultant

The look below would be rather forgettable without the vest. But the vest is cool, light and easy to wear. Every wardrobe needs easy “completer pieces” or accent pieces like this.

How to Put Outfits Together with the 16-point accessory rule image consultant

Image from

BONUS TIP: Arrange the items in your closet by type so it makes putting outfits together that much easier.

I keep my jackets, cardigans and blazers in one section to “complete” my outfits. You might consider keeping basic pieces (plain black blouse, basic white jeans) separate from your more colorful/unique pieces, too. Then you know you need one from each category.


If you’ve ever admired a woman who always seems put together, she’s probably following this rule, even if only instinctively.

The 16-point Accessory Rule comes from Shari Braendel.

It’s the perfect amount of accessories. I wrote a whole post about it! Click here

Pretty fingers and toes, an extra ring, a funky bag, pretty shoes, a statement necklace, makeup, a garment with a print…that’s what elevates an outfit.

Here’s a recent visual:

16 point accessory rule never be underdressed again tabitha dumas phoenix image consultant

I didn’t use the check-list when I wore this…it just comes naturally to me after a lot of practice.

How to put outfits together with the 16-point accessory rule image consultant

If I’d been carrying a bag with me all day or had my glasses on, that would’ve put me a little over the top. When that’s the case, I might go for a simpler necklace or a solid-colored skirt.

Likewise, if you wore a cute belt, you’d probably want to do simpler jewelry. If you wear little or light makeup, you can go for an extra bracelet.

I know most of my clients are UNDER-doing it in this area rather than overdoing it. So add some texture, shine and color!

You can download your own 16-point Accessory Rule check-list by clicking here.

Print several copies and try it a few times. See how it feels. I bet you’ll get compliments AND feel amazing! 

As for shoes, I own a few basic pairs (black heels, nude heels, silver heels) and some fun pairs (gray polka dots, turquoise flats). The point is to pay attention to your shoes and make sure they enhance your outfit. If your outfit is a little more plain, add cute shoes!

I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to put outfits together. Let me know if you have questions, or invite me over to play in your closet so we can put some outfits together!

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer

    I love the 16 point rule! Because I know there are extra points for prints etc, I am able to pretty much just use it exclusively to get dressed (rather than think in terms of basic, interest, , completer) because in the end the numbers won’t add up if I’m missing those things. Lifesaver! I look so much better now! Lol


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