For me, the perfect wardrobe is full of multipurpose items that can be easily mixed and matched. Audrey Tom of Putting Me Together has mastered the art of reimagining – or remixing – pieces in her closet, resulting in a versatile and fabulous wardrobe. The best part is that she has moved beyond bland neutrals and has successfully integrated colors and patterns without ending up with a closet full of one-hit wonders. We picked her brain to find out how she buys clothes that can be remixed with the rest of her closet, and how she puts outfits together.
SB: What is the most versatile item in your wardrobe?
SB: What’s your starting point when you’re building an outfit?
A: I usually start with the bottom half. I naturally tend to stick with skinny jeans and a cute top, so in an attempt to vary my outfits I now start with the bottom half so that I’m not always defaulting to regular old jeans.
SB: What’s your favorite base outfit and how do you give it more character?
A: My favorite is a cute top and jeans, and I usually change it up with different colored blazers, cardigans, and statement necklaces.
SB: Are there any pieces that can’t be remixed? How do I know which items are “one-hit wonders” when I’m out shopping?
A: I think most pieces can be remixed, but to varying degrees and depending on your style.
To figure out if an item will be a “one hit wonder” for me, I have a quick checklist of things I want the garment to be able to do. For example, if I’m looking at a top I might ask myself, “Can I wear it by itself, tuck it into a skirt, and belt it or knot it?” I can tell easily if I’ll be able to wear it with a lot of different bottoms. Or I might ask myself, “How many of my colored cardigans will this go with?” and aim for at least 2-3 different colors.
I have a more extensive response to this on my blog that you can check out too!
Stylebook’s Tip: Test Out Your Purchases
Search for potential purchases in the Shopping Feature and add them to your Stylebook closet. You can then test the item out with your existing wardrobe and see how many different outfits you can create with your clothes.
SB: What styling tips do you have in your arsenal for making a single item go the distance?
A: Accessorize! A different necklace, a different belt, a different pair of shoes, or adding a scarf can go a long way.
SB: Do you have any advice on neutrals other than black, white, and grey?
A: Navy, brown, and tan are also great neutrals. Olive and maroon are pseudo-neutrals and can go with a lot of things that you wouldn’t expect. One of my favorite pairings for olive is with dark royal purple!
SB: On your journey to create a remixable wardrobe, what were some of your mistakes?
A: Oh, so many! I bought a lot of pieces that I saw on other blogs that I thought I needed but I didn’t take into account whether they actually worked for my style and my lifestyle. I had to get smarter about making shopping decisions rather than getting excited about seeing items on other people and impulsively buying them.
SB: On your blog, you write about how accessories can pull a look together. How do you select belts and necklaces that can work with multiple items?
A: When I first bought belts, I made sure to have them in neutral colors, my favorite being cognac. I talk here about choosing wardrobe colors, and as I branched out to more belts and necklaces I began with colors that were in the color palette I chose for my wardrobe. It seemed to work well.
SB: How would you remix a chambray button-front shirt?
- knotted over a flowy, feminine a-line skirt with neutral peep-toe heels or sandals
- half-tucked into dark denim with a tan belt and leopard pumps
- under a bright colored or patterned sweater
- knotted over a colored pencil skirt or bright floral pencil skirt, preferably yellow! with neutral heels
- Black denim, a neutral cardi, a chunky maroon scarf, and cognac boots or grey booties
Stylebook‘s Tip: Save Your Outfit Remixes!
As you come up with outfit ideas, save them in Stylebook. Then, the next time you feel like wearing your chambray shirt, review its outfit history and you can see some of the the interesting ideas you came up with. This is great if you need to get dressed in a hurry or if you want to break out of an outfit rut.
Get more style advice from Audrey on her blog Putting Me Together