‘Macaroon Dressing’ Is The New Outfit Formula We’re Embracing This Winter

Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
The simple act of getting dressed in the morning can be surprisingly complicated. We are all familiar with the routine of pulling endless pieces out of our wardrobe, only to try them all on, feel that they're not quite right, and decide on the closest pairing before running out the door (probably while running late).
For me, the mental gymnastics only worsen as the seasons change, when I start to turn back to clothes I haven't worn in months, and immediately forget how they all go together.
It's at times like this that I turn crowdsource outfit formulas from stylists, fashion creators, and trend forecasters who just know what looks good together. In short, I go to TikTok. Amongst the endless stream of fashion videos, invaluable tricks like the '333 Method', colour theory, and the '75 Hard Style Challenge' have emerged to help us pack for holidays, find clothing that suits us, get the most out of our wardrobes, or find our personal style.
As we begin the slide into winter though, I have the urge to simplify my getting ready process, while also ensuring my outfits are serving the very important functions of being both warm and comfortable. There's one person I always turn to on TikTok to help me make sense of trends and styling for a new season, and that's the creator of the aforementioned 75 Hard Style Challenge, Mandy Lee.
"Styling in the winter has to check a lot of boxes," she said in a video late late last year. "I like to follow what I'm calling the Macaroon Method. It's something I borrowed from the Olsen twins, like, a decade ago, and it is just foolproof." The method is pretty simple, but what really piqued by interest, was Lee explaining that nailing this put-together outfit formula is achieved by stressing less about half of your outfit (which means half my worries are also eliminated).
@oldloserinbrooklyn The easiest winter styling formula borrowed from the olsen twins personal style: the macaroon method. The insides can be messy or very casual, the outsides add structure, interest and personality. Try it! #styletips #winterfashion #stylingideas #olsentwins #personalstyle ♬ original sound - Mandy Lee
"The insides, they don't matter as much — they can be a little messy because the outside is structured enough to anchor the messy inside" explains Lee. She uses a matching pyjama set as the messy inside layer to explain what she means, saying "[there's] not a lot going on, not a lot of styling happening — this is where the fun part comes in".
To complete the Olsen-inspired outfit, she explains that to make that messy layer look, well, any good, you need to add three things: "a lovely coat, a fabulous shoe, and a great bag". She adds that the reason she loves this method so much is that the inside layer will inherently be basic or "boring", but by adding the three elements, the entire outfit looks intentional and styled.
Even better, the three accessory pieces don't all have to be statement pieces, though they can be if you favour a more maximalist approach to dressing. Add a sparkly bag, a structured black coat and boots, or perhaps a furry jacket with a sequinned shoe and basic bag. Or you could go all-classic, all-over.
The beauty of this outfit formula is in its versatility, because it doesn't really matter what specific pieces you have in your wardrobe. You can embrace this outfit formula is you prefer looser-fitting clothes or tighter fitting clothes, brights or neutrals, live in a freezing climate or a mild one (Queenslanders, we're looking at you).
Lee isn't being overly prescriptive with the Macaroon Method, but is encouraging you to look at the pieces you already own and love, and to style them in a way that's cosy and polished. And if it's good enough for The Row co-founders and my personal childhood icons, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, then who am I to argue?
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