15 Outfit Formulas For Those Mornings When You Have ‘Nothing To Wear’

We've all experienced the conundrum of staring into a wardrobe full of clothes and yet somehow, inexplicably, feeling like we have *nothing to wear*. It happens to the best of us (yes, even those of us who dole out fashion advice for a living) and is an undeniably universal experience. That's why we're here to give you a cheat sheet for those mornings when putting together an outfit feels like an arduous task.
Below you'll find a dossier of ideas to return to again and again, most of which are seasonless and can be created using the items you already have in your closet. Think blazers, jeans, white shirts and other key pieces that make up a capsule wardrobe.
While some of the looks below might seem obvious, or even "basic," the idea is to let these elements start as the building blocks for creating a look. An oversized blazer and jeans may not feel like the most unique look in the world, but you can show your personal style through the use of accessories. Add a pair of slingback heels and statement jewellery for a more polished look, or style with your favourite sneakers and vibrant scrunchie to dress the outfit down. Either way, it's up to you.
Keep scrolling for 15 failsafe ideas for tried-and-tested outfit formulas to pick from when you feel like you have nothing to wear.

1. A Little Black Dress

Most of us will have at least one little black dress in our wardrobes, and as you know, they can be one of the most versatile pieces you own. For example, the one below could easily be styled for daytime with the addition of an oversized blazer and sneakers. But when you add heels and a sleek up-do, you're immediately ready for a night out.

2. A Co-Ord Set

The beauty of a co-ord (i.e. a coordinating/matching set) is that it takes the guesswork out of getting dressed. If you have a co-ord, you have an outfit; all you need to do is add shoes and accessories. On busy mornings, particularly when you're running late, co-ords are a reliable, failsafe outfit formula that will always look put together.

3. Jeans And A Nice Top

I know what you're thinking: "The nineties called, and they want their outfit formula back," but just hear me out on this one. The jeans and a nice top outfit formula is a classic and with good reason, because it falls under the category of simple, yet effective. The nicer the top, the easier it is to tone down the casualness of jeans.

4. A White Shirt And Wide-Leg Trousers

If you're a fan of 'quiet luxury,' then you'll be sure to like this look. It screams chic, yet is so easy to assemble. Pair a white shirt and tank top alongside wide-leg tailored trousers (in any colour) and you will immediately look like one of the most stylish people in the room. A big key to nailing this look is to make sure your shirt and trousers are well-ironed. Once that's done, add flats or heels as you see fit.

5. A Denim Maxi Skirt And A White T-Shirt

Denim maxi skirts were a trend seen all over the Spring/Summer 2023 runways and if you're tired of jeans, they're a great alternative. Swapping your jeans for a maxi skirt is a simple way to refresh the look. We love Yan Yan's neutral take on the outfit here.

6. A Midi Dress And A Trench

If there's one thing I've learned from observing Jeanne Damas' French girl style over the years, it's that a trench coat can be added over anything. Yes, anything. The designer proves just that below, adding a classic beige trench over a midi dress. It's the perfect look for those spring mornings when a strappy, sleeveless dress needs an extra layer of warmth.

7. A Top And 'Fun' Pants

Earlier this year, TikTok heralded 'a tank top and fun pants' as the Gen Z equivalent of jeans and a nice top, and who am I to disagree? Much like its predecessor, the beauty of this outfit formula lies in its simplicity. Wear a colourful, patterned or generally unique pair of trousers alongside a tank top in a block colour and voilà, you have yourself a look.

8. Jeans And A Blazer

Jeans and a blazer are my go-to throw-on outfit for busy weekday mornings. A structured blazer will automatically add polish to an outfit, elevating whatever you have underneath. For a more contemporary take on the look, try white jeans à la Rozalia Russian below.

9. A Mini Skirt And Shirt (Or Jumper)

Sylvie Mus is a minimalist style icon; she's an expert at crafting outfit formulas that mix and match tailored pieces to perfection. This outfit is a quintessential example. Styling a mini skirt alongside a long tailored shirt with the buttons open gives the look a modern twist, while adding the jumper around the shoulders makes the outfit feel timeless.

10. A Suit

Another failsafe outfit idea for when you don't know what to wear is to throw on a suit. Just like the co-ord idea above, suits are an outfit in and of themselves. The beauty is you can dress the look down by adding a T-shirt and trainers, or dress the look up with a shirt and heels.

11. A Printed Dress And Sneakers

I love the juxtaposition of styling a floral dress alongside trainers. While Michelle Li's midi below could easily be worn for a more formal event (like a wedding) styling it with sneakers makes it appropriate for daytime, and adds so much versatility.

12. A Jumpsuit

File this under: All-in-one outfits. Once again, a jumpsuit is a failsafe option as it's an outfit in and of itself. Of course, you can layer it up for cooler days (like seen below) or even add a jacket if you need additional warmth.

13. A Vest and Tailored Trousers

Vests are seriously having a moment this season, and we love that 2023's take on them is to style the piece alone. Who needs a shirt underneath? Pair yours alongside suit trousers as Flex Mami has done below, or pair with jeans for a more casual look.

14. A Vibrant Shirt And Jeans

Fun shirts needn't be relegated to vacations or beach days anymore. Add a pair of jeans, and this outfit might just become the most vibrant look in your workwear rotation.

15. Double Denim

Forget the Britney Speaks and Justin Timberlake memories; double denim can be done right, as evidenced by Aimme Song below.
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