Creating balance in your outfit

Are you paying attention to the balance in your outfit?

Today let’s talk about creating balance in your outfit! No matter how simple and casual your outfit is, creating balance in the outfit helps it feel purposeful and flattering.

Here’s an example of creating balance that might help you understand.

Think of a full face of makeup. If you were to wear a bright red lip color, it would be too much to also have really bold, multi-colored eyeshadow on your eyelids.

Why is that?

It’s because both the bold lip and the bold eye are calling out for your attention, and there’s no place for your eye to “rest.” In any makeup book (or blog), they’ll tell you to do a subtle eye with a bold lip, or subtle lip with a bold eye.

Having more than one major focal point can be distracting and over the top.

Outfits are the same way!

4 examples of ways you can easily balance your outfit

I’m going to walk you through four different categories where you should pay attention to balance with your outfit, and show you some examples of outfits that work and don’t work.

Ready?? Here we go!

Balancing VOLUME vs. FITTED

Balancing STATEMENT vs. SUBTLE

Balancing BRIGHT vs. NEUTRAL

Balancing PRINTS vs. SOLIDS

As always, these are not hard and fast rules, and there are always people who will go against the grain. That’s amazing, and we need a world full of diversity!

But I hope these examples help you think about which pieces to pair together.

Remember, these are not hard and fast rules, but I hope they help

As always, these are not hard and fast rules, and there are always people who will go against the grain. That’s amazing, and we need a world full of diversity!

But I hope these examples help you think about which pieces to pair together.

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How to Create Balance in Your Outfit

Trying to figure out why an outfit doesn’t work? It might be because the balance of your outfit is a little off. Here are four ways to create balance in your look that will hopefully help you put together better outfits!

 

Are you paying attention to the balance in your outfit?

Today let’s talk about creating balance in your outfit! No matter how simple and casual your outfit is, creating balance in the outfit helps it feel purposeful and flattering.

Here’s an example of creating balance that might help you understand.

Think of a full face of makeup. If you were to wear a bright red lip color, it would be too much to also have really bold, multi-colored eyeshadow on your eyelids.

Why is that?

It’s because both the bold lip and the bold eye are calling out for your attention, and there’s no place for your eye to “rest.” In any makeup book (or blog), they’ll tell you to do a subtle eye with a bold lip, or subtle lip with a bold eye.

Having more than one major focal point can be distracting and over the top.

Outfits are the same way!

 

4 examples of ways you can easily balance your outfit

I’m going to walk you through four different categories where you should pay attention to balance with your outfit, and show you some examples of outfits that work well.

Ready?? Here we go!

 

Balancing VOLUME vs. FITTED

  • We could also call this “Flowy vs. Fitted,” and it’s most easily done with tops and bottoms. If you’re wearing a full skirt, you need to balance it out with something fitted on top, like a bodysuit.
  • If you’re wearing wide leg pants, tuck your shirt in to create that fitted waist to offset the volume.
  • When you’re wearing a flowy tunic or babydoll top, pair it with skinny jeans or leggings to offset the volume of the top.

Here are a few examples to show you this in action

urban outfitters henley with leggings
black bodysuit gingham skirt
bodysuit and wide leg pants
red ruffle top
  1. The OVERSIZED THERMAL TOP is balanced with a pair of skinny BLACK LEGGINGS.
  2. The fullness of the GINGHAM SKIRT is offset by a BLACK BODYSUIT
  3. WIDE LEG PANTS are balanced by a slim white BODYSUIT, but I added a HAT to draw the attention up since the pants are the focus.
  4. A BOXY TOP is really cute, but needs to be accompanied by skinny jeans. Not wide leg jeans.

 

 

Balancing STATEMENT vs. SUBTLE

  • Think about statement necklaces. If you wear a big, bold necklace, you’ll want to balance that with a more simple outfit so the necklace can stand out. Don’t choose a top with a bunch of neckline ruffles and pair it with the statement necklace — it’s just too much.
  • The same goes for a statement dress, something with intricate or bold detailing…pair it with simple shoes. A loud dress and a loud pair of shoes won’t create balance — they’ll just fight for the attention.

Here are a few examples to show you this in action

 

Merrick's Art | All Black with a Statement Necklace
instagram outfits
beaded dress
white shirt dress with tassel loafers
  1. Statement necklaces aren’t really in style right now, but this is an old example. The entire outfit is monochromatic, which lets the statement necklace stand out.
  2. Statement earrings are fun! Keep the rest of your outfit solid and simple, like this turtleneck and jeans combo.
  3. A STATEMENT DRESS like this one needs to be the center of attention. No jewelry needed, and a simple pair of NUDE PUMPS is a great subtle shoe choice.
  4. These STATEMENT SHOES are fun, and stand out against a simple WHITE SHIRT DRESS.

 

 

Balancing BRIGHT vs. NEUTRAL

  • If you wore a bright pink top, you’d probably not choose a pair of bright green pants to go with it. Instead, choose something more neutral, like cream, white, denim, or black to let the bright piece stand out.
  • Bright shoes are the same — let those shoes do the talking and keep your dress more neutral.
  • With jewelry, choose bright statement earrings and let them stand out against a neutral top.

Here are a few examples to show you this in action

 

red jumpsuit
everlane wrap dress denim jacket
michael kors pink bag
merrick in master bedroom with black jeans black lace top and red lipstick
  1. A bright red JUMPSUIT is so fun. Let it do the talking and balance the rest of the outfit with neutral pieces like NUDE PUMPS and a BLACK LEATHER JACKET
  2. This RED DRESS is another bright piece and is perfect with a neutral DENIM JACKET and brown sandals.
  3. BRIGHTLY COLORED BAGS aren’t really popular at the moment, but this look is all neutral (while still being interesting) and lets the bag stand out. 
  4. A bright RED LIPSTICK is a fun bold option. Let it stand out by keeping the rest of your outfit a little more neutral.

 

 

Balancing PRINTS vs. SOLIDS

  • If you’re wearing a printed top, choose a solid pair of pants. Or if you choose to mix prints, keep one much more subtle than the other so they’re not competing for attention. (I have a post about mixing prints here)
  • For printed dresses, break up the pattern with a solid colored belt in a brown, white, tan, or black leather.
  • If you’re wearing shoes with a print, let them stand out against a simple, solid colored outfit.

Here are a few examples to show you this in action

chambray dress and leopard flats
knot your button down shirt with a midi skirt for a cute, summery look
  1. These LEOPARD FLATS stand out when paired with a neutral DENIM DRESS.
  2. A bold printed GINGHAM SHIRT is offset by a white skirt and neutral sandals.
  3. If you’re wearing a STATEMENT SKIRT, keep the rest of your outfit solid and let the statement speak for itself.
  4. Break up a sea of print with a solid colored BELT, liked this black belt on this PLAID DRESS.

 

 

Remember, these are not hard and fast rules, but I hope they help

As always, these are not hard and fast rules, and there are always people who will go against the grain. That’s amazing, and we need a world full of diversity!

But I hope these examples help you think about which pieces to pair together.

 

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE POSTS

3 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    Great post! I adore that orange Floral top- where is it from?

  2. Yasleen says:

    LOve this post!! Very good ideas!

  3. Izaskun says:

    Thank you! Very useful tips. Love this post!

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