Questions for Clarisse: Mix-and-Match Basics

Several people who entered the style question giveaway asked about the basics of a mix-and-match wardrobe, and how to have the maximum potential of outfits without getting overwhelmed with too much clothing. To answer this, I went into my wardrobe and pulled out my most versatile pieces along with just a couple of accessories and the shoes I use most. I ended up with 24 pieces that I think are a great foundation to a minimal (but not boring) wardrobe! As you can see, you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to one color theme in order to have pieces that can work together, but it helps to have some key colors along with plenty of neutrals. Here, I focused on coral/peach, orchid purple, aqua/turquoise, and soft pink.


1. Denim Jacket (Coconut’s Best Friend)- looks great over almost any dress or top and really pulls an outfit together
2. Printed Jersey Dress (La Poupee Bijoux)- casual and great for summer and spring
3. Calf Boots (Saige’s Meet)- works with dresses as well as with leggings or skinny jeans tucked in, and is fit for all seasons
4. Colored Cardigan (Bitty Blossom)- cardis are my favorite for completing an outfit, and a solid colored one that coordinates with other things in your wardrobe is sure to be a favorite
5. Long Necklace (Clarisse Original)- something to add a little flair to any outfit
6. Printed Cotton Dress (JanieJumps/SparrowandWren)- can be dressed up or down and makes an easy outfit with just an accessory or two
7. Espadrilles (Springfield)- a neutral colored shoe like this goes with almost anything and is great for the spring or summer
8. Subtle Print Tee (CarolineAugustDesign)- a subtle print is a little more interesting than a plain tee, but can still be mixed with other prints easily
9. Black Purse (DesignsbyOrvie)- a little shoulder bag is a great accessory, and black goes with lots of outfits
10. Printed Pants (KateLaurenDesigns)- adding a print on the bottom can really open up more options for interesting outfits, even though it may seem limiting based on what you have for on top. This is where the subtle print tee and a simple white tank come in handy.
11. Printed Tank (Clarisse’s Closet Summer 2014)- something simple that’s great for layering
12. Layering Piece (Weekend Fun) – can be a vest or maybe a sleeveless button-up top, just something that can be worn over other pieces without being too heavy
13. Denim Shorts (Exclusively18)- simple and go with any top
14. Colored Sandals (Weekend Fun)- add a pop of color to an outfit
15. Summer Scarf (Clarisse Original)- easy accessory to add interest to an outfit
16. Chambray button-up (KateLaurenDesigns)- perfect for layering or wearing on its own
17. White Tank (Clarisse Original)- self explanatory!
18. Slim-fit Jeans (Closet4Chloe)- fit inside boots and look cute with sandals or flats
19. Floral Blouse (Kit’s School Skirt)- Slightly dressier when paired with skirts, but can be dressed down with jeans
20. Neutral Skirt (JanieJumps/SparrowandWren)- More girly option to pair with patterned tops
21. Brown satchel (Battat/Ebay)- Just another option to add to outfits for a more completed look
22. Metallic Sandals (CraftySewingBee)- I find myself reaching for these for almost any outfit- they are more interesting than a brown or black sandal, but still go with any color
23. Cozy sweater (Isabelle’s Coral Sweater)- for a comfy, casual outfit
24. Black leggings (2-in-1 Skating Set)- can be worn alone for a casual look, or layered under skirts and dresses to help them transition into cooler seasons.

Here are some other outfit sets I created with the same 24 pieces:
IMG_2280 IMG_2282 IMG_2284

See if you have something similar to these 24 pieces and experiment with how many outfits you can create! Leave a comment if you try it to let us know how it goes : )


Have a question about Clarisse’s style? Have a piece in your wardrobe that you need help styling? Or are you just in a style rut and can’t seem to find your way out? Leave a comment here or send Clarisse a message via the “Contact Me” link at the top of the page, and Clarisse will answer your fashion questions here on the blog!


10 thoughts on “Questions for Clarisse: Mix-and-Match Basics

  1. I LOVE this post! You’re inspiring Audra to try this challenge. Maybe she’ll pick 24 pieces, round up 7 friends, and see how many combinations they can come up with. You’ve invented a new fashion-blogger meme!

  2. Awesome, Clarisse! Thank you for taking the time to make such a valuable post. I’m going to keep your ideas in mind while I work on my own wardrobe.

  3. Thank you very much for answering this question. This list and the examples are wonderful!

    Audra is getting in on this?! So cool! I can’t wait to see her post(s).

  4. I LOVE this post,also! A really helpful tutorial! I keep all your Closet posts in a folder on my PC, and refer to them often…but this one may see the very most usage! Very inspiring.

  5. Thank you so much for this! I have just started collecting, and this will help me so much. And, this can apply to real life as well.

  6. Hi! I’ve been following your blog for a while and I just want to say that this might be your best post yet! It’s really relevant and something I have actually been wondering about lately, so that’s really helpful. There are a lot of questions I want to ask you, but first off: where’d you get that fabulous dress (the blue floral one)?!? I totally want one of those…
    Secondly, I have an outfit-the Sweet Savannah sundress-that I don’t use often because I don’t know how to style it. Advice?

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