Styling Your Outfits

So, you found the perfect dress or the perfect outfit.  Congrats!  However, now you need to know how to style it.

What is styling exactly?  Dictionary.com defines it as, “to design or arrange in accordance with a given or new style.”  Accessorizing the outfit is a start, but there is also your make-up to consider as well as jewelry.

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Jewelry is technically an accessory, but it is important enough to be listed seperately in this case.

So, how do you get started styling an outfit?  Here are some steps to consider while you are styling.  There are no hard set rules by any means, but this is a handy guide to help get you started.  You’ll be styling your own outfits in no time at all!

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When using your Team Build Checklist, styling the outfit consists of the Scientist, Exotic and Blaster steps.  Download your own copy of the check-list here.

Even if you aren’t using this guide to style a cosplay or bound, the tips still apply.

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Consider the style of the outfit.

Is your outfit a vintage style or 80’s inspired?  Maybe it is a more formal style or a business suit.  If it is a 50’s style dress, then you’ll want to pair it with more vintage-style accessories.  A business suit would be paired with more subdued and professional accessories.

Consider the venue and/or event for the outfit.

Are you wearing this 50’s style dress to work or to a con?  Are you wearing this dress to Disneyland for Dapper Day?  How about to a wedding?  I’ve worn the same dress to all of the above, but it was styled differently for each event.  What’s great for Disneyland is not appropriate for work and so on.

Consider the functionality needed from your accessories.

While you are considering your venue or event, think about what kind of functionality you need.  Are you going to a con?  You’ll need the most comfortable shoes you can get that also compliment the outfit.  Disneyland?  What is the temperature going to be that day?  If your day out is in August, then you might want to leave the petticoat at home (trust me on this one). Do you have a parasol?  If yes, then you can leave your hat at home if you want.  What kind of bag should you carry?  Take all this into consideration when putting the pieces together.

Balance in all the things.

Your base outfit is what you work from here.  A big fit and flare dress should really have smaller, more tailored accessories to create a balance.  If you have a hat, then make it smaller with the big dress.  Same with the bag.  Very colorful dress or outfit?  Then more subdued make-up.

Lastly, What story do you want your outfit to tell?

The last piece when you are styling an outfit is what do you want people to see?  I know your outfit is the focal point, but what do you want people to take away from it?  If you have a bound, this is kind of done for you.  If you are bounding Captain America for example, then the star on the chest or the red and white stripes on the bodice tell people that you are bounding Cap.  If you have a dress that is a great color, then you want to keep things simple and just draw the eyes to the pretty color.  Don’t overthink it.

I hope that these tips help you.  In our next post, I will post some photos of outfits with explanations why I styled them the way I did, and how I would, and do, style them differently in different situations.

Until next time…

Love, Kim and Benji

Author: Kimapult

Kim Henderson McAndrew is a mom, legal assistant for Discovery networks, author of the book "In Plain Sight: Using Everyday Cosplay To Express Your Inner Superhero" and a huge nerd. She loves nerdy fashion, everyday cosplay in particular. Her main fandoms are Marvel, Star Wars and Disney.

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