Mix and Match – A stylish wardrobe

by Karen

I was at a dinner with few friends last week. Over many glasses of wine and delicious Italian foods, the lively husbands bashing and cute things that our kids do to make us crazy conversation turned into fashion. I don’t remember how we got there. Maybe it was the last bottle of Pinot Grigio that did us in.

The issue that generated much heated debate among us was how much money we spend to look professional and stylish all the time. Naturally, I championed the idea of a stylish and budget conscious wardrobe. Some of my friends brought into the idea but all were not convinced that a stylish and budget conscious wardrobe is doable. In my friend’s view, fashion constantly changes, so if you are not constantly change to keep up with the latest trends then you can’t be called fashionable and stylish. To constantly update to keep up with the trend, you will need to spend the cash to buy the latest trends. It seems logical, right?

Well, I think it sounds exhausting. I want to look great and feel great but I am also a fiscal discipline, budget hawk in the family. More importantly, I don’t believe in excessive spending and waste. I work my butt of for my cash, so I want to spend them wisely.  If there is a will, there is a way.  I believe it is totally possible to look fabulous and well within your budget. After a good night sleep, I woke with the inspiration to write this post to champion the idea of “financially responsible and stylish wardrobe”. Stay with me, ladies!

Maximize your outfit

One of my budget friendly trick to maximize my wardrobe that I didn’t discuss in my previous mommy’s stylish wardrobe post is mix, match and accessorized. It sounds simple, right? Allow me to demonstrate. Let’s take a look at this blue dress. Most of us would say, this is a wear to work, professional, boring kind of dress and wouldn’t entertain the idea of wearing this to a fun night out. I would beg to differ. Let’s try it.

Stylish Professional

I will have lots of fun!









If you willing to invest into a few good dresses, jackets and accessories, and then “mix, match and accessorize” you will look like you have a huge wardrobe. I am not a fashion expert and I don’t pretend to be one. But I know one thing for sure, these outfits make me feel confident, fabulous and appropriate for the occasion. On the flip side, you totally use a night out outfit for office attire also. Want to try?

I feel sexy!

Ready for the boardroom.









Not all of us have a huge walk-in closet and unlimited budget to look fabulous at all time. So, I learn over the years to be creative with my budget and pieces that I selected so I can look like I have an expensive wardrobe with a modest budget.

There are couple of mix and match rules that I obey:

  • If the dress is multi-colour, then the jacket must be a solid colour and vice versa. If both pieces (dress and jacket) have multi-colour, the outfit may end up with a “too much is happening” look, and you don’t want that. Trust me! I learned that the hard way. Let’s just say, it was painful and my sister laughed at me.
  • Invest in classic accessories, shoes and bag in the colours and style that you can easily pair with most outfit.
  • Don’t buy the latest fashion trend. Stick to the classic look. Your wallet will thank you. My sister wrote a post on quality vs quantity and for once, I agree with her. She had a lot of clothes at one point and yet she constantly complained that she had nothing to wear. After she completed a KonMari exercise of her closet, she actually enjoys her clothes more
  • Find the silhouette that work well for your body type. You need to try on a few silhouettes to find the right one. For me, it is sheath or a form fitting top with a puffy skirt or skinny pant. These work for me.
  • Avoid all black outfits if possible even on the day that you feel cranky. The crankier you feel, the more you should go with jewel or a fun colour piece. The colour will lift your spirit a little. It often does the trick for me. And I can guarantee that every woman has a jewel colour that works for her. Find your jewel colour and it will do wonder for your look. I am a firm believer that beautiful color outfit can bring you a small bliss and make your day a bit less gloomy. So I choose outfit with colour that can bring a smile to my face.

I don’t go for the latest fashion colour or style because it is a costly option and the latest may not always be the greatest. For example, at one point A-line dress was in fashion. But if you have generous bust and hip like me, A-line shape will do nothing for your shape. Instead, try sheath or wrap dress.  These silhouettes will enhance your curve and make you look great. I tend to save my wrap dresses for the days that I feel bloaty; the wrap just helps to curve my shape somehow. I avoid grey and brown like a plague, because these 2 colours do something very unflattering to my colour. In contrast, emerald and ruby colour make me look and feel like a million bucks.

When I have an important presentation, I usually wear an emerald dress, black jacket with matching shoes and a simple piece of jewellery. When I look and feel good, I usually deliver as well.  It is all about colour and geometry, ladies.  I hope this post help you in your stylish and budget conscious journey. Share your favour outfit and your stylish journey with us. We love to hear from you.


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