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5 Outfit Formulas for When You Can’t Decide What to Wear

Find yourself wondering every morning “what should I wear”? If so, outfit formulas may be the wardrobe tip you’ve been looking for.

Deciding what to wear in the morning can be difficult. From the weather, daily outings and new wardrobe pieces to everything in between, learning how to find the perfect outfit and how to create outfits can feel overwhelming. It’s said that the average person experiences wardrobe panic at least 36 times a year and it’s no wonder people feel as though it’s difficult to get the most out of their wardrobe. 


Luckily, whether you’re looking for some new outfit inspo or looking to learn how to effortlessly put together an outfit when you don’t know what to wear, we’ve got you covered!


Outfit formulas are a great way to cut down on the time you spend deciding what to wear in the morning. An outfit formula is a combination of general styles you find pair well for you consistently. From there, you can mix and match different pieces within those styles, always having a few outfits ready in seconds if needed. A great outfit formula won’t just get you one outfit or mean that you’re always wearing the same clothing pieces, it means that you have created a list of ‘go-to’ looks that you can pull out whenever that sense of wardrobe panic is settling in. A great formula gives you versatile styling options and allows you to draw from your capsule wardrobe pieces and can be styled across seasons.  


Types of Outfit Formulas

Outfit formulas are like templates for your wardrobe. They help you use what’s in your wardrobe and get the most of your closet. Outfit formulas have set foundations to help spark inspiration and can follow themes depending on the occasion, time of year or even your mood. Outfit formulas can revolve around a certain colour - say basing your outfit off of the colour navy as a neutral or a specific wardrobe basic like a t-shirt. Knowing how you’re feeling that day, what outings you have planned and what the weather is like will help you narrow down which outfit formula to use.


Headed to the park for a picnic with friends? Draw from your summer outfit formulas. Going out for a last minute dinner and unsure of what to wear? Consult your business casual or evening dress formulas for easy outfits to put together.


Outfit Formula Templates

Looking to get started with outfit formulas? We put together a few of our favourite outfit formulas for inspo, these versatile combinations are perfect for transitioning from summer to fall and even work for sunny spring days!


We suggest writing out a few of these formulas that suit your personal style for days when choosing an outfit feels impossible.


1) Wide Leg Pant + T-Shirt + Heels + Sunglasses

Outfit ideas. Model wearing white t-shirt, green wide-leg pants, heels, and sunglasses

(Encircled Everyday Boxy Tee, All-Day Wide Leg Pant or All-Day Wide Leg Crop)

Whether you're out for lunch, running errands or heading into the office on a Friday, this outfit template easily transitions across all seasons. By pairing this look with a t-shirt you’re keeping the outfit formula open to interpretation based with the option to dress up or down your look with the colour and fit of your t-shirt while the wide leg pants provide effortless style for both warm summer days and breezy fall evenings. Not sure which t-shirt combination to swap out for this look? Check out our t-shirt edit for wardrobe inspo.

2) Cropped Pant + T-Shirt + Statement Jacket + Sandals


(Encircled Everyday Boxy TeeAll-Day Wide Leg Crop and UnMoto Jacket)


Is it a busy and breezy day? Pair one of your go-to t-shirts and bottoms with a jacket for a look that takes you from day to night. A jacket like the Unmoto Jacket will allow for an edgier evening look while a statement jacket like a jean jacket will dress your outfit down depending on the occasion. As for the sandals, from flip flops to wedges, this formula leaves room for endless shoe styling possibilities.


3) T-Shirt Dress + Denim jacket + Hat + Sandals

Outfit ideas. Model wearing black t-shirt dress, jean jacket, sandals, and hat (Encircled Everyday T-Shirt Dress)


A t-shirt dress is the ultimate item to include in your outfit formulas. This great basic allows for outfits to be easily dressed up or down and can transition from season to season depending on the way you chose to accessorize. From straw to suede hats and strappy sandals to open toed shoes, these t-shirt dress styling ideas will be your go-to outfit formula.


4) Midi Skirt + Tank top + Necklace + Sandals + Sunglasses


(Encircled Fair Sleeveless Tee and Breakaway Wrap Skirt)


Whether it's a breezy spring day or hot summer night, having an outfit formula centered around a midi skirt will allow you a ton of versatility. Great for work, brunch with friends or a weekend getaway, style your favourite midi skirts with long or short sleeve tops depending on the weather and dress up each look with sleek sunnies and a statement necklace.

5) Denim Short + T-Shirt + Statement Jacket + Sneakers

Outfit ideas. Model wearing jean shorts, white t-shirt, moto jacket, and sneakers

(Encircled Everyday Boxy Tee and UnMoto Jacket)


Denim bottoms are the perfect wardrobe item to reach for when you don’t know what to wear. From denim shorts to long pants, the colour of the denim you chose can easily determine the dressiness of your outfit. And, from casual runners to high top sneakers, this outfit formula will ensure you’re comfortable no matter what the day has in store for you.



How to Create Outfit Formulas

Once you've tried out these five outfit formulas and you're ready to venture into new creative territory to find the perfect outfit combinations, you can start experimenting with outfit formulas and write down the ones that work best for your style. When creating your own outfit formulas so you’re no longer wondering what to wear where, it’s important to keep the following under consideration:


Know what looks good on you & what you feel comfortable in 

Whether this be dresses and skirts, skinny or wide-leg pants or even different lengths of blouses and tops, knowing what you find looks good on you and what you’re comfortable wearing will help determine which go-to formulas are for you. Identify some of your favourite garments and figure out if you love them because of the fit, colour, material etc. 


Get to know your signature style

Do you gravitate towards a certain pair of pants or maybe always reach for cardigans? Perhaps you like an edgier style or minimalist look? Identifying your style will allow you to incorporate these elements into your outfit formulas. Think of patterns, your overall aesthetic and any closet aspirations you have - all of this will help create foundational elements for your outfit formulas and spark future outfit formula ideas and variations.  


Take stock of your accessories

Adding signature accessories to your outfit formulas will effortlessly elevate each look. Take stock of your accessories and determine which you like wearing the most and which could use a little love. Have a lot of scarves or sunglasses? Maybe a certain hat you love but haven’t gotten around to wearing? Jot this down so next time you’re wondering what to wear so you can easily consult your formulas and know what accessories are available to compliment your look.  

Once you familiarize yourself with your wardrobe and begin to take note of what is in your closet, you can begin testing out outfit formulas and taking note of which ones you prefer as go-to fashion templates for those days when you just don’t know what to wear.

Which outfit formula is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!


For more sustainable clothing styling tips, check out these blogs:



Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.


1 comment


Thank you for this, so nice.

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