Live In The Nautical

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The Architecture of an Outfit

The Architecture of an Outfit

I get asked a lot about fashion, from asking where I bought a certain piece, to being asked for style advice. Friends, family, even strangers will come up to me, inquiring about fashion. Today I will share my secret to how I build an outfit.

Are you ready? Paper in hand? Bookmark in place?

The key to my (hopefully) being chic and stylish, is a focal piece. That one piece that makes every one stop in their tracks and say “Whoaza!” Much like the visual mass theory in photography, One element, no matter how big or small will stand out. That is how I build all of my outfits, around that one piece. Once I have chosen that central element, much like architect designing a structure, I am building an outfit.



Cape, lace dress, necklace and earrings: Anthropologie // Leggings: Lululemon // Boots: Banana Republic // Bag: Lulu Lemon

It can be anything as big as a jacket or dress, or something smaller, like a statement necklace or a sassy pair of heels. I look at colors and take pops out of the central piece, and pick from my closet. All built on accentuating the article of clothing or accessory I have chosen to highlight.

Accentuating is important, it also keeps everything cohesive so I am not clashing with anything I wear, but everything is flowing seamlessly from one piece to the next. I liken in this to the group picture principle where people should choose three or so colors. I always try to tone everything else down so that that the focal piece will have its moment of glory.


Hat, Scarf, Cape: Anthropologie // Jeans: White House Black Market // Ballet flats: Tory Burch // bag: Lulu Lemon // Lobster Gauge Cuff: LightHouse Studios, Maine // Coffee: Starbucks and was absolutely heavenly!

One of my favorite pieces I own and which I consider the holy grail to my fashion collection, is a cape I bought from Anthro last year. I literally had my eye on this over two hundred dollar army green cape for months, until it went on sale and I scooped it up.


Cape, lace dress, and earrings: Anthropologie // Leggings: Lululemon // Boots: Banana Republic // Sunglasses: Tory Burch

Even if I had paid full price, I have more then made my moolah back. I wear it all the time. It is one of my favorite pieces to style. Every time I put it on, I receive compliments and it is a piece I generally build my outfits around. It is also the one article of clothing that makes me actually beg for cold weather.


Shoes: Tory Burch // Jeans: White House Black Market // Cape: Anthropologie // Bag: Louis Vuitton // Scarf: Lulu Lemon

Because of the woodsy coloring of the green, I can wear it with most things, though I tend to stay on the neutral palette spectrum. I love pairing it with dresses as much as I do with jeans, loving the way the blues accentuate the green. It is a piece I can also dress up or down, switching it up with heels or ballet flats depending on my mood and the condition of my poor feet.

Do you have a favorite piece in your closet? How do you build your outfits? As always comments and opinions welcome!


Cape: Anthropologie // Jeans: White House Black Market // shoes: Tory Burch

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K.M. Sutton

I am a country girl living on the Upper East Side of the concrete jungle. My friends call me a modern day Renaissance woman. I have dabbled in a little bit of everything, from being a yoga instructor to holistic chef, to skating coach, to glorified nanny, to student. I am a self admitted coffee junkie. A wannabe mermaid. A wanderluster who dreams of other countries. A fashionista who really does need a bigger bank account. But most important of all, I dream of living in a bungalow by the ocean and being a published writer (in style of course) sipping coffee in the morning and a martini in the evening. I love to meet my readers, so feel free to comment or email me. Happy reading!

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