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Style Formula: Top This!

September 7, 2020

Happy Labor Day, ladies! Do you have special plans for the holiday? I imagine we’ll lay low, but I do hope to get out and enjoy a good walk…or two. And it might be a good idea to look back over the weekend’s sale offerings. We’ll see. Meanwhile I’m continuing our Oh So Pulled Together DFMD Style Mini Series with a great style formula.

Seven Simple Style Formulas

You’re going to think I’m crazy, but today I’m starting kind of a mini series within this mini series. Don’t worry. I’m not going to drive you crazy with the technicality of all that. But I just wanted you to know what’s coming and where we’re heading.(‘Cause I know you gals lose sleep wondering about that and all! LOL!)

As we continue to explore how to consistently create winning outfits so that we can look “oh so pulled together,” I’m going to share with you Seven Simple Style Formulas. But instead of overwhelming us all with too much at once, I’ll just share one at a time. And when it’s all said and done, I’ll even give you a downloadable, printable check sheet that will help you use these style formulas each time you get dressed. I promise. This is going to be so helpful.

Style Formula #1 – Top This!

All of these formulas are really easy. And you probably already use some of them without even knowing it. The first formula is simply…

1 Wow Factor Top + everything else pared down = 1 Stunning Look

Just so we can all remember it, I’ve called this formula, Top This!

As the equation spells out, this beautiful style hinges completely on one wow factor top. But what that means is totally up to you and your personal style essence.

Style Formula #1 - Top This!

For instance, on a recent date night, I wore this beautiful ivory silk top. Obviously, it’s not colorful. But the fabric is rich and lustrous. And the slightly plunging neckline is alluring, but still modest enough for me. By the way, if you’re interested in this blouse (and it is marked down considerably), be sure to check the sizing information. I wear a size large.

Style Formula #1 - Top This!

The key to pulling off this particular style formula is to keep everything else pared down. Let the top shine. Sometimes I make the mistake of wearing a stunning top, but then overdoing it by also wearing “all the other things.” Know what I mean?

Style Formula #1 - Top This!
silk top (check size chart; I wear a large) // jeans (more economical option) // shoes // handbag // necklace // earrings // similar bracelets

And look, you absolutely can wear more jewelry than I chose or more colorful shoes, for instance. But you’ll more consistently knock it out of the park if you stick to the formula:

1 Wow Factor Top + everything else pared down = 1 Stunning Look

Let’s check out some other examples of this formula in action. We’ll go to my archives. First up, a casual look from this summer. So obviously your wow factor top doesn’t have to be a silk blouse. But this colorful striped summer sweater is definitely the star of the show in this ultra simple, casual summer look.

Denim shorts
colorful striped summer sweater – See the original post for details.

Get the flowers out of the way and you can see that this colorful madras shirt steals the show in this early spring jeans outfit. Yes, I did wear my baby blue sneakers. But since they’re the same color as the jeans, they don’t take attention away from the vibrant top.

spring fashion
See the original post for details.

So you can see how this equation works for fall and winter, let’s check out this simple jeans and sweater duo from last fall. You’ll notice I did choose some statement earrings. Everything else is pretty pared down though. My handbag and booties are sophisticated but neutral. What do you think about the earrings? Good idea? Or too much of a good thing?

Fall Sweater and Jeans Outfit
For details see the original post.

This formula is definitely one of my favorite go-tos for the holidays. Check out these two holiday party looks from last year and see how I worked this style formula .

What to Wear to a Casual Christmas Party
See the original post for details.

And another…

Blue Christmas Holiday Look
See the original post for details.

I think some of the keys to working the Top This! formula are:

  • Select a top that makes you shine. Don’t choose a top that overwhelms you or works against your coloring or frame.
  • Use the rest of your clothing and accessories to frame the shirt or sweater.
  • Resist the urge to add other interesting elements that would compete or distract. Remember, one of the keys to looking chic is to create an outfit that is easy on the eyes. You don’t want the viewer’s eyes to scramble for the focal point.
  • At the same time, make sure the other elements of your outfit are up to par. They should fit nicely, work with your coloring, coordinate well and be clean and tidy.
Style Formula #1 - Top This!

So what do you think? Is this a formula you can embrace? Do you consciously use it already? Or have you been using it but not really aware? Do you have wow factor tops in your wardrobe right now that could work well with this formula? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Shop the Post:

You can shop the look through the links in the copy above or through the shopping widget below. Sale prices are not always reflected in the widget, so click through to get pricing info. Remember, if you purchase anything through these links I potentially earn a commission, but at no cost to you. Thank you for shopping through Dressed for My Day. I am grateful!

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Blessed for My Day

What are you zealous about? Jesus was zealous to protect what His Father had deemed holy. Holiness was important to Him. To be holy means to be set apart to God. It implies being different for the purpose of bringing attention and glory to God alone. So Jesus wasn’t just zealous for keeping rules or checking boxes. He was fervent about bringing the Father glory.

Today let’s be passionate about bringing God glory in our own lives. Maybe we, too, need to do a little housecleaning. Maybe there are things in our lives that need to be thrown out because they are distracting us or other people and shifting importance to that which is really temporal, insignificant or even vile. I guess in my life I’m thinking about the things I read, watch on television, spend time on. If my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, what do I need to do to zealously protect it from the profane and keep it holy?

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” ~ John 2:15-17

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xoxo, Kay
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19 thoughts on “Style Formula: Top This!

  1. I am really looking forward to more of this! (And the printable at the end!!) This is something I will be more aware of going forward, because I truly like the concept of a beautiful top and pared down supporting cast. This definitely works for my style essence, which is classic modern. I put together an outfit for something I’m going to be doing tomorrow, and after reading this I’m going to tone down the necklace I chose and pick something else. I can see this concept in action with my choice for tomorrow! What a great, helpful series. Also love your “Blessed for my Day” feature each day!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and found it helpful. I’m excited about these 7 style formulas. I’m going to be using them too. They really do help you stay focused and not get carried away. ?

  2. Excellent post, Kay! These ideas are easy to put into practice. That’s why I find them so helpful.
    Thanks also for BFMD. It is a blessing to me.
    Have a wonderful day,
    It is a bit overcast here in PA but another beautiful day for which to thank God!

  3. I’ve worn similar outfits unintentionally because my overall style is casual. Now that I have the idea, I can be more intentional about it. 🙂

  4. Great post! Good info. that we can all use.
    By the way, that white silk top looks wonderful on you AND red is definitely one of your colors. I have that striped top and I do love that, get a lot of compliments when I wear it.

  5. Kay, I recently discovered your blog through Cyndi Spivey and I’m so glad I did! I’m really enjoying it. I love your style and your writing style too, and also your love for the Lord. This is a great series, thank you!

  6. I’m loving this series of ideas. I often use this Highlight the Top idea for holiday dressing. I wasn’t quite aware of what I was doing, but it always gets compliments.
    Would you talk about how to organize a closet? I’ve used different techniques, but have trouble finding the right clothes for the situation. Thanks so much for your wonderful posts. I look forward to reading them each day.

  7. I like this formula. I don’t use it naturally, probably why I get soooo much out of your blog! I love to shop but then never sure how to pull it all together. I look forward to the rest of the series.

  8. I really enjoyed this post and am looking forward to the others in the series, then the printable check list. At times I have done as you suggest without realizing it. Now I can be intentional with the outfits I put together. I really like the earrings you wore with the pink sweater because they help draw my eyes upwards. I have said a special prayer for James travels today. Enjoy your day with the family!

  9. First of all, I love the pretty statement earrings with the pink sweater! It didn’t look like too much since you weren’t wearing a necklace. I love “fancy tops” with denim. Especially now that I’m on zoom a few time a week with family meetings or Bible studies! I find myself wearing larger, stand-out earrings on Zoom, since I’m wearing only tiny hoops or studs when I’m out and about and need to wear a mask. Good post!

  10. I really like this formula and use it often. That silk blouse looks great on you! I’m looking forward to the rest of the formulas.

  11. I love formulars. I think that’s the inside and outside columns of color I use sometimes. I think I do this with my colorful jackets. I just bought a pink silk, bomber jacket and I’ll wear it with white tee and dark rinse jeans with my beige boots.

  12. Pink sweater- with the vertical ribbing, roll neck and drop sleeves the earrings are great. They continue your elongation and the color of your eyes pop! Thank you for your time and effort educating us at DFMD!!

  13. Loved the multi- color striped summer sweater!! But the link kept taking me to a jewelry page. Oh, well. I do dress very simply and comfortably . I like color and tend to wear bright colors as much as possible. I taught elementary school for 30 years and was at small tables, on the floor, or on the playground so that’s how my ‘ style’ evolved. I tend to wear twill pants or crops in a variety of solid colors and coordinating print mix and match ‘t-shirt’ type tops all machine washable. After retired, I began working part time in a public library. I tend to gravitate to the children’s section, naturally , so I’m still sitting at children sized furniture or on the floor. The biggest clothing compliment I’ve gotten since working at the library was when my supervisor told me she liked the way I dressed…I was very approachable but professional even when I wore jeans. I enjoy reading your blog and have picked up several tips to ramp up my style. I also especially look forward to reading your Blessed for my Day segments and your inner beauty posts too. I believe our attitude goes a long way in determining how others see us.

  14. Kay, Enjoy everyday you can spend with your Mom! My Mom just passed away. She would have been 85 in December. Such a blessing your Mom is so healthy. Enjoy❤️