Wednesday, March 2, 2011

21 Pieces, 51 Looks

Redbook recently published an article indicating that using what you already have in your wardrobe, plus just 8 additional pieces (at a cost of $200), you can have 51 new looks.  As one of the many women with lots of clothes and accessories (but nothing to wear), I wondered about this.  This notion of "different looks" is one that my favorite show, What Not to Wear, is a big proponent of also, and so I'm curious as to what really constitutes a "different look" in these stylists' minds.  So here's what I found:
The basic pieces we are all assumed to own are:
  1. a little black dress
  2. black pants
  3. a blue button down shirt
  4. strappy high-heeled sandals
  5. a print sundress
  6. a patterned short-sleeved top (with tie top)
  7. a white tank
  8. blue jeans
  9. khaki pants
  10. a solid cardigan (redish color)
  11. a brightly colored T shirt (pink)
  12. black pumps
  13. flat sandals
The new pieces to get for the spring are:
  1. striped, nautical-theme long sleeve T
  2. black belt
  3. patterned flats
  4. light blue A-line skirt
  5. black/white Chanel-type jacket
  6. red short-sleeved button-front blouse
  7. multi-colored scarf
  8. white jeans
The outfits (organized by what's on the bottom) are:
  1. blue jeans, white tank, black/white jacket, high-heeled sandals,
  2. blue jeans, blue button-down, black/white jacket, black belt, black pumps
  3. blue jeans, pink T, covered by blue shirt, covered by cardigan, flats
  4. blue jeans, patterned top, cardigan, high-heeled sandals
  5. blue jeans, patterned top, black pumps
  6. blue jeans, patterned top, black/white jacket
  7. blue jeans, striped T, scarf at neck
  8. blue jeans, striped T, scarf at neck, cardigan, patterned flats
  9. blue jeans, blue button-down, scarf at neck
  10. blue jeans, white tank under red blouse, patterned flats
  11. white jeans, striped T, black belt
  12. white jeans, striped T under blue button-down, black belt, black pumps
  13. white jeans, pink T, red blouse, scarf at neck
  14. white jeans, pink T, cardigan, scarf as belt
  15. white jeans, pink T, black belt, black/white jacket
  16. white jeans, patterned top, black/white jacket, high-heeled sandals
  17. white jeans, blue button-down, scarf, flat sandals
  18. khakis, blue shirt, black/white jacket
  19. khakis, blue shirt, scarf as belt, patterned flats
  20. khakis, white tank, red blouse belted with scarf, flat sandals
  21. khakis, striped T, cardigan knotted at waist, high-heeled sandals
  22. khakis, striped T, flat sandals
  23. khakis, pink T, scarf at neck, flat sandals
  24. khakis, red blouse, cardigan, high-heeled sandals
  25. khakis, red blouse, black/white jacket, patterned flats
  26. khakis, patterned top, black/white jacket, black pumps
  27. black pants, striped T, cardigan tied like scarf at shoulders, high-heeled sandals
  28. black pants, striped T, blue button-down open under black/white jacket, patterned flats
  29. black pants, white tank under red blouse, black pumps
  30. black pants, patterned top
  31. black pants, red blouse
  32. black pants, pink T, cardigan, scarf at knotted as necklace
  33. sundress with red short-sleeved blouse tied at waist, patterned flats
  34. sundress with cardigan, high-heeled sandals
  35. sundress with black/white jacket, black pumps
  36. sundress over striped T, flat sandals
  37. sundress over pink T, high-heeled sandals
  38. sundress with blue button-down, open but belted w/black belt, black pumps
  39. black dress with cardigan and scarf tied at neck
  40. black dress with scarf tied at waist
  41. black dress over blue button-down
  42. black dress over striped T
  43. black dress over patterned top, black/white jacket, high-heeled sandals
  44. blue skirt w/pink T and scarf
  45. blue skirt w/blue button-down and scarf
  46. blue skirt, patterned top, black belt, black pumps
  47. blue skirt, red blouse, black/white jacket
  48. blue skirt, white tank under cardigan, high-heeled sandals
  49. blue skirt, striped T, cardigan tied at neck
  50. blue skirt, scarf tied as halter top
  51. scarf as sarong with black belt, white tank, cardigan, flat sandals
So the bottom line is that I agree that you can get lots of outfits out of these pieces.  But I think that throwing on a jacket or cardi and calling it an entirely new out fit really pushes the definition of "outfit" when all the other elements are the same.  And I'm not sure that the last two uses of the scarf really count either since there is no mention of what's underneath for modesty's sake.

August 2011 update: for a similar Redbook story, but with Fall clothing, click here.
March 2012 update: here's the 2012 Spring Redbook story.
March 2014 update: re-reading my original post, it makes me sound much more critical than I really am; I actually really like this ongoing feature! So here's the 2014 Spring Redbook article.

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