My everyday outfit formulas for when I have “nothing to wear”


Kiera Kemppainen

One of my less-worn but frequently loved outfit formulas, even if it is quite simple.

I am not a fan of the recent warm weather. 

Every day, I find myself searching for an outfit to wear that can keep me warm in my freezing classrooms but also cool enough so that I don’t overheat outside. 

I am never successful.

Rather than spending time and money on clothes that I know I won’t wear after school gets out, I’ve decided to stick to similar outfits to the ones that I’ve worn all fall and winter. I may be steaming outside, but at least I’m not freezing into a popsicle inside.

While I’m not big on the whole “you can’t wear an outfit twice” thing, I do prefer to spread out reapeat outfits because I really don’t want to invest in things I’ll never wear again. This can be difficult with a limited closet such as mine, which is why I have a few staple outfit formulas that I always turn to when I have “nothing to wear.”

While I’m not big on the whole “you can’t wear an outfit twice” thing, I do prefer to spread out outfit repeats because I really don’t want to invest in things I’ll never wear again.

The first formula is probably my most used. I start with a pair of typically wide-leg jeans then pair them with a solid-colored tank top. Since I am always cold, I have to add another layer. This layer is usually either a zip-up sweatshirt or an oversized button-down, but sometimes I prefer a sweater or jacket. This is by far the easiest outfit to make that I wear. My most-used variation of this formula is a black notch-necked tank top with Wild Fable baggy jeans and an oversized green button-down that I bought at a garage sale—definitely one of my best investments of three dollars. To make this formula slightly more weather-applicable for those that aren’t always cold like me, I would swap out the jeans for jean shorts.

The second formula, which I wear much less often, is more suited for the warmer weather. This outfit is comprised of a tight short-sleeve t-shirt and a spaghetti strap dress. I only have two spaghetti-strap dresses or else I would probably wear this more. My favorite way to give this outfit more personality is by incorporating patterns. For instance, rather than pairing a plain white shirt with my black tiered babydoll dress, I put on a blue gingham shirt. Although I always start to think I’m going too deep into Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz when I wear that pattern, I lean into the aspect of the red shoes. I throw on my dinosaur Converse with red laces and call it a day. 

My third outfit formula is fully surrounding a sweatshirt. I like to start off my morning by choosing a sweatshirt I know I want to wear and going from there. Some days I like to wear jeans, but on others, I’d prefer to wear leggings—flare or regular—or shorts if I really think I won’t get cold. This outfit always seems too boring on its own to me, so I rely heavily on accessories to make it more my own. I like to pair fun and bright colored shoes or larger necklaces kept outside of my sweatshirt to make it feel more like my own. 

A couple of other outfit formulas also occasionally grace their way into my wardrobe. One would be a simple sundress with plain white shoes. I don’t have many sundresses, so it’s not much of an outfit; I don’t quite count it as an everyday formula. Another would be a skirt, tank top, and, once again, an oversized button-down—solid or flannel patterned. 

These are my simplest ideas when I have nothing to wear and find myself stressing in the early mornings of my week. Although they may not always be suited to the recent weather, I find them easily modifiable to work any time of the year.