Although everyone does it daily, getting dressed (or putting together an outfit if you want to call it something fun to do) is still one of the most awkward and frustrating things of the morning. Who has not stood in front of a closet full of clothes and thought “I have nothing to wear?” Fortunately you are not alone. To put an end to this we have engaged a panel of experts – top designers, style consultants and retail professionals – to explain the art of dressing once and for all.

1. Balance proportions

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Of course, you want to show that you are proud of something – tan arms or a slender figure. It’s just hard not to make this too prominent. A tactic? Add opposite volume, such as wearing a wider jacket against a slim fit of jeans. The point is that you have to create a balance. So do not opt for something that is too large, or you will look bigger.

2. Don’t match too much

The aim of matching all colors together is less convenient than choosing colors that match. Just look at a color wheel. The colors that are opposite of each other will match (think of the combinations such as orange and navy or purple and saffron).

3. Spend as much as possible at the base

There is no reason to spend much on the basics – t-shirts, shirts or jeans – there are plenty of options available that are not expensive. However, when it comes to the products that are not available cheaply, it is better to spent a bit more. For example, you might spend 100 euros for cheap cashmere, which will also wear out a lot faster so that you will spend another 100 euros replacing it. Spend a little more this one time. When you buy classics such as a good black blazer, it is better to invest in good fabrics that will last for a long time – such as wool. Try to calculate the price each time you wear it to make the purchase a little less stressful.

4. Create your own style

Find out what your go-to style is, and try to vary this. Are you stuck? Try to see the items of clothing that make you feel most comfortable. You could ask people what they like about you. When you have done this you can search for various styles. When you feel that you are talking to yourself into something, you know that you should not buy it. If you have doubts about something in the dressing room it can help to take a picture of yourself in the clothing. This will look better than in the mirror.

5. Everyone needs a white shirt

Choose a pure white shirt instead of an ivory color, because these can get dingy rather quickly. Don’t know what suits you best? See if the lines of the shoulders match your own shoulders and that the fabric does not bend at the front or back. To protect your cotton shirts from discoloration, do not dry clean them. Get them steamed and pressed.

6. Mix prints en patrons

Mixing patterns can help to give you more confidence – or if you want to change in the dark. Get the latter by following these steps. Stay with a single color family – preferably with the same background color. This also applies to leopard print with a non-critter pattern or to paisley with squares or diamond shapes. An almost combinations is a no go. Two large prints ensure more dominance – this will give people a headache. Finish it off with some neutral accessories. Do not add extra color.

7. Invest in accessories

With the right accessories you can conjure up a nice outfit with simple pants and a t-shirt. So invest in enough high-quality items that you can use for many years.

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