Fashion Mixology: 8 Outfits from 8 Pieces


I'm so excited to intoroduce a new feature here on A Beautiful Mess, Fashion Mixology! The concept is simply this… We take 8 pieces of clothing and make 8 different looks with those pieces. Shoes and accessories don't count as pieces, only dresses, pants and tops! The goal of this feature is to inspire confidence and ideas to stretch your wardrobe farther. Enjoy…


For this edition of Fashion Mixology, we chose four pieces courtesy of Ruche. We chose basic pieces that could be layered into different looks. We chose a simple brown dress with an interesting lace collar, a striped sweater in a pretty shade of green, a pretty coral top with a tie and a navy pleated skirt.


We also chose four pieces from my own closet. A cute vintage floral top, a pair of skinny jeans, a strapless denim dress and a mustard yellow cardigan.


I love layering tops under dresses. It's a great way to bring a strapless dress into Autumn and Winter!


Tying button up tops over a dress is a fun way to make a top more fitted. Sometimes loose tops can make me look shorter, so I always try to tie up the waist, whether with a belt or a tied up look.


Sometimes simple is best! I wear sleeveless dresses with cardigans SO much in the Autumn and Winter seasons. Sometimes I belt under the cardigan and sometimes over too!


Don't be afraid to layer a sweater under a dress. This lighweight sweater is perfect for layering! I added a belt and a colorful pair of tights to make my look more colorful.


For this look I wore my new favorite top under this cute dress. I wore this look out on a date with Mr. Larson one night. I love the mix of jewel tone colors and neutrals.


High waisted skirts are one of my favorite wardrobe staples! I love wearing them over cute tops that might otherwise be too full for my body type. High waisted skirts look cute on most body types!


For this look I layered a top with a tie and a cardigan and paired them with jeans. This is something I'd wear to work or to a family event. It's pulled together enough, but still completely casual.


For this last look I layered my solid colored high-waisted skirt over a patterned shirt. This is a great option for bright or bold patterned tops as it balances the look out with a solid bottom half.

Hope you're feeling inspired to mix up your wardrobe! XO, Elsie

Additional Credits: Shoes in Look 1 c/o ModCloth, Denim Dress & Mustard Cardigan/Target, All tights and red bow c/o American Apparel, Boots in Look 2/Theadsence, Skinny Jeans/Jessica Simpson Collection, Pink Belt/J.Crew, T-Strap heels in Look 5 c/o Ruche, Shoes in Looks 6-7/borrowed from Skunkboy, Clutch in Look 7/Coming soon to Red Velvet, Sunflower headband/DIY here!♥

  • Love the beautiful colors and combinations! I’m a true fan of color blocking and really enjoy seeing when others do it well 🙂

  • I always feel like my thighs look larger in colored tights but I really love the outfits! Seven and Eight would be my go-to.

  • I love this! I am a plus sized 32 yr old Mom of 3 and would love to know what 8 peices I could invest in to feel fresh and while not trendy per se, at least not frumpy and sad lol. I feel like there are woman who can pull this look off and those who can’t but am prettu sure confidence and knowledge are the only differance between them. Also, I have blonde hair naturally and am wondering if I could do the ombre hair color but reversed?

  • love the idea! and i especially love the look in the 6th and 8th outfitts:) xoxo

  • Great outfits, love the way you mix colours works soo well x

  • Great outfits, love the way you mix colours together works soo well x

  • There is no paradise on earth equal to the union of love and innocence .(Jean Jacques Rousseau, French thinker )

  • Hi!
    I found your blog by accident just yesterday and spend hours reading anything and everything in it!! I’m not a “vintage person” per say but I always combine my closet to the fullest… I just wanted to thank you for the inspirational posts… Sure I will use most of them…

  • I like your photos it’s fantastic. You are looking awesome in different dresses. I really like the first and fourth pics.

  • I found you in a beautiful book recently and I just love your style! I have a friend who is like you. You can throw anything on and it looks great. thanks for sharing your great sense of style!

  • This is such a lovely post – all the outfits are so well put together and sweet! Just a quick question – how do you pick colors that go so well together? This is something that I often have trouble with. Do you have a formula or do you just see how it looks?

  • great for beautiful:

  • Wow! I love so much of this, but especially that blue skirt! The last look is so beautiful! 🙂 Next time I go thirfting, I am looking for a similar shape!


  • It’s utterly amazing how do you manage to make outfits with the same clothes & they look completely different. Great idea!

  • What a cool feature – I love this post! It’s good inspiration to get people thinking about different ways of styling items they might already own too 🙂

  • LOVED number 7. It’s the combination of colours and how nicely casual it looks that attracts me. Nice 🙂

    I came to your article from another article and am really interested in this learning about this. , I feel strongly about information and love learning more on this. If possible, as you gain expertise, It is extremely helpful for me. would you mind updating your blog with more information?new era hats

  • Wow! Love this new feature – I’m always looking for ideas about how to work a staple wardrobe in magazines. Lovely styling. I think I need that navy blue skirt…

  • So cute! I look forward to future posts 🙂 Makes me miss my mustard yellow cardigan (ink stain)! I am loving mustard yellow with red right now!

  • Great post! I love everything you did with the strapless dress! I seriously need to get a strapless denim dress. I’ve wanted one for years.

    And I love, love, love that top of yours! Especially with the blue skirt. I would so wear that! <3

  • I really liked this post! It made me try new things with one of my summer dresses. I’m looking forward to your next remix!

  • Lurrrrvely feature!! Have to say I love that brown and gold (vintage?!) belt you’re using there too…

    My fave favourites are 1 and 8…

    Looks like the shoot was lots of funtimes!

    Funtime x

    London vintage, lovely prices…

  • oh elsie this is super lovely! dress eight is my favourite, I think I would love to get married in those shoes! xoxo Tigerlilly Quinn

  • Great new feature! I love to remix but am inspired to be a bit more adventurous with layering dresses. I’d love to steal some stuff out of your wardrobe 😉

  • what a stunner!!

    check out my latest outfit post–


  • These are gorgeous! So hard to pick a favourite, may even have to go and do a little shopping to recreate these looks at home!

  • I LOVE THIS IDEA! I’ve seen it before in magazines but they’re kind of boring. I love your quirky sense of style! You’re too cute! 😉

  • Your blog is absolutely magical and so inspirational! You have so many wonderful ideas, about so many things. Witch leaves me with so many ideas, about so many things to apply in my life.

    Hope you have a nice day!

  • This is such a fabulous concept, I adore this idea! What a great way to learn how to stretch your wardrobe. Number 7 is absolutely perfect, LOVE!

  • Oh that’s indeed so inspiring: i’m moving to Poland in a couple of weeks and the combination of taking huge, fluffy sweaters and baggage weight restrictions has rearranged my wordrobe to.. exactly 8 pieces! 😉

    Have a lovely week!


  • Look 1 and 6 are the best!! Thanks Elly for these lovely posts 🙂 I wish I could come to Red Velvet for a makeover one day!

  • Love this feature! I am forever saying I don’t have anything to wear when I have about 10,000 pieces of clothing (a slight exaggeration).

    I have been wanting to develop a mix and match wardrobe for ages, so thank you for pushing me in the direction!

  • I just love love love this new feature. You’re great! I’m a complete conservative when it comes to matching clothes, you inspire me to be more bold with color, patterns and combos. Keep it up!

  • Oh this is too much fun! I think I have similar pieces in my closet. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Hmmm… I have to say I like look 7 the best because it is the most similar to my own personal style. I am always nervous about my ability to pull off looks that deviate too far from what I usually wear. Maybe I should try my own 8 looks with 8 pieces?

  • Great feature! I am excited to see more!

    All outfits are beautiful, but I especially like outfit 6, 7 and 8.

    Ladylike at Predator Ridge

  • Love this post! I recently moved to begin grad school, and as I was (finally finishing) unpacking my clothes last week, I was reminded of some older pieces I haven’t been able to wear in a while. I’m slowly learning to be more bold in “mixing” what I wear, and this post is truly an inspiration gift. This week I’m going to try to really challenge myself to stretch my thinking beyond how I “typically” wear certain items.

    Thanks for this! <3

  • I bought the same top for my birthday and it’s great but my school requires business casual dress and I’m having the hardest time pairing it. The looks really help and I love all the ones with that top. I have a few ideas now and have an owl skirt coming that would work perfect for look six and for class!


  • Such a cute idea and numbers two and three are my FAVORITE!!! <3 Such cute outfits!!!

  • I love, love, love this idea of Fashion Mixology! You look great in all 8 mixes. Just awesome.

  • i like all of them! Really love it!! And my favorite is three! I love the dresses.. 🙂

  • where on earth did you get that chevron clutch?! i need that in my life <3 thanks!

  • I love the idea of this new feature, and I can’t wait to see more!

  • What a cute feature! I’ll definitely be trying out some of those looks. Thanks for the tips. XO, Rae

  • Your blog has truly become a favorite of mine =) I find myself going to your blog as much as I go to mine lol. Great style!!!
    For any of your New York, Delaware, Philadelphia or New Jersey readers, I am having a contest on my blog where they can win a professionally, fully planned event of their choice free!

    Details here:

    Just letting you know =) Hope you are doing well!

  • Love this new feature like crazy!! Look 6 and 8 make me wanna change my clothes right this second. Love it love it love it.

  • I think four is my favorite! I also love that chevron red velvet clutch…can’t wait to see it in the shop! Thanks for sharing this new feature with us! 🙂 -Lo

  • i needed this post SO much! i was just thinking today about how I need to have more staples in my wardrobe so I can mix and match! Thanks Elsie!:)

  • may I just say you’re a genius? 🙂

    my favourites are no. 3, 6 and 8! I can’t wait to see more of this! 😉

  • This is perfect! As a college student, I’m always trying to stretch my wardrobe! This is really amazing inspiration! I love looks 6 and 7 (especially the clutch and cardi)! Eeek! <3

  • I am so excited about this new feature! I love the endless possibilities that even a modest sized wardrobe can offer with a little creativity!

  • Look number 4 is so fun! I don’t think I would’ve thought to layer a long-sleeve shirt under a strapless dress…thanks for the idea! Your outfit posts always make me want to go shopping for tights 🙂

  • I also meant to mention…you look like Minnie Mouse with that big red bow! Adorable!

  • Ohhh Elsie…you are too cute for words. I must say that over the past month that I have started reading your blog, you have opened up my eyes to so many fashion possibilities. I love how you wear shirts under dresses and I am so excited to be able to keep my summer dresses wearable all the way through fall. Secondly, you couldn’t have said it any better…high waisted skirts allow you to wear tops you otherwise couldn’t. I have some hand me down shirts from a friend with a very different body type. I could no way ever wear it with pants but tucked into a skirt I can wear so many fun shirts that I felt like I was missing out on. I share outfits on my blog as well, and since adding some of your fashion inspiration, many of my readers are sharing they are encouraged to add more accessories to mix up outfits so they feel new again. Inspiration everywhere! You are my favorite! 🙂

  • oh my gosh, thank you so much for this! I’ve been searching around blogs for a while trying to find something like this. I’m on a tight budget and often have to make do with what clothes I have for a long time. I need to get creative with how I mix ’em up but I usually always feel stuck. It’s great that this is only 8 pieces. It feels very do-able. Thanks again!!!

  • These are gorgeous, Elsie! I love the transition from summer pieces into fall outfits.

  • 1. This is so awesome, I’m bookmarking this!
    2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in jeans!
    3. You absolutely have to wear your hair down more. It looks great up, but oh my gosh, it looks awesome down!!

  • Thank you for this cute feature! As a teacher, I am always looking for ways to stretch my wardrobe. This will definitely help as I plan my clothing purchases for fall. : )



  • what brand of glasses are you wearing in #6? I love all the looks but my favorites would have to be #3 and #6 – 8. Love your style!

  • What a fabulous feature! I love it, I definitely need more ‘basic’ pieces to mix and match with x

  • These combos are fantastic. I love that you take such unique pieces and style them up so amazingly. You are a huge inspiration for me. Thanks for being such a brave style babe.

    A Collection of Passions

  • I totally am so excited now. You really are such an inspirational person Elsiecake!

    I am mentally going through my wardrobe now adding pieces together 🙂

  • I love this feature Elsie, it gives so much ideas, thank you 🙂 you are inspiring !

  • you are like my wardrobe twin. i would put together each and every one of those looks! xo

  • I *love* this new feature! I love-love-love the floral top and also the sweater and navy pleated skirt. 🙂
    Thank you so much for putting so much effort into this blog, Elsie!

  • Before I even started reading, I had no idea that that first photo full of outfits had any of the same pieces in it! Great outfit mix-ups!


  • very creative! love your blog! Just starting my blog and you are such an inspiration!

  • Look number 7 is my absolute favourite! It’s so well pulled together but so casual too! It’s an outfit I’d love to wear myself for a date or a coffee trip! xx

  • Oh my goodness! This is like a blog feature from my dreams! It makes me want to play dress up with my own closet so bad! what a perfect idea!!!!

  • I LOOOVE this new feature. It’s so creative! My favorite look is definitely look #5, though…I have a weakness for jewel toned colors in the fall! 🙂

  • Great styling! All the looks are so wearable!

    ♥ Gina Michele

  • my favorite thing about this post is how wearable all these looks are! they are all cute! but i think my fav is #7! 🙂 i adore dresses…but a lot of times i end up in jeans. p.s. i can’t wait to get my “first date dress”!!!! i am currently dreaming up in my head how i will style it. oh and i had tim pick out which dress he liked the best…and he picked that one! 🙂

  • I have done the 30 for 30 remix, but I love the 8 items for 8 outfits! Just great!

  • Love love love this. I love wearing vintage for this very reason. It’s so easy to mix vintage in and restyle it a bunch of different ways to modern it up a bit. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • How awesome! It just goes to show – investing in a few good classic pieces can take you a long way if you layer them up and play around with what’s in your closet. Great work! And I’m dying over outfit number 8.. SO cute!

  • I just love this! This idea is going to be so helpful to me when I move to Ethiopia, where my wardrobe will be limited. You just made the fashionista in me a little less sad.

  • This is amazing! Love your outfits here! I will definitely be trying all of these ideas!

  • Oh holy crap. This is the best feature EVER! I can’t wait to read more, this is such a fun idea. I really love the pieces you picked for this first post….it’s hard to choose a favorite look! They’re all so cute, and you’ve definitely given me some new ideas for my outfits. Thanks love! <3

  • elsie.. fun post! such cute combos.. i love mixing as well (; particularly love #8!! *tiffany*

  • Im not even lying, I am soooo jazzed that you layer strapless dresses and shirts. I always do this, but it seemed like breaking the rules. You’ve totally given me support in my crazy ways! Love your blog/store/life

  • ooh! i love this series of for posts and am excited for more! cute ideas! can’t wait to try some, thanks elsie!

  • Fantastic! So much inspiration for my closet! High waisted skirts are one of my favorite things!

  • Great post! The colors are great and I absolutely love the chevron patterned bag! I’m going to try this sometime to see if I can come up with some new outfits.

  • Your sooooo awesome! I love these types of posts. How do you think them up….you guys are geniouses? 🙂 I think everyone can use fabulous tips like this. I look forward to more posts like this! Hearts, Janna Lynn

  • This is such a great idea. Sometimes fashion bloggers seem to have limitless wardrobes; it’s nice to see this!

  • I absolutely love #7! That is totally something that would work with my current wardrobe. I’m all about the casual, but cute, looks.

    Can’t wait to see what other looks get featured!

  • wow this is so awesome!! i did 30 for 30 a few months ago but this is amazing!!

    Charlotte x

  • Look 8 is definitely my favourite! I love the accessories with the outfit – I would never have thought about wearing them together but they work so well. Fiona

  • Ok, I FREAKING love this–I’m a big fan of remixing favorite items since I don’t like to get rid of anything. Please do this, like, once a week! (haha…like you have time, but still!)

  • I think this concept is going to come in handy when I head to Europe at the end of the month! We intend to pack lightly, leaving plenty of room for our thrifting adventures in England. 🙂

    And? That high-waisted skirt is spectacular.

  • well i am having quite a dilemma right now. I’m trying to chose a few of my favorites to pin on my fall inspiration boards and i just can’t decide, i heart them all!!!!! This mix of colors is jut so bright and festive, amazing! I see tan and mustard yellow on my horizon, possible my fav 🙂

  • This is so awesome! I have never tried layering a shirt under a dress. I am all about the jewel coloured tights.

  • Love how you start with bright bold color and just keep adding them on! I’m fearless with brights and really believe that every girl should add tons of ROYGBIVs to her wardrobe! This illustrates exactly why…puts a smile on my face 😀

    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

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