The Secret to Easily Balancing Two Different Styles

Apr 8, 2015


It's difficult to walk the line between "simple" and "interesting". Sometimes I see girls wearing cherry red coats and berets while waiting in line for their morning coffee, or intricately patterned vintage dresses with embroidered coats while heading downstairs to the train, and I and think "ooo, interesting, I wish I was wearing that." But then I see a woman with a newspaper tucked underneath her arm, crossing the street with a tailored trench and black cigarette pants, and I think "nevermind, that's what I want." And the cycle continues.

It's a hard life when you don't really have one defining style. I like everything from normcore to Doris Day vintage, and it can be a battle to strike an outfit that has a little bit of everything that I'm feeling that day. But, I think I've found a way to get those simple lines I love without blending into the white walls behind me. And a way to wear uptown inspired, wonderfully loud pieces without sacrificing simplicity. The answer was so easy.


It's all about focusing on the details. If you want to dress minimalist on a Tuesday, keep the look interesting with maybe some clunky shoes and a statement belt. If you want to go full-on evening gown plus loose knit on a Wednesday, keep the look simple with sleek shoes and a structured but unassuming bag. By focusing on the details, you can strike both moods in one look.

For example, I took a long denim dress and popped a cotton jacket on top, definitely hitting my quota of simplicity for the day. But to inch it away from being too "everyday", I focused on the details. I cinched my waist with a leather tassel belt and took a structured bag and used it as a clutch, letting the boxy detail add some weight to the look. The interesting accessories brought a little life to the outfit, letting me dress minimal but not feel boring. 


Let's discuss: What's a favorite accessory that you use to either play up or play down a look? I recently saw a thick gold plated belt at H&M that I've been thinking of nabbing, just for this reason ;)

PS: If you'd like more minimalist outfit inspo, why don't you read:

outfit details
Dress: thrifted (vintage similar: here)
Coat: thrifted (vintage similar: here)
Booties: TJ Maxx
Belt: take from mama's closet (store similar: here)
Bag: thrifted (vintage similar: here, here)

 photo divider_zps9a1dedc9.jpg


  1. One thing I can't seem to live without are my large pearls. I like them because they are classic, go with everything, and don't require thought. Plus who doesn't love a big ole pearl?

  2. I totally see what you mentioned in the beginning. The difference between interesting and simple. I have found myself in the same situation various times. Great tips on simplicity <3 Your writings are very informative and fun to read. Love this denim dress on you. The simple leather details really make the look stand out. And I have to say that I adore this hairstyle. So I basically love everything! Haha, kisses from Budapest xo

    Csenge | Csenge's Point

  3. Haha I love this post, I am always so conflicted about whether I want to be quirky or minimalist! I love this outfit, the little details do help so much. The dress is so nice too!

    India | Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

  4. What an interesting concept. My style has always been quite defined and the more I blog, the more I feel like I hone in on exactly what I love. This means there are a lot of things that I don't try, and I'm okay with that, because I crave control over all things, even my wardrobe ;) But for people who aren't like me, this blending idea you have is ingenious. As far as accessories go, I have a sparkly necklace from Olive + Piper that I wear with everything - it dresses up jeans and fancies up a dress even more.

  5. I love your denim dress with the tassel belt

  6. I definitely feel more myself when I'm in a retro look that is simple; I love the SUPER vintage gals out there who do the hair and makeup and perfect red lips and cat eye and all of that with their vintage dresses and vintage everything, but personally... a really good vintage skirt paired with a simple vee neck tee makes me the happiest. Like you, I love everything -- I like modern looks, vintage steals my heart, I like fancy, I like simple... and I think my favorite way to pull a simple look into interesting is adding a good belt and some post earrings (I love dangly ones, but post earrings are just enough to add sparkle without being over the top, for me!).

    But then, some days I just want to go all out like Ashley (Southern California Belle) and be the vintage vixen. We'll see what happens after I have baby #2 and I can wear pinup looks again.


  7. you can sure rock the denim! such a darling outfit!

  8. Wow, very pretty combo Marlen! I love that denim dress! I'm a big fan of belts when it comes to dressing up or dressing down, as well!

  9. I think my style is really fluid, I have had moments in my life when I have without a doubt leant more one way they another, the teenage goth days for instance. But I like to be able to mix things up a lot, I think you are total right about the details making the mood of the look though and maybe that is what I do have, a mood not a style. I like my clothes to be happy, even if i'm dressing for a serious meeting, a funeral or a relaxed day at home, I need some sort of cheeky pop of colour, something that says happiness and maybe this could be my style? My style isn't in the clothes but it is in the accessories. x x x

  10. I feel like we have been having the same issue! This is also why I can't pare down my closet anymore than I already have - something that doesn't spark joy today might elate me tomorrow. I love minimalist looks because I crave simplicity but I do dread looking boring. To play up a look I have two bright Pashmina scarves and two statement necklaces. I also have some bright green Converse and some oxblood Free People boots. These things added to a minimalist outfit give just enough pop to keep me from fading and I love the simplicity of it. So easy to get dressed before work! When I do want to wear my over-the-top print boho dresses, I tend to pair them with classic black boots and a little less jewelry. I also feel like a few good hats in your wardrobe can add enough oomph without overpowering. For example: today I chose dark wash skinnies and thrifted black cowl top. Boring. But once I braided my hair and threw on a cloche hat, I felt like a million bucks! Throw on my boho vintage rings and I still feel like myself.

  11. I love this look! Your style is so fun and whimsical. I want to spend a day in your closet!
    A Peck on the Chic

  12. I love that oversized cardigan. Your style is my favorite.
    Melanie @

  13. I enjoyed your post so much, love your outfit and your tips ! I don't have a well defined style myself, if you head to my blog you will see I love casual, vintage, elegant and I love to switch from a style to another and also to mix different kind of looks. Fashion is fun ! :) Kisses from Italy

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion blog

  14. I hate when people ask me to define my style for just this reason...I can't! I don't fit into one category all the time. Gothic, bohemian, minimalist, crazy cat lady...those are just some of my styles. I love them all, and they're all me!

    I definitely have to say a hat would be my go-to accessory, always. Hats have an uncanny knack for completing any outfit, dressed up, or dressed down.

    I'm digging your tassel belt, and that sure is a great denim dress! What a find! :)

  15. I love this post because I run into the challenge of combining different styles all the time. I feel like keeping a blog has narrow down what I really like to wear, but I can never imagine only subscribing to one style. You do such an amazing job at accessorizing and adding details that make your outfits really stand out.

    Sweet Helen Grace

  16. Oh, I definitely do that "Oh! The Cherry Coat and vintage look!" vs. the "Oh the minimalist in a trench coat!" debate too! Good tips and your belt really does help balance the two opposing styles.

  17. I really love this! I've been obsessed with finding vintage denim dresses during my thrifting trips!


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