I Tested 13 “Easy” Outfit Tricks From Fashion Week Street Style
09.19.17

As I poked through NYFW street style photos in search of “easy” DIY styling ideas, I found myself struggling to parse inspiration from admiration. Was I pulling an outfit because I thought it genuinely reproducible — an idea you or I might be able to iterate on — or did I love it for a more ephemeral reason: a specific garment, perhaps, paired with a certain attitude, framed in a particular setting? Both hold their own kind of value, but only the former is immediately useful. What’s the point in my suggesting you wear a bralette under a blazer, for instance, if really only works on her, you know?

In essence, I needed to know whether I was full of shit, so I decided to check my work. Over the course of a Sunday afternoon, I tested the 13 styling ideas I pulled, on my own person with my own closet, and concluded whether or not I was.

Idea #1: “Wear a blazer over a bralette.”

On me: thrifted Burberry blazer — another here, NSCO pants, Urban Outfitters bralette, ASOS mules

This girl looks so cool and not like she’s at Coachella, which is impressive considering she’s wearing a bralette sans-top. Mathematically speaking, she’s showing less skin than a turkey on Thanksgiving, but when I tried the look myself, I felt surprisingly exposed. If I wore this for real, my nipples would freeze off on the subway and I’d spend all day tugging my blazer closed.

Reproducibility: Low to medium, more so great in theory

Idea #2: “Make your menswear matchy.”

Pants and a coat rendered in varying shades of the same hue paired with an all-the-way-buttoned shirt and sneakers, as presented on the woman above, struck me as a perfect fall equation. On me, it worked pretty well, but suit pants would’ve looked better, plus I think I just need her coat?

Reproducibility: Medium, because without the right stuff it won’t pack punch

Idea #3: “Belt your blazer with a fanny-pack.”

You couldn’t swing a cat in New York this fashion week without hitting a fanny pack. I found this instance on the left to be a particular treat, because look at her socks. Considering her ingredients are top-to-bottom designer, I worried my own stuff wouldn’t do the trick, but I was wrong! I loved it.

Reproducibility: Surprisingly high, copy-cat-magic

Idea #4: “Wear a button-down as an undershirt.”

On me: Madewell shirt, thrifted button-down, Lou & Grey pants, AGL boots

Wearing a T-shirt over a button-down sounds cool in my head and looks really great on Bryanboy, but layering things that aren’t designed to be layered can sometimes result in IRL disaster. I’m pleased to report that was not the case here, but you have to have a thick T that has some structure to it for this to work. Güd luck.

Reproducibility: Higher-than-you-might-think (a.k.a. medium)

Idea #5: “Make a lemon and mustard sandwich.”

DUH. Love Gen-Z yellow, love mustard and have already worn this particular combo. This is a no-brainer-please-do-try-at-home-immediately.

Reproducibility: High as a sunny kite, baby

Idea #6: “Go white-on-white post-Labor Day.”

White-on-white, which was all over NYFW, was another duh. I used to be picky about whether the shades matched, but now I’m pro-clash. On Reese, her creamy white shirt against her stark white pants almost pleases me more than her pom pom shoes. This one was easy as pie, although I wish my sleeves contained 4x their volume.

Reproducibility: High, high, high, do right now

Idea #7: “Wear oversize denim over oversize denim.”

On me: Zara pants, thrifted button-down, Loeffler Randall shoes

I know the Canadian tux is older news than Jennifer Aniston’s engagement to what’s-his-name, but I liked how she sized it up here. (Canadian jammies?) Although my recreation is suspect, I felt so personally fulfilled and comfy in this outfit I almost smiled with my teeth.

Reproducibility: 100 if you have baggy denim stuff

Idea #8: “Don a big beige suit.”

On me: thrifted button-down, thrifted Burberry blazer — similar here, Loup pants, ASOS mules

Big suits were all over runways in February, but I hadn’t thought to pair my beige blazer with my beige pants until I saw this vision of a woman on the left, then I felt dumb for not. I loved this look, although I recognize not everyone will have the goods on hand. Also, I’m not sure where I’d wear this?

Reproducibility: Probably low 🙁

Idea #9: “Wear a dress over a dress, over jeans.”

On me: Vintage Levi’s, thrifted green dress — similar here, Loeffler Randall shoes

Dang, Christene Barberich looks so great here. I knew this would be tough to approximate because her red coat is a literal dream, but something about the layering combo called me, and seemed somewhat copyable. It was harder than expected though, as I’m sorely lacking in button-up dresses. This turned out fun, though, if pretty different from hers.

Reproducibility: Low-to-medium — but worth a try

Idea #10: “Layer big shirts and soft sweaters.”

This is the kind of outfit I always see, always want to copy, always assume looks better on a dude than me. I want his trousers and everything, really. Anyway, I felt safe and cool in this, and think most people would. It’s a Yes with a capital Y.

Reproducibility: High, going on my fall circuit

Idea #11: “Give your miniskirt a peek-a-boo.”

This girl is cuter than a clementine and, as a fan of creative buttoning, I was immediately compelled by her approach here. I’m not a XL fan of miniskirts, and haven’t worn this one in a couple years, but this outfit was really easy to imitate! Her ‘tude, less so.

Reproducibility: Pretty high if you’re into minis

Idea #12: “Opt for super utility.”

On me: Gap pants, thirfted T-shirt, ASOS boots

I obviously had to try this utility lewk. I have a talent for making all outdoorsy clothing immediately read camp counselor, and I count this among my talents. This ‘fit was perhaps too easy for me to recreate, although I was dying for a cargo assist. I’ll admit this would be a bit much for an everyday office look, but I’ll be packing it next time I go upstate.

Reproducibility: High! Although not sure you’re interested?

Idea #13: “Ditch color and add volume.”

The pieces of this were so simple, all volume, that they struck me as fairly easy to imitate. Of course, you need to have big black pants (these look and feel like ski pants, pleasingly, though I wish they were even bigger), but the off-the-shoulder is easy enough to fake. I would 102% wear this.

Reproducibility: Medium-to-high, ingredients-willing


This was an affirming exercise in that it proved admiration does not always equal inspiration. Sometimes, a look belongs solely on one person, in one moment, with one backdrop, like art. It was an oddly refreshing exercise, though, to see an outfit I liked and then immediately try it on myself — so rarely does that leap happen this directly. For me and most people, getting dressed is a very personal experience, but copy-catting had me stumbling across combinations I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but it was all worth a try.

Street style photos by Simon Chetrit; follow him on Instagram @simonzchetrit.

Get more Fashion ?
  • Anne Dyer

    Yes! 12! Very Jane Goodall.

    • mariahg

      Can we devote an entire article to the Jane Goodall aesthetic, plz?

      • Haley Nahman

        i volunteer as tribute

        • mariahg

          Can I join if it means I get to wear neutrals and hang with awesome animals for the rest of my life?

        • elizabeth v

          please please please. She’s been my style icon since i was a little girl… very MR.

  • True outfits ideas right there. Thanks for the inspo!

  • idea #10 has been my go to look since like age 15

    • Meemaw

      Love your screen name. Also, I too am about #10.

    • Julie

      yes, this was my fave and I want to immediately go home and change into it.

    • Amanda

      The look and the dude wearing it. yum.

  • Adrianna

    Love that this was a Haley post.

    I think your interpretation of idea #4 looks better than the street style version

    Half the women in my tech office have worn idea #10 the past two years – (myself included!)

    • Haley Nahman

      #techlewk

  • tmm16

    Honestly I love all of these looks. I am HERE for the return of the blazer and suit.

    Also jealous of the thrifted blazer in #3. I need to find that somewhere.

    • Haley Nahman

      Me too I think I’m finally a blazer person!

      And got that cream one at 28 Scott Vintage in Bushwick. It’s such a good store!

      • tmm16

        OK adding to my list of vintage stores I need to go to ASAP!!!!

  • Gloria Elena Osuna

    Love this post! I love the interpretation with your own closet. Totally inspired to do the same now!

  • clairmk

    #8 = HUGE Diane Keaton in First Wives Club vibes

    • Haley Nahman

      wow TRU filing this in my diary

    • Leslie Hitchcock

      Yeah, you need to keep this one in rotation. It is so good.

  • JennyWren

    Look #10 is the reason I own at least three grey sweatshirts. And will probably be buying more this year. It’s a very timeless look.

    • Haley Nahman

      Need more XL sweaters

  • Abigail Pyke

    Into all of these looks — I expected them to be a major fail (not because of you, but because NYFW style normally fails on me when I try to recreate) but loved this piece!

  • Akosua Adasi

    You in the matching suit look reminded me of Theo in the Goldfinch!

    • Haley Nahman

      :O!!! You just made me like it so much more

  • Bmo

    Love these! Feeling some true button-down inspiration here. From what I can tell, the trick to dresses over pants is the dress should be about mid calf. It seems off to me when the dress is shorter than that.

    • Marta Millere

      yes, or of a contrasting shape – e.g. bootcut jeans with a t-shirt dress over it, maxi dress that hits the calf with skinny jeans. not sure about normal – aka a-line – dress and straight classic jeans…

      • Bmo

        Yes! They should look like totally separate pieces and not like they came in a set.

  • Barbara Acevedo

    love your #5** more than the inspo 🙂

    http://www.lostandfound-accessoires.com

    • Haley Nahman

      that GZY

  • Hilary

    This is such an inspiring article!! Now I want to try a bunch of these. *Obsessed* with #10 and #12. Also very into #8, altho I agree that I’d have no idea where to wear it.

    • Haley Nahman

      You<3menswear

  • mariahg

    My favorite looks from your article are the ones where you’ve chosen men as the inspiration. I love the borrowed-from-the-boys lewks for fall! And, just another example that fashion transcends gender norms. Maybe MR can do a follow-up article where you style a guy in a similar way, using women and men street style pics as inspiration?

    • Haley Nahman

      Interestinggg…

  • Rosie

    JESUS HALEY this is unreal. It’s so good. Love that you incorporated menswear and freakin’ owned it. I’m feeling GIDDY I’m so inspired rn, and ready to raid my damn wardrobe!!!

    • Haley Nahman

      OMG!!! now i’m giddy

  • the number 12 inspo amiright gals … <3

    • Haley Nahman

      love a breezy pleated crotch

  • Cristina

    I had to log in just to thank you for all the inspo!! I’m going to try and recreate all the looks <3 Hugs from Spain!

    • Haley Nahman

      TYSM for logging in and big hug back to Spain

  • Senka

    You actually look amazing in most of them! Great job in figuring out how to do it with what you already have.

  • Lindsay D

    #10!!!!! I tend love mens sweaters

    also love that almost every look has socks showing

    • Haley Nahman

      Socks are a gal’s best accessory

  • Bee

    You remind me of Mackenzie Davis in the third look!

    • Haley Nahman

      I get that all the time!

  • Hannah Nichols

    Haley this article is fantastic. Thanks for inspiriting me to layer and layer and layer and layer

  • tshirtshark

    #12 is straight up Laura Dern in Jurassic Park. Kudos.

  • Sheila T.

    Actually, I believe idea #1 is actually called the “gatsby swing top”… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/12d8fbb609cd9eda7bb842feec86f8a383c273016996316933544df8ef773db7.jpg

    • Harling Ross

      i want to wear this look right now

  • Some of these looks work better than others ! I’m a little concerned with some of the taste level. # 6 minus the camel toe , #3 wear the fanny pack as a crossbody bag , never add bulk at the waist . #9 just don’t do this !! Most successful #2 The men’s wear is a pretty great look in monochromatic in blends the look into a look and not a mistake . # 8 this beige suit idea is a great go to look , I love this as a fall look,very chic !
    Jandrew
    Dress The Part
    http://www.jandrewspeaks.com

  • Lindsey

    I love this whole article!! Had no idea #10 was a “trend”…I thought I was just being a dorky academic. Sweater over button down is very teacher-vibe, which I love, and try to emulate as weather allows.

  • NikNak

    Love this post and I LOVE playing dress up!

  • Hayley

    You did such a great job reproducing these and making the styles your own! You inspiration, you!

  • OMG YES I AM LIVING FOR THIS. I loooove posts like these. Excuse my hip language but you KILLED #4 and 12!!! So freaking good.

  • Jessica

    I went through a phase of wearing dresses over jeans/trousers on the regular. Now definitely doing that again.

  • Awesome looks.
    And can we talk about your incredible interior ?? !! 😉

  • Meg Joong

    Oh man. All. Of. This.

    But also, even fits that you labelled “low/medium” looked pretty dang wearable. I also appreciate the feasibility factor added by the tried and true mirror selfie.

  • kevynryan

    Thank you for using menswear – like a man wearing an outfit – as inspo. I look at dudes all the time while thinking, yes, he looks good, I also think, yes, I’d like to try that outfit. Men get all the good cuts. Ladies get the flah-ze-dah of it all. Sometimes I just want some good old fashioned structure!

  • Alison Dick

    I’m completely signed up for look #12, however, I don’t believe the pants you linked to are the pants you’re wearing

  • This article gave me so much life and also left me smiling. I have loved street style and used to often download looks to copy later. This reminded me how fun that is.

    Love the way you managed to capture the essence of the looks but made them your own. I also apparently need all the wide legged pants that you own. Your apartment is 👌🏾 as well.

  • #3 & #10 – DAMN my inspo for the next two days

  • Aydan

    uggggg girl you look just so so good!

  • Haley Fox

    Been grasping for how to update for fall and wow this is doin it for me

  • Jessica Murphy

    Enjoying the term “super utility” very much. Will totally ape your #10 black socks in black mule-loafers (to replace socks-and-Birks). So. Friggin. Cozy. Looking.

  • Maggie Lanham

    #8 = personal fav but SHIT you are rocking every inch of #12!

    LOVED this article and love that you recreated much of it with thrifted goods. Thrift for the win!

  • Susie Cambria

    Love the orange socks in #3!

  • TinySoprano

    If I bribed all of your pants enough do you think they’d come and live on my legs? tl;dr I need your pants.

    • Haley Nahman

      Lol MAYBE espesh with that disqus profile pic

  • Liz

    This is so good

  • Haley Fox

    Could you do a piece on totally or semi-androgynous looks for girls with a more curvy figure? I am absolutely loving these looks (like #10) but would love to have the visual of them on different body types. Love them all on you!

    • Kimbones

      Yes, I feel this. I was just thinking about the sweater over a shirt look and how much I want that… but over this chest? Hmmmm. Needs thought.

  • krisandrea dobbs

    awesome article! I think the similarities to each nyfw street outfit you chose is what made this so inspiring to me who is a novice fashionista. I seriously am able to look at my wardrobe with a fresh fashion sense. you made the runway feel closer than ever.

  • Morgan Siggard

    Digging the oversized denim and fanny belted blazer looks! Might have to recreate.

  • Martina

    Great piece, Haley. You rock all those outfits! And I love your writing!! So easy, fun and relevant! Cheers!

  • All usable and smart ideas. To wear always!

  • molly_maureen

    I go through this exact process (in my head) every morning, except with Leandra’s outfits as inspiration. Loved this post! Street style always gives me new outfit ideas and formulas to try.

  • Iva Quint

    I was going to comment the looks that I was planning to put in my “fall rotation” as Haley says (ty for acKNOWLEDGING that we all do this) and then I literally listed 90% of them so…. I think we can call this article a success

  • C. Killion

    Sometimes I’m just happy if the shoes match and I am properly covered. With all the animals and pets (children and grandchildren included) I need to make quick decisions. Colors good, anything that doesn’t show too much dog hair.

  • Does anyone know who makes the gold velvet pants that the blonde is wearing in the first photo/Idea #5?? The closest I could get is Reformation but I don’t think it’s them.

  • Jay

    Big love for the outfits – especially the mini skirts thing?! I was wondering a while: Is it still legit to want to have a leather one?! Can I still wear them?! And I guess you got me the answer, thanks Haley… – and with a button down I would say I can actually even take it to work?!

    (Oh, and love your take on the men’s wear. If I could, I’d wear skinnies, shirts and sweaters (or for now I’ll try T-Shirts) all day everyday…)

  • Sehnsational Style

    Loving looks 1, 2, 6, and 13!
    xoxo KMS
    http://www.sehnsationalstyle.com

  • Lilli

    Love your take on all these looks Haley! I would love to see more pieces like this, maybe with 2 MR writers recreating the same looks? Eg Yours V Amelia’s take, you both have great style and would pull the outfits together in different ways!

  • dricous

    Excellent post!!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  • Elisha B.

    look 7 is giving me Matthew Adams Dolan – love it!

  • Suzan

    Woah Haley, you surpassed the original in that roomy beige suit. Looks so awesome!
    And for where to wear it? If I were you: to a place where lots of people can see it. Because it looks awesome 😀

  • tiabarbara

    I loved like 99% of these looks but damn #10 is definitely my fave. That entire look really suits you, Haley!

  • Eszter Sólyom

    Came here to fangirl over look #10, I see I’m not the only one enjoying the outfits inspired by men’s! Absolutely loved this article, as always

  • Sydney Elkins

    Actually super loved Idea #12, although on myself would probably add a blush pink pair of vans instead of the boots and a big chunky necklace instead of the necktie/bandanna!

  • Bek Murray

    The god damn best post, maybe of all time?? #8 is giving me everything I didn’t even know I needed

  • Selena Delgado

    Christene Barberich’s style looks REALLY good on you, effortless… and Idea #13, monochrome is so chic.

  • Heather Chambers

    I really like the attitude in this piece! I really like how explorative and non competitive it is.