Sometimes it feels like Instagram is only providing wild, adventurous, trend-smashing outfit ideas, and don't even get me started on TikTok trends. The most visual social media hubs are, perhaps understandably, where colour and print and a bold approach are often rewarded. As a result, it can be hard to track down chic, easy, understated outfits to test for oneself without A) having to spend an absolute fortune, B) needing to rework an entire wardrobe or C) being an ardent minimalist.
So while I'm all here for a crazy print clash, a vibrant hue or a strong silhouette, I also occasionally find myself in the mood for a little respite from the merry-go-round. That's what this story provides. I've spent many years analysing outfits—on the streets, within the industry and now on platforms like IG—and can tell a winning, easy, copy-able look when I spot one. So below you'll find some recent, spring-ready outfits I've seen on my feed that tick all of the aforementioned boxes, and none of them could ever be considered boring or basic or uninspired. Yes, they are all relatively muted in colour, but that is for versatility—many of the get-ups you'll see below can be mixed and matched to great effect. Additionally, I've also highlighted the key item that brings each look together so you can be ultra-focused on building these ideas out for yourself—simple!
1. Over-the-Shoulder Jumper + Tee + Wide-Leg Trousers
2. Twinset + Denim Skirt
3. White Dress + Black Accessories
4. Fancy Blouse + Blazer + Flared Jeans
5. Cable-Knit + Flouncy Skirt
Style Notes: Want to get your partywear out of retirement? Then simply add a super-casual jumper into the mix, et voilà: a perfect high-low combination.
6. Shirred Top + High-Waisted Denim
Style Notes: Like a 2021 update to jeans and a tee, just adding a shirred top into the mix makes all the difference. Also, a special mention must go out to the cherry-red beret.
9. Long Cardigan + Leather Trousers + Flat Sandals
Style Notes: When in doubt, monochrome and texture is a formula you can always rely upon. Also, how premium does this high-street cardigan look?
10. A Floral Dress That Does All the Talking
Style Notes: The solution doesn't have to be tailoring or denim. Some of the easiest and chicest outfits are beautiful, timeless dresses that don't require OTT styling.
11. Loose Tailoring + Waistcoat + Mules
12. Knitted Polo Top + Leather Trousers
Style Notes: Yes, this is a little more adventurous, but the takeaway is that tonal outfits always look sophisticated. Also, knitted polos are a great alternative to other jumpers if you like your fit to be snug.
13. White Shirt + Camel Trousers
14. Tonal Co-Ords
Style Notes: Anne-Victoire proves my earlier point about co-ords being so damn chic. They don't have to be knitted, but you'll get more wear out of plain than printed.
15. Statement Jeans + White Shirt
Style Notes: Patchwork denim is trending, and because it's so out-there, you only need an ultra-plain top to wear with it.
Style Notes: For those of you who like your outfits to veer bohemian, this is still a fantastic way to keep things slick—a billowing skirt with a simple knit and sensible sandals.
18. Cropped Knit + Midi Skirt