Natalie's remix challenge!

Natalie posted about a fun remixing challenge where we take 12 current basics and mix with 6 new fall items. I have been super busy with work so I didn't have time to actually dress up and snap photos, but I did do some little sketches on the computer which I thought I'd share. #1 shows the setup, and #2-6 show outfits based around each new piece; these are all pieces you've seen before, either in WIW posts or in KeepOrReturn posts (well maybe not the lace top, never quite figured that one out).

I didn't think I'd picked my basics for the challenge very well and yet to my surprise I was able to come up with 48 (!!) new combinations; and far more than that if we include how accessories can drastically change many of these looks. I'd been hoping to take one of these outfits and style 3 versions with accessories as an example of this, but *sigh* no time. Maybe this weekend :)

My take away from this is... I have a LOT of outfit options at my disposal. Way more than I'd thought, especially since the "old" 12 items are but a fraction of what I've got in my closet. Of course, some of these may be better "on paper" than in practice but it was still a very useful exercise. I have decided that I need to do another pass through my closet and be much more strict about purging those not-quite-perfect or not-quite-my-style items. Thanks for suggesting this great challenge, Natalie!

Comments, critiques, thoughts and questions welcome.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • DressLover replied 8 years ago

    Whoa. That's amazing.

    Were you that kid in school who was always blowing the curve with your creativity on reports? ;)

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Maybe a little 0;)

  • cciele replied 8 years ago

    I echo that. Amazing. And the sketches are so cute! It's impressive to see how many outfits you came up with. Great challenge!

  • DressLover replied 8 years ago

    Seriously, this may be the coolest wardrobe-computer related thing I have ever seen. Too bad there isn't an easy way to generate these drawings for any clothing item. If there was, it would be one nifty little app.

  • Isabel replied 8 years ago

    I am soooo not techno - is that a dance maybe ? Maybe the word is "techie". I don't even know how to download pics. Yikes. When my kids are a little older who the heck will *ever* hire me ?

    But even more impressive than you illustrations is that you got 48 ! new outfits ! I must try this too ; my new anti-cancer regimen is causing some big time bloating and weight gain - well, that and all the eating - so I want to get just a few basics and some great tops. So this idea is timely.

    THANKS !

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Cciele, thank you!

    DL, I think there's an app for iPhone that uses your own photos but probably doesn't position them like I did with my sketches. These are essentially hand drawn though, even the layering had to be adjusted by hand so the layers show correctly. I drew the base items and copy+paste and then fully edit each outfit; if I was smart, I'd have drawn a little croquis to start and traced it so I wouldn't have to edit much but, well, working a lot makes brain mush ;)

    Isabel, no need to be computer savvy to do this! Pencil and paper would work just as well :) I found it much easier to get a grasp on the number of combinations using the drawings instead of just listing them, the visual is very powerful. I know you could make a lot of fab outfits with a few good basics and some fun tops and toppers!

  • DressLover replied 8 years ago

    There are a couple apps that use internet pics and photos you take yourself, but I think your drawings actually look better, Aida. The photos never turn out right in the app and the pieces don't layer correctly.

    If anyone was able to develop a really solid wardrobe app, they'd make a killing.

  • Mellllls replied 8 years ago

    what a great exercise. i am also impressed with your tech skills.

  • renae replied 8 years ago

    Fabulous! And here I was pleased with myself because I bought a sweater today that I can wear alone or with a jacket I already have. I have so far to go! Aida, can I take pictures of my clothes and send them to you for outfit ideas? ;)

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    Cute! Curious, do these work in real life? I have a knack for envisioning great combos, only to find later that they aren't great once I put them on. You are probably better than me in that respect, though!

  • bella replied 8 years ago

    This is super duper cute!

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    DL, to get all those layering changes in place takes a lot of manipulation. I don't want to be the one to program that, but perhaps we need to find someone who would :)

    Renae, if you post a few items I'd be more than happy to help you think of some new ways to wear them, as I'm sure other forum members would too :D Adding a scarf, pendant, vest, button-up shirt, etc. can quickly change the look of a sweater. I tend to wear my sweaters with few, if any, layers so I included a few layered looks here to try out.

    Rae, I haven't tried these all on but I figure at least 2/3 should work which would still be over 30 outfits. I can usually tell in my head whether something will work or not, especially using items from my own closet since I am very familiar with all of them. I'm pretty sure the majority of these would "work" but some, especially the overly layered ones, may not quite fit with my style.

    Mellllls and Bella, thanks!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago



    Aida, that is seriously awesome. LOVE seeing all those combinations!

  • goldenpig replied 8 years ago

    Whoaaa!!! That is amazing Aida! I'm out the door in a few minutes for date night, so I'll have to come back to this thread later tonight to digest it properly.

  • cjh replied 8 years ago

    Aida- fabulous!! And so much fun! It reminds me of when I was maybe 10? and spent HOURS on end drawing paper dolls and all their clothes with colored pencils, copying directly from fashion magazines and catalogs and designing my own outfits, too. I wish I'd kept them, but of course as now, fashions change quickly and they soon lost their luster. Haha.

    This is great, though. So creative and cool!

    @Renae, don't dismay! YLFers are on their way! It is so fun to look at other ladies' choices, styles and post mine for "reviews." I have learned a lot already in the few weeks I've been on the forum.

  • MsMary replied 8 years ago


    So. Fab.





  • Carole replied 8 years ago

    So cool, Aida. I used to draw pictures of my outfit everyday in a calendar when I was in Junior HS. What program do you draw with? I have the app for IPad, Stylebook, but it is cumbersome and the images don't transfer neatly.

  • Kari replied 8 years ago

    Aida, this is awesome! All we need is a paper doll of you to go with the set. Your computerized drawings are more compelling pictures of the actual items from Polyvore, actually. What a great way to use your creativity and artistic skills towards creating endless combinations!

  • Lynne replied 8 years ago

    Ditto what Kari said; can you make an Aida sketch and we can print and cut and play paper dolls?

    echoing DL; this is the best wardrobe planning exercise I've ever seen executed :D! You get an A+, and when you write the app we will all buy it!

    eta, I do think there is value in fine-tuning these by trying them on; you could annotate the sketch with any modifications or photograph as you wear them.

  • YuYu replied 8 years ago

    Aida, I applaud the brilliant visual simplicity of your work! It is low-detail, but it communicates the looks of the ensembles very efficiently.
    At some point I tried to make a wardrobe planner of my own, so I started obsessively redrawing garments in Illustrator, complete with all topstitching and belt loops and whatnots, and burned out not even mid-process... >_< And now I feel really, really stupid, LOL. Truly, simplicity is the root of all genius. Awesome!

  • Lisa replied 8 years ago

    LOVE this! I am blown away. I want to try it. I've been wondering how I can participate in this challenge since I am not mobile for a while. Drawing them is a great answer. Now I have to figure out how to sketch like this.

    The visual really speaks for itself. It's amazing how a few simple items can be remixed in so many ways. I need to do something like this. This may really help me continue to wardrobe purge.

    And most of these look like some really awesome outfits!

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Oh! Thanks so much ladies :D I am highly amused that I wasn't the only one who loved paper dolls as a girl! My parents worked in architecture/interior decorating when I was young, so they used to have tons of amazing wallpaper sample books; when the new books came my sister and I got the old books and I used those to make all the fun clothing for my dolls. Good memories ^^

    For those interested in the process, I did these in Photoshop but any basic drawing software would work. I used the black tank as a croquis, though drawing a real one would have been better; it was a pain to edit the sleeves so they lined up in each outfit and I certainly could have saved a lot of time if they all had the same angle and size. After drawing the basic items, I copied the pieces I needed for each outfit and then reassembled/edited as necessary. I do not think a computer is necessary for this, though I definitely feel the sketches are infinitely more useful than simply listing out the items in each outfit as text.

    Lynne, I fully agree! I'm sure a good few of these work better in the drawing than they will in real life (like the layered dress outfits; after wearing the dress yesterday for the first time, I think layering with it is going to be tricky).

    YuYu, that sounds like an ambitious endeavor! Do you still hope to finish your drawings? Maybe do one or two a day, with a few outfit creations as you go along? I am pretty lazy hence the simple drawings, plus I _was_ supposed to be working 0:) I was pretty surprised (and pleased) at how well the simple sketches worked to show not only each outfit, but really give such a strong visual impact of the entire exercise.

    Lisa, you know one of the things I enjoyed about doing this is that I didn't have to sit and do it all at once. Once I'd selected the items, the outfit ideas just mulled in my brain; whenever I needed a few minutes break from work, I would sketch out a few of them. As I said, the visual really is much more powerful than writing it out especially if you want to get a sense of just HOW different outfits that all contain the same pieces can be. You could do something similar even using MSPaint :)

  • YuYu replied 8 years ago

    Aida, I've sort of temporarily given up on the project, because I realized that stuff that I own and wear just isn't worth the trouble, and needs to be replaced. Pretty much all of it. I am planning to make the drawings of my new clothes as I buy them. That would slowly build up to a handy outfit planner, which could also double as a neat portfolio of technical drawings. :)

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Ooh that's a great idea YuYu! That way it's not so overwhelming, since it'd just be a few pieces at a time. I do hope you'll share a few of your new outfit drawings, I'd love to see them :D

  • Freckles replied 8 years ago

    Totally awesome Aida. I'm also blown away with your gorgeous interpretation of a clothing app and the combinations that you've made.

    I've been working with lists and they don't work at all!


  • ButterflyLady replied 8 years ago

    Aida I love these - just like paper dolls! I much prefer them to lists ...

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thanks Freckles and ButterflyLady! I still have my lists, but I like the visual impact of this exercise so much that I'm re-writing them with extra space so that I can add little sketches :)

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