5 Statement Looks, 1 Basic Foundation

5 Statement Looks, 1 Basic Foundation

I like to keep things uncomplicated when I dress myself. I don’t like to fuss over or think about an outfit too much. But I also like to make a statement with my clothes. Making and statement and keeping things simple don’t always go together…but they can!

Today I want to share with you a formula of sorts that I use when putting together an outfit. I have blogged about this easy formula before (here and here) creating casual, everyday looks. In this post, I am focusing on head-turning, get-noticed outfits that will make a statement.

First, you need to create your foundation. This is the most important part and the one I believe you will want to spend the most time figuring out.

For me, an all black foundation is best for creating statement looks. Everything goes with black. It’s like a blank canvas you can add colors, textures and layers too.

Find a nice fitting pair of black pants. They can be ankle pants, like mine, or you can wear trousers or slacks. I love these black ponte pants from Stella Carakasi (similar). They have just the right amount of stretch without becoming baggy and the waistband is flat so you don’t have to worry about buttons and zipper covers poking through your top. They are incredibly comfortable and soft too.

For my blouse, I chose a loose fitting high-low top with a slightly scooped neck and long sleeves. I prefer a light material since I will be adding layers. If it’s particularly cold outside, I can add a camisole underneath.


Now that you’ve got your foundation, it’s time to make your statement!

Statement #1: A Ladylike Statement

Winter white is one of my favorite shades. It makes me feel elegant and ladylike. And what could be more ladylike than pearls? This faux pearl statement necklace is one of my favorites. I bought it a few years ago around this time of year, and though I don’t wear it as much as I used to, I still adore it.

With my statement pearls, I wore a boiled wool coat from Stella Carakasi and my budget version of the Valentino Rockstud (by Sam Edelman, no longer available).


Statement #2: A Southwest Statement

This Peruvian alpaca wool cape/wrap from Montecristi Panama Hats is so luxurious and I just love the rich, warm color. A cape is a great way to stay warm and make a statement and it’s so easy to throw on and head out the door.

I added tall boots, a wool hat (also from Montecristi) and a beaded tassel necklace from Kay and Star to complete my southwest-inspired look.


Statement #3: A Glamorous Statement

Tamera Beardsley is the most glamorous woman I know so it made sense that I would wear a pair of earrings designed and created by Tamera for my glamorous look.

I wore a boiled wool coat with a fur collar that I bought at Burlington Coat Factory in 1999 with some sparkly gold and black pumps. I carried my favorite evening bag by Louis Vuitton, a birthday gift from my husband a couple years back. This will be my New Year’s Eve look!


Statement #4: An Edgy Statement

I recently added this Stella Carakasi biker-style jacket to my wardrobe, part of their newest collection. I love the way the fabric crinkles (no ironing or steaming needed!). It’s hard to tell, but the material has a bit of a sheen because it’s woven with metal. Isn’t that something?

I wore my jacket with a big chain choker necklace and softened the look with Topshop laced flats (on sale now!). I also carried my black Adora bag.


Statement #5: A Modern Statement

This outfit might pass for a boho look but I thought it was more urban and modern than that. The Stella Carakasi Take Note Vest is one of my favorite fall/winter pieces. This aubergine color is from their Fall 2014 Collection. I wore it with tall boots and a long geode necklace made by Janet Harrer. This is an outfit I have worn several times and will wear again and again!


By adding accessories –  like big, glamorous earrings or a head-turning hat – and statement pieces – like a long architectural vest, cape, fur-collared coat or fabulous shoes – you can create many different looks just by starting with a basic black foundation.


What outfits would you create with your basic black foundation?


A reminder that How I Wear My: Gloves is happening next week! Send a photo of you in your glove outfit to howiwearmy@yahoo.com by Tuesday, January 5th along with a description of your look to participate. Visit the How I Wear My page for more information. The post will go live on January 7th!

How I Wear My Badge

Happy New Year!

Make it a rich day – and a rich 2016!



Disclosure: All Stella Carakasi pieces, except for the ponte pants, were given to me. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 


  1. December 29, 2015 / 10:57 am

    I adore the take Note from Stella!! You are ready for anything Adrienne!! All are great looks, Brava!

    The Arts by Karena
    Inspiration & India Hicks Sale!

  2. December 29, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    🙂 All of the styles suit you excellently!
    The beige cape is one of my favorites, although beige is not a good color for me. I’d take something brighter. But I fully agree – a black “canvas” is great for creating statement looks and you’ve done a wonderful job.
    HAPPY New Year! 🙂

  3. December 29, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    Yes! This is why I also focus so much on finding good, basic pieces. You’ve demonstrated their versatility and how much accessories contribute to creating a distinctive “look.” Well done!

  4. December 29, 2015 / 5:08 pm

    Fabulous outfits! I love how you show that good foundation pieces can be turned into amazing, very different outfits! I like them all, but #1, 2, & 5 are my favorites.

  5. Kathy
    December 29, 2015 / 5:44 pm

    All look great and while you’ve added some color to the black, you’ve pretty much stuck with other neutrals which is my favorite with black (or actually anything.) I usually have a favorite when you do a post like this, but they’re all my favorite this time around!

  6. December 29, 2015 / 6:35 pm

    Everything goes with an all black foundation…love it! Fabulous outfits too 🙂
    Susan Kanoff www.themidlifefashionista.com

  7. December 30, 2015 / 1:46 pm

    I love this concept! I also gravitate towards keeping my outfits fairly simple but I don’t want to be boring. I might just play dress-up with your suggestions in mind over the holiday weekend to see what I can come up with using the same basic foundation. I’m also impressed that the Stella biker jacket sleeve are long enough for you since I think we’re the same height. It’s always fantastic to find well-fitting pieces from “non-tall” lines.

  8. Libby @ Beauty Without Within
    December 30, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    When I worked, the black on black basic outfit was perfect for changing my look on a regular basis, while looking professional. Now that I am retired I still use this basic outfit idea as a more casual uniform. I loved your ideas and as usual, you look gorgeous in every one.

  9. December 30, 2015 / 4:19 pm

    Love how you did this post, Adrienne! Happy New Year…hope it is a fun time.

  10. December 31, 2015 / 7:53 am

    Happy New Year Adrienne! Love all these looks. And loving your Sonoma Valley shots on Instagram.

  11. December 31, 2015 / 10:05 am

    A wonderful collection of looks, all beautiful, elegant and stylish. In all of them you look very pretty.

  12. January 1, 2016 / 7:20 am

    A blazer, jacket or pair of shoes can really make a difference, as you demonstrated above. Which is why I’m a big believer of investing in statement pieces and combining them with more affordable basics. I really like the look with the burgundy vest!

  13. January 2, 2016 / 11:24 am

    Super cute looks. I love the way you show how a little extra can make a big difference. Kind of fits in with a post I published yesterday about how to get a new look for your wardrobe that won’t break the bank 😉 http://funkyforty.com/new-year-new-look/

    Happy New Year and looking forward to more posts to come!

    Yvonne xx

  14. January 2, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    Wonderful and very informative demo, Adrienne. I always feel with the right foundation, you can expand and create a wide variety of unique and clever looks.

  15. January 4, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    You look so cool and stylish! great!

  16. January 5, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    All five looks are fabulous! There’s so much you can do with a well fitting basic black background, and you have the style and the talent to demonstrate how this can be done!

    Thank you for sharing your beauty and your chapeau with Hat Attack!

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