You are currently viewing Never Buy a Statement Piece When You Need a Workhorse
Max Mara boots, Brooks Brothers sweater, rose quartz necklace with earring as pendant, suede statement belt (all own), and double layer mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store

A statement piece can up a look. However, it will not do you any favor when you need to replace a basic. Learn what are wardrobe staples. Read what is the difference between them and a wardrobe staple, and how decide when to buy a statement piece.

  1. What Are Wardrobe Staples aka Workhorses?
  2. When to buy a statement piece
  3. How to Style a Desaturated Outfit with a Statement Piece
  4. Analysis of this Example of a Desaturated Fall Outfit


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What Are Wardrobe Basics aka Workhorses?

There is an eternal elegance to desaturated looks. Just think of the timeless black and white, or navy blue and white outfits. These pieces are wardrobe basics, workhorses so to speak. Even when you go for three desaturated colors you can achieve instant elegance, just think of blush, gray and black, or black, gray and white. All neutral outfits are always in style.


When to Buy a Statement Item

When I saw these black, white and gray printed floral statement boots on the runway, I knew I wanted to have them for my fall wardrobe. I had the outfit shown in this post in mind, as well as three other looks. I only buy a new item when I can come up with at least three outfits with pieces that I already own. This rule is especially important, when buying a non-classic statement piece.



woman in desaturated work outfit with statement boots
Max Mara floral print statement boots, Brooks Brothers cashmere sweater, rose quartz necklace with silver leave earring worn as pendant, long pink statement suede belt with geode buckle, just un clou, Hermes collier de chien cuff, and mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store


You can imagine how excited I was to find a pair in my size on eBay. Since the boots on my fall Must-have list were meant to be a trendy item, this find was a perfect fit. Even better, the price was below the upper limit that I had set for boots on my fall budget. This means that I can spend a little more on other items that are still on the list. You can find how to make a shopping list to update your wardrobe at the link.

When the boots on my Must-have list had been the replacement for the every-day boots, I wouldn’t have made the purchase despite I love these statement boots, despite I identified four looks without trying hard, and despite they were on sale.

Pro tip: Never buy a statement piece when you need a workhorse.


stylist in leather coat with statement boots
Silver colored Cami leather trench coat (similar available trench coat here), Max Mara floral print boots, vintage Camel bag, and midi skirt c/o Lookbook Store


How to Style a Desaturated Fall Look

Fall is all about bold colors in outfits and nature wise, right? The trees have yellow, red, brown and still some green leaves. These colors look great when the sky is blue with white fair weather clouds. Mother Nature’s fall colors look  even great against the gray canvas of the sky and up the mood on a gray rainy day .

This means you have to create interest in an desaturated fall outfit when you have to compete against the bold colors of fall. The easiest way to do so is the same as for styling a monochromatic look:

Working with the contrasts of shine and matte and/or adding texture for a great look in all neutrals.

More on what to pair with statement shoes.


Analysis of this Example of a Desaturated Fall Outfit

When you look at the inspirational outfit of this post you find the following different textures:

  • meshes
  • weave of the fabric of the boots
  • suede vs. plain leather or metals and beads

Contrast between matte and shine is achieved by

  • adding silver nappa leather opposed to a suede leather belt
  • matte fabric of the boots vs. their shiny white heels

Do you like desaturated outfits? Do you wear them? What are your non-budget related challenges with the update of your fall wardrobe?


Never worry what to wear where and when with my style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy it now.

Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2023 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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