How To Choose An Outfit For Different Occasions: Style Guide For Women

Knowing how to choose an outfit is important because it creates a great impression about you, boosts your confidence, gives you comfort, and improves your performance. 

In this article, I will show you the easiest ways to choose an outfit for any occasion. I have to say, there’s no right or wrong way to dress – choosing an outfit depends on finding your style. The best way to find your style is to try different things and see which one makes you feel good, look good, and be confident. Once you’ve sorted that out, the rest is easy. 

How to Choose an Outfit According to Weather 

One of the best ways to know how to choose an outfit is by checking the weather forecast. Using this method takes the guessing out of which clothes will be suitable for the day.

How to Choose an Outfit for a Hot Day

Follow these guidelines to know how to dress for hot and humid weather:

1. Wear Breathable Fabrics 

In hot weather, it’s essential to wear clothes that allow for breathability. Ones that soak up moisture rather than leaving it trapped in your body are a must-have for a hot day. People think lightweight material equals breathability, but I’m here to tell you this way of thinking is wrong. 

Many lightweight fabrics and synthetic ones like rayon are terrible at soaking up moisture. Instead, look for fabrics like cotton, linen, and other natural fabric on a warm day. 

2. Avoid Tight Clothes

If you’re going to be out on a hot day, the worst thing you can do is wear clothes that stick to your body like a second skin. Your outfit for a hot day should give room for breathability. Tight clothes will make you sweat more, it will be hard for you to move around, and it will cause you great discomfort. 

3. Wear Light Colored Clothing 

Light-colored clothes reflect the sun so they absorb less heat, unlike darker colors which absorb more heat. So you should lean towards bright and light colors during the hot weather. 

4. Accessorize 

Adding accessories to your outfit can elevate it from plain to interesting. On a hot day, there’s no need to go overboard. You can wear a simple necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings. Also, wearing sunglasses for eye protection or hats can elevate your outfit. 

5. Keep it Simple 

On a hot day, you should keep your outfit simple, but this doesn’t mean your outfit should be boring. An outfit for lunch with friends can be a light knee-length dress, a pair of sandals, and a light jacket if need be. Don’t forget to grab sunscreen for protection. 

How To Choose An Outfit For a Cold Day 

Women in Cold November Day

As a general rule of thumb when dressing for a cold day, the more layers of clothing you have on, the better.

1. Layer Your Clothing

The aim of choosing an outfit for cold weather is to keep yourself warm and one of the ways you can do that is by layering your clothing. You can do a three or four-layering outfit. 

2. Start From the Base 

An easy way to create an outfit for your day is by starting from the base and then carrying on from there. The base of your outfit should be thick like jeans, a skirt, or corduroy pants. You can wear leggings before putting them on the base of your outfit. If you plan to wear a dress or skirt you can use leggings as a base.

For the top part of your body, make sure your base is from materials that retain heat. Wearing long silk or thermal underwear can aid in keeping your body warm in the cold. 

3. Moisture Wicking Fabrics

Moisture-wicking fabrics are good for cold weather because they don’t trap moisture which can make you feel colder. Fabrics like wool, cotton, silk, or fleece do not absorb moisture. For your middle layer of clothing, wear a shirt, sweater, or blouse made of a material that will help keep you warm. 

4. Thick Outer Layer 

For your outer layer, invest in a thick jacket, parka, coat, or hoodie. The outer layer should be something you can easily remove in case you go indoors where it’s warmer. Also, make sure whatever outer layer you pick flows with your outfit. 

5. Accessorize

Accessories like scarves, shawls, gloves, mittens, beanies, and hats can keep you warm and make your outfit look great. 

6. Invest in a Good Footwear

Cold weather is when you want to invest in a good waterproof boot. You can also wear a pair of sneakers or shoes that will keep your feet warm. Steer clear of sandals and footwear that expose your feet. Make sure you wear thick socks before putting on your footwear. 

Examples of a simple outfit for cold include: 

  • A pair of corduroy pants, a thick shirt, and a sweater vest over it with a jacket
  • A pair of leggings, a long-sleeved turtle neck shirt, and a dress over it. Boots for footwear and you can accessorize with mittens or gloves
  • A pair of leggings, a skirt over it, a thick sweater, and a coat. For footwear, you can wear knee-length boots and accessorize with a scarf

Benefits of Choosing the Right Outfits Based on Weather

There are several benefits of choosing an outfit based on the weather and they include: 

1. Comfort

When you know how to choose an outfit based on the weather, you are guaranteed to be comfortable because you have prepared ahead for any surprises. Imagine you don’t check the weather forecast and you dress in a sundress and suddenly it gets chilly outside. I can only imagine the discomfort you’d be in for the rest of the day. 

2. Safety/Health

There’s nothing worse than being wrongly dressed for a rainy or cold day. You can catch a cold or worse. So to ensure your safety and well-being while outside, you should check the weather forecast beforehand and prepare your outfit based on that. 

How to Choose an Outfit According to Occasion 

Young Beautiful Blonde Girl Wearing a Full-Length Pale Pink Glitter Chiffon Draped

Another way to map out an outfit is by dressing according to the occasion. It makes it easier for you to divide your wardrobe into two groups – what’s appropriate and what’s not. Follow this guide to know how to choose an outfit according to the occasion. 

Formal Occasion

Formal occasions could be a trip to the office, a conference meeting, dinner, etc. Choosing an outfit for formal occasions requires more effort because you’d want to make a good impression on the people around you. But not to worry, formal attire tends to be more flexible so you wouldn’t be putting too much effort in. 

You can wear a knee-length skirt and a silk blouse with a low neckline, for example. Pair it with nice heels and accessorize with a necklace, earrings, or a watch/bracelet and you have an outfit you can wear to an office dinner. For a quick meeting, you can wear the same outfit but reduce the accessories and swap the silk blouse for a nice turtleneck.

An important tip to note is that most formal occasions require conservative attire. Another tip to note is what I call the ‘staples of formal attire.’ Here is a list of clothing that is essential for formal events:

  • White button-down shirt 
  • Pants
  • Suits 
  • Skirts
  • Dresses (red, white, or black works very well)
  • Slacks
  • Jacket/blazers 
  • Blouse 
  • Heels/loafers 
  • Tank tops, etc

Informal Occasion

Picking an outfit for an informal occasion is fun because you can experiment with your clothes and see what suits you. Follow these steps to know how to choose a casual outfit: 

  • Step One: Start with your upper body. Choose a top, shirt, blouse, or dress you’re comfortable in. It could be light or thick depending on the weather. 
  • Step Two: Pair your top with a bottom. If you’re going with some friends to the cinema, you can wear a nice light top and jeans or pants. The trick is once you’ve determined what you’ll wear on your upper body, the lower body becomes easier. 
  • Step Three: Add accessories, but nothing overboard. Tucking your shirt into your jeans and adding a belt as an accessory can elevate your outfit. Also, wearing a hat over your sundress can make it look chic. Don’t be afraid to mix things up with your accessory. Your choice of footwear should blend with your outfit. Sneakers, sandals, flats, boots, and wedges, are great footwear for informal occasions. You should wear footwear that would be comfortable throughout the day.
  • Step Four: Grab a bag, purse, tote bag, backpack, etc., where you can place all your essentials. You can also grab a light cardigan or jacket with you. 

It’s important to note that for an informal occasion, you can play with colors, patterns, and styles. Don’t be afraid to mix things up with your outfit. For example, you can wear a black polka dot dress and a blue plain cardigan with boots or sandals as footwear. You can add sunglasses as an accessory.

Tips on How to Choose An Outfit

1. Go For Comfort 

One of the most important tips I can give you on how to choose an outfit is for you to go for comfort. Wearing what you’re comfortable in makes you look and feel good. Hence, it boosts your confidence. So whether you’re going for a formal dinner or a quick drink at the bar, always make sure you’re comfortable in what you wear. 

2. Plan Ahead

One big mistake you can make is waiting until the last minute to plan your outfit. It makes you rush and overlook some factors while choosing your outfit. Take a few minutes of your day to map out what you plan to wear when you’re going out. It may come in handy to plan two or three outfits in case one doesn’t work out or you change your mind at the last minute. This way, you have a backup that wouldn’t cost you time or stress. 

3. Get Rid of Clutter 

Getting rid of clutter in your wardrobe is another tip for how to choose an outfit. We all know that some people like to hoard clothes they haven’t worn in over a year. But there’s no need for that. If anything it’s what’s making it hard for you to choose an outfit. Your wardrobe is filled with unneeded clothes leaving no room for the needed ones. So when you rummage through your wardrobe, you think you have nothing to wear. 

Getting rid of clutter in your closet will make it easier for you to see what’s available and allow you to buy the clothes you need for your outings. Once you’ve gotten rid of clothes you no longer wear,  you can make room for the necessities. 

4. Experiment

Experiment with your style – try to wear something different once in a while. Please note that while experimenting with your clothes, if something doesn’t feel or look right, it probably isn’t. So remember to always go with your instinct.


Hopefully, by the end of this article, I have shown you how to choose an outfit for any occasion. It may seem daunting trying to dress appropriately for every occasion, but by following these tips and guides, it will be easier for you and soon you’ll see how fun it can be to plan outfit ideas for the day. 

For more fashion guides, don’t forget to read my collection of articles. It’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made. 

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