5 Second Makeover Dressing Joyfully Fashion Tips Personal Style

The Completer Piece – Create an Outfit vs Get Dressed

A woman standing in front of a wall with leaves.

How To Make An Outfit

What is it that makes the difference between getting dressed and putting on an outfit? How do you go from just wearing clothes to looking styled? The answer is quite simple, really. Looking put-together can be as easy as adding a completer piece. Pulling on just one more piece is certainly not hard, but the effect can be game-changing. The extra piece will add an element of self-expression and help to make your outfit more “you”. It makes your outfit look intentional, purposeful and focused. You can add diversity to your closet with minimal effort, by using a completer piece.

So what exactly is a completer piece? It constitutes an item of clothing that you “add on” to your pants and shirt, your skirt and top, or your dress. This extra item could be a blazer, a cardigan, a jacket or a vest. Similarly, it can also be a bold scarf or a piece of statement jewelry that is the icing on your outfit cake. As illustration, here some examples of a few versatile completer pieces…


A woman sitting on the ground wearing a white jacket.

2 Penny Blue


A woman wearing a blue cardigan and black top.
Eileen Fisher


A woman wearing black jacket and jeans.

Two By Vince


A collage of different outfits with various clothing.Putting Me Together


A woman wearing jeans and a sweater with a plaid scarf.


Statement Necklace:

A necklace with five hearts on it.


Utilizing the Completer Piece: 

Finally, I want to show you some before-and-afters from my own closet. Most of these pieces I’ve had for a long time. Each of the “before” photos shows clothes that I enjoy wearing. When I add a completer piece, the outfit becomes so much more interesting. More simply stated, the completer piece makes the clothing into complete outfits.

Outfit 1

To begin with, your average jeans and T-shirt. Adding my shrunken, collarless, cropped jacket makes the outfit fresh and styled. The completer piece is the ticket to making jeans and a T-shirt look put-together and intentional.

Two women standing in front of a wall


Outfit 2

Next, this bold black-and-white floral-print dress that I love to wear. It’s a simple piece for work or for an event, but it really comes together when I throw my basic blazer on top of it. Now, it’s a complete and pulled-together outfit.

Two women in black and white dresses with a red purse.


Outfit 3

Black pants with a white blouse is easy to put together for work. The completer piece, in this case my leopard-print cardigan, makes this an outfit with personality. I may be over-wearing this cardigan lately, but I love how far it goes to bring out my inner jungle cat.

Two women posing for a picture in front of bushes.


Outfit 4

My bright bold shift dress has lots of personality on its own. But it doesn’t really come to together as an outfit without a completer piece. This time my chunky bold statement-making necklace completes the ensemble.

Two women in purple dresses posing for a picture.


For a few further suggestions on how to wear a sweater as a completer piece, check out our post on layering. All of the photos of me in this post are taken by my loving and tolerant husband. Thanks, mi amor!

We love to help you create stylish outfits from the clothes you already have in your closet. We want you to feel beautiful! The Joy of Style will curate your closet with new pieces that add versatility to the clothes you own and add intention to your everyday outfits. Make your completer pieces work for you.

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Mara Arnold

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  • Diana
    December 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Excellent examples! Thanks for making this so clear!

    • Dee Clarke
      December 15, 2016 at 7:29 am

      Hi Diana, we’re so glad you found this helpful. We know YOU have some great completer pieces. Hope you’re enjoying mixing them into your wardrobe.

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