how to avoid superfluous details

Posted by Aloïs Guinut on Monday, November 9, 2020 · 43 Comments 

Hello Mesdames!

You may have noticed that some pieces of your wardrobe are really complicated to combine with others.

Two explanations for that:

– they are very interesting and stylish pieces that are self-sufficient and that you should combine with basics (if you are not an accomplished fashionista yet)

– they contain what I call unnecessary of superfluous details

Those are details that do not make a cloth stand out but only make it difficult to match with others.

Learn how to recognize those details in order to avoid them.

I/ The superfluous details you shall avoid

1. The devil wears yokes

A trick that’s waaaay overused by uninspired brands and “designers markets” (see what I mean?).

Do this yoke pocket improve the outfit? Not at all. Does it make it look cheap? yes it does. 

My solution:

Instead of a piece ornated with a superfluous yoke prefer its basic equivalent and accessorize it with a scarf, a jewel, or a layer that will bring the additional style you were expecting from the yoke.

Yet yokes are not all bad. If they make the piece of clothing look unique you can go for them.

Voilà, like so

2. The boring stitch

Another thing that is soooo common when I do closet edits in France is the golden (or colored) stitch on a top.

It’s super boring because it doesn’t make the top more interesting while being super annoying because it makes the top difficult to pair.

Indeed, how do you add jewels on top of this?

Remove the small gold stitch and you loose nothing stylewise. but you gain freedom for more combinations.

The shoe version of the gold stitch. Doesn’t bring a lot but is annoying to pair.

Le remède: except if the stitching (or golden detailing) really adds uniqueness to the piece of clothing you can just skip it.

3. The yawn factor prints

Many of my french clients go for print rather than for plain colors. Yet not all print are born cool.

There is a category that I call “pajama prints” that never really enhance a look.

They are tiny prints on a pale or colored background.

A typical example. I know what you are thinking. “But the outfit looks cool Aloïs”. indeed it’s not that bad, but wouldn’t it be better if the top was just plain white? I think so. therefore the print is a superfluous detail.

Even in a complete outfit I feel like I want to remove this print.

Another meh print. too pale, too busy. Meh really.

Small prints on colored background= pajama mood

My solution: choose really unique and bold prints… or classic ones such as dots, stripes or even leopard…

A bold unique colorful and constrated print on a timeless shape

4. The “all-in-one” is worth nothing

There are clothes that are trying to hard. As if, by adding many little details they will get somehow interesting.

Stop right here and leave those attention seekers on the hangers.

Dull print + kaki details + odd bottom and sleeves cuts + pocket = beurk

The gold stitch underlining the collar, why not, the plumetis lace, ok, but the sportswear elastic waistband no!

Mon remède: go for ONE bold real detail!

This bejeweled daisy collar is not something you see every day! It stands out and has a nice color. perfect to wear like so tucked in high waisted belted jeans or under a crew neck jumper. 

5. Premix always is a bad idea

When you do not know own to style your clothes, it can be tempting to buy some that look “prestyled”.

But like a “premixed” mojito from the supermarket, the taste will always be bad.

I know, this top looks harmless… but look at the sleeve… either roll it yourself or don’t at all but I am against that “ready-made” roll. (Besides the fabric really looks cheap).

Same with that “pre-made” knot. Either you make a real knot from a shirt. Or if it’s premade it has to be bold. Not that tiny little sad dropping thing. 

A brooch on a shirt? Come on, just buy a shirt and then put a brooch on it. 

My solution: YOU are the stylist. buy basics and play with them! Or accessorize them!

Here you are: a simple shirt goes a long way. You can roll the sleeves or not, tuck, half-tuck or keep it out, open or close it… so many options!!!

6. We know two-faced is a bad thing

I mean that’s a Batman villain.


Meh too. If you go for snake print, go all the way!

My solution: two-faced clothes cannot be trusted

7. stay away from mockups

Some uninspired brands will create shy mockups of the trendy stuffs of the moment or of classics.

Kind of pussy bow, kind of heart-shaped top but really looks like meh

Kind of utility jacket but with girly fabric color and buttons? That’s not a twist that’s a fail which does not make sense.

My solution: buy the real thing and make the details be essentials

That’s what I call a proper pussy bow!

That’s what I call a proper utility jacket with a cohesive strong fabric and buttons

8. Overly complex cuts

Odd pleats, bizarre asymmetry and all those things.
When you are buying them from a famous designer that can be great, but most of the time, you shall be suspicious of unknown shapes.

Does the bottom shape of the top do anything for this lady’s style? No, it makes it odd. 

Does this top really need a pocket? The simpler the better (especially if the pocket looks meh).

Ok that’s a nice boot. very gentlewoman farmer with those details…but if there were no details and the boot was smooth it would be way more versatile.

My solution: go for simple or classic shapes (cleary recognizable like pussy bow, heart shaped neckline, flared pants, etc…)

9. cheap hardware

How are you supposed to accessorize when there are already hardware on your clothes?

If the hardware is high quality that’s ok but if it looks cheap you shall better stay away from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like zips… but most times they are not worth it

Three little buttons… pretty cute but how are you supposed to wear a necklace? No really, you would be better with the plain version.

My solution: I do like zips and buttons… but only the ones that are either invisible or high quality

II/ how to get rid of superfluous details

1/ Why are we attracted by superfluous details

My most ancient readers will remember that this very topic was published in one of my most ancient posts.

Because that’s one of the most common mistake I notice in the closets I visit.

The reason ladies often choose clothes with this kind of detail is that they are shy to go for highly fashionable pieces but still want something that make them different from the others.

So they settle for those “in-betweens” and that’s clearly a bad idea.p

2/ The simple rule to spot “superfluous details”

When buying a piece that has “details”, ask yourself the question: if I wear this piece with plain jeans/ plain T-shirts, will I look stylish or elegant? If the answer is no the detail is superfluous.

Let me tell you something: you’ll look more stylish with well cut basics properly matched.

But of course, I do not advise you to wear only basics I am too much of a fashion lover for that!

So if you want to be stylish, go for a really strong piece that you mix with neutral pieces.

You are your own stylist!

You can choose creative prints, surprising cuts, eccentric jewels. Have fun!

And keep reading my posts for more advice on how to mix and match ^^’


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