There’s a time and place for fashion experimentation, and it’s not when you’ve overslept by 30 minutes the morning of a big office presentation, or have less than an hour to prepare for a first date with a Ryan Gosling doppelgänger. A day your parents are coming to visit and you’ve got to look like a pulled-together adult who totally didn’t drink one too many margaritas the night before and fall asleep in her heels and makeup isn’t the right moment either. In short, when nothing but your very best self will do, don’t try something drastically new. It’s too much of a risk.
Rather, that’s when you should be reaching for one of the tried-and-true clothing combinations in the slideshow above. There’s isn’t any scientific evidence proving exactly why these formulas seem to work, but I promise that I’ve never, ever seen one go wrong. What’s more, they’re all really flexible, so you can tweak each to perfectly fit whatever you’ve got planned. To get you started, I’ve included some great ideas for each—click through for my tips now.