My Obsession: Basic Vs Extra- Who, What, Why

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Ever since I saw an Instagram post regarding basic vs extra last year, I knew what I wanted my “Word of the Year” for 2022 to be: EXTRA! Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a place and time for basic. But let’s explore some of the interesting thoughts this basic vs extra concept brings up.
(Of course, I think it’s interesting because they are my thoughts. But feel free to join in with your opinions too).

Quote of the day: “Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular so long as you have your life.” Henry James

I decided to showcase some old photos next to newer photos in a comparison of basic vs extra. For those of you who think I’ve always dressed bold, you can see how that wasn’t the case.

By this time in our life, we have grown up with many rules and ideas of how we need to look respectable, professional, and all those sorts of things. And most of us followed those rules to some degree. I know I did like you wouldn’t believe.
I’ll share more about my history below.

But have you ever really sat down and analyzed the reasons you dress as you do including why you wear certain items? I bet many of the reasons are from long-ago rules or even outdated styles.
For instance, most of us were taught to color-match our clothes to each other. Or that black is slimming.

Don’t forget about my Bright Color Challenge.
If you want to join:
1-You can add your outfit in a comment on my Facebook page to the pinned post at the top of my feed. Each week will have a different pinned post, so feel free to add yours multiple times if you wear bright colors on different days of that week.
2-You can email me your outfit to
3-On Instagram you can share in a post or even in your stories. Just make sure to tag me at @Jtouchofstyle so I see it and include the #BrightColorJanuary with it.

Yet if we stop and think about how Mother Nature, artists, or even interior decorators work with different colors, we can be reminded that there shouldn’t be rules with color.
As for size, you know how I feel about that. Who said smaller is better anyways?

Related post: When perfectly imperfect is enough

Insider tip: Stop worrying about if something makes your butt (or any body part) look big. Embracing our body as is creates a freeing feeling that makes us MUCH HAPPIER.

My History with Basic vs Extra

People will tell me that I’m SO creative with my clothing choices. But I haven’t always been that way. I believe that creativity can be learned along with everything else. It’s all about practice.

You might not recognize me from my working days. As a female dentist when only 1/3 of my dental class were women, I felt the need to prove that I was smart and I was just as good as a man. (Does that resonate with anyone else?)

I laugh when I think about my list of what I wouldn’t wear in those days because my closet is full of these things now. All of these things were too girly or not serious enough.
2-Polka dots
3-Animal prints
4-Whimsical clothing (like having hearts or animals on my clothes) and ruffles
6-Tunics, leggings, or long skirts

But think about it. Did wearing a black blazer make me a better person? Could I have been just as good a dentist wearing a pink blazer?
However, I get it. We are judged by how we dress. It’s only human nature because we are visual animals.

It’s truly one of the reasons, I enjoy being retired so I can include all of the extras in my outfits which gives you an inside peek at my personality.
But speaking about judgment, let’s go there for a minute.

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Judgment on Basic vs Extra

Judging others on what they wear is also human nature. We all do it and yet, who is to say that someone should dress one way or another? Granted this is outside the events that are for others like weddings and funerals.

The idea of what to wear is not just dressing for ourselves. We obviously dress for others too. Yet not in the way you may think.
Sure, we may want to look wonderful to others, but we also show respect with our outward appearance. For example, could you imagine going to a graduation event in your pajamas (I’m sure it’s been done, but it’s certainly not the usual)?
It’s one of the reasons I dress a tad more professionally when I go to a professional appointment. I believe it shows respect for the person who is treating/helping us.

We also give others an idea of how we are feeling. I believe in the psychology of color but in reality, other people see the colors of our clothes even more than we see it on ourselves.
In that respect, you are influencing others every day.

I’m from the time of the TV show What Not To Wear. Every show was watched with rapture and I believed there was a right and wrong way to style our clothing. Yet if you have ever heard Stacy London talk about those times now, she thinks the way that I do.
There is NO right or wrong. We are individual people that deserve to show our uniqueness in our outfits.

Not everyone cares about basic vs extra in their clothing style. And then there are others (like myself) that yearn for all the extras and will wear them all at once!
But it’s not for us to tsk, tsk about someone’s choice of clothing. It may not be what we would wear, yet maybe that’s good. Then we don’t all look alike and we can all stand out differently.

Insider story: There used to be these young men working at the bank in the grocery store that we visited. And they were always dressed wonderfully, in suits and ties. We always commented how wonderful they looked, and I asked them once, don’t you wish everyone else dressed up?
Their reply? They said no, they liked standing out the way they did.
It was an “Aha” moment for me.

So Why Dress Extra?

I’ve questioned myself in my need to wear all the bright colors and have fun with accessories, as well as be creative in finding how to wear the same thing in multiple ways. Maybe it’s a midlife crisis, haha. But if it is, I think it’s a fabulous crisis and wouldn’t change it for the world.
The things I have learned about myself, my body, as well as my clothes, have been so enlightening.

The absolute best thing has been inspiring others to incorporate just a bit of extra into their closets too.
When I see basic outfits on stylists’ blogs, I realize that it’s not for me. I’ve been there and done that, and I’m ready to venture out into other exciting territories.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Now granted, there are days, I don’t mind being more basic. The days I’m not feeling wonderful or I’m stressed with other things.

That is exactly one of the reasons that I believe I have evolved in this idea of basic vs extra. I don’t have the huge stresses from when I owned a dental practice and I am in a wonderful relationship and lead a very blessed life.

What is Basic vs Extra to You?

Does this all mean that you should wear what I am wearing? I don’t think any stylist should recommend a pure copy of what they wear.
There are so many factors that should be considered when styling a wardrobe.

The things I know for sure:
1-Be open to new styles and things. I think the frumpiest we can be is when we don’t change.
2-Remember we are the boss of our clothes. If something doesn’t fit, it’s not you, it’s the clothing. So either you should try something else or have it altered so it does fit. Or better yet, use the tricks I share on how to fit things without sewing.
3-No one sees or cares about what size you are wearing. There is no industry standard, so stop obsessing about the size number of your clothes.
4-Stop categorizing your clothing. There are many ways we do this, but one of the biggest is to call something dressy, and then you only wear it for “special events”. By now haven’t we learned that every day is a gift?

And the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to have fun. Meaning you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously. Maybe you put together a new outfit, and it seemed great until you saw a photo of yourself in it later in the day. So what? No one is going to arrest you and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. You get a mulligan every day with what you wear on your body.
But not trying anything new because you want to be safe reminds me of the quote “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Insider tip: Start taking a selfie of your outfits EVERY morning. Your brain registers your appearance from a mirror differently than a camera. Neither is “right”, but it’s good to look at it both ways.

Now you may think you don’t need to change at all. I just like to remember that none of us want to end up like the buggy whip! So remember #1 above. Trust me, because I always thought I had a fabulous clothing style before I started blogging. And now I think it’s even better because it’s more “Me”.

Thank you for joining along in the mullings of my brain with this basic vs extra. I have a feeling that my Word for 2023 is going to be 2 words: EXTRA EXTRA!

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Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.

It’s not just about me on this blog, but also my mother and friend. We get to showcase not only different decades of life but also different body shapes and unique personal styles.

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