Styling Your Seasonal Sale Finds

Thanks to all of you who reached out asking for ideas on how to style the bargains you found in the seasonal clearance events.  I’ve created some collaged examples, using my own bargain buys to illustrate tried and true outfit formulas to make sure those new additions are getting a chance to shine.

My favorite outfit formula is an “inside column” – a color-matched or blended bottom and under-layer top, with a contrasting over-layer top and a linking accessory to finish the look.  I already owned a compatible navy camisole to make a column with the navy legging.  (You can click on these collages to see a larger image,)

Here are just three of the many over-layers I could pair with this column:

  • Jade green collared cardigan (with navy/jade scarf as the color link)
  • Duty blue faux suede cascade jacket (navy/blush/dusty blue linking scarf)
  • Red linen duster cardigan (classic red/cream/navy link)

The reverse of this formula is an “outside column” – bottom garment and over-layer top, in this case a navy open-work cardi I already owned.  The open-work knit allowed the two navy shades to blend easily.  Then I just add a contrast color under-layer top and — you guessed it! – a linking accessory:


You may wonder how I happen to have a linking scarf for every color combo.  I’ve been collecting scarves in my color palette since college – and I’m not going to say how many years that has been.  They never wear out and they fit no matter my short-term weight gains and losses … so why not hang onto them?  If you haven’t started your own collection yet … NOW is the time to dip into this magic source of outfit inspiration.

Right after the original blog post on sale shopping strategies, Chico’s got in a beautiful cardigan matched to the espresso brown jegging, so now I have an outside column in the brown too.  The sweater is an indoor weight, so I can layer sleeveless tank underneath, knowing I won’t be taking the over-layer off.  The accent color and the scarf are the eye-catching bits, so nobody is likely to notice when I repeat the espresso pieces.


  1. The brown cardigan – and the navy one too, for that matter – looks a lot more “finished” when I insert a 1/2″ foam Shoulder Shaper and keep the sleeves pushed up with Sleeve Bands – both available on our website.
  2. I ordered the jegging in my usual Chico size 1 and was disappointed that it was baggy and drab.  Back at the store, the salesperson explained that you should always size down in that garment.  Sure enough the Chico size 0 was perfect – both looking and feeling better.  I’m in love with this garment, and they feature it in a variety of colors throughout the year – keep your eyes open for it!

I also styled the jegging in the non-column outfits below:


From left to right:

  • With a single-layer print top that maintains a semi-column effect by repeating the bottom color throughout the print.  Accessorized with a hand-made (not by me!) brown tassel necklace that fit right into the V neckline.
  • With a brown/gray plaid cardigan (again keeping a semi-column effect), gray shell and two-tone silver necklace.  I switched out the brown boot to repeat the grays from the bodice instead.
  • With a soft green wrap-look top that breaks the color column, but enticed the eye upward by repeating  espresso with green in a little neck scarf.

Moving beyond my column formulas, I wanted to feature the Pantone color of the year – Very Peri – which I already owned in this 2-layer tunic that paired beautifully with both new bottom garments.  In the center example I used a strategy I call “bottoms-up” accessorizing, repeating the navy bottom color in a navy necklace at the top.

And finally I  put a black/cream/brown skin print shell with the jeggings, topped it with a cream duster sweater and another hand-crafted necklace  in black/silver/copper.  

That’s 6 new outfits so far with the navy leggings and 9 combos with the espresso jegging. I’d love to hear how you’ve created flattering outfits with your year-end bargain purchases.  Please do share.




About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Sue DiMaggio on February 4, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    Nancy, you mention that you’ve been collecting scarves since college. I, too, have a collection of scarves from way back when. My favorite places to shop for scarves are thrift and consignment stores. The scarves are usually in great condition, and can often be found for less than $10. It’s an inexpensive way to perk up your wardrobe!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 5, 2022 at 9:56 am

      Totally agree. Thrifting is getting more and more popular these days. The only challenge is getting too excited about the great prices and buying things that aren’t really one’s best choices. Since I know we’ve done a Color Certainty consultation together, that shouldn’t be a problem in your case!

  2. PAMELA NEWMAN on February 18, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Nancy, what size are the scarves in your examples?

  3. Karina on February 18, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Those are great suggestions. Any chance you recall what make those brown ankle boots are and where they were purchased?

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 18, 2022 at 10:12 pm

      Those are Aerosoles from several years ago. Right now is a tough time to buy boots in any color other than black because it’s the end of the season and the cute ones are mostly sold out in the popular sizes. I buy a lot of my footwear from or their retail stores. Check in the early fall for best selection.

  4. RIna Rosenberg on February 19, 2022 at 10:08 am

    I am somewhat surprised at the dominance of “jeggings”, which are not too flattering on anyone who isn’t super slim.
    As an hourglass, though a slim one, I find slacks with a slight flare to be much more balancing.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 19, 2022 at 10:24 am

      Happily Rina, that pull-on construction with jean details is available in narrower and less skinny legs. As for the flattery of a flared leg, we’ll just have to agree to lovingly disagree on that one.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.