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LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

This is a very simple styling trick that you need to know about. I’m sure some of you do already, but it’s such an easy one to help you get dressed and feel pulled together with almost no effort on your part. It’s called the ‘LMD’ which stands for ‘Light, Medium, Dark’. It’s actually a time-honoured hack that menswear stylists use but there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t steal it and pass it off as our own.

The idea is to combine 3 different shades when getting dressed; Light, medium and dark. You probably do this a lot without even realising, but once you know, you can really see how it works to even-out your look. The colours are completely up to you and, yes, you can wear the same colour in 3 different shades, that totally works. Here’s a few examples of me using this easy method:

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

The simplest version of the LMD; white jeans (light), Green jacket (medium), Black T Shirt (dark). All tied in with green trainers, because I love a matchy matchy. All these are past season. Bag is Coach, they still sell it and I love it for summer.

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

Green again. I like green, what can I say? Two shades of the same colour and darker jeans works a treat. This whole outfit was from Aligne last year I think, or maybe the year before. Sandals were by Shoe the Bear.

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

Yes, pattern also works with this ‘rule’, so the leopard shirt here works as the ‘medium’ part. Shirt is from Lily and Lionel about 6 years ago, trousers are current COS. T Shirt is & Other Stories, I’ll use those below in the outfit collages as they are both great basics.

So that’s basically it. Let’s have a look at some great ‘LMD’ combinations to inspire you this week..


In this first one, the navy sweatshirt is your ‘dark’, the barrel chinos your ‘light’, and the denim jacket is ‘medium’. This is one of the easiest colour combinations (and probably my personal favourite). I think the navy / denim / beige combo always looks stylish. Admittedly it doesn’t scream colourful joy, but some days you feel just as good in neutrals.

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

  1. Claudie Pierlot sweatshirt with removable collar 
  2. Arket leather-trimmed straw bag 
  3. Albaray barrel leg twill chino trousers 
  4. Levi’s denim chore jacket 
  5. Autry Medallist low leather trainers 


Here’s one with a pattern to show how that works. The quilted cotton jacket is definitely a big look for spring. This one from Monsoon is your ‘dark’ component of the LMD. Check Etsy for these jackets too, there are lots of independent sellers on there. You may know by now, but I’ve also got a new found love of wide leg jeans. These ones from M&S make up your ‘medium’ and the cream knitted top is the ‘light’. Tie it all in with black accessories and maybe a fancy pair of earrings just for fun.

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

  1. La Redoute recycled cotton mix pointelle jumper 
  2. Wilson jewellery vintage amber cushion cut earrings 
  3. Monsoon cotton quilted rose print jacket 
  4. M&S wide leg jeans 
  5. Coach Whitley Mary Jane leather shoes 
  6. Sezane mini Farrow bucket bag 


You can use the LMD concept with your accessories too, so the black bag can be your ‘dark’ here. Or if you went for lighter coloured option, then the dress becomes your ‘dark’. I’m sure you are getting the hang of this concept now, but it’s quite fun to work out shade combinations from the things you already have in your wardrobe.

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

  1. Monki denim midi dress 
  2. Abbott Lyon heart and letter layered necklace set 
  3. Loewe anagram debossed leather tote bag 
  4. Converse All Star Chuck 70 trainers 
  5. H&M cotton twill utility jacket 


Another of my favourites, just because khaki seems to go with everything, but especially with denim. Love a pair of khaki trousers with either a denim shirt or jacket. If a denim shirt doesn’t tickle your pickle, although why it wouldn’t I do not know, then you could replace with either a black or white t shirt. Never underestimate the LMD power of plain black or white pieces.

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

  1. Baukjen mid indigo wash Josephine blouse 
  2. Alexis Amor dark tortoise Ruby sunglasses 
  3. & Other Stories relaxed cropped pea coat 
  4. Isabel Marant suede and leather saddle bag 
  5. COS pleated barrel leg chinos 
  6. Adidas Gazelle navy suede trainers 


If you want to inject a bit of colour into your look, this still works. I find block colour with black a bit jarring myself, but paired with denim and white, any bright colour can be your ‘dark’ when it comes to following this LMD theory. I like to keep accessories neutral when combining with bright colours, or match that colour in your bag or shoes, you know how I love to match my shoes to my outfit colours.

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

  1. Seasalt breton stripe top 
  2. Omnes recycled cotton cardigan 
  3. Boden straight denim midi skirt 
  4. Hush Riley raffia cross body bag 
  5. Grenson Sneaker 52 leather and suede shoes


Finally, another stylish minimalist LMD combo; the cream, the tan and the denim. Having your base top white will lighten up your face if you struggle with beige, I know I do, so I always add white when I wear it on my top half. A classic white shirt or simple white t shirt would also work here, but as my tattoo removal is coming along nicely and my arms are in better shape due to strength training, I’m going to be braving more vest tops this summer. Something I don’t think I’ve worn in over 20 years.

LMD: The simple styling trick to make every outfit work

  1. Albaray white rib racer vest 
  2. Louise Wade 3D swallow hoops earrings 
  3. Abercrombie & Fitch high rise 90s straight leg jeans 
  4. Sezane Mila classic leather handbag
  5. & Other Stories relaxed linen blazer 
  6. Dune Guardian tan leather tassel loafers 


A version of my look at the start with the classic wide leg trousers from COS that work almost all year round, s leopard print shirt and plain white T.

  1. & Other Stories relaxed fit T Shirt 
  2. All Saints Leopard print shirt sleeve shirt 
  3. COS wide leg tailored trousers 
  4. Coach Tabby pillow bag 
  5. Nike Court Vision Alta trainers 

I’m taking my 18 year old son to New York next weekend. Kind of an 18th / 50th birthday treat (yes it was in January, but I am milking it all year as you well know). So there probably won’t be a post next Sunday. I will return the following week, hopefully with a weekend packing guide and some tales from the Big Apple.

K x

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