Guest Post: Kelsey Barnes – Classy Outfit Formula

I’ll be starting a guest post series on Simply Sheppard to feature other bloggers that I’ve connected with and I’m inspired by. I hope you enjoy this series and enjoy following new bloggers.

For my first guest post I’d like to introduce Kelsey Barnes. I first met Kelsey while at SMU back in 2010! Fast forward to 2018 and we’ve reconnected through blogging. Since our Freshman year at SMU Kelsey has started a career in NYC, and now moved to Amsterdam and is living the expat life. In addition to blogging Kelsey does freelance work and is training to become a spin instructor!

I love following Kelsey on Instagram (KelseyyBarnes) because of her authenticity and unique content. Oh, did I mention her breathtaking pictures of Amsterdam and multiple travel guides throughout Europe?

One of my favorite blog posts from Kelsey is her “Classy Outfit Formula” blog post. Read below and enjoy the guest post!


I love fashion, but sometimes it can be really hard to decide what to wear. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in leggings and a comfy top while working from home. This makes it even harder to decide what to wear when I need to look like I’ve got my sh*t together. Which is why I’ve developed an outfit formula for when I want to look put together, but I also don’t want to put in a ton of effort.

Last week, I met two girlfriends for a drink at the cutest all pink restaurant in Amsterdam, Mama Kelly. I’m not kidding when I say this place is pink – everything from the velvet booths to the bar to the cocktails. I wore an outfit based on my formula, and it worked perfectly for the setting.

I always start with dark skinny jeans. I wear this distressed pair (that pair sold out, similar here)  from Gap often because they’re so versatile. A dark wash always elevates every look. Even with sneakers and a t-shirt, these jeans manage to look just that little bit nicer.

Next, I add a blouse with an interesting detail. I picked this lace panel top up in my last Shein haul, and it’s just too cute. I love all of the girly details like the lace neckline and the slightly puffed shoulders. Going with something that’s a little dressier helps to elevate your look, but you could look just as put together in something basic. I’ve linked some tops in the below carousel that are perfect for looking put together with minimal effort.

Lastly, throw on a cute pair of block heels and grab a bag. I hardly ever wear heels anymore, but it’s so true that they instantly make you look like you’ve got it together. I wore a Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn block heel because I didn’t want to go too over the top. This is Amsterdam after all, and no one dresses up here. I grabbed my YSL clutch to carry my phone and was good to go.

Dark Denim + Interesting Blouse + Block Heels + Clutch

Just four items. All pretty simple, which is why I always go to this outfit formula when I don’t know what to wear. It’s perfect for so many situations, dinner with the girls, date night, even an interview. Just change up little things here or there to fit the situation. For example, for an interview, you can just change the denim to a pair of nice cropped pants.

Do you have an outfit that instantly makes you look put together? Let me know!

Xx, Kelsey

Mix and match below to find your perfect outfit!

I hope you enjoyed this guest post from Kelsey!  Sign up for my email list to get the latest blog post right in your inbox. More guest posts to come. Send me an email at if you’d like to be featured.

Best, Rachel




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