You’re in a style rut when your rotation of outfits begins to feel stale and you’re just not liking them the way you used to. You’re bored with your style, and this is precisely when you need to be the most proactive about trying something new.
Clients often ask for my help in the first place because they’re in a rut with their style. Creating a style that makes you consistently look and feel fabulous is all about accurately identifying your needs and acting on them, so we begin by exploring the following questions:
- What do you want to express through your style?
- What do you NOT aspire to in your style?
- How does your ideal style differ from your current style?
- Which are your current favourite wardrobe items, and why do you like wearing them?
- Which outfits have you felt best in lately, and why did they make you feel fab?
Once you’ve reflected on these questions — and feel free to bounce ideas off friends and family members if you think that will help — begin looking at your style in more detail in order to pinpoint where you need the change. It might be one or several aspects of your style that need attention.
The extent of the change you need will depend on how much of a rut you’re in. On one end of the continuum, the rut feels intense and overwhelming, and in this case you might find a seven step style renewal to be beneficial. If you’re on the less intense end of the continuum, you’ll find that smaller and faster changes can do the trick. Here are some of my favourites.
Evaluate Your Hair
Your hair is an important part of your style. For some, it IS their style. Cut it into another shape, add some colour, grow it into another style, activate the curl, straighten the wave, leave it down, tie it up, go lighter, go darker, go shorter, or go grey.
Refresh Your Accessories & Footwear
Add accessories to your outfits if you previously went without. Wear the jewellery that’s packed away in a box. Add a belt, brooch, tie, hat, textured hosiery or scarf to an outfit. Try a new style or colour of handbag. Swap out your handbags more frequently. Have fun with nail art. Have fun with quirky costume jewellery. Get a new pair of specs.
Evaluate your footwear and make sure that it’s sufficiently current for your style. It’s amazing how a few pairs of trendy shoes can breathe life into old outfits.
Tweak Your Make-up
Go to a make-up counter and ask for a make-up makeover. Change the colour of your lipstick. Wear gloss. Add mascara and eyeliner to your daily make-up routine. Wear blue, green or purple mascara. Have your brows professionally shaped and dyed. Add bronzer. Wear blush.
Revisit the Colour Palette of Your Wardrobe
If you’re a neutral gal, try wearing NEW-to-you neutrals. Add some colour, even if it’s in a subtle way, like through an accessory. Or don’t be subtle at all. Break out of your comfort zone and add new colours to your wardrobe, but be sure to purchase them with a support act so that you can easily create outfits.
If you’re a non-neutral gal, experiment with neutrals. Wear neutral outfits and monochromatic combinations. Combine tonal neutrals instead of high-contrast ones. Wear four to five different neutrals in one outfit. Or wear one neutral from head to toe.
Try New-to-You Trends on the Cheap
This is an effective way to change up your look without breaking the bank. Choose new-to-you trends that tickle your fancy and purchase them at relatively inexpensive prices. Target the items that you would have previously ignored if you were feeling energized by your current wardrobe. You’ll be amazed at how integrating a few well-chosen trendier pieces can change up the landscape of your wardrobe.
Create Dramatic Outfit Juxtapositions
Take the time to play dress up at home by combining your wardrobe items in different ways. Ask a style-savvy friend to help out if the process seems daunting. Put on some music, have snacks on hand, and let the creative juices flow. Create clashing colour combinations, new tonal combinations, and outfits that are just flattering enough. Put together outfits with new proportions and with unexpected footwear choices. And don’t forget to accessorize.
Think Beyond Jeans
It’s easy to fall back on wearing jeans for every occasion because we live in a casual world. But there is life after jeans. Think trousers, skirts, dresses, jumpsuits and casual pants if you’re bored of wearing jeans. Or at least think beyond blue jeans by wearing them in black, grey, white or another colour.
This is one of the most effective ways of breaking out of a style rut, but it’s hard to do when your lifestyle is casual. It does feel good to get out of jeans and a T-shirt for at least some of the time. Amp up the dressiness of your daily outfits, which might mean wearing the items in your wardrobe that you save for special occasions. Neutralize the dressy pieces by wearing them with denim. Wear the dressier skirts and frocks that are begging for some action because why not! Start stepping up your game by being the dressiest person in the room. Defying your environmental norm can be the best way to break out of a style rut.
I’ve had my fair share of style ruts, and I’m going to have many more. Sometimes I can break out of my rut with a few quick fixes, and sometimes I need to look deeper into my head and heart in order to pinpoint precisely why I’m bored with my style. Either way, the reflection pays off.