February can be a trying month for your style when you have long, cold or grey Winters. Your skin feels terribly dry, you’re recovering from a cold or the flu, negative body image sets in, and you generally feel down about your look. Chin up! Here are some strategies for beating the Winter blues that I’ve used myself or suggested to clients.
1. Closet Edit and Review
Forget Spring cleaning — edit and review your closet in Winter. Pass on items that you’re done with, and identify wardrobe holes. You might have many wardrobe items, but do you have enough of what you need at this time of year? If you keep wearing the same items over and over again, get variations of exactly those items to counter outfit boredom. Grab what you can on sale, and inject some newness.
2. Outfit Creation Session
Set aside some time to try new combinations with the items in your wardrobe. Invite a fashion-savvy friend or family member along and have a ball. Document the outfits by taking a quick photo of them, and plan what you’re going to wear for the following week. Lather, rinse, repeat.
3. Refresh With Some Quick Fixes
I believe in a slow approach to style, but the occasional quick-fix purchase can add just enough excitement to your style for a while. Items like a new coat, pair of boots, bag or scarf can make quite the difference as you wait for Spring to dawn.
4. Wear Spring & Summer Colours
If you crave colour, wearing brights, pastels, rich jewel tones, and shades of white in the middle of Winter goes a long way to creating a happy mood. This isn’t usually something you can fix in the middle of Winter unless you already have the items. But you can plan ahead for next season and make sure your happy colours are reflected in your Winter wardrobe.
5. Plan Your Spring and Summer Wardrobe
It can be therapeutic to plan how you’ll refresh your style for Spring and Summer when there’s ice and snow on the ground. It gives you something to look forward to, plus you’ll be sorted on that first warm Spring day. That’s why a closet edit and review is essential. You’ll know exactly what you have before you plan how you’ll add that next layer of fabness to your style.
6. Change Your Hair and Make-Up
Do something drastic to your hair, or make a more subtle change. Cut it shorter, grow it out, add some colour, go grey, leave it curly, or fire up the flat iron. Or change up your make-up routine. Treat yourself to an hour at the make-up counter and see what happens. Whatever it takes to create a happy change — go for it.
7. Arrange a Clothing Swap
Arranging a clothing swap with friends is one way to pass on and repurpose wardrobe items. It’s a fun, sustainable and affordable way to inject newness into your wardrobe and the wardrobes of others. Turn up the music, add some snacks, and get styling.
8. Get Great Underwear
Do not underestimate the power of good and new underwear. It feels great on the body and positively affects the silhouette and drape of your clothing. It can also boost your body image and make you feel more desirable.
9. Move Your Body
Creating endorphins is one of the most positive effects of exercise. Move your body to create those endorphins and experience a mental and physical change. Your mood is lifted, stress is relieved, you’re energized and motivated to get on with the tasks at hand. There’s nothing like a workout to get your mind, body and spirit in a healthy place.
10. Create Something
Creating something from scratch is very satisfying, therapeutic, and clears your head. Find something creative to do daily or a few times a week. Perhaps it’s trying a new craft, restoring an old piece of furniture, painting, playing a musical instrument, re-decorating, sewing, designing a website, knitting, creative writing, DIY home projects, or cooking up a storm at home.
I use many of these strategies. I edit and review my closet monthly. I just bought a pair of gold boots that make my Winter outfits feel fresh and futuristic. I wear brights and shades of white throughout Winter because they create sunshine on our awfully grey days. I’ve been planning my Spring and Summer style refresh since January, and have completed purchasing my Modern Retro beach capsule. I bought red bra, knickers and camisole to celebrate the Lunar New Year (it’s the year of the dog, which is my sign in the Chinese zodiac.) I go to a heated Vinyasa yoga class four times a week, which feels like a bit of heavenly Summer in the middle of Winter and creates loads of endorphins. I walk our Yorkie Sam daily, and cook from scratch most evenings as a creative outlet.
Over to you. Feel free to add how you beat the Winter style blues in the comments section.