Ah, outfit fatigue. Who can attest to the days when you stood in front of your wardrobe with seemingly nothing to wear? When everything seems uninspiring and you wonder how you wound up with this mix? Getting dressed is supposed to be fun but every once in a while, we all suffer from bouts of disdain towards a pile of clothes. How do we break out of this sartorial stagnation? Read below for inspiration on how to crawl your way out of a style swamp, sorry, slump and into less swampy pastures.
1. Edit Your Wardrobe
The first step to refreshing your style is to sort out the value of what you have. Before bringing in anything new, you have to know what you’re working with. Your wardrobe should be current and mostly comprised of pieces you love and wear frequently enough. This means:
Toss any clothes with stains you can’t remove or that are worn beyond repair.
Show the same treatment to clothes that don’t fit anymore. With that being said, it’s time to let those aspiration pieces you have on your top shelf – the pieces you’ll fit into after you (insert your own weight goal here) – go. Same with pieces you’re only holding onto for sentimental value or that were given as never-to-be-worn gifts.
Beyond this, start thinking about what in your wardrobe will carry through the years – good quality staples, pieces you can mix, match and layer, items that you love. If you haven’t worn something over the last year or it’s too trendy to wear this year, re-think its position. A cleaner wardrobe will help you focus on your style and make easier choices.
2. Build a Set of Essentials
While you’re decluttering your wardrobe, think about building a collection of ‘essentials’ – a streamlined selection of high-quality garments that you can fit seamlessly into ensembles and use to balance out your crazier pieces. Here’s a primer of essentials that you can tailor to your needs:
Black trousers – wide legged, cropped, or pencil straight, these are a great alternative to jeans for a more formal or dressed up look and can work Monday through Sunday.
Jeans – get a pair truly flattering to your form. A dark wash works best for a day-to-night look.
Midi skirt – the grown-up skirt: it works well on most figures and is versatile enough to be casual, formal and work-friendly.
White t-shirt – basic, yet cool. The white t-shirt literally works with anything you wear.
White button-down shirt – a balance between looking casual and polished, play it depending on where you’re going.
Black dress – the cornerstone of any wardrobe, the LBD can be styled in various ways and act as your savior for last minute events or night outs.
Blazer – use it to pull together an office look or throw it over a dress to look a bit more boss.
3. Develop a Few Go-To Ensembles
Take a look at the pieces that make you feel the best – it can be anything from a great pair of jeans to a beautifully printed skirt, and start building a few ensembles around those pieces. When you can’t figure out what to wear, it’s helpful to keep some looks ready that will a) make you feel fantastic and b) cut out all the time you’ll spend shuffling through your goods.
You could take this a step further and start pairing certain pieces with different occasions, for example, your killer blazer works for whenever you have a meeting (just change the shirt underneath) or those flattering jeans when you’re on a date (just add a different top).
*I have a pair of slim boyfriend jeans that are definite first date jeans – they’re casual enough to suggest I’m not trying too hard but they look damn good.
4. Collect Inspiration
Some of the best outfits start out with a vision. Use Pinterest, Instagram or blogs to find outfits you like. Follow style icons who represent your body type for inspiration on how to wear what you already own differently or to discover looks you can recreate. It’s easy to get lost in the rabbit hole of these platforms so go ahead knowing what suits you – choose the colors, cuts and clothing pieces that work with your figure and personality.
Take some risks and have fun with a little reinvention. Look at those pieces outside your comfort zone and pair them with your essentials to create looks you wouldn’t normally wear. Head over to your favourite store with your girl gang and spend an afternoon trying outfits you wouldn’t usually give a second glance. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to see the various silhouettes which suit you.
Devil is in the details. Simple way to reinvent your wardrobe is to bring in some new accessories. A printed scarf wrapped around your head, a few layers of dainty jewelry, or a pair of strappy sandals instead of your regular sneakers can change the entire vibe of your outfit.
To the fashion-aware, share your wisdom. How do you get out of a style slump?