I think that most of us get into habits in our day to day life- we gravitate towards the same food, we drive the same way to and from work, and we drink the same drinks. This routine usually applies to our wardrobe, as well. It’s easy to keep throwing together the same four or five outfits because you know that they will work, but I find for me and a lot of people, you often get a boost of energy and confidence from wearing a new ensemble. That doesn’t mean that you need to go out and buy said outfit, though. These are four easy ways to break out of your style rut and change things up!
1) Swap Favourite Pieces
I have the terrible habit of literally wearing the same outfit from top to bottom- including the same shoes and accessories. It wasn’t until people started noticing and making comments (not rude comments, just “Must be your favourite”!) that I actually realised I was doing it! I will wear the same blouse with the same skirt and it will not occur to me that I could wear it with a different shaped skirt to offer a different look. Lay out your favourite outfits and just start swapping pieces, swap everything! Don’t like the new combo? Swap again! Be creative and mix up your blazers, blouses, cardigans, pants, skirts, dresses, whatever you have. And don’t discount layering a blouse with a dress, or a sweater with a blazer! You might very well discover a new favourite combination that you would have never considered otherwise. **I will say, this is an easier thing to do when you have a general colour palette in your wardrobe. If you have several different colours and patterns, you will have to pay attention to how they actually work together and if they do in fact work together.** Wearing something in a different combination can change the way it looks to you and others, and could very well eliminate the need to buy a new piece!
2) Re-Purpose Accessories
This is probably the hardest trick I have, but it can be very useful. Spend an hour or two truly looking at the accessories in your wardrobe, and think of all of the different ways that you could wear them. Do you have a longer necklace that could wrapped around your wrist three or four times as chunky bracelets? A ring that could be worn on a chain as a necklace? A broach that could be worn as a hair pin? All of these things may seem small but will actually go a long way to updating and livening up your outfits. My favourite accessory to change up is a scarf- you can do pretty much anything with a scarf. If it’s a casual day, I will go with one of my Lululemon Vinyasa scarves that can be worn in 10+ different ways. I also liked to use my blanket scarves with a skinny belt and create a cardigan/wrap out of them- it’s a great and free way to try a new look without shelling out a ton of money for a new blazer or sweater.
3) Purchase One Versatile Item
I was very hesitant to even include this in the list, because I really do try to limit my shopping and reuse items in my wardrobe instead of immediately going to buy new things. However, if you are smart about it, one new piece could bring new life to your wardrobe. I would recommend choosing a versatile piece that will work with at least five different pieces! If it is a blouse or a top, you should be able to pair it with as many skirts and pants as possible in your wardrobe- you should consider shape and fabric in addition to colour and pattern when you are pairing it. Resistant the temptation, do not buy a statement piece. Sure, that bright red and gold, military style blazer might seem like you could wear it all the time, but you will either become bored of it very quickly or you will be come known as “the red and gold blazer person” or whatever the item is. Before purchasing a new item, take a look at your wardrobe and see what holes actually need to be filled. (If it truly is a versatile item, invest properly in it, and go for quality rather than cheap!)
An investment like a neutral skirt that can worn year round is a good change!
4) Have Someone Else Style You
Sometimes, you need a fresh perspective and a new set of eyes to help you see your wardrobe differently- it’s time to call in the person (or people) that you know and trust with your wardrobe to help you reorganise. Make an afternoon or evening of it, pull out your main wardrobe items (as well as a few pieces you don’t wear), and have them put together 5-7 outfits for you while you are in another room. Give them free reign to pair and style pieces, and be willing to wear whatever they put together. Theoretically this shouldn’t cause you too much panic as they are all pieces that you already own. I think that a lot of us look for inspiration for different things, like interior design, make up, and food. Clothing and style is a little different because you have to work within the wardrobe you have- so literally look elsewhere and use someone else’s inspiration and creativity! You can also go the route of a personal stylist, but I would start with someone who does know you and your style. Also, if you do have a friend help you out, you can turn it into a day together and enjoy a little extra time!
I never would have thought of pairing this blouse with this skirt, as they are quite light. It’s the perfect combo, though!
So, my challenge to you, dear readers, is to email your old but new outfits to me! I would love to see how you you reinvent and reinvigorate your wardrobe- share your creativity and inspiration. Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will have a sharing post in the next month or so with a roundup. (Faces will be cropped out!)
*A huge thanks to Lady Sarah in London for the inspiration to do this with her closet roundup!**