How to Get Out of a Style Rut and be Excited by your Wardrobe

We all have days when we just don’t like anything in our wardrobe – yes me included and it’s usually when I am feeling a few pounds heavier – but if you are feeling like that every day and getting dressed is a chore then it’s time to take action.

Because I believe what you wear should express who you are. Do you really want what you wear to say “I’m bored and I can’t be bothered”? I know for most of us it comes down to time. We are so busy working and running around after families at the weekend we forget to take some time for ourselves to just indulge in making ourselves feel good. But if your life is one big busy whirl then you deserve it. So try to carve out a couple of hours to yourself, add some music and a glass of wine and resolve to make your wardrobe a place of pleasure and fun rather than a dilemma.

If you end up wearing the same things over and over here are some tips to get you back on track and out of your style rut.

How to get out of a style rut

First gather some information:

1) What would you like your style to say about you? Open your wardrobe and imagine it belongs to someone you don’t know. What does it tell you about them? Make two lists of any words that come to mind one for positives and one for negatives.

2) Get a pile of magazines and pull out any pictures you are drawn to – they can be fashion, lifestyle, holidays, furnishings whatever catches your eye.

3) Take the pieces out of your wardrobe that you really love and that make you feel fantastic and put them in one pile or area. Then take out things you don’t like and put them in a second pile. Finally take out things that you don’t have strong feelings for either way and make a third pile. Which pile is the biggest?

Next it’s time to do a bit of analysis:

1) Look at your two lists of words. Is there a common theme? If you did the exercise again in the future which words would you like to have on the positive list (and assume that you don’t have a negative list) Make a new list of what you would like your wardrobe to say.

2) Look at the pictures you gathered. Are there any common themes? Do the same colours crop up several times? Are there clean pared back images? Or have you chosen things with a lot of texture, print or embellishment? With images of clothing have you chosen a lot of dresses or trousers? Are there layers? Look at proportions – are prints large and dramatic or small and delicate? What about lengths – have you gone for full length skirts or minis? Have you chosen luxury fabrics like silk, cashmere and velvet or more functional fabrics like a cotton and denim?

3) Go through your 3 piles of clothes and combining the words you would like to reflect your wardrobe and what you have discovered from the themes in your pictures decide which pieces you want to include in your new stylish wardrobe.

Take action

Don’t worry you don’t have to throw out all the things that don’t work, move the pieces you want or need to keep because you have nothing to replace them with yet to one end of the wardrobe. Over time though phase them out and replace them with pieces that fit your words and your themes.

Try wearing those things that you loved and that were right more often. Work with what you have. It’s often the finishing touches that make the look what you want it to be. Try pairing accessories with outfits you haven’t worn them with before.

Now make a list of items that you would like to add to your wardrobe using your words and themes. For example you may have decided that you want to add more drama or quirkiness. The drama could be a colour like red or it could be in shape like an angular jacket. Quirkiness could mean adding a hat to your outfit or a piece of unusual jewellery.

Don’t rush out and buy though give yourself some time to mull over the list and think about what works for your lifestyle too because it’s no good having a wardrobe full of hand wash items if you know you won’t get round to caring from them properly. (However, most modern washing machines have a hand wash programme and I have entrusted cashmere and silk to mine, I just don’t spin it.)

As you start to fill your wardrobe with items that really speak to you, you will start to enjoy experimenting more and hopefully your outfits will feel more “you”. Remember there are seasonal trends and colours but really anything goes if its right for you and if it is you will wear it with confidence.

If you have questions or comments do let me know I love to hear what you think.

And if you need help with colour, look at my online colour analysis here, with style, look at my online style analysis here or if you would like me to create a capsule wardrobe for you go here.

P.S Pinterest is a great source of ideas, have a look at my outfits board.