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HOW TO GET OUT OF A STYLE RUT WHEN YOU ARE BORED WITH YOUR CLOTHES

If you're tired of all your clothes, bored of your style, and you keep wearing the same few clothes again and again, you’re in a style rut.  

First, you need to know you are not alone!  Everyone gets into a style rut every now and then, and it is so frustrating.  It knocks your confidence and can leave you wondering why it is that everyone but you has the skills and knowledge to dress well.  I know because I’ve had my fair share of style ruts!  But with 12 years personal styling behind me, I know exactly what to do when I feel myself falling into one and  have develop d a 3 step process that helps me identify why I'm in a rut and helps me find the inspiration to take myself out of it.  And I'm sharing that with you in this post so you can start to enjoy getting dressed again!


the three steps to breaking out of a style rut, when you're bored with your clothes

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Step One - Asses where you currently are and why you're in this rut

There are some questions to answer and a couple of exercises that will help you do this.

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Step Two - Figure out what direction to take your new style

​​​​​This step is about researching trends and exploring what you like

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Step Three - Create your new style

​​​​​I ​share 4 tips to help you introduce some subtle changes to your personal style ​to help you push yourself out of your style rut

STEP ONE OF BREAKING OUT OF A STYLE RUT

assess where you currently are, and why you're in this rut

Before you start to try and get out of your style rut, it's a good idea to assess where you are at the moment, and how you got here, so spend 30 minute or so thinking about the following:

Why are you in a rut?

  • Have there been any changes to your lifestyle recently?  
  • Maybe it’s that you don’t feel like you have the knowledge or tools to be stylish, so you’ve put the blinders on and have just fallen into a rut?  
  • Or maybe it’s as simple as the end of one fashion season and the start of another?

Taking the time to think about what the catalyst is, will help you to identify what you need to fix it, and what changes you could make to climb out of your rut.

What don't you like about your current look?

  • What’s frustrating you?
  • Why do you think your style is boring?
  • What don’t you like about it?

​​What ​DO you like about your current style?

There are 2 great exercises you can do to answer this question:

1/  One is to head to your closet and pull out your favorite clothes, then to try and identify what it is about them that you like:

  • Is it what they communicate about you?
  • Is it how they make you feel?
  • Maybe it’s the fit or how they flatter your shape?
  • Or, maybe it's the color or the fabric that draws you to it?
  • Look for any similarities between the pieces you like and see if you can pick up on a theme.  This will be what forms the basis of your core style, and are the elements you will want to look for and bear in mind when you’re shopping for new clothes and creating new looks.

2/   And the second is document your daily outfits:

  • Take a quick photo of your outfit each day, for a week (or more!).  
  • At the end of the week look back at your outfits and ask yourself:
  • Which outfits do you think fit and flattered you the most?
  • Were there any items that you found yourself choosing to wear again and again?
  • What elements were you drawn to the most?

I have an online client questionnaire that is a great place to start if you’re looking for some prompts to help you figure out where you want to take your style. 


STEP TWO OF BREAKING OUT OF A STYLE RUT

Figure out what direction to take your new style

Now you know where you are with your current style, you can start to think about how you might develop it and climb out of that rut.  This step is all about researching and further exploring what you like!

THINK ABOUT THE FOLLOWING:

  • What inspires you?
  • What do you like to do on your day’s off?
  • What do you want your style to say about you?
  • Are there any people whose style you admire? If they’re on Pinterest or Instagram, follow them and your feed will be rich with inspiration.

​RESEARCH THE LATEST TRENDS:

When ever I'm feeling a little bored with my clothes, I like to look at the upcoming trends to give me some ideas.  Here are some of my favorite places to keep abreast of the latest trends:

  • WWD’s fashion trend page this is extremely comprehensive!
  • Grazia, online  – This is my favorite magazine for keeping up with trends, it’s a weekly publication so is super current…but sadly Grazia doesn’t seem to have a publication in the US so subscribe to the online publication and regularly visit the website
  • Refinery29.com – covers absolutely every fashion trend going
  • Vogue.com
  • Telegraph fashion online – Another UK site…but what can I say, I’m British so am biased!
  • You might also want to check out my Pinterest feed

USE ONLINE STORES TO FIND NEW IDEAS:

Make a list of the sort of occasions and events you need to dress for day to day, then search your favorite online retailer for clothing by occasion rather than clothing type.  Being less specific with your searches will widen the net and show you options you might not have considered before.  When you find something you like, pin it.  Which leads me nicely onto my next point...

​SET UP A PINTEREST BOARD

​You can make it private if you don’t want anyone else to see it.  Then start pinning to it any looks or clothes you like.  You can pin from:

  • Instagram
  • Your favorite store
  • Online publications
  • Blogs
  • You name it you can probably pin from it, so don't just re-pin inside Pinterest, extend your search outside of the platform, you’ll find you have much more choice.

If you don't want to use Pinterest, you can go old school and print or rip out looks you like from your favorite magazines and either stick them in ‘look book’, or pin them to a physical board. You could even create a vision board and fill it with inspiration and positive affirmations to remind you of your vision each day.


STEP ​THREE OF BREAKING OUT OF A STYLE RUT

​start creating new looks!

Creating new looks and developing personal style is my absolute favorite part of my job, but I know that you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed and nervous about doing this so I have ​4 tips to help you introduce some subtle changes to your personal style so you can push yourself out of your style rut.

So, taking guidance and inspiration from the previous 3 steps, start creating some new looks!

ADD SOME COLOR

If you predominantly wear a neutral color palette, introducing some color will instantly change your look. I know it’s scary to think of wearing color when you don't usually, but it is one of the most effective ways to breath new life into your style. 

  • Are there any colors that you repeatedly pinned to your Pinterest board?  
  • If there are, search for clothing online, by color and see what pops up.
  • If you wear neutral colors and a bright bold shade feels to scary, go for a softer shade
  • And if a solid color is a step to far, try a print instead, it’s sometimes a little easier to integrate into your collection

PLAY AROUND WITH ACCESSORIES

Accessories are one of the simplest (and often cheapest) ways to try a new look.  

You probably have a bunch of accessories hiding in your closet that you’re not using; go find them, put them somewhere that’s easy to reach and make an effort to wear them!  If you don't have many, buy a couple to add to your collection, using your Pinterest board for ideas.
 

  • Are there any colors that you repeatedly pinned to your Pinterest board?  
  • If there are, search for clothing online, by color and see what pops up.
  • If you wear neutral colors and a bright bold shade feels to scary, go for a softer shade
  • And if a solid color is a step to far, try a print instead, it’s sometimes a little easier to integrate into your collection

EXPERIMENT WITH PRINT

Adding some print to your wardrobe is a bloody brilliant way to create a whole host of new looks and, as I mentioned above it’s sometimes a less intimidating way to add some color to your wardrobe.  

  • Look at your Pinterest board for guidance, if you pinned graphic prints, it might be worth steering clear of floral, and likewise, if you pinned some ditsy prints, maybe a bold floral will be a step too far. Graphic?
  • If you don't usually wear a lot of color, choose a print in a monochrome
    Or opt for a print in a soft, muted palette.
  • Another option if you’re new to prints is to go for one of the ‘neutral’ prints like leopard print, stripes or polka dots that are highly versatile and can be worn with most colors.
    If you want just a little splash of print, then a printed scarf will be a great option.
  • If you do wear print, and want to take things up a notch, try mixing your prints.  I wrote an article about mixing prints HERE


BE OPEN MINDED WITH YOUR SHOPPING

  • Make an effort to shop anywhere but where you’d usually shop, you might discover a new favorite retailer!
  • And stop thinking of retailers as being suitable for specific age ranges.  Sure they market themselves to particular age groups, but don’t let that put you off.  I often pick clothes for my clients, from brands they wouldn’t normally shop from if not pushed by me, and they’re always surprised to see what they’ve been missing out on.
  • And lastly, if you’re not sure about spending money on something different, head to your local thrift store.  It’s low risk and a great way to find something unique!

If you feel overwhelmed about the thought of shopping for something different, go back to your Pinterest board or look-book, and pick just 2 elements that you particularly like or that you notice crop up again and again, and think about how you can introduce them into your style.   Focusing on just 2 new elements will make it less overwhelming for you and will make it easier for you to shop.

If you don’t have the time or budget to add anything new to your wardrobe, try creating some new looks with your existing wardrobe!  

I wrote an in depth post about how to unlock the potential hiding in your closet ​so you can build new outfits with your old clothes HERE so pop on over take a look!

ONE FINAL NOTE...

While you’re doing this it’s worth keeping in mind the following:

  • Think about what a typical day look like for you.  While forcing yourself to stick to a particulr dress code, or style of dress can be creatively limiting, the flip side is that if you don’t take your lifestyle into consideration you might end up building a capsule collection that you don't feel comfortable wearing...and that will just leave you back where you started. So it makes sense to keep your lifestyle in mind when you’re making new outfits or shopping for new clothes. 
  • think about your body shape.  What are your assets and what styles of clothing show your shape off to it’s best?  Again, I know that the guidelines for dressing to flatter can sometimes feel a little restricting, but there is merit in understanding your shape and knowing which clothing styles will work best for you.  As once you understand what works for you and why, you will find it that much easier to find clothes that look good on you and trust me, when you know your clothes look good on you, you enjoy wearing them a whole lot more!

If you need some help with this, I have a free body shape quiz that will tell you what your primary shape is, and give you 5 tips to help you dress to make the most of your shape.


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