5 Steps to get out of a style rut
Happy August! I hope you’re enjoying your Summer as much as possible – it certainly is a different kind this year.
It’s been both a long and short couple of months since my last post, in the absence of in-person client work since March, I’ve been focusing on growing my business in other ways (some exciting news coming soon!) and trying to enjoy as much time as possible with my little family.
In today’s post, I wanted to talk about something topical for this time of both stagnation and change – for many of us, this year has been much different with less travel, more time spent at home and less occasions to dress up for. In my experience – and from the words of clients I hear from – that can tend to bring about a style rut with dressing up no longer a necessity.
I wanted to share a few style tips on how to bring yourself out of a style funk and back on your style journey!
I’ve distilled it to 5 easy steps, please check them out, and I’d love to hear if they work for you – please feel free to drop a comment below!
STEP 1: TAKE MENTAL AND VISUAL INVENTORY OF YOUR CURRENT WARDROBE SITUATION. How does it make you feel? Do you get excited about getting dressed in the morning? Are you utilizing most of it, or do you feel like you go to the same 3 outfits over and over again? If so, why do you think that is? What about those outfits attracts you? Jot these thoughts down , and repeat this exercise a few days in a row, you’ll see that day by day the answers will become clearer.
STEP 2: PREPARE TO PURGE. This step shouldn’t be taken lightly nor should it be taken before you’re ready. I recommend doing this in stages. Start by taking out the pieces that you haven’t worn in over 6 months and remove them from your “working closet” (one you get dressed from every day). If you feel like trying them on – do, but if they just don’t excite you anymore, bag them for donation/sale. Repeat this over the course of a month or two to make it less traumatizing, and you’ll notice that as you evaluate more pieces, patterns will start to emerge. You’ll begin to notice why you’re not wearing certain clothes and opting for others; it might be fit and size, it might be their condition, and it might feel like when you put it on they don’t feel at home on you. You might not be exploring their full potential in what to wear them with – so definitely ask yourself whether you still like them before getting rid of them, but if the answer is “ehh” or “no” – they are definitely taking up precious physical and mental space and are better off in someone else’s closet (if they are still in good condition). At the bottom of the post, I’ll list some great resale sites you can check out!
STEP 3: GET RE-INSPIRED. Of course working with a personal stylist like myself is one great way to do that as I will guide you through your Style Development/Refinement process, but in the absence of such an opportunity, the best way to get your head back into your style game is by gaining some new inspiration and articulating your likes/dislikes for yourself. Whenever I start working with a client, before our first session, I ask them to complete a fun creative exercise in self-exploration. I ask them to create 3 picture piles – grouping the categories as “yes”, “no” and “inspiration”, and they typically use Pinterest to complete it. This helps you visually imagine the looks you keep gravitating to – to then interpret them for yourself. You can ask yourself questions like: what do I like about this – is it the way the colors work together, or the pattern, or the fit? Will this work for my body type? Where would I wear this outfit if I had in my closet? It’s just as important to find things you dislike and would never wear so you can determine what you don’t like about them – and avoid those details in your shopping choices. I would also recommend looking for some bloggers/celebs whose style you like and follow them on instagram, their daily style choices can serve as inspiration for you with looks to try for yourself. But always do ask yourself: will this work for me? The answer should be yes before purchasing (vs how it looks on model or hanger).
STEP 4: EXPERIMENT. Rent The Runway Unlimited monthly subscription is a truly genius way to find new brands to purchase. For a set monthly fee you’ll be able to have a rotating door of outfits at your literal doorstep – and an opportunity to find new brands to love, check out their fit, quality, how they work for your lifestyle and current wardrobe. Don’t let the name fool you – even though the brand started out as event/special occasion, it has evolved beyond, that and their monthly unlimited subscription offers you access to premium contemporary and high-end brands that you can wear on a daily basis. Take note of what sizes work for you in the brands you like, and don’t forget to keep an updated note on your personal measurements as well to reference when shopping.
STEP 5: PLAN OUT AND EXECUTE YOUR WARDROBE REFILL. I call this a refill vs update because by the time you’re done with steps 1-4, you will have a clearer picture of what no longer works and will have gotten rid of it; you’ll have tried and found new brands you love and want to purchase, and you’ll have a good idea of what types of fits you like and what kind of looks you want to build out. Start by investing in the basics – great-fitting jeans, slacks, dresses and tops; graduate to shoes, jewelry and accessories. Outerwear is an important next step, followed by revamping your makeup bag and even perfume selection. Editing throughout the process, and choosing only what feels right and makes you happy. And of course, don’t forget the foundation garments as those are extremely important.
Hope this inspires you to start the process if you’ve been putting it off!
I also wanted to share a look that inspired me to get dressed this past month that I wore for a recent family shoot — this Loveshackfancy Gwen Dress is the perfect combination of youthful, feminine, strong and Summery. Sometimes you just need to put on a pretty dress to feel better about the world around you 🙂
You can shop this look (and my son’s outfit) in the carousel below!
Photography by Megan Mahoney.