How to Get Out of a Style Rut Even Without Shopping

Are you reaching for the same two outfits all the time?

Are all your clothes and shoes the same colour?

Are you dissatisfied with the outfits you put together now even though you once loved them?

If you answered ‘yes’ to all three of these or you’re just not impressed with your style these days, you’re probably in a style rut.

There are many reasons why you may be dissatisfied with your style. Maybe you haven’t yet defined your personal style or you haven’t built a cohesive wardrobe.  Maybe you had uniform dressing down to a science and now you’re bored. It’s possible you’ve just gotten lazy with your style. Whatever the reason, I’m here to get you out of that rut without any judgment.

No, I’m not going to tell you to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. If you have the coins, go ahead but my suggestions involve adding to what you already own or not even buying anything at all. Let’s get down to it.

How to Get Excited About Your Style Again Without Buying Anything

Let’s look at the options that don’t involve spending any money. 

1. Swap clothing with a friend. If you and one of your girls have clothing with the tags on or pieces you only wore a couple times, why not arrange an exchange. At least get together and try a few looks and snap some photos. This will help you to identify what looks great on you and what you may want to purchase at some point.  The key thing here is to play around a bit until you find what you really like.

2. Wear something you’ve been afraid to wear. Is there a dress hiding in the back of your wardrobe which has never seen the light of day? Perhaps you think it’s too bold, too colourful or just simply too much. If you bought it, you probably liked it once.  Take it a for a spin and see if it inspires you.

3. Wear something you’ve always worn in a different way. Layer your necklaces, pair your silver and gold jewellery, put two bright colours together, mix prints. We can easily get into the habit of doing things the way they “should” be done or the way they were always done. If that’s not a recipe for getting into a rut (in style and in life), I don’t know what is.

4. Scroll through Instagram. No, not as an escape from your boring wardrobe. I want you to scroll with purpose! Look at what your favourite style bloggers and influencers are wearing and break down what you like about their overall aesthetic and their individual looks. Maybe you like how their shoes are always the focal point or how they incorporate menswear or ultra-feminine details. Once you identify what you love about them, figure out how you can work some aspects into your own look. Do NOT try to be a carbon copy.

5. Go try on some clothes. You’re not buying anything yet. Just go into some stores, pick up some options and try them on, especially the pieces you’re not sure about. You see, we limit ourselves sometimes. “Oh, that looks great on her but I couldn’t wear that.” “I’m too dark for those colours.” Know your body and what flatters you but do stay open to new things. You would be surprised what would look great if you only gave it a try.

How to Shop When You Want to Get Out of a Style Rut

After trying the above you should be feeling a little more creative and a little more curious about what else you can do to step up your style. You may have created a few new looks. If you want to go further, you will need to buy some new pieces.

1. Give trends a try.  If you haven’t added new items to your wardrobe recently, go ahead and get a couple things that are “in”. Don’t spend a fortune on these if you know you won’t wear them in a couple months. (I’m all for wearing things for as long as you want, though) A few low-cost trendy items will help you to get used to wearing new things and help you to discover what you like. Mix these trends with your staples.

2. Focus on accessories. If your style is on the simple side and you really don’t like trendy pieces, you can still get out of a style rut. You just need to focus on getting your accessories game up to par. Add some rose gold to your usual metallics or swap your pearls for brighter colours. Try a printed handbag instead of your usual black or tan.

3. Order some clothing online. If you just don’t like what you see in the stores around you, look online and see if you find a store that has the type of clothing you’re looking for.  Be sure to keep these online shopping tips in mind.

4. Get your clothing made. Take your vision to a fashion designer or head over to a seamstress with a design you found on social media. Getting your clothing tailor-made can be the ideal way to get the perfect fit and get exactly the type of look you want.

Everyone goes through a style rut at some point in their lives but you don’t need to stay there. Follow these tips and you’ll soon be excited about getting dressed again. 

For more style tips, sign up for my bi-monthly fashion memo, Fashion in Five here.

And for more fashion talk from around the web, check out these links. My post on Arthur & Livingston jewellery made Independent Fashion Bloggers’ recent round-up. These are the blogs which made the list.

Fall is in full effect. Seriously, can you believe we’re in bootie season? Us neither. And so we’re soaking in all the advice from transitioning wardrobes to the best teas for your bodies. You’ll find yourself rejuvenated by the think pieces and all around style.

Links à la Mode, Sept 27th, 2018

Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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